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Richard Osman: ‘Games and quizzes are a sort of organised arguing’

The quiz maestro of Pointless and House of Games on British board games, pub quiz tactics and writing his first crime novel

Richard Osman is the quiz master. The 49-year-old started his career behind the scenes, working on TV shows such as Deal Or No Deal and The Million Pound Drop. He moved in front of the camera in 2009 as the co-host of Pointless and since 2017 he has racked up more than 100 episodes as presenter of Richard Osman’s House of Games on BBC Two. House of Games pits four celebrities in a series of eclectic, ever-changing challenges over five weeknights. Many of the games involve wordplay and most are ingeniously silly (one has the contestants answer questions set by the children of the regular question writers: “Does Anthony like bananas?” for example). The quiz has become a book of the same name and here Osman explains why no Christmas is complete without a quiz.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Review: Rian Johnson's 'Knives Out' is a Razor-Sharp Murder Mystery

Perhaps best known as the writer & director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, filmmaker Rian Johnson got his big start in 2005 with the neo-noir mystery Brick. A hard-boiled detective story in the vein of The Maltese Falcon, Brick won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and paved the way for his sophomore effort, 2008's The Brothers Bloom. The caper comedy-drama, about two sibling con artists, was inspired by Bogdanovich's Paper Moon and David Mamet's heist-thriller, House of Games. For his third film, Johnson continued taking innovative approaches to familiar genres with the twisty, multi-layered 2012 sci-fi Looper. Now, the filmmaker is paying homage to the works of Agatha Christie with Knives Out, a black comedy whodunnit influenced by classic mystery films like Murder on the Orient Express and The Mirror Crack'd. When the distinguished crime novelist and family patriarch Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

David Mamet Expresses Sympathy for Felicity Huffman Amid College Bribery Scandal

  • Variety
David Mamet Expresses Sympathy for Felicity Huffman Amid College Bribery Scandal
Playwright David Mamet has expressed sympathy for his longtime friend Felicity Huffman and her husband, fellow actor William H. Macy, following her indictment in a widespread college admissions bribery scandal.

In a statement sent to media outlets on Tuesday, Mamet also slammed the “elite universities,” calling their admissions policies “an unfortunate and corrupt joke.”

“I’ve known Felicity Huffman for those 35 years, she was my student, my colleague, worked in many of my films, and created roles on stage in three of my plays,” Mamet said. “I’m crazy about them both. That a parent’s zeal for her children’s future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon.”

Huffman debuted on Broadway in 1988 in Mamet’s “Speed the Plow” and won an Obie Award in 1995 for her work in Mamet’s “The Cryptogram.
See full article at Variety »

‘The Inventor’ Review: The High Price of Good Intentions| Sundance 2019

I don’t know if we’re living in a golden age of grifters, but they certainly seem to have a lot more marks at their disposal. We like to think that these marks are simple rubes, greedy for easy money. Watching Alex Gibney’s new documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley I was frequently reminded of David Mamet’s House of Games where the mark is wealthy and educated. Gibney’s portrait of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes doesn’t go so far as to call her a con artist, but rather to indict those that bought …
See full article at Collider.com »

Ricky Jay, Boogie Nights and Deadwood Star, Master Magician, Dies at 72

Ricky Jay, Boogie Nights and Deadwood Star, Master Magician, Dies at 72
Legendary magician and actor Ricky Jay has passed away. He was 72-years old. Jay died at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday from natural causes. Ricky has been hailed as one of the greatest sleight of hand artists of all time, and was known for his crazy card and memory tricks. He was listed at one time in the Guinness Book of Records for throwing a playing card 190 feet at 90 miles per hour. In addition to his magic work, Jay was also a gifted writer, actor, and consultant.

Little is known about Richard Jay Potash's early life. He was born June 26th, 1946 in Brooklyn, New York. He didn't speak about his childhood very much at all to the public. He only spoke about his parents one time, and it was a funny story about switching his dad's toothpaste with Brylcreem. His grandfather, Max Kurtz, was an accountant and an amateur magician on the side,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Ricky Jay, Master Magician and ‘Boogie Nights’ Actor, Dies at 72

  • Indiewire
Ricky Jay, Master Magician and ‘Boogie Nights’ Actor, Dies at 72
Ricky Jay, a singularly skilled magician whose acting career included roles in “Deadwood” and “Boogie Nights,” died in Los Angeles yesterday. He was 72. The news was confirmed by Jay’s manager, Winston Simone, who said that he died of natural causes and “was one of a kind. We will never see the likes of him again.”

“I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and co-conspirator is gone,” tweeted Michael Weber, Jay’s partner in the Deceptive Practices Company.

Jay was the subject of a 2012 documentary, “Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay,” directed by Molly Bernstein. It explored his revered career as a magician, as did a 1993 New Yorker profile that referred to Jay as “perhaps the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive.” Those talents also brought him work as a behind-the-scenes consultant on movies like “The Prestige,” “The Illusionist,” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.
See full article at Indiewire »

Ricky Jay, Master Magician and ‘Boogie Nights’ Actor, Dead at 72

Ricky Jay, Master Magician and ‘Boogie Nights’ Actor, Dead at 72
Ricky Jay, the renowned magician, sleight-of-hand artist, card thrower and actor who appeared in Boogie Nights and Deadwood, died Saturday at the age of 72.

