Tag Archive: hollywood


__hitchcock

Early in his career, Alfred Hitchcock began making small appearances in his own films. The cameos sometimes lasted just a few brief seconds, and sometimes a little while longer. Either way, they became a signature of Hitchcock’s filmmaking, and fans made a sport of seeing whether they could spot the elusive director. From 1927 to 1976, Hitchcock made 37 appearances in total, and they’re all nicely catalogued by Hitchcock.TVand the clip above. Read more about Hitchcock here: http://bit.ly/XKNMNM

Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars. Image: Warner Bros

Nearly six years after the cancellation of the whip-smart television show about a teenage private eye in a California town deeply divided by class (and murder!), the Kickstarter for the Veronica Marsmovie ends later today, after breaking fundraising records and taking in over $5 million on the crowdfunding platform. The tremendous success of the Kickstarter, launched a month ago by creator Rob Thomas and actress Kristen Bell, has even inspired talk that this could change the way films get made — particularly for properties with devoted followings willing to put their money where their fandom is.

So what are the implications of Kickstarter resurrection and fan-funded film? What could this mean for other beloved (but cancelled) series like Freaks and Geeks or Chuck? And what happened to Veronica and her father after the cliffhanger at the end of Season 3? Wired talked to Thomas to find out or read more the interview here: http://bit.ly/ZprzQt

Wired: Do you think the success of your Kickstarter could be the start of a new business model for film? How do you see it working for other people who aspire to make movies?

Rob Thomas: I think it will be an important pioneer for a certain type of film. I’m not convinced that this will revolutionize how most movies get made, but I think there’s an opportunity now for projects that are similar to ours – that have some bit of public support behind it before they launch on Kickstarter… For something like Veronica Mars, where there’s a bit of a cult following and people are really emotionally invested in it, I do think this is a new avenue. There is no other way that this movie was going to get made.

Warner Bros owns the title Veronica Mars. I don’t… The lowest-priced movie Warner Bros tends to makes is a $30 million, and it goes up from there. They make Lord of the Rings. They don’t make theVeronica Mars movie, typically. So trying to convince Warner Bros to make a $30 million Veronica Marsmovie just wasn’t going to happen, for understandable reasons. When I took this project in, I didn’t take it in through their feature division. I’m making the movie with Warner Bros Digital; they do a lot of the smaller budget [projects]. I think we’re only going to be their second movie with a theatrical release; they typically do things straight to digital and digital download.

With this model, it’s almost a marketing device, a way to judge if there was enough interest in a movie this size. For a Friday Night Lights movie or a Freaks and Geek movie or a Chuck movie, I think it could be a possibility. I think this opens up a door. What I’m interested in as a writer is [if] a writer optioned a book and brought on an actor with some name value – if that combination could raise the money on Kickstarter to make a movie.

Wired: What would you think about Kickstarting a totally new movie project from scratch that didn’t have that preexisting recognition?

Rob Thomas: It would be so gutsy to do that. I started as a novelist, and I have novels. So I wonder, what if I took one of my books and maybe attached – not Kristen Bell … but an actor with that sort of renown and said, “We’re going to try and make this [movie] for $1.5 million dollars.” That would be such an interesting experiment. And I may try it. No one learns as much as when they do anything the first time, and I feel like I’ve learned so much that I have this knowledge that very few people in the world do about running a really big Kickstarter project. And if I never do it again, it’s wasted knowledge. But it’s also a lot of work. Having gotten TV shows on the air, that’s so much less work that trying to get theVeronica Mars movie made.

Wired: How does the financial model of the movie work, and how is the money being allocated?

Rob Thomas: It’s all going to the budget of the movie. We get to make a bigger movie the more money we make … The back end of the movie is divvied up like any other movie that gets made. The stars of the show will get a piece of the back end; the producer will get a piece of the back end. Clearly Warner Bros will own a big part of it. And I hope Warner Bros does well on it, because if not, they won’t make any more of these. I think there’s a scenario where everybody wins: where Kristen and I get to make the movie we’ve been hoping to make; where fans get to see the movie; and where Warner Bros makes money on it as well.

Wired: So in terms of the film’s plot, what’s happened to Veronica since the last time that we saw her at the end of Season 3?

Rob Thomas: Not only that was the last time she worked a case, but she left Neptune shortly there after. She ruins her father’s career as an officer of the law, and he gets indicted.

Wired: No!

Rob Thomas: Yes. Veronica transfers to Stanford, graduates, and goes to Columbia Law School.  And as we pick up the movie, it’s sort of like Tom Cruise at the beginning of The Firm. She’s finished law school, is waiting to take the bar, and interviewing with law firms. But then something happens in Neptune that pulls her back, and makes her metaphorically pick up her magnifying glass again.

