Votd: Take a 20-Minute Tour of Pixar Animation Studios
Back in the fall of 2015, one Disney fan was able to record a private tour of the Pixar Animation Studios campus. They weren’t granted access to some areas to avoid any possible spoilers for their upcoming projects at the time, but it was cool to see how welcoming and playful the environment for Pixar’s […]
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- Ethan Anderton
Cult Japanese Helmer Seijun Suzuki Dies Aged 93
Seijun Suzuki, the celebrated Japanese director behind such cult films such as Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill, has died at the age of 93. He died on February 13 in Tokyo, with the cause of death given as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Suzuki was largely famed for matching pop art visuals and pulp stories and his work influenced directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Baz Luhrmann and Wong Kar-Wai. Born in Tokyo in 1923, Suzuki served in Japan's… »
ITV Closure Of London Studios Irks Union; China’s iQiyi Raises $1.5B – Global Briefs
ITV is closing The London Studios at South Bank as part of a redevelopment of the site as its headquarters. The studio has been home to such programs as Upstairs Downstairs and, more recently, Ant & Dec’s Satruday Night Takeaway and The Graham Norton Show. In an email to staff that was seen by The Guardian, ITV boss Adam Crozier wrote, "We've given very careful consideration to what our plans mean for the London Studios, which would require significant investment to… »
Martin Scorsese's The Irishman bought by Netflix
In its latest statement of film business intent, streaming giant Netflix has bought worldwide rights to Martin Scorsese’s upcoming The Irishman, which had been set up at Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures.
No figures have been announced on the value of the deal but according to a report in Indiewire, which industry sources later confirmed to Variety, Netflix has acquired the rights once held by Paramount in North America and Stx Entertainment in the rest of the world (for which the latter had paid $50m in 2016).
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- Andrew Pulver
My favourite best picture Oscar winner: The Sting
Continuing our series of Guardian writers’ picks of the great Academy Award winners, Andrew Pulver explains why the Paul Newman and Robert Redford caper is the most purely enjoyable film in Oscar history
No one, in all honesty, would go to the best picture Oscar list for a defining rundown of the best American cinema. Too many short-shelf life films get through the voting process and rise to the top: Crash? A Beautiful Mind? Really? Middling-to-decent tends to triumph. Actual dyed-in-the-wool classics are rare: The Deer Hunter and The Godfather, and possibly No Country for Old Men and Birdman, are among the only highlights of the past five decades.
Related: My favorite best picture Oscar winner: Unforgiven
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- Andrew Pulver
2017 Oscars Honest Trailer: Sadsville, Snot Acting & Hollywood Handjobs
The Oscars will be handed out this coming Sunday to honor some of the best achievements in film from the year 2016. Of course, the Oscars aren’t necessarily always an indication of the absolute best movies from the preceding year, if only because there’s a lot of politics and money involved, making it impossible for […]
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- Ethan Anderton
The Best Murder Mystery Series Ever — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Tuesday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best show currently on TV?” can be found at the end of this post.)
This week’s question: What is your favorite murder mystery show?
Erik Adams (@ErikMAdams), A.V. Club
It has to be “Twin Peaks,” right? I’m one of those annoying people who insists the show is so much more than “Who killed Laura Palmer?”, but that is our entry point to David Lynch and Mark Frost’s weird little world, and the question that briefly made “Twin Peaks” a pop-culture phenomenon. And the chapters of the series that deal with finding Laura’s murderer are some of the most compelling, from the dream-sequence enhanced “Zen, Or The Skill To Catch A Killer” or the eventual solution to the mystery, a »
- Hanh Nguyen
Cult Japanese director Seijun Suzuki dies aged 93
Film-maker who paired pop art visuals and yakuza hitmen in Tokyo Drifter leaves behind a singular, surreal body of work that gained international acclaim
Celebrated Japanese film director Seijun Suzuki, best known for cult 1960s yakuza films Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill, has died at the age of 93. Suzuki died on 13 February, with the cause given as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a statement from Nikkatsu film studios.
Born in 1923, Suzuki served in Japan’s meteorological corps in the second world war, and then in 1948 joined the Shochiku studio as an assistant director. Despite spending his time there as “a melancholy drunk”, as he described it, he was hired by the newly reopened Nikkatsu in 1954, again as an assistant director. Two years later he graduated to the director’s chair with Victory Is Mine, a pop-song movie credited under his given name, Seitaro Suzuki.
