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Consistently ahead of his time, political satirist and “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci — who forecast a female President that was not to be — has been developing “The Death of Stalin” since long before the current swell of anti-Russian sentiment hit American shores. While it’s unclear whether the country’s recent election-meddling shenanigans will make this defiantly anti-commercial comedy any more appealing to viewers (it seems a stretch), Iannucci certainly deserves credit for even attempting to tackle a movie whose very existence sounds like a joke: If only the end result were as funny as the idea that anyone would undertake a film about the turmoil surrounding the Soviet despot’s demise.
Though sporadically brilliant, this too-often uneven send-up of Russian politics attempts to maintain the rapid-fire, semi-improvisational style of Iannucci’s earlier work — most notably his revolutionary 2009 feature “In the Loop,” still the most delightfully madcap comedy of the last decade — while situating such madness within an »
- Peter Debruge
Whishaw will star as Norman Scott, the ex-lover of disgraced British politician Jeremy Thorpe, played by Grant. In 1979, Thorpe, then leader of the Liberal party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, was accused of conspiring to murder Scott. He was the first British politician in modern times to stand trial for murder.
The three-part drama is based on a book by British journalist John Preston and written by Davies, who created the modern iteration of “Doctor Who” in 2005 and has more recently created gay dramas “Cucumber” and “Banana,” for Channel 4 and E4, respectively. It will be directed by Stephen Frears, whose latest film, “Victoria & Abdul,” starring Judi Dench, sees its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on »
- Robert Mitchell
Hello and welcome back to our weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of stage, screen, and telly. The accidental theme this week seems to be ch-ch-ch-changes as we reflect on the news of a new Doctor Who, artistic director, and the slow introduction of leading women in superhero films. Stage Just in case you missed it...it was announced last week that the actress Michelle Terry will be Shakespeare’s Globe’s artistic director starting in April of 2018. She takes over from the outgoing artistic director, Emma Rice, who—after being booted out unceremoniously—is off to set up a new theatre company called Wise Children. Terry is no stranger to The Globe. The Olivier Award-winner appeared on the stage in the 2015 “As You Like It”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” back in 2013, and “Love’s Labour’s Lost” in 2007. She directed short films of “Richard III »
In today’s roundup, act in the classics this season and tour the U.K. in “Oedipus” and “Antigone” with Beyond the Horizon Theatre Company! There are also roles available in a crossover period drama, a collaborative musical, and a hyper-realistic drama. “Oedipus” And “Antigone” Following its critically-acclaimed 2017 tour of “Richard III,” Beyond the Horizon Theatre Company is seeking actors for its upcoming touring productions of Sophocles’ “Oedipus” and “Antigone.” Male and female talent aged 18 and older are needed for all roles in the productions. Performances run in Spring 2018. Equity minimum pay will be provided. Apply here! “The Chairman” “The Chairman,” a feature film from the creators of “Ask the Cheat,” is looking to cast local actors for the crossover period drama set in the Middle Ages that juxtaposes two parallel and interconnecting stories. A male actor aged 29–39 is needed to play the lead role of Tim, a sedan chair »
Ryan Lambie Jul 13, 2017
Mild spoilers for War For The Planet Of The Apes lie ahead.
See related The Handmaid’s Tale episode 7 review: The Other Side The Handmaid’s Tale episode 6 review: A Woman’s Place The Handmaid’s Tale episode 5 review: Faithful
You may not recognise actor Steve Zahn in War For The Planet Of The Apes - clad as he is in a photo-real layer of digital paint - but his performance isn't one you'll forget in a hurry. He plays Bad Ape, a timid little character who, with his wide eyes and gentle voice, provides a glimmer of warmth and humour in a stark and often harsh movie.
Zahn's enjoyed a varied and fascinating career that stretches back to the early 90s, with »
I prefer watching movies on the big screen first, as big a screen as I can get. That said, I don’t always get to see them first in the movie theater. Any number of films that have become my faves I saw first on the small screen. Sometimes there’s a good reason for this; sometimes there’s no particular reason.
42 was one of those films.
It starred Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson who was the black baseball player who first integrated Major League Baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. (You may know Boseman better as the Black Panther in McU films.) It also stars Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers who hired Robinson. (Ford you know from… well, you know Harrison Ford.) It was written and directed by Brian Helgeland, who also wrote and directed A Knight’s Tale.
As with all biopics, »
- John Ostrander
You never heard of the Great Glasgow Ice Cream Wars? They weren’t exactly Armageddon, and the gentle director Bill Forsyth makes a radio personality’s involvement with two competing ice cream companies more of a plunge into amiable drollery. If you like Gregory’s Girl and Local Hero you’ll understand the odd, unhurried attitude of this oddball show from 1984.
