Author: Donna

Facts about Film

1. Do you know that famous drawing of Kate Winslet in Titanic? It was actually drawn by the director James Cameron.

2. A machine holding all the data for the film Toy Story 2 was accidentally deleted by a glitch in the system. the backup system also failed but luckily the technical director had a copy at home and most of the work was saved.

3. After the release of Finding Nemo, there was a 75 percent drop in the number of clownfish in the Australian reef as people wanted them for pets.

4. One of Robert DeNiro’s most famed role is the lead in the psychological thriller Taxi Driver. despite being a complicated and thrilling plot, the writer, Paul Schrader, actually wrote the script in just two weeks.

5. The fake snow in The Wizard of Oz was asbestos-based. It wasn’t just the film, asbestos was used in a variety of decorations across Europe and America at the time. Toto the dog also earned more than the actor’s playing the munchkins on the film.

6. The film scream was actually supposed to be called Scary Movie – the name of its latterly produced parody.

West End Facts

The West End is London’s answer to Broadway and entertains the capital with hundreds of musicals, plays, ballets and operas on a nightly basis. Here are some of the most interesting and informative facts about the UK’s theaterland.

1. It is reported to take up to two hours to apply the makeup to the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera. The actor wears prosthetics, two wigs, contact lenses and plenty of makeup.

2. In British theatres, it is considered bad luck to say the word, Macbeth. While some actors do not believe in this superstition, others take it very seriously.

3. During the Second World War over 150 bombs were dropped directly on the West End and many theatres were either destroyed or partially damaged. Thankfully they have all been restored to their former glory.

4. The first public theatre in London was built in 1576 and was even used by Shakespeare before he built the Globe on the South Bank. This theatre was not in what is now considered the West end and was located in Shoreditch to the east.

5. The longest running show in the world id in London, The Mousetrap.

Musicals

Musicals are a form of theatre which combines not only spoken dialogue but also singing, music and dance. They musical dates back to the 19th century and the second world war with Oklahoma considered the first ‘book musical’ where the story is driven by the songs. Before this, a musical was just a collection of songs added to a story that often dd not progress the plot.

While early musicals were mainly classical in style, think The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and South Pacific, modern musical have to come to use a variety of different styles. Musical such as Rent, Porgy and Bess, School of Rock and We Will Rock You have pushed the musical far away from its traditional boundaries.

The nature and content of musicals have also changed. Traditionally the musical was a love story but in recent decades have come to deal with issues as wide-ranging as death, sexuality, drugs, and war.

While most musicals contain both songs and dialogue, some musicals have no speech at all and are known as sung-through musicals. Famed musicals of this variety include Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Starlight Express and Evita.

Tony Awards

Officially named The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence, the Tony Awards are held annually in New York and celebrate the achievements of the Broadway community – there is also one award which is dedicated to regional theater. The American Theater Wing first held the awards in 1947, with the now famed statue first introduced 2 years later in 1949. The award, which is commonly referred to as the Tony medallion was designed by the artist Herman Ross. The award updated in 2010 to be made a little larger and also to look a little more polished and represent modern times.

Awards are given to individuals who star in the show, the production and creative teams behind them and also to the shows as a whole. Some of the categories at the Tony Awards include the best performance for leading actor and actress in a play, the best performance for leading actor and actress in a musical, best new play, the best new musical, best revival and best director of both a play and a musical. Awards are also given in a number of additional categories which include geography, score, lighting, costume, and set design.

There has been some criticism of the awards with people suggesting that, much like the Oscars, the awards are a vehicle for those shows with large marketing budgets. The awards also have the potential to give a show a credible boost at the box office if it is successful on the night. Actors who win an award can also expect their earning potential to rocket as their names enter the popular American lexicon.

Hamilton takes the lead when it comes to nominations, receiving 16 across 13 different categories back in 2016. However, it is The Producers which has won most awards, sweeping the board with 12 wins.

Facts about the Tony Awards

  • Only shows which have been staged in official Broadway theatres can be nominated for awards, except for the regional theater award
  • The legendary director and producer Hal Prince has won the most awards in history, racking up a whopping 21 gongs
  • The performer with the most awards is the Broadway legend Audra McDonald with 6 Tonys to her name
  • The revival of Tony Kushner’s Angel’s in America is the play which has been nominated for the most awards, sweeping the boards with 11 nominations across 10 categories in 2018
  • The awards are named after the actress Antoinette Perry

The Oscars

The official name of the Oscars is the Academy Awards which were first established in 1929. The awards recognize the best actors actresses, directors and creative teams behind the previous year’s films. Winners are awarded a statue called ‘an Oscar’ which was designed by George Stanley and is said to be named as such because it looked like Stanley’s Uncle Oscar.

When the awards began in 1929 it was a small lunch held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with just a few hundred people in attendance. Since 2002 the awards have been held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles with several thousand people attending each year.

