‘Inversion,’ ‘Ship Breaker’ Set For 2018 Shoots, Says Philip Lee (Exclusive)

‘Inversion,’ ‘Ship Breaker’ Set For 2018 Shoots, Says Philip Lee (Exclusive)
Sci-fi action film, “Inversion,” with Jack Huston in the lead, is set for a late March 2018 shoot, producer Philip Lee has revealed.

Lee spoke to Variety ahead of an In-Conversation event at the ongoing Singapore International Film Festival on Friday. “We are finalizing the rest of the cast,” Lee said. The film pairs a street-wise American con man Chinese physicist as they race against the clock to save the earth from a loss of gravity.

Lee is a producer who straddles China and Hollywood, whose credits include “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Cloud Atlas,” “The Revenant,” and “Assassin’s Creed.”

Principal photography will commence in late 2018 on “Ship Breaker,” the first in a trilogy written and directed by Paul Haggis, based on U.S. author Paolo Bacigalupi’s young adult novels. “We have a very good draft from Paul Haggis,” Lee said.

On Lee’s untitled Honolulu-set Ronny Yu project about a Chinese policeman, scripting is underway.
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James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Wins San Sebastian

James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ Wins San Sebastian
San Sebastian — Having placed second in Toronto’s People’s Choice Awards, James Franco scored his first big outright win as a director, his “The Disaster Artist” scooping Saturday night the 65th San Sebastián Festival’s Golden Shell, the top plaudit at the highest-profile film event in the Spanish-speaking world.

“This was a family affair, my brother, my sister, my old friend Seth Rogen,” Franco said, accepting the award on stage at San Sebastián.

He added, thanking Warner Bros,: “It’s a very simple film about a crazy man but he had big dreams and it’s better than not having dreams. I hope that in these crazy times this brings a little light and inspiration.”

Described by Variety as “the comedy sensation of SXSW,” James Franco’s uproarious “making-of” satire of Tommy Wiseau’s best worst movie of this century, 2003’s “The Room,” “The Disaster Artist” had already won the Spanish critics’ Feroz Zinemaldia Prize
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Tiff 2017: ‘The Captain’ Review: Dir. Robert Schwentke (2017)

The Captain review: Divergent series helmer Robert Schwentke returns ti his native country for a flooring World War II true story that deserves attention.

The Captain review by Paul Heath.

From accomplished Hollywood filmmaker Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveller’s Wife, Red) comes this involving new motion picture that sees him return to his homeland and his native tongue for a monochrome drama set during the final days of World War II.

We open to our see a soldier being chased across open terrain, somewhere in rural Germany in the dying days of the war. The man, Herold (Max Hubacher) is dressed in raggedy clothes, a number of officers on his tail. He immediately manages to evade capture by hiding in a trench, his pursuers eventually giving up. A period of time passes and Herold moves on, only to quickly stumble across an abandoned vehicle seemingly stuck in the mud in a nearby field.
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“Snatched” teams Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer in a comedic adventure

Ever since the release of Trainwreck established Amy Schumer as a big screen comedy star, it has been a waiting game to find out how she would fair as an A list leading lady, following that hit. Schumer has already conquered the small screen with Inside Amy Schumer, but now she tries cinemas again with Snatched. It’s out today and represents the best option in theaters this week. Keep in mind, it’s not amazing, but it’s solidly entertaining and more than amusing enough to recommend. Plus, Schumer has gotten Goldie Hawn back on screens, which is an absolute delight. If you’re a fan of either, you should be in for a treat. The film is an action comedy that wants to be as much an adventure as it is a laugh riot. Emily Middleton (Schumer) is the complete opposite of her mother Linda Middleton (Hawn). In
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Film Review: ‘Snatched’

Film Review: ‘Snatched’
Amy Schumer is one of those rare comic artists, like Louis C.K. or Chris Rock, who can get you laughing out loud at reality. Two years ago, she carried that scorched-earth impulse right into her first movie, the fearlessly funny and close-to-the-bone “Trainwreck.” Written by Schumer herself, and directed by Judd Apatow, it was the most audacious romantic comedy in years — and the most satisfying, too — because it touched a nerve of almost masochistic sincerity. In “Snatched,” her first movie since “Trainwreck,” Schumer gets cast as a loser who’s even further down on the totem pole of respectability. It’s a sign of Schumer’s rapport with the audience that in the opening scene, where she appears to be playing the most annoying off-the-rack clothing-store customer in history (it turns out she’s actually the sales person), the deeper the hole she digs for herself, the more we like her.
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Martin Scorsese Remembers His Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus: ‘He Changed My Way Of Thinking’

Martin Scorsese Remembers His Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus: ‘He Changed My Way Of Thinking’
Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, who died Tuesday at the age of 81, is remembered fondly by Martin Scorsese as “a great artist” who “gave me back my sense of excitement in making movies,” Martin Scorsese said of the man who lensed “Goodfellas” and “Gangs of New York.”