Region B Blu-ray
1984 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 100 min. / Street Date February 29, 2016 / At Amazon UK / £ 9.99
Cinematography: Chris Menges
Film Editor: Michael Ellis
Written and Directed by Bill Forsyth
Quick, name some great filmmakers before the 1990s that hail from Scotland. Actually, there are plenty, it’s just that most made their careers and reputations in London, and some later in Hollywood. The home-grown talent Bill Forsyth »
- Glenn Erickson
Theatre moguls launch UK group Trafalgar Entertainment; exclusive interview with distribution CEO.
Fledgling UK distribution outfit Trafalgar Releasing is eyeing growth in the gaming and international distribution markets.
Little has been publicly known about the structure and growth plan of the new player until now but the company is officially launching today after theatre impresarios Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE acquired Lyn Goleby’s Picturehouse distribution assets in a multi-million-pound deal earlier this year.
Former Picturehouse MD Goleby had previously bought out Picturehouse’s distribution assets from Cineworld, taking a number of key staff in the process.
Panter and Squire, »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Netflix giveth, and Netflix taketh away. After releasing the incredible list of new titles it's adding in July (Titanic! Rogue One!), the streaming service also revealed which movies and TV shows will be disappearing before we know it. If your weekends consist of cuddling up and watching While You Were Sleeping or Futurama, we have some bad news . . . July 1 Blazing Saddles American Pie Presents: Band Camp Flicka 2 9/11: Stories in Fragments Secrets: The Sphinx Batman Working Girl Gentlemen Prefer Blondes An Unmarried Woman Hello, Dolly! MacGyver seasons one-seven Ghost Whisperer seasons one-five Futurama season six Day of the Kamikaze Mystery Files: Hitler Mystery Files: Leonardo da Vinci Nazi Temple of Doom The Hunt For Bin Laden The Incredible Bionic Man History in HD: The Last Bomb Secrets: A Viking Map? Secrets: Richard III Revealed Shuttle Discovery's Last Mission Titanic's Final Mystery Samurai Headhunters America's Secret D-Day Disaster Black Wings Blondie's New York Bombs, Bullets and Fraud Death Beach Hip Hop: The Furious Force of Rhymes American Pie Presents: Beta House Hugo American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging While You Were Sleeping Kate & Leopold El Dorado July 3 The Last Samurai Two Weeks Notice July 6 Los Heroes del Norte seasons one-two July 11 Opposite Field July 12 Sleeping Beauty Adventures of Pepper and Paula In the Basement July 13 Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain July 15 Lessons For a Kiss All That Glitters »
- Quinn Keaney
Kate Mulvany. (Photo: Amelia Dowd)
Callinan has written the script based on his one-man show about a country football coach who hatches an unorthodox plan to rebuild the local football team by recruiting recently-settled asylum seekers.
Mulvany will play the mother of Neil, an inquisitive, mischievous nine-year-old who is mourning the death of his father.
Howard will portray the cantankerous former boss of the long-closed local steelworks who resents the presence of the asylum seekers.
Callinan is Troy Carrington, a former professional football player who returns to his country town after an abrupt end to his sporting career and is persuaded to coach the hapless local footy team, the Roosters.
- Don Groves
These 14 actors have been treading the boards for most of their lives, defining the way we see (and perform) Shakespeare in the 21st Century. Have you been lucky enough to take in one of their performances? Get inspired with these Shakespearean living legends. Mark RylanceShakespeare lovers cheered when Rylance took home the Oscar for best supporting actor last month, though his role in “Bridge of Spies” marked a departure from his usual fare. The great Shakespearean scholar is best known as the original artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, and for playfully undertaking lead roles in all-male, historically authentic productions including “Richard III” and “Twelfth Night” (the latter of which Rylance won one of his three Tony Awards for the role of Olivia). Sir Ian McKellenLong before he was Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings,” McKellen made his name as one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of all time. »
What better way to kick of the Tony Awards than with a song.
Kevin Spacey opened the 71st annual Tony Awards with an original song that playfully pokes fun about the difficult search for this year’s host — and a nod at those rumors about his sexuality.
The song begins with Spacey trapped in a Groundhog Day cycle of waking up over and over again as the quest for a host continues.
“I know they loved James Corden, but I’ll show I came to play,” he sang, giving a shoutout to last year’s host.
Stephen Colbert and former »
- Jodi Guglielmi
Some quick reviews this week. Well, not quite reviews, as I’m not going to get much into plot synopses, but as always I will express some definitely personal opinions. (You know me.) There will be S*P*O*I*L*E*R*S inferred, so caveat emptor!
“The Lie of the Land” (Episode 8, Doctor Who, Series 10): The final episode of a three-episode arc – the first two being “Extremis” and “The Pyramid at the End of the World” – in which alien “monks” have taken over the world through the consent of Bill Potts, the Doctor’s newest companion. She did this in order to have the monks cure the Doctor’s blindness – which occurred in Episode 5, “Oxygen.”
