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Jerry Lewis Returns to the Cosmos

On August 20, 2017, Jerry Lewis took a pratfall off this mortal coil, presumably knocking an unwitting dowager on her keister and sending a surprised cop into an open manhole on his way out. The durable enfant terrible was all of 91 years when he finally left the building though he had been making spirited public appearances as recently as January of this year.

For the inquisitive Jerry fan, Shawn Levy’s 1997 King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis, remains the first and last stop for the straight scoop on America’s premiere nudnik. Levy, who endured the full fury of the comedian’s legendary wrath to get his story, is as admiring of his subject’s accomplishments as he was repelled by his whiplash mood swings. The hard knock apprenticeship in the Catskills, the Freudian-fueled soap opera of his partnership with Dean Martin, the boastful sex-capades, they’re all there and then some.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Hampton Fancher remembers Jerry Lewis by Anne-Katrin Titze

Hampton Fancher at the reflecting pool with Henry Moore's Reclining Figure (Lincoln Center) 1963–5 Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Hampton Fancher, the beguiling subject of Michael Almereyda's Escapes and co-screenwriter of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Denis Villeneuve's upcoming Blade Runner 2049, shared some memories of Jerry Lewis, who died at the age of 91 this past Sunday, August 20, at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We started out with Michael Pfleghar's film Romeo Und Julia 70 where Hampton interviewed Jerry Lewis, went onto the connection to Joan Blackman and Hal B Wallis for Norman Taurog's Visit To A Small Planet, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's In A Year With 13 Moons (In Einem Jahr Mit 13 Monden) and You're Never Too Young with Dean Martin and Lewis, a gurney in Frank Tashlin's The Disorderly Orderly and a rabbit in Geisha Boy, meeting Jack Benny and Buddy Hackett,
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

The Escapologists by Anne-Katrin Titze

Escapes at the IFC Center: "It's like that Thom Andersen movie Los Angeles Plays Itself. This is not a portrait of a place but a portrait of a person." Photo: Ed Bahlman

Escape artist Hampton Fancher reveals beating out Jean-Pierre Léaud and the pathway that led him to star in Michael Pfleghar's Romeo und Julia 70, opposite Tina Sinatra. Norman Taurog's Blue Hawaii starring Elvis Presley and Joan Blackman, Teri Garr, Brian Kelly and Flipper surface. Michael Almereyda makes a Skinningrove (his film on photographer Chris Killip) connection to a scene with Harrison Ford in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and remarks "it's called Escapes for a reason as almost every episode involves a near-death experience."

Hampton Fancher starred with Tina Sinatra in Michael Pfleghar's Romeo Und Julia 70

When do you think you know a person? What does this knowing entail? A face, a name, a voice,
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

The Best Movie Fight Scenes — IndieWire Critics Survey

The Best Movie Fight Scenes — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of the bone-crunching “Atomic Blonde,” what is the greatest movie fight scene?

Read More‘Atomic Blonde’: How They Turned One Amazing Action Scene Into a Seven-Minute Long Take Erin Oliver Whitney (@cinemabite), ScreenCrush

I’ve got a soft spot for wuxia so the “best fight scene” immediately evokes Zhang Yimou in my mind. I could list every fight in “Hero,” sequences so spellbindingly beautiful and graceful you forget you’re watching violence. The bamboo forest battle from “House of Flying Daggers” is another all-timer, a mesmerizing fight that almost entirely takes place in the air. And the bone-crunching, table-smashing
See full article at Indiewire »

Lord and Miller: 12 other directors who left/got fired from movies during production

Luke Owen looks at directors who left/got fired from movies during production…

With the shocking news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller have vacated the director’s chairs for the yet-to-be-titled Han Solo movie over “creative differences” (some sources say they were forced out), I thought it was time to look at some other directors who faced similar issues.

It’s no secret that making a tentpole movie for a studio is tricky. Duncan Jones has been very vocal as of late about the issues he had with last year’s Warcraft, and it was rumoured a few years ago that Gareth Edwards faced an uphill battle with Warner Bros. and Legendary on 2014’s Godzilla reboot. The 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie had its script re-written the weekend before production started with no input from the directors, who were then locked out of the editing room during post-production (they were eventually let back in).

