In 1992, three years after his Oscar win, The Last of the Mohicans was released. Day-Lewis’s character research for this film was well-publicized; he reportedly underwent rigorous weight training and learned to live off the land and forest where his character lived, camping, hunting, and fishing. He even carried a long rifle at all times during filming in order to remain in character and learned how to skin animals.
He returned to work with Jim Sheridan on In the Name of the Father, in which he played Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four who were wrongfully convicted of a bombing carried out by the Provisional IRA. He lost a substantial amount of weight for the part, kept his Northern Irish accent on and off the set for the entire shooting schedule, and spent stretches of time in a prison cell. He also insisted that crew members throw cold water at him and verbally abuse him. The film earned him his second Academy Award nomination, his third BAFTA nomination, and his second Golden Globe nomination.
Day-Lewis returned in 1993, playing Newland Archer in Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel The Age of Innocence, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. In 1996, Day-Lewis starred in a film version of The Crucible, the play by Arthur Miller, again opposite Winona Ryder. Daniel met his wife, Rebecca Miller, while filming “The Crucible”. He followed that with Jim Sheridan’s The Boxer as a former boxer and IRA member recently released from prison. His preparation included training with former boxing world champion Barry McGuigan.
Following The Boxer, Day-Lewis took a leave of absence from acting by going into “semi-retirement” and returning to his old passion of woodworking. He moved to Florence, Italy, where he became intrigued by the craft of shoemaking, eventually apprenticing as a shoemaker. For a time his exact whereabouts and actions were not made publicly known. Day-Lewis has declined to discuss this period of his life, stating that “it was a period of my life that I had a right to without any intervention of that kind.”
After a five-year absence from filming, Day-Lewis returned to act in multiple Academy Award-nominated films such as Gangs of New York, a film directed by Martin Scorsese (with whom he had worked on The Age of Innocence) and produced by Harvey Weinstein. In his role as the villain gang leader “Bill the Butcher”, he starred along with Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Bill’s young protegé. He began his lengthy, self-disciplined process by taking lessons as an apprentice butcher, and while filming, he was never out of character between takes (including keeping his character’s New York accent). His performance in Gangs of New York earned him his third Academy Award nomination and won him the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.
After Gangs of New York, Day-Lewis’s wife, director Rebecca Miller (daughter of playwright Arthur Miller), offered him the lead role in her film The Ballad of Jack and Josie, in which he played a dying man with regrets over how his life had evolved and over how he had raised his teenage daughter. During filming he arranged to live separately from his wife in order to achieve the “isolation” needed to focus on his own character’s reality. The film received mixed reviews, and is the only Day-Lewis film I’m yet to see.
In 2007, Day-Lewis appeared in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, titled There Will Be Blood. Day-Lewis received the Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama, Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance (which he dedicated to Heath Ledger, saying that he was inspired by Ledger’s acting and calling the actor’s performance in Brokeback Mountain “unique, perfect”), and a variety of film critics circle awards for the role. In winning the Best Actor Oscar, Day-Lewis joined Marlon Brando and Jack Nicolson as the only Best Actor winners awarded an Oscar in two non-consecutive decades.
In 2009, Day-Lewis starred in Rob Marshall’s musical adaptation Nine as film director Guido Contini. In November 2010, it was announced that Day-Lewis was cast to play Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming biographical film Lincoln. Based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the film is scheduled for release in late 2012.
Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis (born 29 April 1957) is an English actor. His portrayals of Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989) and Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007) won Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, and Screen Actors Guild as well as Golden Globe Awards for the latter. His role as Bill “The Butcher” Cutting in Gangs of New York (2002) earned him the BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Sean Penn remarked: “He may very well be the greatest actor ever recorded to the screen.”
Day-Lewis, who grew up in London, is the son of actress Jill Balcon and the Anglo-Irish Poet Laureate, Cecil Day-Lewis. Despite his training in the classical presentational acting style at the Bristol Old Vic, he is a method actor, known for his constant devotion to and research of his roles. Often, he will remain completely in character for the duration of the shooting schedule of his films, even to the point of adversely affecting his health. He is known as one of the most selective actors in the film industry, having starred in only five films since 1997, with as many as five years between roles.
In 1968, Day-Lewis’s parents, finding his behaviour to be too wild, sent him to the independent Sevenoaks School in Kent, as a boarder. His disdain for the school grew, and after two years at Sevenoaks, he was transferred to another independent school, Bedales in Petersfield, which his sister attended, and which had a more relaxed and creative ethos. The transfer led to his film debut at the age of 14 in Sunday Bloody Sunday in which he played a vandal in an uncredited role. He described the experience as “heaven”, for getting paid £2 to vandalise expensive cars parked outside his local church.
Leaving Bedales in 1975, his unruly attitude had faded and he needed to make a career choice. Although he had excelled on stage at the National Youth Theatre, he decided to become a cabinet-maker, applying for a five-year apprenticeship. However, due to lack of experience, he was not accepted. He then applied (and was accepted) at the Bristol Old Vic Thetare School, which he attended for three years, eventually performing at the Bristol Old Vic. At one point he played understudy to Pete Postlethwaite, opposite whom he would later play in In the Name of the Father.
During the early ’80s, Day-Lewis worked in theatre and television including Frost in May and How Many Miles to Babylon? for the BBC. Eleven years after his film debut, Day-Lewis continued his film career with a small part in Gandhi (1982) as Colin, a street thug who bullies the title character, only to be immediately chastised by his high-strung mother. In late 1982 he had his big theatre break when he took over the lead in Another Country. The following year, he had a supporting role as the conflicted, but ultimately loyal first mate in The Bounty, after which he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Next he played a gay man in an interracial relationship in the film My Beautiful Laundrette. Day-Lewis gained further public notice with A Room with a View (1986), in which he portrayed Cecil Vyse, the proper upper-class fiancé of the main character (played by Helena Bonham Carter).
