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People in Film | Dame Judi Dench

Updated November 30, 2010

Get the inside line on the Oscar-winning British actress who plays Mrs. Fairfax in Focus Features’ adaptation of Jane Eyre.

Dame Judi Dench | From Stage to Screen
Dame Judi Dench | Theatrical Roots
Dame Judi Dench | From Literary Adaptations to Bond
Dame Judi Dench | From Mrs. Brown to Mrs. Henderson
Dame Judi Dench | Never Predictable
Dame Judi Dench | From Stage to Screen

Dame Judi Dench | From Stage to Screen

Dame Judi Dench, who plays Mrs Fairfax in Cary Fukunaga's adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, is one of the most acclaimed screen actresses of the past decade, however Dench was and is a reluctant movie star. Essentially a late bloomer when it comes to film acting, Dench told The Times of London in 2009, “I'm more comfortable on stage, where there is an audience to tell a story to, as opposed to a film set where you are not in charge at all. On stage you can hear an audience's reactions. Within two minutes of a play starting you know how the evening will go. On film you're more reliant on the director. The moment he leaves you, you're like a child learning to walk.” Dench, however, has taken huge strides as a cinematic performer, with her mastery of screen acting undoubtedly rooted in the confidence she gained from her work on stage.




Gotham Awards Nominees on Their Favorite New York Movies

Updated November 29, 2010

As part of Movie City New York, a selection of the nominees at the 2010 Gotham Independent Film Awards choose the NYC movie that means the most to them.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Rachel Grady
Slide 3: Kevin Asch
Slide 4: Derek Cianfrance
Slide 5: Laurel Nakadate
Slide 6: Laura Poitras
Slide 1: Introduction

Slide 1: Introduction

As part of Movie City New York, and to coincide with our coverage of the 2010 Gotham Indepedent Film Awards -- at which the Focus Features movies The Kids Are All Right and Greenberg are up for awards, and Focus CEO James Schamus is one of the honorees -- we asked an assortment of this year’s crop of Gotham nominees to pick their favorite movies set in New York City. Following are the choices from filmmakers Rachel Grady, Kevin Asch, Derek Cianfrance, Laurel Nakadate and Laura Poitras.




People in Film | Jamie Bell

Updated November 18, 2010

Meet Jamie Bell, the British actor who stars in two Focus Features releases for 2011, Kevin Macdonald’s The Eagle and Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre.

Jamie Bell | A Northern Homecoming
Jamie Bell | Billy Elliott
Jamie Bell | Growing Up on Screen
Jamie Bell | Battle Tested
Jamie Bell | Cinematic Chameleon
Jamie Bell | A Northern Homecoming

Jamie Bell | A Northern Homecoming

For Jamie Bell, his two 2011 releases from Focus Features, Kevin Macdonald’s Roman adventure The Eagle and Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Jane Eyre, represent something of a homecoming for the young actor. Both movies are principally set in the North of England – The Eagle in the areas around Hadrian’s Wall, near the Scottish border, and Jane Eyre in northern Derbyshire – which is the area where Bell himself grew up. He was born in 1986 in Billingham, near Middlesborough, and was brought up by his mother, Eileen, and older sister, Kathryn. He came from a family of dancers, and Bell started dancing himself after he caught the bug watching and imitating the movements his sister was being taught at her ballet lessons. His passion for dance and performance became a dominant part of his life, and though he was mocked by his classmates at school, his dedication was rewarded all too soon.




People in Film | Channing Tatum

Updated November 18, 2010

The star of The Eagle’s physical and emotional career.

Channing Tatum | Body and Soul
Channing Tatum | Finding His Soul
Channing Tatum | His Body of Work
Channing Tatum | The Soul and Body of a Soldier
Channing Tatum | Body and Soul

Channing Tatum | Body and Soul

In Kevin Macdonald’s The Eagle, Channing Tatum plays Marcus Aquila, the son of Flavius Aquila, the leader of the 9th Legion who’d disappeared mysteriously with all his men some 20 years earlier. In some ways, Tatum playing a Roman nobleman might seem a far stretch for an actor best known for his physicality and all-American good looks and openness. But the qualities and talents that Tatum has exhibited in his previous roles––from the dexterity and grace in films like Step Up and Fighting, to the vulnerability in Dear John and the strength of character in Stop-Loss and G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra––are woven harmoniously into his character, a soldier out to redeem his father’s honor. The Eagle’s director Kevin Macdonald relied on Tatum’s past roles, noting “Channing has played soldiers before, in American films, so he well understands the military mentality and has a lot of sympathy for these men.” But as The Eagle screenwriter Jeremy Brock underscores, Tatum is more than just brawn: “Channing approached the role with a wonderful openheartedness. Everybody knows that he is strong and charismatic, but what surprised me was how sensitive he was to the shifts in Marcus’ emotional journey. Marcus migrates from confident warrior to despair to a different kind of confidence, underscored by a new maturity. Channing negotiates that trajectory with great sensitivity and thought.”