Most of the time directors leave before production actually starts, and someone new is brought in. Edgar Wright left Ant-Man, Patty Jenkins left Thor: The Dark World, Rick Famuyiwa and Seth Grahame-Smith both left The Flash, Ben Affleck stepped down from The Batman, Stephen Herrick left Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; the list goes on. But very rarely does a director leave (or get fired) while the movie is in production. Usually if a studio loses faith in the director at that point, they would bring in someone else to “oversee” the movie and get it over the finish line. The aforementioned Godzilla saw this very occurrence, as did Mission: Impossible II when the legendary Stuart Baird was brought in to “fix” the movie Jon Woo originally helmed. Baird in fact has a long history with this, being a fixer on titles such as Superman: The Motion Picture, The Omen and Lethal Weapon.

There are still four or so weeks left on the Han Solo movie (plus the already planned reshoots), so let’s look back at a few other directors who left/got fired from their films.

The Wizard of Oz, 1939

It seems crazy to think that one of the most beloved movies of all-time had such a tumultuous production, but The Wizard of Oz in fact saw six different directors helm the movie. Norman Taurog originally shot test footage, but was quickly replaced with Richard Thorpe who shot for around two weeks when Taurog was moved to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Producer Mervyn LeRoy felt that Thorpe was rushing the production, and his short time on the film was probably not helped when original Tin Man Buddy Epsen was hospitalised after the metal make-up coated his lungs and left him on an Iron Lung.

None of Thorpe’s footage made it into the final cut (although he did shoot Dorothy’s first meeting Scarecrow and several scenes at The Wicked Witch’s castle), and George Cucker came in after Thorpe was fired. However, Cucker didn’t actually shoot any footage, and was there to simply oversee the plans to re-shoot all of Thorpe’s work until Victor Fleming came in. Although he was eventually the only credited director, Fleming left before production ended to film Gone with the Wind, and the shooting was finished by King Vidor and LeRoy.

Gone with the Wind, 1939

Speaking of Gone with the Wind, George Cucker had been developing the movie with producer David O. Selznick for around two years, but was removed from the project three weeks into production. According to reports, the decision to remove Cucker was Clark Gable’s and it angered fellow co-stars Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland who went to Selznick’s office to demand he be re-hired. In Cucker’s place was Victor Fleming, who shot the majority of the movie over ninety-three days (although Cucker was secretly coaching Leigh and Havilland behind the scenes). Fleming wasn’t the final name on the movie however, as he had to take a short break due to exhaustion and Sam Wood shot for around twenty-three days.

Spartacus, 1960

Although considered a Stanley Kubrick movie, he wasn’t the first name attached to Spartacus. After David Lean turned down the movie, it was offered to Anthony Mann who was then fired by star Kirk Douglas after just one week of production. According to Douglas in his autobiography, Mann was “scared” of the size and scope of Spartacus and wasn’t capable of finishing the film.

Superman II, 1980

Shooting for Superman II was done alongside Superman: The Motion Picture in 1977 with Richard Donner doing both films. However the film was under a lot of pressure, with overrunning schedules and budget, which producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler attributed to Donner. After everything was shot for Superman: The Motion Picture, Superman II was placed on hiatus. Once Superman: The Motion Picture was an instant hit, the producers brought in Richard Lester to replace Donner on Superman II and shoot around the footage already filmed. Why Lester replaced Donner is still up for debate. Spengler has claimed that Donner was asked to come back but refused, while Donner claims he only found out Superman II was getting underway when he received a fax from the Salkinds telling him his services weren’t required.

The cast and crew did not take the replacement lightly, with creative consultants Tom Mankiewicz and editor Stuart Baird refusing to return for the sequel, along with Gene Hackman who was replaced with a body double. Although Marlon Brando had already shot everything for both movies, he successfully sued the Salkinds who then cut him out of the sequel. Years later, Warner Bros. released the Richard Donner cut of Superman II on home video as Superman II: The Donner Cut.

Piranha II: The Spawning, 1981

Piranha II was originally set to be directed by Roger Corman graduate Miller Drake, who envisioned a version of the movie which saw the return of Kevin McCarthy (who died in the original film). Drake was then replaced with James Cameron who was working on the film’s special effects department, and he then re-wrote the script under the pseudonym H.A. Milton. However around two weeks into production, Cameron was fired by producer Ovidio G. Assonitis who felt he wasn’t doing a good enough job. Assonitis wouldn’t let Cameron review any of the footage he’d shot during his time on the movie, and was even making all of the day-to-day decisions.

