Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Madonna’s rep denies Toronto film fest flap


Fresh off hydrangea-gate at the Venice film festival — when she was caught on camera expressing her distaste for the flowers after receiving a bouquet from an appreciative fan  — Madonna has found herself in another slight controversy in Toronto.

The Material Girl’s spokesperson was quick to deny on Wednesday a press report that Madonna’s security detail had ordered Toronto film festival volunteers to turn their backs to the wall as she passed by on the way out of a press conference for her new movie “W.E.”

Madonna’s spokeswoman denied that the singer had done anything like that and  pointed out that the pop star-turned-filmmaker had thanked TIFF volunteers from the stage ahead of the festival’s “W.E.” premiere.

“We are still trying to figure out who and why anyone would ask the volunteers to turn away from Madonna. She has never and would never ask anyone to do that ever,” Liz Rosenberg said in a statement.

How the ‘Contagion’ virus was born


By Peter Christian Hall
The opinions expressed are his own.

The most riveting player in Contagion, the star-laden thriller about a global pandemic, is a virus — the so-called MEV-1 paramyxovirus that an American businesswoman spreads from Hong Kong to Minneapolis in the movie’s opening sequence. The bug that emerged from years of brainstorming by top scientific and creative minds has itself become an overnight superstar.

Contagion’s proprietary serial killer — the offspring of related viral strains from a bat and a pig — started out its scripted life as a souped-up avian influenza. “Flu seemed the worst-case pandemic to talk about,” says Laurie Garrett, an emerging-disease expert and bestselling author (The Coming Plague and Betrayal of Trust) who in 2008 began working closely with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns on at least 30 script drafts.

Godfather 4? Can’t see it, says Coppola.


Director Francis Ford Coppola presents his film "Twixt" at the Toronto film festival

    Francis Ford Coppola, at the Toronto International Film Festival to present his horror film “Twixt”, is finding it hard to avoid talk of past glories.
    In a 90-minute onstage interview on Sunday that was opened up to fans, the legendary director ended up speaking extensively about his early career, “Apocalypse Now” and working with Marlon Brando.
    One fan was eager to know if there was any truth to speculation about a fourth Godfather picture, with Andy Garcia as the protagonist. Coppola was blunt:
    “I don’t know anything about any more Godfathers. I myself don’t see it, don’t know why you would ever want to do it,” he said.
    Coppola, who won Oscars for directing both “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part 2″, admitted he wasn’t keen to be involved with the first sequel, originally pushing for Martin Scorsese to direct. With the next one it was a different situation.
    “‘Godfather 3′ was many years later and I was on the brink financial extermination. So I desperately needed the money,” he said.
    Coppola said he made “Twixt” — a ghost story inspired by a raki-infused dream he had in Turkey — in a spirit of fun. But many at a press screening on Sunday were unimpressed. And the Hollywood Reporter said it was “an embarrassingly juvenile film from a once major auteur.”
    Coppola himself pointed out on Sunday he is no stranger to negative press. “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” initially got bad reviews, he said. And producers disliked his script for “Patton” at first. It went on to win an Oscar.
    “The moral I want to teach all the young people here is that the same thing you get fired for is what they give you lifetime achievement awards for 30 years later.”

“Ides of March” stars play politics, or not, at TIFF


George Clooney and Ryan Gosling at TIFF

Politics may make for good films, but don’t expect the stars of “The Ides of March” to run for office any time soon.

George Clooney, who directs and stars as governor Mike Morris in the political drama, has already said he isn’t interested in a real-life political career.

Could Venice numbers work for Cronenberg?


Strange coincidence or auspicious sign? David Cronenberg is at the Venice film festival with his movie “A Dangerous Method”, one of 22 in the main competition lineup and competing for the coveted Golden Lion for best picture come September 10.

At a press conference after a screening to journalists and critics, where the reception for the cerebral costume drama was warm, the Canadian film maker pondered the significance of numbers at this year’s festival.

Madonna vs Polanski in Venice? No contest


Roman Polanski was unable to attend the world premiere of his new film “Carnage” in Venice this week for fear of being extradited to the United States, where he is being pursued for a sex crime dating back to 1977. Perhaps it is just as well.

In an awkward scheduling clash, the Venice film festival managed to hold the press conference for Carnage — attended by three of the four leading cast members Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly — during the main press screening of Madonna’s new picture “W.E.”

from Photographers' Blog:

World War Z goes to Glasgow

By David Moir

The post-apocalyptic horror novel, ‘World War Z’, by Max Brooks, has been adapted into a film starring Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos and directed by Marc Forster. It has started filming in Scotland. The set is mainly on the streets in and around George Square in Glasgow, with its open space and architecture, substituting for Philadelphia.

Road signs have been put up telling you 16th Street, J F Kennedy Boulevard and Ben Franklin Bridge are just around the corner so hopefully you feel like you are in Philly, certainly some of the tourists from the U.S. I’ve spoken to seem to give it the thumbs up.

from Photographers' Blog:

When Harry met Hermione…

Last night the great Behemoth that is the Harry Potter franchise machine rolled into town for the world premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2": the eighth and final film installment from JK Rowling’s phenomenally successful book series about the adventures of a boy wizard.

A swathe of central London seemed to be shut down for the launch. Thousands of young fans had camped out for up to five days in Trafalgar Square waiting to glimpse their screen idols, and a red carpet measuring some 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) – reputedly the longest in the world - underlining the scale of this publicity spectacular. Despite having shot more film premieres than eaten bags of popcorn at the cinema, I still have to admit to being wowed by the scale and choreography of this event.

Shia Labeouf, Megan Fox hit the back seat for ‘Transformers’


Here’s one that goes down in the PR guidebook for good movie promotion.

Actor Shia Labeouf was making headlines on Tuesday — only hours before his new movie “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” premiered in theaters — with an interview published in Details magazine in which he claims that he and former “Transformers” co-star Megan Fox shared some intimate moments on the set of the films. It makes us wonder what exactly took place in the back seats of those shape-shifting “Transformers” cars.

The Details profile says its reporter asked LaBeouf if he had “hooked up” with the 25 year-old sex symbol, and the actor nodded in the affirmative. “Look, you’re on the set for six months with someone who’s rooting to be attracted to you and you’re rooting to be attracted to them,” LaBeouf told the magazine. “I never understood the separation of work and life in that situation. But the time I spent with Megan was our own thing, and I think you can see the chemistry on-screen,” he said.

There’s mud at Glastonbury, and it ain’t glorious


Mud, mud, glorious mud. Or so goes the popular English song.

It’s a phrase often applied to the Glastonbury music festival, where the combination of some 180,000 people, rain and 900 acres of grassy fields in an English valley can produce an awful lot of the stuff.

At only my second Glastonbury after last year’s sun-baked edition, the rain and mud has come as a bit of a shock. Of course I’m careful who I complain to at the festival – veterans merely shrug their shoulders and say something like “nothing compared to …” and name a year when the conditions were particularly unpleasant.