Oscar Winning director Miloš Forman Dies At 86

By Armando

United Artists

Legendary film director Milos Forman, known for his work in Academy Award winning films “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus,” has died. The news was confirmed by his manager to NPR. Forman was 86.

Forman won an Oscar for helming “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” considered by many film critics, historians and film buffs as one of the best films ever made. The film won the so-called “Big Five” categories at academy awards in 1976, winning best director, best picture, best actor for Jack Nicholson, best actress for Louise Fletcher, and best adapter screenplay for Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman.

The film joins “It Happened One Night” (1934) and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) as the only three films to achieve such feat. “Cuckoo’s Nest” was later selected by the United States Library of Congress in 1993 for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Nine years after ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’, Forman collected his second best director Oscar award for Amadeus, a fictionalized biography of prolific and influential composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In 1997, Milos Forman had another shot at Academy Award best director trophy when he was nominated for “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” a biographicl drama chronicling 35 years of the life of adult magazine publisher and editor Larry Flynt. Though Forman did not win, the film was critically acclaimed and won numerous awards and nominations.

In spite of all his international acclaim throughout those years, Forman’s biography was not an easy journey. Born in Čáslav, Czechoslovakia (currently known as Czech Republic), the director was an orphan of Nazi Holocaust victims. After living with relatives, he later discovered that his biological father was in fact a survivor of the Holocaust and living in Peru.

He was known primarily as a Czech filmmaker until he moved to America in 1968. His first film in the United States “Taking Off” was a flop and critically panned. It wasn’t until he was hired by producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz to direct “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” that he finally found his footing.

Forman was initially apprehensive about his immigrant background not being able to give justice to the story’s very American sentiments.

But it was precisely that background which provided him unique inspiration.

“To me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968. The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not.”

Netflix Backs Out Of Cannes Film Festival

By Creative Media Times

Well this certainly makes it official. According a report in Variety, streaming giant Netflix will not be screening any of its films at the festival.

“We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,” says Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer. “There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”

Though stunning, the decision isn’t surprising as there has been speculation in the past few days that Netflix would not be participating. This comes after last year’s controversy at Cannes where two Netflix films, Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” played at the festival and competed for the Palme d’Or, but did not play in the cinemas in France, something which French theater exhibitors reportedly protested against.

Shortly after last year’s opening ceremonies, the festival changed its rules which states that that no movies will be play in competition if they’re not committed to be released in French theaters.

Last month, festival director Thierry Fremaux said that Netflix could play their films outside of competition, though effectively ineligible to play in the competition for refusing theatrical distribution in France.

“I don’t think there would be any reason to go out of competition. The rule was implicitly about Netflix, and Thierry made it explicitly about Netflix when he announced the rule,” Sarandos tells Variety.

Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8 to 19, with the competition jury headed by Cate Blanchett. Asghar Farhadi’s psychological thriller “Everybody Knows” starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem is scheduled to open the festival.

Google Features María Félix To Mark Her 104th Birthday

By Creative Media Times

If you opened Google today and wondered who their distinctive new doodle is, that’s a portrait of iconic Mexican golden age actress María Félix, who would have turned 104th on Sunday.

Also a fashion icon and a muse to many renowned artists, the Google doodle shows the beautiful and glamorous cinema icon in black jacket and gold jewelry and with her trademark raised eyebrow.

“Though her career started in Mexican cinema, Maria Félix’s impact on cinema, art, music, and fashion reverberates overseas, transcending barriers to establish her as extremely influential female voice in international cinema. Created by guest artist Paulette Jo, today’s Doodle captures the stunning movie icon’s portraiture. Happy 104th birthday to Maria Félix, a cinematic pioneer!” Google says.

Google also posted a short tribute on Twitter: “Today’s #GoogleDoodle marks the 104th birthday of Mexican actress Maria Félix, whose impact on film, art, music and fashion established her as an icon of international cinema.”

Born on April 8, 1914, in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, Maria Felix became a star in the early 1950s and starred in more than 47 films in Mexico, Argentina, Spain and France.

Though she had her start in Mexico in the film The Rock of Souls, original title of which is El peñón de las Ánimas (1943), her popularity later landed her in films by legendary European directors Jean Renoir and Luis Buñuel.

She has since been considered the most famous Mexican movie star, up until she died in 2002 at the age of 87.

