300: Rise of an Empire
In comparison with "300", this insane film is more engaging by dint of being absolutely impossible to take even a little bit seriously.
It is 2 a.m. in the disco on board the Holland-America cruise ship Ryndam, and Richard Corliss, the film critic of Time magazine, is onstage during the traditional karoke night of the 4th Almost Annual Floating Film Festival. To the tune of "Don't Be Cruel," he's singing his own lyrics, which involve recent developments in the Chinese cinema.
In the autumn march of film festivals, Chicago's comes after Montreal, Telluride and Venice, and is held at about the same time as New York. All of these festivals are essentially fishing in the same pond, so the remarkable thing about the 31st annual Chicago event is how many new or unfamiliar titles have been discovered.
The biggest upset at the Academy Awards tonight will come if Martin Landau does not win the Oscar for best supporting actor. It's this year's sure thing. Although the movie he's been nominated for, Tim Burton's "Ed Wood," didn't set records at the box office, Landau's performance as the broken-down horror star Bela Lugosi was widely admired: He got the look right, and then added whole dimensions of pathos and dignity.
The committee found five better pictures, is the glib explanation.
PARK CITY, Utah I made a vow that if one more person complained that the Sundance Film Festival had grown too large, I would suggest that he leave immediately, to help it grow smaller again.
The 1994 Chicago International Film Festival will kick off its 30th anniversary season on Thursday with the Midwest premiere of Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway." Its star, Chicago native John Cusack, will be in attendance. The festival will end 18 days later, on Oct. 23, with the world premiere of David Mamet's "Oleanna," based on the play about political correctness that has inflamed theater audiences.
TELLURIDE, Colo.--Michael Tolkin once sold office supplies over the phone. He called up people and told them they were finalists for valuable prizes, and some of them got so excited they bought rollerballs and staplers and manila folders. In Tolkin's new film, "The New Age," his hero begins as a high-paid ad man, and eventually finds himself on the phone, selling office supplies.
CANNES, France -- Every year they come here to the Riviera, the new class of young American filmmakers, hoping for lightning to strike. Ever since Dennis Hopper's "Easy Rider" arrived at Cannes in 1967 as a motorcycle film and returned to the United States as an art film, Cannes has provided a sort of festival within a festival, of first and early films by young Yankee hopefuls.
CANNES, France -- The table has long since been cleared for the last time, and the wits who surrounded it rest in their graves, but the idea of the Algonquin Round Table lives on. For a decade, from the 1920s through the 1930s, the brightest and the funniest writers in New York gathered every day for lunch around a huge round table at the Algonquin Hotel, and then they went back to their typewriters and made each other famous by quoting what they said there.
LOS ANGELES -- Everyone expected Steven Spielberg and his great film, "Schindler's List," to dominate the 66th annual Academy Awards here Monday night, and they did - with seven Oscars, including best picture and director. But there was no sense of anticlimax; it was one of the most thrilling nights in Oscar history. As academy members rose for two standing ovations, they were obviously moved by Spielberg's triumph.