Anne Thompson muses on the loneliness of the long-distance filmmaker with Lost in Translation's Sofia Coppola, Scarlett Johansson and Ross Katz.
As more people download movies from the Internet, Hollywood is following the music industry’s lead in criminalizing its customers—a short-sighted and potentially disastrous tack.
Who really won this summer's box-office sweepstakes? Was it the studio with the testosterone-fueled action hits or the little romantic comedy with a friend in high places?
Actress plays a vengeful woman in Neil Jordan's new film The Brave One
Jack Valenti has taken a lot of heat for the ban on Oscar tapes and DVDs, but it is the studios’ dread of piracy—not of indies—that prompted the move.
Pixar toppled The Lion King’s box-office record and made a pile of money for Disney. So why can’t Michael Eisner and Steve Jobs just get along?
Every studio has a mini-studio to make cheaper, quirkier films (and keep talent happy), but none have done it as cunningly as Fox has with Fox Searchlight.
The brilliant graphic novel has a cult following. The director is coming off a surprise blockbuster. But just how high can this super-noir superhero movie fly?
For a week in late winter, Park City, Utah, is indie filmmaking’s wildest bazaar, with people hawking their goods and hoping to stamp the tony Sundance brand on their products.
As the action whizzes by, moviegoers munching their popcorn at "The Bourne Ultimatum" likely won't stop to ponder the convergence of spy thriller and cinema verite.
But director Paul Greengrass did.
It's been a long time since She's Gotta Have It put him on the map, and his latest, 25th Hour, may be his most mainstream movie yet. But if you think Lee's gone Hollywood, think again.
With studios releasing their holiday movies one after another, the season is shaping up as the most competitive -- for Oscar contenders as well as box office -- in years.
The major studios are determined to reclaim Oscar from those annoying independents, and this year’s nominees could show how well they’ve succeeded.
Producer Joe Roth is known for making money, if not always art, but a string of flops—including Gigli—has the town wondering when (or if) he’ll regain his form.
It's a little strange to be sitting across from someone who by all rights should be dead.
As the bombs fell on Iraq, the debate went on. To hold the Oscars or not to hold the Oscars? Some welcomed a diversion. Others thought going forward was in bad taste. When the annual global ritual celebrating the movie industry is held, it will be clouded by controversy.
The fruit of two years' labor, James and the Giant Peach blossoms after slow ripening.
By letting computers tell the 'Story,' Disney leaps into a whole new world of animation.
How Steven Spielberg brought 'Schindler's List' to life.
Hollywood's bad boys take a stab at a classic in 'The Three Musketeers.'
The players return to the French Riviera for their annual rite of spring.
This year, you don't have to wait for the fall -- or go to the beach -- to Get Lit. The 2004 summer movie lineup is packed with book titles.
When Focus Features offered Nair the film version of William Makepeace Thackeray's ladder-climbing classic "Vanity Fair," the Harvard-educated Indian director just couldn't say no.
Bob Berney is in the throes of releasing Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" on 4,000 screens on Wednesday - Ash Wednesday. He is also in the final stretch of managing two rival best actress Oscar campaigns, for Charlize Theron ("Monster") and Keisha Castle-Hughes ("Whale Rider").
Besides having talent to burn and a winning ability to share what 'a fookin' good time' he's having, Irishman Colin Farrell is a lucky product of the law of supply and demand. There aren't enough movie stars, and the few larger-than-life powerhouses who can open a film around the world cost $20 million. Hollywood is constantly on the prowl for potential star material. But Farrell, 26, whose asking price is already $8m-$10m, won't remain a bargain for long.
Larry McMurtry can thank crusty old coot Gus McCrae for making him a household name. The Texas novelist's 1985 Western novel Lonesome Dove -- the story of McCrae and partner Woodrow Call -- won McMurtry the Pulitzer Prize, has nearly 5 million copies in print, and became the highest-rated miniseries of the last decade. ''Before that I was getting $20,000 a book,'' says the author, 59. ''No book sold more than 5,000 copies. They're all selling much better now.''
English punk gets juiced on American pulp.
Tuesday's Academy Award nominations will have a novel element... surprise. No one has a clue who will be up for honours.
Harrison Ford still insists on charging $25m a movie. After a series of flops, isn't it time he cut his price tag and raised his standards?
How do you like your Leonardo DiCaprio? Butch or boyish? The choice is yours.
A cataclysmic event can change the fate of a movie. After Sept. 11 the wait was significantly longer for several independent films than for studio releases. Among the independents in limbo were "The Quiet American" and the dark military comedy "Buffalo Soldiers." Their already provocative themes became even more so after the attacks and the war in Afghanistan, and distributors fretted that audiences would hardly be in the mood for such sobering offerings.
