Sir Peter Robert Jackson, ONZ, KNZM (born 31 October 1961) is a New Zealand film director, producer, actor, and screenwriter, who is mainly known for his The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001 to 2003), adapted from the novel by J. R. R. Tolkien.
He won international attention early in his career with his horror comedies beginning with Bad Taste (1987), Meet the Feebles (1989), and Braindead (1992) before coming to mainstream prominence with Heavenly Creatures (1994), for which he shared an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay nomination with his wife, Fran Walsh. Jackson has been awarded three Academy Awards in his career, including the award for Best Director in 2003; he also won the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Saturn Award for Best Direction the same year.
Jackson was born on 31 October 1961. He grew up in Pukerua Bay, a coastal town near Wellington. As a child, Jackson was a keen film fan, growing up on Ray Harryhausen films as well as finding inspiration in the television series Thunderbirds and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. After a family friend gave the Jacksons a Super 8 cine-camera with Peter in mind, he began making short films with his friends. Jackson has long cited King Kong as his favourite film and around the age of nine he attempted to remake it using his own stop-motion models.
When he was 16 years old, Jackson left school and began working full-time as a photo-engraver for the local newspaper. For the 7 years he worked there, Jackson lived at home with his parents so he could save as much money as possible to spend on filming equipment. After two years of work Jackson bought a 16 mm camera, and began shooting a short film that later became Bad Taste.
Over four years (from 1983 to 1987) Jackson’s first feature, Bad Taste, grew in haphazard fashion from a short film into a 90-minute splatter-comedy, with many of Jackson’s friends acting and working on it for free. Shooting was normally done in the weekends since Jackson was now working full-time. Bad Taste is about aliens that come to earth with the intention of turning humans into food. Jackson had two acting roles including a famous scene in which he fights himself on top of a cliff.
The film was finally completed thanks to a late injection of finance from the New Zealand Film Commission, after Jim Booth, the body’s executive director, became convinced of Jackson’s talent (Booth later left the Commission to become Jackson’s producer). In May 1987, Bad Taste was unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival, where rights to the film quickly sold to twelve countries.
Around this time Peter Jackson began working on writing a number of film scripts, in varied collaborative groupings with playwright Stephen Sinclair, writer Fran Walsh and writer/actor Danny Mulheron. Walsh would later become his wife.
Jackson’s next film to see release was Meet the Feebles (1989), co-written by the four writers mentioned above. An ensemble musical comedy starring Muppet-style puppets, Meet the Feebles originally began as a short film intended for television, but was rapidly expanded into a full-length film after unexpected enthusiasm from Japanese investors, and the collapse of Braindead, six weeks before filming. Begun on a very low budget, Meet the Feebles went weeks over schedule. Jackson stated of his second feature length film, “It’s got a quality of humour that alienates a lot of people. It’s very black, very satirical, very savage.”
Jackson’s next release was the horror comedy Braindead (1992) (released in North America as Dead Alive), now seen as a landmark in splatter movies. Originally planned as a Spanish co-production, the film reversed the usual zombie plot. Rather than keeping the zombies out of his place of refuge, the hero attempts to keep them inside, while maintaining a façade of normality. The film features extensive special effects including miniature trams, stop motion and a plethora of gory make-up effects.
Released in 1994 after Jackson won a race to bring the story to the screen, Heavenly Creatures marked a major change for Jackson in terms of both style and tone. The film is based on real-life events: namely the Parker-Hulme murder in which two teenage girls in 1950s Christchurch murdered the mother of one of the girls. Jackson’s partner Fran Walsh helped persuade him that the events had the makings of a movie; Jackson has been quoted saying that the film “only got made” because of her enthusiasm for the subject matter. The success of Heavenly Creatures won Jackson attention from Miramax, who promoted the film vigorously in America and signed the director to a first-look deal.
The following year, in collaboration with Wellington film-maker Costa Botes, Jackson co-directed the mockumentary Forgotten Silver (1995). This ambitious made-for-television piece told the story of New Zealand film pioneer who had supposedly invented colour film and ‘talkies’, before being forgotten by the world. Though the programme played in a slot normally reserved for drama, no other warning was given that it was fictionalised and many viewers were outraged at discovering Colin McKenzie had never existed.
The success of Heavenly Creatures helped pave the way for Jackson’s first big budget Hollywood film, The Frighteners starring Michael J. Fox, in 1996. This period was a key one of change for both Jackson and Weta Workshop, the special effects company, born from the one man contributions of George Port to Heavenly Creatures, with which Jackson is often associated. Weta, initiated by Jackson and key collaborators, grew rapidly during this period to incorporate both digital and physical effects, make-up and costumes, the first two areas normally commanded by Jackson collaborator Richard Taylor.
