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The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '89 arrives on Sunday August 31st, two weeks from now. We'll be celebrating 1989 here and there until then as "the year of the month". You need to get your votes in, too, (instructions at the end of the post). If you've wandered in from elsewhere and are like, "What's a Smackdown?," here's how it started and here's last month's entry on 1973 with its companion podcast. The year in question this time is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
no, these ladies are not the panelists
The Smackdown Panel for August
Without further ado let's meet the voices who will be watching and discussing the '89 hits Steel Magnolias and Parenthood. They'll also be sounding off on the Oscar-winning bio My Left Foot and the underseen actressy curio Enemies: A Love Story. Stay tuned.
Kevin B Lee
Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, film critic and »
- NATHANIEL R
Hattie is judging you. Stop with your fiddle-dees and choose a 'Best Shot' alreadyI'm like one of those horrible teachers that gives you endless homework. But I hope in the end when you graduate you'll be all 'he was the best. O Captain My Captain' and whatnot. But here's what you should be watching for maximum participatory glee here at The Film Experience as the summer draws to a close.
Retro: To close out "Best Shot" we'll be celebrating Gone With the Wind in two parts for its 75th anniversary year on August 19th (pre-intermission) & August 26th (post-intermission) and The Matrix on September 2nd (if you've always wanted to participate, why not now?); Anne Marie will look at Long Days Journey Into Night and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner as she hits the glorious 1960s in "A Year With Kate". And we'll be celebrating a few films from 1989 leading up »
- NATHANIEL R
“Twenty five years. Makes a girl think.” So said Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, and she was rarely wrong about anything, except maybe her taste in husbands. Cinematically, an awful lot can happen in 25 years and Hollywood as we know it today, emerged from seismic developments that took place a quarter of a century ago. 1989 was a game-changer; an absolutely pivotal year in the evolution of 21st century Hollywood. Chances are, whatever you watch at the multiplex this weekend will be genetically traceable to that dark, iPad-less, internetless, Jedwardless time. For those of us who are not going gentle into the dark night of their forties, the specific date of this Big Bang was August 11th 1989. That was the day that Batman finally opened in the UK.
I had never seen a line of people actually queuing around the block, except in vintage documentaries about Star Wars, but »
- Cai Ross
Since I spent the last week completely absorbed in Supporting Actress Smackdown '73 (with a side of Into the Woods spazzing) I didn't have as much time to write. I'm super proud of this month's two part event (written & podcasted) and I'm so tempted to make Dana Delany's impression of Sylvia Sidney my new ringtone. I thank StinkyLulu for letting me be the Whitney to his Dolly. But here's a handful of other highlights you may have missed if you too had a busy week where one project stole your life. The team jumped in since I was smackdowning.
A Dame to Shill For cosign Jason's bigscreen/smallscreen lust for Eva Green's talent
Bergman's Ghosts Cries and Whispers is the greatest haunted house movie. But who or what is doing the haunting?
Is Lucy racist? Matthew refuses to see it
Hepburn's Hair Anne Marie shares a hairography theory »
- NATHANIEL R
After breaking out in David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo with her Oscar-nominated turn as hacker Lisbeth Salander, Rooney Mara has steadily cemented her reputation as one of the most talented young actresses working today with strong performances in Ain’t Them No Bodies Saints, Side Effects and Her. And she doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon, with Stephen Daldry’s Trash, an untitled Terrence Malick project and erotic thriller Carol in the can. Now, we’ve learned that Mara has booked another high-profile gig leading the Jim Sheridan-directed The Secret Scripture.
Mara will replace Jessica Chastain in the drama, “about a 100-year-old woman named Roseanne who recounts her life in mental institutions in a secret memoir.” She will be playing the younger version of Roseanne, “who survives a traumatic childhood only to see her life utterly changed by a vindictive Catholic priest. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Exclusive: After wrapping Joe Wright’s Pan picture in London, Rooney Mara will head for the Jim Sheridan-helmed The Secret Scripture. The drama, about a 100-year-old woman named Roseanne who recounts her life in mental institutions in a secret memoir, is gearing up for a September shoot in Ireland. Jessica Chastain was previously attached to star alongside Vanessa Redgrave, but now Mara will play the younger Roseanne, who survives a traumatic childhood only to see her life utterly changed by a vindictive Catholic priest. Pic reunites Sheridan with his My Left Foot producer Noel Pearson and is adapted by Johnny Ferguson […] »
The old saying goes is that if you want to win an Academy Award then the best way is to undertake playing a disabled part or portraying a famous personality in a biopic. In some cases, actors have accomplished both themes and reached their Oscar-attaining goals (see Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker or Daniel-Day Lewis in My Left Foot for instance).
