New York, Nov 29 (AP/UNB) — Rita Moreno's portrayal of Anita in the classic 1961 film "West Side Story" won her an Oscar. Now, she has a different part in a remake directed by Steven Spielberg.
The publicist for the 86-year-old Moreno confirmed Wednesday that she'll play Valentina, a reworked version of the character of Doc, the owner of a corner store where Tony works. Ansel Elgort has been cast as Tony.
The story follows two star-crossed lovers, Tony and Maria, who are each associated with rival New York street gangs. The Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner is adapting the script. Moreno will also serve as an executive producer.
Filming is set to begin next summer.
Dhaka, Nov 28 (UNB) – The Embassy of Bangladesh in The Hague has organised screening of a Liberation War documentary titled ‘Blockade' as the month of Victory knocks the door.
The documentary is based on true storyof nonviolent protest to stop the shipment of arms from the US to Pakistan during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
Blockade, screened on November 25, tells the story of how a group of American and Bengali activists protested against the U.S. government’s military and economic support for Pakistan during the war by staging a non-violent blockade of Pakistani ships in East Coast ports.
Drawing upon rare archival images of the protests and direct interviews with key activists, Blockade offers a powerful reminder of the lengths that ordinary people around the world went to in order to stop the genocide in Bangladesh, said the Embassy on Wednesday.
Encouraged by our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh MujiburRahman's historic 7th March speech, when people of Bangladesh orchestrated their protests, the Western media gradually came to know of the horror unleash by the Pakistani forces.
Bangladeshi IT expert, based in New Jersey, Arif Yousuf directed and produced the documentary out of his passion.
This documentary is the winner of 2017 The World’s Independent Film Festival (TWIFF) award, San Francisco, California in the category of documentary.
The film follows the story of the Philadelphia resident peace activists Richard K Taylor, Phyllis Taylor, Sally Willoughby; UPenn Professors Dr Klaus Krippendorff, Dr Charles Khan and Bengali expatriates then living in Philadelphia area Dr Sultana Alam, Dr Monayem Chowdhury and Mozharul Hoque.
Through interviews, archival TV footage and photographs, the film weaves in historical accounts of the genocide in Bangladesh, the misguided US foreign policy towards Pakistan at that time, and the common man’s protest against injustice.
After screening the documentary of 85 minutes, director Arif Yousuf was connected with the audience via Skype.
He shared his experiences of making the documentary and mentioned that it took more than 8 years to make this documentary film.
Ambassador of Bangladesh in the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal congratulated the director for his successful making of the documentary and thanked him for sharing his film with the Embassy for screening.
On the eve of the month of victory, Ambassador Belal paid tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, martyrs and freedom fighters of 1971.
He urged Bangladesh nationals to come forward from their respective position to promote Bangladesh's achievement to the international community.
New York, Nov 28 (AP/UNB) — The feel-good road-trip drama "Green Book" was named the best film of the year, and its star, Viggo Mortensen, best actor, by the National Board of Review in one of the first in a parade of awards season honors.
The NBR awards, announced Tuesday, gave the Oscar hopes of Universal's "Green Book" a jolt. The film, directed by Peter Farrelly (who typically makes broader comedies like "There's Something About Mary" with his brother, Bobby) was declared an Oscar favorite after taking the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
But in two weeks of release, it has struggled to latch on at the box office, and some critics have called its portrayal of race relations old-fashioned and criticized it for relying on "white savior" tropes. It stars Mahershala Ali as classical pianist Don Shirley, who tours the Deep South in 1962 with a racist Italian-American driver played by Mortensen.
Bradley Cooper's lauded remake "A Star Is Born" also took several top awards, including best director for Cooper, best actress for Lady Gaga and best supporting actor for Sam Elliott.
Barry Jenkins' James Baldwin adaptation "If Beale Street Could Talk" took prizes for Jenkins' screenplay and for Regina King's supporting performance.
Though sometimes called an Oscar harbinger, the National Board of Review, a 109-year-old organization of film enthusiasts, academics and professionals, has typically deviated from eventual best picture winners. It last year chose Steven Spielberg's "The Post." Before that, its top winners were "Manchester By the Sea," ''Mad Max: Fury Road" and "A Most Violent Year."
On Monday night, the Gotham Awards , which honor independent film, selected Chloe Zhao's "The Rider" as its best feature film of the year. Critics groups will soon start weighing in with their picks, starting with the New York Film Critics Circle on Thursday.
Other prizes from the National Board of Review included best ensemble for the cast of the romantic-comedy hit "Crazy Rich Asians"; best documentary to the popular Ruth Bader Ginsberg chronicle "RBG"; best screenplay to Paul Schrader's "First Reformed"; best animated feature to "Incredibles 2"; best foreign language film to "Cold War."
