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DGA Stands By ‘The Interview’ Directors, Calls On Feds To Protect Hollywood
The Directors Guild of America has officially thrown its support behind The Interview directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and called on the Us government to protect Hollywood and its creatives from future hacking crimes like the one that devastated Sony Pictures. DGA President Paris Barclay issued the following statement today on behalf of the organization:
“As the events of the past weeks have made painfully clear, we are now living in an age in which the Internet can enable a few remote cyber criminals to hold an entire industry hostage. This unprecedented situation demonstrates that even basic rights such as freedom of expression can quickly fall prey to those who would misuse and abuse the Internet to steal from, intimidate and terrorize our industry and our nation, and stands as an excruciating illustration of the heightened need for the federal government to increase its efforts to protect our society against cyber crimes, »
- Jen Yamato
Sony Hack: North Korea Denies Responbility, Proposes Joint Investigation
North Korea has once again denied that it was behind the cyber attack on Sony Pictures after the FBI announced on Friday that North Korea was “responsible” for the hack.
Instead, the country has proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack, warning of “serious” consequences if the proposal is rejected, the Associated Press reports.
The message, which was carried by Pyongyang’s official state-run news service, comes on Saturday following President Obama’s statement on Friday that the U.S. would retaliate for the attack.
“The U.S. should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with” North Korea, the spokesman said.
“We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as the CIA does, »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Michael Keaton says film Birdman will change the way movies are made
Alejandro González Iñárritu's film was edited to appear as though it was filmed in one continuous shot.
In an interview with The Guardian, Keaton said: "There was a part where Zach Galifianakis and I were saying: 'Why don't we make the movie the normal way? Why are we doing it like this?' Then you see it and … woah.
"At about minute four or 11, you feel that door behind you slowly click shut and you go: 'Ok, now I'm in. There's no getting off.' It might be extreme to say this, but other people have said it too so I'm gonna go ahead...Birdman has kinda…changed things."
The 63-year-old added: "I'm not saying you won't see traditionally made movies any more. But I've had meetings with directors »
Critics’ Week Readies Its Next Step Program
Paris– Critics Week is getting ready to launch Next Step, a mentoring program for 10 directors whose short films were selected at last year’s Cannes sidebar.
Organized in partnership with TorinoFilmLab and backed by the National film board Cnc, the five-day program will welcome Jonas Carpignano (“A Cambria”) from Italy, Carlos Conceicao (“Goodnight Cinderella”) from Portugal, Gaëlle Denis from the U.K. (“Crocodile”), Una Gunjak (“The Chicken”) from Bosnia, Gerardo Herrero (“Safari”) from Spain, Laurie Lassalle (“I Made My Own Course Down the Passive Rivers”) from France, Rémi Saint-Michel (“Little Brother”) from Canada, Gitanjali Rao (“TrueLoveStory”) from India and Tomasz Siwinski (“A Blue Room”) from Poland.
The directors will be coached by a broad range of industryites, including screenwriters, directors, producers and acquisition/sales execs, to get a sense of market trends and develop their projects on the right track.
The eight consultants who will participate in the workshop are Marie Amachoukeli, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Pascal Sid, Tom Shoval, Iram Haq and Gyorgy Palfi Score Biggest Buzz at Les Arcs
Paris– Pascal Sid’s “The Island of the Dolls,” Tom Shoval’s “Shake Your Cares Away,” Iram Haq’s “What We People Say” and Gyorgy Palfi’s “The Voice” sparked the biggest buzz at Les Arcs’s 1950 Coproduction Village.
Put together by Les Arcs fest CEO Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin, industry head Vanja Kaludjercic and co-founder Jeremy Zelnik, The Coproduction Village is conveniently scheduled in the run up to Berlin’s European Film Market and showcased this year 26 projects. The three-day event drew over 350 enthusiastic participants.
Camille Neel from Le Pacte, one of the many French sales agents attending the Coproduction Village, pointed out that “after emerging from Toronto and the Afm, Les Arcs feels like a breath of fresh air and provides a warm, christmassy atmosphere that gets people mingling and discovering new projects before kicking off the new year.”
