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Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Keitel’

Criminal Empire for Dummys – Gary Oldman, Malin Akerman, Milo Ventimiglia and Harvey Kietel

Posted by LiveFor on March 11, 2010

Gary Oldman (Leon, The Dark Knight, The Book of Eli and many more), Malin Akerman (Watchmen) and Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, Rocky Balboa) are set to star in indie gangster project and unusually spelt Criminal Empire for Dummys. According to Variety it is set to shoot starting in late March in New Orleans.

Michael Clarke Duncan and Harvey Keitel are also attached. Cliff Dorfman is making his feature directorial debut from his own script.

It sounds a bit like the set up of Goodfellas as the story centers on a charismatic young man (Ventimiglia) who relates the do’s and don’ts of running a criminal empire through a flashback to his own rise from a tragic childhood and life in the ghetto to eventual position as a multinational drug and criminal kingpin.

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Martin Scorsese – Part 1: The Seventies and Eighties.

Posted by LiveFor on February 14, 2010

After almost four years since his last feature film, The Departed, the legendary Martin Scorsese returns this month with an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel Shutter Island. Join Live for Films as we take a look at some selected works of a man who originally wanted to be a priest but went on to become one of the most influential filmmakers of his generation. Since Scorsese has made 21 feature films we have decided to split this in to three parts and will post them in the build up to Shutter Island out 12th March in the UK. 19th February in the USA

Mean Streets

Scorsese’s first feature film in 1967, Who’s Knocking at My Door?, would introduce him to Harvey Keitel and Editor Thelma Schoonmaker who he would continue to work with throughout his career. Before he made his breakthrough with Mean Streets, Scorsese tuned his skills and ‘business’ knowledge by making Boxcar Bertha for the legendary Roger Corman the man responsible for launching the careers of James Cameron and Francis Ford Coppola among others. Mean Streets burst on to the scene in 1973 featuring Scorsese’s signature themes of Catholicism and redemption along with what would later be referred to as his trademark style; gritty backdrops, raw camera work, rapid edits and a stylish rock soundtrack were merged to great effect which also featured a standout performance by a young Robert De Niro who would become a long term collaborator.

After Scorsese directed Elyen Burstyn to an Oscar in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, he would again team up with De Niro in the controversial Paul Schrader scribed Taxi Driver. Charting the breakdown of Travis Bickel, the film featured the now immortal “you talking to me?” line and a young Jodie Foster as a prostitute. The film was criticised for its graphic violence, especially during the climatic sequence, and the fact thirteen year old Jodie Foster portrayed a prostitute and was on-set during the violent conclusion. Along with a host of other nominations, the film won the Palme d’Or at the 1976 Cannes film festival and solidified Scorsese as an established director.

Raging Bull

The following years were tough for Scorsese, after the financial failure of New York, New York he had developed a bad cocaine habit and entered a deep depression. He managed to make a pair of documentaries; The Last Waltz, following the final concert of musicians The Band, and American Boy in 1978. It is widely suggested that Robert De Niro insisted Scorsese kick his drug habit so the duo could bring the story of boxer Jake La Motta to the screen in Raging Bull. The story of the middleweight champion is one of, if not the greatest, of Scorsese’s career. Filmed in high contrast black and white it is visually stunning and it is obvious Scorsese put everything he had into it utilising a range of stylised camera techniques, it is widely considered a masterpiece. The film captured two Academy Awards including Best Actor for De Niro, however Robert Redford picked up Best Director.

Scorsese followed up Raging Bull with his fifth De Niro collaboration, The King of Comedy, a satirical look at celebrities and the media. Although not considered a commercial success, De Niro’s performance as aspiring comedian, Rupert Pupkin, is heavily praised by critics. Scorsese had hoped his next project would be an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ controversial novel The Last Temptation of Christ but due to pressure from religious groups the project was pulled by studio bosses right before shooting was to set to begin. Dismayed at Paramount Pictures decision to halt The Last Temptation of Christ Scorsese stayed away from studio pictures; going back to basics by filming the independent After Hours before venturing into music videos shooting the iconic Bad for Michael Jackson, eventually making a return with his first real mainstream attempt, The Colour of Money in 1987. A sequel to the 1961 film The Hustler in which Paul Newman reprises his role from the original, it also features Tom Cruise as a young pool player who is taught the ways of hustling by veteran Fast Eddie. Newman would go on to win an Oscar for the role; he missed out 25 years earlier for the same character in the original. The success of the film would give Scorsese the freedom to finally make his personal project The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988. Paul Schrader would pen the screenplay while Willem Defoe took on the role of Jesus Christ. The backlash from Christian groups was unprecedented with violence erupting during protests; Christian fundamentalists would firebomb a cinema screening the film. The anger came mainly from the sexual elements of the film and the depiction of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute; however Scorsese and Schrader set out to portray Jesus as a human being, rather than in the divine terms written in the Bible, showing his struggle with the temptation to sin like every regular man. Although not a commercial success the film was well received and continues to rightly win critical acclaim.

