Distinguished cinematographer of Hungarian parentage who began his career in Germany in the 1920s. Mate shot several films for Carl Theodor Dreyer, notably the dream-like masterpiece "Vampyr" (1932),...
Instead of following a ragtag team of brutes hired for a suicide mission to destroy an Earth-bound meteor Seeking a Friend for the End of the World plays out the apocalyptic "what if?" scenario from the everyman vantage point. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) the film pairs average joe Dodge (Steve Carell) with wallflower Penny (Keira Knightley) for a journey across the east coast a hunt for Dodge's college sweetheart. Scafaria takes a character-first approach to her anti-blockbuster examining the end of the world with a pitch black sense of humor. But the road trip loses steam as it chugs along with the film's insistence to avoid Hollywood disaster tropes taking a toll on the entertainment value. Dodge and Penny are so normal they aren't that interesting to watch. In turn neither is Seeking a Friend.
Worse for Dodge than the whole "destruction of humanity" thing is the fact that he's facing it alone; his wife leaves him he has no real family and he hates nearly all of his friends. While everyone he knows is either hooking up or shooting up in hopes of going out on a high note Dodge buckles under the weight of an existential crisis that feels all too familiar. To his rescue is next-door neighbor Penny who insists the two hit the road together to go find Dodge's one-that-got-away. They don't have much of a choice as New York City is quickly overrun by Malatov cocktail-hurling riots.
When the catastrophe and societal chaos is seen through Dodge's eyes and Carell's complex interpretation of the straight man Scafaria hits all the marks. Watching Dodge tell his cleaning lady to go home because "What's the point?" is heartbreaking while his good friend's descent into frat boy madness for the same reasons nails mankind's vile tendencies. And through it all it's funny thanks to Carell's impeccable timing. When Dodge is eventually paired up with Penny the film meanders the two never unearthing what it is about each other that keeps them sticking together. The duo run into a kindly truck driver (who's hired an assassin to off him when he's unaware) a TGIFriday's-esque restaurant full of zany drugged up waiters and even one of Penny's ex-boyfriends whose locked down with automatic rifles and Ruffles chips in anticipation of the end. But Dodge and Penny's quest is mostly about the in-between moments the quitter grounded human reactions to the apocalypse. Even with great performers at the helm Seeking a Friend doesn't organically shape those moments so much as contrive them. In one scene Penny fondly recalls the wonders of listening to music on vinyl Dodge listening carefully and learning. It's a soft and low key discussion perfect juxtaposition against the big-scale problem at hand but when a twenty-something is explaining records to a guy nearing 50 it comes off as twee instead of truthful. The problem infiltrates most of Seeking a Friend's character moments.
Scafaria has an ear and eye for comedy but Seeking a Friend boldly reaches for something more. Sadly ambition doesn't translate to success a messy tonal mix that fail to make it all that engaging or emotional. Carell and Knightley serve the material as best they can but this is the end of the world an even that requires a little weight a little sensationalism and a little more than a casual road movie.
Just last night, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday’s SNL host Maya Rudolph hinted that she may see the return of former cast mate, Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler when she returns to the hallowed stage. And while she didn’t confirm it, it’s not too much of a stretch to assume some of her former cohorts might come back to lend her a hand – seeing old cast members reunite is half of the fun of having them come back to host. With that in mind, the best way to get pumped for this weekend’s (potential) reunion extravaganza is to run down some of the best SNL cast reunions.
Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph Sing About Baby-Making
When mother-to-be Tina Fey hosted the Mother’s Day episode, she got the reunions going right out of the gate when former cast member and fellow expectant mother Rudolph joined her during her monologue. Defying what her television alter ego, Liz Lemon, would do, Fey led Rudolph in a sexy, R&B song about babies, mommas, and making babies, baby. The performance came right after the release of her book in which she wrestles with the decision to postpone a second baby, writing, “To hell with everybody! Maybe I’ll just wait until I’m fifty and give birth to a ball of fingers! ‘Merry Christmas from Tina, Jeff, Alice, and Ball of Fingers,’ the card will say.” It would seem this reunion is not only a comedy lover’s dream, but a lullaby for little Ball of Fingers.
