Recent Entries in Film

Does Spielberg's latest effort, Munich, borrow too heavily from an 1986 HBO film based on the same source material called Sword of Gideon? The Wall Street Journal reports that Gideonâ..s producers are suggesting exactly that:

   To a large extent, this is to be expected: Both movies are based on the same 1984 book, â..Vengeance,â. by Canadian author George Jonas. But there are some scenes in the new movie that are staged similarly to those in the older movie. For example, in recreating the bloody last moments of the Munich crisis, when Palestinians fire on Israeli Olympians held captive in a helicopter, both movies use the same camera angle â.. from the perspective of the hostages. And both â..Swordâ. and â..Munichâ. feature a noteworthy scene that doesnâ..t appear in the book: a shot of a pensive Avner picking up the tobacco pipe of a fallen team member in a London hotel room. (In the book, thereâ..s no mention of Avner picking up the pipe.)

   Robert Lantos, producer of â..Sword of Gideon,â. says some parts of the current film are â..almost re-enactmentsâ. of his 1986 work. â..Itâ..s a testament to the cunning and foresight of Spielbergâ..s publicity machine that â..Sword of Gideonâ.. has not made it onto anyoneâ..s radar,â. he says.

Munich_sword_of_Gideon.jpg

Munich's Made For TV Inspiration - Defamer

From Jaws and Close Encounters through to War of the Worlds, Steven Spielberg movies have rarely had trouble connecting with audiences in the UK.

But the man who put a capital B into the contemporary blockbuster, whose films have grossed billions and whose name is usually the stamp of glorious cinematic success, has been humbled. By a button. Pushed, it seems, mistakenly.

This has had a profound effect on the director's latest opus, at least as far as the members of Bafta are concerned. By tomorrow they have to nominate the films they think worthy of accolade, and Spielberg's Munich was expected to be among them, tipped for awards both in Britain and at the Oscars.

But the preview DVD sent to the academy's members is unplayable on machines used in the UK. As a result the majority of Bafta's 5,000 voters will not have seen the film, due to be released in Britain on January 27, and can hardly be expected to recommend it for acclaim.

Guardian Unlimited Film | News | Spielberg loses out at the push of a button

Robert Altman will receive an honorary award at the 78th annual Academy Awards.

Altman has received five Oscar nominations for directing ("MASH," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts" and "Gosford Park") and two for producing ("Nashville," "Gosford Park"), but this Oscar statuette will be his first.

Variety.com - Oscar taps Altman for honorary nod

Oh God, no!

Transformers update: footage fake, but Bay's totally stoked - Cinematical

According to Bay, the last six months have been spent on drawings and storyboarding, with an eye to making robots that can "emote," because their ability to convey realistic emotion will apparently "be the deciding factor on whether or not this movie gets made." (Yeah, that's right - though we sometimes forget such minor details in our eagerness for the project, the damn movie hasn't even been greenlit yet.) Though Bay said he initially lacked enthusiasm for the project (Gee, really? I'm just guessing here, but I can't imagine many Transformers fans felt much enthusiasm for him, either.), he's now really excited about what they've come up with. According to AICN, Bay feels "he's found a really cool film that kids and Transformers fans are going to really get behind."

Lovecraft Story Translates to Acclaimed First Film.

Did I go to film school? No, I was actually finishing up a BA in political science when I made my movie. Do I have a job in the film industry? Not unless video rentals count. I work full-time at Videoport, an independent movie store in Portland, Maine, and part time at the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence.

And that's right, I don't live in Hollywood, New York or Vancouver. I live in Portland, birthplace of such diverse talent as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Judd Nelson and Liv Tyler.

So what have I got? Well, a little ingenuity, some blessed ignorance and a passion for the writing of an obscure author named Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

MovieMaker Magazine | Issue #45 | Lovecraft Story Translates to Acclaimed First Film

Tolkien hated Narnia: the two dons may have shared the same love of unquestioning feudal power, with worlds of obedient plebs and inferior folk eager to bend at the knee to any passing superior white persons - even children; both their fantasy worlds and their Christianity assumes that rigid hierarchy of power - lord of lords, king of kings, prince of peace to be worshipped and adored. But Tolkien disliked Lewis's bully-pulpit.

Over the years, others have had uneasy doubts about the Narnian brand of Christianity. Christ should surely be no lion (let alone with the orotund voice of Liam Neeson). He was the lamb, representing the meek of the earth, weak, poor and refusing to fight. Philip Pullman - he of the marvellously secular trilogy His Dark Materials - has called Narnia "one of the most ugly, poisonous things I have ever read".

Why? Because here in Narnia is the perfect Republican, muscular Christianity for America - that warped, distorted neo-fascist strain that thinks might is proof of right. I once heard the famous preacher Norman Vincent Peel in New York expound a sermon that reassured his wealthy congregation that they were made rich by God because they deserved it. The godly will reap earthly reward because God is on the side of the strong. This appears to be CS Lewis's view, too. In the battle at the end of the film, visually a great epic treat, the child crusaders are crowned kings and queens for no particular reason. Intellectually, the poor do not inherit Lewis's earth.

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | 'Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion'

I'm sorry, but ... Duh!

Narnia's lion really is Jesus - Sunday Times - Times Online

AN unpublished letter from the novelist C S Lewis has provided conclusive proof of the Christian message in his Narnia childrenâ..s books.

In the letter, sent to a child fan in 1961, Lewis writes: â..The whole Narnian story is about Christ.â. It has been found by Walter Hooper, literary adviser to the Lewis estate.

It has emerged ahead of this weekâ..s release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The film, starring Tilda Swinton and Jim Broadbent, cost ~75m to make and has been at the centre of a tug of war between Christians and secularists.

Brian Sibley, author of Shadowlands, the book which describes Lewisâ..s marriage to Joy Gresham, said: â..This is the most specific explanation of Narnia I have heard.â.

The new film depicts one of the seven novels in Lewisâ..s series, which tell the story of four children journeying through a wardrobe into Narnia, a world of talking animals that is plunged into endless winter by a witch. The children and animals rally to Aslan, a noble lion.

  Banned Video Clips

Exploding zombie heads, orgy scenes and Madonna being, well, Madonna. It's the stuff that was too gross, too raunchy or just too sick for you to see. All these clips have been banned by someone, somewhere. But we've got 'em here...in all their uncensored glory.

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IFILM - Banned Video Collection

Nearly two years after Pixar topper Steve Jobs first announced that the CG animation studio was parting ways with Walt Disney Pictures, the entities appear poised to kiss and make up. During a recent third-quarter earnings conference call, Jobs was hopeful about renewing relations with the House of Mouse.

"We are in deep discussions with Disney," he said, noting that that they'd like to have a new distribution deal in place as soon as possible. "It's worth the few extra months of effort if there is a chance of continuing our relationship with Disney and our discussions right now are very productive," said Jobs.

That's a completely different tune than the Pixar CEO was singing back in early 2004 when then-Disney honcho Michael Eisner refused to meet the terms demanded by Jobs for a new Pixar distribution agreement. Pixar reportedly wanted 100% of the box office take on future films, a modest distribution fee and the lion's share of ancillary revenue. Eisner balked.

IGN: New Disney-Pixar Deal Likely

Shares of Pixar headed firmly into double-digit percentage gains before the midway point, and continued on a steadily upward climb throughout the session. The jump came after the company's stock had suffered several down trading days.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based company, producer of such films as "Toy Story," "Monsters Inc." and "The Incredibles," said after the close Tuesday that it earned $27.4 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a profit of $22.4 million, or 19 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose to $45.8 million from $44.5 million.

Pixar hits all-time high on earnings report - Media - Earnings

What a shock! I had bets on Kelley and Nimoy.

george_takei.jpg

George Takei, who as "Star Trek's" Sulu was part of the Starship Enterprise crew through three television seasons and six movies, has come out as a homosexual in the current issue of Frontiers, a biweekly Los Angeles magazine covering the gay and lesbian community.

Takei told The Associated Press on Thursday that his new onstage role as psychologist Martin Dysart in "Equus," helped inspire him to publicly discuss his sexuality.

Takei described the character as a "very contained but turbulently frustrated man." The play opened Wednesday at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles, the same day that Frontiers magazine featured a story on Takei's coming out.

CNN.com - Read Story -

This is neat. A list of MacGuffin examples from various films and TV shows.

What's a MacGuffin/McGuffin, you ask? Well ... It's something really important...

A MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or Maguffin) is a plot device that motivates the characters and advances the story, particularly one whose importance is accepted completely by the story's characters, yet from the audience's perspective it might be minimally explained or may test their suspension of disbelief if it is scrutinized. The device, usually an object, is common in films, especially thrillers.

MacGuffin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The essential American soul," D. H. Lawrence once wrote, "is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer. It has never yet melted." To judge by a handful of notable foreign films opening this season, it still hasn't.

In these films, that soul is also self-aggrandizing, self-satisfied, self-assured (self is its favorite word), as well as adolescent. Eager to leave skeletons in closets and bodies in graves, this hard, isolate soul has a problem with history and when push comes to shove - as it does so often - it is willing to add to the body count.

In their new films, directors like Wim Wenders, Lars von Trier and David Cronenberg are holding up fun-house mirrors to America, creating reflections that are alternately quixotic and grotesque, and at times wincingly true. In Mr. Wenders's "Don't Come Knocking," Sam Shepard plays an over-the-hill movie actor, a boy with a face full of wrinkles, who suddenly goes searching for a past he ditched long ago. In Mr. Cronenberg's latest, "A History of Violence," Viggo Mortensen plays a small-town American paterfamilias, equal parts Marlboro Man and Terminator, whose past comes searching for him in turn. Meanwhile, in "Manderlay," the second film in Mr. von Trier's trilogy about America following "Dogville" - and like that cinematic screed, shot entirely on a soundstage - the country's history of slavery is repeated, this time as farce and in blackface.

A Nice Place to Film, but Heavens, Not to Live - New York Times

Ang Lee's tale of homosexual love between two cowboys in the conservative West of the 1960s won the Venice Film Festival's top award Saturday.

"Brokeback Mountain," starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, topped 19 other films, including favorite "Good Night, and Good Luck," George Clooney's black-and-white movie set in the McCarthy era.

Receiving the Golden Lion, Lee described his movie as a "great American love story" that is "unique and so universal."

Chicago Tribune | Gay cowboy film tops in Venice

"This film is based on a true story," insists the opening credits, the better to stamp this unusual marriage of exorcism thriller and courtroom drama with the seal of seriousness. The claim loses some of its credibility, however, as the secular story is visited by dark forces, nocturnal hauntings, divine intervention and one abrupt shock that feels lifted right out of "The Omen" and its ilk.

"Inspired by" is a more accurate description. The real-life case, which marked the last time the Catholic Church officially recognized a case of demonic possession and sanctioned an exorcism rite, involved a girl named Anneliese Michel in Germany. It ended in her death in 1976 and her parents and priests were put on trial for negligent manslaughter.

'Exorcism of Emily Rose' strays far from the 'true story'

Awww, Little Buddy....

Television Article | Reuters.com

Bob Denver, who bumbled and stumbled his way to television stardom as goofy castaway Gilligan in the 1960s comedy "Gilligan's Island," has died of complications from cancer, his agent said on Tuesday.

Denver, 70, also known as beatnik Maynard G. Krebs in "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," died on Friday at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, his agent Mike Eisenstadt said.

"Gilligan's Island" aired from 1964 to 1967, and became one of TV's most enduring comedies in reruns with a tale of seven people who were lost at sea and stranded on a deserted island.

The CBS network aired 98 episodes before it canceled the show, but "Gilligan's Island" became a huge hit in reruns during the 1970s. It still airs on TV some 40 years later.

Gilligan, the first mate on a tourist boat that ran aground and stranded wealthy Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus), his wife, Lovey (Natalile Schafer) and others playful characters, was a lovable and silly character. He always put the castaways in a jam before the Skipper (Alan Hale Jr.) would come to his rescue.

Spike Lee and George Clooney used the Venice Film Festival to attack the once iconic areas of popular culture in America: Hollywood and television news.

Lee, the world's foremost black director who made films such as She's Gotta Have It and Malcolm X, said that cinema-goers were weary of the "same, formulaic, tired, tired, tired stuff", such as sequels and remakes of television shows like The Dukes of Hazzard. He said: "If Hollywood continues to make films like these, the audiences will continue to dwindle."

Clooney, who has just directed Good Night and Good Luck, which is about CBS television news in the 1950s, said he grew up with three network broadcasts, all professional operations that allowed him to judge what was going on in politics and in Vietnam.

Now, with the onset of cable television and "130 different channels", the quality of news was "fractured", with each network, like Fox, playing to audiences with "specific belief patterns". Viewers had to switch channels continually to discover what was going on in the world.

Telegraph | News | You can't trust America's TV news, says Clooney

This page lists films that use the word fuck more than 100 times. The first lists films ordered by total number of uses of the term (or its variants). The second list is a chronological ordering of the "record holding" film.

This is an incomplete list. It may never be fully completed or, depending on its nature, it may be that it can never be complete. However, new and revised entries in the list are always welcome.

List of films ordered by uses of the word "fuck" - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the National Archives in College Park, the reels are numbered 11002 and 11003.

Shot by a U.S. Army Air Forces film crew in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the months after the atomic bombs were dropped, the reels go from one deformed survivor to the next. Women with scalded faces. A man with melted ears. A boy with no skin on his back. A man with such horrific wounds his hands appear to be leprous.

The footage was immediately classified as "top secret" by the military and hidden for nearly three decades.

Images from "the 11000 series," as archivists refer to the 30 hours of footage shot by the crew of Lt. Col. Daniel A. McGovern, make a rare public appearance on television tonight, the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. The footage, shot in hospitals and across Japan, forms the bulk of the postwar scenes in "Original Child Bomb," an hour-long film on cable's Sundance Channel. The documentary, drawing its title and antiwar message from a Thomas Merton poem about the A-bomb, debuts at 8 p.m. and repeats throughout the month.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The Original Ground Zero

Terry Gilliam's Tideland, shot last year in Saskatchewan's Qu'Appelle Valley and Regina, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The famed director's movie was among nine added to the roster in a statement Tuesday by festival organizers. An adaptation of a classic cult novel by Mitch Cullin, the film stars Jodelle Ferland as Jeliza-Rose, a girl who escapes the harsh reality of her life by inventing a fantasy world.

The cast of the U.K.-Canada co-production also includes Janet McTeer, Brendan Fletcher, Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Tilly.

CTV.ca | 'Tideland' among Toronto film fest premieres


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