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Theater Director Leigh Silverman Talks “Harry Clarke,” Helming One-Person Shows, and #MeToo

Silverman: Goodman Theatre

One of the most prominent theater directors in the landscape today, Leigh Silverman made her Broadway directorial debut in 2006 with Lisa Kron’s “Well.” She brought David Henry Hwang’s play “Chinglish” to life in 2011. In 2014 Silverman helmed Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley’s musical “Violet” and received a Tony nomination for her direction.

Women and Hollywood recently chatted with Silverman about her latest play, “Harry Clarke,” a one-man show starring Billy Crudup (“Jackie”). The actor portrays the shy Philip, who leads a double life as cocky Londoner Harry Clarke. Silverman told us about the close working relationship she developed with Crudup and playwright David Cale, the challenges of directing a solo play, and how #MeToo has affected theater.

Harry Clarke” will play at the Vineyard Theatre until December 23.

This interview has been edited.

W&H: Can you please talk about what it’s like being a female theater director today?
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Spotlight: Hilary Duff's Charity Work

Hilary was a charter member for Kids With A Cause, through which she visits children in hospitals, escorts disadvantaged youth to theme parks and helps with fundraising efforts.

Duff is the Youth Ambassador for Return To Freedom.

When asked to get involved with Return To Freedom she said, “I think its really important to give back to your community and it makes you feel so good to get involved with a charity. I look up to people who are involved with organizations that help people and animals.”

Charities & foundations supported

Hilary Duff has supported the following charities:

Aid Still RequiredAlberta HarvestALS AssociationAngelwearAnne Douglas Center for WomenBear Necessities Pediatric Cancer FoundationBlessings in a BackpackCandie's FoundationCoalition of Skin DiseasesDeclare YourselfEpilepsy TorontoGLSENHope MissionK9 ConnectionKids Wish NetworkKids With A CauseLIVESTRONGLos Angeles MissionMusiCanOcean of LoveReturn To FreedomSt. Jude Children's Research HospitalSTOMP Out BullyingThe Heart TruthThe Trevor ProjectToy Mountain CampaignUSA HarvestVariety Power Of YouthWorld Vision Read
See full article at Look to the Stars »

Jeff Bridges, Armie Hammer, Ali Fazal Toast Judi Dench at Santa Barbara Fete

Jeff Bridges, Armie Hammer, and “Victoria & Abdul” star Ali Fazal were on hand in Goleta, Calif. on Thursday night to present Judi Dench with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film.

The event, held at a black-tie gala dinner at the Bacara Resort & Spa, is an annual fete for a lifelong contributor to cinema through work in front of the camera, behind, or both.

Hammer, who starred with Dench in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” opened the ceremony while Fazal recited a poem of sorts to his “Victoria & Abdul” co-star. Fazal noted how his and Dench’s first meeting initially felt to him like an “Indian arranged marriage” until he walked in the room. “There was nobody else in the room and she just greeted me with the warmest hug,” he said. “At this high point in her career she still calls herself ‘a jobbing actor.’ She teaches
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Wonder Woman’ Sends Indie Box Office Straight to Hades

‘Wonder Woman’ Sends Indie Box Office Straight to Hades
Wonder Woman” captured the weekend zeitgeist with reviews as good as any new adult-appeal specialized opener — and gobbled up potential audience. But that’s not the sole reason the specialty box office went to hell this weekend.

“Churchill” (Cohen), with the pedigree of an arthouse crossover winner, went nationally in top theaters but failed to capture more than desultory business. A trio of niche releases showed some mid-level interest in New York and Los Angeles — “The Exception”(A24), “Letters from Baghdad” (Vitagraph), and “Band Aid”(IFC) — but none looks likely to cross over beyond the big-city arthouse market.

The scariest weekend news: the total lack of response to Ken Loach’s Cannes 2016 Palme d’Or-winner “I, Daniel Blake.” While it’s been a long wait after a year-end qualifying run, it’s shocking that the well-reviewed BAFTA-winner met with near total disinterest.

Last weekend’s top opener “Long Strange Trip
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Better Call Saul’ Review: Jimmy Is, Once Again, ‘A Little Bit Crooked’

  • Indiewire
‘Better Call Saul’ Review: Jimmy Is, Once Again, ‘A Little Bit Crooked’
Last Week’S Review: Brotherly Love Goes Bad as Danger Mounts in the Season 3 Premiere

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for “Better Call Saul” Season 3, Episode 2, “Witness.”]

