– That’s Meryl Streep above as Margaret Thatcher, for “The Iron Lady.” This first look (cropped here) comes via Deadline.com.
– More British biopics! Dakota Fanning will portray a teen-aged Princess Margaret in Michael Hoffman’s “Girls’ Night Out,” set at the end of World War II. Can Colin Firth reprise his role as her father?
– The best British film of all time, according to a panel of filmmakers and critics (including some non-Brits like Wes Anderson), is Nicolas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now.” You can also see the individual top ten lists of the voters at Time Out, though you won’t be surprised to see primarily Powell and Pressburger, Loach, Kubrick, Lean, Monty Python, Reed, early Hitchcock and other Roeg as favorites. Apparently the one film I need to rent immediately is Loach’s “Kes,” which appears on nearly every group, including that of the young actress whose top two are “Moon” and the “classic!” “Hot Fuzz.” There are about a hundred or so other films I now must see, too. Anyway, here’s part of a congratulatory interview with Roeg in which he talks about the winning film’s famous sex scene:
‘Sex, whether you like it or not, is the prime force of life. There is no other reason to be here. For me, sex is very rarely rude. It’s a fresh thing. The censors saw things that didn’t happen in the sex scene. Did this happen? Did that happen? It’s not unusual. The wonder of film is that because we relate to moments and emotions so deeply, we often see things that aren’t there.
‘I think people secretly connected to “Don’t Look Now” for that reason. Maybe that’s why after all this time when it’s looked at, people see that more clearly. When it came out, audiences were less used to it. Back then, I imagine that scene would’ve been like someone bursting out of a cupboard and shouting “Boo!”.’
– Want to be motivated? Check out this clip compilation titled “Reel Wisdom: Lessons from 40 Films in 7 Minutes.” Obviously there is plenty of Yoda and Morgan Freeman [via Slashfilm]:
– Jeremy M. Zoss looks at the 10 Lamest Horror Movie Slashers at Topless Robot. Winner: Dr. Giggles from “Dr. Giggles,” beating out Santa Claus, the Leprechaun, Gingerdead Man and The Dentist.
Is it any coincidence that Dr. Giggles and The Dentist both starred actors from L.A. Law? If Jimmy Smits or Harry Hamlin ever star as horror villains, it’s a fair bet that those movies will suck too.
– This short film titled “Manhattan 4.33pm” treats the borough like a pinball machine and kinda reminds me of that 8-bit video game disaster film “Pixels.”
– Sadly the mayor of Detroit says there are no plans for a “Robocop” statue to be erected in the city.
– Cracked pays respect to the most important artists associated with popular movies that don’t get enough recognition. They’ve got sound designer Ben Burtt, fight choreographer Yuen Woo Ping, poster illustrator Drew Struzan, special effects “badass” Stan Winston, matte painter Michael Pangrazio and composer John Williams. Honorable mentions include Bernard Hermann, Hans Zimmer and Rob Bottin. This guy is probably the least known of the bunch:
“Matte painter” is one of those jobs that you probably didn’t even know existed, if you haven’t watched a lot of “behind the scenes” DVD features. But whenever a film features a fantastic, alien landscape in the background, you can probably guess that they didn’t build a whole alien landscape for the movie. So where do those stunning vistas come from? They’re just big goddamned paintings.
Before they were all done with computers, they were painted by hand, by people like Michael Pangrazio.
– Mike D’Angelo writes about Buster Keaton‘s wonderful silent action comedy “Seven Chances” for the AV Club. He mentions the ’90s remake (“The Bachelor”) and the dino stampede in the “King Kong” redo, but that’s okay. Here’s the main idea:
I think it’s mostly just that he runs funny, in much the same way that, for example, Chaplin walks funny. I do believe I could identify his 100-yard dash 10 times out of 10 with his face obscured.
In any case, that surely explains why my favorite Keaton movie isn’t The General or Sherlock, Jr. or Our Hospitality, but the generally somewhat lesser-regarded Seven Chances, which culminates in one of the most gloriously silly chase sequences ever filmed
– More running, less funny: a clip montage starring Tom Cruise [via Slashfilm]:
– TK at Pajiba is quite disappointed with the choice of Shawn Levy to direct the “Fantastic Voyage” redo. He seems to think it could otherwise have promise:
With modern special effects, it could really blow audiences away, much in the way that its spiritual successor, the enjoyable Martin Short film InnerSpace was.
– Thanks to James Franco’s “Three’s Company”-based installation at Sundance (which I sadly missed), the wacky TV show might now end up turned into a movie, with the actor somehow involved.
– Vertigo Films may go forward with either a sequel to or TV series continuation of the underrated “Monsters,” but Gareth Edwards won’t be involved. He doesn’t want his next film to be a sequel, according to an interview with Dread Central. Partly because he’d rather do a remake (“Godzilla”), I guess? Also in the interview Edwards says “Monsters” is about the war on terrorism.
– Details on the “How to Train Your Dragon” sequel(s), which will “have the entire Northern hemisphere within their grasp.”
– Blake Lively is wanted to star in Candace Bushnell’s “Sex and the City” prequel, “The Carrie Diaries.”
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