19 items from 2015
As far as working couples go, director Julie Taymor and composer Elliot Goldenthal might be the most daring, experimental and sophisticated in the showbiz firmament. Their film, theater and opera collaborations combine complex soundscapes with highly stylized visuals.
Their latest phantasmagoria, Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — a filmed record of Taymor’s staging of the play at the Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn that debuted at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival last September — is no different, despite the production’s spare trappings.
“It was really simple onstage,” explains Goldenthal, “just a few projections, and the audience surrounding the actors. It was mainly an actors’ piece.”
And yet the production — which is being presented event-style in approximately 85 theaters for one night only on Monday, June 22 — appears highly cinematic, bathed in stark, moonlight-blue lighting, and adorned with gorgeous costumes that bridge contemporary and period worlds with the spirit world of gods and fairies. »
- Steve Chagollan
Growing up in Mexico, Salma Hayek remembered seeing the “The Prophet,” the bestselling book of 26 prose poems by Kahlil Gibran, on her grandfather’s nightstand. “I was very close to him,” Hayek recalled. “And to me, when I see the cover, I cannot think of anyone else but him. There’s a very special meaning for me with the book.”
In 2011, when the project came across her producing desk, Hayek immediately remembered how special the story was to her. She signed on to turn the material, which was first published in 1923, into a 2D-animated movie. After countless conference calls and financing deals, a work-in-progress version of the film will screen tonight, during a festival presentation created for the project.
“Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet,” which has a budget of $12 million, was a global effort in every way. Hayek recruited nine directors from around the world to animate and tell different vignettes from the book. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
A rock band trio of men in Yeti costumes, a chandelier made of deer skulls and live reindeer were among the décor at the taping of Spike’s 2015 Guys’ Choice Awards Saturday at Sony Studios.
Pratt joked about the winter theme of the awards show while accepting his prize. “Thank you to the Spike Guys awards. I don’t know if you can see this in the background,” Pratt said, referring to a giant deer skull above a fireplace on stage. “I shot that deer, and Spike owes me some money for having it on their fireplace.”
Henson and Howard said they hosted for one simple reason: Black people are taking over television.
“Look, if you’re just tuning in, »
- Reece Ristau
Taymor's latest Shakespeare film, shot by her "Frida" cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, combines her 2014 acclaimed Brooklyn live theater production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with hand-held close-up filming. (See video highlights of my onstage Q & A with her below.) Shakespeare is Julie Taymor's touchstone. She comes back to him not only in countless stage productions but on film as well, from the exhilarating visual and violent "Titus" with Jessica Lange and Anthony Hopkins to Helen Mirren's incomparable take on Prospero in "The Tempest." Taymor also loves the Beatles ("Across the Universe"), Frida Kahlo ("Frida"), "The Lion King" (the $1 billion-grossing Tony-winning musical), opera (Mozart's "The Magic Flute," life partner Elliot Goldenthal's "Grendel") and her swooping version of the Broadway hit "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark"--for which she successfully sued to get »
- Anne Thompson
A celebration of film and television music was once again at the heart of Krakow’s Film and Music Festival, now in its eighth year.
Running from May 27-31, the event brought together more than 58 international composers - including Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love, Mon Roi), Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), John Lunn (Downton Abbey) and Trevor Morris (The Borgias, The Tudors) – for a culmination of performances, panels and master classes.
“Composers are not often given the attention they deserve,” said Artistic Director Robert Piaskowski. “So we wanted to create a space that presents film music as art, and where audiences can come and appreciate a score’s symphonic sounds.”
