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‘Macbeth’ on film: From 1916 to 2021

‘Macbeth’ on film: From 1916 to 2021
Something wicked this way comes to theaters on Christmas Day: Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”. The latest interpretation of Shakespeare’s 1606 Scottish play stars Oscar-winners Denzel Washington as Macbeth, a brave general who hears a prophecy from a trio of witches that he will become king, and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, the general’s ambitious wife, who goads him into killing the King.

It’s the first film the Oscar-winning Coen has done without his brother Ethan. Coen directed his wife McDormand (they married in 1984) to the first of her three Oscars with 1996’s “Fargo.’ Could this film bag her a 4th?

Even though the play is considered “cursed” that hasn’t stopped directors and actors from tackling the powerful tragedy. The last screen version starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and directed by Justin Kurzel was released in 2015. Reviews were generally good; the box office wasn’t.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Thornton Wilder Classic ‘The Skin Of Our Teeth’ To Get Broadway Revival

Thornton Wilder Classic ‘The Skin Of Our Teeth’ To Get Broadway Revival
The Skin of Our Teeth, Thornton Wilder’s 1943 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy-drama, will return to Broadway next spring in a Lincoln Center Theater production directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz.

Blain-Cruz, the Lct’s resident director, will be making her Broadway debut with the production, which will begin previews Thursday, March 31 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, with an official opening on Monday, April 25.

The fantastical Skin of Our Teeth chronicles a New Jersey family as it perseveres through one apocalypse after another, including the Ice Age, the Biblical flood and war.

“The Skin of Our Teeth is a play for right now,” said Blain-Cruz in a statement. “It’s a title that has been in my consciousness for a long time and while searching for the perfect play with which to make my Beaumont debut I re-read it. I was so deeply moved by Thornton Wilder’s story of a family going through apocalypse after apocalypse,
See full article at Deadline »

Women in TV are gaslit and overlooked. No wonder they’re leaving the UK | Deborah Frances-White

Women in TV are gaslit and overlooked. No wonder they’re leaving the UK | Deborah Frances-White
Female creatives in Britain are less likely to be allowed to create original dramas and comedies than men. So they are heading off across the Atlantic

I have been working on a television script set in the Og, glamorous roaring 20s. All the futurists tell us that the end of lockdown is the beginning of the raunch relaunch, and we don’t need experts to tell us we wouldn’t say no to a masked ball as long as the mask wasn’t surgical.

I’ve been writing about all the American women who came to Britain to make their fortune and be taken seriously. Actor and wit Tallulah Bankhead – who famously said “My father warned me about men and booze but never said a word about women and cocaine” – couldn’t catch a break on Broadway but became the most famous woman in the UK. Virginian Nancy Astor was
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

A Battle of Wits and Knits: Despite Its Intentions, ‘Cruella’ Proves Why the Baddies Are More Fun

A Battle of Wits and Knits: Despite Its Intentions, ‘Cruella’ Proves Why the Baddies Are More Fun
“Your name is Estella,” her mother says. “Not Cruella.” Not yet, anyway. Disney’s Cruella, headlined by Emma Stone, is named for its would-be villain rather than for the 90-something Dalmatian puppies she’s tried to dognap in the name of fashion, time and again, over the years. The original Cruella would probably have preferred a biopic more akin to The Devil Wears Pongo. But in line with Maleficent, another of Disney’s recent villain revamps, it’s our old ideas about these bad guys — these bad women — that are
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Cruella’ Film Review: Emma Stone Generates Sympathy for the de Vil

‘Cruella’ Film Review: Emma Stone Generates Sympathy for the de Vil
Cruella” is loaded with pop-song needle drops throughout, but it’s the oft-used Rolling Stones hit at the end that ties it all together: The studio that gave us “Maleficent” and the director of “I, Tonya” have teamed up to rehabilitate yet another villain, in a film that could have just as easily been titled “Sympathy for the de Vil.”

Yes, the dastardly fashionista who wanted to skin 101 Dalmatians just to make a coat has been officially retrofitted here, but there’s plenty to enjoy if you don’t mind the fact that this new version of the character eschews fur, canine or otherwise, and doesn’t even smoke. Purists may balk, but viewers who think of this less as a reboot of Dodie Smith’s memorable monster and more as a Disney spin on Derek Jarman’s “Jubilee” for gay 8-year-olds will find “Cruella” to be flashy fun, even
See full article at The Wrap »

Cruella Review: A Neutered Villain Origin Story

Cruella Review: A Neutered Villain Origin Story
It’s true of most Disney films that the villain is the most memorable character, and often—like with Ursula in The Little Mermaid—the most beautifully drawn, as if even the animators enjoyed their company more. In no case is this more true than in 1961’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Outfitted in a huge mink coat lined with blood-red silk and with acid green cigarette smoke billowing around her, Cruella De Vil is more charismatic and entertaining than the upstanding protagonists (and this includes the dogs).

