The 2017 Frozen Film Festival kicks off today and runs through this Saturday night in downtown Saint Paul. Frozen Film Festival plays host to both feature length and short length features in the categories of drama, comedy, and documentary. In addition, short films by students are also presented at the event. The festival kicks off tonight with a party at Sakura in downtown Saint Paul. The main venues for the event are F.K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium at 75 W. 5th St. and TPT Street Space at 172 East Fourth Street. Tickets for the event are available on the website, along with a full schedule of films showing each day. If you’re interested, VIP passes are also still available for sale. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
A new independent drama starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, A History of Violence) is seeing a limited theatrical release this Friday. Written and directed by Matt Ross (The Aviator, Silicon Valley), Captain Fantastic tells the story of a man who raises and home schools his six children in the countryside. After his wife commits suicide, however, they are forced to move into the city, and he soon discovers the children are not prepared for the realities of life in the city. The film won Un Certain Regard Award for directing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and also took home the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival. Starring in the film are actors George McKay (Defiance, Pride), Samantha Isler (Sean Saves the World, Dig Two Graves), Annalise Besso (Standing Up, Oculus), Nicholas Hamilton (Long Shadows, Strangerland), Shree Crooks (Ray Donovan, American Horror Story), Charlie Shotwell (The Comedians, Shot Down), and comedic vets Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman, Sahara) and Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers, Parks and Recreation). Continue reading →
The upcoming comedy, The Interview, with James Franco and Seth Rogen has already stirred-up plenty of controversy before it’s even reached it’s release date. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, went so far as to declare the movie’s public release an “act of war,” and a group of hackers called the Guardians of Peace have released several Sony Pictures corporate documents that they attained after hacking the company’s computer database last month in an effort to stop the release. But thus far Sony has given no public statement saying that they will pull the film from theaters, so as far as we all know, it is still scheduled for release this Christmas Day. The plot of the movie revolves around a pair of reporters who are recruited by the CIA to infiltrate North Korea under the guise of interviewing Kim Jong Un, and then assassinate Un at their first opportunity. Seth Rogen co-directed the movie with Evan Goldberg (This Is The End, Neighbors), and the film also stars Lizzy Caplan (127 Hours, Hot Tub Time Machine) and Randall Park (Dinner For Schmucks, Sex Tape). Screenwriter Dan Sterling (The Sarah Silverman Project, The Office) wrote the screenplay with Rogen and Goldberg. You can watch the trailer here on MADE, and if going to the movies on Christmas Day is a family thing (or just your thing!) then by all means, go and see it this December 25th.
Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was a Hollywood icon during the 1950s, when he was blacklisted during the Red Scare period of the 1950s and was consequently sent to prison by HUAC (House UnAmerican Activities Committee). Upon his release he continued to write projects for the big screen using several pseudonyms, and even won two Oscars for his work, all the while continuing his work as an active voice against HUAC and the Communist-paranoid government of America at the time. Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Argo) and Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, Hitchcock) will lead the cast as Trumbo and his wife, Cleo, in a script that will revolve around Trumbo’s blacklisting and its effects on him and his family. The film will be directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents).