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What becomes a legend most? Not the biopics we see each year at the movies, Patti Smith suggests to me. We were meeting to talk about her first Original Song for a film, "Mercy Is" from this spring's $100 million hit Noah when the conversation veered into her own status as a showbiz legend, the godmother of punk. She shudders when I wonder aloud if anyone will make ever make a movie of her best-selling memoir "Just Kids" which recounts her storied relationship with fellow artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Though she's undoubtedly been interviewed thousands of times by now in her forty years of stardom, and she questions (indirectly) the whole point of the star profile and the interviewing process -- 'if you really want to know me, it's all there in the work' -- she is a patient and warm interview. She instantly recalls the old massive paraphenalia that journalists used »
- NATHANIEL R
Bydgoszcz, Poland — Top cinematographers may have finally accepted that digital is the way forward but the look of films is still too often based on technological choices, not artistic ones.
So argue America’s top lensers, who made their case Monday — sometimes to cheers — at Poland’s Camerimage fest, arguably the world’s leading showcase for DPs.
Camera manufacturers have made incredible strides, DPs say, but too often concentrate on resolution gains rather than color depth, rich blacks and the imperfect, organic qualities that give film its emotional impact — such as grain.
Particularly troubling is the fast-eroding respect for »
- Will Tizard
This film is at its very core a success story. A very demented, gory, horrifying and darkly comical success story – one with tinges of satanic cult horror wrapped in psychological terror. The plot follows a young aspiring actress, Sarah, as she is called back to audition for a horror film that is being produced by a mysterious production company that pushes her to her limits – a dark exchange for fame and fortune.
The film works as much as comedy as it does multiple kinds of horror. The well-executed pitch of heightened reality that co-writers/directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer achieve allow them to play each scene for maximum thrills, scares and laughs. Even at the most grotesque moments of body horror, you can’t help but laugh in shock at what you’re witnessing. You’re laughing because you’re horrified, »
- Dylan Griffin
By Anjelica Oswald
Since opening Nov. 6 with the world premiere of J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, AFI Fest has hosted the world premieres of Ava DuVernay’s Selma, Rupert Wyatt’s The Gambler and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, but it’s also hosted a variety of festival favorites, including Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, which closes the festival tonight. Miller, a two-time Oscar nominee, received the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival following the film’s premiere. This biographical film is based on the true story of brothers and wrestling gold medalists Mark (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with John du Pont (Steve Carell), which ultimately results in Dave’s murder. The film opens in theaters tomorrow. Twelve of the past 14 films to close AFI Fest have received Oscar nominations, two for best picture. Closing-night films at AFI Fest »
- Anjelica Oswald
Most awards buzz centers on fourth-quarter films, but many earlier 2014 works deserve to be remembered. For example, “Noah.” Paramount debuted the film back in March, but long after the release, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky was enthused about talking with his collaborators on the film, which scored an impressive $362 million globally.
Cinematography, Matthew Libatique
We wanted to reinvent the biblical epic. The edict was no robes, no long beards, no sandals, no Middle East deserts. The Noah story is prehistorical. Everything was new, everything was a miracle — like the first rainbow. So we wanted to create a universe unto itself. We did a lot of research, but much of the look and lighting was dictated by Iceland. We chose Iceland because it’s the newest piece of earth on the planet. We wanted to go to the true primordial place on the map. The lighting there is unique and Matty had huge challenges, »
- Tim Gray
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Oh my god, I love this movie. I love not only the movie itself — it is funny and sad and wise and wonderful — but I love how it snuck up on me and made me fall in love with it out of nowhere. (It’s so rare for me to be this surprised by a film!) I knew nothing about it except that it stars Saturday Night Live alums Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader… and that’s it. If I assumed anything at all, maybe it was that I was in for some sort of wacky comedy — but I don’t recall even that minimal level of expectation.
But this… »
- MaryAnn Johanson
A remake of a Claude Berri 1977 pic, “Moment” stars Cassel and “Intouchables” star Francois Cluzet as two middle-aged buddies who go on vacation in Corsica with their respective teen daughters (Alice Isaaz, Lola Le Lann). The holiday takes an unusual turn when one of the daughters develops a crush on her dad’s friend.
