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Andy Gruenberg Dies: Major Film Distribution Executive Was 68

Andy Gruenberg, who had a long career in studio film distribution and most recently was the overseer of theatrical distribution for Netflix, died yesterday at age 68, according to his family.

Gruenberg started his career in distribution at Warner Bros., moving to Columbia Pictures as senior VP and assistant sales manager, working on such films as Ghostbusters, Karate Kid and Silverado.

He then moved to MGM, serving as executive VP from 1991 to 1998. During that time, he managed the releases of Get Shorty, Tomorrow Never Dies, Leaving Las Vegas and Birdcage.

He became president of distribution at Miramax in 1998, where he oversaw the distribution of the Oscar- winning and box office hits Shakespeare in Love and Life is Beautiful.

He later joined First Look Studios as executive VP of distribution in 2005. There, he released The Proposition and Paris, Je t’aime, and Millennium Entertainment, where he successfully executed the release of Richard Linklater’s indie sensation,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Smilf’ Season 2 Review: Confronting Trauma, From Woody Allen to Harvey Weinstein

‘Smilf’ Season 2 Review: Confronting Trauma, From Woody Allen to Harvey Weinstein
Smilf” is two shows in one, and only half of them work. The first show is an experimental mishmash of short films exposing the world to a woman’s experience in 2019 — particularly, an abused woman’s experience. The other show is a more typical serialized narrative, tracking a single mother trying to get her life together.

In the show’s second season, the more classic half is damn near stagnant. Bridgette Bird (creator and star Frankie Shaw) faces added hardship, sure, but in the first five episodes she does little to address it. Meanwhile, Shaw’s creative side — the one that got her short film into Sundance and later landed a deal for her own Showtime series — should elicit strong reactions ranging from outright shock to deep contemplation. Not all of the basketball star’s big shots swish through the net, but even Shaw’s acrobatic airballs are far more
See full article at Indiewire »

Playtime Dives Into Different Waves of French Comedy (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Playtime Dives Into Different Waves of French Comedy (Exclusive)
Playtime, the Paris-based co-production and sales company which will be presenting Francois Ozon’s anticipated “By the Grace of God” in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, has acquired three offbeat French comedies: Geraldine Nakache’s “I’ll Go Where You Go,” “The Bare Necessity” with Fanny Ardant, and Valerie Donzelli’s “Our Lady of Paris.”

“Our Lady of Paris” marks Donzelli’s fifth feature film, following “Marguerite & Julien,” which competed at the Cannes Film Festival; “Hand in Hand”; “Declaration of War,” which played at Cannes’ Critics’ Week and earned six Cesar nominations; and “Queen of Hearts.”

Donzelli stars in the film as Maud Crayon, a failing architect and single mom of two who unexpectedly wins the contest to spearhead the renovation of the esplanade of Notre-Dame de Paris, and who has to deal with a pair of exes – both of whom she still has feelings for.

Written by
See full article at Variety »

We Don’t Need to Applaud the Convenient Apologies

We Don’t Need to Applaud the Convenient Apologies
In 1994, a 26-year-old R. Kelly married a 15-year-old Aaliyah. In 2001, a sex tape of R. Kelly allegedly urinating on a 14-year-old girl was released to the press. The “Pied Piper of R&B” has been accused of statutory rape, sexual coercion and even maintaining a “sex cult” full of young women, as multiple reports revealed last year. These allegations have been documented publicly since the Nineties, but Lifetime’s recent six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly has prompted acknowledgements of culpability and delayed apologies from the artists who have supported the singer
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Streaming: a whole lot of Hong Sang-soo

An imminent Mubi season offers a rare chance to explore the work of ‘Korean Woody Allen’ Hong Sang-soo

Twenty-three years and 23 films into his career, the South Korean writer-director Hong Sang-soo has been dubbed the “Korean Woody Allen” in certain world cinema quarters, and not just for the remarkable frequency of his output. His films rival those of the controversial New York nebbish for their persistence of focus, as they routinely unpick male-female desire and miscommunication, usually with extended sidebars on cinema (bumbling alter-ego film-makers are frequently his protagonists), and the inebriating wonders of Korea’s favourite drink, that fiercely clear spirit, soju.

