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People in Film | Michael Fassbender
Updated December 21, 2010
Michael Fassbender plays an anguished hero in Jane Eyre. As an actor, who’s gone from fallen angel to Irish rebel to savvy spy, he makes complexity look simple.
Michael Fassbender | A Classic Character
In Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender brings a new twist to the character of Edward Rochester, a figure who remains as enigmatic and unforgettable as he was in 1847 when Charlotte Brontë’s novel was first published. Indeed Fassbender joins a long line of celebrated actors, including Orson Welles and George C. Scott, who’ve put on Rochester’s riding boots in earlier adaptations. As the master of Thornfield, and Jane’s employer, Rochester is a brusque, brooding, but ultimately good man. In her Elle Magazine profile of Fassbender, Karen Durbin includes the actor’s take on this literary titan: “A Byronic character burnt by experience, arrogant but also eloquent and introspective. He's world-weary and jaded, sensual, self-destructive; yet there's a good sense of humor in there, and at the end of the day a good heart. He sees the freshness and beauty in Jane when everybody else looks past her."
People in Film | Kevin MacDonald
Updated December 14, 2010
The Eagle director Kevin MacDonald, whether doing historical epics or Oscar-winning documentaries, has a keen sense of what is real.
Kevin Macdonald | A Real World Director
Set in 140 AD, Kevin Macdonald’s The Eagle stars Channing Tatum as a Roman warrior and Jamie Bell as his Northumbrian slave. They both undergo a journey to search for a treasured golden eagle emblem lost years earlier by the Roman Ninth Legion. Based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel, The Eagle of the Ninth, the film is a tale of rivalry, defiance and friendship; an adventure that’s both intimate and filled with epic battle scenes; and an intriguing imagining of the Celtic and Pictish tribes that inhabited the highlands of Scotland. Producer Duncan Kenworthy had been inquiring about the rights to the book and was approached by Macdonald very soon after the director had completed Touching the Void. “I read the novel when I was about 12 years old and was absolutely held by it,” Macdonald says. “There was something about the atmosphere on the edge, and the way in which these cultures met – the Celtic, the British, and the Roman Empire – that stuck with me. The book fed my love of history, and now I felt I could tell it on film in a way that did justice to it and depict incredible worlds of 2,000 years ago.” Years went by until, as Kenworthy tells it, he approached Macdonald about directing the film; at the time, Macdonald was prepping Last King of Scotland. Kenworthy explains what made him conclude that Macdonald was the perfect match for the material: “What’s always been central to the appeal of The Eagle to me is powerful and credible emotional storytelling about real characters in a real world. Two men struggling through the mountains of Scotland; wet, cold, hungry, once wanting only to die but now driven to succeed. Yes, they pray to different gods, and the world is unrecognizably violent, but we know these men; we feel the passions that drive them. They just happen to live 2,000 years ago. I realized then that it would be wrong to inflate it in any way; that it should be as authentic as a documentary made by Romans, wearing their own clothes, shot in the places they’d actually journeyed to. Exciting, of course – entertaining, certainly – but feeling real in every way. And with that realization, Kevin became the perfect person to direct it.”
Somewhere in New York City
Updated December 14, 2010
New York City’s downtown crowd came out on a cold, rainy night to see Sofia Coppola’s new film, Somewhere.
Somewhere Red Carpet
Updated December 09, 2010
Slide 1: The Somewhere Premiere
On Tuesday, December 7, LA’s hip crowd gathered at the ArcLight theater in Hollywood for the premiere of Sofia Coppola’s new film Somewhere. This was not the film’s world premiere––that happened in September at the Venice Film Festival where Somewhere won the Golden Lion award. But since the film takes place in Los Angeles, this screening was a real homecoming for filmmakers and fans alike.
Somewhere Cinematic: Hollywood Movies On Hollywood
Updated December 02, 2010
Sofia Coppola’s award-winning Somewhere is the latest in a line of films that examines movies and movie stars. Nick Dawson casts an eye over some of the best.
Slide 1: Introduction
Somewhere is a Hollywood movie in multiple senses. Not only is it set in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood (its main location, the Chateau Marmont hotel, is one of the great landmarks of the area), but it’s about that other, better-known Hollywood: the American film industry. Writer-director Sofia Coppola’s glimpse into the life of jaded movie star Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is part of a long tradition of films that have looked behind the bright lights to give a sense of what truly goes on in the day-to-day existences of the people who work in the motion picture business. Indeed, instead of reinforcing the public perception that matinee idols and movie directors live glitzy, happy, fulfilling lives, Hollywood has historically attempted to show the grind and graft behind the glamour, from multiple versions of A Star is Born (the first made in 1937) through to Focus Features’ own 2006 movie Hollywoodland, the cautionary tale of the first actor to play Superman, George Reeves. In the following slideshow, Nick Dawson examines 10 movies that reveal what Hollywood thinks of itself.
People in Film | Harris Savides
Updated December 01, 2010
We turn the lens on Harris Savides, the acclaimed cinematographer of Sofia Coppola’s award-winning film Somewhere.
Harris Savides | Fashion and the New School
After studying film at New York’s School of Visual Arts, Bronx-born cinematographer Harris Savides decided that he wanted to become a still photographer. He told Interview magazine, “That's what I fell in love with. I started in film school just because I didn't even know what to study. You had to take some photography classes in film school, and I fell in love with the immediacy of that because you could do this stuff and process it and see it right away, and you did it by yourself. Whereas with film, everybody talked about it, but nothing happened. And everybody was watching Kubrick movies. It was like we never could actually do that — we could just be in awe of the stuff.” With Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Eggleston, Josef Sudek and Josef Koudelka as his photography loves, Savides traveled to Europe, shooting fashion in Milan and Paris, and accumulating an impressive body of work that garnered him instant notice from directors working in advertising and the red-hot music video scene of the 1990s.