Wired: A lot of Veronica’s appeal came from this sense that she was an underdog, but presumably in the adult world she’s getting recognition for her talents in ways that she didn’t from her cliquey high school classmates. Has her character outgrown that underdog status, or is that something you wanted to continue in the film?

Rob Thomas: It was certainly what I was working towards at the end of season 3. If we’d had a season 4, I wanted to get Veronica back into an underdog state. I think we liked Veronica best as a pariah of sorts.

Wired: How do you think fans’ attitudes and expectations about the show have changed since the show ended? Do they’re looking for nostalgia or growth in Veronica and the rest of the cast?

Rob Thomas: I think they’re looking for both. I know there’s something just automatically hook-y about a 17-year-old girl who’s a private eye. There’s less of a hook when it’s a 27-year-old woman. It’s a little more normal, a little more inside-the-box. … You have to make it work as a PI movie. And I understand the cons of nostalgia, but there are some Veronica Mars pleasure zones that I want to hit. If there were a [James] Bond movie and there wasn’t a martini scene – there are just certain things where I’d be cheating the audience if I didn’t include them. But I want it to work as a standalone movie as well for people who have never seen Veronica Mars, and just heard buzz about it and want to check it out finally when it’s a movie. I had never watched Firefly, but I’d heard the buzz so I went and saw the movie. I hope there are plenty of people who will give the Veronica Mars movie that chance.

Wired: One final question for you from Twitter: Any chance that the Party Down crew could cater the Neptune High 10-year reunion?

Rob Thomas: [laughs] There’s no chance. What’s funny is most of the members of the Party Downcrew have already played people on Veronica Mars. Adam Scott was a creepy teacher; Ken Marino is going to be in the movie as Vinnie Van Lowe. Someone like Martin Starr hasn’t been in Veronica Mars, so you might see him – but he won’t be catering it.

 

“People call me a director, but I really think of myself as a sound man.” –David Lynch, quoted in Michael Chion’s David Lynch

David Lynch‘s electro-pop album Crazy Clown Time has left a lot of music fans and critics scratching their heads. But, looking back at the filmmaker’s long history of re-purposing pop music in his films and other work, it’s possible that Crazy Clown Time is one of the least strange moves that the veteran film director, meditation guru, coffee entrepreneur, and amateur weatherman has made in his entire career.

This isn’t intended to be a complete list of David Lynch’s musical ventures, as a number of music videos, Lynch-penned compositions, and other collaborations have been left out. Rather, consider it a smattering of some of Lynch’s strangest, presented in chronological order.

Feature artwork by Cap Blackard. Read more the review here: http://bit.ly/1527Ddf

“In Heaven” from Eraserhead (1977)

Lynch’s history both as a musician and as a feature filmmaker begin here withEraserhead. Following several mostly animated short films, Lynch received a small grant from the American Film Institute to begin what would become his first full-length movie. Filmed piecemeal from 1971 to 1976, it was met with mixed reactions at festivals, but early championing from famous fans including David Bowie and Charles Bukowski helpedEraserhead become one of the midnight circuit’s most popular movies.

The various musical performances in Lynch’s debut come courtesy of the Lady in the Radiator, a charming, tumor-cheeked woman who appears to Henry in visions at several points in the film. The most famous of these is her performance of “In Heaven” (famously covered by The Pixies), a simple, yet creepy, little song written by Peter Ivers at Lynch’s request. (In another segment, The Lady in the Radiator performs a memorably stomach-turning dance where oversized sperm creatures drop from the ceiling and are squished under her feet.)

Sting’s scantily clad space prince in Dune (1984)

“I met David [Lynch] and I loved him. He’s a madman in sheep’s clothing, and I just felt I had to do the movie because I know he’s going to do something extraordinary.” -Sting inRolling Stone Magazine #403, September 1983

“I didn’t even like the film, I don’t have a clue what it was about, it was very confusing.” – Sting to The Courier Mail, July 1985

Following the cult success of Eraserhead and the critical acclaim of his Academy Award-nominated Hollywood debut, The Elephant Man, Lynch was pegged to direct a big-budget adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic, Dune. (Lynch had recently declined George Lucas’s offer to direct Return of the Jedi.) Lynch’s grandiose vision forDune would have resulted in a three-plus-hour film, which the studio cut down to a still-grueling 137 minutes. While more than a few distinct Lynch-isms survived the chopping block, the film that arrived in theaters was a convoluted mess and wound up being a huge commercial and critical flop.

“In Dreams” from Blue Velvet (1986)

Lynch bounced back from Dune with the smaller, more personal Blue Velvet. A mystery set against the dark underbelly of small-town America, Blue Velvet earned David Lynch his second best director Academy Award nomination and resurrected Dennis Hopper’s career with his turn as Frank Booth, the movie’s unforgettable gas-huffing villain.