It’s probably inevitable in the current climate—where every thread of plot from Disney’s intellectual property is spun into a standalone project—that Cruella De Vil would get an origin story, one that explains how someone could be callous enough to murder puppies for a coat. But Cruella goes to great lengths to make the villain sympathetic on her journey from a Dickensian childhood,
See full article at The Film Stage »

The United States vs Billie Holiday Director Lee Daniels on Jazz Icon: 'Her Imperfection Is What Made Her Perfect'

The United States vs Billie Holiday Director Lee Daniels on Jazz Icon: 'Her Imperfection Is What Made Her Perfect'
Billie Holiday didn’t particularly enjoy singing “Strange Fruit,” a chilling anti-lynching anthem that compared Black bodies to fruit hanging from a tree, but she knew it was too important to not be performed.

The song, which earned the sympathy of her Black and white patrons, made her a threat to the FBI and marked the early beginnings of the Civil Rights movement, serves as the centerpiece of Lee Daniels’ forthcoming The United States vs Billie Holiday.

More from TVLineQueen Latifah: 'Black Women Have Been Equalizing for Years and Years, From Hatshepsut to Kamala Harris'Genius: Aretha EP Suzan-Lori Parks: 'Black
See full article at TVLine.com »

Lady Sings the Blues Again: The Story Behind ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’

Lady Sings the Blues Again: The Story Behind ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’
Director Lee Daniels was in the midst of wrapping up his latest movie — The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which tells the story of the late, troubled jazz singer and how “Strange Fruit,” the anti-lynching protest song she introduced to the world, brought her both triumph and troubles — when he noticed an unsettling parallel. He suddenly got a firsthand look at just how timely his new film project was. “We were in the middle of editing and that [George Floyd’s death] happened,” he recalls. “People were sending me [protest] videos
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘The United States vs Billie Holiday’ Review: Lee Daniels’ History Lesson Mixes Anger and Gloss

‘The United States vs Billie Holiday’ Review: Lee Daniels’ History Lesson Mixes Anger and Gloss
Arriving on Hulu in the wake of “MLK/FBI” and “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” provides yet another angle on J. Edgar Hoover’s war against Black America. And while director Lee Daniels packs in as much righteous anger as those other films, he does so with his trademark love of melodrama and disdain for subtlety.

In her first major acting role, singer Andra Day gives an emphatic and multi-shaded performance as the legendary Lady Day, but she and her talented co-stars are subject to an often-clunky screenplay by the esteemed playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, not to mention Daniels’ signature sensibility of putting too fine a point on anything and everything.

The goal is to correct the conventional take on Holiday, one of the 20th century’s greatest singers, breaking from received ideas about her drug addiction and exploring the facts about her relentless harassment by the FBI,
See full article at The Wrap »

The Art Of Craft: ‘The United States Vs. Billie Holiday’ Costume Designer Paolo Nieddu Sculpts His Own Version Of Legendary Blues Singer

The Art Of Craft: ‘The United States Vs. Billie Holiday’ Costume Designer Paolo Nieddu Sculpts His Own Version Of Legendary Blues Singer
“[Bille Holiday] was such an avant-garde [figure], so it was trying to pull things that seemed new. There are so many pictures of her, it’s wild. She has so many looks within all these different times, so I just went towards images that drew me in, and stayed on the line of the year that we were working in. There would be times where we were coming directly from a moment, and matching to a moment in time, and then there were moments where we could take liberty. And that was where I got to create more.” — Paolo Nieddu

On The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Paolo Nieddu crafted period-accurate looks for Holiday (played by singer-songwriter Andra Day), showcasing the “Black glamour and excellence” she represented.

With script in hand, his first step was to create a timeline of historical images, charting her style trajectory from 1947 to 1959.

His lookbook featured materials from the Library of Congress,
See full article at Deadline »

Paul Phillips Dies: Stage Manager For Judy Garland, Gwen Verdon, Broadway Classic Musicals Was 95

Paul Phillips Dies: Stage Manager For Judy Garland, Gwen Verdon, Broadway Classic Musicals Was 95
Paul Phillips, whose long career as a Broadway stage manager included work on such notable productions as Sweet Charity, Mame, Chicago and, in 1967, the now historic Judy Garland at Home at the Palace, died Dec. 5 of natural causes in Naples, Florida. He was 95.

