Most kidnapping melodramas have final scenes — after their climaxes — that are, effectively, throwaways. There are sighs of relief, tearful reunions with families, cameras that dolly back on domestic tableaux to suggest the world has at last been righted.
I think it's telling that in Captain Phillips the most overwhelming scene is after the resolution, in the infirmary of a ship. So much terror and moral confusion has gone down — so much pain — that the cumulative tension can't be resolved by violence. The movie's grip remains strong even when it cuts to black.
Before seeing Paul Greengrass' nerve-wracking, based-on-fact thriller Captain Phillips, I'd never been able to get my head around the logistics of Somali piracy. Enormous commercial freighters, captured and held for ransom by tiny bands of pirates — often teenagers — who always seem to overtake the freighters on the high seas in fishing skiffs smaller than the freighters' lifeboats.
I mean, you wonder: How on earth could four or five teenagers capture a freighter, subduing a far larger crew and extracting millions of dollars in ransom?
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:43 pm
Escape From Tomorrow, a dystopian fantasy about a laid-off worker on the lam at Disney World, comes bloated with marketing bluster: The movie, as its PR people have been trumpeting for months, was shot guerrilla-style at Disney parks in Anaheim and Orlando.
“The mystery of faith” is a phrase heard every week by millions of Catholics at Mass, just before the sacrament of Holy Communion. The words describe something indescribable, really. There are some teachings of the Church that are above reason, hence the word “mystery.”
Prior to filming, director Paul Greengrass kept the pirate crew and the boat crew separate to make the hijacking scenes feel more authentic. "The hair did stand up on the back of our heads," says Tom Hanks, above.
Credit Jasin Boland / Columbia Pictures Industries
Director Paul Greengrass says he thought the film would feel more authentic if it was all shot at sea. He had personal motivations, too: "My father was in the Merchant Marine and was at sea all his life so I wanted to explore his world," he says.
Credit Hopper Stone, SMPSP
Greengrass says it was important to him to find young Somali actors to play the part of the pirates. He held auditions in Minneapolis -- where there is a large Somali community -- and hundreds of actors showed up.
In April 2009, Somali pirates boarded an American-flagged container ship and took its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage on a small lifeboat. That led to a five-day drama at sea, much of it covered on television, as a U.S. Navy destroyer tailed the lifeboat and Navy SEAL sharpshooters eventually freed the captain. In 2010 Phillips wrote a memoir called A Captain's Duty and the harrowing experience has now been adapted into a film called Captain Phillips.
TPR brings together two of our most popular community events on Tuesday, November 5th---Cinema Tuesdays and Views & Brews. Join us as we present a screening of Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore” followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by TPR's Nathan Cone, featuring special guests Matt Zoller Seitz and Aaron Aradillas, snacks from Beto's on Broadway, and of course great beer provided by Alamo Beer Company!
Rick Najera doesn't remember his wife Susie dialing 9-1-1. She came home six hours after Najera had taken a fall that left him bleeding on the floor of his home. The Hollywood actor/writer/producer had pneumonia and ended up in an intensive care unit in a coma.
Rick Najera told NPR's Michel Martin that his near-death experience caused him to reflect.
"I really looked at my life and I said I wanted to chronicle it. I wanted to bring it down and talk about it in a very human, honest way," he says.
The McNay Art Museum presents another beautiful costume exhibition with "Cut! Costume and the Cinema," which shows period costumes from dozens of Hollywood blockbusters.
"It’s the largest costume collection that’s ever been presented at the McNay," said Museum Director William Chiego. "This is a chance to see a very large number of costumes made for film, and it’s a wonderful contrast to costumes made for stage." [see related story at bottom of page.]