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Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

  • Variety
Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73
Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73.

Smith died on Jan. 1.

The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He was in the original Off Broadway cast of “Your Own Thing” in 1968. His film work included Steven Spielberg’s “Hook” (1991) and the Ortega-directed “Newsies” (1992).

Smith worked as a dance casting director for numerous productions. He was also active as a champion of improving working standards for hoofers in all aspects of the entertainment industry. He was active in efforts to have dancers recognized as members of what was then the Screen Actors Guild.

Born in 1946, Smith grew up in a showbiz family in the San Fernando Valley. His father, Sterling Smith, worked for various studios as a still photographer.
See full article at Variety »

Gregg Smith Dies: ‘Hair’ Actor, Dance Collaborator On ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘Newsies’ Was 73

  • Deadline
Gregg Smith Dies: ‘Hair’ Actor, Dance Collaborator On ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘Newsies’ Was 73
Gregg Smith, an actor and dancer whose three-decade collaboration with director and choreographer Kenny Ortega included casting dancers for such films and TV productions as Dirty Dancing, Newsies, Hocus Pocus, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar and various Oscar and Emmy specials, died Jan. 1. The San Fernando Valley resident was 73.

His death was confirmed today by Ortega. No cause of death was released.

After performing in the influential 1968 Off Broadway rock musical Your Own Thing, Smith appeared in the original national touring company of Hair and the L.A. production of Jesus Christ Superstar. He would later appear in Ortega’s Newsies and Stephen Spielberg’s Hook.

He met Ortega in the early 1970s when the two were cast in Hair, and he would subsequently cast dancers in nearly every stage,
See full article at Deadline »

Jack Sheldon, ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ Singer and ‘Merv Griffin’ Trumpeter, Dies at 88

  • Variety
Jack Sheldon, ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ Singer and ‘Merv Griffin’ Trumpeter,  Dies at 88
Jack Sheldon, known to children as one of the voices of “Schoolhouse Rocks” and adults as a master trumpeter who served as music director on “The Merv Griffin Show,” has died at age 88.

Sheldon was the sidekick as well as MD on Griffin’s talk show for 18 years. But his own discography as a band leader added up to more than 20 albums, starting in the late ’50s, when he was part of the west coast bebop movement, continuing through his last release in 2007.

“To all Jack Sheldon fans,” Cynthia Jimenez wrote on the musician’s Facebook page, “on behalf of my sister Dianne Jimenez [his longtime manager], sadly, Jack passed away on December 27. May he rest in peace with all the Jazz Cats in heaven!” No cause of death was given.

Sheldon’s film work included one of the renditions of “The Long Goodbye” heard in the Robert Altman movie of that name,
See full article at Variety »

A Requiem for "The Cotton Club Encore"

  • MUBI
The Cotton Club Encore is showing December 13, 2019 – January 11, 2020 on Mubi in the United States as part of the series Francis Ford Coppola: Reignite Cinema.Albany, New York is far from a cinephile hub but there exists a stronger network to the arts than what one would suspect. The city is synonymous with politics by being the state’s capital city and, especially if you live outside of the state, mostly associated with the setting of William Kennedy’s “Albany Cycle” novels that include his Pulitzer Prize-winning Great Depression-era masterwork, Ironweed. Kennedy, a former local newspaper journalist turned novelist, still remains a titan in the Albany area where he founded and developed, through MacArthur Foundation grant money, The Writer’s Institute with the University at Albany, State University of New York (Suny Albany) to foster local artists and help expose the area to the best of literature, non-fiction writing, journalism, theater,
See full article at MUBI »

Francis Ford Coppola Gives Emotional Tribute to Robert Evans: ‘May the Kid Always Stay in the Picture’

  • Variety
Francis Ford Coppola Gives Emotional Tribute to Robert Evans: ‘May the Kid Always Stay in the Picture’
Francis Ford Coppola remembered his sometime-patron, collaborator and frenemy Robert Evans as a producer with “strong instincts” in an emotional tribute. Evans, the legendary producer and former head of Paramount Pictures, died on Saturday night at the age of 89. He played a crucial role in the creation of such film classics as “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown” and “Marathon Man.”

At Paramount, he plucked Coppola, then a rising young filmmaker, from semi-obscurity and tasked him with bringing Mario Puzo’s bestseller “The Godfather” to the screen. The two clashed frequently, but they created a beloved film that was also a box office success and Oscar winner. When they collaborated again on 1984’s “The Cotton Club,” it was not as star-crossed. That film was mired in lawsuits, budget over-runs, and competing creative visions. It became an infamous bomb that hurt both men’s careers. On Monday, however, Coppola chose to accentuate the positive aspects of their alliances.
See full article at Variety »

Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon-ho

  • Variety
Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon-ho
Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France.