The Horrornymphs haves teamed up with the guys at Zombie Go Boom to promote a special Halloween 2012 film fest! Starting today, the Zombie Go Boom channel is going to have around 9 hardcore horror movies from some of Hollywood’s top up and comers, along with a video by comedian Tom Green (that guy is sick!).
CHECK IT OUT AT: http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieGoBoomTV and don’t forget to share and comments – let’s show some gory passion to young indie filmmakers)
Frankenweenie is about a young boy called Victor and his dog Sparky. One when they were playing baseball, the ball goes on the other side of the road, when Sparky chases it, when he runs back a car hits him and he dies. For his science experiment Victor makes Sparky come back to life by using Frankenstein’s experiment with lightning.
The school was having a science fair and Victor was going to use Sparky as his experiment at the fair, but one of his friends finds out and wants to do the same experiment. He uses a dead goldfish but when the experiment is over, the goldfish is invisible. Then other kids do the same experiments with other dead pets. The best dead pet is Shelley, a turtle who grows into a giant turtle like Godzilla who goes crazy and attacks everything.
I really liked it; it’s funny and spooky, more spooky than Hotel Transylvania. My Dad told me that it’s in black and white to make it like a copy of the old Frankenstein movie, which is called an homage. SPOILER ALERT The end is the same as the old Frankenstein movie when they go to a windmill and burn it. I haven’t seen it yet but my Dad says I can watch it and his other old spooky movies (He means Universal Classic Horror).
I give it 4½ stars
Check out this short called Monster Roll; it has effects, it has style, it has that fantastical Asian giant monster element — except it’s about sushi chefs battling gigantic sea-monsters. The creators made Monster Roll hoping to demonstrate its potential for a feature.
Telltale Games’ episodic video game adaptation of Robert Kirkman‘s The Walking Dead has already mostly been released and enjoyed by a great number of fans. But for those of you not as into downloading games onto your console, all five episodes of the game are being joined together and sold as a full game on disc.
The full game will arrive on December 4th, but you can pre-order it now. Even better, there’s a pre-order bonus Collector’s Edition bundle pack that those of you who have been wanting to read the original Walking Dead comic are going to want to hear about.
Unfortunately your buying options are limited; the disc version of the game is being sold exclusively at GameStop. The game itself will be sold for $29.99, but, if you have a little extra coin to spend and are one of said people who want to read the comics, you can get the bundle pack for $69.99. The bundle pack comes with the game and The Walking DeadCompendium One, which is a massive collection of the first 48 issues of the comic book series. The pre-order bonus is said to be “extremely limited.”
The compendium itself retails for $59.99 (though you can grab it on Amazon right now for $34 if you just want the book) so it’s a great deal if you’re looking to both play the game and read the comic. It’s available for both X-box 360 and PlayStation 3.
The bundle is a pre-order offer only, so if you want it, be sure to order at Game Stop before the game’s release…
Everyone else has posted it in the last 24 hours, and I’ve watched it about a dozen times, so thought I may as well post it too. Directed by Fede Alvarez, the Evil Dead remake appears more akin to the original than the humour-filled sequels.
Donald Siegel (October 26, 1912 – April 20, 1991) was an American film director and producer. His name variously appeared in the credits of his films as both Don Siegel and Donald Siegel. He was best known for the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and five films with Clint Eastwood, including Dirty Harry (1971) and Escape from Alcatraz (1979).
Born in Chicago, with Jewish origins, he attended schools in New York and later graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge in England. For a short time he studied at Beaux Arts in Paris, France, but left at age 20 and later made his way to Los Angeles.
Siegel found work in the Warner Bros. film library after meeting producer Hal Wallis, and later rose to head of the Montage Department, where he directed thousands of montages, including the opening montage for Casablanca. In 1945 two shorts he directed, Hitler Lives? and Star in the Night, won Academy Awards, which launched his career as a feature director.
He directed whatever material came his way, often transcending the limitations of budget and script to produce interesting and adept works. He made the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers in 1956. He directed two episodes of The Twilight Zone, “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross” and “Uncle Simon”. He worked with Elvis Presley on Flaming Star (1960), with Steve McQueen in Hell Is for Heroes and Lee Marvin in the influential The Killers (1964) before directing a series of five films with Clint Eastwood that were commercially successful in addition to being well received by critics.
These included the police thrillers Coogan’s Bluff and Dirty Harry, the Western Two Mules for Sister Sara, the cynical American Civil War melodrama The Beguiled and the prison-break picture Escape from Alcatraz. He was a considerable influence on Eastwood’s own career as a director, and Eastwood’s film Unforgiven is dedicated “for Don (Siegel) and Sergio (Leone)”.
He had a long collaboration with composer Lalo Schiffrin, who scored five of his films: Coogan’s Bluff, The beguiled, Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick and Telefon. Schifrin composed and recorded what would have been his sixth score for Siegel on Jinxed! (1982), but it was rejected by the studio despite Siegel’s objections. This was one of several fights Siegel had on this, his last film.
