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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Gazzara’

Predators – First look at Rodriguez and Antal’s film at SXSW. Jason Statham’s 13 to premiere there.

Posted by LiveFor on March 3, 2010

Rodriguez: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival has announced Austin-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and director Nimród Antal will present a “First Look” at their upcoming motion picture Predators, at SXSW on March 12, 2010. SXSW also announced the world premiere of Géla Babluani’s 13, the previously announced Super Secret TBA as part of the SX Fantastic midnight section. The 2010 event will take place March 12 – March 20, 2010.

The special presentation of Predators will take place at the Alamo Ritz Theater in downtown Austin, at 10:15pm. Doors open at 9:45pm, and the special event is only open to SXSW Badge-holders on a first-come, first-served basis. An audience Q&A follows the unveiling. SXSW Badges are still available for purchase at http://www.sxsw.com/attend.

A bold new chapter in the Predator universe, Predators was shot on location under Rodriguez’s creative auspices at the filmmaker’s Austin-based Troublemaker Studios, and is directed by Nimród Antal. The film stars Adrien Brody as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors who come to realize they’ve been brought together on an alien planet… as prey. With the exception of a disgraced physician, they are all cold-blooded killers – mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members – human “predators” that are now being systemically hunted and eliminated by a new breed of alien Predators. In addition to Adrien Brody, the film stars Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne. Co-starring are Walton Goggins, Danny Trejo, Oleg Taktarov and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali.

Predators was written by Alex Litvak & Mike Finch based upon characters created by Jim Thomas & John Thomas. The producers are Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellàn. Twentieth Century Fox releases Predators in theaters everywhere July 9, 2010.

Commented Robert Rodriguez: “My director Nimród Antal and I are excited to bring this first look at Predators to Austin’s SXSW Film Festival, an event that’s become vital to the filmmaking scene. Austin is my home and I’m proud that Predators was conceived and filmed here.”

Said Film Conference & Festival Producer Janet Pierson: “Robert Rodriguez and Troublemaker Studios are a continued fountain of filmmaking creativity and innovation here in Austin, TX. We couldn’t be more proud to present the unveiling of Predators at our 2010 event.”

13: Courtesy Magnet Media Productions

Additionally, SXSW has revealed the identity of the Super Secret TBA in its SX Fantastic section – the anticipated world premiere of Géla Babluani’s 13 will take place at Midnight on Saturday, March 13 at the Alamo South Lamar Theater.

13, a remake of the 2005 French film 13 Tzameti, also directed by Babluani, stars Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Ben Gazzara, and Alexander Skarsgard. The thriller follows the story of Vince, who unwittingly becomes involved in a degenerate, clandestine world of mental chaos behind closed doors.

2010 marks the second year of the SX Fantastic section, a series of mind-bending international midnight films at SXSW programmed by Tim League, founder of the Austin-based Fantastic Fest. This year features a diverse slate of five action, thriller, sci-fi and just plain fantastic films from all corners of the world. For more information on the SX Fantastic section, as well as the rest of the Festival program, visit www.sxsw.com/film.

Over the course of nine days, the 2010 Festival will host a total of 134 features, including 64 world premieres, and will open with the world premiere of Kick-Ass, directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Aaron Johnson, Cholë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Nicolas Cage. SXSW will also host more than 80 Film Conference panels, which will take place Friday, March 12 – Tuesday, March 16. For the complete program of films and panels, as well as schedule information, visit http://my.sxsw.com.

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Anatomy of a Murder, 1959 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on September 17, 2008

Director: Otto Preminger
Starring:
James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O’Connell, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, George C. Scott
Running Time: 160 minutes
Score: 9 / 10

The Wife and I watched this last night and enjoyed every minute of it. James Stewart is the man! You will all have seen the poster or others based on it and the Saul Bass opener really hits the spot (check out the Saul Bass inspired Star Wars credits). This review is by Tightspot Kilo.

