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Nelson Mandela on film and TV: From Sidney Poitier to Terrence Howard (photo: Sidney Poitier as Nelson Mandela in ‘Mandela and de Klerk’) (See previous post: "Nelson Mandela Movies: ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,’ ‘Invictus.’") As found on the IMDb, here are a handful of other narrative big-screen films featuring Nelson Mandela: Darrell Roodt’s Winnie Mandela (2011), with Jennifer Hudson in the title role and Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela. Pete Travis’ Endgame (2009), with Clarke Peters’ Mandela as less a martyred saint than a skillful realpolitik negotiator. This political drama also features Chiwetel Ejiofor, William Hurt, Jonny Lee Miller, Mark Strong, and Derek Jacobi. Zola Maseko’s 1950s-set Drum (2004), in which Mandela is played — for a change — by a South African actor, Lindani Nkosi. As reported by Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, British filmmaker Peter Kosminsky (White Oleander, Wuthering Heights) "got into hot water a couple of years ago »
- Andre Soares
The 40-50 pounds that Christian Bale packed on to play inveterate conman Irving Rosenfeld in David O. Russell’s upcoming “American Hustle” appears all the more shocking when juxtaposed with the actor’s reedthin crackhead Dicky Eklund in “The Fighter,” his previous collaboration with the director.
“I think he might win a prize,” Russell joked to Variety when reminded of Bale’s feat for “American Hustle,” which opens Dec. 13.
The Motion Picture Academy has certainly been impressed by this kind of complete physical immersion in the past, awarding Oscars to Robert De Niro, who gained 60 pounds to play Jake Lamotta in blustery decline in “Raging Bull,” and Charlize Theron, whose supermodel looks were concealed by makeup and abnormal girth as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in “Monster.” Renee Zellweger, too, earned the Academy’s respect after she plumped up considerably for “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” earning a nomination for her effort. »
- Steve Chagollan
By Mark Pinkert
This is the second article in a three-part series.
Earlier this month, the acclaimed writer/producer/director Joss Whedon spoke at an Equality Now benefit dinner and suggested that the word “feminism” be removed from the English lexicon. According to Mr. Whedon, the word is problematic because it assumes that gender equality is not the “natural state” but something that needs to be achieved. Though several self-purported feminist bloggers have criticized this idea, Whedon’s speech does raise some interesting questions about how prejudice can hide away in the depths of language and rhetoric.
Thankfully, we have reached a point where shouting sexist comments is socially unacceptable and utterly disgraceful; anyone who does becomes ostracized by civil people. But that does not mean gender prejudices have been cured. The most corrosive type of sexism, and the one Whedon was getting at, is the kind embedded in words and institutions, »
- Mark Pinkert
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
The 1993 drama King of the Hill represented the first Hollywood studio production for Steven Soderbergh (Contagion), whose independent debut, sex, lies, and videotape, had won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival a few years earlier.
Set in St. Louis during the Depression, King of the Hill follows the daily struggles of a resourceful and imaginative adolescent (Bring It On’s Jesse Bradford) who, after his tubercular mother is sent to a sanatorium, must survive on his own in a run-down hotel during his salesman father’s long business trips.
An evocative period piece about growing up, the film is faithfully adapted from the memoir by the novelist A. E. Hotchner. Among the ever versatile Soderbergh’s most touching and surprising films, it features a strong supporting cast that includes »
The Tenant, 1976.
Directed by Roman Polanski.
A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.
One of Roman Polanski’s recurring motifs has always been the horror of the apartment space. It was as recently as his last film, Carnage, and in a crucial sequence of his masterful The Pianist: it’s from an apartment window which Szpilman can do nothing but watch atrocities unfold outside. The fascination is there most obviously, though, in Polanski’s ‘Apartment Trilogy’, which includes Rosemary’s Baby, Repulsion and concludes with The Tenant. And The Tenant, a blackly comedic meta-horror, is perhaps Polanski’s ultimate use of the apartment as a claustrophobic, paranoid zone of terror.
Trelkovsky (played by Polanski himself) rents a Paris apartment whose previous tenant, Simone Choule, attempted suicide by »
- Gary Collinson
Fedor Bondarchuk’s Stalingrad, Russia’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, broke records earlier this month when it played in China. As Russia’s first film shot in 3D and IMAX, it is, like Ron Burgundy, kind of a big deal. Now, Sony has released the first full international trailer so audiences everywhere can get their first look at what the fuss is all about.
Based on the bloody battle for the city of Stalingrad during WWII, the film tells the story of a small group of Soviet soldiers who survive a disastrous operation against the Nazis. Moving away from many action-oriented war films, Stalingrad focuses on the emotions of these six men and even takes on a romantic element when they discover a girl taking refuge in an abandoned house.
