September 21, 2007 |
An enigmatic young man named Chris McCandless made an indelible impression on any number of people during his short life, and you can now add Sean Penn to the list. "Into the Wild," Penn's film on McCandless' experiences, is a complete change of pace for the writer-director. It's his warmest, most celebratory and most completely realized film and, though you might not guess it from the material, it is also arguably his most personal.
September 18, 2007 |
TORONTO -- The soundtrack to Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" is Eddie Vedder's first solo album, but he can't take all the credit. True, he played most of the instruments, sings nearly every note and wrote nine of the album's 11 songs. But when he tries to remember where the songs came from, he draws a blank. "I don't remember a damn thing about it," he says over coffee and cigarettes at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film recently had its world premiere.
September 9, 2007 |
Faced with an intractable movie project, producers typically rely on a number of familiar strongarm tactics. Some throw money -- tons of money -- at the problem. Others play the celebrity card -- "Brad Pitt's gonna star!" -- confident a big name will somehow get things moving. A few will simply grind away for as long as it takes, beating all obstacles into submission.
August 31, 2007 |
The 2007 Oscar awards season has officially begun. The Telluride Film Festival, the Colorado celluloid fete that serves as an intimate family reunion for cinephiles and a launching pad for specialty-film Oscar campaigns, unveiled its 34th annual lineup Thursday. The four-day event in the San Juan Mountains will include 33 new feature films, 15 revivals and 16 new short films beginning this evening and wrapping up Monday.
August 7, 2007 |
Sean Penn has experienced backlash for talking openly about his political beliefs, but sees such discussion as more respectable than promoting movies. "There's baggage attached to coming out publicly on stuff, but there's baggage -- in my view, more damaging baggage -- to goin' and [appearing] . . . on Jay Leno's show, philosophizing about 'Uncle Buck' or whatever you're hawkin'," the Oscar-winning actor tells Esquire magazine in its September issue, on newsstands Wednesday.
May 6, 2007
Up-and-coming hunks Shia LaBeouf Brawn factor, on a barbell scale of one to five Resume Star of the Disney Channel series "Even Stevens," performed sketch comedy on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," appeared in tween fare "Holes" and "The Greatest Game Ever Played" and in the edgier "I, Robot" and "Constantine." Upcoming films include "Transformers," "Surf's Up" and the fourth "Indiana Jones." In April, LaBeouf, 20, was named ShoWest's male star of tomorrow. Spiritual forefather Tom Hanks.
October 7, 2006
IT was surprising to read that Steve Zaillian, the writer and director of "All the King's Men," was shocked that his movie took a giant flop at the box office ["A 'King'-Sized Collapse," by Scott Martelle, Oct. 3]. Frankly, I can give him a few reasons: no character development; a superficial, confusing story line; and the unforgettable miscasting of Sean Penn as Gov. Willie Stark. JACK WOLF Westwood THE reason I did not go see "All the King's Men" is simple: Why spend $10 to see a remake of a movie that already won the Academy Award for best picture?
September 10, 2006 |
IF David Milch had his druthers, he probably wouldn't be strapped into a twin-prop plane at 10:30 on a Saturday morning, his aching back braced with a pillow as the aircraft scythes through the Central Valley haze. Milch, after all, has plenty of other claims on his time: projects to plan, Emmy Award-winning TV scripts to churn out.
February 27, 2005 |
Back in 1986, when the Iran-Contra scandal became news, Rhino Records reissued a Phil Ochs CD titled "A Toast to Those Who Are Gone." A fiery troubadour of the 1960s best known for "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore," Ochs was also a political activist who not only had denounced the Vietnam War at home but had traveled to Chile, South Africa and Tanzania to promote world peace, inspiring the FBI to amass a 410-page file on his six-string dissent.