His death was announced by publicist Harlan Boll.

Born in Pleasantville New York, Phillips enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and was deployed to fight in the South Pacific during WWII. After the war he moved to Hollywood for an acting career, but soon returned to New York, where he would shift from acting to Broadway stage management, beginning in 1959 with director George Abbott’s Fiorella.

Abbott brought Phillips over to stage manage his next play, 1961’s Take Her, She’s Mine starring Art Carney.

Phillips’ next show was producer David Merrick’s short-lived production of The Rehearsal, and a 1965 City Center Revival of Guys and Dolls.
See full article at Deadline »

Peter Bart: No Love For Hollywood With Cancellations, Exhibitor Fights And Ryan Murphy’s Unkind Netflix Revisionist Send-Up

Peter Bart: No Love For Hollywood With Cancellations, Exhibitor Fights And Ryan Murphy’s Unkind Netflix Revisionist Send-Up
As festivals continue to cancel and studios retreat on release dates, the movie industry is resolutely pursuing what it acknowledges to be a perilous scenario. “Even Hollywood needs love now and then,” Samuel Goldwyn once proclaimed, but instead it faces stubborn exhibitors like AMC and Cineworld, who hammer studios for breaking the 90-day window. It also confronts streamers led by Netflix churning out content at a rate that would make Louis B. Mayer cower. And it faces binge-bonded TV audiences who may never again leave their couches, even if it means surrendering to cinematic malfeasance like Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood (more on that later).

Instead of love, the one certitude filmmakers can rely on this year is a new set of Academy rules permitting eligibility for films that debut on a streaming service or an on-demand platform. To be sure, flickers of optimism always reside with those films that no
See full article at Deadline »

Netflix’s Hollywood Episode 5 – Easter Egg and Reference Guide

Netflix’s Hollywood Episode 5 – Easter Egg and Reference Guide
This article contains Hollywood spoilers. You can find the easter egg guide for the previous episode here.

In what might be the most glamorous episode of Hollywood yet, George Hurrell’s decadent photo sessions get name checked, and (probably) Mickey Cohen’s mob gets involved. Let’s get cracking at those eggs!

Hollywood Episode 5

-The episode begins with Avis and company lamenting how terrible Walt Disney’s Song of the South is. And they’re not wrong, although one of its stars, Hattie McDaniel, is about to get a pretty glamorous treatment beginning in this episode…

-As production of Meg gets underway, we hear Ethel Merman’s iconic “There’s No Business Like Show Business” playing.

-We are also introduced to Queen Latifah as Hattie McDaniel… and she’s in a three way with a man and woman?! This is based on speculation and rumors that she was part of
See full article at Den of Geek »

Netflix’s Hollywood and The Real History of Vivien Leigh

Netflix’s Hollywood and The Real History of Vivien Leigh
This article contains mild Hollywood spoilers.

On Netflix’s new series Hollywood, the Stallions of the Gas Station, circa 1947, fill up a dinner party being thrown by legendary filmmaker George Cukor. In between bites, and biting remarks by the ever-incisive Tallulah Bankhead, we are treated to Vivien Leigh, played by Katie McGuinness, giving an impromptu reading of her captivating and iconic Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939). At the after party, all of the celebrities entertain illicit passion for a predetermined price. Like his character on American Horror Story, Dylan McDermott’s fictional Ernie is renowned for a certain largesse, and he bestows his beneficence on Leigh, who also carries a secret.

Up until quite recently, Vivien Leigh, the legendary star of stage and screen, was branded with the label nymphomaniac, a derogatory-sounding term which makes it sound like she was a sex addict. In reality, she fought a
See full article at Den of Geek »

Netflix’s Hollywood Episode 3 – History, Easter Egg Guide, and References

Netflix’s Hollywood Episode 3 – History, Easter Egg Guide, and References
This article contains Hollywood spoilers. You can find our easter egg guide for the previous episode here.

If you wanted a star-gazing episode from Ryan Murphy (or perhaps a different four-letter word to do with stars), then this is it. In one episode we get Vivien Leigh, Tallulah Bankhead, Alfred Hitchcock, Noel Coward, and some juicy gossip about Errol Flynn. So get ready to go to a George Cukor party!

Hollywood Episode 3

-The third episode begins to the sound of Ella Fitzgerald’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light.”