Check out the incredible trailer (it’s worth it, there’s fire and guns and a »
- Tom Durbin
Hot on the heels of yesterday's teaser artwork debut, the first official teaser trailer has arrived for Disney's Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, and Sharlto Copley. There's a whole lot of teasing going on around here!
Maleficent opens May 30, 2014. It is the untold story of Disney’s most beloved villain, Maleficent, from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. The film reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse baby Aurora.
The cast includes Angelina Jolie (Wanted, Changeling), Sharlto Copley (District 9), Elle Fanning (Super 8), Sam Riley (On the Road), Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake), Miranda Richardson (The Hours), Juno Temple (Atonement), and Lesley Manville (Secrets & Lies).
Directed by two-time Oscar-winning production designer Robert Stromberg (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland) in his directorial debut and produced by Joe Roth, Maleficent is written by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast) and executive produced by Jolie, Don Hahn, »
- Debi Moore
Maleficent is a nasty piece of work. She curses a princess, Aurora, to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die before her 16th birthday. She wears black, has horns on her hat. She is sensational.
Disney’s live action interpretation of Maleficent, based on their own adaptation of the Wicked Fairy Godmother in Sleeping Beauty (1959), has just released a teaser trailer. The film follows the story of how Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) came to be, from a beautiful kind-hearted girl to the twisted Mistress of Evil, similar in some respects to the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz. Basically a good gal gone bad, and who doesn’t love a good gal gone bad?
Costuming Maleficent is Anna B. Sheppard. With films such as Schindler’s List (1993), The Pianist (2002) and Inglourious Basterds (2009) to her name, this Oscar nominated designer is a safe choice, in so much »
- Christopher Laverty
We haven't talked much about Disney's Maleficent lately, but with the film's gorgeous new Us and UK teaser posters hitting the Net, we thought the least we could do is share them with you!
Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie in her first on-screen role in three and a half years, opens May 30, 2014. Check out the artwork below from EW for the Us version and The Imp Awards for the UK variant.
Co-starring in the film are Sharlto Copley (District 9), Elle Fanning (Super 8), Sam Riley (On the Road), Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake), Miranda Richardson (The Hours), Juno Temple (Atonement), and Lesley Manville (Secrets & Lies).
This is the untold story of Disney’s most beloved villain, Maleficent, from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. The film reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora.
- Debi Moore
In light of the upcoming November 22 theatrical release of Roman Polanski's restored and re-cut 1972 documentary "Weekend of a Champion," last week's New York City screening paid tribute to the film's decades-long journey by following with a rare press conference that included Polanski himself via Skype as well as Jackie Stewart, the Formula 1 film's star subject, and producer Brett Ratner, both of whom were present in person. From "Rosemary's Baby" to "Chinatown" to "The Pianist," Polanski's classic film contributions have left a clear stamp on cinematic history. Yet last week's discussion moderated by Indiewire's Eric Kohn shined a light on a little-known part of Polanski's career. "Weekend of a Champion" was never released in the United States. As Polanski himself related via Skype during the press conference, "I eventually could count on my fingers the number of cities that (the film) was exhibited in and maybe even the number of spectators. »
- Ramzi De Coster
Inspired by Jan Gross’ book “Neighbors,” about the 1941 massacre of a Polish village’s Jewish population by their Catholic neighbors, Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s “Aftermath” retools the material into a fast-paced “backwater burg with a dark secret” quasi-horror film, complete with spooky lighting, ominous music, unexplained phenomena and hostile townfolk. The idea of framing Holocaust atrocities in contemporary genre terms, although intriguing, is not without its perils, and the secret, when revealed, looms too large to fit within the plot’s parameters, creating strange disconnects between form and content. Having unleashed a firestorm of controversy in Poland, “Aftermath” will be received Stateside as simply another fictionalized Holocaust revisitation.
Elsewhere around the globe, the film’s Polish reception — with its unmistakable tinge of right-wing anti-Semitism in a country without Jews (though left-wing intellectuals have strongly rallied to the film’s defense, of course) — has understandably outstripped any interest in the movie itself. »
- Ronnie Scheib
American Indie darling and auteur Wes Anderson has debuted the first poster for his early 20th century set ensemble piece The Grand Budapest Hotel, which will find Ralph Fiennes, a legendary concierge, taking Saiorse Ronan under the wing as his protege. The trailer will sadly have to wait until Thursday (October 17th) for it's official release but the poster has certainly amped up the excitement for what may be my most anticipated film of 2014...
