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Posts Tagged ‘Steven Spielberg’

Indian Media Having a Field Day with Topic of College Student Thanked by Spielberg

The best headline, by far, belongs to Calcutta’s Telegraph newspaper. For their report about Krishna Bala Shenoi, the 19-year-old Bangalore student who received a scanned handwritten letter of thanks from Steven Spielberg on Tuesday, the headline reads: “Close Encounter of Written Kind.”

This all started last Sunday, when Roger Ebert blogged about the 70-second animated tribute to Spielberg’s work made by Shenoi, one of the journalist’s “far-flung correspondents.” As the Ebert item made its way through social media, make-up artist Lois Burwell (Lincoln) saw it and forwarded it on personally to Spielberg’s attention. The filmmaker’s response came in overnight Tuesday to Shenoi in the form of an email attachment, with FedEx hard copy to follow.

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Kathryn Bigelow Joins Rarefied TIME Cover Group

At the recent Golden Globes, Kathryn Bigelow and Jodie Foster commingled on stage and off; Bigelow as a Best Director nominee, Foster as the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.

By gracing the cover of the February 4 issue of TIME magazine, Bigelow joins Foster once again, this time as only the second female film director to adorn the publication. Foster did so back in October 1991.

The cover shot was taken by Paola Kudacki, the accompanying interview-profile conducted by Jessica Winter with help from Lily Rothman. Female power all around for this one.

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Oprah on OWN: ‘I’m Not Doing the Hula Yet…’

Oprah Winfrey adorns one of four different covers for The Hollywood Reporter‘s special year-end double issue hitting newsstands today. She’s part of a compilation of 2012 “Rule Breakers,” the kind of framing and terminology that editorial director Janice Min is an expert at. The content seems just that much more compelling than if it were sitting under a “Top 11″ headline, which is the total number of profiled entities.

A year ago, media critics were writing Oprah Winfrey’s OWN obituary. But with Tyler Perry on the exclusive horizon and Rihanna in the rear-view mirror, the 58-year-old mogul’s conversation with reporters Lacey Rose and Stacey Wilson suggests this holiday season’s New Year’s resolutions will be a little less panicked:

“I’m not doing the hula yet… but compared to a year ago, it feels like a sigh of relief,” says Winfrey between sips of iced tea on her sprawling estate…

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David Wild Revisits the James Franco-Anne Hathaway Oscar Disaster

This week’s episode of Allison Hope Weiner’s Lip.tv interview program Media Mayhem is fantastically entertaining. The guest is David Wild, who got a job straight out of college with Esquire magazine, moved on from there to a staff position with Rolling Stone before winding up (with a little help from Steven Spielberg) as a go-to guy for the Emmys, Grammys and various other awards show/celebrity tributes.

One of Wild’s Oscar writing brushes was the year that James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosted. Weiner asks Wild for his thoughts on why it went so wrong:

“I cannot explain it other than I felt like it was the worst blind date in show business history. It was the homecoming queen or head of drama club trying hard in the sweetest possible to put on a show, and a guy who for whatever reason I don’t think wanted to host the show. In fact he went on Jimmy Kimmel and announced his intention to be the worst host in Oscar history. So on a certain level, the show was a tremendous success, because he achieved that goal.”

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Daniel Day-Lewis Stars in Hilarious Clint Eastwood-Empty Chair Sequel

First of all, the sly way a disguised prop was brought up on stage at the Beverly Hilton last night after Steven Spielberg introduced his Lincoln star was genius. Secondly, Daniel Day-Lewis has just set the 2012 film awards acceptance speech bar insanely high with the good-natured take-down of Clint Eastwood’s RNC routine that said prop allowed for.

The official details for last night’s stellar moment read: the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ Britannia Awards and the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film. But all anyone will remember, rightly, is the recipient’s delightful furniture detour.

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Mike Fenton Recalls Steven Spielberg’s Elliott Audition Ruse

In this 30th anniversary year of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’s release, the tape of young star Henry Thomas landing the lead role of Elliott remains a Hollywood highlight. To wit, a weekend YouTube posting of the footage has quickly racked up 65,000+ views.

FishbowlLA decided to take the opportunity to check in with the film’s celebrated casting director Mike Fenton, whose voice can be heard off-camera reading with Thomas. Sure enough, there was much more to this momentous day than what appears in the clip below.

