Wag the Dog (1997) - News Poster

(1997)

News

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to honour 'Rain Man' director Barry Levinson

Levinson will accept the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema.

Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Kviff) will honour Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson as part of its 53rd edition this summer.

Levinson, who won the Academy Award for best director for Rain Man in 1989, will accept the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema.

He is also known for films such as his directorial debut Diner, Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams and 10-time Oscar-nominated Bugsy.

Rain Man and Levinson’s 1998 political satire Wag The Dog will both screen at the festival, with introductions from the director.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Barry Levinson to Be Feted at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Barry Levinson to Be Feted at Karlovy Vary Film Festival
Writer-director-producer Barry Levinson, who will screen his HBO-produced account of the Penn State sex-abuse scandal “Paterno” at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, will be honored with the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, the organization announced Wednesday.

At the fest, which launches its 53rd edition in the Czech Republic’s historic spa town June 29, Levinson will also introduce his Oscar-winning 1988 Dustin Hoffman-starrer “Rain Man” and 1998’s “Wag the Dog.” The impact of Levinson’s screenwriting, including 1970s TV hits and breakout courtroom drama “…And Justice for All,” will be celebrated along with his directorial work, which launched with 1982’s “Diner” and carried on with “The Natural,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Avalon” and “Bugsy.”

Karlovy Vary said that Levinson’s producing work, backing directors from Mike Newell (“Donnie Brasco”) to Neil Labute (“Possession”), has made his influence on cinema comparable with that of William Friedkin, Jerry Schatzberg,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Honor Barry Levinson

Karlovy Vary Film Festival to Honor Barry Levinson
Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson is set to attend next month's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic to receive the festival's Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, the festival said Wednesday.

Levinson won an Academy Award for Rain Man, which also picked up three other Oscars in 1989 (for Dustin Hoffman as best actor, Mark Johnson for best picture, as well as Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow for best screenplay).

Levinson, who is also known for his prescient 1997 political satire Wag the Dog and other popular movies, such as Good Morning, Vietnam and ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Bill Maher Calls Trump’s Syria Air Strikes ‘Operation Desert Stormy’ (Video)

Bill Maher Calls Trump’s Syria Air Strikes ‘Operation Desert Stormy’ (Video)
Bill Maher started his weekly late-night HBO show on Friday just as the U.S. began military air strikes on Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack ordered by dictator Bashar al-Assad against civilians.

“I don’t mean to say this raid is meant to distract from his other problems, but it’s called Operation Desert Stormy,” the host of “Real Time” quipped, noting that the military action comes at the end of a week of troubles at the White House, including fallout from the “60 Minutes” interview with porn star Stormy Daniels.

“It looked like Trump was backing off his threat to attack Syria but apparently he got the go-ahead from ‘Fox & Friends’ today,” Maher joked.

Also Read: Rachel Maddow Raises 'Wag the Dog' Possibility as Trump Orders Syria Strikes

“We knew he was getting serious about Syria because he gave Assad a nickname,” Maher noted. “He calls him ‘gas-killing animal’ — by the way Gas-Killing Animal is also headlining Coachella this weekend.”

Maher gleefully ticked off some of the news items that have given the White House a headache this week, including the FBI’s raid on the offices of Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen and the use of a so-called “taint team” to protect documents that might be covered under attorney-client privilege.

“I’m not dirty,” Maher said. “It’s the news that’s dirty.”

Also Read: Colbert: Trump Is 'Like a Zeppelin -- Full of Hot Air and We're All Waiting for Him to Go Down in Flames' (Video)

He also had fun with the imminent publication of fired FBI director James Comey’s tell-all book — and Comey’s claims about Trump wanting to distance himself from reports of a so-called “pee tape” in the infamous Steele dossier.

“He says, ‘I’m a germaphobe,'” Maher said of Trump’s apparent insistence that he would never have watched prostitutes urinate on each other. “Most guys would say, ‘I would never do that. I’m married.’ No, Trump’s excuse: ‘I’m a health nut. Look at me, my body’s a temple. Jim, peeing in bed? For Christ’s sake, that’s where I eat my cheeseburgers.”

Watch Maher’s opening monologue above.