The Return of “Really!?! With Seth and Amy”
Nothing was quite as cathartic as the Weekend Update segment “Really!?! With Seth and Amy.” It’s come back with the sadly shortened subtitle “With Seth” and once, “With Seth and Kermit” but without Queen Poehler, the sketch just doesn’t cut it. What can we say, she’s really good at saying, “REALLY!?! I mean really.” So when Poehler’s 2009 hosting gig saw the bubbly blonde returning to Weekend Update to question Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim that Americans were behind the terrorist attacks on 9-11, her angry ranting was like a breath of fresh, funny air.
Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek Returns to Face Off With Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery
Though former SNL writer and actor Norm McDonald once admitted this recurring sketch was created solely as a venue for his Burt Reynolds impression, it quickly became the Will Ferrell show as his turgid Alex Trebek gained a certain contentious chemistry with Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery. And in 2009, when Ferrell returned to host the show that launched his illustrious and often terrifyingly shirtless career, Ferrell was practically upstaged by the return of “Connery,” the pre-school antics of Tom Hanks, and a surprise appearance by the inspiration for the original sketch. (Hint: It rhymes with Kurt Heynolds.)
The “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” Single Performance Reunion Tour
It would seem that no one can bring SNL favorites back together like the infinitely likable Jimmy Fallon. The actor has been called the “Star” of the show by many former cast mates, including Queen Tina Fey in her book Bossypants, so the fact that he was able to get Chris Kattan, Horatio Sanz, and Tracy Morgan back together to sing (or bop along like Muppets) the “classic” holiday song is no surprise at all. It’s like a hot cup of peppermint cocoa with really awkwardly shaped marshmallows floating in it – comforting, yet slightly irksome.
Dana Carvey and Mike Myers Party On
While Myers and Carvey are clearly far from their teenage youth, the duo reunited in 2011 when Carvey hosted SNL to discuss the impending Oscars ceremony. They had a particular fixation on Winter’s Bone (Winter’s BONE). Seeing the pair reunite for the first time since the watered down reincarnation during the 2008 MTV Movie Awards was welcomed by fans and the actors alike. In fact, Carvey even got a bit of the Wayne’s World bug, telling TMZ, “If they want, we can play 'em in their 50s ... 'Wayne! My prostate's enlarged!” Well, as they say, “Party on, Garth!”
The Ladies of ‘SNL’ Skewer the ‘Real Housewives’ Series
For one glorious night, the ladies of SNL past and present came together to deliver a pitch-perfect impression of Bravo’s bread and butter, Real Housewives reunions hosted by Andy Cohen – who was also on hand to keep the funny ladies in check. Laura Dunn, Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey gathered in New York to get the cat fight going while Laraine Newman, Amy Poehler, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus gathered in Los Angeles to add their two cents. Not only was the subject the perfect way to showcase these ladies’ varied comedic styles, but it if you pay close attention, you can hear the development of Rudolph’s current TV persona from Up All Night. Just listen for the “in-saan.”
US co-directing debut (with Don Hartman), "It Had to Be You" (also co-photographer)
Succeeded Gregg Toland as head of photography for Goldwyn
Worked as director of photography on seven films while in Germany, beginning with "Dunkle gassen/Der schwarze Boxer"
Final French film as cinematographer, Fritz Lang's "Liliom"
To Paris as director of photography, beginning with the second of several films for Carl Dreyer, "La passion de Jeanne d'Arc/The Passion of Joan of Arc"
Co-directing debut (with Jean Bertin), "Le costaud des P.T.T."
To Hollywood; signed contract with Fox
Solo directing debut, "The Dark Past"
To Vienna, then Berlin
First film as cinematogrpaher in US, "Nada mas que una mujer" (Spanish language version of Louis King's "Pursued," directed by Harry Lachman)
First US English language film as cinematographer, "Dressed to Thrill"
Last solo directing credit, "Aliki--My Love"; also co-directed film, "Il Re Dei Sette Mari", with Primo Zeglio
Distinguished cinematographer of Hungarian parentage who began his career in Germany in the 1920s. Mate shot several films for Carl Theodor Dreyer, notably the dream-like masterpiece "Vampyr" (1932), before moving to Hollywood in 1934. His expressionist sensibility redeemed several lesser films, like Tay Garnett's "Professional Soldier" (1935), as well as making significant contributions to classics such as Charles Vidor's "Gilda" (1946). Mate turned to directing in 1947, with results ranging from the highly competent to the forgettable; his most famous directorial effort is the riveting 1949 noir standard "D.O.A".
University of Budapest
At various points in his career, Mate was credited under the prename Rudolf, Rudy or Rudolph.