Case Summary

On the surface, things initially look good for fledging law practice Wexler-McGill — at the very least, they’ve got a pip of a new assistant and fancy new wall art. However, there’s danger lurking thanks to a tip-off from Ernie about Chuck’s recording of Jimmy’s confession. Kim has a legal strategy mapped out to take care of things, but when Jimmy loses his temper and decides to take matters into his own hands, the results are explosive.

Meanwhile, Mike’s efforts to figure out who’s been tracking him lead to everyone’s favorite chicken joint: Los Pollos Hermanos, where some very familiar faces lie in wait. The episode ends with Mike getting a call — a call which seems likely to change his life.

Achievements in Cinematography

The kinetic energy
See full article at Indiewire »

Patti Smith, Philip Glass, Iggy Pop and More Bring Peace, Music and Resistance to Tibet House’s Carnegie Hall Benefit

“Remain happy, remain loving—but resist.” Those were Professor Robert Thurman’s opening remarks at the 30th annual Tibet House Benefit Concert held Thursday night at New York City’s iconic Carnegie Hall. But perhaps “opening shot” might be a more appropriate term. Despite the glitzy setting, the concert was a night of peaceful rebellion—assisted by an unparalleled lineup of diverse musicians ranging from punk poet laureate Patti Smith, soul shouters Alabama Shakes, electro pioneers New Order, dreamy acoustic troubadours Ben Harper and Sufjan Stevens, and the raw power of Iggy Pop.

Presiding over the evening was composer supremo Philip Glass,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Why Viggo Mortensen Deserves to Win the Oscar for Best Actor — Consider This

Why Viggo Mortensen Deserves to Win the Oscar for Best Actor — Consider This
There’s a moment early on in “Captain Fantastic” where Viggo Mortensen’s Ben Cash, still reeling from the news of his wife’s suicide, addresses his children on the matter. “Last night mommy killed herself,” he says, “she finally did it.” The bluntness hits like a shock to the system.

It won’t be the last we encounter Ben’s child-rearing directness. Over the course of the film, he sticks firmly to his “no lying” mantra, going as far as to tell his young daughter about sexual intercourse after she asks. But that initial encounter is critical. As played by the extraordinary Mortensen, it’s a moment of deep tragedy. He gives the line a no-nonsense edge that proves euphemisms don’t run in this family, but his swelling eyes hint at how crippling that can be. It’s at this moment that “Captain Fantastic” asks its big question:
See full article at Indiewire »

New Ways to See Non-Fiction: How MoMA Doc Fortnight Brings a Fresh Perspective to Documentary Films

  • Indiewire
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) kicks off its 16th annual Doc Fortnight on Thursday, a 10-day festival that includes 20 feature-length non-fiction films and 10 documentary shorts. This year’s lineup includes four world premieres and a number of North American and U.S. premieres.

Read More: 2017 New Directors/New Films Announces Full Lineup, Including ‘Patti Cake$,’ ‘Beach Rats,’ ‘Menashe’ and More

The festival is far from the only major North American showcase for non-fiction cinema. Festivals ranging from Hot Docs to True/False have played key roles in the expanding documentary festival circuit. However, Doc Fortnight has maintained its own niche on the scene, by aiming to expose undiscovered stories and filmmakers, screening a range of documentaries from around the world and capturing the ways in which artists are pushing the boundaries of non-fiction filmmaking.

“It’s not an industry festival, there aren’t awards, and distributors aren’t all coming looking to buy,
See full article at Indiewire »

Sundance: The 10 Very Best Films from the 2017 Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is officially over and the awards have already been handed out, both the official ones and our own Unconventional Awards, and out of the roughly thirty films I saw during my time in Park City, Utah, I’ve put together a list of the ten very best movies I had a chance to see. Many of them will be coming to theaters across the country later in the year, and a few of them may even be in the Oscar conversation a year from now.

10. The Big Sick

Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani made his triumphant debut as a leading man with this movie produced by Judd Apatow, directed by Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name is Doris) and co-written with wife Emily V. Gordon. Based on their own experiences in courting and how Emily (played by Zoe Kazan) being put into a medically-induced coma affected it,
See full article at LRM Online »

The Weekend Warrior’s Unconventional Sundance Awards 2017

Welcome to the first, hopefully annual, Weekend Warrior Sundance Awards, where I go through the couple dozen movies I had a chance to see over the course of the past week and pick some of my favorite things.

I ended up seeing roughly thirty movies in total, only walking out of a couple (that won’t be mentioned), and overall, it was a generally decent Sundance, although only a few movies really stood out and will be remembered later in the year when we start talking about next year’s Oscars.

Oddly, I missed many of the movies that won actual awards at Sundance, so I’ve decided to give a few of my own.

