Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper and Kenneth 'babyface' Edmonds have been nominated for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Linda Perry and Jerry Garcia are also on the shortlist.
The inductees will be announced at a ceremony in New York next summer (15).
Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame honours those whose work represents "a spectrum of the most beloved songs from the world’s popular music songbook"
Songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond founded the organisation.
Past inductees have included Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, Desmond Child, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Carole King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Diane Warren and Leonard Cohen.
It might not be as glamorous as Cannes or as cool as Sundance, but the Los Angeles Film Festival has just as much to offer as its larger counterparts. Between high-profile premieres of blockbuster films, international competition entries and some of the most exciting indies around all premiering at LAFF every year, there's plenty to pay attention to. But if you were unfortunate enough to let the this year's fest — which ran from June 11 to 19 — we've got you covered with a rundown of the most talked-about films to premiere at LAFF, and what the critics are saying about them. Now you can make all of your friends think you're cooler than you actually are.
They Came Together The Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd romantic comedy you’ve been waiting for is less about the relationship between the central couple, Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler), and more about skewering every last trope of the genre. Written and directed by Wet Hot American Summer’s David Wain, the film lovingly parodies the traits, characters, conversations, and comically large apartments that appear in every rom com ever made, while allowing two funny, good looking people to fall in love in an entertaining way.
“The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines. Poehler and Rudd have a natural chemistry that makes them believable as the two leads in love, but their comedy also blends well making it clear they are having fun with each other and the characters they are playing.” – Allison Loring, Film School Rejects
"Wain leads his well-known cast through spoofs of such classics as When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall, The Graduate and the sharp-elbowed comedies of Tracy and Hepburn. Each gag makes you wish you were watching the original, although a clench between Joel and his grandmother (Lynn Cohen) that almost leads to incestuous coupling deserves credit for sheer audacity. Most of the time, however, the actors on the screen seem to be having much more fun than the audience will." - David D'Arcy, Screen Daily
Cut Bank A small town crime drama set in Cut Bank, Montana that centers on a former high school football star (Liam Hemsworth) desperate to find a way out of his town. After he accidentally films the murder of the town mailman, he is offered a reward that would give him enough money to leave for good, but things aren't a simple as they seem, and he finds himself caught in a tangled web of deception and danger.
"...Shakman lets the scenes unfurl with a clunky pace and little verve, simply exaggerating the irony and naivety in the town as his main go-to points. It only makes sense that [John] Malkovich’s sheriff has never fired his gun and carries an aversion to violence; likewise with Palmer, who itches non-stop after a Miss Cut Bank pageant title even while she wants nothing more than to skip town. Thankfully humor seeps in through the edges of the film and its characters, sometimes on purpose and other times not." - Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
Dear White People A satire of college movies that tackles race relations and privilege in society, Dear White People follows four students as an Ivy League university — golden boy Troy (Brandon P. Bell), activist radio host Samantha (Tessa Thompson), Colendra "Coco" Conners (Teyona Parris), who has dreams of being a reality TV star, and shy misfit Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) — after a planned "African American"-themed party thrown by a group of white students starts a riot on campus.
"If it ultimately feels modestly edgy rather than shocking or dangerous, 'Dear White People' nonetheless provokes admiration for having bothered to ask some of the hard questions without pretending to know any of the answers. It also works as a fine showcase for its actors: Fleshing out characters that could have been little more than one-note mouthpieces, Williams, Thompson, Parris and Bell all make strong, distinctive impressions, with Thompson perhaps the standout as the film’s sharpest and most enigmatic figure." - Justin Chang, Variety
The Last Time You Had Fun With a cast full of comedians and sitcom alums, The Last Time You Had Fun puts a grown-up twist on the standard "wild night out" comedy. After Ida (Eliza Coupe) forces her sister Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) to blow off some steam with her, they find themselves bickering and partying with Clark (Kyle Bornheimer) and the sweatpants-clad Will (Demetri Martin), as the four of them attempt to have the most fun that four older, dysfunctional adults could possibly have.
