Frequent movie collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are to receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at The Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California next month (Feb14). The pair will be honoured on 6 February (14) at the historic Arlington Theatre.
DiCaprio and Scorsese have worked together on five movies, including Gangs of New York, The Departed and new film The Wolf of Wall Street.
Announcing the news on Thursday (02Jan14), SBIFF executive director Roger Durling says, "Scorsese and DiCaprio's partnership has become a legendary cinematic pas de deux recalling other great collaborations like John Ford and John Wayne, (Federico) Fellini and (Marcello) Mastroianni, John Huston and (Humphrey) Bogart - and even Scorsese and (Robert) De Niro."
Past recipients of the Vanguard Award include Amy Adams, Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz.
Emma Thompson, Daniel Day-Lewis and Ben Affleck will be among the many celebrities who will be honoured at the 29th annual film festival.
There is something particularly unnerving about demon possession. It's the idea of something you can't see or control creeping into your body and taking up residence eventually obliterating all you once were and turning you into nothing more than a sack of meat to be manipulated. Then there's also the shrouded ritual around exorcisms: the Latin chants the flesh-sizzling crucifixes and the burning Holy Water. As it turns out exorcism isn't just the domain of Catholics.
The myths and legends of the Jews aren't nearly as well known but their creepy dybbuk goes toe-to-toe with anything other world religions come up with. There are various interpretations of what a dybbuk is or where it comes from — is it a ghost a demon a soul of a sinner? — but in any case it's looking for a body to hang out in for a while. Especially according to the solemn Hasidic Jews in The Possession an innocent young person and even better a young girl.
The central idea in The Possession is that a fancy-looking wooden box bought at a garage sale was specifically created to house a dybbuk that was tormenting its previous owner. Unfortunately it caught the eye of young Emily (Natasha Calis) a sensitive artistic girl who persuades her freshly divorced dad Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Watchmen and Grey's Anatomy) to buy it for her. Never mind the odd carvings on it — that would be Hebrew — or how it's created without seams so it would be difficult to open or why it's an object of fascination for a young girl; Clyde is trying really hard to please his disaffected daughters and do the typical freshly divorced parent dance of trying to please them no matter the cost.
Soon enough the creepy voices calling to Emily from the box convince her to open it up; inside are even creepier personal objects that are just harbingers of what's to come for her her older sister Hannah (Madison Davenport) her mom Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) and even Stephanie's annoying new boyfriend Brett (Grant Show). Clyde and Stephanie squabble over things like pizza for dinner and try to convince each other and themselves that Emily's increasingly odd behavior is that of a troubled adolescent. It's not of course and eventually Clyde enlists the help of the son of a Hasidic rabbi a young man named Tzadok played by the former Hasidic reggae musician Matisyahu to help them perform an exorcism on Emily.
The Possession is not going to join the ranks of The Exorcist in the horror pantheon but it does do a remarkable job of making its characters intelligent and even occasionally droll and it offers up plenty of chills despite a PG-13 rating. Perhaps it's because of that rating that The Possession is so effective; the filmmakers are forced to make the benign scary. Giant moths and flying Torahs take the place of little Reagan violently masturbating with a crucifix in The Exorcist. Gagging and binging on food is also an indicator of Emily's possession — an interesting twist given the anxieties of becoming a woman a girl Emily's age would face. There is something inside her controlling her and she knows it and she is fighting it. The most impressive part of Calis's performance is how she communicates Emily's torment with a few simple tears rolling down her face as the dybbuk's control grows. The camerawork adds to the anxiety; one particularly scary scene uses ordinary glass kitchenware to great effect.
