Jamie Bell

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Posted by motoman 04/19/2009 @ 10:08

Tags : jamie bell, actors and actresses, entertainment

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In 1941, Tuvia Bielski (Craig), a hard-drinking woodsman, leads several hundred fellow Jews into the Belarusian forest and teaches them to forage and fight. It's a fascinating true story and, though the film allows many, many compromises (everyone's so...
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Jamie Bell

Jamie Bell (born 14 March 1986) is a BAFTA-winning English actor. He is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the film Billy Elliot (2000), for which he won the 2001 BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

Bell was born in Billingham, in the Borough of Stockton on Tees, England, where he grew up with his mother, Eileen, and older sister. His father, John Bell, a toolmaker, left before Bell was born. Bell was a pupil at Northfield School, then the Stagecoach Theatre Arts school. He was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre. In 1999, he was chosen from a field of over 2000 boys for the role of Billy Elliot, an 11-year-old boy who dismays his working-class widowed father and older brother by taking up ballet.

Bell acted as Honorary Jury President of the 2001 Giffoni Film Festival. Since his film debut in Billy Elliot, he has appeared as the crippled servant Smike in an adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, a young soldier in Deathwatch, a teenager on the run in Undertow, a gun-toting pacifist in Dear Wendy, a disaffected Southern California teenager in The Chumscrubber, and the young Jimmy in the 2005 film version of King Kong. In 2007, he played the title character in Hallam Foe – for which he was nominated for the best actor award at the British Independent Film Awards – and appeared as himself in lonelygirl15 spin-off KateModern.

He had roles in two 2008 films: the sci-fi film Jumper and the World War II drama Defiance. In the latter he plays Asael Bielski (first name pronounced "Asoyel"), the third of the Bielski Brothers - leaders of a partisan group that saved some 1200 lives during the Holocaust. Despite rumours to the contrary, he did not appear in Thea Sharrock's West End production of Equus.

In 2009, it was announced Bell would play the title role in the motion capture film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn.

In 2005 and 2006, Bell dated actress Evan Rachel Wood, with whom he appeared in the music video for Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends".

He currently lives in New York, and also owns a home in Chelsea, London.

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King Kong (2005 film)

Kingkong bigfinal1.jpg

King Kong is a 2005 remake of the 1933 film of the same name about a fictional giant ape called Kong. The film was directed by Peter Jackson and stars Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow, Jack Black as Carl Denham, Adrien Brody as Jack Driscoll and, through performance capture, Andy Serkis as Kong. Serkis also played Lumpy, the galley chef on the SS Venture.

In 1933, Great Depression-era New York City, actress Ann Darrow has just lost her job at the local theatre and is recruited by film director Carl Denham because of the presence of her favourite writer Jack Driscoll. They set sail to a remote Indian Ocean island known as Skull Island, inhabited by prehistoric creatures and the mighty giant gorilla Kong.

The film's budget climbed from an initial US$150 million to a record-breaking $207 million. The film was released on December 14, 2005 and made an opening of $50.1 million. While the film performed lower than expectations, Kong made domestic and worldwide grosses that eventually added up to $550 million, becoming the fourth-highest grossing movie in Universal Studios history. Strong DVD sales also added over $100 million to the grosses. It also received positive reviews, with some considering it one of the all-round best movies of 2005, though it has been criticised for its length at three hours and eight minutes (while a three-disc extended DVD edition actually increases this to over three hours and twenty minutes). It won Academy Awards for visual effects, sound mixing, and sound editing.

The film opens in New York City, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. Having lost her job as a vaudeville actress, Ann Darrow is hired by troubled filmmaker Carl Denham to be an actress in his new motion picture against the famous and popular actor Bruce Baxter. With time running out, Ann signs on when she learns her favourite playwright Jack Driscoll is the screenwriter. On the SS Venture, they slowly fall in love. As for Carl, a warrant is out for his arrest and Captain Englehorn begins to have second thoughts, following the fears of his crew over the legend of Skull Island. Despite his attempt to turn around, their ship is sucked up into a fog and crashes into one of the encircling rocks.

Carl and his crew explore the island, with a deserted village against a wall, but they are attacked by the vicious natives. Mike, the sound technician, is speared, one of the sailors has his head crushed, and Jack is knocked out. Ann screams, and a roar beyond the wall responds. The matriarch vows to sacrifice her to "Kong", a 25 ft (8 m) gorilla. Englehorn and his crew break up the attack and return to the damaged ship. They finally lighten the load to steer away, until Jack discovers Ann has been kidnapped. On the island, Ann is hung from a balcony to the other side of a valley. The crew comes armed, but are too late. Carl sees the gorilla that has taken her. Englehorn gives them 24 hours to find her. In the meantime, Ann discovers the remains of the previous sacrifices, and stabs Kong's hand with her ceremonial necklace to no avail. Kong takes Ann into the jungles of the island.

