Editor | Peter Bowen
SEEKING A FRIEND Trending High in Pundits Eyes
Posted March 30, 2012
Lorene Scafaria's apocalyptic comedy SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD with Steve Carell and Keira Knightly seems to be coming at just the right time. In the last few weeks, prognosticators have all seen the end in sight - or at least stories about the end. At The Playlist, Kevin Jagernauth announces, "The end is coming...and it's going to be hilarious. It seems that the end of the world just isn't the domain for ponderous filmmakers with comedies now taking a crack at the demise of humanity." Although there are still many stories with a downward look, like Bruce Bennett's Wall Street Journal piece on Abel Ferrara's recent 4:44 Last Day on Earth. And at the Huffington Post, Mathew Gross and Mel Gilles take a slightly different slant, noting, "These days, the rise of apocalyptic thinking and entertainment is a sign of the times -- though not necessarily the end times." Whatever the reason for the interest in such apocalyptic dramas (and comedies), the writers conclude "Indeed, rather than being marginal, the apocalypse in 2012 is firmly entrenched in mainstream popular culture."
SEEKING A FRIEND? Go to MTV.COM to Find One
Posted March 28, 2012
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD? MTV.com has some candidates for you. MTV.COM has a 14-photo slide show that highlights the talented cast of Lorene Scafaria apocalyptic comedy. As MTV.com writes, "The movie centers on neighbors Dodge (Steve Carrell) and Penny (Keira Knightley), who head out on a road trip and learn that sometimes the most important people can enter your life at extremely unexpected times - like when you're searching for your old high school sweetheart as an asteroid nears Earth threatening to wipe out all life." And the people they meet along the way are more than half the fun, including Adam Brody, Rob Corddry and Patton Oswalt. See the whole gang here.
Focus & Universal Pictures Acquire Rights to Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
Posted March 26, 2012
Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced that they will partner together in the development of a film based on E L James' #1 Bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey. Focus Features will market and distribute the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey in partnership with Universal Pictures. Universal Pictures' Chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley exclaimed, "The 'Fifty Shades' Trilogy is a one-of-a-kind series of stories and we're thrilled to be collaborating with E L James to bring them to the big screen...Like so many readers all over the globe, we've fallen in love with Fifty Shades of Grey. It's a special story and working with Focus, we hope to bring audiences a film they can enjoy as much as they loved the book." James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features, added, "At its core, this is a romance of the most emotionally resonant, but delicate, order -- and we look forward to working with our colleagues at Universal to transform E L James' vision into a great film." The book Fifty Shades of Grey follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. Subsequent novels in the series, Fifty Shades Darker (September 2011) and Fifty Shades Freed (January 2012) explore the couple's deepening relationship. The books have proved to be an international best seller since they came out. Fifty Shades of Grey is the #1 Bestselling trade paperback book according to the New York Times and Publishers Weekly. It's also the #1 Bestselling eBook with Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed taking the second and third spots respectively.
PARIAH wins GLAAD Outstanding Film Award
Posted March 25, 2012
On Saturday March 24 at the Mariott Marquis in New York City, PARIAH was honored at the 23rd Annual Glaad Media Awards. In a ceremony hosted two stars of "Glee," Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith, Dee Rees' PARIAH won for Outstanding Film - Limited Release. PARIAH stars Adepero Oduye and Kim Wayans were on hand to accept the award.
Wes Anderson's Animated Xperia Phone Ad for Sony
Posted March 22, 2012
MOONRISE KINGDOM's Wes Anderson's imagination knows no bounds. Working with visions provided by kids, Anderson is creating a series of fantasy ads for Sony's Xperia smart phone. The first one comes from an idea, and with voice over, from 8-year old Jake Ryan. Anderson's feature-length vision of kids on the run (without smart phones) comes to theaters on May 25 with MOONRISE KINGDOM.
Emil Elmér joins Focus Features, Sr. VP, International Sales
Posted March 19, 2012
We're thrilled to welcome Emil Elmér to Focus Features as senior vice president, international sales. For over a decade, Mr. Elmércut has made a name for himself, working previously at Miramax Films and Pathé Distribution on campaigns for titles such as Amélie, Les Choristes (The Chorus) and the Oscar-winning The Barbarian Invasions. Focus Features International (FFI) co-president Alison Thompson commented, "Having first-hand experience of working with Emil, I've long been impressed by his outstanding knowledge and thorough approach to the international business. He has the wealth of experience that is an absolute necessity in our business, and his expertise and valuable relationships will bolster the company as we celebrate Focus's 10-year anniversary and field a particularly exciting slate of movies this year." The excitement was reflected by Mr. Elmér, noting, "Over the last decade, Focus has built an outstanding reputation as one of the world leaders in independent global cinema. They continue to be at the cutting edge of the creative and financial evolution of the business, and I'm proud to be joining the team to work with their incredible roster of films and filmmakers." For more, here's the complete press release.
Nick Flynn's Life Journey in HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Posted March 16, 2012
[Above photo: Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle] In the Houston Chronicle, Louis B. Parks' article "BEING FLYNN offered lesson in self-discovery" profiles writer Nick Flynn, who is both the author of the memoir from BEING FLYNN is adapted and its subject. Flynn, who teaches creative writing of the University of Houston, talks candidly about the process of having his memoir turned into a film, and the reaction of his alcoholic, self-delusional dad to hearing Robert De Niro was set to play him in Paul Weitz' adaptation. Flynn recounts that his father Jonathan "managed to be 'on' for the interview, telling long stories about himself for, like, an hour before he even noticed De Niro's in the room. He was completely underwhelmed that Robert De Niro was going to play him." Nick goes on to talk about the long process of writing the book and coming to terms with his dad, a saga lyrically captured in BEING FLYNN. For Flynn, how took more than ten years after his father appeared in a homeless shelter to get the story down on paper, explains: "Certain stories we carry with us, events in our life, they define who we are. It's not a matter of getting over anything; we have to make the best of it."
Robert De Niro on TODAY SHOW
Posted March 14, 2012
Robert De Niro, the star of Paul Weitz' BEING FLYNN, showed up on THE TODAY SHOW to talk about why making the film was important to him, as well as a hilarious anecdote about what happened when he showed up in character at his own hotel.
JUAN OF THE DEAD wins Miami Film Fest Audience Award
Posted March 13, 2012
Upoming Focus World title Alejandro Brugués' JUAN OF THE DEAD won the Miami International Film Festival Lexus Audience Award this weekend. As Executive Director of MIFF Jaie Laplante exclaimed, ""The film that Miami has been clamoring for did not disappoint. The enthusiastic response to the film was enthralling." The story follows an enterprising fellow Juan (Alexis Díaz de Villegas), who, along with some of his friends, starts a small business putting the undead back in their graves when they realize a sudden zombie epidemic is spreading through Havana.
MOONRISE KINGDOM Opens Cannes Film Festival
Posted March 09, 2012
Wes Anderson's magical adventure MOONRISE KINGDOM will open 65th Cannes Film Festival. With a remarkable cast, including Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton Jason Schwartzman and Edward Norton, MOONRISE KINGDOM, set a New England island in the summer of 1965, tells the story of two youths from different worlds -- played Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman -- who decide to run away together. Thierry Frémaux, the Festival's General Delegate, welcomes the film and the filmmaker: "Wes Anderson is one of the rising powers of American cinema, to which he brings a highly personal touch, particularly in MOONRISE KINGDOM, which once again is a testimony to the creative freedom in which he continues to evolve. Sensitive and independent, this admirer of Fellini and Renoir is also in his own right a brilliant and inventive filmmaker." MOONRISE KINGDOM will have its world premiere on Wednesday May 16 in the Grand théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals.