Stanley Kubricks2001: A Space Odysseyis rightfully hailed as a milestone in science fiction filmmaking, but even its most ardent fans would have a tough time explaining the final scenes of the movie.
They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture (deliberately so, inaccurate) because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty, but wasnt quite sure. Just as were not quite sure what do in zoos with animals to try to give them what we think is their natural environment.
Curtis initially aimed to include14 love storiesin the film. Two were clipped in the scripting phase, but two were shot and cut in post. Those lost before production involved a girl with a wheelchair, and one about a boy who records a love song for a classmate who ultimately hooks up with his drummer. Shot but cut for time was a brief asidefeaturing an African couplesupporting each other during a famine, and another storyline that followed homea school headmistress, revealing her long-time commitment to her lesbian partner.
As io9 points out, this Kubrick video may be a little too good to be true, especially since theres no definitive visual evidence that hes actually talking. Still, the explanation does hold weight when taken with Clarkes writing, but after 50 years and countless essays and theories on the subject, its doubtful that this will put an end to the discussions on one of the most complex endings in all of film.
In a video posted to theEyes On CinemaYouTube page, as discoveredby io9, we see footage of filmmaker Junichi Yaoi on the telephone in 1980, with someone who is purported to be Kubrick. This was all during Yaois documentary on the paranormal, so a natural interview subject would have been Kubrick, who was makingThe Shiningat the time. During the interview, though, Yaoi asks the director what exactly happens at the end of2001, to which Kubrick gives a full explanation, as transcribed by io9:
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From the dizzyingly psychedelic stargate sequence to the strange hotel room and the appearance of the nebulous Star Baby,2001signs off with far more questions than answersquestions that have been discussed and dissected for 50 years. But now we might have a concrete explanation of just what was going on from Kubrick himself.
In the book, Forrest ends up going into space, smoking weed, working with Raquel Welch, confronting cannibals, running for the United States Senate (his campaign slogan is I Got to Pee), and playing in a chess tournament. Also, in the book Forrest is described being 66 tall and weighing 240 pounds, which is why Groom wantedJohn Goodmanto play Forrest in the movie.
He kept on putting it off, and he didnt like the songit was originally a Jackson 5 song, but we couldnt get itso he washugelyunhappy about it,Curtis explained. We didnt shoot it until the final day and it went so well that when we edited it, it had gone too well, and he was singing along with the words! It was a tricky thing to cut, but the final result with Girls Alouds cover of Jump (For My Love) speaks for itself.
This was the first collaboration between Nighy and Curtis, with the former playing the shameless, comeback-seeking rocker Billy Mack. On the films 10-year anniversary, Nighy recalled toThe Daily Beast, I did a rehearsal reading of the script as a favor to the great casting director, Mary Selway, who had been trying to get me into a film for a long time. I thought it was simply to help her hear the script aloud and to my genuine surprise I was given the job.
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Rather than just an overenthusiastic gift wrapper with a good Samaritan streak at the airport, Atkinsons Rufus was initially written as a heavenly helper in disguise. A scene was even shot were hed evaporate after helping Sam get past security at Heathrow. But in the end, Curtis said in commentary, the film turned out so sort of multiplicitous that the idea of introducing an extra layer of supernatural beings was (too much).
The movie holds the 12 position on IMDbsTop 250movie chart, but many critics either loved the movie or really hated it. In his1994 review, Roger Ebert gaveForrest Gumpfour stars and called it a magical movie, whereasEntertainment Weeklygave it a C rating and said it reduced the tumult of the last few decades to a virtual-reality theme park: a baby-boomer version of Disneys America. In 2014,LA Weeklyrevisitedthe movie and said, The film is so afraid to dredge up debate that when Abbie Hoffman hands Forrest the microphone at an anti-war rally, someone unplugs the speakers so wecant hearhimfitting for a movie with nothing to say. Ouch.
Nighy toldThe Guardian, We didnt all film together, but we had a big trailer park for all the cast. There were so many famous people in there, we used to talk about being on Liam Neeson Way or Emma Thompson Road or Hugh Grant Avenue. And it was a masterpiece of diplomacy, too; we all had the same size and type of trailer. Linney remembered the place having a warm sense of community.
Arguably the saddest moment inLove Actuallyis when Thompsons character realizes her husband is unfaithful. In the privacy of their bedroom, she listens to Joni Mitchells Both Sides Now and weeps. We decided to do it like how Mike Newell did it inFour WeddingsI shot in medium-wide, and didnt move the camera,Curtis recalled. We just let it happen, and Emma walked into the room 12 times in a row and sobbed. It was an amazing feat of acting. He also noted this was the only scene she was asked to perform that day.
The central concept of a movie packed with stars and intertwining love stories has been translated into a trio of films. The first is the Indian offeringA Tribute To Love, an unofficial remake in the Hindi language. Next, Poland took a turn withLetters to St. Nicolas.The most recent version is JapansIt All Began When I Met You, which borrows the concept as well as thefilms poster layout.
Footage of passengers being welcomed and embraced by loved ones at Heathrow Airport was shot on location with hidden cameras for a week. In the films DVD commentary, writer-director Richard Curtis explains that when something special was caught on camera, a crew member would race out to have its subjects sign a waiver so the moment might be included inLove Actually. This was a fitting production device, as Curtis claims that watching the love expressed at the arrival gate of LAX is what inspired him to write the ensemble romance in the first place.
Humphreys first of only two movie roles was depicting Forrest as a child. Instead of pursuing a Hollywood acting career, Humphreys joined the Army and did an 18-month tour of duty in Iraq. After he joined the military, he tried to conceal the fact he starred in the blockbuster film, but his platoon discovered the truth. I definitely got a lot of it in the ear after that and the drill sergeants would really mess with me about it, hetoldtheDaily Mail. Another fact: Humphreyss Alabama-inflected drawl caused Hanks to base Forrests voice on it. When I was a kid I had this deep Southern accent that the director, Robert Zemeckis, quickly picked up on and Tom Hanks liked so much that he ended up copying me and building his own accent around the way I spoke, Humphreys said.
With over 32 songs on the official soundtrack and more used in the movieincluding one song from The Doors on the soundtrack and four others in the filmall of the bands featured in the film were American, and that was not a coincidence. All the material in there is American, Joel Sill, the films executive music producer,toldThe Los Angeles Daily News. Bob [Zemeckis] felt strongly about it. He felt Forrest wouldnt buy anything but American. Though formed in England and not in the U.S., Fleetwood Mac contributed a song to the film and the 2001s Special Collectors Edition soundtrack. Fans liked the soundtrack so much it went on to sell 12 millioncopiesworldwide.
In March 2017, in celebration of Red Nose Day, Curtis and several members of the original castincluding Grant, Knightley, Firth, Neeson, Nighy, Lincoln and Atkinsonreprised their characters for a short film,Red Nose Day Actually, that caught viewers up on what the characters are doing today.
On July 6, 1994,Forrest Gumparrived in theaters and became a box office behemoth (almost $1 billion worldwide in todays dollars). The Oscar-winning film starring Tom Hanks as a lovable lummox entered the name Forrest Gump into the zeitgeist, and generated the simile catchphrase, Life is like a box of chocolates. Here are a few things you might not have known about the Robert Zemeckis classic.
Novelist Winston Groom publishedForrest Gumpthe book in 1986. When it came out it sold a modest30,000 copiesin hardback, but by 1995after the success of the film adaptationit had sold1.6 millioncopies in paperback. In 1995 Groom wrote a sequel,Gump & Co., and in 1994The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Cookbookwasreleased, with a foreword written by Groom. The cookbook existed before the restaurant chain and has no affiliation with it.
Regarding the scene where three American girls (Elisha Cuthbert, January Jones, and Ivana Milicevic) flirt with Kris Marshall,Cuthbert told VH1, It was such a creative space and we were allowed to improvise and try different things and it wasnt just completely set into Richards writing. I mean we were allowed to sort of venture It was nice that we got to sort of play around. Curtis remembers it differently, noting in the commentary track that the Brits were respectful with his script, but these Americans wanted to pep it up a bit.
I couldnt get a job afterForrest Gump, WilliamsontoldUSA Today. The industry didnt realize that I was wearing a lip device and that I was the same guy who had appeared in 11 TV series. They thought the director had discovered some weird-looking guy and put him in front of a camera. He eventually went on Letterman and soon after people realized he wasnt just some weird-looking guy. Williamson successfully obtained roles inCon AirandHeatand had a recurring role onJustified.
Running across the country was among Forrests many accomplishments in the movieand hes not alone. A slew of other people have jogged or walked across the U.S., sometimes in the name of charity. In 1982 at the age of 16,Louis-Michael Figueroatraveled on foot from New Brunswick, New Jersey to San Francisco to raise money for cancer.Barclay Oudersluysis in the midst of running 3200 miles, starting from Forrests location at Santa Monica Pier and finishing at Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine. In Britain this year,Ewan Gordonran across his country dressed as Forrest, and most famously, singer-songwriter Art Garfunkelwhose song Mrs. Robinson appears in the moviehas beentraversingthe country for decades. Predating Forrest, in 1984, Garfunkel took eight days to walk across New Jersey. He spent the next 10 years wandering across the U.S. until 1996, when he celebrated his trek by performing a concert at Ellis Island.
When Sarah (Laura Linney) takes her office crush Karl (Rodrigo Santoro) back to her flat, a crane shot reveals that her bedroom is perched above the first floor, with a half-wall serving as a sort of balcony. In the DVD commentary track, Curtis mentioned this layout was poached from theBridget Joness Diaryauthors home. To him, it seemed a charming staging place forthis tender seduction scene.
How is that possible? Well, theLos Angeles Timesbrokethe outlays down: Paramount had to pay $61.6 million in distribution fees to theater owners, then it had to subtract $73.5 million toward advertising and making prints of the film (today, digital is much cheaper). The budget cost Paramount $50 million. Then, Hanks and Zemeckis took about $61.8 million for their fees (they signed a back end deal where theyd receive a share of the profits instead of a salary), and finally, theater owners took their cut of $159 million. After all was said and done, Paramounts gross receipts were about $191 million. When the movie was released onvideoin 1995, it sold millions of copies.
Though he and Curtis had worked together onNotting Hill, Bridget Joness Diary, andFour Weddings and a Funeral, they had a deep disagreement on how the Prime Minister should be played. Grant wanted it to be a grounded performance and resented Curtiss push to make the part more whimsical. This came to a head when shootingthe dance number, which Grant refused to rehearse.
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It might be of little surprise that the raciest element of this holiday movie rarely makes it on TV. The love story of John and Judy has Martin Freeman and Joanna Page playing a pair of stand-ins on an erotic drama. Their scenes have the pair mimicking sex acts, but even as simulations of simulated sex, their storyline is usuallydeemed too hotfor TV.
19. THE AMERICAN BAR SCENE INCLUDED SOME IMPROV.
When the loose pages of Jamies in-progress novel blow into a nearby lake, Aurelia (Lcia Moniz) is quick to strip down and dive in to rescue them. But in the DVD commentary, Curtis admits that what she wore beneath her cozy sweater was a major matter of debate that involved a lengthy meeting with his producers and 20 different sets of bras and panties to be considered.
Child stars Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Olivia Olson were utterly adorable together as drum-playing Sam and his grade school crush Joanna. ButLove Actuallywasnt the end of the pairs onscreen romance. They were reunited in 2008 when Olson joined the voice cast of the Disney Channel cartoon showPhineas and Ferb. While Brodie-Sangster lends his voice to the oft-silent Ferb, Olson often sings as Ferbs crush, the sleek and coolVanessa Doofenshmirtz.
In the movie, Lieutenant Dan invests Forrests shrimp business money in some kind of fruit company, which is a nod to Apple.Business Insidercalculatedwhat the investment would be worth in 1994 and 2015. Because the movie doesnt mention just how much was invested, they used the hypothetical amount of $10,000, which would come out to $18,173 in 1994 dollars. That doesnt seem like a lot of chocolates until you consider that if Forrest held on to that investment, today itd be worth $2.5 million.
Long before Pratt wasPratt-ingdinosaurs inJurassic World, he was a waiter at a Bubba Gump restaurant in Maui. At the age of 19, Pratt was living in a van and waiting tables. I dont know if youve ever had a dining experience at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., but they love a gregarious waiter who will get in your face and sing you birthday songs and do trivia, PratttoldEntertainment Weekly. One day he waited on actressRae Dawn Chong, who subsequently offered him a role in her short film, the never-releasedCursed Part 3. I was like, Youre in the movies, right? I always wanted to be in the movies, Pratt said to Chong. She said, Youre cute. Do you act? I was like, f–k it, Goddamn right I act! Put me in a movie! Bubba Gump opened in 1996 and now has locations all over the world, including in the Philippines and Malaysia. Ironically, there isnt one in Alabama, where Forrest grew up.
Curtis wrote his screenplay with some stars in mind, including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and McCutcheon, the charismatic English ingnue best known for her role on BBC dramaEastEnders. So sure was Curtis that he wanted McCutcheon for the role of the love interest to the Prime Minister that he had the characters name as Martine in early drafts. Curtis explained in the DVD commentary that the name was changed to Natalie before McCutcheons audition, so she wouldnt get cocky.
3. A FIFTH OF THE MOVIE IS COMMONLY CUT FROM TELEVISION BROADCASTS.
Hanks won his first Best Actor Oscar in 1994 for his performance inPhiladelphia(1993), and he followed that up with another Oscar forForrest Gumpthe next year. To this day, only Spencer Tracy has won two Best Actor Oscars in a rowone in 1938 forCaptains Courageousand another in 1939 forBoys Town. Actress Luise Rainer was the first actor of any gender to win back-to-back Oscars (forThe Great Ziegfeldin 1937 andThe Good Earthin1938), and Katharine Hepburn matched Rainer in 1968 and 1969 (forGuess Whos Coming to DinnerandThe Lion in Winter, respectively). Before Hanks won, Jason Robards was the last actor to win two consecutive Academy Awards in a row, when he won Best Supporting Actor statues forAll the Presidents Menin 1977 andJuliain 1978.
In 2005, when facing criticism for his dealings with the United States, Blair respondedby saying,I know theres a bit of us that would like me to do a Hugh Grant inLove Actuallyand tell America where to get off. But the difference between a good film and real life is that in real life theres the next day, the next year, the next lifetime to contemplate the ruinous consequences of easy applause.
Every film Curtis writes contains a Bernard, and hes always the butt of a joke. InLove Actually, hes the son of Thompsons character who is described as horrid. This all dates back to a love triangle that didnt turn in Curtiss favor. Bernard was the name of a young man who won the heart of Curtiss crush Anne, and so he will forever be lampooned. In real life, Bernard is a successful politician, namelyBernard Jenkin, Member of Parliament for Harwich and North Essex.
Anyway, when they get finished with him, as happens in so many myths of all cultures in the world, he is transformed into some kind of super being and sent back to Earth, transformed and made into some sort of superman. We have to only guess what happens when he goes back. It is the pattern of a great deal of mythology, and that is what we were trying to suggest.
In the commentary, Curtis also confessed his affection and admiration for writer-director Rebecca Frayn and how it led to a heartbreaking scene inLove Actually. Shes uncredited in the film because she never has a scene to perform. But when Curtis needed images to create a slideshow of Sams beloved mum/Daniels departed wife, he turned to Frayn, asking for all the prettiest pictures of her from her whole life. In real-life, Frayn is married to Oscar-nominated Scottish producer Andy Harries.
Before he broke out with 2004sShaun of the Dead, Pegg was best known for his work on the British sitcomSpaced. It was in this stage of his career that he waseyedfor the role of Rufus, the jewelry salesman inLove Actually. However, Curtis ended up casting Rowan Atkinson, who was not only a bigger star but a longtime friend from their college days; the two had previously worked together onFour Weddings and A Funeral,Mr. Bean, andBlack Adder.
Obviously, thats a lot to take in, but it jives with what Arthur C. Clarke wrote in the2001book, both of which were developed at the same time. In the books ending, astronaut Dave Bowman is very obviously on display in an artificial environment, which resembles a swanky hotel room. Only this room is furnished with dummy drawers that cant open, ornamental books that are simply attached to shelves, and hollow televisions, much like an IKEA showroom; the zoo connection is much clearer as a result as Clarke walks readers through this strange, faux-human habitat.
