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John Morris, ‘Blazing Saddles’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’ Composer, Dies at 91

John Morris, Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning composer for many of the classic Mel Brooks comedies including “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” died Thursday at his home in Red Hook, N.Y. He was 91.

Morris was Oscar-nominated for co-writing, with Brooks, the title song for “Blazing Saddles” – a sendup of classic movie cowboy tunes sung by Frankie Laine for the opening of Brooks’ 1974 film. Morris was nominated again in 1980 for his dramatic score for the Brooks-produced “The Elephant Man.”

Morris served as Brooks’ composer beginning with “The Producers” in 1967; he wrote the original arrangement for Brooks’ famous “Springtime for Hitler” song, and composed the rest of the underscore.

Morris’ most famous score is undoubtedly “Young Frankenstein,” for which he composed a memorable violin theme that plays a key role in the story. Under the title “Transylvanian Lullaby,” it has even been performed by top classical artists from violinist Gil Shaham to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The composer
See full article at Variety - Film News »

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Johnny Dangerously

Gangster movies never really go out of style since they tend to bring nearly everything a person could want out of a film, danger, drama, and of course a sense of justice that might be skewed to one side a little but is still there. Johnny Dangerously is a film that’s kind of a spoof on other gangster films but is still it’s own animal. It stands on its own two feet and delivers a healthy dose of drama laden with action that keeps the audience entertained for a while. Michael Keaton has been hailed as a great actor in

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Johnny Dangerously
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Weird Al Yankovic's Captain Underpants Theme Song Is Awesome

Weird Al Yankovic's Captain Underpants Theme Song Is Awesome
Weird Al Yankovic has composed the theme song for the upcoming DreamWorks animated superhero adventure Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. The movie, based off of Dav Pilkey's best selling children's book series, isn't set to hit theaters until June 2nd but today DreamWorks has shared "Weird Al" Yankovic's perfect theme song. Yankovic proves that he was born to sing a song about a superhero that only wears underwear and a cape.

"Captain Underpants Theme Song" basically sets up the movie, mentioning key details including that the students only need to snap their fingers to hypnotize their principle turning him into his alter ego, Captain Underpants and his call of "Tra La La." Yankovic calls him the "waistband warrior" and then sings that it's "wedgie power time," while also calling him "the freaky bald dude in his underwear." The two and half minute song is catchy and perfect for
See full article at MovieWeb »

Nine Actors Who Reinvented Themselves and Revitalized Their Careers

  • Cinelinx
Some actors manage to catch lightning in a bottle twice. It’s impressive enough to find your niche in Hollywood’s A-list even once. Occasionally, an actor will reinvent him/herself and begin a new phase of their careers that will be even more successful than it was before. Here are nine actors who had a cinematic rebirth.

Liam Neeson- Neeson has had a long career, and the early part of it was in dramatic roles. An intense dramatic actor, he apeared in films like The Dead Pool, Dark Man, Schindler’s List, Rob Roy and Les Miserables. His career rebirth came after playing Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars-Episode one: The Phantom Menace. After that, he got more offers for actions parts and recreated himself as an action hero in films like Gangs of NY, Batman Begins, Taken, Clash of the Titans, the A-Team, Unknown, the Grey, Taken 2,
See full article at Cinelinx »

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 4: 1984–1999

Mississippi Masala

by Carrie Rickey

This five-part Truthdig series by Carrie Rickey is published in partnership with Women and Hollywood. The series considers the historic accomplishments of women behind the camera, how they got marginalized, and how they are fighting for equal employment. Specifically, this series asks, why do females make up between 33 and 50 percent of film-school graduates but account for only seven percent of working directors? What happened to the women directors in Hollywood?

While female filmmakers waited for Judge Pamela Rymer to hand down a decision in the 1983 Directors Guild class-action suit against Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures, alleging discrimination for not hiring women and ethnic minorities represented by the guild, there were positive signs of change in Hollywood.

