Oscar-nominated costume designer Patricia Norris has died, aged 83. Norris, who frequently worked with directors David Lynch and Mel Brooks, passed away on 20 February (15).
She earned six Academy Award nominations for Best Costume Design throughout her storied career, including nods for films Sunset, 2010, Victor, Victoria, Lynch's The Elephant Man, Days of Heaven, and last year's (14) 12 Years a Slave.
Under Lynch, Norris served as both a production and costume designer, on films including Wild At Heart and Lost Highway. She also earned an Outstanding Costume Design Emmy award for the pilot of Lynch's cult TV drama, Twin Peaks.
Norris collaborated with veteran entertainer Brooks on three of his films, including Silent Movie, High Anxiety and History of the World: Part I.
Her other credits include Scarface, The Candidate, Killing Them Softly, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and The Singing Detective.
Norris was feted with a lifetime achievement award from the Costume Designers Guild in 2007 and the Art Directors Guild in 2011, making her the only person to receive the top honour from both organisations.
Some of the greatest and most memorable movie quotes of all time were completely unplanned. Don't believe us? Take a look at 20 of our favorites below and see for yourself:
1. Annie Hall
Woody Allen's famous sneeze as his character, Alvy Singer, picks up a box of cocaine at a party, and after finding out that it's $2,000 an ounce, he asks what the appeal is...before sneezing all of the powder away into its owner's face. The sneeze was not scripted, believe it or not. The moment tested well with audiences and the other actors in the scene reacted so perfectly to it that Allen decided to keep it.
Perhaps one of the film's most memorable lines, Leonardo DiCaprio's feeling of invincibility would never have been captured had he not ad-libbed the line, "I'm king of the world!" Titanic has other improvised moments as well, like the scene where Jack teaches Rose to spit and when Rose spits in Cal's face.
3. Being John Malkovich
Though this moment is contested somewhat, we still love the story. A few extras allegedly snuck some beer onto the set to make the most of long hours of filming. One such extra, who was (may or may not have been) supposed to throw something at actor John Malkovich's head from a passing vehicle, shouted "think fast," making the scene even funnier. Rumor has it that because of the line's inclusion, the extra had to receive a generous pay raise, all because of a drunken addition to the movie.
4. Blade Runner
As Blade Runner, a film about a bounty hunter seeking androids to "retire," reaches its conclusion, its main character, Rick Deckard, is saved by the android he is supposed to kill. Right before preparing to die, the android, Roy Batty, gives a monologue reflecting on his past experiences. Though the monologue was indeed scripted, actor Rutger Hauer added the beautiful phrase, "like tears in rain."
5. Taxi Driver
The script said "Travis talks to himself in the mirror." Robert De Niro took care of the rest. Because of this, we're left with one of the best lines in movie history, one of the greatest performances of all time, and the best idea for a theme party ever.
6. Dumb and Dumber
The original script featured the titular idiots to argue over jelly beans in order to test the nerves of the hitman they unknowingly picked up as a hitchhiker. Since this is a movie with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, it evolved into something altogether different. The most annoying sound in the world was, for better or for worse, entirely improvised.
7. Good Will Hunting
Robin Williams received his first and only Oscar for his dramatic role in Good Will Hunting. You may be able to take Robin Williams out of the comedy, but you can't keep the comedy out of him, and thus, in the midst of a pivotal scene in the movie, Williams broke into an unplanned story about his wife's flatulence. Matt Damon's uncontrollable laughter is genuine, as are the moments the camera shakes because of the cameraman's laughter. That's a magical movie moment.
The most memorable moment of Martin Scorsese's 1990 mobster movie is easily Joe Pesci's refusal to be called funny. This line was allegedly ad-libbed and inspired by a real incident where Pesci called a not-very-pleasant gangster funny.
9. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Hardcore Star Wars fans may know this bit already: the famous Han Solo moment where he tells Princess Leia "I know" wasn't scripted. The line was originally written as "I love you too," but didn't seem to fit into character. Harrison Ford suggested they change it to something a little more in line with Han Solo's personality, and thus, the greatest response to "I love you" was born.
