Masterful at portraying unusual characters, Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has been an artist, a revolutionary, a tailor and a pirate (among others); he’s been Russian, Israeli, French and British (among others). To top it off, many of these characters are based on real people, making it that much trickier to get them just so. Vote…
There’s no scandal as juicy as a sex scandal. And when political intrigue gets mixed in, well, that just ups the ante. Lest you think that political sex scandals are a modern invention, here’s a breakdown of movies — all based on true stories — over the last half century.
The Devils (1971)
Talk about sordid: Back in 1634, French Catholic priest Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed) was burned at the stake in connection with a series of supposed demonic possessions. The powerful Cardinal Richelieu used the accusations of a twisted, sexually obsessed nun (Vanessa Redgrave) as fuel to pursue a political vendetta against Grandier. The movie, directed by Ken Russell and based on a book by Aldous Huxley, met harsh criticism in the U.S. and U.K., both of which gave it an X rating because of violence and explicit sex scenes (two words: nun orgy). It has since been embraced as a cult classic.
Based on the memoir of a former stripper, Blaze recounts the passionate love affair between Louisiana Governor Earl Long (Paul Newman) and his buxom babe Blaze Starr (Lolita Davidovich). They may have been an unlikely pair, but their connection held fast even when the governor’s rivals used their relationship against him when he advocated for black voting rights). Having a fling with a stripper is one thing; what really riled up his adversaries was when they moved in together.
Can’t wait for THE RED ROAD Season 2? Keep up with the stars through their upcoming big-screen projects in the meantime.
Jason Momoa (Phillip Kopus)
In addition to starring in and directing the recently released Road to Paloma (which also features wife Lisa Bonet), Momoa has two more movies slated for 2014: The action-horror coming-of-age movie Wolves (as in were-) helmed by screenwriter David Hayter (X-Men, X2 and Watchmen) for this summer; and Debug, a hackers-in-space thriller directed by Stargate: Atlantis costar David Hewlett.
Few American actors are as revered as Bill Murray. The hilarious-serious elder statesman of indie comedy first won our hearts more than three decades ago as a different kind of funnyman, playing a series of lovable buffoons. It’s all genius, and it’s all just added to his enduring sheen of cool. Though it’s really hard to choose just 10, here are our picks for the best Bill Murray film scenes.
Face it. There’s something intrinsically tough and sexy about a woman on a motorcycle. How we’ve thought about–and pictured–her over the decades may have changed a lot but one thing’s remained constant: When there’s a motorcycle involved, you can count on some rule-bending hotness.
Revved up for more motorcycle action? Don’t miss the creators of Sons of Anarchy on THE WRITERS’ ROOM, Mon., May 12 at 11PM/10c.
The ’60s: French Chic
In the ’60s, biker babes morphed into a self-possessed, fashionable rebel. Perhaps no one better exemplifies this than Rebecca (Marianne Faithfull) in The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968), as she escapes boredom–in the form of her new husband–by zipping on a skintight black leather bodysuit and taking off through Alsace on her trusty motorbike to visit an old lover. And in The Swinger (1966), Kelly (Ann-Margret) claims her own ambition–and sexual freedom–by acting out her fantasies… and riding her Triumph Tiger in a belted green leather jacket and little else.
Looking back on that decade of excess and contradictions, it’s clear that our art was just as twisted as we were, tapping into the darkest kind of humor behind all that neon. Don’t believe us? Be sure to catch these darkly comedic ’80s films on SundanceTV.
1. Brazil (1985)
Terry Gilliam’s fanciful futuristic comedy takes a wild dive into a land of bureaucracy, terrorism and, in an indelible image, extreme plastic surgery. It’s a fever-dream kind of dystopia that is simultaneously hilarious and horrifying, making Brazil a true dark comedy classic.
Daniel Day-Lewis as President, Ed Harris as an Astronaut… American History as Envisioned by Hollywood
AMC’s TURN has re-sparked an interest in the American Revolutionary War. Who knew George Washington had a team of spies?
But if you’re a history buff who needs more than a single TV show or historic period to stay happy, you’d do well to consult this list of great historical movies.
1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Yes, the storyline revolves around the rescue of the last surviving son of a grieving mother. Even so, Steven Spielberg’s real accomplishment is in the first half-hour of the film: perhaps the most powerful and accurate reenactment of the D-Day invasion and subsequent battle ever. It’s a crucial chapter in America’s twentieth-century identity, and Spielberg (who won a Best Director Oscar) does little to glorify the tragedies.
Do the ’90s seem less memorable that the ’80s (so rad) or the ’70s (so groovy) to you? Take a moment and reconsider the decade which features some of the most offbeat characters in movie history. Suddenly, the ’90s seem a bit more memorable, right?
1. The Dude (Jeff Bridges), The Big Lebowski (1998)
It’s hard to imagine a more iconic, more offbeat character from the ’90s—or any era—than Jeff Lebowski, a perpetually bath-robed bastion of chillness in search of justice for his peed-on rug (because, hey, “it really tied the room together”). A fan of weed and White Russians, he made bowling an art form and inspired a subculture of devoted fans who still attend annual Lebowski Fests.
2. Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), The Piano (1993)
The mute woman at the center of Jane Campion’s extraordinary story is one of the most unconventional heroines in film history: a young mother (Hunter won a Best Actress Oscar) who, despite being shipped off to the wilds of New Zealand for an arranged marriage, manages to fall in love (not with her husband) through a shared passion for music and ultimately receives a most unexpected salvation.
Corruption and politics go hand in hand. But in the movies, matters get even more extreme with senators who mind-control and presidents who unleash diseases on the populace. Clearly, House of Cards‘ Frank Underwood would fit right in with the top ten deviant politicians ever to hit the big screen. Find out more about Underwood on THE WRITERS’ ROOM: “House of Cards,” Fri., May 2 at 9PM/8c. Until then, consider his back-stabbing cohorts.
1. Adam Sutler (John Hurt), V for Vendetta
By releasing a plague intended to wipe out “social deviants,” Sutler secures power for his oppressive political party and establishes a fascist regime.
2. Bob Alexander (Frank Langella), Dave
It’s not enough that Chief of Staff Alexander replaces the comatose prez with a lookalike. He also frames the dupe for an S&L scandal he orchestrated.
Elisabeth Moss, star of both AMC’s Mad Men and SundanceTV’s TOP OF THE LAKE, said at Sundance Film Festival 2013 where the latter premiered, “Coming from an environment where I’m used to reading great television scripts, I kind of have a high standard.” Based on her resume, who wouldn’t agree? Take a look at some of her most memorable accomplishments.
Eye-candy sidekicks? Please. Whether they’re cops, CIA agents or amateur sleuths, these plucky ladies are absolutely killing it at work — which just so happens to be investigating homicides. Tune in to any of the following shows and you will find women who bend rules, break balls and take names. Smart, brave, tough and uncompromising, these heroines are amazing at what they do, and shatter stereotypes along the way.
Sometimes, they set up a sequel. Sometimes, they’re intentionally ambiguous. And sometimes, they’re maddeningly unclear. But what the best cliffhanger movie endings always do is leave audiences talking up a storm. And this doesn’t only happen in movies—it happens on TV as well. Consider Scandal, arguably the greatest cliffhanger show since Lost. Find out how series creator Shonda Rhimes and company create these high-stakes endings in THE WRITERS’ ROOM, Fri., Apr. 18 at 9PM/8c then vote on your favorite big screen example of a cliffhanger in the list below, ranked from serious palpitations to cardiac arrest.
More than just a peek at pretty people’s privates, big screen nude scenes can push the boundaries of what’s acceptable. And not just for audiences but for the industry, too. In fact, what was NC-17 back in 1990 might only rate as R today. Read on to uncover the movies (and birthday suits) that helped define the MPAA vocabulary.
Lars Von Trier’s hotly discussed 5-plus-hour movie about the life and loves of a sex-addict is all sex, all the time. Much of it, unclothed. While the original plan was to release an R-rated version that hasn’t happened quite yet. Apparently, unrated works best for the undressed.
What makes Stephen King movies so scary is how normal their characters can seem at first. They’re writers and doctors, moms and dads, whose lives suddenly take a twisted turn which transforms the familiar into something freakishly frightening. This month, SundanceTV is airing some of King’s creepiest — THE SHINING, CARRIE, CHRISTINE, and CHILDREN OF THE CORN. Below is a top ten list of the horror master’s best.
Some of the greatest movie dramas take place in the courtroom. And some of the best courtroom dramas are based on true crimes. Get inspired (or infuriated) all over again with this list 10 of the best from the last 25 years. Hooked on legal drama? Don’t miss the brand-new SundanceTV original series LOREDANA, ESQ.,…
Plenty of big-name stars sank their teeth into juicy guest roles on LAW & ORDER over its 20 seasons of case-busting and legal maneuvering. (Julia Roberts, Chevy Chase and Sharon Stone among them.) But it’s a truth all New York theater actors know that the series was often a very early stop on the way…
What movies will you be clamoring to see from this year’s Sundance Film Festival? We’ve got 10 favorites of critics and fans (like “Whiplash” and “Dear White People”—many of which have already secured distribution—to satisfy whatever you’re into, from comedy to documentary, thriller to romance.
Documentaries do something for us no other film format can: They not only entertain, they tell true stories we need to hear. Those stories at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival cover the gamut from tormented Internet visionary Aaron Swartz to revolutionary Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti, and they’re all essential viewing.
Everyone knows how important music can be to the mood of a movie, but these 13 films go beyond that, focusing on the madness and genius of music itself—the comedic absurdity (“Frank”) and the coming-of-age fantasy (“God Help the Girl”), the healing (“Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory”) and the heartbreak (“Low Down”).
At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, there was dark, there was sexy, there was scary, there was smart…and then there was funny, like “Frank,” “Nick Offerman: American Ham” and “The Skeleton Twins.”
Jenny Slate (“Obvious Child”), Ellar Coltrane (“Boyhood”) and Shailene Woodley (“White Bird in a Blizzard”) are just a few of the rising stars who hit the big time after their movies made it to Sundance two years ago.
If you’re up for some risky filmmaking, some sexy exploration, some truly terrifying territory… well, look no further than these dark 2014 Sundance Film Festival highlights, including Australian psychological horror “The Babadook,” real-life Palestinian-Israeli spy story “The Green Prince” and sex and murder in the French thriller “Stranger by the Lake.”
More than 20 movies were sold at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The selections were from a variety of categories—documentary, drama, comedy, horror, and some hybrids of the above. Here are some of our favorite highlights, including “Cooties” and “The Skeleton Twins.”
Some of the biggest rock stars in the world have proven that they also have some of the biggest hearts, by giving generously of their time and money to causes they care about, including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Paul McCartney.