20 items from 2015
World festival roundup: Highlights of the upcoming fall and winter season promise a wide range of cinematic treats around the world. Festivals listed in chronological order.
Aug. 27-Sept. 7
World Film Festival
Fest will open with the world premiere of “Muhammad,” the 171-minute epic from Iranian director Majid Majidi, shot by Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. Mwff has received a record number of short films — over 1,200 (an increase of 42% over 2014) from some 64 countries, “evidence of the vitality of today’s young filmmakers,” notes Mwff president Serge Losique. Fest is adding a Chinese Cinema section with more than 10 new features.
The fest, above, nestled in the mountains of Colorado, has always been an intimate, casual, carefully curated event that isn’t just a competition but also a celebration of the best in film. Even though the festival doesn’t announce its lineup until the day before it begins unspooling, »
- Iain Blair
Variety’s “Actors on Actors” on PBS was awarded the Emmy for best entertainment programming at the Television Academy’s 67th Los Angeles area Emmy Awards.
“Actors on Actors,” which is an interview special that features pairings of prominent actors discussing their craft, was produced by PBS SoCal in partnership with Variety Media, LLC.
The winners were announced Saturday at the 67th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards at The Skirball Cultural Center Guerin Pavilion in Herscher Hall.
“We couldn’t be more excited to receive this honor from the Academy,” said Variety co-editors-in-chief Claudia Eller and Andrew Wallenstein. “PBS SoCal was the perfect partner to showcase Variety’s dedication to in-depth coverage on the awards front.”
Other Emmy awards on Saturday night included honoring Kcbs anchor Pat Harvey with the Governors Award in recognition of her long run in the Los Angeles market. Kmex was the biggest winner of the night with nine wins, »
- Variety Staff
Former “Late Show” host David Letterman took a break from retirement this weekend to roast Republican candidate Donald Trump. “I was complacent, I was satisfied, I was content, and then a couple of days ago Donald Trump said he was running for president. I have made the biggest mistake of my life,” Letterman told a San Antonio crowd on Friday night. Comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short had introduced Letterman to the stage as a surprise guest. Also Read: Donald Trump to Meet Families of Victims Killed by Immigrants He then revealed a Top Ten List of “interesting facts” about the real. »
- Kathy Zerbib
David Letterman made a surprise visit to Martin Short and Steve Martin's A Very Stupid Conversation stage show Friday night in San Antonio, and the former Late Show host used the opportunity to gleefully mock beleaguered presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Making his first onstage appearance since retiring with an epic blowout on May 20th, a bearded Letterman expressed regret that his Late Show departure just missed Trump's candidacy, which would have been perfect fodder for late night television.
"I retired and… I had no regrets. None. I was happy. »
In a recent post about Toyo Harada I talked about the order of Valiant character appearances in the original Valiant universe from the early 1990s. I thought about it some and decided to piece together three reviews I did of first three original (post-Magnus and Solar) Valiant properties in their initial arcs as titles. Please note that these are several years old so some of the references might not be up to date and I’m not a good writer now, so you can imagine how I was then. These cover the two hardcovers that the current Valiant owner released of the classic material, Harbinger: The Beginning and X-o Manowar: Birth, along with the classic first Tpb of Rai from the ’90s.
The first page of Harbinger #1 is a splash page, the backdrop is mundane: a traffic jam, trees, a helicopter hovering above, this is the real world, the »
- Jay Tomio
The PBS SoCal special “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” is among the nominees for the 67th annual Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards.
The interview special that features pairings of prominent actors discussing their craft is a contender in the entertainment programming category. “Actors on Actors,” a co-production between Variety and PBS SoCal, will vie against Ktla’s “Live From the Oscars” and Kcbs/Kcal’s “Lexus: Music Uncovered” series.
In the competitive investigative reporting category, Fox’s Kttv is up against Kcbs and Univision’s Kmex, which has two nominations. Hard news reporting noms went to Kcbs/Kcal’s David Goldstein and Catherine Gelera; Kvea’s Azucena Gomez; Kmex’s Antonio Valverde; and separate noms for Knbc’s Robert Kovacik and Tony Shin.
In the competition for the three regularly scheduled newscast categories, there are no nominations; all stations that submit entries are contenders. The morning and daily newscast »
- Variety Staff
By rights I should hate the English. Seriously, my background is almost entirely Scots and Irish. I grew up hearing about the troubles the English gave to the Scots and Irish, both in school and from my parents.
Yet I do not, I love the English. How can I hate a country that gave us not only Monty Python but also Benny Hill and the Carry On Films? How can I bear any ill will to a country that gave us writers of the caliber of Ramsey Campbell, Brian Aldiss, Michael Moorcock and J. G Ballard? How can anyone hate a country that not only prizes eccentric behavior but encourages it? Take Mr. Kim Newman for instance, a brilliant writer whose work appears regularly in Video WatchDog and Videoscope Mr. Newman dresses himself, has his hair and mustache styled and speaks in the manner of someone from the 19th Century! »
- Sam Moffitt
Eddie Vedder teamed up with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra for a rousing, fitting performance of Pearl Jam's "Better Man" on The Late Show Monday night as David Letterman began his final three-night stand as host.