“Ready Player One” Becomes Spielberg’s Biggest Hit In Years

By Creative Media Times

Warner Bros. Pictures

With $300 million global box-office haul after a week in release, the nostalgia-fueled “Ready Player One” becomes one of director Steven Spielberg’s biggest hit in many years.

By the end of this weekend, the film could potentially surpass the lifetime gross of 2011’s “The Adventures of Tintin” ($374 million) thereby becoming the Academy Award winning director’s biggest hit since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, released in summer of 2008.

The virtual reality sci-fi adventure is doing gangbuster business particularly in China, where it has so far made $143 million, as reported by Hollywood Reporter. This makes Ready Player One the biggest Warner Bros. release in the Middle Kingdom after merely a week in release. The film opens in Germany this weekend and the following weekend on April 20 in Japan.

Domestically, the feature adaptation of the eponymous Ernest Cline novel topped the boxoffice over the Easter weekend. It is expected to drop behind “A Quiet Place”, the critically acclaimed horror thriller from John Krasinski, which is poised to take the lead this weekend.

“Ready Player One” follows protagonist Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan) as he enters the virtual-reality world of OASIS in search of an Easter egg, the discovery of which will lead to the game creator’s fortunes. The film co-stars Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.

Ten Shows Renewed By CW

By Creative Media Times

Its a good day for The CW fans as the network has announced Monday that ten of their current hit shows is getting renewed for the 2018-2019 season.

That includes all of CW’s DC superhero series including The Flash (Season 5), Arrow (Season 7), Legends of Tomorrow (Season 4), Supergirl (Season 4), and the latest addition to its superhero slate Black Lightnight (Season 2).

“As The CW expands to a six-night, Sunday through Friday schedule next season, we are proud to have such a deep bench of great returning series for 2018-19. By picking these ten series up for next season, we have a terrific selection of programming to choose from when we set our fall schedule in May, with more still to come,” said Pedowitz. “And I’m especially happy that we’ll continue to work with the incredibly talented casts, producers, and writers who create the series our fans are so passionate about.”

Others getting renewed are Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in it’s fourth season, Jane the Virgin in its fifth, Riverdale in its third, Dynasty’s second season as well as Supernatural, already the longest-running series in CW history, in its stunning 14th season.

Other shows waiting for their fate are “iZombie,” supposedly in its fourth season, “Life Sentence” which just recently debuted last month, and “The 100”.

Broadway Production Of “Frozen” Hits Broadway

By Creative Media Times

New York got some real cold weather this week as Frozen The Musical opened on Broadway. After a trial run at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado last year, the stage musical finally opened Thursday night at New York City’s St. James Theatre.

Expectations are high for the musical, given the built-in audience that comes with its film version. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, Frozen is a stage adaptation based on the popular 2013 Disney movie of the same name and is directed by Tony winner Michael Grandage, with its characters created by Jennifer Lee (Zootopia), who also wrote the film and wrote the book.

The film Frozen brought Disney to its animation glory, grossing more than $1.2 billion at worldwide boxoffice, with a sequel set for release next year.

The film’s popular anthem “Let It Go,” about the film’s lead Elsa’s realizing her dark magic, was similarly successful, becoming one of that year’s best-selling songs. Performed on the stage by Caissie Levy as Elsa, the song is undoubtedly one of the musical’s most anticipated highlights.

So far, “Frozen” is a big seller in its debut. According to Variety, it has grossed $926,840 for just four performances, and may be on its way to joining other Disney hits on Broadway such as The Lion King and Aladdin.

Spielberg Reveals 2019 Shoot For “Indiana Jones 5”

By Creative Media Times

Paramount Pictures

Steven Spielberg revealed the news at the Rakuten TV Empire Awards on Sunday night that production on Indiana 5 will begin next April in the United Kingdom.

“It’s always worth the trip when I get to work with this deep bench of talent coming out of the UK. The actors, and the crew, the chippies, the sparks, the drivers — everybody who has helped me make my movies here, and will continue helping me make my movies here when I come back in April 2019 to make the fifth Indiana Jones movie right here,” Spielberg revealed while on stage.

Two years ago, Disney announced Harrison Ford is returning in the next installment to play the archaeology professor, reuniting him with Spielberg who is also returning to helm. Last year, Disney set the release date on July 10, 2020.