Read original story Bill Maher Calls Trump’s Syria Air Strikes ‘Operation Desert Stormy’ (Video) At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Chappaquiddick’ Film Review: Ted Kennedy Scandal Makes for Searing Drama

‘Chappaquiddick’ Film Review: Ted Kennedy Scandal Makes for Searing Drama
From “Veep” to “Scandal,” “Wag the Dog” to “Our Brand is Crisis,” Hollywood has no shortage of cautionary tales about media manipulation by politicians. It’s tempting to see the plague of fake news and the ham-fisted attempts at Orwellian indoctrination — on Fox News, Sinclair stations and YouTube conspiracy-theory videos — as a malaise that afflicts them, seldom us.

Chappaquiddick,” about the 1969 car accident that left campaign strategist Mary Jo Kopechne dead and felled the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s presidential aspirations, serves as a timely reminder that voters on either side of the aisle are susceptible to influence, especially when it’s wrapped up in male entitlement and oligarchical polish.

By the time he died in office in 2009, Kennedy was the fourth longest-serving senator in U.S. history, with the “Chappaquiddick Incident” far behind him.

Also Read: Martin Sheen: JFK (Unlike Trump) Would Have 'Confronted Those Bastards' at NRA Over Gun Crisis

Directed by Australian John Curran (“The Painted Veil”), the somber, quietly damning “Chappaquiddick” tells a middle-of-the-road version of the events, firmly between tabloid speculation and dynasty-protecting heroics. Here, Jason Clarke’s 37-year-old Ted isn’t philandering, though possibly drunk, when, in a moment of ill-fated recklessness, he flips his Oldsmobile into a pond, with a sober Mary (Kate Mara) in the passenger seat. He makes it to shore; she doesn’t. He should call the police; he doesn’t.

Watch Video: Ted Kennedy Movie 'Chappaquiddick' Scores $20 Million From Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios

The real-life Kopechne’s official cause of death was drowning, but “Chappaquiddick” considers an alternate, more horrifying theory that’s become part of the incident’s lore: That she slowly asphyxiated to death in the car over several hours (during which she could have been rescued), her head above water until oxygen ran out. Later, Ted imagines the serious, idealistic Mary’s final moments, waiting for help that would never arrive.

First-time screenwriters Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan manage to give Mary a distinct personality and biography in Mara’s 15-ish minutes on screen, so that she’s not reduced to an albatross around Ted’s neck, but rather blooms into someone whose death we feel as a loss. But, of course, this is Ted’s story. The accident becomes a crossroads where he is to decide who he should become: His father’s sole surviving son (after the assassinations of Jack and Bobby, and the death of Joseph Jr. in battle during World War II) and thus the old man’s final shot at seeing one of his children in the White House again, or someone who’s going to do the right thing.

From the start, opportunity has a head start on integrity. When Ted’s two closest advisers — his cousin, Joe (Ed Helms), and a more distant confidant, Paul (Jim Gaffigan) — ask him just after the accident what’s wrong, the senator sighs, “I’m not going to be president.”

Also Read: Kate Mara Says Kevin Spacey Sexual Misconduct Accusations Are 'Very Shocking and Devastating'

As in that scene, “Chappaquiddick” is most powerful when it comes to the words that aren’t spoken. Ted doesn’t notify local officials of the accident, so the upturned car, with Mary inside it, is discovered by the townspeople the next morning. With the “Kennedy curse” heavy on everyone’s mind — as if Mary’s death was yet another thing that happened to the family — Ted is counseled to call his mother immediately (“Don’t let her find out about another tragedy through the news”), but it’s not until some time after that anyone thinks of Mary’s family. Nor does Ted think to call his pregnant wife during the worst crisis of his career.

The script is stuffed with portentous, dual-meaning lines like, “We will persevere, because that’s what Kennedys do,” that become eyeroll-inducing as they pile up. But the knee-jerk acquiescence to the Potus ambitions of both Ted and especially Joe Sr. (a wheezing, wheelchaired Bruce Dern in a Darth Vader-esque turn) is rivetingly revolting nonetheless. You’ll never hear the word “alibi” the same again.

Ted’s daddy issues are laid on a bit too thick, especially when he self-pityingly whines that he was always the least-favorite son of his stroke-stricken father. (“Chappaquiddick” is the rare unsubtle, yet highly suggestive, film.) But Ted’s burden to live up to the ideals his brother Jack represented to the country rings true, even if he and Joseph Sr.’s nine-man pack of waxen consultants admit to each other that the Bay of Pigs was a disaster.