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- Andrew Pulver
Berlin Film Review: ‘Politics, Instruction Manual’
For once, the title does not mislead: With a bit of trimming down from its slightly baggy two hours, Fernando León de Aranoa’s documentary on the rise of left-wing Spanish political force Podemos could be the Ikea self-assembly kit for how to turn generalized resistance into a party with parliamentary clout. León de Aranoa is better known as a feature director, with titles like “Family,” “Mondays in the Sun,” and, most recently, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight film “A Perfect Day.” But he turns his hand to nonfiction with a feature director’s eye for narrative arc, and, with unfettered access to the film’s principals, makes an engrossingly well-edited and polished, if formally unambitious, doc that presents a you-are-there immediacy in witnessing the birth of a political movement. Cineastes may long for a less straight-on, talking-heads-reliant movie, but activists, idealists, and the politicians of the future will be »
- Jessica Kiang
‘Fifty Shades’ Dominant With $285M Ww; ‘La La’ Lands $200M+ Overseas; ‘XXX’ Tops In China – International Box Office
Update, Writethru, Wednesday Am Pt, with actuals: Holdovers were the main attraction at the international box office this weekend as Universal Pictures' Fifty Shades Darker maintained its grip on the No. 1 spot with a better-than-projected $44.5M in 59 markets. That's a 51% drop from last week when the sequel cuffed 2017's biggest offshore debut — it's also a better hold than Fifty Shades Of Grey had in its first-to-second outing in 2015. The original film opened smack… »
Cph:dox reveals competition line-up
The documentary festival is also launching a fifth competition strand at its 2017 edition.
Scandi documentary festival Cph:dox (Mar 16-26) has unveiled the films in its usual four competitions as well as introducing a new competition section.
World premieres announced across the competitions include Bridgend director Jeppe Rønde’s The John Dalli Mystery [pictured], a Kafkaesque story with Mikael Bertelsen and Mads Brügger; Do Donkeys Act?, a film about unruly donkeys narrated by Willem Dafoe; Accidental Anarchist, about the British former diplomat Carne Ross who has transformed into an anarchist; Sigrid Dyekjær’s A Modern Man, about violinist and model Charlie Siem; and Ben Rivers’ Urth, about the failed ecosystem Biosphere 2.0 in Arizona.
Read Screen’s festival preview here.
New competition Next:wave is launched to highlight international emerging talents “who have the courage to take chances and stand out.”
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Croatian filmmakers protest against 'political influence and control'
Industry figures have issued a rallying cry to protect their autonomy in the face of perceived government interference.
Following the surprise resignation of Hrvoje Hribar, the chief executive of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (Havc), during this month’s Berlin Film Festival, the Croatian film industry is banding together to face what it considers to be unwelcome political interference in the country’s film industry.
An initiative founded by the Croatian Producers Association and the Croatian Film Directors’ Guild - dubbed ‘Puk’o nam je film’ (Croatian slang for ‘We’ve Had Enough’) – issued a statement earlier this week saying that it had been founded to “protect Croatian cinematography from political influence and control”.
The move comes in response to a recent paper published by Croatia’s State Audit Office that looked into the activities of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.
According to various news reports, the Audit states that any film production supported by Havc with more than »
- email@example.com (Tom Grater)
Number of films with female leads reaches record high in 2016
Study shows that 29% of films in 2016 had a woman as the lead character.
Last year was a record year for the number of films with female leads, according to a new study.
The research, carried out by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, found that 29% of the top 100 grossing films of 2016 in the Us featured a female protagonist.
This is 7% up on the previous year, and a recent historical high (the research goes back to 2002). 54% of films featured a male protagonist, with 17% of films ensembles.
The study defined a protagonist as the “character from whose perspective the story is told”.
In 2016, the study found that women played 37% of major characters, a 3% increase and another historical high. Major characters had to appear in more than one scene and be instrumental to the action of the story.
However, the percentage of female characters in speaking roles (major and minor) was 32%, down »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Orlando Parfitt)
‘Buñuel,’ ‘Zombillenium,’ ‘Fox’ Make Cartoon Movie Cut
Barcelona– “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles,” “Zombillenium,” and “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales” are among the 55 projects selected for Cartoon Movie, Europe’s leading movie co-production event devoted to animation, which will take place in the French city of Bordeaux, kicking off March 8.
Much awaited, and produced by France’s Maybe Movies and Belgium’s Belvision, “Zombillenium” is based on Arthur de Pins’ eponymous comicbooks. Directed by Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord, it turns on a Halloween theme park that is the only place on earth where real monsters can hide. “Zombillenium” is in production and is represented for international sales by Urban Distribution International (Udi).
