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Screen Film Summit: As Mj Delaney’s low-budget Powder Room heads into its opening weekend with all investment already recouped, producer Damian Jones has confirmed that his next project will be a remake of TV perennial Dad’s Army.
Jones and Delaney also told the Screen Film Summit that despite a tough 19-day shoot for the £175,000 Powder Room, they were planning to work with each other again on a big-screen adaptation of Apples, Richard Milward’s cult 2007 novel about teenage life on a Middlesborough housing estate with Milward set to adapt.
Award-winning producer Jones (The Iron Lady) told the conference that he was now focused on Dad’s Army, for which he holds the rights, although no further details were forthcoming.
Jones was principal producer and also principle financier on Powder Room through the BFI’s “Locked Box” producer equity scheme. When Universal took world rights at Cannes, the Mg paid out all investment and the film »
- email@example.com (Fionnuala Halligan)
In the reader spotlight series we celebrate You, the reason The Film Experience keeps chugging along. Today we're talking to Michael Bina who just produced a well received short film! Let's meet him.
Nathaniel R: We met a couple years back at a guild screening for Coriolanus's tiny Oscar-qualifying run I believe?
Michael Bina: Yes, that’s right! I remember you... loved it?
Well, Vanessa Redgrave in it! Otherwise not so much. How long have you been reading the site?
I’ve probably been reading The Film Experience for a little less than a decade. I was a huge fan of the Academy Awards growing up, so I began reading Oscar blogs. I stumbled upon yours and loved your insight on films, and just the way you wrote about them. The site's great at showcasing all aspects of the industry (film, theatre, television).
I understand you recently produced a »
- NATHANIEL R
A new study for the BFI finds that UK independent films were more likely to be profitable if they had women in key backstage roles, yet the gender is still under-represented
• Datablog: How well are women represented in the UK independent film industry?
Employing women in writing and directing roles makes business sense, yet is still relatively rare, suggests a new study by the BFI. The report, Succes de plume? Female Screenwriters and Directors of UK Films 2010-2012, indicates 30% of the most successful and profitable independent British films of the period had a female screenwriter and/or director.
The disproportion comes from a comparison of the percentage of female directors (11%) and writers (16%) of all UK indies in that period with the equivalent stats for the top 20 films at the box office. Of these, 18% had a female director and 37% a female writer.
Key figures boosting the stats include Emma Thompson, who »
- Catherine Shoard
The Wagner/Cuban Company's Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired North American rights to Filth, a pitch black comedy based on the novel by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting). Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Last King of Scotland) leads a stellar ensemble cast, including Jamie Bell (Nymphomaniac, Snowpiercer), Imogen Poots (A Late Quartet), Eddie Marsan ("Ray Donovan"), Shirley Henderson (Anna Karenina, Trainspotting) and Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas, The Iron Lady). Filth was written and directed by Jon S. Baird, who also produced through his Logie Pictures banner with Ken Marshall for Steel Mill Pictures, Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray for Maven Pictures, James McAvoy, Christian Angermayer and Jens Meurer for Film House Germany, Mark Amin and Will Clarke.
New figures from the British Film Institute suggest a "breakthrough" over the past three years for female screenwriters, while the number of women directing UK independent films remains low. How well are women represented in this industry?
• Get the data
Under-representation of women in key creative and production roles in the film industry has been well-documented for many years. The latest figures from the British Film Institute (BFI), looking at female screenwriters and directors of UK independent films, provide a varied set of results.
According to the BFI, there has been something of a "breakthrough" over the past three years with the representation of female screenwriters in the top 20 UK independent films reaching 37%.
The BFI also break this figure down by profitable films, with profitability estimated from an indicator developed by the BFI research and statistics unit. Of the profitable UK independent films over the same period, 30% had a female screenwriter. »
- Ami Sedghi
Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired North American rights to Filth , a black comedy based on the novel by Irvine Welsh ( Trainspotting ). Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy ( X-Men: First Class , The Last King of Scotland ) leads an ensemble cast that also includes Jamie Bell ( Nymphomaniac , Snowpiercer ), Imogen Poots ( A Late Quartet ), Eddie Marsan (.Ray Donovan.), Shirley Henderson ( Anna Karenina , Trainspotting ) and Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent ( Cloud Atlas , The Iron Lady ). Filth currently ranks as the year's second highest-grossing R-rated film in the UK and it has garnered British Independent Film Award nominations for James McAvoy (Best Actor), Jon S. Baird (Best Director), Shirley Henderson (Best Supporting Actress), Eddie Marsan (Best »
When watching An Adventure In Space And Time, I noticed one feeling dominated all others. It wasn’t excitement at seeing early Doctor Who recreated in high definition colour. It wasn’t admiration in the playing of the lead actors (all wonderful), nor even some fannish desire for accuracy (I let several anachronisms of speech and behaviour slip by, suspending my disbelief in the spirit of the piece).
