Entertainment behind the scenes
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.”
from Photographers' Blog:
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.
With jealous dads, sadistic sons and abandoned children in their key roles, many films in competition for the top prize at the Cannes film festival this year are taking on the very darkest sides of family life.
Two of the movies, Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and Israeli film “Footnote”, ask what happens when jealousy or hatred take the place of love and affection in a parent-child relationship.
Nicolas Cage has a reputation for dividing the critics. Some love him, others loathe him, and many love and loathe him in the same breath. No such confusion over his latest movie, however, with “Season of the Witch“, out Friday, winning almost universal scorn among critics.
The Oscar-winning actor plays a war-weary, disillusioned 14th century crusader charged with transporting a young girl to a remote monastery on the orders of the church, which believes she is a witch responsible for a devastating plague sweeping Europe. Cage is not so sure, and promises her a fair hearing when they get to their destination. Accompanied by his comrade-in-arms, played by Ron Perlman, Cage’s character Behmen faces collapsing bridges and fierce, diabolical wolves on his way through the forest, only to come up against even greater forces of evil at the abbey.
About the only thing Taiwanese in Yann Martel’s cultish epic novel “Life of Pi” is the captain of the ship that sinks, yet celebrated director Ang Lee has chosen Taiwan as the place to make a 3D film version of the award-winning book.
Much like the novel’s hero, a boy named Pi, Taiwan has something of a second chance at making itself shine after years of diplomatic isolation that has kept its global economic competitiveness clinging to a life vest. It gets that chance when audiences see the movie, now scheduled for release in 2012. But Taiwan has a long way to go as China has stolen its spotlight with a rapid economic ascent since the 1990s. For long-standing political reasons, Beijing actively squelches its offshore neighbor’s international profile.
Suave Scot Sean Connery turns 80 today and tells a newspaper that his acting days are over.
The landmark anniversary has prompted a general outpouring of love and appreciation in the media for a man best known for his portrayal of super sleuth James Bond. His six official outings as 007 established him as the definitive Bond in many people’s eyes, including his closest rival for the title, Roger Moore.
He’s a physiotherapist by day and a filmmaker by nights, weekends and everything in between. Semyon Pinkhasov has captured facets of Soviet life that rarely get shared beyond Russia’s borders, even after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
(For story, click on http://r.reuters.com/qac34m)
The self-taught, self-financed, award-winning amateur documentary filmmaker has seen his films shown worldwide at festivals and on Russian and English-language television channels. Focused on the arts and the sport of fencing (U.S. Olympic Team Coach in 1984), he tells stories about Grigory Fried, who has run a music appreciation club in Moscow for 45 years without taking a kopeck; Tikhon Khrennikov, the first and last secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers; and Boris Efimov, perhaps Stalin’s favorite cartoonist.
Families of some of the 52 victims of the July, 2005 suicide attacks in London have called for a boycott of a controversial new comedy “Four Lions”, which follows a group of hapless would-be jihadis who target the London marathon. The BBC has quoted two relatives – Grahame Russell and Graham Foulkes — as criticising the movie and calling for cinemas not to show it when it is released on Friday. For Foulkes, although humour has its place in exploring serious issues, the events of five years ago are “still too raw”.
Watching the film is certainly an uncomfortable experience. It is full of funny one-liners and farcical gags, including an ill-fated trip to a training camp in Pakistan which ends in ignominy and a failed attempt to use crows to fly bombs through windows. You find yourself laughing and then wonder whether it’s appropriate, and presumably that is one of the objectives of film maker and satirist Chris Morris.
Singer Katy Perry is turning blue as she continues to expand her entertainment career: she’s taking on the voice of a Smurf in a movie of the well-loved blue characters that has started production in New York.
Perry will play Smurfette in the hybrid live-action and animated 3D film while Anton Yelchin plays Clumsy Smurf, Jonathan Winters is Papa Smurf, Alan Cumming is Gutsy Smurf, SNL’s Fred Armisen will voice Brainy Smurf and George Lopez plays Grouchy Smurf. The evil wizard Gargamel will be played Hank Azaria who chases the blue Smurfs out of their village and their magical world – into Central Park. Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays play an expectant couple whose lives are turned upside down when the Smurfs pop up.
It's hard to watch France's political and cultural elite rush to support filmmaker Roman Polanski against extradition to the United States on a decades-old sex charge and not wonder exactly how they interpret the national motto "liberté, égalité, fraternité." It's tempting to ask whether they're defending the liberty to break the law and skip town, respecting the equality of all before the law and championing a brotherhood of artists who can do no wrong. (Photo: Roman Polanski, 19 Feb 2009/Hannibal Hanschke)
Here in Paris, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner declared the arrest was "a bit sinister ... frankly, (arresting) a man of such talent recognised around the world, recognised in the country where he was arrested -- that's not very nice." He and his Polish counterpart have written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the issue. Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand said "just as there is a generous America that we like, there's also an America that scares us, and that's the America that has just shown us its face." Directors, actors and intellectuals have been signing a petition demanding Polanski's immediate release.