Great Balls of Fire!

Director Jim McBride puts retro magic into a rock ‘n’ roll bio about a big talent who was probably more fun on stage than in person. Dennis Quaid hits the right note of insanity for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis’s rise to fame and fortune. Winona Ryder’s hilarious, almost scary bobby-sox Lolita becomes Jerry’s girl bride. Everything’s ducky until the real-life story goes sour, leaving the comic characterizations high and dry.

Great Balls of Fire!


Olive Films

1989 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 108 min. / Street Date February 27, 2018 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, John Doe, Stephen Tobolowsky, Trey Wilson, Alec Baldwin, Steve Allen, Jimmie Vaughan, Lisa Blount, Lisa Jane Persky, Peter Cook, Joe Bob Briggs.

Cinematography: Affonso Beato

Film Editor: Lisa Day, Pembroke Herring, Bert Lovitt

Production Design: David Nichols

Written by Jim McBride & Jack Baran, from a book by Myra Lewis
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Ghost World

Daniel Clowes’ comics creation receives an A-Plus film adaptation through the directorial filter of Terry Zwigoff. The show has more going for it than the bleak alienation of disaffected quasi- gen-Xers — the script offers a depth of character revealing the insecure, hopes and fears behind all the insulting attitudes and behaviors. It’s caustic, funny and also strongly affecting.

Ghost World


The Criterion Collection 872

2001 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date May 30, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro, Illeana Douglas, Bob Balaban, Stacey Travis, Teri Garr.

Cinematography: Affonso Beato

Production Designer: Edward T. McAvoy

Art Direction: Alan E. Muraoka

Film Editors: Carole Kravetz, Michael R. Miller

Original Music: David Kitay

Writing credits: Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff from the comics by Daniel Clowes

Produced by Pippa Cross, Janette Day, Lianne Halfon, Barbara A. Hall,

John Malkovich, Russell Smith

Directed by Terry Zwigoff

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Roland Joffe to Head Camerimage Jury

Roland Joffe to Head Camerimage Jury
London — Roland Joffe, helmer of “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission,” is to be president of the main competition jury at Camerimage film festival, which focuses on cinematography.

Joffe is joined on the jury by cinematographer Christian Berger (“The Piano Teacher,” “The White Ribbon”), director and screenwriter Ryszard Bugajski (“Interrogation,” “The Closed Circuit”), photographer Ryszard Horowitz, and production designer David Gropman (“The Cider House Rules,” “Chocolat,” “Life of Pi”).

Others on the jury are cinematographer-producer Arthur Reinhart (“Crows,” “Tristan + Isolde”), cinematographer Oliver Stapleton (“The Cider House Rules,” “Pay It Forward”), cinematographer Manuel Alberto Claro (“Melancholia,” “Nymphomaniac”) and sound engineer David MacMillan (“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Speed,” “Apollo 13”).

Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (“The Right Stuff,” “The Passion of the Christ”) will be jury president for the Polish Films Competition. He’ll be joined by cinematographer Affonso Beato, producer Scott Franklin, curator-film programmer-producer Ellen Harrington, cinematographer Phil Meheux, cinematographer Matthew Libatique,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Camerimage unveils competition line-up, juries

  • ScreenDaily
Camerimage unveils competition line-up, juries
Birdman, Fury and Leviathan among main competition titles; Roland Joffé to preside over main jury.

Alejandro G Ińárritu, Yimou Zhang, Mike Leigh and Jean-Marc Vallée are among the directors with films screening in competition at the 22nd Camerimage (Nov 15-22), the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography.

The main competition at the festival, held in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, comprises:

Alejandro G Ińárritu’s Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); USA, 2014; Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

Yimou Zhang’s Coming Home (Gui lai); China, 2014; Cinematographer: Zhao Xiaoding

Richard Raymond’s Desert Dancer; UK, 2014; Cinematographer: Carlos Catalán Alucha

Lech J. Majewski’s Field of Dogs - Onirica (Onirica - Psie pole); Poland, 2014; Cinematographers: Paweł Tybora and Lech J. Majewski

Krzysztof Zanussi’s Foreign Body (Obce cialo); Poland, Italy, Russia, 2014; Cinematographer: Piotr Niemyjski

David Ayer’s Fury; USA, 2014; Cinematographer: Roman Vasyanov

Tate Taylor’s Get on Up; USA, 2014; Cinematographer: Stephen Goldblatt

Łukasz Palkowski’s Gods (Bogowie); Poland, 2014; Cinematographer:
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Roland Joffe to preside over Camerimage jury

  • ScreenDaily
Roland Joffe to preside over Camerimage jury
Polish film festival sets competition juries; Roland Joffe to preside over main competition.

