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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

Special 20th Anniversary Screenings of Luc Besson’s ‘The Fifth Element’ Showing This May

In 1997, writer/director Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Family) released his cult sci-fi classic The Fifth Element, featuring an all-star cast led by Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Pulp Fiction), Milla Jovovich (Dazed and Confused, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Chris Tucker (Friday, Rush Hour), and Ian Holm (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Day After Tomorrow). Set in the 23rd century, the film follows a cab driver in New York City whose life changes when he inadvertently picks up Leeloo. After being contacted by a strange priest, who informs him of Leeloo’s importance in defeating a great Evil, the three of them embark on a mission to save Leeloo and the universe at large.

The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound Effects/Editing and, over the years, has developed a massive cult following. It also furthered the career of Milla Jovovich, who went on to star in such films as Zoolander and the Resident Evil film series. As a special 20th Anniversary celebration, The Fifth Element will be playing in select theaters across the country on May 14th and 17th. Showtimes and locations for Minneapolis, Chicago, and Cincinnati are available below, but you can search for screenings in your area by zip code right here at the Fathom Events website. Be sure to make it out for the special occasion!

Minneapolis, MN – May 14th:

• Southdale Megastar 16 – 400 Southdale Center, Edina, MN 55435-7020, 2:00pm and 7:00pm

• Rosedale 14 – 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville, MN 55113, 2:00pm and 7:00pm

• Arbor Lakes Megastar 16 – 12575 Elm Creek Blvd N, Maple Grove, MN 55369-7407, 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Minneapolis, MN – May 17th:

• Showplace ICON at The West End – 1625 West End Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416, 7:00pm

• Southdale Megastar 16 – 400 Southdale Center, Edina, MN 55435-7020, 2:00pm and 7:00pm

• Rosedale 14 – 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville, MN 55113, 2:00pm and 7:00pm Continue reading

May the Fourth Be With You….Happy Star Wars Day From MADE

For those die hard fans of the Star Wars film series, May 4th is always a special occasion. It was on May 25th, 1977 that A New Hope, the first ever Star Wars film from writer/director George Lucas made its theatrical debut. The event marked the beginning of a new phenomenon in modern cinema, and changed the way movies were made and even thought of from then on. Drawing from inspiration from early space adventure serials, George Lucas envisioned a modern space epic using classic themes and archetypes that would forever change the movie-going experience. His company, Industrial Lights and Magic, which would go on to create Pixar Animation in the 1990s, created new methods for special effects that gave movie-goers an experience never before seen on film. To celebrate this special fan day, here is the latest trailer for the next installation in the film series, The Last Jedi, which will feature original actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as Luke and Leia Skywalker, along with new vets Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, and Domhnall Gleeson. Enjoy, and May the Fourth Be With You!

*Update – this article originally stated that A New Hope was released on May 4th, 1977, hence part of the reasoning behind “May-the-Fourth Day.” A New Hope actually hit theaters on May 25th of that year, just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. My apologies for the inaccuracy!

Actor Bill Paxton Has Passed Away At The Age of 61 Among More Oscar Controversy

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Reports are now confirmed that actor Bill Paxton passed away this Oscar-weekend at the age of 61 due to complications from surgery. Paxton began his career in Hollywood doing art department and background work before he was cast in a small cameo in The Terminator by director James Cameron in 1984. Since then, Paxton has gone on to star in many roles in an impressive number of iconic films. He again teamed up with Cameron for Aliens as Private Hudson in 1986, and has starred in blockbusters like Tombstone (1993), True Lies (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Twister (1996), Titanic (1997), U-571 (2000), Vertical Limit (2000), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and Nightcrawler (2014). His most recent project was the lead in a television adaptation of director Antione Fuqua’s 2001 cop-drama Training Day.

In addition to acting, Paxton also directed a number of pictures. He directed himself and co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Powers Boothe in the violent FBI drama Frailty (2001), and Shia LaBeouf in The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005). His final role will be in a film called The Circle, opposite Emma Watson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Beauty and the Beast), Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Big Short), and Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Bridge of Spies). His contribution to film throughout the years will surely be missed in the years to come. Thanks Bill for all of your great work. Our thoughts are with your family and friends. Continue reading

‘A United Kingdom’ With David Oyelowo Seeing Limited Release This Weekend

Director Amma Asante’s latest project, A United Kingdom, is seeing a limited theatrical release this weekend after premiering at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Starring David Oyelowo (A Most Violent Year, Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day, Gone Girl), the film tells the story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana, who caused an international controversy when he married a white Englishwoman in the late 1940s. Their marriage was met with criticism and persecution in both South Africa, which borders Botswana, and Seretse’s family and local Bamangwato chieftaincy elders. At the time, interracial marriage was illegal in South Africa. To complicate things further, Botswana (then Bechuanaland) was a British protectorate, and England was still recovering from World War II, and so relied heavily on supplies imported from South Africa. As a result, the British government declared Seretse unfit to serve as chieftain and exiled him and his wife, Ruth Williams, from Botswana in 1951. Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