In 1987, Day-Lewis achieved leading-man status by starring in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, co-starring Lena Olin and Juliette Binoche, as a Czech surgeon whose hyperactive and purely physical sex life is thrown into disarray when he allows himself to become emotionally involved with a woman. During the eight-month shoot he learned Czech and first began to refuse to break character on or off the set for the entire shooting schedule.
Day-Lewis threw his personal version of “method acting” into full throttle in 1989 with his performance as Christy Brown in Jim Sheridan’s My Left Foot which garnered him numerous awards. He prepared for his role by frequent visits to Sandymount School Clinic in Dublin, where he formed friendships with several people with disabilities, some of whom had no speech. During filming, his eccentricities came to the fore, due to his refusal to break character. Playing a severely paralysed character on screen, off screen Day-Lewis had to be moved around the set in his wheelchair, and crew members would have to lift him over camera and lighting wires, all so that he might gain insight into all aspects of Brown’s life, including the embarrassments. He broke two ribs during filming from assuming a hunched-over position in his wheelchair for so many weeks.
Day-Lewis returned to the stage in 1989 to work with Richard Eyre, in Hamlet at the National Theatre, but collapsed in the middle of a scene where the ghost of Hamlet’s father first appears to his son. He began sobbing uncontrollably and refused to go back on stage; he was replaced by Ian Charleson before a then-unknown Jeremy Northam finished the production’s run. Although the incident was officially attributed to exhaustion, one rumour following the incident was that Day-Lewis had seen the ghost of his own father. He confirmed on the British celebrity chat show Parkinson, that this was true. He has not appeared on stage since.
Jordana Brewster (born April 26, 1980) is a Brazilian-American actress. She began her acting career in her late teens, with a 1995 one-episode role in the soap opera All My Children; followed that with the recurring role as Nikki Munson in As the World Turns. She was later cast as Delilah Profitt, one of the main characters in her first feature film, Robert Rodriguez’s 1998 horror sci-fi The Faculty. The film brought her to the attention of a much wider audience, gained critical acclaim and achieved financial success. She also landed a starring role in a 1999 NBC television miniseries entitled The 60s.
Her breakthrough role came in the 2001 high budget car-themed action film The Fast and the Furious, which was a worldwide success. Other film credits include the 2004 action comedy film D.E.B.S., the 2005 independent drama Nearing Grace and the reason for this post, the 2006 horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. In the film, she had the starring role of Chrissie. The Beginning was not well received by critics, however, grossed over $51 million worldwide, becoming a modest hit. For her performance, Brewster was nominated for both “Choice Movie Actress: Horror” and “Choice Movie: Scream” at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards.
She then starred in the 2009 film Fast & Furious, the fourth installment of the, The Fast and the Furious series; and she appeared in the fifth film in the franchise, 2011’s massive hit Fast Five, which gained critical praise, becoming the highest rated entry for Brewster.
Cool Mondo Art poster for an Alamo Drafthouse screening of The Cabin in the Woods.
Li was eight when his talent for wushu was noticed at a summer course at school, and he began his practice there. After three years of intensive training with Wu Bin, Li won his first national championship for the Beijing Wushu Team. He went on to win fifteen gold medals and one silver medal in Chinese wushu championships, where, despite his young age, he competed against adults.
After retiring from Wushu at age 19, he went on to win great acclaim in China as an actor making his debut with the film Shaolin Temple (1982). Li acquired his screen name in 1982 in the Philippines when a publicity company thought his real name was too hard to pronounce. They likened his career to an aircraft, which likewise “takes-off” as quickly, so they placed the name Jet Li on the movie posters. Soon everybody was calling him by this new name, which was also based on the nickname, “Jet,” given to him as a young student, due to his speed and grace when training with the Beijing Wushu team.
He went on to star in many critically acclaimed martial arts epic films, The Shaolin Temple series (1, 2 and 3), which are considered to be the films which sparked the rebirth of the real Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, China; most notably the Once Upon A Time in China series, in which he portrayed folk hero Wong Fei-hung, and Fist of Legend (Chinese title: Jing Wu Ying Xiong), a remake of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury.
Li’s first role in a Hollywood film was as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), but his first Hollywood film leading role was in Romeo Must Die (2000). He has gone on to star in many Hollywood action films, including Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed. In 2002, the epic period martial arts epic film Hero was released in the Chinese market. This film was both a commercial and critical success and became the highest-grossing motion picture in Chinese film history at the time. In 2006, when the martial arts epic Fearless, was released worldwide, Li said that although he will continue to make martial arts films, Fearless is his last wushu epic. In Fearless, he played Huo Yuanjia, the real-life founder of Chin Woo Athletic Association, who reportedly defeated foreign boxers and Japanese martial artists in publicized events at a time when China’s power was seen as eroding. Together with the film Fist of Legend, Li has portrayed both Chen Jun, the student and avenger of Huo Yuanjia (aka Fok Yun Gap), as well as Huo Yuanjia himself.
He co-starred in The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) with the legendary Jackie Chan, as the title character villain in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) opposite Brendan Fraser and The Expendables (2010) with Sylvester Stallone. Li will appear in the sequel later this year, The Expendables 2.
Excellent LEGO version of the latest Avengers: Assemble poster.
Batman, created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, first appeared in Detective Comics #27 which was published on April 25th, 1939, and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics. Originally referred to as “The Bat-Man” and still referred to at times as “The Batman”, he is additionally known as “The Caped Crusader”, “The Dark Knight”, and “The World’s Greatest Detective,” among other titles.
In the original version of the story and the vast majority of retellings, Batman’s secret identity is Bruce Wayne, an American millionaire (later billionaire) playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on criminals, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional American Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin, his butler Alfred Pennyworth, the police commissioner Jim Gordon, and occasionally the heroine Batgirl. He fights an assortment of villains such as the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime.
