Movie Review – spoiler alert
by Lee Ann Sharpe
Matthew McConaughey should probably win an Oscar for his role of Cooper in Interstellar. Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, Topher Grace, McKenzie Foy, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn and Michael Caine turned in starring roles in Interstellar as well.
At nearly 3 hours you would’ve thought it would’ve dragged somewhere, but the story moved with such intensity that you never lost interest for a second. And seconds counted as we learned about the effect of relativity in space at great distance. As the characters said, you know in theory that time slows down and you won’t age in space as fast as on earth, but you don’t really think about it until you see the effect. And we see the effect when Cooper returns to earth and sees his daughter played by Jessica Chastain age to well beyond his years and in the end played beautifully by Ellen Burstyn.
The story makes you think about the prospects in the future of deep space travel. It also makes you think about taking better care of our planet Earth.
This movie has been out for a while, yet the theater was still totally packed and I learned to call ahead for reservations so that you don’t have to sit in the first row too close to the screen. But even so, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie as did my friends sharing an after Thanksgiving dinner flick.
Windcatcher: The Story of Sacajawea is projected to be in theaters by the fall of 2015. Watch for the casting call and crew at: www.WindcatcherTheMovie.com or the film’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WindcatcherFilms/?ref=br_tf
FILM INDEPENDENT TO PRODUCE
SLOAN FILM SUMMIT:
Showcasing The Sloan Foundation’s Flourishing Science In Entertainment Program
Works in Progress Screenings, Panels, Workshops and Public Screenings
Including The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game
Keynote Speech by Beau Willimon
New $50,000 Sloan Distribution Grant Announced
LOS ANGELES, CA ) -- Film Independent announced today that it is producing the 2014 Sloan Film Summit taking place November 14 – November 16 at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles. The Summit, co-hosted by Film Independent and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will celebrate the thriving nationwide Sloan film program, bringing together 150 screenwriters, directors and producers, as well as representatives from leading film schools and film organizations, who work to bridge the gap between science and popular culture. To date, Sloan has awarded $4 million in direct grants to film students in support of over 500 projects. The Sloan Film program was launched in 1997 and forms part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s broader effort in Public Understanding of Science and Technology.
“The 2014 Sloan Film Summit marks a watershed moment for the Sloan Foundation’s pioneering science and technology Film Program and for science themed films in general as they begin to move into the cinematic mainstream. The Foundation has developed over a dozen theatrically released feature films through its own pipeline since the last Summit in 2011,” said Doron Weber, Vice President at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Three of 2014’s major Oscar-winning films—Gravity, Her and Dallas Buyers Club –and at least two early 2015 contenders—Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game—exemplify the kind of work long championed by Sloan. The Imitation Game has already received two Sloan awards this year. We are thrilled to host this summit with our partners at Film Independent and to celebrate the achievements of so many talented new voices, in theater and television as well as film, who have turned a fundamental but little understood driver of modern life into the raw material of new art.”
Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent, said, “Film Independent and the Sloan Foundation have a long and strong history of supporting independent voices in the creative field. A large number of the projects we have supported with Sloan grants in the past few years have gone throughproduction and been released – from Jenny Deller’s Future Weather to Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints to the upcoming Basmati Blues, directed by Dan Baron. Hosting this prestigious Summit is an honor and we look forward to getting to know all the Sloan Foundation supported filmmakers and seeing their work.”
For the first time in Sloan Film Summit history, a limited number of seats to select events will be released to the public on a first come first serve basis. RSVP information will be available November 3 at SloanSummit2014.org.
The Sloan Film Summit will kick off on Friday, November 14 at 7:30 pm with a public screening of Academy Award-winning director James Marsh’s new movie The Theory of Everything, followed by a Q&A with the FocusFeatures film’s stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and Professor of Physics David Kaplan.
On Saturday, November 15, the Summit will continue with a full day of private panels, workshops and networking sessions with esteemed scientists and industry professionals for all the Sloan supported filmmakers and organizations gathered in Los Angeles for this special event. Among the highlights will be presentations by four eminent scientists from the Science and Entertainment Exchange followed by four Sloan-winning artists responding with short, original pieces.
On Sunday, November 16, the Summit will be open to the general public for a full day event titled "Science and The Art of Storytelling," a celebration of Sloan-winning works that will include a Keynote by Sloan-supported playwright and screenwriter Beau Willimon (House of Cards, The Ides of March), a shorts program, staged readings and a sneak peek at soon to be released Sloan films Basmati Blues (starring Scott Bakula, Brie Larson and Donald Sutherland); The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel); and Experimenter (starring Peter Sarsgaard, Taryn Manning, Winona Ryder and Kellan Lutz), featuring exclusive footage and a discussion with the films’ producers.
The weekend long conference will conclude with a preview screening of Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, the recipient of this year's Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, and recently picked up the People's Choice Award at TIFF after bowing at the Telluride Film Festival. The film was previously supported by the Sloan Foundation as part of its partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute. The film will be released by The Weinstein Company on November 21, 2014.
New this year, Film Independent and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation are launching an initiative that supports the distribution of finished films with a science and technology theme. A $50,000 Sloan Distribution Grant will be awarded for three years by Film Independent to eligible finished films entering the distribution phase, with the requirement that the money be spent on standard P&A expenses (creative marketing, advertising, etc.) for the film’s release. Film Independent and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have a long history of collaboration including the annual $30,000 Sloan Producers development grant and the $20,000 production grant to support a participant at Film Independent’s Fast Track, a film financing market taking place during the Los Angeles Film Festival.
About Film Independent
Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover. Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American andinternational cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.
With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. For more information or to become a member, visit www.FilmIndependent.org.
The New-York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, and economic performance. Sloan’s program in public understanding of science and technology, directed by Doron Weber,supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.
The Foundation's Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and accurate stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past 15 years, Sloan has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country – including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC – and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production, along with an annual best-of-the best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs at Sundance, Tribeca, Hamptons International Film Festival and Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab and has developed such film projects as Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Rob Meyer’s A Birder’s Guide to Everything, Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints, and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess. The Foundation has partnered with the Coolidge Corner Theater and the Art House Convergence to take Science on Screen, a program that creatively pairs filmscreenings with expert speakers, and expand it to include new films developed by Sloan or awarded Sloan prizes to be shown at nonprofit cinemas nationwide.
The Foundation also has an active theater program and commissions over a dozen science plays each year from the Ensemble Studio Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club as well as supporting select productions across the country. For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, visit sloan.org.
Alice in Wonderland
WORLD CUP SOCCER IN AFRICA: WHO REALLY WINS?
This Eye-Opening DVD Documentary — The Only World Cup Soccer Film Being Released to Coincide with Soccer's Crowning Event — Peels Back the Glossy Veneer to Candidly Expose Major Issues Surrounding the 2010 World Cup; Interviews Include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Former Cosmos Star Jomo Sono.
NEW YORK, NY — Tomorrow, June 11, 2010, the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world will commence in South Africa. It's the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation and excitement is at fever pitch. But with all of the country's historical and contemporary issues, is the 19th FIFA World Cup truly going to benefit South Africans?
WORLD CUP SOCCER IN AFRICA: WHO REALLY WINS? is a persuasive and timely documentary exploring the true costs of being the host nation, as well as answering the compelling and potentially troubling question: what will happen after the trophy is lifted and the international caravan moves on?
The film focuses in part on the communities uprooted by new stadiums built for the World Cup. The New York Times reported in March 2010 from Nelspruit, South Africa, writing: "The people who live nearby, proud as they are to host soccer's greatest event, also wonder: How could there be money for a 46,000-seat stadium while many of them still fetch water from dirty puddles and live without electricity or toilets?" This documentary effectively addresses that question and many more, but the answers aren't ones that FIFA or the government of South Africa want you to hear.
National pride, corruption and even murder feature in this astonishingly candid film which peels back the media's glossy portrait of the World Cup host country to expose the real concerns of ordinary South Africans: hopes about jobs, the eviction of school children to make way for construction company offices, the removal of an inconvenient community, and what traditional medicine and the influences of the ancestors might mean for the fortunes of the local team.
In WORLD CUP SOCCER IN AFRICA: WHO REALLY WINS?, international heavyweights such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as construction workers, FIFA's communications director, street traders, politicians and sports celebrities all wade into the ongoing debate in which there's no immediate winner.
