Star Wars

6 Degrees Round Up: Summer Films of 2022

For this month’s edition of 6 Degrees Round Up, we feature a look at the Summer Films of 2022. And also, we are offering a new download for all of our Film News followers!  6 Degrees of Film: The future of Film in the Global Village is celebrating its ten-year anniversary soon! And to celebrate, some of the best excerpts of the book are available as downloads for friends to enjoy. Star Wars Timeline! The Star Wars Addendum is available to all in honor of Star Wars Day this May! Click here to sign up for our Round-up and to download your Star Wars timeline. Some of the other things on our radar this month include the hunt for the new James Bond. Here is an article from 6 Degrees that talks about the very unlikely personality that shaped author Ian Fleming’s view of James Bond in the flesh! Friday Flix is filled with some of the latest articles that give us a glimpse into some of the behind-the-scenes discussions that shape some of the greatest films ever brought to the screen. Openculture.com shares some of the conversations and letters between Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C Clarke that begat the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Cannes Film Festival has wrapped up, and Far Out Magazine features a look at 15 of the greatest films that ever won the prized Palme d’Or award. And there is a look at the year 1982, which, much like the year 1939, has proven to be a pivotal one for creating classic films. Summer Film News Here are some of the most-anticipated films to debut this summer of 2022 Downton Abbey: A New Era on May 20 This is a continuation of the hit PBS series and has the added boon of returning Dame Maggie Smith for another round of playing the aristocratic matriarch of the family, complete with pithy put-downs! In June   Jurassic World: Dominion on June 10 Another return of an Old Faithful series where dinosaurs are now roaming the earth…. this film features some of the original cast returning: Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum! Lightyear on June 17 Buzz Lightyear is an astronaut, but not the exact same one we know from Toy Story! This one is an origin story of sorts from Pixar.  Buzz is going on an ‘intergalactic adventure’ with a group of recruits plus his robot companion. Elvis  on June 24 The Baz Luhrman directed Biopic has received good ‘buzz’ from early reviews. It details Elvis’s rise to fame in the fifties through the lens of his relationship with his music mentor and manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who is played by Tom Hanks! In July   Minions: The Rise of Gru  on July 1 Steve Carell is the voice of 12 year old Gru in this origin story set back in the seventies. Gru joins a gang of criminal masterminds, the Vicious 6. Whey they fire their leader, Gru ‘interviews’ to become the newest member of the team.   Thor: Love & Thunder on July 8 This is a superhero film based on Marvel Comic’s Thor. Thor is called out of early retirement to face Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale. Where the Crawdads Sing on July 15 From the best selling 2018 novel by Delia Owens,  this is about a woman who was abandoned by her family and forced to live alone, fending for herself out in the woods. She becomes a suspect in the murder of a man she had been in love with. Nope on July 22 This is Jordan Peele’s Sci-Fi Horror film return that tells the story of sibling horse trainers who come into contact with a mysterious force lurking on their California ranch. Bullet Train on July 29 Brad Pitt stars in this  thriller based on a 2010 novel “Maria Beetle”  It’s about five assassins who are on a bullet train from Tokyo who find that all of their assignments are inter-connected. In August Secret Headquarters on August 5 Owen Wilson stars in this film about a hidden lair under a kid’s home that seems to belong to a superhero. After sharing the secret with some friends, the boy starts to think that his estranged father just might have a secret double life! Beast on Aug 19 Idris Elba stars in this thriller about man visiting a game reserve in South Africa with his daughters, where they subsequently become prey to a dangerous lion stalking them! Three Thousand Years of Longing on August 31 George Miller directs and once again, Idris Elba stars in this epic romantic fantasy about a woman who finds a djinn, and is offered three wishes in exchange for his freedom. Children’s Films    Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank on July 15 This animated tale is about a dog named Hank who is trained to be a samurai by his cat mentor, Jimbo (Voice of Samuel L Jackson). The plot, loosely derived from Mel Brooks’ 1974 hit comedy Blazing Saddles,  revolves around a villainous cat named Ika Chu who wants to destroy their village! DC League of Super Pets on July 29 This 3D-animated film is about Superman’s Dog Krypto. When the Justice League is kidnapped, Krypto is exposed to Kryptonite and stripped of his powers. Now, he must teach another dog, plus a pig, a squirrel and a turtle how to save the day! That’s all for this edition! Please join us each week on 6 Degrees of Film @the Movies as we look at the latest news from the world of film. We work hard to present historical facts and fascinating peaks from behind the scenes of the Golden Age of Film each week. Friday Flix is our magazine that is created exclusively for film fans to find out more from directors, actors and writers who helped create the artistic and graphic worlds we love to visit and explore in film. Till next time, have a wonderful Memorial Day

