Дата: Понедельник, 13 Апр 2009, 11:21 | Сообщение # 51
Сэр Роджер предпочитает "Казино"
Sir Roger Moore weighs in on `Quantum of Solace`
Former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore said he doesn't rate the last 007 film Quantum of Solace as highly as Daniel Craig's debut outing.
The 82-year-old told Absolute Radio's Who's Calling Christian competition: 'I enjoy Daniel Craig, I think he's a damn good Bond but the film as a whole, there was a bit too much flash cutting for me.'
'I thought Casino Royale was better. It was just like a commercial of the action. There didn't seem to be any geography and you were wondering what the hell was going on but there you are, call me old fashioned and an old fuddy duddy!'
Добавлено (19.03.2009, 12:10) --------------------------------------------- Продолжение интервью с Матье с Мувихола
You said you tried to forget you were making a Bond film – how do you mean?
Sometimes it was nice to forget that it was a Bond film because it’s a way of avoiding cliches. If I know I’m the villain, I’m going to act like a villain so sometimes it’s better to not even think I’m a villain. And sometimes that’s what happens in our real life. We think we are nice guys and then one night your wife tells you that she never felt so alone and that you didn’t do this, you didn’t do that, you’re a bastard. And you didn’t even know it.
Did you see him as a lunatic?
There’s something missing in his mind – he’s crazy. I tried to bring something crazy and we feel this craziness at the end with the physical fight. It’s just wild. We tried to do something very savage. You try and search things that you’re not allowed to do in real life. I love to do those things. And with Daniel, we had to be very, very precise.
Were you worried about injuring Daniel, or him injuring you?
You have to abandon yourself completely. You can’t just take the piece of metal and slam with all your hate and stop just before. I had to hit him. So I had to see with Daniel, How much could I hit him? And he had to hit me too because you feel it. So that’s where there’s a big intimacy and respect for the other actor. It was very precise.
They don’t hold back, that’s for sure…
Usually there was something in the Bonds with James Bond and the villain usually have a sort of gentlemen relationship and they spend quite a lot of time together drinking tea. In this one, it’s not that at all because Bond has to find where is the danger coming from. And once he find that, he doesn’t even know what the guy’s looking for. We don’t have that many scenes together, we just hit, we just fight.
Добавлено (20.03.2009, 16:45) --------------------------------------------- Интервью с Олей
Exclusive: Interview with Olga Kurylenko
From the first Bond film to the 22nd, it's always been a tradition that at least one Bond girl has to die.
Now the tables are being turned, and it's beautiful Olga Kurylenko - who plays Camille in Quantum Of Solace - who's handing out the stick.
I've just asked Olga to show me her best Bond girl moves for a photo pose. "No," she replies flatly, before flashing me an assassin's smile. "It's silly."
My mission is to learn all I can about what it takes to become a Bond girl. And who better than Olga to show me the ropes, at a location near Bedford?
Secret agent skills such as skydiving and handling an Aston Martin at speed are on the agenda, but is Olga a naturally daring person herself?
"To be a Bond girl you need courage, charm, determination and feistiness," explains the 29-year-old Ukrainian, who drives a Mini in real life.
"Outside of work, I've done nothing daring, though. I don't even go on rollercoasters. In character, you have to work through the fear and the nausea."
With Olga's advice in mind, first up is a simulated skydive, using the same training facility as Olga and Daniel Craig in Quantum Of Solace for the scenes where they freefall out of a disintegrating plane.
It's some comfort to know that they too had to squeeze into a bodysuit that could have come from the costume department of TV's Battlestar Galactica, and step into a wind tunnel that plays havoc with your hairdo.
"It made me hurt in places I didn't even know I had muscles," recalls Olga of the tunnel. "But then I was doing it three times a week. By the end I was flying on my back and could do flips."
However, the simulator just made me feel sick, and while I won't be confident about jumping out of a plane any time soon, it did give my hair the kind of just-got-out-of-bed look that you'd have after a night of passion with James Bond.
But sleeping with 007 isn't so much of a necessity for today's Bond girl, which is something that Olga, at least, is very happy about. "I'm a different Bond girl for two reasons," she explains. "I don't die, and I don't sleep with James. It is cool."
Next I decide I need a code name. In honour of my civilian name, I settle on Jenga.
Olga didn't have a code name in Quantum Of Solace, but Brit star Gemma Arterton did (Agent Strawberry Fields) and she died on screen. Maybe Olga was right not to.
No sooner have I chosen my code name than it's time for my second assignment, which puts me behind the wheel of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
I feel confident about treating these dream wheels better than James Bond does. In the opening car chase, 007 savages his DBS, leaving it with the doors blown off and riddled with bullet holes.
Aston Martin say that only one car was damaged in the making of the film. But never mind the cool kit - one rule of the Bond movies is that no innocent bystanders are killed.
Fortunately, I'm on an isolated racetrack, so even though I'm driving an Aston - capable of 180mph and yours on the road for around ?90,000 - bystanders should be OK.
As I rocket up to 140mph, I feel the adrenalin kick in and the nausea subside. As Olga told me earlier, "It's about taking a deep breath and just getting going." You can say that again!
Olga remembers her own euphoria at doing the big stunts.
"I'd never do it in my own life, so I just think, 'Hey, this is your chance, do it now'," she says. "Every night Daniel Craig was in the gym and I was amazed by his hard work.
So I thought, 'OK, I'm going to do more. I'm just going kill myself in the gym'. By the end of the film I was ripped."
Despite the hard work, Olga was thrilled to win a glam role in the biggest film of last year.
So does she fancy going through it all again in the 23rd Bond film?
"It won't be for me to decide," she smiles, "but I'd go for it because last year was so much fun. Why would I refuse the fun again?"
Добавлено (24.03.2009, 12:07) --------------------------------------------- О трудностях Тин Тина-Тан Тана в Голливуде и о его истории
At 80, comic-book hero Tintin is ready for Hollywood Tintin is beloved in Europe and barely known in America. That poses a double challenge for Steven Spielberg's movie adaptation.
Reporting from Brussels -- He turns 80 this year but still looks 18, with the same fair-haired quiff. Like Madonna and Sting, two other famous blonds, he goes by one name. Mention him and a European is likely to cheer, while an American is more apt to go, "Huh?" But that's destined to change now that Steven Spielberg is making a movie based on his life.
He is Tintin, intrepid cub reporter and nemesis of evildoers, whose long career in numerous cartoon strips and comic books, with faithful dog Snowy at his side, has made him one of Belgium's most celebrated exports (up there with chocolate and waffles).
His slightly nondescript but instantly recognizable face is everywhere in Brussels these days, stamped on magnets, posters, key rings and other souvenirs to commemorate the 80th anniversary of his creation. Academics comb the cartoons for clues to Tintin's ontological meaning and his sexuality. A $20-million museum devoted to his creator is set to open in June outside the Belgian capital.
And amplifying all the buzz -- the Tintin-nabulation, you might say -- is a big-budget 3-D adaptation (using a high-tech motion-capture process) from Spielberg, who bought the movie rights to Tintin's adventures more than 25 years ago. Joining Spielberg on the project, envisioned as a trilogy of films, is director Peter Jackson of "Lord of the Rings" fame. The first part of filming just wrapped in L.A. (see accompanying story).
In a neat bit of foreshadowing in 1932's "Tintin in America," his sole voyage to the States, a victorious Tintin finds himself surrounded by paparazzi and a Hollywood agent who shouts: "Paranoid Productions are starring you in their billion-dollar movie spectacular!" Spielberg's first Tintin film is budgeted at $130 million.
Not too shabby a fate for an illustrated, French-speaking eternal Boy Scout whose humble origins trace to a conservative Roman Catholic magazine in Belgium between the world wars. "Tintin is a pure Belgian product, with a universal impact," said Claude Javeau, a professor emeritus at the Free University of Brussels.
The character's action-packed international romps gave Belgians a window on the wider world from their tiny country, while fans across the globe, especially fellow Europeans, embraced his unassuming, kindhearted and resourceful personality. It also helped that Snowy was adorable.
Tintin sprang from the brain and pen of a young man named Georges Remi, who drew under the name Hergé (his initials transposed and pronounced in French). The budding artist worked for the 20th Century, a newspaper run by a right-wing priest who sought to promulgate Catholic values.
At the time, that meant anti-communism, and so Tintin's debut in "Tintin in the Land of the Soviets" was a breathless thriller set in a Russia full of boorish apparatchiks and "poor idiots who still believe in a 'Red Paradise.' "
Hergé would later regret those depictions, as well as less-than-flattering portrayals of Africans and Jews in subsequent tales. But his hero's first outing was a hit, and Hergé went on to rework the formula in 23 more adventures over the next 50 years, in books that have been translated into dozens of languages.
His knickerbockers-clad protagonist gets whisked around the world, from China to Egypt to Australia, and even into outer space to foil the nefarious schemes of crooks, coup plotters and master criminals. Threats and bribes do not deter him; neither do a pair of bumbling, bushy-mustached cops called Thomson and Thompson.
In every adventure, Tintin lands in hot water -- "This time I'm done for!" is a frequent refrain -- but a combination of quick thinking, luck and help from Snowy enables him to outfox his enemies. He manages to evade even his editors, for, despite being a reporter, he is only ever once shown writing anything.
Children devour the exciting plots and the hair-raising escapes aboard planes, trains and automobiles (speedboats too). Their parents are charmed by the good humor and the artwork, which, though seemingly simple, is a model of lucidity and detail. Hergé's mastery of the so-called ligne claire style, or "clear line," influenced numerous European cartoonists after him.
"When I was a young child, I read 'Tintin' and loved it. When I was older, I continued to read it. And now I am much older, and I continue to enjoy them," said Benoit Peeters, a Belgian cartoonist who knew Hergé well. "This is very rare. You have some comics for children, others for adults. This is for everyone. You can say 'Peanuts' by Charles Schulz has the same quality. Not many have."
Like "Peanuts," the Tintin books are unremittingly wholesome. Modest to a fault, Tintin himself is almost never less than a paragon of old-fashioned virtue, which is unsurprising, given that Hergé modeled him on a previous creation named Totor, a Boy Scout leader. "Tintin is above reproach. He is trying to save the widows and orphans," Javeau said.
Hergé's own strong moralizing impulse meant that his stories contained hardly a hint of sex or alcohol -- except, in the latter case, as a comically corrupting influence. Toward the end of his life, Hergé eliminated depictions of smoking from his cartoons as well, Javeau said.
But there was a darker side to the conservative rectitude. During World War II, Hergé agreed to publish his Tintin strips in the newspaper Le Soir, or the Evening, a mouthpiece for Nazi occupying forces that spewed pernicious anti-Jewish propaganda. His defenders contend that Hergé was simply being politically naive, but a recent authorized biography suggests that, though not a Nazi, Hergé was not unaware of what Le Soir stood for.
Traces of anti-Semitic stereotypes crop up in some Tintin books but were excised from later editions. Even more distasteful, at least to modern eyes, is Tintin's adventure in what was then the Belgian Congo, in which the Africans are rendered with ludicrously large red lips and portrayed as little more than savages in need of civilization and a proper work ethic.
Americans did not fare too well under Hergé's hand either, which could help explain why Tintin never caught on in the U.S. In "Tintin in America," he jousts with "Red Indians," rapacious oil barons and a gaggle of Chicago mobsters, including Al Capone, the only real-life villain ever to be featured in a Tintin story.
American comics fans were already following the exploits of Dick Tracy and Superman by the time the indefatigable, squeaky-clean Tintin was making it big across the Atlantic.
"America has its own traditions, very rich, through comic strips or comic books with superheroes," Peeters said. " 'Tintin' is in a way a graphic novel, but the style of the books was very far from American standards. . . . The graphic style is different. There is no equivalent. You can find some people in the United States interested in that type of comics, but not a large audience."
Tintin's relative obscurity in the U.S. and his huge reputation in Europe will pose a double challenge to Spielberg and his "Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn," which stars two British actors, Jamie Bell and Daniel Craig, as Tintin and the villain, respectively.
Many American viewers will be encountering Tintin for the first time, while many Europeans are extremely protective of a hero they consider their own and suspicious of how an American filmmaker might tamper with the image of him they have built up.
A taste of that defensiveness came in January after a well-known British columnist, who is gay, suggested that Tintin might be similarly inclined. After all, the world depicted in the books is almost exclusively male, Tintin is devoted to his fluffy white terrier, and he eventually moves in with his friend, the middle-aged sailor Captain Haddock.
"What debate can there be when the evidence is so overwhelmingly one-way?" columnist Matthew Parris asked in the Times of London.
That Tintin might be gay is not a new idea, though the books themselves determinedly steer clear of sex or romance of any sort. "Perhaps there was a horizontal relationship between Tintin and Captain Haddock, but you never see it," Javeau said.
Still, Parris' column was met with cries of Gallic horror in France, where the newspaper Le Figaro complained in a headline: "They have walked on Tintin."
Although some alterations to the original Tintin will probably be inevitable in the film, Hergé himself apparently approved of a Spielberg-produced movie version of his famous creation. Whatever ambivalent attitudes seem to mark "Tintin in America," the artist dreamed of success in the U.S. and once contacted Walt Disney about working together, to no avail, Peeters said.
Spielberg bought the movie rights not long before Hergé's death in 1983.
"Hergé was very enthusiastic. He liked the first films of Spielberg," Peeters recalled. "Hergé said, 'Yes, I think this guy can make this film. Of course, it will not be my Tintin, but it can be a great Tintin.' And I think it was one of the last happy moments in Hergé's life."
Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath's son commits suicide, 46 years after she gassed herself
The widow of Ted Hughes has broken a lifetime of virtual silence about her turbulent family to express sadness at her stepson's suicide.
Carol Hughes issued a simple statement in a handwritten note to the Evening Standard after the death of Nicholas Hughes at the age of 47.
Mrs Hughes, who still lives in the thatched cottage near Okehampton, Devon, that she shared with the late poet laureate, raised Nicholas and his sister Frieda as her own after marrying Hughes in 1970.
Nicholas Hughes, right, arrives at Westminster Abbey for a memorial service for his father Ted Hughes in 1998. He is with his step-mother Carol, centre, and sister Frieda, left, who announced his death yesterday It was seven years after the suicide of their mother, the poet Sylvia Plath.
'Nicholas's tragic death is devastating,' she said.
'He was a passionate and intense man who exuded great warmth and affection. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.' Nicholas, a fisheries professor, was found hanged at his home in Fairbanks, Alaska. He had been suffering from depression.
His death adds to the burden of tragic suicides already weighing on the family in a saga that has been watched with morbid fascination over the last half-century.
His mother, Sylvia Plath, was separated from Ted Hughes when she committed suicide by gassing herself in the kitchen oven in February 1963. She prevented the fumes from seeping into her children's room by sealing the door with towels. It was two weeks after the publication of her novel 'The Bell Jar', considered by many to be the first feminist novel. She was just 30 years old.
Six years later, Ted Hughes suffered another tragic loss when his mistress gassed herself and their daughter in an apparent copycat suicide. Sylvia Plath with Ted Hughes in a photograph taken circa 1959. Feminists have blamed Hughes' infidelity for Sylvia's suicide Poet Syvia Plath pictured with her son Nicholas in Devon in 1962. Ms Plath gassed herself to death a year later He died in 1998, the year he published Birthday Letters, a series of 88 poems examining his life with Plath and his reactions to her death.
Добавлено (08.04.2009, 15:52) --------------------------------------------- Из Интервью с Алексис Рэбен из Вторжения
Alexis Raben - Miss March - Miss March
RG: In your career, you were in The Invasion. How did you land that job and what did you learn from those two big names in that movie? AR: Well the landing of the job was really a very standard, mass audition. I was lucky enough to fit and then they brought me back and back, again and again to make sure that I could actually do it again and again. As far as learning, you could definitely say that both Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig and I keep mentioning the name of Jeffrey Wright because I felt that working with him was just as important as of an experience. But I guess he’s not as quite the A-list name. RG: [Laughs] AR: They’ve all done more complex and demanding roles, but I feel like the focus and the presence that they gave on the set was just as anything else, just as in any other role. It was reassuring to see that kind of presence and that kind of respect for the work and respect for your co-workers as well. It was interesting because we started shooting this thing just before Daniel Craig was announced as the new Bond, and then he was announced and then we came back for some re-shoots when he had already shot it and it came out and it was very successful. The presence on-set, the focus, the dedication to the work was exactly the same. The niceness, the attentiveness, kind of warmth to everybody around him was exactly the same. I find that to be hugely reassuring and encouraging as far as the state of the people working at succeeding in the industry. RG: I think you do have the classic look of a Bond girl. What do you think? AR: [Laughs] RG: I don’t know. I’m thinking of From Russia with Love, like a remake or something like that. Would you want to take the role of a Bond girl? AR: Well first of all, they just had like a half-Russian girl, so there’s totally not going to be another one… RG: [Laughs] AR: …Until like I’m 50. RG: They’ll give you a different European… [Laughs] AR: But then, I can do all kinds of other European accents. There was a time when I was doing method training in New York City, when I would have said, “Oh no! I want to do a serious role.” The more I worked and the more I learned, the more I [said] “Fantastic! Who wouldn’t want to go through that adventure, who wouldn’t want to do a Bond girl, you know?” The more you work, the more you experience, you become so much more down-to-earth and kind of get what it’s about, and then you drop all like air and weird pretensions.
Добавлено (13.04.2009, 11:07) --------------------------------------------- Интересная статья о покер турнире с участием команды Оушена (включая Питта, Клуни и Дэймона) и Дэна. Первый раз о нем слышу честно сказать...
The tension was broken as the patio doors to my left swung open and a bearded Daniel Craig sauntered in. ‘Room for a little one?’ he enquired.
I felt like tapping my lap and saying, ‘Yes, right here, Mr Bond,’ but resisted the temptation.
This was turning into some sort of surreal fantasy, as if I had been superimposed on to a movie set. Brad replied: ‘No man, we saw what you were like in Casino Royale.’
Cue muffled laughter. Oh come on Brad, that was just a movie I said – again just to myself, though.
Добавлено (13.04.2009, 11:10) --------------------------------------------- Похоже у Дэна наклевывается новый фильм. Интервью со сценаристом
Outback, then war and now independent film festival
IT'S not every child from outback Queensland who becomes a war cameraman for 10 years, works on an Oscar-winning documentary and starts the European Independent Film Festival -- and Scott Hillier is certainly not ordinary.
A former Channel Seven video editor in Sydney who earlier worked as a cameraman at Seven's Sunshine Coast studios and before that at SEQ Television, Hillier has packed an enormous amount into his 41 years.
Now based in Paris, where he is writing a film script to go to James Bond star Daniel Craig
Добавлено (13.04.2009, 11:21) --------------------------------------------- Еще рецензия на Defiance
Inspiring tale of efforts to survive nazi oppression
DEFIANCE with Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, George MacKay and Mark Feuerstein. Directed by Edward Zwick. (Uptown Theatre).
THIS being the fifth nazi film this year one would probably think: “Oh no ... Not another nazi movie.” But this was just brilliant. Don‘t ask me how Daniel Craig, who plays the lead role of Tuvia Bielski, was attracted to this script after the pure-action-no-plot Quantum of Solace. This story is rich and inspiring, for us to strive to be the best people we can be, even if the compassion of those around us crumbles. The story begins in Belorussia in December 1941 and the nazis are at their height of capturing and slaughtering Jews as if they are not human beings.
Families ... children, were being marched off in soldier fashion to concentration camps – I assume to be killed. Some were shot before they even got there.
The Bielski brothers Tuvia, Zus (Liev Schreiber) and Asael Bielski (Jamie Bell) return home to find almost their entire family killed, save their little brother, Aaron (George MacKay), dumbstruck and hiding under a trapdoor.
They retreat into the forest to fight for their lives only to meet up with other Jews who have done the same.
With Zus reluctant to look after the others, and Tuvia welcoming them with open arms they run into conflict later on in the plot because of this.
Despite being continuously hunted by the nazis, they trudge on in the woods and take up arms to protect this new community that has gathered. An inspiring quote from Tuvia‘s speech was: “We may be hunted like animals, but we will not become animals.”
This philosophy can be connected to Mahatma Ghandi‘s non-violent struggle to free his people. From this celebration of life instead of the unsatisfying pleasure in vengeance, one appreciates the gift of life more.
This is illustrated in the contrast between a marriage within the new community and the emptiness of war as nazi and Russian soldiers collide (with Zus fighting within that army).
In relation to celebrating life Lilka Ticktin (Alexa Davalos), one of the women rescued from the ghetto, also helps Tuvia see that something that doesn‘t appear to be good, may in fact be a blessing in disguise. Although it has only claimed one award for its original score, it deserves more. It was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, but Slumdog Millionaire (2008) claimed most of those awards.
The fact that the plot is based on a true story is another good reason to watch this film. You would find that it‘s not just another nazi movie, but one that would open your eyes to the inhumane suffering that took place in the nazi era.
Дата: Вторник, 14 Апр 2009, 12:00 | Сообщение # 53
пора бы уже
интеерсно, что он пишет сценарий под Дэна специально. Может он опять решил взяться за продюссирование...
Добавлено (14.04.2009, 12:00) --------------------------------------------- Еще интервью с Олей
`I had to chase my dream` says Bond girl Olga Kurylenko
Sitting at the head of a long table, Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko resembles some sort of queen, blessing her subjects with moments of her valuable time. The start of her conversation doesn't sound like something you'd hear in a royal court, however - reports the California Chronicle.
"Basically, your body has to be like this -- your hips must go forward," she says, arching her back.
It's not often you get within a couple of feet of a Bond girl, and should you accomplish it, it's even less likely she'll spend the first five minutes of your meeting sticking her chest out at you while gyrating in a chair.
Realising the assembled all-male group of journalists is getting a little flustered, 29-year-old Olga ends her impromptu sky-diving lesson and returns to talking about Quantum Of Solace, in which she stars as James Bond's Bolivian sidekick Camille.
The film -- the second movie in the rebooted 007 franchise and the 22nd in the Bond series -- was released in cinemas last October and is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
To promote the release, Olga has come down to Bodyflight, an indoor skydiving centre just outside London where she and Quantum co- star Daniel Craig trained for the film's death-defying aerial action set pieces.
"I practiced skydiving every day for a month. I've not done it since then and I miss it," she says.
Learning how to fall out of a plane properly was just one of the skills Olga picked up while making Quantum Of Solace.
She makes it look easy on screen but reveals that she didn't know what was in store when she signed up for her first action role.
"I was in (2007 video-game adaptation) Hitman, which was an action film, but I wasn't involved in any of those scenes.
"I didn't know to what point they faked it, what point they replaced you with a stunt person, it was all totally new. When started training I soon realised I had to do it all by myself!" she shrieks.
"They trained me so hard so they didn't have to double me. It looks better that way -- when the actor does the stunts you don't have so many cuts in the action.
"I'm grateful to the producers for getting me do it because I had so much fun."
At the time of the film's release much was written about how Daniel Craig had pushed himself to the limit -- dancing across rooftops in Siena, Italy, crashing speed boats or careering around in an Aston Martin DBS.
While Olga's daredevil streak passed by almost unnoticed, she actually performed nearly as many stunts as the leading man.
In Quantum Of Solace, Camille and 007 first cross paths in Haiti where Bond is chasing up leads to the mysterious Quantum organisation. It's there he comes across global terrorist Dominic Greene, a man Camille has seduced in order to get closer to corrupt Bolivian General Medrano, the man who made her watch while he killed her parents and sister.
Unsurprisingly, she wants revenge. After a frosty start Camille realises Bond is both the only person she can trust and the one man who can assist her vengeful crusade.
While Camille isn't the first Bond girl to resist his charms -- they only share a short kiss -- she is the strongest female character in the series to date. She's single-minded, ruthless, and every bit Bond's equal.
Playing fierce, independent women has now become something of a calling card for the former lingerie model, who was born in Berdyansk, Ukraine.
She's currently based up in Scotland while filming Centurion, a British film telling the story of a great battle between the Romans and the Picts.
Olga plays savage warrior Etaine and gets to put her combat skills to good use, spending much of the film on horseback.
When asked about why she picks such iron-willed characters, Olga stops in her tracks.
"It's very funny because I realise only now that that's what happened," she says.
"Maybe it's subconscious, but I am attracted to that quality when I read a script."
She's embarrassed, almost to the point of blushing, when it's suggested she sees something of herself in these steely characters.
"I guess I am kind of like that, in order to go through everything I've been through to get what I want and chase my dream," she says reluctantly.
"I've had to be strong, and determined and focused. I have that in me, and these characters do reflect my character as well. But I'm not just that, I am so many other things. I am a human being also, so I don't want to be limited to playing that all the time."
"Next, maybe I'll go for a weak character. If it's interesting."
The last sentence speaks volumes about Olga. With such exotic looks, she could easily coast through a career playing one fluffy role after another, never offering more than something to look at for the audience, and an objection of affection for the leading man.
She says she turns down scripts all the time because they require nothing more of her than to stand around looking pretty.
"It happened before Bond, more so afterwards. It's very disappointing," she explains.
"I said no to three films after Quantum Of Solace. They were with big actors, too. I thought 'What is my character doing there? Nothing. So why should I do it?'
"I believe in what I do, and try to be serious, genuine and truthful. That's all I can do," she continues.
"People who are interested in that can see through anything else. Those that are blind to those things will be blocked to it no matter what I try.
"Some people can get stuck on looks, but I don't think it's my loss, I think it's their loss because they're not seeing what's in front of them.
"In life, if you are adventurous, you can discover things."
Born into a poverty-stricken family, Olga was raised by her mum - - her parents divorced shortly after her birth -- in an apartment shared with her grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin.
She says she never stopped dreaming about a better life, and believed from an early age something good was around the corner.
At 16 she was spotted by a model agency scout in Moscow, who duly signed her up. Pretty soon after she was packing her bags for Paris, where she still lives after being granted French citizenship in 2001.
"My background means I really know the value of things now," she says.
"I don't go crazy and I know how to treat people.
"I can compare things to my childhood, so I know what something means for other people.
"I always think about those not in my position, and I know not to treat anything with disdain or disrespect."
Дата: Вторник, 14 Апр 2009, 12:01 | Сообщение # 54
Craig Sheds 007 Charm for New Film
LONDON (AP) — He's a style icon known to millions as suave superspy James Bond.
So it could be called ironic that Daniel Craig feels at home playing an aging, miserable actor in the low-budget British film "Flashbacks of a Fool."
But Craig says it would be "terribly easy" to become like his character Joe Scot, an embittered, fading star who finds no amount of Hollywood hedonism can fill the void within.
"He has failed as a human being, and I wanted to explore that," Craig told reporters Sunday at the film's world premiere in London.
"I think you have to work hard at not becoming disillusioned about what you do for a living," Craig said. "If you have any success in what you do for a living, you have to maintain an energy and love of it. If you can, that's a great thing."
Craig attended Sunday's London premiere midway through filming on his second Bond thriller, "Quantum of Solace," which is due for release later this year.
The actor has not always seemed comfortable with the level of attention he has received since being cast as 007 in 2005. "Flashbacks" is a return to small-scale, personal projects for Craig. It was written and directed by his longtime friend Baillie Walsh, best known as a director of videos and documentaries for bands including INXS, Massive Attack and Oasis.
A coming-of-age drama centered on Joe's teenage years in the 1970s, the film veers — at times erratically — between wistfulness, tragedy and spiky humor. It has a strong British cast that includes Helen McRory, Olivia Williams and Harry Eden as the young Joe, a soundtrack of vintage David Bowie and Roxy Music, and fantastic seaside scenery — set in a suspiciously sunny English seaside town. It was actually filmed in South Africa.
Craig said the film was "a personal journey" for him.
"The film touches on a lot of things we all went through — electrifying moments when you're a teenager which form who you are as a human being," Craig said. "I think Baillie has captured that so well."
"I hit 40 this year, but I still think about being a teenager, and hopefully I will for the rest of my life."
And Craig says he has discovered an upside to his new fame — the power to get projects like "Flashbacks" made. Craig has an executive producer credit on the film, and his clout helped greenlight the script, which Walsh wrote for him several years ago.
"If I can be responsible, even slightly, for getting movies like this off the ground — movies I can be proud of like this one ... then I am going to get a huge amount of enjoyment out of it," Craig said.
Дата: Вторник, 21 Апр 2009, 14:55 | Сообщение # 55
1) Drink, drugs, faded looks? Craig admits he could suffer same downfall as the film star in his new movie By WILLIAM CLAYTON Last updated at 10:38 18 April 2008
He's made the astonishing transition from being an unknown actor growing up in an English seaside town to becoming the toast of Hollywood.
But now he's turned 40, and his body is ravaged by an excess of drink, drugs and debauchery.
His face, with its taut jawline, once had only to stare moodily from his latest movie poster and a billion seats were sold.
But now, the dark bags under his eyes and the crows-feet pattern around them have to be disguised by heavy make-up lest the camera betrays to the few people who remember his heady fame that here is a star slowly imploding.
His name, which once blazed outside cinemas in megawatt lights is now little more than a flickering candle.
"Such is the transient business of fame," reflects Daniel Craig sadly.
"But when it all goes wrong, it happens very easily and very quickly, and nobody's immune."
Craig, it has to be said at once, is not talking about himself but Joe Scott, the faded movie star he plays in his latest film, Flashbacks Of A Fool.
There are some similarities, though.
Firstly, Craig is also 40; an English actor who rose out of a relatively minor league to become a major star and the darling of Tinseltown.
He is riding high in Hollywood for breaking all box office records for his portrayal of 007 in Casino Royale, and, with the help of an impressive six-pack and a tight pair of blue swimming trunks, turned himself into a pin-up all over the world.
And, he admits, he does sometimes wear a little eye make-up, although strictly for professional reasons. (признался-таки )
But any similarities between Daniel Craig and the fictitious Joe Scott come to an end here - although, as we shall learn later, there may be other points of past biographical reference.
In all other respects - drink, drugs, faded looks, a penchant for hookers and a career on the skids - they are polar opposites.
However, Craig - clear-eyed and in splendid physical shape when we meet this week during a break in filming for his second Bond movie, Quantum Of Solace - confesses that he could turn into Scott if he isn't careful.
"Flashbacks Of A Fool is in part about a guy who has taken wrong turnings, in his life and career, and hasn't managed his life properly," he says.
"I could still do that. I could still make those mistakes and take those wrong turnings.
"Who knows how things might go for me? Who knows what the future holds? What I do know is that you can take nothing absolutely nothing, for granted and you have to work hard at not becoming disillusioned at what you do for a living.
"If you have had any kind of success - and there's no question Joe Scott has enjoyed the big time as an actor in the past if his Malibu mansion is anything to go by - you have to strive to retain the appetite, energy and love for the work you're going to be doing in the future.
"If you can keep that enthusiasm, you've really cracked it. The problem for Joe is that he hasn't just lost interest in the acting business in which he works, but in living, full stop. And, thankfully, I am a very long way from either of those things.
"But the state in which Joe finds himself, his failure as a human being, fascinated me - it was a primary reason for me wanting to do this picture. I wanted to explore his decline and fall."
Flashbacks Of A Fool is the brainchild of his close friend, Baillie Walsh, who wrote the story specifically with Craig in mind.
So how much of Daniel's own life is contained in the film? The movie - as the title suggests - is told partly in flashback, the audience seeing a teenage version of Daniel's character during his formative years in an English seaside town. (Baillie grew up in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.)
It is an era of glam rock and evocative music, and bands such as Roxy Music and David Bowie feature heavily on the soundtrack.
The younger Joe, played by 18-year-old Harry Eden, becomes passionately involved with an older woman, Evelyn, (Jodhi May) sacrificing his relationship with the young and beautiful Ruth (Felicity Jones) in the process.
To what extent is this bit biographical, either deliberately or inadvertently? Did Daniel whisper in Baillie Walsh's ear, when he was writing the movie, and give him a few pointers as to his early life?
Was there a Ruth when he was growing up in Liverpool? Or an Evelyn? The notoriously taciturn Craig gives me an icy stare.
"Maybe there was," he growls.
Would you care to expand on that? This time an iceberg floats between us.
"No, it wouldn't be fair."
(хихи, но мы-то все равно знаем...)
Later I ask the same question, but in a different way. I wondered if the flashback scenes with the women mirrored his own experience.
"Well, if I were being perfectly honest," he begins... then there is a long pause before the shutters come down.
"But I'm not going to be perfectly honest."
The dilemma for Craig is that he hates talking about himself only marginally less than he hates the intrusiveness that is the inevitable consequence of fame.
Daniel does a very good job at keeping his private life to himself, and he isn't afraid to complain publicly if he thinks the line has been crossed.
"The character I play in Flashbacks has driven himself into a corner and I can relate to that. I can understand him wanting to hide away from everything because that's what I want to do.
"People seem always to be staring at me, and that does get me down."
What is known about Craig's background is that he was born in Chester, and raised in Liverpool, the son of Timothy, a publican, and Olivia, an art teacher.
His parents divorced, but he insists he and his elder sister, Lea, were brought up with stability and love.
He wanted to be an actor from an early age.
"My mother found a school essay I had written when I was six, saying exactly that, although she is sure I probably toyed with the idea of being a marine biologist and an astronaut, too."
It was Olivia who encouraged him to join the National Youth Theatre when he was 16, just out of school and uncertain what to do with his life. Three years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama followed.
His breakthrough role on TV was as George Peacock in the BAFTA-winning 1996 BBC drama Our Friends In The North, which chronicled the lives of four friends from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Movie work came next - he was Angelina Jolie's lover in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001.
However, most of his work has been in off-beat productions such as the 2003 British film The Mother in which, curiously, he played the toyboy lover of a woman old enough to be his grandmother.
When he landed the Bond role, it came as a complete surprise to everyone - not least himself.
And from then on his life was to change for ever.
"I used to be able to enjoy a couple of pints in a pub in complete anonymity, but now I can't. So what do I do? I have learned to drink faster and duck out before I'm surrounded."
He takes part in showbizzy red carpet events, albeit reluctantly - as he did for the premiere of Flashbacks Of A Fool - because he recognises they are necessary to promote his films. But he doesn't enjoy them.
"I don't think I will ever get used to this part of the job", he says.
"However, if my change of circumstance" - as he rather coyly describes his elevation from character actor to superstar - "can help to get movies that I believe in off the ground, then I'll do it".
Does Craig - who has a 15-year-old daughter, Ella, from his marriage to the actress Fiona Loudon and whose current partner is Japanese-American film producer Satsuki Mitchell - have any tips on how to stay on the straight and narrow in movieland?
"You need good people around you to survive - it's absolutely essential. You need to keep people you care about close to you. If you let them disappear from your life you're in trouble.
"The problem then is that you have no yardstick any more; you've nobody around to tell you that what you are doing is wrong, if indeed what you are doing is wrong.
"You have to stay connected to reality and you can do that through having good people, and good family members, around you."
Craig clearly took his own advice to heart - specifically the bit about staying close to those one cares about - when it came to making Flashbacks Of A Fool.
"I believed in Baillie Walsh, and he believed in me," he says simply.
"Anyway, friends stick by each other."
He had first met Walsh on the set of the 1998 Francis Bacon biopic Love Is The Devil.
"We hit it off straight away," he says.
"He's done a number of classic music videos for bands such as Massive Attack and I always believed he had it in him to make a great movie."
Walsh struggled to raise the £5.5million financing for Flashbacks Of A Fool.
It was only when Craig not only agreed to star in the wake of his Casino Royale success, but to be executive producer as well, that the project took off.
It had taken seven years to come to fruition, but it was only in the last two-and-a-half years, since Craig landed the James Bond role, that backers showed any real interest.
"I was shameless in exploiting my connection," says Craig.
"It worked, though. I'd made a promise to Baillie a long time ago that we would make this film together, and I was able to keep my word."
This week, at the premiere of their labour of love - Craig could have commanded £5million for a Hollywood movie, but industry gossip is that he chose to work for his friend for peanuts - it was interesting to watch his body language as he worked the crowds.
He might have been happy to promote the film, but he certainly wasn't comfortable.
He resembled a reclusive uncle who has been press-ganged into showing his face at a family gathering out of duty only, but clearly wishing he was somewhere else.
Later - sipping from a bottle of Corona beer - he visibly relaxed and laughed and joked with people.
But no doubt he was pondering the joys of one day being able to sink back into obscurity in the same way that his character Joe Scott does - albeit reluctantly, in Scott's case - in Flashbacks Of A Fool.
Except, in Craig's case, it would be a voluntary act, a deliberate move rather than the consequence of an embarrassing, drugfuelled fall from grace.
As a lover of theatre work and small independent films, not to mention his solitude, it would be less a case of skidding off the rails as moving quietly to an acting branch line.
As Craig says: "I don't want to leave a big mark. I want to succeed at what I'm doing, but that doesn't necessarily mean leaving a huge impression."
Especially if it means giving up the role he likes best: keeper of his own counsel.
2)INTERVIEW: Daniel Craig and Baillie Walsh April 17, 2008
With Flashbacks of a Fool hitting cinemas, Louise Stegalls talks to star Daniel Craig and director Baillie Walsh.
Daniel Craig is looking pretty pleased with himself. The 40-year-old is in town for the world premiere of Flashbacks of a Fool; the story of a washed-up actor, Joe Scot, who gets a wake-up call when his childhood friend dies suddenly, a film which Daniel has executive produced.
As he walks along the red carpet, continuously doubling back to sign photos and pose for pictures with the hoards of fans that have gathered to get a peek of their hero – often snatching the camera to take the snap himself – he looks relaxed and cheerful, a far cry from the emotional state of his latest character.
“We were trying to get the movie made for a number of years,” explains Daniel later, swigging from a bottle of Corona. “It wasn’t until things have happened over the past couple of years that people have had more interest and it just seemed like the right thing to do, to get involved with the thing as executive producer.”
Most people would be deeply annoyed if their best friend had written a movie for them which portrayed them as a washed-up, alcoholic, drug addicted has-been. But Daniel did everything he could to get the film made. “I’ve have to press the flesh,” he admits, “I have to say ‘look, put your hands in your pockets and spend some money on this movie. I believe in this movie, I believe in this movie, I believe in the people we’ve got involved, I’d like to see it made.’ Thankfully we did”.
He describes how he wanted to explore a character who has failed not just as an actor, but as a human being. “What was interesting for me in the script is that you’ve got someone who appears to have everything and has fucked it up,” muses Daniel. “If you have any success in what you do for a living, you have to maintain a real love and energy for what you are doing, and if you can, that’s a great thing.”
“Every movie I get involved with, I get involved with on as deep a level as I possibly can,” says Daniel. “This obviously has been a much more personal journey for me, so… there’s a sense of relief, a sense of just amazement that we got it here, because it’s been a struggle.”
For writer/director Baillie Walsh it was also a celebration, finally being able to work with his friend. “I’d always wanted to work with Daniel and knew I’d have to set about writing a script if I was ever going to work with him” says the director. Walsh had walked into the studio of an artist friend and seen a painting of a little boy running through a field, with his face full of joy, and it was this that was the inspiration for the film. “I recognised the look on the little boy’s face. It was literally just one of those moments of remembering.”
To create the heightened sense of reality required for the look back into Joe Scot’s formative years, Baillie and cast decamped to South Africa finding a perfect beach to create Joe’s childhood home. “I had to walk onto the beach and believe it was an English location,” says Baillie. “Maybe the sea’s a big bigger, maybe the waves a bit higher but I walked onto that beach and thought, okay, I believe it”.
Meanwhile Daniel had the opportunity to reflect on his own teenage years. “There’s a first kiss… there’s electrifying moments when you’re a teenager which form who you are, moments of that period of your life,” he considers. “I hit 40 this year but I still think about being a teenager – hopefully I will for the rest of my life, it’s an important time of your life.”
While Baillie and the younger cast members are getting used to the limelight, Daniel himself has relaxed since his early days in the media glare and admits it does have some benefits. “If I can make movies like Flashbacks of a Fool, I’m going to get a huge amount of enjoyment from it, that’s clear to me.”
3) Daniel Craig’s having flashbacks - but is still looking forward
IT IS hard to get away from Daniel Craig at the moment. With the first rushes from his hotly-anticipated second Bond movie Quantum of Solace, out last week, the very private Chester-born star is racking up the column inches.
Sadly, we still have six months before we will see Daniel back in his tux (or, with a bit of luck, blue Speedos) for the follow-up to 2006’s Casino Royale – which went on to become the highest grossing Bond film of all time – but next week he is back on the silver screen in the coming-of-age drama, Flashbacks of a Fool.
In the movie, directed by Bailie Walsh, Daniel plays Joe Scot, a fading movie star whose sex, drugs and celebrity lifestyle has taken its toll.
When Joe’s oldest friend dies, he is forced to come back to England for the funeral, where the story flashes back to the 1970s and Joe takes the opportunity to reflect upon his youth.
“He’s a movie star, he lives in LA, he’s probably incredibly successful, got a ton of money in the bank, lives in a big house and is exceptionally lonely and sad and is really not kind of dealing with his life,” says Daniel of his latest character.
“At the beginning of the movie he gets a piece of really bad news which drags him back into his childhood, to an event that happened one summer, the summer that he left home, and it’s about sort of taking care of business.”
With Daniel’s own penchant for privacy, he doesn’t do the whole celebrity scene and refuses to talk about his long-term relationship with film producer Satsuki Mitchell (to whom he is rumoured to be engaged), it is hard to picture Daniel himself ever finding himself in Joe’s shoes.
However, the actor, who recently turned 40 and is the father of a teenage daughter, admits he can identify with his characters’ worries about staying on top of the acting game.
“You’ve just got to keep working hard, I think, if you can keeping doing the right job.
“It’s a fickle business, that’s what it is, but if you keep at it and keep working out what you love and what you like doing, then you’ll at least be doing the right thing.
“What’s interesting about the character, Joe, is that he has success, he’s got all he wants but he’s f---ing it up.”
NOT something anyone could accuse no-nonsense Daniel of.
Growing up in Wirral, Daniel joined the National Youth Theatre at 16 before going on to study at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Television roles soon followed, notably in the harrowing drama Our Friends in the North, before Hollywood came knocking for the former Calday Grange pupil.
After playing opposite Angelina Jolie in 2001’s action adventure Tomb Raider, roles came thick and fast, from a hit-man in Oscar-winner Sam Mendes’s Road to Perdition, to Ted Hughes in the bio-pic Sylvia. The British gangster flick Layer Cake in 2004 and Munich, Steven Spielberg’s account of the 1972 Olympic tragedy, later established him as one of the UK’s acting heavyweights.
Then along came Bond.
Flashbacks of a Fool also sees Daniel make his debut as executive producer on a project – a hint that he has ambitions as much behind the camera as in front.
“I would (like to do more), yes, definitely,” he says. “I mean, obviously because Bailie Walsh is a friend of mine, that’s the main reason I’m involved in this. It seemed right to get involved as an executive producer just to sort of push it along, and, thankfully, because of Bond and because of other things, things came together and we got the movie made.”
With Flashbacks of a Fool set for its West End premiere on Wednesday, before a nationwide release on Friday, Daniel is currently in the thick of things with Quantum of Solace.
The 22nd Bond film, the movie picks up an hour after the end of Casino Royale, and sees 007 attempt to track down the killers of his Bond-girl lover Vesper Lynd (played by Eva Green) while fighting to stop an eco-terrorist installing an evil dictator in Bolivia.
Filming began in January and Daniel has spent the last few weeks in deepest Chile, where the actor who purists initially dismissed as too blond to be Bond has been suffering for his art.
“We’re going from stunt sequence to stunt sequence. We did a body flight thing where you are free-falling in a wind tunnel. That was tough.
“I did a two-day fight sequence which we had been rehearsing for two months. That was physically very hard, getting hit, basically.”
He has admitted that he has to train every evening to create his all-action version of the world’s most famous secret agent, but it seems Daniel is neither shaken nor stirred by the rigours of the role.
Although he initially committed to three years as the suave spy, last week he gave his strongest hint yet that Quantum of Solace may not be his last outing, telling an interviewer: “Until my joints go, I will keep going as Bond.”
Or perhaps until he can no longer pull off those tight swimming trunks.
* FLASHBACKS of a Fool opens nationwide on Friday, April 18.