In 1984, for the first time that almost anyone could remember, one needed two hands to count the number of feature films by women released in the U.S. market. One was Diane Kurys’ “Entre Nous” (1983), nominated for best foreign film at the Academy Awards in April 1984, making Kurys the second female director whose film was so honored.

Between 1950 and 1980, the number of movies directed by women in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) totaled 14. From 1984 to 1985 there were 12.

In 1984 many women were making their second features. Among them were Gillian Armstrong’s period drama “Mrs. Soffel,” Amy Heckerling’s gangster comedy “Johnny Dangerously,” Penelope Spheeris’ teenage-runaway saga “Suburbia,” and Amy Holden Jones’ romantic drama “Love Letters.” Martha Coolidge, beloved for “Valley Girl,” her 1983 debut, was on her third feature, “National Lampoon’s Joy of Sex.” With more women behind the movie camera in the United States than any time since the ’teens, it seemed that Hollywood was reopening the studio gates to women. Their movies featured women in lead roles.

The wave of optimism crested in 1985. Argentine director Maria Luisa Bemberg’s historical romance “Camila” (1984) was in contention for best foreign film. Susan Seidelman, an Nyu film-school grad who made a splash in 1983 with the indie “Smithereens,” released “Desperately Seeking Susan,” starring “It Girl” Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, cast when the latter was a relative unknown. It was a runaway hit. Heckerling and Spheeris each released third features, respectively “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and “The Boys Next Door.” Coolidge released her fourth: “Real Genius,” a genuinely funny nerd comedy with a fully developed female character — and special effects.

Then came the crash.

In August 1985 Judge Rymer handed down her decision. While the class-action case was important and viable, Rymer ruled, she had to disqualify the DGA from leading the class due to a conflict of interest. White male members also competing for directing jobs dominated the guild, she said. Thus the DGA was in no position to represent the interests of its women and ethnic minority members. Out of exhaustion and lack of money, the Original Six, the group of female filmmakers that had first spurred the DGA to initiate the suit, did not pursue it any further.

As the DGA suit played out during the early 1980s, Hollywood’s business model was in flux. Studios abandoned the one-size-fits-all strategy of advertising a movie in general-interest publications and embraced segmented marketing — that is, making and marketing movies to a specific demographic. Fewer dollars were spent advertising movies in mainstream newspapers and more were spent on ads that ran during TV shows young males were said to watch. More and more, movies starred predominantly men and boys. Because actors had higher-profile roles, they could command higher salaries than actresses.

By dividing the market into sectors, studios divided the audience and the culture. Boys see movies about boys. Older people see movies about older people. Women see movies about women. Those in different demographics no longer watch the same stories.

In 1980, four of the 10 top box office stars were women: Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Sissy Spacek, and Barbra Streisand. In 1990 there was only one: Julia Roberts. According to 1990 statistics from the Screen Actors Guild, not only were actresses underpaid, but they were also “undercast”: 14 percent of the leading roles, and only 29 percent of all roles, went to women.

The “Indiana Jones” trilogy made in the 1980s reflected the progressively diminishing role of females in film during a decade when male action/adventures dominated the multiplex. In “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), the character Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) plays Indy’s helpmate. In “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984), the Willie Scott character (Kate Capshaw) is helpless. And in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” archeologist Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) is the enemy.

Despite such trends, the late 1980s and 1990s proved to be boom years for female directors in Hollywood and Indiewood, as independent film is known. In 1987, Kathryn Bigelow, a onetime sculptor and graduate of Columbia University’s film program, made her second feature, the “vampire Western” “Near Dark.” And though Elaine May’s studio film “Ishtar” was almost universally panned upon release, it earned belated respect. Richard Brody of The New Yorker correctly described it as “an unjustly derided masterwork.” In 1987, six percent of films were directed by women, higher than at any time since 1916.