His manager Winston Simone confirmed Jay’s death to Variety, adding that the magician died of natural causes. “He was one of a kind. We will never see the likes of him again,” Simone said. Michael Weber, Jay’s co-partner in his company Deceptive Practices, added, “I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and co-conspirator is gone.”

As an actor, Jay appeared
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Magician Ricky Jay Dead at 70

Magician Ricky Jay Dead at 70
Master magician Ricky Jay, whose decades-long career included guest roles on Deadwood and The Simpsons, has died at the age of 70.

The news was confirmed by his manager, Winston Simone, who told Variety that his client died of natural causes. “He was one of a kind,” Simone said. “We will never see the likes of him again.”

A New Yorker profile once referred to Jay as “perhaps the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive.” His one-man Broadway show, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, was filmed for HBO by acclaimed director David Mamet in 1996. He appeared in many of Mamet’s films,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Ricky Jay Dies: Renowned Magician And ‘Boogie Nights’ Actor Was 70

  • Deadline
Ricky Jay Dies: Renowned Magician And ‘Boogie Nights’ Actor Was 70
Known for his professional career as a magician and his roles in films like Boogie Nights and the HBO series Deadwood, Ricky Jay has died. He was 70.

Details about Jay’s death have not been revealed, but his attorney Stan Coleman confirmed his death while his partner at Deceptive Practices, Michael Weber tweeted, “I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and coconspirator is gone.”

Richard Jay Potash was born in Brooklyn, New York and had an impressive resume of films. In addition to Boogie Nights and Deadwood, Jay appeared in films such as Magnolia, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Spanish Prisoner, Mystery Men, and, appropriately, the magician drama The Prestige. He was also the subject of PBS’ American Masters in 2015 and was the first magician to be profiled in the series. He was also the subject of the documentary Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.
See full article at Deadline »

Ricky Jay, Master Magician and Actor in "Deadwood," 'Boogie Nights,' Dies at 70

  • Variety
Ricky Jay, Master Magician and Actor in
Ricky Jay, a master magician who also acted in films and TV shows such as “Boogie Nights,” “House of Games” and “Deadwood,” has died. He was 70.

His attorney Stan Coleman confirmed his death. Further details were not immediately available. His partner in the Deceptive Practices company, Michael Weber, tweeted, “I am sorry to share that my remarkable friend, teacher, collaborator and co-conspirator is gone.”

A New Yorker profile called him “the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive,” and Jay was also known for his card tricks and memory feats.

He appeared in several David Mamet movies, including “House of Games,” “The Spanish Prisoner,” “Things Change,” “Redbelt” and “State and Main.”

In the 1997 James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies,” Jay played a cyber-terrorist to Pierce Brosnan’s Bond.

He also provided the narration for movies such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia.” His one-man Broadway show, “Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants,
See full article at Variety »

Ricky Jay, Magician and 'Boogie Nights' Actor, Dies at 70

Ricky Jay, Magician and 'Boogie Nights' Actor, Dies at 70
Ricky Jay, one of the most compelling figures in magic, died Saturday in Los Angeles of natural causes, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. He was 70.

"He was one of a kind. We will never see the likes of him again," his manager, Winston Simone, said.

In addition to his long career as a magician, Jay also appeared in such movies as Magnolia (1999) as the narrator, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) as a cyber terrorist and Boogie Nights (1997) and several times in David Mamet's films, including House of Games; Homicide; Things Change; The Spanish Prisoner; State and Main; and Heist. He also had various roles on television series ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Diana and I review – a frustratingly incohesive drama

Some nice performances – notably Tamsin Greig as a struggling florist – fail to unify this tale of the impact of the death of the Princess of Wales on four individuals. Plus, Richard Osman’s House of Games

You might have thought that all the Diana stuff would be over now, the actual anniversary having passed. But no, they’re milking this one for every last drop. Drama this time, Diana and I (BBC2), about the impact of her death on four individuals, in the week following the car accident in which she died. Four moons, separate but affected by the same gravitational forces, as they orbit death star Diana.

Teenage Jack has just lost his own mother, who died on the same day as the woman she idolised. Plus, Jack has other things on his plate – his sexuality, his dad’s new marriage (to another big Diana fan as it happens
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Playwright David Mamet Will Not Allow Post-Show Talks About His Work

The Guardian reports that playwright David Mamet has placed a ban on any post-show panels about his work, something that has become commonplace in theatres and cinemas. The license to stage one of Mamet's plays, most famously including House of Games and Glengarry Glen Ross, now includes a clause preventing any official debates within two hours of a performance. Every post-show talk that violates this clause results in a loss of licence and a fine of 25,000.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

New to Streaming: ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ Pedro Almodóvar, ‘Train to Busan,’ ‘The Bfg,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Always Shine (Sophia Takal)

With the excess of low-budget, retreat-in-the-woods dramas often finding characters hashing out their insecurities through a meta-narrative, a certain initial resistance can occur when presented with such a derivative scenario at virtually every film festival. While Sophia Takal‘s psychological drama Always Shine ultimately stumbles, the chemistry of its leads and a sense of foreboding dread in its formal execution ensures its heightened view of
See full article at The Film Stage »

Watch This: David Mamet toned it down for the screen in The Spanish Prisoner

One week a month, Watch This offers movie recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: In honor of Kenneth Lonergan’s magnificent Manchester By The Sea, we’re giving a standing ovation to other movies written and/or directed by playwrights.

