The Ten Commandments (1956) - News Poster


O The Choices I Have! A 2018 Tcmff Preamble

So much time, so few movies to see. Scratch that. Reverse it.

Running a little later than usual this year, the 2018 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival gets under way this coming Thursday, screening approximately 88 films and special programs over the course of the festival’s three-and-a-half days, beginning Thursday evening, and no doubt about it, this year’s schedule, no less than any other year, will lay out a banquet for classic film buffs, casual film fans and harder-core cinephiles looking for the opportunity to see long-time favorites as well as rare and unusual treats on the big screen. I’ve attended every festival since its inaugural run back in 2010, and since then if I have not reined in my enthusiasm for the festival and being given the opportunity to attend it every year, then I have at least managed to lasso my verbiage. That first year I wrote about
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Academy Brings Architect Renzo Piano to N.Y. to Tout Movie Museum Plans

Academy Brings Architect Renzo Piano to N.Y. to Tout Movie Museum Plans
Ninety years after Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford first floated the idea of creating a museum for the movie business, the completion of Hollywood’s first major movie museum is finally nearing. Architect Renzo Piano and officials from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences traveled to Manhattan Monday to preview the project for East Coast press.

After fits and starts, funding headaches and clashing visions, the 300,000-square-foot Academy Museum will open in mid-2019. Its backers, AMPAS, better known as the group that hands the Oscars, promise that the museum will be an immersive experience that will feature everything from screenings to talks to props and items from iconic movies.

“It’s much more than a museum,” said Academy Museum director Kerry Brougher at the Plaza Hotel. “It’s a hub for film lovers…to come and experience film in different ways.”

The museum will cost in excess of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Copyrights Will Expire for 35 Silent Films By Charlie Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille, Buster Keaton, and More

Copyrights Will Expire for 35 Silent Films By Charlie Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille, Buster Keaton, and More
Films by Charlie Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille, and Buster Keaton are among the “hundreds of thousands” of books, musical scores, and motion pictures that will enter the public domain on January 1, according to The Atlantic. All of the works were first made available to audiences in 1923, four years before the introduction of talkies. Due to changed copyright laws, this will be the largest collection of material to lose its copyright protections since 1998.

Artists looking to incorporate black-and-white era throwbacks into their modern creations will have lots of new options. The Atlantic consulted unpublished research from Duke University School of Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, which shared with IndieWire a list of 35 films that will soon become available to all.

“Our list is therefore only a partial one; many more works are entering the public domain as well, but the relevant information to confirm this may
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Drive-In Dust Offs: Ruby (1977)

Curtis Harrington’s Ruby (1977) is a perfect example of what I like to call a or something film, to wit: Piper Laurie follows up her Academy Award nominated turn in Carrie (’76) to headline as a former gun moll haunted by her dead ex while she runs a drive-in and her 16 year old becomes possessed by said dead ex. Or something. Fractured and scattered but a whole lot of fun, Ruby is positively littered with or something’s and I kind of love it for that.

Released by Dimension Pictures in late June, Ruby was a big hit with audiences, returning $16 million off of a sub million dollar budget. This was clearly the Carrie effect; I remember the trailer playing on TV at the time, and my wee mind was blown by the final image – a woman in a red dress being dragged underwater. For a kid with an early thirst for horror,
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Construction Launches for George Lucas’ L.A. Museum at Groundbreaking Ceremony

Construction Launches for George Lucas’ L.A. Museum at Groundbreaking Ceremony
George Lucas’ Museum of Narrative Art is no longer just a concept in a galaxy far, far away.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the non-profit museum took place on Wednesday at its future location in parking lot three of Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, launching a 36-month construction plan that will culminate in a five-story building. In addition to its narrative art collections spanning several media from paintings to film, the museum will house dining, theaters, lecture halls, classrooms, and a public research library.

