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Milos Forman Two-Time Oscar Winning Director Of Amadeus & One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest Dead At 86

Two-time Oscar winning Czech director Milos Forman has died at the age of 86 according to Reuters an..

Two-time Oscar winning Czech director Milos Forman has died at the age of 86 according to Reuters and reports. Formans wife Martina informed Czech news agency CTK that the filmmaker passed after a brief illness in the U.S.

Part of the Czech new wave, Forman graduated from the Prague Film Faculty of the Academy of Dramatic Arts, and caught global attention with such titles as Black Peter (1964), The Loves of a Blonde (1965) and The Firemens Ball(1967), the latter two Oscar nominees for best foreign film. In 1968 he fled Czechoslovakia during the Prague spring for the U.S. The Firemans Ball, about an ill-fated event in a provincial town, was a knock on Eastern European Communism and created a stir in his homeland with the regime. His 1971 comedy, Taking Off, his first American title, won the 1971 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and starred Buck Henry and Lynn Carlin as parents whose daughter runs away. They soon begin to bond with other parents whose kids have also fled from home. Before making a name for himself in features, Forman cut his teeth in docs with one notable title being Audition about two competing singers.

Forman was known for his fierce dramas, getting both explosive and nuanced performances out of his actors, specifically Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, a young Danny DeVito and Brad Dourif in his feature adaptation of Ken Keseys One Flew Over a Cuckoos Nest about a mental patient played by Nicholson who challenges the hospitals status quo ruled by Fletchers Nurse Ratched. The Movie earned five Oscar wins for best picture, director, actress, actor and adapted screenplay; the first five premium sweep since 1934s It Happened One Night. In addition to being an Oscar winner, Cuckoos Nest was a hit at the box office in 1975 making close to $109M.

Pauline Kael in her New Yorker review wrote, “Milos Forman appears to have recognized the strong realistic material within Keseys conception. We all fear being locked up among the insane, helpless to prove our sanity, perhaps being driven mad; this fear is almost as basic as that of being buried alive. And we cant formulate a clear-cut difference between sane and insane…the story and the acting make the movie emotionally powerful.”

Forman fan Baby Driver director Edgar Wright tweeted tonight “He had a tremendous filmography that documented the rebel heart and human spirit.”

Formans take on the hit musical Hair in 1979 as well as his feature adaptation of E.L. Doctorows bestseller Ragtime starring James Cagney in one of his final roles as Police Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo were not commercial successes, with the latter eight-Oscar nominee only grossing $11M in 1981. However, the director returned to both critical and B.O. resonance with his take on the Peter Shaffer Tony-winning play Amadeus which won eight Oscars including best picture and director for Forman and grossed a solid $52M back in 1984.

Forman returned to Czechoslovakia in 1983 to shoot Amadeus and encountered a strict Soviet-bloc country. In the early millennium DVD of the film, late actor Vincent Schiavelli talks about having his room bugged, and how he wowed natives there with a pineapple (the fruit according to the actor wasnt readily available in the country at the time; just in the can). Forman tapped Animal Houses Tom Hulce as the puckish Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Thomas Hulce) and cast newcomer F. Murray Abraham as his jealous rival Antonio Salieri. Abraham walked home with a best actor Oscar win. Forman shot scenes in the Count Nostitz Theatre in Prague, where Don Giovanni and La clemenza di Tito played two centuries before. While Forman was clearly a master of historical epics, he was able to capture the stunning dramatic tension between a grave, overlooked composer and a playboy genius.

Forman was a huge fan of late absurdist stand-up and Taxi star Andy Kaufman having once caught his act in an L.A. club. He took the directing reigns of the comedians 1999 biopic Man on the Moon and cast a wide net to find the quintessential Kaufman. Edward Norton and Nicolas Cage submitted audition tapes, however, it was Jim Carreys sublime take on the tortured exhibitionist that won him the role. Carrey would win the best actor Golden Globe award in the comedy/musical category and a Screen Actors Guild nod, but he was overlooked by AMPAS for a nomination.

