James Bond

6 Degrees: Fall Film News

Hello Film Fans! Welcome to the Fall film News from 6 Degrees of Film. This edition is chock full of news you can use. The fall films that are opening soon are featured, as well as some of the top issues we have discussed in past newsletters and throughout the pandemic. Sign up to receive 6 Degrees Round up in your box each month. Here’s what’s happening: About Hollywood & the Chinese Fandom Hollywood studios are hoping to be able to incorporate the growth of the burgeoning middle class of Chinese and Eastern countries with films such as the latest Marvel offering “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Chloe Zhao, the first woman of color to win an Oscar for Best Director, will debut as the director of the new Marvel film, The Eternals, opening in November. ScreenRant offers their theory of why it took 20 years to make the latest Marvel comic film. The Great White Hope The Question is this. If there was a vote among top critics and fans, who might be the greatest American actor making films in the 21st Century? After passing the mantle of Nicholson and De Niro, there really is only one choice. Leonardo Di Caprio is the obvious pick.  Nicolas Cage is a contender for the title, as Tom Hanks is really the  everyman’s answer to the quintessential all-American film star. Hanks is a great actor, probably more in the mold of Jimmy Stewart. The Motion Picture Museum opens in L.A! Excitement for the Motion Picture Academy’s new Museum surrounds the iconic memorabilia on display such as Dorothy’s slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” and all the costumes from classics like “Gone with the Wind” or the original “Star Wars.”  Read more about the September 30th opening in the LA Times’  “The Ultimate Film Lovers’ guide to the Academy.” Some Random Film News Martin Scorsese talks about his favorite filmmaker (Spoiler: It’s Stanley Kubrick…Me Too, Martin!) AFI (American Film Institute) has honored the legendary film director Billy Wilder. Check out some of his films listed on TCM such as “The Apartment” and “Some Like it Hot.” Clint Eastwood is also being honored.  Some of his best roles are celebrated, including the iconic Spaghetti Westerns like ‘The Good, The Bad & the Ugly” as well as his Dirty Harry series. Films that fit well together: We can’t help noticing that the concept of the idea of double features of similar themes runs parallel in some ways to the concept of 6 Degrees Films. Films that go together are part of the 6 Degrees of Film book (Sign up to download “The List of 100 Films”) Books to read on Film Hayley Mills, a huge favorite child star of mine and countless other teenagers from the fifties and sixties, has written a memoir of her life as a Disney starlet entitled “Forever Young.” Other books of note include, “How 1940’s critics changed Film Culture,” which is reviewed on David Bordwell’s site.  Out of the Past website recommends “Cecil B DeMille’s Hollywood.”  Finally there is a book coming out about another huge favorite of mine entitled:  “Steve McQueen: In his own Words” The Multiverse within the Universe The Eternals debut will again set off debates within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For one thing, there are certain rules that apply within the Cinematic Universe. And they are rules that we apparently need to know!; The Multiverse rules include the recent fact that (Spoiler here!)…the Sacred Timeline was split into multiple directions, thus causing the creation of a multiverse. Apparently, there’s no one to stop it now! The Streaming Wars Streaming vs In-person premieres is an ongoing debate within Hollywood. We also have come to terms with how the movie industry has been changed forever…by the Pandemic and COVID. Forbes critic Scott Mendelson takes a look at “Tenet” and it’s disappointing box office returns.  Yet somehow “Tenet” has become a benchmark for new releases to aspire to! Finally in the streaming wars,  the gross for Black Widow further muddies the waters of the theater vs streaming debate. Here’s a quote on the Future of Film The following quote about the future of film-making comes from my 2013 book,  6 Degrees of Film:  “…The Industrial Light & Magic studios sprang from the creative genius of George Lucas. ILM was all about technology, and using it as a tool. Their future technology dream was “…of an interactive experience that would enable participants to explore virtual worlds or even inhabit the form of computer graphics characters. controlling the action with a joystick. “ ILM veterans also projected that in the future, theaters would “be able to use an electronic or laser-light projection system.” There was speculation that the many theaters would not be able to afford such an expensive process. However, the post-Covid world is not going to be one where there is a movie theater on every corner! Another article asks: Is Cinema Dead Again?…. and goes on to add, “…’no other art form has died as consistently as the cinema.’ Critics are always proclaiming it dead… Another post talks of  changes in how cinema works. For example, there are ways in the future of making the Marvel films more interactive. What does that mean? We could, in essence, ‘live’  inside the movies!  Virtual models and 3D Renderings are explored in another piece on the future of film-making, and it sounds very similar to the predictions that we saw from ILM over a decade ago! Pioneering women of #MeToo: The Strong women In my book, I write quite a bit about the many strong and pioneering women in Hollywood who stood up to the ‘man’ and were able to make their voices heard. This article from Entertainment Weekly  talks about Olivia de Havilland and her fight from the 1940’s where she took on the all-powerful studio system in Hollywood-and won. Here’s a quote from 6 Degrees of Film: “Olivia de Havilland also fought studio bosses, winning a landmark decision

