7 items from 2016
Garry Marshall, who created some of the 1970s’ most iconic sitcoms including “Happy Days,” “The Odd Couple,” “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy” and went on to direct hit movies including “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia. He was 81. The news was first reported by Access Hollywood.
Marshall went from being TV writer to creating sitcoms that touched the funny bones of the 1970s generation and directing films that were watched over and over: “Happy Days” helped start a nostalgia craze that has arguably never abated, while “Mork and Mindy” had a psychedelically goofy quality that catapulted Robin Williams to fame and made rainbow suspenders an icon of their era. “Pretty Woman” likewise cemented Julia Roberts’ stardom, while “The Princess Diaries” made Anne Hathaway a teen favorite.
- Carmel Dagan
Garry Marshall, who created some of the 1970s’ most iconic sitcoms including “Happy Days,” “The Odd Couple,” “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy” and went on to direct hit movies including “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died Tuesday. He was 81. The news was first reported by Access Hollywood.
Marshall’s first bigscreen blockbuster was 1990’s “Pretty Woman,” starring Julia Roberts as a highly idealized hooker and Richard Gere as her client-cum-Prince Charming. The romantic comedy grossed $463 million worldwide. Roberts was Oscar nominated for best actress, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for best comedy/musical — and Marshall scored a Cesar nomination as “Pretty Woman” drew a mention in the French awards’ foreign-film category.
In 1970 Marshall had a substantial hit when he developed and exec produced an adaptation of Neil Simon’s play “The Odd Couple” for ABC. The show drew several Emmy nominations for outstanding comedy series and wins for stars Jack Klugman »
- Carmel Dagan
“I feel like I fucking blew it.”
Charlie Kaufman was talking about his career. More specifically, he was addressing his supposed failure to capitalize on the momentum generated by his scripts for “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Once upon a time, Kaufman’s name was spoken at Hollywood lunches with the same breathless excitement and opportunistic fervor that studio executives tend to reserve for young starlets — back then, he commanded more attention (if not more money) than any other screenwriter since “Lethal Weapon” scribe Shane Black. His potential in the industry seemed positively zoo-sized.
These days, so far as Kaufman is concerned, that’s no longer the case.
“I don’t feel like I’ve got that cachet that I had at a certain point,” he said, looking hard at the table between us. “I see people seizing the moment when they have the »
- David Ehrlich
The President’s Award
Actress Jirina Bohdalová will receive the President’s Award at the upcoming 51st Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival. A force in Czech entertainment for nearly 80 years and one of its most beloved figures, the still-active Bohdalová’s career spans stage, film, and television performances. Cementing her reputation as a national treasure, she also hosted (with Vladimír Dvorák) the massively successful, long-running, live TV sketch show “Televarieté,” dubbed foreign films and provided expressive voice work on numerous Czech animated TV series, particularly the fairy tales created for “Evening Story.” [“Vecernícek”]. Writer-director Slávek Horák [“Home Care”] recalls, “Whole generations [including mine] grew up listening to her every evening at 7, universally accepted by kids and parents as the bedtime call.”
So ubiquitous a figure is “Bohdalka” [as her fans affectionately refer to her] that it is nearly impossible to conceive of Czech popular culture without her.
Born in 1931 to a working-class family in Prague, Bohdalová was a precocious extrovert from a young age. »
- Alissa Simon
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
With its focus on the effects of exploration by white men on foreign lands, Ciro Guerra’s Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent will inevitably be compared to Werner Herzog’s stories of savage nature, and while Guerra is investigating some of Herzog’s most well trodden themes, the chaos of man exists in the background, while the unspoiled sit front and center here. Embrace of the Serpent centers on two explorers, separated by decades in time, »
- The Film Stage
Need a good laugh, but only got an hour and a half? Might we recommend this little lot...
I’m of the firm belief that films work most effectively when their runtime is 90 minutes or less. It forces an economy of story and dialogue which propels the film into its best self. No bloated middle, extended ending, or wasted stories here. This goes double for comedies. They should never outstay their welcome. But they seem to be getting longer, as we recently pointed out here.
So to refresh your movie comedy palette, here are 25 films that are 90 minutes or under. I’ve tried to avoid the more obvious ones, and shine a light on those comedies which might have gone a bit unappreciated over the years, but are well worth a hour and a half of your time. This lean runtime isn’t a guarantee of greatness of course, »
Santa Barbara, Calif. — The Santa Barbara International Film Festival displayed the proper foresight in late November last year when selecting “Room” star Brie Larson and “Brooklyn’s” Saoirse Ronan as first-time tandem recipients of the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award: Both have remained out in front of the best actress Oscar race in a year marked by a number of female-centric narratives, and they continue to lock horns heading into the Feb. 28 Academy Awards ceremony.
Of course, nothing approaching competitive awareness was on display Monday night as the two ingenues — who have been previously recognized by Sbiff in the Virtuosos sidebar — enjoyed their dual tributes. In fact, they’ve become quite close on the circuit.
Alas, circumstances kept them apart this time — the production of “Kong: Skull Island,” to be specific. The blockbuster sequel has filled Larson’s schedule all season as she has bounced from locations in Vietnam, »
- Kristopher Tapley
7 items from 2016
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