The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

Playwright David Mamet is best known for quick, profane, tough-talking dialogue, captured in his iconic work, Glengarry Glen Ross. When Ggr went to the big screen, he wrote the screenplay, but let James Foley take the helm. Mamet stayed closer to some of his other productions, like his thriller con debut, House Of Games, which was also in the dark and chatty vein. But one of Mamet’s most successful efforts—while still a con, of course—is almost a complete departure from his usual brand, namely due to its quiet, thoughtful pace.

The Spanish Prisoner is named after a ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Always be closing: the manly world of David Mamet

Philip Laverty Nov 10, 2016

From The Edge and The Untouchables, to the mighty Glengarry Glen Ross: a salute to the movie writing of David Mamet.

Spoilers ahead for The Untouchables, The Spanish Prisoner, and House Of Games

There's a moment in 1992’s Glengarry Glen Ross when Alec Baldwin, sent from head office on what he calls a “mission of mercy”, opens his motivational speech to an office of real estate salesmen by turning on Jack Lemmon’s Shelley 'The Machine' Levene.

“Put that coffee down,” he demands as Lemmon pours himself what he, probably reasonably, considers to be a well-earned cup of Joe.

“Coffee’s for closers only,” Baldwin points out, using the term for someone who can make a successful sale. The person who can close it.

Your name’s Levene?” he asks a few moments later. “You call yourself a salesman, you son of a bitch?”

The callous disdain of this moment,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Everything Steven Soderbergh Watched and Read in 2015

Displaying a transparency that few filmmakers of his fame and / or caliber would even bother with, Steven Soderbergh has, for a couple of years, been keen on releasing lists of what he watched and read during the previous twelve months. If you’re at all interested in this sort of thing — and why not? what else are you even doing with your day? — the 2015 selection should be of strong interest, this being a time when he was fully enmeshed in the world of creating television.

He’s clearly observing the medium with a close eye, be it what’s on air or what his friends (specifically David Fincher and his stillborn projects) show him, and how that might relate to his apparent love of 48 Hours Mystery or approach to a comparatively light slate of cinematic assignments — specifically: it seems odd that the last time he watched Magic Mike Xxl, a
See full article at The Film Stage »

Mississippi Grind Is a Gambling Movie That Comes Out Ahead

  • Vulture
Mississippi Grind Is a Gambling Movie That Comes Out Ahead
The gambling drama — a genre that ranges from Robert Altman’s California Split to David Mamet’s House of Games to John Dahl’s Rounders — often walks a fine line between focusing on the minutiae of the game and observing the humans playing it. There’s drama in the game, to be sure — and one sign of a world-class filmmaker is the ability to convey said drama without requiring that viewers be familiar with the game itself. But the real story always lies in the people playing out in the “real world,” where messiness rules and winning and losing mean very different things. Mississippi Grind, from the writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, It’s Kind of a Funny Story), luxuriates in that real-world messiness. It’s as much a movie about the gamble of friendship as it is about friends gambling.The film opens on an image
See full article at Vulture »

Gambling Movies 101

It is ironic that people want to escape risk all the time but at the same time a large part of the populace is fascinated with gambling. The foremost example of this fascination is the spate of gambling movies which hit the screen every year. Some become part of pop culture, some win critical acclaim, and some set the box office on fire. But one thing is for sure: gambling aficionados watch them with great eagerness, sometimes in the hopes of catching a trick or two. Rain Man is one movie which comes to mind where the autistic lead character counts cards at a casino, but that one is not a gambling movie.

Now, there are different kinds of gambling. Some of them involve gambling as the main plot point while others have gambling going on in the background while the story takes its course. Casino is one example of
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The top 20 underappreciated films of 1987

From anime to pitch-black thrillers, here's our pick of the underappreciated movies of 1987...

Sometimes, the challenge with these lists isn't just what to put in, but what to leave out. We loved Princess Bride, but with a decent showing at the box office and a huge cult following, isn't it a bit too popular to be described as underappreciated? Likewise Joe Dante's Innerspace, a fabulously geeky, comic reworking of the 60s sci-fi flick, Fantastic Voyage.

What we've gone for instead is a mix of genre fare, dramas and animated films that may have garnered a cult following since, but didn't do well either critically or financially at the time of release. Some of the movies on our list just about made their money back, but none made anything close to the sort of returns enjoyed by the likes of 1987's biggest films - Three Men And A Baby, Fatal Attraction
See full article at Den of Geek »
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