Guy Ritchie to Receive Raindance Auteur Award

We’re thrilled to announce that the iconic and critically acclaimed British filmmaker, Guy Ritchie will receive this year’s Raindance Auteur Award.

Having started his career in the British film industry as a runner, Ritchie, who took courses at Raindance in the early 90s, worked his way up the ladder to a director of commercials and videos, before writing and directing his feature film debut, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, for a mere £800,000. The film then went on to break British box office records, garnered international cult status, and inspired a new wave of rough, gritty British crime comedies.

With his unforgettable character driven stories, quick-cuts, circulate plots and atmospheric visuals, Ritchie’s style translates across all his films – from gritty crime capers Snatch, Revolver and RocknRolla, through to Hollywood heavyweights including the Sherlock Holmes blockbusters, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. He will bring his dynamic style to Disney’s live-action, Aladdin, which he will direct and begin shooting later this year.

Ritchie has become a defining voice in recent British film history, and remains a true auteur in today’s film climate.

The award will be presented by Raindance Festival Founder, Elliot Grove, at the Raindance 25th Anniversary Reception on Tuesday 15 August.


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Official Trailer for Award Winning Documentary on Police — ‘The Force’

The Force Trailer

«I don’t want bad cops here, period.» Kino Lorber has revealed the first official trailer for the documentary titled The Force, examining the police crisis in America at the moment. The film actually focuses on the police themselves, going inside an «embattled urban police department struggling to rebuild trust in one of America’s most violent yet promising cities.» The police they’re profiling is the Oakland Police Department, and the storyline in the doc follows three different threads — one about the young police chief, another about new recruits in the Academy, and another about officers in the field facing increased hostility. The Force won Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival, and won Best Bay Area Documentary at the San Francisco Film Festival. This is an excellent trailer for a doc, really pulls you in and makes you feel for what’s at stake. ›››

Continue reading Official Trailer for Award Winning Documentary on Police — ‘The Force’

Academy Award Winner Martin Landau Dead at 89

Oscar Winner Martin Landau Dead at 89

Martin Landau, the Oscar-winning character actor who has worked with acclaimed directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, and Tim Burton, has died at the age of 89.

He is perhaps best known by modern audiences for his role as the down-on-his-luck Bela Lugosi in the black comedy Ed Wood, the Burton-directed biopic of the titular director of cult “bad” movies like Plan 9 from Outer Space. Landau won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role, after being nominated twice before for roles in Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Landau died on Saturday of “unexpected complications” following a short hospitalization at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, his publicist confirmed.

Landau had an impressive 58-year career in Hollywood that spanned both film and television, including a regular role in the original Mission: Impossible TV series, which he starred in for three seasons. After leaving the CBS series in 1969 due to contract dispute, Landau struggled to find his footing in the film industry, despite an early successful role as a threatening henchman in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller North by Northwest.

It wasn’t until decades later when he was cast as financier Abe Karatz, the partner to the titular automaker Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges) in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1987 biopic Tucker: The Man and His Dream, that Landau had a late-career breakthrough. Landau went on to receive an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win for the role, and even more award-nominated roles in the years that followed.

“Tucker resurrected me,” he told the Guardian in 2012. “Before that I did several films that should be turned into toothpicks. I was being offered, you know, professional bad guys in the evil business, total comic-strip stuff. When I got Tucker I thought, ‘Thank God, a human being.’”

Landau went on to receive another Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination in Woody Allen’s 1989 offbeat comedy Crimes and Misdemeanors, playing the murderous opthamologist Judah Rosenthal. But it wasn’t until Ed Wood in 1994 that Landau got the elusive golden statuette. His performance as the washed-up horror icon Bela Lugosi struck a chord with him and audiences, and remains one of his most memorable performances to date.

“Lugosi … had a palpable intensity and a presence that you can’t buy,” Landau said before Oscar win. “But this fuckin’ town shat on him … And I can relate to that. I’ve seen it happen a lot. I’ve seen it happen to me.”

Born in Brooklyn on June 20, 1928, Landau gave up a career as cartoonist at the New York Daily News to pursue acting.

While his film debut was in a small Korean war drama called Pork Chop Hill, Landau shot to fame when he appeared as one of the henchmen pursuing Cary Grant in North by Northwest. His sinister eyes and glossy looks caught the eyes of producers and directors, and he went on to appear in bit roles in Cleopatra (1963) and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).

He found success instead on TV, winning Emmy nominations for his three seasons on Mission: Impossible, and making guest appearances on Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Famously, he turned down the role of Spock in the original Star Trek series, which eventually went to Leonard Nimoy. Landau said he doesn’t regret it however, saying “Lenny (Nimoy) was better suited for” the role.