10. Pretty Woman
In a gloriously unscripted moment, Richard Gere's character was supposed to present Julia Roberts with a stunning diamond necklace, but instead playfully snapped the bling box closed. The unplanned move, and Roberts' perfect reaction to it, was so honest and fit the film so well, director Garry Marshall kept it in the finished version.
11. Raiders of the Lost Ark
The epic sword fight that was scheduled for this scene (or perhaps it was a whip vs. sword situation) was ignored entirely in favor of this easier-to-film scene. The moment, when Indiana Jones just nonchalantly pulls out his pistol and does away with the swordsman, wasn't scripted. Spielberg agreed to do it to make filming easier for Harrison Ford, who was feeling a bit under the weather at the time. Thus, movie history was born.
After David Duchovny's character explains to Ben Stiller's Derek Zoolander why male models have been behind every political assassination of the last 200 years, Stiller forgot the line he was supposed to stay in true Zoolander fashion, so he just repeated his previous line, "Why male models?" This prompted Duchovny's equally funny ad-lib, "Are you serious? I just told you that a moment ago..."
13. The Godfather
The Godfather has a scene where Peter Clemenza is heading out to whack Paulie, but before he does, his wife asks him to pick up some cannolis. While the scene following Paulie's death was originally scripted as just "Leave the gun," Clemenza added a bit of humor and continuity to the film by adding the second part.
14. The Shining
Stanley Kubrick's iconic adaptation of the Stephen King classic features the ad-libbed line "Here's Johnny!" Jack Nicholson improvised this line after chopping his way through the door and sticking his face in. The quote, referencing Johnny Carson's immensely popular late night show's introduction, added a bit of humor to an incredibly terrifying moment. It also, strangely, made the moment way creepier too.
Really, though, there was nothing else to be said. After seeing the shark for the first time, this unscripted moment was the only logical reaction a person could have. And now it's legendary.
16. The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up
The extremely memorable, easy-to-imitate moments from both of these films were ad-libbed entirely by stars Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. Director Judd Apatow had enough faith in both comedians to allow them to go on for several minutes in an unedited clip. The scenes may get a little annoying, but they are undeniably funny.
17. Midnight Cowboy
Legend has it that this NYC cab ignored the indications that a movie was shooting on this street and drove down anyway. Dustin Hoffman's brilliant reaction was genuine and in character, and the rest is history.
Arguably the most iconic line in the entire film, this one was ad-libbed by Humphrey Bogart during filming. Apparently, it's something he would say to Ingrid Bergman while teaching her poker between takes.
19. The Silence of the Lambs
While the line about eating a census taker's liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti may have been in the script (as well as the book), the terrifying slurping hiss Anthony Hopkins lets out next was certainly not. It was left in the film because, hello, it's totally the creepiest thing a cannibal could do after discussing a meal.
Bill Murray, as surely everyone knows, can do literally anything. He's the greatest. Clearly director Harold Ramis knew that too -- the script for Caddyshack featured a scene where Murray's character Carl emulates a kid announcing his fantasy sports moment. Murray simply asked for four rows of mums, and boom! Movie magic.
Fight Club stars Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are reteaming to produce a new TV mini-series about American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Casey Affleck, who appeared alongside Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Matthias Schoenaerts will portray the two adventurers in the six-hour series, adapted from the book Undaunted Courage, written by Stephen E. Ambrose.
Lewis and Clark led the Corps of Discovery Expedition in the early 1800s and became the first men to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast.
Production on the series is scheduled to begin this summer (15).
Tom Hanks is on board as an executive producer.
If you’ve even given the Internet a cursory glance over the last few weeks, you’re probably aware that Chris Pratt is having a moment right now. Thanks to a starring role in Guardians of the Galaxy, one of the biggest movies of the year, even people who’ve never seen an episode of Parks and Recreation or Everwood are being clued into his goofy, lovable charms. But playing Peter Quill is bound to have more long-term effects on Pratt’s career than simply giving him a venue to showcase his French-braiding skills – the question that remains is whether these will be positive effects.