A regularly reported story was that Cameron broke into the editing room while the producers were in Cannes to cut his version of the movie, which was then re-cut by Assonitis. “Then the producer wouldn’t take my name off the picture because [contractually] they couldn’t deliver it with an Italian name,” Cameron said in a 1991 La Times interview. “So they left me on, no matter what I did. I had no legal power to influence him from Pomona, California, where I was sleeping on a friend’s couch. I didn’t even know an attorney. In actual fact, I did some directing on the film, but I don’t feel it was my first movie.”

WarGames, 1983

WarGames began life as a very different movie titled The Genius in 1979 about a much older gentlemen, but this changed when writers Walter F. Parkes and Lawrence Lasker discovered a large youth-movement in the computer world, who would later be known as hackers. The character of David Lightman (played by Matthew Broderick) was even modeled after hacking enthusiast David Scott Lewis.

When the film went into production it was being helmed by Martin Brest who was then removed from the movie 12-days into shooting after a disagreement with the producers. In his place was John Badham, whose first act was to lighten the tone of the movie. “[Brest had] taken a somewhat dark approach to the story, and saw Matthew’s character as someone who was rebelling against his parents, and who was just kind of stewing inside,” he told The Hollywood Interview in 2009. “There was that tone to it. I said ‘If I was 16 and could get on a computer and change my grades or my girlfriend’s grades, I would be peeing in my pants with excitement!’ And the way it was shot, it was like they were doing some Nazi undercover thing. So it was my job to make it seem like they were having fun, and that it was exciting, but it wasn’t this dark rebellion.”
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

TCM's Pride Month Series Continues with Movies Somehow Connected to Lgbt Talent

Turner Classic Movies continues with its Gay Hollywood presentations tonight and tomorrow morning, June 8–9. Seven movies will be shown about, featuring, directed, or produced by the following: Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Farley Granger, John Dall, Edmund Goulding, W. Somerset Maughan, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Raymond Burr, Charles Walters, DeWitt Bodeen, and Harriet Parsons. (One assumes that it's a mere coincidence that gay rumor subjects Cary Grant and Tyrone Power are also featured.) Night and Day (1946), which could also be considered part of TCM's homage to birthday girl Alexis Smith, who would have turned 96 today, is a Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a posh, heterosexualized version of Porter. As the warning goes, any similaries to real-life people and/or events found in Night and Day are a mere coincidence. The same goes for Words and Music (1948), a highly fictionalized version of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical partnership.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins on That Oscars Shocker: The Morning-After Interview

Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins on That Oscars Shocker: The Morning-After Interview
When Barry Jenkins returned to his hotel suite at the Four Seasons Monday at 3 a.m. after a surreal night at the Oscars, he slept for a couple of hours, then watched a clip of the show’s ending on his cell phone, finding something oddly enchanting about those final shocking moments that unfolded on live TV Sunday night.

“It’s messy, but it’s kind of gorgeous,” says the writer/director of “Moonlight,” describing the instant that he, the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and 33 million viewers were stunned to learn that his movie, not Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” had actually won the best picture prize. “You have these two groups of people who came together for a second. There’s a picture with me hugging Jordan [Horowitz, a producer of “La La Land”], and Adele [Romanski, producer of “Moonlight”] has her arm on his shoulder. That’s what the moment was.”

Gavin Bond for Variety

In an odd way,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘La La Land’ Makes Damien Chazelle Youngest Best Director Winner in Oscars History

‘La La Land’ Makes Damien Chazelle Youngest Best Director Winner in Oscars History
Damien Chazelle claimed the best director award at Sunday’s Oscars celebration for “La La Land.”

Chazelle ran through a list of thank yous from the Dolby Theatre stage, including one for his fellow contender, and the film’s composer, Justin Hurwitz, who won earlier in the evening. “Thank you for carrying this dream for me,” he said.

Related

Oscars: Damien Chazelle Becomes Youngest Best Director Winner for ‘La La Land

The director concluded his speech by professing his love for his girlfriend, Olivia Hamilton who sat watching for the crowd. “This was a movie about love and I was lucky enough to fall in love while making it,” Chazelle said.