Teenage sleuth Jeffrey Beaumont finds himself in way over his head when the dangerously unpredictable Frank Booth takes him along for a wild ride. Frank takes him to the home of his “suave” drug dealer, Ben, who lip-syncs Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” into an electric light. This sends Frank down an emotional roller coaster and prompts one of the most terrifying scenes in the movie.

“Blue Velvet” from Blue Velvet (1986)

Though far less disturbing than Dean Stockwell’s performance of “In Dreams”, Isabella Rosselini’s nightclub performance of Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” has become one of the film’s most iconic scenes. With her sensual allure and an evening of song, beleaguered nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens pulls the young Jeffrey Beaumont irrevocably into her dark world.

David Lynch initially brought in Angelo Badalamenti to serve as Isabella Rosselini’s voice coach for this scene, but wound up finding one of his most frequent collaborators in the composer. (Badalamenti appears as the piano player in this scene.)

Julee Cruise – Floating Into the Night (1989)

Rights issues prevented David Lynch from using a This Mortal Coil cover of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren” in Blue Velvet. Unable to find another song that conveyed the same feelings, Lynch penned the lyrics to “Mysteries of Love”, which composer Angelo Badalamenti set to music. Lynch asked for a singer with an “ethereal” voice. Badalamenti suggested Julee Cruise, whom he had met in a theater workshop. The results play in Blue Velvet over a sweetly emotional dancing scene.

Industrial Symphony No. 1 (1989)

Following the success of Blue Velvet, The Brooklyn Academy of Music approached David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti to produce a 45-minute stage production to open their New Wave Music Festival. The pair agreed and put the entire show together in just two weeks, creating imagery to pair with several of the songs they’d written for Julee Cruise.

Presented only twice in November of 1989, the original production starred Cruise, as well as Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern, with whom Lynch was currently filming Wild at Heart, and Michael J. Anderson, who would go on to fame as the diminutive, backwards-talking Man From Another Place in Twin Peaks.

“Love Me” / “Love Me Tender” from Wild at Heart(1990)

David Lynch juggled a wide variety of projects in the late 1980s, perhaps the quickest to get off the ground being Wild at Heart. Within six months of being given a copy of the Barry Gifford novel that served as the film’s source material, Lynch had wrapped shooting on an adaptation that strongly showed the filmmaker’s bizarre stamp and contained more than a few less-than-subtle allusions to The Wizard of Oz.

Starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern as Sailor and Lula, outlaw lovers on the lam from both law enforcement and a contract killer, Wild at Heart calls back to Elvis Presley’s acting career without once actually vocalizing the singer’s name. Nicolas Cage musically breaks into songs made famous by Presley at two points in the movie: first in a version of “Love Me” that Sailor sings to Lula after pummeling a kid senseless in a bar fight and second (and even more bizarrely) in a rendition of “Love Me Tender” that’s sung under the credits.

“Just You And I” from Twin Peaks (1990)

It’s not surprising that two of the strangest musical moments in Twin Peaks come from David Lynch-directed episodes. Early on in season two, James and Donna, friends and classmates of the late Laura Palmer, and her near-identical cousin, Maddie, gather to record a ’50s-style pop song. The song isn’t mentioned before this moment and isn’t referred to again, making the almost-random, three-minute performance one of the most inexplicable, yet surreally sweet, scenes in the show.

David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me(1992)

Ratings for Twin Peaks took a serious plummet in the second season, as a move to a Saturday evening time slot and the resolution of the central “Who killed Laura Palmer?” mystery caused viewers to lose interest. Following the show’s cancellation, Lynch announced he’d signed a three-picture deal with French company CIBY that would include a spin-off prequel. The world of Twin Peaks would live on for one more feature film, despite several of the show’s lead actors declining to be involved.

David Bowie, an early fan of Lynch’s Eraserhead, appears in a very brief cameo as a disappearing special agent with a laughably terrible Southern accent. Bowie filmed his role in just a few days while rehearsing for his Tin Machine tour, and only this scene survived into the film’s final cut.

“Sycamore Trees” / “Questions in a World of Blue” from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was a critical and commercial flop in the United States, perhaps because of its near incomprehensibility, particularly to those who hadn’t invested almost 30 hours in the TV show’s many threaded plotlines. To fans of the director, however, it could be seen as his most hallucinatory and surreal film since Eraserhead.

Many of Lynch’s trademarks are quite visible throughout, including his penchant for including on-screen singing. The first is a short appearance by “Little” Jimmy Scott, a jazz vocalist with a distinctively high voice caused by a rare genetic disorder that prevented him from reaching puberty, singing “Sycamore Trees”, a new song by Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti.

The second is an in-film performance by Lynch’s frequent musical collaborator, Julee Cruise, singing the Lynch and Badalamenti composition “Questions in a World of Blue”, which would later appear on her sophomore album, also produced by Lynch.

