Ever since his emergence with the breakout indie feature "Pi" (1998) - a schizophrenic sci-fi meditation on life, death and the cruelty of fate - writer-director Darren Aronofsky became something of a...
American Sniper, Unbroken and Birdman took home the top awards at the Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards on Sunday (15Feb15). American Sniper was rewarded for its special effects sounds, while Unbroken won the prize for Best Sound Editing in Feature Film: Dialogue and Birdman was honoured for its music editing.
James Brown biopic Get On Up took the prize for best sound editing in a musical feature, while Big Hero 6 come out top in the animated film category.
TV shows Fargo, The Newsroom and Game of Thrones were honoured for sound editing, while the Foo Fighters TV documentary Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways won Best Sound and Music Editing: Television Documentary, Long Form.
Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky was also handed the Filmmaker Award at the Los Angeles ceremony.
Iranian movie Taxi took the top prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany over the weekend (13-15Feb15). Taxi, directed by and starring Jafar Panahi, was awarded the ceremony's most prestigious prize, the Golden Bear for Best Picture, as well as the International Federation of Film Critics award (FIPRESC). It is Panahi's third film since he was banned from moviemaking in 2010 for suspected propaganda against the Iranian government, but he was unable to attend the festival so his niece collected the accolade on his behalf.
The movie features Panahi driving a cab through Iranian capital Tehran and sharing his thoughts on the city.
President of the jury, director Darren Aronofsky, said of Panahi's film, "Limitations often inspire filmmakers to storytellers to make better work, but sometimes those limitations can be so suffocating they destroy a project and often damage the soul of the artist. Instead of allowing his spirit to be crushed and giving up, instead of allowing himself to be filled with anger and frustration, Jafar Panahi created a love letter to cinema. His film is filled with love for his art, his community, his country and his audience."
Chilean film The Club won the Silver Bear grand jury prize, Charlotte Rampling was named Best Actress for her role in British drama 45 Years, and her co-star Tom Courtenay won Best Actor. The Silver Bear award for Best Director was shared by Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude, for Aferim!, and Małgorzata Szumowska, for Polish drama Body.
Stars including Ben Stiller, Jon Favreau and Darren Aronofsky have paid tribute to newspaper columnist David Carr following his death on Thursday (12Feb15). Carr, 58, collapsed while working in the New York Times office and was later pronounced dead at Saint Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in the Big Apple.
Celebrities took to Twitter.com to pay their respects to the journalist, including Stiller, who wrote, "David Carr was a great writer. So sad to hear this. Literally just read his last piece. See the doc (documentary) Page One to get sense of who he was."
Actor/director Favreau writes, "RIP David Carr... He will be missed", and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky adds, "Very sad to lose David Carr."
Filmmaker Ron Howard writes, "RIP David Carr. Great NY Times columnist who covered the entertainment world with wit and clarity. His insight and eloquence will be missed", and actress Sophia Bush adds, "Unbelievably saddened to hear the news of (Carr's) passing. You sir, were one of the best. Thank you."
Singer/actress Carrie Brownstein tweets, "Tonight I will play for David Carr. Some of the most exciting/inspiring talks & dinners I have ever had were with him. I am heartbroken."
Other stars to offer tributes include Alec Baldwin, director Judd Apatow, filmmaker Michael Moore, singer Josh Groban and funnywoman Sandra Bernhard.
French actress Audrey Tautou and German actor Daniel Bruhl will help decide which films win the competition at the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany next month (Feb15). The stars will join Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, the 2015 jury president, to select the winners for a number of prizes, including the prestigious Golden Bear for best film.
They will be joined by other panellists including Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and former Golden Bear recipient Claudia Llosa, who scooped the prize for her 2009 film The Milk of Sorrow.
The festival kicks off on 5 February (15) and the winners will be announced on 14 February (15).
Director Darren Aronofsky is to be honoured with the Filmmaker Award by the Motion Picture Sound Editors. The Black Swan director will be feted with the society's highest honour at the Golden Reel Awards on 15 February (15).
The trophy is given "to extraordinary filmmakers who embody the spirit, the vigour and innovation of storytelling".
Noah director Aronofsky says, "One of the first reasons I was inspired to become a filmmaker was the exciting possibilities of experimenting with sound, so it is an incredible feeling to be honoured by the MPSE. Sound dreams, sound emotes, and most importantly, sound is what often saves my a**."
