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Motion Picture & Television Fund Opens Renovated Movie Theater Complex

The Motion Picture & Television Fund rededicated its newly renovated Wasserman Campus movie theater in Woodland Hills on Saturday, May 20.

The Louis B. Mayer Theatre, named after the decades-long head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, first opened in 1967 and was designed for residents to screen first-run films. The complex got a remodeled screening room and expanded outdoor event plaza as the theater celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The Susan and Gary Martin Screening Room and the Michael V. Lewis Plaza were constructed on Mptf’s campus through donations from longtime Mptf supporters and donors Susan and Gary Martin and RealD founder and CEO Michael Lewis.

Related

George Clooney, Hugh Jackman Help Mptf Celebrate Its 95th Birthday

“We are incredibly fortunate to bring together these philanthropic-minded industry legends to revitalize this space,” Mptf CEO Bob Beitcher (pictured above) said. “Screenings of first-run films on Thursday and Sunday evenings are an essential ingredient of the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

We Need To Talk About The Word “Remake”

If we’re going to use it as an insult, let’s define our terms.

The film industry seems to have no shortage of words that either serve as synonyms or subsets of “adaptation,” most of which are brought to you by the letter “R”: reboot, reimagining, rendition, redo, revival, retelling, recreation, reanimation (and looking to the other 25 letters in the alphabet, version, homage, makeover, update). One, however, is not treated quite like the others, and that word is “remake.” When filmmakers bring it up by choice, it usually seems to be to explain why their films should not be thought of by that term, thank you very much.

Perhaps you know exactly what I’m talking about. Or perhaps you think I’m reading far too much into things. After going through over 500 pages of research on remakes and adaptations, I myself thought the latter just as possible as the former.

So
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

‘Moonlight’ is the Most Frugal Best Picture Ever: See Analysis of the 10 Lowest-Budget Winners of all Time

  • Indiewire
‘Moonlight’ is the Most Frugal Best Picture Ever: See Analysis of the 10 Lowest-Budget Winners of all Time
With a budget of $1.5 million, 2017 Best Picture winner “Moonlight” cost less than a 30-second ad during the Oscars (reported price: $2.2 million). And, among the category’s 89 winners, it stands as the lowest-budgeted film in the Academy Awards’ history.

To determine the 10 least expensive Best Picture winners, we looked back at each year, researched reported budgets, and then calculated them at 2017 dollar values. Although independent films have dominated the Oscars for the last decade, the only indie to make the cut from that period was “Crash.” Nor did Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall,” or some black-and-white studio classics like “Casablanca” or “The Lost Weekend.”

The 10 straddle almost every decade of the Oscars and come from either independent producers or smaller distributors (four of the 10 were released by United Artists).

For comparison, the most expensive film to win remains “Titanic;” its adjusted budget was $300 million more than “Moonlight.” That total dwarfs the
See full article at Indiewire »

March Madness: "Batman V. Superman" - Is There A Joker In The Deck?

  • CinemaRetro
"Batman v. Superman": potential blockbuster or "Cleopatra Redux".

By Lee Pfeiffer

The heavily-hyped Warner Brothers super hero epic "Batman V. Superman:  Dawn of Justice" is one of the most heavily promoted films in years. It's also one of the most expensive. Variety estimates that the film's $250 million production budget plus ancillary marketing costs will make it necessary for the movie to gross $800 worldwide just to break even. You read that right: $800 million. One industry analyst says that anything less than a gross of $1 billion will be considered a disappointment. Warner Brothers contends that those figures don't take into consideration ancillary revenues from video and merchandising. Fair enough, but if a film bombs, generally speaking, the merchandise and video sales do, too. If you doubt it, how many people did you see walking around with "Waterworld" or "Howard the Duck" T shirts? Veteran screenwriter William Goldman once said of the film industry "Nobody knows anything.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

‘Mad Max’ Director George Miller Reveals What Drove Him to Filmmaking

‘Mad Max’ Director George Miller Reveals What Drove Him to Filmmaking
Australian filmmaker George Miller, director of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” was in L.A. briefly to accept an Environmental Media Award for his work, including his activism on Save Watsons Bay. He spoke with Variety about his early creative influences.

What were some of your early movie experiences?

