Gentleman Jack – spring 2019

BBC One has released the first, very fun, teaser for their new epic series GENTLEMAN JACK in which Surrane Jones plays a 19th century woman who dresses up, acts and loves like a man governing her late father’s estate.

Gentleman Jack will air this spring on BBC in eight episodes

She portrays real life person Anne Lister who returns to Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1832, determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home Shibden Hall. The cast also includes Joe Armstrong, Gemma Jonesand Sophie Rundle.

 

 

Tolkien 2019 – May 10

NICHOLAS HOULT & LILY COLLINS

First official trailer has just been revealed from the upcoming movie TOLKIEN a biopic which will follow the young days of the author of world’s favourite epic fantasy saga Lord of the Rings, starring Nicholas Hoult and

The movie should also reveal how he came up with the imaginative LOTR world

Lily Collins. The opening data has also been set for May 10th! The trailer is rather short, disappointing and does not tell or show much, hope we get a longer one soon.

 

The movie explores the early life of J. R. R. TOLKIEN as he finds love, friendship and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts. When the

Brand new father Nicholas Hoult plays legendary Tolkien in the movie

horrors of World War I envelope Tolkien’s life, they threaten to tear this “fellowship” apart, and he questions the very meaning and purpose of his art.

Tolkien was an orphan as a child who tried to form a fellowship of friends before WW1

Instead, he finds a way to use these experiences as inspiration for his famous works, among them The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lily

Tolkien was a poet, novelist, philologist and university professor

Collins is his love and wife Edith Bratt who inspired the elven princesses from his sagas. Derek JacobiColm Meaney and Anthony Boyle also star!

 

 

The White Crow March 22nd.

Here’s a stirring first trailer for the Ralph Fiennes-directed Rudolf Nureyev drama The White Crow, which Sony Pictures Classics will release in the U.S. later this year.

Starring are dancer Oleg Ivenko as Nureyev, Fiennes, Adele Exarchopoulos, Chulpan Khamatova, and revered ballet figure Sergei Polunin. The script comes from David Hare (The Reader).

The film charts the life of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev, from his poverty-stricken childhood in the Soviet city of Ufa, to blossom as a student dancer in Leningrad, to his escape from the KGB and defection to the West at the height of the Cold War.

Studiocanal releases in the UK on March 22.

‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile’

 

 

 

 

 

The REAL Ted Bundy

 

 

COURTESY OF HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Zac Efron plays serial killer Ted Bundy and Lily Collins a single Seattle mother he seduces in Joe Berlinger’s film.

Not to say that Zac Efron was born to play Ted Bundy, but the former High School Musical teen heartthrob is more than a bit convincing as the seductive, prolific and diabolical serial killer of young women in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Venerated documentary stalwart Joe Berlinger, who just happens to also have a four-part Netflix docuseries on the same subject, Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, currently on view, does a cogent, propulsive job putting the appallingly prolific murderer’s story onscreen, and such material customarily finds an interested public.

Largely avoiding the opportunity to exploit the violence of Bundy’s extensive criminal career, during which he killed at least 30 women and probably more in the 1970s, Michael Werwie’s fine, smartly structured screenplay centers instead on his relationship with a young Seattle woman, Liz Kloepfer (Lily Collins), whom he never harmed.

So handsome and charming was this young law student that he didn’t have to seduce women, they came after him, and it made no difference to Ted that Liz had a young daughter. He knew how to treat ladies well, or so it seemed; as it happens, there was an unusual spike in killings of young women in the Seattle area, 1970-74.

With Efron playing him, it’s very easy to believe in Ted’s ability to insinuate himself into the lives of innumerable women. Why he grew so attached to Liz — and why he didn’t eventually kill her — remains unclear. But he did develop a bad habit of getting pulled over at night by the cops, which perplexed him. Worse than that, when he and Liz visited a dog pound to possibly choose one, a very intuitive hound began growling at the young man intensely. It didn’t find a home that day.

Suspicions of something amiss were soon aroused in humans as well. In Utah he was accused and eventually sentenced to prison for aggravated assault in 1976, by which time homicide investigators took an interest in him. Thus triggers a particularly engaging stretch of the film, as the French prison escape novel Papillon becomes Ted’s bible and he eventually busts out of not just one but two jails.

Perhaps Ted’s biggest mistake is ending up in Florida, where authorities revered the death penalty and weren’t about to let the now famous outlaw escape again. “I’m gong to fry you,” a local sheriff promises after Bundy is hit with two charges of first degree murder.