The Disinformation Company Ltd. is active in TV production, book publishing and home entertainment. It is most widely recognized for its distribution of products on subjects not usually covered by the traditional media. Recent DVD exclusives from The Disinformation Company include Michael Moore's Slacker Uprising, the bestselling Robert Greenwald documentaries, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers and Rethink Afghanistan, as well as Robert Baer's The Cult of the Suicide Bomber, the Sean Penn-narrated War Made Easy and the in-house documentary 2012: Science or Superstition.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
In the second chapter of the incredibly popular series, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is still head over heels in love with Edward (Robert Pattinson). But a growing friendship with Jacob (Taylor Lautner) just might bring danger of a different breed. Now out on DVD.
It is amazing how closely the movie follows the book. The director, Chris Weitz, knows a good thing and has stayed true to the story. Perhaps Stephenie Meyer's ability to be so descriptive in the novel made it easy for the movie to follow her book so intricately. The story is exciting, spell binding, and tear jerking at times.
Edward has broken the law by
telling Bella, a human, too much. He also
predicts that Victoria will come for him some
day. Bella tells Edward that they would never
have to think about this if he would turn her
into a vampire. He says firmly that won't ever
happen. Funny how he is the only one worried
about her soul. But in the end the family votes
and the future is planned. But that is left for
the next movie...
There are so many interesting debates a movie like this can evoke. But watch for entertainment value and you will be entertained.
Western Coen Brothers Style with Classic John Wayne "True Grit" Remake
We read in the New York Times that the Coen brothers' are working on a remake of "True Grit" "True Grit" is scheduled to hit theaters at the end of this year, on December 25.
This is great news for western aficionados wanting westerns introduced to another generation who seem more preoccupied in the science fiction and fantasy of the future than the history of their ancestors past. Coens are capable of making a film the next generation will embrace and maybe open the door a crack for more westerns.
Jeff Bridges reunites with the Coens, taking the Rooster Cogburn role that was previously made famous by screen legend John Wayne. Also cast are Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, as Cogburn sidekick La Boeuf and main villain Tom Chaney, respectively. An unknown actress, Hailee Stanfield. 13-years-old, has been cast for the character of Mattie Ross.
"True Grit" is the story of Mattie Ross, a teenage girl who convinces Cogburn to help her find justice for the murder of her father at the hands of Chaney. Also investigating the crime is Damon's character, a Texas Ranger, whose idea of justice is more within the bounds of U.S. law than Ross and Cogburn's.
If you have never seen the original John Wayne "True Grit" movie, pick it up at BlockBluster or in the discount bin at Wal-Mart. It's a classic worth viewing over and over again.
Avatar and other Oscar Bound Flicks
Roger Ebert said it best, "Watching "Avatar, I felt sort of the same as when I saw "Star Wars" in 1977. That was another movie I walked into with uncertain expectations. James Cameron's film has been the subject of relentlessly dubious advance buzz, just as his "Titanic" was. Once again, he has silenced the doubters by simply delivering an extraordinary film. There is still at least one man in Hollywood who knows how to spend $250 million, or was it $300 million, wisely."
I felt the same way. From the previews I was intrigued and being open minded I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. But it wasn't the type of movie I generally enjoy. I mean all of the computer generated animation, alien creatures, and fantasy stuff. It's okay in small bits but this was way pushing the envelope. So if I'm going to see it I go for the 3-D IMAX experience. And what an experience! I loved it!
Avatar is the story of a disabled ex-Marine, Jake Sully , who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind is put into an alien body, where he finds himself torn between two worlds. Sully went for the opportunity of walking again but found himself in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people.
More than ten years in the making, Avatar marks Cameron's return to feature directing since helming 1997's Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars® including Best Picture. WETA Digital, renowned for its work in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and King Kong, incorporated new intuitive CGI technologies to transform the environments and characters into photorealistic 3D imagery that transport the audience into the alien world rich with imaginative vistas, creatures and characters.
The imagery takes you into their incredible and beautiful world so completely you will find yourself ducking when creatures are flying toward your face. All they need is surround smell and a little shaking of your seat to give you the full Disneyland experience!
The cast includes many unknowns including Jake Sully played by Sam Worthington and the exotic Neytiri played by Zoe Saldana. Dr. Grace is veteran actress Sigourney Weaver who adds the balance between the scientific and the fantastic.
20th Century Fox presents this film written and directed by James Cameron. Running time: 163 minutes. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking). Box office $2,481,904,000 Worldwide: as of Mar 1, 2010