Category Archives: Film

‘CLEOPATRA’: THIS MOVIE ROMANCE SCANDALIZED A NATION. NOW IT’S A DRAMA ONSTAGE. ·

 

(Michael Hoinski’s article appeared in the March 30 New York Times; via Pam Green.)

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Lawrence Wright, the author and longtime New Yorker staff writer, is not as serious as he may seem. He is not obsessed with terrorism and religion, as his recent work suggests. Sometimes he just wants a juicy sex scandal.

Indeed, before he wrote “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,”winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, and before he wrote “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief,” a 2013 National Book Award finalist, Mr. Wright was working on “Cleo,” a play about the sordid love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton during the filming of the 1963 epic “Cleopatra.”

(Read more)

OSCAR CONTENDER ‘SHAPE OF WATER’ ACCUSED OF RIPPING OFF 1969 PLAY BY PAUL ZINDEL ·

(from Reuters, 2/22)

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Shape of Water,” a contender for this year’s best picture Oscar, was hit with a plagiarism lawsuit on Wednesday, alleging that its fantastical plot about a romance between a cleaning woman and a mysterious river creature was lifted directly from an American stage play.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, alleged that director Guillermo del Toro, producer Daniel Kraus and movie studio Fox Searchlight <FOXA.0> “brazenly copies the story, elements, characters and themes” from a 1969 play by the late Paul Zindel.

“The Shape of Water” has a leading 13 Oscar nominations at the March 4 Academy Awards ceremony, including nods for best picture and best director. The lawsuit was filed the day after ballots went out to some 8,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who vote on the Oscar winners.

(Read more)

OSCAR WILDE BIOPIC BY EVERETT HAILS ‘CHRIST-LIKE’ GAY ICON ·

(Deborah Cole’s article appeared on Yahoo, 2/18; via the Drudge Report.

Berlin (AFP) – Gay cinema pioneer Rupert Everett said his new biopic about legendary literary dandy Oscar Wilde captures him as a “Christ-like” figure who sacrificed himself for the future global LBGTQ rights movement.

Everett penned, directed and starred in his years-long passion project about the flamboyant 19th century Irish writer, “The Happy Prince”, screening this week at the Berlin film festival.

The 58-year-old British actor focuses in the film on Wilde’s self-imposed exile after serving two years’ hard labour from 1895 on “gross indecency” charges for sex with men.

(Read more)

INGMAR BERGMAN: ‘WILD STRAWBERRIES’ (LANDMARK, BBC RADIO 3) ·

Listen 

Matthew Sweet discusses Ingmar Bergman‘s Wild Strawberries with the writer Colm Toibin, the film critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh and the Swedish Cultural Attaché Ellen Wettmark.

Released in 1957 and inspired by Bergman’s own memories of childhood holidays in a summerhouse in the north of Sweden, Wild Strawberries tells the story of elderly professor Isak Borg, who travels from his home in Stockholm to receive an honorary doctorate. On the way, he’s visited by childhood memories. The film stars veteran actor and director Victor Sjostrom, Bibi Andersson and Ingrid Thulin.

With additional contributions from the film historian Kevin Brownlow and Jan Holmberg from the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, which administers Bergman’s archives.

The BFI in London is running a season of Ingmar Bergman films until March 1st 2018 as part of the global celebrations of the centenary of world-renowned Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (1918 – 2007).

A Matter of Life and Death: the Films of Ingmar Bergman has been republished with a new introduction by Geoff Andrew of the BFI.

Wild Strawberries is being screened on 26 Feb, Newlyn Filmhouse; 8 March, Borderlines Film Festival; 11 March, Chapter Arts Centre.

This programme was originally recorded in December 2015.

Producer: Laura Thomas

(Main image: Ingmar Bergman. Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images.).

ROGER FRIEDMAN: STEVEN SPIELBERG IS REMAKING “WEST SIDE STORY,” PRO-FORMA CASTING CALL GOES OUT FOR LEADS ·

(Roger Friedman’s article appeared on Showbiz 411, 1/25; via the Drudge Report.)

There’s a place for Steven Spielberg, and apparently it’s on New York’s Upper West Side in the 1950s. A casting call has gone out for a remake of “West Side Story,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner, author of Spielberg’s terrific “Lincoln” screenplay and, of course, “Angels in America.”

It’s a pro-forma casting call because, in the end, the new “West Side Story” is going to need stars. Big names. And because of the setting and the time we are in, it’s going to need actual Puerto Ricans or Latinos for the parts of characters like Maria, Anita, and Bernardo. There will be no fudging this in 2018. The casting call says in capital letters: MUST BE ABLE TO SPEAK SPANISH.

(Read more)

HELLO, DOLLY! & COME FROM AWAY TOP OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE WINNERS; FULL LIST! ·

(from Broadway World, 5/8; via Pam Green.)

Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators for media covering New York theatre announced today its award winners for the 2016-17 season in 27 categories.

Broadway’s Danny BursteinKatie Finneran andChristopher Fitzgerald will serve as gala award presenters at the upcoming 67th Annual Outer Critics

Circle Awards ceremony on May 25th (3PM) at the legendary Sardi’s Restaurant.

Celebrating its 67th season of bestowing awards of excellence in the field of theatre, the Outer Critics Circle, is an association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, web sites, radio and television stations, and theatre publications in America and abroad.

 (Winners names are in bold preceded by an asterisk. *) 

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Indecent
*Oslo
Sweat

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
Anastasia
A Bronx Tale
*Come From Away
Groundhog Day
Holiday Inn

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
*If I Forget
Incognito
A Life
Linda
Love, Love, Love

 

(Read more)

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Breaking-News-HELLO-DOLLY-COME-FROM-AWAY-Top-Outer-Critics-Circle-Winners-Full-List-20170508

INGO SWANN: ‘A LIFE GONE WILD’ AT THE PHILIP K DICK FILM FESTIVAL IN NYC, MAY 25TH TO 30TH ·

 

(via Marty Rosenblatt)

 

“The Estate of Ingo Swann is excited to announce “A Life Gone Wild” the short film is part of the official selection at the Philip K Dick Film Festival in NYC, May 25th to 30th. 

 

Directed by Maryanne Bilham-Knight, Editor Albert OH, Produced by Swann-Ryder Productions LLC, Robert M Knight, Nick Cook and John Stahler.

 

The film screening is followed with a prestigious panel of scientists and practitioners including: 

 

Jacques Vallee, high-tech investor, noted for his works on the early Internet, who served as the “French researcher “in Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”; 

 

Harold Puthoff, theoretical and experimental physicist and creator of the government’s Stargate Remote Viewing Program;

 

Tom McNear, former Stargate Remote Viewer;

Blynne Olivieri, Head of Special Collections at the University of West Georgia.

 

For more details go to: http://www.thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com/program_17_2.html

Block Four”

Photo: Higher Journeys

ROBERT OSBORNE, TCM HOST AND FILM HISTORIAN, DIES AT 84 ·

(Carmel Dagan’s article appeared in Variety, 3/6; via Pam Green.)

Film historian Robert Osborne, the effervescent primetime host of Turner Classic Movies since the cabler’s inception in 1994, has died. He was 84.

TCM’s general manager Jennifer Dorian released a statement saying, “All of us at Turner Classic Movies are deeply saddened by the death of Robert Osborne. Robert was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than 23 years. He joined us as an expert on classic film and grew to be our cherished colleague and esteemed ambassador for TCM. Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend. His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support for film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a truly world-class host. Robert’s contributions were fundamental in shaping TCM into what it is today and we owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”

Osborne was an irrepressible advocate for the films of Hollywood’s golden era who wrote the Motion Picture Academy-sanctioned “50 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards” in 1978 and a number of updates ending in 2008 with “80 Years of the Oscar.”

(Read more)

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/robert-osborne-dead-dies-tcm-host-1202002748/

Photo: ABC 7.com.

 

JOHN MILTON: ‘COMUS’ (SV PICK, UK) ·

comus

(Lyn Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 11/3.)

Director Lucy Bailey has a deserved reputation for treating difficult plays with an impudent respect and getting the best out of them – as with her splendidly gory Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare’s Globe. Now she has taken a text by the 17th-century poet John Milton and with the help of Patrick Barlow, founder of the National Theatre of Brent and adapter of The 39 Steps, turned it into something akin to The Masque That Goes Wrong.

The result may remain something of a curiosity, but it is a beautifully performed featherlight confection that’s funny, sexy and reframes the piece subtitled “a Masque in Honour of Chastity” into one in honour of a young woman who knows her own mind and how she intends to live in a male-dominated world.

(Read more)

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/nov/03/comus-review-milton-chastity-play-sam-wanamaker-playhouse-london-patrick-barlow-lucy-bailey

Photo: Independent

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WHO WERE THE GREATEST TAP-DANCERS OF ALL TIME? ·

(Listen on BBC4 at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04d4b02 )

In 1943 two African American brothers from Philadelphia performed a dance routine in the film Stormy Weather, which Fred Astaire would come to refer to as the greatest movie musical sequence he had ever seen. For Fayard and Harold Nicholas – otherwise known as The Nicholas Brothers – this was no small feat in 1940s Hollywood, when racial prejudice was commonplace. Entirely self-taught the brothers had been regular performers at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club – working with the orchestras of Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington – and became known for their highly acrobatic and artistic technique – with one of the brothers later going on to teach Michael Jackson. Dancer and choreographer Stuart Thomas explains why The Nicholas Brothers have been such an inspiration.

First broadcast on Front Row, 19 October 2016.

Release date:

25 October 2016

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