“As well as being a conveyor-belt of trash movies, Lewis was a formidable and unnervingly driven entrepreneur and compulsive wheeler-dealer who did three years’ jail time in the 1970s for fraud, having conned people through crooked schemes, like a fake car rental company and – incredibly – a phony abortion referral service, and for (nearly) all these services he borrowed money from the bank using as collateral the cinemas of which he claimed to be the un-mortgaged owner.”
PARAMOUNT PICTURES TO OPEN MARTIN SCORSESE’S “SILENCE” IN LIMITED RELEASE ON DECEMBER 23, WIDE IN JANUARY 2017
HOLLYWOOD, CA (September 26, 2016) – Paramount Pictures announced today that it, in association with Fabrica de Cine and Ai Films, will open Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated film “SILENCE” in limited release on December 23, followed by a wide release in January 2017.
Scorsese, who worked closely with Fabrica de Cine’s Gaston Pavlovich on the making of the film, wrote the screenplay with Jay Cocks (“GANGS OF NEW YORK”), based on the book “Silence” by Shusaku Endo. The film is produced by Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff “(THE WOLF OF WALL STREET”), along with Randall Emmett (“LONE SURVIVOR”), Barbara Defina (“GOODFELLAS”), Vittorio Cecchi Gori (“IL POSTINO”), Irwin Winkler (“CREED”). Producer Gaston Pavlovich’s company Fabrica de Cine also provided the lead financing for the picture, alongside Executive Producer Dale A. Brown of Sharpsword Films.
“SILENCE” stars Andrew Garfield (“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN”), Adam Driver (“STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS”), Liam Neeson (“TAKEN”), Tadanobu Asano (“THOR”), Issey Ogata (“THE SUN”), Ciaran Hinds (“BLEED FOR THIS”), Yosuke Kubozuka (“GO”), and Yoshi Oida (“THE PILLOW BOOK”).
# # #
About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.
ANNAPURNA PICTURES TAPS SUE NAEGLE TO LAUNCH TELEVISION DIVISION
Naegle will serve as President for the production and finance company’s newly created TV initiative
(Los Angeles, CA) September 27, 2016 – Annapurna Pictures has expanded its operations with the creation of Annapurna Television, a new production arm that will focus on building out the company’s television slate for broadcast, cable, and digital platforms. Sue Naegle, principal of Naegle Ink and former President of HBO Entertainment, has been tapped to run the new enterprise and, alongside founder Megan Ellison, will spearhead Annapurna’s TV production and development, focusing on projects that align with the company’s brand of smart and original programming in collaboration with top creative voices.
Naegle joins Annapurna after three years leading her own television and film production company, Naegle Ink, where she serves as an executive producer on Robert Kirkman’s Outcast on Cinemax and has numerous projects in development with HBO and other cable networks. Previously, Naegle served as the President of HBO Entertainment where she was instrumental in shepherding such shows asGame of Thrones and Veep—the most recent Emmy winners for Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series, respectively—as well as the award-winning series Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Treme, Eastbound and Down, Enlightened, and Girls.
“We are thrilled to further expand our television business and continue our commitment to all forms of storytelling,” says Ellison. “I could not be more excited to have the opportunity to work with and learn from Sue Naegle. She has such a passion and understanding of this medium, and has truly approached it from every angle. As I’ve gotten to know Sue, not only is she brilliant with an astonishing expertise both creatively and for the business, but also, she’s an incredible person to invite into this close-knit group of individuals over here at Annapurna. Her track record speaks for itself and her values could not be more aligned with our goals as a company.”
Various projects currently in development at Naegle Ink will transition to Annapurna. Annapurna is already currently in development on a series for premium cable channel Epix, written by Angela Robinson and Alex Kondrake, about the intersecting lives of Hollywood icons and rivals Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.
“I am so excited to join Annapurna and help spearhead the exciting future of Annapurna Television. Annapurna is a company that has been unwavering in their commitment to building distinctive and bold programming in a time of unprecedented production.” said Naegle. “Whether I’ve been an agent, network president or producer, defending and nurturing innovative, compelling narratives and aesthetic excellence has been my mission and privilege. I’m so thrilled to find partners like Megan and her incredible team that share the same core philosophy, and I hope that this alliance will yield indelible television shows that reflect and challenge our culture.”