I was highly influenced by Saturday matinees. It was a ritual of the town where I grew up. There would be an A feature and B feature — or if it was a big Technicolor Cinemascope movie like “Ben-Hur,” it would be one movie with an intermission. Plus, cartoons, newsreels, 10-minute serials like “Batman” and “Sir Galahad.” There was a relatively new theater in Chinchilla, a town of 4,000-5,000.

It had 1,000 seats. There was no Internet, no cell phones, and Australia was late in getting television. So moviegoing was a major ritual and the theater was like a secular cathedral. It was an inadvertent apprenticeship.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cummings' Ten-Year Death Anniversary: From Minor Lloyd Leading Lady to Tony Award Winner (Revised and Expanded)

Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major London stage star. Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned more than six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., died ten years ago on Nov. 23. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received performances – is all but forgotten.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Movie History Catalina Island Style

A long time ago, sometime around 1912, a director by the name of D.W. Griffith packed up his filmmaking wares and took his crew, including favored cinematographer Billy Bitzer and star Mae Marsh, across the water to a relatively mysterious island off the Southern California coast to shoot a short film. The project, Man’s Genesis, subtitled A Psychological Comedy Founded upon the Darwinian Theory of the Evolution of Man (Is that Woody Allen I hear whimpering with envy?), isn’t one for which Griffith is well remembered, in the hearts of either academics or those given to silent-era nostalgia. (One comment on IMDb suggests that no one would ever mistake Griffith’s simple tale of a landmark of human development—man discovers his ability to craft and use tools in order to achieve a specific goal-- for “a serious work of speculative anthropology” and wonders “what the director and his
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Aussies and Kiwis invited to join AMPAS

  • IF.com.au
Four Australians and three Kiwis have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A record 322 screen practitioners from the Us and around the world have been invited to join the organisation. The previous high was 276 in 2013.

The Down Under contingent comprises visual effects wizards Tim Crosbie and Daniel Barrett, producers Bruna Papandrea and Rebecca Yeldham, sound mixers David Lee and Jason Canovas and writer-director Niki Caro.

Despite the Academy.s efforts to diversify its membership, out of the 25 actors invited to join only seven are women.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said, .It.s gratifying to acknowledge the extraordinary range of talent in our industry. This year, our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization..

This year Crosbie was nominated for an
See full article at IF.com.au »

Aussies invited to join AMPAS

  • IF.com.au
Three Australians and one Kiwi have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A record 322 screen practitioners from the Us and around the world have been invited to join the organisation. The previous high was 276 in 2013.

The Down Under contingent comprises visual effects wizard Tim Crosbie, producers Bruna Papandrea and Rebecca Yeldham and writer-director Niki Caro.

Despite the Academy.s efforts to diversify its membership, out of the 25 actors invited to join only seven are women.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said, .It.s gratifying to acknowledge the extraordinary range of talent in our industry. This year, our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization..

This year Crosbie was nominated for an Oscar for best achievement in visual effects for X-Men: Days of Future Past,
See full article at IF.com.au »

'Mad Max' director George Miller says he's still learning how to make films

  • Hitfix
'Mad Max' director George Miller says he's still learning how to make films
Eager online press got a look at George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" Wednesday night in Los Angeles, with the filmmaker on hand to discuss his return to the world of his visionary debut with fellow director Edgar Wright. The unrelenting, cacophonous vehicular gumbo, which is all set to be unleashed on unsuspecting attendees of next month's Cannes Film Festival, hardly feels like the product of a 70-year-old man. And indeed, Miller's enthusiasm for discussing the work was as palpable as that pulsing through every innervating moment of the film itself. "I thought I was done on the first one," Miller said of the original film. "Then the second one came along and it was a way to try it again and do something better. I was just learning how to make films. I'm still learning how to make films. But these things stay in the back of your
See full article at Hitfix »

Remembering Cat People Star Simon on 10th Anniversary of Her Death (Fully Revised/Updated Part I)

Simone Simon: Remembering the 'Cat People' and 'La Bête Humaine' star (photo: Simone Simon 'Cat People' publicity) Pert, pretty, pouty, and fiery-tempered Simone Simon – who died at age 94 ten years ago, on Feb. 22, 2005 – is best known for her starring role in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic Cat People (1942). Those aware of the existence of film industries outside Hollywood will also remember Simon for her button-nosed femme fatale in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938).[1] In fact, long before Brigitte Bardot, Annette Stroyberg, Mamie Van Doren, Tuesday Weld, Ann-Margret, and Barbarella's Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm – with a tad of puppy dog wistfulness – in a film career that spanned two continents and a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Gone With the Wind' Facts: 25 Things You Never Knew About the Most Popular Movie Ever Made

  • Moviefone
Seventy-five years after the premiere of "Gone With the Wind" (on December 15, 1939), it seems that nothing -- not the passage of time, not the movie's controversial racial politics, not the film's daunting length, and not even the release of certain James Cameron global blockbusters -- can diminish the romantic Civil War drama's stature as the most popular movie of all time.