Camerimage (Nov 15-22), the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, has set an impressive roster of jurors for its various competition categories.

The Killing Fields director Roland Joffe will preside over the main competition jury, which incldues cinematographers Christian Berger and Manuel Alberto Claro.

Caleb Deschanel has been appointed president of the Polish Films Competition.

The full list of jurors is below.

Main Competition

Roland Joffé – Jury President (director, producer; The Killing Fields, The Mission, Vatel)

Christian Berger (cinematographer; The Piano Teacher, Hidden, The White Ribbon)

Ryszard Bugajski (director, screenwriter; Interrogation, General Nil, The Closed Circuit)

Ryszard Horowitz (photographer)

David Gropman (cinematographer; The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, Life of Pi)

Arthur Reinhart (cinematographer, producer; Crows, Tristan + Isolde, Venice)

Oliver Stapleton (cinematographer; The Cider House Rules, Pay It Forward, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark)

Manuel Alberto Claro (cinematographer; Reconstruction, Melancholia, Nymphomaniac
See full article at ScreenDaily »

31 Days of Horror (Remakes): Top 5 Horror Remakes That Didn’t Suck

It has long been a known fact that Hollywood’s well of ideas has run dry. The box office success of countless retreads, remakes, reboots and updates (whatever you want to label them) only serves to condemn the movie-going public as accomplices in this crime of imagination. Yet for every rule there is an exception and, while some would be reluctant to admit it, Hollywood has indeed produced some remakes worthy of their original’s legacy. This list counts down the top five horror remakes that achieved the impossible: they did not suck…

5. Dark Water (2005)

Directed by Walter Salles

Written by Rafael Yglesias

American filmmakers are obsessed with remaking foreign films in their own image (it’s like they’re afraid we’ll fall asleep from having to actually read subtitles). In the case of Japanese Horror Cinema the American versions tend to eschew the quiet tense dread that is
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Hoberman, HBO's "Cinema Verite," More

  • MUBI
 This evening at 92Y Tribeca, J Hoberman will be introducing a screening of Anthony Mann's Reign of Terror (1949, also known as The Black Book) and signing copies of his new book, An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War. For Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Leo Goldsmith writes that "Hoberman's particular interest here is the cinema that captured and often prodded the pathologies of the day: reactionary exposés of the lurking Red Menace, crypto-socialist satires and sympathetic docudramas, and those scads of B-grade Cold War allegories presented in the genre guise of science fiction, the biblical epic, the western. With a cast of characters including G-men, fact-finders, space invaders, coonskin kids, Christian soldiers, and 'white negroes,' and with cameos from the likes of Ronald Reagan, Nick Ray, Orson Welles, and Joe McCarthy, it's a densely detailed, near-hallucinatory history, irradiated with Hoberman's inimitable,
See full article at MUBI »

Guy Pearce in Mis-Fits by L.D. Napier

Mis-Fits is the upcoming L.D. Napier official directorial debut and a story of a “necro-detective,” who searches for peoples lost and or dead relatives.

And, by the way, it’s the project with some serious cast, because Guy Pearce, Cloris Leachman, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Seymour Cassel and Virginie Ledoyen have all been tapped to co-star in it!

The movie is based on a script by Napier, and producer Doug Claybourne says that Mis-Fits “is a wacky comedy in the tone of Harold and Maude.”

Cinematographer Affonso Beato (The Queen) and production designer Richard Hoover (Dead Man Walking) have also climbed aboard for the project, while Ingrid Michaelson is set to write an original song for the film with music by M. Ward.

Napier previously directed the documentaries The Incremental Injury and Every 21 Seconds: Or Why I Scream at the Refrigerator.

But, we still guess that this could be something quite interesting.
See full article at Filmofilia »

Pearce, Moreno, Cassel, Leachman, and Ledoyen to Star in L.D. Napier’s Mis-fits

Guy Pearce, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Seymour Cassel, Cloris Leachman, and Virginie Ledoyen have been cast in author-playwright L.D. Napier’s directorial debut Mis-Fits. According to Variety, the comedy centers on a ‘necro-detective’ who goes in search of people’s lost dead relatives.” I assume he always comes back with bad news. Producer Doug Claybourne says that Mis-Fits “is a wacky comedy in the tone of Harold and Maude“.

Filming is set to begin in May with Affonso Beato (The Queen) on board as cinematographer and Richard Hoover (Dead Man Walking) attached as production designer. Ingrid Michaelson will write an original song for the movie with music by M. Ward. Napier previously directed the documentaries The Incremental Injury and Every 21 Seconds: Or Why I Scream at the Refrigerator. Pearce recently co-starred in the critically acclaimed Animal Kingdom and The King’s Speech.
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Guy Pearce and Cloris Leachman Are Mis-Fits

Guy Pearce is one of the Mis-Fits Author and playwright L.D. Napier is set to make her directorial debut with the outrageous comedy Mis-Fits, which just landed Guy Pearce and Cloris Leachman as its two leads. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Seymour Cassel, Virginie Ledoyen, and Catalina Sandino Moreno have also come aboard the project.

L.D. Napier wrote the screenplay, which is being compared to Harold and Maude. The plot revolves around a group of 'necro-detectives'; Private Investigators who track down people's lost or considered dead relatives.

Affonso Beato, the cinematographer behind The Queen, has come aboard the project, as has production designer Richard Hoover. Ingrid Michaelson is teaming with M. Ward to write and produce an original song for Mis-Fits.

Mis-Fits comes to theaters in 2011 and stars Guy Pearce, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Seymour Cassel, Cloris Leachman, Virginie Ledoyen.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Guy Pearce, Cloris Leachman are 'Mis-Fits'

Guy Pearce, Cloris Leachman are 'Mis-Fits'
Guy Pearce, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Seymour Cassel, Cloris Leachman and Virginie Ledoyen are "Mis-Fits."

The quintet of actors has been cast in author-playwright L.D. Napier's directorial debut, an original comedy that she also wrote. Doug Claybourne will produce through his Make It Happen Prods., with filming scheduled to begin in May.

"Mis-Fits" tells the story of a "necro-detective" who goes in search of people's lost, dead relatives.

"It's a wacky comedy in the tone of 'Harold and Maude,'" said Claybourne ("The Fast and the Furious").

Cinematographer Affonso Beato ("The Queen") and production designer Richard Hoover ("Dead Man Walking") have joined the crew, and Ingrid Michaelson will write an original song for the film with music by M. Ward.

Icm, which reps Claybourne, is also repping sales for the film.

CAA reps Pearce ("The King's Speech"). UTA and Principal Entertainment rep Moreno ("The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"). Abrams Artists Agency
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Dark Water

Dark Water
Fresh from his Oscar-nominated The Motorcycle Diaries, acclaimed director Walter Salles takes the horror movie plunge with Dark Water, a psychological thriller with the accent truly on the psychological.

With his stirring visual sense very much intact here, Salles sets the creepy mood eloquently, but the picture -- based on the Japanese film by Hideo Nakata and a short story by Koji Suzuki, both of The Ring fame -- ultimately fails to reward all the little shivers with any satisfying jolts.

Although it's refreshing to have a horror script (by Fearless screenwriter Rafael Yglesias) that veers away from the usual zombies and slashers, the recurring thematic elements in Dark Water are still all too familiar to anyone who has seen any installment of The Ring cycle, not to mention the recent Amityville Horror or Hide and Seek.

That watered-down effect, combined with an unsatisfying ending that stints on the kind of audience-shocking coup de grace that translates into repeat viewings, will make for respectable but most likely not summer-worthy numbers.

There's no shortage of icky atmosphere in the picture's setup, with newly divorced mom Dahlia Williams (Jennifer Connelly) and her young daughter, Ceci (Ariel Gade), renting a depressing apartment in a sprawling block of bleak concrete monoliths on bleaker Roosevelt Island.

