Trailer review – On the Road.

The much awaited adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic is coming soon and is brought to the screen by director Walter Salles. An interesting choice – the director of Central Station is familiar both with adaptations and road movies, one of his last critically acclaimed films being Motorcycle Diaries. This should draw the attention of the same public. One might even say that the filmmaker and the writer share common themes; loss and self-discovery through a meaningful travel experience.

It would take a great director to visually render the spirit of the book, its slice of truth and fleeting madness, the complexity of the characters, their fast-paced and constant wanderings and their destructive self-searching. To find the essence of Jack Kerouac’s spontaneous prose and at the same time emancipate the film from the literary masterpiece seems like a great challenge. But if we judge it by the trailer, we do recognize Walter Salles’ unique style. The film should prove interesting both as an adaptation and, independently, as a film in the artistic continuity of this director’s body of work.
For those who have read the novel (and if you haven’t, I strongly urge you to!), you know that the book certainly had “it”, the question is: does the film have “it” too? 
We will find out on May 23rd!
In the meantime, let us quote one of the most striking sentences of the novel which is also to be found in the trailer… and I’m glad it is!
“… the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…” 
Enjoy, and Viddy Well.

E. D.

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Prometheus Unveiled

The International trailer for Prometheus by Ridley Scott is finally here! It reveals a great deal of this highly anticipated film. The trailer is nicely done: visually sensational, it leaves us craving for more!

A team of explorers leaves earth on a ship called Prometheus to look for the origins of mankind. “How far would you go to get your answers?” asks David (Michael Fassbender). And from what we see in the trailer, they’re meaning to go pretty far. The title explains it perfectly: curiosity will be mankind’s ruin just like it was for Prometheus himself.  For stealing godly fire, Prometheus was doubly punished: Zeus sent Pandora and her box to carry out diseases among men and chained Prometheus to a rock, where he was condemned to have his liver eaten by an eagle for all eternity.

On the Prometheus vessel too, punishment is delivered: “Get it out of me!” screams Noomi Rapace, writhing in pain, as if something was indeed eating her insides. So be warned (and thrilled!), this looks terrifying. Not to mention the extraordinary cast that Sir Ridley Scott has assembled: Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce. It’s going to be hard to wait for another month!

Enjoy and Viddy Well!

Oh, and also, Damon Lindelof (the genius to whom we owe Lost) wrote the script…
E.C

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The News

rooney mara brooklyn role 02
Rooney Mara during
the filming of The Bitter Pill
Looks like nothing can stop Rooney Mara from becoming the most interesting actress around! On top of replacing Carey Mulligan in Spike Jonze’s next film, the actress will star in Brooklyn, (adapted from Colm Toibin’s novel), in which she’ll play an Irish immigrant arriving to New York in the 1950s, as well as in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, which already stars Casey Affleck and Ben Foster. Written and directed by David Lowery, the film takes place in the 1970s and tells the story of an outlaw who, after escaping from prison, tries to reunite with his wife and daughter. Mara is having a very busy year: she’s already shooting Steven Soderbergh’s The Bitter Pill, and will star in one of the many projects of Terrence Malick. The project used to be known as Lawless but is now untitled as Malick graciously let John Hillcoat get the title for his own film (which will be at the Cannes Film Festival). So we can all agree that Rooney is definitely the actress to watch.

Meanwhile, Rooney’s sister, Kate Mara, will star in Charlie McDowell’s (son of Malcom McDowell) first feature film, Fighting Jacob. Jamie Bell stars as boxer Jacob Rosenthal, who after being left by his girlfriend (Mara) is forced to take a closer look at his life.

Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is coming to the screen. Disney has just hired Henry Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas) to helm the adaptation. The children’s book is about a young orphan raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Too bad Tim Burton isn’t on board as well! (though I’m sure that Selick will do a great job).

That’s it for today! Have a very viddy day!

E.C

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THE MUSICAL POST – “Top Hat”

Today’s musical post is from Top Hat (1935), directed by Mark Sandrich and starring Ginger Rogers and the man who simply reeked with class: Fred Astaire!
This is perhaps the most famous bit of the movie, “Top hat, white tie and tails” was written by Irving Berlin, who later wrote the lyrics for Annie Get Your Gun (1950).

Enjoy watching how he makes tap dancing look so easy…

Viddy Well,

E.D.
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Today’s news

Here they are at last! The first images of Quentin Tarantino’s next movie “DJANGO UNCHAINED” have been released today. 
Sadly, we only get two appetizers of this much-awaited-for western à la Tarantino.
Total Film reveals “Schultz (Christopher Waltz) is a former dentist turned bounty hunter who equips Django (Jamie Foxx) with the skills to rescue his wife from plantation owner Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), who is keeping her as a slave at his Candie Land brothel”.

