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Memorable Movie Moments…

Today’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to 1978, for the excellent cinematography in a film called Days of Heaven. Written and directed by 3x Oscar nominee Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life), Days of Heaven is an American epic that follows a young couple, Bill and Abby, during the Expansionist era in 1916. Moving from Chicago to Texas in search of work, the two become involved in a scheme to have Abby marry a wealthy farmer who is close to death in order to gain his fortune. This, of course doesn’t go according to plan and so a dramatic conflict of jealousy and deceit ensues, loosely based on a backstory that first appeared in Alexander DumasThe Three Musketeers.

Starring Richard Gere (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Pretty Woman), Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Dead Zone), and Sam Shepard (Swordfish, Black Hawk Down), the film received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Music – Original Score. Although it failed to win any of these awards, Days of Heaven did receive the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros. Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

August 15th is a very significant date in the history of film…for two reasons. We’ll cover them here in order by date, but both are, no doubt, some of the most memorable advances in movies and storytelling.

On August 15, 1934, director Christy Cabanne (The Mummy’s Hand, Scared to Death) released the first audio-visual film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel Jane Eyre. Excluding the popularity of the novel, the film was part of a series of classic-literary adaptations produced by Monogram Pictures between 1933-1934. Four classic 19th-century novels were all made into big-screen adaptations that featured sound, a new technology for the era. The novels were Oliver Twist, Black Beauty, Jane Eyre, and The Moonstone. Cabanne was well-known at the time as a silent film director, but was also beginning to indulge in sound-projects. For the movie, which only runs a total of 62 minutes, the studio recruited actors Colin Clive, best known for the role of Dr. Frankenstein in the original 1931 James Whales’ classic, and newcomer Virginia Bruce (Born to Dance, The Invisible Woman) to star as Jane Eyre. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Adele Comandini (Beyond Tomorrow, Three Smart Girls) to adapt Bronte’s novel for the film (which admittedly must have been a challenge considering Jane Eyre runs for a total of 38 chapters with 400+ pages in most publications).

Also on August 15th, but in 1979, Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation) released his world-renowned masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. The film is famous not only for its cinematic brilliance, but also for its whirlwind of a production Continue reading

Director Barry Jenkins To Adapt Tarell McCraney’s ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’

mccraney
Actor and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is best known for the acclaimed The Brother/Sister Plays trilogy and studied theater at Chicago’s DePaul University.

Writer/director Barry Jenkins (Medicine For Melancholy, Futurestates) will begin filming his own adaptation of the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney in Miami this fall. Simply titled Moonlight, the film follows a young man, Chiron, in 1980s Miami during the War on Drugs at three important moments in his life as he deals with a rough home-life and his developing sexuality. Additional casting for the film is currently underway and Indie film production company A24, which is also behind this year’s Ex Machina and Amy, will be teaming up with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Productions to finance the project. Adele Romanski (Bad Milo, War Story) will also serve as the film’s producer. This will be the second major production for director Jenkins, whose Medicine For Melancholy received much critical praise in 2008 when it was first seen at the SXSW Film Festival in 2008. Actor and playwright Terell Alvin McCraney was born in Miami, Florida in 1980 and attended the Theater School at Chicago’s DePaul University, graduating with a BFA in acting and receiving the Sarah Siddons Award in 2003. We’ll keep an eye out for additional news.