Its unclear if comedian Dave Chappelleauditionedfor the Bubba role, but either way, Chappelle is not a fan of the movie. In 1999 Chappelle went onThe Daily Showandexplainedhis beef with the movie to Jon Stewart: That movie made me mad, Jon because its hard for me to watch a retarded dude out-achieve me for two and a half hours. Like, how is this fair? This guy is doing more by accident than I can do on purpose. And I started getting furious. Who can be dumber than Forrest Gump? His black friend, thats who.
6. BILL NIGHY DIDNT REALIZE HE HAD AUDITIONED FOR THE FILM.
Though its officially classified as a romantic comedy,Love ActuallyRichard Curtiss intertwining tale of love and loss in London in the midst of the Christmas seasonhas become a staple of holiday movie marathons everywhere. Here are 24 things you might not have known about the hit 2003 film.
In 2013,The Walking Deadstar reminisced about hisclimactic gestureinLove ActuallywithEntertainment Weekly, and revealed, It is my handwriting! Its funny, because the art department did it, and then I said, Well, can I do it? because I like to think that my handwriting is really good. Actually, it ended up with me having to sort of trace over the art departments, so itismy handwriting, but with a sort of pencil stencil underneath.
Laura Linney, Billy Bob Thornton, and Denise Richards received letters asking them to consider a role in the film. Both actresses were impressed by the unconventional move, butLinney told The Daily Beastshe was even more flattered by its contents. I got a letter in the mail from Richard Curtis saying that hed been trying to cast this part, and hed kept saying to his partner, Emma Freud, that hed been looking for a Laura Linney-type, and she said, Why dont you ask Laura Linney?
Ive tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out. When you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if theyre dramatized one feels it, but Ill try.
Much of the movie was filmed in Savannah, Georgia and parts of South Carolina, includingHunting Islandand Fripp Island. They were stand-ins for some of the Vietnam sequencesincluding where Bubba diesbecause of their dense palm trees and jungle-like forests. The military filmG.I. Janewas also filmed on Hunting Island.
Over 200 girls auditioned for the part of Joanna, the talent show star that young Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) falls hard for. But with pipes that blew away the casting director, Olson won the part with aplomb. In the commentary track, Curtis notes that Olson sang the song All I Want For Christmas Is You so flawlessly that he feared it sounded manufactured. He had sound editors cut in breaths to the performance to make it more believable.
Curtis originally intended for Sarah and Karls love story to fizzle out after the phone call from her brother. However, whenLove Actuallywas screened to test audiences, the feedback begged for a clearer resolution. So Curtis provided it, creating an extra scene in reshoots that made it unmistakable that Sarah and Karl would not end up together. Be careful what you wish for, he warned on the DVD commentary.
InFour Weddings and a Funeral, also penned by Curtis, Grants character Charles flirts with a woman at a wedding by mocking the terrible catering, only to discover she is the caterer. The scene was cut from the 1994 film, but was reshot nearly a decade later with Kris Marshall acting out the flirtatiousfaux pas. In the commentary track, Curtis admits that some drafts of theLove Actuallyscript still had Charless name on portions of the scene.
I would never have dreamt of writing a sequel toLove Actually,but I thought it might be fun to do 10 minutes to see what everyone is now up to,Curtis saidwhen the project was announced. Who has aged best?I guess thats the big question … or is it so obviously Liam? The short debuted in the U.K. on March 24, 2017, but American audiences had to wait until May 25, 2017 to see what happened to their favorite characters. (Heres acheat sheet.)
The idea was supposed to be that he is taken in by god-like entities, creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form. They put him in what I suppose you could describe as a human zoo to study him, and his whole life passes from that point on in that room. And he has no sense of time. It just seems to happen as it does in the film.
In September,USA Todaycaught up withForrest Gumpscreenwriter Eric Roth, director Robert Zemeckis, and Tom Hanks to ask them what adventures Forrest wouldve experienced later on. Roth stated that in the script for his unproducedsequelForrest meets O.J. Simpson and Princess Diana. Hanks thinks Forrestwould have chatted up both Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins about how it would be nice if you had a book that would show a persons face and make a friend, and that Forrest wouldve helped out in Hurricane Katrina. Forrest would be the reason that the Navy SEALs find Osama bin Laden, added Zemeckis.