Packed with variations and idiosyncrasies beyond these wry trademarks, it’s an oeuvre that has become one of the most prolific and distinctive on the international festival circuit, winning Hong the fandom of such industry royals as Claire Denis and Isabelle Huppert, yet it’s a taste
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Simpsons Season 30 Episode 12 Review: The Girl on the Bus

Lisa Simpson offers her seat at the dinner table to the Girl on the Bus in The Simpsons, season 30, episode 12.

This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.

The Simpsons: Season 30 Episode 12

The Simpsons Season 30, Episode 12, presents a French farce on "The Girl on the Bus," and Lisa puts the fab in fabrication. The Simpsons' middle child tries to obscure her family but winds up exposing both the series and family's most recent flaws in a funny and effective episode.

The Simpsons' "The Girl on the Bus" starts with hardly any theme music at all and a couch gag that's over before it starts, disintegrating the family before Lisa gets a chance to let her sculptor father reconstruct it. That's one of the lies Lisa commits to when she first drops into the character she always wants to be. The opening sequence is reminiscent of Woody Allen's Stardust Memories,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Stella Meghie Is Quietly Defying Hollywood Convention, One Film at a Time

  • Indiewire
Stella Meghie Is Quietly Defying Hollywood Convention, One Film at a Time
Ask the average film enthusiast to name five black women filmmakers working today, and they will likely struggle to come up with more than a few. Narrow the criteria down to black women filmmakers working at the studio level, and their choices become even fewer, because black women are still vastly underrepresented in the director’s chair, even as industry inclusion initiatives abound. While she has three feature films on her resume (two indies and one studio) in as many years, and two in development (both at major studios), the prolific Stella Meghie remains a relative unknown for her accomplishments as one of very few black women filmmakers working at a consistent rate today.

Among the 814 movies released theatrically in the U.S. in 2018, just five of them were directed by black women filmmakers, and only one (Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time”) came from a studio. In 2017, Meghie
See full article at Indiewire »

Mediapro’s Daniel Burman, Ran Tellem, Javier Olivares, Set for Screenwriting Master’s Degree (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Madrid — Ran Tellem, Daniel Burman and Javier Olivares will tutor or lecture at this year’s first Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and Screenplays, launched by Spain’s Mediapro Group and Madrid’s Complutense University.

Steered by one of Europe’s biggest international fiction creation forces with offices in 35 countries around the world, the initiative will be echoed in one form or another by many of the most forward-looking companies in a new high-end drama series age. That’s because it gives a longterm structural answer to the era’s greatest challenge: Accessing extraordinary writing talent.

Olivares, Tellem and Burman, all of whom hold positions at the Mediapro Group, will be joined by other key showrunners and writers such as Ivan Escobar and Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrosia which have helped establish Spain as one of the major international production hubs for high-end drama series productions watched over the globe.
See full article at Variety »

Suki Waterhouse To Play Miss USA In Keira Knightley-Fronted Miss World Movie ‘Misbehaviour’

  • Deadline
Suki Waterhouse To Play Miss USA In Keira Knightley-Fronted Miss World Movie ‘Misbehaviour’
Exclusive: Assassination Nation and The White Princess actress Suki Waterhouse has joined Keira Knightley-fronted Miss World movie Misbehaviour in the supporting role of Sandra Wolsfeld, Miss USA.

The Crown outfit Left Bank Pictures is producing the dramedy, currently in production, which is set against the backdrop of the 1970 Miss World competition in London, hosted by Bob Hope. The newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the beauty contest. When the show resumed, the result caused uproar: the winner was not the Swedish favorite but Miss Grenada — the first black woman to be crowned Miss World.

Knightley stars with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley, Keeley Hawes, Rhys Ifans, Greg Kinnear, Lesley Manville and Phyllis Logan. Philippa Lowthorpe (Three Girls) will direct. Screenplay comes from Rebecca Frayn with revisions by Gaby Chiappe. Pathé handles sales.

Last year Waterhouse starred in movies including Assassination Nation,
See full article at Deadline »

Facebook Live Q&A With Timothee Chalamet – Watch

  • Variety
Timothee Chalamet will join Variety for a live chat Saturday at 12 p.m. Pt on Facebook.

The Q&A can be streamed on Variety‘s Facebook page at the link here or below.

The Golden Globe nominee can be seen in theaters now in “Beautiful Boy,” which also stars Steve Carell. The pair play a son and father who struggle with Chalamet’s character’s meth addiction.

