Archive for January, 2013

Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Day-Lewis discusses his first acting gig

While being honored on Saturday night at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Daniel Day-Lewis — who over the course of his career delivered some of cinema’s most memorable performances such as Bill the Butcher in “Gangs of New York” and Daniel Plainview in “There Will Be Blood” – talked about his first exposure to acting. And it seems that his penchant for improbable transformation started from the very beginning.

The normally reserved Day-Lewis, who is currently the front-runner for the Best Actor for his performance in “Lincoln,” sat down with The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg before an audience of hundreds in the Arlington Theater in downtown Santa Barbara and reflected on his career. Continue reading ‘Oscar-nominated actor Daniel Day-Lewis discusses his first acting gig’

Malik Bendjelloul talks about his Oscar-nominated movie ‘Searching for Sugar Man’

The Oscar-nominated documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” tells the strange story of singer-songwriter Rodriguez. Back in the early 1970s, the record company had high hopes for him. With eminently hummable tunes and lyrics that eloquently spoke to life on the mean streets of Detroit, Rodriguez seemed poised to be the next Bob Dylan. But his two albums, “Cold Facts” and “Coming from Reality,” never really caught on in the United States. That would seem to be the end of the story, except, for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear, Rodriguez’s album did, unbeknownst to him, phenomenally well in South Africa. His songs proved to be the anthems of a generation of young South Africans who were increasingly frustrated by their government’s apartheid policies. While his albums were selling as well as “Abbey Road” in Cape Town, Rodriguez seemingly disappeared into obscurity. Continue reading ‘Malik Bendjelloul talks about his Oscar-nominated movie ‘Searching for Sugar Man’’

’56 Up’ Director Michael Apted Talks about the ‘Up’ series and the importance of family

British director Michael Apted has had a very long and lucrative career in Hollywood, creating such Oscar-winning movies as “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” and “Nell,” along with directing blockbusters like “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and Bond movie “The World Is Not Enough.”

Yet the thing that septuagenarian filmmaker will most likely be remembered for is the “Seven Up” series. Fresh out of school, Apted was hired as a researcher for “Seven Up,” a TV documentary about the changing face of British society. Apted helped select fourteen 7-year-old children from across the socioeconomic spectrum and asked them about their lives and their futures. But starting with “7 Plus Seven,” Apted (who directed subsequent movies in the series) returned to interview the same people every seven years, intercutting their present situations with their past fears and aspirations. The result is portraits of actual lives — with its longings, successes, and disappointments — unfolding onscreen. Watching these movies is akin to catching up with distant relatives at a family reunion. Continue reading ‘’56 Up’ Director Michael Apted Talks about the ‘Up’ series and the importance of family’

Japanese cinematic outlaw Nagisa Oshima dead at 80

Iconoclastic filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, best known internationally for his wildly controversial movie “In the Realms of the Senses” died today at the age of 80 in a hospital outside of Tokyo.

A former law student and radical activist, Oshima made his directorial debut in 1959 with “Town of Love and Hope.” The movie established him as a leader of the budding Japanese New Wave, which also included directors like Shohei Imamura and Masahiro Shinoda. Continue reading ‘Japanese cinematic outlaw Nagisa Oshima dead at 80’

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ director Benh Zeitlin talks about getting an Oscar nomination and his pint-sized star Quvenzhane Wallis

This morning, alongside such cinematic heavyweights as Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, and Michael Haneke, Benh Zeitlin garnered a best director nomination this morning for his breakout indie hit “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” beating out the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck, and, most shockingly, Kathryn Bigelow. Pretty heady stuff for a 30-year-old first-time filmmaker. “Beasts” also got nominations for best picture, best original screenplay, and best actress. At the age of 9 years old — she was 6 when she made the movie — Quvenzhane Wallis (her first name is pronounced a bit like “revenge” but with a “qua” at the beginning and an “nay” at the end) is the youngest person ever to get an Academy Award nomination. Continue reading ‘‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ director Benh Zeitlin talks about getting an Oscar nomination and his pint-sized star Quvenzhane Wallis’

Indie Roundup: ‘Barbara’

“Barbara” might be a quiet movie, but it’s certainly not tranquil. By the end of this brilliant movie by German director Christian Petzold, every sound of an approaching car or a gust of wind will put you on edge. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Barbara’’


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