Joining Naegle in the transition will be top Naegle Ink executives Kit Giordano and Ali Krug, who will serve as Senior Vice President and Vice President, respectively. Prior to joining Naegle Ink in 2013, Giordano served as a VP for Illumination Entertainment and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films. Krug previously worked alongside Naegle in series development and production at HBO before moving to Naegle Ink.
ABOUT ANNAPURNA PICTURES
Annapurna Pictures is a film production and finance company founded by Megan Ellison that focuses on creating sophisticated, high-quality content which sets itself apart. Ellison successfully upholds the company’s vision to produce critically and commercially conscious projects which appeal to a diverse audience, allowing filmmakers and artists to create story content of all genres and mediums while preserving their authenticity. Annapurna’s most recent projects include, Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon’s breakout animated film, SAUSAGE PARTY, written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir and released by Sony Pictures, which had the highest-grossing opening weekend for an R-rated animated film in history; Ana Lily Amirpour’s THE BAD BATCH, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will be released by Screen Media in 2017; Todd Solondz’s WIENER-DOG, which was released by Amazon Studios to great reviews after premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; Richard Linklater’s EVERYBODY WANTS SOME, was released in April through Paramount Pictures to rave reviews after premiering at SXSW in Austin. Additionally, Annapurna is readying for the release of 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, starring Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup which will premiere at the New York Film Festival and be released later this year by A24; Annapurna is also currently in production on Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s UNTITLED DETROIT PROJECT, starring John Boyega and is developing the film adaptation of Maria Semple’s WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, to be directed by Richard Linklater. Annapurna’s projects since 2012 have earned thirty-one Academy Award nominations, and Ellison is one of only four honorees ever to receive two Best Picture nominations in the same year. Those projects include Kathryn Bigelow’s ZERO DARK THIRTY, David O. Russell’s JOY, Bennett Miller’s FOXCATCHER, David O. Russell’s AMERICAN HUSTLE, Spike Jonze’s HER, Wong Kar Wai’s THE GRANDMASTER, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER. Additionally, Annapurna is partners with Mark Boal on the company Page One, where they produce season two of the hit podcast SERIAL. Bigelow also directed and partnered with Annapurna on the animated short LAST DAYS, about illegal elephant poaching and the ivory trade.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Casting director and producer David Rubin will produce the 8th Annual Governors Awards for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced today.
Honorary Awards will be presented to actor Jackie Chan, film editor Anne V. Coates, casting director Lynn Stalmaster and documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman on Saturday, November 12, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.
“David’s creativity and broad film expertise – coupled with his enthusiasm for this year’s honorees – make him the perfect choice to produce a memorable Governors Awards,” said Boone Isaacs.
“I am delighted and truly honored by this opportunity to help my fellow Academy governors pay tribute to four cinema legends,” said Rubin. “Jackie Chan, Anne Coates, Lynn Stalmaster and Frederick Wiseman have each forged a unique, trailblazing path that has left an enduring film legacy. I look forward to producing the celebration they so richly deserve.”
With more than 100 film and television credits, Rubin has cast such features as the upcoming Warren Beatty film “Rules Don’t Apply,” “Trumbo,” “Wild,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” “Hairspray,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Men in Black,” “Romeo + Juliet,” “The English Patient” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” He has received five Emmy® nominations and won an Emmy for the television movie “Game Change.” In addition, Rubin spent six years developing and producing films with Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella at Mirage Enterprises. Early in his career, he collaborated with honoree Stalmaster on “The Name of the Rose” and “The Big Easy,” among other films. Rubin serves on the Academy’s Board of Governors, representing the Casting Directors Branch.
The Honorary Award, an Oscar® statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
# # #
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 7,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.
FOLLOW THE ACADEMY
“He was a voyeur, he was a camera.”
James Ellroy On Curtis Hanson
Made for Polish television for 1988 broadcast, the ten short films of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s glorious masterpiece, Dekalog (Criterion Blu, $100), are loosely based on the ten commandments, loosely enough that the then-47-year-old filmmaker resisted identifying which installment was based on which commandment. (Two feature-length expansions, A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love, are included on a separate disk.) Dekalog unfolds in a common setting, a large Warsaw housing project. Kieslowski, often a slippery or perverse interview subject, insisted that Dekalog was not a religious film. “I simply wanted to show that life is complicated. Nothing more.” In their simplest form, each of the ten episodes are about the diversity of failure that humans suffer as they try to give and receive love, rooted in the reality of the Poland of 1988. There’s a grave, serene beauty to each installment. They all exhibit the same dry deadpan as Three Colors: White (1994), a biting Polish wit. The key to the tenderness of Kieslowski’s film is how he allows interior states to be revealed through concrete gestures that resist interpretation. Kieslowski would have been 74 this year, and a little over twenty years after his death in his beloved Poland, Criterion has issued a Blu-ray edition, drawn from 4K digital restorations of the original 35mm negative.
Introducing the published screenplay in 1991, Stanley Kubrick, in the only blurb he ever provided, wrote, “I am always reluctant to single out some particular feature of the work of a major filmmaker because it tends inevitably to simplify and reduce the work. But in this book of screenplays by Krzysztof Kieslowski and his co-author, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, it should not be out of place to observe that they have the very rare ability to dramatize their ideas rather than just talking about them. By making their points through the dramatic action of the story they gain the added power of allowing the audience to discover what’s really going on rather than being told. They do this with such dazzling skill, you never see the ideas coming and don’t realize until much later how profoundly they have reached your heart.” (While Kieslowski reportedly said at the time his “retirement” after Three Colors: Red appeared at 1994’s Cannes Film Festival that he wanted time to think and smoke after 28 straight years of work, he actually was sidelined by heart trouble.)
In Dekalog One, a college professor’s young son has become fascinated with computers, trusting their calculations to help him understand the world around him. He’s a gorgeous, saucer-eyed brain-in-the-making, with more layers to him. Discovering a dead dog moves him to ask why people have to die at all.
“What is death?” the boy asks, eyes as clear as a brook. “The heart stops pumping blood,” his father answers. Father and son use the computer to make calculations on whether it will be safe for the son to ice skate the next day; yes, the computer says. Later, the father hears that several children have drowned in the lake, and he races to make sure his son was not one of them. Kieslowski’s direction, from performances to camera placement, from gestures to pacing, approaches perfection. He’s one of the few directors who built gainfully, personally, on Bresson’s use of the concrete and tactile, of simple gestures, to suggest spiritual conditions. In the first film alone, soured milk clouds a mug of coffee, children’s boots race over an ice-clad sidewalk, a housing project stands mute, filled with potential stories, against white snow and gray sky. A son kissing his father’s bald spot with his ball-point-lined face. Candle wax streams across an icon of the black Madonna. Tears. Not tears.
And in other segments: A murder victim’s foot fights free of a shoe, then its sock. A hangman arrives at work, hangs his jacket, puts a chair right, shoots his cuffs, oils the noose’s winch. A box of wooden matches blaze from a cigarette’s coal. A bee emerges along a spoon from thick lingonberry juice and flies. A drunk, naked, hosed down on Christmas Eve in the drunk tank, a Christmas tree beside him, moaning, “Where is my home?” A contortionist bends himself in the episodes; the same dog howls late at night through all.
Working with nine different cinematographers but largely within that single, unified location, Kieslowski examines the moral responsibility of doctors, the morality of abortion, lingering sexual obsession, adultery, incestuous urges, murder, capital punishment, voyeurism, fairy tales, Nazi collaboration, the Polish Underground, impotence, jealousy, illegal organ trade, punk rock, stamp collecting and simple greed.
Kieslowski slyly employs the commandments as a way to minimize the suffocating structure of traditional plots and to instead dive into things that actually delight him: patterns of chance, the paths of our lives, enigmatic expressions on fascinating faces, the way contemporary life is transacted in a bleak, late-Soviet city, all observed with a mildly sarcastic shrug. The result is hypnotic and sensual, a fragrant montage of mood and image unlike that of any other filmmaker working then (or now).
In the end, we are left with tenderness, ambiguity and a sense of the possibility of still being able to ask moral questions in everyday life. “I know it’s unfashionable these days,” Kieslowski said, “but I do believe in humanity. I believe in right and wrong, although it is difficult to talk about black and white in the times in which we live. But I think one is definitely better than the other and I do believe that people want to choose right—it is just that sometimes they are unable to do so.”