The film is certainly a formidable artistic achievement, a cornerstone of movie history, and a highlight of a year so full of landmark films that 1939 has often been called the greatest year in the history of Hollywood filmmaking. Each viewing of the four-hour epic seems to reveal new details. Still, even longtime "Gwtw" fans may not know the behind-the-scenes story of the film, one as lengthy and tumultuous as the on-screen romance between Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). Producer David O. Selznick spent fortunes, hired
See full article at Moviefone »

First Best Actress and Best Actor Academy Award Winners Tonight

First Best Actor Oscar winner Emil Jannings and first Best Actress Oscar winner Janet Gaynor on TCM (photo: Emil Jannings in 'The Last Command') First Best Actor Academy Award winner Emil Jannings in The Last Command, first Best Actress Academy Award winner Janet Gaynor in Sunrise, and sisters Norma Talmadge and Constance Talmadge are a few of the silent era performers featured this evening on Turner Classic Movies, as TCM continues with its Silent Monday presentations. Starting at 5 p.m. Pt / 8 p.m. Et on November 17, 2014, get ready to check out several of the biggest movie stars of the 1920s. Following the Jean Negulesco-directed 1943 musical short Hit Parade of the Gay Nineties -- believe me, even the most rabid anti-gay bigot will be able to enjoy this one -- TCM will be showing Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command (1928) one of the two movies that earned
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Men Who Would Be Hughes (Plus Hepburn and the end of Rko)

Howard Hughes movies (photo: Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes in 'The Aviator') Turner Classic Movies will be showing the Howard Hughes-produced, John Farrow-directed, Baja California-set gangster drama His Kind of Woman, starring Robert Mitchum, Hughes discovery Jane Russell, and Vincent Price, at 3 a.m. Pt / 6 a.m. Et on Saturday, November 8, 2014. Hughes produced a couple of dozen movies. (More on that below.) But what about "Howard Hughes movies"? Or rather, movies -- whether big-screen or made-for-television efforts -- featuring the visionary, eccentric, hypochondriac, compulsive-obsessive, all-American billionaire as a character? Besides Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays a dashing if somewhat unbalanced Hughes in Martin Scorsese's 2004 Best Picture Academy Award-nominated The Aviator, other actors who have played Howard Hughes on film include the following: Tommy Lee Jones in William A. Graham's television movie The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977), with Lee Purcell as silent film star Billie Dove, Tovah Feldshuh as Katharine Hepburn,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

MGM Buys 55% Of Roma Downey And Mark Burnett’s Empire; Relaunches United Artists

  • Deadline
In a deal that follows Roma Downey and Mark Burnett coming aboard the MGM/Paramount epic Ben-Hur that Timur Bekmambetov will direct with Jack Huston in the title role, MGM has acquired a 55% interest in Downey, Burnett and Hearst Entertainment’s One Three Media and LightWorkers Media, including all of their interests in such hit shows as Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank, The Bible and The Apprentice. All this will be consolidated into a new media venture called United Artists Media Group. MGM chairman and CEO Gary Barber made the deal with Burnett, Downey and Steven Swartz, Hearst Corp’s president and CEO. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Uamg will primarily focus on developing, producing and financing premium content across all platforms, including scripted and non-scripted television programs, motion pictures and digital content. Burnett will serve as the CEO of Uamg. Downey will serve as president of LightWorkers Media, the
See full article at Deadline »

Academy's Special 2014 Honorees: Veterans Belafonte, Carrière, Miyazaki and - Finally - O'Hara

Honorary Oscars 2014: Hayao Miyazaki, Jean-Claude Carrière, and Maureen O’Hara; Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award goes to Harry Belafonte One good thing about the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards — an expedient way to remove the time-consuming presentation of the (nearly) annual Honorary Oscar from the TV ratings-obsessed, increasingly youth-oriented Oscar show — is that each year up to four individuals can be named Honorary Oscar recipients, thus giving a better chance for the Academy to honor film industry veterans while they’re still on Planet Earth. (See at the bottom of this post a partial list of those who have gone to the Great Beyond, without having ever received a single Oscar statuette.) In 2014, the Academy’s Board of Governors has selected a formidable trio of honorees: Japanese artist and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, 73; French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, 82; and Irish-born Hollywood actress Maureen O’Hara,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

17 Days Til Oscar

Today's Useless But Fun Oscar Trivia Numbers Chain!