Batman became a very popular character soon after his introduction and gained his own comic book title, Batman, in 1940. As the decades wore on, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller, while the successes of Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman, and sequel Batman Returns, and Christopher Nolan’s exceptional 2005 reboot Batman Begins, and mega-hit sequel The Dark Knight also helped to reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world such as toys and video games. The character has also intrigued psychiatrists with many trying to understand the character’s psyche and his true ego in society. In May 2011, Batman placed second on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time, after Superman.
William Castle (April 24, 1914 – May 31, 1977) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. Castle was known for directing films with many gimmicks which were ambitiously promoted, despite being reasonably low budget B-movies.
William Castle was born William Schloss in New York City to a Jewish family. Schloss is German for “castle”, and Castle chose to translate his surname into English to use as his pseudonym. Orphaned at the age of 11, he would drop out of high school and spend most of his teenage years working on Broadway in a number of jobs ranging from set building to acting. This stood him in good stead when he became a director, and he left for Hollywood at the age of 23, going on to direct his first film six years later.
Castle began directing films in the early 1940s, and later television, before moving on to the “gimmick films”. Two of his films have been remade by his daughter Terry Ann Castle who served as Co-Producer, House on Haunted Hill in 1999, and Thirteen Ghosts in 2001 (the latter retitled Thir13en Ghosts).
He also produced, and had a brief non-speaking role in, Roman Polanski’s film Rosemary’s Baby (1968). Castle is the grey-haired man lurking outside the phone booth while Mia Farrow is attempting to get in touch with the obstetrician. According to the documentary featured on the film’s DVD release, Castle had wanted to direct the film as well, but the studio insisted on hiring another director due to the reputation Castle had gained through his previous work. They felt that the novel deserved a better treatment than Castle was able to give it.
Macabre (1958): A certificate for a $1,000 life insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London was given to each customer in case they should die of fright during the film. Showings also had nurses stationed in the lobbies and hearses parked outside the theater.
House on Haunted Hill (1959): Filmed in “Emergo”. An inflatable glow in the dark skeleton attached to a wire floated over the audience during some showings of the film to parallel the action on the screen when a skeleton arose from a vat of acid and pursued the villainous wife of Vincent Price.
The Tingler (1959): Filmed in “Percepto”. In the film a docile creature that lives in the spinal cord is activated by fright, and can only be destroyed by screaming. In the film’s finale one of the creatures removed from the spine of a mute woman killed by it when she was unable to scream is let loose in a movie theatre. Some seats in theatres showing the Tingler were equipped with military surplus air-plane wing de-icers (consisting of vibrating motors) purchased by Castle, attached to the underside of the seats. When the Tingler in the film attacked the audience the buzzers were activated as a voice encouraged the real audience to “Scream – scream for your lives.” Articles regarding this often incorrectly state the seats in the theatre were wired to give electrical jolts.
13 Ghosts (1960): Filmed in “Illusion-O”. A hand held ghost viewer/remover with strips of red and blue cellophane was given out to use during certain segments of the film. By looking through either the red or blue cellophane the audience was able to either see or remove the ghosts if they were too frightening. However, if you chose not to use the viewer, the ghosts were still visible.
Homicidal (1961): This film contained a “Fright break” with a 45 second timer overlaid over the film’s climax as the heroine approached a house harboring a sadistic killer. A voiceover advised the audience of the time remaining in which they could leave the theatre and receive a full refund if they were too frightened to see the remainder of the film. To ensure the more wily patrons did not simply stay for a second showing and leave during the finale Castle had different color tickets printed for each show. In a trailer for the film, Castle explained the use of the Coward’s Certificate and admonished the viewer to not reveal the ending of the film to friends, “or they will kill you. If they don’t, I will.” About 1% of patrons still demanded refunds, and in response:
William Castle simply went nuts. He came up with ‘Coward’s Corner,’ a yellow cardboard booth, manned by a bewildered theater employee in the lobby. When the Fright Break was announced, and you found that you couldn’t take it anymore, you had to leave your seat and, in front of the entire audience, follow yellow footsteps up the aisle, bathed in a yellow light. Before you reached Coward’s Corner, you crossed yellow lines with the stenciled message: ‘Cowards Keep Walking.’ You passed a nurse (in a yellow uniform?…I wonder), who would offer a blood-pressure test. All the while a recording was blaring, “‘Watch the chicken! Watch him shiver in Coward’s Corner’!” As the audience howled, you had to go through one final indignity – at Coward’s Corner you were forced to sign a yellow card stating, ‘I am a bona fide coward.’ The one percent refund dribbled away to a zero percent, and in many cities a plant had to be paid to go through this torture.
Mr. Sardonicus (1961): In this gothic tale set in 1880 London a baron’s face is frozen into a permanent grotesque hideous smile after digging up his father’s grave to retrieve a lottery ticket left in the pocket of his father’s jacket. The audiences were allowed to vote in a “punishment poll” during the climax of the film – Castle himself appears on screen to explain to the audience their options. Each member of the audience was given a card with a glow in the dark thumb they could hold either up or down to decide if Mr. Sardonicus would be cured or die during the end of the film. Supposedly, no audience ever offered mercy so the alternate ending was never screened. However, an alternate version was filmed for drive-ins, in which drivers were asked to flash their car’s headlights in response.
Strait-Jacket (1964): Advised by his financial backers to eliminate gimmicks, Castle hired Joan Crawford to star and sent her on a promotional tour to theatres. At the last minute, Castle had cardboard axes made and handed out to patrons.
I Saw What You Did (1965): The film was initially promoted using giant plastic telephones but after a rash of prank phone calls and complaints, the telephone company refused Castle permission to use them or mention telephones. So he turned the back rows of theatres into “Shock Sections”. Seat belts were installed to keep patrons from being jolted from their chairs in fright.
