Exclusive: Composer Howard Shore Talks THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, ROSEWATER, MAPS TO THE STARS, SILENCE, and More

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Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore is among today’s most respected composers and conductors.  He’s been a frequent collaborator with David Cronenberg for 35 years and has scored nearly all his films since 1979 including 2014’s Maps to the Stars.  He’s also had a long-standing collaboration with director Martin Scorsese on films that include Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Aviator, and Hugo.  However, he is probably best known for his work with Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, including this year’s The Battle of the Five Armies.  Recently, he also composed the original music for director Jon Stewart’s biopic, Rosewater.

In an exclusive interview, Shore spoke about his creative partnerships with Cronenberg, Jackson, Scorsese and Stewart, his unique approach to composition and orchestration, the challenges of scoring an edgy drama compared to a large scale action movie set in a complex fantasy world, why he loves doing big epic films, his Canadian roots and early development as an artist, bringing Middle Earth to a worldwide audience by doing The Lord of the Rings scores live to projection with a symphony orchestra and chorus, and his upcoming projects:  Scorsese’s Silence and a concerto with classical guitarist Miloš.  Check out our interview after the jump:

Edgar Wright and John Waters Reveal Their Top 10 of 2014 Lists; Show Love to BOYHOOD and MAPS TO THE STARS

by     Posted 21 days ago

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The critics groups and guilds will soon be announcing their year-end picks and nominations for 2014, and individual filmmakers are chiming in as well.  Edgar Wright and John Waters are the first out the gate, and their lists are both interesting.  Wright went with a nice mix of blockbusters and indies with Boyhood, Interstellar, The LEGO Movie, and Whiplash in his Top 10 while Waters went a bit more obscure with L’il Quinquin, Who Took Johnny, and Violette, although his favorite film of the year was David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars, and also put Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1 and 2 on the list.

Hit the jump for the filmmakers’ lists.

MAPS TO THE STARS Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 86 days ago

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I don’t like to admit it, but every now and then, I do enjoy picking up a tabloid.  Simply put, it’s fun to read about nonsense like what everyone’s wearing and see that celebrities are really “just like us.”  And the same goes for covering industry news as well.  I truly enjoy finding out what everyone’s up to, whether I’m a fan or not, and that’s a big part of the reason David Cronenberg’s latest works so well.  Maps to the Stars is a Hollywood satire that takes you behind the scenes and dishes out joke after joke at the industry’s expense, but screenwriter Bruce Wagner also slips in an offbeat and riveting mystery that makes the experience more than a fleeting laugh, but rather a dark, absurd and disturbing experience that’ll stick with you well after it ends.

TOP 5: BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Batmobile, JOHN WICK Trailer, IRON MAN 4 Not Currently Planned, MAPS TO THE STARS, TIFF 2014

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The Top 5 will take a brief hiatus next week as I’ll be in Austin for MondoCon on Saturday. As someone who has little to no available wall space thanks to its namesake, I’m genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the convention and meet artists like Tim Sale, Francesco FrancavillaJock, and more. The analogy “like a kid on Christmas” comes to mind, but there’s a solid chance that there will be more alcoholic beverages consumed during my brief stint in Austin than would be appropriate for a child’s Christmas festivities. At any rate, Top 5 and I will return in two short weeks and I’ll likely use the opening paragraph to hit on some of the high points of my MondoCon experience then. This is important because it will not only mean that I enjoyed safe travels but also that my wife let me back in the house in spite of the posters and collectibles that I’ll inevitably bring home.

My prelude to MondoCon out of the way, this week’s installment includes a detailed look at the Batmobile from Zack Snyder‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the first trailer and poster for Keanu Reeves‘ revenge actioner John Wick, word from Robert Downey Jr. that there are currently no plans for Iron Man 4, a new trailer for David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars, and all of our TIFF 2014 coverage to date. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

MAPS TO THE STARS Trailer Featuring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 102 days ago

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When you’ve got a film featuring a Cannes Film Festival Best Actress awarding winning performance from Julianne Moore, you better put it to good use and this new trailer for David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars does just that.  The first 25 seconds of the piece is just Moore whining on the phone, but her work is so amusing and commanding that it instantly sparks a desire for more.

And best of all, we’re going to get to see more Moore (sorry, I had to) because earlier this month, Focus Features’ alternative distribution initiative, Focus World, snatched up the U.S. distribution rights to the film and plans to release it in early 2015.  Hit the jump to check out that new Maps to the Stars trailer.  The film also star Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Evan Bird, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson.

David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Acquired by Focus World for Early 2015 Release

by     Posted 112 days ago

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Filmmaker David Cronenberg’s latest effort will find its way to U.S. screens early next year.  Ahead of the film’s North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, Focus World announced today that it has acquired U.S. distribution for Maps to the Stars with plans to release the film stateside in early 2015.  The film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals (John Cusack), his wife (Olivia Williams) who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter (Mia Wasikowska), who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana (Julianne Moore), an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  The pic premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, and while the overall reaction was mixed, Moore drew high praise for her performance and won the Best Actress award.

Many had pegged Moore as a contender in this year’s Oscar race, but if Focus World doesn’t stage a limited release in December to qualify for contention, that takes her out of the running.  That said, Focus World’s specific release strategy is unknown at the moment.  Read the full press release after the jump.