Even more revealing are the film’s observations about the bubble of privilege that Ted occupied, as predetermined as his preppy pastel wardrobe. He’s referred to as “Senator” even at the beach, and a single call to his father or a lackey means a covert fudging of documents. Ted’s certainly not a sociopath, but self-protective deception is his natural instinct. As he tries on a fake neck brace for Mary’s funeral, he has to be reminded by his increasingly disturbed cousin, “You’re not a victim, Ted.” Donning prosthetic teeth, Clarke nails his character’s aura of genteel self-absorption, as well as the Kennedys’ flat, nasal brogue.

After a compelling first hour, the actual clean-up scenes are anticlimactic. But the ending hits hard, with a coda consisting of archival footage of Massachusetts citizens expressing their faith in Ted Kennedy and parroting more or less what the Democratic machine wanted voters to believe. “Chappaquiddick” may or may not be what actually happened, but it gets at enough piercing truths.



Read original story ‘Chappaquiddick’ Film Review: Ted Kennedy Scandal Makes for Searing Drama At TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

The Square review – an archly entertaining swipe at the art world

A satire on the contemporary art world sits edgily alongside a skewering of male privilege and middle-class altruism in Ruben Östlund’s surreal Palme d’Or winner

The publicity for Swedish writer-director Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner The Square features Terry Notary as performance artist Oleg, stripped to the waist, mounting a table at an upmarket dinner and glowering with animalistic rage. It’s an arresting tableau – baffling and intriguing, promising anarchic action and titilatory spectacle. The fact that this in-your-face image only partly represents the film itself seems entirely appropriate, since one of the key themes of Östlund’s surreally cerebral and increasingly weird art-world satire is “the difference between art and marketing”.

The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring,” reads the rubric for the art installation of the title: a floor-level, illuminated outline of a space in which altruistic behaviour is compulsory. “Within its
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

John Oliver on Why He Confronted Dustin Hoffman About Sexual Assault Allegations

  • The Wrap
John Oliver on Why He Confronted Dustin Hoffman About Sexual Assault Allegations
John Oliver has explained his decision to publicly confront Dustin Hoffman about the sexual misconduct allegations against him, saying he was stunned the actor even showed his face. “I was surprised that he showed up in the first place,” Oliver said at a press event to promote the upcoming return of “Last Week Tonight,” according to the Daily Beast. Oliver broached the subject of the allegations against Hoffman during a live panel he was moderating in celebration of the 20th anniversary of “Wag the Dog.” “This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the...
See full article at The Wrap »

John Oliver Still Can’t Believe Dustin Hoffman Wasn’t Expecting To Be Grilled Over Harassment Allegations

  • Indiewire
John Oliver Still Can’t Believe Dustin Hoffman Wasn’t Expecting To Be Grilled Over Harassment Allegations
John Oliver is still surprised that Dustin Hoffman didn’t know what was coming. Oliver interviewed Hoffman as part of a panel in December celebrating the 20th anniversary of Barry Levinson’s “Wag the Dog,” and the HBO host thought the topic of the movie itself made the question relevant.

“It just felt it would have been weird not to bring it up because it was ‘Wag the Dog,'” Oliver told reporters on Monday at a press event to help kick off Season 5 of his late night series “Last Week Tonight.” “It’s a great story about burying sexual harassment and the power that comes with that. Yeah. So.”

Hoffman has been accused of sexual harassment by television producer and writer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis (“Reign,” “Genius”) and Anna Graham Hunter, who alleges Hoffman groped her and made inappropriate comments to her when she was a 17-year-old intern on the
See full article at Indiewire »

John Oliver Vows At&T’s Buy of Time Warner Won’t Change ‘Last Week Tonight’

Much in the media industry will change if the U.S. government approves At&T’s pending $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc., but John Oliver insists his HBO series, “Last Week Tonight,” won’t be one of them.

“I do not anticipate the ground underneath us shifting,” Oliver told reporters at a press event Monday. “If it does, that’s going to be a problem. We’ll go down screaming.”

Oliver’s weekly HBO series, which returns for a new cycle this Sunday, has gained renown for its in-depth treatment of serious subjects – although it is ostensibly a comedy program. Among the topics Oliver and his team have explored in recent months are net neutrality; the Equifax security breach; corporate consolidation; and the effect the growing power that Sinclair Broadcast Group has on local news. It’s fair to assume that At&T could have an interest in or an opinion on several of those subjects.

