January 21, 2017

Tag Archives: Elia Kazan

Steven Spielberg: The Top 25 (Best Director)

Here we go again folks with another Top 25 article today, and it’s one of the big ones. Yes, this time around I’ll be tackling one of the biggest of the big eight categories in an effort not to save them all for very last. This one is the Best Director field. This is another category that usually has a rather big tie in with Best Picture, as you’ll see below to some degree once again. As always, I have a few specific titles I’ll be citing in detail later on in this piece, but by now I know how the game works here. You all mostly just want to see the lists I do anyhow, so I have no problem obliging you good folks there in that particular regard once again. All you have to do is just be patient over the next paragraph or so and you’ll get the goods front and center…
This time around, I’m once again going to be going with the overview route as you might have guessed, especially since a bunch of these Oscar winners I’ll be discussing once again when we get to Best Picture in a few weeks. Also, it really just comes down to taste again here, with your opinion influencing what sort of winner you’re particularly partial to. It’s pretty much a matter of taste once again for us all, which is commonplace at this point. I know a couple of of my selections are going to seem a bit on the odd side, especially when you see how high I ranked certain ones (especially considering their genre), but that’s just the way it is. You can’t please everyone with this sort of a thing.
I’ll basically just discuss my top ten a bit here now. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been Steven Spielberg’s win for Schindler’s List. I briefly toyed with having his direction of Saving Private Ryan in the top spot, but Schindler’s List is basically perfect filmmaking, so I had to anoint it here. Also in the top five we have Woody Allen for Annie Hall, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, Mike Nichols for The Graduate, and the aforementioned Spielberg’s work on Saving Private Ryan. Rounding out the top ten are the likes of Michael Curtiz for Casablanca, Elia Kazan for On the Waterfront, David Lean for Lawrence of […]


hollywoodnews.com: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Monday Nights with Oscar®” series will kick off 2011 with a screening of “Wild River” (1960), starring Montgomery Clift, on Monday, January 24, at 7 p.m. at the newly renovated Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in New York City. Two-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter Jay Cocks (“The Age of Innocence,” “Gangs of New York”) will introduce the film.
In this intense drama set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Montgomery Clift plays Chuck Glover, a field agent for the Tennessee Valley Authority who must convince an elderly woman (Jo Van Fleet) to give up her property for a project, while he becomes romantically involved with her widowed granddaughter, Carol Baldwin (Lee Remick).
“Wild River” was directed and produced by Elia Kazan, from a screenplay by Paul Osborn based on novels by William Bradford Huie and Borden Deal. The film was restored by the Academy Film Archive with support from The Film Foundation. The print to be screened is courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Twentieth Century Fox.
Tickets for “Wild River” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets may be purchased online at www.oscars.org or by mail (a printable order form is available in the Events & Exhibitions section of the website). Tickets may also be purchased at the box office prior to the event (subject to availability). All seating is unreserved.
The Academy Theater is located at 111 East 59th Street in New York City. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved. For more information, visit www.oscars.org or call (212) 821-9251.

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Martin Scorsese’s “Letter to Elia” acquired by Fox

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: An anticipated documentary which screened at a few hefty film festivals was just acquired by a major studio.
The picture is “A Letter to Elia,” Martin Scorsese’s new documentary exploring the life and talent of Oscar-winning director Elia Kazan. The film, co-directed by Scorsese and Kent Jones, was acquired by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and THIRTEEN’s “American Masters” series. The film recently made its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and its North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. It is also an official selection of the New York Film Festival where it will screen alongside Kazan’s “America, America” on Sept. 27.
From the release:
Martin Scorsese cites the works of Elia Kazan as being highly influential on his life and career.
Of making the film, Scorsese says, “It took many years. I asked my old friend and collaborator Kent Jones to work with me, and we spent quite a long time looking at the films, talking about them, looking at the life, the fame, the infamy, and finding the tone, the balance that felt right for this picture. I feel that the finished film speaks to the power of art, in this case the art of Elia Kazan.”
With respect to the Elia Kazan Film Collection, Scorsese added, “I’m very excited that Fox is making our film available as part of a box set of Kazan’s work – I’m especially pleased by the inclusion of five pictures that have never been released on DVD, Wild River and America, America in particular. Getting the movies seen – that’s what we’re all aiming for.”
“A Letter to Elia” was produced by Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, co-financed and executive produced by Stone Douglass and Taylor Materne’s Far Hills Pictures. It will air nationally on PBS as part of the “American Masters” series on Oct. 4, accompanied by a companion short documentary featuring some of the country’s most noteworthy actors and directors talking about Kazan ’s influence on their work and on the American film industry.
Then on Nov. 9, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the Elia Kazan Film Collection, an 18-disc DVD gift set including “A Letter to Elia” and 15 of Kazan’s most acclaimed and noteworthy films. The full collection, in addition to the documentary, includes “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945), “Boomerang!” (1947), “Gentleman’s Agreement” (1947), “Pinky” (1949), “Panic in the Streets” (1950), “A Streetcar […]

