Hollywood

Tarnished Heroes: The End of Celebrity Worship in America

Angelo Franco

If Wagner does prove to be too controversial or if we finally admit that the Ring Cycle is too long and stuffier than a Lord of the Ring marathon, Strauss, Weber, and Beethoven can give us that German opera fix (as well as many other Austria-Germanic composers, such as Mozart, Schoenberg, and Berg, if we choose not to care too much about political borders and the like). If film witticism and quirk ala Woody Allen is what you’re craving, Noah Baumbach, Sofia Coppola, and Wes Anderson will save the day. And there is definitely no shortage of white male actors and poets. 

Daniel Day-Lewis and the End of a Hollywood Era

Karolina Tagaris

Day-Lewis, 60, the only man to have won three lead actor Oscars, shocked the film world in June by announcing, without explanation, that he was retiring as an actor. His decision came after he finished filming “Phantom Thread,” a dark romance set in 1950s postwar London which took director Paul Thomas Anderson two years to research and write.

Buyers Jockey for Indie Films at Sundance

Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Richwine

Evolving movie-watching habits have brought new buyers in recent years, with Netflix and Amazon.com Inc leading the march of digital outlets to Sundance. The streaming services had started to outbid Weinstein Co for standout films. Filmmakers prospered as Amazon paid $12 million for “The Big Sick” and Netflix paid $12.5 million for “Mudbound” in 2017. This year, it was unclear whether those outlets will replace Weinstein as the pacesetters.

Why Do the Oscars Ignore Actors of Color?

Jacqueline Keeler

Even films like “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” which were viewed as Oscar contenders only garnered nominations for Sylvester Stallone and white writers Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff. And, unsurprisingly, after 88 years there are still no Oscar nominations for Native American actors or filmmakers or writers. Indians have been a part of Hollywood at least as long as the cowboy. But the struggle to disentangle our modern selves from the old storylines set up at the dawn of the medium of cinema continues into the 21st century.

The Art of Al Hirschfeld – The 'Line King' Reigns On

Sandra Bertrand

So distinctive were the portraits from the line king’s pen that celebrities lined up in droves to be “Hirschfelded.”  And the roll call is staggering:  Charlie Chaplin, Carol Channing, Winston Churchill, Ella Fitzgerald, Jane Fonda, Ringo Starr, Liza Minnelli and Tommy Tune, just to name a few.  Over a hundred original drawings and other ephemera from his early work in Hollywood to his latest iconic portraits for The New York Times are currently on dazzling display at the New York Historical Society.  

‘American Sniper,’ ‘Strange Magic’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Director Clint Eastwood’s meditation on the life of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was the hit of the movie award’s season. It won only a single Oscar (for sound editing), but it was up for six awards including best picture, and it grossed more than all the other best picture nominees combined. In other words, the film was a critical darling as well as a box-office smash, a combination that is difficult to achieve.    

Remembering Montgomery Clift: The Forgotten Forerunner

Megan Walsh

Montgomery Clift has faded from our cultural landscape so completely that even the most enduring images from some of his most important films aren't of him. Take From Here to Eternity, for example: a film remembered more for dramatic kissing in the surf than the conflicted young man who starred in it.So first the question is: who is Montgomery Clift? Clift was a movie star of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s who blazed brightly in the early part of his career before an inevitable deterioration, considered by those in the know to be one of the greatest actors of all time. 

‘Foxcatcher,’ ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” pulled in more than $336 million during its U.S. theatrical run, edging out “Guardians of the Galaxy” to become the top-grossing film of 2014. Nobody should confuse box office success with quality, as these things rarely relate, but “The Hunger Games” pictures have been solid. Unfortunately, “Mockingjay” is a letdown in comparison to the previous entry in the franchise, “Catching Fire.” 

‘Whiplash,’ ‘Big Hero 6’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In “Whiplash,” J.K. Simmons plays Terrence Fletcher, a college music professor so brutal and intense that he is literally capable of making students ill. It’s a role Simmons inhabits completely, and it has, quite correctly, become one of the most celebrated performances of the movie awards season. Fletcher is, in the simplest sense, a monster. But he is also capable of inspiring his students to greatness.

‘Magic in the Moonlight,’ ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Bateman, Fey, Fonda and Rose Byrne (in a supporting role) give the film energy and star power, and their lesser-known co-stars are just as solid. The primary failing of “This Is Where I Leave You” is the fact that there’s so much going on. While all families have drama, Levy’s film piles one unlikely scenario atop another until viewers are left with a teetering monster that strains all credibility. Viewers who can suspend disbelief and enjoy the craziness will have a good time, but those expecting subtlety will be disappointed.  

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