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The 66th Berlin International Film Festival will award an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement to German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, whose body of work—more than 130 films in all—includes such classic titles as "The Marriage of Maria Braun" (1979), "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988) "Goodfellas" (1990). In 2006, Ballhaus received the Berlinale Camera for his unique contribution to film. Read More: "Meryl Streep to Lead Next Year's Berlin Jury" After beginning as a still photographer and cameraman, Ballhaus' career as a cinematographer took off in the 1970s, the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, from "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" (1972) to "Maria Braun." Beginning in the 1980s, Ballhaus shifted his focus to the United States, where he worked with renowned directors Mike Nichols, Robert Redford, James L. Brooks, Nancy Meyers, and most especially Martin »
- Matt Brennan
Festival will feature 10 films from the German cinematographer in February.
The 66th Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 11-21) is to award an Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement to German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, to whom the festival is also dedicating this year’s Homage.
Before spending 25 years working primarily in the Us, Ballhaus established his reputation in Germany where he worked with, among others, auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
The award will be bestowed on Feb 18, accompanied by a screening of Gangs Of New York, which was shown out of competition at the 2003 Berlinale.
Ballhaus was president of the Berlinale’s International Jury in 1990 and was awarded the Berlinale Camera for his unique »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
“Annie Hall” has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.
The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped “Some Like it Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!” and “Tootsie,” which make up the rest of the top five. “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” rounded out the top 10.
The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his “This Is Spinal Tap” script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film.
- Dave McNary
The Austin Film Festival has selected Brian Helgeland as recipient of its Distinguished Screenwriter Award, to be presented Oct. 31.
Helgeland won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for “L.A. Confidential” and was nominated for “Mystic River.” He directed and wrote “Legend,” “42,” “A Knight’s Tale” and “Payback” and wrote “Man on Fire,” “The Taking of Pelham 123,” “Conspiracy Theory,” “Green Zone” and “Blood Work.”
Helgeland has also won awards from the Writers Guild of America, as well as the Pen Center Literary Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the USC Scripter Award. Universal launches “Legend,” starring Tom Hardy, on Oct. 2.
- Dave McNary
When Heitor Pereira was a boy growing up in rural, heavily forested Brazil, his grandfather — an avid birdwatcher — used to tell him, “Listen to the symphony of the birds and the life around us. Can you imagine a day without these melodies?”
Nowadays Pereira honors that memory within the context of moving pictures, whether mimicking nature or underscoring character and story.
“Melody is still where I start,” says the composer of such animated features as “Despicable Me” and “Minions,” and live-action films like “If I Stay” and “It’s Complicated.” “Even if it’s a birthplace for the score and then becomes textural. If I do that, I never get lost, because melodies have meaning. They are a musical conclusion of a conversation that we may have about a character.”
- Jon Burlingame
You may have heard that Quentin Tarantino's new interview at Vulture is entertaining, and that's because it is. He discusses "The Hateful Eight," perceptions about his career and influence, and his opinion of other filmmakers. He's especially keen on David O. Russell. Many Twitter users have said that the Q&A is filled with "truth bombs," and that's sort of true, but it's also filled with tired old biases disguised as brave stances, and one particular quote caused me to twinge in agitation and boredom. "I don’t know if we’re going to be talking about The Town or The Kids Are All Right or An Education 20 or 30 years from now. Notes on a Scandal is another one. Philomena. Half of these Cate Blanchett movies — they’re all just like these arty things. I’m not saying they’re bad movies, but I don’t think most of them have a shelf life. »
- Louis Virtel
Grr, argh. Sit, Ubu, sit. I made this! What’s the story behind the production company tags added onto our favourite TV shows?
Closing logos have evolved into a TV production company’s tiny stamp of individuality. They’re a single snippet of screen time not at the mercy of network notes, audience feedback or sponsorship concerns.
A closing tag doesn’t need to sell a show, tell a story, or lasso an audience back for the next episode. It’s simply a signature, a few seconds entirely belonging to the creatives, to do with what they will.
As such, closing logos are as self-indulgent or esoteric as the production company wills them. They’re perhaps the only place in television production where in-jokes, family photos, personal homages (or extended rants in the case of one comedy producer) and kid-drawn scribbles usually found taped to the fridge door are entirely welcome. »
The Television Critics Association Awards were held Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, or as host James Corden called it, the ceremony that celebrates “the dramas, the comedies and whatever category ‘Orange is the New Black’ is now calling itself.”