Siegel was also important in the career of director Sam Peckinpah. In 1954, Peckinpah was hired as a dialogue coach for Riot in Cell Block 11, his job entailed acting as an assistant for the director, Siegel. The film was shot on location at Folsom Prison; Siegel’s location work and his use of actual prisoners as extras in the film made a lasting impression on Peckinpah. He worked as a dialogue coach on four additional Siegel films: Private Hell 36 (1954), An Annapolis Story (1955), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Crime in the Streets (1956).
25 years later, Peckinpah was all but banished from the industry due to his troubled film productions. Siegel gave the director a chance to return to filmmaking. He asked Peckinpah if he would be interested in directing 12 days of second unit work on Jinxed!. Peckinpah immediately accepted, and his earnest collaboration with his longtime friend was noted within the industry. While Peckinpah’s work was uncredited, it would lead to his hiring as the director of his final film The Osterman Weekend (1983).
Siegel has a cameo role as a bartender in Eastwood’s Play Misty For Me, and in Philip Kaufman’s 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a remake of Siegel’s own 1956 film, he appears as a “pod” taxi driver. He died at the age of 78 from cancer in Nipomo, California.
In what seems to becoming ‘Exorcist week’, here’s a fantastic behind the scenes documentary by Owen Roizman, cinematographer on The Exorcist (1973), who personally filmed behind-the-scenes footage while working on the horror production. The footage was made available in 2010 as part of the documentary Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist, which appears on The Exorcist Blu-ray release. The documentary itself is laced with interviews from cast and crew (and is a great watch!) but I always thought it would be great to see all of that amazing rare footage spliced together, without interruption.
Check out these storyboard panels from The Exorcist. Click on the image to see larger panels…
Four years after her bout of demonic possession, Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) seems at peace as she enjoys a privileged but lonely adolescence. Her actress mother, absent on-location, leaves her in the care of her childhood nanny, Sharon (Kitty Winn), who feels inextricably bound to her young charge despite the terror she endured during the girl’s possession. Regan attends frequent counselling sessions with Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher), an unorthodox psychologist who believes Regan remembers more of her ordeal than she admits. Meanwhile, Father Lamont (Richard Burton), a protégé of Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), the priest who died exorcising Regan, is called to investigate the death of his mentor.
The Church is divided over the teachings of Father Merrin and wants to gather documentation of his views about demonic existence. Father Lamont himself is conflicted, haunted by images of a possessed woman he could not save. As he and Dr. Tuskin become convinced that the demon still exhibits a hold on Regan, the priest heads to Africa in search of Kokuma, who as a boy was possessed by the same demon and exorcised by Father Merrin. Learning the true name and ancient origins of his supernatural foe; a re-invigorated Lamont returns to America to stage a climactic battle for Regan’s soul.
The Exorcist set a high bar when it was released in 1973, a bar that still remains out of reach for most horror films to this day. Pity then all involved in this turgid sequel to the greatest horror film ever made. I saw this on the same bill as The Exorcist and the lasting impression hasn’t really changed that much over the last 30 or so years. Watching it again recently I really gave it a chance, and to be fair there are some decent moments and some great ideas, however as a whole, the film remains a let down.
It would have been an easy decision for Warner Bros.at the time: audiences must surely want to see more of Regan and her Mum after the exorcism, how they handled the fallout, Father Merrin’s backstory, and the investigation into the death of Father Karras. The decision then to get a director who hated the first film to work on the sequel beggars belief.
Despite the fact that most of the vitriol aimed at The Heretic, blames John Boorman for the whole mess, he’s not entirely to blame. Boorman must have initially seemed like a good choice, he’d made the Lee Marvin thriller Point Blank, and the backwoods classic Deliverance. However, it appears that Boorman wanted to make something completely different this time around. What he didn’t want to make was a horror film, as The Heretic is almost completely bereft of scares.
The cast are uniformly awful in the film, Burton delivers one of his worst performances ever, his delivery is stilted and hammy, he’s entirely unconvincing throughout. Even Louise Fletcher, who had won the Oscar previously for her incredible performance in One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest, is poor but still much better than Linda Blair and a one-note Kitty Winn. On a positive note, the score by Ennio Morricone is beautiful, albeit out of place in some places.
As I mentioned earlier, the film is full of interesting ideas (the most interesting being the idea of pure goodness as a magnet for evil), however, they’re not followed through and in the end simply discarded in favour of a ridiculous climax. The best, wasted idea is outlined in the scene at the Natural History Museum (in the full 117-minute version) where Father Lamont tells Regan about Teilhard de Chardin and briefly explains the World Mind theory. William Peter Blatty based the character of Father Lankester Merrin on the Jesuit scholar Teilhard de Chardin who espoused a metaphysical concept he called the World Mind, an interpretation of Christian mysticism which sees all minds as joined and gradually evolving into a full awareness of Being as a single consciousness akin to the New Thought idea of Christ Consciousness–the “only begotten” extension of Universal Consciousness, or God. This idea, a synthesis of Christian and Asian religious concepts, is resonant with many unorthodox spiritual teachings. After de Chardin’s death his papers were suppressed by the Vatican and his work was investigated on charges of heresy (his ideas being heretical by the standards of the Catholic Church.)
This could have made for an interesting movie, it didn’t; the central idea that people who have been possessed and survived can then themselves heal others who are similarly afflicted is not explored with enough intelligence to work. It’s not the worst movie ever made, it’s not even the worst Exorcist movie, that would be Renny Harlin’s abysmal Exorcist: The Beginning. Blatty made a much better Exorcist sequel, Exorcist III from his Legion novel, that was also largely ignored, as were both ‘prequels’; it would appear that audiences don’t want more Exorcist movies, they just want The Exorcist, I know I do.
Quality: 1 out of 5 stars
Any Good: 1 out of 5 stars
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (Society of Jesus), (May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955) was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man and Piltdown Man. Teilhard conceived the idea of the Omega Point (the maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving) and developed Vladimir Vernadsky’s concept of Noosphere (sphere of human thought). Some of his ideas came into conflict with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. He was reprimanded and his works were denounced by the Holy Office.
Teilhard’s primary book, The Phenomenon of Man, set forth a sweeping account of the unfolding of the cosmos. Teilhard views evolution as a process that leads to increasing complexity. From the cell to the thinking animal, a process of psychical concentration leads to greater consciousness. The emergence of Homo sapiens marks the beginning of a new age, as the power acquired by consciousness to turn in upon itself raises humankind to a new sphere. Borrowing Julian Huxley’s expression, Teilhard describes humankind as evolution becoming conscious of itself.
In Teilhard’s conception of the evolution of the species, a collective identity begins to develop as trade and the transmission of ideas increases. Knowledge accumulates and is transmitted in increasing levels of depth and complexity. This leads to a further augmentation of consciousness and the emergence of a thinking layer that envelops the earth. Teilhard calls the new membrane the “noosphere” (from the Greek “nous,” meaning mind), a term first coined by Vladimir Vernadsky. The noosphere is the collective consciousness of humanity, the networks of thought and emotion in which all are immersed.
The development of science and technology causes an expansion of the human sphere of influence, allowing a person to be simultaneously present in every corner of the world. Teilhard argues that humanity has thus become cosmopolitan, stretching a single organized membrane over the Earth. Teilhard describes the process by which this happens as a “gigantic psychobiological operation, a sort of mega-synthesis, the “super-arrangement” to which all the thinking elements of the earth find themselves today individually and collectively subject.” The rapid expansion of the noosphere requires a new domain of psychical expansion, which “is staring us in the face if we would only raise our heads to look at it.”
In Teilhard’s view, evolution will culminate in the Omega Point, a sort of supreme consciousness. Layers of consciousness will converge in Omega, fusing and consuming them in itself. The concentration of a conscious universe will reassemble in itself all consciousnesses as well as all that we are conscious of. Teilhard emphasizes that each individual facet of consciousness will remain conscious of itself at the end of the process.
He had abandoned traditional interpretations of creation in the Book of Genesis in favor of a less strict interpretation. This displeased certain officials in the Roman Curia and in his own order who thought that it undermined the doctrine of original sin developed by Saint Augustine. Teilhard’s position was opposed by his Church superiors, and some of his work was denied publication during his lifetime by the Roman Holy Office. The 1950 encyclical Humani generis condemned several of Teilhard’s opinions, while leaving other questions open. However, some of Teilhard’s views became influential in the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. More recently, Pope John Paul II indicated a positive attitude towards some of Teilhard’s ideas. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI praised Teilhard’s idea of the universe as a “living host”.
Teilhard and his work have a continuing presence in the arts and culture. He inspired a number of characters in literary works. References range from occasional quotations—an auto mechanic quotes Teilhard in Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, to inspiring William Peter Blatty to base the character of Father Lankester Merrin in his blockbuster novel The Exorcist on Teilhard. In Dan Simmons’ 1989–97 Hyperion Cantos, Teilhard de Chardin has been canonized a saint in the far future. His work inspires the anthropologist priest character, Paul Duré. When Duré becomes Pope, he takes Teilhard I as his regnal name.
Daniel “Danny” Boyle (born 20 October 1956) is an English film director and producer, best known for his work on films such as Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. Boyle won numerous awards for his 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, including the Academy Award for Best Director. Boyle was presented with the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award at the 2008 Austin Film festival, where he also introduced that year’s AFF Audience Award Winner Slumdog Millionaire. In 2012, Boyle was the Artistic Director for Isles of Wonder, the exceptional opening ceremony of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.
Daniel Boyle was born on 20 October 1956 in Radcliffe, Lancashire. Although he now describes himself as a “spiritual atheist”, he was raised in a working-class Catholic environment by his English father and Irish mother. Boyle was an altar boy for eight years and his mother had the priesthood in mind for her son, but aged 14 he was persuaded by a local priest not to transfer from his local school to a seminary near Wigan. He has said of the decision:
“Whether he was saving me from the priesthood or the priesthood from me, I don’t know. But quite soon after, I started doing drama. And there’s a real connection, I think. All these directors — Martin Scorsese, John Woo, M. Night Shyamalan — they were all meant to be priests. There’s something very theatrical about it. It’s basically the same job — poncing around, telling people what to think.”
He later studied at Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton, and at Bangor University. Upon leaving school he began his career at the Joint Stock Theatre Company, before moving onto the Royal Court Theatre in 1982 where he directed The Genius by Howard Brenton and Saved by Edward Bond. He also directed five productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2011 he returned to the Theatre to direct Frankenstein for the National Theatre. This production was broadcast to cinemas as a part of National Theatre Live on 17 March 2011.
In 1982 Boyle started working in television as a producer for BBC Northern Ireland where he produced, amongst other TV films, Alan Clarke’s controversial Elephant before becoming a director on shows such as Arise And Go Now, Not Even God Is Wise Enough, For The Greater Good, Scout and two episodes of Inspector Morse. He was also responsible for the BBC2 series Mr. Wroe’s Virgins.
“It had eviscerated my brain, completely. I was an impressionable twenty-one-year-old guy from the sticks. My brain had not been fed and watered with great culture, you know, as art is meant to do. It had been sandblasted by the power of cinema. And that’s why cinema, despite everything we try to do, it remains a young man’s medium, really, in terms of audience.”
The first movie Boyle directed was Shallow Grave, the film was the most commercially successful British film of 1995. Working with writer John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald, Shallow Grave earned Boyle the Best Newcomer Award from the 1996 London Film Critics Circle, and it’s success led to the production of Trainspotting, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. Shallow Grave and Trainspotting caused critics to claim that Boyle had revitalised British cinema in the early 90s.
He then moved to Hollywood and sought a production deal with a major US studio. He declined an offer to direct the fourth film of the Alien franchise, instead making A Life Less Ordinary using British finance. the film was his third with Scottish actor Ewan MacGregor, who was scheduled to appear in Boyle’s next movie before being axed in favour of Leonardo DiCaprio. Boyle’s next project was an adaptation of the cult novel The Beach. Filmed in Thailand, the casting of the film led to a feud with Ewan McGregor, star of his first three films.
He then collaborated with The Beach author Alex Garland on the post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later. In between the films The Beach and 28 Days Later, Boyle directed two TV movies for the BBC in 2001, Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise and Strumpet. He also appeared on Top Gear and drove the fastest wet lap at that time.
He also directed a short film Alien Love Triangle (starring Kenneth Branagh), and was intended to be one of three shorts within a feature film. However the project was cancelled after the two other shorts were made into feature films: Mimic starring Mira Sorvino and Imposter starring Gary Sinise.
In 2004 Boyle directed Millions, a wonderful, but sadly overlooked family film. His next collaboration with Alex Garland was the science-fiction film Sunshine (2007), featuring 28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy. Then in 2008 he directed his biggest commercial and critical hit Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an impoverished child (Dev Patel) on the streets of Mumbai, India who competes on India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, for which Boyle won an Academy Award, the film won eight Academy Awards in total. “To be a film-maker…you have to lead. You have to be psychotic in your desire to do something. People always like the easy route. You have to push very hard to get something unusual, something different.” Andrew Macdonald, producer of Trainspotting, said “Boyle takes a subject that you’ve often seen portrayed realistically, in a politically correct way, whether it’s junkies or slum orphans, and he has managed to make it realistic but also incredibly uplifting and joyful.”
In 2010, Boyle directed the film 127 Hours, starring James franco in his finest performance. It was based on Aron Ralston’s autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place, which detailed his struggle of being trapped under a boulder while canyoning alone in Blue John Canyon, south eastern Utah, and resorting to desperate measures in order to survive. The film was released on 5 November 2010 to critical acclaim, and received six nominations at the 83rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Boyle and Best Actor for Franco.
Boyle’s next film is called Trance, is about a fine art auctioneer mixed up with a gang joins forces with a hypnotherapist to recover a lost painting.
Boyle was Artistic Director for the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in London. Over the years, Olympic Opening Ceremonies have become multi-million pound theatrical shows, which have become known for their extravagance and pageantry to celebrate the start of the largest multi-sport event in the world. The ceremony, entitled Isles of Wonder, charted aspects of British culture, including the Industrial Revolution and British contributions to literature, music, film and technology. Reception to the ceremony was generally positive, both nationally in the United Kingdom and internationally.
