Friday, February 26, 2016

#TomHiddleston in I SAW THE LIGHT Opening March 25th

By Audra Crane
Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen both give outstanding performances as Hank and Audrey Williams in the new film, I Saw the Light, opening March 25th. Hiddleston's performance as the influential 1940s and 50s singer Hank Williams is, of course, central and it is truly standout. This is in no small part because he sings Williams' songs with complete commitment, as well as convincingly disappearing into the character. 

The film is written and directed by Marc Abraham and shot by Dante Spinotti, best known for his work on LA Confidential and The Last of the Mohicans. Like those films, I Saw the Light is imbued with a strong visual sense which informs the audience of time and place. The costuming and sets are all perfectly on point and make the setting utterly believable. The light is diffuse, the color scheme in yellow filtered, mid-century earth tones broken by occasional pops of red and vivid green in the few outdoor scenes. The film mostly takes place inside small spaces, which allows the audience a sense of the internal pressures of the domestic lives being played out-even the venues feel small

I Saw the Light avoids the glitz of most biopics of entertainers, though it follows a traditional linear path in its telling of the story. It's a full two hours and sometimes the film, like Hank Williams' alter ego Luke, does drift, but it didn't feel slow. It doesn't seek to illuminate the hard scrabble childhood and then follow the artist to dizzying heights filled with wealth and chaos, before charting a hard fall. Rather, in this film, the career arc is secondary to Williams tumultuous relationships to the multiple women in his life during his short career. This likely wouldn't work at all were it not for the excellent turns by all of the actors. Because of this focus on his life, even more so than other films in this genre, it pays off to have a working knowledge of the basics of Hank Williams' career going in. 

While there are a number of excellent musical performances (and the film could have done with even more), the movie doesn't generally hit the audience over the head with the relationship between the music and unfolding events. While it is clear that his financial situation is improving, his growing popularity is not the central focus of the film nor the means of his downfall. It's a low-key telling of a dramatic life, with the goal of greater authenticity than the average biopic. In a pivotal scene, Hank Williams explains to a reporter the appeal of his music; Hiddleston delivers the lines quietly, but with such intensity that the central role of music in our lives, and specifically Williams' music, seems undeniable.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Roadies coming to @Showtime This Summer @Sho_Roadies #Roadies

ROADIES  cast coming to Showtime June 26th

Roadies has announced it will premiere June 26th on Showtime!!!!!

With Manhattan being cancelled on WGNA this couldn't have come at a better time. I know it is very different in subject matter and tone but I'll bet it will be high quality television and that's all I care about.

I have been dying to see this show since it was announced last year. It comes from writer director Cameron Crowe, who I love, and chronicles the life of the people who make the rock shows we love. If you've spent anytime back stage at a show you know there is a lot of story to tell there.

Starring Luke Wilson, Carl Gugino, and a great supporting cast including Luis Guzman.

They just released the trailer with a song by Eddie Vedder and quote by Tom Petty. ENJOY

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hail, Caesar! Opens Friday or Thursday If You're Lucky! #HailCaesar

Hail, Caesar! opens this Friday and like any good classic movie/Coen Brothers fiend I can barely contain myself. I do see, that here in LA, it is opening Thursday night in several theatres. So, if you are on pins and needles, like me, check here for your local theatres.

The trailers promises all the usual Coen Brother's odd hiliarity set in the films of the middle of the last century.

George Clooney plays a sort of Charlton Heston type actor.

I look forward to deciphering all the classic Hollywood Easter eggs. Just from the ads you can tell who some of the lead actors seem to be spoofing.

Channing Tatum plays a Gene Kelly type actor

Scarlett Johansson plays an Esther Williams type actor

Here's the trailer, just to get us through these last hours...

See you all at the theatre!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016 TCM Classic Film Festival Announcement #TCMFF

TCM Classic Film Festival is a high point of my year. This year's festival is being held April 28-May 1st. Today they've released a few more of the films they'll be showing and there are some great restorations among them and they announced that Gina Lollobrigida will be in attendance. For more info on guests.

Here's the complete list of today's film announcements.

Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968) – Featuring an appearance by Gina Lollobrigida
Starring Gina Lollobrigida, this film, presented in collaboration with Park Circus, showcases her comedic skill and natural charm (and earned her a Golden Globe® nomination) in this tale of a woman confronted by three former lovers who have been sending support checks to help raise the daughter each thinks is his.
Trapeze (1956) – Featuring an appearance by Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida made her U.S. film debut, proving herself as talented as she was beautiful, in this tense tale of a female acrobat who comes between the partners in a trapeze act, played by the ever-athletic Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, presented in collaboration with Park Circus.
Children Of A Lesser God (1986) – Featuring an appearance by Marlee Matlin
Marlee Matlin won a Best Actress Oscar® for her film debut as a rebellious deaf woman whose life is transformed by an innovative teacher (William Hurt). Their powerful performances anchor this unique film, with a new print courtesy of Paramount Pictures in celebration of its 30th anniversary in 2016.
The Endless Summer (1966) – Featuring an appearance by Bruce Brown
TCM celebrates the 50th anniversary of the ultimate surfing documentary in which filmmaker Bruce Brown followed two young surfers on a round-the-world trip in search of “the perfect wave.”
Voices of Light: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) – With Conductor Dr. Mark Sumner along with Orchestra and Chorus with Richard Einhorn in attendance 
A special presentation of this classic silent film with Richard Einhorn’s original score performed by a live orchestra and chorus conducted by Dr. Mark Sumner, which brings exciting new life to director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s searing account of the trial and execution of St. Joan.
The Kid (1921)
Charles Chaplin’s first feature as star, director, writer and producer drew on his childhood experiences to create a heartwarming story of a tramp who adopts an abandoned child. Shown in a North American premiere restoration presented in collaboration with Janus Films.
The Song Of Bernadette (1943)
Jennifer Jones gives a luminous (and Oscar-winning) performance as Bernadette Soubirous, the real-life peasant girl whose visions of the Virgin Mary inspired the townspeople of Lourdes in the 19th-century shown in a world premiere restoration presented in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox.
The Keys Of The Kingdom (1944)
Gregory Peck became a star and earned his first Oscar nomination playing a priest stationed in China whose devotion to the poor keeps him from rising within the church, shown in a world premiere restoration presented in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox.
Private Property (1960)
TCM presents, in collaboration with Cineliciouspics, the world premiere restoration of this acclaimed independent film, an L.A. noir starring Corey Allen and Warren Oates as two small-town crooks trying to seduce a beautiful blonde.

For the complete list of films that have been announced click here.

There are still passes available, but only the lower levels. You can buy TCM Film Festival passes here.

Hope to see all my old friends at the festival this year, and of course make some new ones! Hopefully, we'll have another announcement about films and appearances soon...STAY TUNED!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The BFG in Theatres this July #TheBFG

The BFG by RoaldDahl was definitely one of my daughter's favorite books. She must have read it at least 10 times.

It's been a few years since her obsession but when I told her this film was coming she was excited about it all over again.

If your kids haven't read this one yet, get on it.

The film is directed by Steven Spielberg, and is the final screenplay by Melissa Mathison (The Black Stallion, ET, etc...). I think that speaks for itself but just in case, here's the trailer. Don't miss this one!