8 items from 2017
Craig Elvy Sep 27, 2017
The crazy world of Derren Brown is not without controversy and debate. Here we revisit 11 of the illusionist's most gripping TV stunts...
Being friends with Derren Brown must be simultaneously fascinating and utterly terrifying. A vastly intelligent natural performer with charisma and charm to spare, Derren has been confounding audiences with his brand of “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship” for something approaching two decades and has successfully pulled-off a remarkable evolution from skilled street magician to performer of increasingly ambitious television events.
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Over time, Derren’s material has become as much about helping and inspiring people as it is shocking them, »
The Guilt Trip: The Dardennes’ Add a Touch of Genre to Collective Guilt
For better or worse, we already know what kind of quiet poignancy to expect from the two time Palme d’Or winning Belgian duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who deliver the closest they’ll ever come to a thriller with tenth feature, The Unknown Girl.
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- Nicholas Bell
Silberman’s book, “Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently,” was published in 2015, won the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, and was named one of the best books of 2015 by the New York Times, the Economist, and the Guardian.
“Neurotribes” covers a history of the changing perceptions of autism over the past 80 years, going back to the research of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. It also explores why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. »
- Dave McNary
Barbra Streisand didn’t mince words when Robert Rodriguez interviewed her at the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend —of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way. The famously outspoken megastar had some choice words about how women directors are treated in Hollywood and how little things have changed since she made her own directorial debut with 1983’s “Yentl,” a story about a woman (Streisand) posing as a man in order to study the Torah.
According to Variety, Streisand spoke candidly about her lack of directing Oscar nods for “Yentl” and 1991’s “Prince of Tides.” She believes sexism from both men and women stopped her from receiving recognition from the Academy. “There were a lot of older people. They don’t want to see a woman director,” she told Rodriguez. “I don’t know how many women wanted to see a woman director.”
Streisand’s lack of directing nominations does seem like a blatant snub, as both “Yentl” and the romance “Prince of Tides” racked up a bunch of other nods. “Prince of Tides” in particular was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, which often go hand-in-hand with a directing nod.
As Streisand revealed, her work on Sydney Pollack’s 1973 romantic drama “The Way We Were” was the catalyst for her directing career. She disagreed with Pollack’s vision and was “horrified” when he cut “scenes that [Streisand] felt illustrated why her on-screen relationship with Robert Redford’s character ultimately disintegrated,” Variety details. Her lack of creative control is what drove her to helm her own movies.
“I directed because I couldn’t be heard,” Streisand emphasized.
While she wouldn’t be credited as a director until 1983, Streisand first demonstrated her artistic vision on the 1976 drama “A Star Is Born.” The film, which sees Streisand as a rising music star in a doomed relationship with past-his-prime rock star Kris Kristofferson, was directed by Frank Pierson. But Streisand told Rodriguez that she had the final cut. “That was tough because I was blackmailed into hiring [Pierson],” she said, per Deadline. “I hired him to write and he said he wouldn’t do it unless he directed. I had final cut rights. I told him he could have all the credit, but that he had to allow my vision to be there. He would agree, but then I’d show up and the cameras would be in [the wrong places].”
The “Funny Girl” star also brushed off Rodriguez’s suggestion that her work as a director “shattered a glass ceiling for other female filmmakers,” Variety notes. Acknowledging how few opportunities female directors receive in Hollywood, Streisand responded, “Not enough women are directing now.” In other words, the glass ceiling might have a crack or two, but it’s still very much intact.
Among Streisand’s other directing credits are the 1996 feature “The Mirror Has Two Faces” and three documentaries of her concert performances. She is also set to direct an untitled film about the affair between photographer Margaret Bourke-White and author Erskine Caldwell. She has received two Oscars: one for her performance in “Funny Girl” and another for Best Original Song for “A Star Is Born.”
Fittingly, Streisand was the person who presented Kathryn Bigelow the Oscar for Best Director in 2010 for “The Hurt Locker.” After opening the envelope with the winner’s name, Streisand said, “Well, the time has come,” in reference to the fact that a woman had never received the award before. To date, Bigelow remains the only woman to have won the Academy Award for Best Director.
Barbra Streisand Started Directing Because She “Couldn’t Be Heard” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Jennifer Aniston in “We’re the Millers”
Jennifer Aniston played a Prom Queen and Homecoming Queen in “Friends,” and now she’ll take on the role of a former beauty queen. Variety reports that the expert tiara-wearer has joined the cast of “Dumplin,’” an indie teen comedy directed by Anne Fletcher (“27 Dresses”).
Based on Julie Murphy’s 2015 book of the same name, the Texas-set story follows “a confident teen girl — named Dumplin’ by her former beauty queen mom (Aniston) — taking a job at the local fast-food joint,” the source summarizes. “She meets a former jock whom she likes and he seems to like her back, but when she begins to doubt herself, she sets out to take back her confidence by entering a beauty pageant and gaining respect for her mother.” No word on who will play Dumplin’.
“Dumplin’” marks Fletcher’s first foray into the teen genre. She most recently helmed “Hot Pursuit,” an action comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. “The Guilt Trip,” “The Proposal,” and “Step Up” are among her other credits.
“The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty,” Aniston wrote in a candid essay published by The Huffington Post last summer. On that note, we’re betting “Dumplin’” won’t depict an idealized version of beauty pageants.
Jennifer Aniston and Anne Fletcher Team Up for Teen Comedy was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Variety first reported in 2015 that Disney acquired the movie rights preemptively prior to publication of Julie Murphy’s Texas-set novel with Michael Costigan producing. Disney decided not to go ahead with the project.
The story centers on a confident teen girl — named Dumplin’ by her former beauty queen mom (Aniston) — taking a job at the local fast-food joint. She meets a former jock whom she likes and he seems to like her back, but when she begins to doubt herself, she sets out to take back her confidence by entering a beauty pageant and gaining respect for her mother.
- Dave McNary
Life, Itself is a multi-generational love story that weaves together characters whose lives intersect over the course of decades from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside and back.
FilmNation is fully financing and produces and handles international sales while Wme Global represents Us rights.
His directorial »
FilmNation Entertainment and Temple Hill are producing the multi-generational love story, weaving together a number of characters whose lives intersect over the course of decades — from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside. Antonio Banderas, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Mandy Patinkin, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, and Alex Monner also star. Principal photography is beginning in New York City and will continue in Spain in May.
FilmNation will fully finance, produce, and handle international sales for the film. Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey will produce with FilmNation, along with Fogelman. Wme Global will handle the U.S. sale on behalf of FilmNation.
‘This Is Us »
- Dave McNary
8 items from 2017
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