It took the wonderful world of Disney to snare CAA's Michael Ovitz.
Going Where the Spirit Takes Him: Jeff Bridges' performance as writer Ted Cole in "The Door in the Floor" could win him an Oscar.
Though his budgets rise off the scale, he may be the most finely calibrated moviemaking instrument in Hollywood.
Getting a movie made in Hollywood is about perception, luck and timing. Ask Larry Gross, a veteran screenwriter whose script for a film, "We Don't Live Here Anymore," based on three novellas by André Dubus gathered dust for 23 years.
After Tombstone's big band, the box office whimper of Wyatt Earp teaches Hollywood a lesson about the cost of dueling projects.
On Aug. 6 Warner Brothers booted Ted Griffin as director of his original story inspired by the 1967 classic "The Graduate" and replaced him with Rob Reiner 12 days into shooting. The script, about a young woman from Pasadena who discovers that her grandmother was the inspiration for the Mrs. Robinson character in "The Graduate," was strong enough to lure a cast of top-notch actors, led by Jennifer Aniston.
This spring's box office surprise 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' hits No. 1 by aiming for the heart.
Adrift in the desert between directors, the cowboys of 'Tombstone' learned how to call their own shots.
Liz, Liv, 'Crash,' and naked men give a kick to France's fest in the fast lane.
The Sundance Film Festival has studios clamoring to join the indies.
Indie filmmakers trot out their fanciest footage at Sundance '95.
Tarantion-ism takes a holiday as a blizzard of small, serene films take Redford's fest by storm.
He's a Hollywood star. Steven Spielberg requests him by name. But he is virtually unknown outside the film industry. He is Stefen Fangmeier, a 13-year visual-effects master at George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), and he was instrumental in creating the groundbreaking morphing cyborg in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park," the tornado in "Twister," the ghosts in "Casper" and the towering wall of water in "The Perfect Storm."
Here are 10 currently screening movies that are must-sees for Oscar voters. Five will grab the lion's share of nominations, including a Best Picture slot. Others will wind up with nothing.
The film industry takes another leap into the future as a heavyweight throws his efforts into 3-D and DreamWorks hits paydirt for a second time with the grumpy green giant.
Three controversial new portrayals of Hitler's life have to confront two problems: do you play the man or the monster? And when did one become the other?
Sundance latest stop on the Hollywood freeway
As the gap between fact and fiction filmmaking has narrowed during the past few years, more and more films can only be categorized as documentary-feature hybrids.
The 10 visual effects wizards who rule Hollywood
As the rules governing the film landscape continue to shift, professionals from all corners of the industry wonder how to define 'independent.'
But occasionally there arises such a talent as M. Night Shyamalan, who insists on doing it his way. The 33-year-old goes quiet for a time, then emerges with a movie that blends art and commerce in unexpected ways.
A Movie as Cagey as That Mysterious Nessie: writer-director Zak Penn stars director Werner Herzog in "The Incident at Loch Ness," a movie that is not all that it seems.
Is there any place more youth-obsessed than Hollywood? Jane Fonda shares tales from the trenches and reveals how she makes her age work for her, not against her.
Columbia Pictures chairman Amy Pascal, Showman of the Year
Gibson Could Earn $500 Million From His Leap of Faith
You can argue all you want about "The Passion of the Christ," but one thing is not debatable: Mel Gibson has gone from People magazine's one-time "Sexiest Man Alive" to "Richest Star Alive.
Six years after "Titanic" took the all-time global box office crown ($1.8 billion), the 49-year-old self-proclaimed "king of the world" is taking a break from TV and movie producing ("Dark Angel," "Solaris") and deep-sea documentaries (his second 3-D underwater IMAX film, "Extreme Life," is due later this year) to return to the helm of a big-budget studio picture.
A year-and-a-half after launching BermanBraun, the popcorn celebrity portal is the first-born child of BermanBraun Interactive, in partnership with MSN. Having started Yahoo OMG and recognizing the success of AOL's TMZ, Braun saw that MSN wasn't aggregating celebrity content. So BermanBraun and their internet division chief Geraldine Martin-Coppola (plucked from Braun's old Yahoo team) persuaded MSN to back a slick, visual, horizontal, content-driven celebrity site designed to hold eyeballs for more than two seconds--and lure premium advertisers.
Director Joseph Kosinski and his visual effects team talk the groundbreaking visual effects in "Tron: Legacy."
A summary of the summer specialty season.