It's the kind of joint that would make the apartment in Polanski's The Tenant look downright homey by comparison, so it's not surprising that the nasty-looking dark water stain that starts to form on the ceiling can only lead to worse stuff.

Of course, a bad leak is never really about a bad leak, especially in the Japanese thriller arena, and Salles and Yglesias plumb some murky psychological depths having much (a little too much) to do with Dahlia's own abandonment issues and big-city alienation.

By the time the inevitable deluge arrives, one can almost hear the Lennon-McCartney refrain of "Ah, look at all the lonely people" along with all that dripping and sinister whispering in the walls.

But while the story is a bit of a letdown, the performances are watertight. Connelly brings a nicely grounded and tightly coiled restraint to her role, while John C. Reilly is an absolute hoot as the smarmy con man of a complex manager who hustles Dahlia into taking the apartment.

Also effective is Pete Postlethwaite as Veeck, the building's moody janitor; Tim Roth as a sympathetic attorney who appears to work out of his car; and young Gade as Dahlia's big-eyed daughter.

There are also no complaints about the oodles of eerie atmosphere. You can almost smell the suffocating dankness in Affonso Beato's evocative, shadow-laced cinematography and production designer Therese DePrez's appropriately washed-out earth tones.

Adding to the heady textures is another elegantly off-center score by frequent David Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti.

Dark Water

Buena Vista Pictures

Touchstone Pictures presents

a Pandemonium/Vertigo Entertainment production


Director: Walter Salles

Screenwriter: Rafael Yglesias

Based on the novel Honogurai Mizuno Soko Kara by Koji Suzuki and the Hideo Nakata film Dark Water, produced by Taka Ichise

Producers: Bill Mechanic, Roy Lee and Doug Davison

Executive producer: Ashley Kramer

Director of photography: Affonso Beato

Production designer: Therese DePrez

Editor: Daniel Rezende

Costume designer: Michael Wilkinson

Music: Angelo Badalamenti


Dahlia Williams: Jennifer Connelly

Mr. Murray: John C. Reilly

Platzer: Tim Roth

Kyle: Dougray Scott

Veeck: Pete Postlethwaite

Mrs. Finkle: Camryn Manheim

Cecilia: Ariel Gade

Natasha/Young Dahlia: Perla Haney-Jardine

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 100 minutes

Film review: 'Price of Glory'

Film review: 'Price of Glory'
There's a considerable amount of talent -- both fresh and seasoned -- involved in "Price of Glory", an underdog family drama about a father's determination to realize his failed pro boxing dreams through the lives of his three young sons.

While it sticks to a fairly safe and familiar formula, the picture, which closed the 15th Santa Barbara (Calif.) International Film Festival on Sunday, is elevated substantially by convincing casting and handsome production values, not the least of which is a solid feature directorial debut by Carlos Avila.

But despite offering considerable entertainment value for the buck with its three-"Rockys"- in-one dynamic, its fate in the boxoffice ring will ultimately be determined by New Line's ability to reach its targeted Latino demographic and generate crossover word-of-mouth.

Jimmy Smits, leaving his "NYPD Blue" days far behind him, is in fine form as hard-headed Arturo Ortega, a former boxer whose world-champion aspirations were abruptly cut short many years ago. Now married with three boys, he has become obsessed with turning his sons into contenders at any emotional cost.

Comprising the fighting Ortegas is Sonny (Jon Seda), the eldest; classic middle child Jimmy (Clifton Collins Jr.), the frustrated black sheep of the family; and baby Johnny (Ernesto Hernandez), the devoted apple of his father's eye.

Arturo's brand of tough love doesn't work well for approval-starved Jimmy, a scrapper of a fighter who feels he's always in the shadow of his golden-boy Big Brother. But Sonny will soon have his own issues with his dad, when he announces his plans to get married, insisting that boxing can't be the only part of his life.

Quietly standing by his father's side through all of the family tensions is Johnny, the most promising of the siblings, who assures Arturo that he'll be his avenging angel in the broken dreams department.

Of course, things have a way of not always working out as planned.

