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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, 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
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
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
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.”
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
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
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
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
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).