Oliver has also
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Ezra Swerdlow, ’21 Jump Street’ and ‘Spaceballs’ Producer, Dies at 64

Ezra Swerdlow, ’21 Jump Street’ and ‘Spaceballs’ Producer, Dies at 64
Longtime New York film producer Ezra Swerdlow died of complications from pancreatic cancer and Als on Jan. 23 in Boston. He was 64.

Swerdlow amassed more than two dozen producing credits on feature films, including “Spaceballs,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Waiting to Exhale,” “Wag the Dog,” “Enchanted,” “Zombieland,” “21 Jump Street,” and “The Equalizer.”

Swerdlow was the son of Amy and Stanley Swerdlow, and grew up in Great Neck, N.Y. He attended Hampshire College, where he met his wife, Lindsey Hicks, and studied political theory at Rutgers University.

In 1979, he was hired by a friend as a location scout on the Woody Allen film “Stardust Memories.” Swerdlow then worked on “Arthur” as a unit production manager, on “Tootsie” as a location manager, and on “Zelig,” “The King of Comedy,” and “Broadway Danny Rose” as a unit manager. He was an associate producer on “Radio Days.”

He briefly moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s and collaborated with Mel Brooks
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ezra Swerdlow Dies: New York Producer Of ‘Wag The Dog’ & ‘Too Big To Fail’ Was 64

Ezra Swerdlow Dies: New York Producer Of ‘Wag The Dog’ & ‘Too Big To Fail’ Was 64
Ezra N. Swerdlow, a New York producer whose credits included Stardust Memories, Arthur, The King of Comedy, Wag the Dog and Spaceballs, has died. He was 64. He passed January 23 in Boston from complications from pancreatic cancer and Als. Swerdlow was known as a fair, compassionate and talented producer who put the film first and looked out for both the filmmaker and the crew. He grew up in Great Neck, Long Island. He studied political theory at Rutgers and seemed on a…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Hoffman Accusers Thank John Oliver for Defending Harassment Claims

Hoffman Accusers Thank John Oliver for Defending Harassment Claims
Several of the women who have accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual harassment have thanked John Oliver for confronting the actor recently. During an anniversary screening of Wag the Dog, which included a Q&A that Oliver moderated, the host of HBO's Last Week Tonight questioned Hoffman about his alleged sexual misconduct. The confrontation was documented by those who were at the screening and a video even made its way online. Now, Hoffman's accusers have penned a thank you to Oliver for his actions.

Anna Graham Hunter, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Kathryn Rossetter, Melissa Kester, Cori Thomas, and two anonymous women who have accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual harassment signed the statement, which was released by Hunter on Twitter. Hunter was the first to publicly accuse Dustin Hoffman of sexual harassment, which she says took place during the filming of the Death of a Salesman TV movie in 1985 when she was just 17-years-old.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Thank John Oliver For Confronting Him About Sexual Harassment Accusations

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Thank John Oliver For Confronting Him About Sexual Harassment Accusations
Earlier this month, John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman got into a heated discussion about sexual harassment allegations confronting the actor during a 20th-anniversary screening of Wag the Dog. The conversation left the audience polarized. As for Anna Graham Hunter and Hoffman’s other accusers, they praised Oliver for calling him out. Hunter posted a letter on Twitter signed by herself, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Kathryn Rossetter, Melissa Kester, Cori Thomas and two women who…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Thank John Oliver For Confronting Him About Sexual Harassment Accusations

Earlier this month, John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman got into a heated discussion about sexual harassment allegations confronting the actor during a 20th-anniversary screening of Wag the Dog. The conversation left the audience polarized. As for Anna Graham Hunter and Hoffman’s other accusers, they praised Oliver for calling him out. Hunter posted a letter on Twitter signed by herself, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Kathryn Rossetter, Melissa Kester, Cori Thomas and two women who…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Write Open Letter Thanking John Oliver For Confronting Actor Over Sexual Harassment

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Write Open Letter Thanking John Oliver For Confronting Actor Over Sexual Harassment
Seven women who have accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual harassment and/or abuse have signed an open letter thanking John Oliver for confronting the actor over his alleged misconduct during a panel in New York City on December 4. Oliver was moderating a discussion with Hoffman, Robert De Niro, director Barry Levinson, and producer Jane Rosenthal for the 20th anniversary of “Wag the Dog” when he pressured Hoffman into publicly addressing the allegations against him.

