Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Archive for November, 2012

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Badlands – Poster Art


Terrence Malick

Terrence Frederick Malick (born November 30, 1943) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. In a career spanning over four decades, Malick has received consistent regard for his work, having to date directed only six feature films: Badlands (1973), Days of Heaven (1978), The Thin Red Line (1998), The New World (2005), The Tree of Life (2011), and the forthcoming To the Wonder (2012).

Malick was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director for The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life and Best Adapted Screenplay for The Thin Red Line, as well as winning the Golden Bear at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival for The Thin Red Lineand the Palme d’Or at the 64th Cannes Film Festival for The Tree of Life.

Notoriously private, details about Malick are difficult to come by, his birthplace could be either Ottawa, Illinois or Waco, Texas, depending on which information you choose to believe. He is the son of Irene  and Emil A. Malick, a geologist. Malick had two younger brothers: Chris and Larry. Larry Malick was a guitarist who went to study in Spain with the legendary Segovia in the late 1960’s. In 1968, it is alleged that Larry intentionally broke his own hands due to pressure over his musical studies. Emil went to Spain to help Larry, but Larry died shortly after, apparently committing suicide. Themes revisited by Malick in 2011.

Malick studied philosophy at Harvard University, graduating in 1965. He went on to Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar but left without earning a doctorate. Upon returning to the United States, Malick taught philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while freelancing as a journalist for Life, Newsweek and The New Yorker.

Malick’s start in film began after earning an Master of Fine Arts from the AFI Conservatory in 1969, writing and directing the short film Lanton Mills. At the AFI, he established contacts with longtime collaborator Jack Fisk, and agent Mike Medavoy, who procured for Malick freelance work revising scripts.

After one of his screenplays, Deadhead Miles, was made into what Paramount Pictures felt to be an unreleasable film, Malick decided to direct his own scripts. His first directorial work was the superlative Badlands (1973), an independent film starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as a young couple on a crime spree in the 1950’s. After a troubled production, Badlands drew raves at its premiere at the New York Film Festival, leading to Warner Bros. Pictures buying distribution rights for three times its budget.

Paramount Pictures produced Malick’s second film, Days of Heaven (1978), about a love triangle that develops in the farm country of the Texas Panhandle in the early 20th century. The film spent two years in post-production, during which Malick and his crew experimented with unconventional editing and voice-over techniques. Days of Heaven went on to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, as well as the prize for Best Director at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival.

Following the release of Days of Heaven, Malick began developing a project for Paramount, titled Q, that explored the origins of life on earth. During pre-production, he suddenly moved to Paris and disappeared from public view. During this time, he wrote a number of screenplays, including The English Speaker; adaptations of Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer and Larry McMurtry’s The Desert Rose; a script about Jerry Lee Lewis; and continued work on the Q script. Malick’s work on Q eventually became the basis for his 2011 film The Tree of Life.

Twenty years after Days of Heaven, Malick returned to film directing in 1998 with The Thin Red Line (1998), a loose adaptation of the James Jones World War II novel of the same name, for which he gathered a large ensemble of famous stars. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and received critical acclaim.

After learning of Malick’s work on an article about Che Guevara during the 1960’s, Steven Soderbergh offered Malick the chance to write and direct a film about Guevara that he had been developing with Benicio del Toro. Malick accepted and produced a screenplay focused on Guevara’s failed revolution in Bolivia. After a year and a half, the financing had not come together entirely, and Malick was given the opportunity to direct The New World, another script he had begun developing in the 1970’s. Consequently, he left the Guevara project and Soderbergh went on to direct Che Parts 1 and 2.

The New World, which featured a romantic interpretation of the story of John Smith and Pocahontas, was released in 2005. Over one million feet of film was shot for the film, and three different cuts of varying length were released. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, but received generally mixed reviews during its theatrical run, though it has since been hailed as one of the best films of the decade.

Malick’s fifth feature, The Tree of Lifewas filmed in Smithville, Texas, and elsewhere during 2008. Starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, it is a family drama spanning multiple time periods and focuses on an individual’s reconciling love, mercy and beauty with the existence of sickness, suffering and death. It premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival where it won the coveted Palme d’Or.

Malick’s sixth feature, titled To the Wonder, premiered at the 2012 Venice Film Festival where it garnered mixed reviews.

Malick’s next two projects are Lawless and Knight of CupsLawless stars Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Knight of Cups will star Bale, and will also feature Blanchett. The films are being shot back-to-back. In early 2012, the title “Lawless” was given to The Weinstein Company’s The Wettest County, leaving Malick’s Lawless untitled.


Sympathy For Lady Vengeance Remake News

DEADLINE NEWS: Charlize Theron will star in an adaptation of Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, the last in Park’s revenge trilogy. The original 2005 film centered on a woman who for reasons of her own completes a prison term for a murder she did not commit, re-emerging to punish the killer and avenge the dead. “This will be very American — and very unexpected,” said scriptwriter William Monahan in the release announcing the deal. “Park is a genius; it’s the Everest of adaptations and I’ve got blood in my teeth to do it.”

Monahan, recently completed the screenplay for The Gambler for Martin Scorsese at Paramount and Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.


Misery: The Play – Interview with William Goldman

One of the most terrifying and tremendous thrillers of the 1990’s, Rob Reiner’s film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King, an ode to psychotic fans everywhere, MISERY, has always seemed somehow destined for the physical confines and emotional excesses of the stage. Now, thanks to two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Goldman, the man responsible for the original film’s screenplay as well as many films, books, plays and musicals of his own, along with director Will Frears, the nightmare is coming to the stage at the Bucks County Playhouse for a special limited engagement November 24 through December 8.

Read an in depth interview with William Goldman and Will Frears by Pat Cerasaro at BroadwayWorld.com HERE


Ed Harris

Edward Allen “Ed” Harris (born November 28, 1950) is an American actor, writer, and director, known for his performances in Pollock, Appaloosa, The Rock, The Abyss, A Beautiful Mind, A History of Violence, Enemy at the Gates, The Right Stuff, State of Grace, Glengarry Glen Ross, Alamo Bay, Gone Baby Gone, The Hours, and also genre classics such as Coma, Creepshow, and The Stand. He is a three-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performances in Apollo 13, The Truman Show and The Hours, along with a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the title role in Pollock. 

Harris was born in Englewood Hospital, in Englewood, New Jersey, and raised in Tenafly, the son of Margaret, a travel agent, and Robert L. Harris, who worked at the bookstore of the Art Institute of Chicago. He graduated from Tenafly High School in 1969, where he played on the football team, serving as the team’s captain in his senior year. He was a star athlete in high school, and competed in athletics at Columbia University in 1969. He enrolled at the University of Oklahoma to study drama, and after several successful roles in the local theater, he moved to Los Angeles, and enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts where he spent two years, and graduated with a BFA.

Harris’s wife is actress Amy Madigan, the couple married on 21 November 1983, while they were filming Places of the Heart in which they played an adulterous couple. They have a daughter, Lily Dolores Harris, born in 1993.

Harris’s first important film role was in Borderline with Charles Bronson. After roles in TV series Lou Grant and CHiPs, he had a small role in the Stephen King scripted George A. Romero directed Creepshow (1982). Then in 1983, Harris became well known, playing astronaut John Glenn in The Right Stuff. Twelve years later, a film with a similar theme led to Harris being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of NASA flight director Gene Kranz in Apollo 13 (1995). 

His more notable performances came in the excellent Alamo Bay (1985), Jackknife (1989), The Abyss (1989), State of Grace (1990), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), and a further two Stephen King adaptations in Needful Things (1993) and the TV movie The Stand (1994). He was excellent in The Truman Show (1998) before making his cinema directing debut in 2000, with Pollock (2000) in which he starred as the acclaimed American artist Jackson Pollock.

He has also portrayed such diverse real-life characters as William Walker, a 19th Century American who appointed himself president of Nicaragua, in the film Walker (1987), Watergate figure E. Howard Hunt in the Oliver Stone biopic Nixon (1995), composer Ludwig van Beethoven in the film Copying Beethoven (2006) and more recently as Senator John McCain in HBO’s made-for-television drama Game Change (2012).

Harris also portrayed a German Army sniper, Major  Erwin König, in Enemy at the Gates (2001). He appeared as a vengeful mobster in David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence (2005) and as a police officer alongside Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman, in Gone, Baby, Gone (2007), directed by Ben Affleck.

Harris has directed a number of theater productions as well as having an active stage acting career. Most notably, he starred in the production of Neil LaBute’s one-man play Wrecks at the Public Theater in New York City and later at the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles. For the LA production, he won the LA Drama Critics Circle Award. Wrecks premiered at the Everyman Theater in Cork, Ireland and then in the US at the Public Theater in New York.

Harris, busy as ever has voiced the game Call of Duty: Black Ops, and currently has 6 projects in post-production including the post-apocalyptic Snowpiercer.


Halloween – Mondo Poster Art


Stanley A. Long

Stanley A. Long (26 November 1933 – 10 September 2012) was a British Exploitation cinema and sexploitation filmmaker. He was a writer, cinematographer, editor, and eventually, producer/director of low-budget exploitation movies. 

Long began his career as a photographer, before producing striptease shorts or “glamour home movies”, as they were sometimes known, for the 8 mm market. Beginning in the late fifties, Long’s feature film career would span the entire history of the British sex film, and as such exemplifies its differing trends and attitudes. From coy nudist films (Nudist Memories, 1959), to moralizing documentary (The Wife Swappers, 1969) to a more relaxed attitude to permissive material (Naughty, 1971), to out and out comedies at the end of the 1970’s.

He made several sex comedy movies in the 1970s, the most successful being Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1975), Adventures of a Private Eye (1977) and Adventures of a Plumber’s Mate (1978), starring a host of comedy performers including, Diana Dors, Irene Handl and Harry H. Corbett.

Long also made horror films. He made the anthology movie Screamtime in 1983 and was due to film a Jo Gannon script entitled Plasmid, about albino mutants living in London’s Underground. While the film was never made, confusingly a tie-in novel of Plasmid was released.

Long was also the cameraman on several British horror movies of the 1960s including The Blood Beast Terror, a  1967 horror film released by Tigon in February 1968. In the United States it was released by Pacemaker Pictures on a double-bill with Slaughter of the Vampires as The Vampire-Beast Craves Blood. Long also worked, uncredited, on the classic Repulsion (1965), a British psychological horror film directed by Roman Polanski, based on a scenario by Gérard Brach and Polanski. It was Polanski’s first English language film, and was filmed in London. The cast includes Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux. Polanski himself makes a cameo as a spoon player among a trio of street buskers.

Long also helped make The Sorcerers (1967), a science fiction/horror film directed by Michael Reeves, starring Boris Karloff, Ian Ogilvy and Susan George, from an original story and screenplay by John Burke. Reeves and his childhood friend Tom Baker (not the Doctor Who star) re-wrote sections of the screenplay, including the ending. Long was strapped to the top of a car to film one sequence.

Long retired from film directing in the early 1980’s, however in 2006 he briefly returned to direct The Other Side of the Screen a one-off documentary about various aspects of film making, hosted by Paul Martin, star of Flog It!. 

The “Adventures of” comedies were released to DVD on 2 June 2008. The following year several of his other sex films, On the GameSex and the Other Woman and This That and the Other were also released on DVD for the very first time.

Long was interviewed for the BBC’s Balderdash and Piffle programme (broadcast 25 May 2007), and the British horror and comedy episodes of the British Films Forever series (“Magic, Murder and Monsters” broadcast 25 August 2007, “Sauce, Satire and Sillyness” broadcast 9 September 2007). Simon Sheridan’s long-awaited biography of Long – X-Rated – Adventures of an Exploitation Filmmaker – was published in July 2008.

Stanley Long died in Buckinghamshire on 10 September 2012. He was 78.