The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and colleagues that left the filmmaker visibly moved.

Festival directors Thierry Fremaux and Bertrand Tavernier played masters of ceremony, introducing the director’s wife, Eleanor, and son Roman, as well as filmmaker Bong Joon-ho and actress Nathalie Baye, both of whom spoke about their experiences with the honoree and his work, while directors Sofia Coppola and James Gray beamed in with pre-recorded messages.

While Baye reflected on her time serving on Coppola’s Cannes jury, Bong spoke of his experience seeing “Apocalypse Now” nearly 10 years after the film’s initial release. The Palme d
See full article at Variety »

Francis Ford Coppola movies: 15 greatest films, ranked worst to best, include ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Apocalypse Now,’ ‘The Conversation’

  • Gold Derby
Francis Ford Coppola movies: 15 greatest films, ranked worst to best, include ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Apocalypse Now,’ ‘The Conversation’
Happy 80th birthday to writer/director/producer/composer and vintner Francis Ford Coppola! After nearly five decades making movies, Coppola has become a cultural force that few else have proven to be in our lifetimes. His film career has been filled with peaks and valleys, and from making several of the greatest films ever made to flops that have bankrupted him (“One From the Heart”), Coppola has never been hesitant about swinging for the fences in his film projects.

SEEMarlon Brando movies: 20 greatest films ranked worst to best

Along the way, Coppola has received 14 Academy Award nominations, winning five Oscars. He is only one of six individuals who have won Oscars for producing, directing and screenplay. Coppola has also been nominated for 16 Golden Globe Awards, winning three. Quite a haul.

SEEOscar Best Director Gallery: Every Winner In Academy Award History

And at 80, he’s still at work, announcing plans to
See full article at Gold Derby »

Francis Ford Coppola movies: 15 greatest films ranked worst to best

  • Gold Derby
Francis Ford Coppola movies: 15 greatest films ranked worst to best
Happy 80th birthday to writer/director/producer/composer and vintner Francis Ford Coppola! After nearly five decades making movies, Coppola has become a cultural force that few else have proven to be in our lifetimes. His film career has been filled with peaks and valleys, and from making several of the greatest films ever made to flops that have bankrupted him (“One From the Heart”), Coppola has never been hesitant about swinging for the fences in his film projects.

Along the way, Coppola has received 14 Academy Award nominations, winning five Oscars. He is only one of six individuals who have won Oscars for producing, directing and screenplay. Coppola has also been nominated for 16 Golden Globe Awards, winning three. Quite a haul.

And at 80, he’s still at work, announcing plans to go into production later this year his dream project, one which he has been planning since the early 1980s.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Wide Closes Deals on Two Berlinale Titles (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Wide Closes Deals on Two Berlinale Titles (Exclusive)
Berlin — Wide has closed deals in major territories for two Berlinale players, Alexander Gorchilin’s dark Russian drama “Acid,” which screened in Panorama, and Tamer Jandali’s “Easy Love,” which opened the Perspektive Deutsches Kino program.

Acid” (pictured) is the gritty directorial debut of Gorchilin, a 26-year-old Russian theater actor and protégé of celebrated filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov. The film follows an aimless class of young Russians who, fueled by sex, drugs and techno, struggle to find hope and meaning in a brutal world. Wide has sold the film to Germany (Salzberger), Japan (The Klockworx), Poland (Spectator) and Greece (One From the Heart).

The film is produced by Studio Slon and Truemen Pictures. It stars Filipp Avdeev, Alexander Kuznetsov, Arina Shevtsova, and Savva Saveliev.

Easy Love” is Jandali’s docu-fiction portrait of seven young men and women in Cologne, whom he followed with his camera for four months using their attitudes
See full article at Variety »

Gardens of Stone

Francis Coppola’s get-out-of-debt directorial assignments may not be his most personal movies, but this one is satisfying just the same, with its marvelous, mellow ensemble cast. It’s a movie to admire, as it’s not easy to attract an audience to a show about the Army’s burial detail.