Join us for part 2 in a few days where we take a look at Scorsese in the 90’s, including Goodfellas, Cape Fear and Casino.

Shutter Island is in cinemas from 19th February. Be sure to check out our exclusive interview.

By Richard Bodsworth.

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Cut Throats Nine – Director talks about the Harvey Kietel starring remake

Posted by LiveFor on December 17, 2009

A month or two ago I mentioned the news that Harvey Kietel was to star in a remake of the 1972 Spanish Western, Cut Throats Nine.

A wagon load of convicts on their way to prison is being escorted through the mountains by a cavalry troop. They are attacked by a bandit gang, and only a sergeant, his beautiful young daughter and an assortment of seven sadistic, murderous prisoners survive, and they are left without horses or a wagon. The sergeant must find a way to get his prisoners to their destination while protecting his daughter, watching out for the still pursuing bandits and trying to determine which one of the prisoners was the man who raped and murdered his wife.

Rodrigo Gudiño is directing the remake (he’s also the publisher of Rue Morgue Magazine) that also stars Mads Mikkelsen, and Roy Dupuis. He recently spoke to Opium about it.

“Why “Cut Throats Nine”? Because it has an amazing story at its core and yet it is a movie that is far from perfect. I always referred to it as a tarnished gem. When I first saw the original I also saw a lot of potential to expand on themes that I thought were bigger than a cult movie, themes having to do with human evil and violence. I guess I see the remake as an opportunity to make a bigger, more intense film out of the source material.

It will be more of a remake as my film follows the plotline of the original quite closely. That said the characters have been completely reinvented as has the dialogue, backstory and violent set pieces. My philosophy going into this remake is to fix the things that need fixing and leave the rest alone.

Mads was the first to really like the script and once he became interested it was easier to get to Harvey. But I have to say that both of them came on board pretty much because of the script. I had decided early on to cast faces for the movie, and both Mads and Harvey have very intense faces.”

Sounds like it should be a very dark, violent film and definitely one to watch out for. Cut Throats Nine should be out near the end of next year.

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Harvey Keitel is one of the Cut Throats Nine

Posted by LiveFor on October 30, 2009

cutthroatsnineRodrigo Gudiño (Rue Morgue Magazine, The Facts In the Case of Mister Hollow) is to direct his first feature, Cut Throats Nine.

STYD have the news that Rue Morgue Cinema are behind the remake of the 1972 Spanish/Italian grindhouse western Condenados a vivir. Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction, Smoke, Bad Lieutenant, From Dusk Till Dawn and so much more), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Valhalla Rising) and Roy Dupuis (La Femme Nikita).

Cut Throats Nine follows a wagonload of convicts as they travel the northern mountains to carry out their death sentences. Following a surprise attack from a gang of bandits, only the sergeant, his beautiful young daughter and seven of the most sadistic, murderous men alive survive the assault.

Cut Throats Nine is described as a “crowd-pleasing experience that pushes the relatively subdued excesses of both the western and the horror movie into creative new territory.” Now that sounds like my kind of movie.

Great cast, cool story with a grindhouse history to it. Sounds very good indeed. Has a touch of Inglourious Basterds, but sounds as if we would actually see the nastiness they commit in this film. Who else would you like to see in the film playing the rest of the nine?

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The Ministers – Trailer

Posted by LiveFor on August 24, 2009

Thirteen years after his father was slain and the only evidence left at the crime scene was a pamphlet for a secret shrouded religious order known as The Ministers, a New York City homicide detective sets out to discover the truth behind his father’s gruesome death, but unwittingly becomes involved with one of his killers.

Written and directed by Franc. Reyes. Starring John Leguizamo, Harvey Keitel and Florencia Lozano

Due out on 1st October 2009.
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