Chalamet is also known for his roles in “Lady Bird” and “Call Me by Your Name,” the latter of which earned him an Oscar nom last year for best supporting actor. He will also appear in Wes Anderson’s upcoming “The French Dispatch” as well as Woody Allen’s “A Rainy Day in New York.”
See full article at Variety »

Film Review: Kung Fu Yoga (2017) by Stanley Tong

With “Kung Fu Yoga,” Jackie Chan reunites with one of his regular collaborators, Stanley Tong, for their second movie that has a touch of Bollywood flavoring.

Jack (Jackie Chan) is an archaeology professor who along with his assistants team up with Ashmita (Disha Patani) an Indian Professor to locate India’s lost Magadha treasure. A series of globe-trotting adventures take place as they compete with Randall (Sonu Sood) and his mercenaries, and one of their own, Jones Lee (Aarif Rahman) to find the diamond artifact known as the “Eye of Shiva” that will lead them to the treasure.

The difficulty when reviewing a new Jackie Chan film is the legacy of what has come before it. With a career spanning five decades and numerous classics of cinema comes a certain expectation. So it is important to judge “Kung Fu Yoga” on its own individual merits as given
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Berlinale 2019. Lineup

  • MUBI
Ghost Town AnthologyThe titles for the 69th Berlin International Film Festival are being announced in anticipation of the event running February 7-17, 2019. We will update the program as new films are revealed.COMPETITIONThe Ground Beneath My FeetThe Golden Glove (Faith Akin, Germany/France)By the Grace of GodThe Kindness of StrangersI Was at Home, but A Tale of Three SistersGhost Town Anthology (Denis Côté, Canada)Berlinale SPECIALGully Boy (Zoya Akhtar, India)BrechtWatergate (Charles Ferguson, USA)Panorama 201937 Seconds (Hikari (Mitsuyo Miyazaki), Japan)Dafne (Federico Bondi, Italy)The Day After I'm Gone (Nimrod Eldar, Israel)A Dog Called Money (Seamus Murphy, Ireland/UK)Waiting for the CarnivalChainedFlatland (Jenna Bass, South Africa/Germany/Luxembourg)Greta (Armando Praça, Brazil)Hellhole (Bas Devos, Belgium/Netherlands)Jessica Forever (Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel, France)AcidMid90s (Jonah Hill, USA) Family MembersMonos (Alejandro Landes, Columbia/Argentina/Netherlands/Germany/Denmark/Sweden/Uruguay) O Beautiful Night (Xaver Böhm,
See full article at MUBI »

From Netflix to Nato: Who’s Poised to Win and Lose in 2019

It was a tumultuous year for an entertainment industry rocked by media shifts and adjusting to an unfamiliar post-Harvey landscape. Yes, the 2018 box office wound up well ahead of last year, but the future is not rosy for two-hour movies in theaters, as Silicon Valley streamers from Netflix to Apple make studio chiefs and their theater partners reach for the Maalox.

Here’s how last year’s winners and losers will play out in 2019.

Winners

Having bought Twentieth Century Fox, Disney will thrive as it prepares to stock three late-2019 Ott ventures to compete with Netflix. While Disney will be building its subscribers from scratch, quality IP from Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and National Geographic will “obviously create a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger on an earnings call.

On the movie side,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

From Netflix to Nato: Who’s Poised to Win and Lose in 2019

It was a tumultuous year for an entertainment industry rocked by media shifts and adjusting to an unfamiliar post-Harvey landscape. Yes, the 2018 box office wound up well ahead of last year, but the future is not rosy for two-hour movies in theaters, as Silicon Valley streamers from Netflix to Apple make studio chiefs and their theater partners reach for the Maalox.

Here’s how last year’s winners and losers will play out in 2019.

Winners

Having bought Twentieth Century Fox, Disney will thrive as it prepares to stock three late-2019 Ott ventures to compete with Netflix. While Disney will be building its subscribers from scratch, quality IP from Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and National Geographic will “obviously create a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger on an earnings call.

On the movie side,
See full article at Indiewire »

Marc Hauser Dies: Celebrity Photographer For John Mellencamp’s ‘Scarecrow’ Was 66

  • Deadline
Marc Hauser Dies: Celebrity Photographer For John Mellencamp’s ‘Scarecrow’ Was 66
Marc Hauser, the Chicago celebrity photographer whose work became the cover photo of John Mellencamp’s acclaimed Scarecrow album, has died. He was 66 and passed away from multiple health complications, according to a Facebook post from his studio.