The original musical earned the 32-year-old filmmaker the title of youngest person to ever win the best director Academy Award. This on the heels of his movie musical tying the all-time record for Oscar nominations last month. He was already the favorite,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Damien Chazelle Gives Special Thanks To Best Friend After Winning Best Director Oscar For ‘La La Land’

Damien Chazelle Gives Special Thanks To Best Friend After Winning Best Director Oscar For ‘La La Land’
"I want to thank Justin (Hurwitz) who I have known since I was 17 for riding with me on this," said Damien Chazelle, who won Best Director for La La Land tonight. Having just celebrated his 32nd birthday last month, Chazelle now ties as the youngest director ever to win for Best Director. The last 32-year-old to win was 86 years ago — Norman Taurog for the film Skippy in 1931, although technically, Chazelle was older than Taurog by about a month. Chazelle developed the…
See full article at Deadline »

Damien Chazelle Becomes Youngest Best Director in Oscar History

  • The Wrap
Damien Chazelle Becomes Youngest Best Director in Oscar History
La La Land” director Damien Chazelle on Sunday became the youngest Best Director in Oscar history. The 32-year-old filmmaker breaks a record that’s held for 86 years. While Chazelle is 32 years and 38 days old, the previous holder of the youngest director title was Norman Taurog, who won for “Skippy” way back in 1931 at the age of 32 years, 260 days in 1931.

Chazelle has racked up multiple prizes for his work on the modern-day muscial “La La Land,” including the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the DGA awards. The film also came into...
See full article at The Wrap »

Oscars 2017: La La Land’s Damien Chazelle Wins Best Director

  • PEOPLE.com
Oscars 2017: La La Land’s Damien Chazelle Wins Best Director
Damien Chazelle has danced his way into the record books.

At the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night, the La La Land director took home the trophy for Best Director, making him the youngest filmmaker ever to win the award.

Chazelle first thanked his fellow nominees, Mel Gibson, Barry Jenkins, Denis Villeneuve and Kenneth Lonergan “for what incredible filmmakers you are and for inspiring me with your work every day.”

“I want to thank the people who helped me make this movie, my crew, my team, everyone at Lionsgate for taking a chance on it. Ryan and Emma for bringing it to life,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Damien Chazelle wins best director Oscar for La La Land

Director of Hollywood-set musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone becomes youngest ever to win the award

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Damien Chazelle has won the best director Oscar for La La Land, making him the youngest ever, at 32 years and 38 days, to win the award.

Chazelle was the strong favourite for the prize, though he faced tough competition in a lineup that included Manchester by the Sea director Kenneth Lonergan and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. The previous youngest was Norman Taurog, who won for Skippy at the age of 32 years and 260 days in 1931.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Oscars: 'La La Land's' Damien Chazelle Becomes Youngest Best Director Winner

Oscars: 'La La Land's' Damien Chazelle Becomes Youngest Best Director Winner
Damien Chazelle made Oscars history when he took home the award for best director Sunday night.

"This was a movie about love, and I was lucky enough to fall in love while making it," the 32-year-old director said to his girlfriend, Olivia Hamilton, after thanking the film's stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and John Legend while onstage.

The La La Land helmer broke an 85-year-old record to become the category's youngest winner ever. On Oscars night, Chazelle was 221 days younger than the previous record-holder, Skippy's Norman Taurog, who was also 32 when he won in 1931.

He is also only the second director ever...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

13 Oscar Records That Could Be Broken Sunday, From ‘La La Land’ to Denzel

  • The Wrap
13 Oscar Records That Could Be Broken Sunday, From ‘La La Land’ to Denzel
Anybody who wins an Academy Award is bound to think of it as a historic night, but there’s also some real history that could be made on Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre. Here are a baker’s dozen landmarks that could happen at the 89th Oscars show. 1. If Damien Chazelle wins for directing “La La Land,” he’ll become the youngest Best Director winner in Oscar history. On February 26, Chazelle will be 32 years and 38 days old. The current record holder as the youngest Best Director winner ever is Norman Taurog, who won for “Skippy” at the age of
See full article at The Wrap »

6 Ways the Oscars Could Make History This Year

6 Ways the Oscars Could Make History This Year
The 89th Academy Awards are almost here, and with it come several opportunities for history to be made. Some chances may be long shots (how awesome it would be if Bradford Young won Best Cinematography), but others are as close to sure things (Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins would both make history as Best Director winners).

Below are six ways this year’s Oscars could make history. The ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, airs Sunday evening at 8:30pm Et on ABC.

