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70th Annual Cannes Film Festival Celebration Begins Today Through May 28th

cannes-70th

Today kicks off the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival in France. A number of anticipated entries are included in this year’s competition. Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled with Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and Kirsten Dunst is her first indie film since 2013’s The Bling Ring. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s new drama Loveless has high expectations after the director’s last film, Leviathan, earned he and his co-writer Oleg Negin the Best Screenplay award in 2014. Director Hong Sang-soo has two films premiering at this year’s festival, The Day After and Clair’s Camera, but both have been kept well under the radar until their upcoming debut.

Director Lynne Ramsay is also looking to impress with her latest project You Were Never Really Here, a drama about a veteran who attempts to help a young girl involved in a sex trafficking ring. Other anticipated projects being tossed around the web are Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Michael Haneke’s Happy End. The festival will open tonight with director Arnaud Desplechin’s Les fantômes d’Ismaël (Ismael’s Ghosts). Another big event at this year’s festival will be a Virtual Reality (VR) film called Carne Y Arena from acclaimed writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant). The film runs a full hour and twenty minutes and is the first Virtual Reality film to ever appear at Cannes. The festival will run from the 17th to the 28th in Cannes, France. You can see a full list of this year’s entries below. Continue reading

Disney and Lucasfilm Begin Planning Princess Leia’s Fate After Fisher’s Death

leia

In light of the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, movie-makers at Disney and Lucasfilm are beginning to look to Princess Leia’s future. Although Fisher has reportedly finished filming all of her scenes for the upcoming Episode VIII release this December, Leia was expected to play a much more significant part in Episode IX, which is slated for a December 2019 release. The over-arching storyline for the upcoming films included a reunion between Leia and Luke Skywalker, as well as a confrontation between Leia and Kylo Ren, who killed his father, Harrison Ford‘s Han Solo, in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Now with Fisher gone, the fate of the character has yet to be fully realized. Continue reading

‘La La Land’ Sets New Record At 2017 Golden Globe Awards

lalaland

Last night the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards were held at the Beverly Hilton. Jimmy Falon hosted the event which was filled with surprises, including a politically-driven speech from Meryl Streep. But perhaps the most impressive part of the evening was the new musical from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle, La La Land, which set a new record with 7 Golden Globe awards, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine, The Big Short) and Emma Stone (The Help, Birdman) both took home the Globe for Best Actor/Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and Chazelle won the Globe for Best Director. La La Land also won for Best Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song. Congratulations to all the winners! The full list of winners is provided below. 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

New Drama ‘Genius’ Now Playing In Limited Locations

A new drama called Genius, which is based on the life of editor Max Perkins, is opening in select theaters across the country this weekend. Based on the best-selling biographical novel by A. Scott Berg, the film follows Perkins’ extraordinary career working for Scribner Publishing, where he oversaw famous works by authors like Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms), F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), and Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward Angel), and simultaneously dealt with these authors’ personal dramas and often crippling addictions. Screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, Spectre) adapted the script for director Michael Grandage (The Madness of King George, Bugs), who is making his directorial debut with this movie. Continue reading

New Drama ‘The Lobster’ Seeing Limited Theatrical Release This Friday

Foreign writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, Alps) has a new comedic drama seeing a limited theatrical release this Friday titled The Lobster. The film was won several awards at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and with nothing but positive review from critics and audiences, anticipation for an American release has been pretty high. Co-written with Lanthimos’ long-time collaborator Efthymis Filippou, the film is set in a future dystopian society, in which single individuals are taken to The Hotel in order to find a romantic partner within 45 days, or be transformed into wild beasts and banished to live in The Woods. Definitely sounds pretty strange, but that is Lanthimos’ style, so it’s actually not far off the mark considering his portfolio. Starring in the film are actors Colin Farrell (Phone Booth, Miami Vice), Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, The Fountain), Jessica Barden (Hanna, Far From The Maddening Crowd), and Olivia Colman (The Iron Lady, Locke), among a supporting cast including John C. Reilly (The Good Girl, Chicago) and Ben Whishaw (Spectre, In The Heart of the Sea). Check it out in theaters if it’s playing in your local area this weekend.

Filmmaker Marc Abraham’s ‘I Saw The Light’ Seeing Limited Release This Friday

Last year, producer-turned-writer/director Marc Abraham (Air Force One, Children of Men) debuted his new biographical drama, I Saw The Light, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is a portrayal of the life of country music singer/songwriter Hank Williams Jr., and was adapted by Abraham from the book Hank Williams: The Biography by authors Colin Escott, George Merritt, and William MacEwen. Starring as Williams is actor Tom Hiddleston (Midnight in Paris, The Avengers), appearing alongside co-stars Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla, Avengers: Age of Ultron), David Krumholtz (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, This Is The End), Bradley Whitford (Scent of a Woman, Saving Mr. Banks), and Cherry Jones (Signs, The Village). Although the film has not been well received by critics, fans have praised the performances of both Hiddleston, and Elizabeth Olsen as his first wife Audrey Mae. Some movie-goers will be able to see it in theaters this weekend, but the trailer is available here on MADE. Check your local listings for showings this Friday.

