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John Malkovich is the human equivalent of Marmite: You either love him or hate him. The creators of “The Giacomo Variations,” a touring “chamber opera play,” are firmly in the former camp, having crafted a postmodern stage piece around the actor embodying himself and Giacomo Casanova, melded into various Lorenzo da Ponte characters from Mozart’s operas. It’s clever as a concept, with obvious Don Giovanni-Casanova parallels, yet “Casanova Variations,” the film adaptation by the play’s author, Michael Sturminger, is so full of its own forced charm that only diehard Marmite fans, like producers Paulo Branco and Ulrich Seidl, will feel enriched. Europe will be more welcoming than the States.
Since audiences are meant to get the in-jokes, it helps if viewers are conversant not just with the Mozart operas and Casanova’s memoir “Histoire de ma vie,” but also “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Being John Malkovich. »
- Jay Weissberg
London — Production and distribution giant Endemol has inked an exclusive first-look development and distribution pact with U.K. producer Amber Television, which is run by former Hollywood studio exec Ileen Maisel and docu filmmaker Lawrence Elman.
The three-year deal will see Endemol provide development funding and deficit financing in return for exclusive first-look distribution rights on Amber Television output.
Recent Amber productions include “Romeo and Juliet,” adapted by Julian Fellows and starring Hailee Steinfeld (Coen brothers’ “True Grit”), and “Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism,” a film based on the books by Georgia Byng. Upcoming projects include “Stratton: First into Action,” starring Henry Cavill, “London’s Falling,” directed by Simon Aboud, and “The Perfect Assassin,” adapted by Andy Briggs, and fully financed by Snd in France.
Maisel and Elman joined forces in 2009 as directors of Amber Entertainment. In the 1980s, Maisel served as VP of production at MGM/UA, »
- Leo Barraclough
This is an abbreviated version of our Movies This Week roundup because there will be some turnover at area theaters on as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I'll be back with an early post on Wednesday to let you know about what will be changing. In the meantime, here's a quick look at what is on tap for this weekend and early next week.
At Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, they are continuing on with 70mm screenings of Interstellar, but those are currently only confirmed through Tuesday night. It's possible that it will keep playing, but if you've been meaning to catch it there on film, you may want to squeeze it in this weekend. The Ritz has added a Saturday afternoon matinee of Florian Habicht's outstanding documentary Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets. They've also got a Mad Max trilogy marathon on Sunday and Monday »
- Matt Shiverdecker
The first full-length trailer for Disney’s new live-action adaptation of Cinderella was this week and featured tantalising glimpses of what promises to be a visually gorgeous film. The costumes, designed by three time Academy Award winner Sandy Powell, appear to be absolutely stunning.
With a clever mix of the eighteenth century, the 1830s, and a little 1950s couture thrown in for good measure (Powell has been quoted as saying she was aiming for the look of “a nineteenth-century period film made in the 1940s or ’50s”), Powell has created another jewel to add to her already over-bling crown. Here is a quick rundown of some of the looks we’ve been teased with…
Cinderella (Lily James) wears a frothy, light blue dress for most of the trailer. The pale and airy fabric expresses her innocence and kindness. The design of her gown takes inspiration from the late 18th century, »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Director: Kim Dae Woo.
Starring: Song Seung Heon, Lim Ji Yeon, Jo Yeo Jeong, On Ju Wan, Yu Hae Jin.
Running Time: 132 Minutes
Synopsis: Set in 1969 on a South Korean military base, a respected and married colonel falls for the wife of his new subordinate.
Director Kim Dae Woo has plunged the murky depths of forbidden love twice before, in both The Servant and Forbidden Quest. He’s also written An Affair and Dangerous Liaisons adaptation Untold Scandal. It’s therefore safe to assume that here is a man who understands period pieces and complicated love stories.