On December 1, 1983, director Brian de Palma (The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way) released his modernized version of Ben Hecht and Howard Hawks’ 1930s gangster drama, Scarface. While the original followed a charismatic Chicago mobster in the Prohibition era, de Palma’s version took the character to violent world of the 1980s drug trade in Miami, Florida. Fueled by Al Pacino‘s riveting performance and backed by an outstanding supporting cast that included Michelle Pfeiffer (What Lies Beneath, Batman Returns), Steven Bauer (Raising Cain, Primal Fear), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Abyss, The Perfect Storm) and Robert Loggia (Big, Independence Day), Scarface ushered in a new era of gangster movies far darker than Francis Coppola’s The Godfather series just a decade before. One of the primary reasons is because of de Palma’s direction. Continue reading

This Week in Film History….

serpico

Director Sydney Lumet‘s 1973 undercover police drama Serpico earned Al Pacino his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor. While it was another in a long-running streak of Oscar nominations for Pacino that resulted in no wins until 1992’s Scent of a Woman, Serpico‘s other Oscar nomination was for Best Adapted Screenplay for screenwriters Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy, The Day of the Locust) and Norman Wexler (Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive). Although Serpico proved to be the last Oscar-worthy project of Wexler’s, Waldo Salt had a much longer, and much darker story in Hollywood screenwriting history.

Waldo Salt was born on October 18, 1914 and grew up in Chicago an accomplished academic. He was so accomplished, in fact, that he graduated from Stanford University at the same time his friends were graduating from high school. Shortly thereafter, Salt was in Hollywood working as a screenwriter for MGM. There he worked on and assisted with various writing projects, but his first solo writing adaptation was with a 1937 film called The Bride Wore Red. The next year, Salt joined the American Communist Party, putting himself on the radar for the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare/McCarthy era 12 years later. Continue reading

This Week in Movie History…

robert-mitchum

On September 30, 1948, actor Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear) was released from prison following his charge of marijuana possession. Mitchum was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. He had received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor two years earlier for his role in Story of G.I. Joe, and appeared in four feature films in 1947, including Pursued, Crossfire, Desire Me, and Out of the Past. He also worked with director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story) in a western film earlier in 1948 called Blood on the Moon. His recent string of success, however, only made his bust on September 1st that much worse.

Mitchum was found with actress Lila Leeds (Lady in the Lake, Wild Weed) and dancer Vicki Evans. With the 60s still more than a decade out, and public opinion towards marijuana still very much in the light of propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1936), the young actor feared the very public arrest would effectively end his acting career. It didn’t help that industry names like Howard Hughes (Scarface, The Outlaw), David O. Selznick (King Kong, Gone with the Wind), and the press constantly berated him during this period. But his famous bust that could have completely ended his career ended up doing just the opposite. Continue reading

Comic Con 2016 Is Coming To San Diego July 21st-24th

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Next week on July 21-24, the 47th Annual Comic Con International will take place at the San Diego Convention Center. This year will play host to an impressive line-up of films, both new and old. The festival features a series of discussions, forums, and film showings. This year’s special guests include Stan Lee, Christopher James Priest, J. Michael Straczynski, G. Willow Wilson, Jason Aaron, Michael Barrier, and Allen Bellman. Some of this year’s movie highlights include Labyrinth (1986), Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979), Battlestar Galactica (1978), Highlander (1986), Flash Gordon (1980), Batman the Movie (1966), Top Gun (1986), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Deadpool (2016), and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Click here to see the full schedule at the Comic Con 2016 website.

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s memorable movie moment takes us back to the first sequel to Jurassic Park, The Lost World (1997). Also based on the preceding novel by Michael Crichton, the film is the only Jurassic Park sequel to be directed by Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Bridge of Spies), although he has served as executive producer on JP3 (2001) and Jurassic World (2015). In fact The Lost World is the only sequel that Spielberg has opted to direct, outside of the Indiana Jones series. It was also his first time back to film after he took a leave of absence when Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List were completed and became box office hits both in the same year. Author Michael Crichton had titled the book after the famous novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which also features a mysterious island with dinosaurs and other strange phenomena.

The Lost World brought back original actor Jeff Goldblum (Independence Day, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Dr. Ian Malcolm, who is joined by an all new cast of characters, including Oscar-winner Julianne Moore (Hannibal, Crazy Stupid Love), Pete Postlethwaite (Inception, The Town), Vince Vaughn (Old School, Wedding Crashers), Arliss Howard (Full Metal Jacket, Moneyball), Peter Stormare (Armageddon, Minority Report), Vanessa Lee Chester (A Little Princess, Harriet the Spy), and acclaimed British actor Richard Attenborough (The Great Escape, Elizabeth). Continue reading