Salma Hayek as Beatriz in Beatriz At Dinner

Most Literal Use of a Movie Title

1. Beatriz at Dinner (starring Salma Hayek as a Mexican healer named Beatriz who is invited to stay for dinner at
See full article at LRM Online »

Sundance Film Review: ‘The Hero’

Sundance Film Review: ‘The Hero’
If a 60-foot saguaro cactus could talk, it would almost certainly sound like Sam Elliott. At 72 years old, the lanky character actor has played his share of bikers, hippies, and cowboys, but never the hero — at least, never on the level of Lee Hayden, the faded-glory Western star he portrays in Brett Haley’s “The Hero.” This affectionately crafted project offers Elliott the most substantial big-screen role of his career, though sadly, that’s not saying an awful lot for an actor who was passed over to play Indiana Jones, and is instead best known for drawling such catchphrases as “The Dude abides” and “Beef: It’s what for dinner.”

Fortunately for Elliott, “The Hero” targets those old enough to remember his early roles (like the clean-shaven card sharp in the opening scene of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,”) and particularly memorable later ones (the silver-‘stashed seducer in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Animating Animals: ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Sing,’ ‘Finding Dory,’ ‘Trolls’ and More Vie for Oscar

  • Indiewire
Animating Animals: ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Sing,’ ‘Finding Dory,’ ‘Trolls’ and More Vie for Oscar
Animation’s storied Year of the Animal yielded five unforgettable characters.

Brought to life through superb writing, direction, performance, animated ingenuity, and tech innovation were: Judy Hopps, the eternally optimistic rookie bunny cop from “Zootopia,” badass Moon Beast from “Kubo and the Two Strings,” Hank, the cantankerous and camouflaging octopus from “Finding Dory,” Princess Poppy, the eternally happy heroine from “Trolls,” and Buster Moon, the impresario koala bear from “Sing.”

Judy Hopps (“Zootopia”)

Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) represents the heart and soul of “Zootopia.” And to make her and the other animals look and behave realistically, Disney engineers launched iGroom, a new fur-controlling tool.

But it’s a good thing that screenwriter Phil Johnston (“Wreck-It Ralph”) switched protagonists from Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to Judy a year and a half into production when his cynicism dragged the story down.

“And we figured out if the movie’s about bias, then that
See full article at Indiewire »

‘A Monster Calls’: Why Its Late Release Date Could Stifle Commercial and Oscar Momentum

  • Indiewire
‘A Monster Calls’: Why Its Late Release Date Could Stifle Commercial and Oscar Momentum
Back in September, Focus Features introduced Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona’s fantasy fable “A Monster Calls” at the Toronto Film Festival. I was wowed, as I had been by his first English-language film “The Impossible” (2012). This is a gifted filmmaker, as attested by his mentor-producer Guillermo del Toro, who hired him to direct “The Orphanage” and by Steven Spielberg, who hired Bayona to direct Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in “Jurassic World 2,” accompanied by his essential right-arm producer Belen Atienza, the Brian Grazer to his Ron Howard. They’re in prep now.

Bayona is poised to be the next Paul Verhoeven, Baltasar Kormákur, or Denis Villeneuve, someone who becomes a star in their own country and also can bridge the challenging cinematic culture of Hollywood. Bayona knows how to handle, with empathy and without sentimentality, intimate, emotional scenes with adults and children, plus action and VFX. He insisted on
See full article at Indiewire »

25 underrated political dramas

Rebecca Clough Jan 20, 2017

As America gets its new President, we look at some excellent political drama films that may have slipped under your radar...

Political dramas can be entertaining, informative and even educational, opening up debates and offering new points of view. (When experiencing a year of tumultuous change like the one we’ve just had, they can also be a comforting reminder that, no matter what your situation, it could always be worse...) With the full whack of corruption, war, and conspiracy, here are 25 political dramas which deserve to be better known.

See related 25 underrated political thrillers 17 new TV shows to watch in 2017 Taboo episode 3 review The Girl On The Train review 25. The Marchers/La Marche (2013)

When teenager Mohamed (Tewfik Jallab) is shot by police, his friends want revenge, but he has a better idea: peaceful protest. Marching from Marseille to Paris, they band together with quite an assortment of characters along the way.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Fences Review

Every December, a slew of releases are tagged as “obvious Oscar bait.” What does this mean? Typically, they’re projects that focus specifically on a theme weighty enough to be marked as “important,” are shot with “seriousness,” and boast a cast of A-list names chasing Academy gold. The implication is that said film’s ultimate intention is winning awards, disregarding audience approval in the process.

