18 items from 2015
Right from the get-go, Wes Anderson’s bookish sensibility has been a huge part of his appeal. His first two films, “Bottle Rocket” and “Rushmore,” are imbued with the kind of dense, rich characterization that you typically find only in good fiction. But it wasn’t until his third and arguably best film, 2001’s family epic “The Royal Tenenbaums,” that Anderson’s literary leanings blossomed into a fully realized stylistic obsession. His inclinations as such have been in place ever since, from the short stories that pop up in “The Darjeeling Limited” (“the characters are all fictional”, as one character is fond of saying), the meticulously illustrated children’s books favored by Suzy Bishop in “Moonrise Kingdom” and the arch, omnipotent narration and storybook structure of his most recent concoction “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Save for his delightful stop-motion yarn “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Anderson has never made an outright adaptation »
- Nicholas Laskin
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
Wes Anderson's films, colorful and creative as they may be, generally recycle the same cast of white actors. (Even The Darjeeling Limited, which was set in India, somehow still starred three white dudes.) One of them, Jason Schwartzman, happened to be on The View Friday to promote his new film The Overnight with Adam Scott. But never one to miss an opportunity to deliver major side-eye, Whoopi Goldberg, in a Valley Girl accent, used their appearance to call out Anderson's diversity problem. "I noticed there's not a lot of folks of color," she told Schwarztman. Her solution: Hire Whoopi! She proceeded to give her actual résumé to Schwarztman — who couldn't believe a black Egot winner still has trouble getting work in Hollywood — to pass along to his good friend. Your move, Wes. »
- Dee Lockett
Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray is generally considered one of cinema's greatest artists, but his most seminal achievement was nearly scarred beyond repair. The original negatives for the 'Apu' Trilogy were severely burned in a nitrate fire more than 20 years ago, all but killing any hope for future generations to see it in decent condition. But now that The Criterion Collection has given it a miraculous new 4K digital restoration (this Av Club interview on the painstaking restoration process is a must-read), the films will live on and even look as good as, if not better, than ever. Ray is one of those directors whom most movie fans have probably read or heard about without necessarily having watched one of his films. Wes Anderson acolytes may recall the director’s effusive praise of Ray’s work during the press rounds for his 2007 “The Darjeeling Limited,” a film set in India that »
- Erik McClanahan
If you think about it, you can probably hear Owen Wilson say "wow" in your head with incredible clarity right now. You know why? Because he's said it so many times in his movies. From The Darjeeling Limited to Wedding Crashers, the actor says "wow" so much that someone literally made a supercut of all the times he's uttered it. Is it in his contract that he needs at least two "wows" per role? Or is it just ad-libbed? Whatever the reason, it's ridiculous to watch strung together like this. »
Owen Wilson is pretty easy to impress it seems – a brilliant new video has emerged demonstrating how many times the actor says "wow!" in his films.
In total, the actor says his favourite word 54 times, meaning he averages nearly one "wow!" per film.
Earlier this year, the trailer for Wilson's new action thriller No Escape debuted.
In the film, Wilson partners up with co-star Pierce Brosnan to ensure his family's safety amidst a violent revolt in South East Asia.
The sequel was officially announced at Paris Fashion week in March when the comedy actors walked the catwalk as their alter egos Derek Zoolander and Hansel during Valentino's show. »
Filmmaker Wes Anderson has, over the years, infused his features with a very distinct style, one that not only sets him apart from other directors in the medium, but also makes his works instantly recognisable. Anderson’s distinctiveness also extends to the way he goes about shooting action scenes, which often pop up in his features, be they fights between siblings, as in The Darjeeling Limited, or full-scale shootouts between multiple people, such as in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Now Vimeo user Dávid Velenczei has made a supercut examining the myriad ways in which Anderson portrays different violent encounters, from the preparation to the actual action to the aftermath. The video, titled “Wes Anderson’s Violence”, can be seen below, with the following message attached.
- Deepayan Sengupta
Sky1 is partnering with comic book legend Stan Lee for a new television series.
Lucky Man will star James Nesbitt as Harry Clayton, a London detective possessing a special charm that imbues him with fantastic luck, according to The Guardian.
Lee said: "Luck has always been a fascinating subject to me, and I am excited to finally share that fascination with audiences around the world. With all the creative projects I have worked on, I sure am a lucky man myself."