* CATCH more of Daniel Craig when he is interviewed by Boyzone star Stephen Gately on Film 24, Sky channel 158. (Интервью можно скачать ЗДЕСЬ)
Добавлено (12.08.2009, 14:19) --------------------------------------------- Интервью с Марком о Бонде, музыке и не только
Marc Forster began his career as the writer/director of the micro-budgeted, Everything Put Together, staring Radha Mitchell. His breakout success, Monster’s Ball earned Halle Berry an Academy Award and his follow-up Finding Neverland, with Johnny Depp was showered with praise from the Academy and critics worldwide.
Audiences may have stayed away in droves from Stay (with Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling), but Forster scored another critical success with the mind-bending comedy Stranger Than Fiction. He then directed an adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s beloved international bestseller The Kite Runner, before being selected as a controversial choice to helm the latest James Bond film Quantum Of Solace, the most divisive entry in the history of the franchise for Bond purists and film fans alike.
TIMOTHY E. RAW: Away from making films, do you choose to listen to soundtracks or scores for pleasure?
MARC FORSTER: Yeah, definitely. Always — In my car, I listen to soundtracks at home, I have them on my iPod. I love soundtracks for movies. As we’re in Italy, I’ll point out, I’m a big Nina Rota fan, I’ve been listening to his soundtracks for ages.
RAW: Can you cite any particular scores, especially when you were starting out, that maybe served as an inspiration. Did you use scores to assist you while you were writing your first film, Everything Put Together?
MF: In that process, no. It depends, sometimes when I write I do tend to listen to classical music more than film scores. Film scores make me dream and enjoy a lot and I sort of drift away a little bit, so when I was writing Everything Put Together I felt like I really had to focus and not be swept away by them.
RAW: The collaborative process on one of your more recent films, Stranger Than Fiction was an interesting one. Can you talk about the blending of score and source music?
MF: Brian Reitzell (co-composer of Lost In Translation and composer of 30 Days Of Night) was the music supervisor. I purposely didn’t want to use a composer, so a lot of the music there was pre-existent from other composers. And then (the band) Spoon did write some of the music but only a very small partial part. They wrote the end credits song and some other pieces. We also have a piece in there from Vangelis, a piece from Max Richter, so many different musicians with pre-recorded pieces. It’s really a collaboration between Brian Reitzell and Spoon and music that had been recorded already.
RAW: Immediately after seeing the film, I wanted to get my hands on a copy of the score, which I’m guessing won’t be released anytime soon. The soundtrack that is already available seems to be missing a lot of the music in the final film as well.
MF: Pretty much everything that Spoon contributed to the film is on it. But then for the rest of it, we didn’t have all the rights to everything. It had to be licensed and it got very expensive, that’s why not everything is on the soundtrack.
RAW: You’re known for using such a tightly knit crew on your films, that has been largely the same since Everything Put Together but the “unknown” component is often the composer. Certain directors go back to the same composers over and over, your body of work has a very eclectic mix of composers. How much of that is a conscious decision on your part?
MF: I have a very small team I use over and over and then there are some positions I like to mix it up a little bit and one of them is the composer. I worked with Asche & Spencer twice on Monster’s Ball and Stay, we had a very good collaboration. I used Jan (A.P.) Kaczmarek on Finding Neverland –
RAW: – Has there ever been an instance where you wanted to use one of these composers again and a scheduling conflict prohibited it? Soundtrack fans are often denied the continuation of a great collaboration because both the composer and director are busy working on different projects at the same time.
MF: Not yet. At this point it was always that I wanted to use the particular person because I thought they were perfect for the project. For instance Alberto Iglesias, for The Kite Runner, I wanted to use him because of a certain sensibility. Someone who wasn’t American or European, more a world citizen. I also wanted someone who somehow understood “heat.” I had this idea in mind that I had to find someone who understood heat.
RAW: Someone who could communicate musically the landscape of the film?
MF: Exactly. Exactly. In a sense Alberto understood and understands the country and I wanted to have a mix rather than a traditional Afghan score. A mix of Western and Eastern score flowing into each other and he was really able to accomplish that.
RAW: Asche & Spencer you had mentioned earlier, working on two films with you. I wanted to ask you about that relationship, in particular about the scoring of Stay. I think it’s a brilliant underappreciated film, the music too and my favorite of your films by far. What were some of the ideas being thrown around between the three of you after having developed this relationship very successfully on Monster’s Ball?
MF: It’s funny because that was so many years ago (before the film was finally released after sitting on the shelf for so long). Stay, I felt like, was a film where… for me it was sort of like a moving painting. I felt like the sounds should not just reflect the landscape we’re moving in but the alienation and the dream-like state of the story itself. We had lengthy, lengthy discussions over the kind of instruments we should use, how it should be more electronic or real instruments instead of keeping it electronic, when to use what and how. It was always because for me, the story ultimately is more of a metaphor than anything else. I didn’t want the music to add a shape or clarity to it. It was very important that it adds a sense of an emotional landscape instead of using the score to push a story point across or emphasise what’s trying to be expressed. For Stay, I didn’t want the music to give that sort of support. I wanted it to support the ambiguity the story is telling in a musical sense.
RAW: There’s a lot of quiet, silence and loneliness running through these scores when I listen to them and certainly it’s a characteristic of all your films. For that reason, I’m sure that’s why so many people were surprised about your being selected to direct Bond. Though if you really think about Paul Haggis’ interpretation of the character (as the screenwriter for both films staring Daniel Craig), in that sense, you’re a perfect fit for it. Bond is dealing with that loneliness and the franchise is so much more introspective with these last two films. I’m wondering how surprised you yourself were when you got the call for the job?
MF: Yeah, I was surprised and I didn’t want to do it in the beginning and I had no interest. Ultimately, I was won over by Daniel Craig, I think he’s an incredible actor. First I met with the producers and I told them I wasn’t sure, that I had to think about it and then they said that I should meet with Daniel who was in town. I connected with him because he’s a real actor, he’s down to earth and someone I knew I could make a really good movie with him even though at that point, we didn’t even really have a script. One of the things I wanted to do was bring my crew, the people I’ve worked with in the past to the Bond films, though in regard to the composer, David Arnold had scored several of the previous Bonds, so the producers had me listen to his music and meet with him. I met with him which I thought was interesting because I had replaced everybody else but would have this continuum going into Bond through David Arnold and actually it was a collaboration I enjoyed very much.
Director Marc Forster is an unabashed soundtrack geek.
RAW: You have this close-knit team you brought on board to Bond, one of those people being your long-time editor Matt Chesse. The thing that baffled me, to be perfectly honest was that opening car chase action sequence. It had some of that Michael Bay, I daresay, attention deficit editing style. Is this the studio responding to Jason Bourne breathing down their necks that they feel they have to adopt this very similar “shaky cam” editing style in order to compete?
MF: No it wasn’t. The studio didn’t really say much, it was more from me. I wanted to create that opening to be very disorientating, the feeling of not really knowing where I was. This was the character state for me, that Bond, he doesn’t really know who he is with this world of disorientation going on around him. That’s what I tried to do with that. I hear that there were a couple of people who saw that comparison to Bourne. On one hand, Dan Bradley, the second unit director worked on those movies which definitely adds too that comparison. The sequences he worked on, on this were the opening car chase scene and the exterior of the plane sequence. I shot the interior. In regard to the car chase though, when he shot things, I always watched it and gave him notes on how I wanted to have it different or this and that, so there was a constant dialogue of me pushing for the disorientation of that opening, not so much him actually.
RAW: And in a similar way, you pushing Matt, your editor? It just seems so different from his editing style on the previous films. It was something I didn’t expect.
MF: Yeah. I just felt like I wanted to be thrown into this movie and be totally disorientated. That I don’t know where I am or what’s happening.
RAW: Thomas Koppel scored your first film Everything Put Together a really interesting composition because even as an avid film score listener, every time I watch it, I still can’t tell where the score ends and the sound design begins.
MF: Thomas Koppel has passed away since that film, a few years ago. He was an extraordinary composer, a very gifted man. And yes, the idea was very much to intermingle sound design and score, something similar to doing Stay as well actually, marrying sound design and score. Certain movies I think that really works and it’s interesting because you don’t want to have the sound design and music fighting each other, going against each other. I thought it would be a nicer marriage by having one hand off to the other, or the music carrying some of the sound design and creating design, or sometimes the sound design creating a musical aspect.
RAW: On that film you worked with Radha Mitchell, who had just, not so long ago had had her breakout success with High Art, which subsequently got her known in the states. You then, as a first time director, how is that you get someone like that attached to your film?
MF: Radha and I were personal friends, we hung out a lot in L.A. We met through a friend we had in common and clicked and spent a lot of time together. She was frustrated at the time with projects she was trying to do and they were not going and I handed her this script that I written for her, I told her she’d be perfect for the part, that I wanted to do it and shoot it on digital video and just make it ourselves.
RAW: Would it be fair to say that she was instrumental in giving you a leg up in the industry?
MF: Absolutely, she was. First I had the producer who read the script, liked it and I told him I wanted to make it for $50′000 dollars on digital video. He had the money, then I told him, “Look, there’s this actress I wrote it for and I’d like to see if she does it, if not we’ll go with someone else” but Radha said yes, which was of course, exciting for me because I also envisaged her doing it.
RAW: You already talked about disorientation, but this film is a world away from Bond. Watching it I don’t think I’ve been that disorientated in a way that unnerves me since watching say, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion. The film itself has a very 70’s asthetic, it feels right out of that era.
MF: That was actually one of the models, Polanski’s Repulsion and Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, those kinds of movies and obviously also, Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. All of those movies were sort of my models and I also watched some of the Dario Argento movies because of the visuals he uses and the way he crafted his early work, I really like.
RAW: He’s here at the festival.
MF: I know, I just saw him when he got an award but I didn’t see him afterwards. I’ve not met him yet.
RAW: That should be interesting for you when you do. Finally, can you tell us what you’re working on next? Are you perhaps looking for something smaller and more intimate that will allow you to reflect after the Bond experience, the tent pole big studio action movie? What’s next?
MF: I’m doing a film called Disconnect. Several interconnecting stories very much like Short Cuts, Traffic, Crash, films like that. The backdrop is technology and the way it effects our human relationships between one another, done in an observational way, that isn’t just a positive or negative way. It will be not even a tenth of the Bond budget. I was looking for a smaller movie, I needed to do that again and I intend in the future to go back and forth between bigger and smaller films.
RAW: Are you even beginning to think about composers for that yet?
MF: There is someone I’m thinking about but I’m still not sure, so I don’t want to say just yet!
Дата: Пятница, 26 Мар 2010, 11:42 | Сообщение # 57
Casino Royale 007 Review
Will Daniel Craig live up to the charisma and screen presence of the earlier James Bonds?
That's the big question in everyone's minds, aside from the curiosity of what the new James Bond 007 - Casino Royale has to offer to Bond- and action-thriller fans. And here's the answer - the film and the new Bond are simply fabulous!
Casino Royale is touted to be one of the best Bond films made, surprisingly (since many of the earlier films are so good, it would be difficult to oust them from their positions) and Daniel Craig is a perfect new-age James Bond.
Casino Royale, from the rave reviews after international press shows and today's opening blast and audience response, is one of the best films of 2006, when we have seen a lot of youth-dominated or gore-filled or fantasia-oriented movies... it's a captivating, adult thriller and upholds the magic of James Bond through and through.
Contrary to the earlier films, Daniel Craig's Bond is not smoothly cocky, understated and rakishly English. He's young, fresh and reckless - as seen in the opening scenes of the film, where he makes his first mark in the field of MI6' secret service work.
This James Bond is grittier, runs well (shown in a chase-scene where his quarry is a master of parkour, meaning free running, meaning having to jump any type and size of obstacle in a heartbeat!) and lands man-to-man punches without frequently adjusting his proper tie. James Bond fails in this mission. M (Judi Dench) is furious, reprimands him and pulls him off the case. Not one to be stopped by minor issues like rules at work, Bond decides to go off on his own after terrorists and potential terrorists.
Sure enough, fate sends him enough action of different kinds - smoky and exotic, but much-married Solange (Caterina Murino) and terrorist money-launderer Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen). Bond being Bond and Solange being gorgeous, they both get a little under-the-covers action too - but then, what would a James Bond film be without escapades like these!
M finally gets a-hold of 007 and instructs him to trap Le Chiffre, who is in a bad way financially, in a high-stakes poker game... at swanky Casino Royale in Montenegro, of course. Assisted by Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) who is an officer in charge of ensuring Bond doesn't squander away the government's millions sanctioned for the game, Bond tries his hand at poker, with the stakes higher and more crucial than anyone would suspect. No, James Bond is not a perfect poker player, but Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) is there to help him out...
The plot then moves from mind games to card games to intense, down-to-earth action. There is a definite lack of big, effects-filled explosions, too many double-entendres of the earlier Bonds and mind-boggling gadgets. John Cleese's Q is conspicuous by his absence, but the story moves on. Moneypenny is sorely missed, though, probably because for years, she seemed to be the only woman capable of giving Bond back as good as she got!
What appeals in this film is everything refreshing. Forget the intricacy of plot - it's the usual good-over-evil in international crime with a new story and angle. What's great to watch are the changes and the difference in characters. This James Bond is not perfect, super-handsome and precise. His craggy features, arresting intense blue eyes and toned, buff body is of a totally different Bond. He is flawed, temperamental, not always confident and definitely doesn't touch success every time. He's not a randy rabbit all the time with women and actually tries to have a relationship with Vesper.
Daniel pulls off Bond well, but his acting skills are no news. His performances in films like Munich, Layer Cake, Road to Perdition and Infamous are critically acclaimed and he is quite an action-guy too, if one would remember his moments with Lara Croft - Tomb Raider.
As for Vesper, she is neither a weak-willed lady nor Superwoman - just independent, determined and strong.
M is not a matriarchal tyrant constantly left speechless by Bond's audacity and actually gets to show her worth in a few scenes.
Of course, the Le Chiffre himself isn't the wealthiest, most powerful or undefeated villain in the world with either vast amounts of money and technology around him or entire nations secretly backing him - he is just a very, very bad guy with lots of resources but is also in lots of trouble.
"Masala"-seeking Bond fans - don't be disappointed. While the story moves without the superficial assistance of bronzed bodies, much sex and wild action and gadgetry, there IS a lot of the expected Bond stuff too - a great car, fine dining and drinking, some slick tuxedos and suits, beautiful women, including gorgeous Alessandra Ambrosio and of course, the shaken-but-not-stirred martini.
This is Ian Fleming's very first James Bond book and has never been OFFICIALLY adapted into a film. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are Bond veterans and worked on the script, assisted by Oscar-wining Paul Haggis (of Crash, Million Dollar Baby, etc.).
Director Martin Campbell, who gave us the first of the new Bonds Pierce Brosnan, with Goldeneye, gives us the same (or even better) thrills and spills yet again.
Casino Royale 007 is a gamble that is sure to pay off big time!
