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Tag: Film

Hurt Locker
imdb.com

U.S. Soldier Sues, Claims He’s ‘Hurt Locker’ Character

He and his lawyer waited until the Oscar ballots were in, but on Tuesday, Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, a U.S. Army soldier who worked as a bomb disposal specialist in Iraq, filed a lawsuit claiming that he had provided the real-world inspiration for actor Jeremy Renner’s character in “The Hurt Locker.” Why did he wait until the votes were cast?

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE


Hurt Locker
imdb.com

‘Hurt Locker’ Producer’s E-Mail Campaign Ruffles Feathers

It’s the season of the knockdown, drag-out Oscar campaign, and one of this year’s Academy Award nominees, “The Hurt Locker” co-producer Nicolas Chartier, has thrown down in a mighty conspicuous (and potentially self-defeating) way.

Posted on Feb 25, 2010 READ MORE


Hurt Locker still
imdb.com

‘Hurt Locker’ Cleans Up at BAFTA Awards

Since 2003, filmmakers have repeatedly come up short in terms of box office sales and critical support for movies that focus on the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—until director Kathryn Bigelow came on the scene last year with “The Hurt Locker,” that is.

Posted on Feb 22, 2010 READ MORE



The 20 Best Socially Conscious Movies of the Decade

The last 10 years were abundant with films that pushed limits and attacked real issues in real time. Here are 20 of the best socially conscious, topical, progressive movies from a crazy decade.

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE



Mark Fellman / WETA courtesy 20th Century Fox

Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ Awes the Skeptics

The film industry has produced no shortage of spectacles over the last hundred years, from “Ben Hur” to “Star Wars.” In terms of technological sorcery and visual wonder, James Cameron’s “Avatar” now ranks chief among them.

Posted on Dec 15, 2009 READ MORE


moviegoers
AP / Robert F. Bukaty

Box Office Sales Buoyant in 2009

Which industries actually thrive in the midst of a crippling recession? There are many ways to approach that question, but over the past year, Americans looking for low-impact escapism on a budget went to the movies, and they did so in numbers that might put some of the hand-wringing about the impact of the Internet and the economy on the film business on hold, at least for the time being.

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 READ MORE



Finding Farce in Terrorism

A British comedy that follows a group of bumbling terrorists trying to pull off an atrocity has won approval from the taste-makers at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie was reportedly inspired by real-life tales of farce in terrorist cells, which, in the words of the filmmaker’s office, “have the same group dynamics as stag parties.”

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE


The Man Who Put the Rainbow in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

The 70-year-old film classic bears close watching this year, perhaps more than in any other, for the message woven into the lyrics, written during the Great Depression by Oscar-winning lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg.

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 READ MORE


Bring Polanski to Justice

Hasn’t Roman Polanski suffered enough? Didn’t he endure all those cool, gray, rainy Paris winters? Didn’t he also drug and rape a 13-year-old girl?

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


chimpanzee
Flickr / Rennet Stowe

Godless Darwin Movie Too Sciency for God-Loving America

Let’s get something straight, America. Charles Darwin was right. Only 39 percent of you believe that, but his theory of evolution is the basis of modern biological science. Deal with it. A new film about the man can’t get distribution in the U.S. because—this is embarrassing just to type—150 years after “On the Origin of Species,” he’s too controversial in these parts.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE


Berlusconi
telegraph.co.uk

Berlusconi Accused of Censorship

Everyone’s favorite world leader/womanizer is in the news again after a film director accused the Italian prime minister of censorship. Italian state television has refused to show a film trailer that accuses Silvio Berlusconi of creating a “frivolous media culture,” and many think the PM’s incredible influence over the media has something to do with it.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Eric Lax on Elia Kazan

Whatever one thinks of his politics, Elia Kazan was inarguably one of the 20th century’s greatest Broadway and Hollywood directors. A new book reveals the master at work.

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Harry Potter
Warner Brothers Pictures

Conservative Christians Give Harry Potter Their Blessing

Although the pope and other prominent Christians have registered their disapproval of the Harry Potter franchise in the past, the newest film in the series, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” is getting glowing reviews from fellow members of their fold. It’s not quite on the level of WWHPD? but some are noting the teenage wand-wielder’s similarities to a certain other powerful young man from a very popular book.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Bruno
aceshowbiz.com

What’s With the Pinkface, Fellas?

