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Actress Maureen O'Hara will be receiving an Honorary this year along with the great actor/singer/activist Harry Belafonte. Neither were ever nominated for competitive Oscars despite rich and enduring showbiz careers and, you know, that's exactly the type of performer that Honorarys should go to. Joining them are two previous Oscar winners because the Academy loves to double up for some reason. Still it's hard to complain about honors for animation genius Hayao Miyazaki and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere. Jean-Claude, who is most famous for his work with Luis Buñuel has worked in multiple countries and for a very long time and semi-recently he co-wrote the super-brilliant movie Birth (2004) that we like to obsess on here. All four are amazing talents so congratulations to them!
But mostly I couldn't be filled with more joy about O'Hara. We've been pushing for an Honorary as long as The Film Experience has been around. »
- NATHANIEL R
The Venice International Film Festival has a long history of introducing Oscar contenders, with critically-acclaimed hits and Best Picture nominees such as The Wrestler, Black Swan and last year's Gravity making their world premieres at the festival. This year's Venice International Film Festival kicked off earlier this week with Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, and if the overwhelmingly positive reviews are any indication, this could be the year's first major Oscar contender.
The story, as we saw in the first international trailer from last month, centers on Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton), a washed up actor who used to play a famous superhero character on the big screen. He tries to mount a comeback by putting on a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, although little goes as planned.
Take a look at excerpts from some of the early reviews that have come in from Venice, »
Venice has done it again. Last year, Gravity blasted the lid off the festival as the opener and today Birdman, a film that’s got a fair bit in common with that one, bowed to one of the best receptions I have ever experienced on the Lido. (It’s even trending at No. 4 on Italian Twitter.) Applause, laughter and strong emotion emanated from attendees in the refurbed Sala Darsena this morning during the first press screening. Making my way out afterwards, I heard “bellissimo” uttered at least a dozen times.
Ahead of the festival, chief Alberto Barbera told me the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed dark comedy was “inventive.” He wasn’t kidding. A scorching satire on celebrity mixed with existential musings on life, it’s being hailed as a technical tour de force and a potentially career-defining role for lead Michael Keaton as a former Hollywood star known primarily for his »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Birdman opens the 71st Venice International Film Festival today, and the first reviews are in. Variety's Peter Debruge calls it a "delirious coup de grace—a triumph on every creative level, from casting to execution." As the once-huge movie star Riggan Thomson, Michael Keaton is "dream casting, and he’s fearless," writes Time Out's Cath Clarke. The Telegraph's Robbie Collin: "Riggan, his publicist Brandon (Zach Galifianakis), daughter (Emma Stone) and fellow cast members (Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough) come clattering in and out of shot like characters in a farce, underscored by a stumbling, skittering drumbeat. There are streaks of 42nd Street, The Producers and Sunset Boulevard here, but otherwise, Birdman isn’t much like anything else at all. Think Black Swan directed by Mel Brooks and you’re in the vicinity, but only just." » - David Hudson »
Awards season officially begins today with the opening of the 71st Venice Film Festival, which in recent years has put the likes of Black Swan and Gravity on the launching pad with its prestigious first-night slot. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s latest, Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) perches beautifully in that company, being an experimental yet fully grounded work by a supreme visual stylist.Like those two films, it also puts its faith in a bravura performance, this one from Michael Keaton, who literally strips himself to the essentials in a role that stamps this as the first must-see of the autumn.The trailer suggests a very different film from the one Iñárritu actually made, highlighting a magic realism and sense of mental turmoil that does feature in the film, but which doesn’t dominate it. Instead of being a wacky, effects-led satire about a star in freefall, Birdman »
International production company BN Films has expanded into New York, opening an East Coast office with Jonathan Gray, senior partner of the law firm Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers Llp, at its helm. Gray, who will also continue at his law practice, will run the new office, developing and producing feature and television projects for Bn Films.
“The heart of the indie film community is in New York,” Gray told Variety. “And things are done a little differently here. I think it’s a little more straightforward, and it’s important for Bn” to have a foothold on both coasts.
Bn Films, which was launched in December 2012, will premiere “Words With Gods,” starring Demian Bichir in its ensemble cast, at the Venice Film Festival. Bn also just wrapped post-production “Captive,” starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara.