Obviously, getting to play a superhero in a Marvel film is going to be amazing for any actor. They’re easily the biggest, most-exciting films of the year; they guarantee you plenty of press attention and new fans, and open you up to countless new opportunities and projects. But what about the times Pratt won’t be protecting the galaxy? Actors who star in superhero and sci-fi franchises often struggle to break out of the shadow of their famous characters. Leonard Nimoy and George Takei will always be Spock and Sulu, no matter what other projects they pursue; despite the beard, Mark Hamill is still known as Luke Skywalker; even Michael Keaton has yet to surpass his Batman fame. Once you become recognized for a single, beloved character, it’s hard for fans to see you any other way, which could result in Pratt being stuck as Star-Lord for the rest of his career.
Despite being part of one of the most iconic franchises of all time, only Harrison Ford was really able to break away from his Star Wars character, which he did by jumping straight into the Indiana Jones series. Pratt is taking a somewhat similar path, following up Guardians of the Galaxy with Jurassic World, which should help keep him in people’s minds as something other than Star-Lord. Still, from what we’ve heard, Pratt’s character Owen seems to be similarly confident and wise-cracking, which could result in him being typecast as the good-looking jokester. Considering the fact that Pratt only just stopped being typecast as the “chubby, dumb best friend,” that’s not necessarily a step forward, even if it does guarantee him more leading roles. And since there are so many more actors in Hollywood who specialize in those kinds of roles, it means that Pratt will face a lot more competition for parts.
Becoming known solely as Star-Lord could also make it harder for Pratt to play the kind of supporting character roles that he’s done well with lately, like the underdog baseball player in Moneyball and the good-hearted but doofy colleague in Her. Now that he’s considered a leading man, he might not be considered for those roles anymore. Even if he is, it could be hard for audiences to see him as anything else, which could pull them out of the film. Sure, Star-Lord’s a nice guy and all, but who would actually believe that he’s working at a company that writes love letters?
Look at some of Pratt’s superhero contemporaries: it doesn’t matter what film Robert Downey Jr.’s in, he’s most likely playing the handsome jerk. Scarlett Johansson is almost always the tough girl. And Jeremy Renner is... constantly overlooked. It would be very easy for Pratt to get typecast as the rule-breaking wisecracker. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be great at those parts – he obviously plays them well – but it does put him in a box.
However, Pratt does have an extensive background in television, which gives him an advantage over some of his fellow Marvel heroes. Andy Dwyer and Peter Quill have a fair amount of similarities, but where one is a schlubby slacker, the other is an adventurous go-getter. And both are different still from Bright Abbott, the obnoxious football player Pratt played on Everwood. He’s already proved that he has the range to handle a variety of characters, and now that people are finally paying attention to him, that should help open him up to a different slate of roles and opportunities. Pratt’s got the talent and the charm to play almost anything, as his extensive sitcom past proves, so to keep him locked into one type of character for the rest of his career would be disappointing.
Actress Jessica Lange is to be honoured with the 2015 Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The two-time Academy Award winner will be feted for her achievements at a black-tie gala at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California on 16 November (14).
Announcing the news, Douglas says, "Jessica Lange possess the three key elements in making it in this crazy business: talent, beauty, and intelligence... all of which have served her well and continue to do so. It is my honour to give her my award."
Previous recipients of the acting legend's prize include Forrest Whittaker, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris, John Travolta and Kirk Douglas himself.
Stars including Robert Redford, Whoopi Goldberg, and Francis Ford Coppola gathered in California over the weekend (19-20Jul14) to pay tribute to Oscar-winning actress Sophia Loren.
The Italian beauty was honoured at the annual Napa Valley Festival del Sole in Oakville, California on Saturday night (19Jul14), and several Hollywood stars attended the event.
Goldberg recalled how her mother advised her to view Loren as a role model when she first got into acting, and Redford praised the Two Women actress for rising out of her working class roots to become a major movie star.
Apocalypse Now director Ford Coppola raised a few smiles when he told guests he had enrolled on a scholarship at a military academy as a young man and kept his spirits up by pinning a photograph of a young Loren to a wall at his quarters.