Дата: Понедельник, 12 Апр 2010, 11:11 | Сообщение # 58
Road To Perdition
by Mike D'Angelo April 12, 2010
Of the many magical things cinema can do, one thing in particular virtually never fails to knock me out: the way the medium can elongate a single brief moment into an apparent eternity. Frequently, this is accomplished via some form of slow motion. That device can admittedly be a laughable cliché in the wrong hands (I’d nominate The Passion Of The Christ for most egregious misuse in recent memory), but it remains utterly sublime when, say, Wong Kar-Wai slows a charged encounter between two not-yet-lovers down to a spine-tingling crawl. In fact, my original idea for this installment of Scenic Routes was to discuss my favorite shot of all time, which is the moment in Chungking Express when smitten counter-girl Faye Wong watches Tony Leung drink a cup of coffee, shot in a way that makes the two of them seem to be moving at a tiny fraction of the world’s actual speed. But that’s just a single shot, not a scene.
Plus, as gorgeously expressive as variable speed can sometimes be, I’m perhaps even more impressed when a director can create that same standstill effect in real time. At which point one would usually break out some Sergio Leone, and I thought about that, too. Instead, however, and at the risk of sniggers, I’d like to highlight a relatively unsung sequence from Road To Perdition—not an entirely successful film, to be sure, but beautifully directed by Sam Mendes, whom I don’t think has ever recovered from the post-Oscars American Beauty backlash. (Critically, that is. He’s slated to helm the next James Bond picture, so he’s doing fine, apart from the new Kate Winslet-shaped hole in his life.) Given Mendes’ background in theater, I find this scene especially remarkable, as it makes superb use of a tool not available on the stage; by now the guy should be a wizard with actors and composition, but not necessarily with time. All you need to know, if you haven’t seen the movie, is that Tom Hanks plays an enforcer for a criminal kingpin (yeah, yeah, we’ll get to that), and here he arrives to deliver a letter.
A lot of folks found Road To Perdition ostentatiously overdirected, especially compared to the pulp-inflected graphic novel on which it was based. I can understand that complaint, to a degree. There is a garish theatricality, for example, to the shot in which the bouncer leads Hanks to Calvino’s office at the back of the building, passing first across a crowded dance floor suffused in electric blue, then (after opening a curtain, no less) entering what appears to be some sort of especially depressing bordello—a room that we instantly know must be of ill repute, because it’s the approximate color of Carrie at the prom. The snake-shaped movement from left to right across the two rooms is nicely choreographed, but the lighting is just plain over the top, and I feel confident that Mendes, rather than famed cinematographer Conrad L. Hall (whose final film this was), is to blame for that decision. He’s just trying a bit too hard.
On the other hand, Mendes also undercuts that needless expressionism via the bouncer’s mundane nattering, which gradually reveals itself to be a job application. The aggressive obsequiousness that Kevin Chamberlin—an acclaimed stage actor, twice Tony-nominated—brings to this brief but vivid performance gives the scene an unusual flavor, and makes the character’s almost immediate death oddly poignant, even though the movie in no way lingers on it. (Hanks now fears for his family’s safety, and we quickly move elsewhere.) Likewise, I love what Doug Spinuzza, an actor with no other credits of any real note, does with Calvino: In spite of the gun he carefully hides on his desk, we don’t really perceive this dude as any sort of threat to our hero, because his demeanor is that of a schoolboy caught passing notes. These three personalities make for a bizarre Mexican standoff, especially given that two of the three participants aren’t sure whether they’re actually in one.
(Before I get to that, however, a quick digression on Hanks—not because it’s especially relevant to this scene, in which he’s little more than Star Presence, but because I know it’ll come up in the comments. Was he miscast? I don’t think so. Granted, I haven’t read the graphic novel, and maybe he doesn’t much resemble its concept of Michael Sullivan. As written for the screen, though, the role calls not for a menacing, twitchy Chris Walken type, but for a family man who kills only out of loyalty to his employer/surrogate father-figure, Paul Newman [and later for revenge], and who’s explicitly contrasted with the impulsive, smoldering, Walken-esque figure played by Daniel Craig. (Craig can be seen briefly and confusingly in the above clip; he’s the one who wrote the letter Hanks delivers.) It’s a sentimental depiction of a hit man, no question, but Hanks answers the description, and I think he does a more-than-creditable job.)
Anyway. Calvino opens the letter, which he assumes has something to do with delinquent payments, and what follows is roughly 33 seconds of magnificent tension-fraught stasis, a small eternity. Of course, only the characters remain still. Mendes and his editor, Jill Bilcock, cut 14 times in those 33 seconds—mostly back and forth between Calvino and Hanks, though Calvino’s quick glance in the direction of the bouncer inspires a reaction shot (with the bouncer’s worried, confused glance bouncing the camera back to Hanks) and we see Hanks become aware of the gun hidden beneath the magazine. Again, you can’t create mounting anxiety this way onstage, and I don’t think a single, 33-second-long master shot would have been remotely effective, either. The constantly changing perspective, in combination with the absence of movement (as very distinctly opposed to, for example, the hyperactive editing in a Michael Bay flick), subtly alters our perception, stretching this charged moment until it snaps.
And then there’s the music. It isn’t not a coincidence, I suspect, that what we hear emanating from the dance floor is the same five-note phrase (plus modulation) repeated over and over and over, so that we feel trapped in amber aurally as well as visually. Effective as the sound design is, though, it doesn’t work nearly as well on home video (or on a computer) as it did in a first-rate theater, unless you’re fortunate and wealthy enough to have one of those massive living-room systems with the giant subwoofer and so forth. Seeing the barrel of Calvino’s gun slowly judder out from beneath the magazine into Hanks’ view packs more of a wallop when the subterranean bass notes are also shaking you. Perhaps I’m just glorifying eight-year-old memories (it wouldn’t be the first time), but my recollection is of a truly cavernous, far-away-rumbling quality to the jazz refrain that almost literally jostled me to the edge of my seat. Experiencing it on ordinary speakers just doesn’t feel remotely the same.
In any case, I’m not among the folks bitching that Mendes is all wrong for James Bond. Not that this scene, or Road To Perdition generally, demonstrates an action sensibility—but it does suggest that Mendes, in spite of his theatrical background, intuitively understands how to communicate in images, which is more than one can say for most of the Bond directors over the years. (Michael Apted? Roger Spottiswoode? Marc Forster?) And I’d much rather see him use that fundamentally emphatic gift in the service of big-budget Hollywood entertainment than watch him inflate the hell out of a quiet, character-driven novel like Revolutionary Road. Winning an Oscar his first time at bat has done the guy no favors. Maybe he’s found his niche.
Дата: Пятница, 11 Июн 2010, 22:43 | Сообщение # 59
Assessing Daniel Craig's performance as James Bond
Oh, now this isn't fair. When Daniel Craig took on the role of Bond no one was really looking at how he would do in the role, per se. They were looking at how he stacked up against the others that have played Bond in the past - or at least, that's what I'M going to do.
The following aspects are critical to be a good Bond. We're going to rate them on a scale of 1 (Timothy Dalton) to 5 (Sean Connery).
Smoothness: Bond always has to be cool under pressure and never show stress no matter how intense the situation. He's one of those guys that every antiperspirant wants doing their ads. Craig for the most part was pretty good throughout "Casino Royale", but he did lose his cool more than once. In this category he gets a 4.
Sex Appeal: This has always been a Bond staple. He has to find a "Bond Girl", have his romantic way with her, watch her die, and then find another one by the end of the movie (who might also die). Craig pulled this off with gusto and style landing him a solid 5.
Action: Every Bond film has to have action sequences that take no less than fifteen minutes to resolve. Despite the fact that Craig was stuck in a movie that was mostly about boring games of Texas Holdem (in the book it was baccarat, but most people have no clue what that game is), Craig was able to take us through some exciting chases on both foot and in his gorgeous Aston Martin. Unfortunately, these parts of the movie were too few and far-between leaving with not enough room to properly assess. I'll have to leave that at 3 for now (future films might increase this).
Inventiveness: Lacking the benefit of Q's gadgets and other niceties offered by MI-6 this Bond was forced to deal with things on his own. It was reminiscent of the early days when Sean Connery was using strands of hair on his doors to see if someone had come in his door while he was gone. Craig did well enough, but the average Bond fan wants to see 007 use all of his clever gadgets to get him out of tough spots. This is why we pay to see these films. I'm afraid that Craig being forced to go "retro" nets him only a 3.
Attitude: This is the one thing that has always set Bond apart from other action characters. Bond can't just kill someone; he has to kill someone and say a great line to go with it. He has to be able to screw around with Q's gadgets causing great annoyance. He has to be able to make every woman want him and every man hate him. The best that Craig was able to do was to annoy M every chance he got (admittedly, an agitated Dame Judi Dench is aways fun to see). I really hope that in future movies they give him better lines because I was not sold. For this he only gets a 2.
After adding all these stats up Daniel Craig comes out to an average of 3.4. that puts him squarely between Roger Moore and Piers Brosnan. Not a bad start for his freshman performance in the world of 007. Only time will tell how he'll do in future films.
Дата: Воскресенье, 08 Авг 2010, 10:22 | Сообщение # 60
Book to Film: The Girl Who Played With Fire
When a beloved book is adapted for the screen, the usual hand-wringing is about whether the cinema can capture the magic of the page, condensing into 120 minutes what took readers hours, days or weeks to complete, and presenting indelible visuals of people and places.
Reading Swedish author Steig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, however, one’s mind became an Avid editing suite. So many things to cut! There was the endless product placement, for starters (such a boon to filmmakers everywhere – multiple paragraphs covered in a single camera shot, and the possibility of advertising money besides!) But there were also the omnipresent descriptions of roads, buildings, neighbourhoods, etc., that would mean very little to an international audience. Book Number Two vs. The Second Film
The Girl Who Played With Fire, the film based on the second, and strongest, book in the series, manages to fit in most of the enormous tome’s labyrinthine plotlines and does a good job of cutting out a lot of the unnecessary trimming. But even with the book’s panoply of editable material, some backstory, motivation and character development are necessarily squeezed out.
The focus in the second book moves from crusading journalist Mikael Blomqvist (Michael Nyqvist) to computer hacker extraordinaire Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace). We learn much more about her background and how the Swedish police and justice system have conspired to silence her from a young age. Salander spends a lot of time thinking or working on her computer, and it’s to Rapace’s credit (and that of director Daniel Alfredson) that those scenes remain compelling. Forget Swedish to English, What Doesn’t Translate is Page to Screen
But much of the book’s point is lost in translation. The film understandably spends more time with the monstrous Ronald Niedermann and the ghoulish Zalachenko, who are the immediate threats to Salander’s life at the moment.
The police, whose case makes up a big part of the book, get short shrift, however. The good cop/bad cop dichotomy in the book may be clichéd, but the sexist attitude in the department is part of a larger pattern of willful official ignorance, which is the main theme of the third book. It’ll be curious to see whether some of the problems with the police are moved to the third film.
We also spend less time with the characters whose murders set off the plot; when they are found dead, we’ve spent less than five minutes in their company, so we don’t mourn them. And despite the endless exposition that Blomqvist, standing in for the audience, subjects himself to, it feels like those who have not read the book would be pretty lost amid all the relationships between the strange, faceless names.
Nevertheless, the film has two great leads in Rapace and Nykvist, both of whom command the screen in a way that “non-A-listers” are rarely allowed to do in Hollywood anymore. It’s hard to imagine the upcoming American version producing such an effect, even with James Bond (Daniel Craig) as the leading man.
Relative unknown lands coveted role in Hollywood take on Stieg Larsson bestseller
By Guy Adams in Los Angeles It was one of Hollywood's best-watched talent searches for years. And it ended with the sort of unlikely twist that has entranced 40 million readers and turned The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo into the most valuable piece of literary real estate since they sold off film rights to Dan Brown's back catalogue.
Rooney Mara, a virtually unknown actress whose profile is so low that even her age is being hotly debated (she is, depending on who you believe, either 24 or 25), has been chosen to play Lisbeth Salander in the US film versions of Swedish author Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy of thriller novels.
In landing top billing in the film, which will open next Christmas, Mara beat off competition from an extraordinary array of stars. Everyone from Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman to Carey Mulligan and Emma Watson has featured on the list of names being tipped for the job. Mia Wasikowska, the protagonist in Tim Burton's recent Alice in Wonderland, was among the final half-dozen contenders, though she did not sign a test-screening deal. Four finalists are understood to have spent recent weeks in auditions with the film's director, David Fincher, who will begin shooting on location in Sweden next month.
Mara's appointment was announced via a press release issued on the Facebook page of Sony Pictures on Monday afternoon, which summed up her entire life story in a "biography" which ran to just 10 words. "ROONEY MARA will appear this fall in David Fincher's The Social Network," it read.
In fact, the actress has quietly been considered a rising (if low-profile) figure in Hollywood circles for most of the past year. She appeared in the modish Michael Cera film Youth in Revolt, and also in this year's remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Her turn in the forthcoming Fincher film – a biopic about the founders of Facebook – will hit cinemas in October. Mara's deal with Sony includes an option for two sequels, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest.
Daniel Craig will play the film's male protagonist Mikael Blomkvist, and Robin Wright will co-star. But the complex nature of Mara's role is considered to be the most pivotal to the eventual success of the film. Lisbeth is a bisexual computer hacker who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, is accused of murder, and has a sexual relationship with the much older Blomkvist. "Lisbeth Salander, Stieg Larsson's fierce pixie of a heroine, is one of the most original characters in a thriller to come along in a while," added Sony's release. "[She is] a gamin Audrey Hepburn lookalike but with tattoos and piercings, the take-no-prisoners attitude of Lara Croft and the cool, unsentimental intellect of Mr Spock."
The film-makers were essentially presented with a blank canvas when casting the role. Thanks in part to the fact that Larsson died before his bestselling books were even published, all we know is that Salander is relatively short and is aged 24 but can sometimes look as young as 14. Mara, who is believed to measure 5ft 3in, certainly ticks those boxes. Her casting nonetheless represents part of an expensive gamble. Although the huge popularity of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which has sold 10 million copies in the US alone, ought to guarantee buzz for the picture, that is by no means guaranteed to help it turn a profit.
Fincher was responsible for the acclaimed films Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. However both failed to translate critical plaudits into blockbuster status. The dark nature of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo may further dent its appeal to the masses. A final difficulty he may have to overcome involves the fact that fans have already been able to watch Swedish-language versions of the Millennium Trilogy. Those movies have already made more than $200m (£130m) worldwide.
Дата: Суббота, 18 Сен 2010, 13:19 | Сообщение # 62
Our Friends In The North made a star of Daniel Craig but almost wasn't made
Our Friends In The North writer Peter Flannery recalls the difficult birth of his three-decade-spanning 'posh soap opera' Long before he became Bond, Daniel Craig gave a raw, emotional performance as Geordie, a young man falling apart in Our Friends In The North. In an early scene set in 1964 he's so distressed by his alcoholic father that he headbutts him, cries his heart out and then hitchhikes to London to become Malcolm McDowell's dapper henchman. By the late-60s he looks bizarrely like a member of Slade, and by the time Thatcher has her hold on Britain in the 1980s, his world has fallen apart.
