1-20 of 65 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “Passing of a Video Store and a Downtown Aesthetic” — Tom Roston at The New York Times profiles the famous Kim’s Video on the edge of its demise, tying its end to the loss of a cultural tidal pool of appreciation and quirk. It’s a bittersweet read, but the money quote is undoubtedly and without surprise: “I am the loser. Netflix is the winner.” “Lucy is the shot in the arm the superhero genre needs” — Monika Bartyzel at The Week relates Scarlett Johansson’s mind-accessing badass to Dr. Manhattan’s loss of humanity. “Let’s Talk About Sex: Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ‘Love Meetings,’ 50 Years Later” — Daniel Walber at Nonfics attempts to discover why a documentary that shouldn’t feel anywhere close to taboo today still feels fresh and challenging. “How »
- Scott Beggs
While something of a force in Hollywood, having starred in films such as The Truman Show, Ronin and Solaris – it’s nice to see Natascha McElhone back on home soil, as she stars in the Sir Matt Busby biopic, Believe.
McElhone admits that her football supporting son was the inspiration getting involved in this piece, though she discusses the universal themes explored and why this picture can appeal to absolutely anybody.
Believe is released on July 25th.
- Stefan Pape
Peter Weir’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is a mesmerizing film. Most who go into it know that it tells a tragic (possibly true) story with no resolution. And so it becomes a slow burn, in which the atmosphere and dread of unseen danger hangs thick in every frame.
Weir broke through on the international film scene with this surprise hit, a film that introduced the world to one of the best directors of the ’80s and ’90s. He would go on to give us more traditional and yet masterful works like “Witness,” “Fearless,” “The Truman Show,” and “Master and Commander” and yet when I hear his name, “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is the first film I think of.
It is a defiantly bizarre, terrifying film that defies easy categorization or even synopsis. On one hand, it’s a mystery, but it’s one without a conclusion (which notoriously »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
There has always been an understated rivalry between the mediums of movies and television. Many years ago it was even thought as being somewhat of a drastic career letdown if actors/actresses from film decided to depart for the landscape of television. The truth is that for some performers that had stalled or uneventful momentum in motion pictures that the concept of “slumming it” in television actually saved their show business profession. Hence, the boob tube made them relevant whereas the big screen had unceremoniously passed them by.
However, there is also a mutual respect that cinema and television share that go hand in hand when shaping our appreciation for entertainment on both the big and small screen. When movies depict the aspects of the TV world giving a sociological, psychological or emotional perspective then it is not so uncool to be a proud couch potato after all, right? Let »
- Frank Ochieng
Adapted from screenwriter Joanna Weinberg’s stage play Sinksongs, this Mark Lamprell musical Goddess begins with a swooping shot of our leading lady Elspeth Dickens, imitating The Sound of Music as she runs through the fields. A nod, instantly, to one of the films that illuminate the genre – though it also works as a slight reminder that this nonsensical piece merely pales in comparison.
Elspeth (Laura Michelle Kelly) is a dedicated stay-at-home mother to her two young boys, almost single-handedly raising the troublesome duo while her husband James (Ronan Keating) works away from home. To keep herself entertained, she sets up a webcam in her kitchen, broadcasting her when cooking, cleaning – and singing. As more and more visitors tune in, her reputation builds and career opportunities come her way. Suddenly the tables are turned, as she prepares to set off for work, and James returns home to look after the kids. »
- Stefan Pape
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
In 2001, Bertram van Munster stood at a crossroads. His syndicated nature show “Wild Things” had come to an end, and the Dutch-born filmmaker and television producer was on the lookout for a new project to sink his teeth into. His partner Elise Doganieri — then an advertising executive with Ogilvy & Mather — proposed an idea for an unscripted show.
“You get eliminated if you come in last — not because someone does something against you,” explains van Munster, a concept that bucked the trend of hit shows like “Big Brother” and “Survivor,” in which plotting to eliminate fellow contestants was the point. Van Munster and Doganieri joined forces with film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose first venture into TV was CBS hit “CSI,” and “CSI” producer Jonathan Littman. Together, the foursome hammered out the finer points of the “The Amazing Race,” which van Munster successfully pitched to CBS president Leslie Moonves soon after.
- Andrew Bloomenthal
With a potential comeback on the cards for Jim Carrey, Rob looks through the hidden gems of his career.
Alrighty then. To get straight to the point – Jim Carrey’s career hasn’t been up to much lately has it? Certainly as leading man, at least. His last big-hitter was 2009’s A Christmas Carol, while his most recent leading role was 2011’s Mr Popper’s Penguins.
His latest performance outside of cameos was an interesting part in Kick Ass 2 though, a promising turn which left many audience-members wanting more from his character. With the trailer dropping recently for Dumb And Dumber To as well, the hints of a comeback for the iconic performer have continued to grow.
There’s been more positivity towards Dumb And Dumber To in comments than we might have expected (although this welcoming response was far from unanimous), which is undeniably a positive sign for the fledgling star. »
The Flickering Myth writing and editorial team give their thoughts on the trailer for Dumb and Dumber To….
It may be 20 years after the original, but Harry and Lloyd are back for Dumb and Dumber To, the trailer for which was released yesterday.
But what did our writing team think?