Berlinger attacks the story in a rough-and-ready style only somewhat more refined than what he employs in documentaries, and the approach feels entirely appropriate. It also displays the versatility of cinematographer Brandon Trost, who most recently shot the more classically composed Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Up to this point, Efron’s Bundy been smooth, resourceful and unflappably confident. But in the climactic act, the character and the actor raise their games considerably as the murder trial commences. Far from contrite, he is madly confident and has entirely won over the blind support and love of an old friend, Carole Anne Boone (Kay Scodelario), with whom he manages to find ways to engage in passionate congress within courthouse walls, to the point of impregnating her.

The trial is a dynamite affair, which Bundy takes over after firing his attorney. The trial judge, played with and for great amusement by John Malkovich, fancies himself as a sage and wit. Efron flies higher than ever here, investing his character with an illusory confidence that’s entertaining even when the character and legal charges fully live up to the film’s title.

All along, Bundy has tried to maintain contact with his seemingly genuine love, Liz (whose kid mysteriously disappears from the narrative in the later-going). Where many other women fell for Bundy in the worst way, Liz was able to survive, for reasons that are never explored. Indeed, the psychological aspect of the killer’s prolific career is simply not addressed.

Still, it’s quite a story, which Berlinger moves along with unrelenting energy. He also gets good marks across the board for his work with the actors, an uncertain issue when it comes to documentary makers trying to cross over to the dramatic sphere. The director’s only previous dramatic feature, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, was a creative fiasco, one that put him off fictional stories for two decades. He’s done more than a little better this time.

Venue: Sundance Film Festival (Premieres)

Production: Cota Films, Voltage Pictures

Cast: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kay Scodelario, Jeffrey Donovan, Angela Sarafyan, Dylan Baker, Brian Geraghty, Jim Parsons, John Malkovich, Haley Joel Osment

Director: Joe Berlinger

Screenwriter: Michael Werwie, based on the book The Phanton Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall

Producers: Michael Costigan, Nicolas Chartier, Ara Kershishian, Michael Simkin

Executive producers: Zac Efron, Michael Werwie, Jonathan, Deckter, Jason Barrett

Director of photography: Brandon Trost

Production designer: Brandon Tonner-Connolly

Costume designer: Megan Stark Evans

Editor: Josh Schaeffer

Music: Marco Beltrami, Dennis Smith

Casting: Neely Eisenstein

Running time: 108 minutes

Mindhunter 2017

https://youtu.be/7gZCfRD_zWE

 

Circa 1977

 

Set in 1977 – in the early days of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the Federal Bureau of Investigation– Mindhunter revolves around FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), who originate the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit within the Training Division at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They interview imprisoned serial killers in order to understand how they think, with the hope of applying this knowledge to solving ongoing cases.

I found this fascinating series on Netflix in 2018.  I’m now binging it for a second time, waiting on the second season.

 

Project Blue Book (series)

  ‘PROJECT BLUE BOOK’
STARTS NEXT MONTH AT HISTORY
 Arriving next month. From January 8that History Channel starts a new science fiction period set series PROJECT BLUE BOOK based on the true, top-secret investigations into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and related phenomena conducted by the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1969.

 

THE STORY OF THE SERIES
follows Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen), a brilliant yet under-appreciated college professor, who is recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead a clandestine operation called PROJECT BLUE BOOK. Along with his

Aidan Gillen and Michael Malarkey lead the cast

partner, the debonair Air Force Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey), he is summoned to investigate UFO sightings around the country and use science to discover what really happened. However, when some

The new series is based on true events

encounters cannot be explained away and cases remain open, Hynek begins to suspect that he has been duped by the government into a larger conspiracy to cover up the truth. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War and rising Atomic

Blue Book is executive produced by Robert Zemeckis

Era, each episode will draw from the actual PROJECT BLUE BOOK case files, blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in US history.

Bright Star 2009 c. 1818

In 1818 Hampstead, the fashionable Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) is introduced to poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) through the Dilke family. The Dilkes occupy one half of a double house, with Charles Brown (Paul Schneider) occupying the other half. Brown is Keats’ friend, roommate, and associate in writing.

Fanny’s flirtatious personality contrasts with Keats’ notably more aloof nature. She begins to pursue him after her siblings Samuel and Toots obtain his book of poetry “Endymion”. Her efforts to interact with the poet are fruitless until he witnesses her grief for the loss of his brother Tom. Keats begins to open up to her advances while spending Christmas with the Brawne family. He begins giving her poetry lessons, and it becomes apparent that their attraction is mutual. Fanny is nevertheless troubled by his reluctance to pursue her, for which her mother (Kerry Fox) surmises, “Mr. Keats knows he cannot like you, he has no living and no income.”

