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Certainly documentaries have inspired TV series before (recently MTV made"Catfish" a television hit). But, with Lauren Greenfield's critically acclaimed "The Queen of Versailles" slated to make its television debut next Monday on Bravo, its director Lauren Greenfield isn't interested in expanding the doc to a series. "No, for me, I spent three years on it. That was really the film," Greenfield tells TheWrap at NBCU's summer press day in Pasadena on Monday. "Jackie may consider that at a later point, but I'm working on other things now." So, why choose to debut »
- Jethro Nededog
Renewed interest in 'lost' sci-fi movie Lord of Light, the best worst films, and an update on the Florida Versailles
Argo for that
Hoping to continue its good awards form at the Baftas tonight is Argo. Ben Affleck's film is also back in cinemas, mopping up anyone who may have missed it first time around. Also increasingly hopeful with every new victory is Barry Ira Geller, the original author of the sci-fi screenplay within the film of Argo. Affleck's film is, of course, based on the true story of the CIA posing as a film crew, and Geller's 1979 screenplay, which the CIA subsequently acquired, was originally supposed to be made into a movie called "Lord of Light", based on a 1967 novel by Roger Zelazny. To date the film remains unmade. Ownership appears a bit of a mess, as the CIA bought the script to use as cover for its hostage rescue, »
- Jason Solomons
After tasting Golden Globe, PGA and SAG Award success, Ben Affleck's acclaimed CIA thriller Argo has now sealed its status as the front-runner for Best Picture at this month's Oscars, with the Director's Guild of America honouring Affleck with the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Films at the 65th annual DGA Awards, which took place last night at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
Typically, the winner of the DGA Award goes on to collect the Oscar for Best Director, but with Affleck losing out on an Academy Award nomination to Michael Haneke (Amour), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) and David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), the two awards will differ for only the seventh time in history, and the first since 2002 when Roman Polanski won the Oscar for The Pianist after Rob Marshall had »
Some people can win for losing.
Ben Affleck claimed the Directors Guild of America Award for Argo on Saturday in Hollywood’s latest thumb-in-the-eye to the small group of filmmakers in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who failed to nominate him for an Oscar.
“I worked really, really hard to become the best director I could be, by putting in as hours as I can, and banging my head against a wall, berating myself, lying to myself about whether it’s going to work,” Affleck told the crowd, never mentioning the snub. “Basically, I got to a »
- Anthony Breznican
The couple who built their own Palace of Versailles: a mesmerising tale of hubris
• Queen of Versailles on iPlayer
• Great British Menu on iPlayer
History isn't the Siegels' strongest suit. Bearing in mind that two of the best-known occupants of the Palace of Versailles ended up on the guillotine, I'd have thought that anyone might see it was tempting to fate to build a 30 bathroomed (no one seemed to know exactly how many other rooms it was due to have) replica just for themselves. Even in Florida. And having seen his own father lose most of his money in Las Vegas when he was a kid, I'd also have thought David would be aware, in that particular city, that the bank always wins. Hubris can be expensive.
- John Crace
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Running Time: 100 minutes
The Queen Of Versailles is a revealing documentary by Lauren Greenfield that follows billionaire couple David and Jackie Siegel, just as they have started building a mansion inspired by the Palace of Versailles near Paris. The house will end up being the biggest single-family dwelling in America in Orlando, Florida and every night it’ll overlook the fireworks of Walt Disney World as they close for the day.
But here’s the twist, over the two years since the documentary started filming, the Siegel empire that’s fuelled by real estate, re-mortgaging, timeshares and – in essence – cheap money begins to falter due to the Us economic crisis that impacted on lives worldwide. The Queen Of Versailles isn’t unreasonably dramatic, »
- Dan Bullock
★★★★☆ Most people would probably manage to just about survive the ignominy of living in a 26,000 square foot home with seventeen (count 'em) bathrooms. The fact that the infamous Siegel family were "busting out of the seams" in theirs was part of the reason that photographer and documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield will have decided to focus upon them so closely and brilliantly. The resulting film, The Queen of Versailles (2012), is a wickedly funny look at the obscenity of extreme wealth that morphs, through the coincidental arrival of the economic recession, into something ever more engrossing.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
• Sarah Dempster's TV Od: Storyville's documentary has a surprising side effect - it makes you sympathise with the once obscenely rich protagonists
"I have ostrich feather Gucci pants and $5m of Chinese marble," trills Jackie Siegel, perched pinkly on a golden throne. "And what do you call the eggs from Russia? Fabergé? Yeah, I got the giant ones." Jackie – a vision in flammable cerise buffoonwear – is the subject of Storyville: The Queen Of Versailles (Monday, 10pm, BBC4), an award-winning look at what happens when the Florida housewife and her self-made billionaire husband David attempt to build "the biggest and best house in America!" It makes for astonishing viewing.
While Jackie, 43, titivates her fleet of irritable lapdogs, David, 74, lumbers around like an elderly labrador in beige utility shorts, barking about third parties and negative equity into his mobile headset, one ear forever scanning the distance for the elusive squawk of an incremental loan agreement. »
- Sarah Dempster
David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts and one of the subjects of Lauren Greenfield’s acclaimed documentary, The Queen Of Versailles, just got a little more ruined. Last January, the billionaire sued both Greenfield and the organization that runs the Sundance Film Festival for defamation, after coming to the conclusion that the movie detailing his disastrous fall from immense wealth hurt the reputation of his company. Today The Hollywood Reporter reports that a U.S. District Court judge has deemed Siegel’s claim baseless. Siegel was banking on the fact that the release signed by his son, Richard Siegel »
After spending two years making the lauded documentary Queen of Versailles, and then another year defending a lawsuit brought by the film's main subject, Lauren Greenfield scored a big legal victory in Florida federal court on Thursday. The film was a smash hit at Sundance last year, snapped up by Magnolia Films and the Bravo cable network and later nominated by the Director's Guild for outstanding directorial achievement. It tells the story of David Siegel, a time-share baron who commissioned a $75 million Florida mansion for himself before the economy went south. Siegel wasn't particularly happy with the documentary
- Eriq Gardner
The Queen Of Versailles + Q&A, London
Few recent documentaries have summed up the craziness of our times as well as Lauren Greenfield's The Queen Of Versailles. It focused on the wealthy Siegel family and their matriarch Jackie, whose attempts to build one of the largest private homes in America were stalled by the sub-prime meltdown. The film-makers and the Siegels apparently fell out, too. But what happened next? This one-off screening is the chance to find out, with both Greenfield and Jackie Siegel attending the Q&A.
Ritzy Picturehouse, SW2, Wed
Nick Abrahams, London
He recently received an award for his gorgeous Sigur Rós short film (in which Aidan Gillen, pictured, is guided by a talking snail), but Abrahams has been experimenting visually for the coolest bands for decades, including Huggy Bear, Stereolab, Leftfield, »
- Steve Rose
When filmmaker Lauren Greenfield set out to make her documentary The Queen of Versailles, her goal was to capture the incredibly luxurious lifestyle of David and Jaqueline Siegel, who were preparing to build the largest single family private home in America, modeled after the French palace of Versailles. But then the housing crisis hit, and Mr. Siegel, whose fortune had been built on his expansive time-share operation, was hit hard. In light of economic crisis, the Siegel family was forced to radically change their lifestyle and sell their $75 million American palace, which was still under construction. For her part, Greenfield found herself capturing every moment, from Jaqueline's attempts to buy her kids Christmas gifts at Wal-Mart, to the couple's mounting marital tension, and the growing business concerns of David and his company, Westgate Resorts. Watching the film, you clearly see David struggling to keep his company afloat, and personally I »
As the Sundance Film Festival rolls into Park City, Utah once again, a legal dispute over one of last year's hits, The Queen of Versailles, drags on. The film by director Lauren Greenfield tells the tale of David Siegel, a time-share baron who commissioned a $75 million Florida mansion for himself before the economy went south. The film, which shows the mansion being put on the market at a fraction of the cost and Siegel's business struggling, has been described as a "rags-to-riches-to-rags story," which bothers Siegel, who is suing for defamation, even if
- Eriq Gardner
The Directors Guild of America has announced the nominees for the Best Documentary category of the DGA Awards. I'm very happy that "Searching for Sugar Man" and "The Queen of Versailles," two of my favorite docs of 2012, received nods. Winner will be revealed on February 2nd.