The Incredibles vs. Shark Tale; Collateral writer Stuart Beattie is hot; Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx in Beyond the Sea and Ray biopics; the true story behind Jerry Bruckheimer's National Treasure.
Team America: World Police creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone blow up wonders of the world and Liberal icons while they use puppets to troll for laughs.
Telluride Film festival guest director Buck Henry to tout colleagues' work from all over the world
Since the dawn of the film industry, it has been common practice for writers to send scripts and pitch stories to movie executives and producers. And for almost as long, scores of writers have sued the studios for stealing their ideas, only to have suits, filed on hard-to-prove copyright infringement grounds, which are dismissed or quietly settled.
But a recently published opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Jeff Grosso v. Miramax Film Corporation, may soon shift the balance of power in this age-old tug of war.
James Cameron talks new explorations and tech frontiers.
A gang of 3-D animated robots is making new metal fans all over the States and for director Chris Wedge, the movie is a dream come - finally - true
In 2000, the co-chairmen of 20th Century-Fox screened a two-minute test from animator Chris Wedge and children's book author William Joyce. The computer-graphic footage took the execs to a gleaming alternative mechanical world entirely populated by thousands of cool metal robots. When it was over, Wedge recalls: 'They stood up and said, "Now that's a movie!"'
Wedge had been building up to that moment for some 20 years. He won the 1999 Oscar for his seven-minute short, Bunny, which led to his first CG animated feature, Ice Age, which went on to gross $375 million worldwide in 2002. Once Wedge was established as a force in 3-D animation, Fox green-lit Robots, the first feature that represents his personal vision. Early reaction to the sophisticated CG movie has been rapturous.
As the Sundance Film Festival wound to a close, Focus Features acquired worldwide rights to first-time director Rian Johnson's "Brick," a hard-boiled mystery set in a high school.
Hollywood’s most lovable schlub has lost weight and started to flex his creative muscle. He cracks wise on bro-mantic comedies, making Green Hornet, and why Harvey Weinstein is insane.
Ratner boasts box office prowess
Director's skills includes high-energy creativity, joie de vivre
Dialogue-driven films remain a struggle to make, despite potent pleasures of smart talk
"Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," the film version of Chuck Barris's book, finally opens on Dec. 31 in New York and Los Angeles. And it isn't because a big star was persuaded to play the leading role. It isn't because the current popularity of "reality" television has burnished Mr. Barris's reputation. It's because George Clooney decided to direct it, and to stock it with enough other big names to make its quirky story viable in the marketplace.
A bond company closes, narrowing the options for independent films
Where Partnership Thrives in Filmdom
With the Oscars, timing is everything. Peak too early, and your momentum peters out before the ballots are sent out in January. Peak too late and nobody pays any attention. While these 10 Oscar movies will dominate the nominations through all the categories this January, there's always the possibility of an upset from an unexpected quarter.
Is it live or is it animated? Turns out The Polar Express is both. For his latest film, Robert Zemeckis radically combined stage acting, motion-capture, and computer graphics to bring Chris Van Allsburg's classic children's book about a boy's belief in Santa Claus to cinematic life.
The Door in the Floor is that all too rare species: a summer movie for grown-ups.
Oliver Stone's Alexander is only the latest sword-and-sandals film to disappoint at the US box office. Is our appetite for historical drama on the wane?
Sundance '05 thrives amid agent invasion
The Message of 'Hotel Rwanda': Never Forget
IF the coming story in film is globalization, "Memoirs of a Geisha," set for a Christmas release by Sony Pictures, may one day be seen as a movie at the tipping point. Based on an American novel about a hidden aspect of Japanese life, it relies heavily on three stars of Chinese cinema and has no white stars.
Talent-spotting is the real business of the indie festival.
Every once in a while a Hollywood studio throws out the hit-formula playbook and bets that smart moviegoers will go along for the ride. "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," which opens Friday, is that rare case.
PREMIERE ranks the top ministudios, the companies that turn bite-size budgets into creative feasts.
Strange days at the Oscars last week. The rowdiest, most celebrity-jammed parties were held on Saturday, the day before the ceremony, away from the media glare. One party was so secret that no one knew the address. Thrown by Leo DiCaprio's manager Rick Yorn, DreamWorks executive Michael DeLuca and agent Patrick Whitesell, the party was hidden in the Hollywood Hills. Guests on the list got to collect the address at a church widely used for AA meetings.
There are 10 films you need to see if you want to be in the Oscar loop. And here they are...
Expansion of best picture field could aid genre films
Stephen Soderbergh talks a lot about Julia, a little about Jules and serves up the complete insider's guide to Full Frontal.