Hauser was a well-known Chicago photographer who specialized in celebrity portraits. His shots of former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman was a particular favorite, capturing the transformation of the forward from workman to flamboyant and ever-changing star.

He also captured a brooding and haunted Mellencamp for 1985’s Scarecrow album, considered one of that artist’s finest works.

“Marc has left us with a deep void that will be hard to fill. His strong spirit, his laughter and stories will remain with us forever, just like his legacy and impact on the photo community,” said the unsigned Facebook statement.

Hauser had been in ill health for many years, having suffered a workplace accident
See full article at Deadline »

Mediapro Enters Animation with Rokyn and ‘Mudanza Dimensional’

  • Variety
Madrid — Mediapro, one of the biggest independent companies in Europe, is entering animation, partnering with Rokyn Animation, for animated feature “Mudanza Dimensional.”

To be presented at next March’s Cartoon Movie in Bordeaux, the principal European animated feature co-production forum, “Mudanza Dimensional” is written by popular Spanish comedian and actor Joaquín Reyes and Miguel Esteban, creator of the Intl. Emmy-nominated “The End of Comedy.”

Reyes and Esteban will direct with Manuel Sicilia, who was nominated for an Oscar for his short, “The Lady and the Reaper,” and directed and produced two animated features:“The Missing Lynx” and “Justin and the Knights of Valor.”

“Mudanza Dimensional” is produced by Mediapro and Rokyn Animation, founded in 2016, and run by Sicilia and Francesca Nicoll. Their production credits also take in animated omnibus feature ”Extraordinary Tales” and stop-motion TV series “Clay Kids.”

In development, “Mudanza Dimensional” taps into an adventure vibe, turning on nine-year-old “Lali,
See full article at Variety »

Jeff Goldblum Has a Number One Jazz Album. It Only Took Him 50 Years

Jeff Goldblum Has a Number One Jazz Album. It Only Took Him 50 Years
Jeff Goldblum has a daily routine that includes working out in his home gym and spending an inordinate amount of time at the piano. “I play every day,” he tells Rolling Stone. “It’s part of my life. I know what gratification comes from a routine and making something a habit and I play first thing in the morning.”

Goldblum’s love of jazz goes back decades. Beginning in the mid-1990s, acting on the advice of fellow jazz aficionado Woody Allen, Goldblum and actor Peter Weller began playing standards
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Woman claims underage relationship with Woody Allen in 1970s

Model and actor Christina Engelhardt says she met Allen in 1976 and had secret relationship with him for eight years

Former model and actor Christina Engelhardt claims she started a secret sexual relationship with Woody Allen a few months before her 17th birthday in the 1970s, when she was younger than the legal age of consent of 17 in New York state.

According to an interview in the Hollywood Reporter, Engelhardt – currently working as an assistant to veteran producer Robert Evans – said she met Allen in October 1976 and the pair subsequently commenced a relationship that lasted for eight years, and of which she says she has “no regrets”. Engelhardt says Allen introduced her to Mia Farrow after Allen met the Rosemary’s Baby actor in 1979 and began a relationship with Farrow.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Woody Allen Accused of Having 8-Year Affair With Teenage Model

Woody Allen Accused of Having 8-Year Affair With Teenage Model
Woody Allen is once again facing accusations of sexual misconduct with minors. The director's reputation came under fire on Monday when the Hollywood Reporter published a lengthy exposé on Allen's alleged  eight-year relationship with a then-16-year-old Babi Christina Engelhardt. According to Engelhardt, they embarked on their illicit romance in October 1976, after briefly meeting at a New York City restaurant. She revealed that it wasn't Allen who made the first move, but herself, a brazen young teen. In an attempt to get his attention, Babi wrote her number on a napkin and joked, "Since you've signed enough autographs, here's mine!" Her bold move achieved the...
See full article at E! Online »

Woody Allen’s Reported Relationship With 16-Year-Old: What We Know

In an exclusive new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, former model Babi Christina Engelhardt claimed for the first time that she had a secret eight-year affair with director Woody Allen that began in 1976, when she was just 16 years old and he was 41. While Engelhardt, now 59, said she has no regrets and described being a willing participant, the legal age of consent in New York — then and now — is 17. The ongoing discussion of gender, power, and exploitation prompted by the #MeToo movement have made Engelhardt’s memories more uncomfortable, provoking mixed emotions about their unequal dynamic,
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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