Ozzy Armstrong: I might be one of the few people born in the mid 80’s who didn’t enjoy the first film so a sequel seems completely redundant to me. Besides not liking the first Dumb and Dumber, I’m not a massive a fan of Jim Carrey either – so that probably doesn’t help.
As far as the trailer itself goes, I’m assuming that all of the “funny bits” were on show. This only makes me think that the end result will most likely be a big steaming unfunny turd of a picture. In short, I really couldn’t care less. »
- Luke Owen
Fans of Lois Lowry's "The Giver" are loathe to lump it into the Ya genre, so they probably won't like this much: this new trailer for the movie feels, for better or worse, like a cross between "The Truman Show" and "The Matrix." There, we said it. However, neither of those movies has Jeff Bridges or Meryl Streep so that certainly niggles at our curiosity at what looks like yet another dystopian tale where people who have the wool pulled over their eyes finally see the truth. Here's the official synopsis: The haunting story of The Giver centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. The film is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young »
- Kevin Jagernauth
As part of ramping up operations, Paramount Television has signed its first first-look deal, a three-year production pact with management/production company Anonymous Content, which executive produces HBO’s breakout hit True Detective. Under the agreement, Paramount TV will have first-look rights to produce and distribute scripted television programming developed by Anonymous Content for broadcast, premium cable, cable and online. Paramount TV’s first project with Anonymous Content, run by managing partners Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, will be a drama series inspired by Caleb Carr’s best-selling novel, The Alienist, which is set in 1896 New York. “I’ve known Steve both professionally and personally for many years, and I have enormous respect for the sophisticated and entertaining movies and television Anonymous Content creates,” said Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey. “As we build our television business, we are proud to welcome the Anonymous team into the Paramount family. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
I haven't forgotten about the Oscar charts. This first installment is the most time-consuming is all, as it sets the templates up for an entire years worth of handwringing and hiearchy juggling. With this latest update we only have the "big eight" categories left to do (minus actor & supporting actress which we've already surveyed). But here are a few thoughts on new charts that are up...
I perhaps overstate the music branch's love for their favorite sons each year. It's not that that love isn't evident each year (stop to consider how many composers, for example, have 8 or more nominations and how rare that is in many other fields) it's that Hollywood's favorite composers are quite prolific so, John Williams & Alexandre Desplat aside (who never miss for a nomination) aside, there's no guarantee that any »
- NATHANIEL R
Watching the new trailer for "Wayward Pines," the new Fox 10-episode thriller from M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense"), I couldn't shake a feeling of deja vu. No, not visions of dead people, but elements that seemed to be ripped from (oh, wait, an homage to) other sources. On the one hand, this could be seen as a salute to a short-lived by deeply influential 1990 cultural touchstone ("Twin Peaks") or a beloved scifi series ("The X-Files") or a serious take on a hit comedy ("The Truman Show"). Or, if you're not a fan of Shyamalan, you could see this as a desperate grab for the good ideas of other people. You be the judge! 1) This looks a lot like "Twin Peaks." Like, a lot. From the police chief mooning over his rum raisin ice cream (shadows of Agent Cooper's pie fixation) to the wacky townspeople to the very premise of »
- Liane Bonin Starr
Bravo has announced that it's in development on five unscripted series, including one that sounds like the Jim Carrey movie “The Truman Show.” An early adapter of interactive social media, Bravo is developing what it's calling the “ultimate choose-your-own-adventure” with “Crowd Control” (working title). On the show, a host's day-to-day living will be controlled by viewers via social media — from what they eat to who they date to the job they take will be decided entirely by the show's audience. Loud TV is producing the show with Nick Rigg and Brent Montgomery serving as executive producers. »
- Jethro Nededog
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “How Alien Movies Like Under the Skin and E.T. Are Really About You and Me” — Jacob S. Hall at Movies.com explores views on humanity through the eyes of an outsider written by an insider, finding plenty of parallels to our own attempts to connect to others. Plus, the headline makes me glad that E.T. wasn’t trolling for Scottish men in a dirty sex van. It would have been a far different movie. “Days of Future Present” — David Fear at The Dissolve goes on the macro route with sci-fi to profile several classic movies and the fears of the time they were made. From the sexual revolution, to Civil Rights, to having advertisements constantly talking directly to us, science fiction has always had a way of tapping into the unease »
- Scott Beggs
I.ve been not so patiently awaiting Bennett Miller.s Foxcatcher. What dragged me in? Aside from Miller? Was it Channing Tatum? No. You want to think that. It was actually another turn to drama for Steve Carell that hooked me. I think he can certainly step out away from his comedic roots to make a role like this one believable. I.m sure people though that Jim Carrey wouldn.t make the jump so well, but I think that The Truman Show disproved that theory. All that said, I.m rooting for Carell. »
- Niki Stephens
The Criterion Collection has revealed the films that will be released as part of their July lineup, including six films by French New Wave genius Jacques Demy, David Cronenberg's thriller "Scanners" and the 1983 Best Picture nominee "The Big Chill." Check out the full list of films Criterion is releasing in July along with some perks (descriptions provided by The Criterion Collection): Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975) 2-dvd Edition This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir ("The Truman Show") on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, "Picnic at Hanging Rock" concerns a small group of students from an all-female college and a chaperone, who vanish while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing. Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into »
- Eric Eidelstein
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