"Granted, the excesses of Bridesmaids or The Hangover are not essential to sparkling relationship comedy, but Fun lacks an edge, or even much of an attitude. Blandly risqué situations, featherweight banter and a hint of implied sexual impropriety have all the heft of an extended cable sitcom episode. Or maybe it’s the casting, which draws extensively on the TV comedy background of the four leads, who all acquit themselves adequately but can’t achieve sufficient character differentiation within the ensemble. Undistinguished locations, flat lighting and primarily static setups perpetuate the small-screen aesthetic, which at least bodes well for the film’s transition to home entertainment formats." - Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
Echo Park The debut film from photographer Amanda Marsalis, Echo Park is a story about two people who come together "across cultural, economic and racial boundaries." Sophie (Mamie Gummer) is an unhappy housewife who moves from her Beverly Hills home to the up-and-coming neighborhood of Echo Park in order to shake up her predictable boring life, who finds herself drawn to Alex (Tony Okungbowa) after she buys his couch. But their burgeoning relationship might have to be put on hold, since he's about to leave for London...
"It’s Marsalis’ direction, and the fine performances from Gummer and Okungbowa that elevate the film above what it might have been, given the issues with the script and story that hover around the edges of cliché and stereotype (the worst offender: Sophie’s mother). While the dialogue, especially the scenes between Sophie and Alex, works well, the story beats are oddly laid out, rushing through some important character and relationship establishing moments, and dwelling too long in moments where the characters are making frustrating, selfish choices. Still, the end of the film avoids falling into the traditional romantic film trap, leading to a message that’s a bit more complicated and nuanced than expected." - Katie Walsh, IndieWire
"They called and asked me to be Spanky the Dog in the Garfield movie and I said, 'No, I don't wanna do that'. And they said, 'Oh, Bill Murray's Garfield,' and I was like, 'Oh, then I definitely wanna do it'. So, I wound up doing a movie that I didn't want to do because you didn't know you were doing that movie... I never actually saw it." Comedian and chat show host Jimmy Kimmel signed on as the voice Garfield's pal after learning Murray was onboard the project. Murray recently confessed he agreed to be in the films because he thought the Coen Brothers were behind them. The screenplay for the 2004 movie and its sequel were actually written by Joel Cohen.
Actor Bill Murray signed on to star in 2004 family film Garfield: The Movie without properly reading the script, after mistaking little-known screenwriter Joel Cohen for his Oscar-winning namesake, Joel Coen. The Lost in Translation star made the confession during a question and answer session with fans on Reddit.com on Friday (17Jan14), admitting the simple name mix-up left him attached to a film he was not a fan of.
The discussion was prompted by one fan who asked Murray if there would be a third film in the live-action film franchise, about the sarcastic ginger comic strip cat, to which he responded, "I don't think so."
He then went on to explain how he ended up voicing Garfield, stating, "I had looked at the screenplay and it said 'Joel Cohen' on it. And I wasn't thinking clearly, but it was spelled Cohen, not Coen. I love the Coen brothers movies. I think that Joel Coen is a wonderful comedic mind. So I didn't really bother to finish the script, I thought, 'He's great, I'll do it.'"
Murray didn't realise his mistake until he began recording the role and was stunned by the quality of the writing: "There was just this long, two-minute silence. I probably cursed a little, and I said, 'I can fix this, but I can't fix this today. Or this week. Who wrote this stuff?'"
It was only then that he found out one of the people in the recording studio was the "misspelled Joel Cohen", not the man behind the critically-acclaimed hits Fargo, The Big Lebowski and No Country for Old Men.
Despite Murray's concerns, the movie proved a success at the box office, grossing more than $200 million (£125 million) worldwide.
His contract tied him to a sequel, which followed in 2006, but Garfield 2 went straight to DVD.
Bright Eyes star Conor Oberst has revealed he auditioned for the lead role in The Coen Brothers' new movie Inside Llewyn Davis. The folk frontman was hoping to land his first acting role in the film, which is loosely based on the memoir of struggling cult singer Dave Van Ronk, but, after watching the finished product, he is happy to have lost the job to Hollywood newcomer Oscar Isaac.
Sitting down for a chat with Isaac for Interview magazine, he said, "I know I told you this when we met, but I tried out for your role in Inside Llewyn Davis - and thank God for everyone that I didn't get it. But they auditioned a lot of musicians and actors for this part, to the point where I heard the Coen brothers and T Bone Burnett (executive music producer) say that they had more or less given up on the idea of finding someone. And then you appeared."
During the interview, Isaac, who performed in a series of bands during his youth, admitted the acting gig allowed him to realise his musical dreams in front of a whole new audience.
He explained, "What was also interesting for me about playing those songs in those scenes was that, obviously, I needed to play this character, Llewyn Davis, who has a very particular voice and is playing a very particular style of music. But doing that was also an opportunity for me, Oscar, to be the musician that I'd always wanted to be as a kid - and to actually sing with that kind of honest voice that I'd always wanted to sing with."