The Possession is a short 92 minutes and it does dawdle in places. It seems as though some of the scenes were juggled around to make the PG-13 cut; the moth infestation scene would have made more sense later in the movie. Some of the problems are solved too quickly or simply and yet it also takes a while for Clyde's character to get with it. Stephanie is a fairly bland character; she makes jewelry and yells at Clyde for not being present in their marriage a lot and then there's a thing with a restraining order that's pretty silly. Emily is occasionally dressed up like your typical horror movie spooky girl with shadowed eyes an over-powdered face and dark clothes; it's much more disturbing when she just looks like an ordinary though ill young girl. The scenes in the heavily Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn look oddly fake and while it's hard to think of who else could have played Tzadok an observant Hasidic Jew who is also an outsider willing to take risks the others will not Matisyahu is not a very good actor. Still the filmmakers should be commended for authenticity insofar as Matisyahu has studied and lived as a Hasidic Jew.
It would be cool if Lionsgate and Ghost House Pictures were to release the R-rated version of the movie on DVD. What the filmmakers have done within the confines of a PG-13 rating is creepy enough to make me curious to see the more adult version. The Possession is no horror superstar and its name is all too forgettable in a summer full of long-gestating horror movies quickly pushed out the door. It's entertaining enough and could even find a broader audience on DVD. Jeffrey Dean Morgan can read the Old Testament to me any time.
Bogart's estate officials threatened legal action against the retailer last month (Apr12) after an image of the actor wearing a Burberry trenchcoat in classic movie Casablanca was used in a recent promotional campaign on Facebook.com.
But on Wednesday (02May12) Burberry fired back by filing legal documents against the executors at a New York federal court, claiming First Amendment protection.
And Bogart LLC attorney Michael O. Crain isn't pleased, stating, "Just as Burberry needed to obtain (Burberry model) Emma Watson's consent before using her name and image to promote Burberry's brand and products, it needed to obtain permission from the Bogart Estate to use Humphrey Bogart's name and image in its social media marketing campaign."
Burberry bosses claim they licensed a photo from an agency of Bogart in the final scene of the 1942 film and simply intended to use it to illustrate "the significance and influence of Burberry fashion in society."
They insist the use of the iconic image isn't commercial, adding, "It's a historical positioning of the image within an educational project along with numerous other photographs of people wearing Burberry apparel over the last century."
With the release of The Tourist today, we’re witnessing a moment in Hollywood history; the pairing of two stars that are sure to become icons of tomorrow. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp have reached that untouchable level of super glamorous stardom and it was only a matter of time before someone decided to combine their illustrious powers in a full length feature. In celebration of this classic and almost annoyingly gorgeous onscreen couple, let’s take a look back at Old Hollywood’s best couplings and make a few predictions about who might be next to ascend to the glitzy throne next.
Classic Couple: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
The modern Humphrey Bogart: Robert Downey Jr.
Now, I know that since you can’t say classic Hollywood without thinking Bogart, any suggestion that someone may be the second coming will be met with resistance (and quite possibly antagonism). With that, I’m not saying RDJ is a replica of Bogie, rather the 21st century version of him. Careless, yet cocksure swagger. Check. A bit of a bad-ass? Check. Enough charisma to put men and women alike under his onscreen spell? Check. Add in his incredibly snarky style and you’ve got the closest thing we’ll ever see to a modern Bogart.
The modern Ingrid Bergman: Marion Cotillard
Like Bergman before her, Cotillard turned her creative credibility in France (for Bergman it was Europe in general) into a crossover career that landed her firmly on the Hollywood A-list. After winning the Oscar for her performance en La Vie en Rose, Cotillard has become a symbol of lasting, classic Hollywood beauty and she’s landed roles opposite the biggest names in the business as a result. Johnny Depp, Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio have all had the pleasure of calling the exquisite actress “co-star.”
Rebel Without a Cause, 1955
Classic Couple: James Dean and Natalie Wood
The modern James Dean: James Franco
Before you get up in arms, yes, I am aware that Franco took on Dean in a made-for-TV biopic. While that initially steered me away from the comparison, I had to admit that the similarities are undeniable. Both young stars serve as mysterious, smoldering cultural icons. Dean’s persona was embodied in this classic film and remains long after his unfortunate death. While Franco hasn’t quite hit his Rebel Without a Cause moment, it seems that he’s taken to the public sphere to give us a modern, performance art version of it as he continues to puzzle us all with his defiant antics.