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6 Degrees of Film: February Film Round Up

Oscar News This month, February is a preview of things to come. And for things delayed! The Oscars will be held this year on Sunday, April 25th, so there will be a few months to go yet before the Oscar “Buzz” and predictions heat up. A good indicator always for the Oscar nominees are the many award shows that precede it. The Golden Globes, the SAG (Screen Artists Guild) awards, the BAFTA (British Equivalent of Oscar) and the Sundance Film Festival all preview some of the pre-eminent films of the past year. CODA won the Sundance Film Festival Best Picture; and Frances McDormand will surely be a nominee for Best Actress in Nomadland; plus the late Chadwick Boseman has been nominated in multiple categories for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. For current information and up to date reviews of the latest award nominees and winners, check out 6 Degrees of Film magazine each week. Tributes to those we lost We just heard of the passing of Christopher Plummer, an exceptional actor who after so many credits, will always best known for his role of Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.” Cicely Tyson also died recently, and that fact only serves to remind us of the talents of those pioneers who helped to break barriers for African-American women in film. Black History Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is one of the films that is showing at the movies and is streaming currently. And as mentioned, the late Chadwick Boseman has broken ground for nominations in a variety of categories, for roles in Ma Rainey’s as well as the many memorable roles he created. Boseman, like Mr Plummer in Sound of Music, will be known primarily as the defining character in the Black Panther Marvel series. Some other notable films for Black History Month include Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner starring Sidney Poitier, playing on Turner Classic this month.  But I would recommend the original documentary series “Eyes on the Prize” and Spike Lee’s Malcolm X with Denzel Washington for those who seriously want to delve into Black History. The movie: The Black Panther is another obvious choice to watch, as well as Hidden Figures, both of these films being much more recent and notably well received. Chadwick Boseman was also brilliant as Jackie Robinson in 42 and to complete your viewing, there is his turn as the famed first Black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, playing Marshall as a rising young lawyer in the early fifties in the film- Marshall. Armchair Film Fest At 6 Degrees, each week we highlight the film events as well as the small screen feature films that are notable enough to record and watch (Sometimes known as “Binge-watching”!)….This month on Turner Classic Movies, they are featuring: Comedies with Mel Brooks: Blazing Saddles and The Producers are shown this month, both starring Gene Wilder. Robert Ryan: The Film Noir star is a particular favorite of mine-he is featured in Marine Raiders, The Set-up (Directed by Sound of Music director Robert Wise), and a Western-Trail Street. Romantic Valentine’s: For those who would like to see something romantic around Valentine’s Day, know that some of the most enduring romantic couples of all time are found in Hollywood’s Golden Age films. Casablanca features one such couple, and Doctor Zhivago features another. Alas, (Spoiler alert), both are films about a timeless love that endures, but if you are a fan of happy endings- Love doesn’t always lead to ‘Happily ever-afters” even in Hollywood! The state of Hollywood films in 2021 There are still many delays of big-studio films due to the ongoing Pandemic. James Bond will wait till November to debut with Daniel Craig in his last Bond film-No Time to Die. Some films will be released for streaming and On-Demand due to COVID-19 concerns. Stay tuned for announcements as the release dates have changed frequently these past months. That’s all for now, folks, and like everything else during the era of Covid, we will have to wait and see what the next few months bring in terms of Oscar nominations as well as the release dates for this year. Denzel Washington is currently starring in The Little Things, one of the films listed as popular at the drive-in’s, if you are lucky enough to find one near you!  Check it out if you can…Till next time, see you at the movies!-ML

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6 Degrees of Film January Film Round up

