18 items from 2014
Back in the days of “Ben-Hur” and “The Ten Commandments,” a widescreen epic was expected to be accompanied by a lavish symphonic score and, just as often, a heavenly choir.
Is that still true for today’s epics, with all the trappings from extensive CGI and 3D to 7.1 Dolby Atmos Surround sound?
Yes, for the most part, say the composers of historical, religious and fantasy films including “Noah,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” along with the author of a new book on the subject.
“Big, massed orchestral sounds, alternating with very nuanced, soloistic use of strings and winds. That’s what comes into my ear when I think of the epic style,” says Stephen C. Meyer, author of “Epic Sound: Music in Postwar Hollywood Biblical Films,” which examines the music of such classics as “Quo Vadis,” “The Robe” and “Ben-Hur.”
- Jon Burlingame
Today, the landscape could hardly be more different. Ten of the past 12 Oscar winners for best score were born outside the U.S., and many of this year’s awards-buzz movies feature music by composers from Europe or Latin America. Some observers suggest that Oscar’s final-five list for best score might have no American composers on it for the first time in Academy history.
Argentina-born Gustavo Santaolalla (“The Book of Life”) began to sense the shift when he won his second Oscar eight years ago for “Babel.” “It was an affirmation that things were changing,” he says. “More and more people from different parts of the world are making the film industry much richer, providing it with a wider vision than »
- Jon Burlingame
For the upcoming epic action-adventure Exodus: Gods And Kings, acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) has recruited three-time Academy Award nominee Alberto Iglesias to compose the film score. The soundtrack will be from Sony Classical digitally on December 9 and on CD on December 16.
20th Century Fox releases Exodus: Gods And Kings in theaters everywhere on December 12.
When it came to the music for his visually stunning movie, Ridley Scott has opted as much for delicate arrangements as orchestral bombast – a noteworthy decision considering the truly monumental production. Strings, choir, featured soloists and soulful vocals complement Iglesias’ trademark composing style in this breathtaking score.
Iglesias provides the biblical material a historic yet modern feel. Given the challenge of maintaining the upper hand in such a large project, the highly versatile Iglesias skillfully masters the gap between subtle emotion and martial brutality.
The recording of Exodus: Gods And Kings took »
- Michelle McCue
Exclusive: British Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla talks new film venue in Egypt.
British Egyptian actor Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, United 93), in Toronto with the premiere screenings of Danis Tanovic’s Tigers and Tala Hadid’s The Narrow Frame of Midnight, is one of the driving forces behind a new cinematheque in Cairo.
‘Cimateque’ [Cima being the Egyptian slang for cinema], currently under construction, will include an 80- seater cinema, 8 and 16mm labs, library, digital archive, DVD library and cafeteria. The hub will host screenings, workshops and events throughout the year.
“Filmmaking courses and scriptwriting programmes have already taken place,” Abdalla explained to Screen. “This will be a base from which to host activities in Cairo and beyond”.
“There’s a lot of film that’s very difficult to access in Egypt,” he continued. “The country has an extraordinary film history but there are few channels for alternative filmmaking, especially for the new wave of films emerging in the region.”
Abdalla and fellow »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Twentieth Century Fox is co-financing and will handle international distribution on the film, based on the story of an attorney sent by the CIA to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot during the Cold War.
Filming is set to commence next month in New York and Berlin. Spielberg will direct and is producing with Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger. Adam Somner and Daniel Lupi are the executive producers.
Buena Vista will distribute in the Us on October 16, 2015.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Participant Media and DreamWorks Studios, which teamed on their sixth film The Hundred-Foot Journey this summer, will continue their partnership on Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War pic and the upcoming adaptation The Light Between Oceans. Spielberg’s true story spy tale stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Amy Ryan in the story of James Donovan, an attorney sent by the CIA to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Joel and Ethan Coen penned the script. Twentieth Century Fox boarded the project as co-financer in June and will distribute the pic internationally. Filming is set to start next month in New York and Berlin. Spielberg is also a producer alongside Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger, while Adam Somner and Daniel Lupi are exec producers. Disney has set an October 16, 2015 release.