Bug (1975): Castle advertised a million-dollar life insurance policy taken out on the film’s star, “Hercules” the cockroach.
After a long career, Castle died on 31 May 1977 in Los Angeles, California, of a heart attack. He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Simone Thérèse Fernande Simon (23 April 1910 – 22 February 2005) was a French film actress who began her film career in 1931. Born in Béthune, Pas-de-Calais (some sources say Marseille) France, she was the daughter of Henri Louis Firmin Champmoynat, a French engineer, airplane pilot in World War II, who died in a concentration camp, and Erma Maria Domenica Giorcelli, an Italian housewife. Before settling and growing up in Marseille, Simon lived in Madagascar, Budapest, Turin and Berlin. She went to Paris in 1931 and worked briefly as a singer, model and fashion designer.
After being spotted in a restaurant in June 1931, Simon was offered a film contract by director Victor Tourjansky. She made her screen debut in Le chanteur inconnu (The Unknown Singer, 1931), and quickly established herself as one of the country’s most successful film actresses. After seeing her in Ladies Lake, Darryl F. Zanuck brought her to Hollywood in August 1935 with a widespread publicity campaign.
She was scheduled to make her American film debut in A Message to Garcia (1936), playing a Spanish girl, but was replaced by Rita Hayworth. In mid-1935, she was cast in the female lead in Under Two Flags (1936), but was discharged during production.
In the late 1930s Simon returned to France, dissatisfied with the lack of development of her American film career. There she appeared in the Renoir film La Bête Humaine (The Human Beast) in 1938. With the outbreak of World War II she returned to Hollywood and worked for RKO Radio Pictures where she achieved her greatest successes in English language cinema with The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), Cat People (1942) and The Curse of the Cat People (1944); the latter two formed part of the horror film series produced by Val Lewton.
Cat People is a 1942 horror film directed by Jacques Tournier, and based on the Val Lewton short story The Bagheeta published in 1930. The film stars Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph and Tom Conway. Cat People tells the story of a young Serbian woman (that explains away the accent), Irena, who believes to be a descendant of a race of people who turn into cats when sexually aroused.
Lewton accepted the assignment of producing a follow-up film called The Curse of the Cat People in 1944, which retained Kent Smith and Jane Randolph’s characters, directed by Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise. This film, which was then-film editor Robert Wise’s first directing credit, is the sequel to Cat People (1942) and has many of the same characters. However, the movie has a completely different story, and no visible cat people, only the ghost of a character established as a cat-person in the previous film.
Unfortunately for Simon, these films did not lead to greater success and she languished in mediocre films until the end of the war. She returned to France to act, and appeared in La Ronde (Roundabout, 1950). Her film roles were few after this and she made her final film appearance in 1973.
She died on the 22nd February, 2005, in Paris of natural causes.
This is Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in Sacha Gervasi’s forthcoming biopic of the legendary filmmaker… Can’t wait!
Marilyn Chambers (April 22, 1952 – April 12, 2009) was an American pornographic actress, exotic dancer, model, actress and vice-presidential candidate. She was best known for her 1972 hardcore film debut Behind the Green Door and her 1980 pornographic film Insatiable. Although she was primarily known for her adult film work, she made a successful transition to mainstream projects. She has been called “porn’s most famous crossover.”
Chambers was relatively unknown prior to BTGD; however, the film made her a star. Green Door, along with Deep Throat, released the same year, and The Devil in Miss Jones, ushered in what is commonly known as the porno chic era. Chambers dreamed of having a career in mainstream films and believed her celebrity as the star of Behind the Green Door and the Ivory Snow girl would be a stepping stone to other endeavors. “The paradox was that, as a result of Green Door, Hollywood blackballed me,” she said later. “[Green Door] became a very high-grossing film…But, to a lot of people, it was still a dirty movie; for me to do anything else, as an actress, was totally out of the question. I became known as a porno star, and that type of labeling really hurt me. It hurt my chances of doing anything else.”
Chambers won the starring role in director David Cronenberg’s low-budget Canadian movie Rabid, which was released in 1977. Cronenberg stated that he wanted to cast Sissy Spacek in the film lead, but the studio vetoed his choice because of her accent. Spacek’s film Carrie was released during this film’s production and proved to be a massive hit (and a movie poster for the film appears when the main character walks by a movie theater). The director says that the idea of casting Chambers came from producer Ivan Reitman, who had heard that Chambers was looking for a mainstream role. Reitman felt that it would be easier to market the film in different territories if the well-known porn star portrayed the main character. Cronenberg stated that Chambers put in a lot of hard work on the film and that he was impressed with her. Cronenberg further states he had not seen Behind the Green Door, prior to casting her.
“It was great working with David,” Chambers said in a 1997 interview. “He taught me a lot of things that were very valuable as an actress, especially in horror films. I found it useful in sex films, too!”
Although she had tried for several years to shed her image as a porn star, Chambers returned to the adult film industry with 1980’s Insatiable. In the film she played actress, model and heiress Sandra Chase whose appetite for sex is, as the title suggest, insatiable. Sandra is getting ready to make a movie and her manager, played by Jessie St. James, is working on getting some big names to appear alongside Sandra. The story is told in a series of flashbacks which detail Sandra’s sexual encounters.
On April 12, 2009, Chambers was found dead in her home near Santa Clarita, California. The coroner’s autopsy revealed that Chambers died of a cerebral hemorrhage and an aneurysm related to heart disease. Chambers was ten days away from her 57th birthday. Painkiller hydrocodone (Vicodin) and anti-depressant Citalopram were found in her bloodstream but not enough to cause death.
