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14 items from 2005


Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

11 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

"Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" is a wondrous flight of fancy, a stop-motion-animated treat brimming with imaginative characters, evocative sets, sly humor, inspired songs and a genuine whimsy that seldom finds its way into today's movies. In short, everything has gone right in Tim Burton's second foray into stop-motion following his 1993 film "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

The title may frighten off some family business, but the Land of the Dead proves to be such a raucous and naughty place that the film's allure should extend beyond Burton fans to include a sizable family crowd. The Warner Bros. domestic release is Sept. 23.

The puppets come in all shapes and sizes, but the three protagonists are tall and thin with facial characteristics reminiscent of their voice actors: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Emily Watson. The village that is the Land of the Living is vaguely late-19th century Eastern European with a permanent overcast that yields a rich, monochromatic black and white with only faint dabs of color when a match flares or a butterfly appears.

Ah, but the Land of the Dead is ablaze in color. It boasts an open bar, the Ball and Sockett Pub, and its own bony band, the Skeletones led by hep cat Bonejangles (voiced by the film's composer, Danny Elfman). Skeletons collapse and regroup. A bodiless head is the Head Waiter. There's a Second Hand Shop, which means exactly what you think it means. A cheerful maggot, for no apparent reason, sounds like Peter Lorre. You know what one elder means when he says "people are dying to get down here."

The story, penned by John August, Caroline Thompson and Pamela Pettler, is supposedly based on a macabre Russian folk tale. It's set deep into the class-conscious, highly repressed Victorian era, so much so that the two young people, who find themselves the object of an arranged marriage, are called Victor and Victoria.

Victor (Depp) is a shy, talented pianist with a penchant for clumsiness. His social-climbing, nouveau riche parents, Nell and William Van Dort (Tracey Ullman and Paul Whitehouse), push him into marriage with the even shyer Victoria (Watson), daughter of penniless aristocrats Maudeline and Finis Everglot (Joanna Lumley and Albert Finney).

Miraculously, romance sparks between these two. They might be happy after all, which would be a direct affront to the Victorian era, not to mention their parents. While practicing his vows in the nearby forest, Victor places the wedding ring on a dead twig sticking out of the ground ... which turns out not to be a dead twig but the hand of a murdered bride.

The vow awakens the Corpse Bride (Carter), whose heart no longer beats yet still seeks a true love to share for all eternity. She accepts the astonished groom's vows and drags poor Victor down to the underworld. How will he find his way back?

The story unfolds with several fanciful songs by Elfman. One is reminiscent of Gilbert and Sullivan by way of Lionel Bart. Another is pure New Orleans jazz. The animation, directed by Burton and Mike Johnson from characters created by Burton and Carlos Grangel, is both witty and lovely to behold whether topside or down below. And the voice actors get just the right tone and tenor for their individual characters.

At 77 minutes, you might be tempted to see the film twice.

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE

Warner Bros.

A Tim Burton/Laika Entertainment production

Credits:

Director: Mike Johnson, Tim Burton

Screenwriters: John August, Caroline Thompson, Pamela Pettler

Producers: Tim Burton, Allison Abbate

Executive producer: Jeffrey Auerbach, Joe Ranft

Director of photography: Pete Kozachik

Production designer: Alex McDowell

Music/songs: Danny Elfman

Editor: Jonathan Lucas, Chris Lebenzon

Original characters created by: Tim Burton, Carlos Grangel

Cast:

Victor Van Dort: Johnny Depp

Corpse Bride: Helena Bonham Carter

Victoria Everglot: Emily Watson

Nell Van Dort/Hildegarde: Tracy Ullman

William Van Dort/Mayhew/Paul: Paul Whitehouse

Maudeline Everglot: Joanna Lumley

Finnis Everglot: Albert Finney

Barkis Bittern: Richard E. Grant

Paster Galswells: Christopher Lee

Elder Gutknecht: Michael Gough

Black Widow Spider/Mrs. Plum: Jane Horrocks

MPAA rating PG

Running time -- 77 minutes »

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Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

4 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

"Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" is a wondrous flight of fancy, a stop-motion-animated treat brimming with imaginative characters, evocative sets, sly humor, inspired songs and a genuine whimsy that seldom finds its way into today's movies. In short, everything has gone right in Tim Burton's second foray into stop-motion following his 1993 film "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

The title may frighten off some family business, but the Land of the Dead proves to be such a raucous and naughty place that the film's allure should extend beyond Burton fans to include a sizable family crowd. The Warner Bros. domestic release is Sept. 23.

The puppets come in all shapes and sizes, but the three protagonists are tall and thin with facial characteristics reminiscent of their voice actors: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Emily Watson. The village that is the Land of the Living is vaguely late-19th century Eastern European with a permanent overcast that yields a rich, monochromatic black and white with only faint dabs of color when a match flares or a butterfly appears.

Ah, but the Land of the Dead is ablaze in color. It boasts an open bar, the Ball and Sockett Pub, and its own bony band, the Skeletones led by hep cat Bonejangles (voiced by the film's composer, Danny Elfman). Skeletons collapse and regroup. A bodiless head is the Head Waiter. There's a Second Hand Shop, which means exactly what you think it means. A cheerful maggot, for no apparent reason, sounds like Peter Lorre. You know what one elder means when he says "people are dying to get down here."

The story, penned by John August, Caroline Thompson and Pamela Pettler, is supposedly based on a macabre Russian folk tale. It's set deep into the class-conscious, highly repressed Victorian era, so much so that the two young people, who find themselves the object of an arranged marriage, are called Victor and Victoria.

Victor (Depp) is a shy, talented pianist with a penchant for clumsiness. His social-climbing, nouveau riche parents, Nell and William Van Dort (Tracey Ullman and Paul Whitehouse), push him into marriage with the even shyer Victoria (Watson), daughter of penniless aristocrats Maudeline and Finis Everglot (Joanna Lumley and Albert Finney).

Miraculously, romance sparks between these two. They might be happy after all, which would be a direct affront to the Victorian era, not to mention their parents. While practicing his vows in the nearby forest, Victor places the wedding ring on a dead twig sticking out of the ground ... which turns out not to be a dead twig but the hand of a murdered bride.

The vow awakens the Corpse Bride (Carter), whose heart no longer beats yet still seeks a true love to share for all eternity. She accepts the astonished groom's vows and drags poor Victor down to the underworld. How will he find his way back?

The story unfolds with several fanciful songs by Elfman. One is reminiscent of Gilbert and Sullivan by way of Lionel Bart. Another is pure New Orleans jazz. The animation, directed by Burton and Mike Johnson from characters created by Burton and Carlos Grangel, is both witty and lovely to behold whether topside or down below. And the voice actors get just the right tone and tenor for their individual characters.

At 77 minutes, you might be tempted to see the film twice.

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE

Warner Bros.

A Tim Burton/Laika Entertainment production

Credits:

Director: Mike Johnson, Tim Burton

Screenwriters: John August, Caroline Thompson, Pamela Pettler

Producers: Tim Burton, Allison Abbate

Executive producer: Jeffrey Auerbach, Joe Ranft

Director of photography: Pete Kozachik

Production designer: Alex McDowell

Music/songs: Danny Elfman

Editor: Jonathan Lucas, Chris Lebenzon

Original characters created by: Tim Burton, Carlos Grangel

Cast:

Victor Van Dort: Johnny Depp

Corpse Bride: Helena Bonham Carter

Victoria Everglot: Emily Watson

Nell Van Dort/Hildegarde: Tracy Ullman

William Van Dort/Mayhew/Paul: Paul Whitehouse

Maudeline Everglot: Joanna Lumley

Finnis Everglot: Albert Finney

Barkis Bittern: Richard E. Grant

Paster Galswells: Christopher Lee

Elder Gutknecht: Michael Gough

Black Widow Spider/Mrs. Plum: Jane Horrocks

MPAA rating PG

Running time -- 77 minutes »

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'Flightplan' stays aloft with $14.8 mil

4 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Despite the entry of four new wide release films this weekend, Buena Vista's Flightplan landed in first place for the second consecutive session. The Jodie Foster starrer absconded with $14.8 million, down 40% from it opening. The Imagine Entertainment production has collected an estimated $46.1 million in its first 10 days and encountered precious little turbulence from the newer films. Universal's Serenity was the highest grossing picture of the new arrivals, taking in $10.1 million to place second. The sci-fi actioner, helmed by Joss Whedon and based on his television series Firefly, carried a PG-13 rating and has a strong niche fan base. The opening was somewhat on the low side of expectations heading into the weekend, but the vast majority of reviews for Serenity were favorable and exit scores were positive. Warner Bros. Pictures' Tim Burton's Corpse Bride moved into the third slot, raising $10 million while slipping a steep 48% from its wide release debut. The stop-motion animated film, featuring the voices of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, has generated $33.2 million to date. »

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'Flightplan' stays aloft with $14.8 mil

3 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Despite the entry of four new wide release films this weekend, Buena Vista's Flightplan landed in first place for the second consecutive session. The Jodie Foster starrer absconded with $14.8 million, down 40% from it opening. The Imagine Entertainment production has collected an estimated $46.1 million in its first 10 days and encountered precious little turbulence from the newer films. Universal's Serenity was the highest grossing picture of the new arrivals, taking in $10.1 million to place second. The sci-fi actioner, helmed by Joss Whedon and based on his television series Firefly, carried a PG-13 rating and has a strong niche fan base. The opening was somewhat on the low side of expectations heading into the weekend, but the vast majority of reviews for Serenity were favorable and exit scores were positive. Warner Bros. Pictures' Tim Burton's Corpse Bride moved into the third slot, raising $10 million while slipping a steep 48% from its wide release debut. The stop-motion animated film, featuring the voices of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, has generated $33.2 million to date. »

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The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

17 September 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TORONTO -- After breaking in their act in several hilarious shorts -- two won Oscars -- and a TV series, Wallace and Gromit get their very own feature film in “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” Wallace, of course, is that cheerful but daft inventor extraordinaire and Gromit is his silent though sage canine, who quietly cleans up his master’s disasters. Most fans of the U.K.-based Aardman Animations’ magical claymation technique think of these two as the studio’s best creations. They certainly live up to that reputation in “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”

Aardman’s first feature for DreamWorks, “Chicken Run” in 2000, didn’t completely manage the trick of maintaining the laughs and stylish glee of its shorts in a film nearly three times their length. The studio now hits its stride in a second outing, displaying the same technical flair, wonderful British wit and a sharper story sense. Since “Curse” is both a family movie and a date movie, DreamWorks should enjoy a long theatrical run followed by a lively ancillary afterlife.

This adventure is scripted by the two co-directors, Steve Box and Nick Park, along with Bob Baker and Mark Burton. Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) & Gromit run a humane extermination company called Anti-Pesto, which collects rabbits savaging vegetable patches in a comfy British suburb and brings them back to the house. (The basement is getting rather overrun by rabbits, the truth be told.)

Anti-Pesto faces its greatest challenge when a monster rabbit devours patch after patch in the days leading up to the annual Giant Vegetable Competition, sponsored by Lady Tottington (an aristocratically bubbly Helena Bonham Carter). The team must also outwit the blustery Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes in a delightfully over-the-top caricature), who means to kill the monster rabbit with a gold bullet, a 24-carat one. (The Aardman crew is truly addicted to puns.)

Then the unthinkable happens: Wallace & Gromit meet the enemy and it is … Wallace? Yes, in a foolish attempt to rehab rabbits from their desire for veggies in his laboratory, things went horribly wrong. Now, when the moon comes out, Wallace transforms into the Were-Rabbit in a delightful sequence that captures the best of claymation.