Participant is also aboard for period drama The Light Between Oceans, which begins filming next month in New Zealand and Australia. »
- The Deadline Team
“We have had a successful and rewarding partnership with Participant on six total films over the past years,” said DreamWorks president and chief operating officer Jeff Small. “We look forward to continuing this productive relationship, which allows us to bring exciting and quality films to audiences around the world.”
Participant has previously come on board to provide financing for half a dozen DreamWorks titles — “The Hundred Foot Journey,” “Lincoln,” “The Help,” “The Fifth Estate,” “The Kite Runner” and “The Soloist.” “Lincoln” is the top grosser with $275 million worldwide, followed by “The Help” with $215 million.
- Dave McNary
By Robert Welkos Name: Jeff Skoll Net Worth: $2.7 billion (TheRichest.com) to $3.8 billion (Forbes) Source Of Wealth: eBay ‘Bio: Born to a middle-class family in Canada, Skoll graduated with honors in electrical engineering program at the University of Toronto, then went backpacking around the world before entering Stanford Business School, where he earned an Mba degree. He was the first full-time employee and first president of eBay, the Internet auction firm. He sold a portion of his company holdings for $2 billion. In 1999. he created the Skoll Foundation, which quickly became the world’s largest foundation for social entrepreneurship. In 2004, he created the movie production company Participant Media. In 2009. he founded the Skoll Global Threats Fund, focusing on issues that could bring the world to its knees: climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and Middle East conflict. Marital Status: Single Hollywood Connections: Participant Media seeks to make films that »
- Robert W. Welkos
Leading lights in Abu Dhabi’s nascent film sector have told Hollywood executives they are ramping up efforts to create a Middle East media and content hub as the region invests in sustainable alternatives to an oil-based economy.
CEO Noura Al Kaabi (pictured) of twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, and Image Nation chairman Mohamed Al Mubarak were speaking at a panel on Wednesday (11) as part of a promotional trip to Los Angeles.
“We want to reach a level where we’re the hub of creative content in the region,” said Al Kaabi, whose organisation operates on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and Abu Dhabi Media Summit.
In recent years twofour54 and/or the Commission have enticed a number of high-profile productions with Abu Dhabi’s fresh 30% production incentive.
These include Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode VII, which remained »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
While “World War Z” is now viewed as the modern-day runaway film project and all that implies of ego—hubris, irresponsibility and whatnot—the project began with the best of intentions. Brad Pitt’s Plan B Pictures, the same company that developed and won a Best Picture Oscar for “12 Years A Slave,” wanted to try to create their own franchise. Pitt, a producer/actor with diverse taste, wanted a movie his boys could enjoy when they grew up. They hired a respected and eclectic filmmaker Marc Forster (“The Kite Runner,” “Monster’s Ball”) and talented writers—Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof—but the project went south on them regardless when they realized the tone and rhythm of an action movie is much more complicated than they realized. And while the press viewed it as a disaster in the making, the movie’s $540 million worldwide gross turned out to »
- Edward Davis
One would think that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss might have their hands full, what with overseeing a sprawling, multimillion-dollar epic that just got renewed for two more seasons. Apparently not: The ambitious duo have signed on to write, direct, and produce their first feature film,* an adaption of Stephen Hunter’s 1995 novel Dirty White Boys, about three escaped convicts and the lawman trying to track them down. Still, it should be an easy transition, seeing as they helm a show that is literally filled with dirty white dudes. Seriously, have you ever tried to shower in the Seven Kingdoms? The water pressure is terrible. * Benioff has written screenplays for several films, including Troy, The Kite Runner, and Brothers. »
- Anna Silman
The project is based on the 1995 novel of the same name, written by Stephen Hunter, whose novel Point of Impact was adapted into the 2007 feature Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg. The story centers on three inmates lead by Lamar Pye, who escape from prison and soon thereafter are tracked by state trooper Bud Pertwee.
It isn't known when this will actually move forward into production, since the demands of writing and shooting Game of Thrones are so immense. David Benioff revealed that an informal chat with other writers such as Scott Frank is what piqued the pair's interest in the book.
"We're sitting around bullsh*tting and we started talking about lines we were jealous of before it came around to the familiar topic of greatest opening lines in novels. »
Dorothy: What kind of a horse is that? I’ve never seen a horse like that before!
Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: And never will again, I fancy. There’s only one of him and he’s it. He’s the Horse of a Different Color you’ve heard tell about.
—The Wizard of Oz, 1939
I love to read. I read every chance I get, including always bringing a book with me to read on my lunch hour.
I don’t get people who don’t read.
They make me crazed.
The other day when I came into the lounge, I noticed that someone had left three books in the lounge; a couple of bodice rippers, and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, whose first book was The Kite Runner. Both of Hosseini’s books reflect his Afghani childhood and heritage, and both are equally brilliant, though I »
- Mindy Newell
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 6 Feb 2014 - 06:08
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2007, and another 25 overlooked gems...
For some reason, the number three was a common factor in several blockbuster movies of 2007. The third film in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series (At World's End) dominated the box office, Spider-Man 3 marked Sam Raimi's last entry as director in the series, while Mike Myers went for a hat trick of hits with Shrek The Third.
I Am Legend was the third and most financially successful attempt to bring Richard Matheson's classic novel to the big screen, Rush Hour 3 marked Jackie Chan's last action pairing with Chris Tucker, while Zack Snyder's musky sword-swinger 300 was notable for having the number three in the title.
Iffy attempts at numerology aside, 2007 was also a superb for year for movies in general - particularly underappreciated ones, »
An intimate woman’s drama, laced by moments of comedy, “Ma ma” turns on Magda, a woman who reacts valiantly to tragedy, digging deep into her interior. “She and those in her intimate circle will live unsuspected scenes of humor and of delicate happiness,” a press release announced Tuesday.
Though Medem is now based out of Los Angeles, “Ma ma” will shoot entirely in Spain in Spanish this spring. It will co-star Luis Tosar (“Miami Vice”) and Asier Exteandia (“Broken Embraces”). Medem will co-produce. Madrid-based Morena Films, one of Spain’s still active significant production houses that has recently opened L.A. offices, will associate produce. Alvaro Longoria, producer of Medem’s “Room in Rome,” will produce out of Spain. »
- John Hopewell
This is history firsthand, in progress, and unfinished. An invaluable record of revolutionary spirit, and of the lengths to which a threatened leadership will go to preserve itself. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
We watched it on the news, but we never got the full story. (We never do.) On and off between late 2010 and 2013, thousands of protesters against “injustice, corruption, poverty, ignorance” filled Tahrir Square in Cairo, first demanding that despotic leader Hosni Mubarak step down, then to push for the change that the army leadership that took over promised and hadn’t delivered, then for free and fair elections, then against the even more dictatorial Mohammed Morsi, who won an election and granted himself pharaohic powers beyond what even Mubarak had. The fight for a democratic Egypt is far from over, which »
- MaryAnn Johanson
It’s the eleventh of February in Cairo, Egypt, 2011, and something’s in the air. Countless thousands have gathered for days to protest against the nefarious regime of President Mubarak in Tahrir Square, a nondescript public space transformed into a bustling hub of revolution. Later in the day, Mubarak steps down from his presidency, allowing Egypt some room to breathe and any number of bright new possibilities for its future. This cathartic opening for Jehane Noujaim’s latest film feels like a conventional finish for a more run-of-the-mill documentary, where the struggles of an entire country coalesce into one defining moment of resolution. But if we place ourselves in the present of 2014, it’s painfully clear that Egypt is still nowhere near achieving the democracy it deserves, and this is simply the beginning of an uprising as blood-flecked and tear-ridden as any that came before it – and Noujaim documents it »
- Gary Green
Netflix has announced a premiere date for the well-received documentary The Square. Directed by Jehane Noujaim (Control Room), the film chronicles the Tahrir Square protest movement in Egypt from the overthrow of military leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011 to the ousting of Mohammed Morsi in 2013. The pic appears to be a gripping look at the movement from the frontlines, capturing the immediacy and intensity from all angles. The Square picked up the Documentary People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it will now be available for all to see when it premieres on Netflix January 17th at 12:01 am Pt. For a better idea of what to expect, watch the trailer for The Square after the jump. Here’s the official synopsis for The Square: The film captures the immediacy and intensity of the protests in Tahrir Square from the 2011 overthrow of military leader Hosni Mubarak through »
- Adam Chitwood
18 items from 2014
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners