Blog Posts by Ben Skipper

  • French filmmaker Chris Marker dies aged 91

    Man behind ‘La Jetée’ and 'Le fond de l'air est rouge’ died on his birthday

    Influential French filmmaker Chris Marker has died at the age of 91.

    He died on Sunday (29 July) on his 91st birthday.

    Davos Hanich in a still from La Jetée (Credit: Rex)

    His influential 1962 sci-fi ‘La Jetée’, which translates to The Jetty or The Pier in English, was remade in 1995 as ’12 Monkeys’ by Terry Gilliam.
    Largely political, he made over 50 films over the course of a career that spanned six decades.

    His other famous works include documentary ‘Cuba Si’, a profile of Fidel Castro, and ‘Sans Soleil’, an innovative travel documentary that blended fact and fiction.

    Marker adopted modern technologies in his later years, releasing his final film, a short entitled ‘Leila Attacks’, online in 2007.

    Fiercely private, the auteur would often shirk interviews and endeavoured to maintain his privacy.

    President of the Cannes film festival Gilles Jacob described Marker as a "curious spirit, an indefatigable film and video maker, a cat-loving poet, a secret person and an immense talent."

    Read More »from French filmmaker Chris Marker dies aged 91
  • TV series set in Avengers universe may be on the way

    Marvel discussing basic idea with US TV’s ABC station

    Marvel are considering a TV series set in ‘The Avengers’ universe.

    The comic maestros have been discussing a “kernel of an idea” with US TV station ABC, according to Deadline.

    Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D (Credit: WENN)

    [Related feature: Six reasons Avengers Assemble was a huge success]
    [Related story: Thor 2 and Captain America 2 renamed]

    Hot on the tail of ‘Avengers Assemble’s enormous success earlier this year, Marvel Studios have announced their intentions for the so called “Phase Two” of their Avengers story, which will culminate with ‘Avengers 2’ in a few years time. 

    It’s highly unlikely that Robert Downey Jr or Scarlett Johansson will be turning up in the series, but there would always be room for a cameo from smaller actors like Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, or even Mark Ruffalo as Dr Bruce Banner.

    As for the subject matter, the natural conclusion is that it will follow the exploits and inner workings of Nick Fury’s (Samuel L Jackson) S.H.I.E.L.D - the security agency who brought the Avengers together. The move Read More »from TV series set in Avengers universe may be on the way
  • Dark Knight Rises book hints at The Joker's fate

    Author references Arkham Asylum in Batman tale

    [Minor spoilers within]

    The fate of Heath Ledger’s Joker has been hinted at in the novelisation of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

    Series director Christopher Nolan made a point of not mentioning the iconic character in his latest movie out of respect for Ledger, who tragically died prior to the release of ‘The Dark Knight’ in 2008.

    Heath Ledger's Joker in 'The Dark Knight' (Credit: WENN)

    [Related feature: How to relaunch the Batman franchise]

    The book states that Arkham Asylum (absent from Nolan’s two sequels to ‘Batman Begins’) was left almost empty following the Harvey Dent Act, which is an early plot point in the movie born from the demise of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in the 2008 film and the subsequent covering up of his death.

    Blackgate Prison is where the majority of criminals now reside except for, according to the book, the clown prince of crime.

    The novelisation reads: "The worst of the worst were sent here, except for the Joker, who, rumour had it, was locked away as Arkham's sole remaining inmate. Or perhaps he escaped. Nobody was Read More »from Dark Knight Rises book hints at The Joker's fate
  • How to relaunch the Batman franchise

    'The Dark Knight Rises' is the last time we'll see Christian Bale don the cape as Christopher Nolan's Batman, but Bruce Wayne's alter-ego will undoubtedly return to the big screen before too long.

    Batman, like James Bond, is a cultural icon who'll always be with us in one guise or another.

    The Dark Knight will return, but how could it be a success? (Credit: WENN)

    Read More »from How to relaunch the Batman franchise
  • The real cost of being Batman

    Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy dealt with the emotional and physical cost of parading around a city fighting crime dressed as a bat, but not so much the financial cost.

    Enter, who have had their top boffins calculate how much Bruce Wayne had to delve into his piggy bank to on his quest for justice.

    Covering everything from a periscope to his butler Alfred's salary, the infographic below details how much you'd have to spend to become the caped crusader...

    [Related story: Christian Bale visits shooting victims in Denver]
    [Related feature: Eddie Murphy as The Riddler? The maddest Dark Knight Rises rumours]

    Read More »from The real cost of being Batman
  • Fred Willard on porno arrest: The film was lousy!

    As you'd expect from one of the stars of 'Anchorman', comedian Fred Willard has a sense of humour over his recent arrest for lewd conduct. He was allegedly being caught with his pants down in an LA adult theatre.

    Writing on Twitter, 72-year-old Willard said: "Wait til u hear my version; much more PG. & my review, lousy film, but theatre would make a terrific racquetball court. Full story 2 follow." [sic]

    The full story has yet to be tweeted but the 'Anchorman' star also found time to plug one of his shows.

    Charged with lewd conduct, the actor was quickly fired from a hosting job on US network PBS.

    According to the Los Angeles Times Willard will avoid a criminal trial so long as he completes a $380 course of counselling.

    Read More »from Fred Willard on porno arrest: The film was lousy!
  • Christopher Nolan’s farewell letter to Batman fans

    Christopher Nolan has bid a fond farewell to his recently completed Dark Knight trilogy in a foreword written for the upcoming 'The Art And Making Of The Dark Knight Rises' book.

    His take on the world of Batman has been one of the most celebrated and beloved trilogies in film history, the final part of which is currently running rampant at the worldwide box office.

    In an emotional send-off, found by those busy little bees over on Reddit, he speaks of his time with developing the series and the affectionate memories he has of his cast.

    [Related: The maddest Dark Knight Rises rumours]

    Read his statement below...

    "Alfred. Gordon. Lucius. Bruce . . . Wayne. Names that have come to mean so much to me. Today, I'm three weeks from saying a final good-bye to these characters and their world. It's my son's ninth birthday. He was born as the Tumbler was being glued together in my garage from random parts of model kits. Much time, many changes. A shift from sets where some gunplay or a helicopter

    Read More »from Christopher Nolan’s farewell letter to Batman fans
  • Dark Knight Rises Paris premiere cancelled due to Denver shooting

    Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Anne Hathaway and Morgan Freeman “absolutely devastated”

    A worker rolling up the red carpet (Credit: PA)Warner Bros. have cancelled tonight’s planned Paris premiere of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ following the fatal shooting that took place at a midnight screening of the film held in Denver, Colorado.

    Cast and director were expected at Paris hotel Le Bristol for a series of media interviews before heading to the red carpet event.

    Sources from the hotel have been reported as saying the cast were “absolutely devastated” by news of the tragic events in the Aurora area of Denver.

    Journalists who turned up for a daytime press conference in the French capital were told to leave in lieu of the shootings that claimed the lives of 12 cinemagoers. A reporter spoke of the “total confusion” at the high profile venue.

    French actress Marion Cotillard, who stars in the film, was expected to give an interview to the France’s main national TV station TF1 but also cancelled her appearance.

    News of the shooting has spread worldwide, forcing Warner Read More »from Dark Knight Rises Paris premiere cancelled due to Denver shooting
  • Batman shooting: reported video of scene outside Aurora Mall, Denver

    Unconfirmed video, uploaded to YouTube, showing people apparently leave Century 16 theatre in Aurora Mall, Denver after the attack by the masked gunman.

    Video footage showing the alleged aftermath of the fatal shooting at a midnight screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ has surfaced online.

    Uploaded to YouTube shortly after the news broke, the video shows the panic as cinemagoers fled the Aurora, Colorado shopping mall where the cinema was located.

    Watch it below.

    The video was uploaded by user “13shantyltoledo”, who joined the site in October of last year and has only uploaded one video prior to this one - a song called “Colorado Representin”, which adds some credibility as to his location.

    [Related story: Witnesses describe horror of Denver shooting]

    [Related story: Batman stars “devastated”, Paris premiere cancelled]

    12 people died and 50 were injured in the shooting, carried out by a 24-year-old man named as James Holmes, currently in police custody.

    According to witnesses the suspect was wearing a gas mask and wielding a shotgun as he carried out the attack, which began with the detonation of a suspected tear gas canister.

    Read More »from Batman shooting: reported video of scene outside Aurora Mall, Denver
  • Denver shooting: Masked gunman kills 12 at Batman premiere

    Man named James Holmes (24) suspected of attack during midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises at Aurora Mall in Colorado

    A photo of suspected Colorado gunman James Holmes released by the University of Colorado Denver (Copyright: REX)A masked gunman has killed 12 people and wounded at least 40 others at a screening of the new Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in the Aurora area of Denver, Colorado.

    It has been reported by the BBC that one of the victims was only three months old, while Associated Press (AP) have said another victim was only 6 years of age. The condition of both children is yet to be confirmed.

    The Aurora Police Department said in a statement that "12 persons are deceased, with the bodies of 10 victims still at the crime scene inside the theatre. At least two more victims died at area hospitals."

    A 24-year-old man, named by FBI sources as 24-year-old James Holmes, was arrested by police and “put up no resistance” according to a BBC reporter. 

    Police say the suspect was in possession of a rifle and hand-gun.
    CBS reports that Holmes’ home was "booby-trapped" in anticipation of a police presence.

    [Related story: Witnesses describe horror of Denver shooting]
    [Related story: Unverified video hits web
    Read More »from Denver shooting: Masked gunman kills 12 at Batman premiere


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