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The Best Black American Films of the 21st Century, From ‘Straight Outta Compton’ to ‘Black Panther’

  • Indiewire
The Best Black American Films of the 21st Century, From ‘Straight Outta Compton’ to ‘Black Panther’
Black voices have always been essential to American cinema, but they’re especially potent this summer, with two exciting upcoming releases: Boots Riley’s “Sorry To Bother You” and Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” have impressed critics and magnified the beating pulse of black identity politics, while skewering those persons and institutions that hinder black social and economic advancement. Though vastly different in tone and technique, they echo similar themes: Black American political disillusionment, the struggle for higher standards, and the pressure to maintain an authentic version of oneself.

With these potent ideas playing out at movie theaters across the country, we’ve arrived at a perfect opportunity to examine the best black American films of the 21st century.

From renowned stories and landmark performances to culturally relevant comedies and iconic directors, each of these movies have molded the landscape of black cinema into what it is today. Dee Rees, Ava DuVernay,
See full article at Indiewire »

Cinema/Chicago founder Michael Kutza to step down

Cinema/Chicago founder Michael Kutza to step down
Kutza co-founded Chicago International Film Festival in 1964.

Michael Kutza the founder and CEO of Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, will step down at the end of the year.

Kutza co-founded the in 1964 and served as the festival’s artistic director through 2017.

The festivl’s board have organised a gala to celebrate Kutza’s 55-year career, where they will present him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Chaz Ebert, Candace Jordan, and Maria Pappas will chair the ‘Celebrating Michael’ event set for July 14.

After co-founding the Chicago International Film Festival with silent screen actress Colleen Moore, Kutza
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The Evolution of Charlize Theron, From ‘Monster’ to ‘Tully’ (Photos)

The Evolution of Charlize Theron, From ‘Monster’ to ‘Tully’ (Photos)
Everyone’s favorite South African actress Charlize Theron has shown vast range in her 20+ year career. The intense, crazed action of “Mad Max: Fury Road” the foul-mouthed slacker in “Young Adult,” the ditzy blonde on “Arrested Development,” and the literal “Monster” she won an Oscar for all sit side by side on her resume. Theron’s new film “Tully” opening Friday finds her in a role she’s never tackled before, a modern mom in way over her head. So it is we chart Theron’s growth as an actress and producer in a timeline stretching back to her earliest work.

Modeling and Dancing Years

Theron got her start as a model and a dancer, even attending the Joffrey School of Ballet until a knee injury made her rethink her career in America.

2 Days in the Valley” (1996)

Theron’s first film speaking role was as the sultry Helga Svelgen in the thriller “2 Days in the Valley,” where she starred opposite Teri Hatcher, Jeff Daniels, James Spader and Danny Aiello.

“The Devil’s Advocate” (1997)

Theron had a string of larger projects in the late ’90s where she was attracted to working with interesting directors, be it Taylor Hackford on the Keanu Reeves film “The Devil’s Advocate,” Woody Allen for “Celebrity,” Lasse Hallstrom for “The Cider House Rules” or John Frankenheimer for “The Reindeer Games.”

The Italian Job” (2003)

One of Theron’s first major action star roles was in “The Italian Job,” a remake of a classic heist caper where she starred opposite Mark Wahlberg and helped to make Mini Coopers awesome.

Monster” (2003)

Theron went under a complete transformation to play Aileen Wournos, a prostitute turned serial killer. The film she produced along with her production company Denver & Delilah. And her crazed, intense, raw work won her an Oscar.

North Country” (2005)

In Niki Caro’s drama about one of the first sexual harassment cases in the United States, Theron earned another Oscar nomination playing a woman who leaves her abusive husband and takes a job working in a mine.

Arrested Development” (2005)

Theron guest starred during the third season of the cult sitcom “Arrested Development” as Rita, a love interest to Michael Bluth. She plays cute on the show, toying with the idea that she might be a British spy investigating the Bluths, until it’s revealed that she’s actually got the intelligence and attention span of a toddler.