The overwhelming feeling I had was one of protectiveness. I felt protective towards Verity Lambert, Waris Hussein, even Sydney Newman, the old so-and-so. But I felt especially protective towards William Hartnell. As an actor his reputation is pretty much intact, despite a few swipes at his memory from those too ignorant to know better. But as a man I felt that he had been much maligned, and An Adventure In Space And Time could either support the myths, or set the record straight. »
- David Martin Farmbrough
Due to scheduling issues today's episode is a little shorter than normal as we review The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Delivery Man. We also get into our regular gaming session and answer as many listener questions as we could in the small amount of time we had. Reminder: Next week we will only have one podcast on Tuesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. An alternative to »
- Brad Brevet
The term "Oscar bait" is one that, unfortunately, gets bandied about a lot this time of year. At worst, it's used to refer to every faintly serious-minded film released between July and December. At best, it describes a very particular kind of middlebrow drama that seems to have been created from the ground up with the sole purpose of appealing to the Academy—think "The Iron Lady" or "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," to name two recent examples. Stephen Frears' "Philomena" appears on the surface to fit into the latter category. It's a based-in-fact comedy-drama with a mix of laughter and tears, with a prestigious filmmaker (albeit one who's been off his game for a while), an already awarded lead in Dame Judi Dench, and the might of The Weinstein Company behind it. But if "Philomena" is Oscar bait (and ultimately, we're not all that fond of the phrase »
- Oliver Lyttelton
As first pictures emerge of the simian pretender, we're feeling the force of all today's film news and more
In the headlines
• First pictures released of the monkey that might have played Yoda, as it's revealed that Star Wars characters will be in Lego movie
• Harvey Weinstein is co-offering free Mandela movie lessons to La schools, while Obama will end "official" White House screenings after Mandela film to avoid "Oscar politics"
Elsewhere on the site
• Reel History shoots from the hip with Parkland
• Week in geek: Amazing Spider-Man 2 viral site hints at catastrophe in sequel, »
The film has been very well received by critics since its Telluride and Toronto debuts, and has been continuing on the festival circuit in recent months – you can read our review from the Lff here – building momentum nicely in the run-up to the Oscars.
With its release on our shores on the horizon, Lionsgate has launched a beautiful new quad poster, and a terrific new trailer to go along with it.
Nelly (Felicity Jones), a happily-married mother and schoolteacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, »
- Kenji Lloyd
Today's film news comes from a galaxy far far away
On the site today
• R2D2 confirmed for Star Wars: Episode VII
• Ian McKellen "considered giving up acting" over The Hobbit green screen horrors
• Toxicologist casts doubt on Britanny Murphy poisoning claims
• Boston college renamed Ron Burgundy School of Communication
• Charles Gant's UK box office
• Just how adorable is Tom Hiddleston in PR mode?
• Stuart Heritage liveblogs The Iron Lady TV screening
• Clip joint is on anti-heroines
• Top 10 animated films
• With Nebraska on the way, GuardianWitness put out a call out for best family road trip pics
You may have missed
• Donald Sutherland: 'I want Hunger Games to stir up a revolution'
• It's a Wonderful Life to get sequel treatment
• Toxicology tests suggests Brittany Murphy may have »
Oscar season is always a time for moviegoer euphoria and repugnance. Yes, we get to see a bunch of fab movies, but we’re also aware of which films will end up getting more (and perhaps undeserved) Academy attention thanks to star power and studio campaigning. For every warranted triumph like 12 Years a Slave, there are underdog crowd-pleasers like Enough Said, Philomena, and my pick for the true underrated gem of the year, Kill Your Darlings.
With a charming Daniel Radcliffe as a young Allen Ginsberg during his days at Columbia, the film explores the beginnings of the Beat movement with Ginsberg’s pals Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster), and a defiant beaut named Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), who murders longtime acquaintance David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) under mysterious circumstances. The movie is as much a bildungsroman of Ginsberg as it is a pulpy caper, and »
- Louis Virtel
Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle, who surprised the world with her stunning rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2008, is getting a biopic, and the woman who may play her is equally as surprising: Meryl Streep.