Oberst got the chance to become involved in the film project by performing as part of the line-up for the Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis benefit concert in New York in September (13). The three-hour show, organised by the movie's directors Joel and Ethan Cohen and producer Burnett, also featured Patti Smith, Jack White, Marcus Mumford, Elvis Costello, The Avett Brothers and Joan Baez, while Isaac and his movie co-star Carey Mulligan took the stage too.
12 Years A Slave, American Hustle and Gravity look set to dominate the International Press Academy's 2014 Satellite Awards after scoring the bulk of the nominations. Steve McQueen's acclaimed drama, about a black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1800s, leads the list with 10 nods, followed by American Hustle and Gravity with eight apiece.
All three films will compete for the coveted Best Motion Picture prize along with Inside Llewyn Davis, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street, Saving Mr. Banks, All Is Lost and Blue Jasmine.
12 Years a Slave's star Chiwetel Ejiofor is nominated for the Actor in a Motion Picture trophy and he will compete against Robert Redford (All Is Lost), Christian Bale (American Hustle), Tom Hanks, (Captain Phillips), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Matthew McConaughey, (Dallas Buyers Club), and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street).
Gravity star Sandra Bullock will fight for the best actress award alongside Meryl Streep (August: Osage County), Dame Judi Dench (Philomena), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color), and Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks).
The best directing category includes Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine), Ethan and Joel Cohen (Inside Llewyn Davis), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), David O. Russell (Hustle), and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street).
In the TV categories, popular drama Breaking Bad topped the list of nominees with four, along with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Special honours will go to moviemaker Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station, while his movie's star Michael B. Jordan will receive a breakthrough performance award along with The Book Thief's Sophie Nelisse. Nebraska has been named Best Ensemble, Motion Picture; and Orange Is the New Black landed Best Ensemble, Television.
The Satellite Awards ceremony will be held on 9 March (14) in Los Angeles.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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The Coen Bros are not exactly the peppiest creative duo in Hollywood. Sure, they're good for a laugh... but usually it's at the expense of the irreparable human condition. Throughout their 30 years directing big screen features, the Minnesota-born pair has hit some decidedly bleak notes. But even with such a staunch history of dehydrating the spirit of the leading man, and it looks like their latest effort, Inside Llewyn Davis, will be the most sigh-worthy effort yet.
The latest trailer for the folk music-themed character piece doesn't seem to showcase a good deal of upswing for its titular hero, played with a permanent frown by Oscar Isaac. And that's just what we want: the two-headed filmmaking force's knack for sobriety mastered on the beautiful backdrop of snow-ravaged Queens. And if this does, indeed, prove to be No. 1 on the Coen's list of listlessness, what are the other rankings? We've taken a stab at the task, let us know what you think:
The Coen Bros. Movies in Order of Bleakness (from merry to melancholy...)
The Hudsucker ProxyIntolerable CrueltyO Brother Where Art Thou?Raising ArizonaThe Big LebowskiBurn After ReadingThe LadykillersTrue GritBarton FinkFargoNo Country for Old MenThe Man Who Wasn't ThereMiller's CrossingBlood Simple.A Serious Man
More:Oscar Isaac Is Sad and Cold in 'Llewyn Davis' TrailerHear the Songs Covered on the 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Soundtrack Man, New York Seems Different in 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Trailer
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Patti Smith, Jack White and Marcus Mumford joined forces on Sunday (29Sep13) to stage a three-hour concert in New York celebrating the folk music featured in new movie Inside Llewyn Davis. Elvis Costello, The Avett Brothers, Conor Oberst and The Decemberists' Colin Meloy were also among the stars who performed at the special event, organised by the movie's directors Joel and Ethan Cohen and producer T Bone Burnett.
The show also included a collaboration between Mumford and folk legend Joan Baez, who teamed up to sing John Fahey's Give Me Cornbread When I'm Hungry.
The British star couldn't contain his excitement as Baez left the stage, exclaiming to the audience, "That's f**king Joan Baez, man! Everyone's been too cool to have one of those OMG (oh my god) moments."
The Mumford & Sons frontman went on to invite the movie's star, Oscar Isaac, into the spotlight to duet on Bob Dylan tracks I Was Young When I Left Home and Fare Thee Well, which feature on the film's score.
Mumford's actress wife, Carey Mulligan, also appeared on stage during the gig to perform Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby with Gillian Welch and Rhiannon Giddens from another Coen Brothers movie soundtrack, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Town Hall concert, titled Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis, raised funds for the National Recording Preservation Foundation.
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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