What a difference an Oscar-nominated picture can make. Last July, in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado movie-theater shootings, Harvey Weinstein generated headlines, and some snickering in the film industry, when, in an interview with the Huffington Post, he called for a filmmaker summit on movie violence. But now that he's got Quentin Tarantino's bloody, gunplay riddled Django Unchained movie vying for a Best Picture Oscar, his perspective has changed. In a recent interview with Deadline, Weinstein, who's never been content to ride in the back seat, said he has to be "a follower, not a leader" on the issue. more »
Andrew Dominik does not look like a guy who could teach this country a lesson. With his floppy hair, fashionable glasses and ever-present cigarette, he resembles the kind of international hipster you'd find brandishing his American Express black card in Manhattan's Meatpacking District on a Thursday night. But don't be fooled by appearances. more »
Harvey Weinstein's controversial Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden landed record ratings for Nat Geo Sunday night just in time to give President Obama that time-tested Weinstein bump, but the Hollywood heavyweight has something for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, too — a Bradley Cooper-narrated trailer for a Romney "comedy" entitled Hindsight.
The political action committee that opposes the National Geographic Channel's cablecast of Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden is seeking grass-roots donations to runs its anti-Obama 'Bump in the Road' ad during the telecast, according to an email making the rounds. more »
Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty May Head To U.S. Theaters Slowly; Johnny Depp Eyes Transcendence: Biz Break
Also in Wednesday evening's round-up of news briefs: Garden State filmmaker Zach Braff is readying a comedy series for ABC. The Academy announces its Screenwriting Nicholl Fellowship winners and a Bin Laden raid film produced by Harvey Weinstein has Republicans in a rage.
Alec Baldwin says the documentary he's making with filmmaker James Toback, Seduced and Abandoned, continues to take shape. I spoke to Baldwin briefly at the reception that Hamptons International Film Festival Chairman Stuart Suna threw at his East Hampton home on Saturday afternoon. There, the actor — who arrived at the party gallantly carrying his new bride Hilaria Thomas's high-heeled party shoes — explained that interviews he and Toback conducted with venerable filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski and Bernardo Bertolucci will comprise the core of the project. "They are the pillars of the film," said Baldwin, who described Seduced and Abandoned as a "meta" documentary about filmmakers who venture to the carnival-like South of France festival to raise funds for their latest projects. more »
There's a scene in the Paul Thomas Anderson's enthralling new film The Master where Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) — founder and leader of a cult-like movement called The Cause — instructs his "guinea pig and protege," the aptly named Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) to face another man hurling taunts and insults at him without losing his hair-trigger temper.
I felt like I was being put through a similar test on Tuesday night when, after being invited to a hastily arranged 70-millimeter advance screening of The Master at the wonderful Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan, I arrived at the will-call table to find a crowd that, had they been carrying torches, would have been at home in the angry villagers scene of Frankenstein. more »
Aspiring actors are a dime a dozen in L.A., but few would go as far as attempting to extort one of Hollywood's most powerful movie moguls for their big payday. (One would hope... but we all know a few kooky actors, don't we?) Not so for Vivek Shah of suburban Illinois by way of West Hollywood, who was arrested this week for allegedly threatening Harvey Weinstein and his family if the superproducer didn't pay him millions.
Natalie Portman & Benjamin Millepied Make it Official; Marvel Sued for Avengers Briefcase: Biz Break
Also in Monday morning's round-up of news briefs, a slew of stars and moguls expected in an Obama fundraiser. Celeste and Jesse Forever triumphs at the specialty box office and a rom-com heads to Phase 4 Films.
Also in Friday morning's round-up of news briefs, the San Sebastian Film Festival unveils its roster of Spanish-language films for its September event. Sex and Sunsets production rounds out its cast; and a look at the coming weekend's new specialty releases including Killer Joe, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Ruby Sparks and more.
Also rounding out Friday's round up of news briefs, Harvey Weinstein receives UCLA honors, New York's LGBT Festival sets its opener, the Austin Film Festival touts its record submission and California is chided for not doing enough to keep productions from ditching the state.
Also in Thursday afternoon's news round up, Peter Bogdanovich will direct John Ledger, Locarno Film Festival will fete Johnnie To and Harvey Weinstein and Donald Sutherland take honors at a Paris festival.
Movies are by no means the most relevant topic discussed last night on Piers Morgan when Harvey Weinstein filled in as guest host and interviewed former President Bill Clinton about politics, kids drinking soda, and how much ass Hillary is kicking these days, but the parts in which the Hollywood powerhouse and the ex-Prez talked movies were some sort of bizarrely fascinating colliding of worlds. So what is Clinton's favorite movie?
His competition premieres fizzled a bit, but perhaps Harvey Weinstein controlled the message where it counts: "As I surveyed the room, I found that Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford also held the rather odd opinion that Weinstein was secretly the gala’s best masseuse. 'I mean, there are guys that are really cute but you don’t know if they’d be good givers. And a massage, you have to be giving,' she told me. 'I bet Harvey would give a great massage. I think he’s so sexy and smart and he’s very giving. Plus, whatever he does, you know he’s going to do it well.'" [Vulture]
Also in this week-capping edition of Biz Break: Frank Langella to be honored at Nantucket, Harvey Weinstein scores laurels from UCLA, Ken Loach's latest lands Stateside, another Tribeca premiere finds a distributor, and more...