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.
October 6, 2012 |
The frippery of period drama does not seem the natural province of English filmmaker Andrea Arnold. Her previous feature films, "Red Road" and "Fish Tank," as well as her Oscar-winning short film "Wasp," are all urban-set and ultra-contemporary, dealing with the problems of the here and now. Yet her historical adaptation of Emily Brontë's novel "Wuthering Heights," opening in Los Angeles on Friday, feels both exactly of a piece with Arnold's earlier...
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.
February 27, 2013 |
“Downton Abbey” fans can expects some big changes when the series returns for a fourth season. And no, we're not just talking about Lady Mary's new life as a single mother or wild child Rose's impending move to the Crawley family abode. If a report from the British tabloid the Sun is to be believed, “Downton Abbey” will be adding its first black character next season. According to the paper, producers of the hugely popular period drama have put out casting calls for men ages 25 to 30 to play “Jack Ross,” described as “a musician (singer)
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)