Previous recipients of the accolade include Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee and Brian Grazer.
Moviemaker Ridley Scott fears he may have upset his Gladiator leading man Russell Crowe after picking apart his 2014 biblical epic Noah. The Brit admits he wasn't a big fan of director Darren Aronofsky's film about the Great Flood, and found certain scenes tough to watch, particularly those featuring the "rock men" who come to Noah's aid as he fights to escape the elements and armies of men attempting to raid his ark.
Scott says, "Those rock men really should be part of the Hobbits. I think he's (Darren Aronofsky) a great director but the rock men, come on; I could never get past that.
"Russell Crowe is a good friend of mine, so I'll probably get a horrible email from him! But that was the problem: you begin with that voice and it's hard to work past that. It's hard enough to work past that without saying, 'I'm gonna build a boat and on it is gonna go creatures two by two' - and make that credible. But that's what we do for a living."
Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky will be the jury president at the Berlin International Film Festival next year (15).
Aronofsky will head a panel to judge the movies on show at the 65th annual German event, which is due to take place on 5 February.
Festival director Dieter Kosslick explained in a statement why organizers chose the famed filmmaker: "Darren Aronofsky has distinguished himself as an outstanding protagonist in contemporary auteur cinema. In his artistic approach he consistently sounds out cinematic language and its aesthetic possibilities. I'm pleased to be able to welcome him as jury president of the Berlinale 2015."
Aronofsky added, "At the Berlinale, the cinema is always exciting and fascinating. I am looking forward to watching the latest from the greatest in one of the great cities on the planet."
Director Darren Aronofsky is to receive the first ever Human Society Filmmaker Award to applaud his decision to use animated animals instead of real creatures in his Biblical film Noah. The filmmaker has been chosen by officials at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to be the guest of honour at the animal charity's upcoming To The Rescue! New York event on 21 November (14).
Aronofsky has been praised for his "compassionate decision" to use computer-generated imagery (CGI) instead of animal actors in Noah, and the moviemaker insists the choice was easy.
He says in a statement, "When I started working on Noah, an early question was how to express the vastness and complexity of the animal kingdom on the big screen.
"It was quickly apparent that working with live animals would be dangerous for them. It was also morally ambiguous considering we were making a film about the first naturalist, Noah, who saved and cared for all the varied species on the planet."
The event will be co-hosted by an honorary HSUS host committee featuring animal advocates from across the industry, including actresses Kristen Bell and Wendie Malick, singer Billy Joel, dance star Moby, comedienne Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi, and TV host Bill Maher.
Punk icon Patti Smith had to change the lyrics for her Noah theme Mercy Is when director Darren Aronofsky reminded her there were no horses in his film. The Because The Night rocker had never written exclusively for a movie before the filmmaker asked her to create a lullaby for his biblical epic, and she admits it wasn't as easy as she thought it would be.
She tells Billboard.com, "I had to do some work at the Venice Film Festival some years ago and I bumped into Darren... We were walking around the streets of Venice and I said, 'Well, what are you working on? What's your next dream? What's your next project?' And he told me that he's always wanted to do the story of Noah. Well, I loved the story of Noah. I had a very strong bible education as a kid, I loved biblical-themed films and I thought, 'This is fantastic'.
"And then he mentioned that he was getting the songs together and he needed a lullaby. And I just impulsively said, 'Please, let me write it'. Because I've written like, three or four lullabies in my life. It's one of my specialities. And I said, 'Just give me a chance, and if you don't like it, fine'. He was so happy and so welcoming. I mean, I'm not usually so aggressive. You know, I'll usually be much cooler than that. But I just knew it was my project.
"I wrote it and there was a line... - Two white horses, two white doves, to carry you away into the land of memory - because I was seeing, like, white horses and the white doves. And Darren said, 'Patti, it's beautiful, but they didn't have horses then. There were no horses, you know, in Noah's world'.
"We just laughed about that. I just changed it to two white wings, two white doves; it wasn't difficult. It wasn't a simple song to write. I had laboured over it quite a bit because it was a particular lullaby. It wasn't just to sing the little girl to sleep; it was a song that Methuselah, Noah's father, had sang to him...