2014 New York Film Festival Lineup Announced; FOXCATCHER, WHIPLASH, MAPS TO THE STARS, CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA, LISTEN UP PHILIP and More

by     Posted 131 days ago

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The Toronto International Film Festival is fast approaching, so a lot of our attention has been on that, but soon after Toronto wraps, the 2014 New York Film Festival begins, so it’s time to start considering that as well, especially because The Film Society of Lincoln Center just announced the main slate lineup.

I’ll be in New York City covering the event so I’ve already got my eye on the Opening Night Gala selection, Gone Girl, and the Closing Night Gala selection, Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, but now it’s time to make room for more like Bennett Miller’s Cannes 2014 hit, Foxcatcher, Maps to the Stars starring Julianne Moore, Damien Chazelle’s Sundance Film Festival award winner, Whiplash, and more.  Hit the jump to check out the full New York Film Festival lineup.  The festival runs from September 26th – October 12th.

New MAPS TO THE STARS Trailer: Director David Cronenberg Highlights the Madness and Paranoia of Hollywood

by     Posted 133 days ago

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Entertainment One UK has released a new Maps to the Stars trailer online.  David Cronenberg‘s latest film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  I’m still not 100% sure what to expect from Cronenberg’s new picture, but that’s one of the reasons it’s one of my must-see films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Hit the jump to check out the new Maps to the Stars trailer.  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah GadonMaps to the Stars opens in the U.K. and Ireland on September 26th.  There is currently no U.S. release date.

Oscar Beat: Early Contenders Arise from Cannes Film Festival

by     Posted 210 days ago

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It seems like only yesterday we were closing out the lengthy and eventful awards season with my 2015 preview installment of Oscar Beat, but the next race is already starting to heat up.  The first awards barometer of each year arrives with the Cannes Film Festival, and the most recent fest is no different.  A number of potential contenders premiered on the Croisette over the past couple of weeks, and after all the standing ovations (and a fair amount of boos), some serious Oscar contenders have emerged.

Hit the jump as I take a look at the post-Cannes Oscar landscape, which includes contenders like Foxcatcher, Mr. TurnerMaps to the Stars, and even a possible Oscar nomination for Channing Tatum.

WINTER SLEEP Wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival; FOXCATCHER’s Bennett Miller Takes Best Director

by     Posted 212 days ago

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Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan is the winner of the coveted Palme d’Or at the 64th XX Cannes Film Festival for his three-hour twenty-minute film Winter Sleep. The director had fierce competition… with better films – mainly Mr. Turner by Mike Leigh, Mommy by Xavier Dolan, Foxcatcher by Bennett Miller, The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones and the critically-acclaimed Still the Water by Naomi Kawase.

Alice Rohrwacher‘s Le Meraviglie (The Wonders) won the Grand Prize, while Bennett Miller takes home the best direction Palme for another favorite amongst critics, Foxcatcher. Julianne Moore won the best actress award for her performance as a C-list actress in David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars and Timothy Spall the best actor award for his unforgettable rendition in the title role in Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner.  Hit the jump for more, including the full list of winners.

First 3 Clips from David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 230 days ago

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Ahead of its Cannes Film Festival premiere, three new Maps to the Stars clips have gone online.  David Cronenberg‘s latest film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  These new clips feature most of the main characters, and they provide a sense of unease as well as Hollywood satire.  I don’t know if that will be the overall tone of the movie, but there’s definitely something quietly unnerving about these clips.

Hit the jump to check out the clips [they're slightly NSFW because of language].  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah GadonMaps to the Stars opens in France and Italy on May 21st.  A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.

New Images from David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 245 days ago

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With its premiere set for the Cannes Film Festival, new Maps to the Stars images have gone online.  David Cronenberg‘s latest film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother. The two trailers have been cryptic, and we’ll probably get a better sense of the movie after it plays at the festival.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah GadonMaps to the Stars opens in France and Italy on May 21st.  A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.

2014 Cannes Film Festival Lineup Announced; FOXCATCHER, MAPS TO THE STARS, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, and More to Premiere

by     Posted 249 days ago

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The 2014 Cannes Film Festival lineup has been announced, and it has some heavy hitters.  Technically, the biggest is How to Train Your Dragon 2, but Cannes has played host to DreamWorks Animation films in the past in an attempt to give the festival a wider appeal.  Plus, that movie is playing out of competition.  Among the indies, the one I’ll be keeping an eye on is Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo.  Other notable contenders include David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars, David Michôd’s The Rover, Mike Leigh‘s Mr. Turner, Tommy Lee JonesThe Homesman, Ryan Gosling‘s Lost River (formerly titled How to Catch a Monster), Zhang Yimou‘s Coming Home, and Atom Egoyan‘s The Captive.

Hit the jump to check out the full lineup.  The 2014 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 – 25th.

NSFW Trailer for David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Starring Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 251 days ago

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A new Maps to the Stars trailer has gone online, and this one is a French, NSFW version (it’s NSFW because of language and nudity, not because it’s French).  The film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  Like yesterday’s trailer, I’m still not quite sure what to make of the movie.  There are clearly some darkly comic elements, but there’s also some serious intensity, and it’s sometimes difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.  I can’t wait to see this flick.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah GadonMaps to the Stars opens in France and Italy on May 21st, and will probably make its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.  A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.

First Trailer for David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Starring Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 252 days ago

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The first Maps to the Stars trailer has been released.  The film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  I’m not quite sure what to make of the footage in this promo trailer, and that’s part of what makes me so excited for this movie.  The other part is that this is a new David Cronenberg movie, and I’m eager to see anything he does.

Hit the jump to watch the Maps to the Stars trailer.  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah Gadon

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