Annette Bening, who broke out in Formans Valmont, a late 80s feature version of Les Liaisons dangereuses which made it to the big screen in the shadow of Stephen Frears three-time Oscar winning film on the same play, shared with us that the Czech director “taught me so much. At the time, Id only done one movie. He was incredibly tough and we all bonded together—Meg Tilly, Colin Firth and I. Milos wasnt from the touchy-feely school of directing. If you were doing something phony, youd hear about it. I auditioned for him over months. I read with many people in his apartment: I read with Val Kilmer, I did a test with Kevin Spacey. When we would rehearse youd say a line like, My, that tree is beautiful over there, and Milos would say, No, just be natural. Then he would say the line and give you a way of doing it. He was right. It was a period thing and we were stiff. He was always right and knew the elements of the story that needed to be told and seen. He knew a storys point of view: He ultimately has to cut the action of the person. Valmont was being made in the wake of Dangerous Liaisons. I was up for that movie too. Valmont didnt do well at the box office except in Finland. It was really hard for Milos, but we put our heart and soul into it and he never blamed anyone. Our shoot took forever and when I got back to America, Dangerous Liaisons was already in the theater.”

His 1996 biopic The People vs. Larry Flynt about the porno publisher and free speech defender earned Forman his third directing Oscar nom and catapulted Cheers star Woody Harrelson as a serious actor. He was nominated for a lead actor Oscar. Tweeted Man on the Moon and Larry Flynt co-scribe Larry Karaszewski tonight:

Milos Forman was our friend and our teacher. He was a master filmmaker – no one better at capturing small unrepeatable moments of human behavior. We made two movies together and every day spent with him was a unique adventure. Milos loved life. I will miss his laughter.

— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) April 14, 2018

Following 1999s Man on the Moon, Forman would not direct again until 2006s Goyas Ghosts about Francisco Goya (Stellan Skarsgard) and the scandal he faces with his muse (Natalie Portman). Javier Bardem and Randy Quaid also starred.

Forman directed his son Petr in A Walk Worthwhile, his final feature in Czech, and a remake of an earlier work he did for Czech TV during the late 1960s.

The filmmaker was born on Feb. 18, 1932 in Caslav, Czechoslovakia. His mother died in Auschwitz and he was raised by family. Forman later learned that his real biological father, Otto Kohn, survived the Holocaust.

Very sad to hear that the great director Miloš Forman has passed away. He had a tremendous filmography that documented the rebel heart and human spirit. I have seen 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' enough times to be able to silently mouth along with the movie. RIP.

— edgarwright (@edgarwright) April 14, 2018

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‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist

“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..

“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.

Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.

More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.

The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.

Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)

The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.

Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”

“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.

In a theater, the tendency with a movie so dependent on a central mystery might be to become antsy. At home, “Antebellum” is worth seeing, not only because of what it has to say about America’s past and present, but as a reminder of the often yawning gap between an intriguing idea and a fully realized film.

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‘Chemical Hearts’ director Richard Tanne on the film’s ‘bittersweet’ ending and what he hopes fans take away from the movie

“Chemical Hearts” director Richard Tanne spoke to Insider about the film’s “bittersweet” ending and ..

“Chemical Hearts” director Richard Tanne spoke to Insider about the film’s “bittersweet” ending and what he hopes fans take away from it.

“I think it’s gonna disappoint some people, and maybe all people on a certain level, ” the 35-year-old filmmaker told us. “It’s bittersweet. But that’s OK.”

The film, based on Krystal Sutherland’s 2016 book “Our Chemical Hearts” and now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, centers on 17-year-old high school senior Henry Page (Austin Abrams), who finds himself drawn to a mysterious and secretive new transfer student named Grace Town (Lili Reinhart).

“Chemical Hearts” is told from Henry’s perspective, chronicling his first heartbreak after he falls in love with the person he thinks Grace is.

Tanne, who wrote the screenplay, said that he was impressed by how the story goes ‘a little bit deeper than your average teen romance’

“I loved how it embraced the dark side of being young, the pain and the grief and the loss, the idea of crossing the threshold from being an adolescent to an adult for the first time,” he told us.