Director Ava DuVernay Set To Direct New Disney Adaptation of ‘A Wrinkle In Time’

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Acclaimed director Ava Duvernay (The Middle of Nowhere, Selma) has just been hired by Disney Motion Pictures to helm a new adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 Newbery Medal-winning novel, A Wrinkle In Time. The book will be adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter Jennifer Lee (Frozen, Zootopia). Chances are you read this one in elementary school, about a young girl who travels to a 5th dimension in order to find her scientist father, who disappeared while working on a mysterious government project called a tesseract. The film is still very early in production, and DuVernay also has another script on her plate from DreamWorks and screenwriters Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World) titled Intelligent Life. This one is about a UN worker in a department dedicated to representing humanity in the event of contact with alien life, who falls for a woman who turns out to be a real alien. No word yet as to which film will end up being made first, but both definitely sound pretty interesting, although A Wrinkle In Time is definitely long overdue for a quality film adaptation. Either way, we’ll let you know about upcoming schedule announcements.

New Documentary ‘All Things Must Pass’ Opening In Theaters Tomorrow

A new music documentary titled All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records is opening in theaters across the country tomorrow. The project was written by documentarian writer/producer Steven Leckart (In Deep Water, The Anti-Mascot), and was directed by Colin Hanks (Orange County, King Kong) in his first full-length feature directorial feature. Featuring interviews from music and film industry stars like Chris Cornell (Man of Steel, The Avengers), Chuck D. (American Gangster, Pineapple Express), David Geffen (Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice), Dave Grohl (21 Jump Street, The Wolf of Wall Street), Elton John (The Lion King, American Hustle), Bruce Springsteen (Jerry Maguire, The Wrestler), and many more, the film chronicles the rise and fall of Tower Records. Tower Records was a worldwide record store chain founded in the early 1960s by Russ Solomon, which rose to success as one of the iconic record sales companies in the music industry, only to file for bankruptcy in 2006 with the birth of the internet, or so many have claimed. The film analyzes the true nature of the conglomerate’s downfall, and highlights its importance on the music scene during the 1960s and 70s, and even into the 80s and 90s. Several documentaries have been released in recent years regarding the steady decline of the recording industry and production of vinyl records. Most notably has, perhaps, been Dave Grohl’s directorial project called Sound City (2013), chronicling the story of the tape-based recording studio in Van Nuys, California that was finally forced to shut down with dawn of the digital age. I’m guessing All Things Must Pass will be equally matched in demonstrating the struggles of the music industry in the digital age, and should be well worth your time if you’re a fan of documentaries or late twentieth century music, so be sure to check it out!

‘Trumbo’, ‘The Martian’, and ‘Black Mass’ Will Appear At This Fall’s Toronto International Film Festival

Every year the Toronto International Film Festival serves as one of the major international film festivals that close out the fiscal year, and this year’s festival is sure to feature an excellent celebration of Oscar-worthy filmmaking. Toronto’s film festival is usually filled with entries seen earlier in the year at festivals like Sundance and Cannes, but it also brings its own special line-up to its audience. This year several highly anticipated films will have the honor of being shown during the festivities, most notably the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass with Johnny Depp, Matt Damon‘s next space adventure following Interstellar titled The Martian, and one I personally am really excited to see, another biopic called Trumbo with Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) in the title role of McCarthy-era screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, whose film credits were published under various pseudonyms over the years after he was blacklisted during Senator McCarthy’s famous Communist-trials in the 1950s. The festival will play host to several other biographically oriented films as well, especially centering on figures in the music industry, including a Janis Joplin documentary titled Janis: Little Girl Blue, another documentary chronicling Aretha Franklin‘s famous 1972 album Amazing Grace, and Miss Sharon Jones, which follows the soul-singer during a time in her life when she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer just before the release of a new album and pending tour. I Saw The Light is another music-biopic following the life of Hank Williams (Sr.) which also looks to be pretty promising. Some other notable names that caught our eye include Spotlight (which we’ve been following for some time now), following the Boston Globe reporters that uncovered the sex-scandal in the Catholic Church involving priests and young male students in 2004, and Beasts of No Nation, which will actually see only a temporary theatrical run as it will be available on Netflix shortly thereafter. Some other big highlights that I would recommend include The Lobster with Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly, Legend, starring Tom Hardy as gangster identical-twin brothers in 1950s England, and Kill Your Friends starring Nicholas Hoult as a London A&R executive trying to rise to the top of the 1990s British pop-music scene. All of these are sure to be great entries, but there are, of course, many more that I have not had time to mention here. A full list of this year’s entries can be found at the link below, and if you find yourself in Toronto anytime this September 10th-20th, be sure to check out a couple of these entries…you won’t regret it!!!

Toronto International Film Festival 2015