Read More: Final Oscar 2017 Predictions: ‘La La Land’ Will Win Nine of Its 14 Nominations

1. Damien Chazelle Could Become the Youngest Best Director Winner

La La Land” is only Damien Chazelle’s third feature behind the camera, and he seems destined to take home the Oscar for Best Director. At only 32 years old, the filmmaker would become the youngest director in history to win the gold. The current record holder is Norman Rae Taurog,
See full article at Indiewire »

Yes, Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ Really Will Win Director and Picture Oscars — Here’s Why

Yes, Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ Really Will Win Director and Picture Oscars — Here’s Why
Late in the Oscar season, at the moment when voters actually fill in their ballots (the deadline is February 21 at 5 pm), it all comes down to what movies they have actually seen. What did they love the most, and is freshest in their minds? Which film aligns with the zeitgeist, delivering the message that 6,000 voters want to send?

The five directing nominations tend to line up with the strongest Best Picture contenders, although snubbed director nominee Ben Affleck did win Best Picture win for “Argo.” However, that underdog story became a narrative in itself that drove “Argo” to the win.

This year, the narratives include the aftermath of#OscarsSoWhite and the election of Donald J. Trump. Which will stick?

Here’s how the Best Director and Best Picture races are shaking out.

La La Land” is the magical, romantic, modern-yet-retro musical about artistic passion created by wunderkind Damien Chazelle and his gifted collaborators,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

The 2017 Oscar Nominees: Everything you need to know about the Best Director race

  • Cineplex
The 2017 Oscar Nominees: Everything you need to know about the Best Director raceThe 2017 Oscar Nominees: Everything you need to know about the Best Director raceAdriana Floridia2/9/2017 9:45:00 Am

The Best Director race is very diverse and exciting this year.

It's also very close. With La La Land's Damien Chazelle and Moonlight's Barry Jenkins up against each other, it could easily go either way. At this rate it looks like a neck and neck race between these two contenders, as both films are the favourite to win the Best Picture Oscar. The other three men in the category, Manchester by the Sea's Kenneth Lonergan, Arrival's Denis Villeneuve and Hacksaw Ridge's Mel Gibson are all worthy contenders as well. It's also rather impressive that four out five of these directors are first time nominees. 

We're breaking down the Best Director race below!

Damien ChazelleLa La Land
See full article at Cineplex »

DGA Awards: Did ‘La La Land’ and Damien Chazelle Just Seal the Deal for Oscar Night? (Analysis)

(Courtesy: Getty Images)

By: Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

When I ran into La La Land‘s 32-year-old director Damien Chazelle at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Friday, I told him that I’d like to start calling him “Skippy” since, as he well knows, he is poised to become the youngest best director Oscar winner ever at the 89th Academy Awards on Feb. 26, breaking a record held for the last 85 years by one Norman Taurog for his direction of a 1931 film called — you guessed it — Skippy.

Read the rest of this entry…
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

DGA Awards: Did 'La La Land' and Damien Chazelle Just Seal the Deal for Oscar Night? (Analysis)

DGA Awards: Did 'La La Land' and Damien Chazelle Just Seal the Deal for Oscar Night? (Analysis)
When I ran into La La Land's 32-year-old director Damien Chazelle at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Friday, I told him that I'd like to start calling him "Skippy" since, as he well knows, he is poised to become the youngest best director Oscar winner ever at the 89th Academy Awards on Feb. 26, breaking a record held for the last 85 years by one Norman Taurog for his direction of a 1931 film called — you guessed it — Skippy.

The likelihood of that happening was firmly established last month when Chazelle's original musical scored...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

On This Day: Madonna's Globes, Damien's Birth, Biopic Worthies

Damien and Emma in Venice, Fall 2016Happy birthday to Damien Chazelle, who turns 32 today! He's already an Oscar nominee for writing Whiplash (2014) and he will easily boost his tally this coming Tuesday when he may well nab two nominations for writing and directing La La Land. If he wins Best Director he'll become the youngest person to ever win, beating a record set way back in 1931 by Norman Taurog for Skippy... who was 32½ when he won.

If you aren't dancing for joy at La La Land's success (and you should be... an original musical heading towards a blockbuster gross is great for the future of the genre!) here are other people and things you can celebrate today. Celebrate something since life isn't worth living otherwise in this brink of the apocalypse world.

Other Things To Celebrate...

1809 Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston and life was harsh from the
See full article at FilmExperience »
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