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The Mercy review

Colin Firth embarks on nautical deception in this surprisingly compelling true-life drama…

I knew very little about Donald Crowhurst walking into The Mercy, and preserving that element of surprise might be the way to get the most out of James Marsh’s true-life drama. A casual Google will quickly throw up some of the finer details of Crowhurst’s story – so if Colin Firth’s latest is on your radar and you’re unfamiliar with what transpired then you may want to keep it that way. Of course, we’d dearly like you to stick around for this review, so bear with us while we navigate around a few spoilers of historical record.

We first meet Firth’s Crowhurst as he’s desperately trying to sell his nautical navigation device the Navicator. Punters won’t bite, and there’s a sense that his business is failing. Crowhurst himself is an amateur weekend sailor and,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Carnival Row: Simon McBurney to Recur on Amazon Fantasy Series

Simon McBurney is headed to Amazon. Deadline reports the Rev star has joined the streaming service's upcoming TV show Carnival Row.From Rene Echevarria and Paul McGuigan, the fantasy drama is set in a neo-Victorian city where “mythical creatures fleeing their war-torn homeland have gathered in the city, and tensions are simmering between citizens and the growing immigrant population.” The cast includes Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, David Gyasi, Indira Varma, Karla Crome, and Tamzin Merchant.Read More…
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‘Carnival Row’ Casts Simon McBurney; Jonny Coyne Joins ‘The Blacklist’

Simon McBurney (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) has booked a key recurring role on Carnival Row, the eight-episode straight-to-series fantasy drama, from Rene Echevarria, Travis Beacham, Paul McGuigan and Legendary Television. Carnival Row is described as a fantasy-noir set in a neo-Victorian city. Mythical creatures fleeing their war-torn homeland have gathered in the city, and tensions are simmering between citizens and the growing immigrant population. The series…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Robyn Hitchcock Remembers Jonathan Demme: ‘He Was the Anti-Video-Generation Director’

Robyn Hitchcock Remembers Jonathan Demme: ‘He Was the Anti-Video-Generation Director’
Director Jonathan Demme, who died on Wednesday at age 73, may go down as the most rock-friendly major director of all time. His most famous association was with Talking Heads, thanks to the boon to both their careers that was “Stop Making Sense.” But he also enjoyed long friendships and/or working relationships with everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young to cult bands like The Feelies. And arguably the most peculiar documentary in a filmography full of peculiar documentaries is “Storefront Hitchcock,” a concert film that had the amiably surreal British singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock playing an acoustic gig with his back to a shop window, competing for the viewer’s attention with mostly unaware passersby.

Demme never stopped dragging his favorite people into his movies, so Hitchcock subsequently showed up in “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Rachel Getting Married,” on top of being asked to contribute songs for other films.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Amazon Adventure 3D’

Film Review: ‘Amazon Adventure 3D’
With a title like “Amazon Adventure,” director Mike Slee’s latest large-screen triumph suggests a pulse-quickening tropical thrill ride, complete with raging rapids, cannibal confrontations, and run-ins with swarms of teeth-gnashing piranhas. If audiences want that kind of Amazon adventure, they need look no farther than James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z,” now in theaters, or Simon McBurney’s mind-bending one-man show “The Encounter,” which just wrapped a spectacular run at L.A.’s Wallis Annenberg Center.

As it happens, the “adventure” Slee has in mind is strictly of the educational variety, and while that may dissuade normal moviegoers from seeking out this exotic learning opportunity (which plays museums and science centers, rather than megaplexes anyway), parents and teachers of grade-school kids have reason to rejoice: Slee’s film boasts such a high level of writing, acting, and overall production polish that youngsters may be fooled into thinking
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'The Kid Stays in the Picture': Theater Review

'The Kid Stays in the Picture': Theater Review
"There are three sides to every story," Robert Evans once famously wrote in his memoir, The Kid Stays in the Picture. "My side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying." With this prismatic, technically dazzling and robustly entertaining adaptation of Evans' story for the Royal Court stage in London, director Simon McBurney and his co-author James Yeatman show that telling even just one side is never as simple as it looks.

A transatlantic cast of eight plays the mutable Evans at various points in his colorful life as he goes from being a dentist’s son in Harlem...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

The Manchurian Candidate and Jonathan Demme's filmmaking style

Ryan Lambie Feb 20, 2017

Thriller remake The Manchurian Candidate is a great showcase for director Jonathan Demme's use of the camera to evoke fear and empathy...

Iraq War veteran Ben Marco wakes up on a train with a jolt. For a second, he sees an apparition from the past sitting directly opposite him. Marco blinks, and the figure vanishes.

See related Looking back at the BBC's House Of Cards House Of Cards season 4 spoiler-free review House Of Cards season 4 spoiler-filled review

Jonathan Demme’s remake of The Manchurian Candidate is full of small yet jarring sequences like this: moments which take place in a familiar setting, but with something strange or somehow out of place thrown in. Not long after Marco wakes up on the train, he strikes up a begrudging conversation with a young woman, Rose (Kimberly Elise), who says she's seen him around. Rose appears to have taken
See full article at Den of Geek »

Broadway remembers Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher by Anne-Katrin Titze - 2017-01-07 17:53:11

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher remembered on Broadway Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Last night, Broadway theatre lights were darkened for one minute at 7:45pm in remembrance of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. At Simon McBurney's Complicite production of The Encounter, the house manager of the Golden Theatre told me that Simon left New York due to the death of a dear friend who turned out to be John Berger (January 2, 2017).

