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The doors are open, but where are the pitches? That's the question asked in TV studio and network halls in recent weeks as executives grapple with an increasingly crowded landscape. Side effects of the boom in scripted programs — cable alone aired 144 original series in 2013, up from 29 a decade earlier — are a smaller pool of available writers and a schedule that no longer fits with the broadcast networks' traditional pitch season of July 4 to Labor Day. "It's a great time to be representing talent because there are multiple suitors for a TV writer," says ABC
- By Lacey Rose and Lesley Goldberg
We’re well past the point where anyone could accuse Steven Soderbergh of resting on his laurels. Safe to say that his “I’m retiring” prattling during the Side Effects (2013) and Behind the Candelabra (2013) rollouts — whipped up into a state-of-the-cinematic-art lament by the Moloch that is the 24-hour news cycle — was more off-hours musing than prophetic threat. Now perhaps we can go back to judging his work as we should most art: project by project. As it comes, when (and if) it comes. Our clocks aren’t, and shouldn’t, be his.Appropriate, then, that Soderbergh’s new undertaking — Cinemax’s period hospital drama, The Knick, of which he directed, edited, and photographed all ten first-season episodes — begins in the nebulous space of an opium den, where time evaporates in benumbed bliss. The high is short-lived: No sooner have we settled into the sensational first shot (Pov over a propped-up »
- Keith Uhlich
Chicago – Cinemax’s ominous new series “The Knick” is a hospital drama that’s very much in the voice of its director, Steven Soderbergh. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, the series presents the medical world as it inches closer and closer to modernity, while making contemporary parallels to the desperate hustle by surgery room clients and their doctors alike regarding treatment of the human body. What has changed in the politics of medicine? What hasn’t?
Television Rating: 4.0/5.0
The Knick is the name of the hospital (formally called The Knickerbocker) that employs John W. Thackery, a disturbed surgeon played by Clive Owen, who tiptoes towards medical breakthroughs often at the expense of human lives. He proclaims emotionally early in episode one that science is at a crucial point, in which more breakthroughs have been made in the last five years compared to the last five hundred. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
After breaking out in David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo with her Oscar-nominated turn as hacker Lisbeth Salander, Rooney Mara has steadily cemented her reputation as one of the most talented young actresses working today with strong performances in Ain’t Them No Bodies Saints, Side Effects and Her. And she doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon, with Stephen Daldry’s Trash, an untitled Terrence Malick project and erotic thriller Carol in the can. Now, we’ve learned that Mara has booked another high-profile gig leading the Jim Sheridan-directed The Secret Scripture.
Mara will replace Jessica Chastain in the drama, “about a 100-year-old woman named Roseanne who recounts her life in mental institutions in a secret memoir.” She will be playing the younger version of Roseanne, “who survives a traumatic childhood only to see her life utterly changed by a vindictive Catholic priest. »
- Isaac Feldberg
HBO has announced the star-studded supporting cast for its upcoming mini-series adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Olive Kitteridge". Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right") will helm the four-part mini-series which debuts on the network in November.
Set over a 25 year period in a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, the story follows a middle-school math teacher named Olive (Frances McDormand) who uses a wicked wit and harsh demeanor to mask a warm but troubled heart .
Richard Jenkins ("Burn After Reading") portrays Olive’s kind-hearted pharmacist husband, Henry. John Gallagher, Jr. ("The Newsroom") is their son Christopher, Peter Mullan ("Top of the Lake") plays fellow teacher Jim O’Casey, Rosemarie DeWitt ("Mad Men") as a shut-in named Rachel Coulson, Zoe Kazan ("Ruby Sparks") as the pharmacist worker Denise Thibodeau, Ann Dowd ("Side Effects") as a family friend.
Also onboard are Cory Michael Smith »
- Garth Franklin
Few filmmakers have left behind a body of work quite like Steven Soderbergh. The skilled storyteller and Oscar winner bowed out last year after his last theatrically-released film, Side Effects, instead opting to dabble in television, artwork, and occasional side endeavors. Prolific to the very end, Soderbergh hasn't been linked to any directorial projects in almost two years right now . normal for other filmmakers, but not for him. We really aren't going to get any more Steven Soderbergh-directed movies for a long time, and for a very basic reason. In an excellent, probing interview with Esquire, Steven Soderbergh elaborates on why he backed away from movies. Promoting the new television series The Knick starring Clive Owen, Soderbergh simply, and tragically, credits the fact that filmmaking was no longer any "fun." "The bottom line when people talk about all the reasons, you know the biggest reason? It stopped being fun. »
The running line about Steven Soderbergh in the last few years has been that he’s the most prolific retired filmmaker today, supposedly having given up film for good and turned his mind toward other mediums and projects. And in the short time since February 2013 when his official “last film” Side Effects was released, he’s been busy at work with the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra, the Cinemax show The Knick and a Broadway production called The Library.
But Soderbergh Monday clarified his “retirement” in an interview with Esquire.
“The bottom line when people talk about all the reasons, you know the biggest reason? It stopped being fun. It just stopped being fun. It really wasn’t. That’s a big deal to me,” Soderbergh said. “ The ratio of bullshit to the fun part of doing the work was really starting to get out of whack.”
