18 items from 2015
Meet some of the best directors working today, who haven't gone down the blockbuster movie route...
Ever find it a bit lame when the same big name directors get kicked around for every high profile project? Christopher Nolan, Jj Abrams, maybe the Russo Brothers? With so much focus on blockbuster films these days, getting a major franchise job seems like the main acknowledgement of success for a filmmaker. And yes, both the financial and creative rewards can be great. But there are plenty of other directors out there, doing their own thing, from art house auteurs to Dtv action specialists.
Here are 25 examples.
Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably seen Lee Hardcastle’s ultraviolent claymations shared on social media. He first started getting noticed for his two-minute remake of The Thing, starring the famous stop motion penguin Pingu. Far from just a cheap one-joke mash-up, »
Directed by Brian Helgeland.
A biopic on the infamous twins, The Krays, charting their life of crime in the 1960’s.
Ronnie and Reggie Kray have become the UK equivalent of Al Capone. East End gangsters, Brian Helgeland’s gangster biopic of the Kray twins seems to glorify and glamorise their 1960’s hey day, while Tom Hardy gives an unforgettable performance as both Ron and Reg Kray. Reg, the charming ladies man, is central, as Helgeland directs Legend from the perspective of his first wife, Frances (Emily Browning). This romance between ‘Frankie’ and Reg is the driving force, therefore establishing a cliché context that only serves to soften the tale told. Unfortunately, Legend is a glossy retelling of London career criminals that’s less Mean Streets and more ‘Soft Streets’, with cockney thrown in for good measure. »
- Simon Columb
Chicago – The presence of Sir Ben Kingsley – yes, he was knighted in his native Britain – is the first thing that commands a room. The regal and precise actor, who was awarded an Best Actor Oscar for his definitive performance in “Gandhi,” is back portraying a native of India in his latest film, “Learning to Drive.”
The film is a transition story for the two main characters. Darwan (Kingsley) is a Indian Sikh who gained political asylum in America shortly before September 11th. He is a driving instructor, and encounters a new student in Wendy (Patricia Clarkson). The woman is going through a bitter divorce, and is using the potential of learning to drive to gain more freedom. The two disparate souls help each other in essential ways, and at the same time weather the storm of some extreme life changes.
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Our first major bit of casting news for the highly anticipated sixth season of HBO’s Game Of Thrones is a doozy. According to Entertainment Weekly, former Deadwood actor Ian McShane has signed on in a mysterious role. There’s hardly any details, but the site does add that he will apparently have a “relatively small amount of screen-time during the season, yet his character is of key importance.”
Just a guess here, but it’s a good bet he’ll be playing one of the sea-faring Greyjoy clan that have been confirmed to be an integral part of the next season. McShane would definitely suit the part of Theon’s ruthless, unhinged uncle Euron, anyway.
The veteran British actor will be best known for playing foul-mouthed bar owner Al Swearengen on HBO’s Deadwood, but he’s also popped up in the likes of Sexy Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, »
- Mark Cassidy
Alex Walton and Ken Kao launched Bloom, a sales and production shingle, at Cannes last year, with “The Sea of Trees,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts. This year, the film is unspooling in the Cannes competition on Friday. Walton talks about his experiences over the years.
What’s it like to get your film into competition?
Really cool. I’m lucky that I’ve been at companies with films that have been in competition. Not that this means success, but it means it’s a film that’s been recognized. It’s flattering and a real movie, and other people in the industry observing it as such, and a real risk. None of it is lost on us.
Bloom is very busy; how does Cannes look?
It’s always an anxious time. You’re making sure that things are ready for a false timeline, a market timeline instead of a production timeline. »
- Carole Horst
An bona fide bastard, Ronnie is a heartless, violent debt collector who, after getting a taste of his own medicine during a near-death experience, begins to question the meaning of his life—all while retaining his blood-thirst for revenge. "The Resurrection of a Bastard" world-premiered way back in 2013 at the Rotterdam Film Festival before touring Fantasia Fest and Fantastic Fest, where Yorick van Wageningen (who starred in Fincher's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") picked up the Best Actor prize. The film was well-reviewed on the festival circuit, with THR writing: "Reminiscent in theme of such Euro-sourced art house hits as 'Sexy Beast' and 'In Bruges,' this debut trades their showy virtuosity for introspection." Now, the film is finally in theaters from Syndicado and hits VOD on Tuesday, April 7. Check out an enticing exclusive clip (and the trailer) below, in which Ronnie's employer, a mystery man named James Joyce, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Twilight Time is celebrating its 4th anniversary with a major promotion that sees some of their limited edition titles reduced in price through April 3. These are the titles on sale.