Goodfellas actor Robert De Niro and former U.S. President Bill Clinton were among those who sent video tributes to the 79-year-old actress.
Guests were treated to an outdoor performance of a specially-written piece by composer Daniel Brewbaker, followed by a $700 (£411)-a-head dinner. The Bella Italia: A Tribute to Sophia Loren event took place at the Far Niente Winery in Oakville.
20th Century Fox Film
These days, it seems like every day brings with it a new influx of rumors about Star Wars: Episode VII. From the initial casting reports to the latest cameo rumors to the never-ending, constantly conflicting plot "leaks," every time you turn around there's something else to cover. Even Marvel and DC are struggling to keep up with the barrage of press releases and insider information. With so much to cover, it can be hard to keep track of what seems real (the villains are probably Jedi Hunters, they might resurrect the Sith), what's completely insane (Harrison Ford will be replaced ) and what's already been debunked (most of it). In fact, there might only be one way to keep everything organized and comprehensible: give all of the rumors awards. And that's exactly what we did.
Least Creative: Production Delays on Production Delays on Production Delays At the rate that we’re seeing rumors about production delays, everything on set must shut down whenever someone sneezes. The most recent are centered on Harrison Ford’s broken leg, with multiple outlets claiming that the whole film has been shut down until he returns to set, which either overestimates how much screen time Ford will have or underestimates the importance of sticking to the December 2015 release date.
The Harrison Ford Heritage Award for Replacing Harrison Ford: Robert Pattinson It all started when the Internet had a breakdown over the possibility of Pattinson playing Indiana Jones in a reboot of the franchise. Then, when Ford got injured, it was rumored that Pattinson would take over the role of Han Solo so that production wouldn’t have to be – you guessed it – delayed. This one was quickly debunked though, as nobody with eyes would every believe Pattinson and Ford to be the exact same person.
Most Disappointing Debunking: Oscar Isaac’s Role Will Be Expanded Pattinson wasn’t the only person to get swept up in the frenzy surrounding Ford’s injury; Isaac’s character was rumored to have been expanded in order to fill story time to avoid – all together now! – more production delays. Unfortunately, Disney quickly refuted this one, showing us great possibilities before cruelly yanking them away.
Most Morally Ambiguous: Adam Driver: Hero or Villain? Because so many details are still under wraps, we don’t know anything about the characters that the new cast will be playing, which makes it easy for conflicting reports to cast the same person in different roles. When Driver first came on board, it was to play a villainous role, but by the time the rest of the cast was added, he was rumored to be playing the son of Han and Leia. Now, he’s back on the dark side, playing one of the Jedi Hunters terrorizing the heroes. At this point, it’s probably best to just imagine him as a double agent.
Biggest Potential Style Inspiration: Lupita Nyong’o, Villainess Perhaps no actress in recent memory has become a style and beauty icon as quickly as Nyong’o. She can pull anything off, and does so in a way that almost convinces you that you can wear the same thing. So when reports surfaced that she was playing a villain with yellow eyes, the world’s immediate reaction was basically “Hey, do you think I’d look good with yellow eyes?” You probably won’t. She definitely will.
Most Highbrow: David Cronenberg Approached to Direct Spinoff The Star Wars rumor mill doesn’t just affect Episode VII, but has come to encapsulate the spinoffs as well. Though the first two have been handed off to their respective directors, Cronenberg was reportedly approached to put his own spin on the Star Wars universe, an offer he almost immediately declined. Maybe all those Pattinson rumors inspired Disney to reach out to him?
Most Absurd: Tom Cruise Will Be Making a Cameo If you’re Tom Cruise and you meet up with Mission Impossible III director/producer JJ Abrams, the only logical reason is to plan a cameo in Episode VII. Your meeting couldn’t possibly be about the Mission Impossible franchise, or the numerous films you have lined up, or even just a chance to catch up on each other’s lives. Nope, you’re definitely going to be in Star Wars.
Most Surprisingly Awesome: Tom Cruise Will Be Making a Cameo Did you see Edge of Tomorrow? Slightly dickish, alien-fighting Tom Cruise is the best Tom Cruise of all.