“The Mr. Peanuts Song” from On the Air (1992)

On the Air was one of two short-lived television shows from David Lynch and his Twin Peaks co-creator, Mark Frost, following the success of that series. Starring several of the smaller-role actors from Twin Peaks in the lead and filmed with much of the same crew, the old-timey throwback to 1950s live variety programming flopped in the ratings with only a handful of episodes making it to air.

While possibly one of the least Lynch-esque projects he’s attached his name to, On the Air played in the same world of innocent nostalgia that was turned on its head in films likeBlue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. Several pieces of music are fit into the show-within-a-show’s variety format, one of the most memorable being “The Mr. Peanuts Song”, sung by one of the show’s leads, coming to the aid of a disgraced puppeteer.

Michael Jackson’s Dangerous teaser (1993)

David Lynch directed the introduction to Michael Jackson’s Dangerous: The Short Filmscollection, and as far as 90-second pop music commercials go, they don’t get much Lynch-ier than this. Featuring flickering lights, industrial noise, and a dancing dwarf, this little-scene video packs a lot of directorial trademarks into a small amount of time.

Marilyn Manson and Twiggy Ramirez as porn stars inLost Highway (1997)

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor had reached out to Lynch previously to direct one of his music videos but was unable to pin down the filmmaker. Impressing producers with his work on the Natural Born Killers companion soundtrack, Reznor was approached to reprise that musical compiler role for Lost Highway as well as composing a few original pieces of music for the movie. The final result was released on CD in advance of the film’s opening and featured tracks by Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, Rammstein, and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Soundtrack contributors Marilyn Manson and bandmate Twiggy Ramirez have brief, almost-background cameos as porn stars in a snuff flick that’s viewed by the characters in one of the movie’s skeezier scenes.

“Llorando” in Mulholland Drive (2001)

“The music has to marry with the picture and enhance it. You can’t just lob something in and think it’s going to work, even if it’s one of your all-time favorite songs. The piece of music may have nothing to do with the scene. When it marries, you can feel it.” –David Lynch in his book, Catching the Big Fish

Initially conceived as a TV pilot that was later rejected by ABC executives, Lynch went back and shot additional scenes to turn it into one of his most critically acclaimed feature films, Mulholland Drive. The unusual production history of the film and the open-ended narrative structure, as well as Lynch’s typically surreal style, make viewing the film a hallucinatory and dreamlike feeling.

In all of the scenes listed here, Rebekah Del Rio’s Spanish, a capella performance of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” (retitled “Llorando”) may be the most haunting. Lynch had originally intended to use this song rather than Orbison’s “In Dreams” for Blue Velvet, but used it here instead after hearing Del Rio’s cover. At a critical point in the film, lovers Betty and Rita visit the mysterious and mostly empty Club Silencio. “No hay banda,” a performer announces; there is no band, yet we hear one. Any further description of this scene would be spoiling it for those who haven’t yet experienced it.

BlueBob (2001)

A music video was released for “Thank You, Judge”, which featured appearances by Naomi Watts and Eli Roth, as well as both Lynch and Neff.

“Sinnerman”, “Imaginary Girl”, and “Ghost of Love” from Inland Empire (2006)

Shot without a script over the course of more than two years with a stable of Lynch regulars, Inland Empire remains Lynch’s most recent film. Here, for the first time sinceWild at Heart, the filmmaker saves the weirdest musical moment for the end credits. The film closes with a Lynch-esque dance number set to Nina Simone’s rendition of “Sinnerman”, including a few of the director’s recurring thumbprints, from the blinking lights to a log-sawing lumberjack.

David Lynch makes his singing debut (without heavy distortion filters) for the soundtrack of Inland Empire, singing two original songs: “Ghost of Love” and “Imaginary Girl”.

Moby’s “Shot in the Back of the Head” music video (2009)

It doesn’t seem that unusual that electronic artist Moby and David Lynch would be email pen pals. As Moby describes it, he would occasionally send Lynch pieces of music that he thinks he would like. In the case of “Shot in the Back of the Head” from 2009 album Wait for Me, Lynch sent the song back with visuals attached to it.

Lynch’s animated music video interpreted Moby’s song as a surreal narrative involving a love affair between a man and a woman’s severed head.

Dark Night of the Soul (2010)

Dark Night of the Soul was a collaborative album written by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse and featured a wide cast of indie rock luminaries in guest appearances, including Wayne Coyne, Iggy Pop, Gruff Rhys, Jason Lytle, James Mercer, Black Francis, Julian Casablancas, Suzanne Vega, Nina Persson, Vic Chesnutt, and Scott Spillane. It included some of the last recordings by Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous and Vic Chesnutt before their respective suicides.

