Hollywood celebrated the life of legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune on Monday, honoring him with a star on its iconic Walk of Fame two decades after his death.
Mifune rose to stardom through Akira Kurosawa’s classics, including “Rashomon” (1950) and “Seven Samurai” (1954), with masculine portrayals of powerful warlords that earned him a reputation as the world’s best samurai actor.
He died in Tokyo at that age of 77 in 1997. He had been mostly confined to his home since suffering a heart attack five years earlier.
His death shocked Japan’s cinema industry, which took pride in him as its most presentable actor in international cinema, fondly calling him “Mifune of the world.”
Kurosawa cast Mifune in leading roles in all but one of 17 films he made between 1948 and 1965. “Rashomon,” in which Mifune played a cynical bandit, won the Grand Prix award at the 1951 Venice Film Festival.
Mifune played a peasant-turned samurai leading farmers’ resistance against bandits in “Seven Samurai,” which inspired two Western remakes, both titled “The Magnificent Seven” (1960 and 2016). Read the rest of this entry »
“I know there are women, like my best friends, who would have gotten out of there the minute their boyfriend gave them a gun to hide. But I didn’t. I got to admit the truth. It turned me on.”
Kevin Jagernauth writes:
…Running 25 minutes long, it’s a nice look into the making of the Edith Wharton adaptation. Scorsese and his lead actor Daniel Day-Lewis frame the featurette with conversation regarding its production, including anecdotes from cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi (who details Scorsese’s process, though Jay Cocks penned the script), production designer Dante Feretti, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. Set aside some time, and give it a spin….(read more)
Still no Blu-ray release of ‘The Age of Innocence‘
Cain Rodriguez writes: This year marks the 25th anniversary of Martin Scorsese’s transcendent gangster classic “Goodfellas,” and while the director’s grand stature in cinematic history is in no doubt, that doesn’t mean there are no under-appreciated gems hiding in his filmography.
Point of fact, this year also marks the 22nd anniversary of the little discussed adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel, “The Age of Innocence.” To convince you of the sensual beauty and magnificence of the period piece, Milad Tangshir has crafted a nearly 20-minute-long video essay on the virtues of the 1993 film.
“I don’t particularly say ‘Oh this is a wonderful story for today’s audience.’ I have no idea what a good story for today’s audience is. I really don’t know. I just hope that if it’s honest enough and emotionally compelling, there might be some people out there that it will address.”
— Martin Scorsese
Titled “Hidden Behind Lace,” Tangshir’s video essay not only breaks down Scorsese’s visual style and offers analysis, but also includes clips from interviews given by editor Thelma Schoonmaker, cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, co-screenwriter Jay Cocks, production designer Dante Ferretti, and Scorsese himself.
[Check out Edith Wharton’s classic book “The Age of Innocence” at Amazon.com]
It’s a loving tribute to a film that’s been unfairly overlooked since it was released in between the much more commercial “Cape Fear” remake and “Casino.” Read the rest of this entry »
Designer: TBD Poster source: Posteritati [Buy it now]
A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Producer Julia Phillips tells in her auto-biography that Cybill Shepherd had a hard time remembering her lines during the coffee-and-pie scene with Robert De Niro. She writes that De Niro in particular was getting fed up with her and that Phillips and editor Marcia Lucas laughed over all the unusable footage they had to work with in the editing room. Read the rest of this entry »
Bill Clinton has really whore’d himself out this time — surrounding himself with real prostitutes.
Slick Willie probably had no clue … but the women Bill posed with at an L.A. charity event Thursday night are two star hookers at the famed Nevada Bunny Ranch brothel.
The brunette goes by Ava Adora and the blonde goes by Barbie Girl. According to her bio on the BR website, the blonde is very flexible and specializes in de-virginizing. The brunette “knows how to please a variety of both men and women.”
We have no idea how they got in to the star-studded Unite4Humanity charity gala — which honored Clinton along with several other philanthropic celebs like Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese — but we can take a wild guess why they showed.