Read More:John Oliver Breaks Silence on Confronting Dustin Hoffman Over Sexual Harassment: ‘It Felt Unavoidable’

The open letter was posted on Twitter by Anna Graham Hunter, who was the first woman to come forward with an allegation against Hoffman. Hunter says the actor made sexually inappropriate comments towards her and groped her when she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of the 1985 TV movie “Death Of A Salesman.” The message is signed by Hunter, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis,
See full article at Indiewire »

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Thank John Oliver for Confronting Actor on Alleged Misconduct

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Thank John Oliver for Confronting Actor on Alleged Misconduct
Seven women who have accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct thanked comedian John Oliver on Wednesday for confronting the actor over his alleged behavior.

“We want to thank you for confronting Dustin Hoffman,” the group wrote in a statement published on the Twitter account of Anna Graham Hunter, one of Hoffman’s accusers. “While the questions you asked may not have led to the constructive conversation you hoped for, the fact that you asked them all is what matters most. Many men listen to and believe women when we recount our experiences of sexual harassment and assault. But few men put themselves at risk — socially or professionally — to have uncomfortable conversations with other men. Women can continue to tell our stories, but ultimately, change will depend on men reflecting on their own behavior and challenging other men to do the same.”

The message is signed by Hunter, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Kathryn Rossetter, [link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Pen Thank-You Letter to John Oliver

Dustin Hoffman Accusers Pen Thank-You Letter to John Oliver
Seven Dustin Hoffman accusers penned a letter Wednesday thanking John Oliver for confronting the actor over their allegations, which include claims of Hoffman's sexually harassing them in earlier years.  

At a 20th anniversary panel and screening of the political film Wag the Dog, which Oliver moderated earlier this month, the Last Week Tonight host and Oscar-winning actor got into a heated argument after Oliver confronted Hoffman about the sexual harassment allegations made against him, in particular by Anna Graham Hunter. Hunter wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter last month, claiming the actor sexually harassed her when...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

John Oliver Regrets Confronting Dustin Hoffman

  • Yidio
2017-12-27T04:14:51-08:00John Oliver Regrets Confronting Dustin Hoffman

John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, says he regrets confronting Dustin Hoffman at a recent panel discussion. Oliver challenged Hoffman over allegations of sexual harassment, and Hoffman reacted irritably. Oliver says he regrets the incident because it was not "productive," largely because Hoffman avoided taking responsibility for the alleged incidents.

Via Variety.

John Oliver stopped by “The Russell Howard Hour” to discuss his recent tense exchange with Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations waged against the actor.

“It felt unavoidable and that we had to have a discussion about it,” Oliver said Friday on the British comedy news show. “It wasn’t ideal that it became such a big story because then it became about my questions rather than his answers. The questions weren’t particularly remarkable, but his answers were kind of not great.
See full article at Yidio »

John Oliver Regrets ‘Failed’ Dustin Hoffman Confrontation

John Oliver Regrets ‘Failed’ Dustin Hoffman Confrontation
John Oliver stopped by “The Russell Howard Hour” to discuss his recent tense exchange with Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations waged against the actor.

“It felt unavoidable and that we had to have a discussion about it,” Oliver said Friday on the British comedy news show. “It wasn’t ideal that it became such a big story because then it became about my questions rather than his answers. The questions weren’t particularly remarkable, but his answers were kind of not great.”

Oliver said he hoped their conversation would have been more constructive. “I tried and failed,” he said, adding, “The whole thing just made me feel sad.”

Earlier in December, Oliver hosted a Tribeca Film Institute panel for the 20th anniversary of “Wag the Dog,” which stars Hoffman. During the chat, Oliver brought up the recent sexual harassment allegations against the actor and said he felt Hoffman’s partial apologies had been insufficient.

“It’s shocking
See full article at Variety - Film News »

John Oliver: Dustin Hoffman Confrontation 'Made Me Feel Sad'

John Oliver: Dustin Hoffman Confrontation 'Made Me Feel Sad'
John Oliver dubbed his recent confrontation with Dustin Hoffman a failure in a new interview on Sky One's The Russell Howard Hour. The Last Week Tonight host grilled the famous actor about sexual misconduct allegations earlier this month.

In the weeks leading up to a December 4th panel honoring the 20th anniversary of the Hoffman film Wag the Dog, the actor was accused by multiple women of groping and making inappropriate comments. "I knew the stories were out there, and I heard there were a few more coming, so [bringing them up] felt unavoidable,
See full article at Rolling Stone »
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Showtimes | External Sites