4 items from 2005
Start-up production and distribution banner Foresight Unlimited has released its debut feature, Captivity, to several key European territories in a flurry of deals at the American Film Market, Foresight founder Mark Damon said Wednesday. Director Roland Joffe's Saw style thriller, which stars Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies and Pruitt Taylor Vince, has been sold to TFI in France, Aurelio DeLaurentiis' FilmAuro in Italy, Al Munteanu and SquareOne in Germany and Jaime Comas' New World Film in Spain. The $17 million-budgeted movie, in postproduction, was funded and co-produced by Moscow-based Ramco Films. Damon said it's the first exclusively Russian-American co-production of the post-Soviet era. The title is one of the first international films to be produced at Mosfilm Studios in Moscow, where nine weeks of interiors were shot. »
MOSCOW -- Roland Joffe's upcoming psychological thriller Captivity may be entirely set in New York, but the $12 million movie is currently shooting at studios in Moscow. But the film's delocalization does not necessarily mean that Russia is set to become a new haven for runaway production. Rather, it is the first example of a locally financed Hollywood co-production, signaling a new era in Russian-U.S. movie industry collaboration. Captivity stars Elisha Cuthbert as a fashion model taken prisoner by a serial killer and incarcerated in a dank cellar along with a chauffeur played by Daniel Gillies. The movie -- filming on a soundstage at Moscow's Mosfilm studios -- is co-produced by Russia's Russian American Movie Company (RAMCO) and veteran Hollywood independent producer Mark Damon, and is funded by a group of private investors headed by Valery Chumak, a Siberian industrialist and film fan. The film is slated for release late next year, with U.S. distribution still open. The film -- typical Hollywood fare, albeit with the intellectual gravitas afforded by a director of Joffe's caliber -- is one of a slate of mid-budget movies Damon, RAMCO president Leonid Minkovski and director Sergey Konov plan to make in Moscow. »
LONDON -- Bride & Prejudice is like an Elvis Presley musical from the '60s, filled with shiny bright colors, bouncy music and happy, smiling, pretty people. Like those old pop vehicles, this upbeat blend of Bollywood and Jane Austen is an acquired taste. While the plot is inane and the acting bland, the film's relentless effervescence may endear it to mainstream audiences.
Director Gurinder Chadha probably shouldn't expect to match the crossover appeal that made her last film, Bend It Like Beckham, such a hit, but Bride & Prejudice will succeed with moviegoers seeking an agreeably good time.
Chadha and co-writer Paul Mayeda Berges have adapted Austen's Pride and Prejudice to make the Bennet sisters the Bakshi sisters, taking them from rural England to rural India. There is a Mr. Darcy, however, in the form of a rich American hotelier.
The traditions and formalities of one culture appear to translate reasonably well though only lip service is given to the notion that the Bakshi family is poor. India has seldom been portrayed as so ravishingly clean and gorgeous.
The Bakshis live in Amritsar, an Indian town off the tourist track, where four beautiful girls are ripe for marriage and given every encouragement by their ambitious mother, Mrs. Bakshi (Nadira Babbar). Reigning Bollywood queen Aishwarya Rai plays the loveliest sister, Lalita, but the others -- Jaya (Namrata Shirodkar), Lakhi (Peeya Rai Choduri) and Maya (Meghnaa) -- are also head-turners.
Potential suitors arrive in the form of the American Darcy Martin Henderson), a London-based Indian named Balraj (Naveen Andrews) and one Mr. Kholi (Nitin Ganatra), an Indian gentleman who has made a success of accountancy in Los Angeles. There's also a good-looking but smarmy British hunk named Johnny Wickham (Daniel Gillies), who is at odds with Darcy.
The paths of romance hold true to the established patterns of Austen and Presley, which is to say there are several misunderstandings, the wrong things are said and feelings are hurt before love finds a way.
The locations are all made to look fabulous, from Amritsar and Goa to London and Beverly Hills, and the performers are all scrumptious. The music is loud and energetic, the dancing athletic and voluptuous. Resistance to the picture's evident wish to please becomes futile. In the end, it's impossible not to smile.
BRIDE & PREJUDICE
Pathe Pictures presents in association with U.K. Film Council and Kintop Pictures and Bend It Films a Nayah Chadha Prod. in association with Inside Track
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Writers: Paul Mayeda Berges, Gurinder Chadha
Producers: Deepak Nayar, Gurinder Chadha
Executive producers: Francois Iverned, Cameron McCracken, Duncan Reid
Director of photography: Santosh Sivan
Production designer: Nick Ellis
Music: Craig Pruess
Costumes: Ralph Holes & Eduardo Castro
Editor: Justin Krish
Lalita: Aishwarya Rai
Darcy: Martin Henderson
Balraj: Naveen Andrews
Kiran: Indira Varma
Jaya: Namrata Shirodkar
Lakhi: Peeya Rai Chodhuri
Mrs. Bakshi: Nadira Babbar
Mr. Bakshi: Anupam Kher
Wickham: Daniel Gillies
Mr. Kholi: Nitin Ganatra
Catherine Darcy: Marsha Mason
Georgie: Alexis Bledel
Chandra: Sonali Kulkarni
No MPAA rating
Running time -- 101 minutes »
Sideways star Thomas Haden Church's villainous alter-ego in the new Spider-Man movie has been revealed, if internet gossip is to be believed. The Oscar nominee will play Venom in Spider-Man 3 in 2007, according to the Pressconnects.Com website. Venom won't be the only Spider-Man arch-enemy in the second sequel - Daniel Gillies' John Jameson character will become Manwolf in the film, according to the reports. »
4 items from 2005
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