8 items from 2008
The Talented Mr. Ripley by way of Somerset Maugham, Henry May Long is a drama about two men, Henry May and Henry Long, set in the upper crust and under belly of 1887 New York City. Long is obsessed with the golden child May, and via constant surveillance has come to know his secret debt and drug addiction. He convinces May to care for him for three months, as an illness takes his toll, in exchange for money to repay May’s debts. Hiding out, along together, their friendship expands and May begins to find meaning in his own limited life of guaranteed success and leisure. Long intends to set sail on a whaling ship at the end of the term, and May comes with to see him off, only to be confronted with Long’s own web of lies and sordid »
- Scott Macaulay
Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow has spoken about the death of her beloved father - insisting she tried using "Eastern medicine" to ease his suffering.
And Paltrow admits that before her father passed away, she tried using alternative remedies in a bid to nurse him back to health.
She says, "In 1998, I was filming The Talented Mr. Ripley in Ischia, a little island off the coast of Naples in Italy. I got a call that changed my life. My father had been diagnosed with throat cancer, and it was stage four. Although he underwent treatment and survived for another four years, I watched his health deteriorate slowly until his death in 2002.
"During this time I began to read about Eastern medicine and the body's capacity to heal itself. I tried to get my father on board - with mixed results. He loved acupuncture but hated macrobiotic food, which he likened to 'biting into The New York Times.'" »
Gwyneth Paltrow's health-conscious lifestyle and eating habits can be traced back to a phone call a decade ago that, she says, "changed my life." In a new Goop newsletter, the actress writes that, while filming The Talented Mr. Ripley in Italy in 1998, she learned her father had been diagnosed with throat cancer. "I watched his health deteriorate slowly until his death in 2002," Paltrow, 36, says of her director dad, Bruce. "During this time I began to read about Eastern medicine and the body's capacity to heal itself." Paltrow, who was known for following her own strict diet, encouraged her dad »
- Eunice Oh
New York -- Five months after announcing that it was scaling back, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has made the exec moves to match.
The financing and producing entity has removed president of production Bill Horberg from his post and promoted senior marketing and distribution exec Bingham Ray to president of creative affairs, now Ske's top creative spot. Horberg has been given a first-look producing deal with the company.
The personnel moves come as part of what execs described as a shift in strategy toward thrillers, horror and broad comedy and away from the more prestige fare it has been known for since Horberg joined three years ago.
On Tuesday, the company announced its first film in that vein, the thriller "Sunflower" from writer Misha Green.
"This is a commercial enterprise, and we need to be making broader movies." Ske president Jim Tauber said. "As much as we like these art house and smart house movies, we can only make one or two of them. We can't afford to make a slate of them."
The company has made a number of critically well-received films during the past several years, including "United 93" and "Lars and the Real Girl," but few have broken out commercially. "United 93" was the biggest earner of the past few years, taking in $32 million in domestic boxoffice.
Meanwhile, Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut "Synecdoche, New York," a $20 million project that had been one of the big hopes of this year's Festival de Cannes, attracted few bidders on the Croisette and wound up selling to Sony Pictures Classics several months after the festival.
Ske announced in March that it would cut back the number of films per year from roughly five to three and would seek different financial terms; it also would no longer market its own movies.
Among the movies upcoming for Ske are the Jennifer Aniston drama "Management," which will play the Toronto Film Festival, and Greg Mottola's coming-of-age dramedy "Adventureland," set for release by Miramax.
The company Tuesday also announced the promotions of Jodi Hildebrand to vp production and Dan Cohen to creative executive.
Tauber described the staff changes as part of the company's desire to hit financial targets. Although Ray is known primarily as a marketing guru, he is taking on a role that encompasses creative oversight because the two needed to be bridged, Tauber said.
"We don't want to make a movie unless we know clearly who the audience is, and we think Bingham gives us the marketing perspective," he said.
Industryites said that Ray, a longtime veteran of the indie world, was a good choice despite a lack of production experience.
"Bill and Bingham are both very smart at what they do," said an exec at a studio that has worked with Ske. "The difference is that Bingham can read a script and have a much better sense of whether it will connect with an audience. And if you look at Kimmel recently, that's been the problem with their movies: the audience."
Ray served as president of Ua and helped found Focus Features antecedent October Films, which was responsible for a host of indie hits in the '90s including "The Apostle" and "Secrets & Lies."
