April 24, 2014

Tag Archives: Spaghetti Westerns

Thoughts on the 2013 Oscar nominations…

Despite all of the pre-awards chatter and what-not, there were still a few surprises in this morning’s Oscar nominations – Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook , Zero Dark Thirty.
The biggest shock, for me anyway, was the inclusion of Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor in Django Unchained and the unfortunate exclusion of Leonardo DiCaprio (who I frankly expected to win) and Samuel L. Jackson (who gave the film’s best performance) for same. Waltz is fine, although it’s interesting in that A) he’s basically the film’s lead character and B) he’s playing a riff on the work he did in Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, but this time on the side of the angels (it’s possible that voters simply voted for the most morally righteous white character in a film full of racists, ala Tommy Lee Jones’s expected nom for Lincoln).
Django Unchained scored a best picture nomination (one of nine films nominated) but Tarantino was denied a Best Director nod.
The other massive snub was the exclusion of Ben Affleck for Best Director for Argo, despite the film being up for Best Picture and Alan Arkin snagging a Best Supporting Actor nomination. I honestly can’t figure that one out, as pretty much everyone who loved Argo gave Affleck full and complete credit for the film. It’s disheartening in that Affleck has made a real effort to use his star power to direct the kind of mainstream big-studio grown up genre fare that has been neglected over the last decade, and a snub can surely be read as ‘Don’t bother, just go direct Justice League’.
The Best Director category also provided the other mega-shock this morning, snubbing the proverbial front runner Kathryn Bigelow. I’d hate to think the stupid ‘torture debate’ had an effect, but I think the stupid torture debate had an effect.
to read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

Django Unchained – Kudos for Quentin Tarantino @ Rome Film Festival

The 7th Rome Film Festival (Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma) will confer its Lifetime Achievement Award to Quentin Tarantino. The American director, screenwriter, actor, and producer, winner of an Oscar® for Pulp Fiction, the author of extraordinary works such as Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill:Vol.1, Kill Bill:Vol.2 and Inglourious Basterds, will receive the award on January 4th on the occasion of the gala screening of the new film he has written and directed, Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Di Caprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington. The celebrated film-composer Ennio Morricone will be presenting the award to the director.
“Quentin Tarantino’s vision has radically influenced our collective imagery over the past twenty years – explains Marco Müller, artistic director of the Rome Film Festival – Tarantino is a profoundly American yet very European filmmaker, because the relationship he has established with cinema and its history is as analytical as it is passionate. He has cultivated a coherent project of mise-en-scene, an authorial project that has grown richer thanks, to his experimentation with language and also to constant cinematic cross-references. As a result his films are both alive and vivacious to the extreme, they blast away the codes and conventions of film genres but each of them does express the spirit of his time”.
In Quentin Tarantino’s explosive new film, Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a plantation slave who partners with Christoph Waltz’s (Inglourious Basterds) bounty hunter to seek vengeance on his former owners and rescue his wife (Kerry Washington). One of the most eagerly anticipated releases of the season, the film also stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the villainous plantation owner, Calvin Candie, and Samuel L. Jackson as Candie’s trusted house-servant, Stephen. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained is produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, and Pilar Savone. The executive producers are Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Michael Shamberg, Shannon McIntosh, and James Skotchdopole.
About The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as Scream, Spy Kids and Scary Movie. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been [...]

Weekend Box Office: Django Unchained v. Les Miserables

Quentin Tarantino’s career-long itch to put his stamp on the beloved Spaghetti Western finally takes form with the release of Django Unchained to begin the Christmas weekend. It’s going head-to-head with Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the epic musical drama, Les Miserables. Rounding out the long weekend is Gus Van Sant’s latest, Promised Land.
Django Unchained
Language: English
Rating: R
Genre: Action/Drama/Western
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx
Django, a bounty hunter and former slave, sets out with the help of his mentor to free his wife from a brutal plantation owner. See what Clayton had to say about Tarantino’s latest.
Les Miserables
Language: English
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama/Musical/Romance
Director: Tom Hooper
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway
After decades of pursuit by ruthless policeman, Javert, Jean Valjean takes on the fateful responsibility of caring for factory worker Fantine’s daughter. Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper helms this adaptation of Victor Hugo’s treasured literary masterpiece in another awards-worthy effort.
To read more go to www.awardscircuit.com
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Is Quentin Tarantino Out of Touch?

By Michael Russnow
Last Thursday, I looked forward to watching Craig Ferguson’s interview with Quentin Tarantino on CBS’s The Late Late Show, because I mostly enjoy the quirky director and particularly liked his latest film Django Unchained.
Yes, his films are fraught with violence, but the dialogue exchanges and story twists are fascinating to behold, no less so in Django, with performances solid by the stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and most particularly Leonardo DiCaprio, who never ceases to amaze.
However, the point of this piece is to express outrage at something Tarantino said in response to Ferguson’s query about how long he would continue directing. He said he’d like to do several more films, but wouldn’t want to go on too much longer and become like one of those directors who become “out of touch.”
Yes, “out of touch.” That was the phrase he used, and I couldn’t help wondering how someone so clever in constructing plot points and intriguing characters would so easily be taken in by the almost MTV-like mindset pervading the Hollywood industry?
What does out of touch mean, exactly? That someone might behave in a different manner when one matures? That choices in music might not be what young people are listening to? Or perhaps, more ominous, that, considering Tarantino is about to turn 50 and is deathly afraid of losing his grip, that after one “descends” into his/her 60s one has no idea what is going on or, worse, has no idea how to do the research to find out.
This is as preposterous as presuming that all young writers and directors have been schooled in TV and video games and have no clue what makes a good story, because they’ve hardly ever opened a book. There are terrific young filmmakers and still terrific older filmmakers, writers and producers of TV and film fare, not to mention the razor-sharp wit of David Letterman, 65. A lot of good people are not working today because of the mindset fostered by Hollywood suits, a point of view not ameliorated at all when it wins the support of one of the industry’s most engaging personas.
However, let’s examine Tarantino’s argument. Maybe he has a point. Or maybe he really does not. If Quentin Tarantino personally feels burned out at any moment, that’s of course a different story. But I found his comments incredibly small-minded, making such a blanket judgment call akin [...]

Don Johnson joins Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Quentin Tarantino’s casting couch for “Djangon Unchained” has been a revolving door of rugged talent. The latest name spinning through the cycle? Would you believe Don Johnson?
The “Miami Vice” and “Nash Bridges” star, who recently appeared in Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete,” will take part in Tarantino’s latest genre exercise, according to EW.com. Johnson will play savage plantation owner Spencer Bennett, who reportedly runs a slave-brawling ring in the 19th century, segregated South. The brothel, nicknamed Candyland, is run by Calvin Candie, a vicious rogue who will be played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Several Tarantino veterans have been cast in the spaghetti Western “Django.” Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Christoph Waltz are part of the ensemble, while Jamie Foxx is taking on the lead role of a former slave turned bounty hunter who is heading to Candyland to free his captured spouse.
Filming on “Django Unchained” is expected to begin in January, with the drama eyeing a December 2012 release.
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