The release date is yet to be confirmed but The Grand Budapest Hotel will star *deep breath*: Saiorse Ronan (The Lovely Bones), Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes), Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall), Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins), Edward Norton (The Bourne Legacy), F. Murray Abraham (Homeland), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park), Adrien Brody (The Pianist), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), Lea Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color), Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs) and of course the usual Anderson cohorts Owen Wilson, »
- Gary Collinson
With "JFK," "Nixon" and "W." under his belt, Oliver Stone knows his way around (controversial) biopics of famous American leaders. But even with that said, he's not the first guy we'd think of for a movie about Martin Luther King Jr. Then again, we're not the folks at DreamWorks, who are eyeing Stone to direct, and Jamie Foxx to star in a currently untitled project they're developing. The weight behind this one is immense, with Steven Spielberg leading the producers that also include Suzanne De Passe, Madison Jones and Sam Nappi, and Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist," "Australia") first cracking the script while Kario Salem ("Chasing Mavericks") is working on it now. But perhaps most crucially, the project has members of the Mlk family involved as well. Now for the caveats: THR says, "neither Stone nor Foxx have offers at this stage but meetings have taken place. The two are keen »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Director: Tobe Hooper. Review: Adam Wing. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I'd never even heard of Lifeforce before it dropped through my letterbox. Quite how this 80's favourite passed me by remains a mystery, but thanks to Arrow Video, I can now enjoy the fully-restored deluxe Blu-ray edition in the comfort of my own home. Originally released back in 1986, Lifeforce was directed by American horror maestro Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) hot off the heels of Poltergeist. Known for pushing the envelope, for his 1986 release, Lifeforce, Hooper decided to adapt Colin Wilson's novel The Space Vampires and in doing so, created a horror/sci-fi with a massive cult following. Who else feels a little silly now? That'll be just me then. The opening act borrows heavily from Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece - both films were written by Dan O'Bannon - but with Hooper at the »
It may prove to be one of those books that a lot of people talk about without actually reading, like A Brief History of Time, or The Tipping Point, or most of the school syllabus.
But that's Ok. The value of Geimer's book, The Girl, lies in the debate it stirs up; this is already happening through serialisation and widespread, articulate interviews with the author. If that triggers a bigger discussion among non-readers, then she has still done something useful and important.
How much do you know about the story? I knew a bit, but still experienced what hurried book reviewers call "an emotional rollercoaster" while reading one of her interviews.
- Victoria Coren Mitchell
- Sasha Stone
Mad Men producer Lionsgate is to expand its TV production business into the UK as part of a wider international push.
The company, which produces recent Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management and country & western drama Nashville, is keen to grow its TV production business outside of the Us.
“If we can do this in film, why can’t we do it in TV? It’s a natural evolution,” he said.
The company is in talks with potential co-production partners for drama and comedy projects, and is in early stage discussions with broadcasters.
There’s something fitting about Andrzej Wajda bringing Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa to life, just as it’s proper that he subtitles the film “Man of Hope.” For “Walesa. Man of Hope” is a natural companion piece to the great director’s landmark “Man of Marble” and “Man of Iron,” his influential duo on resistance to communist oppression. With a bit of understandable triumphalism devoid of hagiography, Wajda tracks Walesa’s career from shipyard worker to Nobel Prize winner, crafting an old-fashioned (in the best sense), at times stirring biopic that masterfully integrates an exceptional range of contempo footage. Sales have been brisk, and Euro theatrical play will be strong.
Stateside arthouses should also benefit, though “Walesa” will undoubtedly attract mostly an older audience whose memories of Solidarity and the heady days when Gdansk shipyard workers rose up against the Soviet system still produce a lump in the throat. »
- Jay Weissberg
It's great to be Adrien Brody.The star of "The Pianist" was drowning in a sea of female flesh this weekend when he and hot girlfriend Lara Leito hit up a Turkish nightclub in Istanbul ... and couldn't resist the undulating charms of half-naked belly dancers who lured them onto the dance floor.Brody's belly stayed hidden, however... he kept his clothes on. Read more »
- TMZ Staff
Media attention over rape charges was as traumatic as aftermath of wife's murder by Mansons, says director
• Gallery: Roman Polanski at 80
• Roman Polanski's victim to publish memoir
Roman Polanski says he felt "more persecuted" following his 2009 arrest in Switzerland on three-decade-old rape charges than he had in 1977 when he was originally arrested.
In a rare interview with Vanity Fair, the Oscar-winning director of Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist said the arrest hit him harder than any incident since the murder of his wife Sharon Tate by the Manson family in 1969, as well as the subsequent media circus that followed. "I didn't have that at all [in 1977]", he told the magazine. "This was much more like the assassination of Sharon and what happened afterwards."
Polanski successfully fought extradition to the Us in 2009 in connection with outstanding charges against him after being arrested in Switzerland, where he had been invited to attend the Zurich film festival. »
- Ben Child
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