Captain Englehorn organises a rescue party to find Ann and hunt down the beast. The rescue party is caught up in a Venatosaurus pack's hunt of Brontosaurus, and four of them (including Herb, the cameraman) are killed while Jack and the rest of the crew survive. Ann manages to entertain Kong with juggling and dancing, but he does not kill her when she refuses to continue, leaving her instead. The rest of the rescue party come across a swamp. It is here that Bruce Baxter and two others leave the group. The survivors stumble across a log where Kong attacks, shaking them off the log into a ravine. He returns to rescue Ann from three Vastatosaurus rex (modern Tyrannosaurus), and takes her up to his mountain lair. Englehorn and the rest of the crew rescue whomever is left of the rescue party from the pit of giant insects, and as Jack decides to continue to search for Ann, Carl decides to capture Kong. Jack comes to Kong's lair, and disturbs him from his slumber. As Kong fights a swarm of giant bats, Ann and Jack escape by grabbing the wing of a Terapusmordax and then jumping to a river. They arrive at the village wall with the angry Kong following them, where Ann becomes distraught by what Carl plans to do. Kong bursts through the gate and struggles to get her back, but he is knocked out by chloroform.

Peter Jackson was a nine year old in the New Zealand town of Pukerua Bay when he first saw the 1933 version of King Kong. He was in tears in front of the TV when Kong slipped off the Empire State Building. At age 12 he tried to recreate the film using his parents' super-8 camera and a model of Kong made of wire and rubber with his mother's fur coat for the hair, but eventually gave up on the project. In 1996, he developed a version that was in pre-production for 6-7 months, but the studio cancelled it. This is most likely because of the release of Mighty Joe Young and Godzilla the same year. During this time Jackson had achieved the designs of the Brontosaurus and the Venatosaurus. He then began work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. No casting was ever done, but he had hoped to get either George Clooney or Robert De Niro. With the overwhelming box office and critical success of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Universal contacted him during production of the second film, and he was paid $20 million USD to direct this film, the highest salary Hollywood ever paid a director.

Peter Jackson has stated that the script significantly changed between the 1996 and 2005 drafts. In Jackson's original 1996 draft of the script, Ann was the daughter of famed English archaeologist Lord Linwood Darrow exploring ancient ruins in Sumatra. They would come into conflict with Denham during his filming, and they would uncover a hidden Kong statue and the map of Skull Island. This would indicate that the island natives were a cult religion that once thrived on the mainland of Asia, and all trace of the cult was wiped out, except for the few on the island. Instead of a playwright, Jack was the first mate and an ex-First World War fighter pilot still struggling with the loss of his best friend, who is killed in battle during a World War I prologue. Herb the camera-man was the only supporting character in the original draft who made it to the final version. Another difference was that Ann was actually caught in the V. rex's jaws in the Kong/3 V. rex fight. According to the draft, Ann was wedged in the mouth and slashed by the teeth; after the fight, Kong got her out but by some reason Ann got a fever, from which she recovered. (It did not say how Ann got it, but it was almost unmistakably an infection in one of her cuts). Jackson's first rough draft was described as a "tongue-in-cheek comedic film with elements of Raiders of the Lost Ark and other films," according to Jackson himself. Originally, he wanted a comical "monkey-farce" to be released, but he credits Universal for pulling the plug, as he was able to rework things into what ended up on screen.

Other difficulties included the rewriting of the script between 1996 and 2005, adding more character development to the 1933 story and acting as though the 1976 version never existed. The process began with a nine minute animatic created by Peter Jackson and shown to the writing team, causing Philippa Boyens to cry. Jackson, alongside Christian Rivers and his team, created animatics for all the action sequences which wound up becoming the first stage in animation. The Empire State Building animatic in particular, was completely replicated in the final film.

Peter Jackson decided early on that he did not want Kong to act human, and so they studied hours of gorilla footage. Andy Serkis, who modelled his movement, went to the London Zoo to watch the gorillas, but was unsatisfied. He ended up going to Rwanda to observe mountain gorillas in the wild, with a company called Rainbow Tours. The resulting Kong is entirely a special effect, but he acts and moves very much like a real gorilla.

Apart from Kong, Skull Island is also inhabited by dinosaurs and other large fauna. However, though they may look similar, they are not the familiar species. Inspired by the works of Dougal Dixon, the designers have imagined what 65 million years or more of isolated evolution would have done to the dinosaurs. The creatures can be said to be presented as more scientifically accurate than those portrayed in the 1933 version. However, it can also be argued that they are less accurate to the palaeontology of 2005 than the dinosaurs from the original were accurate to the palaeontology of 1933. The names of these and hundreds of other beasts are found in the book The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island.

The film's budget climbed from an initial US$150 million to a record-breaking $207 million, making it at one point the most-expensive film yet made. Universal Studios only agreed to such an outlay after seeing a screening of the unfinished film, to which executives responded enthusiastically. In addition, it is estimated that marketing and promotion costs were about $60 million. Production had difficulties, such as Peter Jackson's decision to change composers from Howard Shore to James Newton Howard seven weeks before the film opened. Also, the film was originally set to be 135 minutes, but soon grew to 200, prompting Universal executives to fly to New Zealand to view a rough cut, but they liked it so their concerns were addressed.

The marketing campaign for King Kong started in full swing on June 27, 2005, when the teaser trailer made its debut, first online at the official Volkswagen website at 8:45 p.m. EST, then 8:55 p.m. EST across media outlets owned by NBC Universal (the parent of Universal Studios), including NBC, Bravo!, CNBC and MSNBC. That trailer appeared in theatres attached to War of the Worlds, which opened on June 29.

Jackson also regularly published a series of 'Production Diaries', which chronicled the making of the film. The diaries started shortly after the DVD release of The Return of the King as a way to give Jackson's The Lord of the Rings fans a glimpse of his next project. These diaries are edited into broadband-friendly instalments of three or four minutes each. They consist of features that would normally be seen in a making-of documentary: a tour of the set, a roving camera introducing key players behind the scene, a peek inside the sound booth during last-minute dubbing, or Andy Serkis doing his ape movements in a motion capture studio. The production diaries were released on DVD on December 13, 2005, one day before the U.S. release of the film. This was one of the first occasions in which material that would normally be considered supplementary to the DVD release of a film, was not only released separately, but done so in a prestige format; the Production Diaries came packaged in a box with a set of prints and a replica 1930s-era clipboard. It is also the first time such material was published prior to the release of the film.

A novelisation of the movie and a prequel entitled The Island of the Skull was also written. A multi-platform video game entitled Peter Jackson's King Kong was released, which featured an alternate ending. There was a hardback book entitled The World of Kong, featuring artwork from Weta Workshop to describe the fictional bestiary in the film. A number of spin-offs from the remake's franchise include books, novels, comics and video games.

With a take of $9.7 million on its Wednesday opening day, and an opening weekend of $50.1 million, King Kong did not meet expectations of Universal Studios executives. Some media outlets even considered the film to be a flop after its weak opening weekend, as at that point it was not on pace to make back its $207 million budget. Its opening weekend of $50.1 million, while good for most movies, fell short of the inflated expectations caused by the movie's enormous budget and marketing campaign.

However, King Kong was able to hold its audience in the subsequent holiday weeks and ended up becoming a domestic hit, grossing $218.1 million at the North American box office (putting it in the top five grossing films of 2005 domestically). King Kong fared much better in the international market, as it grossed $332.437 million outside North America, leading to a worldwide total of $550.517 million (putting it in the top five grossing films of 2005 worldwide).

Other factors also affect a film's profitability besides box office sales, such as the DVD sales. King Kong, sold over $100 million worth of DVDs in the largest six-day performance in Universal Studios history. As of April 3, 2006, King Kong has sold more than 7.5 million DVDs, accumulating over $140 million worth of sales numbers, domestically alone. As of June 25, 2006 King Kong has generated almost $38 million from DVD rental gross.

Thus, despite the film's inauspicious start at the box office, King Kong turned out to be very profitable. Ticket and DVD sales combined, the film earned well over $700 million, becoming the fourth-highest grossing movie in Universal Pictures history.

King Kong received a favourable critical response, garnering an 84% "Certified Fresh" approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The most common criticisms of the film were due to excessive length, lack of pace, over-use of slow motion, and some obvious use of CGI effects. Positive critical reviews regarded it as one of the few good epics and all-round best movies of 2005. Roger Ebert gave the movie four stars, and listed it as the 8th best film of 2005. Similarly, King Kong has been included in many critics' Top Ten of 2005 lists. The film received four Academy Award nominations for Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Art Direction, winning all but the last. Entertainment Weekly called the depiction of Kong the most convincing computer generated character in film in 2005. Some criticised the film for retaining racist stereotypes present in the original film, though it was not suggested that Jackson had done this intentionally. King Kong ranks 450th on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.

