HFPA members attending the film festival were among the international press invited to the Majestic Hotel in Cannes to see previews of three of Harvey Weinstein’s movies he hopes will be Oscar contenders.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook and Quentin Tarantino’s Western throwback Django Unchained are not yet completed but are all due for release before Christmas.
A bidder who splashed out 100,000 Euros for a pair of Golden Globe tickets also won a date with Gerard Butler as part of the package at a star-studded charity auction at the Cannes Film Festival. The Scottish actor, prompted by writer-director Paul Haggis, had offered himself as a bonus to boost the bidding price on the tickets.
The auction, which included the chance to spend time with Lady Gaga, buy Bono’s autographed guitar or a take a three-day trip to Haiti with Sean Penn, was part of a charity fundraiser for earthquake-ravaged Haiti and other causes.
“A film festival is not simply about films, ever,” Sean Penn told the audience. “This isn’t a film, what we’re doing now. It’s not a film when we stand outside and we take pictures for magazines. What it all has to do with is an expression and a shared experience.”
Guests included actor-comedians Chris Rock and Ben Stiller _ at Cannes to plug the latest installment of animated trilogy Madagascar _ musicians Lyle Lovett and Sean “Diddy” Combs, Scottish actors Butler and Ewan McGregor, German actress Diane Kruger, and Jessica Chastain _ starring in the John Hillcoat-directed “Lawless,” while also offering her voice to “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”Read More »
HFPA member Scott Orlin (left) presented Brian Robinson, director of this year’s London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, with a plaque from the association at this year’s 26th festival which showcased 53 features and 67 shorts as well as a strong selection of documentaries from all around the world.
The LLGFF features films from countries not normally seen on the London circuit, such as Circumstance, set in Iran against the background of the youth subcultures that exist in spite of the Islamic Republic; 365 without 377, an Italian film exploring the experiences of three Indian activists in the year since Section 377 of the Indian Penal code was abolished, thereby legalising homosexuality and the Australian film, Ballroom Rules, an account of a year spent in the company of same-sex ballroom dancers who are forbidden to compete in their native Australia, as they prepare to compete in the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne.Read More »
One of a series of actors’ reminiscences edited by Jack Tewkesbury.
My father Charlie Chaplin was used to the Southern California climate and hated the cold. He’d say, “It’s so cold here in Switzerland you have put food in the refrigerator to warm it up.” Once he and I went to an exhibition by Matisse in Paris. He was looking at the extraordinary paintings, and suddenly he got very depressed and said, “I used to be famous, too. ” Then he looked around and added, “I used to be well known.”
Little by little, people started looking at him. They said, “Charles,” and they came up and asked for his autograph and then he started saying, “Yes, he’s not a bad painter.”
He was very, very insecure, always. There’s that wonderful story about Flaubert. Apparently when he was dying he said, “I’m dying and that bitch Madame Bovary is going to live forever.” I suppose my father thought, “Here am I, getting old, and that little tramp is still doing gymnastics.”
My father was anti-American, but he didn’t try to impose his ideas on us, certainly not his political ideas or religious ones. He was an atheist, yet he sent me to Catholic school. He gave us all a choice. He was bitter about America although he wouldn’t admit it. He kept saying, “I don’t want to go back there,” but I’m sure he did. Anyhow, no way he could. He had a British passport. America, at that time, would not issue him a visa.
We were going to Japan once, and when the plane came down at Anchorage and everyone had to get off , he refused. “I’m staying right here.” And he sat down and wouldn’t get off the plane. Finally they carried him off and he said, “Oh well, it will be nice to have an American cup of coffee,” which seemed strange.
Nobody longs for an American cup of coffee!Read More »
HFPA members had a busy time on a recent trip to London, visiting Pinewood Studios where they went on the set of Les Miserables and the following day taking a two-hour coach trip to Arundel in Sussex. There, Universal Studios had taken over the ancient Arundel Castle for TV, radio and print interviews with the cast of Snow White and the Huntsman. The restored medieval castle, which has been in the family of the Duke of Norfolk for more than 400 years, was for three days the base for Charlize Theron, who plays the evil Queen, Kristen Stewart (left, Snow White) and Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman) to talk about themselves and the movie. Guests at a reception at Claridges the same evening included HFPA members, Universal head Ron Meyer, studio chairman Adam Fogelson, theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh and Hugh Jackman, who stars in Les Miserables.Read More »
One of a series of actors’ reminiscences researched by Jack Tewkesbury
Look, I have no problem with twenty-five-year-old virgins. In another twenty-five years they’ll be fifty. Think of all the fun they’ve missed.