“Oscar bait” generally gets a bad rap, but for a film like Fences – which is undoubtedly Oscar bait – a focus on Best Actor/Actress nominations makes for two of 2016’s most compelling performances. Stuffy cinematography does no favors based on August Wilson’s stage production (there’s a definite attempt to remain theater-savvy that does not work), but Denzel Washington and Viola Davis make this showcase piece worth the Oscar chase.

Both will be nominated for their respective acting categories, and there’s a damn-good
See full article at We Got This Covered »

The Lrm Interview: Almost Christmas Star Romany Malco

For many years, Romany Malco has been the go-to “funny black guy” for many movies and television shows, though he’ll probably always be remembered for his role as Jay in Judd Apatow’s The 40 Year Old Virgin, where he got his big break. Since then, he also played Conrad on the show Weeds and appeared in quite a few movies produced by Will Packer.

In the David E. Talbert ensemble comedy Almost Christmas, Malco takes on a more serious role as Christian Meyers, the eldest son of Danny Glover’s Walter Meyers, who has returned home to spend Christmas with the family. At the same time, Christian is campaigning for the Senate, something that tends to distract him from the family drama while putting Malco in a more serious role.

Lrm got on the phone with Malco last week for the following interview where he talked about his role in the ensemble comedy,
See full article at LRM Online »

Bill Nunn obituary

Actor best remembered as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing

The actor Bill Nunn, who has died aged 63 of leukaemia, was a gentle giant who appeared frequently as a supporting player in mainstream American movies. He was most closely associated with the writer-director Spike Lee, who cast him in four films. The most widely admired of these was the incendiary Do the Right Thing (1989), set over the course of one hot day in Brooklyn during which racial tensions boil over into violence. Nunn played Radio Raheem, who blasts out Public Enemy’s Fight the Power from a boom-box bigger than most home stereo systems. With the exception of one memorable speech on the nature of love and hate, he is a brooding and taciturn figure. His death while being held in a chokehold by police shifts the picture’s climactic riot to another level.

Nunn claimed
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Akira’ Review: Female-Centric Bollywood Action Drama Suffers From Lazy Filmmaking

  • Indiewire
‘Akira’ Review: Female-Centric Bollywood Action Drama Suffers From Lazy Filmmaking
Resistance to the “female-centric” film is an affliction that has plagued Bollywood for most of its history; despite the few dozen films over the years that have proved actresses’ ability to hold their own without needing a male costar (dating back to 1957’s Oscar-nominated “Mother India”), screenplays that place women in the spotlight have been disappointingly infrequent.

Thankfully, with Vidya Balan’s “Kahaani” in 2012, Kangana Ranaut’s “Queen” in 2013, Deepika Padukone’s “Piku” in 2014 and Priyanka Chopra’s “Mary Kom” that same year, Bollywood has increasingly warmed up to the reality that female star power and strong stories can draw in crowds, box office returns, and critical acclaim. While you won’t see a fan following for an actress as rabid as that of, say, Salman Khan, the concept of a woman-oriented film is approached with less trepidation and more curiosity now than ever before by both filmmakers and audiences.
See full article at Indiewire »

Batman V Superman: Michael Shannon fell asleep watching it

Rob Leane Simon Brew David Crow Nov 16, 2016

General Zod himself, Mr Michael Shannon, failed to stay awake through Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice...

Michael Shannon has been chatting to Fandango about his presumably-finished-now work in the DC Extended Universe.

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It turns out that Shannon took the role of General Zod in Man Of Steel because he found the film rather topical. Here's what he said about it:

“When I did Man of Steel I thought the story was interesting; I thought it was relevant. It was about a civilization that destroys the planet they live on and goes looking for another one. Ring any bells? That’s why I did it.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Glasgow Film Festival unveils 2016 programme

  • ScreenDaily
Glasgow Film Festival unveils 2016 programme
Festival to host 60 UK premieres, including Time Out Of Mind [pictured] starring Richard Gere and Disney’s Zootropolis.

Glasgow Film Festival (Gff) has announced its full programme for its upcoming 12th edition, running Feb 17-28.

This year’s festival will host 60 UK premieres, 59 Scottish premieres, four European premieres and three world premieres among its line-up of 174 films. As previously announced, it will be bookended by the UK premieres of Hail, Caesar! and Anomalisa.

Richard Gere will attend Glasgow for the UK premiere of his new film Time Out Of Mind, while other guests include Ben Wheatley for the Scottish premiere of High-Rise, Game Of Thrones star Natalie Dormer for the UK premiere of The Forest, Joachim Trier for the UK premiere of Louder Than Bombs, veteran director Peter Greenaway and stuntman Vic Armstrong.

“The festival keeps moving forward, with new developments like our Industry Focus conference, whilst also maintaining our roots as an audience-focused festival where everyone can come
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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