The awards have 24 categories, which include, but are not limited to: best picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, directing, original screenplay, adapted screenplay, cinematography, production design, editing, original score, and original song. Traditionally the best picture award is the last award of the evening and is generally considered the most prestigious award of the evening.

In addition to being a way to cement the film’s place in history, the awards also have the potential to significantly increase the earning potential of the actors and actresses who receive an Oscar. Many actors have had their careers launched by winning the award early in their careers. The winners are a closely guarded secret. In the early days, the names of the winners were released to the press but after these were leaked the practice was stopped.

There was another major blunder in 2017 when the wrong envelope containing the name of the winner of best films was given to the presenters. After initial applause for La La Land and the actors making their way to the stage, the actual winner was revealed to be Moonlight.

There are only 5 actors who have won 3 best Oscars in the award’s extensive history. These actors are Meryl Streep, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Nicholson, Walter Brennan, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Katherine Hepburn is the only person to win 4 Oscars. She won for the films Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968) and finally for On Golden Pond (1981).

Fun Facts about the Oscars

  • Christopher Plummer is the oldest actor to win an Oscar at 82 for the film Beginners (2010)
  • When Liza Minnelli won her Oscar for Cabaret, she became the only winner whose parents have both won an Oscar
  • Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to win an Oscar for directing when she picked up the gong for The Hurt Locker in 2009
  • Meryl Street has been nominated for an Oscar an impressive 18 times across her career – more than any other actor in the award’s history

Bollywood

Bollywood, which is otherwise known as Hindi cinema, is India’s movie-making industry and based in the sprawling city of Mumbai. Bollywood is actually larger than its American sister, producing as many as 2000 films a year and generates a little under half of India’s box office revenues. A study back in 2001 looked at the number of ticket sales in Bollywood which totaled over 3.5 billion in India compared to Hollywood which sold just over 2.5 billion tickets worldwide.

Bollywood is very stylised and always almost contains music and dancing – although not always. The most popular genre of Bollywood film is masala which is unlike any western genre and combines the fields drama, comedy, history, music, and dance into one spectacle. Bollywood is heavily influenced by Indian culture and, as in the classic Indian style, has many different subplots and side stories in addition to the main action.

In recent years, Bollywood has become popular around the world and is viewed as one of the country’s most influential sources of soft power and is credited as being one of the main drivers of people changing their perception of India.

A Hitory of Movies

The start of the movie industry is a difficult point to define as technology developed gradually and the definition of a movie changed rapidly over the decades until the emergence of modern film in the 20th century. However, the Lumière brothers are largely considered to have made the first recognizable movie in Paris in the late1800’s. These early films were often only minutes or even seconds long as not the cinematic masterpieces we are familiar with today.

At this early stage, movies were also merely a selection of movies pictures and had no constructed narrative or even sound. By the start of the 20th century, rapid developments in technology meant that the feature film was in its inception stages. Films at this stage were also silent films as the technology to capture sound and film together was still in its infancy.

Throughout the early 2oth century and into the First World War, the film became a popular form of entertainment and the industry exploded in both the United States. While France also has a popular film industry – with a cottage industry blooming in Germany, despite its politically turbulent circumstances, came to a halt due to the war. It was during this tumultuous time that Hollywood was truly born – a place that would forever remain the unquestionable home of the cinematic medium.

<p>It was during the 1920s that Hollywood reached its peak, producing over 800 films a year which is more than the industry produces today. It was also the time when the famed and infamous studio system was developed and made stars of Hollywood’s legends. By the end of this decade, sound would dominate film with the end of the silent movie era.

The 1930s became the most successful decade of film to date, with color films becoming the norm and the latter part of the decade saw the production of some of history’s most iconic films including Gone with the Wind and the beloved Wizard of Oz starring a teenage Judy Garland.

The following decades saw several transitions in the film era from the propaganda war films in the 1940s to the sci-fi explosion of the 1970s. The 70s also saw the emergence of some of modern cinema’s popular filmmakers including Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Terrence Malick.

Recent decades have been noted both for their technological developments and also for their growth in inclusivity. While Hollywood is still dominated by a few overused narratives, since the 1990s, many more films about minorities such as black people and the LGBT community have entered the film canon.

As streaming has become popularized, the film industry is once again undergoing rapid and seismic shifts, with many in the film industry critical of platform such as Netflix who they argue divert revenues away from the industry.

Genres of Movies

Action

Action movies are often based on comic books and adhere to the theme of overcoming a threat to a person, institution or even civilization itself. They regularly have large budgets and are known as crowd pleasers as they tend to be very popular with audiences. Popular action films include the Avengers and James Bond franchises, which tend to be a common feature of the action movie genre.