Gardens of Stone

Blu-ray

Powerhouse Indicator

1987 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / Street Date January 21, 2019 / available from Powerhouse Films UK / £17.33

Starring: James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones, D.B. Sweeney, Dean Stockwell, Mary Stuart Masterson, Dick Anthony Williams, Lonette McKee, Sam Bottoms, Elias Koteas, Laurence Fishburne, Casey Siemaszko, Peter Masterson, Carlin Glynn, Bill Graham.

Cinematography: Jordan Cronenweth

Film Editor: Barry Malkin

Original Music: Carmine Coppola

Written by Ronald Bass from the novel by Nicholas Proffitt

Produced by Francis Ford Coppola, Michael I. Levy

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Let’s make a feel-good movie about the Dead of War! I don
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

'Ray And Liz' wins best film at Thessaloniki Film Festival 2018

Eva Trobisch’s ’All Good’ won two key prizes.

UK photographer Richard Billingham’s feature debut Ray And Liz was named best film at the 59th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 1-11) winning the Theo Angelopoulos Golden Alexander award worth €8,000.

Ray And Liz is an autobiographical portrait of a dysfunctional family set during the Thatcher years. Luxbox has international rights.

The five-member international jury was headed by Romanian director Radu Jude and included Sandra den Hamer, director of the Filmuseum Amsterdam.

Eva Trobisch’s All Good (Alles Ist Gut), staring Aenne Schwarz, won the Silver Alexander special jury prize and
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Los Cabos: Jaiziel Hernandez on One From the Heart: ‘Days of Winter’

  • Variety
Los Cabos, Mexico — “Days of Winter” (“Días de invierno”) begins with 22-year-old Nestor slumbering on a bus returning from his night-shift at a restaurant in a wane dawn. When he gets off the bus, in full plain daylight, the mountain rear behind him, like the Alps or Rockies.

Several scenes later, Nestor and his mother Lalia go to the family home a swish log cabin near the top of a pine-first peak with an extraordinary vision of the sierra opposite, dropping 4,000 feet of near sheer scarp slope to the valley between.

Shot on a micro-budget, “Días de invierno,” a Los Cabos Work in Progress, marks the feature debut of Jaiziel Hernández. Turning on 22-year-old Nestor, it asks what ties Mexicans to Mexico. Its answers are quite simple: An identity with place, and family. Variety chatted to Hernandez during this year’s 7th Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival:

Would you describe
See full article at Variety »

Rushes. Elaine May Returns, 2-Minute Trailer for 14-Hour Film, Louis Cha

  • MUBI
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSLouis Cha, 1924 - 2018Louis Cha, widely regarded as the most influential Chinese martial arts novelist of the 20th century, has died at the age of 94. Notably, several of Cha's best-selling wuxia novels—written under the pen name Jin Yong—have been adapted into films, including King Hu's The Swordsman and Wong Kar-wai's Ashes of Time. Parasite, Bong Joon-ho's follow-up to Okja, has finished shooting ahead of its 2019 release. Bong has stated that "despite the title, the film does not include either parasites or alien creatures," though these stills certainly point to creeping tensions.Here is a first look at Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite starring Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-sik & Park So-dam that wrapped last month!! #기생충 pic.twitter.com/C9jjkjoWhK— Jason Bechervaise (@Jasebechervaise) October 23, 2018 We're naturally saddened to hear
See full article at MUBI »

Review: Tucker: The Man and His Dream

  • Comicmix
Bit by bit, the cool, overlooked films of previous decades are finally being spruced up and released on Blu-ray. The most recent example comes from Lionsgate and is Francis Ford Coppla’s terrific Tucker: The Man and His Dream. Starring Jeff Bridges, it tells the story of Preston Thomas Tucker, a man who saw a different, better way to design, build, and sell cars. Many of his inventions attracted attention and were clearly ahead of their time.

Ever see a Tucker Torpedo? Not a surprise the answer is a no since only 50 true Tuckers were ever manufactured. Tucker (1903-1956) was an inventor and engineer, including auto racecars, a combat car and gun turret during World War II, and even aircraft. Once the war ended, he was determined to build cars, dreaming of models, as Detroit’s Big Three were content with the models form 1941.

The 1988 film shows how Tucker was
See full article at Comicmix »

Francis Ford Coppola’s Distant Vision & The Emergence Of Live Cinema

In its 100-plus year history, cinema has evolved from humble beginnings to the multi-billion-dollar industry we all know and love today. From the silent picture to the blockbuster, low-budget indie to the 3-D bonanza, filmmakers, studios, and inventors keep pushing the envelope with different ways of bringing filmed art onto the screen.