Obi-Wan’s ‘These Are Not the Droids You’re Looking For’ Award For Deception: The Millennium Falcon Of all the rumors on this list, none was stuck down faster than that of the reappearance of the Millennium Falcon, which was spotted in leaked photos from the set. In response, Abrams leaked a photo of his own, denying that the Millennium Falcon had ever graced the set... from what appeared to be the inside of the Millennium Falcon itself. Still, once they saw it, the press simply nodded and allowed him to go about his business.
Least Likely To Have Been Double-Checked On IMDB: David Oyelowo Will Play a Villain Buried in the reports that Nyong’o and Driver are going to play villains was a brief mention about the third Jedi Hunter, supposedly played by David Oyelowo. There’s only one problem: Oyelowo was never cast in Episode VII, nor was he ever rumored to be part of the cast. Clearly someone needed to do a quick Internet search before writing up the latest rumor/report/hearsay from the Episode VII set.
Most Likely To Be Used As Punishment: Jar Jar Binks Is Back Every so often, when Star Wars fans start complaining too much or the press gets a little too invasive, one name appears, like an omen of despair: Jar Jar Binks. Do we actually think that he’ll pop up in the film? Probably not, but we do enjoy watching fans react to his name in much the same way the wizarding world did whenever Harry Potter said “Voldemort.”
Rumor Mill MVP: Boba Fett Try and find a single plot, casting, set design, or spinoff rumor that doesn't mention Boba Fett in any way. You probably can't do it. He's practically become the new main character of the Star Wars franchise. When the inevitable remakes come along, you better believe they're going to be all about Boba Fett.
Actor Robert Pattinson has denied reports he's set to follow in Harrison Ford's footsteps and take over his two most iconic roles. Industry rumours suggested the Twilight hunk was the favourite to play Indiana Jones in a new reboot and tackle the part of Star Wars' Han Solo in a franchise spin-off project.
However, the Brit admits he has been left baffled by the claims, as he has no plans to be Hollywood's Ford replacement.
He tells People.com, "I don't know why. Why is that coming out? I honestly don't understand what it's all about. Man, I wish!
"I didn't even know there was a Han Solo spin-off coming out. Sounds like a cool spin-off. I'll watch it."
The real Ford is currently recovering after breaking his ankle on the set of the new Stars Wars: Episode VII movie in England this week (begs09Jun14).
We live in an age of possibility. An age that would accept Robert Pattinson, 28-year-old vampirious Briton with a heft of tween fandom and a stark deficit in melanin, as the next Indiana Jones. Some very tentative rumors over at Daily Star are connecting Pattinson to the role for the next feature in the franchise, which would inject quite a new style into the classic American character. Although we won't write off Pattinson's potential take on Indy, we can't help but hope he takes a few wise words from the professor himself, one Harrison Ford. We're sure he's got a lot to teach his rumored successor about the whip-cracking game... let's just hope Pattinson listens to reason:
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Hollywood.com/Getty Images/Paramount Pictures
Hollywood.com/Summit Entertainment/Paramount Pictures
Hollywood.com/Summit Entertainment/Paramount Pictures
Hollywood.com/Getty Images/Paramount Pictures
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Universal Pictures via Everett Collection/Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
As Memorial Day approaches, American moviegoers prepare for an onslaught of summer blockbusters. Whether it's the latest edition of a franchise like X-Men: Days of Future Past or the possible beginning of one like Guardians of the Galaxy, everyone has gotten used to big, expensive films hitting the multiplex when the weather gets warm.
Of course, it wasn't always that way. The mid '70s work of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas helped usher in the current model that studios use in setting their summer releases. While the work of the two directors is iconic, what's followed hasn't always lived up to the term "blockbuster." Our writers argue whether things were better in the days when Lucas and Spielberg ruled the roost or if we're in a new golden age of big budget extravaganzas.
The Spectacular Spielberg (Jon Lisi)
Let’s just assume for a second that Jaws was never released in the summer of 1975.
