British actress Chrissie White was once a popular child star in early silent films. Born Ada White in London, she got her start in the early 1900s when she substituted for her sister, Gwen, in a produ...
Spielberg's latest film, Lincoln, hit U.S. theatres last month (Nov12) and to celebrate his long career of successes, the trio got together for a creative tribute piece in America's Harper's Bazaar magazine.
Akerman thrills by recreating the scene where a skinny-dipping Chrissie Watkins, played by Susan Backlinie, is killed by a great white shark in his 1975 classic Jaws, while The Ides of March star Wood acts as a horrified Laura Dern who was terrorised by dinosaurs in Spielberg's Jurassic Park.
Fanning steps into the role of distraught mother Melinda Dillon comforting her on-screen son in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and 13-year-old actress Kiernan Shipka also participated in the shoot, portraying a young Drew Barrymore in blonde pigtails as she kisses the titular character in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Making an earnest cinematic argument for the immortality of the soul and the existence of an afterlife without delving into mushy sentimentality is a difficult task for even the most gifted and “serious” of filmmakers. Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson discovered as much last year when his sappy grandiose adaptation of the ethereal bestseller The Lovely Bones opened to scathing reviews. Critics by and large tend to bristle at movie renderings of what may or may not await them in that Great Arthouse in the Sky.
And yet filmmakers seem determined to keep trying. The latest to make the attempt is Clint Eastwood who throughout his celebrated directorial career has certainly demonstrated a firm grasp of the death part of the equation. His filmography with a few notable exceptions practically revels in it: of his recent oeuvre Invictus is the only work that doesn’t deal with mortality in some significant manner. With his new film Hereafter Eastwood hopes to add immortality to his thematic resume.
The film's narrative centers on three characters each of whom has intimate experience with death and loss. Their stories in true Eastwood fashion can ostensibly be labeled Sad Sadder and Saddest: Marie (Cecile de France) is a French TV news anchor who’s haunted by disturbing flashbacks after she loses consciousness — and briefly her life — during a natural disaster; George (Matt Damon looking credibly schlubby) is a former psychic whose skills as a medium are so potent (the slightest touch from another human being triggers an instant powerful psychic connection a la Rogue from X-Men) they’ve left him isolated and alone; Marcus is a London schoolboy who retreats into a somber shell after losing his twin brother in a tragic car accident (both brothers are played rather impressibly by real-life twins Frankie and George McLaren).
Humanity offers little help to these troubled souls surrounding them with skeptics charlatans users and deadbeats none of whom are particularly helpful with crises of an existential nature. Luckily there are otherworldly options. Peter Morgan's script assumes psychics out-of-body experiences and other such phenomena to be real and legitimate but in a non-denominational Coast-to-Coast AM kind of way. Unlike Jackson’s syrupy CGI-drenched glimpses of the afterlife Eastwood’s visions of the Other Side are vague and eery — dark fuzzy silhouettes of the departed set against a white background. Only Damon’s character George seems capable of drawing meaning from them which is why he’s constantly sought out by grief-stricken folks desperate to make contact with loved ones who’ve recently passed on. He’s John Edward only real (and not a douche).
Marie and Marcus appear destined to find him as well but only as the last stop on wearisome circuitous and often heartbreaking spiritual journeys that together with George’s hapless pursuit of a more temporal connection (psychic ability it turns out can be a wicked cock-blocker) consume the bulk of Hereafter’s running time. We know the three characters’ paths must inevitably intersect but Morgan’s script stubbornly forestalls this eventuality testing our patience for nearly two ponderous and maudlin hours and ultimately building up expectations for a climax Eastwood can’t deliver at least not without sacrificing any hope of credulity.
It should be noted that Hereafter features a handful of genuinely touching moments thanks in great part to the film's tremendous cast. And its finale is refreshingly upbeat. Unfortunately it also feels forced and terribly unsatisfying. Eastwood an established master of all things tragic and forlorn struggles mightily to mount a happy ending. (Which in my opinion is much more challenging than a sad or ambiguous one.) After prompting us to seriously ponder life’s ultimate question Eastwood’s final answer seems to be: Don’t worry about it.
Filmmaker George Lucas has been recognized by President George W. Bush for his achievement in technology.
The Star Wars director received a National Medal of Science and Technology for his company's innovative visual effects and technology in films on Monday.
The movie mogul and the president of his company Industrial Light and Magic Chrissie England were among 15 people awarded for their revolutionary work in a ceremony held at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Before distributing the medals, President Bush praised the recipients, saying, "The spirit of discovery is one of our national strengths."
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British actress Chrissie White was once a popular child star in early silent films. Born Ada White in London, she got her start in the early 1900s when she substituted for her sister, Gwen, in a production from Hepworth studios. She was named "Chrissie" and was one of the first stars in British films. She frequently staffed shorts directed by Lewin Fitzhamon. In the 1920s, White married her long-time co-star and frequent director, Henry Edwards. She left the screen in 1924, but returned briefly in the early '30s to appear in a few sound films.