February 20, 2013 |
Filmmaker Salvador Litvak knew he had a good story about the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his longtime bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon. What Litvak didn't know was how to bring the story, which he wrote with his wife, Nina, to the big screen. As an independent filmmaker, he had to produce a period drama with a budget of less than $1 million, a trickle compared to the $65 million it took to make the Oscar-nominated "Lincoln," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
January 28, 2013 |
If it came as something of a surprise to audiences that PBS period drama "Downton Abbey" won the Screen Actors Guild Award for ensemble in a drama series, it was positively a shock to the cast of the British period piece. Only Michelle Dockery and a handful of the show's other stars were in attendance at the Shrine Exposition Center on Sunday night to accept SAG's prize, and they seemed startled to be onstage. Phyllis Logan, who plays housekeeper Mrs. Hughes on the series, registered her disbelief with a polite "Shut the French windows!"
January 8, 2010 |
If you need proof that Americans are different from Brits, you need look no further than "Cranford."(TV_series) The star-studded series -- Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce -- based on the slim 19th century novels of Elizabeth Gaskell, followed the adventures of a tiny market town in Cheshire. Full of as many frilly bonnets and quaint platitudes as fine performances, "Cranford" aired in 2007 in the U.K., where it not only was lauded by critics, it was a smash hit, averaging close to 8 million viewers for each of its five parts.
December 3, 2008 |
Rachel Portman, who provided the bold, haunting score for the period drama "The Duchess," says every project has its own character -- "a world that it lives within. I probably approach every film fresh." Portman, the first woman to win an original score Oscar -- for her lilting work on 1996's "Emma" -- notes that with a period film such as "The Duchess," she avoided "using certain harmonies that would make it sound too contemporary." But she still wanted to go big with it.
October 28, 2012 |
BEIJING - Just after Memorial Day 1966 on the TV drama "Mad Men," suave Manhattan ad man Don Draper is serenaded at his 40th birthday party by his 26-year-old sex kitten of a second wife, Megan. She prances suggestively around their luxe high-rise apartment in a black chiffon mini-dress, delivering a sensual rendition of the French song "Zou Bisou Bisou" while his office colleagues gape, puff on Lucky Strikes and sip cocktails. That very same month in China, in real life, things were headed in a much less bourgeois direction.
March 20, 2014 |
Although a bit hyperbolic at times, Pearl Cleage's period drama, “Flyin' West,” now at the International City Theatre in Long Beach, is nonetheless a ripping good yarn that excites our sympathies throughout. The action transpires in the historical setting of Nicodemus, Kansas - an all-black enclave that was settled in the aftermath of the Civil War, as freed slaves fled the atrocities of the Jim Crow south. It's here that feisty, gun-toting Sophie (Cheri Lynne VandenHeuvel)