12 items from 2016
We celebrate a century of huge and expensive film sets, from historical epics to sprawling fantasies and sci-fi action movies...
The advent of cinema saw the art of set design gradually spread its wings from the relative confines of the theatre. As movies established their own language and became ever more ambitious in the early part of the 20th century, so set designers were called on to create increasingly expansive and more detailed backdrops.
As the list of movies below proves, the construction of huge sets has been a major part of cinema for the past century. And with scale comes expense, as the recreation of ancient landmarks, futuristic cities or doomed ocean liners takes hundreds of artists, designers and crafty types months of labour to plan and construct. Often, these sets are on the screen for a few scant minutes before they're torn down and largely »
The stage is set for a David vs. Goliath battle at the 88th academy awards.
In one corner are the Goliath box office hits that Oscarcast viewers have heard of — and maybe even seen: This year’s top three on the nominations tally are Fox’s “The Revenant” (12 noms), Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” (10) and Fox’s “The Martian” (seven).
Together, they’ve amassed over $1.2 billion at the global box office.
In the other corner are the likes of Fox Searchlight’s “Brooklyn,” which was acquired at Sundance and had a production budget of $11 million, and A24’s “Room,” which is the first best picture nominee for the emerging studio.
Together, they’ve made just over $40 million at the domestic box office (though neither one is close to finished, especially with three weeks to go until the Oscars).
Blockbuster Oscar winners such as “Rocky” and “Titanic” have given way »
- Geoff Berkshire and Tim Gray
2015 was a successful year regarding the quantity and quality of foreign productions shot in Poland. At the beginning of the year, Anne Fontaine (“Coco Before Chanel,” “Perfect Mothers”) filmed a French-Polish co-production “Agnus Dei” in Warmia, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The film features Polish and French actresses among others Lou de Laage, Agata Kulesza, Agata Buzek and Joanna Kulig.
In the spring, the crew of a Polish-German-French-Belgian co-production about the life of Maria Sklodowska-Curie (dir. Marie Noelle) spent 20 days on the set in among others Lodz, Leba and Krakow. The cast is international, and the film is made in French. The Polish Nobelist is portrayed by Karolina Gruszka (“Oxygen”).
The summer brought about increased activity of German producers. A Zdf TV show, “Ein Sommer in…” was filmed in two resort towns in the north-eastern Poland – Mikolajki and Mragowo. Ard and Tvp collaborated on the set of "Polizeiruf 110" ("Police Call 110"), which was filmed in July and August among others in a Polish border-town – Swiecko. Also in July began the shooting of a new part of detective TV series "Der Usedom-Krimi" filmed on both the Polish and German side of the Usedom island.
However, a true influx of foreign productions took place in the autumn. American-Polish thriller “Chronology” was filmed in Poznan. The cast includes William Baldwin (TV series "Gossip Girl," "Adrift in Manhattan") and Danny Trejo (“Machete,” “From Dusk till Dawn”).
The Goetz Palace in Brzesk, in Malopolska hosted filmmakers from India who for six days were shooting “Fitoor,” an Indian adaptation of Dickens's “Great Expectations.” The crew consisted of over 40 Indians and almost 80 Poles. Another crew from India – this time from the so-called Kollywood in the south of the country – spent twenty days on the set in various Polish locations (among others Zakopane, Walbrzych, Krakow, Leba). The film titled “24” features Surya, a Tamil superstar, in the main role.
The autumn months were also very intensive in Lodz with three simultaneous big film sets. Andrzej Wajda (“The Promised Land,” “Walesa. Man of Hope”) worked on his new film “Powidoki”; Opus Film, the producer of “Ida”, organized for an Israeli partner eleven-day shoot to a film set in 1970s – “Past Life,” directed by Avi Nesher; and American director Martha Coolidge (“The Prince and Me,” TV shows “Sex and the City,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Weeds”) filmed her project “Music, War and Love,” whose producer is among others Fred Roos known from such films as “Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather” or “Lost in Translation.” The picture features Adelaide Clemens (“The Great Gatsby”), Connie Nielsen (“Gladiator”), Toby Sebastian (“Game of Thrones”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Nymphomaniac”).