Boyle, who confirmed that a film about her life is currently in development, told Metro U.K. that she didn't want to appear in the movie -- as herself or a cameo -- but she had an idea of who might fill her shoes.
"Probably Meryl Streep -- I understand she has been approached," Boyle said.
HuffPost Entertainment reached out to Streep's representatives for comment, but so far there's been no word from Meryl's camp about the veracity of Boyle's statements. Streep would certainly be suited for the part; in addition to being a chameleonic actress who recently won an Oscar for playing another famous Brit (Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady »
- Katie Roberts
Boyle's life rights were recently bought by Fox Searchlight, which intends to make a biopic about the singer.
In an interview with Metro, Boyle said: "I wouldn't like to be in the film myself. I'd like someone to play me. Probably Meryl Streep - I understand she has been approached."
A stage musical about the singer's life has previously toured the UK, with Boyle played by actress Elaine C Smith.
Judi Dench in ‘Philomena’ movie: The one British Independent Film Award nominee surely to get BAFTA, Academy Award nominations Among the 2013 British Independent Film Award nominees, only one has a truly good chance of being shortlisted for both the BAFTAs and the Academy Awards. That’s Best Actress Bifa nominee Judi Dench for Stephen Frears’ "based on a true story" drama Philomena, in which Dench plays a woman whose son was taken away from her after she was sent to a convent. For the record, Dench has four previous Best Actress Oscar nominations (Mrs. Brown, Iris, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Notes on a Scandal), in addition to one win and a nomination as Best Supporting Actress (win: Shakespeare in Love; nomination: Chocolat). (Photo: Judi Dench as Philomena Lee in Philomena.) Needless to say, the British Independent Film Awards have little influence on North America’s awards-season favorites. There are a number of reasons for that — e. »
- Zac Gille
By far one of the finest films I’ve seen all year, Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman is coming in as a strong contender in this year’s wide-open awards season, and after dazzling on the festival circuit in recent months, it will soon be heading into cinemas stateside over the very busy Christmas period.
Fiennes is absolutely fantastic in the male lead as Charles Dickens, and the chemistry that he and Felicity Jones share on screen is electric, with both very much worthy of Best Actor/Actress nods come January.
The film marks Fiennes’ sophomore feature in the director’s chair, and we’ve seen little from it since the first trailer launched last month. But now Sony Classics has released a handful of great new images, teasing a look at what is arguably the best period drama of the year.
Nelly (Felicity Jones), a happily-married mother and schoolteacher, »
- Kenji Lloyd
We all know the Bechdel Test by now, right? Well, if not, it’s cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s three-pronged test to judge female characters in movies. Do more than two female characters have a name? Do they speak to each other? And, if the two named female characters have a conversation, is it about something other than a man?
But the “test” has basically only existed as a discussion point that we blog about occasionally as we wax poetic on the state of substantive roles for women. A few Swedish art house theaters would like to change that.
Last month, »
- Lindsey Bahr
The decision of some Swedish cinemas to vet what they show using the test should be applauded with caution – its creator had satire in mind, and its enforcers may yet be motivated by money
With its excellent health care, superb state-sponsored child-minding provision, and greener-than-Kermit environmental policies, Sweden is practically a metonym for social progressiveness; the canary in the coalmine for putting politically correct policies into practice. It therefore comes as no surprise that cinemas in Stockholm are the first in the world to make gender representation a factor in an unofficial ratings system, pledging to give an A rating to films that pass the Bechdel test. So should feminists and other folk of a liberal minded persuasion round the world be throwing their copies of The Second Sex in the air with joy, and blessing the Swedes' hand-knitted socks?
The Bechdel test was invented in the mid-1980s when »
- Leslie Felperin
Movies need to pass test that gauges the active presence of women on screen in bid to promote gender equality
You expect movie ratings to tell you whether a film contains nudity, sex, profanity or violence. Now cinemas in Sweden are introducing a new rating to highlight gender bias, or rather the absence of it.
To get an A rating, a movie must pass the so-called Bechdel test, which means it must have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.
"The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social Network, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test," said Ellen Tejle, the director of Bio Rio, an art-house cinema in Stockholm's trendy Södermalm district.
Bio Rio is one of four Swedish cinemas that launched the new rating last month to »
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