Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Freida Pinto to receive Breakthrough Performance Award at PSIFF


The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will honor Freida Pinto with the Breakthrough Performance Award for her performance in Slumdog Millionaire from Fox Searchlight. The festival is presented by Cartier, on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart. The Festival runs January 6-19, 2009.


Festival chairman Harold Matzner said, “Slumdog Millionaire is one of the best films of 2008 and we’re delighted to be able to present the Breakthrough Performance Award to the extraordinary beautiful Freida Pinto for her compelling, standout performance in the film.” Past recipients of the Breakthrough Award include Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson and Felicity Huffman.

Pinto stars in Slumdog Millionaire, the story of a young man who looks to become a contestant on the Hindi version of “Who Wants to be A Millionaire” in order to re-establish contact with the girl he loves, who is an ardent fan of the show. The Fox Searchlight Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures release is directed by Danny Boyle from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy based on the novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup. The cast includes Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Madhur Mittal and Freida Pinto.

Freida Pinto graduated from St Xavier’s College in Mumbai with a BA in English in 2005 and was signed up to the Elite Model Agency in India where she was selected for numerous campaigns for brands such as De Beers, Visa, MTV, Chanel, eBay and Airtel. She has appeared on several TV shows including “Wendell Rodricks for Lakme Fashion Week 2006,” “Sahara” and the History Channel. She went on to anchor “Full Circle” on Zee International Asia Pacific, successfully completing 52 episodes where she presented a unique report on Afghanistan and explored the vibrant cultures and traditions of Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore among others. Her role as Latika in Slumdog Millionaire is her first lead role in a feature film.

The Festival’s annual Awards Gala, will honor previously announced honorees Clint Eastwood with the Career Achievement Award, Ron Howard with the Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Dustin Hoffman with the Chairman’s Award, Revolutionary Road with the Ensemble Performance Award, Sean Penn and Anne Hathaway with the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting, Amy Adams with the Spotlight Award, Dakota Fanning with the Rising Star Award, Gus Van Sant with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award and Alexandre Desplat with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.

PSIFF, founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono, is scheduled from January 6-19, 2009, screening 210 films from 73 countries. The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards®, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts.



Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sean Penn to receive Desert Palm Achievement Award at 20th Annual PSIFF Awards Gala


New York special screening of Milk
Dave Allocca/startraksphoto.com

Marking a Festival first, Academy Award® winner Sean Penn will be honored two years in a row at the 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) Awards Gala on Tuesday, January 6, 2009. Penn will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting, after being presented last year with the Director of the Year Award for Into the Wild. Past honorees of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Daniel Day-Lewis, Jake Gyllenhaal, Liam Neeson, Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, Richard Dreyfuss and James Stewart.

Festival chairman Harold Matzner said, "The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to award Sean Penn the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting. Penn's portrayal of Harvey Milk is one of the greatest acting performances of 2008 and has been recognized by film critics across the country. I think it is deserving of an Oscar nomination."

Penn stars in the critically acclaimed Milk, which tells the story of Harvey Milk, who in 1977 was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans. The Focus Features film, directed by Gus Van Sant also stars Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, and James Franco. Penn has received a Golden Globe and SAG acting nomination for his performance in the film.

New York Premiere of Focus Features' MILK
WireImage Video


Penn has become an American film icon in a career spanning nearly three decades. He has been nominated four times for the Academy Award as Best Actor: in Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, I Am Sam and most recently won the Oscar in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River.

Presented by Cartier and hosted by "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart, the Festival's annual Awards Gala, will honor previously announced honorees Clint Eastwood with the Career Achievement Award, Ron Howard with the Director's Lifetime Achievement Award, Dustin Hoffman with the Chairman's Award, Revolutionary Road with the Ensemble Performance Award, Anne Hathaway with the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting, Amy Adams with the Spotlight Award, Dakota Fanning with the Rising Star Award, Gus Van Sant with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award and Alexandre Desplat with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.

PSIFF, founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono, is scheduled from January 6-19, 2009, screening 210 films from 73 countries. The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts.



Friday, December 26, 2008

Eartha Kitt, 1927 - 2008

Eartha Kitt, the sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, passed away Xmas day. She was 81.

One of America's most unique versatile performers, Eartha won two Emmys and got a third nom. She also was nominated for two Tony Awards and a Grammy.

Kitt, a self-proclaimed "sex kitten" was famous for her catlike purr. An incredibly smart and witty performer, she proved that sex kittens can have brains, courage, and sharp claws when needed. Meow!

A selection of some of my favorite YouTube clips...
I Want To Be Evil (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!!!)
Where is My Man
Old Fashioned Girl & Santa Baby
Everything Changes (from Mimi Le Duck)

For more information on Eartha's amazing life visit Rob Hoerburger's article in the NY Times and the official site.

Eartha, you will truly be missed by us all. R.I.P. you beautiful soul!

Monday, December 22, 2008

DUSTIN HOFFMAN, GUS VAN SANT & ALEXANDRE DESPLAT TO BE HONORED AT THE 20TH ANNUAL PSIFF

The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Academy Award® winner Dustin Hoffman with the Chairman’s Award, Academy Award® nominee Gus Van Sant with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award and Academy Award® nominee Alexandre Desplat with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.

Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will kick-off the 2009 Awards Season on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart. The Festival runs January 6-19, 2009.

Festival chairman Harold Matzner commented, “We are honored to present awards to Dustin Hoffman, Gus Van Sant and Alexandre Desplat at this year’s event. These talented men deliver some of their finest work in their current projects and we are proud to celebrate their unparalleled achievements that have made an everlasting impression on the face of cinema.”


DUSTIN HOFFMAN
Hoffman will receive the Chairman’s Award. The past recipient of the award is Nicole Kidman. Hoffman currently stars in Last Chance Harvey, which will open the Festival on January 8, 2009. The film is a love story set in London, written and directed by Joel Hopkins, and co-starring Emma Thompson. Last Chance Harvey will be released by Overture Films on December 25, 2008. Hoffman recently received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical category for his role.

