SundanceTV’s upcoming mini-series, the German-made Cold War drama DEUTSCHLAND 83, which tracks the conflict from the perspective of East Germany’s secret police, is already winning accolades after its premiere Wednesday at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.
Can’t wait for the SundanceTV world premiere of ONE CHILD? Text “HELLO” to 917-809-6812 for a taste of what’s to come.
We’ve pulled together a screening list of the best transgender-themed flicks out there. In order to make our list, the movies in question had to feature a sympathetic portrayal of a transgendered character in a leading role–hence Psycho and Silence of the Lambs did not make the cut. No, the following movies are all thoughtful, moving depictions of people struggling through life–people who are human first, transgendered second.
It’s not like high school isn’t strange enough as it is. Add a little supernatural seasoning and you get TV shows and movies where high school gets downright spooky-weird, which makes for great angst-filled horror stories.
1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter (2001-2011)
“Oh well, what’s life without a few dragons?”
It should come as no surprise that a school dedicated to the education of young witches and wizards would be filled with magical goings-on, including a whomping willow tree on the grounds (never mind an entire forbidden forest). But things got extra-strange when the Boy Who Lived enrolled. Basilisk in the basement? Check. Boggarts in the classroom? Oh yes. Centaurs, Dementors and ghosts? Of course. Even the climactic standoff, where numerous witches and wizards on both sides perished, is dubbed the Battle of Hogwarts.
Our host, Jim Rash, sat down with “The Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies, creators Robert and Michelle King and EP Ted Humphrey to talk about their critically acclaimed series on THE WRITERS’ ROOM not long before “The Good Wife” fans blew up the Internet after the (SPOILER ALERT!) 15th episode, in which Will Gardner got killed, aired this season.
Ditching school. Cutting class. Playing hooky. If you’re gonna do it, make sure you have a darned good reason and a damned good excuse. In honor of the announcement for season 2 of DREAM SCHOOL, here are some favorites.
1. We were forced to do drugs – 21 Jump Street
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as Schmidt and Jenko
The key to being a good narc—which these two bozos are not—is actually attending class. But when duty calls, the fellas skip out to meet their drug connection in the yearbook office, sample the goods and hustle to the bathroom to “help” each other try to puke. Maybe cutting class isn’t such a good idea.
SundanceTV announced today the greenlight of season two of the original non-fiction series DREAM SCHOOL. Multi-platinum award-winning musician and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will executive produce along with one of hip-hop’s most influential and positive voices Chuck D. The series format was created by campaigning chef and global food entrepreneur Jamie Oliver who will also executive produce under his Fresh One shingle. DREAM SCHOOL is an ambitious project where the best and the brightest in our culture teach kids that have been falling through the cracks. The announcement was made today by Sarah Barnett, SundanceTV President. The six-episode hour long series is slated to premiere in fall 2014.
Based on New York Magazine’s Beloved Pop Culture Roundup, the Neal Brennan hosted series will premiere in August.
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.
For the last few years, Greg Nicotero — The Walking Dead Executive Producer and Special Effects Make-up Designer — has extended AMC’s hit series online with The Walking Dead webisodes. For this digital spin-off, he’s contributed not only his sizable talents as a director and zombifier but also as a story maker. The latest web series, “The Oath,” was recently named a Webby honoree for Drama: Individual Short or Episode and Best Writing. Since THE WRITERS’ ROOM spoke with Robert Kirkman on-air Fri., Aug. 27, we thought we’d follow up online with Nicotero today.
Can you ever get enough of Lennie Briscoe’s devilishly good one-liners? Probably not. Here are 10 more from the Law & Order vaults for your enjoyment.
1. “Besides battling the forces of evil, what other trouble’s he been in?”
2. “I liked this guy better when he had a heart attack.”
Wes Anderson has been making feature films since the ’90s (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore) so needless to say his influences date further back than that. It’s a testament to this auteur’s considerable talent that although he’s supremely nostalgic, he’s by no means derivative. He doesn’t rob his predecessors. He nods to them. So to begin… (Cue the Futura title card bearing the words Chapter 1:)
Taping THE WRITERS’ ROOM, like every episode of The Walking Dead, cable’s most-watched TV series ever, is never quite drama-free. Before our host Jim Rash even began discussing The Walking Dead, Smallville and other comic adaptations in this season’s second episode, the lights began flickering on and off.
In honor of this Friday’s episode of THE WRITERS’ ROOM: “The Walking Dead, Smallville & other comics,” here’s a list of the best English-speaking supernatural shows of the last 25 years. (Otherwise, THE RETURNED would be in the top slot, naturally.) From zombies to monster hunters, it’s all here. Check out the list below, if you dare.