The percentage dropped in 1988, but that was a watershed year for female filmmakers. “Big,” a comedy from Penny Marshall (co-written by Anne Spielberg), was universally acclaimed. It was the first movie directed by a woman that surpassed $100 million at the box office. With the romantic comedy “Crossing Delancey,” Joan Micklin Silver returned to making big-screen fare, and her modest hit was well received. Also in 1988, Silver’s daughter, Marisa, made her second feature, “Permanent Record,” about teen suicide. “Salaam, Bombay!”, the first feature from Mira Nair, the India-born, Harvard-educated documentarian, was a best foreign film Oscar nominee.

The following year, “Look Who’s Talking” from Amy Heckerling likewise surpassed the $100 million mark for box office sales in the U.S. and made nearly $300 million worldwide. For the most part, though, heads of studios regarded Marshall’s and Heckerling’s box-office smashes as flukes. Two heads of production told me in 1991 that “movies by women don’t make money.” Nevertheless, it turned out to be a exceptional year for the quality and range of releases from women. And it shaped up to be a year when movies by female filmmakers did make serious money.

Some of the highlights of 1991: Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust,” an evocative portrait of generations of Gullah women off the South Carolina coast circa 1901; Jodie Foster’s “Little Man Tate,” about a child prodigy emotionally torn between his mother and a psychologist for gifted children; and Mira Nair’s “Mississippi Masala,” a sexy romance about a South Asian woman born in Uganda (played by then-newcomer Sarita Choudhry) in love with an African-American man (Denzel Washington). Both Kathryn Bigelow’s action film “Point Break” and Barbra Streisand’s psychological study “Prince of Tides” examined the emotional costs to men who struggle to prove their masculinity. Bigelow’s movie grossed $83 million and Streisand’s $110 million. (Adjusted for inflation, that’s $148 million and $196 million in today’s dollars.)

Not only can female filmmakers make movies that show a different side of men, but they also make movies that show different aspects of women. Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own” (1992), about the All-American Girls Baseball Leagues during World War II, celebrates the athleticism (rather than the sexuality) of the female body. Nora Ephron’s “This is My Life,” her 1992 directorial debut about a single mom whose choice of comedy career affects her daughters, shows that career and motherhood need not be in conflict. Like Ephron’s film, Allison Anders’ “Gas Food Lodging” (also 1992) explores what happens when the children of single moms reconnect with biological fathers. Male directors were, and are not, making movies like these.

During the 1990s, almost every year brought a new evergreen made by a female filmmaker. In 1993 there were two. One was Jane Campion’s “The Piano,” a haunting allegory about a mute woman that struck a chord internationally. It earned $62 million at the box office and multiple Oscar nominations, including one for best director, making Campion the third woman to be cited in this category. The other was Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle,” the comedic romance between two people who don’t meet in person until the last scene, which scored a $227 million box office.

“Sleepless” additionally introduced the questionable concept of the “chick flick” to a broader audience. This is a non-genre that has come to be defined as any movie that, according to the term’s proponents, women want to see and that men think they don’t want to watch — or any movie directed by a woman. The division between “chick flick” and its corollary, the “dick flick,” is a perhaps unintended consequence of target marketing, implying that movies represent a gender-linked proposition.

Almost overnight, the perception was created that movies predominantly featuring women, or “women’s interests,” or directed by women would shrivel the manhood of the male moviegoer. In 1994 the head of a major studio told me, without irony or shame, that “Women on the screen means no men in the audience.” When I asked him for data to back up his claim, he said he had it, but it was proprietary.

Despite such signs of cultural and corporate sexism, the 1990s were a good time to be a female filmmaker. In 1994, Gillian Armstrong’s “Little Women” was immediately embraced as a classic. Newcomer Darnell Martin’s “I Like it Like That,” an urban comedy about a working mother juggling job, marriage, and parenthood, earned positive reviews. And Rose Troche’s “Go Fish,” the first indie comedy about girl-on-girl courtship, marked a milestone for the burgeoning genre.

The following year, 16 films by women were in U.S. release, setting another record for that era. Many of them were comedies. There was Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless,” a droll version of Jane Austen’s “Emma” set at a Beverly Hills high school. There is Betty Thomas’ “The Brady Bunch Movie,” in which the former actress sets the characters of the 1970s TV hit in the 1990s to great comic effect. Distinctly not a comedy was Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days,” a science-fiction thriller about sex crimes, which lost money but became a cult favorite. At the 1996 Oscar ceremony, with “Antonia’s Line,” Dutch filmmaker Marleen Gorris became the first female filmmaker to direct the award-winning foreign film.