Here's the complete list of nominees; for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:
Cuomo Cole Productions
Chain Camera Pictures
This is Mr. Dick.s first DGA Award nomination.
Passion Pictures Production
Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company
Red Box Films
This is Mr. Bendjelloul.s first DGA Award nomination.
Queen of Versailles, LLC
This is Ms. Greenfield.s first DGA Award nomination. »
Days after the Directors Guild of America singled out the candidates for feature-film nominees . rewarding Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Ang Lee (Life of Pi) and Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) . the guild turned its attention to documentary filmmakers . and once again, the term .snub. reared its ugly head. But first, the nominees (via Deadline). The Directors Guild nominated the following five filmmakers in the Documentary category: Kirby Dick, The Invisible War Malik Bendjelloul, Searching For Sugar Man Lauren Greenfield, The Queen of Versailles David France, How To Survive A Plague Alison Klayman, Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry Remarkably, all five nominees are first-timers. And they are all outstanding selections . and yet, there already is a bit of backlash about the directors who are left out of the category. Comments below the Deadline article single out The Imposter director Bart Layton, while I.m scratching my »
The other nominees are Malik Bendjelloul's "Searching for Sugar Man," a portrait of 1970s singer-songwriter Rodriguez; Lauren Greenfield's "The Queen of Versailles," the story of a wealthy family's downturn amid the recession; and Alison Klayman's "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," an examination of the dissident Chinese artist.
Winners will be announced on Feb. 2 at a Directors Guild dinner. »
Here is a collection of a dozen of the best documentaries I saw in 2012. It's not a "best of the year" list. Just some good memories of these films.
I will not burden you again with another complaint about lists. More than ever, I despise them because they shift focus away from a film and toward a list. When I recently caught up with "Django Unchained," for example, I gave it four stars. The comments section was overrun with readers asking if that meant it was now on my Top Ten list. One reader insisted on knowing which title it replaced. Although the piece was some 2,000 words long, another reader insisted he still wanted to see "my official review."
All I can do with any film is tell you that I've seen it, and what I thought about it. If it sounds interesting to you, it might be worth seeking out. »
- Roger Ebert
Emmanuelle Riva could become the oldest acting winner for "Amour," but she's already one of the oldest living Oscar nominees. Counting down 100 veterans: The Film Experience -Addprediction:85:6:Click to predict Best Actress Oscar:addprediction- Directors Guild announces nominees for documentary film: Lauren Greenfield ("The Queen of Versailles") and Alison Klayman ("Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry") join Oscar nominees Malik Bendjelloul ("Searching for Sugar Man"), Kirby Dick ("The Invisible War"), and David France ("How to Survive a Plague"). Academy member David Clennon urges Oscar voters to boycott "Zero Dark Thirty": "In response, Sony president Amy Pascal said she was 'outraged' that an Academy member would try to influence the voting process. '"Zero Dark Thirty" does not advocate torture,' she said on Friday. 'To not »
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has offered up its list of nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking, and it's a nice slice of vindication for a pair of Oscar snubees. My love for Lauren Greenfield's "The Queen of Versailles" is well on the record. The film landed in my top 10 list because it was such an electric snapshot of a country's shifting values. This before you get to the more superficial (but no less intriguing) idea of a riches-to-rags story. Well, Greenfield made the cut with the guild after her film failed to even make the Academy's »
- Kristopher Tapley
So how good of an augur is the DGAs to the Oscars? Well, thus far only 2 of their nominees for Best Director landed Oscar nominations, but three of the filmmakers behind a trio of contending Best Documentary movies have been honored by their peers. Kirby Dick ("The Invisible War") and David France ("How To Survive A Plague") are probably the most recongnizable and acclaimed names of the folks who will be battling it out for the prize. Rouding out the five are Lauren Greenfield for her crowd pleasing "The Queen Of Versailles," Malik Bendjelloul for his unique music documentary "Searching For Sugar Man" and Alison Klayman for the politically aware "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry." It's a great batch of movies, that if anything is leaning toward the issue driven movies more than anything else, but it's still a diverse slate and it would be hard to argue that any of them aren't worthy. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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