Documentary films have been around for decades as a form of movie, but it has only been in the last ten or so years where they have found their way into the mainstream. This article will take a look at the definition and evolution of documentary films.
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Live From Hollywood...
Bill Murray Day is now an official thing
Bill Murray to get his own day at this year's TIFF (image courtesy PA)
Put the date in your diaries – September 5 is Bill Murray Day.
The star is so beloved by fans worldwide that he is to have a special day dedicated to him and his works at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
On the day, film fans can attend free public screenings of three of the Oscar-nominated funnyman’s most-loved comedies – Stripes, Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters – ahead of the world premiere of the 63-year-old actor’s latest film, St Vincent, directed by Theodore Melfi.
Those who attend all three screenings can win tickets to walk the red carpet of the St Vincent premiere alongside Bill himself.
In St Vincent Bill plays a grumpy, hedonistic war veteran who befriends his young next door neighbour when he is struggling to cope with his parents’ divorce.
Al Pacino, Kate Winslet, Robert Downey Jr. make TIFF guestlist
Al Pacino as A.J. Manglehorn in a scene from the film 'David Manglehorn,' directed by David Gordon Green
Bill Murray, Kate Winslet, Denzel Washington, Robert Downey Jr., Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon and Al Pacino are among the A-listers headed to next month's Toronto International Film Festival.
Also gracing the guest list are Tina Fey, Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Aniston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Ben Stiller, Channing Tatum, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, John Travolta and Adam Sandler.
The festival revealed its highly anticipated roster Tuesday as it announced the final slate of films bound for the movie marathon, bringing the total to 285 features and 108 shorts.
New films include "St. Vincent," directed by Theodore Melfi and starring Murray as a retired curmudgeon with a taste for booze and gambling who befriends the 12-year-old son of his next-door neighbour (Melissa McCarthy).
James Franco's "The Sound and the Fury," based on the classic William Faulkner novel, will have its North American premiere in Toronto. Franco, who directed and stars in the film, will also attend the fest.
"It's a really strong line-up. We're thrilled with it," said artistic director Cameron Bailey, who touted the festival's international selections as well as its North American films.
Zoe Saldana (pictured left) says Vin Diesel's Groot ''stole the show'' in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'.
The 35-year-old beauty ''fell in love'' with the tree-like creature in the new Marvel movie - in which she plays Gamora opposite stars including Bradley Cooper and Karen Gillan - and can't remember feeling ''moved'' as much by any other fictional character.
She explained: ''I think Groot stole the show, for me. I mean, I just fell in love with this big tree once we started filming.
''And even though I'm mature and I'm pretty sane, I can't really remember a fictional character that really moved me like that.''
Director James Gunn, meanwhile, revealed that he is able to gain an insight into fan reaction to the film thanks to social media.
Gunn explained that he's received more tweets about Groot and Dave Bautista - a former WWE wrestler - than anyone else.
Summer of the sequel: Reruns and retreads make for tired box office
Georges St-Pierre, left, and Chris Evans in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (image courtesy AP)
By Katherine Monk
This movie is called 122 Days of Summer — and so far, it doesn’t look good for a happy ending. With only two weeks left to haul in what normally accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of next year’s production costs, Hollywood’s seasonal box office remains soft. And with few big releases left in the wings, it shows no signs of immediate improvement.
Receipts are down by 30 per cent, about $1 billion over last year, totalling just $3.22 billion as opposed to $4.85 billion this time last year.
Experts point to everything from continuing market fragmentation in the wake of digital delivery platforms to stiffer competition from small screen serials. But box-office dissection is hardly neurosurgery.
Anyone who has strolled into the lobby of the local gigaplex understands only too well the kind of ennui that overwhelms the consumer looking for a little escapist distraction.
Will it be Transformers 4, Captain America 2, Mutant Ninja Turtles redux, Rio 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street or another X-Men instalment?
When half the releases on the marquee carry a digit announcing their derivative contents, it’s hard to work up a head of healthy consumer enthusiasm. Yet, the trend will continue because despite the abject critical failure of something like Transformers 4, Michael Bay’s hulking piece of mechanical boredom still grossed close to a quarter-billion at home – making it the third-highest-grossing movie of the year so far, right after Captain America: Winter Soldier ($259M) and the truly inspired Lego Movie ($257M).
