7 items from 2017
On the banks of the Red Sea, in a man-made Egyptian oasis better suited to snorkeling than cinema, a new Middle Eastern festival is hedging its bets on the future of Arab film.
The inaugural El Gouna Film Festival will kick off Sept. 22, bringing with it a polished lineup of both Middle Eastern and global cinema and a slew of roundtables, meet-and-greets and networking opportunities between emerging young filmmakers and industry heavyweights.
At El Gouna’s core, says co-founder Intishal Al Tamini, is a commitment to humanitarian content, and the use of film as a bridge for dialogue and creative intellect.
Those are lofty goals for a freshman festival in a region mired by conflict and marked by decades of censorship, but the odds that lay stacked against the fest, Al Tamini says, have actually helped draw a wellspring of international support and cooperation.
“When you take the Middle East and North Africa, you »
- Debra Kamin
With Inhumans screening in select IMAX theaters, Marvel’s Royal Family is currently stealing headlines left, right, and center – for all the wrong reasons, it appears – but come 2018, the prolific studio will be shedding light on another regal dynasty via Black Panther.
Headed up by writer-director Ryan Coogler, not only is Black Panther a historic addition to the McU in its own right – Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s creation began life as the first black superhero in mainstream comics – but coming out of his appearance in Civil War, fans are curious to know more about the fictional nation of Wakanda.
Built on a vast reserve of vibranium, the super-powered metal responsible for Cap’s shield (and T’Challa’s skin-tight suit!), Wakanda is situated in a radically advanced corner of Africa. Still licking his wounds after the events of Civil War, T’Challa then returns home to find his »
- Michael Briers
One of the first film-makers to bring African wildlife to television
Alan Root was a pioneering wildlife film-maker whose life often seemed to be something out of an Indiana Jones movie. Yet despite his larger-than-life character he always put the animals’ story at the heart of his films, and prided himself on “keeping it real” throughout his long and innovative career. In the words of Sir David Attenborough, “Alan Root made natural history film-making grow up.”
Alan, who has died aged 80, was one of the first people to bring Africa’s wildlife to our screens. He was best known for his contributions to Anglia Television’s long-running series Survival, many made in partnership with his first wife, Joan. One of these – the 1978 film Mysterious Castles of Clay, about the hidden life of a termite mound – was nominated for an Academy Award. He also introduced Dian Fossey to her first mountain gorillas, »
- Stephen Moss
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a Spider-Man movie for a new generation -- a generation that desires to see a franchise reflective and representative of the world they currently live in. Yes, Tom Holland's Peter Parker still has to balance crime fighting with homework; and yes, he's still white, but the cast of characters around him are not.
"It was also important to make this the real world. The Marvel universe lives in a real sort of place, so we wanted to be a part of a real school. The real school is in New York," added Goldstein.
Marvel Studios has become well-known for assembling star-studded casts for each of its productions, and by the look of it, the company’s first movie of 2018, Black Panther, will be no exception. However, in a cast that includes such heavy hitters as Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and many more, some lesser-known but equally talented actors could get lost in the shuffle. So, while Letitia Wright’s name may not jump out at you now, this time next year could tell a different story depending on the success of the McU’s eighteenth outing.
In a recent profile with Interview Magazine, Wright, best known for her work on Humans and Doctor Who, spilled the beans about Shuri, her character in Black Panther. The actress stated, “She’s princess of Wakanda, but also she designs all of the new technology there. She has an innovative spirit and an innovative mind, »
- Justin Cook
Actor David Oyelowo has been impressing people with his skilled performances on stage and screen for quite a number of years, but his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava Duvernay’s Selma certainly turned a lot more heads and made him much better known.
That increased popularity for his acting has helped Oyelowo get films like A United Kingdom made.
Directed by Amma Asante (Belle), Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, the future king of the African nation of Botswana, who while attending college in England during the ‘40s, falls in love with Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a working class British woman, only for them to learn that their interracial love wouldn’t be accepted by either of their countries. On returning home to be inaugurated, the obstacles become clearer as Seretse’s regent uncle and various British politicos want to separate him from Ruth even after they’ve been married. »
- Edward Douglas
Curtis’ screenplay credits include “Love Actually,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “War Hose” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” He will be honored at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Feb. 19 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
“The Valentine Davies Award is given to that Wgaw member whose contributions to the entertainment industry and the community-at-large have brought dignity and honor to writers everywhere.” said WGA West President Howard A. Rodman.
“We can think of no better recipient than Richard Curtis. He is not only one of our best screenwriters but a man who has used his gifts and his position to combat poverty and injustice. Curtis is an exemplar of empathy. His work resonates strongly on the screen, and his charitable efforts have »
- Dave McNary
7 items from 2017
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