Comedy

Comedy is considered to be one of the harder genres of films to make, despite the fact that they are often light on plot and don’t require special effects or large budgets to make. Comedy films such as The Hangover and American Pie are modern examples, while Some Like It Hot with Marylin Monroe, made in 1959, is considered to be one of the best comedies ever made.

Historical

Historical films cover a wide range of film ranging from the costume drama to epic war movies. While these films are often based on fact, they can be fictional accounts of a particular time or period in history. These films can be low or big budget but when they are the latter they are often referred to as epics. Famed examples of historical films are the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, Schindler’s List, and Titanic. Historical films are known for winning many awards.

Horror

Horror films can either be a niche product or mainstream and often prey on our fears to evoke a sense of terror while watching the movie. They can be realistic or incorporate a wide range of special effects and cross over into other genres such as sci-fi and psychological. There are also many sub-categories of such a teen horror and slasher horror. Famous horror films include the Haloween movies, the Scream franchise and the 80s hit, Carrie with Sissy Spacek.

Musicals

In the early years of cinema with sound, musical films were very mainstream and formed a major part of the cinema lexicon. However, they began to die out in the 70s and laid dormant for many decades but have recently enjoyed a resurgence. Old musical favorites include Oklahoma, The Wizard of Oz, Grease and the Sound of Music while modern musical hits include Les Miserables, Chicago, and the ever-popular Mamma Mia.

The Best Films to Watch Now on Netflix

As a Netflix fan, you know that the California-headquartered media services provider has plenty of movies and other TV programmes for all ages and tastes. But given that you can’t watch all the movies at one go, there are a few films which stand out from the rest and will indeed keep you glued to your TV. Here are some of the most outstanding movies on Netflix right now.

Inception

Are you a fan of sci-fi and action thrillers? Inception, released in 2010, is an intense, coherent, complex, and original story which rewards the attention it demands. Who better else can play the leading role in this movie than the lovely Leonardo DiCaprio starring as Cobb? Cobb is a rare thief with the ability to enter your mind and steal secrets from your subconscious version. While this skill has made him the hottest asset in the corporate world, he has ended up losing everything he adores. The movie may be impeccably imaginative, but it’s so entertaining that you may think that you’re the next victim, and you may end up losing your life-changing ideas to Cobb. And did you know it’s the innovative Chris Nolan who directed this movie?

Lion

By the time the movie Lion is finished, you’ll want more of it. In fact, you won’t mind watching it several times. This is a true story of a five-year-old boy called Saroo who gets lost on a train. He is taken miles away from his home and must fast learn the ways of survival in Kolkata town. Eventually, he’s adopted by an Australian couple, and they go with him to Melbourne. But 20 years later, Saroo depends on the little memories he has of his mother and sister and, of course, Google Maps to trace his family.

Get Out

A horror movie that will surely scare the life out of you, Get Out unexpectedly became popular in 2017. Chris Washington, a young and promising African-American photographer, has been dating Rose, his white girlfriend, for almost five months. And the latter thinks that it’s time for her beau to meet her parents over the weekend. This is where the movie shows the racial alienation that’s rocking the world in bloody, profane ways. The movie is illuminating, scary and shocking but in a funny, compassionate manner which will remind you of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Perhaps you may consider getting help from the livi medical app if you constantly experience jumpy and heart racing moments from the scary events, and you think that it may result in anxiety disorders. This movie deservedly netted four Oscar nominations and found its way into the box office.

Current Movies to Watch on Netflix at a Glance

Inception, Lion, and Get Out are just but a few movies on Netflix. Other movies that are worth watching on Netflix (currently) include Birdman, Roma, Idris Elba’s Beasts of No Nation, and the intense sci-fi thriller Gravity, which has won a whopping seven Oscars. You may also spare some time to watch Fargo, Wind River, and Capote.

Olivier Awards

The Oliver Awards are named after the esteemed British actor Laurence Olivier and celebrate UK-based plays, musicals, and other theatrical events. The awards were previously referred to as the Society of West End Theatre Awards but renamed in honor of the actor in 1984 – four years before he died in 1989.

Each year, the Society of London Theater puts together a panel of judges from across the arts industries to decide on the winners. There is often one award, normally best musical, which is voted for by the general public.

The Olivier Awards mainly focus on drama and musicals with categories such as Best New Play

Best Revival, Best New Comedy, Best New Musical, Best Musical Revival, Best Actor in a Musical

and Best Actress in a Musical. There are also awards dedicated to the creative teams and also to other forms of theatre such as dance and opera.

Matilda and Hamilton are the two musical with the most awards, both earning themselves seven Oliviers. The play with the most awards is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which in 2017 was the winner of nine Oliviers including best play. There are three individuals who have won seven Olivier awards, these are William Dudley, Matthew Bourne, and the actress Dame Judi Dench – who also won a special award back in 2004 for her contribution to the theater.

The composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has won a total of six awards plus the special recognition putting him in second place behind the aforementioned artists.