Soderbergh added that »
- Brian Welk
In a new interview with Steven Soderbergh at Esquire, the director of the upcoming Cinemax television show "The Knick" discussed the "biggest reason" he got out of movies, which was, "It stopped being fun." The fact that it became a story at all is because of Matt Damon. He remembered verbatim a drunk conversation we had in Chicago and repeated it to USA Today. I'd talked about it before and nobody gave a sh*t. It wasn't until Matt said that I had a plan to get out. The bottom line when people talk about all the reasons, you know the biggest reasonc It stopped being fun. It just stopped being fun. It really wasn't. That's a big deal to me. It may sound like "Why do you have to have fun to go to workc" I don't know. I like to be in a good mood. The ratio of »
- Brad Brevet
The day after the world premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction in Hong Kong, I landed an awesome extended video interview with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Since the franchise launched in 2007, he's produced all the films along with projects like G.I. Joe, Red, Side Effects,Stardust, and many more. While we already posted what he had to say about Joe Carnahan's Five Against a Bullet, G.I. Joe 3, David S. Goyer's The Breach, the possibility of a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover movie, and the Dead Rising digital series, it's finally time for what he had to say about making Age of Extinction. During the interview he talked about how the story came together for the film, how and why they finally brought in the dinobots, the way they work with Hasbro, how breaking the story led to introducing a new kind of character to the Transformers movie mythology, »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
There’s a very short list of Hollywood producers who are names unto themselves. On that list is Lorenzo di Bonaventura, of both the G.I. Joe and Transformers franchises. He’s also the producer of Salt, Red, Side Effects, Jack Ryan, Beverly Hills Cop 4 and more. The guy is a proven hit-maker with a great handle on […]
The post /Film Interview: ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Producer Talks Cybertron, Hot Rod, Dinobots, and the Ending appeared first on /Film. »
- Germain Lussier
Michael Bay proved surprisingly diplomatic the other week when he was asked about film critics and their universal panning of his often highly successful "Transformers" franchise. Bay essentially said he used to be bothered by it, not so much now, and actually welcomes it as it "makes me think, and it keeps me on my toes."
Series producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura was also asked by ScreenCrush the other day about the criticism of the franchise, and the just released 'Age of Extinction' in particular. His answer was far more condescending and dismissive:
"Well, first of all, I think every filmmaker cares what critics think because, you know, you're being judged. I think if someone says they don't care, baloney. Does it affect the gross of the movie? Probably a little bit. But, I think the problem with critics and the big movies in general is they don't understand the format. »
- Garth Franklin
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
Rooney Mara has been playing things pretty cool since picking up a Best Actress Oscar nomination two years ago for "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." The franchise initially beckoned by David Fincher's Scandi-thriller remake hasn't come to pass, which has left Mara room to be discerning: she had classy leading roles last year in David Lowery's "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" and Steven Soderbergh's "Side Effects," though neither one was built entirely around her; a tart supporting role in Spike Jonze's Best Picture nominee "Her" further added to her credibility. Mara's upcoming slate is pretty high-end, too, with Todd Haynes' "Carol," Stephen Daldry's "Trash" and Joe Wright's "Pan" all at various stages of production, while she'll appear (or not -- who knows?) in one of Terrence Malick's upcoming endeavors. Still, even with all these offers coming along, it never hurts to start developing your own projects. »
- Guy Lodge
Another project from the illustrious Annapurna Pictures in development. An official press release sent out announces that Annapurna is developing an adaptation of NY Times bestseller A House in the Sky by co-authors Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. The project will star Oscar nominated actress Rooney Mara (A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Side Effects, Her) as Amanda Lindhout, who was abducted in 2008 in Mogadishu, Somalia by a rebel terrorist group. Annapurna's Megan Ellison will produce the film about Lindhout's 15 months in captivity. No writer or director are officially named in the press release, so we're not sure who else is involved yet. It looks as if they're going out to find the right people now. Synopsis of A House in the Sky from Amazon adds: Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, »
- Alex Billington
Ever since her transformative performance in David Fincher’s amazing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptation, Rooney Mara has been highly in-demand. She’s had her pick of projects over the past few years, appearing in such great films as David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects and Spike Jonze’s Her. Mara’s upcoming schedule looks equally promising – she’s got Stephen Daldry’s Trash, a Terrence Malick film, Todd Haynes’ romantic drama Carol and Joe Wright’s blockbuster Pan on the way. Now, the actress has joined another exciting project – Annapurna Pictures’ memoir adaptation A House in the Sky.
Mara will star in and produce the adaptation, based on Amanda Linhout’s account of the ordeal she underwent after being abducted by a rebel terrorist group whilst exploring Somalia in 2008. Amazon’s synopsis for the book reads as follows:
As a child, »
- Isaac Feldberg
So maybe let's start this with a hat tip to Channing Tatum and how far he's come. From that guy in the "Step Up" movie, the actor made steady moves to work with directors of note, taking roles in films by Kimberly Peirce ("Stop-Loss"), Michael Mann ("Public Enemies"), Ron Howard ("The Dilemma"), Kevin Macdonald ("The Eagle"), Steven Soderbergh ("Haywire," "Side Effects," "Magic Mike") and Bennett Miller ("Foxcatcher"), and that's not to mention becoming the star of franchises like "G.I. Joe" and "21 Jump Street." And so, don't be surprised that the Coens have tapped the actor for their next film. Indeed, the Coens have rounded up Tatum, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes to join George Clooney in "Hail Caesar." The story will follow a fixer in the 1950s who works for Hollywood studios to protect their stars, with Tatum to play a Gene Kelly-esque actor, Fiennes a »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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