“Aeon Flux” (2006)

Theron’s role as an exotic and mysterious assassin with a slick, jet black haircut in “Aeon Flux” didn’t take off as a franchise or at the box office, but it cemented Theron as a capable action star.

Young Adult” (2011)

After a brief hiatus on the big screen, Theron took a radically different role as foul-mouthed slacker Mavis Gary, who tries to relive her glory days and make it with her high school sweetheart after going through a tough breakup.

Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

The continuation of the “Mad Max” trilogy turned out to be a bait and switch where the film’s real star was Theron as Imperator Furiosa. With one arm, a shaved head and absolute intensity, she anchored one of the best action movies of the decade.

Atomic Blonde” (2017)

Theron took another punishing role as something of a female John Wick in the stylized action movie “Atomic Blonde,” even doing all of her own stunts in the film.

Tully” (2018)

“Tully” reunites Theron with her “Young Adult” director and writing combo Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody. In it, she plays a mother of three and a newborn in way over her head who forms a bond with her millennial nanny. Theron gained 50 pounds for the role.

Read original story The Evolution of Charlize Theron, From ‘Monster’ to ‘Tully’ (Photos) At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

Helen Mirren Speaks Out Against Netflix: ‘It’s Devastating for Film Directors’

Helen Mirren Speaks Out Against Netflix: ‘It’s Devastating for Film Directors’
Helen Mirren would probably pick team Cannes if she had to choose a side in the current war of words between the film festival and Netflix. The Oscar-winning actress is making headlines for telling The i newspaper that Netflix is “devastating” for filmmakers and cinema at large. Mirren says the streaming platform is robbing cinema of the “communal” experience that is so essential.

“It’s devastating for people like my husband [“Ray” director Taylor Hackford], film directors, because they want their movies to be watched in a cinema with a group of people,” Mirren said. “So it’s a communal thing.”

Ironically, Mirren admits she loves watching movies on her iPad (she must be using Amazon Prime). The actress has been touring the world in promotion of her film “The Leisure Seeker,” in which she stars opposite Donald Sutherland, and she went viral earlier this month for campaigning for stunt actors to receive their own Oscar category.
See full article at Indiewire »

Helen Mirren Says Netflix Has Been ‘Devastating’ To Filmmakers

They’ve been banned from Cannes and now it seems like Netflix is also banned in Helen Mirren’s house. The Oscar-winning actress blasts the streaming giant for having a negative impact on filmmakers like her husband, director Taylor Hackford. “It’s devastating for people like my husband, film directors, because they want their movies to be watched in a
See full article at ET Canada »

Elizabeth Banks and James Gunn to reunite for new horror movie

Having starred in his 2006 directorial debut Slither, James Gunn has revealed that he’ll be reuniting with actress Elizabeth Banks on a new horror movie which he is set to produce.

“Elizabeth and I have been on the same artistic page since we first met when she auditioned for Slither back in 2005,” said Gunn. “She’s since remained one of my best friends in the world, and I’ve been fighting tooth and nail to work with her again. She’s the perfect partner to Yarvo, the H Collective and myself in creating this very special project.”

Gunn, who is busy developing his next Marvel offering Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, will produce the as-yet-untitled horror, while David Yarovesky (The Hive) will direct from a script by Brian and Mark Gunn.

Banks is currently preparing to star in Taylor Hackford’s upcoming drama Signal Hill, and has recently completed
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Green-eyed monsters by Anne-Katrin Titze

Paolo Virzì on Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland as Ella and John Spencer: "It is a love story because we were telling the story of two persons who shared an entire lifetime." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

In the final installment of my conversation at the St Regis in New York with Paolo Virzi on The Leisure Seeker, the director and co-screenwriter (with Stephen Amidon, Francesca Archibugi and Francesco Piccolo), spoke about adapting the book by Michael Zadoorian. He praised the work of production designer Richard A Wright, and we discussed Carole King's It's Too Late (Baby), Chet Baker's silver lining, jealousy and the monologue by Gretta Conroy of The Dead in James Joyce's The Dubliners, filming the Hemingway cats, and the casting of non-professional actors including his on-set translator Lilia Blouin.