Peter Jackson has expressed his desire to remaster the film in 3-D at some point in the future. Jackson was also seen shooting with a 3-D camera at times during the shoot of King Kong.

Jamie Bell's character is repeatedly shown reading Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, a novel about a journey into a primitive land and mankind's exploitation of fellow man. Jack Black and critics have noted Carl Denham's similarity to Orson Welles. When Jack Driscoll is searching for a place to sleep in the animal storage hold, a box behind him reads Sumatran Rat Monkey — Beware the bite! - a reference to the creature that causes mayhem in Peter Jackson's film Braindead (1992) (in that film, the rat monkey is described as only being found on Skull Island).

The musical score for King Kong was composed by James Newton Howard. Originally Howard Shore, who worked for Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings, was to compose the score for the film and recorded several completed cues before he was removed from the project by Jackson. James Newton Howard joined the project with literally weeks to score and record more than three hours of music. Shore still makes a cameo appearance as the ill-fated conductor in the theatre from which Kong escapes. The film's record album was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

King Kong was released on DVD on March 28, 2006 in the United States. The three versions that came out were single disc fullscreen, single disc widescreen and a 2-Disc Widescreen Special Edition. The second disc of the Special Edition contains the remainder of almost all the KongisKing.net production diaries not contained on the Peter Jackson's Production Diaries DVD set. The only missing episode is "13 Weeks To Go" which contained footage of Howard Shore recording the original score. It is still available on the website.

The 3 disc Deluxe Extended Edition was released on November 14, 2006 in the U.S.A., and on November 1st in Australia. Thirteen minutes were put back into the film, and a further 40 minutes presented alongside the rest of the special features. The film was spread onto the first two discs with commentary by Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens, and some featurettes on Discs 1 and 2, whilst the main Special Features are on Disc 3. Another set was released, including a WETA figurine of a bullet-ridden Kong scaling the Empire State Building, roaring at the army with Ann in hand. The extended film amounts to 201 minutes in total.

A special HD DVD version of King Kong was part of a promotional pack for the release of the external HD DVD Drive for the Xbox 360. The pack contained the HD DVD drive, the Universal Media Remote and King Kong on HD DVD. It was also available separately as a standard HD DVD. The film's theatrical and extended cuts were released together on Blu-ray Disc on January 20, 2009.

The extended edition has 13 minutes of footage reincorporated into the film, over 230 new visual effects shots, and 40 minutes of deleted scenes on the DVD.

The first major addition comes after the rescue team enters the jungle, in which they startle a Ceratopsian dinosaur and it goes on the rampage. Hayes shoots it and the scene ends on a reference to the original film as Carl and Herb film its tail in death throes.

The second major addition is a scene in the swamp where the rescue team on two rafts are first surrounded by swarms of Scorpiopede creatures, before an attack from an enormous serpentine Piranhadon fish. Three men are killed and Jack almost drowns. Carl captures the last death on camera (to the disgust of Lumpy) which he takes great pains to retain in the chaos. After exiting the swamp, Lumpy shoots an approaching sound in the thick foliage. Jack believes he has shot Ann, which turns out to be a large bird similar to a giant Moa(which may have been Jackson's fictional "Zeropterix").

The insect pit sequence is extended with footage of the characters climbing out of the pit, notably including a monologue from Carl about the point of death, Jimmy finding Hayes's body and taking his cap to remember him, and Bruce Baxter killing more insects. There is also more film of Kong rampaging the native village. Kong chasing Jack's cab is extended. During the army's attack on King Kong, he tramples a van containing a man who issues the fire command, and also knocks a van, with a commander insulting Kong, out of his way. The rest of the deleted scenes have unfinished effects, and are not incorporated into the film, but remain on the DVD set with individual introductions by Peter Jackson.

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The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn is a 2011 motion capture 3-D film based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Georges "Hergé" Remi. It is directed by Steven Spielberg, and the script is based on two of the stories; The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure. Jamie Bell is playing Tintin, Andy Serkis is playing Captain Haddock, and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are playing Thomson and Thompson. The cast also includes Daniel Craig, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook and Gad Elmaleh.

Spielberg first acquired rights to Tintin after Hergé's death in 1983, and re-optioned them in 2002. Filming was due to begin in October 2008 for a 2010 release, but was delayed to 2011 after Universal opted out of producing the film with Paramount, who provided $30 million on pre-production. Sony chose to co-produce the films. The delay resulted in Thomas Sangster, who had been cast as Tintin, departing from the project. Producer Peter Jackson, whose companies Weta Digital is providing the animation, intends to direct a sequel. Spielberg and Jackson also hope to co-direct a third film.

Tintin (Jamie Bell) finds a clue to an ancient treasure that turns out to be from Captain Haddock's (Andy Serkis) ancestor Sir Francis Haddock. They set out to find it with protection from an jail escapee who tried to get the treasure as well as Detective Thompson and Thomson (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) and scientific advice from Professor Calculus.

The Hollywood Reporter explained three new characters have been created for the film; a rival reporter, an aggressive editor, and an American Interpol inspector. Toby Jones plays Silk, who The Daily Telegraph said was a villain, while Gad Elmaleh plays a character named Ben Salaad. Mackenzie Crook has a role unspecified in an official press release. Daniel Mays plays Adam, whom he explained forms a double act with Crook.

Spielberg has been an avid fan of The Adventures of Tintin comic books, which he discovered in 1981 when a review compared Raiders of the Lost Ark to Tintin. His secretary bought him French-language editions of each book, but Spielberg did not have to understand them: he immediately fell in love with its art. Meanwhile, the comics' creator Hergé, who hated the previous live action film versions and the cartoon, became a fan of Spielberg. Michael Farr, author of Tintin: The Complete Companion, recalled Hergé "thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice". Spielberg and his production partner Kathleen Kennedy of Amblin Entertainment were scheduled to meet with Hergé in 1983 while filming Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in London. Hergé died that week, but his widow decided to give them the rights. A three-year long option to film the comics was finalized in 1984, with Universal as distributor.

Spielberg commissioned E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) writer Melissa Mathison to script a film where Tintin battles ivory hunters in Africa. Spielberg saw Tintin as "Indiana Jones for kids" and wanted Jack Nicholson to play Haddock. Unsatisfied with the script, Spielberg continued with production on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). The rights returned to the Hergé Foundation. Claude Berri and Roman Polanski became interested in filming the property, while Warner Bros. negotiated long and hard for the rights, but they could not guarantee the "creative integrity" that the Foundation found in Spielberg. In 2001, Spielberg revealed his interest in depicting Tintin with computer animation. In November 2002, his studio DreamWorks reestablished the option to film the series. Spielberg said he would just produce the film. In 2004, the French magazine Capital reported Spielberg was intending a trilogy based on Secret of the Unicorn / Red Rackham's Treasure, The Seven Crystal Balls / Prisoners of the Sun and The Blue Lotus / Tintin in Tibet (which are not a single story, but both feature the Chang Chong-Chen character).

An official announcement about the collaboration was made in May 2007, although both filmmakers had to wait to film it: Spielberg was preparing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) and Jackson was planning The Lovely Bones (2009). In October 2007, Steven Moffat was announced as having signed on to write the screenplays for two of the Tintin films. Moffat said he was "love bombed" by Spielberg into accepting the offer to write the films, with the director promising to shield him from studio interference with his writing. Moffat finished the first script, but could not complete the second because of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. He then became executive producer of Doctor Who, leading Spielberg and Jackson (the latter of whom is a fan of the show) to allow him to leave and fulfil his duty to the series. Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish rewrote the script.

More filming took place in March 2008. But in August 2008, a month before principal photography would have begun, Universal turned down their option to co-produce the film, citing the low box office of Monster House and Beowulf as well as the directors' usual request for 30% of the gross. Paramount Pictures (DreamWorks' distributor) had hoped to partner with Universal on the project having spent $30 million on pre-production. Spielberg gave a ten-minute presentation of footage, hoping they would approve for filming to begin in October. Paramount offered to produce if the directors opted out of their gross percentage deals: Spielberg and Jackson declined, and negotiated with Sony to co-finance and distribute the first film by the end of October. Paramount will distribute the film in English-language territories and all of Asia except India, while Sony will distribute it in the rest of the world.

Filming began on January 26, 2009, and the release date was moved from 2010 to 2011. Spielberg wrapped his film after 32 days of shooting in March 2009. Jackson was present for the first week of filming and supervised the rest of the shoot via a specially made iChat videoconferencing program. Simon Pegg said Jackson's voice would "be coming over the tannoy like God." Jackson took the hands on approach to directing Weta Digital during postproduction, which Spielberg will supervise through videoconferencing. Jackson will also begin ideas for the second film which he will be officially credited as director on.

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Asael Bielski

Asael Bielski (1908  – 1945) (pronounced uh-soil) was a Polish Jew, second in command of the Bielski partisans during World War II. He is portrayed by Jamie Bell in the 2008 film Defiance.