But apart from Bigelow and Mimi Leder, a director of episodic television who in 1997 directed “The Peacemaker” and in 1998 “Deep Impact,” female filmmakers were not making action films. For the most part women made comedies and human stories, movies with no explosions in the opening scene. Veteran filmmaker Martha Coolidge spoke for many women when she noted that the scripts the studios sent her were for comedies or family dramas. “About 90 percent of what comes my way are ten different kinds of breast cancer stories, ten kinds of divorce stories, and ten kinds of women-taking-care-of-their-fathers stories,” she said. “I do those. I care about those deeply. But one does want to do more.”

Female filmmakers were typecast in the way many actors and actresses have been, for the most part pigeonholed in family drama and comedy genres. For example, in 1997 actress Kasi Lemmons made her directorial debut with “Eve’s Bayou,” a haunting family drama, and Betty Thomas returned with the Howard Stern biopic “Private Parts.” In 1998, Ephron returned with the romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail.” Nancy Meyers, a long-time screenwriter, made her directorial debut with the family-friendly comedy “The Parent Trap,” and Brenda Chapman, a Disney animator, was one of three directors on “Prince of Egypt,” the animated story of Moses.

In 1999, three female filmmakers made rookie features unlike anything in American movies. Two were romantic dramas about teenage sexuality, the other an imaginative Shakespeare adaptation. Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides,” based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, looked at how boys look at girls, subversively turning the female gaze on the male gaze. Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry” dramatized the life story of Teena Brandon, who changed her name and gender to become Brandon Teena and fell victim to a hate crime.

Julie Taymor, the theater director who created “The Lion King” on stage, made her movie debut with “Titus,” an anachronistic version of the Shakespeare history play “Titus Andronicus,” underscoring its parallels to Italy under Mussolini.

At the end of the decade — and century — of the 11,000 filmmakers working both in television and film included in the Directors Guild of America, about 2,300 were women. While women made up 21 percent of the membership, they comprised only 9 percent of the filmmakers working in movies.

Most, including Martha Lauzen, a professor at San Diego State University and the head of the Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television, naturally assumed that in the new century the needle would move toward 50/50.

In addition to writing film reviews and essays for Truthdig, Carrie Rickey has been a film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Village Voice, and an art critic at Artforum and Art in America. Rickey has taught at various institutions, including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and has appeared frequently on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” MSNBC, and CNN.

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 4: 1984–1999 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

When Maureen Stapleton Became Our Grandmother Forever

35 years ago, the actress sang the body electric.

The handful of actresses I associate with motherhood include ’80s movie and TV staples Dee Wallace, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Joanna Kerns, Judith Light, and Meredith Baxter. They were the ones that comforted me when I was a kid. But when it comes to images of grandmothers, only one woman comes to mind: Maureen Stapleton.

On January 17, 1982, Stapleton was only 55 years old. She had three Academy Award nominations under her belt and was about to receive her fourth. She would win that Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the end of March for her performance as Emma Goldman in Reds. But on this particular night, she was on television in the title role of The Electric Grandmother.

The Emmy-nominated NBC special, part of the network’s Peacock Theatre, was co-written by Ray Bradbury based on his 1962 Twilight Zone episode “I Sing the Body Electric,” the
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Michael Keaton on why he quit playing Batman

Tony Sokol Jan 4, 2017

Michael Keaton was all set to play Batman/Bruce Wayne for a third time in Batman Forever. And he's been chatting about why he dropped out...

Michael Keaton, who burst onto the movie scene with manic characters like Beeteljuice and Johnny Dangerously, remains perhaps most famed for his stint as the Dark Knight. He played Batman/Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, and its 1992 sequel, Batman Returns. The DC Comics movies were blockbuster hits, and the reimagined series was well on its way to being a winning franchise. But Keaton turned down the chance to be in the third movie of the series, Batman Forever. And he's been chatting about why. It wasn't anything to do with the suit, rather that "it sucked," Keaton told The Hollywood Reporter.

See related Revisiting Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves at 25 Kevin Reynolds: The Den Of Geek interview

“The script never was good.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Let Her Be Horny: Talking Cinema with Amy Heckerling

Amy HeckerlingThe films of Amy Heckerling reveal a heart guarded and tender, a penchant for the past without a whiff of the maudlin. Who could forget her debut, Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Directed from Cameron Crowe's script, the 1982 film gave us frank portrayals of sexuality and the detailed minutiae of growing up, suspended in the hazy tedium of high school, all without condescension or patronizing. Totally righteous. Heckerling proved attuned to the particulars of comedy with her next feature Johnny Dangerously (1984), a waggish send-up of the 1930s gangster comedy. In its cheeky beginning, a 1935 title card reveals itself to be a real material object that crumbles when car crash obliterates its façade. With a darkened lash line, a young Michael Keaton puts forth his best James Cagney as the titular mobster whose identity and status are known to all but his ailing ma and brother, a rising assistant Da.
See full article at MUBI »

NYC Weekend Watch: Amy Heckerling, J.G. Ballard, Noël Coward & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Metrograph

Spend “A Weekend with Amy Heckerling” when Johnny Dangerously and Fast Times at Ridgemont High screen this Saturday, while Look Who’s Talking and Clueless show on Sunday. All are on 35mm.

For “Welcome to Metrograph: A-z,” see a print of Philippe Garrel‘s The Inner Scar on Friday and Sunday; André de Toth‘s
See full article at The Film Stage »

Here’s What’s Coming To Netflix and Amazon Prime in March

Lousy Smarch is almost here and the debut schedules for all the movies and series that will be hitting Netflix in March have arrived. We also have the Amazon Prime folks covered as well! The second season of Marvel’s Daredevil and the premieres of the fourth season of House of Cards and the first season of the new comedy Flaked, with Will Arnett hit the small screen. Did you forget about the premiere of the Judd Apatow-produced Pee-wee’s Big Holiday? We didn’t.

On the Amazon Prime front, check out below to see what you’ll be able to stream for free and what’s going to have a cost. Let’s watch!

All Title Dates are Subject to Change

Netflix U.S. Release Dates Only

Available 3/1

Adult Beginners (2015)

Ahora o Nunca (2015)

Aldnoah.Zero: Season 2

American Pie Presents: Beta House (2007)

American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile
See full article at City of Films »

What's Leaving Netflix in March 2016

  • Moviefone
March 2016 is a sad month for some Netflix subscribers.

Say goodbye to '90s films "American Pie" (1999), "Hackers" (1995), Mel Gibson's "Hamlet" (1990), "Indecent Proposal" (1993) and "Jumanji" (1995) in March. Also disappearing: Will Smith movies "Hitch" (2005) and "Men in Black II" (2002), as well as oodles of TEDTalks that are all expiring next month.

Here's the complete list of what's leaving Netflix streaming in March.

Leaving March 1, 2016

"Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman" (2000)

"American Pie" (1999)

"American Wedding" (2003)

"Atlantis: The Lost Empire" (2001)

"The Babysitters" (2007)

"The Chosen One" (2010)

"Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (1986)

"Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights" (1992)

"Gone in 60 Seconds" (2000)

"Hackers" (1995)

"Hamlet" (1990)

"Hannie Caulder" (1971)

"Hardball" (2001)

"Hart's War" (2002)

"Hitch" (2005)

"Indecent Proposal" (1993)

"Johnny Dangerously" (1984)

"Jumanji" (1995)

"Masters of the Universe" (1987)

"Men in Black II" (2002)

"The Monster Squad" (1987)

"Not Another Teen Movie" (2001)

"Paycheck" (2003)

"Switchmas" (2013)

"The United States of Leland" (2003)

"Wings" (1927)