Piaskowski is not alone in his interests. The festival now aligns itself as the start of the season, with similar musical events taking place in Tenerife and Cordoba in July and Vienna and Gent (that also hosts the World Soundtrack Awards) in October »
More casting news for the upcoming Star Wars Anthology spin-off titled Rogue One, being directed by Gareth Edwards. With shooting starting up soon, they're finalizing casting and so far we've seen them making some excellent choices: Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed are confirmed. And now Variety can confirm a few others: Diego Luna and Ben Mendelsohn. The plot, revealed at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim a few months ago, follows a band of resistance fighters on a daring mission to steal the Death Star (plans). Luna will play a lead role alongside Jones and Ahmed, however Mendelsohn is apparently playing the lead antagonist (or "primary villain" as he's being called). Now this new movie is really starting to come together. Mexican actor Diego Luna has appeared in a number of roles in various movies, taking on more lead roles recently. He's been in: Y Tu Mamá También, Frida, The Terminal, »
- Alex Billington
Meryl Streep, who is officially a genius angel sent from a better dimension, is funding a screenwriting lab for women over 40. The initiative aims to create opportunities for that contingent, and it'll be run by New York Women in Film and Television and Iris, a collective of women filmmakers. Because this idea is so brilliant, we'll toast a bunch of 40+-year-old female screenwriters whose works are available on Netflix now. The Kids are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko) Aside from the fact that "The Kids are All Right" feels like a prime James L. Brooks feature, the 2010 family drama gives you a myriad of irresistible moments and performances. Annette Bening is biting and funny as an alcoholic lesbian mother; Julianne Moore is harried and loving as her conflicted wife. Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, and Josh Hutcherson add perfectly pitched dramedy with their sincere roles. You want to hug this movie, but »
- Louis Virtel
North American moviegoers can step into the mind of the late H.R. Giger with Belinda Sallin's intimate documentary, Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World, which is hitting big screens in the U.S. and Canada this May. Also featured in our latest round-up is information on tonight's Everly signing with director Joe Lynch and cast and crew members at Burbank's Dark Delicacies horror shop, as well as the home media release details for Dark Sky Films' Let Us Prey.
Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World: Press Release -- "Surrealist artist H. R. Giger (1940-2014) terrified audiences with his Oscar-winning monsters in Ridley Scott's Alien. Sci-fi, horror, music, album covers, tattoos and fetish art have been influenced by his dark, intricate paintings and sculptures depicting birth, death and sex.
Both a mesmerizing introduction to Giger's oeuvre and a must-see for Giger devotees, Belinda Sallin's definitive documentary Dark Star: H. »
- Derek Anderson
London — Actress-producer Salma Hayek capped off the Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Center on Sunday, delivering an empowering message to women from all walks of life, after presenting animated pic “The Prophet,” which she produced.
Hayek spoke of how the world “has been created by systems designed for men,” and constantly reiterated that women need to fight to break down barriers in their lives.
Hayek said of the film: “It’s a unique film experience, a childish story that takes you on a journey — a journey inside yourself.”
She admitted that the concept of the film had made it very difficult to sell, although she is no stranger to making films out of the ordinary. “I only do impossible films,” she said, »
- Alastair Pusinelli
Exclusive: Wme has signed Oscar-nominated, Emmy- and Tony-winning multi-hyphenate Julie Taymor. Her screen credits range from Frida to Across The Universe, Titus and The Tempest, and her stage work includes The Lion King and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. She is now preparing to direct Anne Hathaway off-Broadway in Grounded, which opens at the Public in April. Taymor had been a longtime client of Jeff Berg. With all the talk about a paucity of bold female directors… »
Guns are awesome, hot girls are awesome, and the two combined together nearly defies the laws of all things awesome. That’s why Everly, starring one of the hottest gals in Hollywood, Salma Hayek, as a sexy defender of the second amendment, looks like a must-see!
One week before the theatrical release of director Joe Lynch’s genre-bending film Everly, starring Salma Hayek (Frida, Desperado), a new “mash up” trailer created by world-renowned DJ and filmmaker Mike Relm has been released. This remix of the Vega, Baby! produced and Radius/TWC distributed action thriller perfectly captures the “gonzo” nature of the film. Relm’s masterful artistry transforms the dynamic soundscape in Everly from visual and audio samples into a darkly energetic sensory experience.
The Mike Relm Remix can be seen here:
(Warning: This video is Very Nsfw: It includes Strong Bloody Violence, Blood and more Blood)
“Everly blew me away »
- Tom Stockman
There is only one correct way to prepare for the Oscars: resentfully watching every bad, dubious, or weird movie starring this year's honorees and feeling smug about it. StreamFix is here to help. Here are five weird choices streaming on Netflix to get you caught up on some of the 2014 nominees. "Chalet Girl" with Felicity Jones Felicity Jones would have more of a chance at an Oscar if she just called herself "the other Carey Mulligan" and dealt with it. Anyway, remember "Chalet Girl"? It was about Felicity Jones and Ed Westwick enjoying wonderful times on the slopes. Let us consult The New York Times' review for some insight into this cinematic journey: "'Chalet Girl' may not be particularly creative or genre busting or even a great example of a romantic comedy. But its premise might make you smile." I know I always go to the movies for »
- Louis Virtel
Since making his movie debut as Harrison Ford's doomed sidekick in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Alfred Molina has appeared in everything from critically-acclaimed dramas like Prick Up Your Ears to Hollywood blockbusters ranging from Species to Spider-Man 2.