Mixing adventure, horror and comedy, “The Island of the Dolls” follows »
- Elsa Keslassy
Digital Spy's 25 best movies of the year 2014: 25-21
The countdown begins for Digital Spy's 25 best movies of 2014. Over the next five days we'll be revealing our favourite films as chosen by our editorial team.
First up is 25-21, with a trio of well-received independent British films sitting alongside a superhero blockbuster and an Aussie frightener.
We said: "'71 is a movie that stays with you long after you've left the cinema. A fascinating, powerful and immensely thrilling masterpiece, it functions perfectly as both a gripping 'cat and mouse' style thriller and a harrowing time capsule of the conflict in Northern Ireland." [Brj]
We said: "If traditional westerns witnessed the bloody transition from anarchy to civilisation, Calvary sees that process reversed - punctuated by the burning of the chapel. Nobody believes in anything anymore, even Father James's fellow clergyman (a vacuously chirpy David Wilmot) who comes across like the David Brent of the Catholic Church." [Sp]
We said: »
Re-Viewed: Does Dumb and Dumber stand the test of time?
"I spent my life savings turning my van into a dog."
As Jim Carrey told Digital Spy in our recent chat, it was a chance viewing of his 1994 comedy hit Dumb and Dumber on television that lured him back to that iconic bowl cut for the new sequel. But as Harry and Lloyd spread the gospel of dumb to a new generation, just how well does the original movie hold up twenty years on?
The memory can cheat. As time passes, idealisation and nostalgia can mask the truth – whether that be worshipping a movie from your childhood that would induce a cringing fit if you saw it today. Yet despite a soundtrack that includes Apache Indian and the Crash Test Dummies, Dumb and Dumber has a timeless quality. Its goofy brilliance transcends any notion that it's a relic best left in the '90s alongside Tamagotchis and the Macarena.
Film Review: ‘Poker Night’
“Poker Night” offers a near-indigestible mix of tricky “Pulp Fiction”-esque structural convolution, torture-porn tropes and a somewhat distasteful level of snark, making for a self-satisfied puzzle that most viewers will run out of patience trying to unravel. This first theatrical feature for TV veteran Greg Francis won’t linger long in theaters after its single-screen Los Angeles launch on Dec. 20. Nonetheless, some familiar cast faces and other marketable elements should make it salable in various markets as a home-format item; it was released on VOD and iTunes earlier this month.
Jeter (Beau Mirchoff, TV’s “Awkward”) is a rookie cop just promoted to detective. After an instance of highly public heroism, he’s invited to the titular ritual evening, where, between playing hands, a circle of older policemen (including Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito and Ron Eldard) school him by relating stories “worth a year’s street experience.” Each invariably »
- Dennis Harvey
Disney (And Me) On TCM
This Sunday, I’m pleased to be part of a new series of Walt Disney presentations on Turner Classic Movies. I’ll be joining Ben Mankiewicz to introduce a full evening of Disney treats, including the classic Silly Symphonies short Santa’s Workshop (1932) and two other wintry cartoons, the wonderful behind-the-scenes feature The Reluctant Dragon (1941) featuring Robert Benchley, my boyhood favorite Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955), the Oscar-winning True Life Adventure The Vanishing Prairie (1954), and another film I’ve always liked, Third Man on the Mountain (1959) starring James MacArthur, Michael Rennie, Janet Munro, and Herbert Lom, followed by Perilous Assignment, an...
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- Leonard Maltin
China’s Wanda Opens First Movie Theme Park in Wuhan
Wuhan – Dalian Wanda group, the Chinese conglomerate that controls the AMC cinema chain in North America, Saturday gave official openings to its latest entertainment industry extravaganzas.
In the central Chinese city of Wuhan, chairman Wang Jianlin headed a ceremony to open the Wanda Movie Park, which it claims is the world’s first indoor theme park, and the specially built Han Show Theatre. Wang said that the two sites had cost a combined RMB7 billion ($1.14 billion).