Leaving March 2, 2016

"Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams" (2013)

Leaving March 3, 2016

"Night Catches Us" (2010)

Leaving March 4, 2016

"Getting
See full article at Moviefone »

These Movies and TV Shows Are Kissing Netflix Goodbye in March

It's time to bulk up your Netflix queue, people, because the streaming giant is putting quite a few movies and TV shows on the chopping block throughout March. From hilarious titles like American Pie to tearjerkers like Hardball, check out which of your favorites are disappearing soon, and then see everything that's definitely here to stay, plus the new movies and shows coming in March! Expiring March 1 Switchmas Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman American Pie American Wedding Atlantis: The Lost Empire Down and Out in Beverly Hills Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Gone in 60 Seconds Hackers Hamlet Hannie Caulder Hardball Hart's War Hitch Indecent Proposal Johnny Dangerously Jumanji Masters of the Universe Men in Black II Not Another Teen Movie Paycheck The Babysitters The Chosen One The Monster Squad The United States of Leland Wings Expiring March 2 Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams Expiring March 3 Night Catches Us
See full article at BuzzSugar »

Michael Keaton Turns 64 Today!

Michael Keaton, one of the all-time fan favorite Batman actors, turns 64 today on Saturday, September 5, 2015.  Keaton, whose real name is Michael John Douglas, began is illustrious career in films like Night Shift (1982) and lead roles in comedies like Johnny Dangerously (1984) and Mr. Mom (1983).

Known primarily as a comedian, fans were learly when he was cast as Batman in what was supposed to be a dark and serious Batman movie.  Keaton had worked with director Tim Burton on Beetlejuice, an association that helped him land the role in Batman (1989).  Keaton would go on to star in Batman and Batman Returns (1992), before parting ways with the franchise, due to the exit of Tim Burton in the director's chair.

Many fans still hold out hope that Keaton will be called upon to portray an aging Batman in a big screen Dark Knight Returns adaptation one day.

Happy Birthday Michael!
See full article at Legions of Gotham »

Cocoon Turns 30: Ron Howard’s Fable is Still an Ageless Sci-Fi Classic

Death is inevitable. That’s a universal truth we all learn at a very early age and as we get older, the reality of that truism becomes more and more evident with each passing day. But what if you didn’t have to die? What if you could live forever? That wish fulfillment was precisely what a then up-and-coming filmmaker Ron Howard explored back in 1985 with his wondrous fable, Cocoon. It’s a remarkable film for many reasons, but what has always made it so memorable for me was the way Howard managed to create such a vivid, dignifying and endearing portrait of octogenarian life that demonstrated how the elderly can still enjoy a fulfilling existence even if the rest of the world no longer recognizes their vitality.

This month, Howard’s wondrously heartfelt fable turns 30 and it feels like the perfect time celebrate this remarkably unique film that defied the odds for many reasons,
See full article at DailyDead »

Costume Designer Patricia Norris Dies at 83

Costume Designer Patricia Norris Dies at 83
Patricia Norris, the Oscar-nommed and Emmy-winning production designer and costume designer who helped craft distinctive looks for “12 Years a Slave,” “Scarface” and numerous other films, as well as TV’s “Twin Peaks,” died of natural causes on Feb. 20 in Van Nuys, Calif. She was 83.

Working with noted directors including David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, Wim Wenders and Brian De Palma, she was Oscar-nommed six times, for “12 Years a Slave,” “Sunset,” “Victor, Victoria,” “The Elephant Man” and “Days of Heaven.”

Though she didn’t win the Oscar for “12 Years,” she did win the Costume Designers’ Period Film Award. Norris, who was known as Patty, was the only person to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Costume Designers Guild and the Art Directors Guild.

“At a time when women were new at the creative table, Patricia made a place for herself,” said Marcia Hinds, chair of the Art Directors Council at the Adg.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Costume Designer Patricia Norris Dies at 83

Costume Designer Patricia Norris Dies at 83
Patricia Norris, the Oscar-nommed and Emmy-winning production designer and costume designer who helped craft distinctive looks for “12 Years a Slave,” “Scarface” and numerous other films, as well as TV’s “Twin Peaks,” died of natural causes in Van Nuys, Calif., on Feb. 20. She was 83.