It is only after Fanny receives a valentine from Brown that Keats passionately confronts them and asks if they are lovers. Brown sent the valentine in jest, but he warns Keats that Fanny is a mere flirt playing a game. Fanny is hurt by Brown’s accusations and by Keats’ lack of faith in her; she ends their lessons and leaves. The Dilkes move to Westminster in the spring, leaving the Brawne family their half of the house and six months rent. Fanny and Keats then resume their interaction and fall deeply in love. The relationship comes to an abrupt end when Brown departs with Keats for his summer rental, where Keats may earn some money. Fanny is heartbroken, though she is comforted by Keats’ love letters. When the men return in the autumn, Fanny’s mother voices her concern that Fanny’s attachment to the poet will hinder her from being courted. Fanny and Keats secretly become engaged.

Keats contracts tuberculosis the following winter. He spends several weeks recovering until spring. His friends collect funds so that he may spend the next winter in Italy, where the climate is warmer. After Brown impregnates a maid and is unable to accompany him, Keats manages to find residence in London for the summer, and is later taken in by the Brawne family following an attack of his illness. When his book sells with moderate success, Fanny’s mother gives him her blessing to marry Fanny once he returns from Italy. The night before he leaves, he and Fanny say their tearful goodbyes in privacy. Keats dies in Italy the following February of complications from his illness, just as his brother Tom did earlier in the film.

In the last moments of the film, Fanny cuts her hair in an act of mourning, dons black attire, and walks the snowy paths that Keats had walked many times. It is there that she recites the love sonnet that he had written for her called “Bright Star” as she grieves the death of her lover.

 

 

Another Life 2001

A scandalous murder case that was the talk of England in the 1920s is brought to the screen in this period drama based on fact. In 1913, Edith Graydon (Natasha Little) was a young woman living with her family — good-natured father (Michael Bertenshaw), emotionally distant mother (Imelda Staunton), and shy younger sister (Rachael Stirling) — in a fading middle-class neighborhood in London. While not especially bright or ambitious, Edith wanted more out of life than her family’s situation would provide, and with this in mind she accepted the marriage proposal of her boyfriend Percy Thompson (Nick Moran). While Percy was a bit better off than Edith’s family, he was not an especially interesting or exciting partner, and after several years Edith began to grow restless with their marriage. Long regarded as something of a flirt, in 1921 Edith renewed her friendship with Freddy Bywaters (Ioan Gruffudd), a good-looking and worldly former beau who had just returned to England after serving in the Queen’s Navy. Edith and Freddy were not destined to remain just friends for long, and as they began to enter into a passionate affair, Edith began writing a series of letters to her lover in which she confided her ardor for Freddy, her fatigue with Percy — and her belief that murdering her husband would solve a great many problems. Shot in 1999, Another Life did not receive a theatrical release until 2001, when it arrived in British theaters and earned enthusiastic reviews for Natasha Little‘s performance as Edith. 
~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Based on Facts

‘THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ’ 2020

‘THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ’
TO BECOME TELEVISION SERIES
Getting an adaptation, but a small screen one is World War II book THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ by Heather Morris which is to be turned into an international series with an aim for it to start airing in January 2020 at the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.
THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ tells the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who was given the job of tattooing identification numbers on prisoners’ arms in the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp during World War Two. One day, he met Gita while she was waiting in line to be tattooed and it was love at first sight. And so began one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust and a tale of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.

 

 

Also of interest may be Richard Armitage’s recent audiobook of the same story.

Listen to Richard for a few minutes as he reads this.

 

Synchronicity Films is producing the series

Pegasus Bridge

 RUPERT PENRY JONES TO LEAD WORLD WAR II ADVENTURE
Rupert Penry Jones, Jason Flemyng in PEGASUS BRIDGE. In the early hours of the 6th of June 1944 Allied Airborne Forces launched one of most daring assaults in history. 181 men in 6 gliders landed at night to capture two bridges vital to the success of the D-Day landings, one of these would become known as PEGASUS BRIDGE. The men who captured and held these objectives were led by two very different young leaders. Major John Howard led the Infantry who managed to land their gliders a stone’s throw from the bridge and Colonel Geoffrey Pine Coffin (Rupert Penry Jones) led the men of the 7th Parachute Battalion who occupied the surrounding ground and held off the German counter attacks.
Rupert Penry Jones will lead the cast of Pegasus Bridge

Rupert Penry-Jones has always been a favored actor of mine. I’ve been waiting a long time for him to come out with something serious. If you haven’t seen him in Jane Austen’s “PERSUASION”, your missing a great story.


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