Vanity Fair’s Brett Berk has detected a mini-pattern playing out in the film world, starring (but certainly not limited to) “Brüno,” Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest attempt at biting social satire. It’s “Pinkface”—or the cinematic phenomenon in which straight guys play gay by way of trying to “lay claim to homosexuality as a ‘topic’” with less-than-stellar results, judging by Berk’s sum-up of the situation.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / igKnition

Sean Penn Bails on 2 Movies

Sean Penn has pulled out of two upcoming film roles and may be taking a year off from acting. No word yet on his politicking schedule. The star had been set to appear in “Cartel” and “The Three Stooges.” Yes, those Three Stooges.

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ed Andrieski

Small-Town Homophobia, On and Off the Stage

While trying to teach her students about homophobia, Debra Taylor could have done without what appeared to be an illustrative demonstration: The Oklahoma high school teacher was forced to resign in a controversy that grew out of a gay-related project undertaken by her class. Taylor and her students had been working on their own production of “The Laramie Project,” a play and film based on the murder of Matthew Shepard.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


Stone interview
truthdig.com

Oliver Stone: The Director’s Cut

The renowned filmmaker visited USC’s Annenberg School for Communication on March 3 to talk with Truthdig editors Robert Scheer and Kasia Anderson and their students about “Wall Street,” his 1987 classic—suddenly all too relevant again—and to give a panoramic take on his body of work and what the future holds for the movie industry.

Posted on Mar 9, 2009 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad
timesonline.typepad.com

Iran vs. Hollywood

A special delegation from Hollywood visited Iran this weekend. Said delegation was there to take part in a “cultural exchange,” according to The Wrap, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wasn’t rolling out the red carpet.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 READ MORE



AP file photo / Reed Saxon

SAG Strikes Out

The Hollywood-centric “Membership First” faction that has controlled the Screen Actors Guild’s national board for most of the last five years chooses tactics—misinformation, tough talk and over-promising—that undermine the union’s credibility.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


Mumbai
The New York Times

Mumbai Movies: Too Soon?

The death and destruction from last month’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai are still fresh in the minds of many, but filmmakers in India nevertheless are rushing to retell the events cinematically, with over 20 Mumbai-themed movies already awaiting approval.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


Mumbai attacks
AP photo / Altaf Qadri

Bollywood Reacts to Mumbai Siege

The Indian metropolis of Mumbai is well-known for its prolific entertainment industry, a.k.a. “Bollywood.” Following the recent terror seige, India’s entertainment community responded to the attacks, which claimed the life of at least one of its (international) members.

Posted on Nov 29, 2008 READ MORE



filminfocus.com

Get Milk

Gus Van Sant’s “Milk” is a movie to be thankful for. Go see it, tonight if you can, and in a crowded theater. Then open up some merlot and watch the documentary “The Times of Harvey Milk,” by Robert Epstein—because these two films belong together.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE


White Rock set
independent.co.uk

Making Movies the Afghan Way

Incredibly, as Afghanistan sinks back into the anarchy which became its natural state these past 29 years, Afghan film-makers are producing movies of international quality, turning out pictures which prove—even amid war—that a country’s tragedy can be imaginatively recreated for its people.

Posted on Nov 23, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
news.bbc.co.uk

U.K. Cracking Down on Net Piracy

The British government is planning to “significantly reduce” the country’s online file-sharing of copyrighted content, by at least 50 percent, in the next three years through a sequence of warning letters, Internet account suspensions and ultimate expulsion from Internet access.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


In Their Boots

American Vets’ Stories in Their Own Words

The Brave New Foundation is launching an important new project, “In Their Boots,” which gives veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a platform to tell their own stories about serving and sacrifice. Check out American soldiers’ compelling stories in this week’s installment.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Election Day
Arts Engine Inc.

Portrait of an American Election

“Election Day” isn’t a film that highlights the horse-race aspect of American politics, nor is it about red or blue states. Instead, director Katy Chevigny and her colleagues from Arts Engine Inc. aimed to capture a much more complex story—or rather, a multilayered and interconnecting set of stories—about an array of Americans from different states, backgrounds and political positions, all taking part in some way in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE


gun movies
totalfilm.com

Top 10 Films in Favor of Gun Control

When someone points a gun in a movie, that’s usually the audience’s cue that adrenaline-cranking good times are about to be had. Not so in this lineup of films, compiled by Participant Media’s TakePart.com with the aim of countering the overplayed guns=fun equation.

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Che at Cannes
AP photo / Carlo Allegri

‘Che’ Goes to Cannes

One of the most hotly anticipated contenders at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is “Che,” Steven Soderbergh’s lengthy biopic of iconic Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, featuring Benicio del Toro in the title role. However, whether the excitement surrounding the “Che” screening at the French film fest is any indication that moviegoers will flock to the (currently) 4-hour-plus production remains to be seen.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE


Bardot
AP photo / Nicholas Ratzenboeck

Bardot in Hot Water for Anti-Muslim Statements

Erstwhile bombshell Brigitte Bardot is being tried on racism charges for her controversial stance against Muslims in France. She communicated her position last year to now-President Nicholas Sarkozy and publish her letter to Sarkozy in her own foundation’s journal.

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE


Wilders
hodja.wordpress.com

Dutch Lawmaker’s Anti-Islam Film Hits the Web

Conservative Dutch politician Geert Wilders certainly isn’t helping resolve religious and cultural tensions within his country with the release of his short film “Fitna” (running time 17 minutes), which portrays Islam in an extremely negative light. According to the BBC, the Dutch government “has distanced itself” from Wilders’ views. Good idea.

Posted on Mar 27, 2008 READ MORE


Body of War

We just passed the grim milestone of 4,000 U.S. military members killed in Iraq since the invasion five years ago. Still, the death toll climbs.

Posted on Mar 26, 2008 READ MORE


Taxi to the Dark Side

On the Sunday following Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney told the truth. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said regarding plans to pursue the perpetrators of that attack: “We have to work the dark side, if you will. We’re going to spend time in the shadows.”

Posted on Feb 27, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Stone’s Next Subject: G.W. Bush

Director Oliver Stone has already demonstrated his penchant for making movies about controversial figures and critical moments in world history, so it should come as no surprise that Stone is turning his lens on George W. Bush for his next film, simply and succinctly called “Bush.”

Posted on Jan 21, 2008 READ MORE


Blanchett as Dylan
amazon.com

The Many Faces of ‘Dylan’

Todd Haynes’ film “I’m Not There,” “inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan,” shows that art reveals truth when it has the imagination to move away from the imitation of reality.

Posted on Nov 28, 2007 READ MORE


strike phone
AP photo / Damian Dovarganes

WGA Strikers to Return to the Table Nov. 26

An end may be in sight for striking television and film writers and their studio bosses if negotiations, now set to resume Nov. 26, are effective.  However, WGA West President Patric Verrone cautioned union members to stand their ground in an e-mail titled “Don’t Break Out the Champagne Just Yet.”

Posted on Nov 17, 2007 READ MORE


Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Iron Maiden Meets IEDs in ‘Heavy Metal in Baghdad’

Well, this particular motion picture decidedly won’t be the feel-good family drama of the year—and that’s just one more excellent reason to go see “Heavy Metal in Baghdad,” an inside glimpse into the Baghdad metalhead scene, when it (hopefully) comes to a theater near you.  Meanwhile, check out the theatrical trailer here.

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE


the Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplin on the Villainy of War

Now seems as good a time as any to revisit the genius of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.” In this climactic scene, Chaplin rails against the menace of war and hopes for a world where people actually care about each other.

Posted on Sep 4, 2007 READ MORE


Real-Life Violence

Director Brian DePalma says “Pictures are what will stop the war,” and he’s out to prove it. His new film “Redacted,” which focuses on the brutal rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the killing of her family, uses graphic images from the war that he says media outlets have been too timid to show.