Park and Box can now spoof all the old monster movies, everything from werewolves to King Kong himself. From here on the movie rolls merrily along with slapstick action and whimsical characters. And always there’s Gromit working feverishly to prevent disaster after disaster.

Julian Nott’s jolly music with its mock epic swells just barely keeps up with the breakneck pace, one-liners and jokey signs that fly by too fast for the eye to catch every one.

WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT

DreamWorks Pictures

DreamWorks Animation presents an Aardman Animations production

Credits: Directors: Nick Park, Steve Box; Writers: Steve Box, Nick Park, Bob Baker, Mark Burton; Producers: Claire Jennings, Carla Shelley, Peter Lord, David Sporxton, Nick Park; Executive producers: Michael Rose, Cecil Kramer; Director of photography: Tristan Oliver, Dave Alex-Riddett; Production designer: Phil Lewis; Music: Julian Nott; Editor: Dave McCormick, Greg Perler.

Cast: Wallace: Peter Sallis; Victor Quatermaine: Ralph Fiennes; Lady Tottington: Helena Bonham Carter; Rev.Hedges: Nicholas Smith; PC McIntosh: Peter Kay; Mrs. Mulch: Liz Smith.

MPAA rating G, running time 80 minutes.

»

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World premieres on tap at Telluride fest

1 September 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The Telluride Film Festival, which always keeps its programming under wraps until the last possible minute, announced the lineup for its 32nd festival on Thursday. The festival opens Friday. This year's eclectic four-day program from festival directors Bill Pence and Tom Luddy features quite a few world premieres that are going to unspool in other fall festivals such as Toronto, New York and Venice. They include "Edmond", a contemporary film noir directed by Stuart Gordon and adapted by David Mamet from his stage play starring William H. Macy; "Everything is Illuminated", the directorial debut of Liev Schreiber adapted from the award-winning novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, and starring Elijah Wood; "Bee Season", a domestic drama directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel (creators of "The Deep End"), featuring Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche; "Walk the Line", an exploration of the romance between Johnny Cash and June Carter, portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, directed by James Mangold; Andy Garcia's long-awaited Cuban revolution drama "The Lost City", co-written with the late Guillermo Cabrera Infante, featuring Bill Murray, Ines Sastre and Dustin Hoffman; Neil Jordan's "Breakfast on Pluto", a coming of age movie that explores the political turmoil of the 1970s with rising young actor Cillian Murphy; Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of novelist "Capote", directed by Bennett Miller; and "Conversations with Other Women", an inventive debut feature by Hans Canosa, with Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhardt. »

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

25 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Candy and fantasy film share this in common: Each is tricky to get right. Success requires a perfect balance of flavor, richness, depth and a yummy yumminess that's hard to pinpoint but you know it when you taste it. So when it comes to candy -- and to film fantasy -- "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is the real deal. This morality tale disguised as a whimsical, magical mystery tour of the world's greatest chocolate factory has all the gorgeousness of hard Dark Chocolate that melts ever-so-slowly in your mouth. What a treat coming from Tim Burton, who has recovered his imaginative touch after a few missteps, and from his frequent collaborator Johnny Depp, an actor who resolutely embodies Burton's fanciful vision.

Here's a film about kids and for kids that has not lost touch with what it is like to actually be a kid. Children and adults alike will jam lines to movie houses in North America and overseas to acquire golden tickets for this audience-pleaser.

"Charlie", of course, derives from Roald Dahl's quirky fantasy first published in 1964, which inspired the fondly remembered 1971 movie, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Dahl's tale, very faithfully adapted by John August, tells of a good-hearted though poor lad named Charlie (fresh-faced Freddie Highmore), who dwells in Dickensian squalor in a lean-to cottage -- how on earth does it remain upright, you wonder -- a few blocks from Willie Wonka's chocolate factory. He shares crowded quarters with a loving mom Helena Bonham Carter) and a happy though unemployed dad (Noah Taylor) along with both pairs of grandparents who occupy a communal bed.

