March 18, 2013 |
"Top of the Lake" is the first miniseries from filmmaker Jane Campion of New Zealand ("The Piano," "Bright Star"). I have seen only the first three of its seven parts, which begin Monday with two episodes on Sundance Channel, and though I suppose there is some chance it all will go off the rails, early signs suggest it will bend toward something even more mysterious, beautiful, unsettling and satisfying than the mysterious, beautiful, unsettling, satisfying...
March 17, 2013 |
It's a sun-soaked afternoon in Los Angeles, but Elisabeth Moss is shivering. Sitting in the back room at the Pikey on Sunset Boulevard, Moss recalls how cold the water was in New Zealand, where she filmed "Top of the Lake," a miniseries created by Jane Campion that premieres Monday on the Sundance Channel. "The lake is the same temperature all year round: freezing," says Moss, wearing a loose white cotton dress, her short brown hair tucked neatly behind one ear. "My makeup artist had this black plastic bucket and they would fill it with hot water and I would go sit in it fully clothed to warm up. " It's an odd detail, but it's in keeping with the making of the moody crime drama, filmed over a five-month period against a staggeringly beautiful natural backdrop of soaring mountains, rugged bush and the omnipresent lake.
March 4, 2013 |
Having successfully brought Abraham Lincoln to the screen, Steven Spielberg has already set his sights on another titan of history: Napoleon. In an interview with Canal + Television in France, Spielberg, who was recently named jury head at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival , revealed that he's planning to turn a decades-old screenplay about the French leader written by the late great Stanley Kubrick into a miniseries. “I've been developing Stanley Kubrick's screenplay - for a miniseries not for a motion picture - about the life of Napoleon,” Spielberg said.
March 3, 2013 |
Mark Burnett, one of the most prolific reality-show producers on television, is going from scorched earth to burning bush. The former military paratrooper who made his name in Hollywood with back-biting, take-no-prisoners programs such as "Survivor," now in its 26th season, and "Celebrity Apprentice," is tackling the Bible in a 10-hour miniseries that marks his first foray into the scripted genre. The show, which launches Sunday on History channel and runs on consecutive Sundays through Easter, covers the Old and New Testaments and cherry-picks some of the best-known stories from Genesis to Revelation.
March 2, 2013 |
History channel, which for so many years seemed dedicated primarily to discovering how many documentaries might be extracted from the Second World War - the Hitler Channel was its joking sobriquet - has been branching out. Last year, its "Hatfields & McCoys" miniseries set basic-cable records and was nominated for 16 Emmys (and won five). Sunday brings its first scripted drama, "Vikings," and another miniseries, "The Bible," scheduled so that it ends on Easter. There are millions if not billions who take the Bible as literal truth, but it is not history as we commonly understand the word.
February 26, 2013 |
Before you watch HBO's new miniseries "Parade's End," here's a little advice. Close your eyes and imagine Benedict Cumberbatch's icy hot "Sherlock" and all the good folks at "Downton Abbey. " Now picture them disintegrating, down to the molecular level. A love for them may have drawn you to this five-part adaptation of Ford Madox Ford's Edwardian-period novels in which Cumberbatch stars, but any preconception of this television viewing experience will only send you down the wrong path, where you may flounder among the greenery and miss something important and possibly wonderful happening on screen.
February 1, 2013 |
For those who follow the Gospel According to Netflix, Friday is the day the world changes, instantly and forever. The day when viewers, too long oppressed by commercials, cliffhangers and increasingly erratic scheduling dictated by greedy network overlords, rise up in glorious revolution and seize the means of consumption. As of 12:01 a.m. Friday, all 13 episodes of the highly pedigreed "House of Cards" - Adapted from a British miniseries! Directed, at least initially, by "The Social Network's" David Fincher!
January 13, 2013 |
HBO's "Game Change" won a Golden Globe for best miniseries or motion picture made for television Sunday night. Adapted from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's bestselling nonfiction account of the 2008 election, "Game Change" also picked up four Emmys in September. Directed by Jay Roach, it stars Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Ed Harris as Sen. John McCain and Woody Harrelson as political strategist Steve Schmidt. "Game Change" beat out "The Girl" (HBO), "Hatfields & McCoys" (History)
December 7, 2012 |
For a nation bewitched by period dramas in which men wear hats and sip whiskey while making eyes at crimson-lipped women who smoke an endless succession of unfiltered cigarettes, the Sundance Channel miniseries "Restless" offers all that and more. Adapted by William Boyd from his novel of the same name, the miniseries, which premieres Friday, centers on a secret British intelligence agency attempting to draw the reluctant United States into World War II. Which means in addition to the fabulous clothes, there's a fabulous British cast, not to mention the endlessly fascinating world of espionage and a bit of revelatory World War II history.
December 1, 2012 |
British novelist and screenwriter William Boyd doesn't buy the conventional wisdom that a writer should never adapt his own books. His long list of industry credits includes scripts based on his own work (the miniseries "Any Human Heart"), novels by the likes of Evelyn Waugh ("Scoop") and biographies ("Chaplin"). "Restless," the two-part miniseries Boyd wrote from his 2006 novel of the same name, premieres Dec. 7 on Sundance Channel. It stars "Downton Abbey's" Michelle Dockery as Ruth Gilmartin, a young woman who discovers that her mother (Charlotte Rampling)