Bn Films launched in December 2012, and the addition of Gray in the New »
- Alexandra Cheney
Andrea Staka’s long-awaited follow-up to her award-winning 2006 drama, “Fraulein,” is similarly concerned with issues of displacement and belonging, though in “Cure — The Life of Another,” she pairs these feelings with adolescent uncertainty. Handsomely lensed and well acted, the film tells of a Swiss-raised Croatian teen relocated to Dubrovnik shortly after the siege, who blurs the boundaries between her life and that of her dead friend. Hallucinatory elements of the “Black Swan” variety crop up along with doppelganger motifs, contributing to an overall sensation that the pic’s underdeveloped side characters are more intriguing than the storyline. A respectable fest life is likely.
After her parents’ divorce, Linda (Sylvie Marinkovic) moves with her Croatian doctor father, Nino (Leon Lucev), from the coddled security of Switzerland to post-siege Dubrovnik in 1993. It’s not an easy shift, and Linda feels fortunate to have a friend in Eta (Lucia Radulovic), a tough-acting classmate who knows all the angles. »
- Jay Weissberg
Taylor Swift rocking ten costumes in 4:02 minutes to the catchiest pop song since "Call Me Maybe"? We dare you not to get obsessed. Of course not all outfits are created equal, especially when there are almost a dozen of them, half of which make America's Sweetheart look like she's wearing someone else's skin (like Jennifer Lopez's, for example). There's the Natalie Portman Black Swan moment, the Run Dmc gone sweet style, a nod to Star Wars with C-3Po chic and of course that "Fly Girl" getup (complete with the world's most awkward twerk). Looks like you and your nine best friends just got your Halloween costumes handed to you on a platinum record platter. If we »
Final Destination creator Jeffrey Reddick's new short film, which he both wrote and directed, Good Samaritan, will be playing as part of this year's Screamfest L.A. film festival; and right now we have a couple of new stills for you! Dig 'em!
The film stars Toby Hemingway (pictured; Black Swan, The Covenant) and Rainn Wilson ("The Office," Super, House of 1000 Corpses). Based on the Hit List winning feature, Good Samaritan tells of Nathan Rome (Hemingway), an agoraphobic who videotaped a man get fatally beaten while numerous bystanders watched and didn't intervene.
The short opens with Nathan being interviewed by George Reed (Wilson), a conservative talk show host who blasts Nathan for his inaction. George points out that two of the other witnesses have died mysteriously and cryptically ponders if Nathan might be next. Nathan is convinced the other deaths were accidents. But after George shreds his morality on national TV, »
- Steve Barton
Healthy, even heated competition between film festivals is nothing new. Cannes was founded in the late ’30s as the French response to Venice. In recent years, Shanghai has felt the heat from the government-backed Beijing, while both SXSW and Tribeca have sought to position themselves as viable alternatives to Sundance.
Rarely, however, have such tensions spiked quite so visibly, or with such high stakes involved, as in the case of Telluride and Toronto.
Nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains, the 41-year-old Telluride Film Festival is an intimate four-day affair that screens a highly selective program for Hollywood elites and deep-pocketed movie buffs. The 39-year-old Toronto Film Festival is an 11-day press and industry behemoth, Byzantine in its complexity and Canadian in its efficiency, which unspools about 300 features and attracts journalists, publicists, filmmakers and dealmakers from all over the world. Two very different events, forced by the vagaries of art, commerce »
- Justin Chang
For her new single "Shake It Off," Taylor Swift told her fans she wanted to make a song that sounded like nothing she'd ever done before. For the song's video, though, she went in a more familiar direction, taking cues from all manner of popular culture. Take a look at the eight pieces of visual inspiration we've spotted, below. Taylor's Own Music Video for "You Belong With Me:" Taylor's love of awkward dancing (and cheerleader iconography) was evident from an early age. The "Choreography" Scene from White Christmas: Danny Kaye's skewering of modern dance was slightly more barbed than Taylor's gentle ribbing. »
- Nate Jones, @kn8
In celebration of Film4 Frightfest – the truly unique horror festival which showcases the best and most extreme in the genre from around the globe – we at HeyUGuys have compiled a list of the ten best psychological horror films; the titles which burrow themselves into your thoughts, the ones which make a quick glance in the mirror into a surging shot of fear and anxiety.
The films which prove you don’t need buckets of blood and barrels of guts to truly shock and spook your audience. So without further ado, let’s get started. Film4 Frightfest runs between 21st and 25th August at Vue West End London – all of our coverage is right here.