Coppola and Godard to Receive Academy’s Governors Awards

HollywoodNews.com: The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted last night to present the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producer-director Francis Ford Coppola and Honorary Awards to historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, director Jean-Luc Godard and actor Eli Wallach. All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 2nd Annual Governors Awards dinner on Saturday, November 13, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.
“Each of these honorees has touched movie audiences worldwide and influenced the motion picture industry through their work,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “It will be an honor to celebrate their extraordinary achievements and contributions at the Governors Awards.”
Brownlow is widely regarded as the preeminent historian of the silent film era as well as a preservationist. Among his many silent film restoration projects are Abel Gance’s 1927 epic “Napoleon,” Rex Ingram’s “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (1921) and “The Thief of Bagdad” (1924), starring Douglas Fairbanks. Brownlow has authored, among others, The Parade’s Gone By; The War, the West, and the Wilderness; Hollywood: The Pioneers; Behind the Mask of Innocence; David Lean; and Mary Pickford Rediscovered. His documentaries include “Hollywood,” “Unknown Chaplin,” “Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow,” “Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius” and “D.W. Griffith: Father of Film,” all with David Gill; Brownlow also directed “Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic” and “Garbo,” the latter with Christopher Bird.
Coppola began his film career in the early 1960s making low-budget films with 2009 Honorary Award recipient Roger Corman. By the end of the 1970s he had won five Oscars®: Best Picture (“The Godfather Part II”); Directing (“The Godfather Part II”) and Writing (“Patton,” “The Godfather,” “The Godfather Part II”). Among his numerous producing credits are “American Graffiti, “Gardens of Stone,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” “Jack” and “Tetro.” In 1969 he established American Zoetrope, an independent film studio that helped launch the careers of George Lucas and Carroll Ballard, and has since produced more than 30 films, including “The Black Stallion,” “The Outsiders,” “Lost in Translation” and “The Good Shepherd.”
A key figure in the French New Wave movement, Godard started out writing about cinema before beginning to make his own short films. His influential first feature, “Breathless” (1960), impressed audiences and filmmakers alike with its jazzy take on the American crime film. For fifty years, Godard has continued to write and direct challenging, and sometimes controversial, films […]

This Week In Movies – ‘Dinner For Schmucks,’ ‘Get Low’

By Pete Hammond
HollywoodNews.com: Although boxoffice was up compared to this week a year ago and Christopher Nolan’s remarkable “Inception” remains the number one movie for the third week in a row with an estimated $27 million and only a 36% drop week to week, it does seem like the dog days of August are upon us already even though the last month of the summer moviegoing season just officially started on Sunday. “Dinner For Schmucks”, a so-so remake of a so-so French comedy fortunately stars likeable Steve Carell and likeable Paul Rudd so it was able to almost reach $24 million this weekend becoming the only good news among wide openers. People are starved for comedy so it performed better than it had any right to. Zac Efron who was described by some panting middle-aged female reviewers on Friday anywhere from “dreamy” to “swoony” managed to open his new drama, “Charlie St. Cloud” that day to an estimated $5.6 million thanks to what the industry is referring to “frontloading” from his young fans who then proceeded to abandon it in droves on Saturday when it dropped a horrendous 30+ % . OUCH. With just about $12 mil for the 3-day period this weakly reviewed spiritual opus is already hurting , although not as much as Warner Bros. “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore,” the nine–years-in-gestation sequel to “Cats And Dogs” which drew an abysmal 15% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and also about $12 million for the weekend despite being on 1000 more screens than Zac. Its Cinemascore of only B- does not bode well for good word of mouth either for this bow wow of a bow.

Perhaps the most impressive performer of the weekend was Robert Duvall’s best-reviewed lead performance since “The Apostle” in the quirky comedy/drama “Get Low” which Sony Pictures Classics opened on a limited basis in LA and NY to a very strong estimate of nearly $23,000 per on 4 screens. Duvall and co-star Sissy Spacek who each have an Oscar and six nominations appeared on Wednesday for a Screen Actors Guild screening at the Landmark in Los Angeles which was so packed people had to line the aisles just to get a spot in the theatre. Duvall admitted he never thought the movie (which was in development for eight years) would ever really get made but is now delighted to have […]

Peter Weller on Fringe’s time travel episode and the new Robocop

This week’s episode of Fringe has a special guest star, particularly in the sci-fi world. Peter Weller, Robocop and Buckaroo Bonzai himself, is the subject of Thursday night’s episode “White Tulip,” playing a time traveler who Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his Fringe team investigate.
“The thing that really turned me on about it is, it’s a romantic,” Weller said in a conference call with the media. “It’s a guy who is going back in time and he’s making some serious sacrifices in terms of other people’s livelihood and well being, to get back and save his wife from dying in a ridiculous moment, a mistake that he made. He’s trying to find redemption and go back to the only person that really means anything to him. It’s just tremendously romantic and very moving. That alone was enough to make me want to jump in it.” 
Time travel is a popular concept in science fiction so it will be exciting for viewers to see how Fringe deals with it. “Also, particularly the way they’re handling time travel, what the electrical field does around the person who’s time traveling, it’s sucking the energy out of the physical space where one lands so the energy gets rerouted, is just fabulous to me,” Weller said. “I don’t understand science that much but science fiction is an extraordinarily imaginative trope. The great science fiction is sort of like an autobiography of the world. If you follow history, you have a linear sort of record of the great events in the world. Then you have intersecting it vertically or thematically science fiction, the what ifs. What if we did this? The whole thing outside of our sort of linear experience, that’s the great gift of science fiction. It’s fun. If you have any kind of inventive mind at all, you go racing with it.”
Fringe doesn’t just take Weller back to his sci-fi roots though. It also puts demands on his acting muscles like the best of his theater work. “There are scenes that are four pages of explanation and dialogue but really well written. They’re not just expository but they’re dramatic scenes to justify love and need and family. Those were challenges. Those are challenges to make come alive. The thing is predicated on losing the person you love so I come from the method. I come from Elia Kazan and Uta Hagen. You’ve got to plug […]