• 17 years ago The English Patient (1996) won 9 Oscars, driving Julia Louis-Dreyfus Elaine to the brink of madness "quit telling your stupid story about the desert and just die already. die!!!" and making it one of the seven most-Oscared films of all time. (Only Titanic and Return of the King have since beat it). Can Gravity, which has 10 nominations but will definitely lose Best Actress, tie The Patient's record -- it would have to win All of its other nominations -- or do you foresee a "spread the wealth" year?

Sal Mineo is the only 17 year-old of either gender ever nominated for an Oscar. That nomination came for his role as "Plato" in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Mineo also holds the record of youngest (male) actor to two nominations as he was nominated for Exodus (1960) by the age of 22. He would have turned 75 this
See full article at FilmExperience »

Italian Posters for McQueen's Slave: Racism or Merely Business As Usual?

’12 Years a Slave’: Italian posters racist? (Brad Pitt in ’12 Anni Schiavo’ poster) As 2013 comes to a close, 12 Years a Slave has become embroiled in some healthy, Oscar-friendly controversy. A couple of Italian posters for the film have focused on its white supporting players, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender, instead of on black protagonist Chiwetel Ejiofor. Since then, Italian distributor Bim has issued contrite apologies; Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment, the film’s international sales agent, has demanded a recall of the “unauthorized” posters (it’s unclear if no character posters featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor were ever created, or if they were just not on display); the U.S. media and their cohorts elsewhere have played their usual role in pushing hot buttons and creating controversy — much to the delight of both their advertisers and their viewers/readers; and everyone is now aware of how relevant to our early 21st century world
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Dildo That Never Was and Grant Quote: 'Expect the Biographical Worst'

Cary Grant and Randolph Scott marriages (See previous post: “Randolph Scott and Cary Grant: Gay Lovers?“) The English-born Cary Grant was married five times: Charles Chaplin’s City Lights leading lady Virginia Cherrill (1934-1935), Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton (1942-1945), Grant’s Every Girl Should Be Married and Room for One More co-star Betsy Drake (1949-1962), Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Heaven Can Wait Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Dyan Cannon (1965-1968), and Barbara Harris (1981-1986). Note: Cary Grant’s last wife was not the Barbara Harris of Nashville, Family Plot, and A Thousand Clowns fame. Cary Grant died at age 82 after suffering a stroke on November 29, 1986, while preparing for a performance of his one-man show, A Conversation with Cary Grant, in Davenport, Iowa. (Photo: Cary Grant and Randolph Scott ca. 1933.) The Virginia-born Randolph Scott was married twice: wealthy socialite Mariana duPont Somerville (1936-1939) and Patricia Stillman, from 1943 to his
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The First Megabudgeted Hollywood Production to Be Saved by Moviegoers Overseas?

Ramon Novarro is Ben-Hur: The Naked and Famous in first big-budget Hollywood movie saved by the international market (See previous post: "Ramon Novarro: Silent Movie Star.") Turner Classic Movies’ Ramon Novarro Day continues with The Son-Daughter (1933), on TCM right now. Both Novarro and Helen Hayes play Chinese characters in San Francisco’s Chinatown — in the sort of story that had worked back in 1919, when D.W. Griffith made Broken Blossoms with Lillian Gish and Richard Barthelmess. By 1933, however, the drab-looking, slow-moving The Son-Daughter felt all wrong. (Photo: Naked Ramon Novarro in Ben-Hur.) Directed by the renowned Clarence Brown (who guided Greta Garbo in some of her biggest hits), The Son-Daughter turned out to be a well-intentioned mess, eventually bombing at the box office. And that goes to show that Louis B. Mayer and/or Irving G. Thalberg didn’t always know what the hell they were doing with their stars and properties.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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