The first two times I saw Dekalog were on screen, including a 1996 Saturday afternoon press screening with only an afternoon lunch break. The 35mm print had been pried loose from its rights-holder, reportedly a Canadian-Polish woman who wanted a million dollars, an absurd price even then for a gargantuan arthouse meditation. Kieslowski had died only a few days earlier, and Gene Siskel, himself only a couple of years form passing, raged at Kieslowski’s “selfishness,” in not seeking medical help from those, like Harvey Weinstein, who reportedly would have gotten him the finest heart surgeons in Paris or New York City. How could Kieslowski have denied us more Kieslowski films was essentially his plaint. Several of us had lunches, a half dozen, and at this break halfway through, we then scurried into the hopeful March sun. We didn’t talk. We ate sandwiches and salad, nodded a lot, dazed but not yet sated.
This was “binge-ing” before the term, before the practice, and was wholly indulgent and completely narcotic. We could have had wine, but a few bites made for sufficient sustenance. Joe Dante recently rued that “Movies are a twentieth-century art form, and the twentieth century is over.” But a new generation of viewers can feast on Dekalog, a twentieth-century television series that could twenty-first century binge bliss, if only your heart can hold all the commotion, all the emotion, all the stark observation of humanity, withholding judgment like a mute god.
In an interview included among the extras, speaking to very young-sounding interlocutors, Kieslowski says that he found neither Three Colors nor Dekalog to be such big undertakings. “I didn’t know that they were that huge, he tells his young sounding interlocutors.” Chin on fist, a checkered shirt tucked under a dark blue sweater with his sleeves rolled up, Kieslowski gives the air of being the world’s most patient listener, even sniffling, visibly under the weather. “But the challenge was to interpret these universal and well-known words or slogans, or commandments, in the case of Dekalog. It’s a challenge to look at these things a bit differently.” He rued the interpretations that came before: “So much has been written it wouldn’t fit the shelves in this room.” The starting point was to reject all that literature. “We had the idea of turning every commandment into a challenge for a human bring. And can a human being meet that challenge? Is it even possible? Isn’t modern man in a situation where abiding by the commandments is practically impossible? It was about our increasingly complicated lives today. It was probably the same in days past and even ages ago. Is a human being strong enough? If a person knows what it is they should do, why do they do something else?”
Nicholas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon (Broad Green Blu, $35) is minimalism and maximalism, a languorous rush of images and wall of music hangered onto a fairytale of an underage girl (Elle Fanning) who arrives in Los Angeles with hopes of becoming a model and then falls in with a perverse raft of archetypes atop waves of deep crimson imagery. Someone could look at this film and say, ‘These are only tableaux! Nothing’s going on.” But beauty is in the eye of the beholder: is all the sound and fury, the design and décor, the understated acting, is that…cinema? “I really like the way that you call it tableaux,” Refn told me in an interview at the film’s release, leaning into his flattery, “because you’re the only one that picked up on that.” [For more of that interview, go here.]
City Of Gold
“First we eat, then we do everything else,” Laura Gabbert epigraphs her engaging, toothsome, City of Gold (MPI DVD, $25), quoting culinary prose great M. F. K. Fisher. But her rich documentary is about one man, one of the four or five best stylists and pretty much the best eater on the contemporary food scene, Pulitzer Prize-winning dining writer Jonathan Gold. His love of the byways and side streets of the furthermost reaches of the Los Angeles brims articulately in each of his conversations and encounters. A genial, bearish, freckled man with thinning shoulder-length tresses, he’s the Gorgeous George of the Golden State, trundling in khakis and navy-blue sport coat into his aged jalapeno-green pickup. It’s hard to think of him in disguise before he gave up that pretense, first at LA Weekly, and now the Los Angeles Times. Plates large and mostly small color-corrected unto a breath of the breadth of flavor of its mostly hands-on makers, including his favored taco truck itinerant to downtown, Guerilla Tacos. “You’re not going to find cooking like this anywhere but L.A.,” he narrates from a review, and he spends his long nights and days providing the necessary evidence. Affably unpretentious but always grandly informed, Gold opines and divines his way across a complex city that he explores in unique and exemplary fashion. All critics should know their beat so well, and love it truly.
Film Director and “Twin Peaks” Co-Creator David Lynch Accepts Yoga Gives Back’s 2016 Namaste Award at Sept. 25 Fundraiser in Malibu
Los Angeles, CA–Yoga Gives Back (YGB) proudly announces that three-time Oscar-nominated film director and creator of the Twin Peaks series, David Lynch, received the YGB foundation’s prestigious 2016Namaste Award at their fifth-annual fundraising gala in Malibu, attended by over 200 guests.
Lynch graciously accepted the Namaste Award which recognizes his uplifting work using Transcendental Meditation, carried out through his David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. He said he wishes “auspiciousness to be seen everywhere, suffering belongs to no one, peace,” when accepting the award. His Foundation teaches Transcendental Meditation in many countries and, through its practice, helps young children in inner-city schools, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, the homeless, and women and girls who are victims of violence. Lynch has been practicing Transcendental Meditation daily since 1973.
YGB Founder Kayoko Mitsumatsu explains, “While it’s common for many to perceive yoga as a physical exercise, the ultimate goal of the practice of yoga is to unite with the Divine Self—and meditation plays an important role in achieving this. ‘Namaste,’ which means ‘the divinity in me salutes divinity in you’ in Sanskrit, symbolizes Yoga Gives Back’s mission, which is to help others, and is the inspiration for the Namaste Award.”
“The Namaste Award recognizes special people who have gone beyond the practice and teaching of yoga to incorporate noble humanitarian service, which helps make the world a better place,” she continues, “and we believe Mr. Lynch exemplifies this through his acts of kindness and desire to help others reach enlightenment. ”
Mitsumatsu founded Yoga Gives Backbecause she was deeply moved by the degree of poverty experienced by people in India. “While benefitting so much from regular yoga practice and teachings, it hit me hard that 75% of India’s population still live on under $2.00 a day,” she says. “It became very clear that if everyone worldwide who enjoys yoga donates even the cost of one yoga class to help those less fortunate, we can effect real change in the birthplace of yoga.”
The Thank You Mother India fundraiser is a joyous annual event gathering 200 members of the Southern California yoga community and beyond, to express gratitude to “Mother India” for the gift of yoga.
This year’s fundraiser took place on Sunday, Sept. 25th at the Malibu estate ofphilanthropist Dr. Amarjit Marwah from 4:30 -8:30 pm. Following a welcome reception with live entertainment and silent auction, there was a seated dinner featuring a live auction, raffle, short YGB FILMS presentation, and the Namaste Award ceremony. The Title Sponsor was Japanese rock star Kyosuke Himuro; Gold Sponsor was David Ellis; Table Sponsors were Lucky Number 9, Yello!, Yogaglo; Dinner Sponsors were Carla and Darius Gagne and Abacus; Audio Visual sponsor was Yogi teas; and Valet Parking sponsor was Quantum Fitness Takashi Uchino. Each attendee received a generous gift bag from the event sponsors.
This fundraiser serves as the launch for YGB’s annual five-month, global fundraising campaign. From September 2016 through January 2017, more than 150 YGB events will take place in over 15 countries heightening awareness of the realities faced by the poor, especially women and children in India. “While the 2015-2016 global campaign raised over $75,000.00 (USD), this year’s goal is to raise over $100,000.00,” says Mitsumatsu. “Yoga studios and communities will again host special yoga classes or fundraisers whose proceeds will benefit YGB’s programs.”
“For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life” is the organization’s mantra, which has grown 35% every year since 2009, and now funds nearly 900 mothers and children in Karnataka and West Bengal, India,” she adds. YGB’s micro-loans and educational scholarships offer a minimum five-year commitment to each recipient.
The 2016 YGB Host Committee includes many prestigious members of the yoga community: Derik Mills, Felicia Tomasko, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Jorgen Christiansson, Ken Atchity, Kino MacGregor,Koji Toyoda, Mandy Ingber, Phillip Goldberg, Shiva Rae, Susan Nichols, Lauren Peterson, and Tara Guber.
Yoga Gives Back is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all or part of the gift may be deducted as a charitable contribution. Check with a tax advisor. For more information, visit Yoga Gives Back or contact email@example.com.