Cynics might claim that the brilliant New Hollywood films of the 1970s like Five Easy Pieces, Nashville, and The Conversation would continue to be made as a result, but we all know that this so-called “American New Wave” was on the inevitable decline. Instead, we’d have to imagine a cinema in which the first major summer blockbuster from Hollywood was not Spielberg’s terrifying monster movie.
Is it possible to picture the summer blockbuster without Jaws? I don’t think so. For better or worse, Jaws is the gold standard to which all future summer blockbusters have been judged. The question that is asked as a result, then, is whether or not contemporary summer blockbusters like Transformers, Iron Man, The Avengers and other superhero amalgamations compare in quality to past summer blockbusters like Jaws, E.T., Back to the Future, and Ghostbusters?
If we are to answer this question honestly, we need to remove any consideration of money. After all, plenty of movies do well at the box office, and the massive success of the Twilight franchise shows how few of them are actually good. Instead, we need to focus on what the first summer blockbusters like Jaws and Star Wars had that contemporary ones like Transformers and Iron Man lack.
The most significance difference, I think, is that a summer blockbuster like Jaws isn’t about a shark, whereas a summer blockbuster like Transformers is about alien robots. That is, Jaws uses a series of shark attacks to investigate small-town mentality in an entertaining way. You can certainly sit back and enjoy the film literally — as a monster movie — but Spielberg wants you to think about what the shark reveals about American community and the ways individuals work together to solve a common problem.
Transformers, by contrast, doesn’t offer anything interesting beyond the initial spectacle. The digital effects may lure you into the theater, but after the stuff blows up, you aren’t left with anything to ponder. This may not matter to prepubescent boys, but for those interested in mainstream fare that is also intelligent, the contemporary summer blockbuster doesn’t suffice.
I’m aware that there are exceptions. For instance, the films by Christopher Nolan merge commerce and art quite successfully, as do most Pixar films. However, these are anomalies, and for the most part, contemporary summer blockbusters have failed to live up to the standard Jaws set nearly 40 years ago.
A Marvel-ous New Era (Brendon McCullin)
The passage of time tends to lend a glow to the early blockbusters of Spielberg and Lucas. In reality, Spielberg went the Hitchcock route with Jaws because he was forced to by external conditions. And we can argue how much the performances by Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw had to do with his directing. Lucas, for his part, might have been great at story concepts but he always had a tin ear when it came to dialogue (leading to the famous Harrison Ford rant, "You can type this s**t, but you sure as hell can't say it").
That's not to denigrate what Spielberg and Lucas did — they each authored cultural phenomena that altered American filmmaking and the movie industry as a whole — but let's not go too crazy. Some of their contemporaries, particularly screenwriters like John Milius and Robert Towne, may have liked them personally, but didn't always love how they handled their craft.
The fact is there has always been and will always be a place in Hollywood for big, crowd-pleasing popcorn movies… and there have always been good and bad ones. Just because Jaws was better than The Towering Inferno and Star Wars was better than Airport '77 doesn’t necessarily kick into the same strata of cinematic history as The Godfather.
If we were having this argument 15 to 20 years ago, I would be completely on board. Back when Michael Bay was unleashing a steady stream of trash like Armageddon and The Rock on audiences and what amounted to good storytelling was Will Smith making wisecracks while fighting aliens in Independence Day… well, yes, that was a low point for summer blockbusters. Heck, that was a low point for film in general.
Since then, however, a new group of filmmakers who value story as much as visual pyrotechnics have taken the lead on some of the biggest tent-pole movies in recent years. Some of them, such as Joss Whedon (The Avengers) and J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) come from the writer dominated domain of television. Others, like Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Kenneth Branagh (Thor) are themselves actors and work to make their stars look good.
Combine that group with the aforementioned Nolan (The Dark Knight) and the Pixar team under John Lasseter and really, you would be hard pressed to find another period that matched the number of talented, conscientious, and literate filmmakers that are willing to helm blockbusters.
The nice thing is that many of these directors — particularly Whedon and Abrams — clearly gained some of their sensibilities as youngsters watching the films of Lucas and Spielberg. You're never going to get rid of people like Bay and movies like his Transformers franchise, but blockbusters are in as good of hands now as they've ever been.