Horberg, a veteran of Sydney Pollack's and Anthony Minghella's Mirage Enterprises, is a producer with a long history of successful studio and indie pictures, including "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Sliding Doors." Ske said with the producing deal, Horberg will now be able to work on bigger-budget films that don't fit the Ske model.
Tauber said he saw these changes as reflective of a specialty business in flux.
"We're facing the same challenge that every independent and every independent distributor is facing," he said. "So we're being reactive to that, casting a wider net, trying to be more diverse in what were doing." »
- By Steven Zeitchik
The tribute concert will feature suites that Yared composed for those films performed by a chamber orchestra and solo soprano.
The Ghent International Film Festival, in its 35th edition, focuses on film music; other events at this year's festival will include performances by Kadril, Tuur Florizoone, Dario Marianelli and Angelo Badalamenti. »
- By Ann Donahue, Billboard
27 May 2008 4:12 AM, PDT | IMDb News
Acclaimed director, producer, and actor Sydney Pollack has died of cancer. He was 73. »
Updated 6:29 p.m. Pt March 18
Writer-director Anthony Minghella, who died early Tuesday in London of an apparent brain hemorrhage, leaves behind a legacy of acclaimed work and a wide range of projects.
At 54, the British filmmaker known for his adaptations of literary material was, in many respects, in the prime of his career.
Minghella and the Weinstein Co. recently concluded a deal with HBO and the BBC to air the adaptation of the literary franchise "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" as a movie and 13-episode television series.
The filmmaker also was attached to write and direct the adaptation of Liz Jensen's France-based psychological thriller "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax," in development at the Weinstein Co., and had served as a producer on the recently wrapped "The Reader," the adaptation of the Oprah Winfrey-blessed German novel from the Weinstein Co. and Scott Rudin that's »
- By Steven Zeitchik and Gregg Goldstein
18 March 2008 | IMDb News
Director Anthony Minghella, who won an Academy Award for directing the 1996 epic The English Patient, has died at age 54, his agent announced today. Variety reports that a spokesman for Mr. Minghella said he suffered a brain hemorrhage on Tuesday morning at Charing Cross Hospital in London, while in for a routine neck operation. A director who worked in theater and television (most notably for the series Inspector Morse and the lush, haunting The Storyteller series), Minghella made his feature film directorial debut with the ghost story/romance Truly, Madly, Deeply, which starred Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman. The film won Minghella a BAFTA award for his screenplay and effectively launched his film career. The little-seen indie romance Mr. Wonderful followed in 1993, but it was three years later that Minghella had his biggest success with The English Patient, an adaptation of the novel by Michael Ondaatje. Aggressively marketed by Miramax and arriving near the height of the independent film movement (though the film, with its epic scope, pushed the definition of indie filmmaking), the film became a surprise success, ultimately taking in $78 million in the US and winning a whopping nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture as well as Director for Minghella. Three of the film's stars, Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche, were Oscar-nominated, with Binoche taking home the Best Supporting Actress award in a shocking upset over Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall.
Minghella followed up that success in 1999 with the moody thriller The Talented Mr, Ripley, another book-to-film adaptation based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith. Though the film starred high-profile actors Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow, it was the then little-known Jude Law who walked away with the film with his role as a callow, rich playboy. The film earned Law a Best Supporting Actor nomination and Minghella another Adapted Screenplay nod. Minghella tried to replicate his successful literary adaptation formula with Cold Mountain, a high-profile version of the bestselling Civil War novel that, ironically, was filmed partly in Romania. Despite another big (and some said, overly aggressive) push by Miramax and a cast that included Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renee Zellweger, Natalie Portman and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the movie was considered a major under-performer, though it did earn $95 million in the US alone and a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Zellweger. Major nominations for Best Picture or Director, however, failed to materialize. Minghella worked on a smaller scale with the London-based drama Breaking and Entering, which reteamed him with both Law and Binoche, and had just completed filming on The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, the pilot for a TV series based on the novel by Alexander McCall Smith. Beginning in 2000, Minghella also became a producer, with credits including The Quiet American, The Interpreter, and the recent Oscar winner Michael Clayton. In 2005, Minghella also staged an acclaimed version of the opera Madame Butterfly, which played at the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.
Minghella is survived by his parents, his siblings in the entertainment industry Dominic Minghella and Edana Minghella, two other sisters, his wife, choreographer Carolyn Choa, and two children, Max Minghella and Hannah Minghella. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff
8 items from 2008
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