Boyle is a trustee of the UK-based, African arts charity Dramatic Need. He has flirted with another installment of the 28 Days Later franchise. Boyle has stated previously that in theory it will be a sequel titled 28 Months Later, but alluded to a film taking place somewhere else in the world he created in 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later.
Rebecca Isabelle “Carla” Laemmle (born October 20, 1909) is an American actress and the niece of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle. She was a movie actress in the 1920s and 1930s, and is one of the very few surviving actors of the silent era, of which she is also the oldest. She reached adulthood (then, age 21) after the silent film era ended, meaning that all adult silent film actors from that era are deceased.
Laemmle entered films in 1925 playing an uncredited role as a ballet dancer in the original silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and a small role in the Tod Browning, Bela Lugosi version of Dracula (1931), and is the last surviving cast member of both classic films. Laemmle continued to appear in small roles until the late 1930s, when she disappeared from the movie screen. She briefly came out of retirement to play a vampire in The Vampire Hunters Club (2001).
She shared her reminiscences of appearing in a bit part in Dracula (1931) by hosting the original documentary The Road to Dracula (1999), a supplemental piece included on the 2004 DVD release, Dracula: The Legacy Collection. In that classic film, she portrayed a bespectacled passenger riding in a bumpy horse-drawn carriage with Renfield as he is traveling to Dracula’s castle. In this documentary, Laemmle proudly states: “I had the privilege of speaking the first lines of dialogue in the first talking supernatural thriller”.
In 2009 the book Growing Up With Monsters: My Times at Universal Studios in Rhymes, co-authored by Carla Laemmle and Daniel Kinske, was released. The book details her life at Universal Studios from 1921 to 1937. On October 20, 2009, she celebrated her 100th birthday with a guest list which included Ray Bradbury, Bela Lugosi Jr., Sara Karloff and Ron Chaney.
On October 3, 2010 she appeared in the excellent BBC Four documentary A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss, sharing more memories of her early film work with the legendary Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi. As she has done so many times before on the convention circuit, and various documentaries,she recited her opening lines from Dracula. In November 2010 she made an appearance in the documentary Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood for Turner Classic Movies and in May 2011 she appeared in Paul Merton’s Birth of Hollywood on the BBC. In March 2012, Turner Classic Movies announced that Laemmle would appear at a screening of Dracula in connection with its Classic Movie Festival the following month.
Jonathan Kolia “Jon” Favreau (born October 19, 1966) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, voice artist, and comedian. As an actor, he is best known for his roles in Rudy, Swingers (which he also wrote), Very Bad Things. His directorial efforts include Elf, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Cowboys & Aliens.
Favreau was born Jonathan Kolia Favreau in Flushing, Queens, New York, the son of Madeleine, an elementary school teacher, and Charles Favreau, a special education teacher. Favreau graduated from the Bronx high School of Science in 1984 and attended Queens College from 1984 to 1987, before dropping out. He dropped out of college for good (a few credits shy of completing his degree), and in the summer of 1988, moved to Chicago where he performed at several Chicago improvisational theatres.
While in Chicago, Favreau landed his first film role in the sleeper hit Rudy (1993). Favreau met Vince Vaughn, who played a small role in this film – during shooting. The next year, he appeared with Jeremy Piven in the college film PCU, and also stepped into the world of television in the 1994 episode of Seinfeld. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he made his breakthrough in 1996 as an actor-screenwriter with the film Swingers, which was also Vaughn’s breakthrough role as the glib and extremely confident Trent Walker, a perfect foil to Favreau’s heartbroken Mike Peters.
He rejoined Piven in 1998 as part of Very Bad Things (1998). In 1999, he starred in the TV movie Rocky Marciano, based on the life of the only undefeated world heavyweight champion. He later appeared in Love & Sex (2000), co-starring Famke Janssen. He also got some screen time as lawyer Foggy Nelson in the movie Daredevil (2003).
In 2001, he made his (film) directorial debut with another self-penned screenplay, Made, which once again teamed him up with his Swingers co-star Vince Vaughn. In the fall of 2003, he scored his first financial success as a director of the hit comedy Elf starring Will ferrell (my son loves it). In 2005, Favreau directed the Zathura. He reunited with friend Vince Vaughn in the much-hyped hit romantic comedy The Break-Up and appeared in My Name Is Earl as a reprehensible fast food manager.
Also in 2005, Favreau appeared as a guest judge and executive representative of Sony corporation in week five of NBC primetime reality TV business show, The Apprentice. He was called upon to judge the efforts of the show’s two teams of contestants, who were assigned the task of designing and building a float to publicise his 2005 Sony Pictures movie, Zathura. Favreau also has a TV series called Dinner for Five on the cable TV channel IFC.