A desperately dramatic storyline in its own right, it's only one strand of a series of epic, multilayered stories in Our Friends. The 623-minute drama, which follows the lives of four friends from Newcastle between 1964 and 1995, is as moving now as it was when it was first broadcast in 1996. It's gritty and political, it's sad and serious but it's also sexy and funny. It sucks you in right from the start and, like all the best box sets, it's ridiculously addictive.
Yet Our Friends almost didn't make it to the small screen. It started life as a stage play at the RSC in Stratford in 1982; the action stopped in 1979, with the election of Margaret Thatcher. When approached by the BBC to make the play into a television drama, writer Peter Flannery was initially dismissive. "Our Friends was finished business for me by then. I didn't see the point in reworking it for television. I wanted to write something new." He was also sceptical about the BBC doing it properly. In the end, of course, it did, by allocating a whopping budget of around £8m for a nine-month shoot.
For Flannery, who was born in Jarrow, south Tyneside, the process involved endless rewriting and, eventually, bringing the action right up to 1995. "I finished writing it in the early-90s and had to predict what was going to happen politically. It wasn't hard; it was pretty obvious there was going to be a Blair revolution. I'm glad we spent time getting the series right, although I did spend five or six years of my 30s and 40s working on it. It would have been awful if it then elicited a so-so response." Instead, the hard work put into Our Friends showed and the critics loved it. You may laugh at what Christopher Eccleston refers to as its "dodgy wigs and bad beards", but the characters' voices are individual, real and never blur into one other.
Eccleston's Nicky is an angry idealist, Mark Strong's Tosker ruthlessly ambitious, Gina McKee's Mary fragile yet tough, Craig's Geordie a lost soul in search of a father figure. Flannery says he simply divided himself in four to create the characters, but really only his heroes, Dennis Potter and Alan Bleasdale, have succeeded in writing such intricate, authentic and three-dimensional characters on such an ambitious and daring scale in British TV drama.
Eccleston remembers the first time he heard about Our Friends. "I was standing on the set of Shallow Grave and Danny Boyle said, 'I've read something you'd like.' I got hold of the scripts and read them in one sitting. There's a scene in which Nicky's embittered idealist dad, Felix – played by the wonderful Peter Vaughan – is savaged by a dog on a council estate. He is effectively destroyed by everything he felt he'd failed to create as a socialist. I thought it was an absolutely brilliant piece of writing. I knew it was event television from that single scene."
Our Friends is as relevant now as it was in the mid-90s; perhaps more so. Back then Blair promised a bright future; now the future, particularly in the north-east, is potentially as bleak as it was under Thatcher. Our Friends documents the failure of the left in Britain: the cross-party property scams; Soho's porn barons and their relationship with the Met; the pointless police violence of the miners' strike; the emergence of Britain as a prosperous nation; the dawn of New Labour. It is, however, as much about people as politics; how Nicky's desperation to be "part of something that gets things changed" leads him into the arms of the Trotskyites and away from Mary, while Geordie – betrayed by a series of father figures – develops mental health problems.
Flannery talks of the endless, inevitable problems that beset Our Friends – Danny Boyle was on board as director for three months before deciding to follow up Shallow Grave with Trainspotting; another director didn't get the scripts at all; Daniel Craig only auditioned at the last minute, and with an awful Newcastle accent – but he also glows with pride. He knows that subsequent BBC series such as Holding On would never have been made without Our Friends. And the scripts were good enough to tempt Malcolm McDowell back into television.
"It did screw things up a bit because we could only afford him for three weeks," he recalls. "And, although everything else was pretty much shot in sequence, we had to do all his scenes in that short time. It was worth it of course; as an icon of the 60s he is perfect as a Soho porn baron." In fact, older, experienced actors such as McDowell, Vaughan, Alun Armstrong and David Bradley anchored the youngsters; Eccleston says that he learned how to conduct himself on set from Vaughan.
While Eccleston was learning his trade from Vaughan, McKee was working with a very personal storyline. "We shot the miners' strike scenes around Easington Colliery. It was my first home and my dad's family lived and worked there. The unit base was stationed alongside the high perimeter wall of the pit. Our day started early and as the sun came up I remember standing on the makeup truck and looking over the wall. You could see the recently flattened colliery and out to sea."
Flannery says that when Our Friends was first broadcast the miners' strike scenes had the biggest impact on audiences. "The letters I got were predominantly about that episode," he says. "Either from people saying thank God the story had finally been told clearly in a TV drama or from others too young to remember it. It's what the BBC should be doing now: not looking down to its audience, but entertaining and educating. Our Friends is a fantastic way of looking at social history. Every school should have a copy of the new box set!"
He laughs, but is clearly disappointed by the lack of ambition in British TV drama. He's got a point: since Our Friends we've enjoyed State Of Play, Clocking Off, The Street and, in its early days, Shameless. But there hasn't been anything as relevant, engaging and brilliant as Our Friends. If Flannery were to sum Our Friends up in one sentence what would he choose? He laughs again: "It tells historical, political, personal stories in what is essentially a very, very posh soap opera."
Published Date: 27 November 2006 GOATHLAND residents may well have rubbed shoulders with the new James Bond when he had a pint in the Aidensfield Arms. Daniel Craig, the actor playing the new 007 in the just-released Casino Royale, appeared in an episode of Heartbeat shown on television on 31 October 1993. But rather than his now trademark martini, Walther PPK and dinner jacket he can be seen sat at the bar nursing an empty pint of bitter. Unsurprisingly, there are also very few Bond-style girls in the episode and to add insult to injury PC Nick Rowan – played by Nick Berry – even appears to pinch one of the future Bond's crisps. His role in the 1993 Heartbeat story was a far cry from his present one as intrepid hero of the new film. He played thwarted lover Peter Begg, whose granny Mary Begg was found dead in her cottage one morning by his old flame, Susan Siddons. Peter lived in Birmingham but came back to Aidensfield for his granny's funeral only to find that Susan, whom he still loved, was due to be married. Angry at his discovery, he broke into Susan's home, stole her wedding presents, threw them into nearby bushes and trashed the wedding flowers in the church – obviously he was both shaken and stirred. But although at least two present Goathland residents were acting as extras in Heartbeat at that time they have no recollection of Mr Craig. Whitby Gazette correspondent Monica Urquhart was an extra in Heartbeat stories from 1991 until about five years ago. She doesn't remember the episode but among her recollections as an extra was one when they recorded a carol service in St Mary's Church. And she agreed that it's probable Mr Craig will have also been in St Mary's for the filming of the episode he appeared in. Resident Peter Wainwright has appeared in 191 Heartbeat episodes but he cannot recall the Daniel Craig one either.
Дата: Вторник, 28 Сен 2010, 15:17 | Сообщение # 64
Из статьи о фильмах Спилберга о "Мюнхене"
The death of Israeli athletes at the hands of the Palestinian militant group Black September during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games was an international event witnessed on television by Steven Spielberg. “I was watching a Wide World of Sports live broadcast from Munich when the news suddenly flashed in, and the well-known sports commentator Jim McKay became a man for the hard facts of world politics,” recalled the director. “I was glued to the TV for the next few hours. I think it was then that I heard the words ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ for the first time.” Unknown to the world, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir sanctioned the deployment of hit squads to avenge the killings. The covert operation came to light when Canadian journalist George Jonas interviewed one of the Israeli assassins and published the book Vengeance. “I declined [the project] for several years because I didn't like the scripts and because I considered it too complex a problem,” confessed Spielberg. “I discussed this film with all kinds of people who mean a lot to me, in the hope that they would talk me out of it, even my parents and my rabbi. But no one would do me that favor. So my scriptwriter Tony Kushner and I took on the project as seriously and politically unbiased, and as uncompromisingly as possible.” The filmmaker does not doubt the validity of the story by George Jonas which serves as the basis for Munich (2005). “Together with scriptwriter Tony Kushner, I met the former agent described by Jonas known as Avner. We spent many hours together. I trust my intuition and my common sense; the man is not lying, he is not exaggerating. Everything he says is true.”
“Naturally, it is a terrible, despicable crime when, as in Munich, people are taken hostage, people are killed,” remarked Steven Spielberg who elected to take a balanced point of view with the controversial subject matter. “But probing the motives of those responsible and showing that they also are individuals with families and have their own story does not excuse what they did. Wanting to understand the background to a murder doesn't mean you accept it.” As for his cinematic portrayal of the government ordered assassins as being self-doubting accomplices, the director remarked, “Every single Israeli reprisal was also designed to cause fear and terror in the enemy. I don't believe that any of the agents involved enjoyed killing, or took pleasure in hiding a bomb under the target's bed. Killing was the job of these men, and they did it as well as they could. At the start they were all convinced they were doing the right thing – and they couldn't begin to imagine what the consequences would be for themselves, for their personal development, for their own souls.” Spielberg added, “A campaign of vengeance, even though it may contribute towards deterrence and preventing terror, can also have unintended consequences. It can change people, burden them, brutalize them, lead to their ethical decline. Even Mossad agents do not have ice water flowing through their veins.”
“I believe that Israel's Prime Minister [Golda Meir] had to respond to the monstrous provocation of Munich,” stated Steven Spielberg. “So in principle I think she did the right thing.” However, the filmmaker does not believe that vengeance killings are a final solution. “Violence usually engenders violence.” The Cincinnatian does not feel he has betrayed his heritage. “As a Jew I am aware of how important the existence of Israel is for the survival of us all. And because I am proud of being Jewish, I am worried by the growing anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the world. In my film I ask questions about America's war on terror and about Israel's responses to Palestinian attacks.” George Jonas, who supports the Israeli action, was not impressed with the neutrality of the movie. “With due respect to pop culture and its undisputed master,” said Jonas, “one doesn't reach the moral high ground by being neutral between good and evil.” Spielberg was taken back by the critical reaction to Munich. “I find it kind of astonishing that people who don't like this movie are saying that I'm trying to humanize terrorists; as if it was ever acceptable for me to dehumanize anyone in any of my pictures.” The filmmaker carried on to say, “This film clearly states that the Black September of the Munich murders were terrorists. These were unforgivable actions but until we begin to ask questions about who these terrorists are and why terrorism happens, we're never going to get to the truth of why 9/11 happened, for instance.” Steven Spielberg remains unapologetic. "My film refuses to be a pamphlet. My screenwriter Tony Kushner and I were hoping to make it a visceral, emotional and intellectual experience, combined in such a way that it would help you get in touch with what you feel are the questions the film poses.” One particular condemnation stood out to the director. “There was an article in USA Today by a Los Angeles rabbi, accusing me of 'blind pacifism.' That's interesting, because there is not any kind of blind pacifism within me anywhere, or in Munich. I feel there was a justified need to respond to the terrorism in Munich, which is why I keep replaying images of the Munich massacre throughout the movie.” Reflecting on his reason for producing the picture, Spielberg remarked, "I guess as I grow older I just feel more responsibility for telling the stories that have some kind of larger meaning.”
Australian actor Eric Bana (Hulk), who portrays Avner in the $70 million Hollywood production, stars alongside Daniel Craig (Casino Royale), Ciarán Hinds (The Debt), Mathieu Kassovitz (Birthday Girl), Hanns Zischler (In the Shadows), Ayelet Zurer (Angels & Demons), Geoffrey Rush (Shine), Gila Almagor (Three Mothers), Michael Lonsdale (Moonraker), Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace), and Moritz Bleibtreu (Soul Kitchen). Munich grossed $130 million worldwide and received Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The American Cinema Editors nominated the historical thriller for Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic, while Steven Spielberg was honoured with a nomination from the Directors Guild of America. At the Golden Globes, Munich contended for Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Дата: Вторник, 28 Сен 2010, 15:19 | Сообщение # 65
Из статьи о фильмах Спилберга, о "Тин-тине"
“I was certainly mindful of Tintin when it I was making my Indiana Jones series because I had read the books years before,” explained Spielberg. “Now we have a chance to do a really great adventure with a timeless kid.” The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011) is the first of a trilogy planned by Steven Spielberg and New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson about an inquisitive Belgian boy and his dog. “200 million copies of these books have sold around the world. Only in America is it not as well known. I'm hoping we're going to be able to put it on the map here.”
Shooting the picture digitally and utilizing the motion-capture technology, Steven Spielberg believed to be the best way to honour the source material. “It was based on my respect for the art of Hergé and wanting to get as close to that art as I could,” said the filmmaker. “Hergé wrote about fictional people in a real world, not in a fantasy universe. It was the real universe he was working with, and he used National Geographic to research his adventure stories. It just seemed that live action would be too stylized for an audience to relate to. You’d have to have costumes that are a little outrageous when you see actors wearing them. The costumes seem to fit better when the medium chosen is a digital one.” Normally an advocate for shooting using film, Spielberg admitted, “I just adored it. It made me more like a painter than ever before. I got a chance to do so many jobs that I don’t often do as a director. You get to paint with this device that puts you into a virtual world, and allows you to make your shots and block all the actors with a small hand-held device only three times as large as an Xbox game controller.”
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn chronicles Tintin and his friends’ discovery of a sunken ship once commanded by an ancestor of an adversary sparks a treasure hunt. “As Andy Serkis runs across the stage, there’s Captain Haddock on the monitor,” marvelled Steven Spielberg, “in full anime, running along the streets of Belgium. Not only are the actors represented in real time, they enter into a three-dimensional world.” Replacing the originally chosen Thomas Sangster (Bright Star) in the part of Tintin is a British actor who had previously worked with Peter Jackson. “It will be Jamie Bell’s complete physical and emotional performance,” reassured Spielberg. “If Tintin makes you feel something, it’s Jamie Bell’s soul you’re sensing." Besides Bell (King Kong) and Serkis (Brighton Rock), the cast also features Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Nick Frost (Paul), Tony Curran (Gladiator), Mackenzie Crook (Solomon Kane), Daniel Mays (Made in Dagenham), Toby Jones (Infamous), Sebastian Roché (The Last of the Mohicans), and Phillip Rhys (Kill the Man). When came to integrating computer technology into the storytelling, the director observed, “The best special effects cause the audience to truly suspend their disbelief and watch wonders unfold before them.”
Дата: Пятница, 01 Окт 2010, 18:22 | Сообщение # 66
Our Friends In the North is back
Published Date: 01 October 2010 By Terry Kelly BACK in 1996, Our Friends In The North became a landmark in the history of TV drama. We spoke to Jarrow-born writer Peter Flannery about the continuing relevance of the series in 2010 after its DVD release this week.
Much TV drama remains a product of its times. Often, the years do not prove kind to television we loved in our salad days.
But more than a dozen years after it was first screened, the TV epic Our Friends in the North still carries a considerable punch, artistically and politically.
With its epic political and social sweep, the series' title even spawned a new and popular catchphrase.