Hello Film Fans and Happy New Year! This month in film, we are always subjected to the inevitable lists of “Best of” films from 2020. And the year 2020 has proven to be of one of the most unusual years in film history since the advent of talkies! Covid-19 has upended all major industries globally, and the film industry  is one of the hardest hit. One of the latest victims is the Sundance Film Festival-they just announced that the in-person drive-in screenings in the Rose Bowl stadium were canceled for their 2021 Festival. The Festival is still set for Jan 28th through February 3rd. The good news is that the Armchair Film Fest is still an ongoing presentation from 6 Degrees! Streaming films and recording them and downloading have proven to be the foolproof way to watch even new releases. This month, Turner Classic has a line-up that includes: Happy Birthday to “The King” There’s always the obligatory “Elvis Fest” in  January to honor the King of Rock N’ Roll and his long career of making mostly Bad B’s. But some of the stand-outs are included here; Jailhouse Rock & Viva Las Vegas were two of his best to record. The Armchair Film Fest Cary Grant is always front and center for the Armchair Film Fest. This month, the Bachelor & the Bobby Soxer is shown, and this also includes one of our pioneers of #MeToo-Myrna Loy is the judge in this one, and she’s got some great lines playing opposite Grant and a teenage Shirley Temple.  Pioneers of #MeToo This month, the strong and smart women of #MeToo are front and center in films like the Ghost & Mrs Muir with Gene Tierney as a young widow with Rex Harrison as the Ghost; and in Adam’s Rib with Katherine Hepburn as a lawyer opposite Spencer Tracy playing her husband and her opposing counsel. Audrey Hepburn plays an interpreter for the United Nations opposite Cary Grant in a predictable thriller Charade. But the movie is somewhat elevated by the two stars performance and the memorable musical score by Henry Mancini. The Great Santini is shown on TCM, and this one is not seen often on television. It’s highly recommended for Armchair Film Buffs, as it’s one of Robert Duvall’s stand-out performances. The film is adapted from a book by the late great writer Pat Conroy. The original film version of Lord of the Flies is also shown this month, and this film was adapted from the book of the same name that is required reading for many a high-school English class. 6 Degrees of Film at the Movies Magazine In 6 Degrees Magazine   we have a piece that looks at the great horror films of the past-notably the year 1960. Plus there are reviews of Coco from Disney-Pixar and their newest film Soul. We also include a post from the David Bordwell site about the best films from…1930! A little bit more contemporary offerings come from one of our favorites- the Forbes Critic Scott Mendelson. He writes about why Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the top grosser in 2019 AND 2020….There is a piece about the Bond Girls-past and present and finally, some of the best films of 2021 are recommended to watch for. What’s Coming at the Movies in 2021 2021 will also be a challenging year for those of us who love film. Some of the movies we’re looking for include: Don’t Look Up– from the same writer of 2015’s Oscar winning The Big Short’s Adam McKay. Jennifer Lawrence and Leo DiCaprio star in this film about “two low-level astronomers who embark on a media tour to warn mankind about an approaching asteroid that will destroy the Earth” Oscar Winner Frances McDormand stars in Nomadland– the story of a woman who leaves her small-town life behind after losing her job. She sells off her belongings and sets out to travel around the country. The film centers on her nomadic lifestyle and her adapting to the survival mode in the course of her journey. A big winner at the Venice Film Festival, McDormand is an Oscar favorite for this performance. Coming 2 America: Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise their roles in this sequel to the original 1988 comedy. The plot centers around Murphy discovering he has a long-lost son in America on the eve of his coronation as King of Zamunda. The Bond Movie: No Time to Die-with Daniel Craig in his final appearance as 007 is finally set to release in April. The Horror movie: A Quiet Place Part II is the sequel with Emily Blunt returning in this film as a widow who is still fighting to protect her children from the mysterious monsters who seek out sounds. Scarlet Johansson is starring in the long-awaited Black Widow film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a throwback set after the events of Captain America: Civil War where she grapples with a dark past A Sci-Fi Comedy with Ryan Reynolds called Free Guy is about a bank teller who suspects he is living in a world of a video game called “Free City” and the game is about to go offline! Emma Stone plays Cruella in this origin story about the legendary villainess Cruella De Vil. Lin Manuel Miranda’s first musical was called In the Heights-this musical about the New York City neighborhood where Miranda grew up is set to be released in June LeBron James will play in Space Jam: A New Legacy; a sequel to the 1996 Cult hit comedy, where James ends up in a digital world filled with Looney Tunes characters. The Horror film Candyman from Jordan Peele is a sequel to the 1992 horror classic. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue with The Eternals, starring Angelina Jolie and an ensemble cast that introduces a race of immortal aliens who live undercover among humans but are forced to come out of hiding to defend Earth from ancient enemies. Due out in