On April 28, 2006, it was announced that Favreau was signed to direct the long awaited Iron Man movie. Released on May 2, 2008, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, solidifying Favreau’s reputation as a director. Iron Man was the firstMarvel produced movie under their alliance with Paramount, and Favreau served as the director and an executive producer. During early scenes in Iron Man Favreau appears as Tony Stark’s loyal friend, and driver, Happy Morgan. He also wrote a mini-series for Marvel Knights titled Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas, that started in September 2008, before returning to direct the sequel Iron Man 2.
Favreau co-starred in 2009’s Couple’s Retreat, a comedy chronicling four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort, which he also wrote. The film saw him reunited him once more with co-star Viince Vaughn. He voices the character Pre Vizsla, the leader of the Mandalorian Death Watch, in the episodes of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Favreau said in December 2010 that he would not direct Iron Man 3, instead opting to direct Magic Kingdom, though he will co-produce the film. At the time he told MTV that he would like to be at the helm of an Avengers film, however he backed out but retained an executive producer role of director Joss Whedon’s mega-hit The Avengers. Favreau was at one time attached to John Carter of Mars, the film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ swashbuckling space hero, he dodged that bullet. The Marshal in Revelation has been in development since Swingers was released. It’s a western about a Hasidic gunslinger.
In July 2011, Favreau was featured in a YouTube video by visual effects artist Freddie Wong (known on YouTube as the popular channel, “freddiew”), in a spoof of his then-upcoming summer film, Cowboys & Aliens. He lent the movie’s iconic gauntlet prop to Wong for use in the short.
DEADLINE: Cable company TNT has put in development Frankenstein, a drama series from Lionsgate Television and 1019 Entertainment based on the five Frankenstein novels by Dean Koontz, which have sold more than 20 million copies.
Feature writer James V. Hart (Dracula, Hook) and his son Jake Hart will write the project, a modern-day reworking of the classic Frankenstein mythology. It is set in present-day New Orleans and follows Victor Helios (Frankenstein) and his creation 200 years after they thought they killed each other in a battle in the Arctic. The creature has survived and Victor has used science to keep himself alive — and they’re now in the same city unbeknownst to each other. Victor has engineered a new race of bizarre beings who answer to him, and when the creature learns that Victor is alive, an epic war ensues built on 200 years of pent-up rage, with New Orleans caught in the middle. James Hart will executive produce alongside Koontz, whose books have sold more that 450 million copies worldwide, and 1019 Entertainment principals Terry Botwick and Ralph Winter. 1019 Entertainment acquired rights to Koontz’s Frankenstein book series in 2010 for what was originally envisioned as a feature franchise series.
Koontz’s Frankenstein actually originated on TV with the 2004 original movie/backdoor pilot Frankenstein on USA based on his concept, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, directed by Marcus Nispel and starred Parker Posey, Vincent Perez and Thomas Kretschmann. It didn’t go to series, and a year later, Koontz launched his book series with Prodigal Son.
This marks the series debut of James V. Hart, who has adapted the works of several big-name authors to the big screen, Bram Stoker (Dracula), Robert Louis Stevenson (Muppet Treasure Island) and Carl Sagan (Contact). This is not the first time he has tackled Frankenstein. Hart has a story credit on the 1994 feature Frankenstein, based on Mary Shelley’s novel, which he also produced. Meanwhile, James Hart credits his son Jake for coming up with the idea for the Peter Pan sequel Hook.
Bertino was born in Crowley, Texas. He studied cinematography at the University of Texas in Austin. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a gaffer, and wrote screenplays in his spare time. Bertino submitted The Strangers for a Nicholl Fellowship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which reached the quarter-finals. However, he was able to get a meeting with Vertigo Entertainment. Bertino quit his job days before the script was sold to Universal Studios.
Mark Romanek wanted to direct The Strangers but apparently demanded a $40 million budget. After speaking with Andrew Rona at Rogue Pictures, Bertino was asked to direct The Strangers despite a lack of directorial experience.
The Strangers was made on a budget of $9 million and after two postponements, was released theatrically on May 30, 2008 in North America, and grossed $82.3 million at the box office worldwide. Although it was ambiguously marketed as being “inspired by true events”, writer and director Bryan Bertino stated that the film was inspired by a series of break-ins that occurred in his neighborhood as a child, as well as some incidents that occurred during the Manson killings. Critical reaction to the film was mixed.
Bertino then commended working on the thriller film This Man, to be produced by Sam Raimi and his company Ghost House Pictures, however there is currently no information available from the studio, busy as they are promoting The Possession and their Evil Dead remake. The This Man film concept is built upon the internet meme that appeared in October of 2009, with the launching of the website ThisMan.org. The site claimed that the first recorded sighting of the individual was in 2006 to an anonymous mental patient and that others throughout the world have seen This Man in their dreams. Shortly after the website launch, it was revealed that the website and meme were created by sociologist Andrea Natella, an advertising agency employee who specialized in hoax and viral marketing, and that the face used on the website appeared to have been produced through the software program Flash Face. The site was briefly acquired by Ghost House Pictures. You can check out the original ThisMan website HERE
Margaret Ruth “Margot” Kidder (born October 17, 1948) is a Canadian-born actress. She has appeared in a wide range of films during the 1970’s and 80’s such as Sisters, Black Christmas, The Amityville Horror; however, she is best known for her role as Lois Lane in four Superman movies opposite Christopher Reeve, beginning with Superman: The Movie in 1978.