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6 Degrees Film Round-up for April

This April, 6 Degrees is focusing on the great films that are found on the small screen. Our big screen blockbusters have often been eclipsed by the amount of content that has been available to everyone through streaming and all the online services. Even the Oscar winner CODA made history (which was overshadowed by ‘the slap!,’ by being released through a streaming platform and not a traditional studio. Another big event was the Best Director Oscar going to a woman for the third time! There is change afoot, but it is always a bit slow… Turner Classic features Strong Women on Film   There are always great movies with strong female leads on Turner Classic. This month, my favorite picks are Ninotchka, The Harvey Girls, The Philadelphia Story and Rachel & the Stranger. The Harvey Girls and Rachel & the Stranger deal with the real-life background stories of women who were true pioneers. The Harvey Girls were women who had the courage to move out west and try to bring ‘civilization’ to the rough and tumble world that existed past the Mississippi River! And Rachel & the Stranger dealt with the reality that occurred when your spouse died. It meant that the need to replace a strong worker was real, and it came before love or romance or anything else when you were out on a farm on the lone prairie! The Philadelphia Story is beloved for the scene where Cary Grant thinks better of assaulting his ex-wife and instead pushes her down. This is one of those controversial moments in old films. because it would be considered an acceptance of violent acts against women in modern times. In this case, it somehow fits the storyline and also tells us that there are and were characters such as Katherine Hepburn, who could fight back with words as well as deeds to make the men appear small! And Ninotchka is well-known from the Golden Age of Hollywood for the great publicity line, “Garbo Laughs!” This was a rarity in Garbo’s career, as she didn’t appear in many comedies.   Books on Film   For National Library Week, we have tried to highlight the many great books that have been written about film. Some are listed on the website and each Friday, in 6 Degrees of Film at the Movies, we feature the best recommended blogs as well as books and reviews on film. This week, we have recommended some books I love including “Film Noir” -edited by Alain Silver & Elizabeth Ward. There’s a great pictorial guide from Life Magazine-“Life goes to the Movies.”  And “The Story of Film” is a short history of film by Mark Cousins. There’s one with all sorts of great stories from films Golden Age called “The Great Movie Stars” from David Shipman. Another reference volume I love is “The Movies,” from Griffith & Mayer. Another good read for writers is “Writers in Hollywood” by Ian Hamilton.  And one of the more recent books that I really like is from Alicia Malone: “Girls on Film: Lessons from a Life of Watching Women in Movies.”  And finally, of course you can take a short walk through the history of film with my own “6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village. ”  We are celebrating our ninth year in publication with a new Ebook Addendum out soon! From the Friday Flix Files   Finally, on the topic of resources for film, there is our Friday Flix magazine.  Friday Flix has a mix of articles on the Golden Age of film as well as news about the latest adventures in Hollywood (Yes, the ‘slap’ is there as well!) Some of the latest not-to-miss topics include: Life Changing Movies: The Atlantic delves into the question of what elements can make a movie life changing; And from my book, I have a post about films that did affect my life. Some films can definitely be life-changing… Coen Brothers: The unique film-making qualities that comprise the films made by the Coen Brothers are the reason that their films have been so successful. In this piece, there are ten tips that make their films stand out from the rest… Critics Choice: One of the unique tidbits that we found out this past week concerned the invention of the “Two thumbs up” sign for a movie’s success or failure. Siskel & Ebert were the great film critics out of Chicago who dominated the film review industry for years. Ebert’s widow, Chaz, has put together a special article that lists some of the reasons that Roger Ebert was one of the great film critics of all time. 50 Years of The Godfather: Friday Flix features several articles celebrating the fifty years since one of America’s most beloved films made its debut. Some facts about the making, some behind-the-scenes look from the cast members and some thoughtful pieces that try to pinpoint why this film has made such a powerful impact upon the psyche of our lives and times. How Star Wars changed the Film Industry   And finally, Cine-vue.com has a piece that marks the definitive ways in which Star Wars has impacted and changed the film industry since its 1975 debut. That is also one of the sections that is covered in my book, “6 Degrees of Film.” Here is a short excerpt: “…Peter Bogdanovich said, “There’s a general juvenilization of movies that’s happened over the last ten years that’s pretty scary. The other day, somebody read a script that I was working on and said, ‘Oh, I get it: This is an adult comedy.’ I said, ‘What do you mean—that it’s a comedy FOR adults?  He said, ‘No, no, no, it’s a comedy ABOUT adults.’ Most of the comedies, the rest of the comedies, are about kids. I think a lot of things have gone wrong. Movies are far less complex in their structure and in their execution than they’ve ever been.” In their defense, let’s remember Spielberg