"Darren and I had a lot of talk, and Darren was great because I got to a point where I got slightly... intimidated of the responsibility and I was wondering, 'I don't have any real experience doing this. Do they need someone more experienced?'
"When we recorded it again, I had to do something I never did: record live with a string quartet - not only a string quartet, but one that has a tonal sound. So I had to sing against a melody... It was challenging, but Darren was right there in the studio and the Kronos Quartet was great. And I felt by the end of it that I had accomplished something."
And now Smith, who is expected to land an Oscar nomination for her Noah theme, is hoping for more opportunities to write songs for films: "I'm quite honoured and grateful to Darren, because, you know, I'm still an unknown quantity. I mean, if they want a song for a James Bond film, they wouldn't go to me. They'll go to someone that has the touch on the public consciousness, who has a strong contemporary voice.
"For The Hunger Games record, they didn't ask me to write for the movie, which I thought was unfortunate because I could've written them a really good song. I read all the books and saw the first movie and I related to the character. I love (lead character) Katniss (Everdeen), you know? She's young, she's free, she's the girl with the bow and arrow - I just loved the image of her. And being a reluctant revolutionary, I can understand where you feel your calling is something else."
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has stepped up the ice bucket challenge by donating a massive $100,000 (£58,824) to the ALS Association. The Titanic star completed the feat in Canada, where he is currently filming a documentary with director Darren Aronofsky about the effects of oil sands drilling.
DiCaprio gathered with the documentary crew to take on the challenge, and pass it on to some of the world's leading petroleum and oil producers, while the actor also targeted Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
In the video, the actor says, "I happen to be here in Alberta learning about the Canadian tar sands, its impact on our climate and the way they affect the lands, water and health of the indigenous communities that live here. We're here to accept the ALS challenge and I'm happy to donate to this very worth cause."
The star was then drenched in a bucket of icy water to complete the challenge, which is raising money and awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease and motor neurone disease.
Other stars to have taken on the stunt include fellow Hollywood actors Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Inked deal to script and direct a feature based on the comic book "Ronin" (not to be confused with 1998 feature of the same name)
Raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
After high school, moved to Israel to live on a kibbutz
Re-wrote the film "The Fountain," from a $75 million epic to a $30 million film and released it in 2006, starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz
Selected to participate in Sundance Screenwriters Lab, working on the script "Requiem for a Dream"
Wrote and directed "Requiem for a Dream" (adapted from the novel by Hubert Selby Jr); screened at Cannes
Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Director ("Black Swan")
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture ("Black Swan")
Feature directing and screenwriting debut, "Pi"
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture
Directed the well received, "The Wrestler," about professional wrestler Randy 'The Ram' Robinson (played by Mickey Rourke)
Moved to Los Angeles to study at the American Film Institute
Nominated for the 2011 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film
Nominated for the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
Nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing
Nominated for the 2011 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film ("Black Swan")
Directed "Black Swan," a psychological thriller starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as ballet dancers in a New York City production of Swan Lake
Senior thesis film "Supermarket Sweep" was a national finalist in the Student Academy Awards
Ever since his emergence with the breakout indie feature "Pi" (1998) - a schizophrenic sci-fi meditation on life, death and the cruelty of fate - writer-director Darren Aronofsky became something of a wunderkind who, unfortunately, would fall prey to artistic hubris and creative excess by the time he directed the incomprehensible time travel fable, "The Fountain" (2006). But in between the two milestone films, the director managed to turn grim subject matter - drug addiction, madness and the End Times - into exciting cinema by drawing upon his hip-hop influences to create a hyperkinetic filmmaking style that encompassed high-speed editing and rapid-fire images. But beyond the surface of his filmmaking technique was an obsessive drive to artistically answer the Big Questions of why we are here and what comes after death. In the process, Aronofsky created a legion of Gen-X, post-punk adherents who flocked to every movie, while receiving a fair share of criticism for his overreaching pretensions. Nonetheless, Aronofsky remained a dedicated artist, steadfastly refusing to succumb to studio pressures on his way to making visually flamboyant, metaphysically probing and emotionally engaging films.
Taught science and was a dean at Bushwick High School; appeared briefly in "Pi" (1998) and "Requiem for a Dream" (2000)
Provided crafts services during the making of "Pi" (1998); appeared briefly in "Requiem for a Dream" (2000)