6 items from 2015
Ties That Bind: Taylor-Johnson’s Erotic Adaptation Forgoes a Glimpse of Eros
Playful marketing provocations, heralded by the succinct tagline “Curious?” standing out beneath black and white production stills, somehow manages to be the most titillating aspect of the highly anticipated film adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which, like many of its romantically inclined counterparts, only proves that watching people fuck or fall in love is generally only interesting to those involved directly. That’s, of course, discounting voyeurs and James’ core audience of straight-laced, sexually repressed hausfraus who have never taken an opportunity to explore base tendencies. It is their embrace that has resulted in this pop culture fixation. In a superficial sense, it’s enthralling to see that a studio production so clearly addresses notions of sexual pleasure, but fears of censorship have reigned in director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s visual freedom, and considering the subject matter, »
- Nicholas Bell
The halls are starting to hum softly here in Berlin as the European Film Market swings into gear. The first deals were announced yesterday before the event officially opened, with The Weinstein Co notably boarding Im Global’s The Man Who Made It Snow. This morning, FilmNation unveiled a series of offshore output deals for titles from Open Road, which will kick off with the Jamie Foxx/Michelle Monaghan-starrer Sleepless Nights.
Though it’s not likely to be a frenzy, and with currency concerns in the market internationally, Berlin should see more action in the coming days. Distributors are looking for product for 2016 and beyond, and some memorable buys have emerged here in recent years. In 2014, The Weinstein Company made a record-setting $7M deal for The Imitation Game which has now made about $140M worldwide and has an armful of Oscar nominations to boot.
Much of the pre-buy buzz »
- Nancy Tartaglione
La-based nonprofit Film Independent has selected six directors for its 15th annual Directing Lab. In this eight-week program under creative advisors Daniel Barnz, Catherine Hardwicke and James Ponsoldt, filmmakers will workshop and shoot short scenes from their scripts. The focus will be on working with actors in the rehearsal process. Film Independent provides fellows, free of charge, with digital camera and lighting packages and stipends to shoot their scenes, with access to casting directors, cinematographers and editors for collaboration. Other industry advisors include leading directing teacher, Joan Scheckel, and casting director, Heidi Levitt. Upon completion, fellows receive year-round support including eligibility for grants and awards, access to Film Independent’s annual film education offerings and a pass to the Los Angeles Film Festival. Previous Directing Lab fellows include Ana Lily Amirpour, who went on to direct the Indie Spirit nominee "A Girl »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Kristen Stewart, Catherine Deneuve make César Award history (photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' with Juliette Binoche) Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve are two 2015 César Award nominees making history. The French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts announced the nominations on Jan. 28, 2015; the César Awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 20, 2015, at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet. Kristen Stewart is in the running in the Best Supporting Actress category for Clouds of Sils Maria / Sils Maria. Catherine Deneuve has been shortlisted as Best Actress for In the Courtyard / Dans la cour. So, how are Stewart and Deneuve making César history? Well, let's begin with "the expected one": Deneuve. Catherine Deneuve One of the biggest film icons ever, Catherine Deneuve is one of those relatively rare international film superstars who has never bothered with – or needed – a Hollywood career. Deneuve, who turned 71 last October 22, has been »
- Steve Montgomery
The 21st Slamdance Film Festival has selected jury members for its documentary, narrative and shorts competitions at the festival, which runs Jan. 23-29.
Members for the micro short films competitition are Amber Benson (actress, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and writer, “The Witches of Echo Park”), Todd Berger (director, ” It’s A Disaster”), Laura Merians (cinematographer for “Björk,” “Atoms For Peace”), Kent Osborne (writer, “Adventure Time,” “Spongebob Squarepants”) and Damon Russell (producer, “Curfew” and director, “Snow On Tha Bluff”).
The fest, which takes place at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, will include 13 world premieres, two North American premieres and three U. »
- Dave McNary
Confirming that social media is fast becoming a news source, of sorts, in terms of the entertainment industry, Senior Vice President of Production at Columbia Pictures, DeVon Franklin, was asked via Twitter for an update on the progress of the long gestating Masters Of The Universe feature film project, on January 2nd 2015. In response, he tweeted a picture of the title page of the script, dated December 24th, with credit for the completed draft going to Jeff Wadlow (writer and director of Kick-Ass 2).
@danmillerNY @RoastGooble pic.twitter.com/a9whbCChXl
— DeVon Franklin (@DeVonFranklin) January 2, 2015
It was announced in April 2014 that Wadlow had been tapped to produce a re-write of the script – which had previously been worked on by Alex Litvak, Mik Finch, Richard Wenk and Terry Rossio. Though Wadlow’s directorial prowess has him highly sought after (with Marvel reportedly being among his suitors), a director for Masters Of The Universe »
- Sarah Myles
6 items from 2015
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