Grand Lyon Film Festival to Present Pedro Almodovar with 2014 Lumière Award

Pedro Almodovar Broken Embraces Penelope Cruz-439107

Thierry Fremaux, Director of the Institut Lumière announced today that on Friday October 17th, the Grand Lyon Film Festival will be honoring Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar with the 2014 Lumière Award.  Almodovar is the controversial director of films such as All About My Mother, Bad Education, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and Volver.  The Spanish director’s work has earned him considerable respect the world over, even earning him a Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay for his 2002 piece, Talk To Her.

According to the Grand Lyon Film Festival press release, “The Lumière Award was created by Thierry Frémaux to celebrate a filmmaker or personality of the cinema in Lyon, the very place where the Cinematograph was invented by Louis and Auguste Lumière, and where they shot their first film,Workers Leaving the Factory, in 1895. Because we must express our appreciation to the directors and artists of the cinema who fill our lives, the Lumière Award is a distinction reflecting time, gratitude, and admiration.”

This is only the 6th time the award has been presented, earlier recipients include Gerard Depardieu, Clint Eastwood, Ken Loach, Milos Foreman and Quentin Tarantino.

The Grand Lyon Film Festival is slated to run from October 13th – 19th.  Get all of the festival details at their website, here.

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From the Big Stage to the Big Screen: Live Events at a Theater Near You: IndieWire

ntlivebannerI am a great fan of the National Theatre Live worldwide broadcast events and have attended multiple at my local theater over the last couple of years including Danny Boyle’s presentation of ‘Frankenstein’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, and ‘The Audience’ which boasts a masterful performance by Helen Mirren reprising her role as The Queen of England.

While all of the performances I attended were not as transcendent as these two, I am well aware that even for the more hardcore theater fan, these broadcasts are special and only with recent technological advances are we privileged enough to see these performances outside of London’s historic South Bank.

Jacob Combs and IndieWire write today about the growing popularity of the NTL events as well as some other broadcast events the theater-loving fan in your life can look forward to: “National Theater alone is beaming several of its productions across the U.S., including upcoming screenings of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and “Medea” in Los Angeles. The Metropolitan Opera in New York has been active in screenings its productions nationwide: this summer, Met fans outside the Big Apple will be able to watch “Rigoletto,” “La Rondine,” “Otello” and “The Enchanted Island…

Equally powerful is the allure of the livestream. Picturehouse Entertainment is broadcasting Monty Python’s final live show from London’s O2 Arena on July 20 to theaters around the world. It’s the group’s first live performance since they played the Hollywood Bowl in 1980, and nearly 1,500 cinemas around the world will screen the live event…

For now, the concept of in-theater broadcasts of live events is in its growing phase. But there’s money to be made here, which means it’s only a matter of time before some bright mind cracks the model.”

For more about these screenings at your local theater, visit IndieWire here or the National Theatre Live website.

Dennis Hopper’s Lost Album: life both sides of the lens: The Guardian (UK)

Dennis Hopper photography Selma, Alabama (Full Employment), 1965A new exhibition reveals the lesser known talents of the star. Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album will highlight his surprisingly adept eye in showcasing photographs he took documenting the LA art scene during the 1960’s and will run at London’s Royal Academy from June 26th through October 19th.

Sean O’Hagan with The Guardian writes: “Turning to photography out of desperation, for a time Hopper found a place where he could be utterly himself, untroubled by the compromises required by a collaborative process such as film-making and free from the constraints of the Hollywood studio system. With the success a decade later of Easy Rider, a low-budget, hippy road movie that flew in the face of Hollywood conventions, he would finally have his revenge on that system…

In the long years in between, though, he took photographs in order to survive creatively, if not financially. “I never made a cent from these photos,” he said. “They cost me money but kept me alive…”

As the Royal Academy’s forthcoming exhibition Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album shows, the mercurial actor took to photography in his own instinctive and utterly obsessive way. Between 1961 and 1967, he shot around 10,000 images, using high-speed black-and-white film for immediacy, shooting only in natural light and never cropping his images. He made portraits of his fellow actors, including the young Paul Newman and Jane Fonda, and the artists he hung out with in Los Angeles, including Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg and Edward Kienholz.

He photographed Hells Angels, hippies and passersby as well as rioters in Sunset Strip in 1967 and protesters on the famous civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965. He shot Andy Warhol and his retinue at the Factory in New York in 1963 and a portfolio of rock stars – Brian Jones, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds and James Brown – for Vogue magazine in 1965…

The exhibition comprises a cache of 400 original prints that Hopper made for his first photography show at the Fort Worth Art Centre Museum in Texas in 1970 and which have not been seen since. They were discovered after his death in 2010 in five dusty boxes among his belongings and extensive collection of art and antiques.”

For more from O’Hagan check out The Guardian website.

Slovakia’s Largest Film Festival ‘Art Film Fest’ To Feature An Alan Clarke Retrospective

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This year’s Art Film Fest held in Trenčianske Teplice, will highlight over 130 films from around the globe, including a well-deserved retrospective to underrated British director Alan Clarke.

The festival will be screening 3 of his more well-known films:  Scum, which stars a youthful Ray Winstone, is about a young man sent to a British Borstal (reform school) who witnessed how the few in charge made no attempt to reform or help the young men sent to their institution but actually encouraged a brutal power struggle within the ranks of the students; Made in Britain (pictured above) highlighting Tim Roth in his feature debut as a young angst-ridden skinhead with no regard for authority, and The Firm with Gary Oldman in the lead role as a violent and uncompromising hooligan involved in a deadly rivalry with neighboring gangs.

Check out the trailers for each of the films below:

Scum

Made in Britain

The Firm

Alan Clarke’s influence has been felt far and wide but he remains largely unknown due to the bulk of his work being seen by only English television audiences.  As most of his films were made specifically for television, they suffered greatly from censorship because of his realistic portrayal of violence and his scathing views in response to the political climate of the time, more specifically, Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.

If you are in the area, don’t miss your chance to see these masterworks on the big screen.  The Art Film Fest will be getting underway in just over a week and is slated to run from June 21- 27th.  For more information, check out the Art Film Fest page, here.

Soundtrack Highlights of the Week: Danny Elfman and ‘Music From The Films of Tim Burton’ To Haunt L.A. on Halloween

elfman-2The place to be on Halloween is L.A.’s Nokia Theater where Danny Elfman is set to appear along side conductor John Mauceri’s Hollywood Studio Symphony, in celebrating The Music From The Films of Tim Burton.  This is the second Los Angeles event after last year’s Halloween extravaganza and it comes along after sold-out performances world-wide, even including a brief stay at London’s Royal Albert Hall.  If you caught last year’s performance, no worries my friends, this year’s event boasts “expanded and refined film suites”.

At the moment, there are 16 collaborations between Elfman and Burton including the now classic The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Elfman not only composed the music and lyrics for the project, but he also provided the vocal talent for Jack Skellington’s musical interludes which he is expected to revisit for the upcoming Halloween performance.

Elfman got his start as the lead singer of the Los Angeles based band, Oingo Boingo.  No stranger to film soundtracks, Oingo Boingo got into the action early composing hits for films such as Fast Times at Ridgemont HighBack to School and even John Hughes’ Weird Science.  Under their initial name, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, the band composed the score and musical numbers for the cult-classic Forbidden Zone directed by Danny’s brother, Richard Elfman.  In the film, Danny performs an awesome rendition of Cab Calloway’s Minnie the Moocher (pictured above) with revised lyrics that are suited to the film’s narrative.

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Nominated for four Oscars for his work on Milk, Big Fish, Men in Black and Good Will Hunting, Elfman has also won an Emmy award for the television series, Desperate Housewives, and even snagged a Grammy for Best Instrumental Compostion for his theme from Burton’s Batman back in 1989.  The artist has carved out a long and varied career in the world of film music composing nearly 100 films, such as Burton’s Batman, Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Burton’s Planet of the Apes and even the forthcoming, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Tickets are on sale now for the Halloween event.  Grab them here: http://www.axs.com/events/250641/danny-elfmanys-music-from-the-films-of-tim-burton-tickets

Video-Mark Gatiss on The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes: BFI (British Film Institute)

sherlockSherlock creator Mark Gatiss talks with Ian Haydn Smith in this British Film Institute’s: Screen Epiphanies exclusive event for BFI members and special guests.

Gatiss discusses the influence of Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes on his ridiculously popular television series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

Visit the BFI site here to explore their video collection and to further explore British film.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Film details:

Featuring: Robert Stephens Colin Blakely Irene Handl
Director: Billy Wilder
Countries: Great Britain/USA
Year: 1970

Paul Morrissey’s ‘Mixed Blood’ To Air Tonight On Turner Classic Movies

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Tonight Turner Classic Movies will be airing Paul Morrissey‘s Mixed Blood in the time slot (2:15 EST) normally reserved for their TCM Underground series.  The film chronicles the story of a gang war between two rival drug-dealing crews located in the lower east side of Manhattan.  Fans of Paul Morrissey’s earlier works, Blood For Dracula, Flesh For Frankenstein and Trash, should find plenty to enjoy in this 1984 flick, including the less-than-sophisticated dialogue and “acting”.

Although tonight’s showing is not stated as part of the TCM Underground, it definitely fits the bill.  Usually slated for late nights on Saturday, the on-going series highlights the lesser-known genre works of the film world and these gems are often quite hard to come by.  Tonight’s film is no exception.  Mixed Blood was released by Image on DVD back in 2006 but it has since slipped out of print so don’t miss your chance to see this non-VOD title.

Check out the NSFW trailer below: