An interview with original ‘Inglorious Bastards’ director, Enzo G. Castellari

Despite having made over 40 films ranging from westerns to thrillers to science fiction, the recent attention on legendary Italian director Enzo G. Castellari is focused on his 1978 movie from which Quentin Tarantino's box-office hit, Inglourious Basterds, gets its name.  But whereas Castellari's Inglorious Bastards is a finely-calibrated, straight-up war actioner that--with gears and pistons über-lubed and in full-throttle--redirected an ailing genre, Tarantino's new movie, however, is less concerned with reviving that same genre than with serving as the antidote to the cold mechanics of his previous homage to exploitation, Death Proof, while simultaneously extending that movie's meta-cinematic discourse.  Much like Reservoir Dogs is a heist film without a heist, Inglourious Basterdsis, arguably, a war movie without a War, where the "Basterds" take up less screen time than the movie's real bastards, both of the female and male variety and all illegitimate children of a revolution that Tarantino stages not on the streets or in the air, but in the dark, flickering movie house of his imagination.

Via email from Italy, Maestro Castellari was gracious enough to answer a few questions regarding hisBastards, his career, and Tarantino's own Basterds.    


Defying an Industry Trend, Warner Is Easily the Top Producer of TV Shows

Three years ago, J. J. Abrams had to decide whether to keep making television shows for the Walt Disney Company or move to a new home base. A bidding war had broken out for him.

Another is “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” a comedy series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Mr. Abrams, credited with “Alias” and “Lost,” signed a rich television deal with Warner Brothers: up to $6 million a year in fees and overhead, and a big percentage of revenue from DVD and syndication sales. “It was the overwhelming enthusiasm and sense of support that intoxicated me,” Mr. Abrams said in an interview.

The wooing of Mr. Abrams epitomizes one reason Warner’s television unit is heading into the fall season with an astonishing 45 shows in production, easily making the company the No. 1 television supplier. As networks more blatantly favor internal suppliers, Warner, which is not aligned with a major network, has kept its batting average high by maintaining a deep bench of all-star producers.


Ponyo: Finally, A Great Family Movie

If you haven't seen it in the theatres yet, Ponyo, a new Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyasaki, is one of the rare gems of a movie that the whole family will enjoy, and that is worth seeing on the big screen.

Our family doesn't get out to see movies together very often. Between the different ages of the kids, and our different desires for film pleasure, we often end up splitting up and going our separate ways...or more likely, waiting till a film's released on DVD, or on TV so we can Tivo it. Occasionally, I can be convinced to go out to a family animated movie, but usually when it's over I feel the same way I feel after eating a bag of Cheetos--slightly assaulted and gross. And I find myself longing for the days of real movies, which then makes me feel old and cynical.


Bobcat Goldthwait brands Robin Williams `World’s Greatest Dad’

Bobcat Goldthwait already counts his latest movie starring buddy Robin Williams a success, no matter how well it does at theaters.

That's because "World's Greatest Dad" star Williams landed a slot to promote the film on NBC's "The Tonight Show," where Goldthwait once burned his own bridges by deliberately setting a chair on fire during an appearance with Jay Leno.

In an interview shortly before Williams' "Tonight Show" gig, Goldthwait marveled at the fact that the low-budget black comedy he wrote and directed would get airtime on one of Hollywood's premier publicity venues.


‘Twilight’ Studio Says Actor Misspoke About Plan For Five Movies

Actor Boo Boo Stewart, who will play new wolf-pack member Seth Clearwater in "Eclipse," may have spoken out of turn last week, when he said that there were plans for five "Twilight" flicks.

"I heard there's going to be three more movies," Stewart told "Access Hollywood,"which reported that Stewart has contract options for any films after "Eclipse." " 'Eclipse,' 'Breaking Dawn' and there should be one more."


MOVIE TRAILER: James Cameron’s sci-fi epic ‘Avatar’

JJ Abrams ‘Star Trek’ lands on DVD and Blu-Ray Nov 17

This year audiences thrilled at the triumphant voyage of the Starship Enterprise and her young and vibrant crew in movie theaters across the planet—and on November 17, 2009, the world will go where no one has gone before when STAR TREK debuts as a three-disc Blu-ray with digital copy, two-disc DVD with digital copy and a single-disc DVD fromParamount Home Entertainment. Bursting with “spectacular action” (Hollywood Reporter) and “pure filmmaking exhilaration” (Rolling Stone) director J.J. Abrams’ sensational reinvention of the “Star Trek” franchise was hailed by critics and embraced by long-time and new fans alike, earning over $375 million at the worldwide box office.

Starring a hot young cast including Chris Pine (Carriers), Zachary Quinto (”Heroes”), Zoe Saldana (Avatar), Karl Urban (The Bourne Supremacy), John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle), Anton Yelchin (Terminator Salvation) and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), the global smash hit also features seasoned actors such as Eric Bana (Munich), Bruce Greenwood (National Treasure: Book of Secrets), Winona Ryder (Girl, Interrupted) and the original Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.


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Robin Williams mellows out after surgery

A calmer Robin Williams is among us. He survived open-heart surgery in March, walking away with one valve replaced and another repaired. Like everything else in his life, the operation became fodder for jokes.

"I don't think they gave me a new valve but a tiny vagina. I don't know. I'm just so emotional these days," Williams said wiping away mock tears in Sausalito the other day.

But the gravity of his situation caused the 58-year-old comic to become unusually reflective for him. "It's like this weird thing to know you have been opened up but you are alive - big time. It really makes you appreciate little things, like your breath.

"I realize life can be short. It is a little longer now with the new parts. You go, 'This is your window. What do you want to do with it?'

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New Movies In Theaters – August 21, 2009


Director: Quentin Tarantino 
Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth 
Studio: Weinstein Company, The

The Plot: An American-led killing squad known as "The Basterds" terrorize the Nazis in German-occupied France during World War II.

Enter to win an Inglourious Basterds prize pack!




Director: Vicky Jenson 
Stars: Alexis Bledel, Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Plot: When recent college graduate Ryden Malby (Bledel) discovers she can't land a good job because of the working world's harsh climate, she moves back in with her oddball family in order to reconsider her options.


Director: Richard Loncraine 
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Logan Lerman, Mark Rendall 
Studio: Freestyle Releasing

The Plot: A 1950s-set comedy in which the glamorous Anne Deveraux (Zellweger) leaves her adulterous husband and embarks on a drive down the Eastern Seaboard on a quixotic search for a wealthy man to fund a new life for her and her sons.



Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel 
Stars: Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Anamaria Marinca 
Studio: IFC Films

The Plot: As a youth, Alistair Little (Neeson) was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, a paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. After serving a thirty year sentence for the murder of a young Catholic man, Little prepares for his televised meeting with his victim's brother, Joe Griffin (Nesbitt), who watched as the hit was carried out.

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Peter Jackson: Spielberg has completed pre-vis on ‘Tintin’ movie

In a recent panel at Comic-Con, director Peter Jackson spoke about the status of the Tintin movie with Steven Spielberg directing the first in a trilogy of movies about the plucky comic book boy reporter:

"[Director] Steven [Spielberg] has just finished his cut of the film he directed, the first one, so I'm going to get a look at that next week," he said. "He seems to be very pleased with it. The stuff that Steven directed is this very early form of pre-vis, the figures are very crudely animated in the sense that it's just the live motion capture. Once we're happy with the cut, then the rendering begins and the time-consuming aspects of it start, which will take us two years. But the creation of the movie is almost complete."

We await with bated breath any sneak peek at the visuals. No word yet on when the first film in the trilogy goes officially into production.

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