-Ernie reveals to the boys that they’re going to a George Cukor party. While I was aware that Cole Porter and, at this point, retired director James Whale enjoyed scandalous pool parties, I’d been under the impression that Cukor was more deeply in the closet, preferring urbane Saturday night parties with celebrities. Which is still true, but according to Scotty Bowers,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Hollywood Review: Ryan Murphy's Showbiz Fable Gets Lost in Dreamland

Hollywood Review: Ryan Murphy's Showbiz Fable Gets Lost in Dreamland
I’ll say this about Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix drama Hollywood: The costumes are fantastic. With its characters decked out in fedoras, three-piece suits and bejeweled ball gowns, the 1940s period piece co-created by Murphy and his Glee co-writer Ian Brennan — debuting this Friday, May 1; I’ve seen all seven episodes — gives us a much-needed dose of old-school glamour during these sweatpants-heavy quarantimes. Ah, but if only the rest of the series lived up to the clothes. This sprawling, ambitious look at the actors, producers and studio executives that created the film industry’s Golden Age sets out to rewrite history,
See full article at TVLine.com »

John Kobal, the talking pictures man – archive, 11 March 1987

John Kobal, the talking pictures man – archive, 11 March 1987
11 March 1987: The famous Hollywood chronicler and stills collector, who has interviewed everybody, meets Richard Boston

“I tend to forget what I’ve just said,” John Kobal said, and a couple of minutes later he said: “What have I just said?” It’s not surprising that he can’t always remember what he’s just said because he says so much. He talks nineteen to the dozen. He also listens.

He must do, because he’s interviewed everyone from Arletty, Tallulah Bankhead, Louise Brooks and Joan Crawford at one end of the alphabet to Mae West and Loretta Young at the other end, with Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn, Anita Loos, Joel McCrea and almost every other Hollywood star you can think of in between. Somehow they all managed to get plenty of words in edgeways and the result is a whole shelf of books.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Pumpkin Eater

In the fall of ‘64, while Hollywood was gently satirizing the battle of the sexes with Send Me No Flowers and What a Way to Go!, Europe was at work in the trenches, peppering art houses with piercing dramas like François Truffaut‘s The Soft Skin and André Cayatte’s dual release, Anatomy of a Marriage: My Nights With Francoise and My Days with Jean-Marc (“One Ticket Admits You to Both Theaters”). Perhaps most unforgiving of all was Jack Clayton’s The Pumpkin Eater starring Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch and James Mason.

Bancroft plays Jo Armitage, a fragile beauty who responds to her husband’s infidelities by getting pregnant. Finch is Jake, a screenwriter whose recent success has emboldened him to walk on the wild side thereby provoking Jo to over-crowd the nursery. Mason is, once again, the odd man out, the deceptively genial husband of one of Jake’s conquests.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

‘Classics In The Loop’ – Monday Film Series at The Tivoli Continues October 21st with Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

“I didn’t bring your breakfast, because you didn’t eat your din-din!”

‘Classics on the Loop’ continues at The Tivoli next week with Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? Screenings happen on Monday October 21st at 4 pm and 7 pm . Admission is just $7.The Tivoli is located at 6350 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, Mo 63130. A Facebook invite can be found Here

The 1962 shocker Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? blended Psycho with Sunset Boulevard to compelling effect. One of the great movies about the movies, (and the best movies about the movies bite the hand that feeds them), and the best of director Robert Aldrich’s ‘women’s pictures’. It’s about a couple of self-loathing sisters hauled up together in a decaying Hollywood mansion, a too-close-to-home study of the real life rivalry between stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford or even as a veiled study of homosexual self-depreciation with the sisters as aging drag queens.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Making Montgomery Clift’ Film Review: Doc Liberates Screen Icon From His Gloomy Reputation

‘Making Montgomery Clift’ Film Review: Doc Liberates Screen Icon From His Gloomy Reputation
Montgomery Clift has been viewed as a tragic case since at least the publication of Patricia Bosworth’s 1978 biography, where his image became set as an innovative and very beautiful gay or bisexual actor who destroyed himself due to the external pressures of society.

But his nephew Robert Clift seeks to give a more nuanced portrait of his uncle in “Making Montgomery Clift,” a very revealing documentary that is based around a collection of audio tapes and other memorabilia kept by Robert’s father Brooks, who was Clift’s older brother. The Clift remembered here is not the doomed victim of so many mythologizing books and TV programs but a highly intelligent, mordantly funny man who successfully fought to keep his creative and sexual integrity intact.

“Making Montgomery Clift” is a provocative title that Clift himself might have enjoyed because it has a double meaning; to “make” someone, in old-fashioned slang,
See full article at The Wrap »
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