Obsession differs slightly in that it only goes back to the late 1960s, which immediately evokes memories of Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood For Love and 2046, as well as Ang Lee’s Lust Caution. The most notable element at first is the rich cinematography. Everything has a slightly sunset tone to »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
I was not a massive fan of Stephen Frears' last movie Philomena nor am I particularly excited for his upcoming Untitled Lance Armstrong Biopic, but when a guy has Dangerous Liaisons and High Fidelity in his filmography, I'm usually going to give him the benefit of the doubt when his next movie is announced. That said, Frears' next is going to be yet another "based on a true story" biopic, and it has tapped Meryl Streep for its lead. So, you can definitely expect to see this film at the Academy Awards in a couple of years. The film is entitled Florence. Streep will portray the titular Florence Foster Jenkins, an heiress who dreamed of being an opera singer. Unfortunately for her, she had a dreadful voice. That did not stop her from trying to make a career out of it. Hugh Grant has also joined the project as St. Clair Bayfield, »
- Mike Shutt
Cruel Intentions. It was an adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos's Dangerous Liaisons made for Generation Y. It was a hit romance that starred real-life couple Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon, who later married. And now it's a bit of nostalgia that's helped the divorced pair reconcile their shared past for the sake of their kids. The Huffington Post recently spoke with Ryan Phillippe, who shared a charming story about how Cruel Intentions has helped smooth the relationship between himself and ex-wife Reese Witherspoon. Phillipe described learning how to co-parent while divorced as a "feeling out process," but notes he and Witherspoon have managed a balance when it comes to raising their kids, who are now 15 (Ava) and 10 (Deacon). He recalled a visit the four shared while Witherspoon was in New York City promoting both Gone Girl and Wild: "We got to meet up as a family and took »
Holmes will also serve as an executive producer on the new mini, which is based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family (1968 to the Present), as well as direct one of the four episodes. The Kennedys‘ Jon Cassar will helm the other three.
“The Kennedys was a brilliant execution of storytelling based on the lives of one of the world’s best known families,” Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard said in a statement. »
London — Director Stephen Frears will join Scott Foundas, Variety‘s chief film critic and one of the BFI London Film Festival’s Official Competition jurors, today to discuss his career and his approach to directing.
The festival event, which is presented in association with Variety, will kick off at 3 P.M. local time at the Mayfair Hotel.
Frears is set to receive the British Film Institute’s highest honor, the BFI Fellowship, during the closing ceremony of the festival on Oct. 18.
Frears’ credits include U.K. pics like “My Beautiful Laundrette,” “Dirty Pretty Things” and “The Queen,” Hollywood movies like “Dangerous Liaisons” and “The Grifters,” and international films such as “Cheri.” His most recent pic, “Philomena,” won a BAFTA, and was nominated for three others, along with three Golden Globe, and four Oscar nominations.
A full list of the festival’s industry events can be found here.
- Leo Barraclough
Scarlett Johansson, coming off two of the biggest hits of the year in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Lucy," is the latest A-list name lining up a TV project. The actress will star in a limited series adaptation of Edith Wharton's "The Custom Of The Country." Penned by Christopher Hampton (“Atonement,” “Dangerous Liaisons”), the story follows "Undine Spragg [who is] as unscrupulous as she is magnetically beautiful. Her rise to the top of New York’s high society from her nouveau riche roots provides a provocative and thoroughly modern commentary on the upwardly mobile and the aspirations that eventually cause their ruin." The project will run eight episodes and is currently seeking a premium channel home. [Deadline] Casey Affleck is returning to Massachusetts for "Boston Strong." The actor will star in the movie about the Boston Marathon bombing and "the massive manhunt to apprehend the two men believed to be »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Stephen Frears will receive a BFI Fellowship at this year’s London Film Festival awards ceremony.
The institute's highest accolade is given to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television.
The 73-year-old director - known for films including High Fidelity, Philomena and Dangerous Liaisons - has worked in the industry for more than 40 years. He began his career in TV drama, working with writers such as Alan Bennett anad David Hare, before moving into the world of cinema in the Eighties. He has twice been nominated for best directing Oscars - for The Queen and The Grifters.
BFI Chairman Greg Dyke said: “Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen has produced a body of work which never fails to surprise – from sweeping costume drama to powerful social realism, his films strike a perfect balance between drama, humour and pathos helping to make them a hit with audiences and. »
- Amber Wilkinson
Johansson will play the ruthless and unscrupulous Undine Spragg who rises to the top of New York high society. The series will explore the upwardly mobile and the aspirations that eventually cause their ruin.
Sony Pictures TV and Pink Sands will produce the series which will be written by British playwright-screenwriter Christopher Hampton ("Atonement," "Dangerous Liaisons"). The plan is for a run on a major cable network.
Source: Deadline »
- Garth Franklin
Scarlett Johansson is heading to television - at least temporarily. The A-list movie star is set to play beautiful, ruthless social climber Undine Spragg in a forthcoming eight-episode TV series adaptation of Edith Wharton's classic 1913 novel "The Custom of the Country," according to Deadline. Johansson is also an executive-producer on the project, which is being adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton ("Dangerous Liaisons," "Atonement") from a prospective feature-film version he penned nearly 20 years ago. The show is being eyed for a run on cable, though no network is yet on board. Set against the backdrop of early 20th century New York, "The Custom of the Country" follows Spragg as she ruthlessly ascends the ladder of high society after arriving in the city with her nouveau-riche parents in tow. It was Wharton's ninth novel. Johansson has had a big year, starring in both the blockbuster sequel "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Lucy, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Scarlett Johansson is headed to TV.