- Elsa Keslassy
This story first appeared in the Nov. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Five years ago, when Eric Glatt became an intern for the movie Black Swan, he hardly fit the usual description of one. He was 40, had an Mba and was employed for years in the financial sector, including at insurance giant Aig. When the economic crisis hit, Glatt decided to pursue his passion for entertainment. He took a film editing course, got certified, and, through his alumni network at Wesleyan University, found out that the new Darren Aronofsky movie needed interns. See more Top Execs Who Started as Interns For some, the opportunity to be a
- Eriq Gardner
By Anjelica Oswald
As we head into the final two months of the year, there are still a number of Oscar contenders that won’t be released — or even be seen — until December.
Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods will premiere on Christmas Day. Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper will have a limited release on Christmas before expanding to more theaters Jan 16.
Exodus: Gods and Kings, which is set for a Dec. 12 release, had a 37-minute press screening in September before the film was completed.
It was recently announced that a 30-minute first-look screening of Selma, the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic that centers on the Civil Rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, will take place at AFI Fest before its limited release on Dec. 25. But if Selma isn’t yet ready for it’s December release, it »
- Anjelica Oswald
Prepping for its Feb. 5, 2015 opening night, the Berlin Film Festival has named Darren Aronofsky its jury President. Despite never having a film play the Berlinale, the "Noah" director rides the good graces of Venice, Toronto, and Sundance to the head of the German fest’s table. "Darren Aronofsky has distinguished himself as an outstanding protagonist in contemporary auteur cinema," said Berlin chief Dieter Kosslick in a statement. "In his artistic approach he consistently sounds out cinematic language and its aesthetic possibilities. I’m pleased to be able to welcome him as Jury President of the Berlinale 2015." Aronofksy has earned critical praise and box office success for his part work, including "Pi," "Requiem for a Dream," "The Fountain," "The Wrestler," "Black Swan," and this year’s "Noah." The jury position adds Aronofsky to the ranks of recent Presidents, including Isabella Rossellini, Mike Leigh, Wong Kar Wei, and James Schamus. "At the Berlinale, »
- Matt Patches
Darren Aronofsky will be the jury president for the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in 2015. Aronofsky made his feature film debut in 1998 with Pi, and has since made a slew of critically acclaimed films such as Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan. Aronofsky most recently released the sweeping Biblical epic, Noah earlier this year. Jury presidents in previous years have included James Schamus, Wong Kar Wai, and Mike Leigh. The rest of the jury has yet to be announced. "Darren Aronofsky has distinguished himself as an outstanding protagonist in contemporary auteur cinema. In his artistic approach he »
- Teresa Jue
In Beyond the Lights, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) plays Noni, a young singer thrust into the music-industry pressure cooker—one that seems to transform female performers into hypersexualized commodities. Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) came up with the idea after noticing that her favorite genre, hip-hop/R&B, had lost its edgy playfulness, becoming more of a dark force that, in her opinion, objectifies women. "It’s moving into an ugly, angry place," she says. Before she could comment on the genre, she had to first create her own pop star. And she did so with help from the pros, including »
- Nicole Sperling
London — American director, screenwriter and producer Darren Aronofsky will be jury president of the 65th Berlin Intl. Film Festival.
“Darren Aronofsky has distinguished himself as an outstanding protagonist in contemporary auteur cinema. In his artistic approach he consistently sounds out cinematic language and its aesthetic possibilities. I’m pleased to be able to welcome him as jury president of the Berlinale 2015,” festival director Dieter Kosslick said.
Aronofsky made his feature film debut in 1998 with “Pi,” which won the award for best director at the Sundance Film Festival and script at the Independent Spirit Awards. He presented his cinematic adaptation “Requiem for a Dream” at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000, and the cult film “The Fountain” at the Venice Film Festival in 2006.
- Leo Barraclough
Aronofsky, whose most recent feature was biblical epic Noah, is to head the main jury of the Berlinale, which is set to run Feb 5-15, 2015.
The filmmaker said: “At the Berlinale, the cinema is always exciting and fascinating. I am looking forward to watching the latest from the greatest in one of the great cities on the planet.”
Aronofsky’s feature debut was Pi in 1998, for which he won best director at the Sundance Film Festival.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
By Anjelica Oswald
While some films in contention for the 87th Academy Awards in February are set in Los Angeles, such as Nightcrawler, a number of films are based in New York City. Begin Again features Mark Ruffalo as a New York City record label executive who records music around New York City with a songwriter played by Keira Knightley; Birdman, about a washed-up Hollywood actor trying to write, direct and act in a Broadway play; Whiplash, about a jazz drummer at a Manhattan school; Still Alice, about a professor from Columbia dealing with early-onset Alzheimer’s; and Love is Strange, about a same-sex couple from Manhattan.