A limited-edition version of the set came with a book that included more than 100 pages of photos taken by David Lynch. The filmmaker sang in two of the songs, including “Star Eyes”, which is below set to his accompanying photographs.

In closing…

“Sound is almost like a drug. It’s so pure that when it goes in your ears, it instantly does something to you.” -David Lynch

In the end, when put into the context of a long and idiosyncratic career that’s included its fair share of left turns, an electro-pop album from David Lynch really isn’t a surprising move. Popular music has long played such an integral role in Lynch’s creative output that it may just be the logical next step.

Enjoy Crazy Clown Time, and try to have a good day today.

  • Directing

    A government official in the director’s native Taiwan praises his accomplishment, while Indian stars tweet in delight over Lee’s statement in Hindi during his acceptance speech.

HONG KONG and DELHI – Just hours after bagging an Oscar statuette in Los Angeles, Ang Lee has been told of yet another award coming his way: an honorary citizen’s medal from the municipal authorities of Taichuing, the Taiwanese city where he shot the ocean scenes in Life of Pi.

Speaking to the Taiwanese CNA news agency, Taichung mayor Jason Hu – who watched the awards ceremony after a medical check-up in a Taipei hospital – said Lee deserves the Best Director prize, and that he thanked Lee for putting the island on the map by shooting Life of Pi there and then giving Taiwan a call-out in his acceptance speech.

Hu said Lee, who was born in southern Taiwan and left the island to study filmmaking in the US in 1979, should be accorded with recognition by the Taiwanese government, and he will make the filmmaker an honorary citizen of Taichung.

Read more about Ang Lee here: http://bit.ly/VHDmuV

Life of Pi has proven to be a hit in Taiwan, where it took US$15.6 million. The film also took about US$85 million on mainland China, an amount which surpassed its American earnings of US$69.6 million.

Meanwhile, Lee set the Indian blogosphere alight by concluding his acceptance speech on Sunday night with a salutation in Hindi.

“YES!!! Life of Pi wins four Oscars, with most deserved Best Director Oscar for Ang Lee, who ended speech with ‘Namaste,’” actor Kabir Bedi posted on his twitter account.

“Congratulations to the entire team of Life Of Pi and to the Genius called Ang Lee. Proud to have worked with him.:),” said a tweet by actor Anupam Kher,who was at the Oscar ceremony as part of the ensemble cast of Silver Linings Playbook. Kher — who also posted a photo of himself with Lee taken at a pre-Oscar party — had earlier worked with the two-time Oscar winning director in 2007’sLust, Caution.

“Ohhhh how beautiful to see Ang Lee on the stage. He truly truly truly deserves it,” tweeted actorAdil Hussain who stars in Life of Pi, playing the principal character’s father.

Perhaps the tweet that best captured the enthusiasm of Lee’s Oscar win and acceptance speech came from Bollywood banner Balaji Telefilms CEO Tanuj Garg: “Every Indian has just had an orgasm over Ang Lee’s ‘namaste.’”

 

Silver Linings Playbook Feel Good Movie - H 2013

The Weinstein Company
The 28th annual Independent Spirit Awards gala, hosted by Andy Samberg, is held as a luncheon in a tent on Santa Monica beach on Saturday, Feb 23. The Hollywood Reporter‘s live blog of the event can be found here or here: http://bit.ly/VErzxB

Below is a list of the nominees, with the winners marked in bold:

Best Feature
“Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
“Bernie”
“Keep The Lights On”
“Moonrise Kingdom”
Winner: “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Director
Wes Anderson – “Moonrise Kingdom”
Julia Loktev – “The Loneliest Planet”
Winner: David O. Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Ira Sachs – “Keep The Lights On”
Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Best First Feature
“Fill The Void”
“Gimme The Loot”
“Safety Not Guaranteed”
“Sound Of My Voice”
Winner: “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower”

John Cassavetes Award
“Breakfast With Curtis”
“The Color Wheel”
Winner: “Middle Of Nowhere”
“Mosquita y Mari”
“Starlet”

Best Male Lead
Jack Black – “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Winner: John Hawkes – “The Sessions”
Thure Lindhart – “Keep The Lights On”
Matthew McConaughey – “Killer Joe”
Wendell Pierce – “Four”

Best Female Lead
Linda Cardenelli – “Return”
Emayatzy Corinealdi – “Middle Of Nowhere”
Winner: Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Quvenzhane Wallis – “Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
Mary Elizabeth Winstead – “Smashed”

Best Supporting Male
Winner: Matthew McConaughey – “Magic Mike”
David Oyelowo – “Middle Of Nowhere”
Michael Pena – “End Of Watch”
Sam Rockwell – “Seven Psychopaths
Bruce Willis – “Moonrise Kingdom”

