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23 December 2011 4:23 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
It’s no secret that Steve Jones’ hosting style on The X Factor’s first season has generated a lot of criticism from fans. Photos: 'X Factor' Finale -- The High and Low Notes Yet, by no means is Steve a newbie to the medium. He has been hosting TV shows on British TV now for more than seven years. He admits, though, that he is new to the size of a show like The X Factor. “[I was] naïve in the sense that I’ve never done what I do on this scale,” he explains to reporters after Thursday’s finale. “And maybe,
- Jethro Nededog
23 December 2011 8:44 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
After an easy Wednesday win for Fox, airing the first half of The X Factor's two-part finale, the network topped itself for Thursday night's broadcast. Photos: 'X Factor' Finale High and Low Notes Part two of the season one closer, which found Melanie Amaro singing her victory song, jumped from a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 on Wednesday, to a 3.8 rating on Thursday in the same demo. Viewership for the two-hour broadcast averaged at 12.4 million between 8 and 10 p.m. Video: 'X Factor' Host Steve Jones: Season 2 Return Question; How Ryan
- Sophie A. Schillaci
22 December 2011 6:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
“There’s more than one star on that stage – genuinely.” So said X Factor creator and head judge Simon Cowell at the top of Thursday’s finale as all 12 season 1 finalist acts paraded in front of the judges’ table for a group performance of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory,” but at the end of the night, there was just one winner: Melanie Amaro. Photos: 'X Factor' Finale High and Low Notes The 19-year-old British Virgin Islands native beat Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik for the inaugural title along with some 100,000 hopefuls who auditioned
- Shirley Halperin
"Back in May, the rumor among cinephiles in the Japanese media was that the Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff) wouldn't happen this year," recalls Kaori Shoji in the Japan Times. "Tiff programming director Nobushige Toshima maintains, though, that scrapping the event was never on the cards. 'A mere week after the [March 11 earthquake and tsunami], my staff and I went to the Hong Kong Film Festival,' Toshima says, 'and we were surprised and touched that so many people expressed such concern for Japan and even started a spontaneous fundraiser for [the Tohoku region]. So we set up a fundraising booth of our own and, in the process, discovered a trite but fundamental truth — movies do bring people together.'"
The festival's opened today and runs through October 30, and Mark Schilling notes that it's a fine opportunity for English-speakers to catch up with new Japanese films: "Eleven of the 23 films in the Special Screenings section devoted to upcoming releases are Japanese, »
Edgar Wright's latest epic project  has him partnering with Quentin Tarantino, Judd Apatow, Joss Whedon, Bill Hader, Guillermo Del Toro, Joe Dante, Greg Mottola, Harry Knowles, Rian Johnson and, probably, several of you. Like all of us, Wright has a bunch of classic and cult films he's never seen. Unlike all of us, he has the means to see them for the first time on the big screen and will do just that in December  at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles during Films Edgar Has Never Seen. The director of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World asked both his famous friends (some of which are listed above) and fans to send in their personal must see lists and, from those titles, Wright came up with one mega list from which he'll pick a few movies to watch December 9-16. After the jump check »
- Germain Lussier
Velvet Bullets and Steel Kisses: Celebrating the Nikkatsu Centennial was a sidebar at this year's New York Film Festival that Dan Sallitt, writing a couple of weeks ago, found "so exciting that it threatens to overshadow the main slate: a retrospective of the Japanese studio Nikkatsu, whose opportunistic shifts of focus always seemed to open doors for some of Japan's most creative filmmakers. Compare film magazine Kinema Junpo's 1999 and 2009 lists of all-time greatest Japanese films to the Lincoln Center series schedule, and count the overlaps." Last year in the Notebook, Dan reviewed one of the 37 films in the series, Tomu Uchida's Earth (1939).
"The sidebar is peppered with nearly impossible to see rediscoveries," notes Steve Dollar at GreenCine Daily: "early silent films like 1927's A Diary of Chuji's Travels and harshly realistic World War II dramas like Mud and Soldiers. Shot on location in China in 1939, the latter film blends »
Akira Kurosawa and Hollywood may find themselves working together soon for the first time since the late director's abortive involvement in the war epic Tora! Tora! Tora!, one of several traumatic episodes that led him to attempt suicide in 1972. The remake rights to the lion's share of his movies and unproduced screenplays have been granted by the Akira Kurosawa 100 Project to the Los Angeles-based company Splendent, whose chief, Sakiko Yamada, told Variety he aimed to "help contemporary film-makers introduce a new generation of moviegoers to these unforgettable stories". The Kurosawa Project said it had received "countless" requests from Us and European film-makers, "expressing intense interest in remaking Kurosawa's movies".
The prospect of Kurosawa's influence being funnelled through Hollywood again is enticing; after all, the »
- John Patterson
This writer has always been one to think remakes aren’t always a bad thing. Films like Let Me In prove that while the remakes aren’t always necessary, they can definitely find a place to exist outside of the kitsch of being a remake. However, things have just gotten absurd.
