The Pulp Fiction filmmaker has been named the recipient of the Dilys Powell award for excellence in cinema.
And Tarantino is flattered by the accolade.
He says, "This is such an honour. I have always relished discussing my work with film critics."
Tarantino will be presented with the prize at a ceremony in London on 18 February (10).
Meanwhile, critics have heaped praise on coming-of-age drama An Education - the movie has landed seven nominations at the Critics' Circle awards, included British Film of the Year, Best Actress for Carey Mulligan and Best Supporting Actor for Alfred Molina.
French film The Prophet follows with five nods, including Director of the Year for Jacques Audiard and Film of the Year, going up against The Hurt Locker, Avatar and Up in the Air, among others.
After making a sparkling debut in 2004 with his first feature film the slacker comedy Napoleon Dynamite offbeat writer-director Jared Hess seemed poised for a fruitful career as an earnest more accessible alternative to hipster auteur Wes Anderson. But he stumbled a bit with his sophomore effort the uneven Mexican wrestling flick Nacho Libre despite Jack Black’s desperate mugging for laughs. And he falls apart completely with his latest comedy the crude maddeningly insipid Gentlemen Broncos.
It’s a shame too because Gentlemen Broncos held so much potential. Its trailers promised a lively battle of wits between a pompous sci-fi author played by Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement and the teenage protege (Michael Angarano) from whom he plagiarized his latest bestselling novel. It could have been Hess’s Rushmore. But what the trailers don’t tell you is that Clement plays merely a supporting role in Gentlemen Broncos and that his character Dr. Ronald Chevalier virtually disappears after the film’s splendid setup. Clement is by far the best part of the film and when he isn’t on the screen the story devolves into an increasingly irksome blend of manufactured quirk and lame sight gags. Hess’s sense of humor has regressed to sub-adolescent levels with Gentlemen Broncos. Defecating snakes breast-puncturing blowdarts and jars of human testicles are just a few of the lowbrow delights that await the brave soul who attempts to make it through a viewing. When Clement returns at the end of the film and mounts a quixotic attempt to rescue it from the mire his heroic effort is sadly for naught: The disastrous fate of Gentleman Broncos was sealed long before.
Ryan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Jennifer (Claire Forlani) first met on a plane when they were 12. He’s terrified of planes she promptly tells him about her first period so it’s granted that they don’t exactly click. Fast-forward to high school where they bump into each other again. Now he’s the school mascot she’s the homecoming queen. No sparks. Fast forward to college where he’s the geeky engineering major (yes you read correctly) and she’s the free-spirited rocker-dating Latin student. Finally here they become friends help each other with their love issues and despite their opposing viewpoints … well take a guess.
Prinze the BMOC in "She’s All That " is supposed to be an anal-retentive doofus. And while the pageboy cut (split down the middle) and glasses do little to mask his good looks he plays against type surprisingly well doing his best to rise above the cliché-filled script. Forlani who was calm and luminous in the sluggish "Meet Joe Black " still has "proper British upbringing" written all over her so she’s not really believable as an outrageous one-night-stander (she also looks too old for Prinze). Heather Donahue (showing a promising comedy career post-"Blair Witch") and Amanda Detmer make a great supporting cast but the show is stolen by an underused Jason Biggs. As Ryan’s woman-chasing roommate Biggs also gets the single funniest scene in the film which you’ll miss if you walk about before the credits roll.
"She’s All That" director Robert Iscove is back and using the same traits again. First we have the you-are-there flashback narration ("So I was watching him play with his band " a character might reflect in her dorm room and suddenly she’s sitting at the concert still in her pajamas). Then there’s the choreographed dance number. Disguised as a scene to show Ryan trying to loosen up at a "foam club" (like a car wash soapy water douses the dancers) it’s really an excuse to show off Iscove’s choreography background by having all patrons wiggle simultaneously to Apollo Four Forty’s "Stop the Rock." It’s cute and all but the biggest faux pas Iscove makes is having Ryan and Jennifer take a "walk" from Berkeley … and miraculously wind up at the Golden Gate bridge.
1. Clapton a papa
2. Green pulls another prank
3. Rosie reversal
3. McGregor accused
5. "Skippy" sentenced
6. WWF gets nostalgic
7. SAG saga
9. Report: SAG strike will hurt economy
10. FCC deregulates tv more
11. Music off the charts
Eric Clapton to be a father once again
Rock 'n' roll legend Eric Clapton, 56, and galpal Melia McEnery, 25, are expecting a child in just a couple months, according to Britain's The Sun newspaper. The couple met in 1999, and despite splitting up for brief while, are reportedly "really happy" to be back together and pregnant. Clapton's new addition is due to arrive 10 years after the death of Clapton's first son, Conor, who died falling from an open window.
