8 items from 2014
"Go big or go home": A skateboarder mindset, a Sarah Palin slogan, the name of a "Parks & Recreation" episode," and now, the guiding mantra of Russell Crowe's directorial debut, "The Water Diviner." Via the magic of Twitter, Crowe debuted the first trailer for the war drama, a shiny blockbuster reminiscent of the high-impact Hollywood productions that shaped the actor's career. When it's not blowing up World War I battlefields, it's swelling with emotional power strings. Written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios (both involved with Guy Pearce's "Jack Irish" movies), "The Water Diviner" follows a father from New Zealand who flocks to Turkey to find his two sons, gone missing after the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli. Working with remaining troops (including an Australian Liuetentn played by Jai Courtney), Crowe's Connor burrows into the mystery, which appears to flash back and forth between his search and his son's time in the trenches. »
- Matt Patches
Over the years, Russell Crowe's worked with some big names, including Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, Darren Aronofsky, Peter Weir, Curtis Hanson, Sam Raimi and more. So obviously the actor’s picked up a thing or two. While Crowe’s helmed documentaries and videos, he's never directed a feature-length narrative film until now. Titled “The Water Diviner,” Crowe’s directorial feature debut is a historical drama set in 1919, about an Australian man who travels to Turkey four years after the Battle of Gallipoli to locate his three missing sons—one of them reported missing in action. The film stars Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Cem Yılmaz and Yılmaz Erdoğan, and we haven’t heard much about it since it was first announced last year. Written by Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight, the Weinstein Company took domestic rights to the film during Cannes after watching 12-minutes of footage that unspooled in the buyers market. »
- Edward Davis
The actor and comedian Bill Kerr, who has died aged 92, was a master of laconic understatement. Having begun his British variety career in the late 1940s as "the boy from Wagga Wagga", he became a household name as a perfect foil for Tony Hancock in six series of the wildly popular BBC radio show Hancock's Half Hour (1954-59).
Playing Hancock's breezy and good-hearted Australian lodger, Kerr was often given the best lines by writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson because of his deadpan delivery. His main function was to relentlessly encourage Hancock's grandiose schemes, subsequently exploited by Sid James, only to be thwarted by the voice of officialdom (usually Kenneth Williams), or to suggest ludicrous ventures of his own, immediately pounced upon by the gullible Hancock: "You know, »
- Stephen Dixon
Update: DreamWorks Animation has clarified statemens by Korea’s Studio Mir which were erroneously reported in the local press late last week. The company is in the process of working with Studio Mir to finalize a possible production agreement for one series, and has not inked a deal with Studio Mir for the latter to produce as many as four cartoon TV series during the next four years. Dwa says it would be engaging the studio on a work for hire basis, meaning it would not be a co-producer and would not gain any interest in Dwa’s intellectual property. The Korean animation studio is known for 2D fantasy series The Legend Of Korra, which airs Stateside on Nickelodeon.
Bill Kerr, the Australian actor known as “the boy from Wagga Wagga,” died Thursday in Perth. He was 92. Kerr was a radio and vaudeville star before moving to the UK in »
- Nancy Tartaglione
‘Doctor Who’ actor Bill Kerr, also featured in Peter Weir’s ‘Gallipoli’ and ‘The Year of Living Dangerously,’ dead at 92 (photo: Bill Kerr and Patrick Troughton in ‘Doctor Who’) Australian actor Bill Kerr, best known internationally for a guest spot in the 1960s TV series Doctor Who, and for his supporting roles in the Peter Weir movies Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously, died on August 28 (or 29, according to some sources), 2014, while watching the TV show Seinfeld at his home in Perth, West Australia. Kerr, whose exact cause of death is unclear, was 92. Born William Kerr on June 10, 1922, in Capetown, South Africa, to Australian vaudevillian parents touring the country, Bill Kerr grew up in Australia, where he became a popular television, stage, and film personality. His show business career began at an early age. “My mother took about 10 weeks off to have me, and when she returned to the »
- Andre Soares
We are gradually moving closer toward seeing The Water Diviner – a war drama that is the highly anticipated narrative feature directorial debut of Academy Award winner, Russell Crowe. Having been packaged for sale at this year’s Cannes Film Festival by Wme Global, The Weinstein Company have apparently offered $4 million and a wide release for the film, on the basis of 12 minutes of footage presented by Crowe himself.
The film, written by Andrew Knight (Rake) with first timer Andrew Anastasios, follows a grieving father who travels to Turkey in search of his three sons – all missing in action after the devastating Battle Of Gallipoli in World War I. The battle, which took place between April 1915 and January 1916, followed attempts by Allied Forces to secure the Dardanelles – a strait that constituted a sea route to the Russian Empire. It was the first campaign of World War I to cause major casualties »
- Sarah Myles
Russell Crowe debuted 12 minutes of his directorial bow, “The Water Diviner,” a movie he also stars in, to a packed room of international buyers on Thursday night at the Majestic Hotel here in Cannes.
In an exclusive interview with Variety before the event, Crowe said he had been seriously considering his role behind the camera for more than a decade as he starred in big studio films like “American Gangster” and “Robin Hood.” It was a job that the Academy Award-winning actor found to be a good fit.
“The thing is, the whole process for me is very easy,” said Crowe. “I find it a little strange to talk about it because people want to hear how difficult it was. But it was not.”
Crowe believes one reason he made a seamless transition from acting to directing is that “I speak this language. I’ve worked with some of the great cinematic artists — Ridley Scott, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Glendyn Ivin is a huge fan of Peter Weir.s Gallipoli but he has resisted the temptation to revisit Weir.s seminal 1981 movie since he was hired to direct the Nine Network miniseries Gallipoli. .I love that film; it.s one of the reasons I became a filmmaker,. Ivin told If on Monday during a recce for the eight-hour production which starts shooting in and near Melbourne on March 17. .But I have avoided watching it again because we are doing a very different story..
In keeping with this fresh take on the saga of the young Aussies who fought in the legendary WW1 campaign, Ivin said he and his DoP Germain McMicking will shoot the film in a style which is far from a traditional drama.
- Don Groves
8 items from 2014
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