Jason Miller (April 22, 1939 – May 13, 2001) was an American actor and playwright. He received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play That Championship Season, and was widely recognized for his role as Father Damien Karras in the 1973 classic horror film The Exorcist.
Miller was born John Anthony Miller in Long Island City, Queens. His family moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Miller was educated at St. Patrick’s High School and the Jesuit-run University of Scranton. He then attended The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C.
Miller was launched into stardom in 1973 by winning a Pulitzer Prize for his play, That Championship Season. The original Broadway cast featured Charles Durning, Richard Dysart, Paul Sorvino, and Michael McGuire. That same year, he was offered the role of the troubled priest, Father Damien Karras, in William Friedkin’s horror film The Exorcist (1973), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Miller played Father Damien Karras, in The Exorcist, and its real sequel The Exorcist III. Father Karras was one of the priests (with Father Merrin played by Max von Sydow) who exorcises the demon from young Regan McNeil (Linda Blair). He is a Jesuit psychiatrist suffering a crisis of faith. He searches for proof to lead an exorcism, yet during his investigation he comes to realize that there is no better way for God to prove His own existence than to reveal the foul presence of a demon. During the exorcism, the demon frequently brings up the subject of Karras’s mother’s death and how he wasn’t there to see her die, which seems to trouble Karras emotionally.
In the sequel, The Exorcist III, it is revealed that after the demon departed, another evil spirit invaded Karras’s body. Karras was found wandering and amnesiac and was placed in the care of a mental hospital near Washington, D.C. While incarcerated there, the spirit suppresses Karras’s personality and makes forays into the bodies of other patients in order to commit a series of ritual murders.
In 1982 Miller directed the screen version of That Championship Season. Featured in the cast were Robert Mitchum (replacing William Holden, who died before filming began), Paul Sorvino, Martin Sheen, Stacy Keach, and Bruce Dern. His own film career was sporadic, preferring to work in regional theatre. He starred as Henry Drummond in the Philadelphia production of Inherit the Wind. The show is to date the longest running production in Philadelphia history.
Miller co-founded the Scranton Public Theatre. With SPT, Miller directed and starred in various productions including Blithe Spirit, California Suite, Crimes of the Heart, and The Lion in Winter. He also acted occasionally in such films as The Dain Curse (1978), The Ninth Configuration (1980), Toy Soldiers (1984), and Rudy (1993), playing a role close to his heart, Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian.
In 1998, he toured his one-man play Barrymore’s Ghost, ending the tour with a four-month run off-Broadway. In October 2000, he performed Barrymore’s Ghost in a successful and critically acclaimed production in Philadelphia. His last project was a 2001 revival of The Odd Couple for the Pennsylvania Summer Theatre Festival, in which he was to appear in the role of Oscar Madison but died before the production opened.
Miller was the father of actors Jason Patric (by first wife Linda Gleason, daughter of Jackie Gleeson) and Joshua John Miller (by second wife Susan Bernard). In 1982 Miller returned to Scranton to become artistic director of the Scranton Public Theatre, a new regional theatre company founded the year before. On May 13, 2001, Miller died of a Heart attack in Scranton, Pennsylvania, aged 62.
NBC’s new take on serial killer Hannibal Lecter is shaping up to be quite an interesting (and series-TV-friendly) departure from films like Silence of the Lambs. Reported by socialpsychol HERE in November 2011.
Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daises, Heroes) is taking five pages of backstory about the infamous cannibal psychiatrist from Thomas Harris’ book Red Dragon and using it as the basis for the first couple seasons of his planned drama.
Hannibal, which has received a 13-episode series order, features Lecter solving crimes with empathic FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). For the first time, viewers will spend quality time with Lecter while he’s at large and before the world knows his secrets, working side by side with a similarly brilliant man who is destined to catch him.
“It’s before he was incarcerated, so he’s more of a peacock,” Fuller tells EW.com. “There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom. So the audience knows who Hannibal is so we don’t have to overplay his villainy. We get to subvert his legacy and give the audience twists and turns.”
“It really is a love story, for lack of a better description, between these two characters,” Fuller says. “As Hannibal has said [to Graham] in a couple of the movies, ‘You’re a lot more like me than you realize.’ We’ll get to the bottom of exactly what that means over the course of the first two seasons. But we’re taking our sweet precious time.”
“Doing a cable model on network television gives us the opportunity not to dally in our storytelling because we have a lot of real estate to cover,” Fuller says. “I pitched a seven-season arc including stories from various [Thomas Harris] books.”
The show will include familiar characters from Harris’ novels, though he’s “Starbucking” the genders of a couple of them. FBI boss Jack Crawford will remain male, but Dr. Alan Bloom is becoming Dr. Alana Bloom, and tabloid journalist Freddy Lounds is becoming tabloid blogger Fredricka Lounds.
Between Hannibal and Fuller’s Munsters reboot pilot Mockingbird Lane, the writer certainly has his hands full. Still, there’s one other TV series idea that we’re all hoping eventually gets off the ground — the return of Star Trek.
Fuller has previously spoken to director-producer Bryan Singer about teaming to reboot the TV franchise, though any movement depends on rights-holder Paramount and Trek’s current creative kingpin, J.J. Abrams (who, of course, knows a thing or two about making TV shows too). The consensus has been that there is unlikely to be a Trek TV show while the current movie franchise is still regularly hitting theaters.
“Bryan and I are big fans of Trek and have discussed a take on what we would do, and we would love to do it,” Fuller says. “I don’t think anything is going to happen in any official capacity until after the next movie comes out. And I’m sure it would be wisely under J.J. Abrams’ purview of what happens. He’s the guardian of Trek right now.”
One of the great pleasures of Brian De Palma’s original film adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel Carrie is the ravenous scenery chewing by Piper Laurie as the sex-fearing, fundamentalist mother of young telekinetic Carrie White. It seems that Julianne Moore is about to step into the role for the remake. Sissy Spacek played Carrie in the original, and Chloe Grace Moretz will incarnate the character in a new film version to be directed by Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Stop Loss).