Best Supporting Female
Rosemarie DeWitt – “Your Sister’s Sister
Ann Dowd – “Compliance”
Winner: Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
Brit Marling – “Sound Of My Voice”
Lorraine Toussaint – “MIddle Of Nowhere”

Best Screenplay
Wes Anderson – “Moonrise Kingdom”
Zoe Kazan – “Ruby Sparks”
Martin McDonagh – “Seven Psychopaths”
Winner: David O Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias – “Keep The Lights On”

Best First Screenplay
Rama Burshtein – “Fill The Void”
Winner: Derek Connolly – “Safety Not Guaranteed”
Christopher Ford – “Robot & Frank
Rashida Jones & Will McCormack – “Celeste & Jesse Forever
Jonathan Lisecki – “Gayby”

Best International Feature
Winner: “Amour”
“Once Upon A TIme In Anatolia”
“Rust & Bone”
“Sister”
“War Witch”

Best Documentary
“The Central Park Five”
“How To Survive A Plague”
Winner: “The Invisible War”
“Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present”
“The Waiting Room”

Best Cinematography
Winner: Ben Richardson, “Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
“End Of Watch”
“Here”
“Moonrise Kingdom”
“Valley Of The Saints”

Piaget Producers Award
Mynette Louie – “Stones In The Sun”
Derrick Tseng – “Prince Avalanche”
Alicia Van Couvering – “Nobody Walks”

Someone To Watch Award
David Fenster – “Pincus”
Adam Leon – “Gimme The Loot”
Rebecca Thomas – “Electrick Children”

Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Pravel – “Leviathan”
Peter Nicks – “The Waiting Room”
Jasonyyyee Tippet and Elizabeth Mimms – “Only The Young”

Robert Altman Award
“Starlet”

 

Nine Oscar speeches that changed the world

You’re never going to win an Oscar. But whether you’re conscious of it or not, you’ve probably already given an Oscar speech.

They may be the most secretly influential forms of American rhetoric. The rhythms and tropes of wealthy filmmakers accepting career-peak trophies echo in every weepy retirement speech, every smug valedictorian address, every comic icebreaker the CEO uses to kick off his PowerPoint presentation. Movie stars show us how to kiss, how to dress. Of course we learn public discourse from them,  too. Read more here: http://wapo.st/XLTATs

Here are 9 speeches that changed the world by Amy Argetsinger from washingtonpost.com

Actress Sally Field accepts her Academy Award for best actress in the film "Places in the Heart" at the Oscar ceremonies in Los Angeles March 26, 1985. (AP)

Actress Sally Field accepts her Academy Award for best actress in the film “Places in the Heart” at the Oscar ceremonies in Los Angeles March 26, 1985. (AP)

“You know what you want to say, you want to be grounded, be yourself, be totally honest about how you’re feeling,” says Roger Ross Williams, recalling his 2010 Oscar moment. Not ringing a bell? More on him later, as we recall nine landmark Oscar speeches and their legacies.

Greer Garson: Her acceptance of the 1942 Best Actress prize (for “Mrs. Miniver”) is legendary as the longest in show history — an estimated seven minutes — but it also set the pace for gassy self-regard. The British star pontificated on the meaning of awards, her journey to the U.S., the marvelous support Hollywood was getting from the troops.Legacies: Time limits. Self-mythologizing stars (Halle Berry: “this moment is so much bigger than me”; Hilary Swank: “just a little girl from a trailer park with a dream”). RNC speeches that barely mention the nominee. The worst banquets you’ve ever attended.

Ed Begley: The veteran character actor, winning the 1962 Best Supporting Actor for “Sweet Bird of Youth,” thanked his producer, his director…“but most of all, and this is from the heart, my agent, George Morris.” The room was shocked. This was a first! “Really and truly!” the actor protested, explaining that Morris worked overtime to get him the role.Legacies: Thanking your agent, your publicist, your hairdresser. Taking your bifocals and a folded list onstage with you. (“Titanic” producer Jon Landau name-checked 55 people.) Four-page author acknowledgements. Watch the speech.

Marlon Brando: The eccentric “Godfather” star skipped the 1972 ceremony and sent “Sacheen Littlefeather” (actress-activist Marie Cruz) to refuse his Best Actor prize — in protest, she said, of “the treatment of American Indians” by Hollywood and the government. A political statement? Whatever. It was really the birth of Punk’d culture.Legacies: Five-second delays. Howard Stern fans crank-calling live news broadcasts. Sacha Baron-Cohen’s career. Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift.

Louise Fletcher: The Best Actress winner for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) kept it short, gracious and barely memorable — until she completed her speech in sign language to thank her deaf parents “for teaching me to have a dream. You are seeing my dream come true.” Nothing like a good awards-show cry. Legacies: Cambodian refu­gee Haing S. Ngor’s win (“this is unbelievable, but so is my entire life”). Timothy Hutton’s shout-out to his late dad Jim Hutton. Ving Rhames regifting his Golden Globe to his hero Jack Lemmon. The very best rehearsal-dinner toasts.