Exec producers and stars accepted awards for categories like individual achievement in comedy (which went to Amy Schumer), outstanding achievement in comedy (which went to her Comedy Central show) and outstanding achievement in youth programming (which went to ABC Family’s “The Fosters”).
“Are you giving this award to us sarcastically?” asked John Oliver via prerecorded message when his HBO show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” won outstanding achievement in news and Information over more traditional choices like PBS’ “Frontline” and CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
Winners were informed ahead of time, which Corden joked would allow more time for speech preparation.
“I thought I was supposed to fake surprise,” said “Better Call Saul’s” Peter Gould, »
- Whitney Friedlander
“Empire” may have been snubbed by the Television Academy when it comes to the Emmy Awards, but it won redemption from the Television Critics Association, winning the organization’s top prize, Program of the Year.
In winning program of the year, “Empire” edged out “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” “The Americans” and “Transparent.” Amazon’s family dramedy had been nominated for four TCA awards, but ultimately won none.
The evening’s other big winner was pop culture’s “it” girl of the moment, Amy Schumer, who took home two prizes: for her Comedy Central series “Inside Amy Schumer” as Outstanding Achievement in Comedy as well as for Individual Achievement in Comedy.
AMC earned two wins, too: its highly praised freshman series “Better Call Saul,” the prequel to “Breaking Bad,” was crowned Outstanding New Program, and “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm claimed his second Individual Achievement in Drama award for his portrayal of adman Don Draper. »
- Debra Birnbaum
Tonight, the Television Critics Association press tour takes a pause for the annual presentation of the TCA Awards, with the big winners including "Empire," "The Americans," "Inside Amy Schumer" and Jon Hamm. "Empire" was named the Program of the Year, which is an award designed to encompass not only quality, but cultural impact. "Inside Amy Schumer" won both the comedy series award and an individual award for Schumer herself. "The Americans" was named the best drama by critics, while Hamm won the individual achievement in drama award (his second TCA win) for the final season of "Mad Men." It was a share the wealth night, with Schumer being the only double winner. AMC's "Better Call Saul" beat out a lot of impressive nominees (including "Empire") to win the new program award, HBO won for both the movies & miniseries category with "The Jinx" and for news & information for "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Lavigne plays Snow White, Tisdale is Cinderella and Qem is Sleeping Beauty with the trio joining Demi Lovato as the female lead Lenore. The story follows what happens after the princesses discover they are all engaged to the same prince. [Source: Deadline]
Jordan Vogt-Roberts helms the film which will be set in the mysterious, dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the island. Max Borenstein, John Gatins and Dan Gilroy penned the script. [Source: Variety]
New Jersey native Shanice Williams »
- Garth Franklin
Hailee Steinfeld is in negotiations to star in Stx Entertainment's coming-of-age film, previously called Besties. In the vein of John Hughes film, the story centers on two high school girls who are best friends until one starts secretly dating the other’s older brother. Director-producer James L. Brooks (As Good As It Gets, Spanglish) is producing the project, while Kelly Fremon Craig, who wrote the spec script, is set to make it her directorial debut, with Brooks serving as a mentor. Richard Sakai and Julie Ansell also are producing. Craig's spec, which was called Besties, was originally scooped
- Rebecca Ford
"You've gone from Taxi to this," Jimmy Fallon cracked at Danny DeVito during Tuesday's Tonight Show, as the duo geared up for a game of inflatable flip cup. "When this is over, I'm gonna kick your ass," the actor fired back. Host and guest channeled their inner frat boys as they raced to down Solo cups of beer and flip over the cups, all while wearing random poofy suits.
Fallon took an early lead in the contest, holding on for a victory – despite a strong surge from DeVito, whom Fallon »
'Everest' 2015, with Jake Gyllenhaal at the Venice Film Festival. What global warming? Venice Film Festival 2015 jury: Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón president The 2015 Venice Film Festival, to be held Sept. 2–12, has announced the members of its three main juries: Venezia 72, Horizons, and the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film. In case you're wondering, “Why Venezia 72”? Well, the simple answer is that this is the 72nd edition of the festival. Looking at the lists below, you'll notice that, as usual, Europeans dominate the award juries. The only two countries from the Americas represented are the U.S. and Mexico, and here and there you'll find a sprinkling of Asian film talent. Golden Lion jury The Golden Lion – Venezia 72 Competition – jury is comprised by the following: Jury President Alfonso Cuarón, the first Mexican national to take home the Best Director Academy Award (for the Sandra Bullock-George Clooney »
- Anna Robinson
Is it game over for Adam Sandler? His new comedy, “Pixels,” opened over the weekend to a mediocre $24 million, a disappointing result for the $88 million project. Sandler’s latest box office lemon comes on the heels of “The Cobbler” (Sandler’s lowest-grossing title ever, which opened to just $24,000 from 20 theaters in March), 2014’s “Blended” (the Drew Barrymore reteaming that mustered $46 million), “That’s My Boy” (a pairing with Andy Samberg that eked out $37 million) and “Jack and Jill” (the cross-dressing comedy that landed some of the worst reviews of his career). His only recent hits have been the 2013 sequel to “Grown Ups” (which netted $133 million) and “Hotel Transylvania,” an animated film that didn’t require him to be onscreen.
Here’s how Sandler’s box office career went from $4 billion in ticket sales to ice cold.
1. He aged out of his material
Sandler, 48, spent the ’90s playing the eternal teenage »
- Ramin Setoodeh
At the world premiere of “Trainwreck” at the SXSW Film Festival last March, the loudest laughs from inside the theater came from the film’s director, Judd Apatow. Slumped down in a seat behind his new star, Amy Schumer, Apatow was so invested in the story about a thirtysomething magazine journalist who emerges from a series of one-night stands to begrudgingly find true love that he actually shushed a nearby, mortified fan who tried to open a candy wrapper.
Later, Apatow and Schumer would deliver a standup comedy set in Austin that provided the launching pad for a national tour they’d announce. And “Trainwreck,” which opens today, will keep the laughs coming. Apatow, one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood (“Girls,” “Anchorman 2,” “Begin Again,” “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday,” etc.), has been selective about his own directorial projects. “Trainwreck” is his first film since 2012’s “This is 40, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Under the new pact, Shearer will continue to lend his voice to the characters of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Waylon Smithers and Principal Skinner on the long-running Fox series through seasons 27 and 28.
Shearer’s return comes after a public contract dispute, ultimately resulting in Shearer tweeting, back in May, that he’d be exiting the hit animated series after 26 seasons. He said, “This because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work.”
At the time, “Simpsons” exec producers Matt Groening, Al Jean and James L. Brooks released a statement, confirming his departure, and adding that Shearer’s roles would be recast, rather than his characters being killed off. “Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed, »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Update: It might not be the most shocking news, but it is at least a pleasant surprise. While details of the new deal were not released, Shearer and his multitude of voices will return for the show's 27th and 28th seasons. Woo hoo!You might know Harry Shearer's face from his portrayal of Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, but his voice has been echoing around your brain for over 25 years, as his work on The Simpsons has seen him play the likes of Otto, Montgomery Burns, Seymour Skinner and Ned Flanders - but now, that gig is up, with Shearer leaving the series.Announcing the news on Twitter, Shearer mentioned a letter from the show's producer, James L. Brooks:from James L. Brooks' lawyer: "show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.". (1/2)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015This because I wanted what »
Peace has been restored in Springfield.
RelatedThe Simpsons Update: Homer & Marge Are (Still) Not Divorcing in Season 27
The fresh pact ensures that Shearer will continue to voice such characters as Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Waylon Smithers and Principal Skinner for the foreseeable future.
Update 7/7: Several weeks after Harry Shearer, voice of Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Otto and many other iconic characters on The Simpsons, announced his departure from the legacy show on Twitter, EW has learned he has now signed a deal and will return to the show for its 27th season.
Shearer has reportedly signed the same deal as his counterparts on the show. The show will remain on schedule ahead of Season 27’s September 27 premiere, as they’ve previously reserved seven episodes filmed during the previous season that do include Shearer’s voice work. Read the original story below, along with a round-up of Shearer’s best non-Simpsons moments.
The Simpsons recently got picked up for an additional two seasons, which will bring the show through its 28th season. But one cast member who has been with the show from the beginning, Harry Shearer, will not be joining it.
- Brian Welk
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