On September 20, 1956, director William Wyler‘s Friendly Persuasion was released in theaters in the United States. Based on the book by Jessamyn West, the story revolves around a Quaker family in 1862, whose faith and belief in non-violence is tested when Confederate troops come sweeping through their land and the family must decide whether to fight or to remain complacent. The film was written by screenwriter Michael Wilson (A Place in the Sun, Planet of the Apes), and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenwriting. It wasn’t until 2002, however, that Wilson would receive legitimate recognition for his work on the film. Continue reading →
On September 6, 1967, a documentary titled Don’t Look Back opened at an old ramshackle theater in San Francisco. It was hard to imagine why this old pornographic movie theater had a line of people extending out the door and around the corner, but once you found out it was about Bob Dylan, it was no surprise at all. The September 6th release was the first large-scale screening of the film that documented Bob Dylan and company’s whirlwind 1965 European tour. Joining him on tour were the likes of artists like Joan Baez, Donovan, and Allen Ginsberg, along with the standard parade of press, crew, police, fans, and everything else that came to epitomize Rock n’ Roll in the 1960s.
Bob Dylan, in particular, was an iconic figure in his own right. He had risen to fame in the early-60’s folk scene in New York City’s Greenwich Village, developing his own songwriting skills and capturing fans around the world with songs like Blowin’ in the Wind, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, and The Times They Are A-Changin,’ his so-called early “protest era” catalogue. Continue reading →
The new drama titled Concussion with Will Smith (Independence Day, Men in Black) is now playing in theaters nationwide. Smith stars as Dr. Bennett Omalu, the pathologist who discovered CTE after studying pro-football players and the longterm effects of receiving multiple concussions from standard game play. Writer/director Peter Landesman (Parkland, Kill the Messenger) wrote the film to explore Dr. Omalu’s discovery and the attempts of the National Football League to keep it all under wraps, based on a GQ article titled Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Co-starring in the film are actors Alec Baldwin (The Departed, The Good Shepard), Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, A Most Violent Year), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights, Jupiter Ascending), and David Morse (The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker). Director Quentin Tarantino‘s new western The Hateful Eight is also available in certain theaters, so if you can be sure to check this one out as well while it’s still on big screens. Enjoy!
It’s been 12 years since Pixar released its original smash hit Finding Nemo, and now Oscar-winning writer/director Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, WALL-E) is returning to the series with a new sequel called Finding Dory. This time around Marlin and Nemo must assist Dory in finding her long lost family in an all new 3D animated adventure that will once again feature the voice talents of Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show) as Dory, and Albert Brooks (Drive, A Most Violent Year) as Marlin. Also lending their voice talents to the new film are actors Diane Keaton (The Godfather, Annie Hall), Eugene Levy (American Pie, Best In Show), Ty Burrell (Dawn of the Dead, The Incredible Hulk), Idris Elba (American Gangster, Prometheus), Ed O’Neill (Married…with Children, Modern Family), Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Vacation), and Dominic West (The Forgotten, Hannibal Rising). The new movie won’t be in theaters until Summer 2016, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for additional news and trailers.
Will Smith‘s next big screen outing, a drama by the name of Concussion, will be opening in theaters this Christmas Day. This time around the Independence Day and Pursuit of Happiness star takes on the role of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a neuropathologist who first discovered CTE, a brain injury related to playing football, and sought to expose the truth behind the condition, despite the efforts of the multi-million dollar corporation that is the NFL trying to keep him silent. Director Peter Landesman (Parkland, Kill the Messenger) worked with author Jean Marie-Laskas to adapt the screenplay from her GQ article Game Brain, which is based on Dr. Omalu’s life and work. Starring in the film are actors Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights, Jupiter Ascending), Bitsie Tulloch (The Artist, Parkland), Stephen Moyer (Priest, True Blood), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, The Departed), Luke Wilson (Legally Blonde, Old School), and Albert Brooks (Drive, A Most Violent Year). Check out the trailer here on MADE. We’ll be bringing further news and reminders as we get closer to the Holidays. Enjoy!