The theatre is one of the oldest forms of acting, and we have also started to see productions beamed live to cinemas all over the world with live performance, but filmmakers are starting to take the live-cinema spectacular to another level.

Live cinema is a production shot, vision mixed and then distributed live. A couple of years ago, legendary actor and filmmaker Woody Harrelson brought the one-take live experience, Live In London to cinema screens, a movie he acted in and also directed. It was executed to perfection, filmed on the streets of London in the dead of light,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

What’s Coming to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime in June 2018

  • Variety
With June around the corner, a fresh round of shows and movies will soon arrive on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Netflix kicks off the month with some fan favorites for the first blistering hot days of the summer with “National Treasure,” “Marvel StudiosThor: Ragnarok,” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Several binge-worthy shows will be returning for viewers for another season, including “Glow” Season 2, “Marvel’s Luke Cage” Season 2, and the “Sense8” season finale.

Hulu offers its own dish of classics, including “Apocalypse Now,” “Carrie,” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Those looking for to finish out the shows they’ve been keeping up with have third season finales for “Reign,” “Penny Dreadful,” and “Faking It.”

Amazon rounds out the month with some comedy flicks, including “The Disaster Artist,” “Nacho Libre,” and the entire “Leprechaun” franchise. Fans of “Babylon 5” and “Rescue Me” will find they can
See full article at Variety »

Recommended New Books on Filmmaking: ‘Blade Runner 2049,’ Francis Ford Coppola, David Bowie & More

It’s been a stellar year of cinema and pop culture-themed books, and the texts (and Blu-rays) in this round-up all make fine gifts. One additional book that should be on your year-end list is Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier. It’s a satisfying companion to season three of Peaks, not to mention Frost’s own Secret History of Twin Peaks. So be sure to check out Nick Newman’s recent interview with the Peaks co-creator.

Live Cinema and Its Techniques by Francis Ford Coppola (Liveright)

The legendary Francis Ford Coppola has spoken of “live cinema” with regularity over the years, specifically with respect to 1981’s One From the Heart. That film, a box office flop now held in some regard, is an essential part of Live Cinema and Its Techniques, a fascinating new book authored by Coppola himself. The lessons from that experience, Coppola says,
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Blade Runner 2049’: Designing a Brutal, Beautiful Dystopia

‘Blade Runner 2049’: Designing a Brutal, Beautiful Dystopia
It was dead of winter in Montreal and the first thing that production designer Dennis Gassner asked director Denis Villeneuve was how to describe his vision for “Blade Runner 2019” in a single word. The answer: Brutality. Thus began the journey of incorporating the harsh climate of Villeneuve’s home city into the dystopian world of “Blade Runner” 30 years later.

For Gassner, it’s all about defining the pattern language and he had plenty of brutalist inspiration when scouting the angular, concrete buildings in Budapest, where they shot the movie — because London didn’t provide enough studio space.

First Came the Flying Spinner

However, Gassner’s first priority was tackling an updated Spinner, the iconic flying police vehicle. “The Spinner would create the pattern language, which we could then spin-off into the rest of the world,” Gassner said. While the original Spinner driven by Harrison Ford’s Deckard had a soft quality,
See full article at Indiewire »

25 Years Caught in Tom Waits' Bone Machine: A Track-by-Track Breakdown

People will tell you Tom Waits’ best album is Rain Dogs. This is not strictly true. It is perhaps the most Waits-ian of Tom Waits albums, by virtue of having a Waits lookalike on the cover and a song selection that ranges across virtually every genre of music (and combinations thereof) Waits could wrangle. But the best Tom Waits album is not Rain Dogs. Instead it’s Bone Machine (which netted Waits his first Grammy in 1993), and it turns 25 years old today.

Waits explained Rain Dogs’ titular inspiration to Spin in 1985: “You know, dogs in the rain lose their way back home.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

'The Outsiders': THR's 1983 Review

'The Outsiders': THR's 1983 Review
On March 25, 1983, Francis Ford Coppola and Warner Bros. brought The Outsiders adaptation to theaters, featuring a cast that included many rising stars. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.

Francis Coppola's first directorial effort since Apocalypse Now and One From the Heart is a curiously unconvincing excursion into a (supposed) teenager's world, circa 1966, that will need massive support from high schoolers, circa 1983, to pay off in its initial runs.

The fact that its lineage somersaults from the S.E. Hinton book that has had wide popularity with youthful readers since it was initially published ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »
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