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Departure Day: When it comes to TV, is closure important?
If you happen to follow a decent number of TV critics on Twitter, you may have noticed a minor eruption of late. A schism has emerged, prompted by accounts like The Cancellation Bear, which concerns itself solely with the topic of whether or not series are likely to survive based on current ratings patterns. That may sound perfectly innocent on its own, but quite a few admirers have expressed the notion that they refuse to dive into a series if they get the sense that it will come to a premature end, thereby robbing them of closure. This idea has, naturally, left many critics incensed: isn’t TV a medium founded on chaos, on the thrill of working within limitations and at the whims of fickle audiences? Moreover, isn’t it silly to always want tidy resolution in the context »
The Digital Era: Real-time Films From 2000 To Today
40 years before, in 1960, lighter cameras enabled a cinéma vérité-flavored revolution in street realism. By 2000, new digital cameras suggested a whole new set of promises, including telling stories that would have been unimaginable within minimum budgets for features even ten years before. In 2000, film purists warned that digital still didn’t look as good as celluloid, but that didn’t stop at least three innovative filmmakers from boldly going where no filmmaker had gone before. Mike Figgis’ Timecode (2000) was the first star-supported (Salma Hayek, Stellan Skarsgard, Holly Hunter, among many others) single-shot project since Rope, underlining that earlier film’s timelessness. If Run Lola Run could do one story three times, then Timecode would do three or four stories one time: the movie is four separate ninety-minute shots shown all at the same time, each in one quadrant of the screen. Where do you look? »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
How did an 80s Van Damme action flick emerge from a failed Spider-Man movie and Masters Of The Universe sequel? Ryan takes a look...
Cannon Films was in deep trouble by 1987. Its boom years, between the late 70s to the mid-80s, were largely thanks to an eclectic and hurriedly-made collection of B-movies: Chuck Norris action pictures, Charles Bronson revenge flicks and lots of things with the word ‘ninja’ in the title.
Thanks to its outsider status and anything-for-a-buck approach to filmmaking, Cannon Films became a major name in Hollywood, the grinning faces of its brusque founders - producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus - frequently appearing in TV news reports and tinseltown trade papers.
For now, it looks like Angelina Jolie’s better half and a squadron that includes Shia “I’m not famous anymore” Labeouf and Logan Lerman will steer “Fury” to the top of the box office chart with a $25 million opening from 3,155 locations. “Fury” cost $68 million to produce and was backed by Columbia Pictures in association with Qed International and LStar Capital. It’s the brainchild of “End of Watch” auteur David Ayer and has enjoyed strong reviews for its story of men at war.
- Brent Lang
How do you solve a problem like “Serena”? That, at least, is the question industry watchers have been asking about Danish helmer Susanne Bier’s mysteriously withheld American feature — which, despite wrapping in 2012 with the enticing star duo of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, has sat on the shelf ever since. With the film finally out in the open, the question is no easier to answer: An arrestingly nihilistic Depression melodrama, marked by courageous performances and exquisite production values, this story of a timber-industry power couple undone by financial and personal corruption nonetheless boasts neither a narrative impetus nor a perceptible objective. The result is both problematic and fascinating, an unsympathetic spiral of human tragedy that plays a little like a hand-me-down folk ballad put to film. It’s not hard to see why a U.S. distributor has been slow to step forward.
Magnolia Pictures, sister outfit of the »
- Guy Lodge
This year marks the 50th anniversary of North America’s oldest competitive international film festival. From Oct. 9–23, Chicagoans can take in a vast array of stories old and new, long and short, near and far. Best of all? Tickets for the Chicago International Film Festival start at only $7 per film. “There are a couple of different things we’re doing this year,” festival programming director Mimi Plauché told Backstage. “One is a much larger number of retrospective, repertory screenings.” Hits such as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which had its world premiere in Chicago in 1975, will be screened alongside entries for the New Directors Competition. Award-winning director Oliver Stone, whose student film premiered at the festival at the beginning of his career, will present “Alexander: Ultimate Edition” and a director’s cut of “Natural Born Killers,” as well as participate in talkbacks with audiences. “A lot of »
Christopher Reeve Foundation for spinal cord and stem cell research (photo: Darryl Hannah and Christopher Reeve in 'Rear Window') (See previous post: "'Superman' Christopher Reeve and his Movies: Ten-Year Death Anniversary.") In his 1998 autobiography Still Me, Christopher Reeve recalled: "At an especially bleak moment [prior to an operation that might result in his death], the door [of his hospital room] flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay." The "old friend" was the recently deceased Robin Williams, whom Reeve had befriended while both were studying at Juillard. Eventually, Reeve became a staunch advocate for spinal cord and stem cell research, sponsoring with his wife the Christopher Reeve Foundation — later renamed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (and formerly known »
- Andre Soares
The 50th anniversary edition of the Chicago International Film Festival, running from October 9-23, will feature, as Ray Pride notes, "notable appearances and master classes, including Michael Moore presenting his restored version of Roger & Me, a film that was nearly lost; producer-turned-online distributor Ted Hope talking about his memoir-manifesto, Hope For Film, and Oliver Stone, with a director’s cut of Natural Born Killers and Alexander: Ultimate Edition, a fourth version of his 2004 epic, reportedly with a warm handful of homoerotic content restored to its 207-minute duration. An Isabelle Huppert tribute will trail four features, including Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher and Claire Denis’s White Material, both shown in 35mm." » - David Hudson »
Chicago – One of the finest places in the world to witness its best cinema is the Chicago International Film Festival, which is now hitting its golden year of 50. This year’s festival boasts a lineup of top tier entries from world renowned filmmakers, packaged in the distinct Chicago flavor that keeps the city on a level all its own.