In Able to Disable: Top 10 Oscar-Winning Disability-Bound Movie Characters we will look at the top movie characters that became Academy Award-winning figures within their films. Interestingly, there have been a couple of performers that were real-life disabled individuals that convincingly embodied their fictional disabled alter egos (see Harold Russell from The Best Days of Our Lives or Marlee Matlin from Children of a Lesser God).
Anyway, this selection of Able to Disable: Top 10 Oscar-Winning Disability-Bound Movie Characters are (in alphabetical order according to film title): »
- Frank Ochieng
Irish film festival will feature a spotlight on new Canadian cinema and an interview with actress Brenda Fricker.
The Galway Film Fleadh (July 8-13) has unveiled its full programme for its 2014 edition.
The festival will host premieres including Get Up and Go, a comedy-drama set over 24 hours in bohemian Dublin; Niall Heery’s family comedy Gold starringDavid Wilmot, James Nesbitt and Game of Thrones’ Maisie Wiiliams; Jake Paltrow’s sci-fi drama Young Ones, an Irish/Us co-pro starring Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult; and documentary I Used to Live Here, about the phenomenon of cluster suicides.
A spotlight on new Canadian cinema will feature screenings of titles such as Watermark, Our Man in Tehran and Lunarcy! in addition to showcasing award-winning films such as The Auction, Maïna, [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Johnny Ferguson’s adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s novel centres on the relationship between a 100-year-old woman who has been in a mental hospital for half her life and the psychiatrist who tries to understand why she is there. Production is due to get underway later this year.
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
When I announced that The Film Experience would be the new home of the long departed series Stinky Lulu's Smackdown last summer I figured you would be thrilled. It's our kind of party. I promised Stinky we'd do at least six smackdowns if we brought it back. With four battles already behind us -- pie throwing 1952, shady and sinister 1968, warm and kooky 1980, and troubled histrionic 2003-- let's wrap it up with four more.
Rather than announce at the end of each month, I figured we'd give you all four lineups in case you'd like more time to catch up over the hot months and cast your votes in the reader polling that accompanies each battle. Those votes count toward the final outcome, so more of you should join in.
These annums were chosen after comment reading, dvd searching, handwringing, and also to rope in prospective panelists (to be announced later »
- NATHANIEL R
The story of the Lockerbie bombing is a bleak chapter in British history that remains raw in the extreme. News then, via The Hollywood Reporter, that Jim Sheridan is planning to make a film inspired by the events of 1988 will stir a mixture of emotions in those affected.The Irishman, who has a strong track record in directing true-life stories, notably with My Left Foot and In The Name Of The Father, with skill and sensitivity, is promising “a drama basically looking at the effect on a family of terrorism”. Eschewing the idea of a United 93-style in medias res thriller, the yet-unnamed script by the Oscar winner and Irish screenwriter Audrey O’Reilly will tackle the aftermath of the terrorist bombing that cost the lives of 270 passengers and residents of the Scottish town.The film would centre on Jim Swire, a real-life English doctor whose daughter died when »
Chicago – World War II will never be over, in a sense, as long as it continues to influence the culture or teach us lessons about our contemporary lives. The new film “Walking with the Enemy” is rooted in the Holocaust, but uses the twist of a Hungarian Jew who brashly impersonated a Nazi officer to relocate his counterparts.
“Walking with the Enemy” is inspired by the true story of Tibor Rosenbaum, who led a group of resistance fighters, and saved many Jewish lives through his Nazi officer impersonations, also directing his people to the “Glass House,” an old factory that printed Swiss passports for those Hungarian Jews during the war. The story in the film is condensed and fictionalized through the character of Elek Cohen, portrayed by Jonas Armstrong (known in Britain for his role as Robin Hood, portrayed on a TV series from 2006-09). British character actor Simon Dutton portrays Miklos Schoen, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Mark McGrath may be one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, and it's paid off -- though he's still going out on the road with Sugar Ray as part of the Under the Sun tour kicking off in June, he's also found a second career in front of the cameras. He'll be appearing in "Sharknado 2: The Second One" on July 31 (9:00 p.m. on Syfy). Melinda and I (who could not get "Fly" out of our heads pretty much the entire time, dammit) taked to McGrath about pretty much everything you can imagine, from the last American rock god to freezing with sharks. Oh, and we kind of got him to take off his shirt. Too bad for you this is an audio-only podcast. Here's the rundown: :50 Kid Rock and Sugar Ray 2:10 Stone Temple Pilots 2:20 Who is the last American rock star? Mark McGrath knows 2: »
- Melinda Newman and Liane Bonin Starr
Echo of the Mountain also scoops a top prize at the film festival in Mexico.Scroll down for full list of winners
Matias Lucchesi’s debut feature Natural Sciences (Ciencias naturales) scooped a top prize, the Golden Mayahuel and €14,700 ($20,000) in cash, in the Ibero-American competition of the 29th Guadalajara Film Festival (Ficg), March 21-30.