We have a very puritanical view of sex in this country. It’s time to evolve, to embrace sex as a cool thing. But you’re right. For a long time I wasn’t able to sustain a relationship with a woman, I was never really capable of viewing a woman as anything but sexual. If I didn’t look at her in a sexual way, my interest was nil.
The modern American male is socialized into his need for coquest. I was into having as many physical experiences as I could, but I changed. It started when I hired this lady as an assistant. We worked together for two-and-a-half years before anything romantic happened, which allowed us to become really, really good friends first.
Through her I was able to establish a great relationship with a woman that was completely non-sexual. It’s tough, really. Men aren’t programmed to have friendships with women. Even with men, it’s limited. Very often sports is our common interest. In every other area, we are competitive.
We compete for money, we compete for women. Women are better at friendship and relationship.
When I was young, I was kind of shy around women, so I thought I’d make up for it by becoming a total hedonist. I spent my first five years, while on Cheers, accomplishing that, but then I started to focus on my spirituality, so it’s been a process of balancing my physical, emotional, and spiritual lives.
I was kind of a troubled child. I have an enormous shadow, the so-called dark stuff in your life that you suppress or repress. People tell you you are bad from the time you are very young. You put in this bag and you carry it along with you. It gets bigger and bigger , it keeps growing. I have to deal with my shadow because it’s enormous. But it’s a good thing for me to confront my shadow.
Longtime HFPA member and former president Philip Berk (right with Jane Fonda) has been invited by Sight and Sound magazine to join a prestigious panel to decide the Ten Greatest Films of All Time.
Phil, currently chairman of the HFPA board of directors, will be one of a distinguished group of world critics, programmers, academics and curators who every ten years take part in the poll. A major worldwide endeavour, the aim is to help remind people of film’s rich history and to refine what is meant by the best of cinema.
Those chosen to take part are being asked to select ten films in no particular order and one vote will be allotted to each film.
Sight and Sound explains: “As for what we mean by ‘Greatest’, we leave that open to your interpretation. You might choose the ten films you feel are most important to film history, or the ten that represent the aesthetic pinnacles of achievement, or indeed the ten films that have had the biggest impact on your own view of cinema.”
Throughout the world the magazine is known for the prestigious critics’ Top Ten Films poll that it conducts every ten years. This first took place in 1952, the only time the poll wasn’t won by Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane —– Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves took the honours that year – and was most recently done in 2002, when Kane beat Hitchcock’s Vertigo by two vote.Read More »
The Honorable Supreme Leader of Wadiya, Shabazz Aladeen, met with members of the HFPA recently while promoting Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest – and most personal – film, The Dictator.
Surrounded by two members of his Virgin Guards security team, the Admiral General praised the HFPA for having so many members representing countries that were once ruled by dictators: “Germany, the Philippines, Argentina … you are a true inspiration. It doesn’t get any better than this!” according to the Supreme Leader.
One of a series of actors’ reminiscences researched by Jack Tewkesbury
I overheard a producer say, “If you kicked an En – glishman in the heart, you’d break your toes.”
Oh, we work aplenty. After all, we have a much stronger tradition of theatre. Actors are schooled in England. We are technically trained. Not America’s subjective approach to acting.
But it’s interesting that British actors are usually cast as heavies in American movies. Maybe it’s some kind of cultural archetype in America that believes the British are not to be trusted.
Robert Duvall once said to Glenn Close — Jeremy Irons told me this when he and Glenn were doing The Real Thing on Broadway –Duval took her to lunch, and he said to her about Jeremy Irons, “How can you trust a guy that talks like that?” So, deep in the American consciousness, we’re not to be trusted. Maybe it goes back to the American Revolution.
A lot of directors are bullies. No matter. I need a good director because I can’t be on my own, either on stage or in film. In the past I have led the fray against directors because I didn’t always respect them, but do now more than ever.
Actors can be infuriating people with big egos, but a really good director is somebody who will, like Jonathan Demme, let you express character through your psychology and body. If he knows his stuff, he will concentrate on guiding the speed of the scene, the rhythm, the pace.
In the theatre, the director has to have the whole plan in his head. He’s got fifteen actors on stage, all those egos bumping about. He’s got to sort them out. If an actor doesn’t agree, a sensible director will negotiate.
The worst directors are the ones who shout and scream. They’re a nightmare. The late John Dexter, who directed Equus and M. Butterfly, was one. John was a very tough, brutal director. He could be savage.
After Equus I vowed I’d never work with him again, but as the years passed I thought, I’ve got to work with this guy again to get the record straight.
So I worked with him on M.Butterfly, and it was a pleasure, not because John had changed but because I had. We had a lot of fun, and he was very nice. I put up with his bullying because he knew what he was doing.
—Jack TewkesburyRead More »