Kidder, one of five children, was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, the daughter of Jocelyn Mary “Jill”, a history teacher, and Kendall Kidder, an explosives expert and mining engineer. She was born in Yellowknife because of her father’s job, which required the family to live in remote locations.
She first appeared in a number of TV drama series for the CBC, before working at NBC in the early 70’s. She also appeared in a number of low-budget Canadian movies in the late 1960’s, and the early 1970’s, none of which I’ve seen.
In 1970, Kidder co-starred opposite Gene Wilder in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx, before her big break in the Brian DePalma cult classic Sisters (1973), which gained notoriety for both director and leading lady Kidder, who portrayed conjoined twins. She then starred in the classic horror film Black Christmas in 1974, which gained notoriety as (debatedly) the first genuine slasher flick. She also featured in The Great Waldo Pepper opposite Robert Redford in 1975. She received positive reviews for 92 in the Shade (1975) with Peter Fonda, famously marrying the film’s director Thomas McGuane.
A nude pictorial of Kidder, was published in the March 1975 issue of Playboy, the accompanying article was written by her as a condition of appearing; she said, “I don’t want someone writing, ‘Margot Kidder has more curves than the ‘Santa Monica Freeway’ under my picture.”
Kidder is perhaps best known for her role as Lois Lane in the 1978 film Superman: The Movie, for which she won the Saturn Award for Best Actress. She publicly disagreed with the decision of producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind to replace Richard Donner as director of 1980’s Superman II, and it was reported that as a result, Kidder’s role in 1983’s Superman III consisted of less than five minutes of footage, though the producers have denied this in DVD commentaries. Her role in 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was more substantial.
In 2004, Kidder briefly returned to the Superman franchise in two episodes of the television program Smallville, as Dr. Bridgette Crosby, an emissary of Dr. Swann (played by her Superman co-star, Christopher Reeve). (Many other actors from the Christopher Reeve Superman films have had small roles on Smallville.)
Her turn as Kathy Lutz in the much-anticipated 1979 summer release of The Amityville Horror further cemented her status as one of Hollywood’s leading ladies. The story is based on the alleged real life experiences of the Lutz family who buy a new home on 112 Ocean Avenue, Long Island, a house where a mass murder had been committed the year before. After the family move into the house, they experience a series of frightening paranormal events. In 1979, she hosted season 4, episode 15 of the American sketch comedy TV show Saturday Night Live.
Other high profile parts included Willie & Phil, Some Kind of Hero and The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, Heartaches, Trenchcoat, The Glitter Dome, Little Treasure. She also made uncredited cameo appearances in Maverick (1994) and Delirious (1991). She starred on stage in Bus Stop, which was broadcast on HBO. In 1983, she produced and starred as Eliza Doolittle in a version of Pygmalion with Peter O’Toole for Showtime. She also produced and starred in the period miniseries Louisiana, Body of Evidence, and and episode of Tales from the Crypt.
Kidder has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which led to a widely-publicized manic episode in 1996; she was found cowering naked in undergrowth by Los Angeles police in a distressed state and the caps on her teeth having fallen out, and was later placed in psychiatric care.
In 2000, Kidder played Eileen Canboro in Apocalypse III: Tribulation, a Christian film dealing with the Rapture. Kidder stated afterwards that she did not realize until she was on the set that the movie was serious. In 2001, she played a guest role in an episode of law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2002, she appeared alongside Crispin Glover in the film adaptation, Crime and Punishment. Her career back on track, she made appearances in Robson Arms (2004), Rich Hall’s Election Special on BBC Four, The L Word, and the television series Brothers and Sisters, (2007), playing Emily Craft.
She played Barbara Collier, Laurie Strode’s therapist, in the sequel to Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) titled, Halloween II (2009), the second film in the rebooted Halloween series and the tenth Halloween film overall. The film sees the return of lead cast members Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, and Tyler Mane, who portray Dr. Loomis, Laurie Strode, and Michael Myers in the 2007 film, respectively.
With all the current hype surrounding the new Carrie remake, I thought it would be timely to look back at the original version, check out this 3-part, behind-the-scenes making of Brian De Palma’s Carrie with interviews of Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Brian DePalma, Nancy Allen, and more.
Here’s a sneak peek at the new Evil Dead remake poster… and the image from the original, they are similar, although the newer demon looks like she has been slightly remodelled on Regan from The Exorcist.