Giving a measure of the influence of the giant Chinese group, at least four foreign ambassadors to China were present Saturday morning. So too was former Ambassador Gary Locke; former AMPAS chief Hawk Koch, who is now a consultant to Wanda’s studio development in Qingdao; and leading Chinese film and events director Zhang Yimou.
The company has plans to compete with Disney, DreamWorks and Universal, which all have theme park ambitions in China. »
- Patrick Frater
Sony Consults With ‘Scandal’-ous Crisis-Management Expert
In a near-case of life imitating art, Amy Pascal and other top Sony executives have had a few meetings with Judy Smith, the crisis-management wiz who inspired the Olivia Pope character on hit ABC drama Scandal, to discuss strategies for dealing with the massive hack attack that led to the controversial pulling of Sony’s movie The Interview and made top Sony executives tabloid fodder when their private emails were made public. The Sony Motion Picture Group is continuing to work with New York-based PR firm Rubenstein, more specifically crisis-management specialist Matthew Hiltzik, who has advised Spe leadership during the hacking scandal. »
- Erik Pedersen
Casting Net: Pedro Pascal in talks for Great Wall movie
• Game of Thrones' Pedro Pascal is in talks for director Zhang Yimou's untitled Great Wall pic. The film, which marks Yimou's English-language debut, follows a group of people who fight to protect the iconic landmark. Matt Damon is also in talks for the film. Tony Gilroy wrote the most recent draft of the script. Production is scheduled to begin this Spring, with a U.S. release date set for Nov. 23, 2016. [The Wrap] • Michael Stuhlbarg has signed on for Universal's Steve Jobs movie. Danny Boyle is directing the film, which has Seth Rogen in the role of Steve Wozniak and Michael Fassbender »
- C. Molly Smith
Digital Tracking: ‘The Hobbit’s’ Five Armies to Plunder Box Office
Does digital data offer indicators that can be used to monitor marketing effectiveness and predict box office success even before awareness turns into intent? Moviepilot – which studies social data and box office trends – analyzes this weekend’s new movies across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google (the methodology behind the numbers is laid out in the appendix below) over the seven days leading up to their release, when marketing campaigns should be at their peak.
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” New Line
Moviepilot Prediction (5-day): $86 million
The final installment in the epic “Hobbit” trilogy is off to a great start and looks set to be the most successful of them all, improving substantially from “Smaug’s” $73.6 million opening last year. “Five Armies” has 50% more search activity and twice the Twitter volume of “Smaug” — 300,000 searches (where “Smaug” had 200,000) and half a million Tweets (versus the 250,000 “Smaug” managed). Boosted »
- Tobias Bauckhage
Sony Pictures’ Michael Lynton Thanks Employees for Work During ‘Incredibly Taxing’ Period
In a note before the holiday break, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton thanked studio employees for their work in the wake of the massive cyber-attack that forced the cancellation of “The Interview” release.
“I am enormously grateful for all of the hard work you’ve done these last few weeks and know that it has been incredibly taxing,” he said.
The note was sent Friday afternoon in the wake of the FBI’s confirmation that North Korea was behind the hacking and President Obama’s assertion that it was a “mistake” to not release “The Interview.”
Sony had declared on Wednesday that there were “no further release plans” for “The Interview” following terrorist threats by the hackers. Lynton has insisted that the decision to ditch the theatrical release stemmed from theater owners refusing to show the film; on Friday, he asserted that Sony “immediately began actively surveying alternatives” to »
- Dave McNary
This Is How Spider-Man Fans Are Trying To Keep Andrew Garfield In The Role
One consequence of the Sony email hack has been the revelations of about the Spider-Man film franchise, specifically that at one point the studio considered creating a deal with Marvel Studios that allowed them to share the Wall-Crawler. Then last week there were reports that if a deal was reached that allowed Marvel to obtain creative control of Spider-Man, the Sony Amazing Spider-Man films would be labeled as non-canon, and more importantly, Andrew Garfield would be let go from the role. This scenario has angered enough fans that they.re banding together on the Internet to show their support for Garfield in one of the most organized ways possible: a petition. A petition has been created on Change.org to keep Andrew Garfield playing Spider-Man for future movies. The description states that the character has been handled "incorrectly by the greedy idiots at Sony," and that it would be a »
Sony Chief “Disappointed” By Obama Rebuke, Hollywood’s Cowed Silence
Updated: Sony CEO Michael Lynton further contradicted President Obama’s criticism that Sony had “made a mistake” in handling the release of The Interview in his full sit-down with CNN on Friday. Obama said today that the studio did not come to him for help when cyberterrorists crippled the studio in a November hacking attack ordered by North Korea, but Lynton said the President was the mistaken one. “We definitely spoke to a senior advisor in the White House to talk about the situation,” he confirmed. “The White House was certainly aware of the situation.”