One day the reclusive Willy Wonka, seen by nobody in years, announces a worldwide contest in which five children will win a guided tour of his factory. Golden tickets have been hidden in five Wonka chocolate bars. Naturally, Charlie is one of the lucky five. Each child is accompanied by an adult guardian. Charlie selects his excited Grandpa Joe (ageless David Kelly), who once worked for Willy.

Upon being escorted into the candy kingdom, the five children find themselves in a contest of sorts, though neither the rules nor the prize are ever stated. Unlike Charlie, the other children are all vile: Gluttonous Augustus Gloop (Philip Wiegratz) is a German Junge whose only thought is to continually stuff his face with sweets. The seriously spoiled Veruca Salt (Julia Winter) pouts and throws fits whenever her rich daddy (sturdy James Fox) fails to satisfy her whims.

Martial-artist Violet Beauregarde (Annasophia Robb) is fiercely competitive in all things, even gum chewing. Finally, techno brat Mike Teavee (Jordan Fry) lords his supposedly superior knowledge over everyone.

So you pretty much know who the likely winner is and can probably even guess the surprise prize. Which means the delight of the film lies in the guided tour itself performed by troubled Willy.

Outfitted in black with top hat and formal long-tail coat, a pasty-white face and faux gullibility, Depp somewhat resembles Michael Jackson on a good day. He is a man deliberately disconnected from any reality so he can focus solely on childish delights. Through flashbacks, which cannot be found in Dahl's book, you learn that Willy's life is a complete reaction to an overly strict father (Christopher Lee), a candy-hating dentist.

Willy and Charlie, however, are on the same wavelength: They naturally gravitate toward those things in life that are cheerful, optimistic and good. Both banish the dark side with a breezy nonchalance. Charlie, for instance, sees no squalor or poverty in his home, only the love of a close-knit family.

Willy leads the party through rooms of wonder beginning with the Chocolate Room, a grassy landscape divided by a chocolate river and waterfall, dotted with candy trees and fudge hills. In another room, 100 trained squirrels sit on tiny stools and carefully remove nuts from their shells. And can you imagine a goofier image than a suspended cow struck repeated with tiny whips to produce, yes, Whipped Cream?

Throughout the factory, workers named Oompa Loompas perform such tasks as mining fudge and rowing a spun-sugar seahorse-shaped galley on the chocolate river. All Oompa Loompas are played by the same diminutive actor, Deep Roy, who has been further miniaturized and multiplied through motion-capture technology.

During the tour, each vile child is undone by his or her character flaw. At the moment a child is eliminated from competition, the Oompa Loompas break into marvelous song and dance numbers that utilize Dahl's lyrics from the book. (Danny Elfman wrote the spirited music.) In these numbers, Burton cannot resist kidding a range of Hollywood classics ranging from Busby Berkeley musicals and Esther Williams pool ballets to Beatles movies, "2001" and even "Psycho".

Generally, movies have viewed mechanization with suspicion, going back at least to Chaplin's "Modern Times". Not here though. From the opening credits, Burton & Co. glory in automated assembly lines that spin out sugary concoctions in all colors and flavors, in laboratories filled with boiling pots and strange pipes and in an elevator that impossibly moves up, down, sideways and through the roof.