Variety is reporting that Splendent Media have signed up to be the sole representatives of the rights to a total of 69 films from Akira Kurosawa (the 26 directed by Kurosawa, plus those written by him), rounded out by 19 features the director never got a chance to shoot. Now, this doesn’t include films like The Seven Samurai, High And Low, Ikiru or Drunken Angel, but the rest of the director’s canon is now fodder for remakes from Splendent Media.
Personally, I think that the idea of getting the unmade scripts to the big screen is really interesting. However, in many cases, »
- Joshua Brunsting
This is a story I'd just like to ignore, in the hopes that pretending it isn't happening will decrease the chances of any sale actually going down. But it is already all over the place, so might as well stare it right in the face. A new-ish company called Splendent Media is now repping the remake rights for dozens of Akira Kurosawa films. The company holds sixty-nine titles all told: 26 are films Kurosawa directed; 24 are films he wrote; and 19 are scripts he penned that were never produced. That last point is somewhat tantalizing in the same way that unproduced Stanley Kubrick screenplays represent a vague sense of possibility. But who am I kidding? If we get... let's be generous and say two films out of this that don't suck, I think we'll be beating the odds. Details below. Variety  says that most of the major films Kurosawa directed are included in this deal. »
- Russ Fischer
It seems to be the nature of the Hollywood beast: classic films will eventually get remade, under the guise of 'introducing them to a new audience'. Not only the fun, cheesy remakes like Fright Night, or Conan the Barbarian: the rights to several classic Akira Kurosawa films are now on the market.
According to Variety, Splendent Media will represent worldwide rights (outside of Japan) for 69 Kurosawa titles, including films directed by Kurosawa (26 titles), films written by Kurosawa (24 titles) and unproduced screenplays (19 titles). For a full list you can check out Splendent's website: suffice it to say that the list includes Yojimbo, Rashomon, Idiot, and my personal favorite Ran, Kurosawa's 1985 adaptation of King Lear.
For some fans, this news is disheartening. Why not just let a classic film stand, as-is? There are plenty of ways of introducing a classic film to a new audience without remaking it entirely. Theaters have special showings of classic films, »
Because of the way modern Hollywood works eventually all of the great directors will have their best films remade, and in recent years Akira Kurosawa has been no exception. Though none of them have been reached the production stage yet, studios are developing remakes of Seven Samurai, High and Low, Drunken Angel and Ikiru as you read this. But if you thought that was going to be the end of it, I have some bad news. Variety reports that a company called Splendent Media has made a deal to "represent worldwide rights" for 26 of Kurosawa's directed films, 24 he wrote but didn't direct and 19 of his unproduced screenplays. While this obviously doesn't include the titles mentioned above, which are all set up at other studios, movies like Ran, Rashomon, Yojimbo, and Dreams are all included in the deal. The company will largely be serving as a sales agent for the titles, »
High and Low Directed by: Akira Kurosawa Written by: Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni and Akira Kurosawa Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Kyoko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Tatsuya Nakadai With the summer blockbuster season wrapping up and a quarter of the year to go, it may be too early to pick a favourite movie of 2011. However, of all the classic films I'll get around to watching for the first time this year, I can comfortably say that Akira Kurosawa's High and Low will likely be my favourite. I arrived a little late to this party, but it's never too late to catch up with great cinema and what better way to do so than with a blu ray release by the Criterion Collection? This film is definitely a buy. Regular Kurosawa collaborator Toshiro Mifune plays Kingo Gondo, a successful business man working for a company called National Shoes. His insistence upon high quality »
- Jay C.
If you’re at all concerned for any throwable objects within arms reach, any Akira Kurosawa fans will probably want to look away right now. A few months ago the Weinstein company announced they were remaking Seven Samurai, but another American company, Splendent Media, now has the remake rights to no less than 69 titles from the legendary Japanese director. Variety report the deal includes films such as Yojimbo, Dreams, Kagemusha and Rashomon.
Splendent Media are also entitled to 24 films Kurosawa wrote and a further 19 screenplays that never made it into production, although the agreement doesn’t include the Weinstein remake, or the upcoming modernisations of Ikiru, Drunken Angel and High And Low. A full list of the films can be found at Splendentmedia.com.
Although there will no doubt be internet outrage over this announcement, the unproduced scripts are intriguing to say the least, and there is a chance that »
- Ben McCann
How does one respect a man considered one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived? You exploit him of course.
Variety reports that L.A.-based Splendent Media have signed a deal to represent worldwide rights to 69 projects from the late legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.
The company's top brass Sakiko Yamada says "We are thrilled and deeply honored to have been entrusted to represent this spectacular treasure trove of films and screenplays, and to help contemporary filmmakers introduce a new generation of moviegoers to these unforgettable stories".