Moore is no stranger to the horror/thriller, having been in films such as Hannibal and the strange shot-for-shot recreation of Psycho. She also anchored Todd Haynes’ unusual modern horror film Safe in 1995. (In that film her character was named Carol White; no relation, but the emotional distance of the character is not so different from the fears and alienation of the character in Carrie.) Courtesy of SlashFilm
Crispin Hellion Glover (born April 20, 1964) is an American film actor, director and screenwriter, recording artist, publisher,author, and sculptor. Glover is known for portraying eccentric characters on screen such as George McFly in Back to the Future, Layne in River’s Edge, unfriendly recluse Rubin Farr in Rubin and Ed, the “Thin Man” in the big screen adaptation of Charlie’s Angels and its sequel, Willard Stiles in the Willard remake, The Knave of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, and as Phil in Hot Tub Time Machine, and as a Montag the Magnificent in the remake of The Wizard of Gore.
Glover was raised as an only child born in New York City, and moved to Los Angeles with his family at the age of five. Glover began acting professionally at the age of 13. He appeared in several sitcoms as a teenager, including Happy Days and Family Ties. His first film role was in 1983’s My Tutor. That led to roles in Teachers (1984) and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984).
His breakout role was as George McFly Back to the Future (1985), an international box office success in 1985. However Glover and the producers did not agree on terms for him to appear in the sequels, so the role of the character was greatly reduced and recast. Zemeckis used footage of Glover filmed for the first movie in Back to the Future Part II (Glover being billed as “George McFly in footage from Back to the Future” in the closing credits) combined with new footage of Jeffrey Weissman wearing a false chin, nose and cheekbones, and various obfuscating methods – in the background, wearing sunglasses, rear shot, upside down – to play the role of George McFly. Because these methods suggested that Glover himself had performed for the film, he sued the producers on the grounds that they did not own his likeness. Subsequently, there are now clauses in the Screen Actors Guild collective bargaining agreements to the effect that this is no longer permitted.
My favorite Crispin Glover movie is River’s Edge, a 1986 American drama written by Neal Jiminez and starring Glover, Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye, Daniel Roebuck, and Dennis Hooper. About a group of high school friends who discover that they are in the presence of a killer. One of them, John, has murdered one of their friends, Jamie. He brags to them all at school about killing her, and when they discover he is telling the truth, their reactions vary. Layne, the self-proclaimed leader of the group, is intent on keeping the murder a secret and protecting John, while the rest of the group (Matt, Clarissa, Maggie, and Tony) debate going to the police. It was awarded Best Picture from the Independent Spirit Awards in 1986.
He has continued to play exceedingly eccentric types, in movies like Wild at Heart by David Lynch, playing Andy Warhol in Oliver Stone’s The Doors in 1991, as well as the title characters in Bartleby (2001) and Willard (2003). He also received mainstream attention as the “Thin Man” in the woeful Charlie’s Angels films.
The Wizard of Gore is a 2007 splatter/noir film directed by Jeremy Kasten. It stars Glover as Montag the Magnificent, Kip Pardue, Bijou Phillips, and the Suicide Girls as Montag’s victims. It is a remake of the 1970 Hershell Gordon Lewis film of the same name.
In the late 1980s, Glover started his company, Volcanic Eruptions, which publishes his books and also serves as the production company for Glover’s films. Glover made his directorial debut with 2005’s What Is It?, a surreal film featuring a cast of actors with Down Syndrome. It premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The movie, with a budget of only $150,000, took almost a decade to complete and was originally intended to be a short film. Most of the primary footage was shot in 12 days, stretched over a two-and-a-half year period. Production was mostly funded by the actor’s roles in Willard and the Charlie’s Angels films. Glover’s second film, It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine was written by Utah writer-actor Steven C. Stewart. Stewart was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy and had been confined to a nursing home for about ten years. The second film is a fantastical psycho-sexual re-telling of life from Stewart’s point of view. Glover is planning a third film called It Is Mine which will end the It? Trilogy. Glover tours with his movies and plans to create more films at the property he owns in the Czech Republic.
Wrath of the Titans is about Perseus fighting big monsters. Perseus is a half-god who fought the Kraken in Clash of the Titans. Perseus doesn’t want to fight anymore but his brother Aires and his uncle Hades capture his father Zeus and tie him up to two sticks covered with lava.
Perseus has to fight a giant two-headed hairy dragon called a Chimera, which breathes fire.
Perseus and the Queen go to an island where they meet 3 Cyclops giants. They are friendly.
Perseus has to go into the Underworld to save Zeus. In the Underworld all of the stone walls move which is like the Hogwarts stairs in Harry Potter. He rescues Zeus and they get chased by Kronos who is a giant lava monster.
Zeus and Hades try to fight the lava monster but they can’t beat it, but Perseus puts all of their power weapons together into a spear and flies on Pegasus into the lava monsters mouth and kills it.
Zeus dies and Hades leaves at the end.
Eli Raphael Roth (born April 18, 1972) is an American film director, producer, writer and actor. He is known for his role as Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds for which he won both a SAG Award (Best Ensemble) and a BFCA Critic’s Choice Award (Best Acting Ensemble).
Roth began shooting films at the age of eight after watching the Ridley Scott classic Alien (1979). He made over 50 short films with his brothers Adam and Gabe before graduating at Newton South High School and attending film school (the Tisch School of the Arts) at New York University, from which he graduated in 1994. By the age of 20, and while still a student at NYU, Roth ran the office of producer Frederick Zollo, eventually leaving to devote himself to writing full-time.
