18 items from 2015
We film critics have an often infuriating tendency to write as much about ourselves, and the state of our profession, as we do about the movies. This is hardly a new phenomenon, of course, but it may be more prevalent than ever before: Whether we’re seeking out pockets of online validation or trying to provoke those with whom we violently disagree (or both), the rise of social media has made it all too easy to engage directly with our ideological allies and adversaries alike. At the same time, the continual thinning of our professional ranks has fueled endless arguments and think-pieces about whether the Internet has succeeded in decimating or diversifying the field.
All of which makes it particularly important to remember Richard Corliss — not just because the veteran Time critic hailed from that honorable, not-yet-bygone tradition of wordsmiths who composed sharp, beautifully considered reviews for the printed page, »
- Justin Chang
Since rocketing to worldwide fame after starring in the highly-acclaimed “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Zhang Ziyi has steadily filled her portfolio not only with multi-awarded acting roles–the most memorable perhaps being Mei (“House of Flying Daggers”) and Sakamoto Chiyo (“Memoirs of a Geisha”)–but also some magnificent producer credits.
Zhang’s first produced film, “Sophie’s Revenge,” may have gotten mixed reviews from critics but went on to bag a handful of awards, including Best New Director from China Film Media Awards and Next Generation Director Awards, Best Supporting Actress from China Hua Ding Film Awards, and Most Popular Actress from China Student Film Awards for Zhang herself.
This year, Zhang Ziyi continues to explore the cinematic field as a producer with the movie “The Baby from Universe.”
Juicy Details of the Much-Anticipated “The Baby from Universe”
Otherwise known as “Oh My God” (从天儿降/Cóng Tiān Er »
- Mary Ann Simuangco
Production has begun on “The Great Wall,” Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s first English-language film. The movie is also the first for Legendary East, the ambitious Chinese offshoot of Hollywood super-producer Legendary Entertainment.
Legendary describes the story as “an elite force making a last stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.” Locations include the China Film Group Studios at Huairou, near Beijing, and the coastal city of Qingdao.
A topnotch crew includes cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh (“The Piano,” “Once Were Warriors,” “Boardwalk Empire,”); costume designer Mayes Rubeo (“Avatar,” “Apocalypto”); production designer John Myhre (“Chicago,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Nine”); VFX supervisor Phil Brennan (“Snow White and the Huntsman,” “The Wolverine”); and film editor Craig Wood (“Pirates of the Caribbean, »
- Patrick Frater
What would you do if, one random day, you find out that you might be a twin, separated at birth from your sibling? This is exactly what happened to Samantha Futerman, an actress living in the United States (her credits include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “21 & Over,” and more recently, “The Kroll Show”), who faced this bizarre, movie-like, scenario when she got friend requested on Facebook by Anaïs Bordier. Seeing the potential in documenting the experience, Samantha and her friend Ryan Miyamoto co-directed “Twinsters,” which tells the heart-warming story of how Sam and Anaïs connected from different continents and after decades of never knowing the other existed. Sure, it’s hard not to notice that the documentary spins its wheels at times, but there’s something incredibly touching about the warmth and comfort of family and acceptance. Sam and Anaïs were born on November 19th, 1987, in Busan, South Korea. Each had »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
Into the Woods opened on Broadway in 1987, with the music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim and the book by James Lapine. It is Sondheim’s most performed musical and one of his best known works. The story combines familiar characters from childhood fairy tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and the ubiquitous Witch, and explores their journeys to get their wish, as well as the negative consequences of the small dishonesties committed by each character to get what they want. As the witch sings, “Told a little lie/Stole a little gold/Broke a little vow/Did you?/Had to get your prince/Had to get your cow/Had to get your wish/Doesn’t matter how.” As the story unfolds, the traditional dichotomies of good and evil, and our expectations of each character, are shaken.
