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On this day in history as it relates to the movies...
1819 The bicycle is patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr. which could be why June has lots of bicycle holidays like "bike to work week" and such. There's even a Bicycle Film Festival happening in NYC this very weekend.
1904 Peter Lorre is born
1922 Underappeciated film star Eleanor Parker is born. Her two best known classics are Caged (1950, her first nomination in one of the all time best Best Actress years) and The Sound of Music (1965, snubbed in supporting actress). Also born on this day is two-time Oscar recipient Dick Smith, an indisputable giant in movie makeup. Among his classics: The Godfather, The Exorcist, Amadeus, and Taxi Driver
- NATHANIEL R
What were you doing when you were 13? The answer is likely not “writing, directing, editing, and starring in a series of acclaimed short films.”
Theo Taplitz, star of Ira Sachs’ upcoming dramedy “Little Men,” has been making waves on the children’s film festival circuit with his latest short films, in which he writes fantastical ideas and conveys them through imaginative practical effects. Watch his two most recent shorts below.
Read More: The Kids Are All Right: The Basics Still Inspire Aspiring Filmmakers
In “True Places Never Are,” a grieving boy, played by Taplitz, stumbles across a magical portal in his late grandfather’s copy of “Treasure Island.” He crawls through it and embarks on a series of fantastic adventures: traveling by paper hat, outrunning dragons and discovering buried treasure. The use of the “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” soundtrack is no mistake: Taplitz wants to take us on an emotional, reality-bending journey.
“True Places Never Are” played at the BAMkids Film Festival, RedCat International Children’s Film Festival, and Children’s Film Festival Seattle this year. At all three fests, Taplitz’s was the only student film included.
The stop-motion objects, including a paper hat, a whale and a dragon, are made with pages from Robert Louis Stephenson’s book, and Taplitz blends live photography with those practical effects. Yet the film is ultimately rooted in Taplitz’s memory of his grandfather, conveyed entirely through visual storytelling.
In “Crap You!” Taplitz’s brother Nicholas stars as Box Boy (identifiable through a box helmet he wears in several of his brother’s films), who purchases a stuffed raven at a yard sale that will not seem to leave him alone. As it starts following him, he chops it up, lights it on fire, plunges it down the toilet and the raven ultimately ends up in the worst place you could think of. Again, Taplitz employs imaginative practical effects.
“Crap You” played Atlanta Film Festival (where Taplitz was the only youth film in his category) and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle this year.
You can find the rest of Taplitz’s shorts at his Vimeo page. Watch out for this guy.
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Related stories12 Must-See Films at BAMCinemaFest 2016'The Witch' Director Robert Eggers: Watch His Intense 2014 Short Film 'Brothers' For FreeHow To Shoot a Short in One-Hour and Become a Better Filmmaker While Doing It »
- Russell Goldman
It’s no secret that Mark Ruffalo is one of the best and most likable actors out there right now. Not only is he immensely skilled, he just appears to be beloved as a human being as well. Ruffalo has broken through in a bigger way over the last few years, both in terms of Oscar nominations and also bigger budget films. He’s already a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but now he can list Now You See Me as another movie franchise of his. This week, Now You See Me 2 opens in theaters and should only increase Ruffalo’s A-list star power, rightly so, I might add. The film is a sequel to Now You See Me, the surprise hit from a few years back. It concerns a magic act that also doubles as a Robin Hood type heist team. Ruffalo plays Dylan Rhodes, who in »
- Joey Magidson
Plus: Alcon plots Garfield film franchise; Nbr sets 2017 awards gala date; and more…
The Orchard secured all North American rights to the coming-of-age drama from ICM Partners and Wme Global and will distribute in autumn.
Lily Rabe earned the SXSW Best Actress special jury prize and stars alongside Timotheé Chalamet, Lili Reinhart, YouTube celebrity Anthony Quintal, Oscar Nuñez and Rob Huebel. Miss Stevens is a Beachside presentation of a Beachside and Gilbert Films Production in association with Original Headquarters.
Alcon Entertainment has secured exclusive rights from creator Jim Davis to produce animated films based on the Garfield comic strip. Davis will serve as an executive producer as the company looks to build a film franchise.The National Board Of Review will host its annual film awards gala on January 4, 2017, at Cipriani »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The Orchard has acquired North American rights to Julia Hart's directorial debut Miss Stevens, which premiered at SXSW in March and won the Best Actress Special Jury Prize for lead actress Lily Rabe. The film will be released this fall. Written by Hart and Jordan Horowitz (producer of The Kids Are All Right and Damien Chazelle's upcoming La La Land), Miss Stevens is about a woman stuck at a crossroads in her personal life who chaperones three of her students on a weekend… »
Two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, Carol, Cinderella) joins Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok as the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela, along with Jeff Goldblum (the upcoming Independence Day: Resurgence, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Jurassic Park) who joins the cast as the eccentric Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson (Creed, Selma) who will bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen, and Karl Urban (Star Trek trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) who will add his might to the fray as Skurge. Rounding out the cast for the film is three-time Oscar-nominee Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight, The Kids Are All Right, Foxcatcher), reprising his role of Bruce Banner/the Hulk from Marvel's The Avengers and Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Here's what producer Kevin Feige had to say about these new cast members in a statement.