The film stars Helen Mirren who will be honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll Screens Thursday March 8th at Schlafly Bottleworks

Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll screens Thursday March 8th at 7:00pm at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue Maplewood, Mo 63143). This is part of the A Film Series “Culture Shock” Film Fest which has moved to the second Thursday of every month.

On October, 18th 1986, on the sixtieth birthday of Chuck Berry, there was a concert at the Fox Theater in his hometown Saint Louis. With Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll, director Taylor Hackford does a phenomenal job in this movie. Chuck Berry, one of the most complicated and conflicted figures in the history of rock and pop music is rich territory and Hackford managed to catch Berry in all of his many guises – charming, professional, intelligent, thoughtful, bitter, petulant, unprofessional, difficult, and combative. What really marks this movie as a superior documentary is Hackford refusal to judge Berry to focus on just documenting the man and
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Breaking Film and TV Industry News — March 1

Breaking Film and TV Industry News — March 1
Thursday, March 1

– Sffilm has announced that acclaimed actor Charlize Theron will be honored during the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival with a special tribute, followed by a screening of her new film, Jason Reitman’s “Tully.” The intimate onstage conversation and the screening will take place Sunday, April 8, at 7:30pm at the Castro Theatre.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced that filmmaker Martin Scorsese will be given the inaugural Robert Osborne Award in recognition of his work as a film preservationist and impassioned classic movie fan. The Robert Osborne Award will be given out annually at the TCM Classic Film Festival to a recipient whose work has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic films alive and thriving for generations to come.

The award will be presented on April 26 during opening night of the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival.

– The Film Society of Lincoln Center is pleased to announce Mikhail Baryshnikov,
See full article at Indiewire »

Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vin Diesel to Present at Helen Mirren Tribute

The Film Society of Lincoln Center on Thursday announced that Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vin Diesel and director Taylor Hackford have been tapped to serve as presenters at the 45th Chaplin Award Gala honoring Helen Mirren, which will be presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center on April 30 at Alice Tully Hall in New York.

Baryshnikov and Hackford worked with Mirren on the 1985 Cold War drama White Nights, where Hackford and Mirren, who would later marry in 1997, first met. Diesel and Mirren appeared together in 2017’s The Fate of the Furious.

The Chaplin Award Gala is the Film...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Helen Mirren Recalls a Spooky Encounter on Her Wedding Night to Taylor Hackford

Helen Mirren Recalls a Spooky Encounter on Her Wedding Night to Taylor Hackford
Dame Helen Mirren had a huge thrill on her wedding night — but not one that most newlyweds wish for!

The Oscar winner, soon to be seen in the spooky horror Winchester, married director Taylor Hackford in 1997 after 11 years together, and spent her wedding night in a romantic turret of historic Castle Stewart, Scotland.

The night however didn’t turn out quite as The Queen star and her new husband, both 72, had planned.

“When we arrived who runs the castle, said ‘This castle is haunted. When I was renovating the castle I saw ghosts’,” Mirren told British daytime TV show This Morning on Wednesday.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Denis Villeneuve (‘Blade Runner 2049’) and Luca Guadagnino (‘Call Me by Your Name’): Does BAFTA nom – DGA snub = Oscar nomination?

Denis Villeneuve (‘Blade Runner 2049’) and Luca Guadagnino (‘Call Me by Your Name’): Does BAFTA nom – DGA snub = Oscar nomination?
Filmmakers Denis Villeneuve (“Blade Runner 2049”) and Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me by Your Name”) were snubbed by the Directors Guild Awards, but both scored BAFTA bids. Since the British academy moved up its awards to precede the Oscars starting in 2000, five of its nominees for Best Director have made it in at the Academy Awards despite being left off the DGA roster. Can Villeneuve and Guadagnino do the same?