The modern Natalie Wood: Emma Watson
This is a bit of a prediction because she hasn’t done much outside of the Harry Potter films, but like Ms. Wood, Watson’s staggering beauty is sure to keep her from fading. Both actresses began their careers as children – Watson in Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone and Wood in Miracle on 34th Street – and grew into gorgeous young women before the public’s eyes. Watson still has many years ahead of her, but I think it’s safe to say she won’t become just another child star that burns out.
Some Like It Hot , 1959
Classic Couple: Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe
The modern Tony Curtis: Leonardo DiCaprio
Curtis was considered one of the most handsome actors of his time, his looks landing him a slew of mild roles that allowed him to showcase little more than his face, but he soon proved that he was not only a good actor, but he had range for days. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? DiCaprio started out in a similar vein (ahem, Titanic anyone?), but with fantastic performances in films like Blood Diamond and The Departed, I’m certain Leo’s star it’s on its way to joining that illustrious list of untarnished stars.
The modern Marilyn Monroe: Christina Hendricks
Could it be anyone else? Ms. Hendricks is practically a red-headed reincarnation of the former sex symbol; the measurements of her dangerous curves are almost identical to Monroe’s and she’s even got the whole high-pitched, breathy whisper down. While she’s yet to rack up starring roles in a slew of films, her role on Mad Men has pushed her right to the top of the celebrity elite; and besides, Marilyn started out by reprising her one-note act. It’s just a matter of time before Hendricks breaks out of her mold too.
Classic Couple: Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak
The modern Jimmy Stewart: Tom Hanks
Both actors are like the Hollywood fathers we all grew up with; both are infinitely successful and comfortably familiar. Stewart became a legend of American cinema, showcasing his consistent and versatile talents in many of our favorite films like It’s a Wonderful Life, Rear Window, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Like Stewart, Hanks is infinitely likable and has given us years of great cinema with films like Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, but he’s shown versatility in movies like You’ve Got Mail and Toy Story. He’s now cemented as a beloved Hollywood face that won’t fail to be a part of the permanent Hollywood legacy.
The modern Kim Novak: Scarlett Johansson
Ms. Novak didn’t necessarily gain fame for her great acting abilities, but she was mostly solid and her classic good looks made her a pleasure to watch. After starring alongside Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo, her status as a Hollywood legend was locked. Like Novak, Johansson is infinitely watchable and stunning. While her past performances never reached the level of many other actresses who’ve achieved similar levels of fame, her name is sure to be a solid fixture in the history of Hollywood for years to come.
To Catch a Thief , 1959
Classic Couple: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly
The modern Cary Grant: George Clooney
George, George, George. From the time he started breaking hearts on ER, we knew he was going to go on making us swoon for years to come. Like Grant, Clooney shares the classic C.G. initials that worked so well for Gary Cooper and Clark Gable and oozes infinite charm. Grant was capable of physical comedy, sincere drama, intense action, all while maintaining his immaculate suaveness; I would point out which pieces correlate to Clooney, but it’s safe to say they all do. Grant was named AFI’s "Greatest Male Star of All Time" and while Clooney’s not quite there yet, I think he could one day make a close second.
The modern Grace Kelly: Natalie Portman
While she isn’t a princess, per se, Portman carries all the modern style, grace, and composure that “Princess Grace” was known for. Kelly became a staple of American cinema, gracing the screen with her talent and beauty in a slew of now-classic films including Rear Window, To Catch a Thief and Dial M for Murder. Portman is just now coming into that phase of her career fresh off the praise for her performance in Black Swan, but she’s on her way to becoming the epitome of elegance in this modern age of Hollywood.