The end of the year was also very successful for Malopolska and Krakow. Two movies were filmed in the region – an American-British biography of Martin Luther commissioned by PBS with Padraic Delaney (“The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” “The Tudors”) in the main role; and a feature titled “True Crimes” starring two-time winner of a Golden Globe – Jim Carrey (“The Truman Show,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Mask”) as the protagonist. The crew spent 32 days on the set in Krakow. The picture was directed by Greek Alexandros Avranas (“Miss Violence”), written by Jeremy Brock (“Brideshead Revisited,” “The Last King of Scotland”), and produced by Brett Ratner (“X-Men 3: the Last Stand,” TV series “Rush Hour”). Accompanying Jim Carrey were Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Nymphomaniac,” “Antichrist”); Marton Csokas (“The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) and Polish actors Agata Kulesza (“Ida”) and Robert Wieckiewicz (“Walesa. Man of Hope”).
The first information about productions planned for 2016 has already been released. In January, Krakow will host the crew of French black comedy “Grand Froid,” Gérard Pautonnier's debut featuring Jean-Pierre Bacri (“The Taste of Others,” “Let It Rain”), Olivier Gourmet (“Rosetta,” “The Son”) and Arthur Dupond (“Bus Palladium”). The project won the first edition of the Krakow International Film Fund. »
- Sydney Levine
The 20th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards were held on Sunday and presented three awards to films in this year’s best picture race. Divided into genre categories (best period film, best fantasy film, best contemporary film), the Art Directors Guild awards those films’ whose production design they deem to be the most impressive, and this year’s winners were The Revenant for best period film, Mad Max: Fury Road for best fantasy, and The Martian for best contemporary.
The Adg Awards are a relatively recent honor, as its corresponding Oscar equivalent, best production design, used to be the accolade bestowed upon production designers prior to the Adg’s inception in 1996.
This year, with each of the three major categories’ winners also being up for best picture at the Oscars, an Adg award could go a long way in predicting this year’s best production design recipient. »
- Patrick Shanley
'Ben-Hur' 1959 with Stephen Boyd and Charlton Heston: TCM's '31 Days of Oscar.' '31 Days of Oscar': 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Ben-Hur' are in, Paramount stars are out Today, Feb. 1, '16, Turner Classic Movies is kicking off the 21st edition of its “31 Days of Oscar.” While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is being vociferously reviled for its “lack of diversity” – more on that appallingly myopic, self-serving, and double-standard-embracing furore in an upcoming post – TCM is celebrating nearly nine decades of the Academy Awards. That's the good news. The disappointing news is that if you're expecting to find rare Paramount, Universal, or Fox/20th Century Fox entries in the mix, you're out of luck. So, missing from the TCM schedule are, among others: Best Actress nominees Ruth Chatterton in Sarah and Son, Nancy Carroll in The Devil's Holiday, Claudette Colbert in Private Worlds. Unofficial Best Actor »
- Andre Soares
Our countdown of the top 100 films of the 21st Century (so far) concludes here with the top 25.
Click here for Part 1! (#100-76)
Click here for Part 2! (#75-51)
Click here for Part 3! (#50-26)
The first decade and a half of the 21st century has brought a lot of changes to the landscape of film. The advancement and sophistication of computers has made realistic computer generated effects a mainstay in both big-budget and small-budget films. The internet and streaming technologies have given big Hollywood new competition in films produced independently and by non-traditional means. We went from purchasing films on yards of tape to plastic disks, and now we can simply upload them to the cloud. Advertisements for films have reached a higher, more ruthless level where generating hype through trailers and teasers is crucial for a film’s commercial success. Movie attendance has fluctuated along with the economy, but that hasn »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
The Grammy for Best Visual Media Song awards music from all forms of visual media, but often closely reflects the Oscar race for Best Original Song. The last two winners of this award, "Let It Go" from "Frozen" (2014) and the title song from "Skyfall" (2013), also won Oscars, as did "The Weary Kind" from "Crazy Heart" (2010), "Jai Ho" from "Slumdog Millionaire" (2009) and "Into the West" from "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2004) in recent years. -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions But the recording academy doesn't always agree with the motion picture academy. Consider 2012, when the Oscar winner, "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets," lost this prize to Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars for "Safe and Sound" from the first "Hunger Games" film. The Oscars weren&...' »
The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road lead this year’s Oscar contenders with the most total nominations at 12 and 10, respectively.
Of those nominations, both films are nominated in each of the seven technical categories, that is, best cinematography, best costume design, best film editing, best production design, best sound editing, best sound mixing, and best visual effects.
To be nominated in every technical category is a major achievement accomplished by only a handful of other films in Academy history. However, it does not necessarily mean that a film is guaranteed the best picture Oscar or even can be considered the strongest shot at the Oscar, though every other film nominated in each category has at least scored a best picture nomination.
This year The Revenant and Mad Max have become the fourth and fifth films in history to earn every technical art nomination. Here »
- Patrick Shanley
The Broadcast Film Critics Association handed out their Critics’ Choice Awards last evening in Los Angeles and is the first awards ceremony since the Academy released their official nominations last Thursday.
Those looking to the Critics’ Choice Awards in hopes of fleshing out their Oscar predictions will notice a few differences between last week’s Golden Globes and Sunday’s awards in the major categories. Most notably is the fact that Spotlight won best picture after being entirely shut out by the HFPA at the Globes.
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Sylvester Stallone (Creed), and Brie Larson (Room) all repeated their Globes success with acting wins, but Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) took home the best supporting actress award in lieu of Kate Winslet’s (Steve Jobs) win the week before.
- Patrick Shanley
The 2015 Oscar nominations have been announced with The Revenant leading the way with 12 nominations followed by Mad Max: Fury Road with ten. After crunching some numbers we've taken a look at how this year's crop of Best Picture nominees stacks up to prior, pre-nomination box office totals. Have a look at what we found after comparing this year's eight Best Picture nominees to 190 previous Best Picture contenders, going back 33 years to 1982. Note: Before reading on, please be aware this article is specifically comparing pre-nomination grosses (not adjusted for inflation) unless otherwise noted. To begin, Room is the sixth lowest grossing Best Picture nominee (pre-nominations) in the last 33 years with $5.1 million. The five lower grossing films are American Sniper ($3.3M), Letters from Iwo Jima ($2.5M), My Left Foot ($2.1M), The Dresser ($562k) and Amour ($371k). In fact, Room will likely end up as one of the top ten lowest grossing Best »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
The end of every year naturally leads into the next, but it also marks the start of a very important time in Hollywood: awards season. The critics have chimed in with their top 10 picks throughout December, and now the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences members will chime in with their picks for the best of the best in 2015. The nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 15, but what's the fun of just waiting for the Academy to tell us what is right? While we wait for the Oscar nominations to roll in, we have pored over all of this year's critical darlings, and, through a highly-scientific method (i.e. educated guessing), we're presenting our predictions for the 88th Annual Academy Award nominations and winners.
Now, even the most esteemed of pundits aren't usually 100% correct. There isn't actually any "highly-scientific method" of predicting the nominees. Every year there are surprises, »
This Sunday the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will present their picks for best dramatic and comedy/musical picture at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
The Globes are the first major indicator for Oscar and since the HFPA honors both dramas and comedies in their dual best picture categories the chances of the Globes’ pick overlapping with the Academy’s is two-fold.
Those interested in predicting this year’s winner for best picture at the Oscars will be paying close attention to the Globes this Sunday, as a number of Golden Globe winners have gone on to take home the statuette for best pic. In a year such as this, with no standout frontrunner in a tight Oscar race, the focus is even sharper on who will win this weekend in hopes that some clearer picture will come into focus.
Here’s a look at how »
- Patrick Shanley
12 items from 2016
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