Director James Cameron is known for his innovations in movie technology and ambitions to make CG look and feel real. His next film, Avatar, will put his reputation to the test. Can Cameron make blue, alien creature look real on the big screen? With all the attention focused on the film, anything short of perfection may not be good enough. Here is how Cameron plans to make movie history with a host of new technologies and years of development.
The film about love and madness that you didn't get to see.
James Cameron is a filmmaker who seems to take the word impossible as a challenge—one that simply requires the unleashing of extraordinary effort, talent, ingenuity, and funds. Now, looking at the future of Hollywood with his usual Titanic bravado and visionary insight, he maps out . . . The Territory Ahead.
Can you be a rising young actress and the queen of trash TV? Ricki Lake finds it tough to wear two crowns.
Get out your handkerchiefs for Clint Eastwood's film version of Madison County.
Disney studio head Joe Roth plans a new regime for the Magic Kingdom.
Now that his Pulp Fiction has Hollywood by the aorta, Quentin Tarantino moves in for the thrill.
What Hollywood learned on its summer vacation - for every smash and every smashup, there's a lesson to be studied. Here are 10 pointers from the class of '94.
He's the time zone-hopping actor who plays doctor with Laura Dern, that's who.
Call it bad timing. France's Cannes Film Festival got under way last week with the memory of the Los Angeles riots still fresh. At the same time, a number of American movies-including Bad Lieutenant with Harvey Keitel, David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, the Quentin Tarantino- directed Reservoir Dogs, and Basic Instinct, which opened the festival-tended to be hyper-violent. The juxtaposition provoked some bitter words about American violence and dominated even casual talk.
Ever since he worked on Tron, Chris Wedge has been able to see the future. As an "image choreographer" on the 1982 cyberfantasy, Wedge knew computers would soon change the face of filmmaking. More than two decades later, he's proving his point with the film Robots, due in theaters March 11.
Sad to say, there aren't many talented women directors in Hollywood. Many commercial forces are working against them, even at a time when women are running three of the major studios. The most successfulof them - Nora Ephron, Penny Marshall and Betty Thomas - are still relegated to romantic comedies and family flicks. Only Kathryn Bigelow (K-19: The Widowmaker) and Mimi Leder (Direct Impact) have cracked the action-adventure genre.
Madonna arrived, throngs thronged, she wept.
Cannes '94 accented sex and violence - but how much will you see?
Anyone who knows a teenager will recognise how uncomfortably close to the truth Thirteen really is. You'd think from all the audible audience gasps and groans, and the media furore that greeted the film when it opened in America last week, that they were watching a horror movie rather than two young girls sticking out their pierced tongues.
With more blockbuster movies than ever before competing for our attention this summer, some of them are bound to catch a cold. And at up to $200m a throw, it's no wonder the big studios are already shivering.
Now The Matrix has raised the blockbuster stakes, someone's sure to catch a summer cold.
This year marks a dramatic upsurge in Oscar-nominated movies from women writers and directors, who have been rare indeed in the past.
Trying to Bring Big Media Ideas into the World of Art Theaters
Quentin Tarantino talks 'Inglourious Basterds' at the Cannes Film Festival.
When Universal Pictures ushered the "Lord of the Rings" auteur Peter Jackson and his team into Hollywood's elite 20/20 club - $20 million in guaranteed up-front salary against 20 percent of the gross receipts - the action underscored a major Hollywood shift: event-movie directors are becoming as valuable as stars like Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.
"The Human Stain" had all the right ingredients, or so it seemed. It had a cast with three top-tier actors: Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and, most lustrously of all, Nicole Kidman, fresh from her Academy Award-winning performance in "The Hours." It had an Oscar-winning director in Robert Benton. And it had a much-praised literary source in the Philip Roth novel of the same name. What happened?
The MPAA screener controversy and the surprising court case that followed
Anne Thompson does more than just break news; she provides an insiderâ€™s clear-eyed analysis of a business that defines culture at home and abroad.
The Double Life of Directors. Those who also produce their own pictures recall adventures 'from go to woe.' Interviews with Clint Eastwood, Michael Moore, Michael Mann, Mel Gibson, Alejandro Amenabar, James Brooks
The dealmaking and backstage drama at Sundance 2004.
Miramax hit the mother lode of Oscar nominations, especially with Chicago and Gangs of New York—films as brash as honcho Harvey Weinstein. Does anyone else stand a chance?
Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein make first-class movies they really care about (as do the grown-ups who see them). So it's not surprising that when they work together, sparks tend to fly.