For over two decades, the Scorsese and Ballhaus “had a real creative partnership, and a very close and enduring friendship,” Scorsese said in a statement. “By the time we met, he had already made film history with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and I revered him. He was a lovely human being, and he always had a warm smile for even the toughest situations—anyone who knew him will remember his smile. We started working together in the 80s, during a low ebb in my career. And it was Michael who really gave me back my sense of excitement in making movies.”

Read More: Michael Ballhaus, Who Lensed ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘The Departed,
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Legendary cinematographer Michael Ballhaus passes away at 81

Michael Ballhaus, Berlin 2016. Image The Hollywood News/ Heathside Media

Legendary cinematographer and frequent Martin Scorsese collaborator Michael Ballhaus has passed away at the age of 81. Ballhaus passed away at his Berlin home on Wednesday (12th April) following a short illness.

Ballhaus had over 100 credits to his name including 16 productions with Rainer Werner Fassbinder and the films After Hours, The Color of Money, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York and The Departed, all with Martin Scorsese.

He was nominated for an Oscar three times, for Broadcast News, The Fabulous Baker Boys in 1989 and Gangs of New York.

He is survived by his two children, Sebastian and Florian Ballhaus. May he rest in peace.

The post Legendary cinematographer Michael Ballhaus passes away at 81 appeared first on The Hollywood News.
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Arri Alexa 65: From Landscapes to Rom-Coms, the Camera That’s Won Over Lensers

Famed for its stunning shots of stark landscapes, “The Revenant” showed the dynamic vision of the filmmakers behind it. Those shots also revealed the incredible capabilities of the camera used to film many of those sequences — the Arri Alexa 65.

Designed initially to capture a tremendous amount of detail without distortion, the camera was made to work mostly with visual effects shots. Once the world’s premiere helmers and cinematographers viewed the results, it was quickly integrated into many production pipelines and used in ways that not even the manufacturer could have expected.

Director Alejandro G. Innaritu raved about the Alexa 65’s performance at an early screening of “The Revenant” and by then the secret was out. The camera was introduced just over a year ago and by January it had already been used on at least 18 feature films including “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” “The Revenant,” and even comedies like “How to Be Single.
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How They Did It: Catching Up with the 'Insurgent' Train Scene (Video)

How They Did It: Catching Up with the 'Insurgent' Train Scene (Video)
Now that the "Divergent" rules have been established, director Robert Schwentke was free to experiment with more psychological emphasis and different visual looks that keep us guessing what's real and what's a sim for Shailene Woodley's Tris. Schwentke 's longtime cinematographer Florian Ballhaus explains the challenges of "The Train" set piece, in which Tris and her friends narrowly escape the Erudites (watch the clip below). "Filming 'Insurgent' was a unique experience because we had the opportunity to be unusually experimental in the context of an action movie -- much more surreal than what is normally allowed. The atmosphere on the set was also shaped by our young and talented actors, an experience I found very refreshing," Ballhaus said. "Insurgent" posed an interesting challenge as a Ya franchise sequel: How do you raise the action and jeopardy while still keeping it character-driven and trippy? "We were lucky to.
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Lullaby Review

In the compelling, richly acted Lullaby, painter and sculptor Andrew Levitas writes and directs a debut film about a father’s impending death that manages to take the weight of the moment seriously and not as a simple plot tool for heightened drama. Based loosely off the events surrounding his own father’s death, Levitas takes advantage of a superb ensemble to offer a film that, while sometimes conventional and overlong, has the intimacy and intelligence of a stellar stage play. In fact, given how every other scene is in the dad’s hospital room, how the story takes place over an 18-hour period and how there are suspiciously few hospital staff around, it very well could have been staged.