Working with noted directors including David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, Wim Wenders and Brian De Palma, she was Oscar-nommed six times, for “12 Years a Slave,” “Sunset,” “Victor, Victoria,” “The Elephant Man” and “Days of Heaven.”

Though she didn’t win the Oscar for “12 Years,” she did win the Costume Designers’ Period Film Award. Norris, who was known as Patty, was the only person to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Costume Designers Guild and the Art Directors Guild.

She had a longtime collaboration with Lynch. She designed the costumes for Lynch’s “The Elephant Man,” “The Straight Story,” “Lost Highway,” “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Watch: Michael Keaton Isn't Like 'Birdman' (Exclusive Interview)

Watch: Michael Keaton Isn't Like 'Birdman' (Exclusive Interview)
At 63, Michael Keaton is enjoying the attention that comes with hitting a challenging role out of the park. Look closely at his career, and you see a man who always paid attention to the details and pushed for more than the ordinary as he built his characters, no matter what the movie. During his long Sbiff Modern Master chat with Leonard Maltin, Keaton ranged from running around naked as a kid performing for his seven siblings, early standup at Catch a Rising Star and The Improv, which allowed him to "write little plays and perform, not asking permission," and comedies like "Night Shift," "Mr. Mom" and "Johnny Dangerously" to Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" (he'd love to take it to the stage) and drama "Clean and Sober."  He recalled how he surprised director Tim Burton with his wild and crazy take on "Beetlejuice" (yes, he'd still love to do a
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Emotions run high at Santa Barbara tribute to Michael Keaton

  • Hitfix
Emotions run high at Santa Barbara tribute to Michael Keaton
Santa Barbara — Saturday night the Santa Barbara International Film Festival shook things up a bit with the annual Modern Master Award tribute, this year dedicated to "Birdman" star Michael Keaton. Colleagues and co-stars sent pre-recorded messages to honor the actor, emotions ran high at the end of the evening and the fest had a special surprise in store for moderator Leonard Maltin as well. First, the retrospective. It was a typical deep dive into a career, the highlights of which you can read in our recent series of interviews with the actor. Keaton was clearly overwhelmed by seeing things in this context as his "Multiplicity" co-star Andie MacDowell was on hand to present an introductory clip package of career highlights. "I feel like I'm gonna pass out," he said as he took the stage to begin the evening. Maltin noted Keaton's first scene from "Night Shift," as we hear the
See full article at Hitfix »

Michael Keaton remembers Harold Ramis, tackling Shakespeare, Ron Howard's 'Gung Ho'

  • Hitfix
Michael Keaton remembers Harold Ramis, tackling Shakespeare, Ron Howard's 'Gung Ho'
Santa Monica — Michael Keaton is having the time of his life. Cruising along an awards circuit that has brought him plenty of kudos for his performance in Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" and probably more opportunities to talk about himself than he'd prefer, he seems consistently high on life and not at all phased by the grind. He's not someone who has really sought out this kind of attention and acclaim, often retreating to his ranch in Montana away from the Hollywood fray, but now that he's feeling the love? Let's just say I doubt anyone's having as much fun with all of this than he is. On the eve of this year's Oscar nominations announcement, I met Keaton for coffee and a light lunch at one of his favorite Santa Monica spots to chew on as much of his career and the awards
See full article at Hitfix »

Movie Review – Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

Birdman, 2014

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Shamos, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Edward Norton

Synopsis:

A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.

When Birdman debuted around the festival circuit, it blew audiences away and even though it was released limitedly in the Us, it still managed to pull in $23 million with stellar reviews. But with a lot of hype comes a lot of responsibility. One only has to look at Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar to see how too much hype can be a deterrent, but that is not the case with Birdman (or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). It not only lives up to all of the hype, it surpasses it with ease. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman is an exceptional film.
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