December 4th, 2009
Nominated earlier this week for two Film Independent Spirit Awards, “Zero Bridge” is the feature-film debut from director and screenwriter Tariq Tapa which is currently screening across the globe.
Jack Stevenson at Bright Light Film Journal uncovers the story of “Porno to the People –The Danish Revolution That Liberated America.”
Based on the book by Steve McVicker, “I Love You Phillip Morris” stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as cell mates and soul mates. With a February 2010 release date, the film is the first directorial effort from “Cats & Dogs” and “Bad Santa” screenwriters Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.
One Film Wonder: Born in Nova Scotia, Harold Russell was a U.S. Army instructor at Camp MacKall in North Carolina when he lost both his hands from a TNT explosion in 1944. Afterwards, Russell appeared in an Army training film which was seen by director William Wyler, who cast the non-professional actor in “The Best Years of Our Lives” in the role of Homer Parrish. The 1946 film — which chronicled the adjustment of three American soldiers (including Frederic March and Dana Andrews) to post-war life upon their return to their Midwestern hometown — won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture. Russell earned the Best Actor in a Supporting Role accolade and also received an Honorary Oscar “for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in ‘The Best Years of Our Lives.’” He is still the only person to win two Oscars for the same performance. With a university business degree earned following his appearance in the film, Russell became immersed in advocating for veterans’ groups. After a 34-year gap, Russell appeared in his second film, 1980s “Inside Moves.” He had roles in two other films: 1990s “Payback” and 1997’s “Dogtown.” Russell died in 2002.
September 11th, 2009
Inspired by his young daughter’s question, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” Chris Rock in November travels the globe in the Roadside Attractions documentary “Good Hair” to contemplate the roots of her query.
Juliette Binoche “Talks Paris and Dancing” with The Village Voice.
A hellaciously impressive cast — including George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey and J.K. Simmons — cavorts in a too-crazy-not-to-be-true tale about military psychics in Grant Heslov’s “The Men Who Stare at Goats.” Based on Jon Ronson’s 2005 book detailing stupefying U.S. Army supernatural intel techniques, “Goats” opens in November.
In an absorbing interview about “Crude,” Marshall Fine discovers how, after initial reluctance, for the director of the seminal documentaries “Brother’s Keeper” and “Paradise Lost,” the legal battle waged against the nefarious decades-long assault by Texaco on Ecuador’s Amazonian rainforest became “the movie Joe Berlinger had to make.” “Crude” opens today, with a steadily widening release in North America through the rest of the year.
One Film Wonder: For the first 20 films of her Hollywood career, Dorothy Comingore was known professionally as Linda Winters, if she was known at all (nine of the roles were “uncredited.”). In 1941, at the age of 28, she appeared in her 21st movie for the first time under her given name. It was a significant role as the mistress who becomes the second wife of the film’s megalomaniacal protagonist; the film was “Citizen Kane,” the movie critically regarded as the greatest American motion picture of all time. Orson Welles cast Comingore as the unrefined Susan Alexander Kane, the reluctant singer for whom Charles Foster Kane built an opera house. In a notable performance, Comingore inhabited the role with a palpable pathos and a memorably shrill, henpecking delivery; she is particularly effective in the somber scenes at the “El Rancho” nightclub after Kane’s death. Comingore made only three more films until she was blacklisted in 1951 following her appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.