The festivities begin on Thursday, October 9 with a presentation of Liv Ullman’s “Miss Julie,” an adaptation of the August Strindberg play starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain. With the film playing at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Ullman and Farrell are scheduled to walk the red carpet, along with “The Fugitive” director Andrew Davis and Academy Award-nominated actress Kathleen Turner.
A delicious lineup of films from around the world, adored at previous festivals and now ready for Chicago audiences, begin their presentation the next day (Friday October 10) with all festival screenings »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
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This fall there is no shortage of book adaptations making their way to the big screen. Just like we saw over the summer, studios are turning to literary bestsellers in order to capture the same success on the big screen. In fact, at least 15 stories of all genres are getting the big budget treatment. While it remains to be seen just how well each film will fair at the box office, we know the source material is a hit.
In the gallery above is a collection of books we’re dying to read before we head to the theaters. Among them are two hit novels by former Entertainment Weekly writer Gillian Flynn, who has everyone buzzing. The most anticipated film of the fall surely has to be Gone Girl, which will see Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike playing an unhappy couple in the David Fincher-directed thriller. »
- Stacy Lambe
Vaughn (Wedding Crashers), whose interest in the project TVLine exclusively reported in August, will play Frank Semyon. Frank is a career criminal whose move into legitimate enterprise is jeopardized when his business partner is killed.
Related | True Detective Finale Draws Record Crowd
Farrell (Alexander) will play Ray Velcoro, described by the network as “a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him.” (Word of Farrell’s »
Colin Farrell will star in season two of HBOs noir detective thriller True Detective, he confirmed at the weekend. In an interview with Irelands Sunday World, the star of In Bruges and Phone Booth said: Im doing the second series. Im so excited.
The revelation comes after months of speculation as to who will lead the show, with huge name Oscar-night regulars such as Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and Christian Bale rumoured to be in the running for parts. All three denied they would be involved.
Continue reading »
- Guardian TV
Studio 8 closed its distribution deal with Sony on Sept. 8 with plans to release six films a year. Robinov, the former Warner Bros. studio chief, said at that point that he expected to raise $1 billion from financiers and a partnership China’s Fosun Group.
Brassel joined Warner Bros. in 1986 and oversaw “The Fugitive,” “Outbreak,” Oliver Stone’s “Alexander” and “Interview With The Vampire.” He became a VP of production at DreamWorks Skg, then returned to Warner Bros. in 2001.
Robinov carries a strong reputation for maintaining strong relationships with filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan and Ben Affleck. He oversaw “Gravity” and “The Dark Knight” franchise during his tenure at Warner Bros.
Prior to taking the Mythology gig, Silk worked at Warner-based Lin Pictures and co-produced “Gangster Squad. »
- Dave McNary
Once again, we find ourselves in that strange spot of anticipation. When a film takes two years from the end of principal photography to cinema release, does that indicate trouble? If it has taken so long to ‘tinker’ with it in post-production, is it going to be a mess? All these questions will soon be answered, as Serena has finally got a trailer.