A two-time Academy Award® winner and seven-time nominee whose arrival in Hollywood helped usher in a new and revitalized approach to filmmaking, Dustin Hoffman continues to add singular performances to a career rich with characters that have obliterated the line previously dividing the archetypes of “character actor” and “leading man.” Hoffman caught the world's attention for his role as Benjamin Braddock in Mike Nichol's Academy Award® nominated film, The Graduate. Since then, he has been nominated for six more Academy Awards® for diverse films such as Midnight Cowboy, Lenny, Tootsie (a film he also produced through his company, Punch Productions), and Wag the Dog. Hoffman won the Oscar in 1979 for his role in Kramer Vs. Kramer and again in 1988 for Rain Man.

Hoffman lends his voice to the animated feature, The Tale of Despereaux for Universal Pictures which will be released on December 19, 2008. The Tale of Despereaux is adapted from Kate DiCamillo's children's book and co-stars Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Tracy Ullman, Robbie Coltraine and Justin Long.

His other film credits include: Kung Fu Panda, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Stranger Than Fiction, Perfume, Meet the Fockers, Finding Neverland, I Heart Huckabee’s, The Lost City, Racing Stripes, Runaway Jury, Little Big Man, Straw Dogs, Papillon, All the President's Men, Marathon Man, Straight Time, Agatha, Ishtar, Dick Tracy, Billy Bathgate, Mad City, Hero, Sleepers, Sphere, American Buffalo, Hook and Outbreak.

GUS VAN SANT
Gus Van Sant will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, named after the founder of the Festival. Past recipients include David Cronenberg, Todd Field, Baz Lurhmann, M. Night Shyamalan and Kevin Spacey. Van Sant’s acclaimed current film Milk tells the story of Harvey Milk, who in 1977 was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans. The Focus Features film stars Academy Award winner Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, and James Franco.

Audiences and critics alike have taken note of Gus Van Sant’s movies since he made his feature film directorial debut in 1985 with Mala Noche, which won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for Best Independent/Experimental Film. His body of work also includes Drugstore Cowboy, starring Matt Dillon and Kelly Lynch; My Own Private Idaho, starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves; Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, starring Uma Thurman; and To Die For. The latter, screened at the Cannes and Toronto International Film Festivals, earned Nicole Kidman a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.

Van Sant’s next feature, Good Will Hunting, brought him a Best Director Academy Award® nomination. The film was nominated for eight other Oscars including Best Picture, winning for Best Supporting Actor (Robin Williams) and Best Original Screenplay (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon). He followed that up with his controversial remake of Psycho, which was the first feature shot-for-shot recreation of a film, and Finding Forrester before returning to his independent film roots with Gerry. That filmmaking experience in turn inspired him to write and direct Elephant, shot on location in his hometown of Portland with a cast of novice actors. Elephant won both the top prize (the Palme d’Or) and the Best Director award at the 2003 Cannes International Film Festival.

At the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival, Last Days, starring Michael Pitt and Lukas Haas, was honored with the Technical Grand Prize (for Leslie Shatz’ sound design). Van Sant once again cast novice actors to star in his next project, Paranoid Park, which he adapted from Blake Nelson’s novel of the same name. The film earned him the 60th Anniversary Prize at the 2007 Cannes International Film Festival.

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
Alexandre Desplat will receive the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing. Previous participants of the award include James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman, Phillip Glass, Howard Shore and Randy Newman. Desplat provides the score for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, adapted by Eric Roth, from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his epic story, set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man's life can be. The Paramount Pictures release directed by David Fincher, and starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Taraji P. Henson, opens on December 25, 2008.

In January 2007, Alexandre Desplat won the Golden Globe Award for his score of John Curran's The Painted Veil, and in the same year received an Academy Award® nomination for his score to Stephen Frears’ The Queen. Both scores earned him the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Best Music award.

Desplat has composed music for over four dozen European films, earning two César (France's equivalent of the Oscar) Award nominations, for Jacques Audiard's Un héros très discret (A Self-Made Hero) and Sur mes lèvres (Read My Lips). Desplat won the César and Berlin’s Silver Bear for scoring Audiard's most recent film, De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (The Beat That My Heart Skipped).

Desplat wrote the score for Peter Webber's Girl with a Pearl Earring which earned him Golden Globe, BAFTA, and European Film Award nominations. Recent works include the Golden Globe nominated score for Stephen Gaghan’s political drama Syriana, the award-winning score to Ang Lee’s World War II romantic drama Lust, Caution, and the Chris Weitz adventure/fantasy The Golden Compass. Upcoming movies include Nora Ephron’s Julie & Jolia, Stephen Frear’s Cheri and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.

* * *

The Festival’s annual Awards Gala, on Tuesday, January 6, 2009, presented by Cartier and hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart, will honor Clint Eastwood with the Career Achievement Award, Ron Howard with the Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Revolutionary Road with the Ensemble Performance Award, Anne Hathaway with the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting, Amy Adams with the Spotlight Award and Dakota Fanning with the Rising Star Award.

PSIFF, founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono, runs January 6-19, 2009, screening 210 films from 73 countries. The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

15th ANNUAL SAG AWARDS® NOMINEES & 20th ANNUAL PSIFF LINEUP ANNOUNCED

"Doubt" led the way with five nominations for the Screen Actors Guild awards with "Milk" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" taking three each.

"Doubt," "Milk," "Button," "Frost-Nixon" and "Slumdog Millionaire" each received nods in the best ensemble cast category.

In addition, "Doubt" scored nominations with Meryl Streep for best actress, Amy Adams and Viola Davis for supporting actress and Philip Seymour Hoffman for supporting actor.

Kate Winslet took two nominations -- one for actress in "Revolutionary Road" and one for supporting actress in "The Reader."

Angela Bassett and Eric McCormick made the nominations announcements this morning at the Pacific Design Center in Hollywood.

Winners will be announced at the SAG awards ceremonies on Jan. 25 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The awards cover six feature categories and nine in TV.

* * *

DUSTIN HOFFMAN STARRER 'LAST CHANCE HARVEY' TO OPEN
20th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL


The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival has announced a roster of 210 films, culled from 73 countries for the 2009 Festival. The selection of films for screening includes a total of 77 premieres (14 World, 48 U.S. and 16 North American). Also, 50 of the 67 films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Academy Awards will be screened at this year's Festival, held from January 8-19, 2009.


(Left to right.) Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman star in Overture Films'
'Last Chance Harvey'.
Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham, Image.net

GALA SCREENINGS

The Festival will open on Thursday, January 8 with the screening of Golden Globe Nominee Last Chance Harvey (USA) at the Palm Springs High School, followed by a reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Last Chance Harvey stars Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson who each received a Golden Globe nomination (for Best Actor and Best Actress in the Music or Comedy category) for their performances in the film.

In addition to the Opening Night Gala, the Festival will hold four international galas, a series of special screenings celebrating Festival programming showcases including:

20th Anniversary Gala: $5 a Day (USA)–Marking its U.S. premiere, the film is a tale of a son forced to reunite with his con-artist father during a cross-country odyssey. Directed by Nigel Cole, the film stars Christopher Walken, Allesandro Nivolo, Amanda Peet and Sharon Stone.

Gala: Alien Trespass (USA) – A world premiere, directed by R.W. Goodwin and starring Eric McCormack, Jenni Baird, Dan Lauria and Robert Patrick. Set in 1957, a fiery object from space hurtles into a California desert mountaintop. A murderous creature — the Ghota, bent on destroying all life forms on the planet — escapes from the flying saucer. A benevolent alien, Urp, inhabits the body of Ted Lewis (Eric McCormack), a local astronomer, and with the help of Tammy, a waitress from the local diner, sets out to save mankind.

The Gay!La: Chef’s Special (Spain) – Directed by Nacho Velilla, a cook ditches dreams of Michelin stardom to manage a small barrio eatery. Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, Fernando Terjero and Benjamin Vicuña star.

Closing Night Film: The Burning Plain (USA)– A U.S. premiere and directorial debut of award-winning screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros), is the layered story of a self-destructive woman and two intertwined families. The film stars Charlize Theron, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Lawrence and Joaquim de Almeida.

PREMIERES

The Festival will offer a selection of 77 premieres of highly anticipated films showcasing the diversity of international cinema.

AWARDS BUZZ

As part of the Awards Buzz program, the Festival will screen 50 of the 67 official submissions to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Foreign Language Film. Don't miss Jordan's FLFA submission "Captain Abu Raed" from director Amin Matalqa.

NEW VOICES/NEW VISIONS

The New Voices/New Visions Award will honor one of 12 features from new international talents making their first or second films.

MODERN MASTERS

Ten films have been selected as part of Modern Masters program highlighting the latest work of established directors at the forefront of contemporary international cinema.
  • Adam Resurrected (USA/Israel/Germany)
  • Cherry Blossoms (Germany)
  • Everlasting Moments (Sweden/Denmark)
  • Four Nights with Anna (Poland/France)
  • The Hurt Locker (USA)
  • Kabei (Japan)
  • Modern Life (France)
  • Mommy is at the Hairdresser's (Canada)
  • Of Time and the City (UK)
  • White Night Wedding (Iceland)

FESTIVAL PROGRAMS

World Cinema Now will feature 93 films in a wide-ranging overview of contemporary international cinema. True Stories highlights 39 of the best new films in contemporary non-fiction cinema. Archival Treasures will feature the three films Midnight Cowboy (USA), Love One Another (Germany) and The Jester (Poland).


FESTIVAL AWARDS

The John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature or Documentary acknowledges the work of a first-time filmmaker whose film is presented in any program at the Festival. Audience Awards will also be presented for Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature. Bridging the Borders Award presented by Cinema without Borders will be presented to an international film that extols the universality of the human experience, bridging the borders between nations and promoting international understanding.

AWARDS GALA

The Festival's annual Awards Gala, on Tuesday, January 6, 2009, presented by Cartier and hosted by Entertainment Tonight's Mary Hart, will honor Clint Eastwood with the Career Achievement Award, Ron Howard with the Director's Lifetime Achievement Award, Revolutionary Road with the Ensemble Performance Award, Anne Hathaway with the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting, Amy Adams with the Spotlight Award and Dakota Fanning with the Rising Star Award.

Passes and tickets are available for purchase online now.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cruise Nails Elvis; 'Terminator 5' Announced


Tom Cruise jumps off the couch this time to give us his best "Elvis" impersonation on the Jay Leno Show recently. The man never ceases to surprise me!

Fifth Terminator Announced

Christian Bale has signed on in the role of John Connor for all three roles. I guess that means there will be a sixth Terminator as well. The next Terminator is carefully placed for a 2011 release.

Reported by Variety, first plan was to wait until the release of Terminator Salvation next summer before making the producers’ mind up on whether to proceed with the next chapter, but the positive studio, fan and media reaction to footage from the current movie has encouraged them to move forward ahead of schedule.

Source: Screenhead.com

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hugh Jackman to Host 81st Academy Awards®


Hugh Jackman will host the 81st Academy Awards® telecast, producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon announced today. This will be Jackman’s first time center stage at the Oscar show, although he has previously been a presenter.

“Hugh Jackman is a consummate entertainer and an internationally renowned movie star,” said Mark and Condon in a joint statement. “He also has style, elegance and a sense of occasion. Hugh is the ideal choice to host a celebration of the year’s movies – and to have fun doing it.”

Jackman stars in the current release “Australia,” directed by Baz Luhrmann. He will next be seen in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” having portrayed the title character in the previous three smash-hit “X-Men” movies. His other film credits include “The Prestige,” “Flushed Away,” “The Fountain,” “Happy Feet,” “Van Helsing,” “Kate & Leopold” and “Swordfish.”

A native of Australia, Jackman won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in “The Boy from Oz.” He has served as host of the Tony Awards ceremony and won a 2005 Emmy for that assignment.

Jackman’s other stage credits include “Carousel,” “Oklahoma!” “Sunset Boulevard” and “Beauty and the Beast.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

15 in Running for 2008 Visual Effects Oscar®

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films were selected as semifinalists for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 81st Academy Awards®.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

“Australia”

“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”

“Cloverfield”

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“The Dark Knight”

“The Day the Earth Stood Still”

“Hancock”

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

“The Incredible Hulk”

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

“Iron Man”

“Journey to the Center of the Earth”

“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”

“Quantum of Solace”

“The Spiderwick Chronicles”

In early January, the members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee, who voted the semifinalists, will narrow the list to seven.

On Thursday, January 15, all members of the Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 22, 2009, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet & Cast of 'Revolutionary Road' to be honoured at the 20th Annual PSIFF Awards Gala


The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will honor the cast of Revolutionary Road with the Ensemble Performance Award at the Festival's annual Awards Gala. Cast members Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates and Michael Shannon, Kathryn Hahn, David Harbour and Zoe Kazan are expected to attend and accept the award presented.

Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said, "The Festival is honored to present the cast of Revolutionary Road with this year's Ensemble Performance Award. Based on Richard Yates' brilliant novel, Revolutionary Road is one of the most anticipated films of the year."

Adapted from the landmark novel by Richard Yates, four-time Golden Globe nominee Revolutionary Road is an incisive portrait of an American marriage seen through the eyes of Frank (three-time Academy Award® nominee Leonardo DiCaprio) and April (five-time Academy Award® nominee Kate Winslet) Wheeler. Yates' story of 1950's America poses a question that has been reverberating through modern relationships ever since: can two people break away from the ordinary without breaking apart? Directed by Sam Mendes, the film's ensemble cast includes Academy Award® winner Kathy Bates, David Harbour, Zoe Kazan, Kathryn Hahn and Michael Shannon and is scheduled for limited release in December 2008 and nationally in January 2009.

The Festival will also honor previously announced honorees:
Clint Eastwood (Changeling, Gran Torino)
Career Achievement Award


Photo: Lester Cohen, WireImage.com
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
Director's Lifetime Achievement Award


Photo: John Shearer, WireImage.com
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Desert Palm Achievement Award


Photo: Jemal Countess, WireImage.com
Amy Adams (Doubt)
Spotlight Award


Photo: Lester Cohen, WireImage.com
Dakota Fanning (The Secret Life of Bees)
Rising Star Award


Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will kick-off the 2009 Awards Season on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart. The Festival runs January 6-19, 2009.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary PSIFF was founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono. The festival, scheduled from January 6-19, 2009, will include over 400 screenings of more than 200 films from approximately 60 countries. The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts. Screenings are held on 15 screens throughout Palm Springs.

PSIFF hosts my favorite Red Carpet, Gala and Film Festival of the year. Tickets may be purchased online now for the 20th Annual PSIFF Awards Gala and Film Festival. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

66th Annual Golden Globe Nominees


'Button' leads in top categories


"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Doubt" and "Frost/Nixon" each received five noms at the 66th Golden Globe Awards.

"Button", "Frost/Nixon", "The Reader", "Revolutionary Road" and "Slumdog Millionaire" were nominated in the drama category.

In the dramatic acting categories, Leonardo DiCaprio, Frank Langella, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Mickey Rourke received noms among actors, while Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep, and Kristin Scott Thomas nabbed actress category noms.

The Golden Globes broadcast airs Jan 11 on NBC from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

FILM

BEST FEATURE - DRAMA
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"Frost/Nixon"
"The Reader"
"Revolutionary Road"
"Slumdog Millionaire"

BEST FEATURE - COMEDY
"Burn After Reading"
"Happy-Go-Lucky"
"In Bruges"
"Mamma Mia!"
"Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

ACTOR - DRAMA
Leonardo DiCaprio - "Revolutionary Road"
Frank Langella - "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn - "Milk"
Brad Pitt - "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rouke - "The Wrestler"

ACTRESS - DRAMA
Anne Hathaway - "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie - "Changeling"
Meryl Streep - "Doubt"
Kristin Scott Thomas - "I've Loved You So Long"
Kate Winslet - "Revolutionary Road"

ACTOR - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Javier Bardem - "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Colin Farrell - "In Bruges"
James Franco - "Pineapple Express"
Brendan Gleeson - "In Bruges"
Dustin Hoffman - "Last Chance Harvey"

ACTRESS - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Rebecca Hall - "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Sally Hawkins - "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Frances McDormand - "Burn After Reading"
Meryl Streep - "Mamma Mia!"
Emma Thompson - "Last Chance Harvey"

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Cruise, "Tropic Thunder"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Ray Fiennes, "The Duchess"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"
Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE
Simon Beaufoy - "Slumdog Millionaire"
David Hare - "The Reader"
Peter Morgan - "Frost/Nixon"
Eric Roth - "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
John Patrick Shanley - "Doubt"

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"The Baader Meinhof Complex" (Germany)
"Everlasting Moments" (Sweden)
"Gomorrah" (Italy)
"I've Loved You So Long" (France)
"Waltz with Bashir" (Israel)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
"Bolt"
"Kung Fu Panda"
"Wall-E"

TELEVISION

TELEVISION SERIES - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
"30 Rock"
"Californication"
"Entourage"
"The Office"
"Weeds"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES -COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christina Applegate - "Samantha Who?"
America Ferrera - "Ugly Betty"
Tina Fey - "30 Rock"
Debra Messing - "The Starter Wife"
Mary-Louise Parker - "Weeds"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES -COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin - "30 Rock"
Steve Carell - "The Office"
Kevin Connelly - "Entourage"
David Duchovny - "Californication"
Tony Shalhoub - "Monk"

MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
"A Raisin in the Sun"
"Bernard and Doris"
"Cranford"
"John Adams"
"Recount"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Eileen Atkins - "Cranford"
Laura Dern- "Recount"
Melissa George- "In Treatment"
Rachel Griffiths- "Brothers and Sisters"
Dianne Wiest- "In Treatment"

IMDB.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

'Milk' and 'Button' tied with eight Broadcast Critics noms apiece


'Milk' and 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' were among the 10 pics nommed for best picture. “Milk,” which got off to a strong platform start last month, also picked up key noms for lead actor Sean Penn, supporting co-star James Franco and director Gus Van Sant. “Button,” which opens Christmas Day, had Brad Pitt listed for best actor, along with supporting turns by Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson.




Tied with six noms each were “Dark Knight,” “Slumdog” and “Doubt” including a Best Picture nod.

THE 14th CRITICS' CHOICE AWARDS NOMINEES ARE:

BEST PICTURE

Nominees:
• Changeling
• The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• The Dark Knight
• Doubt
• Frost/Nixon
• Milk
• The Reader
• Slumdog Millionaire
• Wall-E
• The Wrestler


BEST ACTOR

Nominees:
• Clint Eastwood - Gran Torino
• Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
• Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
• Sean Penn - Milk
• Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

BEST ACTRESS

Nominees:
• Kate Beckinsale - Nothing But the Truth
• Cate Blanchett - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
• Angelina Jolie - Changeling
• Melissa Leo - Frozen River
• Meryl Streep - Doubt


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Nominees:
• Josh Brolin - Milk
• Robert Downey, Jr. - Tropic Thunder
• Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
• Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
• James Franco - Milk

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nominees:
• Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
• Viola Davis - Doubt
• Vera Farmiga - Nothing But the Truth
• Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
• Kate Winslet - The Reader


BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Nominees:
• The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• The Dark Knight
• Doubt
• Milk
• Rachel Getting Married


BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees:
• Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
• David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
• Christopher Nolan - The Dark Knight
• Gus Van Sant - Milk


BEST WRITER (Original or Adapted Screenplay)

Nominees:
• Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire
• Dustin Lance Black - Milk
• Peter Morgan - Frost/Nixon
• Eric Roth - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• John Patrick Shanley - Doubt


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Nominees:
• Bolt
• Kung Fu Panda
• Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
• Wall-E
• Waltz With Bashir


BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS (Under 21)

Nominees:
• Dakota Fanning - The Secret Life of Bees
• David Kross - The Reader
• Dev Petal - Slumdog Millionaire
• Brandon Walters - Australia


BEST ACTION MOVIE

Nominees:
• The Dark Knight
• Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
• Iron Man
• Quantum of Solace
• Wanted


BEST COMEDY MOVIE

Nominees:
• Burn After Reading
• Forgetting Sarah Marshall
• Role Models
• Tropic Thunder
• Vicky Cristina Barcelona


BEST PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Nominees:
• John Adams
• Recount
• Coco Chanel


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Nominees:
• A Christmas Tale
• Gomorrah
• I’ve Loved You So Long
• Let the Right One In
• Mongol
• Waltz With Bashir


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Nominees:
• I.O.U.S.A.
• Man On Wire
• Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
• Standard Operating Procedure
• Young At Heart


BEST SONG

Nominees:
• "Another Way to Die" (performed by Jack White and Alicia Keys, written by Jack White) - Quantum of Solace
• "Down to Earth" (performed by Peter Gabriel, written by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman) - Wall-E
• "I Thought I Lost You" (performed Miley Cyrus and John Travolta, written by Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele) - Bolt
• "Jaiho" (performed by Sukhwinder Singh, written by A.R. Rahman and Gulzar) - Slumdog Millionaire
• "The Wrestler" (performed by Bruce Springsteen, written by Bruce Springsteen) - The Wrestler


BEST COMPOSER

Nominees:
• Alexandre Desplat - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Clint Eastwood - Changeling
• Danny Elfman - Milk
• Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard - The Dark Knight
• A.R. Rahman - Slumdog Millionaire

Founded in 1995, the BFCA has nearly 200 members in the US and Canada reviewing pics for TV, radio or web outlets.

The 14th Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics Choice Awards will be given out on Thursday, January 8, 2009 at the Santa Monica Auditorium. VH1 will again broadcast this year's ceremony live at 9:00 PM (ET/PT).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cate Blanchett Honored with Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame | Mortenson may appear in 'Hobbit'

photo: splashnews.com

photo: AP

Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett finally received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. The ravishing star of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" received the 2,376th star.

Steven Spielberg, who directed Blanchett in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull introduced Blanchett.

Also on hand were 'Button' Director David Fincher, producer Kathleen Kennedy and her husband Andrew Upton.

Blanchett and Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt star together in a new film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", directed by Fincher.

Based on a short story by American literary great F. Scott Fitzgerald the film tells the story of a man who ages backwards to actually become younger after being born 80 at the end of World War One. 'Button' opens Dec 25th.

source: splashnewsonline.celebuzz.com


Mortenson: I may appear in 'Hobbit'


Viggo Mortenson has not ruled out the possibility of appearing in
The Hobbit
. The actor, who played Aragorn in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, revealed that he will not be in the first of Guillermo del Toro's two movies based on the book, but there is a chance he will be in the second.


"People ask me about it a lot, and I say, obviously, 'Nobody's come to me'. But I won't be surprised if they do, if I'm right for it in their eyes," he told Ain't It Cool News.

"Obviously, as an actor who originated on film that role, I'd rather finish the job than see another actor do it."

Mortenson suggested that Guillermo del Toro could choose to shoot flashback scenes or dream sequences involving the character, adding that he would be interested in appearing in such a scenario.

source: digitalspy.co.uk

Friday, December 5, 2008

NBR names 'Slumdog' best of year; David Fincher wins directing kudos for 'Button'

Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Labor Day Picnic, 2008 Telluride Film Festival
Danny with Moi (left) and Terri Atmore (right)

"Slumdog Millionaire" was named best film of the year yesterday by the National Board of Review. Released Nov. 12, it was acquired by Searchlight midyear after it was orphaned through Time Warner’s shuttering of Warner Independent. (Warner Bros. remains a partner in the pic.) After its boffo preem in Telluride (WooHoo), the Danny Boyle-helmed tale of a Mumbai-raised boy competing for 20 million rupees on India’s "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" was on its way.

David Fincher, 2008 Telluride Film Festival
(Elks Park Panel )

David Fincher wins NBR directing kudos for 'Button'. At Telluride's "Tribute to Fincher" packed house, we got a first look at twenty minutes of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Awesome, magical! 'Button' has garnered much awards buzz to date. It opens Dec 25th. The incomparable Fincher deserves a Best Director Oscar® nom.

Marking its 100th year of existence, the NBR will hand out the awards Jan. 14 at its annual gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. Whoopi Goldberg will host.

The 122 members of the org are described variously as "knowledgeable film buffs," academics, historians and industryites, including the 41 "young voices" of students or filmmakers. Members typically view about 300 titles a year before voting on their picks; this year the number reached 330.

And the winners are:

Film: "Slumdog Millionaire"
Director: David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Actor: Clint Eastwood, "Gran Torino"
Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Foreign Language Film: "Mongol"
Documentary: "Man On Wire"
Animated Feature: "Wall-E"
Ensemble Cast: "Doubt"
Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Dev Patel, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Directorial Debut: Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"
Original Screenplay: Nick Schenk, "Gran Torino"
Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Eric Roth, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Spotlight Award: Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"
The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression: "Trumbo"

TOP TEN FILMS
(in alphabetical order)
* "Burn After Reading"
* "Changeling"
* "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"
* "The Dark Knight"
* "Defiance"
* "Frost/Nixon"
* "Gran Torino"
* "Milk"
* "Wall-E"
* "The Wrestler"

TOP FIVE FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS
(in alphabetical order)
* Edge Of Heaven
* Let The Right One In
* Roman De Guerre
* A Secret
* Waltz With Bashir

TOP FIVE DOCUMENTARY FILMS
(in alphabetical order)
* American Teen
* The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
* Dear Zachary
* Encounters At The End Of The World
* Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired

TOP INDEPENDENT FILMS OF 2008
(in alphabetical order)
*Frozen River
*In Bruges
*In Search of a Midnight Kiss
*Mr. Foe
*Rachel Getting Married
*Snow Angels
*Son of Rambow
*Wendy and Lucy
*Vicky Cristina Barcelona
*The Visitor

WILLIAM K. EVERSON FILM HISTORY AWARD:
Molly Haskell And Andrew Sarris

Source: NBRMP.org

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

GDT to direct Roald Dahl's "The Witches"


GDT to direct and Alfonso Cuoron to produce a re-do of the fantastic novel "The Witches", where a small boy gets trapped in a hotel while the annual convention of witches is taking place.

Cuoron states "It won’t be like the original Nicolas Roeg version, which was a beautiful film," because (and this is the very exciting part), del Toro plans to "do it completely in stop-motion animation....Guillermo wrote this amazing screenplay really quickly".

Here's a clip from the original film


Source: EmpireOnline

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Morris, Marsh, Herzog down to shortlist for documentary Oscar®

The Academy has unveiled the shortlist of 15 documentaries that will advance to the next stage in 81st Academy Awards®.

©A.M.P.A.S.®
The 15 films are:
  • At the Death House Door
  • The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
  • Blessed Is The Match: The Life And Death Of Hannah Senesh
  • Encounters At The End Of The World
  • Fuel
  • The Garden
  • Glass: A Portrait Of Philip In Twelve Parts
  • I.O.U.S.A.
  • In A Dream
  • Made In America
  • Man On Wire
  • Pray the Devil Back To Hell
  • Standard Operating Procedure
  • They Killed Sister Dorothy
  • Trouble The Water
A record 94 entries originally qualified in the category. The documentary branch screening committee viewed all the eligible documentaries for the preliminary round of voting.

The five nominees will be announced on January 22 and the Academy Awards are set to take place on February 22.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kiera Knightly and Daniel Day-Lewis in the remake of "My Fair Lady"

=

















Keira Knightley and Daniel Day-Lewis, two of the biggest names in British cinema, are being lined up to star in a film remake of the musical My Fair Lady.

The two stars are set to take on the roles of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, which were given notable treatments by Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn in the 1964 Oscar-winning classic.

Knightley the star of Atonement, Pride and Prejudice and the Pirates of the Caribbean films, has already signed up to the project and has begun singing lessons.

The producers of the film have put Day-Lewis, the double Oscar-winning star of There Will Be Blood and My Left Foot, at the top of their wish list of actors to play landed opposite her.

The film is being produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Duncan Kenworthy, the producer of British blockbusters such as Notting Hill, Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral. The duo hope to shoot the film on location in the original London settings of Covent Garden, Drury Lane and the Ascot racecourse, according to Daily Variety.

Sources close to the project say Kenworthy is keen to get Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese or Roger Michell, the director of Notting Hill and Venus, to direct the film. One source said: "Keira is already onboard and everyone is convinced that Day-Lewis would be perfect as Higgins." Is there a doubt?

Any My Fair Lady remake is likely to be controversial. The original, directed by George Cukor, won eight Oscars and in 2006 it was ranked the sixth-best movie musical ever.

Paris Hilton on the way to "Breakfast at Starbucks" in Beverly Hills. Kiera has landed the role so forget about it Paris!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TCFF Madonna Tickets Go On Sale Saturday, June 7, 11 a.m.


