18 items from 2015
“When I wanted to work in films in the United States, I wasn’t thinking about inspiring other young actors or leaving a legacy,” admits Joan Chen during our recent webcam chat (watch below). She came to fame in the 1987 Best Picture winner "The Last Emperor" and as a series regular on “Twin Peaks” (1990–1991) and recently starred in the Netflix historical epic “Marco Polo.” She reveals having been approached “many, many times” by people who say that she inspired them to act. -Break- Watch dozens of video chats with 2015 Emmy contenders “Marco Polo," one of the most expensive TV shows ever made, recreates the 13th century Mongol Empire ruled by Kublai Khan. Chen is “really glad” it uses such an international cast -- “actors from China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Australia, New Zealand, America, Singapore..." »
Long before the comic book boom of the 21st Century, Hollywood's handling of heroes drawn from the funny pages was a touch and go enterprise. More at home in the serials era of the 40s and 50s, that iconography leaked out onto the big screen in only drips and drabs, a "Superman" here, a "Batman" there. And indeed, a year after Tim Burton brought the latter to unique Gothic heights in 1989, Warren Beatty brought another flesh and blood crime fighter to the big screen with bold expressionistic strokes. Today, "Dick Tracy" stands out as a hand-crafted wonder. Beatty's team was jammed with talent, and it needed to be, for this was an exercise in placing the viewer in a world only slightly familiar. Its extremes — and there were many — were a direct extension of design techniques and flourishes. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Donald Ranvaud, Film4Climate’s Creative Producer, and filmmakers including Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor, currently featured in Wong Kar Wai In China: Through The Looking Glass), Fernando Meirelles (City Of God and The Constant Gardener), Pablo Trapero (White Elephant and Carancho), Atom Egoyan (Devil's Knot and Ararat) and Wim Wenders (Pina and The Salt Of The Earth with Juliano Ribeiro Salgado on photographer Sebastião Salgado) have joined forces with Cannes Jury Member and Connect4Climate Global Ambassador, Rokia Traoré; Ivan Trujillo, the Director of the Guadalajara International Film Festival; the CEO of the Ile-de-France Film Commission, Olivier-René Veillon; Publisher and Chief Editor of Green Film Shooting Brigit Heidsiek; Head of Training and Film Education of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund Siebe Dumon; the Chief Executive Officer of the Sardinia Film Commission and Vice President of »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The Grandmaster director Wong Kar Wai, as artistic director of China: Through The Looking Glass, magically merges film with fashion and the museum's collection. Michelangelo Antonioni's Chung Kuo - Cina, Jiang Wen's In the Heat Of The Sun, Yonggang Wu's The Goddess, Zhang Yimou's Hero, Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Flowers Of Shanghai, D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms, Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In America, Richard Quine's The World Of Suzy Wong, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, Vincente Minnelli's Ziegfeld Follies and Wong's The Hand From Eros, are among the clips selected that tie in beautiful layers of meaning.
John Galliano for House of Dior Haute Couture yellow »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Director Julien Temple (London – The Modern Babylon) is set to shoot drama You Really Got Me later this year in the UK, with daughter Juno Temple (Far From the Madding Crowd) also on board to play Ray’s former wife, Raza, who also sang on key tracks.
HanWay is handling international sales in Cannes with a UK deal understood to be close.
The long-time passion project of Cannes veteran Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor) will focus on the often turbulent relationship between the brothers who fronted the iconic 1960’s band, famous for hits You Really Got Me and Waterloo Sunset.
BBC Films have backed the film while co-producers in Belgium are [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
“Build it and they will come,” seemed to be real estate developers’ motto during China’s great commercial and residential property boom, which crunched to a halt about two years ago.
Speculative developments changed skylines around the country and led to huge profits for some companies, including Chinese multiplex powerhouse Dalian Wanda. But the gambler philosophy also led to the creation of ghost towns, unwanted new building in the wrong places.
Now there is a new construction boom, this time focused on movie studios and theme parks, and picking winners is just as tricky. “China today is like the early days of Hollywood,” says Michael McDermott, who heads Chinese location services company Gung-Ho Films. “Some (studios) will work out, but others will stand idle for 10 or 20 years before being demolished.”
According to some reports, China already has close to 1,000 facilities for shooting movies, most of them idle or underused. Shooting »
- Patrick Frater
The Toronto International Film Festival is in its 40th year, and the Tiff CEO and Artistic Director this morning announced the programmers for 2015’s festival.
Tiff runs from September 10 to September 20. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a reveal of the full film lineups. Read the press-release for this year’s festival programmers below:
40th Toronto International Film Festival Announces Its Programmers
Toronto — Piers Handling, Director and CEO of Tiff, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, reveal the team of 22 programmers who will make the selections for the 40th Toronto International Film Festival®, which runs Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 20, 2015.
Europe, City to City: London, Special Presentations, Gala Presentations
Handling is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tiff. He has held this position since 1994, and is responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. Under Handling’s direction, »
- Brian Welk
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
When Platoon won four Oscars in 1987, it marked not only a new chapter in Oliver Stone's career as a filmmaker, but also the end of a decade-long battle. Since the 1970s, Stone had been struggling to make his harrowing account of the horrors he'd seen firsthand as a soldier in the Vietnam conflict, but was famously turned down by every major studio in Hollywood.
Platoon, and Stone, finally found sanctuary at a small independent studio with a grand-sounding name: the Hemdale Film Corporation. It was Hemdale, and its co-founder John Daly, that had taken a chance on Stone, and when Platoon came out in 1986, the gamble proved to be a shrewd one: its $6m investment was covered by the first month's ticket sales, and the film »
I’ve been blessed to have a great career as an actor in Hollywood. You may have seen me in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “The Last Emperor” and even the James Bond film “License To Kill.” So why would I bother to write an article like this for my latest film, “Little Boy?” Because it’s a film that is special to me because it represents a turning point in my career, my arriving at what I consider the halfway mark in my work in Hollywood and a chance to see where I’ve come from and where my work is going, »
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Even if you can’t immediately place his name, you’ve undoubtedly seen his work. “Apocalpyse Now,” “The Last Emperor,” “Last Tango in Paris,” "Ladyhawke,” “Reds,” and “Dick Tracy” to name but a few. Vittorio Storaro is a master cinematographer who has contributed his immense talent to over five dozen film and television projects during his epic (and ongoing) 50-plus year career. His work has garnered him three Oscars for Best Cinematography (for “The Last Emperor,” “Reds,” and “Apocalypse Now”), as well as a fourth nomination (“Dick Tracy”). One of the defining elements of Storaro’s work is his use of color. As a 3-minute supercut from Vimeo user movement_of_time professes, Storaro is “the man who uses color shades as a poet uses words. In every [one of] his film[s] the choice of a specific color is rigidly connected with the 'ideology' of history, and the color does not simply duplicate the scene information, »
- Zach Hollwedel
Popular stars Huang Xiaoming and Mini Yang (aka, Yang Mi) are poised to set the Chinese box office alight in May with upcoming young adult romance “You Are My Sunshine.”
Rights to the film are being offered for the first time at FilMart by Le Vision, the film arm of the LeTV online video group whose “big data” resources helped steer the “Tiny Times” franchise releases.
The film has many of the ingredients of the biggest recent hits in China, and already boasts a massive online following.
Le Vision, which handled the release of the “Tiny Times” movies and is also producer and investor, is confidently forecasting that “Sunshine” will gross over RMB700 million ($115 million) following a wide release on May 1, a national holiday in China.