The “Avengers” and “Lucy” actress will star in a limited series for Sony Pictures TV based on the 1913 Edith Wharton novel “The Custom of the Country,” sources confirm. Johansson will also executive produce the eight-episode series, which is about to hit the market, from Charles Finch’s Pink Sands.
Christopher Hampton (“Atonement,” “Dangerous Liaisons”) is set to write from his original screenplay. “Custom of the Country” follows Midwestern girl Undine Spragg, to be played by Johansson, who attempts to rise in New York City society.
Wharton’s Pulitzer-winning novel “Age of Innocence” was also brought to screen in 1993 in a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer. The author is also known for “The Reef” and “The House of Mirth,” both of which were adapted to features in 1999 and 2000, respectively.
Finch and Hampton are also exec producing with Johansson. Johansson is repped by CAA and Lbi and »
- Alex Stedman
British director Stephen Frears is to receive a BFI Fellowship on Oct 18, ahead of the close of the 58th BFI London Film Festival.
The BFI Fellowship is awarded to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television and is the highest honour bestowed by the organisation.
BFI chairman Greg Dyke described Frears as one of the UK’s most important directors.
“Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen has produced a body of work which never fails to surprise – from sweeping costume drama to powerful social realism, his films strike a perfect balance between drama, humour and pathos helping to make them a hit with audiences and critics alike,” added Dyke.
Frears said he was “thrilled” to be receiving the honour. “I’ve spent much of my life in the cinema and quite a lot of it at »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
The British Film Institute is to fete Stephen Frears with its Fellowship, the highest honor the organization can bestow.
The award will be given during the closing ceremony of the BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 18. The Fellowship is awarded to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television.
BFI chairman Greg Dyke said: “Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen has produced a body of work which never fails to surprise — from sweeping costume drama to powerful social realism, his films strike a perfect balance between drama, humor and pathos helping to make them a hit with audiences and critics alike. He is one of the U.K.’s most important directors and we are delighted to honor him.”
Frears said: “I’ve spent much of my life in the cinema and quite a lot of it at BFI Southbank. I am thrilled by this Fellowship.”
Frears made his name in TV drama, »
- Leo Barraclough
Oscar-nominated U.K. director Stephen Frears will receive the British Film Institute’s top award at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, which kicks off Oct. 8. The filmmaker behind Philomena, The Queen, Dangerous Liaisons and numerous other highly-acclaimed titles will be awarded the BFI Fellowship at a special ceremony on Oct. 18 ahead of the close of the festival. "Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen has produced a body of work which never fails to surprise — from sweeping costume drama to powerful social realism, his films strike a perfect balance between drama, humor and pathos helping to make
- Alex Ritman
Despite the fact that well-dressed celebs like Diane Kruger, Zoe Saldana and Kiernan Shipka joined costume designers like Sandy Powell and Julie Weiss on Oct. 1 at the former Wilshire May Company building for AMPAS’ celebration of its new Hollywood Costume exhibit, curator and costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis maintains that the art of costume design is more than just fashionable garments.
“This is not an exhibition about clothes,” Nadoolman Landis told reporters earlier in the week. “This is an exhibition about the movies, about storytelling, about the characters; how, when you see a movie, you can see it over and over and over again because you want to be in it, you want to be with those people. And it is true, sometimes you want to dress like those people. Sometimes, as I know as a designer of ‘Indiana Jones,’ you want to buy that jacket, you want to buy that hat … why is that? »
- Whitney Friedlander
Over the centuries relations between neighbors Korea and China have often been strained, but the entertainment industry is putting history and politics behind them.
A sequel to Korean hit “My Sassy Girl,” which began lensing last week, is set to be the first official treaty co-production between South Korea and China. That follows the long-awaited signing of a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries in July.
But producers from both sides of the Yellow Sea have not waited for their governments to catch up with reality, and a steady trickle of Korean-Chinese movies over the past decade has already turned into a fast-flowing stream in the past two years.
Recent cross-border co-ventures have included “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” starring Zhang Ziyi and the original “Sassy Girl” Gianna Jun (previously known as Jun Ji-hyun); CGI-heavy family pic “Mr. Go,” which made money for the Chinese partner Huayi Bros. »
- Patrick Frater
By Gary Salem and Michelle McCue
“What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of changing the actors into what they are not. We ask the public to believe that every time they see a performer on the screen he’s become a different person.”
On Monday, Wamg attended the press preview for the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences groundbreaking multimedia exhibition Hollywood Costume in the historic Wilshire May Company building.
Taking five years to create, this exhibition is the kickoff for the whole Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
Emphasizing how costumes are so important in creating characters, this one-of-a-kind exhibition comes with its own film score, enhanced with dazzling animations and screenplay excerpts.
Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), and sponsored by Swarovski, this ticketed exhibition »
- Movie Geeks
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