"The continuation of the epic Thor franchise will be powerful and unique, »
Two-time Oscar®-winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine,” “Carol, “Cinderella”) joins Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok as the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela, along with Jeff Goldblum (the upcoming “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Jurassic Park”) who joins the cast as the eccentric Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson (“Creed,” “Selma”) who will bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen, and Karl Urban (“Star Trek” trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”) who will add his might to the fray as Skurge.
Rounding out the cast for the film is three-time Oscar®-nominee Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Foxcatcher”), reprising his role of Bruce Banner/the Hulk from “Marvel’s The Avengers” and Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
Producer Kevin Feige
"The continuation of the epic Thor franchise will be powerful and unique, and with the additions of Cate, Jeff, »
- Kellvin Chavez
Today brings word from the third Thor film, Ragnarok, in which Marvel has officially revealed the incredible cast they've brought together, including Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett and more. Best of all, they even told us who they're playing! Come inside to check out the full breakdown.
It's always nice to get official casting notices from Marvel on their upcoming films, especially when the cast is so damned impressive. Today's announcement confirms some previous rumors about actors joining the cast of Thor: Ragnarok, while throwing in some surprising, and awesome, additions as well. Mark Ruffalo will officially be in as the Hulk, Cate Blanchett is the villainous Hela, Karl Urban will play Skurge, and Tessa Thompson is officially Valkyrie. There's a few more goodies in there, like Jeff Goldblum, so check out the announcement below in full:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
Daniel Crooke here. When it comes to gender inequality in the film industry, Jessica Chastain would like the means of production to know that she finds it very disrespectful. Deadline reports that Chastain has thrown her Zero Dark Thirty Aviators in the ring and founded her own production company, Freckle Films. This is obviously hugely exciting news and such an Aries move. As if her engine of multifaceted roles wasn't already roaring on overdrive, she decides to kick it up another notch and become the president of her cinematic brainchild. Hold onto your Coca-Colas because it gets better: Freckle Films will be employing all-female executives and (we assume) zero sex-stymying stereotypes onscreen.
Freckle Films has partnered in a first dibs development deal with Maven Pictures – whose execs’ credits include The Kids Are All Right, Still Alice, and Black Nativity – with two film adaptations (from female authors with female protagonists) already in the works. »
- Daniel Crooke
Jessica Chastain has launched her own production company, Freckle Films where she and Elise Siegel will serve as President. Freckle Films has entered into a first-look overhead deal with Maven Pictures, »
- Jazz Tangcay
Jessica Chastain has launched Freckle Films as her own production company where she will serve as president alongside development executive Elise Siegel.
Freckle Films has entered into a first-look overhead deal with Maven Pictures, headed by Celine Rattray (“The Kids Are All Right”) and Trudie Styler (“Still Alice,” “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) along with Charlotte Ubben.
Maven will provide development funds and cover overhead costs to acquire projects such as books, screenplays, plays and intellectual properties for Freckle Films and Maven to jointly produce. Jacqui Lewis, Leili Gerami, Clemens Pongratz and Elise Siegel will serve as executive producers on these films.
“I’m excited to launch Freckle Films, and I can’t imagine a better production partner than Maven Pictures,” said Chastain. “Trudie and Celine are not only both highly experienced and successful producers, but the projects they’ve created demonstrate their tenacious dedication to strong characters and »
- Dave McNary
When it comes to this year’s Academy Awards, no word is more buzzworthy than “diversity”. For the second year in a row the Oscars have nominated only white actors in their four main acting categories, sparking backlash and, as a result, inciting the Academy to announce new changes to tackle its “diversity problem”.
Amidst another year of #OscarsSoWhite trending on Twitter, however, the fact that 2015 has been an exceptionally strong year for women has been largely overlooked. Three of this year’s best picture nominees (Brooklyn, Room, Mad Max: Fury Road) are female-centric and feature strong female protagonists in the center of the action. In fact, even outside of those films and their performances, a number of women are nominated for best picture as producers, as well. Kristie Macosko Krieger is nominated for Bridge of Spies, Blye Pagon Faust is nominated for Spotlight, Dede Gardner »
- Patrick Shanley
Even after the recent results at the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild Awards have thrown this year's Oscar race into uncertainty, our forum posters are still fuming over snubs past and present. For instance, why was "Carol" left out of the Best Picture lineup this year when "The Kids Are All Right" made the cut in 2010? Was it homophobia or sexism? Both? Neither? -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions That's not all. They're also relitigating some of the most controversial results of the past 15 years. Should Ellen Burstyn ("Requiem for a Dream") really have lost Best Actress to Julia Roberts ("Erin Brockovich") in 2000? Should Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") have defeated Sean Penn ("Milk") in 2008? If not those, what are your biggest outrages of the 21st century so far? Read our posters' comments about those topics and m »
Of this year’s eight best picture nominees, only two films could be considered traditionally female-skewing. Both Brooklyn and Room sport female leads (both of whom are nominated in the best actress category: Saoirse Ronan and Brie Larson, respectively), yet neither film is expected to win.