I wasn’t sure where the show was going with this, and to tell you the truth, I wasn’t much engaged by our hero’s disability; I found it more annoying than anything else, »
- Mindy Newell
“Trump has stolen all of our ideas for season 6,” Wright said Thursday during Variety and Kering’s Women in Motion talk at the Cannes Film Festival.
In the hit Netflix series, Wright plays Claire Underwood, the icy wife of President Frank Underwood. The two are the ultimate power couple, as ruthless as they are brilliant, and not above using their public positions for personal gain. It sounds very reminiscent to a certain Oval Office occupant. Despite the challenge of keeping “House of Cards” relevant in the current political climate, Wright said the producers know how the series is going to end, but she’s not giving any clues.
Number of Female Directors Falls Despite Diversity Debate, »
- Brent Lang
“I feel like I’m back in ‘Richard III,'” Vanessa Redgrave notes solemnly at one point in her impassioned refugee-crisis documentary “Sea Sorrow.” Diagnosing Shakespearean levels of villainy and hubris in many of today’s political leaders — with a particular swipe at Britain’s Conservative government — she continues: “Those appalling historical figures are reemerging today.” It’s a dramatic analogy in all senses, though that is to be expected from a great classical actress making her debut as a documentarian. Sincere, sometimes impressionistic and formally naive, Redgrave’s 72-minute cri de coeur feigns neither tough investigative nous nor lofty aesthetic artistry as it commendably implores politicians and citizens to open their hearts, minds and borders to those affected by war in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Shot on rudimentary digital, it’s more extended PSA than cinema, but one senses the filmmaker herself knows her message outranks her method. As such, »
- Guy Lodge
Powers Boothe with his daughter Parisse (both acted in Deadwood) at a 2006 Emmy partyThe Emmy winning character actor Powers Boothe, best known for screen villains on TV (Deadwood, Nashville) and in movies (Sin City, Tombstone) died yesterday morning in his sleep from natural causes. After Shakespearean work on stage after college, his screen career began with "bad Shakespeare" as part of the Richard III play within the Oscar nominated comedy The Goodbye Girl (1977) in which he mostly lays like a corpse on a table while Dreyfus overacts the hunchback around him. The on camera career stretched for nearly another 40 years ending with the recurring baddie role as one of Hydra's top leaders "Gideon Malick" on the third season of Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2015/2016).
The native Texan was 68 years old and is survived by his wife of 48 years (they married in college before his acting career began) and their two children. »
- NATHANIEL R
The BBC2 broadcast of Mike Bartlett’s play is a reminder that even for republicans, the Queen’s death will loom large
King Charles III, Mike Bartlett’s play set in a future shortly after the Queen’s death, aired on the BBC this week. Its trim new television version was directed by Rupert Goold and starred, in what turned out to be his masterful swansong, the late Tim Pigott-Smith, who died suddenly between filming and broadcast. The drama, the stage premiere of which was at the Almeida in London before runs in the West End and on Broadway, is about a constitutional crisis precipitated by the new king’s refusal to sign a bill into law. As the country descends into riots and unrest, a subplot also emerges about a romance between Prince Harry and an ordinary London student (their idyll rudely interrupted by press intrusion). And the Duchess »
And the 2017 Tonys host is … Kevin Spacey!
The House of Cards star has been tapped to emcee the 71st annual Broadway awards ceremony.
“I was their 2nd choice for Usual Suspects, 4th choice for America Beauty and 15th choice to host this year’s Tony Awards. I think my career is definitely going in the right direction,” joked Spacey in a statement. “Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down.”
From Coinage: Top 5 Most Expensive Movie Collectibles
Along with his award-winning work in film and television, Spacey also has a strong theater background: »
- Jodi Guglielmi
Those who read Phillippa Gregory’s novel The White Princess and watched the premiere of Starz’s adaptation of the book on Sunday likely noticed something quite different about Henry and Lizzie’s charged first coupling.
In Gregory’s work, “Henry very actively rapes Lizzie,” executive producer Emma Frost tells TVLine. “That was something that I felt wasn’t the only possible route and wasn’t something that I feel is right for a TV drama, and isn’t something a 21st century female audience is going to be okay with on any level.”
RelatedThe White Princess: 5 Things »
The only dragon you'll see in The White Princess will be on the Welsh flag, but that should be the only disappointment for Game of Thrones Fanatics watching the new Starz offering. There are plenty of scheming mothers, a missing prince to challenge the king, lustful romances, and oh yeah, some magic.
The follow-up to 2013's The White Queen has a new cast, but veteran show runner Emma Frost continues to deliver a world rich with historical detail and beautiful people willing to do just about anything to stay alive...and more importantly, stay in power.
Study up, and decide which side of the battlefield you'll stand on! The White Princess premieres Sunday at 8/7c on Starz! »
- Elizabeth Harlow
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