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3 items from 2017


Lionsgate, ‘John Wick’ Producer Team on Female-Driven Action Movie ‘Ballerina’

25 July 2017 4:59 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Lionsgate has picked up Shay Hatten’s action script “Ballerina” and set up the project with “John Wick” franchise producer Basil Iwanyk through his Thunder Road company.

Lionsgate won an auction for “Ballerina,” with Warner Bros. and Universal also expressing interest in the script, which centers on a young woman raised as an assassin who must hunt down the assassins who killed her own family. It’s said to be similar to Luc Besson’s 1990 actioner “La Femme Nikita,” which starred Anne Parillaud as a teen junkie who murders a policeman and becomes a skilled assassin.

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Hatten also wrote the comedy “Maximum King!” which was named to the 2016 Black List. He wrote that script and “Ballerina” while working for Robert Downey Jr.’s Team Downey. “Maximum King!” is a fictional look at Stephen King writing and directing the 1986 horror-comedy movie “Maximum Overdrive,” which »

- Dave McNary

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More 4th of July Escapism: Small-Town Iowa and Declaration of Independence Musicals

4 July 2017 11:58 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

(See previous post: Fourth of July Movies: Escapism During a Weird Year.) On the evening of the Fourth of July, besides fireworks, fire hazards, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you're watching TCM in the U.S. and Canada, there's the following: Peter H. Hunt's 1776 (1972), a largely forgotten film musical based on the Broadway hit with music by Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, who was recently on TCM talking about 1776 and a couple of other movies (A Thousand Clowns, Dodsworth), has one of the key roles as John Adams. Howard Da Silva, blacklisted for over a decade after being named a communist during the House Un-American Committee hearings of the early 1950s (Robert Taylor was one who mentioned him in his testimony), plays Benjamin Franklin. Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, a role he would reprise in John Huston's 1976 short Independence. (In the short, Pat Hingle was cast as John Adams; Eli Wallach was Benjamin Franklin.) Warner »

- Andre Soares

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Psychic Scars and Something Wild: A Conversation with Dramatist, Filmmaker, and Holocaust Survivor Jack Garfein

20 March 2017 10:22 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

By strange and fortuitous coincidence, my meeting with Jack Garfein fell upon the nexus of several intersecting moments in history. It was Friday, January 27th — International Holocaust Remembrance Day. One week earlier, Donald J. Trump was sworn to office as forty-fifth President of the United States; and in the ensuing weekend, allegations of Trump’s unpunished sexual misconduct, callous attitudes toward women and courting of radical right-wing supporters helped bring about the Women’s March on Washington, one of the largest mass protests in the nation’s history. All around, people are anxiously reading the past with tenuous hopes and fears for the future. History, so often a thing defined after the fact, is currently in violent and furious motion.

Jack Garfein is living history, and he’s not shy about telling it. Born to Ukrainian Jews in 1930, Mr. Garfein personally witnessed as a child the rise of Nazi Germany »

- The Film Stage

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3 items from 2017


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