If you haven’t had a chance to go and see A Most Violent Year yet, you should be aware of what you’re walking into before you go. While the movie, itself, is really well done, and, in my opinion is a very good movie, if you’re expecting a big violent mafia flick, you’re going to be extremely disappointed. Writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s screenplay was very well written; he conveys the themes of the movie very clearly and the plot allows for a refreshing look of the hardworking American immigrant and the belief in strong family values. But as far as violence goes, the movie is definitely lacking, especially considering the title is A Most Violent Year, which really only relates to 1981 when the story takes place, one of New York City’s most violent years on record. Other than that it felt like the same story could have been put into modern times and it still would have made sense. All that aside, the acting performances by Golden Globe nominees Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (The Help, Interstellar), and also that of supporting cast members Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, Drive) and David Oyelowo (Lincoln, Selma) are outstanding, and Chandor’s filmmaking is exceptional and well deserved of recognition. So if you go in expecting more of a Coppola (The Godfather)-like movie as opposed to a Scorsese (Mean Streets, Goodfellas) or DePalma (Scarface, The Untouchables)-like movie, I think you’ll really enjoy it. Here’s the trailer one more time.
J.C. Chandor‘s new crime-drama A Most Violent Year is now playing in theaters nationwide, and with a Golden Globe nomination already secured, it looks like a pretty great watch. The story takes place in 1981 New York City, the most violent year in the city’s history, and follows an immigrant couple as they struggle to protect their family and business from the impending violence and corruption of the New York streets. Starring as Abel and Anna Morales are Golden Globe nominees Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (The Help, Interstellar), along with David Oyelowo (Interstellar, Selma), Alessandro Nivola (Face-Off, American Hustle), and Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, Drive). Chandor wrote and directed the film himself, his first since his last 2013 project All Is Lost with Robert Redford. The trailer for A Most Violent Year is here on MADE. I’m definitely recommending you go and see this one, so put it up towards the top of your list with Selma and American Sniper.
Writer/director JC Chandor‘s new drama A Most Violent Year is now playing in theaters. Starring Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Jessica Chastain (Lawless, Zero Dark Thirty), the film follows an immigrant couple in 1981 New York City who work effortlessly to protect their business and children during the most violent year in the city’s history. The film also stars David Oyelowo (Interstellar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), who will also be appearing next month as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, and Albert Brooks (Taxi Driver, Drive), who is currently lending his voice talents to the upcoming Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory, expected in theaters June 17, 2016. Watch the trailer for A Most Violent Year here on MADE, then be sure to catch it in theaters…it WILL BE the last new release of 2014!!
This is possibly one of the coolest musical collaborations I’ve seen in a long time, and a great example of how technology has literally brought musicians together to collaborate…without being in the same place! An orchestra made up of multiple New York City subway musicians was organized by composer/conductor LJOVA (Lev Zhurbin), but the trick was that when they all finally played together, they were ALL at different locations. Carefully stationing individuals or small groups of musicians in various subway stations across the city that were accessible to WiFi networks, LJOVA used a total of 9 laptops to broadcast a live feed between the musicians and his location in Bryant Park, where he directed the small ensemble in a short symphonic composition he composed himself titled Signal Strength. The video was directed by Chris Shimojima and produced by Anita Anthonj, and features musicians Albert Behar (accordian), Ian Baggette (bass), Adam Matta (beatbox), Leah Coloff (cello), Jeremiah McFarlane and Carl Jacob (djembe, shekere), Amit Peled (guitar), Natalia Paruz (saw), Llamano (theremin), Jordan Hirsch (trumpet), and Allyson Clare (viola). This is an excellent use of technology in our modern era and another fine example of how music can reach us all…enjoy!
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have been attached to one of the most successful spy film franchises for the last 20+ years. I’m talking, of course, about the 50-year running James Bond franchise, which first began with Broccoli’s father, Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in 1962 with the first Bond adventure, Dr. No. Now the two spy-film writers/producers are venturing into the realm of real-life spy controversy with a new biopic about Edward Snowden, formerly of the CIA and NSA, who is now in exile in Russia for leaking classified information to the press regarding the spy agencies’ questionable tactics behind their information-collecting policies. The film will be adapted from a new book, No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, by The Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald, who first reported on Snowden’s espionage and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Sony Pictures is currently developing the project with the James Bond producers at the helm, but with Bond 24 and 25 already in early pre-production with director Sam Mendes, it might be a while before we see this one really get up and running.