By the end of the movie, Henry learns about Grace’s tragic past. On their last day of senior year, the characters don’t end up together. Instead, they prepare to explore different futures, with Henry heading off to a school for writing and Grace taking a year off to continue therapy.

Even though fans might be disappointed by the love interests splitting, Tanne said that ‘not everything has to be escapist’

“Sometimes, younger people watching movies don’t know that it’s OK to have unhappy endings because they’re fed a steady stream, a steady diet of escapist happily ever after movies,” he told us. “And that’s OK.”

He added: “There’s a place for those, I’m not knocking them. But I just wanted to make something that didn’t talk down to the younger audience. I wanted to make something that either meets them at their level or asks them to reach a little bit higher or dig a little bit deeper.”

Tanne said that having to confront that ‘bittersweet ending’ could also be useful to viewers

The director described the conclusion as bittersweet because “there’s hope at the end, maybe not for their relationship, but for other aspects of their lives.”

“Maybe it will be helpful for young people to see that and walk away with the same sting that Henry has, but to know that it’s going to be OK, to know that Henry will be OK,” he said.

Abrams, who was 22 when he filmed the movie, told Insider that hopefully, audiences will empathize with Henry.

“I think in terms of I supposed how he’s navigating relationships, I feel like hopefully at least anyone can relate to that,” he said.

Abrams told Insider that Henry and Grace’s relationship status at the end speaks to the film’s realistic nature

Abrams shared similar sentiments as Tanne, telling us that they tried to “portray the characters as honestly as possible,” which ties in to the conclusion.

“I think there are some people that meet one person and that’s who they’re with for the rest of their lives, who actually are Henry’s parents in the movie,” the 23-year-old actor told us.

“But then there are other people, and I think it’s probably a larger number, that are going to be in multiple relationships and some of them, a lot of them aren’t going to go well. I hope that that’s an aspect of the movie that people are able to relate to.”

Abrams added that he’s “perfectly fine” letting fans decide for themselves what their main takeaways are from “Chemical Hearts.”

“I hope that maybe they take away things that I didn’t even think of, because everyone’s different and at a different point in their life and hopefully will be able to relate to it in different ways.”

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Julia Sawalha furious after being told she is ‘too old’

Julia Sawalha has said she has been “plucked, stuffed and roasted” after being told that she would n..

Julia Sawalha has said she has been “plucked, stuffed and roasted” after being told that she would not be cast in the forthcoming sequel to the hit Aardman Animation film Chicken Run as her voice sounded “too old”.

In the original film, released in 2000, Sawalha voiced the lead role of Ginger, the plucky hen who inspires her fellow egg-layers to escape from a farm when they are threatened with being turned into pies. News of the development of a sequel first emerged in 2018, and Netflixs involvement was announced in June. It is due to be directed by Sam Fell (ParaNorman) and start production in 2021.

Sawalha posted a statement on social media saying she was told a week ago that she was not wanted for the sequel. “The reason they gave is that my voice now sounds too old and they want a younger actress to reprise the role.”

She added: “Usually in these circumstances, an actress would be given the chance to do a voice test in order to determine the suitability of their pitch and tone, I however was not given this opportunity. I am passionate about my work and I dont go down without a fight, so I did my own voice test at home and sent it to the producers … However, they stated, We will be going ahead to recast the voice of Ginger.”

Sawalhas protest follows reports that Mel Gibson, who voiced the character of daredevil rooster Rocky, would not be involved in the sequel. While Rocky is named as a character in the official plot synopsis for Chicken Run 2, the role is due to be recast. Variety magazine reported that Gibson was told that as “the sequel will revolve around younger chickens, therefore casting younger voice actors” was necessary. The report also claimed that Gibsons history of controversial behaviour, including an accusation of antisemitic comments by actor Winona Ryder, which Gibson denies, played no part in the recasting.

Sawalha added: “I feel I have been fobbed off with the same excuse … To say I am devastated and furious would be an understatement. I feel totally powerless.”

No official announcements have been made for the Chicken Run 2 cast, but original film cast members Jane Horrocks and Lynn Ferguson have been added to the films IMDb page.

Aardman has been contacted for a response.


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