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The Den of Geek Christmas 2017 UK TV and radio guide

Louisa Mellor Dec 13, 2017

We’ve taken a highlighter to this year’s Christmas and New Year TV schedules and circled what we’ll be watching this festive season…

Amid the cosy repeats and cranberry-stuffed cookery shows on TV over the next few weeks are a few gems. There’s no Sherlock or Charlie Brooker’s TV Wipe this year, but there are plenty of treats, not least the return of The League Of Gentlemen for a three-part anniversary series and Peter Capaldi’s last hurrah in the Tardis in the Doctor Who Christmas episode.

See related 26 new TV shows to watch in 2017

Over on Netflix, six new episodes of Black Mirror are coming to usher in the New Year, two days into which we welcome the return of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s genius anthology Inside No. 9.

Not to gloss over a spooky M.R. James night on BBC Four,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Acting legend Sir John Hurt dies aged 77

  • HeyUGuys
Author: David Sztypuljak

Extremely sad news to report this morning as we learn of the death of acting royalty John Hurt. Hurt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015 but was given the all-clear but last year puled out performing in Kenneth Branagh’s production of Billy Rice. Hurt was probably best known as John Merrick in The Elephant Man, Kane in 1979’s Alien and more recently for his role as wand-maker Ollivander in the Harry Potter franchise but just looking at his think to behold but his back-catalogue of films is hugely impressive.

Hurt’s other recent varied work includes roles in Doctor Who as The Doctor in 3 episodes in 2013, as Professor Oxley in Steve Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in Hercules alongside Dwayne Johnson (see our interview here) and just last year worked in the Natalie Portman’s Oscar nominated movie Jackie as Father Richard McSorley.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

See the Cutest Christmas Tree Come to Life in Nickelodeon’s Albert

See the Cutest Christmas Tree Come to Life in Nickelodeon’s Albert
Christmas is only a few short weeks away, but one little animated tree has been celebrating for weeks!

Meet Albert, the tiny and hilarious Douglas-Fir-that-could, who dreams of being the Empire City’s most famous Christmas tree. His journey to big city glory comes to life in Albert, the new Nickelodeon animated holiday TV movie premiering Friday.

The one-hour, heartwarming tale, is packed with celebrity voices — including Saturday Night Live vet Bobby Moynihan as Albert.

“He’s kind of like the kid in the candy story, but it’s his first time there,” Moynihan told People. “He just wakes up every day like,
See full article at »

U.K.’s Magic Light, South Africa’s Triggerfish Team for Animated ‘Rat’

U.K.’s Magic Light, South Africa’s Triggerfish Team for Animated ‘Rat’
The U.K.’s Oscar-nominated Magic Light Pictures and South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios have announced their third collaboration, an animated adaptation of “The Highway Rat,” a 2011 children’s book by the author/illustrator duo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Scheduled to premiere on BBC One for Christmas 2017, it marks the third Christmas collaboration in as many years between Magic Light and Triggerfish. Last year’s “Stick Man” from Triggerfish bowed to critical acclaim and won a slew of international awards, including the prestigious Cristal for a TV Production at the Annecy Animation Festival. A highly anticipated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “Revolting Rhymes” will premiere later this year.

The half-hour animated special tells the story of a greedy rat who terrorizes other animals along the highway by stealing their food. It’s being produced by Magic Light’s Michael Rose and Martin Pope and helmed by Jeroen Jaspaert, who
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Empire magazine announce line-up for Empire Live!

Empire magazine have announced their programme for their first Empire Live event, which will take place at the he O2 in London from 23 to 25 September, 2016.

20 years after Renton, Sick Boy and company first crashed into cinemas, Film4’s Trainspotting will be re-cast for a unique live performance, with an exciting group of leading talent and rising stars set to take on the iconic roles in a special one-off live script- read.

Producer of T2 Andrew Macdonald commented, “We’ve just wrapped on T2 — and what a fun way to remember the original before audiences can see the sequel.”

My Scientology Movie

Louis Theroux’s long-awaited My Scientology Movie is also confirmed to be screened at the event. A decade in the making, Theroux’s documentary provides the inside track on the Church of Scientology, set up by struggling science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, who famously said, “If you want to get rich,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

‘My Life as a Courgette’ Takes Top Prize At Annecy Film Festival

‘My Life as a Courgette’ Takes Top Prize At Annecy Film Festival
Following its critically-acclaimed world premiere at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, Claude Barras’s French stop-motion feature “My Life as a Courgette” scooped the audience prize and the Crystal award for best animated feature at the 40th Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival.