- Patrick Frater
The critically acclaimed exhibition Hollywood Costume, in the final days of its worldwide tour at Los Angeles’s historic Wilshire May Company building, will have extended hours through its closing on Monday, March 2. Presented by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hollywood Costume celebrates and examines costume design as an essential tool of cinematic storytelling. It brings together more than 150 iconic costumes from Hollywood’s Golden Age to the present, including such treasures as the Academy’s pair of the original ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz,” (Adrian, 1939) shown with Dorothy’s blue and white gingham pinafore dress. Hollywood Costume is sponsored by Swarovski and curated by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Academy Award®-nominated costume designer and founding director of UCLA’s David C. Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design. Extended Hours For Final Days: Thursday, February 26, 11 a.m. »
By winning the Best Cinematography Oscar for a second year in a row, "Birdman" director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki has joined a truly elite club whose ranks haven't been breached in nearly two decades. Only four other cinematographers have won the prize in two consecutive years. The last time it happened was in 1994 and 1995, when John Toll won for Edward Zwick's "Legends of the Fall" and Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" respectively. Before that you have to go all the way back to the late '40s, when Winton Hoch won in 1948 (Victor Fleming's "Joan of Arc" with Ingrid Bergman) and 1949 (John Ford's western "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"). Both victories came in the color category, as the Academy awarded prizes separately for black-and-white and color photography from 1939 to 1956. Leon Shamroy also won back-to-back color cinematography Oscars, for Henry King's 1944 Woodrow Wilson biopic "Wilson" and John M. Stahl »
- Kristopher Tapley
By Anjelica Oswald
With the DGA Award in hand, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has become a frontrunner in the best director Oscar race for Birdman.
Only seven winners of the DGA Award have not won the best director Oscar in the 66 years that the Directors Guild of America has given the award. The most recent case was two years ago, when Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for the best director Oscar for Argo, which won best picture.
No American has won for best director since 2011 and if Inarritu, who is from Mexico, takes the Oscar this year, the trend will continue. Inarritu could become the second Latin American director to win for best director, following Alfonso Cuaron’s win last year.
In the 86 years since the Academy Awards’ inception, 89 Oscars have been given for best director. Twenty-six awards (29 percent) went to non-American born directors.
At the first annual »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
Birdman has claimed a number of principal awards this season, including the top awards from the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild, and is one of the lead contenders in the best picture race.
The film has received nine nominations, including a supporting actor, supporting actress and leading actor nomination. Though the film probably won’t land Oscars in the supporting categories, Michael Keaton has situated himself as a frontrunner in the leading actor category, along with The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne.
Of the 86 films to win best picture, 36 (42 percent) won without procuring a single Oscar in the acting categories. Seven of those 36 won before the supporting acting categories were implemented at the ninth annual Academy Awards, and 11 of the 36 won without any acting nominations.
If Birdman wins for best picture but Keaton loses to Redmayne, Alejandro »
- Anjelica Oswald
Over a year ago, we got a teaser poster for Ben Wheatley's adaptation of High-Rise, the next twisted thriller after a series of masterful indies such as Kill List and Sightseers. And now the film is finally looking to hit theaters with sales happening at the European Film Market, which means we get a first look at the thriller starring Tom Hiddleston. The rest of the cast is pretty impressive too since it includes Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Elisabeth Moss, Luke Evans and Stacy Martin, though they aren't anywhere to be seen in this first photo. This is certainly one we're looking forward to whenever it may arrive. Look! Here's our first look at Ben Wheatley's High-Rise from Empire: High-Rise is directed by British filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England), from legendary producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor, Sexy Beast, A Dangerous Method, »
- Ethan Anderton
The Good Oscars frontrunner "Boyhood" secured all of the key nominations it needs to win Best Picture, as predicted by our Experts: Best Director, Editing, Original Screenplay plus acting (it got two in supporting Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette). But beware: "The Imitation Game" also bagged bids in all key slots and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" snagged them all except for acting. And maybe a nomination for acting isn't essential: "Slumdog Millionaire," "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" and "The Last Emperor" prevailed without one. Bradley Cooper proved his naysayers wrong again, bagging his third nomination in a row. "American Sniper" pulled off five impressive nominations in all. Bravo, Bradley & Team! Heart-breaking Oscars snubs: Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, 'Lego Movie' and ... -Break- Marion Cotillard surprises again! "Whiplash," the little ind...' »
18 items from 2015
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