For Jarrow lad Peter Flannery, who wrote the series, the underlying message of his drama remains the same.
"Politically, everything seems to be cyclical and we go through the same processes again and again.
"We've been through the New Labour cycle and never seem to get things right – it's always about the governed and the governing.
"And like the characters themselves, we keep on getting older and seeing parents die and making the same mistakes again and again," Mr Flannery said.
The Jarrow-born dramatist believes the corruption of the T Dan Smith years in the Newcastle of the 1960s is still very much alive, but in a much more complex and global form – best embodied in the recent banking crisis.
And despite the passage of the years, Mr Flannery remains proud of the series, particularly in its depiction of political unrest.
He said: "I believe there's no better dramatic account of the miners' strike than is to be found in Our Friends in the North."
Starring Daniel Craig, Gina McKee, Christopher Eccleston and Mark Strong – actors who all went on to even greater fame – the drama charts the turbulent life and times of its four main characters, from 1964 until 1995.
Touching on everything from the Jarrow March to police and municipal corruption to the seedy delights of Soho, Our Friends in the North was originally presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the early 1980s.
But the chance to expand and deepen the play's impact in a major TV drama was one Mr Flannery could not resist.
And despite his many other writing credits, his career is still generally defined by the hard-hitting series, which won both popular and critical acclaim.
The British Film Institute voted the series one of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th Century, and Peter Flannery received the Dennis Potter Award for outstanding achievement in TV writing at the 1997 Bafta Awards.
Originally broadcast by the BBC, the series has now been transferred to three-disc DVD by Simply Media, and comes complete with a booklet, containing comments on the series by Mr Flannery.
The Gazette has two copies of the DVD set to give away. To be in with a chance of winning a copy, tell us where writer Peter Flannery was born.
Fill in your answer on the coupon you'll find in today's paper and send it to Jamie Diffley, The Shields Gazette, Chapter Row, South Shields, NE33 1BL, before next Friday. email@example.com
Дата: Четверг, 28 Окт 2010, 10:21 | Сообщение # 67
Zvi Bielski discusses father's legacy in Defiance
“My dad would have loved the movie,” Zvi Bielski said of his late father Zus Bielski, who is played by Liev Schreiber in the 2008 film Defiance. “And I can’t speak for my uncle [Tuvia], but I’m sure he would have gotten a good laugh about being played by James Bond,” he added, referring to Daniel Craig's portrayal.
Bielski, who was invited by Chabad leader Rabbi Levi Haskelevich, addressed students Tuesday evening in Houston Hall in an event co-sponsored by SPEC Connaissance, the Cinema Studies Department, the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, the History Department and the Lubavitch House at Penn.
Bielski wanted to convey that “real heroes are flawed in many ways,” a message he hopes will show students that anybody has the power to make a difference.
While Bielski admitted that the film, directed by Edward Zwick, did slightly embellish and alter some aspects of the story, he said he loved the film and thought it “did a wonderful job capturing the essence of the story.”
“They told the story the best they could within two hours and I thought it came out beautifully,” Bielski said.
For example, Bielski said the movie greatly embellished the conflict between brothers Tuvia and Zus.
According to Bielski, Zus’ initial goal was to fight Nazis as a guerilla group while Tuvia wanted to save as many Jews as possible, but the conflict was more of a “lively discussion.”
“The conflict really did happen, but not to the degree you see in the movie,” Bielski said.
Nevertheless, Bielski said he approves of Zwick's telling of the story since Bielski understands that conflicts make the movie more appealing and helped the story reach a larger audience.
Another focus of Bielski’s address was his influence over the film.
The idea for the film began in 1995 when The New York Times printed his father’s obituary, which stirred up great interest in Hollywood.
Bielski also influenced some scenes in the movie itself, including his favorite scene, which depicts his uncle Asael— who died during the war — marrying his wife while Zus stands on guard.
With this scene, Bielski said he wanted to make sure the movie accurately depicted how members of the brigade were constantly fighting, even while life in the camp went on.
While the event did not have a large turnout, it was what Rabbi Levi and Lubavitch House Education Chairman and College sophomore Avery Rosin expected.
Despite the small crowd, many students who attended said they enjoyed the event, especially because of Bielski’s humor, which he wanted students to compare to the attitudes of his father and uncle as life went on in the forest during the war. Источник
Дата: Вторник, 02 Ноя 2010, 12:57 | Сообщение # 68
Exclusive: First Full Tintin Pictures A look at Spielberg and Jackson's epic
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have chosen Empire to reveal the first look at The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Headed our way next October, the film adapts the enormously popular books by Hergé in performance-captured, 3D form.
Our exclusive and specially-Weta-created cover is a riff on the iconic image of Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his dog Snowy picked out by a spotlight as they are running. Then we have a couple of stills from the film, one showing you Andy Serkis’ Captain Haddock and another with Haddock and Tintin adrift at sea and signalling for help.
“With live action you’re going to have actors pretending to be Captain Haddock and Tintin,” says Peter Jackson. “You’d be casting people to look like them. It’s not really going to feel like the Tintin Hergé drew. It’s going to be somewhat different. With CGI we can bring Hergé’s world to life, keep the stylised caricatured faces, keep everything looking like Hergé’s artwork, but make it photo-real.”
So what can we expect from the story? Here’s what Spielberg told us. “The first part of the film, which is the most mysterious part, certainly owes much to not only film noir but the whole German Brechtian theatre — some of our night scenes and our action scenes are very contrasty. But at the same time the movie is a hell of an adventure.”
The film also stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thompson and Thomson respectively (“When people first heard that bit of casting they thought that we’d gone barking mad,” says Jackson. Adds Spielberg, “The Thompson Twins can’t be clones of each other. Nick and Simon provided all the differences we needed to foil for each other. They have a wonderful moment in the movie where they start to have an argument about whose sidekick is whose.”) and Daniel Craig as Red Rackham. It also features Cary Elwes, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook and Daniel Mays.
And for those of you thinking really far ahead, what has Jackson got planned for his Tintin adventure if and when the planned sequel happens? “One of my favourites is The Seven Crystal Balls, so that’s the one I’ve always been thinking of,” he says. “I also really like the Eastern European ones, the Balkan ones like King Ottokar’s Sceptre and The Calculus Affair. I think it’s a terrific setting for a thriller, the weird Balkan politics and the mysterious secret service agents. I think the Moon ones are terrific, but they’d be good for the third or fourth Tintin film, if we get that far. We want to keep his feet on the ground just a little bit longer.”
For much, much more from Spielberg, Jackson and their entire cast, pick up the new issue of Empire, on sale November 4. Or better still, order your copy online now!
Дата: Пятница, 03 Июн 2011, 09:41 | Сообщение # 69
‘Tintin’ technology is awkward for academy‘Tintin’ technology is awkward for academy
By REBECCA KEEGAN Los Angeles Times
The recent release of “The Adventures of Tintin” trailer revealed the look of director Steven Spielberg’s long-gestating adaptation of the popular European comic series.
It’s the story of a young reporter on a hunt for a ship’s treasure, inspired by the work of Belgian artist Herge. “Tintin,” due in theaters Dec. 23, was shot in a shadowy film-noir style with the same performance-capture technology that James Cameron used on “Avatar.”
The trailer’s scenes of photo-real characters adventuring in an animated world raise anew a question that has bedeviled the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recent years: how to treat films that use performance capture, or motion capture, as the technique is also called. Relying on both actors and animators to tell its story, “Tintin” is one of a growing category of movies that don’t fit neatly in either the animation category or live action.
“You’ll never be able to define an animated film by how it looks, ’cause we’re using the same artists, the same software, the same computers to do very cartoony stuff and very photo-real stuff,” said Bill Kroyer, a governor of the academy’s short films and animation branch. “Where are you going to draw the line? You can see how this is going to become an increasing problem. From our standpoint, it’s about preserving a specific art form.”
With star power such as Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson behind it, “Tintin” looks likely to garner awards-season attention, and if it does, Spielberg would like it to be in the animated category, according to a spokeswoman at Paramount Pictures.
“In a year filled with sequels, (‘Tintin’) should stand out for its originality,” said Bill Desowitz, senior editor of the Animation World Network, an animation publishing group. “The Herge comics, while unknown to most Americans, offer a sense of grand adventure and nostalgia. Meanwhile, the colorful, hyper-real look of the animation, with its exotic locations, should help bolster the appeal.”
The academy amended its rules in 2010 to address motion capture. In addition to “Avatar,” the technique has been used on films including “Polar Express,” “Happy Feet” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Actors wear body suits with markers, and cameras record their movements. Then visual-effects artists and animators add to the actors’ performances.
“Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique,” the academy rules stipulate. “In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.”
“Tintin” relies on motion-capture performances for most of its major characters, including Tintin (played by Jamie Bell), a pirate (Daniel Craig) and a pair of bumbling detectives (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). But animators are working with those performances — Pegg and Frost, for instance, who are physical opposites in real life, play twins.
“If it was intended to simply be a copy of a live actor’s work, then we would not consider it animation,” Kroyer said. “At the moment, we have not determined a way to make that decision. It lies with the intention of the director.”
In the case of “Avatar,” Cameron chose to campaign his film as live action. “Avatar” relied on such actors as Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington and on animators at Weta Digital to create its tall, blue characters.
“You have opinions that run the entire gamut,” Kroyer said. “You have people who are prophets of motion capture and other people who say, ‘It’s heresy, and I will never use it.’ I think mo-cap is as legitimate a tool as anything for making films, but it’s not the kind of animation we always did.”
The motion-capture Oscar debate is not likely to go away soon: Jackson’s “The Hobbit: Part 1,” which will rely on the technique for some characters, is due in 2012, a second “Tintin” movie is slated for 2013 and “Avatar 2” is coming in 2014.
Дата: Четверг, 21 Июл 2011, 10:25 | Сообщение # 70
Sneak peek: The sizzling chemistry between real life loves Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in new trailer for Dream House
By Daily Mail Reporter
Their low key marriage in New York last month came as a surprise to many.
And now, fans can get a glimpse of the sizzling chemistry between real life loves Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in the trailer of their new film Dream House.
The couple, who grew close while filming the psychological thriller in Canada last year, are shown in a series of romantic scenes in clips from the forthcoming movie, in which they play husband and wife.
One clip features them involved in a bedroom scene, while in another, Rachel playfully puts her hands over Daniel's eyes.
The film sees them play Will and Libby Attenton, a married couple in which they fulfil their dream of moving into their dream home with their two young daughters.
But the dream is shattered when the couple are haunted by former inhabitants who were murdered in the house.
The 41-year-old actress wed Daniel, 43, last month in New York, in a surprise whirlwind ceremony attended by just four people.
The guests were said to be Daniel's 18-year-old daughter Ella and Rachel's son Henry, four, plus two family friends who acted as witnesses.
The whole event, which apparently was followed by a quiet meal and an early night, was carried out amid the sort of secrecy of which 007 himself would no doubt have been proud.
Before they got together, Rachel was a relationship with Black Swan director Darren Aronovsky for nine years and Daniel had been engaged to longterm girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell for five years.
The couple, who have been friends for years, were spotted looking happy and relaxed on the set of the movie, which was widely shot in Ontario, Canada last year.
They strenuously denied rumours of a romance, when they were first linked last November.
But it soon became clear that they were definitely an item when they were then seen hand-in-hand as they celebrated Christmas in Somerset.
Tonight, the actor, who is promoting his new film Cowboys & Aliens spoke briefly about his surprise marriage for the first time.
Talk show host Jay Leno congratulated Daniel on his nuptials, and asked him when it had taken place.
'Erm, two or three weeks ago,' he responded. 'I am supposed to remember aren't I?'
Craig, who is notoriously reluctant to discuss his private life, then said 'thank you' when Leno congratulated him again on marrying 'the beautiful Rachel Weisz.'
He seemed much more comfortable discussing his non-invite to the Royal Wedding, saying: No, they're too posh for me. I didn't get an invite. I waited by the door obviously but it didn't come.'
The actor also confirmed he would be shooting the new James Bond movie in November for a release in November 2012.
He is also gearing up for the release of the Hollywood remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Rachel, who won an Oscar in 2005 for The Constant Gardener, has several projects in the pipeline, including the drama romance, 360.
Дата: Четверг, 28 Июл 2011, 10:07 | Сообщение # 71
‘Cowboys’ & Aliens’ is this summer’s great genre shootout
By GEOFF BOUCHER Los Angeles Times
You see the strangest things in the desert.
Last year, for instance, if you followed a ridgeline outside Abiquiu, N.M., you would have discovered a massive alien spaceship and, nearby, James Bond strumming a ukulele beneath a wispy tamarix tree. “Wait around,” he muttered, “and Indiana Jones might show up, too.”
The man with the four-string uke was actor Daniel Craig, who is best known as the British spy 007 but on this particular day was on location with “Cowboys & Aliens,” an audacious $180 million film that also stars “Raiders of the Lost Ark” hero Harrison Ford. Both actors have brought grim, granite stares to the project, which leads to a nagging question: Is this film as silly as its title or as fierce as its famous faces?
“I’m not sure anyone knows what to make of this movie,” Craig said as he plucked away on a Beatles ballad. “But you know that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
When “Cowboys & Aliens” opens Friday, it will introduce the biggest wild card in Hollywood’s stacked-deck summer. It has been a season of sequels (more pirates, more hangovers, more wizards, more giant robots, etc.) and big-brand heroes (Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America), but this is a horse of a different color.
The movie, directed by Jon Favreau, is set in the 1870s in a blister-scab town called Absolution that kneels before a cattle baron named Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde (Ford). One day a wounded man (Craig) arrives with a strange metal device affixed to his wrist and zero memory. The Man With No Name, it turns out, is an Old West victim of alien abduction.
The film, which also stars Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell, is structured like a Western and (somewhat) resists the contemporary approach of nonstop action in favor of building toward a big showdown, a la “High Noon.” But it promises the visual-effects velocity and crackle of today’s summer films.
The core of that concept and the film’s title come from an obscure, small-press comic book series by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, and the potential of it has brought together a startling posse of Hollywood big names.
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are two of the producers, and Steven Spielberg, as executive producer, was so engaged by the possibilities of the story that he arranged for Favreau and two of the screenwriters, Damon Lindelof (“Lost”) and Roberto Orci (“Star Trek”), to join him for a private screening of John Ford’s “The Searchers.”
“He sat over our shoulders at a screening room on the Warner Bros. lot and gave us a running commentary,” Favreau said with marvel in his voice. “What happened with this film is you had creators like Ron Howard and Steven who are very passionate about the Western genre and saw here an opportunity to tap into that in a big and crowd-pleasing way.”
