Fri May 2, 2014
Movie Interviews

Behind 'Belle': An 18th Century Portrait Ahead Of Its Time

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:47 am

Johann Zoffany's 18th century painting portrays Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Elizabeth Murray.
Wikimedia Commons

Director Amma Asante found the story behind her new movie, Belle, in a painting: artist Johann Zoffany's 18th century portrait of two beautiful, young English ladies, draped in silks and pearls. The twist? One is biracial.

Belle is based on the real-life story of that woman, Dido Elizabeth Belle, who was the daughter of a Royal Navy captain and the slave he met after capturing a Spanish ship.

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Fri April 25, 2014

Visual Dazzle Of 'Transcendence' Won't Live Up To The Title

Johnny Depp as Will Caster in 'Transcendence.'
Peter Mountain Warner Bros. Pictures

In his brilliant Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin is absorbed into a machine. That was 1936. In the new movie Transcendence, in 2014, Johnny Depp uploads himself to the Internet - this is not a moment of pure genius.

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Fri April 18, 2014

'Teenage' Is A Mix Of Footage, Contrasts And Eccentric History

Archival photo of roommates listening to the radio.
Armstrong Roberts Classic Stock Images

Matt Wolf’s Teenage is something of a mess, but it’s an interesting mess. It’s impossible for the film to avoid the label “documentary,” but it’s not that.

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Fri April 11, 2014

'The Unknown Known' Shows The Obscuring Power Of Words

Donald Rumsfeld in 'The Unknown Known'
Courtesy of RADiUS-TWC

Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris has addressed subjects that range from the owners of pet cemeteries to innocent men in prison to a murder case in which the only witness was a talking parrot. Morris’s new film is his second about men who have taken America into questionable wars.

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Mon April 7, 2014

The Inimitable Mickey Rooney Dies At 93

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 10:48 am

Mickey Rooney plays Oliver Nugent in the short-lived television series One of the Boys in 1982. Rooney died Sunday at the age of 93.
NBC via Getty Images

Mickey Rooney was a 5-foot-3 dynamo. Whether he was acting, singing or dancing, he poured an uncanny energy into his performances. It's an energy that sustained a lifelong career alongside some of the biggest names in show business, including Judy Garland and Elizabeth Taylor.

He died Sunday at his North Hollywood home, at age 93. He was still working — on a new film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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