Levitas’ father passed away more than a decade ago, which brought the artist time to reflect about the circumstances of his life and his father’s disease. Although he shares
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Film Review: ‘Lullaby’

Film Review: ‘Lullaby’
With a solemnity belied by his last name, sometime-actor-producer-painter-sculptor Andrew Levitas makes a doggedly personal and downbeat directorial debut with “Lullaby,” about a family that gathers for its patriarch’s imminent cancer death. The name cast, including Garrett Hedlund in a charismatic leading turn, may lure viewers, but even in limited release (with a simultaneous bow on VOD), the film faces grim B.O. prospects, given its subject matter.

In a director’s note, the polymath helmer — who has worked across visual arts, acted in various bit parts, and taken producing credits on such films as “The Art of Getting By” and “At Any Price” — says he was inspired by his father’s own prolonged deterioration from terminal illness. Indeed, it seems clear that “Lullaby,” which centers on a musician who returns home to bid his dad farewell after a period of estrangement from the family, is at least somewhat autobiographically inspired.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Watch: 6-Minute Ode To 21st Century Cinematographers

We’re nearly fifteen years into the 21st century and despite the frequent predictions of the implosion of cinema, the industry and medium is still going strong. While much has been made recently about the end of celluloid, a great deal of the best cinematic work in the past decade has been captured photochemically in addition to digitally as a new video on Vimeo can attest. Edited by Erick Lee, this roughly six-minute long video pays tribute to some the best cinematographers working today. In an attempt to maintain uniformity throughout the video as well as not wishing to crop any of the images, Lee culled shots from films with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 by luminaries that include Christopher Doyle, Pung-Leung Kwan, S. Ravi Varman,Frank Giebe, John Toll, Wally Pfister, Roger Deakins, Anthony Dod Mantle, Paul Cameron, Emmanuel Lubezki, J. Michael Muro, Robert Richardson, Florian Ballhaus,John R.,
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Ballhaus Talks 'The Book Thief'

Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Ballhaus Talks 'The Book Thief'
"The Book Thief" might be flying under the Oscar radar, but it's still a gentle gem worth considering. True, it's old-fashioned and sentimental while contemplating the vicarious power of storytelling. But it's a unique Holocaust story told from a child's point of view as well as Death's (adapted from the best-seller by Markus Zusak). And that's what attracted Dp Florian Ballhaus, best known for comedy ("The Devil Wears Prada"), and the son of the great cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (who's worked with both Fassbinder and Scorsese). "I enjoyed how it dealt with innocence and guilt through the eyes of children and their everyday lives," Ballhaus says. "In a way it legitimizes the simplicity or the sense of brutality that is shown from a kid's point of view in that world." Directed by Brian Percival ("Downton Abbey") with attention to innocence, Ballhaus insists that it was important not to be confined to one look.
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Interview: Geoffrey Rush, Brian Percival, Sophie Nélisse of ‘The Book Thief’

Chicago – Markus Zusak’s hit young adult novel “The Book Thief” is making the transition from book to screen this week when the film, which had its Windy City premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival, makes it theatrical debut.

When the movie premiered here, director Brian Percival, a vet of “Downton Abbey,” Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, and the incredibly talented future star Sophie Nélisse (who stole “Monsieur Lazhar”) sat down to talk to us about their work. Nélisse stars as Liesel, a young girl taken in by a kind couple (Rush & Emily Watson) in Germany just before World War II. When her new parents also take in a Jewish refugee as tensions grow in the small town, Liesel learns lessons about loyalty and courage.

Hollywoodchicago.Com: Who was familiar with the book?

Brian Percival: I don’t think any of us were familiar with the book actually when we got the screenplay.
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Film Review: ‘The Book Thief’

Film Review: ‘The Book Thief’
Markus Zusak’s international bestseller “The Book Thief” has been brought to the screen with quiet effectiveness and scrupulous taste by director Brian Percival and writer Michael Petroni. This tale of Nazi Germany seen from a child’s perspective translates into solidly engaging drama, albeit one that may not be starry, flashy or epic enough to muscle its way into the front ranks of awards-season contenders. Bolstered by the novel’s fans, the Fox release (which opens limited Nov. 8) should ride solid reviews and word of mouth to midlevel prestige returns in line with such comparable medium-scaled WWII dramas as “The Reader” and “The Pianist.”