Asael was the fourth oldest boy of David and Beila Bielski -- two years younger than his brother Tuvia who later commanded the Bielski otriad. The Bielskis were the only Jewish family of Stankiewicze, a small village in pre-war Poland, now Western Belarus located between Lida and Navahrudak (both of which later housed Jewish ghettos during World War II). Asael was quieter than his brothers. He was very reserved and content to stay on the farm and around those he knew well. He was good-looking, though, some say not as attractive as his brothers.

With his older brothers leaving home and his father’s health deteriorating, Asael was becoming the new head of the household. As the male leader of the family, he had to arrange the marriage of his sister Tajba to an upper-class man named Avremale.

Avremale had a sister named Chaja who was a high school graduate, which was rare for the time and place. Hearing that Asael needed help with bookkeeping, the kind-hearted, eager to help the needy, Chaja offered to tutor him. He fell madly in love with her, but she was in every way his superior, both in class and sophistication. He had little chance of attracting her, and was therefore content to simply accept her tutoring.

Although before the war, Asael had no chance at marrying Chaja, during the war years many things would change; among them were social classes. Chaja lived in a ghetto at first, then finally fled, leaving her boyfriend there. She lived in an underground hiding spot near the home of a Christian peasant, along with her two nephews.

After the Soviet invasion of Poland, Bielski brothers collaborated with the Soviets, which gained them hostility from the local Poles.

After the Operation Barbarossa, Asael and two of his brothers, Tuvia and Zus went into hiding in nearby forests.

Tuvia's group later joined Asael's larger group of thirteen. Before this, however, Zus joined Asael, as did their younger brother Aaron. Another addition to the group included Chaja, who became Asael's wife after he saved her life. While in hiding she was very sick and needed medicine badly, so he walked all the way to the nearest pharmacy--which was not very close--in the snow to get her medicine. He stayed with her until he felt she was out of harm's way. Later he bought her a gun for protection, and this served as an engagement gift.

After Soviet liberation of the area, Asael joined the Soviet Red Army and 6 months later was killed in the Battle of Königsberg of 1945. He never lived to see the child he fathered with Chaja.

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Nicholas Nickleby (2002 film)

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Nicholas Nickleby is a 2002 British/American drama film with comedic undertones written and directed by Douglas McGrath. The screenplay is based on The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, which originally was published in serial form between March 1838 and September 1839.

In a prologue we are introduced to the Nicklebys, who enjoy a comfortable life in the Devon countryside until the father dies and leaves his family with no source of income. Nineteen-year-old Nicholas, his mother, and his younger sister Kate venture to London to seek help from their wealthy, cold-hearted uncle Ralph, an investor who arranges for Nicholas to be hired as a tutor at Dotheboys Hall in Yorkshire and finds Kate work as a seamstress.

Nicholas is horrified to discover his employers, the sadistic Mr. and Mrs. Squeers, run their boarding school like a prison and physically, verbally, and emotionally abuse their young charges on a regular basis. He eventually rebels and escapes, taking with him young crippled Smike. As they journey to London, they stumble upon a theatrical troupe owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Crummles. They cast them in a production of Romeo and Juliet, but despite a successful first night and the couple's invitation to stay, Nicholas is determined to continue their journey to London to learn how his mother and sister are faring.

Nicholas is reunited with his family, who welcome Smike as one of their own, finds employment with the Cheeryble brothers, and makes the acquaintance of Madeline Bray, an artist who is the sole support of herself and her tyrannical father, who gambled away his fortune and that of his late wife. Nicholas discovers Kate has been subjected to humiliating sexual attention from lecherous Sir Mulberry Hawk, a client of their uncle, who has encouraged the man to seduce his niece in the hope she will succumb and thus cement Hawk's business relationship with him. Nicholas' determination to defend his sister's honor leads his uncle to vow he will destroy the young man. What ensues is a series of adventures in which the upstanding Nicholas manages to survive the schemes of his evil uncle, including an attempt to return Smike to Squeers and an effort to abort Nicholas' growing relationship with Madeline by promising her father he will excuse his debts if the girl weds Hawk. Eventually a sinister secret Ralph has harbored for years surfaces, with both tragic and joyous consequences. After it comes to light that Smike was Ralph's son, Ralph hangs himself. At the end Kate marries a kindly gentlemen who is the nephew of Nicholas's bosses. Nicholas makes it a double wedding by marrying Madeline.

In Creating a Classic: The Making of Nicholas Nickleby, a bonus feature on the film's DVD release, screenwriter/director Douglas McGrath and his cast and crew discuss the development of the project. The positive audience reaction to a stage reading of the screenplay in a theater in lower Manhattan, which included a number of actors who eventually were cast in the film, convinced McGrath to proceed with the movie. At the request of production designer Eve Stewart, he advanced the time frame from the 1830s to the 1850s so she could incorporate elements of the Industrial Revolution into her design plans.

Jamie Bell's audition for the role of Smike in a London hotel room left McGrath and the producers in tears, and they cast him on the spot. While considering Mrs. Crummles, a smug, opinionated, but lovable dowager, McGrath realized all her traits and characteristics were embodied by Dame Edna Everage, alter ego of actor Barry Humphries, but was hesitant to suggest casting a male in the role. The producers, however, agreed Humphries was an ideal choice. Nicholas was one of the last roles to be cast. Charlie Hunnam had been sent the script, but several months passed before he had an opportunity to read it. He met with McGrath, and based on a couple of hours of conversation with the actor, the director felt he finally had found the right man for the part. Ironically, the British Hunnam had to work with a dialect coach; having lived and worked in the US for the past several years, he had perfected an American accent in order to ensure regular employment.

Costume designer Ruth Myers opted to dress two of the leading characters in clothing pre-dating the period in which the film is set in order to suggest Nicholas, as the newly anointed head of his family, wore clothing inherited from his father, and the impoverished Madeline's dresses were hand-me-downs from her mother in Borehamwood and Three Mills Studios in the East End of London.

The film grossed $1,587,173 in the US and $2,064,289 in foreign markets for a total worldwide box office of $3,651,462 .

The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. It received the National Board of Review Award for Best Cast, and Romola Garai was nominated for the Jameson People's Choice Award for Best European Actress at the European Film Awards.

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Dear Wendy

Dear Wendy film.jpg

Dear Wendy is a 2005 movie directed by Thomas Vinterberg, and starring Jamie Bell, Bill Pullman, Mark Webber and Alison Pill among others.

It is a co-production of Denmark, Germany, France and the UK.

The script was written by Lars von Trier.

The movie performed poorly at the box office and received very poor reviews, frequently being compared unfavourably to von Trier's award-winning Dogville, released the previous year.

The teenage members of a group of self-proclaimed pacifists decide to carry guns. They call themselves The Dandies. Their club is assembled from the young misfits in a fictional small American mining town, Electric Park. It is started after the main character, Dick Dandelion (Jamie Bell), buys what he thinks is a toy gun as a gift. His co-worker tells him the gun is real, and the two start shooting and studying in their spare time. They later recruit other outcasts, young men (and one token woman) who do not, or cannot, work in the mine, including one boy in leg braces and his younger brother Freddie.

The film is framed by Dick's voiceover, resembling a love letter to his gun Wendy. He is the leader of the group (each member and their gun gets a vote), and tells them that their group is a "social experiment" and will reveal their true nature.

The script shares characteristics with earlier von Trier scripts, depicting violence and race relations in the United States in a highly stylized, exaggerated manner and mixing realistic and fantastic elements.

Though more substantial than the bare sound stage of Dogville, Electric Park is reminiscent of a western set on the back lot of a movie studio. The Dandies spend most of their time on this one block or in an abandoned mining shaft that they decorate and call the Temple.

The Dandies have several quirks and idiosyncratic rules. A Dandy may never brandish his weapon in public, but instead gains self-confidence simply knowing he is carrying a concealed weapon. As a badge of membership, they cultivate a 'Brideshead Stutter' (a reference to the character Anthony Blanche in Brideshead Revisited, who also adopts a deliberate stammer). They refuse to say the word 'killing' and instead refer to it as 'loving.' They live up to their name, Dandies, by dressing in colourful, outdated clothing, including vests, long jackets and hats. Though they regularly shoot targets (bull's eyes are oddly common), they spend just as much time playing gun-related games, watching instructional videos and studying diagrams. They use their own personal guns, all antiques with names and back stories, more as props than weapons. Even when they do load and shoot their weapons, they favour style over function (for example, Dick decides to shoot from the hip, Susan uses two guns and works on indirect hits using ricocheted bullets).

Most of the characters in the film are white, save for two: Clarabelle, Dick's loving childhood nanny, and her grandson Sebastian. Sebastian shows up at Dick's house one day with the town sheriff (Bill Pullman). He has been put on probation for a weapons-related crime (he says he "blew a guy away") and has to regularly check in with Dick, whom the sheriff judges to be a good role model. The irony being that Dick and the Dandies spend all of their time using guns. Dick allows Sebastian to break probation and asks him to join the Dandies (Dick sees it as a bit of a My Fair Lady affair), but only if he does everything on their terms.

One day, Sebastian gives them a suspicious box full of guns, and soon breaks a club rule by firing another member's gun. Dick complains that Sebastian is "ruining it for everyone." The group's sole female member, Susan (Alison Pill), takes a shine to Sebastian and this threatens Dick. Freddie suggests that she likes "big schlongs." Like Dick, she lost a parent early on in the film though it doesn't seem to disturb her. Most of the film plays out like a child's game of cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians, and most of the non-Dandies portrayed are police officers and faceless miners.

Sebastian's natural manner is in stark contrast to the affectations of the Dandies, especially the awkward poetry of Dick's voiceover. He speaks like a regular teenager and seems out of place in the one-block world of Electric Park. He points out their oddities, including their strange clothing. He is an outsider among outsiders, but still enlisted in the group.

Sebastian tells Dick that he and his friends carry guns because they're scared, that everyone is scared. He tells them that his grandmother, Dick's former nanny, is too scared of "the gangs" to even leave her home (these vague, mysterious "gangs" had already been mentioned by Dick's boss at Salomon's grocery store, who was terrified of them to the point of a nervous breakdown). Like a good Boy Scout, Dick devises a sort of war plan for assisting Clarabelle on her yearly visit to her cousin's. He believes it is the "decent American" thing to do.

The Dandies accompany Clarabelle on her walk, but she becomes panicked when they encounter the sheriff. There is a scuffle, he tries to help out and the old lady ends up shooting at him.

The sheriff asks the Dandies to hand over Clarabelle, even telling them they can keep their guns if they do so. He tells the boys that they are what the country is made of. The Dandies notice his autmoatic gun, which Dick calls "treacherous," and sense that they are being set up just as several other police officers appear. The Dandies flee to the Temple to hide.

Now outlaws, the Dandies decide to take Clarabelle to her cousin's once and for all. Their decision is based more on principle than practicality, and it is clear that they are willing to martyr themselves. They treat it as a suicide mission, cutting themselves ceremonially and donning their fanciest clothes. Sebastian discovers Dick's now-finished letter to Wendy, which ends with the coded threat: "And now, it's the time of the season for loving" ("loving" is Dandy code for killing).

They head outside one by one, armed, to face the team of shotgun-toting police officers assembled by a legion of squad cars. The first to go, Huey (Chris Owen), tells them "We're not interested in shooting anybody, so don't make us." The Marshall arrives and tells Huey to "Drop the pathetic gun right this minute." He is promptly shot by Huey, who smiles and announces "Officer d-d-down I'm afraid!" before hobbling into gunfire. Huey discovers that he can walk fine without his crutches just as he's gunned down. Meanwhile, a bullet ricochets and hits Clarabelle in the leg as the Dandies continue attempting to escort her to her cousin's house (like all the film's location, it is located within a one-block radius).

Dick realizes that there is a sniper in their midst and sets on shooting the offender down. Susan is the next to shoot, using both of her guns and her carefully-honed ricochet method. All the while, white lines and numbers on the screen graphically depicting the trajectories of the Dandies' shots. Susan is shot in the head. Stevie and his gun Badsteel come to her defence and he is shot in the heart.

Sebastian asks Dick "What happened?" and a series of morgue photographs flash across the screen. Only Sebastian, Dick and Freddie remain. The three attempt to drag Clarabelle to safety. Freddie is the next to go. He has tied a cord around his testicles, a tactic with roots in Native American history that he championed earlier on, and grabs his crotch before getting up and firing. He is quickly shot down, rises, then is shot several more times.

Clarabelle stirs and Dick is hit as he comes to her aid, though he manages to get her all the way to her cousin's house. While he is inside, police officers are scanning the windows and lining him up in their guns' sights.

Dick resembles a pilgrim as he turns around in his buckle hat. His life, at least that which was contained by the film, flashes before his eyes. He examines the exit wound and whispers "Wendy." The police on the roof across the street shoot up the windows and, mostly likely, Sebastian.

All the while, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" plays in the background.

The film features many tracks by the 1960s pop-rock band The Zombies, including "She's Not There", "Time of the Season". Dick's final words to Wendy in his letter, "it's the time of the season for loving" is a quote from the latter song.

The film was shot on a custom-built studio lot in Copenhagen, but represents a small mining town in West Virginia.

The DVD contains an interview with Vinterberg and von Trier.

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Source : Wikipedia