Created by George Lucas, the Indiana Jones franchise started in 1981’s film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Three years later,the prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released followed by a sequel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989. The last installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released in 2008. Altogether, the films have made almost $2 billion at the global boxoffice.

Spielberg recently directed The Post, released last December. He will return to sci-fi action adventure “Ready Player One” opening next weekend March 29.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Trailer Released

By Creative Media Times

“The greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.”

Focus Features

Focus Features has released an exclusive trailer for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, a new documentary from Academy Award®-winning director Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom) which takes an intimate look at one of the most beloved TV personalities in the history of show business: Mister Fred Rogers.

TV host, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer and Presbyterian minister, Rogers was the creator and host of the educational preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood began airing in 1968 and ran for 895 episodes until 2001.

The half-hour educational children’s television series featuring Roger’s kind-hearted personality, reached its peak in 1985, with 8% of households watching the show. On March 6, 2018, actor Michael Keaton hosted a fiftieth-anniversary tribute show titled “Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like” which premiered on PBS stations.

The new trailer for the documentary features behind-the-scenes footages of the show’s production as they prepare for the show, interviews and heartwarming clips of Rogers himself during the show’s its run.

“You take all of the elements that make good television, and do the exact opposite—you have “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” yet, it worked,” said producer Margy Whitmer.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is set to be released by Focus Features in select theaters on June 8.

Interview: Pinar Toprak On Composing For Movies, “Krypton,” And The World’s Biggest Video Game

By Armando

It’s been a great year for composer Pinar Toprak so far. With Syfy’s “Krypton” set to premiere tonight (March 21 at 10 ET/PT), Fortnite is also sitting atop Apple’s gaming app store.

Pinar Toprak

Recently, Pinar composed additional music for the superhero ensemble Justice League. I was lucky to grab some minutes with Pinar Toprak to talk about her work on one of the year’s most anticipated TV series Krypton, which is set two generations before its destruction, and the surprising success of a game that is taking the world by storm.
(Interview date: May 20, 2018)


Krypton is finally premiering this week. What was it like scoring the series?

Pinar Toprak: It’s a wonderful experience. I’ve been a Superman fan since childhood. Its surreal. Every day I get to work on it. It’s amazing. I’m having the time of my life.

People have preconceived notions about (planet) Krypton, usually relating to how it ended, but not many before that. Where did you draw inspiration from?

PR: We wanted to do something that was different. Not what you would necessarily expect to hear because this is about Krypton. Obviously, we have the Superman legacy with us which is Superman’s grandfather. But it’s also about how they really lived and what happened then. Rather than thinking of it like a Superman film that we’re used to, I wanted to do something that is unique and unique to Krypton. So, it’s about finding different sounds and creating new music and new things, example for Brainiac. It’s really a lot of fun.

Did you incorporate scores from movies or TV series based on DC comics? Did they inspire you in some way?

PR: There were two moments on the first episode which will air tomorrow. There’s an homage to the Superman legacy, basically. But other than that, I wanted to do our own thing. Because this is unique, and this show has such a different angle to what we’re used to. So, it’s a whole other approach.

You’re talking about John William’s Superman theme, right? I thought that’s a cool touch.

PR: Yes, there are two moments on the episode that will air tomorrow. Thank you. It worked well.
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DAZZLER Rocks On This June In A New Story by Magdalene Visaggio & Laura Braga

There’s never been a cooler time to be a mutant in the Brooklyn punk scene, especially with DAZZLER and her new band taking center stage – and this June, Marvel is bringing you a new energetic epic from Eisner-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio with art by Laura Braga (Captain Marvel, Superior Iron Man, Punisher).

It’s all glitter and glamour in the underground punk scene…until Dazzler stumbles upon a part of her world that’s dangerous and violent. Now, it’s up to Dazzler to protect her dedicated Inhuman fans, even if doing so means that she has to turn to her own past for clues and answers.

“Dazzler has always been one of my favorite X-Men, and one of the most sadly underutilized,” said Visaggio. “She’s been wandering for so long, and I’m so excited to help bring her back to her musical roots and the X-family. Anyone who knows my work knows how much I love to frontline women who quite literally rock, and I hope me and Laura can bring some of that same energy and positivity to Dazzler.”

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