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Posts Tagged ‘Forest Whitaker’

Robert Redford Kills It in New York Times Magazine Short

NYTMagCoverFor this weekend’s movie issue, Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski teamed with a veritable who’s who of Hollywood to create 11 micro-shorts.

And since Robert Redford is the king this fall movie season of the minimal-dialogue game thanks to All is Lost, we couldn’t help but start with his “Making a Scene” short. You see, each actor is given just a short line (or two) of dialogue to deliver against majestic, orchestral backdrops provided by 14th Street Music.

We’re not going to spoil the surprise, but Redford gets an absolutely hilarious punchline from the tandem of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and nails it. Think of this Thanksgiving side dish as All is Cooked.

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Forest Whitaker Joins Juntoboxfilms.com

Juntoboxfilms.com, a collaborative film studio and social media platform, gets its name from the American Revolution days. “Benjamin Franklin formed what he called the Junto Society, which consisted of a diverse group of people committed to self-improvement, their community and the aid of others,” senior vice president of digital Rachael McLean tells FishbowlLA. “This is the inspiration behind the name of our company.”

Helping lead this namesake, public-voted 21st century indie film revolution will be Oscar winning actor Forest Whitaker, who was formally announced today as company co-chairman. Inspired by social gaming technology, juntoboxfilms.com will invest a total of $2.5 million in five films this year. They are also hosting a special pre-SXSW digital mixer at their offices in Santa Monica tonight, in partnership with Digital LA.

“We are currently privately funded by individual investors,” McLean explains. “All films are different with the budgeting requirements. The funding will be distributed depending on what the actual film is and the story, that way we aren’t locked into a set amount [per film].”

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Madison Avenue vs. Oscar’s Median Age

As might be expected, the Ratner-Murphy-Grazer-Crystal game of Oscar musical chairs is echoing across Madison Avenue. According to Claire Atkinson of the New York Post, brand new AMPAS marketing chief Christina Kounelias (pictured) and her colleagues are scrambling to adjust an ad sales pitch that until recent events at the Arclight and on Howard Stern airwaves, was predicated entirely on Axel Foley.

One of the problems the Oscar marketing gang faces is that the selection of a 63-year-old, traditional format replacement host leaves them challenged to explain how they will fix what happened last year. Despite the presence of a tweeting James Franco and giggling Anne Hathaway, the 2010 Oscars broadcast was a disaster:

Horizon Media researcher Brad Adgate noted that the Oscars broadcast actually aged upwards last year with the median age hitting 50.6 years — the oldest it’s ever been.

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Salon TV Critic Trashes New CBS Procedural

Reading the pop culture musings and reviews of Salon TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz is always a pleasure. This week, he goes to town on the mid-season CBS offering Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, calling it a new low for the Eye Network’s “crime time” line-up.

Seitz wonders right off the bat if the same contractor builds all the serial killer lairs shown on CBS’ unending stream of procedurals, and if so, whether there are bulk discounts. He laughs off the ridiculous dialogue spouted by Forest Whitaker‘s sidekick Janeane Garofalo and ponders yet another lazy element of this week’s debut:

The episode’s fixation on cliched signifiers of “childhood innocence” feels nearly as creepy as the perp’s assaults. One of the victims gets snatched while going to a store to buy ice cream. (On TV, kids are never kidnapped while buying Vitamin Water or falafel; it’s always ice cream or lollipops or some other “kid” food.)

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American Film Market Unspools For 29th Time in Santa Monica

The American Film Market, which each year represents the diamonds and the dregs of the film business worldwide, opened its doors for a week at the Santa Monica Loews Beach Hotel on Wednesday with dozens of scurrying international sales reps, low-brow producers and a few dozen media.walken.jpg

The studios usually steer clear of AFM week, leaving it to what some have termed the subcutaneous elements of the film business to ravage about for deals.

This year, market honchos were loving the outlook for the market.

“It should be a great market,” said one buyer, who didn’t want to be named. “There are dozens of great films here this week. How about that phenomenal Walken film?”