His latest film, Love Is Strange, centres on a long-term gay couple who are forced to live apart while they search for a new home. It opens on February 13, a canny piece of counter-programming to the omnipresent Fifty Shades of Grey. To mark the occasion, Digital Spy took a trip down memory lane with Molina to speak to him about the roles that defined his career.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Satipo
"My very first time in front of a camera! I knew nothing, the only thing I knew about filmmaking was the fact that films got made at all. I knew nothing about the technique of film; I was very, »
Elliot Goldenthal will receive the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Founders Award at the performing rights organization’s 30th annual Film & Television Music Awards, taking place March 9 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The honor is reserved for songwriters and composers “who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators,” according to Ascap.
Goldenthal, who has composed for the stage, screen and opera house, won an Oscar for his score to “Frida,” directed by frequent collaborator Julie Taymor. His other scores include Taymor’s “The Tempest,” “Across the Universe” and “Titus”; Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” and “Heat”; and Gus Van Sant’s “Drugstore Cowboy.”
“Elliot’s staggering body of »
- Steve Chagollan
After debuting at Cannes and playing at the Toronto Film Festival last year, the animated feature version of one of the bestselling books of all time is coming to more big screens this summer. Distributor Gkids has acquired North American rights to Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, the passion project of Salma Hayek.
“After seeing the incredible reaction to the movie in Cannes, Toronto and Doha, I’m very excited to be working with Gkids in bringing Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet to North American audiences,” Hayek said. “This is one of the most personal projects I have ever done and I am extremely proud of it.”
Written and directed by Lion King helmer Roger Allers, The Prophet adaptation is produced by Hayek and José Tamez’s Ventanarosa Productions along with Clark Peterson, and Ron Senkowski. Steve Hanson, François Pinault, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Julia Lebedev, Leonid Lebedev, Naël Nasr, »
- Dominic Patten
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s visually inventive comedy-drama about the friendship between a misfit teenager and a classmate diagnosed with leukemia, received both the grand jury prize and the audience award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night. Part cancer-themed tearjerker and part tribute to obsessive movie love, “Me and Earl” was acquired by Fox Searchlight earlier this week in one of the festival’s biggest deals.
This marks the third year in a row that one movie has taken both top prizes at Sundance, following the lead of “Fruitvale Station” in 2013 and “Whiplash” last year. “Me and Earl’s” victory was even more noteworthy given what many considered one of the stronger U.S. dramatic competitions in recent memory, with strong critical and audience buzz for “Dope,” “The Witch” and “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” all of which also received prizes.
- Justin Chang
French comedy has conquered continental Europe: Think “Welcome to the Sticks,” “The Intouchables,” “Serial (Bad) Weddings,” going forward, most likely “La Famille Belier.”
Now Italy is joining the charge. Having just announced its acquisition of world sales rights to Anne Fontaine’s WWII drama “Agnus Dei,” Paris-based sales company Films Distribution has added a second title to its building Berlinale slate: “Il Nome Del Figlio” (An Italian Name), from Francesca Archibugi, one of Italy’s best-known distaff directors with a now near 30-year-career (“Mignon Has Gone Away,” “Flying Lessons,” “A Question of the Heart”).
Films Distribution will start selling the movie at next week’s European Film Market (Efm).
Produced by Indiana Production and producer-distributor Lucky Red, a key company on Italy’s indie landscape, “Name” is an Italian makeover of French comedy breakout “What’s In a Name?” from Alexandre Patelliere and Mathieu Delaporte which grossed 3,34 million tjckets for Pathe Distribution in France, »
- John Hopewell
If you ever wondered what a film starring Salma Hayek, playing a sexy assassin holed up in her apartment while a grueling gauntlet of gangsters and other assorted ne.er-do-wells burst their way in, shooting up the place, well, then first off, congratulations for having such a specific vision. Secondly, it seems that your eccentric curiosity is about to be sated, because the new trailer for Salma Hayek.s new film, Everly is basically everything that was just described. Making its explosive debut, Everly depicts the venerable vixen, Hayek getting back to her ass-kicking action roots in a completely original setting. It.s like a deliciously demented amalgam of Home Alone and the Kill Bill series. At 48 years old, Hayek has never been hotter. (Although, you may want to check out Frida if you.re up for a trip down that rabbit hole.) Everly clearly brings a clever mix of »
Warning - Trailer contains explicit content:
Hayek plays a former prostitute that informs on her employers.
Marked for death, she is confined to her apartment while an army of hired killers come for her. But she won't go down without a fight.
Everly will be released on January 23 in the Us and April 10 in the UK. »
19 items from 2015
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