“What Thomas’ agent neglected to tell us was that he and his mom lived about five hours from the closest major airport in Texas,” Fenton recalls via telephone. “So on that particular Friday, Henry got up at 4:30 a.m. and by the time he was having lunch with me at the studio commissary, he was very quiet, his head was drooping.”

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Newspaper Reporter Film Role Rewritten to Accommodate Talented British Thesp

Get ready to read and hear a lot this fall about David Oyelowo (pronounced “oh-yellow-oh”), the 36-year-old British actor who gained some prominence last year via The Help and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He’s got four films coming out in the next three months: Lee DanielsThe Paperboy (October 5); 2012 Sundance award-winning drama Middle of Nowhere (October 12); Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (November 16); and the Tom Cruise action drama Jack Reacher (December 21).

Oyelowo is very good in The Paperboy, playing one half of a crack Miami newspaper reporting team (together with Matthew McConaughey) that comes to Lately, Florida in 1969 to investigate the possibly wrongful Death Row conviction of a local man (John Cusack) for the murder of a town sheriff. The actor has a big fan in Daniels, who planned earlier to make a civil rights era movie with Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. and has the performer in his next film, The Butler. From The Paperboy press notes:

Daniels rewrote the character specifically for Oyelowo, transforming the part of Yardley Acheman from a white reporter into a cultured and sophisticated black man, whose English accent helps him navigate the still largely segregated American South of the 1960s. “As a black man himself, Lee was very interested in how a black reporter in Florida in 1969 would have been greeted and how he would react in that situation,” says Oyelowo.

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Steve Guttenberg’s Stupendous Studio Lot Tale

Actor Steve Guttenberg is busy making the PR rounds for his new memoir The Guttenberg Bible. And no matter how many times he tells the story of the clever way he kick-started his LA acting career in the mid-1970s, it never ceases to be downright unbelievable.

Per a an interview on NPR, here’s how Guttenberg essentially took a page from Steven Spielberg’s Universal Studios playbook and applied it to the storied Paramount Pictures lot:

“In those days, there was no computer, there were no cell phones. There was just a guard with a telephone. So I just started walking by the time-punch machine and I punched a blank card, like everyone else was punching their cards and I started sneaking onto the lot and I found myself an office in the old Lucille Ball makeup building.”

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UCLA Prof, Students Visit Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock Set

At 2:30 p.m. last Thursday, writer-director Sacha Gervasi called up Howard Suber to invite his former UCLA professor and current students to visit the set of Hitchcock that same night. For the production’s final day of shooting, the setting was a downtown LA theater gussied up to look like the 1960 location of Psycho’s New York City premiere.

“In the UCLA Film and Television Producers Program, which I chaired, we have 300-400 hotshots from the industry in to speak every year, so there’s enormous interchange about what’s going on today in the business,” Suber (pictured) tells FishbowlLA. “But, curiously, this is the first set visit of a class that I recall in 30 or 40 years. Seeing the students’ excitement, I wrote the chair afterwards that we should try to arrange set visits much more regularly.”

Gervasi, who scripted Steven Spielberg’s 2004 drama The Terminal and directed the great 2008 documentary about heavy metal band Anvil, took Suber’s class a decade ago. Students came and went from the set all night through to 2:00 a.m. wrap, getting to meet Anthony Hopkins as well as watch him interact on set with co-stars Helen Mirren and Toni Collette.

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When Steven Spielberg Was a Sportswriter

Bryan Curtis, national correspondent for Newsweek and the Daily Beast, shared an absolutely fascinating look on Grantland yesterday at the California high school reporting career of one Steven Spielberg.

After Spielberg moved to northern California in the summer of 1964, he joined the ranks of Saratoga High School, located 50 miles southeast of San Francisco. There, he penned various “Athlete’s Feats” columns for the Falcon student newspaper, under the byline of Steve Spielberg. Curtis isolates some of the 17-year-old’s earliest cinematic prose, including this excerpt from a football game account:

"As precious seconds ticked away, fingernail fragments flew high into the static filled air…" See what he was doing? He was taking a chaotic action scene and reducing it to a single, memorable (and probably fictitious) image. Think of the bald, muscled Nazi luxuriously removing his coat before a fight scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark–that’s what Spielberg was going for.

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