Back in 2000, Stephen Daldry was on the hunt for an Oscar for “Billy Elliot.” Things started out badly when he was snubbed by both the Golden Globes and the DGA. That year three directors contended at the Golden Globes, DGA Awards, and BAFTAs on their way to Oscar nominations: Ang Lee for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Ridley Scott for “Gladiator” and Steven Soderbergh for both “Erin Brockovich” and “Traffic.” With the fifth slot still up for grabs, English filmmaker Daldry scored
See full article at Gold Derby »

Wait! How Did We Not Know That Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson Used to Date?

  • Popsugar
Wait! How Did We Not Know That Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson Used to Date?
While bumping into an ex is a fate most of us would avoid at all costs if given the choice, the same can't be said for Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson. The pair reunited on The Graham Norton Show on Thursday night, and it was anything but awkward. Despite the age difference, the pair (who met on the set of 1981 film Excalibur) were "smitten" at first sight and were in a relationship for four years. When asked about their history, Helen explained "we didn't 'date', we lived together for four years," adding, "We were a serious item for a while. Lucky me!" Liam continued the compliments, recalling, "I remember being on the set and standing with Ciarán Hinds as Helen walked towards us dressed in her full Morgana Le Fey costume and we both went, 'Oh f*ck,' and I was smitten . . . I think Ciarán was too, but I was very smitten!
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Liam Neeson Recalls First Falling for Former Flame Helen Mirren: 'I Was Smitten'

Liam Neeson Recalls First Falling for Former Flame Helen Mirren: 'I Was Smitten'
Former couple Liam Neeson and Helen Mirren have nothing but love for each other.

The pair reunited during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, where they opened up about their past romance.

“We didn’t date, we lived together for four years – we were a serious item for a while,” said Mirren. “Lucky me!”

The pair dated between 1980 and 1985 after meeting on the set of the 1991 fantasy film Excalibur.

Neeson, 65, admitted that it was love at first sight when it came to meeting Mirren, now 72.

“I remember being on the set and standing with Ciarán Hinds as Helen walked
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Feature: HollywoodChicago.com’s Overrated & Worst Films of 2017

Chicago – Opinions are like certain orifices, everybody has one. The contributors to HollywoodChicago.com – Patrick McDonald, Jon Lennon Espino and Spike Walters – are no strangers to opinions on the film scene, so why not offer judgement on the most overrated and worst films of the year 2017.

The term “overrated” can cover a multitude of films, but mostly it involves the critical darlings that just didn’t resonate with the contributors. The “worst,” of course, Is equally as arbitrary, but the consensus usually is in agreement after experiencing the movie. The following represents the two categories for the 2017 film year.

Patrick McDonald

Overrated: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Worst: ‘The Comedian

Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures & Sony Pictures Classics

Overrated: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – My timing is excellent, since Three Billboards was just named Best Film (Drama) at the 2018 Golden Globes. But for me, the problem with this film is
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Film News Roundup: ‘Darkest Hour’ Director Joe Wright to Be Honored by Cinema Audio Society

Film News Roundup: ‘Darkest Hour’ Director Joe Wright to Be Honored by Cinema Audio Society
In today’s film news roundup, Cinema Audio Society will honor “Darkest Hour” filmmaker Joe Wright, and “Life in Reverse” castings are revealed.

Filmmaker Award

Darkest Hour” director Joe Wright will receive the Cinema Audio Society filmmaker award at the 54th Annual Cas Awards on Feb. 24 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel.

“The Cas recognized Joe’s commitment to sound when we nominated his film ‘Hanna’ for outstanding sound mixing motion picture,” President Mark Ulano said. “His current film, ‘Darkest Hour,’ with an amazing performance by Gary Oldman, also exhibits Joe’s passion for all the crafts involved in filmmaking. With the director as conductor, Joe knows how to get the best out of every instrument in the filmmaking orchestra which makes him an excellent choice for filmmaker.”