Fairy tales exist in a world of fantasy, and have been »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Today we have the first photos of Melissa Benoist as Supergirl in the upcoming "Supergirl" TV series, which co-stars Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen, Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El, Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, Chyler Leigh as Alexandra "Alex" Danvers, Jeremy Jordan as Winslow "Winn" Schott, David Harewood as Hank Henshaw and, in mystery roles, Dean Cain and Helen Slater. Check out the photos below. The costume of Supergirl was designed by three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood, who also designed the costumes for "The Flash" and "Arrow" film credits include "Alice in Wonderland," "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Chicago." "In designing Supergirl, I wanted to embrace the past," she explained. "But more importantly, thrust her into the street-style action hero of today." "Supergirl" is based on the characters from DC Comics and centers on Kara Zor-El, who comes to Earth after escaping the destruction of Krypton. After many years hiding her abilities, »
Iconic Costume Designed by Three-Time Academy Award® Winner andEleven-Time Nominee Colleen Atwood
The costume for Supergirl was designed by three-time Oscar® winner Colleen Atwood, who also designed the costumes for The Flash & Arrow and whose motion picture credits include Academy Awards® for her work on Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha and Chicago, as well as eight additional Oscar® nominations for films such as Into the Woods, Snow White and the Huntsman, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Sleepy Hollow, among others
- Matt MacNabb
Supergirl stars Benoist as Kara Danvers née Zor-El, who since arriving on Earth years ago in the wake of planet Krypton’s destruction has been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin (Kal-El aka Superman). At age 24, Kara decides to embrace her super abilities and become the hero she was destined to be.
RelatedSupergirl Scoop: Grey »
“Supergirl” has finally arrived.
Atwood, who’s been nominated for Academy Awards an additional eight times, was also the costume designer behind “Into the Woods,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Chicago,” among others.
“Supergirl,” in contention for the 2015-16 season, follows Kara Danvers/Kara Zor-El (Benoist, “Glee,” “Whiplash”), Superman’s cousin, at age 24, when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be, after leaving Krypton and hiding her powers.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Warner Bros. Television has released the first two images from CBS's new pilot Supergirl, based on the characters from DC Comics. Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers/Kara Zor-El and Supergirl. The costume for Supergirl was designed by three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood, who also designed the costumes for The Flash & Arrow and whose motion picture credits include Academy Awards for her work on Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha and Chicago, as well as eight additional Oscar nominations for films such as Into the Woods, Snow White and the Huntsman, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Sleepy Hollow, among others. Here's what Colleen Atwood had to say about the Supergirl costume in a statement.
"In designing Supergirl, I wanted to embrace the past, but more importantly, thrust her into the street-style action hero of today."
Production begins on the Supergirl pilot this week. Born on the planet Krypton, »
Warner Bros. Television, DC Entertainment, and CBS have released the first official images from Supergirl, the upcoming TV series which stars Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, Mehcad Brooks (Jimmy Olsen), Calista Flockhart (Cat Grant), Chyler Leigh (Alexandra “Alex” Danvers), David Harewood (Hank Henshaw), Faran Tahir (The Commander), Dean Cain and Helen Slater (both in unspecified roles). Oscar winner Colleen Atwood (Memoirs of a Geisha) designed the suit you see below, and she had this to say about the design. "In designing Supergirl, I wanted to embrace the past, but more importantly, thrust her into the street-style action hero of today." What do you guys think? »
The Oscar for Best Costume Design is sometimes one of the hardest to predict. The Costume Designers Guild offers some assistance, with their awards for Period, Fantasy, and Contemporary films, but since 1999, when the guild first started handing out prizes, they’ve predicted the eventual Oscar winner only seven times (from 1999-2004, the Period and Fantasy Awards were combined; in 2005, the category was split): 2002: Colleen Atwood, “Chicago” (Period/Fantasy) 2003: Ngila Dickson, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (Period/Fantasy, Oscar shared with Richard Taylor) 2005: Colleen Atwood, “Memoirs of a Geisha” (Period) 2008: Michael O’Connor, “The Duchess” (Period) 2009: Sandy Powell, “The Young Victoria” (Period) 2010: Colleen Atwood, “Alice in Wonderland” (Fantasy) 2012: Jacqueline Durran, “Anna Karenina” -Break- Updated: Experts' Oscars predic...' »
Best Cinematography is one of the most closely watched technical categories at the Oscars, due largely to the fact that it’s often so difficult to predict. Indeed, since 1986, when the American Society of Cinematographers first started handing out prizes, only 11 of its winners went on to triumph at the Oscars: -Break- 1990: Dean Semler, “Dances with Wolves” 1995: John Toll, “Braveheart” 1996: John Seale, “The English Patient” 1997: Russell Carpenter, “Titanic” 1999: Conrad L. Hall, “American Beauty” 2002: Conrad L. Hall, “Road to Perdition” 2005: Dion Beebe, “Memoirs of a Geisha” 2007: Robert Elswit, “There Will Be Blood” 2008: Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire” 2010: Wally Pfister, “Inception” 2013: Emmanuel Lubeszki, “Gravity” Updated: Experts' Oscars predictions in 24 categories This year, th...' »
Scheduled to shoot in Riga, Latvia and Kobe, Japan from August 15, the tragicomedy is co-produced by Linda Krukle for Latvia’s KrukFilms, Eiko and Jason Gray for Japan’s Loaded Films and Sten Saluveer for Estonia’s Oree Films.