“In my feeling, popular art is an insight into a society and what they aspire to — what they really are,” Lucas explained at the ceremony. “It’s telling the narrative of their story, their history.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who also spoke at the ceremony, told Variety that Lucas’ and his wife and co-founder Mellody Hobson’s primary goal for the museum is to inspire a future generation of creatives.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Prayer’ Is An Austere Yet Accessible Portrait Of The Transformative Power Of Religion [Berlin Review]

Setting aside Bible Belt-targeted dreck, films on faith tend to fall into one of two categories: the austere or the spectacular, “Dekalog” or “The Ten Commandments.” In the running for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, French filmmaker Cédric Kahn’s “The Prayer” doesn’t display the formal rigor of a Kieślowski film but it does accomplish the tricky feat of being simultaneously thoughtful and accessible.
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A look back at female firsts at the Oscars: Barbra Streisand, Kathryn Bigelow, Emma Thompson …

A look back at female firsts at the Oscars: Barbra Streisand, Kathryn Bigelow, Emma Thompson …
It certainly seems to be the year of the woman at the Academy Awards. Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman to receive a Best Director Oscar nomination for “Lady Bird.” For the first time in the academy’s 90-year history, a woman, AFI Conservancy alum Rachel Morrison, has been nominated for Best Cinematography for “Mudbound.” And the drama’s director Dee Rees made history as the first black woman to receive a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film’s star Mary J. Blige not only received a supporting actress nomination, but she is also nominated for Best Original Song for “Mighty River” from the film, alongside co-writers Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson.

But it’s been baby steps for women behind the camera in terms of Oscar nominations, let alone wins.

Here is a look at some of the trailblazers:

See 2018 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards
See full article at Gold Derby »

Oprah Winfrey Uses Cecil B. DeMille Award to Spotlight #MeToo Movement: ‘A New Day Is on the Horizon’

Oprah Winfrey Uses Cecil B. DeMille Award to Spotlight #MeToo Movement: ‘A New Day Is on the Horizon’
It seemed preordained. On a night when so many members of the entertainment industry came together to make their dedication to female-centric movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo, one of Hollywood’s most prolific pioneers would be on hand to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her massive contributions to the world. Oprah Winfrey was announced as this year’s recipient of the award back in December, but tonight’s speech couldn’t have been more timely.

The HFPA’s version of a Lifetime Achievement award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award is given to recipients for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Named after the legendary director of such films as “Cleopatra,” “Samson and Delilah” and “The Ten Commandments,” the award was first given out in 1952 and has been doled out continuously since, save for the 1976 and 2008 ceremonies, where it was not awarded to anyone.

Read More:Golden Globes 2018 Winners
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National Film Registry Adds ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,’ ‘Memento,’ and More Titles to Library of Congress

National Film Registry Adds ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,’ ‘Memento,’ and More Titles to Library of Congress
As is annual tradition, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced this year’s 25 film set to join the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selected for their “cultural, historic and/or aesthetic importance,” the films picked range from such beloved actioners as “Die Hard,” childhood classic “The Goonies,” the seminal “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” and the mind-bending “Memento,” with plenty of other genres and styles represented among the list.

The additions span 1905 to 2000, and includes Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries, silent movies, animation, shorts, independent, and even home movies. The 2017 selections bring the number of films in the registry to 725.

“The selection of a film to the National Film Registry recognizes its importance to American cinema and the nation’s cultural and historical heritage,” Hayden said in an official statement. “Our love affair with motion pictures is a testament to their enduring power to enlighten, inspire and
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‘Titanic,’ ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Ace in the Hole,’ ‘Memento,’ and More Added to National Film Registry

Since 1989, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has been accomplishing the important task of preserving films that “represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking.” From films way back in 1897 all the way up to 2004, they’ve now reached 725 films that celebrate our heritage and encapsulate our film history.

Today they’ve unveiled their 2017 list, which includes such Hollywood classics as Die Hard, Titanic, and Superman along with groundbreaking independent features like Yvonne Rainer’s Lives of Performers, Charles Burnett’s To Sleep with Anger, and Barbara Loden’s Wanda. Also making this list are a pair of Kirk Douglas-led features, Ace in the Hole and Spartacus, as well as Christopher Nolan’s Memento and more. Check out the full list below and you can watch some films on the registry for free here.

Ace in the Hole (aka Big Carnival) (1951)

Based on the infamous
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Titanic,’ ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Memento’ Added to National Film Registry

‘Titanic,’ ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Memento’ Added to National Film Registry
James Cameron’s disaster epic “Titanic,” the beloved fantasy “The Goonies,” Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” and 1989’s “Field of Dreams” are among the 25 films selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

The 2017 selections range from obscure documentaries to a Mexican-American family’s home movies from 1920s Texas to Disney’s 1941 animated classic “Dumbo” to the 1979 Luis Valdez-directed drama “Boulevard Nights” to 1960’s “Spartacus,” the Kirk Douglas-Stanley Kubrick sword-and-sandal drama that helped end the era of the blacklist.

The titles will be added to the Library’s collection of films designated as having cultural, social or aesthetic significance.

“Our love affair with motion pictures is a testament to their enduring power to enlighten, inspire and inform us as individuals and a nation as a whole,” said Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress. “Being tasked with selecting only 25 each year is daunting because there are so many great films deserving of this honor
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sphinx Head From ‘The Ten Commandments’ Found in California Sand Dunes

  • The Wrap
In a bit of Hollywood Egyptology, archaeologists in California stumbled upon an enormous Sphinx head in the Guadalupe-Nipomo sand dunes, about 175 miles from Los Angeles. But of course — since this is tinseltown — it wasn’t a real Sphinx but rather a reproduction created for the 1923 Cecil B. DeMille silent epic “The Ten Commandments.” The film, starring Theodore Roberts in the role of Moses, cost about $20 million to create in today’s money (adjusting for inflation) and was later remade by DeMille in much grander scale in 1956 starring Charlton Heston. Also Read: Charlton Heston NRA Speech Helps Overturn Murder Conviction “That generation of filmmakers.
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Sphinx Head From Cecil B. DeMille’s ‘The Ten Commandments’ Unearthed

Sphinx Head From Cecil B. DeMille’s ‘The Ten Commandments’ Unearthed
Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 biblical epic The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston left a long-lasting impression as one of the most iconic movies in history. But before that, DeMille created a black and white version of the story in 1923 which left behind a legacy — as well as a sphinx head which has been unearthed from the central California coast. Long before the days of green screen, motion capture, and CG, DeMille had Paul Iribe, a designer known for his spectacular…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

90-Year-Old Sphinx Prop from DeMille's Ten Commandments Unearthed

90-Year-Old Sphinx Prop from DeMille's Ten Commandments Unearthed
While not technically ancient, archaeologists working in sand dunes on the central California coast have dug up an intact plaster sphinx that was part of an Egyptian movie set built more than 90 years ago for Cecil B. DeMille's epic The Ten Commandments. Sphinxes are creatures from Egyptian myth and legend with a human head and the body of a lion and were a large part of the set of DeMille's legendary silent movie. The director ordered the construction of a huge Egyptian set including pharaohs, sphinxes, and temples for the 1923 epic. Some say that the massive set pieces were buried because it would have been too expensive to transfer them after the completion of the movie.

This is the second 300-pound sphinx head that archeologists have been able to dig up from the site. The latest discovery is just the start for excavators, who have only unearthed a small
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Another Sphinx Head Discovered From ‘The Ten Commandments’

It’s not ancient history, but the Egyptian-style artifacts from Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” continue to be unearthed in the Guadalupe-Nipomo sand dunes on the central California coast.

The most recent discovery is an intact 300 lb. plaster sphinx head, which was unearthed in early November by archaeologists excavating the 95-year old movie set.

“The piece is unlike anything found on previous digs,” Doug Jenzen, executive director of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, said in a statement. “The majority of it is preserved by sand with the original paint still intact.”

Jenzen noted that though the 1923 film was in black and white, the set, designed by Peter Iribe, was nonetheless painted in vibrant colors. DeMille had an extensive set constructed among the vast dunes that included pharoahs, sphinxes and colossal temple gates.

Along with liquor bottles and tobacco tins, excavators have unearthed several sphinxes out of the 21 that were built for the set. Director [link=nm
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Remembering Jim Nabors, Bond Girl Karen Dor and More Reel-Important People We Lost in November

Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies who have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Peter Baldwin (1931-2017) - Actor, Director. He appears in the movies Stalag 17The Ten CommandmentsI Married a Monster from Outer SpaceThe Mattei Affair,The Tin Star and in addition to directing mostly television he helmed the movie Meet Wally Sparks. He died on November 19. (THR) Peter Berling (1934-2017) - German Actor. He co-starred in the Werner Herzog movies FitzcarraldoCobra Verde and Aguirre, the Wrath of God, as well as Martin...

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Emmy-Winning TV Director Peter Baldwin Dies at 86

Emmy-Winning TV Director Peter Baldwin Dies at 86
Peter Baldwin, who started as an actor and went on to become a prolific TV director throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, died Nov. 19 in Pebble Beach, Calif. He was 86.

Baldwin won a Primetime Emmy Award for directing “The Wonder Years” and a Cable Ace Award for “Dream On.”

Born in Winnetka, Ill., he was discovered by a Hollywood talent scout in his senior year at Stanford. He became one of Paramount’s “Golden Circle of Newcomers” and appeared in films including “Stalag 17,” “Little Boy Lost” and Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments.”

He served three years in the Navy and returned to Paramount, where he appeared in “The Tin Star” and “Teacher’s Pet” with Clark Gable and Doris Day.

After touring with Julie Harris in “The Warm Peninsula” play, Baldwin moved to Italy, where he appeared in films by Robert Rossellini, Dino Risi and Francesco Rosi. There he started
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Will New Oscar Voters Be Bold Enough to Embrace Popular Films?

Will New Oscar Voters Be Bold Enough to Embrace Popular Films?
Everyone is curious about how Oscar voting will be affected by the Academy’s new members, with 1,700 individuals (or 23%) invited in the past three years.

For me, there’s only one important issue: Do they like popular movies?

Careful, this is a trick question, because “popular” is hard to define, especially when it comes to Oscar.

This year, worldwide box office was led by “Beauty and the Beast,” which earned $1.2 billion. The global top 20 also includes awards possibilities like “Logan,” “Dunkirk” and “Wonder Woman.” There are other 2017 films that make you feel better at the end than you did at the start, including “The Big Sick,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Downsizing,” “Call Me by Your Name” and “Get Out.”

But what are their Oscar chances? In the past 15 years, Oscar voters have leaned toward dark material.

For most of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 90 years, popular films got regular Oscar attention. Among the many
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Visual Effects Society: The Top 70 VFX Films of All Time Include ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Blade Runner,’ and ‘Citizen Kane’

  • Indiewire
Visual Effects Society: The Top 70 VFX Films of All Time Include ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Blade Runner,’ and ‘Citizen Kane’
In honor of its 20th anniversary, the Visual Effects Society polled its membership to list the 70 most influential VFX films of all time. James Cameron led the pack with six entries (“The Abyss,” “Aliens,” “Avatar,” “Terminator,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” and “Titanic”); Steven Spielberg followed close behind with five (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “E.T. the Extraterrestrial,” “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Jurassic Park”); and Peter Jackson had four Oscar winners (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “King Kong”).

“The Ves 70 represents films that have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral element of cinematic expression and storytelling,” said Ves board chair Mike Chambers. “We see this as an important opportunity for our members, leading visual effects practitioners worldwide, to pay homage to our heritage and help shape the future of the global visual effects community. In
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