Wright made his feature film directorial debut in 2005 with “Pride & Prejudice,” followed by “Atonement,” “The Soloist,” “Hanna,” “Anna Karenina,” and “Pan.” In 2016, Wright
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Darkest Hour’ Filmmaker Joe Wright To Receive Cinema Audio Society Filmmaker Award

‘Darkest Hour’ Filmmaker Joe Wright To Receive Cinema Audio Society Filmmaker Award
Darkest Hour director Joe Wright is receiving the Filmmaker Award at the 54th Annual Cas Awards on Feb. 24th from the Cinema Audio Society. Wright marks the 13th Cas Filmmaker Honoree joining a prestigious list of past recipients: Jon Favreau, Jay Roach, Richard Linklater, Edward Zwick, Jonathan Demme, Rob Marshall, Taylor Hackford, Henry Selick, Paul Mazursky, Bill Condon, Gil Cates and Quentin Tarantino. The Awards honor Outstanding Achievements in Sound Mixing in seven…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

November 21st Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, Jungle, The Villainess

  • DailyDead
Happy week of Thanksgiving to our Us readers! This week’s home entertainment offerings are a smaller lot, with The Villainess, Jungle, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets being some of the bigger new releases coming our way on November 21st.

Stephen Kings fans should take note, as Dolores Claiborne arrives in HD this week courtesy of the Warner Archive Collection, and XLrator Media is keeping busy as well with a bunch of recent indie titles making their way to various formats, including Dark Signal, American Mary, Housebound, and Under the Bed.

Bunnyman Vengeance is also coming home on Tuesday to both Blu and DVD via Uncork’d Entertainment, and Scarecrowd makes its DVD debut this week, too.

Dolores Claiborne (Warner Archive Collection, Blu-ray)

Selena St. George stares at the note and news clipping: Her estranged mother Dolores has been accused of murder. Grudgingly, Selena returns
See full article at DailyDead »

‘Star Wars,’ ‘Carrie’ Editor Paul Hirsch on Working with George Lucas, Brian De Palma

‘Star Wars,’ ‘Carrie’ Editor Paul Hirsch on Working with George Lucas, Brian De Palma
With more than 40 films to his credit, spanning genres from comedy to suspense and sci-fi, Oscar-winning editor Paul Hirsch has much to offer in counsel to younger filmmakers as he visits Camerimage Film Festival for his award for “unique visual sensitivity.”

Having jumped into editing with no formal training on 1970’s “Hi, Mom!” for Brian De Palma, soon leading to work with George Lucas on the first “Star Wars” film – for which he won an Oscar along with Marcia Lucas, and Richard Chew – Hirsch says he’s always focused on rhythm and the structure of music as guiding forces in his work.

“Music and film are the only art forms where time is involved,” he says. “There are rhythms involved in architecture and poetry, of course. And I suppose dance is sort of grafted onto music.”

The graduate of the High School of Music & Art and a native New Yorker has employed his sense of staccato and counterpoint
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Industry Veterans Found New Castle Productions

Veteran sales and distribution executives Lyndon Golin, Peter Elson, and Ray Price have joined forces to launch New Castle Pictures.

The new U.S.-based distribution company will specialize in independent English-language and foreign language films with commercial appeal and plan to release four to six films in its first year in top DMAs and on VOD platforms. will allow producers an aggressive participation in the producers’ USA deals by offering P&A guarantees, gross revenue shares and the opportunity to become partners in the distribution of their films.

“Ncp is foremost focused on theatrical release and success, and our vision is to aggressively acquire and market unique titles suited for a specialty theatrical run,” Elson said.

Golin, who currently serves as president and is one of the co-founder of Regency Theatres, will serve as chairman of New Castle Pictures. He has also worked in distribution for companies like Universal Pictures, MGM/UA, and Hollywood.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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