Looking good, gentlemen! We’re looking forward to it!
The movie will be released for Christmas in the US.
On January 16th, 2013 in France and on January 18th in the UK.
NEXT: Rooney Mara is to replace Carey Mulligan on the next Spike Jones movie. Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix are already part of the cast.
After Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes just started to direct his second film The Invisible Woman. The actor and director is to play Charles Dickens and will be reunited with his partner on The English Patient, Kristin Scott Thomas. Felicity Jones is also part of the cast.
Abi Morgan, writer of The Iron Lady, Shame and the BBC series “The Hour”, is the author of the script.
That’s it for today!
Viddy well,
E.D.
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AIRPORT ROMANCE

It hit me while I was watching a movie about love, actually. Have you ever noticed how an incredible amount of post-80‘s romantic comedies include, at some point, an airport romance scene?
With several tales of love at first sight, or love at second sight, awkward apologies followed by last-minute love declarations and sincere proposals before planes take off: this can’t be denied, there is something of an airport mystery in the air…
The sharpest among us can detect it creeping into the plot before the second half of the movie: a promotion in sight? Thinking of moving to another city? Dreams of travelling? You don’t live in the same city as your potential loved one? Say no more: here comes the airport scene. A-list actress, start packing your Prada suitcase, you are about to meet the man of your dreams… 
What about you, viewer? 
Are your expectations of romance slightly heightened when you are in an airport? Are you more alert once you pass the security gates, while you wait in the boarding room, scrutizing your fellow flying companions? Do you secretely hope a handsome stranger will sit next to you on the plane, only to be oddly disappointed when an old lady takes place beside you? Very much like what Kate Winslet experiences in The Holiday (2004) in fact.
I believe all of us have, at some point or another, had an airport fantasy of the sort. And there is no need to blush at such unrealistic daydreams when a whole generation of screenwriters has been shaping our expectations of romance. 
Here are a few examples:

You can find it at the beginning of movies, in Sleepless in Seattle (1993) for instance, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan cross each other’s paths but will not actually meet until the end.


In When Harry Meets Sally (1989): The second time they chance upon each other is on a plane, followed by a scene where Billy Crystal stalks Meg Ryan across the airport.


Jerry Maguire (1996)! Tom Cruise and Renée Zellweger meet in an aiport.




You can also, and mostly find it at the end, in a final outburst of passion and rekindled flames, like in Garden State (2004). Or Love, Actually (2003), the movie opens and closes at the airport, with a tiny meant-to-be endearing version of a grown-up love declaration: a kid kisses his school sweatheart goodbye after flying through security (aah! The motion pictures… Have they actually tried to take a long distance flight after 9/11?)




Fans of Friends will also recall the last season where Ross rushes to the airport to stop Rachel from moving to Paris…






But surely the winner is the box office King himself, Steven Spielberg, who sets his entire movie The Terminal (2004) – as the title indicates – in an airport. Because why just put one airport romance scene when we can make it all happen in there?







So what is it about airports? The sense of adventure it provides? A feeling of taking off to the unknown? People from all over the world united in a small microcosm? 

In a more existential note perhaps, it reminds us of the importance of travel in finding the self, which can also be found in our relationships with others.

For my part, and in all seriousness, I have one theory. I sincerely blame it on Casablanca. 1942 gave light to a masterpiece that was to be remembered by following directors and screenwriters as one of the most beautiful love stories on screen. Are screenwriters unconsciously and eternally trying to rewrite
happy airport endings to make up for the sad ending of the classic?


Are these recurrent airport romance scenes a way for them to exort the demons of their artistic youth? 
The truth, I am afraid, will never be known, and aiport romance remains a box-office winner mystery. But let me just say this, *SPOILER ALERT*….
there is a reason why Ingrid Bergman leaves in the end: it makes it a better movie. 



Viddy well, 
E.D.


P.S.: There is also such a thing as “Train romance”, but let’s keep it for another post!
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Jury for the 65th Cannes Film Festival

The Jury for the 65th Cannes Film Festival has just been announced:

Hiam ABBASS (actress, director)
Andrea ARNOLD (director and screenwriter)
Emmanuelle DEVOS (French actress)
Diane KRUGER (German actress)

Jean Paul GAULTIER (designer)
Ewan MC GREGOR (actor)
Alexander PAYNE (director, screenwriter and producer)
Raoul PECK (director, screenwriter and producer)


The president of the jury will be actor, writer and producer Nanni Moretti.
With such a selection of films and this jury, this year’s festival should prove very interesting! We are looking forward to it.


E.D.

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CLASSIC OF THE WEEK

 

Welcome to Viddy Well’s first Classic of the Week!
Every week, we will talk about a classic film we have seen and share our love for old cinema.