Even the dreadful Spider-Man 2 netted over $200M, proving with enough advertising and screen presence, Hollywood has the tools and the expertise to sell shimmering shinola to the masses.
Robin Williams blazed animation trail with 'Aladdin'
Robin Williams may be best remembered for the legion of fast-talking comedic roles which lit up both television and movies during his glittering show-business career. Less well-known is the fact that the 63-year-old, who died from an apparent suicide on Monday, almost single-handedly began the trend of stars lending their voices to animated blockbusters when he signed on to Disney's 1992 hit "Aladdin."
Williams' scene-stealing portrayal of the Genie in the hit children's classic was in many ways a match made in heaven, allowing the funnyman free rein to showcase his dazzling improvisational skills. The film is widely regarded as the first animated production to build its marketing on the strength of having a major movie star providing one of its voices, something which has become the norm today. Since Williams' trailblazing performance more than two decades ago, Hollywood's elite have flocked to animated movies.
Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen and Eddie Murphy are just a handful of the stars who have cashed in on the trend. Before 1992, the occurrence of established actors' voices in animated films was not over-publicised, according to Jerry Beck, a film historian who specializes in animation. But with "Aladdin," audiences headed to cinemas to see Williams' comic turn as the Genie in the lamp.
The wild vocal performance of the actor, who used the role to mimic the voices of Groucho Marx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro, amongst others, remains the stuff of legend. In signing for the picture, Williams had stipulated a contract which stated that his voice could only be used in the movie and not in publicity, because he was working for "actor's scale" or minimum wage, primarily so his children could hear him in a Disney film, according to Disney historian Jim Korkis.
TIFF 2014: Films from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Adam Sandler and Kristen Stewart headed to the festival
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Adam Sandler will be taking Toronto by storm in September (images courtesy Reuters)
By Steve Tilley
From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Adam Sandler, a ton of Hollywood titans will be coming to Canada – on screen, and maybe even in person – with a newly announced roster of films for the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.
Organizers of the globally lauded film fest unleashed a deluge of film announcements Tuesday, with some especially big names popping up in the special presentation and gala programs.
Schwarzenegger will star in Maggie, where the former Governator plays a farmer caring for his daughter (Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin) as she turns into a flesh-eating zombie. It’s the first movie for director Henry Hobson, a veteran title sequence designer who did the opening credits for the likes of The Walking Dead and the video game The Last of Us.
Funnyman Adam Sandler stars in The Cobbler, about a footwear repairman who gains the magical ability to step into the shoes of his customers and see life from their perspective, while scandal-mired John Travolta will star alongside Canada’s own Christopher Plummer in The Forger, about an art fraudster who must team up with his dad for one final job.
Twilight princess Kristen Stewart will appear with Juliette Binoche and Chloe Grace Moretz in Clouds of Sils Maria, about an aging movie icon threatened by an up-and-comer taking on the role that made her famous. Dustin Hoffman will lead a star-studded cast in Quebec director Francois Girard’s Boychoir, about a young student at an elite music school who struggles to fit in with his peers and instructors.
'Heartbroken': Tributes flood in for Oscar winning actor Robin Williams
A shot of the marquee at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood paying tribute to the late Robin Williams (image courtesy Getty)
Oscar winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has been found dead at his home in California after apparently killing himself at the age of 63.
The star of Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs Doubtfire, who battled depression and an addiction to cocaine and alcohol for decades, was found 'unconscious and not breathing' in his mansion just outside San Francisco at around noon yesterday.
Marin County Sheriff's Office said it believed Williams' death was a suicide due to asphyxia - reportedly by hanging - and an autopsy with toxicology tests will be carried out later today.
Williams had not been seen in public since his birthday three weeks ago and it is not known if he left a suicide note.
Friends and colleagues such as Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, Danny DeVito and Ben Stiller all took to social media to express their grief and offer condolences to Williams' third wife and three children, Zachary Pym, 31, Zelda Rae, 25 and Alan, 22.