Traverse City, Mich. (June 4, 2008) - Michael Moore announced today that the hottest ticket at this summer's Traverse City Film Festival - Madonna, in person, presenting her new film "I Am Because We Are" - will go on sale to the public this Saturday, June 7, at 11 a.m.

The tickets will be available to the general public, ONLY at the historic State Theatre box office in downtown Traverse City. No tickets will be sold online or by phone. Tickets are $25, and all ticket money will go to the Raising Malawi Foundation, a project of Madonna's that helps orphans in one of the world's poorest countries. A limit of two tickets per person will be allowed.

Half of the theater's 540 seats will be sold to the public. The other half of the tickets will be sold by lottery to those who belong to the Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival. Anyone can join the Friends, and those interested must do so by Thursday, June 12 in order to qualify for the lottery drawing. People can become Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival online at www.traversecityfilmfest.org or in person at the State Theatre box office.

Friends who would like to purchase up to two tickets to the Madonna appearance and film must send a postcard to TCFF Lottery, PO Box 4064, Traverse City MI 49685. Postcards must be received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 12. Postcards may also be dropped off at the State Theatre box office by Thursday at 5 p.m. Information on the postcard should include name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and number of tickets desired (maximum two). The drawing will be held Friday, June 13 and winners will be
notified by e-mail or phone.

"After much discussion, we decided this was the fairest way to divide up these much-sought-after tickets," said festival executive director Deborah Lake. "We want to reward our loyal festival supporters while at the same time making sure that the general public has a chance to see Madonna and her excellent film. And we want to keep the ticket price affordable while still being able to make a meaningful donation to the Raising Malawi Foundation."

The festival and the State Theatre, both founded and headed up by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, have been inundated with phone calls and e-mails from people all over the country wanting details about the tickets for Madonna, who rarely appears in such a small and intimate setting.

"I know things are going to be a bit crazy on Saturday," said Moore. "We are honored to have Madonna coming here to our small town, and the city leaders have cooperated with us so that all goes well."

Madonna's movie, "I Am Because We Are," is a new documentary that she wrote, produced, and narrates. It will be shown as part of the fourth annual Traverse City Film Festival on August 2, at 8:00 p.m. at the State Theatre. Madonna will introduce the film.

"I Am Because We Are" is Madonna's personal journey and meditation about the African country of Malawi, a nation devastated by poverty and disease but filled with a desire to overcome all that it faces. The documentary has been described as "searing," "thoughtful" and "powerful." The film features Bishop Desmund Tutu, President Bill Clinton and author/activist Jeffrey Sachs.

Details about the Madonna film and appearance can be found on the festival's website at www.traversecityfilmfest.org. This year's Traverse City Film Festival will run from July 29-August 3. The full lineup of movies will be announced in early July, with tickets going on sale shortly thereafter (Friends of the Festival get a five-day advance chance to buy tickets before they go on sale to the general public).

"I Am Because We Are" trailer

About the Traverse City Film Festival

The Traverse City Film Festival is a charitable, educational, nonprofit organization committed to showing "Just Great Movies" and helping to save one of America's few indigenous art forms - the cinema. The festival also owns and operates a year-round, community-based, mission-driven art house movie theater, the State Theatre. Founded by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore and co-founders local photographer John Robert Williams and New York Times best-selling author Doug Stanton, with filmmakers Larry Charles and Terry George rounding out the Board of Directors, the festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to northern Michigan.

* * *

I'll be attending the festival and will be blooging daily updates.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

All star cast confirmed for "Nine"


All star cast confirmed for the cinematic version of Nine, a Tony-award winning Broadway musical. Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard (Guido's wife), Nicole Kidman (Claudia, Guido's muse and protege), Penelope Cruz (Contini's sexy mistress Carla), Sophia Loren (Guido's mother) and Judi Dench (Guido's agent) to star.

The 1982 musical, inspired by the film 8½, is about a fictional famous film director Guido Contini savoring his most recent (and greatest) success. He is facing his fortieth birthday and a midlife crisis which blocks his creative impulses and entangles him in a web of romantic difficulties. While trying to complete his latest film, his main problem is that he has too many women in his life.

Kidman is due to give birth in the summer, giving her several months of maternity leave before the film's proposed start date. Her filming also might be scheduled in the latter part of the shoot.

The project was slated to begin principal photography in March but was postponed when the late writer-director Anthony Minghella didn't have enough time to rework Michael Tolkin's screenplay before Hollywood writers went on strike last November. Extra work was needed to coordinate the choreography and Maury Yeston's music and lyrics with a new draft. The musical will be directed by Rob Marshall, who also directed the 2003 hit musical Chicago. Nine rehearsals start in London on July 28 with shooting to commence September 29, with a 2009 release date.

I expect Nine will clean up at the 82nd Academy Awards®!





Thursday, May 29, 2008

Robin Williams - "Working on Material" at Bimbo's Apr 14th & May 19th, 2008



Robin Williams performs "Working on Material" shows in intimate venues in his hometown of San Francisco in order to prepare for his annual MGM Grand Vegas show held on the May long weekend. He donates all of the "Working on Material" show proceeds to various humanitarian causes. This past month in addition to his shows at Bimbo's 365 Club, he performed 3 shows each at the Acme Comedy company in Minneapolis and the Showbox in Seattle, and several in the past two months at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley. According to my sources, the month before Williams and Dana Carvey were at a house party fundraiser for personal friend and Democratic Candidate Al Frankin. Williams and Carvey entertained onlookers by talking back and forth about George Bush in the different character voices they do. It was hysterical! Maybe his Minneapolis shows coincided with an Al Frankin visit. That's my guess.

I attended two of Robin's "Working on Material" shows, one month apart at Bimbos 365 Club in San Francisco. Both shows were different.

On April 14th while waiting in line for an hour an a half, I hooked up with a few cool people and had a blast. When the doors finally opened we bolted into the club and scored a center table in the third row. The audience was predominantly in their late twenties and thirties.



The voice announced "Ladies and gentlemen, Robin Williams" and the crowd went wild! Robin appeared on the stage dressed head to toe in black. His polo shirt was punctuated by a large white skull graphic with piercing eyes. Matching red "skull" sneakers, completed his cutting-edge 'chic n' playful' look.

Highlights from the April 14th show include "The Torch ceremony" described in an Asian accent; sports & steroid enhancements; the Obama / Clinton circus; Jack Nicholson's sizzling sex & drug scandals (hilarious); and polite Canadians! How about those those smokin' French Canucks! Eh? I laughed so hard I cried.

Williams is completely adored by hometown residents. Just ask anyone on the streets of San Francisco.





The May 19th show audience was a much older group comprised of grey, white and blue hairs. The show featured many more sex jokes and was on the whole a completely different set. The man behind me kept gasping. I thought he was going to have a heart attack. The "vagina" word does that to some people. That's probably why Oprah refers to it as "vajayjay". The "F" word was used regularly too.

Lines that killed me included . . .

"Its amazing how many dacrons died to make that" (directed at audience member wearing a leopard print).

"F'n Blackeberry broke down. I don't know what I'm gonna do. I actually had to talk to people. That's F'd up man!"

"Decaf, that's like masturbating with an oven mitt".

"Bejing is so polluted it makes LA look like Telluride".

"We've had the special olympics of politics for a long time".

On Jack Nicholson running for politics..."You'd never have a sex scandal because Jack's F'd everyone!"

Highlights included directory assistance, GPS, Tibetan terrorist, performance enhancement drugs, warning signs you're an alcoholic, the voice of evil speaking with the presidential candidates, the Pope, same sex marriage, polygamy, Scientology, and the human body (designed by committee), to name a few.

When asked after the show what their favorite Robin Williams bit was no one seemed to remember. Specifically what? Who knows! The master works his magic skillfully. Its like watching an overcaffeinated, overzealous, human rollercoaster in motion. Aspiring stand-up comic and Williams fan, Steve Eddy had this to say about the show.



Bimbo's provided the perfect intimate setting and the sound was fabulous. Tickets were reasonably priced at $40 and all of the profits went to charity, namely "Challenged Athletes Operation Rebound" and the "USO". A variety of charities benefitted from the "Working on Material" April and May shows.

If you get a chance to see Williams perform, please do so. You owe it to yourself to check out this international treasure live! Same time next year. Count me in!

* * *

For the latest up to date information on Robin Williams check out the Robin Williams Fansite designed and maintained by Linda Stuurman.


(Left to right Steve Eddy, Ashley, Mike, yours truly, and Linda)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"An Unexpected Party Chat" transcript now available



Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro answered live questions from fans in a huge chat event this morning.

Close to 6,000 fans asked almost 4,000 questions before the chat started and then asked another one question per second during the hour the chat was running. In other words, a total of over 7,000 questions. Several people (not least Peter and Guillermo) worked hard to sift through the questions and in the end answered 60 questions. One for every minute.

Peter and Guillermo would like to thank all the fans who made this a great event. They enjoyed it and look forward to be able to share more as the adventure takes shape as you can see from their comments.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ask Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson Your 'Hobbit' Questions


"The Hobbit", An Unexpected Party!

Peter sends along this special invitation...

Several years ago - it seems a lifetime now - I invited 20 questions from fans right at the start of embarking on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. For me, it was an important and enjoyable moment, when I was able to begin a relationship that helped define our attitude to that unique project. It gave me a sense of responsibility that stayed etched in my brain for the next 5 years.

Well, the time has come again! With us right on the cusp of beginning pre-production on The Hobbit, and its companion movie, it seems fitting to do the same thing again.

It’s also fitting that our director, Guillermo Del Toro, will join me in answering the questions, since he will be bringing his considerable personal vision to these two movies. It’s my moment to hand the baton to Guillermo. It’s time for him to address your concerns.

So this is how it will work: we ask fans with an interest in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings to send one question to this website. Ask us anything! Guillermo and I will select and answer the 20 most common questions, so we can both attempt to address the key issues as best we can.

Our answers will be released during a one hour live web chat, hosted by Weta, with both Guillermo and myself logged on. In addition to answering your 20 questions - for the entire hour, we’ll take additional live questions and chat about the projects with anybody who’s interested.

Please send us your questions and Register for the live chat - and we’ll talk to you in a couple of weeks!

Cheers,
Peter Jackson

You can register to attend this one-hour live online chat at
www.wetanz.com/party/register

World chat start times:
Los Angeles (Pacific)....Saturday, 24 May 1:00 p.m.
New York (Eastern)......Saturday, 24 May 4:00 p.m.
London........................Saturday, 24 May 9:00 p.m.
Paris, Berlin, Rome......Saturday, 24 May 10:00 p.m.
Sydney........................Sunday, 25 May 6:00 a.m.
Wellington, Auckland....Sunday, 25 May 8:00 am


Thursday, May 15, 2008

SKYY Vodka Presents Advanced San Francisco Screening of “Sex and the City”

Featuring a discussion with Willie Garson, Sex and the City’s Stanford Blatch, through an interactive audience Q&A hosted by KRON-TV’s Jan Wahl.

Sundance Kabuki Theatre
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
6:30PM...VIP Cocktail Reception
7:30PM...Screening foll
owed by Q&A Discussion

SKYY Vodka, the official vodka sponsor of the movie, presents an advanced screening of Sex and the City to benefit local charity organizations STOP AIDS Project and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Be among the first to find out how Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte have continued their lives since leaving the small screen in 2004 and speak directly with the actor that played Carrie’s loyal and quick-witted sidekick, Willie Garson.

Tickets are still available for the Los Angeles exclusive pre-release screening benefit on May 29th.
Visit www.skyy.com/sexandthecity for further information.