Jessica Chastain stars in two different films that take place in New York: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, about a couple living in New York, and A Most Violent Year, about a couple living in New York during one of the city’s most violent years. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Jennifer Kent.s The Babadook launched in the Us on DirecTV last Friday, hailed by several critics as among the most outstanding horror movies of the year and by one enthusiast as one of the genre.s top 25 this century. The horror movie starring Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman is available to rent or buy on the Us streaming service, starting at $US9.99, one month before it premieres in cinemas in around 10 cities via IFC Midnight.
In the UK distributor Icon showed its confidence by broadening the film from 147 to 237 locations in its second weekend, ringing up £294,000 ($A540,000) , which lifts the total to a nifty £964,000 ($AI.77 million). As If has noted, the UK haul has already eclipsed the Australian B.O. of $258,000. Hollywood Elsewhere.s Jeff Wells responded to The Babadook as a .a brilliant, slow-burning psychological horror film made in a kind of German expressionist mode. which is significantly »
- Don Groves
We’re back with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes a full episode of Ghost Trek, first details on a Kane Hodder figurine by DeConte Figures & Collectibles, a new State of Desolation poster, a casting update from Welcome to Purgatory, distribution details from Dark Was the Night, a trailer for What’s Kind About the Dark, and much more:
Watch Ghost Trek: Goomba Body Snatchers Mortuary Lockdown: “Ghost Trek is an episodic supernatural-comedy series that follows the Paranormal Underworld Detective Society (Puds) as they investigate haunts across the U.S. and abroad between tanning beds, babes, body-building, and bong hits – all the while risking life and limb capturing the undead and unexplained on video. The series is not a “parody” of paranormal reality shows, Admittedly, Ghost Trek pokes fun at all the ghost hunting programs but »
- Tamika Jones
Cameras are now rolling on the big screen adaptation of Liz Jensen’s bestselling 2004 novel, The 9th Life Of Louis Drax. Marking the screenwriting debut of Max Minghella – an actor, whose credits include The Social Network, The Ides Of March and Horns – the supernatural thriller is being helmed by Alexandre Aja (2006’s The Hills Have Eyes), and stars Jamie Dornan (The Fall, Fifty Shades Of Grey), Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis, Maps To The Stars), and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad). Aiden Longworth (Hector And The Search For Happiness) features as the title character – Louis Drax.
Focusing on the titular young boy as he turns 9 years old, his birthday sees the latest in a long line of strange mishaps constitute a near-fatal fall. Louis’ primary psychologist, Dr. Allan Pascal (Dornan), tries to uncover the bizarre circumstances surrounding the accident and, as a result, delves deeper into the sinister occurrences that have marred Louis’ entire life. »
- Sarah Myles
Since it’s Halloween (Happy Halloween everyone), I wanted to do something horror centric but also still relating to Oscar in some way. As such, I wanted to take a look at which scary movies, to one degree or another, were embraced by the Academy Awards. Ideally I’d have focused on Best Picture, but as I’m sure you all know, the pickings there will be mighty slim. Instead, I’ll bounce around, trying to stick to bigger categories whenever possible, but still looking for the most overt examples of genre fare ever cited. I might bend the rules once or twice, but hey…it’s Halloween. I hope you all enjoy. Here’s the ten scariest movies to catch the attention of Oscar: 1. The Silence of the Lambs – Any list like this has to start with this one, since it almost swept the Oscars in its year. Best Picture, »
- Joey Magidson
This year’s Blood List has named the 13 best genre scripts around town, and in its sixth year the annual screenplay contest is expanding its scope to include hot books, TV pilots, and young scribes ripe for signing. Taking top honors in 2014 is sci-fi thriller Bird Box from The Thing and Final Destination 5 scribe Eric Heisserer, an apocalyptic tale of a woman trying to lead her children to safety – all three blindfolded – after monsters descend on earth that turn people insane on sight. Universal set Heisserer to adapt the manuscript from Josh Malerman in 2013 for Mama helmer Andy Muschietti. Previous Blood List alumni include Black Swan, Stoker, Warm Bodies, and the upcoming Blumhouse thriller The Boy Next Door.
Like the Black List naming the top unproduced screenplays circulating around Hollywood, the genre-focused Blood List taps exec votes to determine each year’s best unmade horror, sci-fi, and thriller scripts. »
- Jen Yamato
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