What’s more: Sony also consulted with the Us State Department before the November hacking attack to assess any potential political heat the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy might provoke. Lynton said Sony went to experts, think tanks, and the State Department “to get an understanding of whether or not there was a problem” with »
- Jen Yamato and Erik Pedersen
Bill Murray Will Sing The Jungle Book's Best Song
The wonderful, effervescent Bill Murray will grace us with his vocal beauty in the upcoming Disney live-action film, The Jungle Book. Bill Murray will play the fun-loving, goofy Bear, Baloo in Jon Favreau.s upcoming adaptation. And while Favreau has previously stated that he does not want to completely replicate the beloved animated version, he has promised that Bill Murray will sing Baloo.s famous song, "The Bare Necessities". According to Entertainment Weekly, Favreau has decided to include some of the more memorable moments from the Disney animated film. The cast, including Neel Sethi as Mogli, Bill Murray as Baloo, Christopher Walken as King Louie, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as Shere Kahn and Lupita N.yongo as Rakcha will be taking on the Rudyard Kipling adventure once again but this time with a different tone. Not all of the original qualities kept have been discussed, but, in response »
Watch: ‘The Babadook’ Offers a Great Holiday Greeting Video
We’ve praised The Babadook since Sundance. It landed on Angie’s “Best Performances of 2014” list and our “50 Great Movies From 2014” list, and (spoiler) it’ll be on my ranked top ten of 2014, too. In short: see it! (Even Stephen King and The Exorcist director William Friedkin would tell you that.) The film is […]
The post Watch: ‘The Babadook’ Offers a Great Holiday Greeting Video appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
Fox International Ups Kieran Breen To Marketing President Post
Following a record-breaking summer for 20th Century Fox, Kieran Breen has been promoted to President of International Marketing, the company’s Worldwide Marketing and Distribution heads Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus announced today. Breen has served as Fox International’s Evp, International Marketing since 2006 and has been with the studio since 2000. He started his run with Fox as its UK Marketing Director in the UK and Ireland. In his newly upped post he’ll report to Hanneman and Jegeus heading strategy, research, media, digital, publicity, creative and promotions for Fox titles outside the U.S.
“Kieran has long been an invaluable member of our senior team at Fox International, but over the past year, during our restructuring of the global marketing group, we’ve come to rely even more on his insights and leadership,” said Hanneman and Jegeus. “We’re pleased to recognize Kieran’s formidable achievements with this well-deserved promotion. »
- Jen Yamato
Sony Rejected Theaters’ Proposal to Debut ‘The Interview’ in Limited Release
As threats of violence imperiled the Christmas debut of “The Interview,” Canadian exhibitor Cineplex and other U.S. chains urged Sony Pictures earlier this week to consider opening the comedy in roughly 20 theaters before releasing it more broadly.
They believed the limited-release strategy could have helped the studio and theater owners assess if the hackers who evoked the possibility of a 9/11-style attack were serious about following through on their warnings. But Sony rejected that proposal, according to two individuals with knowledge of the talks.
The studio had used a similar strategy to release “Zero Dark Thirty” in 2012. The film about the successful operation to kill Osama bin Laden courted controversy, and there were concerns that it might inspire some kind of terrorist action. The film was originally slated to open on Dec. 19, but Sony delayed the wide release of “Zero Dark Thirty” until Jan. 11, opening the film in New York and Los Angeles instead. »
- Brent Lang
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