Vanessa Redgrave: What was more shocking: When the Palestine advocate and Best Supporting Actress of 1977 (“Julia”) thanked the academy for standing up to “Zionist hoodlums” who opposed her? Or the hisses from the audience and subsequent scolding from presenter Paddy Chayefsky? Legacies: Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Richard Gere getting in trouble for mouthing off about politics at the podium. Michael Moore calling out the president (“we are against this war, Mr. Bush!”) and getting booed. Rep. Joe Wilson’s State of the Union heckle (“you lie!”). Cable news warfare in general.

Meryl Streep: Everyone knew she would win Best Supporting Actress for 1979’s “Kramer Vs. Kramer,”  but she politely acted surprised: “Holy mackerel!” Cute, unconvincing and soon the new standard. Legacies: All of Kate Winslet’s faux-shocked acceptance speeches. Kooky, self-deprecating opening lines. (Admiral James Stockdale, vice-presidential debate of 1992: “Who am I? Why am I here?”) Later and better Streep speeches, eventually honed to a fine art.

Sally Field: What she actually said, accepting the 1984 Best Actress prize: “And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me!” What it meant: A subtle reference to a line from her 1979 movie “Norma Rae.” What it turned into: The single most quoted, imitated, joked-about moment from the Oscars, ever. Legacies: Director James Cameron’s “Titanic” acceptance (“I’m king of the world!”). Meme culture. The pressure to make a funny joke on Twitter about what just happened on TV.

Jack Palance: Exulting in his 1991 Best Supporting Actor trophy (“City Slickers”), the 73-year-old dropped to the floor and did three one-armed push-ups. Legacies: Roberto Benigni climbing over the seats to accept his Best Actor prize. Adrian Brody soul-kissing Halle Berry to accept his. Obnoxious end-zone dances.

Roger Ross WilliamsRemember? He’s the 2009 Best Documentary Short director whose carefully planned speech was cut short when estranged producer Elinor Burkett rushed the stage. “Everyone was talking about it the next day,” he marvels. Legacies: A “Larry King” guest spot, a “Simpsons” parody, a “Letterman” skit, a coveted Sundance spot for “God Loves Uganda,” his new full-length documentary. Williams laughs about it now: “That attention helped my career in a big way.”

 

via puu.sh

Pirate Bay documentary TPB AFK premieres today at the German Berlinale film festival, but you can watch it online — right now — for free. Director Simon Klose has posted his Creative Commons-licensed film in three resolutions on The Pirate Bay, as he announced in late January. TPB AFK follows The Pirate Bay’s founders through long-running battles with the Swedish and US governments, including their arrest and conviction for running the file-sharing site.

In our recent interview, Klose called the film not only a chronicle of The Pirate Bay but a call to reform copyright, saying that “the ability to share with culture is out of sync with the right to share culture.” Creative Commons is in some ways a pragmatic decision given the film’s focus on piracy, but it’s also an expression of his idealism: “I want to prove that it can be a viable business idea to give away a film for free.” TPB AFK can also be purchased as a stream or DVD pre-order on Klose’s site.

http://bit.ly/Yeyw58

Six Sundance Love Stories for Valentine’s Day

 
What better way to perpetuate the quixotic romantic desires that reside in our partners’ minds than by watching films that validate those delusions of love? This Valentine’s Day, we’re offering a short list of Sundance-supported love stories as a remedial to such lofty figments—unfortunately, the reality is not quite as attractive. From an idyllic summer love that concludes with an acerbic breakup in 500 Days of Summer to a lingering, albeit passionate romance that traverses drug abuse and other pitfalls in Keep the Lights On, these six stories of (not always mutual) affection will jolt even the most deluded lover from their reverie.

Keep the Lights On

Keep the Lights On, Ira Sachs’ second feature since snagging the 2005 Grand Jury Prize with Forty Shades of Blue, is about as creatively precarious as films come. It’s a heartrending semi-autobiographical love story that chronicles the ecstasy, the agony, and the utter hysterics of a 10-year relationship between two men in 1990s New York. It’s one thing that Sachs is able to find the courage to vividly broach and revisit such an emotional phase of his life; it’s another that he has the valor to share it with us. In doing so, he displays an incredible aptitude for chronology, managing to convey the intimacy and depth of a decade-long romance despite the constraints of a feature-length reel.

A pair of stunning performances from Danish actor Thure Lindhardt and up-and-comer Zachary Booth bring to life a script that is both beautiful in its honesty and excruciating in its vulnerability, as Sachs invites viewers to walk step-by-step with him on a journey of love and addiction.