Written by sceenwriter/director Celine Sciamma (“Girlhood,””Tomboy”) and based on a novel, “Courgette” is about an orphan trying to adapt to life in a group home.

The film has been sold by Indie Sales in most key territories. A U.S. deal is in advanced negotiations. Gebeka Films will release “Courgette” in France.

Sébastien Laudenbach’s feature debut “The Girl Without Hands,” meanwhile, won the jury prize. Loosely based on a fairy tale by the Grimm brothers, “The Girl,” which features a minimalist animation style inspired by Chinese calligraphy, centers on a struggling miller who sells his daughter to the Devil amid harsh times. Protected by her purity, the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

LevelK teams with Mondrian for 'Klump'

  • ScreenDaily
LevelK is teaming with Mondrian Entertainment for world sales on animated series Klump, based on the best-selling books.

The book series is one of Denmark’s top literary exports, with 32 million copies sold. Egmont is now relaunching the book series tied to the animated TV series.

Klump is produced by Carsten Bunte from Studio Soi and Lars Sylvest from Mondrian Entertainment in collaboration with Zdf and Egmont Publishing.

Egmont and Zdf have commissioned 26 episodes of average 12 minutes for two seasons. Seasons three and four are currently in development.

Studio Soi (The Gruffalo, Gumball) handles animation and says it aims to “to develop the high-budget TV-series for a cinematic level of feel and quality, using rendering techniques, which have normally been the reserve of full-length features.”

Directed by Johannes Weiland, Paul Cichon, Michael Bohnenstingl, the series tells the stories of Rasmus Klump and his friends traveling the world on their good ship Mary encountering interesting creatures, fascinating locations
See full article at ScreenDaily »

LeveK, Mondrian Entertainment Board ‘Klump’

LevelK and Mondrian Entertainment have joined forces to handle international sales on 3D animation series “Klump,” which is made by Studio Soi and based on the Rasmus Klump book series.

One of Denmark’s top literary exports, the Rasmus Klump books have sold more than 32 million copies and have been described as the Indiana Jones for kids.

Directed by Johannes Weiland, Paul Cichon, Michael Bohnenstingl, the toon series turns on the adventures of Klump and his friends as they travel the world and come across creatures, fascinating locations and challenges.

“Klump,” produced by Carsten Bunte from Studio and Lars Sylvest from Mondrian Entertainment, was commissioned by Zdf and Egmont. Season three and four are now in development. The series has just won the best animated series award at Itfs (International Trick Film Festival in Stuttgart).

Studio Soi is the Danish outfit behind Oscar-nominated “The Gruffalo” and BAFTA-winning “Gumball.”
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Christmas Day’s best TV: Stick Man; Doctor Who; Gogglesprogs; Downton Abbey – The Finale

  • The Guardian - TV News
Martin Freeman brings Julia Donaldson’s lovable character to life; children review the year’s TV; and the Doctor is reunited with River Song. Plus, Downton is all wrapped up

Following adaptations of The Gruffalo books and Room On The Broom, animators Magic Light Pictures turn again to the work of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and the tale of a wooden chap “who lives in the family tree”. Until, that is, he takes a jog around the park, and meets first a bouncy dog and then a girl with Poohsticks in mind. Will lost and lonely Stick Man ever get home? A charming tale voiced by a top cast, including Martin Freeman and Jennifer Saunders. Jonathan Wright

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Revisiting The Forgotten Toys: the British Toy Story?

Mark Harrison Dec 24, 2016

A Christmas treat from 1995: but does anyone else remember The Forgotten Toys?

Over the years, British animation has given us a few good television specials in the Christmas season, including classic cartoons like The Snowman, stop-motion treats like Wallace & Gromit and more recent CG-animated Julia Donaldson adaptations like The Gruffalo and the upcoming Stick Man

See related  Sherlock: Benedict Cumberbatch plays down talk of show ending Sherlock series 3: 111 things we learned from the special edition DVDs Sherlock: The Abominable Bride review

A lot of these specials enjoy annual exposure in the Christmas telly schedules, winning over different generations of viewers. Ironically, a less remembered special is The Forgotten Toys, which first aired on Children's ITV on Boxing Day in 1995. Directed by Graham Ralph, the original half-hour special is adapted from James Stevenson's The Night After Christmas, starting with two toys waking up
See full article at Den of Geek »

Martin Freeman leads an all-star cast in BBC One's Christmas animation Stick Man

Martin Freeman will lead an all-star cast in BBC One's Christmas animation Stick Man.

The Fargo actor will join Hugh Bonneville in the adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's 2008 children's book.

Jennifer Saunders, Russell Tovey, Rob Brydon and Sally Hawkins will also lend their voice talents to the programme.

