April 26, 2023
Nicolas Cage, Ranked From Wild to Mild
In the early 1980s, Nicolas Cage got his first big breaks in Martha Coolidge’s and Amy Heckerling’s films that zeroed in on the peculiar allure of his dopey bad boy persona. Watching him was like eating a banana split: You tasted something nutty, sweet, indulgent, all-American. Since then, few actors have been able to match how nimble a polymorph Cage is in genre, how easily he power-bounces between action (“ ), comedy (“ ) and horror ( ). In the new vampire comedy as he did in the bloodsucker-themed more than three decades ago, he plows through genres as hard as he chews the scenery. He’s done the same for a who’s who of boundary-pushing directors, including the Coen brothers ( ), David Lynch ( ) and Spike Jonze ( ). Not that every Nicolas Cage movie is gonzo; his sole Oscar win was for a sublime portrayal of an ugly alcoholic in the drama To get a sense of the Cage range, here’s a look at 10 of his performances from the last decade that paint a portrait of a man and his methods of madness. Each is rated on a scale of bees — one for sleepy, five for loony — in honor of the insects in the 2006 remake of . During on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Cage said David Gordon Green’s social-realist was one of his own five favorite Nicolas Cage films. (The others are Martin Scorsese’s Werner Herzog’s and two other films noted on this list.) Cage gives a brooding but un-bizarre performance as a troubled man who takes an abused teenager (Tye Sheridan) under his wing. It’s a prime example of Cage’s deep affection for playing straight-talking father-protectors. . In this widely panned comedy, Cage plays Gary Faulkner, a part-time ( ) construction worker who travels from his Colorado home to Pakistan on a one-man mission to capture Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice on orders from God, . Cage plays Faulkner as a living dad-joke who’s got Jerry Garcia’s looks and the Nutty Professor’s affect. Depending on your tolerance for filter-free jingoists, Cage is the best thing about this minor-league comedy from the director Larry Charles (“Borat”). . With Gina Gershon as his recovering addict wife and Faye Dunaway as his mistrustful mother, Cage was in good company with co-stars who know a thing or two about delivering onscreen fireworks. But in this lurid mom-gone-wrong thriller directed by Jonathan Baker, Cage gives a straight-faced performance as an affluent suburban doctor who gets caught up in a preposterous triangle with an identity-swindling, killer-lesbian nanny. There’s a word for a sincere performance in a ludicrous film that takes itself seriously: camp. Cage and Selma Blair star in this demented , written and directed by Brian Taylor, about suburban parents who inexplicably start killing their own kids in ridiculously gruesome ways. The signature Cage Crackup is on glorious display here when he sings “The Hokey Pokey” while obliterating a pool table with a sledgehammer, then delivers a blistering tirade about Gen X’s dashed dreams. (Check out for Cage meltdowns that will really make your eyes blow up.) Another of Cage’s favorite Cage films was Panos Cosmatos’s . He plays a lumberjack who avenges his girlfriend ( ) after she’s burned alive by cultists under the spell of a demented psychopath (Linus Roache). Cage’s performance, especially in the film’s brutal second half, is like watching a heavy metal album cover — from — come alive on Satan’s command. It’s blood-drenched, hallucinatory and dripping with testosterone. His character carries . It’s all id and all odd. . In Richard Stanley’s , Cage plays a farmer who tries to keep his family intact after a meteorite that crashes in their yard unleashes a supernatural haze with juju that possesses his wife (Joely Richardson). Cage’s portrayal is intense and demanding, but not all-out bananas. The film is based on an H.P. Lovecraft , an apt source considering the eccentric author was, like Cage, drawn to tales of unearthly heebie-jeebies and anti-authoritarian resistance. . On “The Late Show,” Cage said his favorite Cage film is Michael Sarnoski’s low-key, out-there, slow-burn . Of all of Cage’s films, this tender and dramatically propulsive story is perhaps the simplest: He plays a once-hotshot chef who sets out to recover his abducted foraging pig. Cage is deeply affecting, hiding waves of rage and resentment under a in a heartbreaking story about a brokenhearted human. It’s not a psycho performance, but it is a singular one. . As a drifter-janitor who fights possessed robotic animals at a Chuck E. Cheese-style playland in this , Cage doesn’t say a word. You’d think an Actor who’s so committed to every absurd line a writer throws at him would be just as devoted in a nonverbal role. And he is, except all the director Kevin Lewis asks Cage to do is look badass in sunglasses and break stuff. It’s Cage 101. . Tom Gormican’s stars Pedro Pascal as a wealthy Nicolas Cage superfan who befriends a job-hunting actor named Nick Cage, played by Nicolas Cage. Cage’s performances are often self-referential. (In “Army of One,” his character jokes: “Don’t you think I look a little like Nick Cage in ‘Con Air’?”) Here, Cage takes that to the nth degree in a metanarrative that syncs his fandom’s Cage-related obsessions with his own reflections on stardom. It’s Cage-on-Cage dumb fun. In theaters. If Wayne Newton played a dime-store Dracula on it would look something like the ham Cage serves in Chris McKay’s comedy. Cage plays who’s so narcissistic that his emotionally battered manservant, Renfield (Nicholas Hoult), starts going to a codependency support group. With a face caked in cadaverous makeup that accentuates a cheeky smirk with teeny fangs, this bloodsucker is impossible to take seriously. For Cage, that’s called mission accomplished.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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