Father-Daughter Movies

Updated November 09, 2010

Inspired by Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, resident film historian David Parkinson looks back over the history of films that focus on father-daughter relationships.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: The Father in Need - Three Smart Girls (1936)
Slide 3: The Wartime Father - Journey for Margaret (1942)
Slide 4: The Father Filmmaker - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
Slide 5: The Outgrown Father - Father of the Bride (1950)
Slide 6: The Father of Justice - To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Slide 7: The Father Crook - Paper Moon (1973)
Slide 8: The Dickensian Father - Little Dorrit (1988)
The Funereal Father - My Girl (1991)
Slide 10: The Foodie Father - Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
Slide 11: The Feathery Father - Fly Away Home (1996)
Slide 12: The Selfless Father - 35 Shots of Rum (2008)
Slide 1: Introduction

Slide 1: Introduction

Sofia Coppola is no stranger to father-daughter relationships on screen, having played Michael Corleone's daughter Mary in The Godfather: Part III (1990), which was directed by her own father, Francis Ford Coppola. Indeed, she is perfectly placed to assess a child's viewpoint of a father's celebrity in Somewhere, the Golden Lion-winning drama that sees 11 year-old Elle Fanning cope with remarkable equanimity with the showbiz lifestyle that so fazes her actor father, Stephen Dorff. In the following slideshow, David Parkinson examines the tradition of father-daughter movies that Somewhere is part of, taking in films such as Deanna Durbin’s 1936 debut movie Three Smart Girls, director Peter Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon, featuring an Oscar-winning performance from 11-year-old Tatum O’Neal, and Ang Lee’s final part of his “Father Knows Best” trilogy, Eat Drink Man Woman (1994).




The Inn Crowd: Hotels from Somewhere to "Satori"

Updated November 05, 2010

In setting Somewhere at L.A.’s famed Chateau Marmont, Sofia Coppola tapped into that hotel’s mythic past. We look at other hotels whose histories define them.

Slide 1: Somewhere at the Chateau Marmont
Slide 2: Fantasy at the Chateau Marmont
Slide 3: High Jinx at the Chateau Marmont
Slide 4: Staying at the Chateau Mamont
Slide 5: The Algonquin's Round Table
Slide 6: The Algonquin's Vicious Circle
Slide 7: Life and Death at the Chelsea Hotel
Slide 8: Edie at The Chelsea Hotel
Slide 9: Eloise at The Plaza
Slide 10: Hitchcock at The Plaza
Slide 11: Truman at The Plaza
Slide 12: The Savoy and its Stars
Slide 13: The Savoy and its Scandals
Slide 14: The Savoy and its Subjects
Slide 15: Coco at the Ritz
Slide 16: Coward at the Ritz
Slide 17: Hemingway at the Ritz
Slide 18: A Meeting of Minds at the Hotel Pont-Royal
Slide 19: A Parting of Ways at the Hotel Pont-Royal
Slide 20: A Rendezvous at the Hotel Pont-Royal
Slide 21: Hoshi Ryokan is Built
Slide 22: Hoshi Ryokan becomes a Hotel
Slide 1: Somewhere at the Chateau Marmont

Slide 1: Somewhere at the Chateau Marmont

Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) and his daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) enjoy their room at the Chateau Marmont. Photo: Merrick Morton

Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere tells the story of fictional happenings in a real hotel, in this case the life of movie star Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) and his daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) in Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont.  Coppola, in an interview with Gillian Orr of The Independent of London, described the genesis of Somewhere this way: “I started with this character of Johnny Marco. I thought, ‘He lives at the Chateau Marmont,’ because it seems like every young actor I've talked to has a story about living at the Chateau. They've all done a stint there: ‘Oh yeah, I lived there a year,’ or, ‘I lived at the Chateau for a couple of months.’ It's kind of a rite of passage; it's so linked with making it in Hollywood while showing that you're still down to earth.”




The Kids Are All Right at the London Film Festival

Updated November 02, 2010

Director Lisa Cholodenko and two of her leads show up to the 54th BFI London Film Festival for the London premiere of The Kids Are All Right.

Slide 1: London Film Festival
Slide 2: The Kids Are All Right premieres
Slide 3: Julianne Moore Arrives
Slide 4: Moore for the Fans
Slide 5: Leaving his Mark
Slide 6: Mark and Sunrise
Slide 7: Back Together Again
Slide 8: The Table is Set
Slide 9: The End of the Night
Slide 10: The Cast
Slide 1: London Film Festival

Slide 1: London Film Festival

At this year’s 54th BFI London Film Festival, the line-up included four films from Focus Features (Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Anton Corbijn’s The American), two from Focus Features International (Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful and Mike Leigh’s Another Year) and three films from Africa First (Jenna Bass’ The Tunnel, Wanuri Kahiu’s Pumzi, and Dyana Gaye’s Saint Louis Blues). 

Photo by Jon Furniss




People in Film | Stephen Dorff

Updated November 01, 2010

The lowdown on Stephen Dorff, who plays movie star Johnny Marco in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere.

Stephen Dorff | Somewhere Boy
Stephen Dorff | Breaking Through
Stephen Dorff | Working with the Best
Stephen Dorff | Action Hero
Stephen Dorff | Comeback Kid
Stephen Dorff | Somewhere Boy

Stephen Dorff | Somewhere Boy

In Somewhere, Stephen Dorff plays Johnny Marco, a movie star who is living at the Chateau Marmont hotel with his 11-year-old daughter Cleo, played by Elle Fanning. Dorff himself knows something about growing up close to the entertainment industry: his father is songwriter and music producer Steve Dorff, the man who wrote the theme song to the Clint Eastwood movie Every Which Way But Loose, and Dorff has childhood memories of being around Eastwood, and legendary singers Ray Charles and Johnny Cash. And getting a sniff of the grease paint inevitably drew Dorff to become part of the showbiz world himself. During his teenage years, he began appearing in TV shows (The New Leave It To Beaver, Diff’rent Strokes) and then gained traction from his performances in the sci-fi feature The Gates (1987), his big screen debut, and TV movies like Mutts and Hiroshima Maiden (both 1988).