Tom's latest stunt: un-impregnating Drew
Newly debuted director Tom Green (Freddie Got Fingered) told Jay Leno Wednesday night that soul mate Drew Barrymore is pregnant. Now's he's saying that Drew's not really expecting.
Green - no stranger to pulling stunts, both funny and unfunny - told Leno that Barrymore (The Wedding Singer, Charlie's Angels) whispered the news to Green right before his appearance on The Tonight Show.
But in a statement released by his publicist, Green said: "People always think I'm kidding about stuff. Jay and I were joking around and I thought the audience was in on it. We are not pregnant now, but do hope to be blessed with children in the future."
Rosie will return
Out since April 4 with an infected hand, Rosie O'Donnell will return Monday to her eponymous TV talk show, according to The Associated Press.
O'Donnell cut her hand in August while removing a price tag off of a fishing pole. The cut severed a tendon, and O'Donnell's had three surgeries since then, spokeswoman Laura Mandel told AP.
A series of celebrity guest hosts have filled in for O'Donnell in her absence. Carolina Rhea (TV's Sabrina, the Teenage Witch), Jane Krakowski (TV's Ally McBeal) and Barbara Walters have all pitched in to help the ailing host. , O'Donnell made a guest appearance Friday on the show.
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McGregor denies involvement in Tom and Nicole's breakup
Ewan McGregor (Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace and Trainspotting) told reporters that he had nothing to do with Moulin Rouge costar Nicole Kidman's separation from husband Tom Cruise.
"I didn't have an affair with Nicole Kidman," he said.
Cruise (Mission Impossible, Jerry Maguire, Eyes Wide Shut) shocked the public - and apparently wife Nicole - by filing for divorce after 10 years of marriage. A source cited in People magazine quoted Cruise as saying, "Nic knows exactly why we are getting the divorce. But she's the mother of our children, and I wish her well."
David Spade's former assistant sentenced
David Spade's former assistant was sentenced Thursday in Beverly Hills.
Perhaps taking the Just Shoot Me star's show title a little too literally, the assistant, David "Skippy" Malloy, shot Spade with a stun gun. Malloy plead guilty and was sentenced to five years of probation and 480 hours of community service, Reuters reports.
The Joe Dirt star suffered minor injuries in the November altercation that let to the shooting. Spade called police to report that his employee had attacked him. A plea agreement prevented Malloy from serving jail time.
WWF to recreate New York marquee
The famed five-story marquee and arch of Times Sqaure's Paramount Theater will be rebuilt by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. as part of renovations by the WWF.
The WWF will spend $7.5 million to recreate the marquee on the building at Broadway and 43rd Street, says the New York Times. The passageway will lead into the WWF's store and restaurant. The restoration is being done from photographs, as the marquee and arch disappeared with the theater's closing in 1964. It was then converted into office space.
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Bitter infighting plagues SAG
The Screen Actors Guild is hearing a call for members to replace current union president William Daniels.
The call comes at a critical juncture for the guild, which is awaiting the start of negotiations with the movie and TV alliance, and may find its members in a work stoppage if the writers' guild goes on strike at the beginning of May. SAG's negotiations are scheduled to begin on May 10.
Variety reports that Daniels faces stiff competition from loyalists to former union president Richard Masur, whom Daniels defeated two years ago. Masur has said he will not run for the post again. Daniels has alienated the Masur faction with his push for last year's SAG strike, aggressive position with this year's movie-TV negotiations, his threats to split SAG into East and West divisions, and plans to reduce both the union's oversight of talent agents and the size of the national board.
Nomination petitions will be accepted starting June 4.
L.A. mayor's study predicts recession
Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan does not expect there to be a writers' strike, but a study commissioned by the mayor says that the local economy would take a deep downturn if a strike did happen.
The study, performed by the Milken Institute think tank and Sebago Associates consultants, said that prolonged strikes could cost the city 81,900 jobs, as unemployment would skyrocket from 4.8% to 6.9%. The Hollywood Reporter cited the figure of money lost as $4.4 billion, while Variety said it could be as much as $6.9 billion, if the strike lasted five months or so.
The entertainment industry accounts for 185,000 direct-employment jobs and $24 billion spent per year in Los Angeles County.
Riordan's tenure as mayor ends the same day as the SAG-AMPTP agreement, June 30.