The tangled love triangle is such a cinematic trope that we could probably put together a list for each year (or a list of top ten love triangles with bad ‘80s haircuts… or top ten love triangles starring Reese Witherspoon…). We decided to limit this list to love-triangle films we actually enjoyed (and not in a guilty-pleasure kind of way) — which is why you won’t find the Bella-Edwards-Jacob affair here, despite the ubiquity of “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” merchandise. Same goes for Pearl Harbor (2001), which attempted to make the love triangle a heroic response to war; or Wild Things (1995), which accessorized the love triangle with hot tubs and champagne (and was really more of a lust triangle, anyway); or Indecent Proposal (1993), which theorized the love triangle as a financial and real estate decision; or My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), which was a terrible movie despite championing off-key karaoke. Let’s proceed.
If you spend a lot of time analyzing movie sex scenes like we do, you might find yourself rolling your eyes at how many on-screen couples manage to have sex without ever showing any skin… or who fall asleep with a sheet covering them just so… or who always put on a shirt and underpants when they get out of bed to pee, no matter how raunchy things just got. Where’s the nudity? Where’s the raunch? For further feverish research on your own time, you might want to look up the work of the following ten directors who are very, shall we say, comfortable with on-screen nudity. And we mean the real kind — not the CGI kind. Only after we finished this list did we realize it was entirely male, which we suppose shouldn’t surprise us — after all, most of the nudity is female. But we dug up male nudity — or, at least, equal-opportunity nudity — where we could. You’re welcome!
1. Edward Zwick
Edward Zwick may not have directed as much on-screen nudity as the other people on this list (unless we missed something in 1989′s Glory), but he takes the number one slot because he is the only director on the list, who got naked himself while shooting a nude scene.
Dictators have always made great movie fodder. But whether they’re a source of ridicule or revulsion is another story. Take a look at some of the greatest portrayals of dictators in Hollywood history and you’ll see the interpretations are all over the map! Even Hitler (represented four times in the list below) can span from a buffoon to a holy terror. Don’t believe it? Read on.
1. The Great Dictator (1940)
Charlie Chaplin’s first true talking film stirred the nation, and can be considered a significant cultural reference point that served as inspiration to everything from Mel Brooks’ The Producers to Ivan Reitman’s Dave and even Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. If for nothing else, re-watch this seminal comedy for the climactic speech at the film’s conclusion, a moment when a legendary silent film star steps out of character and truly finds his voice, and a chillingly apt (but sadly ignored) call to action at a pivotal time in history—1940.
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.
One of the most enjoyable things about movie-watching is that moment when a beloved character loses his/her crackers, even if just for a moment, showing us a whole other shade of person. And as enjoyable as it is for the audience, it’s probably lots of fun for the actors, too. A compendium of raging, comic, emotional and/or heartbreaking meltdowns follows…
1. Entire Cast, Blue Velvet (1986)
As for the best meltdown in this film, take your pick! In the surreal world of David Lynch, every single character seems to be at a different point in his/her own personal undoing, as everyone’s hold on reality becomes increasingly looser. Blue Velvet is the epitome of “on the edge.” As with most of Lynch’s work, this can be considered an exploration of what happens post-meltdown.
2. Hayley Stark (Ellen Page), Hard Candy (2005)
Hayley gives us one long, brutal but very talky meltdown in Hard Candy, a pressure cooker of a flick that never lets up and always keeps you guessing. After a relentless torture scene (not spoiled here), Hayley continues her ravings and revenge fantasy on the roof, literally driving a bland and listless Patrick Wilson to jump clear off it. Can you blame him?
You know him and love him for bringing quick wit and even snark to the Law & Order legacy. Below are ten of his most memorable lines. (Not enough to satisfy you? Click here to see ten more!) 1. “Married and a Mets fan… he’s a glutton for punishment.” 2. “I’ve still got the wrong…
Jim Rash, host of THE WRITERS’ ROOM, talks about his how he prepares for an episode, the most surprising moments, and what it means to be an Oscar-winning writer.
Q: What’s the most shocking story you’ve heard on THE WRITERS’ ROOM so far?
A: One that stuck out and was surprising was the guys that adapted Smallville talking about the origin of kryptonite, and that it was actually [introduced] during the radio play [of Superman]… I would never, ever have known that information if we hadn’t spoken about it that day on the show.
Mark Wilding, executive producer and writer on Scandal, dishes on the hardest scenes to cut, the characters he misses and his all-time favorite Olivia Pope lines.
Ever since Jerry Orbach joined the cast, LAW & ORDER fans have waited every episode for the next great one-liner from Detective Lennie Briscoe. Here was a world-weary, acid-tongued cop who knew how to zing it. Ready to laugh, groan and roll your eyes at Briscoe’s street-smart-assery? You’ve got two choices. Tune in to LAW & ORDER on SundanceTV or read the below.