The awards will be handed out in on January 8 in New York at a gala hosted by Willie Geist.
New York, Nov 27 (AP/UNB) — In the first major soiree of Hollywood's awards season, Chloe Zhao's elegiac, lyrical Western "The Rider" took best feature film at the 28th annual Gotham Awards.
It was a surprising, but far from baffling conclusion to the Gothams, the New York-based gala for independent film, held Monday night at Cipriani's Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. The awards were generally spread around, including a pair of prizes for Bo Burnham's coming-of-age directing debut "Eighth Grade" and Paul Schrader's impassioned Catholic drama "First Reformed."
But the night's final honor went to "The Rider," the second feature by the Chinese-born Zhao, despite no previous awards on the night and only one other nomination: an audience award nod alongside 14 other films. Some may have forgotten it was eligible. Having first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2017, "The Rider" was nominated by the Gotham's West Coast corollary, the Independent Film Spirit Awards, in February as one of last year's best.
Zhao, too, wasn't in attendance (she is prepping her next film). And few looked more surprised than the producers — Bert Hamelinck and Mollye Asher — who accepted the award. "This is going to be the worst acceptance speech," stuttered Hamelinck.
Yet "The Rider," filmed with Lakota cowboys on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation, persevered over a few Oscar favorites, including Yorgos Lanthimos' period romp "The Favourite" and Barry Jenkins' James Baldwin adaptation "If Beale Street Could Talk."
"The Favourite" still went home with two honorary awards: an award for its acting ensemble, led by Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz; and a tribute to Weisz. Jenkins applauded the choice of "The Rider" with a standing ovation and a retweet of his earlier praise of the film, in which he called it "ravishing, sublime imagery paired with deeply earnest storytelling."
Unpredictability pervaded the ceremony, especially for the winners, themselves. When the Fred Rogers documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor" won the Gothams' audience award (not typically a category for documentaries but "Won't You Be My Neighbor" proved a modest summer blockbuster), its director Morgan Neville was stunned, partially since he had already lost best documentary to RaMell Ross' "Hale County This Morning, This Evening."
"To say this was a surprise would be an extreme understatement," Neville said. "Since I didn't know we were nominated."
As an Oscar bellwether, the Gothams, presented by the not-for-profit Independent Film Project , are of little value. Their nominees are chosen by small juries of filmmakers and film critics before some of the fall's films have been seen.
But in the early going, any momentum helps an underdog Oscar campaign, and that seemed especially true of "First Reformed" and "Eighth Grade" — both releases from A24, the indie distributor of "Moonlight" and "Lady Bird."
"First Reformed" star Ethan Hawke took best actor and its 72-year-old writer-director Schrader ("Taxi Driver," ''Raging Bull") won best screenplay.
"Fourteen years. Best attendance. Sunday school," said Schrader, who chose filmmaking over the seminary but remained gripped by his Calvinist upbringing. "I earned this award."
Burnham's "Eighth Grade," starring 15-year-old Elsie Fisher, won for both breakthrough director and breakthrough actor.
"I'm pretty sure this was a glitch in the system or something," began Fisher, who said she had been considering giving up on acting before Burnham cast her. "Me from two years ago would be really proud of me right now."
Tributes were also paid to "At Eternity's Gate" star Willem Dafoe, "22 July" director Paul Greengrass and RadicalMedia founder Jon Kamen. But one of the night's abiding themes was who wasn't there. Toni Collette, star of the horror film "Hereditary," wasn't on hand to collect her best actress award. And Weisz was the only star of "The Favourite" there for the film's ensemble award.
Weisz held up cardboard paddles of Colman and Stone's faces and read statements from each claiming that they were the real standout in Lanthimos' triangular tale of a power struggle in Queen Anne's 18th century court.
"Considering that I'm the only one to turn up," Weisz concluded, "I think I might be the favorite."
Rome, Nov 26 (AP/UNB) — Filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, who won Oscars with "The Last Emperor" and whose erotic drama "Last Tango in Paris" enthralled and shocked the world, has died. He was 77.
Bertolucci's press office, Punto e Virgola, confirmed the death Monday in an email to The Associated Press. Italy's state-run RAI said Bertolucci died at his home in Rome, surrounded by family.
Bertolucci's movies often explored the sexual relations among characters stuck in a psychological crisis, as in "Last Tango." The self-professed Marxist also did not shy away from politics and ideology, as in "The Conformist," which some critics consider Bertolucci's masterpiece.
Despite working with A-list American and international stars, Bertolucci always defended his own filmmaking style against what he said was the pressure of the U.S. film industry.