Posted on Sep 2, 2007 READ MORE


Oliver Stone
news.bbc.co.uk

Oliver Stone Preps My Lai Movie

Bruce Willis will star in an Oliver Stone film about the My Lai massacre, perhaps the most infamous atrocity to emerge from the Vietnam War. In other Stone news, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he has “no objection, generally speaking,” to the director’s rumored desire to make a biopic about him but that Stone would need to “let me know what are the frameworks.”

Posted on Aug 29, 2007 READ MORE


bergman
thevillager.com

Legendary Director Ingmar Bergman Dies

Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, who burst upon the ‘50s cinema scene with films like “Wild Strawberries” and “The Seventh Seal” and went on to become one of the world’s most highly acclaimed auteurs, died Monday on the Baltic island of Faro at age 89.

Posted on Jul 30, 2007 READ MORE


oliver stone
foxnews.com

To Iran, He’s Just Another Devil

Plans by director Oliver Stone (pictured) to make a film focusing on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have met with opposition from the Iranian government, which, according to a spokesperson, considers Stone’s movies to be “part of the ‘Great Satan.’ ”

Posted on Jul 3, 2007 READ MORE


Panahi
AP Photo / Hermann J. Knippertz

The Oliver Stone of Iran

The veteran journalist and Mideast traveler profiles Jafar Panahi (above), whose socially conscious films have earned him critical acclaim, box-office success and the unwelcome scrutiny of his government.

Posted on Apr 24, 2007 READ MORE


capote
europafilms.com

In Cold Blood Money:  All The Journalists’ Men

Film historian and author Ed Rampell registers a shift in popular depictions of journalists on big and small screens since 9/11, linking the recent skeptical, critical portrayals of iconic media figures like Truman Capote (played by Toby Jones, above) to the evaluation of mainstream journalism’s performance.

Posted on Apr 5, 2007 READ MORE


Al Gore

And the Oscar Goes to ... Al Gore

“An Inconvenient Truth” took home two Academy Awards on Sunday, one for best documentary and the other for Melissa Etheridge’s “I Need to Wake Up” (best song). In case you missed it, here’s a video summary of Al Gore’s night at the Oscars.

Posted on Feb 25, 2007 READ MORE


Jesus
pitt.edu

Cameron Finds Jesus

Film director James Cameron is gearing up for another epic release. Once again, Cameron is turning his lens on a historical event, but he’s thinking even bigger than his monolithic “Titanic”: This time, the self-declared “King of the World” is taking on the King of the Jews.

Posted on Feb 25, 2007 READ MORE


Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone on the Future of Political Cinema

In a video interview with Counterpunch magazine, the legendary filmmaker discusses the power of movies to engender social change on a grass-roots level. (Fellow director Tao Ruspoli conducts this street-level interview on the eve of his own Ken Kesey-esque bus trip across America to shoot socially conscious films.) Watch it

Posted on Feb 17, 2007 READ MORE


Robert Redford
robertredford.com

Redford Demands Bush Apology for War

Robert Redford opened the Sundance Film Festival by demanding an apology for the war in Iraq. The festival features several decidedly political films, including “Chicago 10,” which centers on demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic convention, and “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.”

Posted on Jan 19, 2007 READ MORE


Children of Men
from childrenofmen.net

‘Children of Men’: Universal’s Orphaned Masterpiece

How do you make the best movie of the year—possibly the decade—and still get pummeled at the box office by Ben Stiller and a CGI dinosaur?  Sheerly Avni, Truthdig’s movie critic, lays it out in 10 easy steps.

Posted on Jan 9, 2007 READ MORE


Jesus
theage.com.au

Jesus at the Box Office

AlterNet’s Jonathan Jones probes Hollywood’s post-“Passion” fetish for Christian-oriented films and challenges the assumption that religious movies will rake in the cash by pandering to an attention-starved audience.

Posted on Dec 19, 2006 READ MORE


Robert Altman
latimes.com

Robert Altman Dead at 81

The auteur filmmaker behind “MASH” died of complications from cancer.  An unconventional artist, Altman was nominated for five best-directing Academy Awards over the years, and won an honorary statue this year.

Posted on Nov 21, 2006 READ MORE


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