18 items from 2010
Patty and the NYC premiere
this summerEarlier this month I met with Patricia Clarkson to discuss another fine year in one of the most pleasurable of modern character actor filmographies. Hers. I was waiting for the right opportunity to share it with you, and since Cairo Time is out on DVD, Academy voters are busy weighing the various Best Actress options, and today is Patty's 51st birthday, it was high time.
Through an unfortunate scheduling snafu I was less prepared when I met her than I am accustomed to being. I apologized with a wee warning that I'd be winging it. I bring this up because, as many of will remember, I have closely clocked her career. She came in at #2 in my 2005 countdown "Actresses of the Aughts" (yes we should revisit that list now that the decade has wrapped) and because I just want to share the unedited transcript. »
- NATHANIEL R
A look at what's new on DVD today:
"The Films of Rita Hayworth"
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
A collection of five of the brunette bombshell's films -- the 1944 Gene Kelly musical "Cover Girl" and her most famous film "Gilda," as well as the 1945 musical "Tonight and Every Night," "Miss Sadie Thompson" and "Salome," which are making their first appearance on DVD -- with introductions by Martin Scorsese on "Tonight and Every Night," Baz Luhrmann on "Cover Girl" and Patricia Clarkson on "Miss Sadie Thompson," the original trailers for each of the films and a featurette with Scorsese and Luhrmann comparing notes on "Gilda."
Directed by François Ozon
Released by Mpi Home Video
It's been a long journey for French filmmaker Ozon's first fully-English film - he's already made three others since "Angel" premiered at Berlinale in 2007, but it boasts a bunch of big names including Michael Fassbender, »
- Stephen Saito
DVD Playhouse December 2010
America Lost And Found: The Bbs Story (Criterion) Perhaps the best DVD box set released this year, this ultimate cinefile stocking stuffer offered up by Criterion, the Rolls-Royce of home video labels, features seven seminal works from the late ‘60s-early ‘70s that were brought to life by cutting edge producers Bert Schneider, Steve Blauner and director/producer Bob Rafelson, the principals of Bbs Productions. In chronological order: Head (1968) star the Monkees, the manufactured (by Rafelson, et al), American answer to the Beatles who, like it or not, did make an impact on popular culture, particularly in this utterly surreal piece of cinematic anarchy (co-written by Jack Nicholson, who has a cameo), which was largely dismissed upon its initial release, but is now regarded as a counterculture classic. Easy Rider (1969) is arguably regarded as the seminal ‘60s picture, about two hippie drug dealers (director Dennis Hopper »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In Red Dust Road (Picador) Jackie Kay writes lucidly and honestly about being the adopted black daughter of white parents, about searching for her white birth mother and Nigerian birth father, and about the many layers of identity. She has a rare ability to portray sentiment with absolutely no sentimentality. Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns (Random House) is a fresh and wonderful history of African-American migration. Chang-rae Lee's The Surrendered (Little, Brown) is a grave, beautiful novel about people who experienced the Korean war and the war's legacy. And David Remnick's The Bridge (Picador) is a thorough and well-written biography of Barack Obama. The many Americans who believe invented biographical details about Obama would do well to read it. »
Dennis Hopper: actor, artist, filmmaker, Hollywood survivor.
Just days after remembering the loss of Sydney Pollack two years ago, we awaken to mourn the loss of another Hollywood icon, Dennis Hopper, less than two weeks after his 74th birthday. Hopper had been on my short list of "dream interviews" during my tenure at Venice Magazine. When I was lucky enough to finally sit down with him in November of 2008, I was thrilled, and didn't know quite what to expect.
What I found while smoking cigars with Hopper in his Venice home-studio, was a thoughtful man with a gentle demeanor, who spoke in measured tones and loved telling stories. Gone was the wild-eyed "enfant terrible" that Hopper had made his name playing, and sometimes living. What I saw instead was a man who seemed to be at peace with himself and his life, who loved his children, art, film and new ideas. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
His management revealed his battle with cancer just last year and yesterday 74 year-old long-time film star Dennis Hopper passed away. His cultural legacy is most closely fused with the counter culture sensation Easy Rider (1969) which he directed, wrote and starred in. But it stretches back much further than that and was, at least at the start, quite a case of beginner's luck. When three of your first four movies are titles as major or enduring as Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Giant (1956) and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) than things are off to quite a good start no matter how you define such things.
After those promising early years, things got choppy. Addictions and reportedly volatile on set behavior may have derailed major movie stardom but his bad boy reputation, whatever the personal and professional costs, surely added to his iconoclast mystique.
In the end he's left quite a legacy to consider. »
- NATHANIEL R
Dennis Hopper, the high-flying Hollywood wild man whose memorable and erratic career included an early turn in "Rebel Without a Cause," an improbable smash with "Easy Rider" and a classic character role in "Blue Velvet," has died. He was 74.Hopper died Saturday at his home in the Los Angeles beach community of Venice, surrounded by family and friends, family friend Alex Hitz said. Hopper's manager announced in October 2009 that the actor-director had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.The success of "Easy Rider" and the spectacular failure of his next film, "The Last Movie," fit the pattern for the talented but sometimes uncontrollable Hopper, who also had parts in such favorites as "Apocalypse Now" and "Hoosiers." He was a two-time Academy Award nominee and in March was honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.Tributes »
After suffering for over a year from prostate cancer, Dennis Hopper has died at the age of 74. His death comes just two months after Hopper's final public appearance, at the dedication of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hopper established a reputation as a Hollywood bad boy from his first role in 1955's Rebel Without a Cause, and made an indelible mark on the cinema of the late 1960s with Easy Rider, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. His two most iconic roles may both be villains-- the oxygen-huffing obsessive Frank Booth in Blue Velvet, and the criminal mastermind in Speed. Recently Hopper was headlining the Starz series Crash, and put in supporting roles in two recent features, Swing Vote and Elegy. An original until the very end, Hopper was an outspoken and devoted Republican who voted for Barack Obama in 2008. I had the »
Actor had so many diverse roles -- from 'Rebel Without a Cause' to 'Easy Rider' to 'Blue Velvet' -- that none is truly definitive.
By Adam Rosenberg with Jem Aswad
Photo: Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
In Hollywood history, a mere handful of stars have had careers that reached the peaks, the depths, the diversity and the longevity of Dennis Hopper's. The legendary — and legendarily rebellious — actor died of prostate cancer early Saturday (May 29) at the age of 74.
Indeed, Hopper's signature roles were so different from each other — and so widely separated by years over his nearly six-decade-long career — that it's difficult to choose one as definitive. Some might single out the teen who appeared with James Dean in 1955's "Rebel Without A Cause." Others recall the nitrous-oxide-huffing psychopath Frank Booth, villain of David Lynch's classic 1986 thriller, "Blue Velvet." Hopper played another memorable villain (who meets a memorable end) in 1994's "Speed. »
Disney's Prince of Persia, based upon Ubisoft's popular video-game series of the same name, tells the story of a nefarious 6th century Persian nobleman named Nizam (played by Sir Ben Kingsley) who covets the Sands of Time, a legendary gift from the gods that allows its possessor to turn back time. Whoever owns the Sands of Time has the power to rule the world, and the villainous nobleman wants to use that power to enslave all of humanity. The only person capable of defeating this tyrant and saving the world is Dastan (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), a youthful prince.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Sir Ben Kingsley, two very different actors with a prestigious body of work between them, sat down with CinemaSpy to talk about their latest film, and how a video game and a famous magic castle bring up similar childhood memories for both of them.
CinemaSpy: Were »
The Oscar winning actor Ben Kingsley discusses his latest evil role as the villain Nizam in the new Disney film based on the fan-favorite video game
After winning an Academy Award for portraying one of the most peaceful human beings of all time in the film Gandhi, actor Ben Kingsley has gone on to create some of the most villainous and creepiest characters around in films like Sexy Beast, Thunderbirds and most recently, Shutter Island. The actor is also no stranger to playing the villain in a movie based on a popular video game having starred in the film BloodRayne. Those credentials, along with the fact that he is Sir Ben Kingsley for crying out loud, made the actor the perfect choice to play the villain Nizam in producer Jerry Bruckheimer's adaptation of the classic video game Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, opening in theaters on May 28th. »
After earning an Academy Award, two Golden Globes and two BAFTA Awards for his riveting portrayal of Indian social leader Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Ben Kingsley continues to bring unequaled detail and nuance to each role.