Through his internship with producer Fred Zollo in years prior, Roth met David Lynch and remained in contact with him over the years, eventually producing content for Lynch with his fledgling website in the late 1990s. Roth moved from NYC to LA in 1999; shortly thereafter he wrote, directed, edited, produced, animated, and provided voices for a series of animated shorts called Chowdaheads for Manderlay Sports Entertainment.
In 1995, a year after graduating from NYU, Roth cowrote Cabin Fever with his roommate and friend from NYU, Randy Pearlstein. Roth based the premise of the script on his own encounter with a skin infection he contracted while training horses at a farm in Selfoss, Iceland, in 1991. Much of the script was written while Roth was working as a production assistant in 1996 for Howerd Stern’s movie Private Parts.
Cabin Fever was made in 2001 on a budget of $1.5 million raised from private investors. Roth sold the film to Lionsgate at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival for $3.5 million, the biggest sale of the festival that year. The film was released in 2003 and was Lionsgate’s highest grossing film of the year, earning $22 million at the U.S. box office and $35 million worldwide. The film made Roth a new star in the horror genre. In his 2004 Premiere Magazine interview for Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino called Cabin Fever his favorite new film and Roth “the future of horror.”
Roth’s second feature film, Hostel, was made in 2005 on a budget of a little more than $4 million. It opened to No. 1 at the box office in January 2006, taking in $20 million over its opening weekend. It eventually went on to gross $80 million worldwide in box office, and more than $180 million worldwide on DVD. The movie plot is said to take place in Slovakia, however, all the exteriors were shot in the Czech Republic. The story line is naively simple – three friends are lured to visit a hostel in which they think that all of their sexual fantasies will come true. Instead, they drop into the clutches of an international syndicate offering a first-hand torturing and killing experience to the sadistic pleasure of rich tourists. The film was voted the No. 1 scariest movie moment on the Bravo TV special 30 Even Scarier Movie Moments. Empire Magazine readers voted Hostel the Best Horror Film of 2007.
Roth reportedly turned down numerous studio directing jobs to make Hostel. He took a directing salary of only $10,000 on Hostel in order to keep the budget as low as possible so there would be no limitations on the violence. In January 2006, film critic David Edelstein in the New York Magazine credited Roth with creating the horror sub-genre ‘torture-porn,’ or ‘gorno,’ using excessive violence to excite audiences like a sexual act.
In the country supposedly depicted in the movie, the Slovak Republic, it generated unanimously indignant reaction in general public and official representatives. The artistic qualities of the movie aside, the very story is said to have slandered Slovakia, a country mostly unfamiliar to the non-European audience. Roth argued that he selected Slovakia as a setting for the picture to show Americans’ lack of knowledge. “Americans do not even know that this country exists. My film is not a geographical work but aims to show Americans’ ignorance of the world around them.”
In 2007, Roth directed the faux trailer segment Thanksgiving for Grindhouse in addition to appearing in Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino’s segment of the film.
Roth made a Hostel sequel in 2007, Hostel: Part II opened in sixth place with $8.2 million and went on to total $17.6 million by the end of its theatrical run. The film cost $10.2 million and made $35 million dollars worldwide and another $50 million on DVD and pay television.
In 2009, Roth co-starred with Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s World War II epic Inglourious Basterds, playing Donny Donowitz, a.k.a. “The Bear Jew.” He also guest directed the Nazi propaganda film-within-the-film, Nation’s Pride
Roth, through his company Arcade with Eric Newman and Strike producer Marc Abraham, produced the horror film The Last Exorcism, (originally titled Cotton) which was directed by Daniel Stamm. The Last Exorcism, which cost $1.5 million to produce, opened to over $20 million dollars in the U.S., and earned the #1 opening spots in Canada and the U.K. It earned over $40 million dollars at the U.S. box office, totaling $70 million worldwide. Roth has also produced Hostel: Part III. He is currently working on The Man with the Iron Fists and Endangered Species.
Edgar Howard Wright (born 18 April 1974) is an English film and television director and writer. He is most famous for his work with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the TV series Spaced, and for directing the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and co-writing Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin with Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) and Steven Moffat.
Wright was born in Poole, Dorset, but grew up in Wells, Somerset, after his family moved there during his childhood. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wright directed many short films, first on a Super-8 camera which was a gift from a family member and later on a Video-8 camcorder won in a competition on the television programme Going Live. These films were mostly comedic pastiches of popular genres, such as the super hero-inspired Carbolic Soap and Dirty Harry tribute Dead Right (the latter of which was eventually featured on the DVD release of Hot Fuzz).
After graduating from Bournemouth Arts College he made a spoof western, A Fistful of Fingers, which was picked up for a limited theatrical release and broadcast on the British satellite TV channel Sky Movies. Despite Wright’s dissatisfaction with the finished product, it caught the attention of comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams, who subsequently chose him as the director of their Paramount Comedy channel productions Mash and Peas and Sir Bernard’s Stately Homes. During this time he also worked on BBC programmes such as Is It Bill Bailey? and Alexei Sayle’s Merry-Go-Round.
In 1998 writer/actors Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes were in the early stages of developing their sitcom Spaced for Channel 4 and thought of asking Wright to direct having fondly remembered working with him on the 1996 Paramount comedy Asylum. Wright gave Spaced an unusual look for the sitcom genre, with dramatic camera angles and movement borrowed from the visual language of science fiction and horror films. Instead of shying away from these influences Wright makes an active effort to show his referencing, adding a ‘Homage-O-Meter’ to all of his releases, a device that displays each directorial nod he has made during shooting. He also made a brief appearance in Spaced, in which he can be seen, along with other crew members on the series, lying asleep in Daisy Steiner’s squat as she prepares to leave for her new house.