The story follows a Japanese woman’s efforts to open a sushi restaurant in Riga whilst coming to terms with the rich food culture of Northern Europe and the sudden reappearance of a long-lost husband. Latvian celebrity chef Martins Sirmais will also serve as food consultant on the film.
The €1.3m project, which recently passed the UniJapan Co-Production Certificate, will also be backed by Latvian investor Boris Teterev, who recently invested in Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’ Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
- email@example.com (Liz Shackleton)
Film scores are pretty ephemeral to a large chunk of the movie-going populace, where music isn’t noticeable unless a triumphant fanfare or sweeping ballad draws enough attention to itself. So if scoring is already the film industry’s unappreciated middle child, how silly is a list about ones that haven’t been released yet? Very silly. Oftentimes, composers don’t even sign with a project until well into production, so speculating on the best film music of 2015, like any year, forces one to work with what’s known. Sound on Sight will offer more in-depth analysis on the most buzzed about music as the year rolls on but for now, here are the ten movie scores I’m most excited to hear in 2015.
Alan Silvestri’s last great score was for a TV show, and his last great film score was for one of the more forgettable Marvel entries. »
- David Klein
If the first trailer released last month didn't have enough action for your liking, then feast your eyes on the second trailer for RADiUS-twc's Everly, starring Salma Hayek. This action-thriller centers on Salma Hayek's title character, who squares off with numerous assassins sent by her ex-boyfriend, a vicious mob boss, while holed up in her apartment, as she tries to save her estranged mother and daughter. The story is entirely set in Everly's apartment, with RADiUS-twc setting a January 23 release on iTunes and VOD, before it hits theaters February 27.
Togo Igawa (The Last Samurai; Memoirs of a Geisha), Masashi Fujimoto (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), Hiroyuki Watanabe, Jennifer Blanc, Caroline Chikezie and Gabriella Wright co-star in Everly. The film is directed by Joe Lynch (Chillerama), based on a concept he created with Yale Hannon, who wrote the screenplay.
Stars: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, James Corden, Daniel Huttlestone, Christine Baranski, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, Lilla Crawford, Simon Russell Beale, Johnny Depp, Billy Magnussen, Richard Glover, Frances de la Tour | Written by James Lapine, Stephen Sondheim | Directed by Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall has had plenty of success in the world of musical motion picture. His 2002 film adaptation of Chicago won Academy Awards and boosted Marshall’s name into the Hollywood “it crowd” in the process. Following up Chicago with a lovely adaptation of the Arthur Golden novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, showed Marshall was an accomplished director who was capable of more than musicals. Those two films showed style, heart and confidence. Since then, Marshall has directed Nine, a less well-received musical in 2009, On Stranger Tides, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, in 2011, a film that many thought was unnecessary and failed in comparison to its prior instalments, »
- Chris Cummings
Not surprisingly, most of the best costume design contenders are period pieces: "Into the Woods," "Exodus: Gods and Kings," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Selma" and "Inherent Vice." They are true to the period, stylish and relevant fashion statements. 1. Three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood ("Alice in Wonderland," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Chicago") is the favorite again for "Into the Woods." Rob Marshall's post-9/11 take on Stephen Sondheim's fairy tale deconstruction offers an assortment of glam and grandeur. When Meryl Streep's Witch transforms into a beauty, she becomes a variation of the Blue Fairy. "Her costume's made with big turn-of-the-century sleeves out of material that's hand-made with leather cording on chiffon," Atwood told me. "I took what I had of the Witch's costume -- the silhouette -- and made everything bigger. The stripes are wider, the color's »
- Bill Desowitz
18 items from 2015
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