Bubba’s really on a roll — back in 2012, he got cozy with a couple porn stars at a gala in Monaco.
UPDATE: 10:45 PST — Sources close to the people who ran the event say the 2 hookers were not invited guests — they were more than likely someone’s plus 1 — and were removed from the party after snapping the pic with Clinton.
However, sources close to the 2 women say that’s not true…
One percent owns 35 percent! So what?
John Stossel writes: President Barack Obama says income inequality is “dangerous … the defining challenge of our time.” The pope is upset that capitalism causes inequality. Progressives, facing the failures of Obamacare, are eager to change the subject to America’s “wealth gap.”
It’s true that today, the richest one percent of Americans own a third of America’s wealth. One percent owns 35 percent!
But I say, so what? Progressives in the media claim that the rich get richer at the expense of the poor.
But that’s a lie.
Hollywood sells the greedy-evil-capitalists-cheat-the-poor message with movies like Martin Scorsese’s new film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which portrays stock sellers as sex-crazed criminals. Years before, Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” created a creepy financier, Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, who smugly gloated, “It’s a zero-sum game. Somebody wins; somebody loses.”
This is how the left sees the market: a zero-sum game. If someone makes money, he took it from everyone else. The more the rich have, the less others have. It’s as if the economy is a pie that’s already on the table, waiting to be carved. The bigger the piece the rich take, the less that’s left for everyone else. The economy is just a fight over who gets how much.
But this is absurd. Bill Gates took a huge slice of pie, but he didn’t take it from me. By starting Microsoft, he baked millions of new pies. He made the rest of the world richer, too. Entrepreneurs create things.
Over the past few decades, the difference in wealth between the rich and poor has grown. This makes people uncomfortable. But why is it a problem if the poor didn’t get poorer?
Arnon Milchan’s double life as a Hollywood producer and Israeli spy reads like a script for a film he produced.
After years of speculation about his past, Milchan admitted he had worked as an Israeli spy and arms dealer, even after coming to Hollywood, in a report on Israel’s investigative TV show “Uvda.” The Israeli businessman-turned-Hollywood producer behind “Fight Club,” “Pretty Woman” and “L.A. Confidential” admitted to buying arms that were going to be used by Israel to build nuclear bombs.
“I should have been aware of that, of what I’ll go through, and said, ‘F**k you. You know what? I did it for my country, and I’m proud of it,’” Milchan said about the industry’s disapproval about his sordid past.
Milchan’s company New Regency has produced more than 120 films since the 1970s. He has worked closely with Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski and Oliver Stone, as well as Robert De Niro, Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, who appeared in the special that aired Monday.
For CITY JOURNAL, Michael Anton writes: The times in New York are about to get, as they say, “interesting.” Having elected a liberal dopier than David Dinkins and John Lindsay combined, New Yorkers are in for a wild ride. It’s been pointed out that fully one-third of the city’s population is under age 24 and another third between 25 and 44. That means that at least a third has no memory of the Dinkins or Lindsay eras at all—and well over half have no memory of the financial crisis, the welfare spike, the crime wave, the crack epidemic, the Crown Heights riots, the “vibrant” old Times Square, and the whole panoply of scum and villainy that for the better part of two decades made New York so gosh-darn “colorful.” And that’s only if you assume that everyone who lives here was born here. But New York’s fantastic run over the last 20 years has attracted a lot of out-of-towners, so the actual number of ignorant rubes in for the shock of their lives is higher. Well, all these transplants are about to discover, the hard way, that they aren’t in Kansas anymore.
For anyone wishing to get acclimated ahead of time, New York’s colorful past has been amply recorded on film. What follows is a short tour through some of the most memorable, classic films of Old New York—not Edith Wharton’s but Travis Bickle’s.
Three caveats: first, please don’t consider this list exhaustive. It’s meant merely to be representative. Second, I’m including only films that were actually shot on location in New York. Hollywood back lots just can’t provide the same flavor. Third, I’m not including period pieces. Only films actually set and shot during New York’s Rust Age will be considered.
So, in chronological order, here we go…