President Obama issued a touching tribute to the actor and comedian, and said: 'Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien - but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.
'He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most - from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin's family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.'
Robin Williams loses his long-standing battle with depression and takes his own life (image courtesy Getty)
Williams was pronounced dead at his San Francisco Bay Area home Monday, according to the sheriff's office in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The sheriff's office said the preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.
The Marin County coroner's office said Williams was last been seen alive at home at about 10 p.m. Sunday. An emergency call from his house in Tiburon was placed to the Sheriff's Department shortly before noon Monday.
"This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken," said Williams' wife, Susan Schneider. "On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions,"
Williams had been battling severe depression recently, said Mara Buxbaum, his press representative. Just last month, he announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program he said he needed after 18 months of nonstop work. He had sought treatment in 2006 after a relapse following 20 years of sobriety.
'Turtles' walks slow but carry a big box office stick
Megan Fox with her turtle friends conquered the Box Office this weekend (image courtesy AP / Paramount)
by Howard Gensler
COWABUNGA! "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was the No. 1 movie in the nation this weekend with $65 million at the box office.
Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy" slid into second place in its second weekend with $41.5 million, bringing its total domestic haul to $175.9 million. The total worldwide box office for the cosmic romp stands at $313.2 million.
Megan Colligan, Paramount's head of domestic marketing and distribution, said that the success of the "Turtles" reboot was mostly derived from a pair of distinctly different audiences: men who fondly remembered the 1980s and '90s franchise that spawned a cartoon series, toy line and a live-action film trilogy, and youngsters familiar with a newer Nickelodeon animated TV series.
"It's odd when you have 25- to 35-year-olds and then 7- to 12-year-olds really excited about the same film," Colligan said.
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is Awful - But It's Gonna Take $60 Million
Leonardo looks back on the weekend saying 'See, Megan told you so!' (image courtesy Paramount)
by Michael West
Despite reviews so appalling they bordered on the ridiculous, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should comfortably overhaul Guardians of the Galaxy at the box-office this weekend, on its way to a cool $50 million debut. The Michael Bay produced Megan Fox starrer is exceeding expectations, with Paramount originally estimating its debut at around $40 million.
Marvel's Guardians is no slouch and is expected to take $40 million in its second weekend for a global total of $300 million. A sequel for that movie is already confirmed, but at this rate, Bay and his team might have to start thinking about investing more time in those wise-cracking Turtles.
Directed by Joanthan Liebesman and starring Fox and Will Arnett, the movie is based on the characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. It focuses on four outcast brothers rising from the sewers to discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, working with a fearless reporter to save New York City from the fearsome Shredder and his evil Foot Clan.
The movie - but mainly Michael Bay - has faced a backlash from both critics and fans of the original movie since it was announced, though speaking at a press conference last week, Megan Fox had some choice words for the haters.
"Let me tell you something about those people. How much money did Transformers 4 make? Exactly. Those people can complain - they all go to the theater. They're gonna love it - and if they don't love it, they can f*ck off, and that's the end of that."
Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals new Terminator: Genesis title
by James Marriott
As Schwarzenegger fans will know, Arnie has a new Terminator movie due release in July next year, where Arnie reprises his iconic flesh covered killing machine, and up until now that movie had the title Terminator: Genesis.
However, for some strange reason, the Terminator: Genesis title has been given a bit of a makeover whereby the 'Genesis' of said title has now been given a spelling change, reports Total Film.
It appears that Terminator: Genesis will from now on be officially known as 'Terminator: Genisys.' The news of the title spelling change came from Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, as he took to his Instagram account to post an image of him sitting in a seat with Terminator: Genisys on the back.
Along with said image, which can be viewed above, Arnie added… "Hasta la vista, baby. I want to thank the cast and crew of @TerminatorGenisys for a fantastic shoot. It was challenging, it was fun, and it was rewarding."
The actor also went on to thank everyone who worked on the movie... "From our director to the producers, from the camera team to catering, from visual effects to hair and makeup – we couldn't have done it without you. I can't wait to see our finished project and I know we'll remind the fans why they fell in love with the Terminator. On July 1, 2015, I’ll be back."