The critical success of Spaced paved the way for Wright and Pegg to move to the big screen with Shaun of the Dead, a zombie comedy which mixed a “Brit flick” romantic comedy style with homages to the horror classics of George A. Romero and Sam Raimi. The film was a great success both critically and financially, and its rooting in American genre cinema helped to make it a transatlantic hit.
The pair subsequently planned out a trilogy of British genre-comedies which were connected not by narrative but by their shared traits and motifs. The trilogy was named “The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” by the pair (more popularly known as “The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy”) due to a running joke about the British Ice Cream product Cornetto and its effectiveness as a hangover cure.
The second installment was the comedy action thriller Hot Fuzz. Production started in March 2006 and the film was released in February 2007 in the UK and April 2007 in the US. It revolves around Pegg’s character, Nicholas Angel, a police officer who is transferred from London to rural Sandford, where grisly events soon take place.
The third installment carries the tentative title of The World’s End. In 2007, Wright directed a fake trailer insert for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindouse, called “Don’t”. It was a plotless trailer that mocked horror clichés, with lines such as, “If you… are thinking… of going … into… this… house… DON’T!”.
In 2010, Wright directed Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, based on on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The film is about Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), a young Canadian musician, meeting the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), an American delivery girl. In order to win Ramona, Scott learns that he must defeat Ramona’s “seven evil exes”, who are coming to kill him.
Wright co-wrote the film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn for director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson, based on Tintin comic series by Herge. The film co-starred Wright’s frequent collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. As well as developing a live-action film based on the Marvel Comics superhero Ant-Man, Wright also has numerous projects in development, including Them, Baby Driver, and The World’s End, the final entry in the Three Flavour’s Cornetto Trilogy.
In early 2012 Wright was signed to make a film version of The Night Stalker TV series, starring Johnny Depp.
Lindsay Gordon Anderson (17 April 1923 – 30 August 1994) was a British feature film, theatre and documentary director, film critic, and leading light of the Free Cinema movement and the British New Wave. He is most widely remembered for his 1968 film if…, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival.
He was born in Bangalore, South India, and educated at Saint Ronan’s School in Worthing, West Sussex, and at Cheltenham College, where he studied classics; and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied English Literature. After graduating, Anderson worked for the final year of World War II as a cryptographer for the Intelligence Corps, in Delhi.
Before going into film-making, Anderson was a prominent film critic writing for the influential Sequence magazine (1947–52), which he co-founded with Gavin Lambert and Karel Reisz; later writing for the British Film Institute’s journal Sight and Sound.
Following a series of screenings which he and the National Film Theatre programmer Karel Reisz organized for the venue of independently-produced short films by himself and others, he developed a philosophy of cinema which found expression in what became known, by the late-1950s, as the Free Cinema movement. This was the belief that the British cinema must break away from its class-bound attitudes and that non-metropolitan Britain ought to be shown on the nation’s screens.
Along with Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson, and others, he secured funding from a variety of sources and they each made a series of short documentaries on a variety of subjects. These films, influenced by one of Anderson’ heroes, the French filmmaker Jean Vigo, and made in the tradition of the British documentaries of Humphrey Jennings, foreshadowed much of the social realism of British cinema that emerged in the next decade, with Reisz’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Richardson’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) and Anderson’s own This Sporting Life (1063), produced by Reisz. Anderson’s film met with mixed reviews at the time, and was not a commercial success.
Anderson is best remembered as a film maker for his “Mick Travis trilogy”, all of which star Malcolm MacDowell as the title character: If… (1968), a satire on public schools; O Lucky Man! (1973) a Pilgrim’s Progress inspired road movie; and Britannia Hospital (1982), a fantasia taking stylistic influence from the populist wing of British cinema represented by Hammer horror films and Carry On comedies.
if…. is a 1968 British drama film produced and directed byLindasy Anderson satirising English Public School life. Famous for its depiction of a savage insurrection at a public school, the film is associated with the 1960s counter culture movement because it was filmed by a long-standing counter-culture director at the time of the student uprisings in Paris in May 1968. It includes controversial statements, such as: “There’s no such thing as a wrong war. Violence and revolution are the only pure acts”. It features surrealist sequences throughout the film. Upon release in the UK, it received an X certificate.
The film stars Malcolm MacDowell in his first screen role and first appearance as Anderson’s “everyman” character Mick Travis. Richard Warwick, Christine Noonan, David Wood, Robert Swann and Rupert Webster also star.
if…. won the Palme d’Or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. In 2004, the magazine Total Film named it the sixteenth greatest British film of all time.
Look Back in Anger (1980), stars Malcolm MacDowell, Lisa Banes and Fran Brill, and was co-directed by Lindsay Anderson and David Hugh Jones. The film is based on John Osborne’s play of the same name. The film is about a love triangle involving an intelligent but disaffected young man Jimmy Porter (Malcolm McDowell), his upper-middle-class, impassive wife Alison Porter (Lisa Banes), and her snooty best friend Helena Charles (Fran Brill). Cliff (Robert Burr), an amiable Welsh lodger, attempts to keep the peace.
Anderson developed an acquaintance from 1950 with the legendary John Ford, which led to what has come to be regarded as one of the standard books on that director, Anderson’s About John Ford (1983). Based on half a dozen meetings over more than two decades, and a lifetime’s study of the man’s work, the book has been described as “One of the best books published by a film-maker on a film-maker”.
Anderson died on 30th August, 1994 in Angoulême, Charente, Poitou-Charentes, France from a heart attack. Remembered by Claude Chabrol “Lindsay made only five or six films, but what films!” and a wonderful quote from Milos Forman: “Lindsay was for all of us, then young film-makers in a Communist country, a great inspiration as a film-maker, and a towering symbol of an independent free spirit as a man.”
Malcolm McDowell produced a stage presentation now available on DVD about his experiences with Lindsay Anderson, “Never Apologize.” The title comes from dialogue of a John Ford film.