Written by Christopher Kyle (Alexander, K-19: The Widowmaker) and adapted from the 2008 book of the same name by Ron Rash, this period drama is directed by Susanne Bier, who previously delivered Things We Lost In The Fire. Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton in 1929, the film sees the couple travel from Boston to the mountains of North Carolina to build an all-conquering timber empire. Though Serena is ambitious, driven and talented, her position is threatened by the discovery that she is »
- Sarah Myles
After completing production in 2012, Susanne Bier's drama Serena has taken a long time to get to the big screen. Photos from the film surfaced online after shooting was done, and even more actually popped up earlier this year, but we've been waiting to hear when the film might actually get released. Well, the film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper will finally hit theaters in the United Kingdom next month, and the first trailer from overseas has arrived. Set in North Carolin around the time of the Depression, a man (Cooper) struggles to maintain the future of his timber empire and things only get more complicated when he learns his wife (Lawrence) cannot bear children to continue his legacy. Watch below! Here's the first UK trailer for Susanne Bier's Serena, originally from Yahoo UK: Serena is directed by Oscar-winner Susanne Bier (In a Better World, Things We Lost in the Fire »
- Ethan Anderton
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series
Francesca Paris, Department Head Hairstylist
Lisa Dellechiaie, Key Hairstylist
Therese Ducey, Key Hairstylist
(Winner) “Downton Abbey”
Magi Vaughan, Department Head Hairstylist
Adam James Phillips, Key Hairstylist
Kevin Alexander, Department Head Hairstylist
Candice Banks, Key Hairstylist
Rosalia Culora, Hairstylist
Gary Machin, Hairstylist
Nicola Mount, Hairstylist
Theraesa Rivers, Department Head Hairstylist
Arturo Rojas, Key Hairstylist
Valerie Jackson, Hairstylist
Ai Nakata, Hairstylist
Colleen Labaff, Department Head Hairstylist
Kimberley Spiteri, Co-Department Head Hairstylist
Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special
Mary Guerrero, Department Head Hairstylist
Kimi Messina, »
- Variety Staff
Outside of the Angelina Jolie action film Salt, all the hits on Australian helmer Phillip Noyce’s resume are book adaptations. That ranges from his breakout hit Dead Calm to Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger, Sliver, The Bone Collector, Rabbit-Proof Fence, and The Quiet American; he is currently adapting Philip Roth’s American Pastoral. Noyce’s latest book transfer is The Weinstein Company’s The Giver, a Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weiden-scripted adaptation of Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning children’s novel that took 21 years to reach the screen. That glacial development pace allowed high action dystopian tomes like The Hunger Games and Divergent to score with young audiences, books that were written much later and likely were influenced by Lowry. Vets Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes are surrounded by young audience pleasing newcomers Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan and Taylor Swift, but »
- Mike Fleming Jr
When Oscar-winning writer/director Oliver Stone first unleashed his epic Alexander the Great biopic back in 2004, critics launched a war of words and audiences retreated from the box office battle lines. In the aftermath of its disastrous theatrical release, Alexander was re-tooled for its 2005 home entertainment debut by Stone, who trimmed 8 minutes for a special “Director’s Cut” DVD, whose packaging promised a “faster-paced, more action packed” film. Although the “Director’s Cut” sold moderately well, certain critics pummeled Stone once again, this time for further de-gaying an already largely de-gayed narrative about history’s most famous bisexual conqueror. Determined to placate critics once and for all, Stone re-edited the film a third time in 2007 and, rather than subtracting footage, added in a total of 40 extra minutes, which included more literal sword fighting and implied naked sword fighting. The resulting release, Alexander Revisited, was supposed to be the final word on the film. »
- Harrison Pierce
"The Giver" is the latest dystopian thriller to follow an attractive teen who must fight against the totalitarian authority of misguided adults. And if that sounds like every other post-apocalyptic young adult film ever, keep in mind that at least "The Giver" came out a decade or two before such recent Ya offerings as "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." Directed by Phillip Noyce (his first feature since 2010's Angelina Jolie thriller "Salt") and starring an impressive cast (producer Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard, and a nearly unrecognizable Taylor Swift).
Based on Lois Lowry's best seller, "The Giver" focuses on a utopian community where there's no discrimination, war, pain, or hate but also no love, emotion, art, or joy. The goal is "Sameness." On the day when all 16-year-olds receive their permanent job assignment, Jonas (Aussie newcomer Brenton Thwaites) is selected to inherit the role of Receiver of Memory, »
- Sandie Angulo Chen
With Beyond Fright, we like to focus on things somewhat on the fringe of horror. Whether it be great music or just films that might be on the tip of something based in genres that might not be considered “horror” by most standards, but still have that great genre vibe. While brainstorming ideas for articles, it occurred to me that I write with rituals in the back of my mind. Now before you jump to conclusions and picture me with a black and red robe on while sacrificing a virgin, let me clarify: I don’t mean rituals in that sense, but in the terms of specific things that i find myself doing before and during the actual writing of an article, review or various other forms of doing what I enjoy: creating. Music has always played a huge part in my life, and when sitting down to write something for Icons, »
- Jerry Smith
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