After his Oscar win for Ed Wood, Landau took on several  character roles in high-profile films, including City Hall alongside Al Pacino, the Jim Carrey film The Majestic, and the Harrison Ford cop comedy Hollywood Homicide. He collaborated with Burton a few more times, including the animated film Frankenweenie. In 2001, Landau was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He is survived by his daughters Susie (a writer-producer) and Juliet (an actress known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer) from his marriage to Barbara Bain. Other survivors include sons-in-law Roy and Deverill, sister Elinor, granddaughter Aria, and godson Dylan.

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And the award for worst United Airlines joke goes to…


The United fiasco was terrible for the airline and for the poor guy who was forcibly removed from his flight. 

But it was great for internet jokes. Ah, the dank memes of justice. 

Sadly, one former politician decided to pile on United Airlines with the worst dad joke anyone has ever told about anything. 

Breaking News! @united airlines will be renamed—will now be called UN-TIED and wont hog-tie passengers who have valid boarding pass

— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) April 11, 2017

Um…no. United Airlines deserves derision for forcing a man off a flight he paid for and bloodying his face. But not like this, Mike. Not like this.  Read more…

More about Twitter, Joke, Mike Huckabee, Air Travel, and United Airlines

2017 Independent Spirit Award Winners: ‘Moonlight’ Shines with a Sweep

2017 Independent Spirit Awards Winners

Tonight brings us the 89th Academy Awards, when Hollywood’s finest get together to hand out trophies to each other, attempting to reward the highest achievements in cinema. Even though there are plenty of arguments to be made that trying to name the best film of any given year is foolhardy, not to mention the fact that the voting process makes it easier for the less bold, innovative films to win, it’s still a fun night of entertainment, and it just might get some general audiences to take an interest in movies they haven’t seen or heard of.

There are even more of those movies that were nominated for the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards, which were handed out last night in Los Angeles. Film Independent annually honors the best independent films, which are lower budget films that weren’t financed by a major studio. La La Land has been cleaning up on the awards circuit otherwise, but since it’s not an indie, that left its closest competition, Barry Jenkins‘ outstanding, moving film Moonlight, to sweep every award it was nominated for.

Get the full list of 2017 Independent Spirit Award winners after the jump.

The question is whether Moonlight has the power to pull off an upset. It’s undoubtedly the second favorite to win Best Picture, and there just might have been enough La La Land backlash (even if most of it is getting ridiculous and out of hand) for Moonlight to garner enough votes to win Best Picture. It’s still a long shot, but there’s always hope. Since La La Land and Moonlight were my two favorite films of last year, I’d be fine with either one winning.

In addition to Moonlight sweeping their awards, The Witch got some love with the film winning Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay for Robert Eggers, who has a bright future in film for sure.

Meanwhile, it was nice to see supporting talents Molly Shannon and Ben Foster get some recognition for their wholly award worthy performances in Other People and Hell or High Water respectively.

You can find the rest of the winners bolded in the list of nominees below.

Manchester by the Sea
American Honey

Andrea Arnold – American Honey
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Pablo Larrain – Jackie
Jeff Nichols – Loving
Kelly Reichardt – Certain Women

Annette Bening – 20th Century Women
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Sasha Lane – American Honey
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

David Harewood – Free In Deed
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Jesse Plemons – Other People
Tim Roth – Chronic

Edwina Findley – Free In Deed
Paulina Garcia – Little Men
Lily Gladstone – Certain Women
Riley Keough – American Honey
Molly Shannon – Other People

Ralph Fiennes – A Bigger Splash
Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
Shia LaBeouf – American Honey
Craig Robinson – Morris from America

Swiss Army Man
The Childhood of a Leader
The Fits
Other People
The Witch

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Mike Mills – 20th Century Women
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias – Little Men
Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water

Robert Eggers – The Witch
Chris Kelly – Other People
Adam Mansbach – Barry
Stella Meghie – Jean of the Joneses
Craig Shilowich – Christine

Ava Berkofsky – Free In Deed
Lol Crawley – The Childhood of a Leader
Zach Kuperstein – The Eyes of My Mother
James Laxton – Moonlight
Robbie Ryan – American Honey

Matthew Hannam – Swiss Army Man
Jennifer Lame – Manchester by the Sea
Joi McMillon & Nat Sanders – Moonlight
Jake Roberts – Hell or High Water
Sebastián Sepúlveda – Jackie

The 13th
I Am Not Your Negro
O.J.: Made in America
Under the Sun

Aquarius (Brazil)
Chevalier (Greece)
My Golden Days (France)
Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania)
Under the Shadow (Iran and U.K.)


JOHN CASSAVETTES AWARD (Best Feature Made For Under $ 5,000)
Free In Deed
Hunter Gatherer
Spa Night

Andrew Ahn – Spa Night
Claire Carré – Embers
Anna Rose Holmer – The Fits
Ingrid Jungermann – Women Who Kill

See if Moonlight can pull off an upset and triumph over La La Land when the 89th Academy Awards air tonight at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT on ABC.