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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 Writer

6 Degrees: Best of the Best lists & How to spend your Coronavirus Vacation

Hello film fans! It’s hard to believe we have been in lock down mode for over six weeks, and in some cases, people have been staying at home for almost two months. With no real prospects of a hard and fast end date, we are all beginning to look around and get a bit stir crazy at the thought of a summer without all the trappings of summer-beaches and vacations and blockbuster movies. One of the good things about loving to watch movies is that you can be swept away to another time and place if you get caught up in a gripping plot of a great film.  We recommend some for your bucket list. 6 Degrees of Film Magazine In the 6 Degrees of Film online magazine, there are lists of the “Best of” to watch out for. Some of the lists have been re-edited and examined by 6 Degrees, so the best of the best makes for shorter lists with even better viewing quality! Check out the lists here: Best sci fi movies of all time: Starting with 2001: A Space Odyssey– it’s the baseline for all sci-fi made since its release in 1968; Alien as a series-with Alien directed by Ridley Scott and the Aliens sequel also with Sigourney Weaver as a series; Inception is one of the most recent sci-fi films with DiCaprio turning it a sci-fi thiller; Metropolis is an early sci-fi by director Fritz Lang, it is a silent from 1927 that is on most critic’s ‘must-see’ list; Sean Connery’s Outland, as well as Bladerunner, also directed by Ridley Scott; Ex Machina is a 2015 sci fi; And no list is complete without the classics of the fifties: The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet Best heist movies of all time: A Fish Called Wanda is a comedic take on heists along with The Pink Panther; there is the first Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise and Donald Sutherland; Kelly’s Heroes had a great ensemble cast led by Clint Eastwood with a WW II spin on the heist movie; The Usual Suspects also had a great ensemble cast; Topkapi from 1964 is a classic, The Ocean’s Eleven original remake with Brad Pitt and George Clooney makes the cut; The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford; Rififi from 1955 and The Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen. The History of Star Wars Some other highlight this week in 6 Degrees include Roger Ebert’s site, Ebert.com– featuring the history of Star Wars movies.  Beginning in 1977 with the original Star Wars release, the article chronicles the entire filmography of the Star Wars saga. In the 6 Degrees of Film book, we also include a chapter telling the tale of how Star Wars and Industrial Light & Magic came into being, What will the future of entertainment look like in ‘the new normal?’ This is a question we ask about all industries, and the Hollywood film industry is one of the hardest to be hit. There are several good pieces in the magazine that speculate about what the film industry might look like when and if it returns to the new normal. Hopefully, there will still be movie palaces where some of the great films can be seen in their big screen glory. And on a lighter note, we have seen some of the old drive-in theaters experience a re-birth during this time of corona. The summer bad-b’s are perfect to watch in one of these oldies but goodies from the fifties and sixties. Hollywood’s Not-so-Golden Age Finally, there’s an article on Buzzfeed about some hard facts regarding Hollywood’s “Golden Age”  The truth is that the Golden Age was golden only on the surface, and there were some truly awful practices in terms of labor vs management and the way women and minorities were ‘managed’ in the past in the film business. Let’s all hope for better days ahead in the new normal of Hollywood. Meanwhile, stay cool, pick out some good flicks to enjoy in the comfort of your living room and till next time…See you at the movies!-ML

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