Undoubtedly amongst Alfred Hitchcock’s most unfairly underrated films, Marnie saw the end of his era with Tippi Hedren and the pair barely spoke once filming wrapped. Whilst this is in parts a romance and a thriller, »
- Chris Haydon
So a monumental event took place today: Taylor Swift released a new song, details of her new album 1989 and for a contest which we don't really care about enough to explain here. We're pretty sure you can Google it. She dropped a new video for the song, and the reason we're paying attention is that it was directed by Mark Romanek ("One Hour Photo," "Never Let Me Go"). The spot for "Shake It Off" finds Swift playfully poking fun at her contemporaries like Lady Gaga and Lily Allen, and there also seems to be some "Black Swan" nods in here too. At any rate, watch below, and we'll admit, it's a helluva earworm. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
If you weren’t already a fan of Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader then you’re about to be, or be a bigger one! This UK trailer for The Skeleton Twins looks set to showcase their brilliant talent, and give us a great looking movie.
I’m a big fan of a comedy-dramas that focuses on real people and characters, this one centres around twins Maggie (Wiig) and Milio (Hader), who haven’t seen each other for ten years but end up coincidentally cheating death on the same day. This, in turn, prompts them to reunite and confront where their lives have gone wrong.
In the old classic adage, as their reunion begins to reinvigorate them both, they realise that they might need a little help through each day.
- Dan Bullock
Mila Kunis is a blue jean baby with one on the way! Ashton Kutcher's pregnant fiancée looked beyond cute in a pair of cuffed denim shorts as she ran some errands in Hollywood Tuesday afternoon. The mom-to-be kept her maternity look casual yet chic, covering her burgeoning baby bump with a loose-fitting black top and unbuttoned plaid shirt. Mila, 30, and Ashton, 36, have been spending lots of low-key time together as they prepare to be first-time parents. Whether Mila is satisfying one of her pregnancy cravings or just indulging in some retail therapy, the Black Swan beauty seems to love having her future hubby by her side. She also, of course, wants Ashton there when she gives birth to their »
Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. James Bobin (“The Muppets,” “Muppets Most Wanted”) helms the film, which revisits Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time.
“Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” is produced by Joe Roth (“Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Jennifer Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”), Suzanne Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”) and Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Frankenweenie”). John G. Scotti (“Muppets Most Wanted,” “The Muppets”) is the executive producer; Linda Woolverton (“Maleficent,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast”) penned the screenplay. Shooting on location and at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.
The all-star ensemble »
- Kellvin Chavez
At long last, the sequel to Disney’s massively successful, if narratively weak, Alice in Wonderland is starting to roll cameras, with James Bobin replacing Tim Burton in the director’s chair. It took a suprisingly long time for this next chapter of the planned franchise to get off the ground, considering the first film broke $1 billion at the box office, but a press release indicates that filming is now underway.
Officially titled Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, the follow-up finds the original actors returning to their roles, with a bevy of new stars joining both the live-action and voice casts. What the sequel is exactly about is still foggy, but the story is said to “revisit Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time.”
Check out the official press release below:
Disney’S “Alice In Wonderland »
- Isaac Feldberg
Disney's Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. James Bobin (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted) helms the film, which revisits Lewis Carroll's beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland-and back in Time.
Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass is produced by Joe Roth (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland ) Jennifer Todd (Alice in Wonderland), Suzanne Todd ("Alice in Wonderland) and Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland). John G. Scotti (The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted) is the executive producer; Linda Woolverton (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland) penned the screenplay.
Shooting on location and at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.
The all-star ensemble cast includes:
Johnny Depp returns to the big screen »
Disney met with some success in their live-action version of Alice in Wonderland (with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter), and since the film released, talk of a sequel has been on-going. Now, it's finally moved into production as the cast and crew have gathered together in anticipation of it's May 2016 release. Disney announced cameras have started rolling with a new cast list confirming both old and new members of the cast coming to the production.
I wasn't all that thrilled with Alice in Wonderland when it released. Not that it was a bad movie, I just didn't find it all that special or great. So it's tough to muster up much enthusiasm for this sequel, despite the impressive cast coming back for it. From the press release:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
Disney’s Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.
The Disney movie revisits Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time.
Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass is produced by Joe Roth (“Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Jennifer Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”), Suzanne Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”) and Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Frankenweenie”). John G. Scotti (“Muppets Most Wanted,” “The Muppets”) is the executive producer; Linda Woolverton (“Maleficent,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast”) penned the screenplay.
Shooting on location and at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.
The all-star »
- Michelle McCue
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