During the past decade, his roles have continued to be as diverse as his talents. Beginning with such films as “Rules of Engagement,” “What Planet Are You From?” and an Oscar-nominated role as a brutal gangster in “Sexy Beast,” he received his most recent Oscar nomination in 2004 for his performance as a proud Iranian emigrant in the highly acclaimed “House of Sand and Fog.” Earlier this year, he was seen in Martin Scorsese’s 1950 drama “Shutter Island.”
In his latest film, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” an epic action-adventure set in the mystical lands of Persia, Sir Ben plays Nizam, the beloved but ambitious uncle of Prince Dastan. At the virtual round table today, »
Nicholas Meyer wrote and/or directed "Star Treks" II, IV and VI. He wrote the best-selling Sherlock Holmes novel "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution" and his screenplay for the film was nominated for an Oscar. He directed the most watched made-for-television movie, "The Day After," about nuclear war, and wrote the screenplays for Philip Roth's novels "The Human Stain" and "The Dying Animal" (filmed as "Elegy"). »
- Lisa Horowitz
Sony Pictures Classics has been so kind as to offer one lucky Film Experience reader the latest beauty from my favorite living filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces) is the labyrinthine memoir of a blind screenwriter (Lluís Homar) who was once a film director who fell madly in love with a kept woman turned actress (Penélope Cruz) on the set of their movie... (which happens to look and sound exactly like Almodóvar's international breakthrough Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown).
This contest is open to all readers -- just bear in mind that the DVD will be in the American format so you'll need an all region player if you're watching it elsewhere -- so if you want it, send an email by Friday March 19th with "Pedro" in the subject line. Include:
your nameyour shipping addressa sentence describing one thing you love about either Cruz »
- NATHANIEL R
I had put a big blind bet on Teen Patti right after watching its first trailer. Gutsy and slick, it seemed like it’s going to be, for the lack of a better expression, a Trail. But director Leena Yadav deals some pretty sad cards here; so much so that I folded up, forfeited my bet and almost walked out of the theatre in the middle of the show. Amitabh Bachchan & Ben Kingsley are as important to this film as the joker cards often are to a deck of cards.
In brief, Teen Patti is the story of an unrecognised genius - a math professor played by Amitabh Bachchan, his colleague Madhavan and five of their students. Each one of them, driven by his/her own reasons, tries to cash-in on Bachchan’s latest discovery in the area of Probability - which of course finds a convenient application »
- Faiz Ullah
Oscar-winning British actor-filmmaker Ben Kingsley is all praise for Indian women directors Nandita Das and Leena Yadav. But he now wants to make his own film in India instead of doing more Bollywood movies.
"I'd like to make a film of my own in India, (but) you are not going to see me in a mainstream Bollywood film," Kingsley, 66, who stars as a mathematical genius in Yadav's "Teen Patti", told Ians over phone from London.
"I do intend to hopefully produce and star in my own film in India. We are having some progress on that. Rather than creating offers, I am creating my own work in India which to me is very satisfying," he added.
Drawing a similarity between director Yadav and Lord Attenborough whose film "Gandhi" was based in India and fetched Kingsley an Oscar, he said: "All good directors have one particular quality in common.
"Both Yadav »
Last year, critics raved about Penelope Cruz's performances in Elegy and Vicki Cristina Barcelona, the latter winning her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. This year, she's being lauded for turns in Broken Embraces and the musical Nine, in which she plays Daniel Day-Lewis's sultry mistress, Carla. She's been nominated for an Oscar for the role. Here she talks about getting ready for Nine and how she keeps her »
tues top ten: for the list maker in me and the list lover in you
Your life isn't complete without knowing the answer to the following question:
What Are the Ten Longest Titles of Best Picture Nominees? We've answered it once before but Precious... which is officially titled Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire has shaken up the rankings. Plus, new readers haven't read this. So, it's new to you!
There are several ways to count the titles and they result in different orders. I've opted to do it by character count, not including spaces.
point of contention: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope used to simply be called Star Wars. Now, people add the episode tags because there are so many of them... If you allow for the revised official titling, Star Wars makes the top ten, tying for #9
10 Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) Just »
- NATHANIEL R
18 items from 2010
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