Begin with an extremely tight and well written script, from the novel by the same name. While reportedly the story is based on a real-life case it is nevertheless actually a timeless story, almost biblical, presenting age-old questions of human conflicts and human dilemmas.

Add to that a sensational cast, starting of course with the leads, Jimmy Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick, and Ben Gazarra, but also the rest of the cast, filled as it is with numerous accomplished and veteran stage actors and radio performers from days of yore. Character parts played by actors Arthur O’Connell, Eve Arden, Ken Lynch, Joseph Kearns, and Howard McNear. Someone paid careful attention to the casting for this film.

Perhaps the most masterful stroke as far as casting goes was the decision to cast Joseph Welch as the judge. Welch was an experienced and renowned lawyer in real life. Welch turns in a very good and a very believable performance.

With the collision of those elements, a great script and a great cast, adding Otto Preminger as director, an overseer who knew exactly what to do with it all, you then have a very fine film.

More than any other movie or play, including modern day presentations like the television series Law & Order, this 1959 movie, Anatomy of a Murder, even though it is now 46 years old, is by far the most realistic and technically accurate courtroom drama ever produced. The conduct of the trial, the examination of the witnesses, the colloquy and bantering back and forth between the lawyers and between the lawyers and the judge, is spot-on. Every bit of it. Every question from the lawyers, every objection, every ruling by the judge, every admonishment from the judge, and the testimony of the witnesses, every bit of it, is realistic and believable, lines that were accurately written with care, and then flawlessly delivered.

Beyond the technical accuracies of the legal proceedings, some other aspects of the overall story were also spot on. It accurately captures the ambiguities and ambivalence of lawyers, their motivations, their ethics, their relative honesty. Nothing is all black or all white. Shades of gray abound. Legal cases as sport. Being a “good lawyer” means bending the rules until you’re told to stop, pushing the envelope too far. Not for justice. No, not that. To win. That’s why. To win. Then sanctimoniously telling themselves that the system really works better this way. The movie accurately captures the fact that real-life legal cases are very often comprised of upside down Alice in Wonderland features. Innocent people are guilty, and guilty people are innocent. Good is bad, and bad is good. Everything is relative. Some call it cynicism. Others, cynically, call it realism. Anatomy of a Murder captures all of these and more.

I’ve read the criticism that Lee Remick was not believable, that as an actress she failed at nailing the portrayal of how a true rape victim would appear and behave, and that her character, Laura Manion, just didn’t seem to have the proper affect nor strike the right emotional chord of a woman who had been raped. All I can say is that such criticism misses a humongous part of the point. It is almost mind-boggling that there are viewers out there who, after viewing this film, somehow managed to miss it. Let me clear it up: we the viewers WERE SUPPOSED to have serious doubts about whether Laura Manion had actually been raped. The question of whether she was really raped or not is central to the plot and story line. That’s why Lee Remick played the part the way she did. And then, in turn, it was part of the story for the Jimmy Stewart character, Paul Biegler, to recognize this problem, and the problem that it presented to his defense. He worried that the jury would see it and would also doubt that she had been raped, and so that’s why he propped her up in court, dressed up all prim and proper, with a hat over her voluptuously cascading hair, and with horned-rim glasses. So, yes, Lee Remick nailed it. Bull’s eye.

Speaking of Lee Remick, some say that this was the movie that put Lee Remick on the map. She was stunningly beautiful here, at the ripe young age of 24. Even though the film is in black and white, her red hair, blue eyes, and porcelain skin still manage to jump right off the screen and out at you. Has any other actress ever played the role of the beautiful and sexy lady looking to get laid any better than Lee Remick? It was a woman she reprised several times in her career, sometimes with greater subtlety and understatement than others. This was her first rendition of it, and it may have been the best.

Anatomy of a Murder is a very complex movie, with multitudes of layers and texturing, where much is deftly explored, but precious little is resolved. It’s a movie that leaves you thinking and wondering. I highly recommend it.

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