Retail price point: $24.95
Bell, Book, And Candle
Retail price point: $19.95
Roots Of Heaven
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Three films in, and Jon Wright is very much a director whose output is worth keeping an eye on. His first full feature, Tormented, was an effective horror with some strong moments, but it was Grabbers where he really struck gold. It remains, along with Tucker & Dale Vs Evil, our favourite horror comedy of recent times. Wright has taken a different turn for his new movie, Robot Overlords, a sci-fi movie aimed at a family audience. And he spared us some time to natter about it...
Can you put into words how you're feeling, on the eve of your film's release?
Well, I'm a bit nervous about the release, as you would be. Hoping it goes well. And I'm reading all the press that people are writing, which I actually think is very interesting. »
Sexy Beast! Disney's life-action adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" has cast the titular Prince-turned-monster, who will star opposite Emma Watson's Belle in the highly-anticipated flick. "Downton Abbey" alum Dan Stevens will play the brooding Beast in the flick. The Hollywood Reporter announced the news on Wednesday and we have to say, he definitely looks the part. With his striking blue eyes, we can definitely see a resemblance. And he'll look pretty good as the prince too! The "Harry Potter" star also seems pretty thrilled by the casting news, she extended a welcome to her new costar via Twitter on Thursday. Could not be more happy that this man will be Beast!!! Welcome aboard @thatdanstevens #beautyandthebeast pic.twitter.com/F1ghG3pvcU — Emma Watson (@EmWatson) March 5, 2015 Emma previously said she's be taking singing lessons for the film -- so it sounds like this one will be a full on musical. »
- tooFab Staff
If BAFTA could hand out an award for oddest movie, it would surely be won by The Boxtrolls, which is the latest animated offering from Laika, producers of Coraline and Paranorman. This tale of a society dictated by cheese and overrun by cardboard-wearing creatures was in the running for Best Animated Film.
We spoke to directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable to chew the fat, or at least the rind, over what went into the making of this eccentric chapter in the history of stop motion animation. I’m a huge fan of the medium – my Dad used to be such an animator back in the day – and I was interested to hear what the pair had to say about the project, which appears defiantly old-fashioned in this age of CGI…
Thn: There’s a British flavour to the film, coming from the source novel (Here Be Monsters by Alan »
- Steve Palace
Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (The Boxtrolls, Iron Man 3) has joined the cast of John Pogue’s (The Quiet Ones) action thriller Wake starring Bruce Willis (Die Hard film franchise), and produced by Michael Benaroya (Lawless, Margin Call), Tobin Armbrust (A Walk Among The Tombstones, Begin Again), David Alpert (upcoming American Ultra, AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’) and Chris Cowles (The Numbers Station, Autobahn).
International Film Trust (Ift) is handling foreign rights to the film, which they are actively selling at the European Film Market. CAA is representing the domestic sales rights.
“Sir Ben is a truly one of a kind talent, with a unique subtlety to his work. He brings characters to life and charges them with emotion and power at just the right moments. He’s a tremendous addition to this cast, I can’t wait to see what he does with Kole, this film’s powerful antagonist, »
- Michelle McCue
This year’s Bafta nominees for British film — “Pride,” “Paddington,” “Under the Skin,” “’71,” “The Theory of Everything” and “The Imitation Game” — showcase the sheer variety, range and intelligence of U.K. cinema in 2014.
That’s underlined by the exceptional quality of contenders that failed to make the cut — the likes of “Calvary,” “Locke,” “Belle,” “Testament of Youth,” “Starred Up” and, most controversially, “Mr. Turner.”
For all the considerable differences between them, in artistic ambition and commercial appeal, the six nominees share an underlying theme that sheds an intriguing light on the zeitgeist. They are all about misfits struggling to belong, and they ask acute questions about our capacity for empathy.
That echoes the anxiety about immigration and social cohesion that is dominating the U.K. political debate — a weighty subject addressed explicitly in the most populist of all the contenders, “Paddington.” It’s a giant stylistic leap from here to »
- Adam Dawtrey
Over a year ago, we got a teaser poster for Ben Wheatley's adaptation of High-Rise, the next twisted thriller after a series of masterful indies such as Kill List and Sightseers. And now the film is finally looking to hit theaters with sales happening at the European Film Market, which means we get a first look at the thriller starring Tom Hiddleston. The rest of the cast is pretty impressive too since it includes Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Elisabeth Moss, Luke Evans and Stacy Martin, though they aren't anywhere to be seen in this first photo. This is certainly one we're looking forward to whenever it may arrive. Look! Here's our first look at Ben Wheatley's High-Rise from Empire: High-Rise is directed by British filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England), from legendary producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor, Sexy Beast, A Dangerous Method, »
- Ethan Anderton
David Kosse, director of Film4, said: “Jonathan is one of the most visionary directors in the world, let alone the UK. He epitomises Film4’s ethos of ground-breaking, distinctive, authored film, and I’m looking forward to continuing what has already been a close and collaborative relationship between him and Film4.”
The development deal is the first to be announced since former Universal exec Kosse joined the outfit last year.
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Ray Donovan has to be one of my favourite shows on TV at the moment. The unrelenting, tense action and brilliant storylines in a show headed by the rather watchable Liev Schreiber, makes it unmissale every week. Production on season three is just about to get underway in Los Angeles, and news reaches us this morning that one of Britain’s great character actors has joined the cast.
Ian McShane, who has appeared in the likes of Hercules, Sexy Beast, Cuban Fury and the legendary TV series Deadwood, which pretty much catapulted him to Hollywood notoriety, will play a billionaire movie producer in the next season who hires Schreiber’s Donovan to help him get out of a bit of a pickle.
Shooting on »
- Paul Heath
Golden Globe winner guest stars on Season 3 as a billionaire movie producer who comes to Ray (Liev Schreiber) for help
The Golden Globe-winning actor will guest star as Malcolm Finney, a rich and famous movie producer who hires Ray (Liev Schreiber) to help his family out during a potentially catastrphoic situation, in a season-long arc on the pay-cable drama.
See Photos: Fall TV Preview: 85 New and Returning Shows
He earned his Golden Globe and also an Emmy nomination for playing foul-mouthed power broker Al Swearengen on »
- Travis Reilly
Did "Under the Skin's" absence from this week's list of Oscar nominees represent a glaring oversight? Hardly. Despite being beloved by critics, Jonathan Glazer's unsettling sci-fi wasn't expected to rack up any nods. Which is fine! Some of the best movies never get their due come awards season. Me? I can't get it out of my brain. I've previously mentioned "The Babadook" as the year's best horror movie, and from a conventional standpoint it certainly is. But while "Under the Skin" is far from a traditional fright flick, it disturbed me in a deeper way than any pureblood horror film in recent memory. The beach scene alone! Haunting, horrifying, utterly unforgettable. Director Jonathan Glazer is one of the true visionaries working in film today. With the help of cinematographer Daniel Landin and his special effects team he conjured up a collection of the most striking images I saw »
- Chris Eggertsen
By Anjelica Oswald
With Michael Keaton winning the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy and Eddie Redmayne winning for best actor in a drama, both men continue establishing themselves as the frontrunners in this year’s lead actor race at the Oscars.
Though not new to films, Redmayne starred in Oscar-nominated films such as Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2008) and Les Miserables (2012). His performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, however, propelled him to widespread acclaim and put him on the radar. He is one of four best actor nominees — along with Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell — to receive their first nomination this year.
For most of his career, Keaton was known for his comedic roles, such as Mr. Mom (1983) and Beetlejuice (1988), and for his turn as Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). These roles earned Keaton praise and »
- Anjelica Oswald
18 items from 2015
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