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2017 Razzie Award Winners Announced

2017 Razzie Award Winners Announced

2017 Razzie Award Winners Announced

The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation has announced the “winners” of the 37th Razzie Awards right before the Oscars take place tomorrow night. Do you agree with what the 2017 Razzie Awards are calling the worst of 2016? Sound off below!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Dirty Grandpa
Gods of Egypt
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Independence Day: Resurgence
Zoolander No. 2

Ben Affleck / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Gerard Butler / Gods of Egypt & London Has Fallen
Henry Cavill / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Robert de Niro / Dirty Grandpa
Dinesh D’Souza [as Himself] Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Ben Stiller / Zoolander No. 2

Megan Fox / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Tyler Perry / BOO! A Madea Halloween
Julia Roberts / Mother’s Day
Becky Turner [as Hillary Clinton] Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Naomi Watts / Divergent Series: Allegiant & Shut-In
Shailene Woodley / Divergent Series: Allegiant

Julianne Hough / Dirty Grandpa
Kate Hudson / Mother’s Day
Aubrey Plaza / Dirty Grandpa
Jane Seymour / Fifty Shades of Black
Sela Ward / Independence Day: Resurgence
Kristen Wiig / Zoolander No. 2

Nicolas Cage / Snowden
Johnny Depp / Alice Through the Looking Glass
Will Ferrell / Zoolander No. 2
Jesse Eisenberg / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Jared Leto / Suicide Squad
Owen Wilson / Zoolander No. 2

Ben Affleck & His BFF (Baddest Foe Forever) Henry Cavill / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Any 2 Egyptian Gods or Mortals / Gods of Egypt
Johnny Depp & His Vomitously Vibrant Costume / Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Entire Cast of Once Respected Actors / Collateral Beauty
Tyler Perry & That Same Old Worn Out Wig / BOO! A Madea Halloween
Ben Stiller and His BFF (Barely Funny Friend) Owen Wilson / Zoolander No. 2

Dinesh D’Souza and Bruce Schooley / Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Roland Emmerich / Independence Day: Resurgence
Tyler Perry / BOO! A Madea Halloween
Alex Proyas / Gods of Egypt
Zack Snyder / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Ben Stiller / Zoolander No. 2

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Dawn of Justice
Fifty Shades of Black
Independence Day: Resurgence
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Zoolander No. 2

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Dirty Grandpa
Gods of Egypt
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Independence Day: Resurgence
Suicide Squad


2014 Worst Supporting Actor nominee Mel Gibson, for his Oscar-nominated direction of Hacksaw Ridge

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‘Beach Rats’ Trailer: The Sundance Award Winning Indie Snaps Some Selfies

Beach Rats Trailer

Dozens of independent films debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and plenty of them got picked up for distribution, presumably sometime later this year. One of those films was Beach Rats, which ended up landing a directing award in the U.S. Dramatic section of films for director Eliza Hittman, making her second feature film.

The first Beach Rats trailer has arrived online, and while it doesn’t show much, it does give us a hint of the personality of the main character we’ll meet played by Harris Dickinson, who received plenty of praise for his performance in the film. Watch below.

Though Peter Sciretta, Angie Han, and I were all at the Sundance Film Festival this year, we somehow all managed to miss Beach Rats, so we don’t have our own thoughts on the film. But The Guardian wrote in their review:

Beach Rats is a captivating character study and one that feels vital. The idea that coming out in western culture has been made universally accepted with societal changes signaling wider beliefs is a myth, and journalling what is a common difficulty for many young men feels important. Hittman is keen to avoid a standard coming out story, though, and while the final act does lead to more obvious dramatic conflict, she ends on a stunning note of dreamy romance and possibility.”

Our friends at The Film Stage add:

Burgeoning sexuality is the basis for nearly all coming-of-age films, but with her specific eye, Eliza Hittman makes it feel like we’re watching this genre unfold for the first time. With only two features to her name, she’s captured the experience with a sensuality and intimacy nearly unprecedented in American independent filmmaking.

Beach Rats sounds like the kind of coming-of-age tale of sexual awakening that cinephiles will love.

Neon, the distribution company founded by RADiUS’ Tom Quinn and Alamo Drafthouse’s Tim League, picked up Beach Rats from Sundance, and it’s expected to arrive sometime this fall, though no specific release date has been set yet. Here’s the official synopsis from Sundance.

Frankie, an aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn, is having a miserable summer. With his father dying and his mother wanting him to find a girlfriend, Frankie escapes the bleakness of his home life by causing trouble with his delinquent friends and flirting with older men online. When his chatting and webcamming intensify, he finally starts hooking up with guys at a nearby cruising beach while simultaneously entering into a cautious relationship with a young woman. As Frankie struggles to reconcile his competing desires, his decisions leave him hurtling toward irreparable consequences.

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