Stick Man follows the father of a family of sticks, who crosses great distances to try and get home in time for Christmas.

Freeman said "What a treat to have voiced the hero in this beautifully animated film. We enjoyed reading Stick Man as a family for a number of years and my children always loved the scale of his epic journey.

"Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's books are simply wonderful and the film adaptations bring their own extra magic. This one is going to be really special though, filled with festive charm and a delight for viewers of all ages!
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Roald Dahl adaptations among BBC's new dramas for 2015

The BBC has announced its upcoming new drama series for 2015.

Head of Drama Ben Stephenson revealed at an event last night (November 19) that several new dramas will be shown next year, along with the previously announced SS-gb, The Dresser, Undercover, and the return of Top of the Lake and a new Luther miniseries.

One of Us will be a modern thriller set in the Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh, and is written by The Missing's Harry and Jack Williams.

The four-part series revolves around a double murder which shatters two families living next to each other, and focuses on the relatives as they grieve their losses and deal with the consequences.

The writers said: "We're excited to be telling a modern-day parable that explores big themes and ideas through the lens of a very personal, character-driven story".

Cuffs will be an eight-part cop drama from Julie Gearey (Prisoners' Wives), airing on BBC One.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Begin Again movie review: up tempo

A hugely satisfying ode to entrepreneurial creativity, and a glorious love letter to New York City and the art it inspires. I love this movie so much. I’m “biast” (pro): love the cast

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

I love this movie so much. Partly for how it demonstrates how little a movie has to deviate from an oh-so-repetitive format to come up with something fresh and exciting but also still comfortable and comforting. And partly for being so radical in a few attitudes while it’s being comfortable and comforting.

I mean, writer-director John Carney — who got famous with Once, and this is even better — only has to switch things up a little bit to upend our expectations about a movie. Like how he first introduces us to English songwriter Gretta (Keira Knightley [Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Anna Karenina], doing her own very
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

The Academy Invites 271 New Members for 2014

The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

271 Invited To Join The Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.

Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.

“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”

The 2014 invitees are:


Barkhad Abdi – “Captain Phillips

Clancy Brown – “The Hurricane,” “The Shawshank Redeption”

Paul Dano – “12 Years a Slave,” “Prisoners

Michael Fassbender – “12 Years a Slave,” “Shame

Ben Foster – “Lone Survivor,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”

Beth Grant – “The Artist,” “No Country for Old Men

Clark Gregg – “Much Ado about Nothing,” “Marvel’s The Avengers

Sally Hawkins – “Blue Jasmine,
See full article at »

Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o among 271 Academy invitees

Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o among 271 Academy invitees
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years.
See full article at - Inside Movies »

Josh Hutcherson, Lupita Nyong'o, Pharrell and 268 others invited to join the Academy

  • Hitfix
Josh Hutcherson, Lupita Nyong'o, Pharrell and 268 others invited to join the Academy
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn.
See full article at Hitfix »

Academy Invites 271 New Members

Academy Invites 271 New Members
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.

Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘The Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2014: Animated’

Film Review: ‘The Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2014: Animated’
With the delightful exception of Disney’s jaunty, form-busting “Get a Horse!,” a mood of sweet melancholia prevails among this year’s typically fine Oscar nominees for animated short, the best of which offer a welcome draught of personal vision and emotional subtlety not always evident in their feature-length counterparts. Although these five distinctly accomplished offerings vary widely in tone, style, subject and inspiration, almost all of them have something touching to impart about the challenges of isolation and the consolations of friendship in unexpected places — whether it’s the unlikely bond between a man and his dog in the all-metal dystopian world of “Mr. Hublot,” or a kind-hearted witch who adopts one pet after another in “Room on the Broom.”

Certainly an infectious sense of team spirit informs director Lauren MacMullan’s “Get a Horse!,” the deliriously inventive Mickey Mouse cartoon that accompanied Disney’s Oscar-nominated smash “Frozen” in theaters.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Celebrating Roald Dahl's big screen adaptations

Mark Harrison Sep 13, 2016

From James Bond to Willy Wonka, Matilda to The Witches, we chart the big screen work of Roald Dahl...

Roald Dahl has often been referred to as one of the greatest storytellers for children in the 20th century. His books have delighted children for generations, with their dark and inventive sense of humour and their eccentric, dastardly adult characters.

Likewise, his written work for adults has just as much wit and creativity, and over the years, he also worked as a screenwriter on a number of projects, including TV work on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and his own anthology series, Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected.

Given how it doesn't even take the likes of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer five years to have their popular works adapted by Hollywood, there has inevitably been an extensive crossover between Dahl's written work and the big screen. His work
See full article at Den of Geek »
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