The Argentinian production follows an adolescent girl’s quest to reconnect with her estranged father and was launched last month at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Generation Kplus Grand Prix.
Sold by Urban Distribution, it beat competition from 18 other titles to take the top prize and also received the best screenplay award and the Feisal (Latin American Film Schools) trophy.
Lead stars Paula Herzog and Paola Barrientos shared the best actress prize.
Echo of the Mountain (Eco de la Montana), a documentary directed by veteran Nicolas Echevarria, won the prize for best Mexican film, which included »
- email@example.com (Alexis Grivas)
Hemdale Film Corporation
Most actors work hard to perfect a role, but some take things way too far, working every waking moment just to nail that one performance. There’s nothing that these insanely dedicated actors won’t leave behind in the pursuit of their craft. Family, friends, even health can be pushed aside in the name of acting.
These days, the words ‘insane’ and ‘dedicated’ instantly bring Daniel Day-Lewis to mind, the man who apparently wouldn’t leave his wheelchair for months while playing an Irish artist suffering from cerebral palsy in My Left Foot. Luckily for Day-Lewis though, the absurd lengths he goes to almost always pay off, resulting in a slew of awards including three Oscars for leading roles.
But what about those actors who commit their lives to a role, only to be ignored by critics and the public alike? Man, that’s got to suck! »
- David Opie
Fresh off his Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in a film that was his feature acting debut, Barkhad Abdi has booked what will be his follow-up role in a historical drama centered on famous South African marathon runner, Willie Mtolo. Titled The Place That Hits The Sun, the project hails from producer Noel Pearson (My Left Foot), with Jim O'Hanlon attached to direct. Abdi will play Mtolo, the South African running legend who was born in 1964, and has participated in more than 23 marathons in South Africa and around the world. He has won 9 marathons, including the J.S.E. Marathon (1985), S.A. Marathon (1988), Ford Marathon »
- Tambay A. Obenson
However Oscar night plays out this Sunday, Barkhad Abdi can’t really complain. The Somali-American actor, nominated for Best Supporting Actor for playing lead hijacker Abduwali Muse in Captain Phillips, came out of literally nowhere (he was working as a limo driver before answering a Minneapolis casting call) to steal Paul Greengrass’s thriller out from under Tom Hanks. Now, it appears that the extremely in-demand actor has finally locked down his next project, a marathon drama titled The Place That Hits The Sun.
The historical drama, which currently has Jim O’Hanlon (the 2009 Emma miniseries) attached to direct, will focus on Zulu warrior Willie Mtolo (Abdi), a famed South African marathoner who eventually competed in the 1992 New York Marathon. However, The Place That Hits The Sun will not be exclusively about Mtolo’s racing accomplishments. The film will primarily center on the unlikely friendship that forms between Mtolo and »
- Isaac Feldberg
After the Academy Award for Best Song was won by ‘It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp’ at the 2006 Oscars, host Jon Stewart quipped, ‘For those of you who are keeping score at home, I just want to make something very clear: Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars; Three 6 Mafia, one.’
If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences specialises in one thing at a sophisticated level no other collaborative body could ever hope to match, it’s giving awards to the wrong people. Sometimes, it almost seems like a deliberate act of petulance. Try finding anyone outside of Robert Zemekis’s immediate family who considers Forrest Gump to be a better picture than Pulp Fiction (one win) or The Shawshank Redemption (IMDb’s Best Film Ever Made; no wins).
In 1999, The 71st Academy Awards became to many people, the apogee of undeserved Oscars and the rabid invective from »
- Cai Ross
Oscar 2014 presenters range from Alfred Hitchcock heroine to ’12 Years a Slave’ producer (photo: Oscar 2014 presenter Jennifer Lawrence) Expect at least a couple of standing ovations at the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony to be held on Oscar Sunday, March 2, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. Oscar 2014 producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced earlier today the complete list of movie celebrities — all actors, including a handful of actor-directors / actor-producers — who will be presenters at the ceremony, to be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, and which will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide — even in the United States, via the ABC network. (See the full list below.) Among the Oscar 2014 presenters, you’ll find a number of past Oscar winners and nominees. With a couple of exceptions, not from the very distant past, mind you, as the overwhelming majority of presenters are performers working in »
- Steve Montgomery
It looks like Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi has found the follow-up to his feature film debut. The actor is in talks to star in the film The Place That Hits The Sun from producer Noel Pearson (My Left Foot) via his Ferndale Films. Jim O'Hanlon is attached to direct. Photos: On Board With 'Captain Phillips': Exclusive Portraits of Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi The historical drama follows famous South African marathoner Willie Mtolo, a Zulu warrior, who competed in the 1992 New York Marathon. The story centers on Mtolo and Ray de Vries, a Caucasian bar owner, whose unlikely
- Rebecca Ford
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