500 Days of Summer

It’s a nod to 21st century urban romance, and a do-it-all film that dismisses the perceived boundaries of romantic dramas. Marc Webb’s 500 Days of Summer casts Sundance vet Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in starkly contrasting — but equally impressive — roles. Beautifully structured and dominated by inventive montage sequences, Webb’s feature tracks the 500 days of a couple’s relationship—or more aptly, the period of Gordon-Levitt’s mostly-unrequited love. Be forewarned, Deschanel plays something of a conniving bitch. It’s ok, we still love her.

Love & Basketball

Film titles don’t come more terse and fitting than Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Basketball. The 2000 Sundance Film Festival selection tracks a pair of young basketball players from their nascent years as childhood sweethearts in Los Angeles to their seminal years as students at USC, and finally as the two arrive separately at the pinnacle of their careers. Prince-Bythewood crafts an elegant portrait of a romantic relationship built on the foundation of friendship, with Monica (Omar Epps) and Quincy’s (Sanaa Lathan) shared love of basketball acting as the ironic barrier between their love for one another.

Before Sunrise and Before Midnight

Richard Linklater’s Before trifecta (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight) feels incongruent among the rest of his prolific oeuvre. Of course, that’s not such a bad thing. For one, the Before series represents a persistent departure from his other highly regarded work (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, A Scanner Darkly) and displays Linklater’s tenacity and flair for character development. Additionally, it’s arguably the most ambitious love story portrayed in cinema in decades, chronicling Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse’s (Ethan Hawke) nearly 20-year on-and-off relationship.

Before Sunrise premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and immediately endeared audiences to the youthful couple, who meet on a train en route to Vienna. What appears initially to be nothing more than a glib encounter quickly progresses into a night of candid conversation and visceral connection between Jessie and Celine. Before Sunset reunites the pair nine years later in Paris, and Before Midnight sets the couple in Greece nearly two decades after their initial encounter. And while each film in the series is marked by Linklater’s nuanced character development and meticulous dialogue, there is a beauty in the transformation of Hawke’s and Delpy’s characters despite the significant gaps in both narrative and real time.

Cutie and the Boxer

Whether intentional or not, director Zachary Heinzerling’s debut feature documentary presents the most pleasant of paradoxes. Cutie and the Boxer follows Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, two Japanese artists who meet in New York in the ‘70s and carry on a 40-year relationship that straddles the lines between personal and professional, pleasure and duty. Heinzerling captures their relationship with an authenticity only found in the raw emotions between lovers.

The Spectacular Now

James Ponsoldt’s third Sundance Film Festival selection eschews the gloomy tone of his prior work, but offers another testament to his ability to gently guide the performances in a film. Miles Teller took home a Special Jury Prize last month for his performance, and Shailene Woodley is no slouch as his co-star. Senior Programmer John Nein offers his take:

“Adapted from Tim Tharp’s novel, The Spectacular Now captures the insecurity and confusion of adolescence without looking for tidy truths. Young actors rarely portray teens with the maturity that Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley display, and they are phenomenal together. Funny, compassionate, and poignant, James Ponsoldt’s third feature again demonstrates his ability to lay bare the souls of his characters.”

 

written by nate von zumwalt for sundance.org

 

Death of a President director Gabriel Range will explore pair’s friendship and collaborations in Germany in the 70s

David Bowie and Iggy Pop in 1978 and 1977 respectively

Lust for Life … David Bowie and Iggy Pop in 1978 and 1977 respectively. Photograph: Denis O’Regan/Getty Images and Howard Barlow/Redferns

Guardian.co.uk reported that a new film will tell the story of Iggy Pop and David Bowie‘s years in West Berlin. The British-German co-production will be directed by Gabriel Range, best-known for his movie about an imaginary assassination of George W Bush.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/WwIjrr

Lust for Life’s screenplay was written by Robin French, according to the Hollywood Reporter, based in large part on Paul Trynka’s books Starmanand Open Up and Bleed, which look at the lives of Bowie and Pop respectively. French is the co-creator of BBC3’s sitcom Cuckoo.

http://bit.ly/WwIjrr

Al Pacino to Receive Honorary Award at L.A. Italia Festival

As part of the eighth annual Los Angeles, Italia-Film, Fashion and Arts Fest, renowned theater and film actor Al Pacino will be receiving the fest’s newest and highest honor: the Jack Valenti — L.A., Italia Legend Award.

Named after former MPAA president Jack Valenti, who helped pioneer the first movie ratings system, the award is set to be given each year to an Italian-American who “has made major contributions to the global motion pictures industry.”

Pacino will receive his award on Feb. 17 during the festival’s opening night ceremonies at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Jack Valenti’s daughter Courtenay, now a vice president of production at Warner Bros., will present the award.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/WQs1WE

written by mark rozeman for paste magazine

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