Petroni streamlines or eliminates some peripheral characters and subplots without compromising the book’s essence. Like its source, the film is narrated by Death (voiced by Roger Allam), who says at the start that he seldom bothers with the living, but took a particular interest
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Toronto Film Review: ‘One Chance’

Toronto Film Review: ‘One Chance’
You don’t have to know anything about Paul Potts, the Port Talbot cell-phone salesman whose dream of becoming an opera singer came true when he won the first season of reality series “Britain’s Got Talent,” in order to whistle the tune of “One Chance.” Slavishly modeled on “Billy Elliot,” “The Full Monty” and “Brassed Off” (to name but three), this heart-tugging Potts biopic is so stuffed with cliches about macho brutes, lovable underdogs and Cinderella twists of fate that it ends up making its real-life subject seem more generic than his wholly fictional precursors. A precision-engineered crowdpleaser if ever there was, “One Chance” (which takes its title from Potts’ debut album) should nonetheless climb the charts with older and female auds, especially in the U.K., where it opens Oct. 25. The Weinstein Co. could also have a word-of-mouth hit on its hands when it releases the pic Stateside early next year.
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Toronto: Helmer David Frankel on ‘One Chance’: It’s Like ‘Rocky’ With Arias

Toronto: Helmer David Frankel on ‘One Chance’: It’s Like ‘Rocky’ With Arias
James Corden continued his slow but steady path to world domination Monday night at the festival premiere of “One Chance.” After conquering Britain with his sitcom “Gavin & Stacey,” plus London and Broadway in “One Man, Two Guvnors” (including a Tony win), Corden wowed the Toronto audience with his performance in “Chance” and with his comments and ad-libs at the preem.

One Chance” came to Toronto below the radar, but will be heard from again: The Weinstein Co. opens the comedy-drama in December. The pic tells the true story of Paul Potts, a Welsh phone-salesman who overcame a series of tragic-comic setbacks as he pursued his lifelong goal of singing opera.

At the Variety Studio Tuesday, director David Frankel said it’s like “Rocky” but with arias. As with that Oscar-winning 1976 film, the theme is “Don’t give up your dream.”

The filmmaker’s father Max Frankel was executive editor of
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When Are Films Political: The Brave Films of Toronto International Film Festival

Five brave films have made Tiff stand out in a very particular way for me this year. Usually I, among hordes of others, am busiest chasing down the next Academy Award contenders, the high priced U.S. acquisitions or the major sleeper of the festival. Those films are repeatedly covered by the trades, and my Rights Roundup will keep a running talley on all announced pickups worldwide of all the films.

These other brave films are the films which motivate our best filmmakers to create works of art in the first place of filmmaking on my charts.

I already covered Annemarie Jacir's newest film, When I Saw You (Isa: The Match Factory), about a young Palestinian boy in 1967 who, when placed in a Jordanian camp with his mother, insists on returning to his home to find his father. Annemarie is a beautifully determined Jordanian filmmaker who will make films which reflect our world's diversity, speaking out for women and children who would otherwise have no voice. Although there are several films dealing with these refugee camps of Palestinians which were supposed to be temporary but have remained in countries such as Lebanon and Jordan. for three generations, further marginalizing the dispossessed, this one stands out for me because it shows the woman and child in their own private spheres, marginalizing the male politics of the situation. The child's refusal to accept artificial barriers and borders triumphs in the end. That is the only hope for world unity.

Its opposite is realized in Costa Gavras' new film Capital, where money and corporate interests know no borders, and the socialist dream is turned on its head. This film was supported by the French; When I Saw You was supported by Abu Dhabi film funds. Both are important views of life in two vastly different segments of the world today. Will either see wide distribution? The Match Factory who has the most films in Toronto of any sales agent is selling the former and Elle Driver is selling the latter. We'll watch the sales on these two issue oriented dramas' sales.

Another film The Match Factory is handling is Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta, another filmmaker who is fearless in facing deeply philosophical and important issue. Hannah Arendt, one of the greatest political analysts of the Xx° century, who coined the phrase, "the banality of evil" when she covered the Jerusalem trial of Adolph Eichmann in 1961, and, in so doing, lost many of her best friends, is here portrayed by Barbara Sukowa, who revives the 60s in the New York German Jewish intellectual milieu, reminding us of the days when the New School was tackling tough issues and New Yorker magazine was articulating issues of great importance which today are just as urgent as they were then. The nature of totalitarianism includes victims and oppressors in a cycle of silence which in turn, creates evil because no one speaks up to protest. It took Von Trotta 10 years to make this film in spite of her winning the Venice Fest's Golden Lion for Marianne and Juliane in 1981, a story sharing the theme that von Trotta uses throughout her works, that “the personal is political", or Barbara Sukowa's winning Best Actress for in Venice for the same movie and Best Actress at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival for her work in von Trotta's film Rosa Luxemburg. The New York of this story ("Paradise" as the most wonderful Barbara Sukowa named it in Hannah Arendt) is so well captured because Barbara Sukowa is not only the consummate German as seen in her roles in Fassbinder's films but is also a longtime New Yorker, married to the artist Robert Longo. In addition to those credentials, the scriptwriter is Pamela Katz who wrote Von Trotta's Rosenstrasse is also a New Yorker married to the German Dp Florian Ballhaus (The Devil Wears Prada), the son of the legendary Michael Ballhaus. They all live in the same New York that they inherited from the very people they recreate in the film!

And yet another brave film about a brave woman is The Patience Stone (Isa: Le Pacte) by Atik Rahimi which was just picked up for U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics which will ignite a lot more sales for Le Pacte and which puts it into the Best Foreign Language Academy Award company for 2012. So far, Brazil is the only buyer registered on Cinando. Watch the film on Cinando! It is pure poetry. Piers Handling himself recommended it and it was the buzz film of the festival. It is a movie which Muslim fundamentalists would never allow to be made; and they will hate it.

The issue of religious fundamentalism was also treated with great delicacy in Mira Nair's story of cross cultural belief systems at odds. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Isa: K5 International who also sold the great sleeper, The Visitors) stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland. Riz Ahmed who also starred in Trishna is someone who you will want to see again, and I hope we see him soon! He graduated Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and later enrolled into London's Central School of Speech and Drama. He's quoted in IMDb as saying, "[Oxford University] is socially unrepresentative about the real world. The first person I met, I asked to borrow a phone charger. She looked at me, laughed in my face, and told me with no irony or malice that I looked just like Ali G." Ironically, he reminds me of Gordon Warnicke who played Omar in My Beautiful Laundrette and who is British born of South American and German ancestry (and who is probably Jewish). IFC snapped up North American rights to this outstanding film in which Pakistan and Wall Street unite and divide as a smart young Pakistani enters the Hallowed Halls of the Ivy League, Big Business on Wall Street and High Society via Romance until September 11, 2001 shatters the illusions of peace and prosperity we all had been harboring.

There are many more brave and wonderful films which screened this year at Tiff, but for me, these were the ones I was honored to catch. I hope my readers get the chance to see these!
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Hey, You Made It!

Hey, You Made It!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences brings you the Oscars (yep, that's why they're called Academy Awards), and on Friday, the organization announced that it was prepared to invite 176 new folks to its fold.

In a list posted on its website, the Academy deemed Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, Terrence Malick, Jonah Hill, Berenice Bejo, Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer and a host of other film luminaries worthy of inclusion in its nearly 6,000-member army.

The Academy has drawn the ire of critics who bemoan its overwhelmingly male, white population. A Los Angeles Times investigation found that of all Academy members, 94 percent are Caucasian and 77 percent are male. A mere 2 percent are black, with Latinos constituting an even smaller portion. Only 14 percent of members are under the age of 50.

Full members of the Academy select and vote on Oscars nominees. The organization was started in 1927 and is now governed by a 43-person board.
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The Academy Invites 176 To Membership

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 176 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitation will be the only additions in 2012 to the Academy.s roster of members.

.These film professionals represent some of the most talented, most passionate contributors to our industry,. said Academy President Tom Sherak. .I.m glad to recognize that by calling each of them a fellow Academy member..

Voting membership in the organization has now held steady at just under 6,000 members since 2003.

The 2012 invitees are:


Simon Baker . .Margin Call,. .L.A. Confidential.

Sean Bean . .Flightplan,. .The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Bérénice Bejo . .The Artist,. .Oss 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies.

Tom Berenger . .Inception,. .Platoon.

Demián Bichir . .A Better Life,. .Che.

Jessica Chastain . .The Help,. .The Tree of Life.

Clifton Collins,
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