Taking Woodstock
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4 items from 2016

Cannes: Imelda Staunton Finds Her ‘Feet’ (Exclusive)

14 May 2016 9:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Imelda Staunton is set to star in romantic comedy “Finding Your Feet,” directed by “Wimbledon” and “Richard III” helmer Richard Loncraine.

Entertainment One has snapped up rights to the pic, which is being shopped by Protagonist Pictures, for the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand in Cannes. The deal was negotiated by eOne’s Joel Kennedy and Protagonist’s Vanessa Saal.

Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft, who wrote “Urban Hymn” and U.K. click “St. Trinian’s,” pen the script about a woman whose life is turned upside down as she enters retirement. Eclipse Films and Powder Keg Pictures are producing.

While not in Protagonist’s official brochure for Cannes projects on offer this year, the title is already whetting the appetite of indie buyers, with eOne seeing pic’s “grey pound” potential, following the great success of titles geared toward older auds like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel »

- Diana Lodderhose

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Why Focus Features is Again Getting a Drastic Reboot

4 February 2016 1:54 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Focus Features’ ongoing identity crisis worsened Thursday, as the specialty unit behind “The Theory of Everything,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Moonrise Kingdom” underwent its second major management shakeup in less than three years.

Focus CEO Peter Schlessel, who replaced founder James Schamus in 2013, is being ousted as part of a drastic housecleaning by parent Universal Pictures.  The studio is merging the label with Universal Pictures International Productions (Upip), in an attempt to make the unit more global and artistically relevant after a series of highly touted  awards-season pictures such as “The Danish Girl” and “Suffragette” collapsed at the box office. Upip Managing Director Peter Kujawski will now be tasked with being chairman of the global unit.

The bloodletting, which is also resulting in the loss of COO Adrian Alperovich, marketing president Christine Birch and acquisitions chief Lia Buman, seems to be an acknowledgment by Universal’s brass that it erred in »

- Brent Lang

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James Schamus On Directing ‘Indignation’ & Why Studio Adult Dramas Aren’t Dead – Sundance Studio

26 January 2016 1:05 PM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

“I knew for this particular work to function as a movie, it had to have a distinctive style,” says former Focus Features chief James Schamus about his feature directorial debut Indignation, “I didn’t want to box my actors into a particular, exact approach that would not let them breath.” After penning a number of Ang Lee movies such as Taking Woodstock, The Hulk; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Lust, Caution, Schamus got behind the camera with an adaptation of Philip… »

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Film Review: ‘Paradise Trips’

20 January 2016 9:30 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

An estranged father and son are forced to interact at a Burning Man-like counterculture festival in music-video director Raf Reyntjens’ astute feature debut, “Paradise Trips.” Initially hobbled from full engagement by two leading characters who are all too convincingly unpleasant to be around, the pic earns their (and the viewers’) rapprochement by burying its fundamental generation-gapped, dysfunctional-family formulaics in low-key observation, plus a welcome late dose of druggy absurdism. Already released in home territories, it could pick up modest offshore sales in various formats while marking Reyntjens as a talent to watch.

Dutch tour-bus company owner/driver Mario (Gene Bervoets) is miserable in retirement, cranky and uncommunicative with wife Linda (Tania Van der Sanden) despite her valiant attempts to engage him. Rather than accept her proposal that they take a vacation together, he leaps at his former business partner’s emergency request that he take over a group rental trip to Croatia. »

- Dennis Harvey

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4 items from 2016

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