This could be due, in large part, to the vast majority of Academy voters being male. According to a 2013 Los Angeles Times study, the Academy is 76 percent male and 24 percent female, whereas, according to the 2013 U.S. Census, more than 50.8 percent of Americans are women. Whether Brooklyn or Room‘s darkhorse status as best pic contenders is because of, or in spite of, this fact is left to the individual.
- Patrick Shanley
In the wake of yet another slate of Oscar nominations dominated by white filmmakers and performers, plenty has been lost or exaggerated in a sea of hashtag activism. But despite any nuance about why films like “Beasts of No Nation,” “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” underperformed with the Academy, the issue trains a harsh spotlight on one undeniable fact: the Academy — and by extension, the entire industry — has a quantifiable racial bias.
As a result of the outcry, the organization is, frankly, under siege. Phones have been ringing off the hook at the Academy’s Beverly Hills headquarters. I’m told staff members were instructed not to talk about the controversy as moves were made behind the scenes last week to address it swiftly. And to a person, every Academy member I know is brimming with resentment over insinuations and outright accusations of racism.
I do have sympathy on that last point. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Exclusive: As a buyer when he ran Good Machine and Focus Features, James Schamus has been as much a Park City fixture as snow and thin air. Tomorrow, he takes on a new role: first time director, when he premieres his adaptation of the Philip Roth novel Indignation. It’s an acquisition title, which puts Schamus on the opposite side of the bargaining table where he bought and released such films as The Kids Are All Right, The Motorcycle Diaries, Pariah and, yes, Hamlet… »
“I feel bad for the Republicans,” says Mark Ruffalo. “It’s an untenable situation for them in a lot of ways. The people who are clear-headed and really do hold conservative values are on the outs.” The presidential election is rumbling along and Ruffalo – ever the actor – is not above a bit of kindly empathy. “What’s driving the party at the moment is nothing other than fear and xenophobia, and a kind of paranoia that is not sustainable. You can’t govern with it.”
With a record of activism alongside a high achieving acting career – which includes such imperishable indie classics as The Kids Are All Right, Zodiac and Margaret, no one can have much doubt where Ruffalo’s political sympathies »
- Andrew Pulver
I have a confession to make: I have never watched the Golden Globes — or rather, until last night, I had never been witness to that bizarre spectacle where movie stars get plastered while receiving awards from the chummy cabal of foreign journos who help promote their films year round. But this year, while visiting Los Angeles for the month, I was intrigued to attend a couple of the afterparties at the Beverly Hilton and felt it was only right to watch the show first.
Friends have always insisted that the Globes are more fun than the Oscars. For one, there’s the open bar (this year, returning host Ricky Gervais made his roast-like remarks with a beer glass on hand all night). Better still, there’s the fact that the Globes don’t mean anything — or at least, nothing more than the quasi-consensus of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., a »
- Peter Debruge
This Sunday the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will present their picks for best dramatic and comedy/musical picture at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
The Globes are the first major indicator for Oscar and since the HFPA honors both dramas and comedies in their dual best picture categories the chances of the Globes’ pick overlapping with the Academy’s is two-fold.
Those interested in predicting this year’s winner for best picture at the Oscars will be paying close attention to the Globes this Sunday, as a number of Golden Globe winners have gone on to take home the statuette for best pic. In a year such as this, with no standout frontrunner in a tight Oscar race, the focus is even sharper on who will win this weekend in hopes that some clearer picture will come into focus.
Here’s a look at how »
- Patrick Shanley
Jake Gyllenhaal and his production company Nine Stories have partnered with A+E Studio for a brand new anthology series designed to explore a string of high-profile cult leaders across the four corners of America.
Developed for the A&E Network, Gyllenhaal’s novel IP is said to be a limited anthology series, one that sheds light on some of the more prominent zealots of our time, the feverish following they garner and their undisputed gravitas that births the cults in the first place. Attached to executive produce alongside Riva Marker (Beasts of No Nation, The Kids Are All Right), Gyllenhaal released a brief statement concerning the series as he looks to shepherd the project toward that all-important green light.
“Riva and I founded Nine Stories to push creative limits, and have found a wonderful partner in A&E with this fascinating series,” Gyllenhaal stated. “Jim Jones is a complex »
- Michael Briers
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