4 items from 2014
Hans Funck, the German film editor of such features as the Oscar-nominated Downfall and Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, died suddenly on Wednesday night in Munich. He was 61. One of Germany's most acclaimed editors, Funck was perhaps most closely associated with Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel. Photos Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2014 In addition to Downfall and sleeper hit The Experiment, Funck was the editor on all of Hirschbiegel's English-language productions, including The Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman, Five Minutes of Heaven with Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt and, most recently, the Lady Di biopic Diana with Naomi Watts.
- Scott Roxborough
It has been a decade since filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel arrived with "Downfall," with the film meme-generating, critically acclaimed film, instantly putting him on the map. But he's struggled to maintain that success. "The Invasion" saw the director and studio at odds, "Five Minutes In Heaven" was an intimate thriller that didn't catch on, while last year's "Diana" was simply a disaster. So he's returning to WWII for another tale about Hitler. Hirschbiegel is now in production on "George Elser," following the man "from his early years in the Swabian Alps—when National Socialism arrived in his hometown—to his last days at the Dachau concentration camp, where he was killed shortly before the end of the war at the command of the one whom he himself wanted to kill, Hitler." And if there's one reason to be excited for this, it's that Christian Friedel, the lead in Michael Haneke's excellent "The White Ribbon, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Following his March pact with HBO Films to direct and executive produce the Gypsy Rose Lee biopic Madame Rose, Rock of Ages and Hairspray helmer Adam Shankman has teamed with screenwriter David Kajganich (The Invasion) on a drama series project for HBO, which Kajganich will write and Shankman will direct. Set in the pre-Stonewall New York City of the late 1960s, Open City explores characters from disparate corners of Manhattan as they navigate the cultural revolutions and political turmoil of the era, including the unlikely alliance between the Mafia and the city’s gay community in the opening of a West Village nightclub. Ronnie Lorenzo, one of the original owners of the Stonewall Inn, the epicenter of the 1969 Stonewall riots that sparked America’s gay rights movement, is aboard as a consulting producer. Kajganich and Shankman will exec produce Open City alongside Shankman’s Offspring Entertainment producing partner Jennifer Gibgot. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
In an intriguing parallel with her friend Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman’s new royal biopic is the subject of critical derision. Just as Watts took the title role of Diana in the slammed Oliver Hirschbiegel helmer, Kidman’s Grace Of Monaco (aka Grace Kelly) raised some unintentional laughs at this morning’s press screening. With a Gala premiere opening Cannes 2014 later on and a solid history of heckling at the Festival the stage is set for a potential journalistic takedown.
The troubled production has been the topic of speculation for some months, with stories of arguments between director Olivier Dahan and producer Harvey Weinstein over the final cut and displeasure from the royal family of Monaco over the way events are depicted. In another development that draws further comparison with Diana, writers such as Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter have wondered how such an an innocuous affair was made »
- Steve Palace
4 items from 2014
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