As Letterman noted, Vedder has taken the Ed Sullivan Theater stage numerous times since Pearl Jam first appeared on The Late Show in 1996, even once trying his hand at comedy ("I think that will probably be the highlight of the man's career," Letterman cracked). Vedder's riveting performance on Monday, however, undoubtedly earned »
Beginning with “Late Night” on NBC in 1982 and continuing with the “Late Show With David Letterman” on CBS in 1993, the gap-toothed, be-spectacled, Indiana-born “Dave” became America’s most exceptional everyman — finding unconventional ways to point out the silliness of daily life. Here’s how his hosting style forever changed late-night TV.
10. The Top Ten List
The segment mocked the media convention (ahem) of ranking everything from the eligibility of bachelors to the popularity of songs, while shunning anything in eleventh place and beyond. It debuted in 1985 with “Things That Almost Rhyme with Peas.” Over the years, guest presenters added another layer of humor: see actor John Malkovich reading “Top Ten Things That Sound Creepy When Said by John Malkovich,” or our current president and then-senator intoning the farcical “Top Ten Barack Obama Campaign Promises” in 2008. Total Top Tens by the time the show wraps: 4,605.
9. Recurring segments fueled by absurdity
- Kate Hahn
The Toronto International Film Festival is in its 40th year, and the Tiff CEO and Artistic Director this morning announced the programmers for 2015’s festival.
Tiff runs from September 10 to September 20. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a reveal of the full film lineups. Read the press-release for this year’s festival programmers below:
40th Toronto International Film Festival Announces Its Programmers
Toronto — Piers Handling, Director and CEO of Tiff, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, reveal the team of 22 programmers who will make the selections for the 40th Toronto International Film Festival®, which runs Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 20, 2015.
Europe, City to City: London, Special Presentations, Gala Presentations
Handling is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tiff. He has held this position since 1994, and is responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. Under Handling’s direction, »
- Brian Welk
The latest issue of Metal Hammer magazine was already shaping up to be a special one, with Slipknot's Corey Taylor guest-editing the issue, but it became an absolute dream for metal and horror fans when Taylor asked The Walking Dead comic book artist Charlie Adlard to illustrate the cover and participate in an exclusive interview. We take a look at that cover (and the behind-the-scenes process of its creation) in our latest round-up, in addition to details on the feature film adaptation of Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura's I Kill Giants graphic novel and Arrow Video's impressive limited edition Blu-ray/DVD release of Society.
Charlie Adlard's Metal Hammer Magazine: "Charlie Adlard – acclaimed illustrator from the Walking Dead comics – has designed Metal Hammer magazine’s special gatefold front cover with Exclusive artwork of every member of Slipknot. Trust us, it looks badass.
Slipknot’s Corey Taylor has taken over »
- Derek Anderson
The thought of snapping your fingers to the tunes of your favorite fictional bands in film seems rather unreal. After all these movie music-makers seem like the “reel” deal in terms of their celluloid artistry and sense of colorful on-screen showmanship.
However, some of the fictional bands or musical acts we know very well and consider so fondly actually morph into real-life acts. Also, there are real-life bands that share a “fictionalized existence” on screen as well (for instance one can try and divide the musical phenomenon of The Beatles as treasured pop cultural entities from the mop top maniacs they portrayed on the big screen in A Hard’s Day Night or Help. Some may argue they were the one in the same in front of and away from the rolling cameras).
Whatever your definition of what constitutes a favorable fictional band in film at the present moment just »
- Frank Ochieng
One of the hardest bouts of growing pains experienced by adolescents is that rite of passage known as the high school experience. In high school one is subject to discovering their own sense of self-identity and purpose. In fact, sometimes the social factor is crucial because the cost of belonging in social-related circles is vital in a four-year commitment to belonging among your peers.
The tension is high to belong and get along as your search for excellence in good grades, social interaction and the overall learning experience is important. However, not every youngster can cope with what they are faced as the obstacles to excel are demanding in high school. Hence, the potential to become “an outsider” is inevitable and the unlikeliest label that no one can overcome no matter how much they try.
The movies have been instrumental in capturing such heavy-handed angst and frustration of the tortured »
- Frank Ochieng
Ah, the sweet sound of success! Even more relevant in this movie article is the sweet movement of success. Thus, Shake A Tail Feather: Top Ten Dance Moments in the Movies will highlight some of the top-notch dance steps where moving your feet to the music is essential. Now this does not have to necessary be exclusive to musical-oriented films or dance-related flicks but hey…it could not hurt either, right?
Nevertheless folks, how about we take a free-wheeling look at some of the selections that were memorable (some more than others) spotlighted here in Shake A Tail Feather: Top Ten Dance Moments in the Movies were your finger-snapping, feet-stomping urges overcome you. Perhaps you have your brand of acceptable dance moments not included in this group? Well, let your thoughts be known if you feel compelled to do so. In the meantime, sit back and check out some of »
- Frank Ochieng
Kanye West concluded a performance-heavy week with an appearance at Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special Sunday night. Three days after headlining the first annual Roc City Classic with Kevin Durant and two days after surprising Drake and Nas' Sprite NBA All-Star Weekend concert, the rapper donned Marilyn Manson-esque contact lenses for an innovative mini-medley.
West was the only musician to perform multiple tracks (Paul McCartney, Miley Cyrus and Paul Simon also took the stage), kicking off his mini-set with "Jesus Walks" off his 2004 debut album The College Dropout. »
Love can be a many splendid thing…both in triumph and sometimes in tragedy. The emphasis of this sentiment is mainly on the latter as tragedy can be defined in various degrees of despair. Consequently, we have endured all sorts of conflict between lovers in cinema throughout the history of frequenting the movies.
In You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling: Top Ten Tragic Lovers in the Movies we will look at a selection of films where the tragic circumstances have shaped the foundation of film lovers convincingly. The tragic overtones come in all varieties: marital discourse, criminal activity, fraud, addiction, etc. Granted that there are probably bigger and better choices for lovey-dovey antagonism that could be cited in You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling but hey…the outcome remains the same: hampered relationships that are creatively rooted in turmoil.
The spotlight of “lovers” are open to discussion in the realm of combative married couples, »
- Frank Ochieng
The 87th Academy Award nominations for 2015 were recently released on January 15, 2015 representing the excellence in film for the previous year. Naturally there was the standard controversy regarding those films and performances that got unfairly overlooked. Unfortunately, the perceived snubs do happen from year to year so this goes along with the territory. Nevertheless, the lucky selections that do manage to grab Oscar’s attention are understandably grateful and psyched to see if the golden statuette will in fact go home with them on the film industry’s biggest and most elegant evening.
With the obvious crankiness of Oscar omissions aside and the injustices that go with these “reel” deals has anyone ever considered the Academy Award nominees that are surprisingly recognized that could have gone unnoticed for whatever reasoning? After all there are films and exceptional performances that get lost in the shuffle but manage to get the accolades it »
- Frank Ochieng
Most combat troops want to get it over with and go home, but Navy Seal Chris Kyle, who had a terrifyingly dangerous job as a sniper, nobly embarked on four tours of duty in Iraq where he was credited with over 160 confirmed kills. The new film American Sniper dutifully chronicles Kyle’s life from his boyhood in Texas, to how he met his wife Taya and recreates the highlights of his military career (and even makes up a few!). Bulked up, bearded, and somewhat inarticulate, Bradley Cooper’s terrific performance as Kyle is not built on speeches. When it’s over, little has been said in so many words, but we have a pretty clear idea of why Kyle needed to shoot people. 1) He was motivated by his father’s adage that the world is divided into three types of people: sheep, wolves and sheepdogs, 2) These were evil people who needed to be shot, »
- Tom Stockman
I've already listed my top ten most anticipated blockbusters of the new year and now I'll take a look at the rest of the field as I've done my best to whittle things down to an even twenty films. So before you get in a huff that your favorite franchises aren't listed, just remember you can view all my anticipated blockbusters right here, I simply didn't know how to write the headline other than to just say these were my most anticipated movies without any further distinction. That said, I think I have a nice rounded list for you here. Obviously several from the major studios, but also a few overseas entries to spice things up. Plenty of Tom Hardy and Jake Gyllenhaal and a couple starring Rachel Weisz along with several of my favorite directors coming with new films for the new year. If you're wondering where films such »
- Brad Brevet
Paris –Pathe’s “Daddy or Mommy,” Wild Bunch’s “Do Not Disturb” and The Other Angle’s “Discount” will compete next week for one of Europe’s most valuable non-official crowns: the UniFrance Paris Rendez-vous Most Popular New Comedy.
Also in the running: Gaumont’s “I Kissed a Girl,” Kinology’s “Caprices,” EuropaCorp’s “Bis” and “Buddy Guards,” Studiocanal’s “Chic!”, Versatile’s “A trois, on y va,” “Valentin, Valentin,” from Sbs Productions, and TF1.’s Intl.’s “Boomerang.”
Having punched a robust first five-day $3.7 million through Jan. 4, Patrice Leconte’s “Do Not Disturb” opens Paris’ 17th UniFrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema, Europe’s biggest film mart after Cannes, Berlin, Venice, San Sebastian and Locarno.
Running Jan. 15-19, and screening an announced 86 French movies, 47 market premieres per UniFrance, the Rendez-vous will unveil a score-or-so of new comedies. With Rdv buzz helping to galvanize boffo sales and even double –or sometimes »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
20 items from 2015
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