The new movie 12 Years a Slave has been receiving high praise — critic David Denby recently described it in The New Yorker as "easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery." The film is adapted from the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, who had been a free black man in upstate New York. A husband and father, he was a literate, working man, who also made money as a fiddler. But in 1841, after being lured to Washington, D.C., with the promise of several days' work fiddling with the circus, he was kidnapped into slavery.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:25 am
Director Robert Rodriguez is probably best known for movies like “El Mariachi,” the “Spy Kids” franchise and, most recently "Machete Kills." But later this year, the successful filmmaker is making a big move to the small screen, launching his very own television channel called the El Rey Network with the intent of attracting a modern, English-speaking Latino audience.
It’s a growing community that Rodriguez believes has been underserved by Hollywood and the broadcast networks.
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 2:40 pm
Other than a single shouted expletive toward the end of All Is Lost, the only words we hear from its central character — a sailor adrift alone on the Indian Ocean — come right at the beginning, in a note of apology to unknown recipients for unspecified sins.
In Stephen King's novel and the film adaptations, Carrie (played by Sissy Spacek, left, in the 1976 version) is the one with the supernatural powers, but for NPR's Elizabeth Blair, Carrie's mother Margaret (Piper Laurie) was the truly scary character.
Credit Michael Gibson / MGM/Screen Gems
Julianne Moore takes on the problematic-parent in the remake — complete with long wild hair and a white nightgown reminiscent of Piper Laurie's in the original film.
Just in time for Halloween comes a new movie version of Stephen King's horror novel Carrie. While the teenaged Carrie White is clearly at the center of the story, I think her mother is the more fascinating character.
Carrie — about a shy misfit whose coming of age collides with her mother's fearful religious fundamentalism and her schoolmates' pack-animal cruelty, with combustible results — scared the bejesus out of me when I was a teenager. Carrie turned out to be dangerous, sure. But it was her mother, Margaret White, who made my heart stop.
"About the third or fourth time [I sneaked into a famous casting director's office], I jumped up on his desk and started dancing. So he said, 'Look. Just sit down. I'll give you five minutes.' And it was like having five minutes with God."
Billy Crystal isn't happy about turning 65, but at least he's finding a way to laugh about it. His new memoir — Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? — is on the best-seller list, and he'll be back on Broadway in November.
Solomon Northup was born free in early-19th-century upstate New York. He lived the life of a respected and elegant musician until 1841, when he was lured South by the promise of a lucrative stint playing his fiddle in a traveling circus.
In Washington, D.C. — in the shadow of the Capitol — Northup was drugged. When he came to, he was in chains: a slave headed for the hellish world of plantation life. Only the hope of being reunited with his beloved wife and children kept him going.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were the real-life star-crossed lovers of the 1960s and '70s. No relationship better merited the adjective "tempestuous," and of none was that word more often uttered.
BBC America offers a dramatized glimpse of the relationship in its movie Burton and Taylor. The film focuses not on the couple's scandalous beginnings when they met filming the 1963 movie Cleopatra, but rather on their public curtain call as a couple, the 1983 Broadway revival of Noel Coward's play Private Lives.
Fox News has little to fear from “Machete Kills,” a sequel that trades the subversive immigration politics of its predecessor in favor of more over-the-top mayhem and humor with its titular character, portrayed with monosyllabic gusto by Danny Trejo. The production opens with a fake (or is it?) trailer for “Machete Kills Again...