FCC deregulates TV further
The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to end its prohibition on a major network - ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox - from owning an emerging network, such as the WB or UPN.
This ruling paves the way for UPN and CBS to both remain the property of parent company Viacom, according to Variety. It also opens the door for a potential AOL Time Warner, Inc. merger with General Electric that would pair both the WB and NBC under the same corporate umbrella.
Although the four major networks are still not allowed to couple with each other, Thursday's vote makes it clear that the FCC, under the guidance of new Chairman Michael Powell, is headed in the direction of even further deregulation.
Music sales dip worldwide
Sales of music worldwide dipped to $36.9 billion, a drop of 1.3 percent. Reuters cites International Federation of the Phonographic Industry chairman Jay Berman as blaming Napster and other free music sites for taking a bite out of the industry.
"This is the first evidence of the impact of free online music on sales, and it's not very pretty, especially for singles," said Berman in the Reuters report. But Napster's activities have been sharply curtailed by U.S. courts, and Berman remains optimistic that music companies will step in to fill the void and recoup lost sales.
The slowing U.S. economy also could be a determining factor in the sales slump. The industry also has faced slower growth since individuals have finished replacing cassettes with CDs, says the report.
The works of August Strindberg long considered one of the world's
greatest dramatists are often characterized as misogynistic and not
Working out his own psychological problems (he was illegitimate and
thrice married) the Swedish author wrote essays titled "Woman's
Inferiority to Man" and grappled with the battle of the sexes in several
of his plays including the one-act "Miss Julie" that has made its way
to film in an adaptation directed by Mike Figgis.
While it's unlikely that this film will achieve blockbuster status it
should find a receptive audience from the art-house crowd.
"Miss Julie" is essentially a two-hander pitting a spoiled neurotic
aristocrat's daughter against her father's handsome if coarse footman.
The pair engages in a flirtation that leads to sex that leads to
recriminations and ultimately to tragedy. Strindberg was not only
writing about the battles between men and women but also the class
struggle with the footman often viewed as a social climber.
In addition to providing great roles for two strong actors the play is
malleable enough to accommodate a more contemporary resonance. For
example in some productions a racial element is introduced as in a
1980s production that moved the play's setting from Sweden to South
The play has been filmed three times before -- a 1912 Swedish silent
the 1951 Swedish version with Anita Bjork long considered the standard
and a 1972 British adaptation with a stunning performance by Helen
Mirren. Now it's Saffron Burrows' turn to tackle the role in Figgis'
filming of Helen Carpenter's translation.
A predominant theme in Figgis' work is the fall from grace never more
baldly addressed than in 1999's "The Loss of Sexual Innocence." So it
follows that he would be attracted by Strindberg's play as it depicts
the castigation of both of its key players. While there are inherent
pitfalls to filming what is essentially a two-character drama played out
on one set Carpenter's adaptation "opened up" the action just enough
and the virtuoso camerawork by Benoit Delhomme aided Figgis in his
It also helped that the director hired three fine actors each
contributing sterling work. Although the fine Irish actress Maria Doyle
Kennedy was saddled with the basically thankless role of Christine the
overworked cook and lover to the footman Jean she still managed to make
an impression. Burrows looks appropriately regal and aristocratic but
at first she appears miscast. Only as the film unfolds do her acting
choices in the early scenes come to make sense and her performance grows
in stature and power.
Matching her is the extraordinary Scottish actor Peter Mullan (perhaps
most known for his searing work as a recovering alcoholic in "My Name Is
Joe"). Compact and fiery Mullan crafts a portrait of a man who both
knows his station but aspires to something more. He and Burrows also
share that ineffable thing called screen chemistry and each seems to
elicit the best from the other.
Some may quibble about the necessity for yet another version of this
work but as the world moves into a new century Figgis and company
clearly point out that for all the advances in technology the
fundamental difference between the sexes continues. "Miss Julie" may be
set in the 1880s but it continues to resonate in the 1990s and beyond.
* MPAA rating: R for language and a scene of sexuality.
Saffron Burrows: Miss Julie
Peter Mullan: Jean
Maria Doyle Kennedy: Christine
An MGM/UA presentation. Director Mike Figgis. Screenplay Mike Figgis and
Helen Cooper. Play August Strindberg. Producers Mike Figgis and Harriet
Cruickshank. Director of photography Benoit Delhomme. Editor Matthew
Wood. Production designer Michael Howells. Costume designer Sandy
Powell. Running time: 1 hour 43 minutes.