One crowd that needs to be pleased are all the money people. The movie arrives with three financiers (Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios, Universal Pictures and Relativity Media), two distributors (Universal in the U.S. and Canada, Paramount overseas) and 16 credited producers or executive producers. In these tight-margin days it’s not unusual to see a lot of Hollywood players splitting the risk, but Howard said the herd behind “Cowboys & Aliens” went well beyond the norm.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where there were so many people who were accustomed to being virtually autonomous in terms of decision-making on most projects,” Howard said. “It all went really smoothly though, and I think that’s due to the respect for and belief in Jon. He came in, and we all saw that he understood the movie and the tone we were all hoping for. And it was clear he was going to elevate it all and make it his own. It was also clear the buck was going to stop with Jon.”
Favreau is a filmmaker clearly comfortable with both the art and commerce of today’s Hollywood. Intense and competitive, he is eager to follow up the $1.2 billion grosses of his two “Iron Man” films for Marvel Studios by carving out a new winner with an unproven brand in the same summer that Marvel has two of the biggest releases, “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
It was no secret that Favreau was ready to leave Marvel behind, although he won’t elaborate. “Iron Man 2” was a grueling shoot (the star, Robert Downey Jr., described it as a “screaming, wild-eyed bar fight” to make), and Favreau looked haggard and exasperated in the final days of work.
It was a far different vibe on the set of “Cowboys,” where Favreau had a ukulele of his own on his lap and watched the monitors with the quiet confidence of a director who is open to surprises but not facing daily chaos.
“This is so different. We started with very strong material in the script … and the Western genre has a lot of rules to it. You’re not discovering a form — you’re commenting on an established form,” Favreau said. “There’s plenty of room for inspired moments, but the exposition is laid out. There’s freedom in the structure, too, in a way.”
His voice trailed off, and he began strumming “Sea of Love.”
“You know, there’s snakes around here; we had a 6-footer one day. It’s good though. You just give them a line of dialogue and they’re fine.”
Дата: Четверг, 28 Июл 2011, 10:14 | Сообщение # 72
Buck Taylor makes big impression in 'Cowboys & Aliens'
While filming the opening scene for this weekend's blockbuster film "Cowboys & Aliens," actor Buck Taylor's biggest challenge might have been keeping a straight face.
For the first time in his career, the ex-"Gunsmoke" star was working a scene with his two stuntman sons Matthew (named after a certain Marshal Dillon) and Cooper (named after Gary Cooper). Like their dad, they had grown out beards for the shoot ... and they looked patently ridiculous.
Their beards had come in bushy and bright red, and just looking at them made Buck crack up.
"I thought, 'God, was their mother a buffalo?'" said Taylor, 73.
The elder Taylor and his sons play the big heavies in the movie's opening sequence, in which they come across a mysterious stranger played by 007 himself, Daniel Craig.
Everything goes fine, Taylor explains, "until I stick a shotgun in his face."
Suffice it to say, things don't end well for the Taylors.
"They get rid of me pretty quick," Taylor admitted.
Despite the obvious humor of seeing his sons gone all woolly, there was still a poignant moment for Taylor on the Santa Fe set. In 1994, Taylor lost his 27-year-old son Adam, and his father, accomplished character actor Dub Taylor, within months of each other. Their deaths still cast a long shadow.
So as they sat on their horses, just before the cameras rolled on their first-ever scene together, Taylor turned to his sons.
"I told them, 'Let's do this the best we can and make Grandpa and Adam proud of us,'" Taylor said. "So I kind of pumped them up."
Since they were only involved in the opening scene, the Taylors didn't really know anything about the rest of the movie. Director Jon Favreau ("Iron Man") kept the bulk of the script under tight wraps.
Here's how he explained it to Taylor: "My dad always loved Christmas. Every year I'd see the packages lined up, and I'd ask him, 'Can I open it now?' And he'd say, 'No, you have to wait till Christmas.' So it's the same thing. If I tell you what's in the package, it wouldn't be any fun."
Fortunately, the wait proved worth it. Taylor caught the movie's premiere showing this weekend at Comic-Con in San Diego. He spent half of a recent phone interview raving about the final product, which blends cowboy action with sci-fi flourishes. Most of his remarks could serve as pull quotes for the publicity campaign:
"Daniel Craig is dynamite!"
"Kids will love it!"
"I've never seen anything like it!"
Taylor says that no less than Steven Spielberg, the film's executive producer, went out of his way to praise the opening scene, which understandably has Taylor blushing.
One way or another, most Abilene residents probably would recognize Taylor. Anyone who's been to Frontier Texas! has seen his work: he serves as the museum's video tour guide, and his likeness appears on one of the banners outside the building. He also appeared in the 2009 historical production, Soul of the West, at Perini Ranch Steakhouse.
Then there's his work in TV and movies. Taylor is one of the go-to actors for providing colorful supporting turns in Western films, from "Tombstone" to "Wild Wild West." But he still gets the most recognition for his role as Newly O'Brien on the long-running TV Western "Gunsmoke." People still come up to him to ask about the show, on which he appeared between 1967 and 1975.
"I don't know how they recognize me now," said Taylor, who has since grown a trademark cowboy mustache. "Even little kids, although their parents usually have to tell them who I am."
With the recent passing of show star James Arness, Taylor was called upon to speak a few words at his funeral. He addressed part of his eulogy to Arness' wife, Janet.
"Your husband James Arness, Matt Dillon, made horse tracks in the sand that will never blow away," he said.
Alongside his ongoing film career, Taylor continues to work regionally as an award-winning painter, rancher and avid roper. For a guy who grew up in California wanting to be a cowboy more than anything, it's part of the dream.
"I've tried to embrace the Western cowboy way of life," Taylor said.
Дата: Вторник, 02 Авг 2011, 17:40 | Сообщение # 73
August 2, 2011 'Cowboys & Aliens': Five lessons to take away
By Steven Zeitchik Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — There haven't been many film experiments in recent months more interesting than "Cowboys & Aliens." A genre mash-up not based on a widely known property, Jon Favreau's expensive new movie also rode in with several high-profile personalities, including an A-list actor from this generation (Daniel Craig) and an equally big name from a previous generation (Harrison Ford).
Yet the science-fiction Western could pull off only $36.2 million in box office receipts this last weekend. That's barely more than the other big summer action movie that wasn't part of a known franchise, "Super 8," which opened to $35.5 million without the help of A-list stars. "Cowboys" didn't even win the weekend, at least not yet, finishing in a rare tie with the less promoted (and expensive) "Smurfs" reboot.
So what does the "Cowboys" performance tell us? A quick synopsis.
Hybrid hiccups: Genre mash-ups can go one of two ways: They can unite disparate audiences or they can alienate them. "Cowboys" seems to have done the latter, with younger fanboys in particular unsure of what to make of the Western element (nearly two-thirds of the audience was older than 30, writes my colleague Amy Kaufman). That seems to be the larger trend. Last year's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" — which combined martial arts, video games, comic books and romance — was a miss. We'll see how "Attack the Block," which combines horror with science fiction and comedy fares. The movie performed only decently in limited release this weekend.
Favreau's foibles?: Jon Favreau is the rare Hollywood personality who regularly toggles between studio acting and big-ticket directing. How's he doing on the latter front? After "Iron Man" gave his career a jolt in 2008, things have been a bit choppy. "Iron Man 2" made a boatload of money but got lukewarm reviews from many critics. (Shortly after, he left the franchise.) And now despite an all out-Favreau blitz, his new film has opened to a disappointing sum. Sure, it was better than 2005's "Zathura" — but that isn't saying much.
The Craig effect: Perhaps the most intriguing of all the object lessons. Daniel Craig is undeniably a movie star, having helped resurrect the James Bond franchise with "Casino Royale" five years ago. But do we only want to see him inhabiting an icon? We didn't really care much about him in "Munich" (which came out a year before "Royale"). And we didn't necessarily warm to him here. Troubling news for those behind the upcoming thriller-horror film "Dream House." And it raises the inevitable question about the extent to which we'll embrace him in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
Publicity pushiness: It's impossible to quantify how much promotion "Cowboys" actually received. But the film was certainly hard to avoid. A stream of TV spots in the last few weeks, plenty of actor talk-show appearances and a big Comic-Con premiere last weekend still couldn't will the film to a decisive weekend win. It all suggests that publicity can offer diminished returns if a movie's concept doesn't go down well with potential audiences. Consider this: "Battle: Los Angeles," a film that was promoted far less but that had an easily digestible concept and trailer, opened to just about the same amount.
A dinged model Ford: Harrison Ford's career has been in the doldrums for a while. A return to the kind of fanciful action that made him a movie star could have ushered in a larger comeback, at least more than a dramatic vehicle like last year's "Morning Glory." But it turns out we may not want much to see Ford chasing bad guys across exotic landscapes much anymore either.
Дата: Четверг, 04 Авг 2011, 09:18 | Сообщение # 74
ревью на фильм "Ковбои и прищельцы"
Movie Review - The wild, wild, west gets even wilder in "Cowboys & Aliens
Marcus Eger Jacksonville Movie Examiner
A western on steroids? For years we have watched one western after another come and go without much fanfare. One reason for this is the fact westerns kind of stopped after our parent’s generation. Sure, some have made a name for themselves, like the Coen brothers, but that’s very few and far between. And I could even debate the Coen’s, but that’s an argument for a different time as this is about “Cowboys & Aliens,” a film that reminds us all just how fun movies can be when given the right direction.
As someone once said…It’s all fun and games until a ‘wanted’ criminal returns to town with a metal bracelet attached to his wrist, with absolutely no recollection on how it got there. The criminal was Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) and for all intent and purpose, he just wanted to remember who he was. But, the story went deeper than that as he had this bracelet on his wrist that possessed supernatural powers. Lonergan didn’t know this, of course, but that’s what made it fun and realistic, as you learned about this bracelet right along with the characters within the story. And there was no better lesson of this than when Lonergan helped end an alien attack on the town one night with that ‘said’ bracelet on his arm. As the town’s newfound hero, Lonergan draw attention from all sides and the next thing he knew, he was being sought after by Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). Turns out Lonergan stole some gold from the Colonel at one point in time, so naturally he would have to pay this debt back by helping Dolarhyde and his diverse posse defeat the aliens taking over their land. Of course doing this would be no easy task, as the enemy was much stronger with a lot more sophisticated weapons leading to wild conclusion full of action and intrigue.
Who was in it? Believe it or not, “Cowboys & Aliens” had quite the cast led by Daniel Craig, who played the main character Lonergan. To some, Craig is still not a household name, even though he is about to start filming his third Bond flick as the iconic super spy. That’s crazy for a guy who has been acting since 1992, but more importantly someone who has been on fire ever since blowing up on “Layer Cake.” Craig can make pretty much any role worthwhile and here, he proved to be exactly what the Dr. ordered as we watched all this chaos unfold from his own eyes. And right beside him was Harrison Ford, who at the ripe old age of 69 still has what it takes to get it done and here, he provided one great moment after another reminding us all of his greatest character to this day, Indiana Jones.
That was fun and frankly a breath of fresh air, as I never expected to enjoy Ford in that way again, so good for him and good for Favreau for bringing him into this project. Anyone else pretty much fell into place where needed, but I will say that Olivia Wilde made an impact as the only female lead. I’ve often said it’s never as easy as it looks to be the only female lead, but Wilde pulled this off leaving you wanting more. Same could even be said for Sam Rockwell, only he wasn’t given a whole lot to work with and once again, you are left with a role that could have been played be anyone. Maybe Rockwell is just too powerful to be put into supporting roles, but either way, I almost wish he had not been placed here, as it was more of a tease than anything else.
Дата: Четверг, 04 Авг 2011, 09:21 | Сообщение # 75
MOVIE REVIEW: 'Cowboys and Aliens' loses its punch
DAVID GERMAIN AP Movie Writer
The genre mash-up of "Cowboys & Aliens" is more a mush-up, an action yarn aiming to be both science fiction and Old West adventure but doing neither all that well.
The filmmakers — and there are a lot of them, among them director Jon Favreau, 11 producers or executive producers including Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, plus half a dozen credited writers — start with a title that lays out a simple but cool premise: invaders from the skies shooting it out with guys on horseback.
For all the talent involved, they wound up keeping the story too simple, almost simple-minded, leaving a terrific cast led by Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford stuck in a sketchy, sometimes poky tale where you get cowboys occasionally fighting aliens and not much more.
Based on a graphic novel from Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, also a producer on the movie, "Cowboys & Aliens" has Craig doing the stony-faced lone rider thing to such stoic extremes it borders on blandness. Ford is similarly constricted in a stereotyped role as the tyrannical overlord of a Western town, though his unfailing charisma does imbue some spirit into his under-developed character.
Really, the only clever thing about "Cowboys & Aliens" is the basic idea itself. The Western trappings are mostly dull, the aliens and sci-fi elements are unimaginative, and cramming them together is not enough to make them interesting.
As the story opens in 1875, Craig's amnesiac Jake Lonergan wanders into the dusty New Mexico town of Absolution with no clue to his identity and bearing a strange metal bracelet on his wrist. Within minutes, he begins running afoul of the town's leaders, crossing the cowardly son (Paul Dano) of local cattle baron Woodrow Dolarhyde (Ford), then tussling with the sheriff (Keith Carradine) and his deputies.
Just as it looks as though we're in for a showdown among a band of greedy thugs and decent townfolk in need of a hero, space craft swoop in and start snatching people right off the streets. Six-shooters are like firing blanks at the speedy ships, but Jake's wristband comes to life, and he gradually learns how to use it as a weapon to fight back against what the villagers initially assume are demons.
Dolarhyde leads Jake and a posse in pursuit of the creatures, accompanied by the mysterious gun-toting Ella (Olivia Wilde), who knows more about these beings than she lets on.
Director Favreau slipped from fresh and flamboyant on "Iron Man" to lame and listless on its sequel, and there's more of the latter on "Cowboys & Aliens." The posse creeps along through close encounters with outlaws and Apaches and has more abduction run-ins with the aliens. Yet other than seeing the two blended together, there's nothing here that hasn't been done far better in many Westerns and science-fiction flicks. The aliens are anonymous monsters, and the human folk are mostly cardboard types like those you'll find in any old Western.
The action plays out against grand, gorgeous landscapes captured by cinematographer Matthew Libatique, while the visual effects are standard stuff, save for one very impressive explosion.
As a jittery saloon owner, Sam Rockwell gets to toss out a few funny lines, and Adam Beach manages a few moments of pathos as Dolarhyde's main hand. As the sheriff's young grandson, Noah Ringer is there to broaden the movie's kid appeal but doesn't really add to the story.
Though Ford is pushing 70, it's odd seeing him relegated to second billing in an action movie. His role is big, and it does give him a chance to play a bit nastier than usual.
But Craig's role is the sort Ford might have done if "Cowboys & Aliens" came 20 years earlier. Craig's probably the better actor of the two, but Ford's a true movie star, and it's easy to imagine a livelier film if Jake had more of that Indiana Jones rogue's charm and less of the tightly wound menace Craig has made a part of his take on James Bond.
"Cowboys & Aliens," a Universal Pictures release, is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of Western and sci-fi action and violence, some partial nudity and a brief crude reference. Running time: 118 minutes. Two stars out of four.