Sold by Studiocanal, “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales”” marks another co-production between France, here Didier Brunner’s Folivari, and Belgium (Panique!), one of Europe’s most fertile production axes for upscale animated features.
Producers will be offering a sneak preview at Bordeaux. »
- Emilio Mayorga
Lindsay Lohan: 'I was racially profiled and asked to remove headscarf at Heathrow'
The actor, who has been studying Islam, has said she was ‘freaked out’ by the request during an airport check
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Lohan, 30, said she was requested to remove her headscarf by security staff queuing for a flight to New York, having lately returned from Turkey.
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- Catherine Shoard
Why Hell or High Water should win the best picture Oscar
David Mackenzie’s cops and robbers thriller is a throwback to a golden age of Hollywood that reflects smartly on the current plight of post-industrial America
When the best picture nominations were announced on 24 January, most of the raised eyebrows were over who and what wasn’t there: no Martin Scorsese and Silence, no Tom Ford and Nocturnal Animals (both of which had been heavily tipped) – and no Deadpool either, which the Marvel devotees had been hoping would overturn the usual superhero shutout. It took a while to notice that the David Mackenzie-directed Hell or High Water had made the list instead; although, if we’re being honest, no one is talking it up for an actual victory. (All the bookies have it as 10th in a 10-horse race, 100-1 being the standard odds.)
It’s a shame that it’s the outsider because in another era, you could »
- Andrew Pulver
Maverick Japanese Director Seijun Suzuki Dies at 93
Tokyo — Seijun Suzuki, a maverick director who was notoriously fired from the Nikkatsu studio for a film many consider his masterpiece, the 1967 actioner “Branded to Kill,” died in Tokyo on Feb. 13 at age 93. The cause was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
After failing to launch a directing career at Shochiku, Suzuki joined Nikkatsu in 1954, and made 40 films for the studio, mostly supporting pictures in double bills. With production designer Takeo Kimura and, beginning with 1963 film “The Bastard,” the two men together shaped the ‘Suzuki style,’ with its surreal visuals, Kabuki-esque staging, bold colors and action that seemed to be unfolding in a dreamscape.
Suzuki was fired after the flop of “Branded to Kill,” which starred Joe Shishido as a hitman who finds himself caught in a bizarre life-or-death struggle with a higher ranked rival. He won an out of court settlement, but was essentially banned from the industry for a decade. »
- Mark Schilling
End of empire: why Bollywood needs to grasp India's story
Seven decades after independence, Indian cinema is still struggling to depict the Raj, leaving its screen depictions – from Gandhi to colonial racism – to be viewed almost solely through British eyes
In 1968, 20 years after Indian independence and partition, producer-director duo Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas released Carry On Up the Khyber in British cinemas. It was a raunchy, imperialistic romp, set against the backdrop of the Raj – the British colonial rule in India that lasted till 1947.
Looking back, the Carry On humour hasn’t dated well. Not only is the sexist slap-and-tickle at odds with modern sensibilities but the film is awash with casual racism. Bernard Bresslaw and Kenneth Williams “brown-up” to play the not-so-hilariously named Bungdit Din and the Khasi of Khalabar, while Sidney James yak-yak-yaks away with his lustful eyes fixed on buxom Brits dressed in saris.
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- Joseph Walsh
‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Doctor Strange’ And, Yes, ‘La La Land’ Take Top Costume Designer Guild Awards
The 2017 Costume Guild Awards were officially the last guild honor to be handed out before the Academy Awards and, surprise, “La La Land” town its category, Excellence in Contemporary Film. Two films that were not nominated for the Oscar, “Doctor Strange” and “Hidden Figures,” won the Fantasy and Period categories respectively.
Television winners included “American Horror Story: Roanoke,” “The Crown” and “Game of Thrones.”
A list of all of this year’s nominees and winners are as follows.
- Gregory Ellwood
‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ Revival Gets First Look Photo, Netflix Release Date
Funded by a Kickstarter campaign that earned over $5.7 million dollars directly from the show’s insanely loyal fanbase, “MST3K” Season 11 (essentially) will stream all 14 episodes on Netflix beginning April 14, 2017.
Original host Joel Hodgson tapped Nerdist favorite Jonah Ray to star as the latest hapless human forced to watch terrible movies for science, accompanied by his robot friends Crow and Tom Servo (voiced in the revival by comedian Hampton Yount and “Grace and Frankie” star Baron Vaughn). Terrorizing Jonah is Felicia Day as evil scientist Kinga Forrester, assisted by Patton Oswalt as TV’s Son of TV’s Frank.
- Liz Shannon Miller
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