The unknown buyer was referring to “The Maiden Heist,” which premieres in Santa Monica starring (Christopher) Walken, Morgan Freeman and William H. Macy and produced by Bob Yari’s The Yari Film Group.

Other premieres expected this week include “The Killing Room” with Tim Hutton, Chloe Sevigny, Nick Cannon and Peter Stormare; and “Powder Blue,” starring Forest Whitaker, Jessica Biel, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Liotta and Patrick Swayze.

More than 500 other films, including 102 world premieres and 375 market premieres will be screened during the market, which stretches to Nov. 12.

Louis Armstrong: The Film

Charlie Parker will have to step aside for Satchmolouis2.jpg as Forest Whitaker forest.jpghas signed and agreed to direct “What A Wonderful World” for Paris-based Legende, Variety says.

New York-based producer Ed Pressman and Legende’s Alain Goldman will produce the film, which will be the first big-screen project authorized by the Louis Armstrong estate.

Ron Bass will write the original script.

Legende was also responsible for the award winning “Ma Vie En Rose.”

The Armstrong film will kick off during the musician’s impoverished early years in New Orleans and primarily chronicle his career as a trumpet virtuoso and improvisational singer.

“Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture,” said Whitaker, who portrayed jazz great Charlie Parker in “Bird.” “He lived an amazing life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard after him, not just here in the U.S. but all over the world.”

“What a Wonderful World” will begin shooting in the summer in Louisiana.

LAT in 90 Seconds

hudsonaward.jpgBlow-By-Blows Kinda Blow: We are puzzled by the pervasiveness of online minute-by-minute accounts of awards shows. Is it really important to note that at “5:35 p.m. — The nominees stand up in the auditorium, a record 177 artists and craftsman, applauding themselves and one another”? We don’t think so. But, if you’re into that kind of thing (you sick little fetishist, you), then you’ll love this.

marty.jpgYou Always Remember Your First Time: A surprising number of Oscar virgins were deflowered: Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Alan Arkin … and, of course, Al Gore.

emmys.jpgOn A Related Note: American Idol producers are being given the reigns of next September’s Emmys show to make sure it doesn’t, you know, suck.

SAG Inspires Snark: Blog Roundup

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SAG awards: best of the blogs:

Styles & Scenes by Elizabeth Snead

For some unknown reason, Snead links to a very nasty feature from Maxim. Obviously, she didn’t get the memo.

Gold Derby by Tom O’Neil:

Forest Whitaker needs someone to write him an acceptance speech, and then rehearse it.

The Carpetbagger by David Carr

Helen Mirren rehearsed and recycled her speech.

Second City Style by Lauren Dimet

Rachel McAdams mistook the red carpet for Chuck E. Cheese.

Desperate Housewives by Leora Israel Zellman

Judging by the posts, these fans are loyal!

Mirren, Mirren In the Hall, Mirren, Mirren Takes Them All–Murphy, Whitaker, Hudson WIn SAG Awards

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The SAG awards, which are not known as the Saggies, are usually predictable, but last night’s show found Little Miss Sunshine winning the ensemble category. Back to business as usual, Helen Mirren repeated her Golden Globes win for The Queen, and for another queen in a TV movie or miniseries. Steve Carell also won two, but we don’t think of them together.

Forest Whitaker, also a Globe winner, won again for his performace as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Both Mirren and Whitaker are also nominated for Oscars and they both play real people. Odd, isn’t it?

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Slamdance, Sundance, Squaredance: The Buzz

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Slamdance

Religous sex cultists from the Children of God broke up a screening of Noah Thompson’s film about growing up in the cult.

From the folks who brought us Cops: The King Of Kong.

Sundance

Nick Nolte

I can’t even get an erection anymore.

All the noise about Hounddog can’t hide the fact that the movie’s a mutt. (Dakota Fanning might want to meet Jena Malone and talk about stage mothers.)

Squaredance
Aka the Oscars.
Kenneth Turan, in the LA Times, tries very hard to convince us and maybe himself that the nominations weren’t predictable. Quirky the Academy is not.

David Carr, blogging in the NY Times confesses that his readers know more than he does. Nikki Finke reminds him that Dreamgirls wasn’t all that fabulous.

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