Dahl was nothing if not a first-class production designer and Burton's team follow his suggestions to the max. To evoke this dream factory, Burton benefits from a third collaboration with the resourceful and dexterous cinematographer Philippe Rousselot, who turns Alex McDowell's edible-looking sets into a confectioner's wonderland. Nick Davis' visual effects, Gabriella Pescucci's not-quite-old, not-quite-new costumes and Chris Lebenzon's smooth editing makes the chocolate factory one of the best fantasy worlds this side of Oz.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. in association with Village Roadshow Prods. Presents a Zanuck Co./Plan B production

Credits:

Director: Tim Burton

Screenwriter: John August

Based on the novel by: Roald Dahl

Producer: Richard D. Zanuck, Brad Grey

Executive producers: Patrick McCormick, Felicity Dahl, Michael Siegel, Graham Burke, Bruce Berman

Director of photography: Philippe Rousselot

Production designer: Alex McDowell

Music: Danny Elfman

Lyrics by: Roald Dahl

Co-producer: Katterli Frauenfelder

Costume designer: Gabriella Pescucci

Editor: Chris Lebenzon.

Cast:

Willy Wonka: Johnny Depp

Charlie Bucket: Freddie Highmore

Grandpa Joe: David Kelly

Mrs. Bucket: Helena Bonham Carter

Mr. Bucket: Noah Taylor

Mrs. Beauregarde: Missi Pyle

Mr. Salt: James Fox

Oompa Loompa: Deep Roy

Dr. Wonka: Christopher Lee

Mr. Teavee: Adam Godley

Mrs. Gloop: Franziska Troegner

Violet: Annasophia Robb

Mike: Jordon Fry

Augustus: Philip Wiegratz

MPAA rating: PG

Running time -- 120 minutes »

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'Wallace & Gromit' gets Toronto fest slot

16 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TORONTO -- Oscar-winning animator Nick Park's first feature-length Wallace & Gromit film will receive its North American premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday. Wallace & Gromit -- The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, directed by Park and Steve Box, is set to receive the red-carpet treatment at Roy Thomson Hall ahead of its theatrical release by DreamWorks SKG. The feature, which follows the two stop-motion characters as they attempt to thwart a vampire rodent running riot in a vegetable contest, is voiced by Peter Sallis as the cheese-loving Wallace, Helena Bonham Carter as the contest hostess and Ralph Feinnes as her snobby suitor. Park also will take part in the festival's Mavericks sidebar this year. »

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'Wallace & Gromit' gets Toronto fest slot

16 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TORONTO -- Oscar-winning animator Nick Park's first feature-length Wallace & Gromit film will receive its North American premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday. Wallace & Gromit -- The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, directed by Park and Steve Box, is set to receive the red-carpet treatment at Roy Thomson Hall ahead of its theatrical release by DreamWorks SKG. The feature, which follows the two stop-motion characters as they attempt to thwart a vampire rodent running riot in a vegetable contest, is voiced by Peter Sallis as the cheese-loving Wallace, Helena Bonham Carter as the contest hostess and Ralph Feinnes as her snobby suitor. Park also will take part in the festival's Mavericks sidebar this year. »

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Producer Ismail Merchant Dies at 68