Simon McBurney's Complicite production of The Encounter at the Golden Theatre Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Fisher Stevens and Alexis Bloom's documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher And Debbie Reynolds was screened at the 54th New York Film Festival and Carrie Fisher attended without her mother.

Debbie Reynolds died on December 28, 2016, one day after the death of her daughter. They were first on Broadway together in the 1973 revival production of Irene, initially directed by John Gielgud, who was replaced
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Movie Review – Allied (2016)

Allied, 2016.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Starring Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan, Simon McBurney and Matthew Goode


In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.

Allied, the latest effort from Robert Zemeckis has unfortunately, like so many others, has been afflicted with an awful advertising campaign. In the 2 minute trailer the key points of the whole film are laid out, making the experience of actually watching it quite tedious.

Max Vatan (Pitt) is an intelligence officer who is tasked with assassinating a German ambassador. He pairs up with Mariann Beausejour (Cotillard) a French Resistance fighter and the two spend the first half of the film flirting, firing guns and exchanging some cringeworthy dialogue. We’re waiting for the “twist” that’s been revealed in the trailer.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Moana Wins Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office with $55.5M

Moana Wins Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office with $55.5M
Heading into this holiday weekend, it was expected that last weekend's winner, the Harry Potter spin-off, would not repeat at the box office, going up against four high-profile new releases. The box office hit went up against four new titles that all opened in wide release on Wednesday, Disney's Moana, Paramount's Allied, Broad Green Pictures' Bad Santa 2 and 20th Century Fox's Rules Don't Apply. As expected, Moana easily took the top spot with a three-day weekend tally of $55.5 million, and a five-day total of $81.1 million.

Box Office Mojo reports that Moana opened in 3,875 theaters this weekend, with an impressive $14,329 per-screen average. No budget figures were released for this animated adventure, which came in quite lower than Disney's hit animated movies such as Frozen ($67.3 million) and Zootopia ($75 million). Both of those films ended up earning over $1 billion worldwide during their full theatrical runs, but it remains to be seen whether
See full article at MovieWeb »

Will Disney's Moana Rule the Thanksgiving Box Office?

Will Disney's Moana Rule the Thanksgiving Box Office?
Despite dominating at the box office last weekend with $74.4 million, Warner Bros.' Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them may be in danger of relinquishing its box office crown already. Four new releases hit theaters over a crowded Thanksgiving holiday frame, with Disney's Moana, starring Dwayne Johnson, Paramount's Allied, starring Brad Pitt, Broad Green Pictures' Bad Santa 2 starring Billy Bob Thornton and Rules Don't Apply starring Alden Ehrenreich vying for the box office crown. While it may come down to the wire, we're predicting that Moana unseats Fantastic Beasts over the holiday weekend.

Box Office Mojo reports that Moana is set to debut in over 3,800 theaters this weekend, which is still roughly 350 theaters less than Fantastic Beasts. Allied is expected to roll out in approximately 3,000 theaters, while Bad Santa 2 will debut in more than 2,500 theaters and Rules Don't Apply is expected to arrive in 2,300 theaters this weekend.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Biopic in Development on South African Singer Miriam Makeba

Biopic in Development on South African Singer Miriam Makeba
A biopic on the late South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba is in the works with the Miriam Makeba Estate, Miriam Makeba Foundation and Mama Africa Cultural & Social Trust.

Suzanne de Passe, who wrote the Billie Holiday movie “Lady Sings the Blues,” and her long time business partner, Madison Jones of de Passe Jones Entertainment, are producing the untitled movie. Also producing are Broadway producer Willette Klausner; music producer David Franco; and journalist Marc Le Chat, Makeba’.s long-time publicist and confidant.

Makeba was one of the key voices against apartheid and popularized African music starting in the late 1950s. She was South Africa’s first Grammy winner and a Top 10 artist, recording and performing songs in English, Portuguese, Hebrew and Swahili. Makeba worked with Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, Nina Simone, Odetta, Hugh Masekela and Paul Simon.

Her South African citizenship was revoked in 1963. She
See full article at Variety - Film News »

2016 Holiday Movie Preview: 22 New Films to See This Season

  • Indiewire
2016 Holiday Movie Preview: 22 New Films to See This Season
This year’s holiday season is full to bursting with new movies, from the expected awards contenders to a number of festival favorites and some true-blue feel-good offerings to round out the pack, and we’re pleased to offer up 22 of the coming weeks’ best bets for film fans of all stripes. Whether you’re looking to beef up on your Oscar contenders, take the whole family to see something they all can enjoy or you just want to lose yourself in the magic of the movies, the rest of 2016 has something for you.

Take our advice, there’s no better place to spend the season than at the movie theater, so start here.

Allied” (November 23)

Robert Zemeckis has had an interesting relationship with on-screen history. “Forrest Gump” reimagined decades worth of Americana and “The Walk” turned a grace note of New York history and crafted a spectacle. “Allied” finds him in historical thriller mode,
See full article at Indiewire » Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Allied’ With Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard

Chicago – In the latest Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the highly anticipated film “Allied” starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard from “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away” and “Flight” director Robert Zemeckis!

Allied,” which opens on Nov. 23, 2016 and is rated “R,” also stars Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan, Matthew Goode, Daniel Betts, Simon McBurney and August Diehl from director Robert Zemeckis and writer Steven Knight. Note: You must be 17+ to win and attend this “R”-rated screening.

To win your free passes to “Allied” courtesy of, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!
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‘The Encounter’ Broadway Review: How to Enjoy Getting Lost in the Theater

  • The Wrap
‘The Encounter’ Broadway Review: How to Enjoy Getting Lost in the Theater
Complicite theater company’s Simon McBurney replicates the experience of making contact with a lost tribe in the Amazon by offering what’s arguably the most technology-dependent show ever seen on Broadway. “The Encounter,” which opened Thursday at the Golden Theatre, requires us to put on a special headset, and the show begins with a sound check to see that you’re wearing it properly. In the beginning, this one-person play (McBurney conceived, directed, and performs) resembles a radio play as McBurney makes various noises to replicate water flowing, mosquitoes buzzing, etc. Also Read: 'All the Ways to Say I Love You' Theater Review: Sex,
See full article at The Wrap »

Review Roundup: The Encounter Opens on Broadway

Direct from London and an international tour, Complicite's acclaimed production of The Encounter, conceived, directed and performed by Simon McBurney, opens tonight at Broadway's John Golden Theatre 252 West 45th Street. The production began performances on September 20 and will play a limited engagement through January 8, 2017. BroadwayWorld is bringing you all the reviews as they roll in. Let's see what the critics had to say
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13 Broadway Shows We’re Dying to See This Fall

The Broadway plays and musicals on offer in the Fall 2016 season are worth their exorbitant ticket prices! Here’s your complete list of all 13 shows opening between now and the end of the year. “The Encounter” (Opens Sept. 29)A solo show (pictured above) about the real-life story of a photographer lost among a remote group of South American people sounds like unusual fare for the Great White Way. But the buzz surrounding Simon McBurney’s Edinburgh International Festival favorite is simply sensational. “Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical” (Opens Oct. 6)Like “An American in Paris” before it, this adaptation of the beloved 1942 film puts Berlin’s classic tunes center stage. Starring Bryce Pinkham and Corbin Bleu, with direction from Gordon Greenberg, it’s sure to put a spring in your step. “Oh, Hello on Broadway” (Opens Oct. 10)Oh, you’ve never met Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland (comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney,
See full article at Backstage »

Miles Jupp webchat – your questions answered on comedy, class and Balamory

The comedian, actor and News Quiz host discussed bias at the BBC, his well-loved children’s television show, and the geography of Mozambique

2.19pm BST

Thanks very much for your questions. I think it's good that people throw in the odd snarky one - it makes it a bit more like real conversation! I'm sorry that I'm not Doctor Who or someone, but you know, there we are. Back to work everybody!

2.16pm BST

Gretsch83 asks:

You’re a fellow Edinburgh University alumnus of Gordon Brown, Pippa Middleton and Julius Nyerere. Out of these three, who would you say you are most similar to and why?

I've always thought of myself of a cross between Gordon Brown and Pippa Middleton, for reasons that are, I hope, extremely obvious.

2.14pm BST

ID6440291 asks:

What was the programme you were recording near Teddington Lock about three years ago? Did it ever see the light of day?
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Freeze Frame: Simon McBurney Previews Broadway's The Encounter

Direct from London and an international tour, Complicite's acclaimed production of The Encounter, conceived, directed and performed by Simon McBurney, will play a limited engagement at Broadway's John Golden Theatre 252 West 45th Street, opening on Thursday, September 29 and closing on January 8 2017. Previews begin on September 20. BroadwayWorld has a sneakpeek at the show's press preview below - check back for full coverage
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'The Conjuring 2' Scares Up More Than $300 Million Worldwide

New Line Cinema’s supernatural horror thriller The Conjuring 2 has grossed over $300 million at the worldwide box office as it continues to thrill and chill movie audiences around the world. The announcement was made today by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Filmmaker James Wan’s second foray into the world of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren has taken in $101.4 million at the domestic box office so far, and $204.5 million on approximately 3,000 screens in 60 markets internationally, with a few small territories yet to release. The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, respectively, are now the highest grossing horror films worldwide, after 1973’s The Exorcist. And with a total of $305.9 million and counting for this current film alone, The Conjuring universe—consisting of The Conjuring, Annabelle and The Conjuring 2—is now the third-highest grossing horror franchise worldwide, earning more than $882 million with just three films.

Kwan Vandenberg,
See full article at LRM Online »
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