In a potentially tricky role, Smits admirably steers clear of what could have been a one-note, bullying performance. In spite of his dogged and somewhat selfish determination to see his sons succeed, there's a sense that he truly believes he's trying to give them a direction and a future that will be better than the menial job he has had to settle for in order to support his family.

All three sons, including promising newcomer Hernandez, aside from being completely believable as brothers, demonstrate an affecting sensitivity in their relationship with the elder Ortega and their mother (Maria Del Mar), who does her share of standing up to her stubborn husband even though she knows it's often a lost cause.

Good, too, are Ron Perlman as a slick, powerful promoter and comedian Paul Rodriguez in a sturdy dramatic turn as his pushy operative.

While the script, by former New York Times sportswriter Phil Berger, could have easily stood some trimming, it certainly allows Avila the opportunity to make a strong first impression as a director who can get the job done effectively and efficiently.

He gets some fine assistance from a pro technical team headed by cinematographer Affonso Beato ("All About My Mother"), who gives the modestly budgeted production a rich, deep focus and keeps the fight sequences involving without having to resort to showy visual cliches.


New Line

An Esparza-Katz production in association with

Arthur E. Friedman Prods.

Producers:Moctesuma Esparza, Robert Katz and Arthur E. Friedman

Director:Carlos Avila

Screenwriter:Phil Berger

Executive producer:Loretha Jones

Executive producers:Carolyn Manetti, Stephanie Striegel

Director of photography:Affonso Beato

Production designer:Robb Wilson King

Editor:Gary Karr

Costume designer:Ruth Carter

Music supervisor:Margaret Guerra Rogers

Music:Joseph Julian Gonzalez

Casting:Rick Pagano



Arturo Ortega:Jimmy Smits

Sonny Ortega:Jon Seda

Jimmy Ortega:Clifton Collins Jr.

Johnny Ortega:Ernesto Hernandez

Rita Ortega:Maria Del Mar

Nick Everson:Ron Perlman

Pepe:Paul Rodriguez

Oscar:Carlos Palomino

Running time -- 118 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13

Film review: 'Live Flesh'

"Live Flesh" finds Spanish director Pedro Almodovar working in a more conventional style than usual. But he still manages to work his obsessions into a relatively conventional thriller plot line.

Although lacking the giddy outrageousness that marks the filmmaker's best work, the film contains enough comedy and eroticism to connect with audiences, and may well be his biggest grossing item in years. The closing night attraction at the New York Film Festival, the picture has been picked up for distribution by MGM.

"Live Flesh" begins with a prelude set in Madrid during Franco's reign, where a young prostitute gives birth on a city bus to a boy. Flash forward 20 years, when the now grown-up Victor (Liberto Rabal) is a young man who has a one-night stand with a saucy blond named Elena (Francesca Neri).

A week later, Victor shows up at her apartment hoping to connect again, but Elena is more interested in scoring drugs than repeating the experience. A fight ensues, which attracts the attention of two policeman. During the scuffle that occurs when they intervene, one of them, the handsome David (Javier Bardem, recently seen in "Mouth to Mouth") is shot.

Flash forward again. Victor has served his time in jail, while David, now confined to a wheelchair is married to a newly demure Elena. Victor, still hung up on Elena and also seeking revenge, attempts to insinuate himself into their lives, setting off a complicated chain of events that ends in violence.

Almodovar invests his usual flair and humor into the proceedings, although he is clearly working in a more muted style than usual.

The film suffers from its overly contrived and often ludicrously melodramatic plot line, which the director is only partially able to compensate for through his typically colorful visual design and his talent for wrestling juicy performances from his actors. He also manages to infuse the film with his trademark eroticism, most notably in a torrid sequence between Rabal and Neri.

All of the performances are passionate and convincing, and tech credits are solid, particularly the gorgeous wide-screen lensing.


MGM Distribution

A Goldwyn Films Release

Director, screenplay Pedro Almodovar

Executive producer Augustin Almodovar

Photography Affonso Beato

Editor Jose Salcedo

Music Alberto Iglesias



Victor Liberto Rabal

David Javier Bardem

Elena Francesca Neri

Clara Angela Molina

Sancho Pepe Sancho

Running time -- 100 minutes

See also

Credited With | External Sites