Lucky Man will be made by Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films, in partnership with Lee's Pow! Entertainment. »
A grownup storybook of a movie spun out of candy-colored nonsense that challenges you to embrace its falseness and deny its romance. I’m “biast” (pro): love Wes Anderson
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Thank god for Wes Anderson. Our entertainment ecosystem may be one of bland tediousness in which creatively bankrupt movie machines spit out the same stories over and over again, but once in a while Anderson will commute from the other plane of existence he lives on — I imagine the colors are brighter there, and the air always faintly redolent of baking cookies — to bestow upon us a cinematic bonbon such as The Grand Budapest Hotel. Anderson’s boons are a torment as much as a treat, of course, reminders of just how unoriginal almost everyone else making movies is. Somehow, I endure them anyway.
- MaryAnn Johanson
The past thirty years has seen an increased in use of slow-motion, whether it’s more professional sports leagues getting with the times and implementing new technologies, or in movie theaters by directors to mark an important moment. Invenire Films has made a supercut of the 20 greatest slow-mo scenes, so cue the music and start walking slow. Running just under three minutes, the supercut is heavy on recent genre movies like “Zombieland” and “Judge Dredd.” Before you ask, yes, Zack Snyder is represented with both “Watchmen” and “300.” Fellow slow-mo aficionado, Wes Anderson gets a couple of shots in with both “Rushmore” and “The Darjeeling Limited.” Watch the supercut of the 20 greatest slow-mo scenes below, and let us know some of your favorites that we've left out. A great recent one, to start some conversation, is the hit of Ray Liotta in “Killing Them Softly.” [Live For Films] »
- Cain Rodriguez
Here.s something you almost certainly never noticed: Wes Anderson has a slight obsession with the colors red and yellow. You probably don.t believe that.s true. Joking aside, there.s a handy video now available that showcases just how often he uses these colors, and it.s pretty damn wonderful. Watch it below! See, what did I tell you? Kudos to Rishi Kaneria for creating Red & Yellow: A Wes Anderson Supercut, which divinely brings together and amalgamates footage from the likes of Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, along with the short films Hotel Chevalier and Castello Cavalcanti. Just in case you didn.t know, that.s all of Anderson.s movies - which suggests that he might have a problem. Could be a medical reason for Wes Anderson »
Amazon has renewed their Mozart in the Jungle TV show for a second season. Additional details will be announced at a later date.
Here's the press release:
Amazon Greenlights Second Season of the Hit Dramatic Comedy "Mozart in the Jungle"
Hear the hair! Conductor Rodrigo DeSousa will take the stage once again in the hit Amazon Original Series Mozart in the Jungle.
The second season will premiere early next year exclusively on Prime Instant Video. Based on the critically acclaimed memoir Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs & Classical Music by Blair Tindall, Mozart in the Jungle draws back the curtain at the New York Symphony, where artistic dedication and creativity collide with mind games, politicking and survival instincts.
Returning to the series are stars Gael Garcia Bernal (Rosewater), Saffron Burrows (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Lola Kirke (Gone Girl), and Malcolm McDowell (The Mentalist). The second season of Mozart in the Jungle will be Executive Produced by Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom), Jason Schwartzman (The Darjeeling Limited), and Paul Weitz (About a Boy).
“The first season of Mozart in the Jungle was a big hit with our customers and I’m thrilled »
Wes Anderson’s films have long been touted for the distinctly handmade worlds in which they take place. The filmmaker’s latest, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” set in the fictional country of Zubrowka, takes Anderson’s fastidious attention to mise en scene to a new level.
“I can’t say I ever think of the setting as a character,” Anderson says of the titular hotel, and its conspicuous presence in his comedic yet rueful story about memory, lost love and vanishing innocence.
Production designer Adam Stockhausen, who with set director Anna Pinnock is nominated for an Oscar, agrees. “If the setting becomes interesting and becomes less setting than character, I think that’s great. But that’s not the point,” he says. “It’s not trying to be a character itself, and it’s certainly not trying to upstage anybody.”
In fitting with Anderson’s roster of quirky worlds (e. »
- Marianne Zumberge
Entertainment in Video (Eiv), the UK-based distrubution company, have this week announced that Tim Burton’s latest film, Big Eyes, is set for release here on DVD and Blu-ray on April 20th (the same month as the Grand National – top notch event in horse racing).
Big Eyes stars Golden Globe winner Amy Adams (American Hustle) and Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), with support from Krysten Ritter (soon to be Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones), Jason Schwartzman (The Darjeeling Limited), Danny Huston (The Congress) and Terence Stamp (Superman II).
No news yet on any technical specs or special features, but as ever we shall update you as soon as the information is revealed.
Directed and produced by Tim Burton, Big Eyes is based on the true story of Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), who was one of the most successful painters 1950s and early 1960s. The artist earned staggering notoriety by »
- Scott J. Davis
18 items from 2015
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