Despite the new World War II drama Darkest Hour now playing in theaters nationwide, “Who was Winston Churchill?” still sounds like a question you’re likely to find on one of those ‘the dumbing down of America has happened’ videos. While Churchill may not have been American, himself, his influence and importance in the events of the mid-20th Century cannot be overstated. Winston Churchill was elected Britain’s Prime Minister in 1940, a position he held throughout the remainder of World War II and again from 1951 to 1955. Before his career in politics he had worked as a writer and served as a member of the British Army. His election in 1940 came at a time when Britain’s, and indeed the future of the whole of Western Europe was uncertain. Hitler had been elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and, by the time of Churchill’s election, was already marching across France, pushing British forces to the shores of the English Channel, where the famous evacuation at Dunkirk took place (if you haven’t seen Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, I highly recommend it!).
With the United States still hesitant to enter the war effort in either Europe or the Pacific, the newly appointed Prime Minister was faced with the choice of either regrouping and rallying national support to continue the war effort against Nazi Germany, or agreeing to sign a peace accord with Hitler and the Axis Powers. As the United Kingdom stood at the brink of invasion, it was up to Churchill to persuade Parliament, King George VI, and the people of Britain that the war could be won and that it was worth fighting, an extremely difficult prospect considering the ever-growing influence of Nazi Germany and the reluctance of the United States to enter the war. Continue reading →
A new Western-drama from Oscar-winning director Daniel Barber (The Tonto Woman, Harry Brown) titled The Keeping Room will be opening in theaters this September 25th. Written by actress-turned-screenwriter Julia Hart (Tuck Everlasting), the film centers around three Southern women (two sisters and an African American slave) in the final days of the American Civil War who must defend themselves and their land from rogue Union soldiers while the Union Army draws ever nearer to their location. Starring in the lead roles are actresses Brit Marling (Sound of My Voice, I Origins), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Ender’s Game), and Muna Otaru (Syriana, Lions for Lambs), with Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation, Avatar), Kyle Soller (Anna Karenina, Fury), and Ned Dennehy (King Arthur, Sherlock Holmes) making up the supporting cast. The film originally aired at the London and Stockholm Film Festival, receiving a nomination for Best Film and the Bronze Horse award, and was also an Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival. The trailer is available here on MADE. We’ll keep you posted as the release date draws closer. Enjoy!
Writer/director Luc Besson at work behind the camera.
French filmmaker Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, The Transporter) is currently in production on his new sci-fi project titled Valerian. Besson is still working on the full cast list, as well as his own script adaptation, based on the comic books by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres, but thus far actors Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina, Suicide Squad) and Dane DeHaan (Lincoln, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) have both been signed on for the film. The full working title for the project is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and will follow the time-traveler Valerian and his sidekick Laureline on an all new adventure. We still have some time before we actually see this one in theaters, but a tentative French release is scheduled for 2017. We’ll bring you more details as they unfold over the next few months. Stay tuned!