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6 Degrees of Film: October Round Up

  Greetings Film Fans! For me, the fun part of every week is to go through my Six Degrees of Film magazine and put together the top stories in film. We go through the film news, reviews, classic movies and top bloggers on film. We’ll see what the latest releases are and the line up of films to record for our Armchair Film Fest! Turner Classic Movies is best for small screen classics to set to record each week. This week, I’m excited to see the Director’s Cut of Lawrence of Arabia. It never gets old to hear that beautiful music and to be pulled in to the epic story out in the deserts of Arabia. The October Round Up: Meanwhile, back in the La La Land of Hollywood, we discover that many of the top films of 2020 have been pushed into 2021. James Bond is a major disappointment for me, as I’ve been waiting to see No Time to Die with Daniel Craig in his final outing as 007, for the entire year! It is now slated for April of 2021. Along with Bond, the other movies slated for this year: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , Black Widow, and The Batman with Robert Pattinson, are all pushed into 2021. Christmas releases  that are still slated (subject to change) include Dune, Wonder Woman 1984 and Pixar’s Soul. But everything is up in the air in this time of Covid-19. Fall Film News of 2020 This section has really become: How is Hollywood coping with Covid? And the answer is, like everyone else, it is struggling wildly. The rich will still be rich in Hollywood, but the business people who run the popcorn stands and small movie houses are slated to either go out of business or continue to struggle through the rest of 2020. Some winners in the Pandemic: Drive-in movie theaters have become a fun and nostalgic kind of throwback era that has caught on with many towns and cities. The Film Festivals have gone online, for the most part, and they will survive to become energized and revived for 2021. I have always been a fan of documentary and Indie films that are low-budget gems. The great RBG documentary is seeing a revival with her passing, and we now see there is a great documentary streaming now about the life and horrific murder of the Arab journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who worked for the Washington Post. It is called Kingdom of Silence. Armchair Film Fest: Set to Record for October 2020:   And finally, the October Round up is not complete without the classics we recommend to record in October.  This month, there is always a surfeit of horror classics as well as the Bad-B’s that we know and love.  On Turner Classic this month: I mentioned Lawrence of Arabia: The Director’s Cut– This one I recommend as a Bucket list item to see in all its glory at least once in your lifetime. You will understand more about human nature, as well as the problems we have currently in the Middle East after watching this film.  Bogey stars in Dark Passage:  Bogey and Bacall in their last film together (They were set to make another one but he got sick and died before they could make it!) Great Comedy gems this month: Laurel & Hardy star in A Chump at Oxford. One of my favorites with Jack Benny and Carole Lombard is the original version of To Be or Not to Be; it was remade with Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks, but this one is the best. The Shop around the corner has been remade and is one of the most enduring of all the remakes in Hollywood .This version has Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan as the bickering co-workers who discover romance,  but they don’t know that it’s with each other! This was a musical with Judy Garland and Van Johnson, and finally a modern update with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail. Casino Royale is a ‘spoof’ of James Bond with the always debonair David Niven. The catchy soundtrack helped this to become a hit when it was released in the sixties. Bye Bye Birdie is a spoof on the Elvis craze, and this film with Dick Van Dyke and a young Ann Margret still holds up well. We love the Bad B’s here at 6 Degrees! Each month, the Bad B’s of Hollywood are found on Turner Classics. Sometimes it’s the old beach movies of summer, or as in this month of October, it’s the horror films that were made in all their low-budget splendor. For example, I had not seen Plan 9 From Outer Space in a while, so I taped it last month and watched some of it. The operative word for most of these is the fact that you can only watch SOME of it! For my own part, I still like Glen or Glenda best in the Ed Wood Hall of Shame film category. But Plan 9 is a legitimately classic model for all really bad movie fans. The Brain that wouldn’t Die, also on the schedule this month, is another top contender for me in the bad movie pantheon. The Creature from the Black Lagoon was made in Florida, so that one has some good stand out trivial moments. And I did not remember Gojira, which was one of the films that spawned the slew of Japanese horribly horrible horror classics. Halloween Horror Carnival of Souls:  I defy anyone to match this original for giving you the heebie-jeebies on a dark Halloween fright night!   Strong defining women-Hollywood Pioneers of #MeToo Each month, we pick out some stand out performances for women who paved the way for all strong and enduring characters in films and in real life. At first glance, you would never put Doris Day movies in that category But Doris Day in Please don’t eat the Daisies makes the cut.

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