25 May 2005 | IMDb News

Producer Ismail Merchant, who, along with James Ivory, brought such acclaimed literary adaptations as A Room with a View and Howards End to the screen, died Wednesday in London; he was 68. Reports on Merchant's death cited that he had been ill for some time and had undergone surgery for abdominal ulcers, and passed away at a London hospital surrounded by family and friends. Born in Bombay and educated both there and in New York, Merchant studied film at USC and early in his career produced and directed a number of acclaimed shorts. His film work brought him to the attention of New York's Asia Society, which commissioned him to make a documentary about Delhi. In India, he met American director James Ivory, and in 1961 the two embarked on a career together (both personally and professionally) that would result in more than 40 films; the first was The Householder (1963), based on the novel by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who, as their longtime screenwriter, was effectively the third "partner" in Merchant-Ivory Films. Initially, Merchant-Ivory was formed with the charter of making English-language films in India for international release, and their films reflected the conflicts between Indian and British culture. In the early '70s, they tentatively explored new territory . specifically 1920s Hollywood . with The Wild Party, but wouldn't find success outside of India-based films until 1979's The Europeans, based on the Henry James novel, which marked their first major literary adaptation. Small but acclaimed films followed, including Jane Austen in Manhattan and Heat and Dust, but Merchant-Ivory made a name for itself in the mid-'80s with two Oscar-nominated films: 1984's The Bostonians, featuring an Academy Award-nominated performance by Vanessa Redgrave, and their breakout hit, 1985's A Room With a View, the sublime adaptation of E.M. Forster's novel. The film made a star of a young ingénue named Helena Bonham Carter, established Merchant-Ivory as the highbrow literary filmmakers, and received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture (it won three). Taking on Forster again, Merchant-Ivory made the groundbreaking gay-themed drama Maurice in 1987 before unsuccessfully trying on modern-day Manhattan in Slaves of New York. After that film, Merchant-Ivory returned to classic literary adaptations including Mr. and Mrs. Bridge and two back-to-back Best Picture nominees, Howards End (eight Oscar nominations and three wins, including Best Actress for Emma Thompson) and The Remains of the Day (also eight nominations). Merchant's remaining films, from Jefferson in Paris (1995) to Le Divorce (2003) were relatively well-received, but never achieved the heights of his previous films. No further details regarding Merchant's death were forthcoming, and a statement was expected to be released later in the day. --Prepared by IMDb staff »

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Burton and Bonham Carter's Son's Walk-On Role

10 May 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Acclaimed film-maker Tim Burton's upcoming Charlie And The Chocolate Factory movie is a real family affair - with both his partner Helena Bonham Carter and young son Billy Ray starring. The pair, who began dating in 2001 after meeting on the set of Burton's Planet Of The Apes, welcomed Billy Ray into the world in October 2003. The Big Fish director enthuses, "I'm not saying more than he rolls by in the one shot and it's going to be his first and last cameo. I know too many actors to know what they're like, so I wouldn't actively encourage Billy to be one." Bonham Carter plays Charlie's mother Mrs Bucket in the eagerly-awaited adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel. »

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Fabrication falls for 'Other Women'

15 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Fabrication Films has acquired the dramatic feature Conversations With Other Women, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart and directed by Hans Canosa. The picture, produced by GordonStreet Pictures, tells the tale of a couple who meet at a mutual friend's wedding and their mysterious attraction to each other. Said Fabrication Films president Glen Reynolds: "One of our company's primary objectives is to discover the work of innovative filmmakers. The terrific story, wonderful talent and distinctive split-screen format of Conversations With Other Women made this an ideal project for us to distribute." »

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Eckhart joins 'Dahlia' force for De Palma

14 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Aaron Eckhart has booked a starring turn in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, which Millennium Films and Signature Pictures are producing. The movie is an adaptation of James Ellroy's 1940s-set novel about two LAPD cops who investigate the real-life case of the murder of fledgling actress Elizabeth Short. Eckhart will play one of the officers. Josh Hartnett portrays the other cop. Hilary Swank and Scarlett Johansson also have been cast. Shooting takes place next month in Bulgaria. Josh Friedman wrote the adaptation. Eckhart recently finished starring in three indie films: Room 9's Thank You for Smoking, with Robert Duvall and William H. Macy; Conversations With Other Women, opposite Helena Bonham Carter; and Neverwas, with Brittany Murphy. He also appeared in Erin Brockovich and In the Company of Men. Eckhart is repped by CAA and attorneys Barry Hirsch and David Matloff. »

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Senior agent Isaacs heads to Endeavor

11 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Senior talent agent Adam Isaacs has left UTA to become a partner at Endeavor. Isaacs' move is a substantial boost to the Endeavor talent roster, with a long list of major players -- including Keira Knightley, Matt LeBlanc and Juliette Binoche -- following him to his new home. Other clients confirmed at press time to be making the move include Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lambert, Toni Collette, Matthew Goode, Pia Miranda, Lena Olin, Miranda Otto, Rosamund Pike, Jonathan Pryce, Dougray Scott and Tom Waits. »

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14 items from 2005


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