Manoel de Oliveira, certainly the oldest living filmmaker and one of the greatest, turns 105 today. The Porteguese filmmaker was born on December 11, 1908 in Cedofeita in Porto. He made his first film, “Douro, Faina Fluvial,” in 1931, and has continued semi-regularly ever since. His last film, “Gebo and the Shadow,” premiered in 2012 at the Venice Film Festival. Oliveira is currently in pre-production on a new film, rumored to begin shooting early next year, because why stop now? We’ve included one of his masterpieces, 1985’s “The Satin Slipper,” below. If you don’t have six-plus hours to kill, and you have Netflix, you can check out “The Strange Case of Angelica” and “Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl,” two of his best recent films.
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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category
Feeling generous during the Thanksgiving holiday? Why not donate a little spare change to this excellent documentary project. “Life Itself” is a film about the life of Roger Ebert, the Chicago-based film critic who died last April. It’s executive produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”). They are currently in post-production and need some extra funds to push them over the finish line. And if they exceed their goal? All the extra money will go to The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, a charity organization that supports educational and arts programs for children in underserved areas. How can you say no? (more…)
James Franco and Seth Rogan, best buddies who are currently filming a movie together in Canada, took some time out of their shooting schedule to film a shot-for-shot remake of Kanye West’s universally lambasted video for “Bound 2.” You know, the one with the horrible green screen and his naked wife on a motorbike. This one is called “Bound 3,” and it’s kind of scary. And funny. Watch below.
According to reports, sui generis Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke is having trouble releasing his scathing new film, “A Touch of Sin,” in China. The film, which won the best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival, is a violent, ripped-from-the-headlines critique of modern Chinese culture, which Manohla Dargis in the New York Times said “has the urgency of a screaming headline but one inscribed with visual lyricism, emotional weight and a belief in individual rights.” The film was supposed to be released in China in November, but no date has been set. Now, according to reports, authorities “have banned local media from reporting on the film or reviewing the picture.” Oddly, it was reported this summer that the Chinese government was actually loosening its censorship on filmmakers, including the new need to submit screenplays for official review before being allowed to shoot. (more…)
The actor Don Cheadle will make his directorial debut with “Kill The Trumpet Player,” a biopic of the legendary contrarian and jazz musician Miles Davis, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Cheadle will also be taking the lead role. Joining him will be Zoe Saldana, who will play Frances Davis, Miles’s former wife (a formidable creative spirit in her own right, who graced the cover of his albums “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “ESP”), and Ewen McGregor, who will play a Rolling Stone reporter — possibly Robert Palmer? — who conspires with Davis to “steal back his music” after he stopped playing trumpet for nearly three years in the late 1970s. Cheadle has been trying to get the film off the ground for a number of years, and his enthusiasm for the project has caused some ribbing from his friends. (more…)
I’m going to try not to be snarky here. It’s difficult, but I’m going to try. How can I judge a movie based on the trailer, right? I like Darren Aronofsky. He seems like a cool dude. I thought “Black Swan” and “The Wrestler” were fun, and I can get down with the puff-puff-pass philosophy of “The Fountain.” But man, I’m really struggling with this one. Have you seen the trailer for Aronofsky’s new film, “Noah”? Watch it, please. You’ll see what I mean. I don’t even know what to say. I mean, it’s not like I was expecting much. I’ve learned never to expect much from a movie starring Russell Crowe. I have sort of a grudge against him ever since I was forced to listen to an album by his band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. But that’s another story. I’m meandering. I have a headache. And I’ve only watched the trailer. I think if I watch the whole film my head will explode. (more…)
Purveyor of nightmares David Lynch released an album this past summer, “The Big Dream,” on Sacred Bones. It was as weird as you’d expect. Today, the artist released “Bad the John Boy,” a song he recorded during the sessions for “The Big Dream,” but was never planned for the album. Over a muffled bass and prodding drum machine rattle, Lynch, his voice modulated and distorted, sounds truly frightening. The song is part of a limited-edition 12″ released by Sacred Bones, which includes album track “The Big Dream” remixed by Venetian Snares. Listen below:
Is Ridley Scott beginning to make movies I want to watch again? After what may be one of the greatest first one-two punches in Hollywood history (1979’s “Alien” and 1982’s “Blade Runner”), the director has been on a constant downward spiral of schlock. But with his Cormac McCarthy-written (and by all accounts totally bonkers) new film, “The Counselor” (Cameron Diaz has sex with a car, if you haven’t heard), maybe Scott’s having a late career renaissance? According to a report in The Wrap yesterday, Scott is developing an “untitled sports drama that examines the dangerous effects of concussions in football” and is meeting with “high-end writers” to “tackle” the script. (more…)
Back in March, we reported the many twists and turns happening behind the scenes of “Jane Got a Gun,” the Natalie Portman-starring neo-Western. First, director Lynne Ramsay quit the film by not showing up on the first day of production. Then, producers very quickly scrambled to get Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior”) to take over behind the camera. At the same time, the cast was constantly changing. Jude Law, who replaced Michael Fassbender in the film, left after Ramsay quit the project. He was replaced by Bradley Cooper. But then Cooper decided to leave the film as well, and they eventually landed Ewen McGregor. The film was reportedly shot this summer without a hitch. No release date has been scheduled. (more…)
David Blaine is back. Just over a year ago, the magician allowed singer Andrew W.K. to blast him with one million volts of electricity. He didn’t die, apparently, because the magic man has a new television special, “David Blaine: Real or Magic,” set to air on ABC during November sweeps. And boy, does it sound amazing. Who will be joining Blaine on his magical adventures? Kanye West, Woody Allen, and George W. Bush. Not all at the same time, unfortunately. “There’s things that I traveled to Africa to learn and you see that process when I come back and perform it in front of Woody Allen, Robert De Niro and guys like that,” the magician told The Hollywood Reporter. “There are new things that only a few people in the world can do.” Hopefully, his final trick will be getting the pussy posse back together. (more…)