Of all the films I’ve watched growing up, The Adventures of Robin Hood is the one I’ve seen the most. I know by heart every single line and every single shot. Directed by the great Michael Curtiz, The Adventures of Robin Hood(1938) had a rocky shooting. Half of the film was actually shot by William Keighley but the director was fired when the producers felt that he was being too cautious with his use of Technicolor and that he didn’t get the best out of the action scenes. Curtiz then took the helm and, as always, did a wonderful job. However, his relationship with the two main actors, Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland was not so smooth. The two actors hated Curtiz who was a “tyrant” to them, often cruel and despising. None of this can be felt when you see the actual film. Robin Hood is the emblem of what Warner Bros did best in those years: a great epic adventure movie.
My passion for this film comes from the great entertainment it provides, from the magnificent use of Technicolor, the humor of the script and the sweet love story between Robin and Maid Marian. It also stems from my love for Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The couple starred in eight films together, all very entertaining and some truly beautiful (Dodge City, Captain Blood, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex). But Robin Hood remains their masterpiece.
The glint there is in Flynn’s eyes is something few actors have: seductive, brooding, sensitive and, most of the time, mischievous. That mixture is seen best towards the end of the film, when Robin is arrested and sentenced to death. With a few wounds on his face, Robin keeps his cool when facing Gisbourne (a terrific Basil Rathbone) and continues to challenge him with his ironical remarks. But through his defiance, we can see that Robin is prepared to die. The costume in that scene is cleverly chosen: dark colors to contrast with his usual (and very fitting!) green tights and a red hood, to emphasize his vulnerability.


His first appearance in the film will remain as one of the greatest appearances ever made by a character. All the qualities of Flynn’s acting and persona can been seen at work. His childish play and irony with Prince John, his self-confidence, and of course his frown as he handles his sword.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evof-iVDOwQ

The couple he forms with Olivia de Havilland is also quite dashing. Havilland succeeds in giving Marian some character – a difficult task since women in adventure movies were usually considered as props. Her spectacular costumes make her look very attractive and her strong personality creates a Marian who is determined to listen to her conscience. The balcony scene conveys the sensuality of both actors and is, in my opinion, the best love scene Curtiz will ever make in his career.

Let me mention in passing a few characters who add humor to the story: Will Scarlett, the bard, always playing his banjo and laughing his heart out, Little John, who famously throws Robin into the pond, and Friar Tuck, with his legendary appetite. I also take my hat off to the villains, Prince John (Claude Rains) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone).

So, if you haven’t seen it, watch Robin Hood and if you already have, watch it again! You won’t regret it.
Viddy Well and see you next week for another Classic to watch!
E.C
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Lindsay Lohan as Liz Taylor: Are you kidding me???

It has been announced that Lindsay Lohan will play Elizabeth Taylor on television. Lifetime is preparing a biopic of the actress, centered on her romance with actor Richard Burton. This is one of the most ridiculous choices of casting ever! Lindsay Lohan, who was once good at acting, has now become more famous for her lifestyle than her work. Though she used to be a pretty girl, she has now become a product of plastic surgery. How could she ever play the great Liz Taylor?
Lindsay Lohan 
Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Elizabeth Taylor remains as the greatest actress ever, in my opinion. Her career is filled with masterpieces: A Place in the Sun, Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Sandpiper, Ivanhoe…. and so many others. Every picture showed a different side of her. Her characters were at once filled with strength and extremely sensitive. Lohan looks and sounds nothing like her. Though she certainly has talent, Lohan could never come close to the grandeur of Taylor’s acting. 

Furthermore, the Dick and Liz relationship is now mythical. To portray in all fairness what their relationship was would call for a great director. It was rumored that Martin Scorsese was planning to adapt Furious Love, by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger. Now that looks like a more serious and honorable project. Although my one reservation is that I see no one able to incarnate such a woman. Physically, it is impossible to find someone as incredibly beautiful as she was. As for her character, it will demand a damn good actress in order to render all the layers of that complex personality. I don’t even want to think about who Lifetime will cast for Richard Burton… 

Let’s hope that Martin Scorsese, if he ends up making a film of Furious Love, will make good and smart choices. In the meantime, I remain completely abashed at this casting announcement.

Viddy Well my friends!

E.C

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Today’s News

Looks like Guy Pearce’s career is back on tracks! The actor will be joining the cast of Iron Man 3. According to Variety, Pearce will play Aldrich Killian, a geneticist. Ben Kingsley is also apparently in talks to be the movie’s villain. I’m not much of a comic book fan (Batman is the only one I love), so that’s all the info I can give you!

And the Games continue! Out with Gary Ross, In with Francis Lawrence! The I Am Legend director has been offered the chance to direct The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. The studio plans a release in 2013. Filming should start this summer as Hunger Games‘ star Jennifer Lawrence is attached to star in the X-Men: First Class sequel, which will start filming in January. That’s too many sequels for me to bear!

Has my wish been fulfilled? Penelope Cruz is rumored to be in talks for a part in Ridley Scott’s The Counselor! Her partner, Javier Bardem, is already cast. Written by Cormac McCarthy, the story follows a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who gets involved in the drug business. Will Cruz play the femme fatale or Laura, the lawyer’s fiancée? Other members of the prestigious cast include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The film should start shooting in June.

Could we be more excited? Matthew Perry’s new sitcom Go On has just been picked up by NBC. The comedy will follow the story of a sportscaster, who after suffering a loss, finds comfort in group-therapy. Perry has been seen on The Good Wife lately. I was hoping that he would become a series regular, but with his new show being given the green light, it looks like it won’t happen! I hope this time the show will survive. None of Perry’s TV shows after Friends worked out (Studio 60 and Mr. Sunshine).

Viddy Well!

E.C

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