The notable upside of the deal is that we could see film adaptations of up to nineteen screenplays penned by Kurosawa that were never produced. The concern however is the production of questionable remakes of the other fifty properties including twenty-six directed by the man himself.
The list includes some films considered amongst the greatest of all time including the likes of "Rashomon, »
- Garth Franklin
Time is an annoying thing, it ticks away, aging us all and leaving behind things we meant to do, but never got around to. This is a statement that can be related to just about anything in our short lives, but in this case it happens to be my opening for a large batch of Criterion Collection Blu-rays I, shamefully, never got around to fully reviewing after mentioning them in my weekly DVD and Blu-ray columns. For some of you that is enough, for others you would like more, this is my attempt to clean off the shelves and start anew.
Let's get started...
Thanks to my trip to the Cannes Film Festival I got so backed up with my Criterion reviews I was never able to recover, so I'm heading as far back as May 17, when Criterion issued brand new DVD and Blu-ray editions of Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique, »
- Brad Brevet
Few foreign directors have had as big of an influence on American cinema as Akira Kurosawa. Some people — hopefully not those reading this article — won’t recognize the name, but his works helped create The Man with No Name, for one thing, and Seven Samurai alone could be argued as one of the five most important movies in film history. There’s been a few remakes here and there; if you don’t count A Fistful of Dollars, then The Magnificent Seven probably takes the crown as the most popular.
Variety (via ThePlaylist) reports that Splendent Media has acquired the rights to 69 of his works, which includes 19 unproduced screenplays credited to his name, in addition to 24 scripts that he worked on but did not direct. Some films are out of their hands — remakes rights for Seven Samurai, High and Low, Ikiru, and Drunken Angel belong to other companies. That much being said, »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
If you were upset about the Weinstein Company's forthcoming remake of the classic film Seven Samurai from legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, well, you may want to sit down for this. A company called Splendent Media has just picked up the remake rights to no less than 69 titles from the director. The properties include 26 of the films Kurosawa directed such as Rashomon, Yojimbo, Dreams, Kagemusha and plenty more. The deal also includes 24 films he wrote but did not direct, and 19 screenplays that never made it in front of a camera. Honestly, the latter portion of this news doesn't sound bad. More info below. Variety notes that the deal does not include other Kurosawa projects already in development like the aforementioned Seven Samurai remake, and updates of High and Low, Drunken Angel and Ikiru. For the full list of films in the package, check out Splendentmedia.com. While I'm wholly »
- Ethan Anderton
Akira Kurosawa is one of the greatest directors of all-time. It's indisputable so don't even try. However, his work is not immune from the clutches of remakes and his classics Seven Samurai, High and Low, Ikiru, and Drunken Angel have all been in development at one point or another. However, most of his work has remained out of the hands of a single company until now. Variety reports that new production company Splendent Media (the folks behind Al Pacino's upcoming film Wild Salome) has picked up the remake rights to 26 of Kurosawa's films including Yojimbo, Ran, Kagemusha, Dreams, and Rashomon. In addition, Splendent also now owns 24 films Kurosawa wrote but didn't direct and 19 unproduced screenplays. Hit the jump for why you shouldn't be dismayed. While it's tough to argue that no one will be able to tell these stories as well as Kurosawa, we should all remember that Kurosawa also adapted stories. »
- Matt Goldberg
When I came up with the idea to start aggregating the various Criterion Collection related blogs that I read on a somewhat regular basis into a weekly column, I had grand plans to set up reminders for myself, bookmark posts into folders, and produce a compelling weekly blog post for all of you. Unfortunately, the birth of my daughter, and all of the other responsibilities of my life have managed to position themselves between me and that goal. I thought maybe if I switched to a monthly format, that would make things easier, but in reality it just gave me less of an excuse to work on the post. I’ve decided to reboot the column and produce it on a weekly basis. We’ll see if I can keep it going this time. As much as I pretend to be organized and productive, I am really a lazy, lazy guy. »
- Ryan Gallagher
DVD Playhouse—August 2011
By Allen Gardner
High And Low (Criterion) Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 adaptation of Ed McBain’s novel King’s Ransom is a multi-layered masterpiece of suspense and one of the best portraits ever of class warfare in post-ww II Japan. Toshiro Mifune stars as a wealthy businessman who finds himself in a moral quandary when his chauffer’s son is kidnapped by ruthless thugs who think the boy is Mifune’s. Beautifully realized on every level. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince; Documentary on film’s production; Interview with Mifune from 1984; Trailers and teaser. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 4.0 surround.
Leon Morin, Priest (Criterion) One of French maestro Jean-Pierre Melville’s rare non-crime-oriented films, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as a devoted cleric who is lusted after by the women of a small village in Nazi-occupied France. When Fr. Morin finds himself drawn to a »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
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