9 items from 2015
The San Francisco Film Society has revealed the eight finalists for the seventh annual Sffs/Hearst Screenwriting Grant. The $15,000 grant will be awarded to a screenwriter, or screenwriting team, that has been practicing for at least five years and who has previously written at least one feature screenplay. The grant is intended for Us-based writers, with priority given to those whose past works were successfully made into finished films. The winner will be announced mid-October. This year's finalists listed below. One of the past grant winners, Ian Olds, is just now going into production on "The Fixer" starring James Franco. This year, finalists include "Howl" and "The Celluloid Closet" writer/director Rob Epstein, and Maris Curran, whose David Oyelowo-starrer "Five Nights in Maine" premieres in Toronto. Read More: Tiff First Look: David Oyelowo and Dianne Wiest Lead 'Five Nights in Maine' Andrew Burrows-Trotman (writer/director) – If »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Activist David Mixner stood alone on a theater stage in Los Angeles at the start of this year’s Gay Pride Month, sharing his memories with an audience of friends, political figures and a smattering of celebrities, about the time Ronald Reagan saw the light.
It was 1978, and aides to Reagan, who was on the cusp of launching his presidential campaign, believed he was ready to endorse a California initiative to ban gays and lesbians from teaching in the state’s classrooms, a ballot proposition inspired by the anti-gay crusades of singer Anita Bryant.
Mixner remembered when he and fellow activist Peter Scott landed a secret meeting with Reagan, who was exceedingly charming and willing to listen. Mixner warned the soon-to-be candidate that the initiative would create anarchy: Students could retaliate for a bad grade by accusing their teachers of being gay.
Reagan didn’t immediately reveal what he was going to do, »
- Ted Johnson and Brent Lang
Lenny Bruce: Dustin Hoffman in the 1974 Bob Fosse movie. Lenny Bruce movie review: Polemical stand-up comedian merited less timid biopic (Oscar Movie Series) Bob Fosse's 1974 biopic Lenny has two chief assets: the ever relevant free speech issues it raises and the riveting presence of Valerie Perrine. The film itself, however, is only sporadically thought-provoking or emotionally gripping; in fact, Lenny is a major artistic letdown, considering all the talent involved and the fertile material at hand. After all, much more should have come out of a joint effort between director Fosse, fresh off his Academy Award win for Cabaret; playwright-screenwriter Julian Barry, whose stage version of Lenny earned Cliff Gorman a Tony Award; two-time Best Actor Oscar nominee Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy); and cinematographer Bruce Surtees (Play Misty for Me, Blume in Love). Their larger-than-life subject? Lenny Bruce, the stand-up comedian who became one of the »
- Andre Soares
The biggest deals of this year’s Cannes Marché du Film and how the Competition titles sold throughout the festival.
Behind the glamour of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, business was booming at the Marché du Film (May 13-22), with representatives from 120 countries in attendance - up four on 2014.
A total 3,300 films were on offer this year, around 1,000 at the project stage, with an estimated 11,000 film professionals in attendance, in line with last year.
In the opening days, Marché chief Jérôme Paillard told Screen: “Acquisition agents are telling me that it’s the first time in a number of years that there are so many big projects. I’ve been told there are around 50 high profile projects on offer.”
North AmericaHOT Projects
Open Road paid »
Los Angeles - Last night musicians and comedians gathered at the Ace Hotel to honor the 60th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's groundbreaking poem "Howl," in the form of a benefit concert thrown by the David Lynch Foundation. The non-profit centers on spreading the word about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. Sounds like a laugh riot, right? Actually, everyone fared pretty well... "David Lynch... the man who made me afraid of hallways." Musician Kevin Drew, as an introduction "Live abortions! Raise your hand if you've had an abortion... or you can just slap me five when you leave." Amy Poehler "I love rap music but I despise poetry." Chris Parnell, prior to rapping "The Ballad of the Skeletons" with Amy Poehler "This should go for two or three hours. Let's round it up to six... Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness. You have to if you wanna see Nic Cage. »
- Katie Hasty
For many actors, Downton Abbey was their first big break in television.
But not everyone can be a Lord Grantham or a Carson. For many - whether they chose to leave or were written out - their fortunes changed after exiting the ITV drama.
1. Ed Speleers
We most recently saw him in the part of Edward Seymour in Wolf Hall, and he will also star in upcoming films Remainder and Howl. Most prominently, he's been cast alongside Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter in Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.
2. Amy Nuttall »
Park City - I would guess there is no working actor right now more suited to playing the lead in "I Am Michael" than James Franco. Walking into the film this morning, I didn't know what it was about. That's how I like to try to see as many movies as possible at Sundance, because it leaves the opportunity for surprises. As soon as it started, though, I recognized the material, and I became intrigued to see how they were going to approach telling the story of MIchael Glatze, who is best known for being a former high-profile advocate for gay rights who "went straight" in a very public way after a health scare, eventually becoming a Christian pastor and proclaiming himself heterosexual. That's a tough story to tell without demonizing either side of things, and I wasn't sure I really wanted to see a movie that played Glatze as a hero. »
- Drew McWeeny
There’s a reason Lars Von Trier decided to premiere his sexually explicit “Nymphomaniac” at the Sundance Film Festival last year. The mountainside gathering has a history of attracting edgy and boundary-pushing fare.
The Danish auteur won’t be showing anything explosive in Park City this time, but the 2015 edition of Sundance promises to have plenty of controversial documentaries and feature films about everything from sexual abuse to Scientology that are certain to spark debate.
Here’s a look at some of the most controversial projects looking to heat up the snowbound festival.
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Why It Pushes Buttons: Based on the true story about a Stanford University psychological survey that had students create a mock prison setting to look at the root causes of abuse, the film will bring to mind recent clashes with authority ranging from »
- Brent Lang
9 items from 2015
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