Movies

A writer writes, but there’s no evidence that Joanna Rakoff can even type when she takes the job as an assistant working for literary agent Phyllis Westberg in “My Salinger Year.” Because Rakoff went on to pen a book-length memoir about her time working for Westberg, who represented reclusive writer J.D. Salinger, we can rest
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Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley is bolstering her executive team following the promotion of Jeff Shell to CEO of parent company NBCUniversal. Langley has upped Universal Pictures president Peter Levinsohn to vice chairman, an internal studio memo obtained by Variety said. Levinsohn, who will also keep the previous title of chief distribution officer,
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Gloria Allred is representing three of the six women who have testified in Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial. The high-profile attorney has been accused by Weinstein’s legal team of having plans to sue the former Hollywood honcho after his rape trial concludes. During closing arguments, Weinstein’s lead attorney Donna Rotunno said Allred sits in court every
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Chilean indigenous communities are turning to film to portray their world values, social problems and identities. That’s the case for Leo Pakarati, of the Rapa Nui from Easter Island, and Mapuche Claudia Huaiquimilla. Both will present their recent works as case studies at the European Film Market’s Chile Country in Focus. Pakarati’s documentary plumbs the impact
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Chilean producers to track, who will be forming part of the Berlinale’s 2020 Country in Focus dedicated to Chile. Five are well-known, another five on the rise : Up-and-coming María José Díaz  Dos Be Producciones An executive producer and investigative journalist for TV series and doc-features, Diaz is an executive producer at Dos Be Prods.
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February 20, 2020 9:45AM PT Wes Anderson, the acclaimed filmmaker behind two of the generation’s best-loved stop-motion features: the Oscar-nominated feature “Ilse of Dogs” and 2010’s Annecy Cristal for a feature film-winner “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” will be in France this June to celebrate the Annecy International Animation Film Festival’s 60th anniversary. It’s Anderson’s first visit to
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Bong Joon-ho and the key cast of quadruple Oscar-winning black comedy “Parasite” returned home to South Korea this week. At a press event in Seoul on Wednesday they reflected on lessons from the Academy Awards. “Compared to Hollywood studios and Netflix, our Oscars campaign was smaller. Other nominees had enormous ads on billboard and TV
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London-based distributor Dogwoof and music films specialist Eagle Rock have partnered on international sales for the Natalie Johns-directed “Max Richter’s Sleep.” The film follows the ground-breaking British-born German composer — who rose to prominence with the Golden Globe-winning “Waltz with Bashir” and whose credits include “Ad Astra” and “Shutter Island” — as he created his
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February 20, 2020 3:38AM PT Megan Fox, best known for “Transformers” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” is set to star in suspense thriller “Aurora.” Arclight Films will start worldwide sales for the movie at the European Film Market in Berlin. “Aurora,” to be directed by Lazar Bodroža (“A.I. Rising”), tells the story of a female
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Herbert L. Kloiber, former managing director of Tele München Group, has launched a new media venture focusing on European film and series projects. Munich-based Night Train Media is looking to develop, co-produce, finance and distribute in-house and third-party projects. Speaking to Variety, Kloiber said it was the ideal time to launch the company “in this
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British actor Jeremy Irons, this year’s president of the international jury at the Berlin Film Festival, has spoken out about prior controversies surrounding his alleged views on sexual abuse, same-sex marriage and abortion. Irons opened the jury’s press conference on Thursday, calling it a “privilege” to have been named president, but wasted no time in
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“Veep” creator Armando Iannucci has teamed with “Intouchables” and “Death of Stalin” producer Yann Zenou on a coming-of-age theatrical feature comedy set in the world of amateur sumo wrestling. Rocket Science is handling worldwide sales at the European Film Market. Iannucci will act as executive producer. Other producers, alongside Zenou, on the project are Emily
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Saudi Arabian film director Mahmoud Sabbagh, who made a splash with groundbreaking romcom “Barakah Meets Barakah” and black comedy “Amra and the Second Marriage,” roughly a year ago became president of Saudi’s Red Sea International Film Festival, the kingdom’s first full-fledged festival and market. The ambitious event, which will run March 12-21 in Jeddah, recently
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Liam Neeson is set to star in the action crime thriller “Memory” to be directed by the U.K.’s Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale,” “Goldeneye”). STX International is handling the international sales rights and will unveil the project at the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market. “Memory” follows Neeson as an expert assassin who himself becomes a target
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Pulsar Content, the Paris-based sales company launched at Toronto, has acquired “Wild Indian,” a thriller executive produced by and starring Jesse Eisenberg, along with Michael Greyeyes (“Fear the Walking Dead”). The film marks the feature debut of Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., whose shorts have played at Toronto and Sundance. “Wild Indian” was developed at the
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Charades has scooped up international sales rights to “Shorta,” the buzzed-about Danish project that was presented at Les Arcs’s work-in-progress and Goteborg’s Nordic Film Market. “Shorta,” directed by Frederik Louis Hviid and Anders Ølholm, unfolds in the aftermath of the killing of 19-year-old Talib Ben Hassi while in custody. The film follows two police officers,
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Stefan Ruzowitzky, director of the Oscar-winning “The Counterfeiters,” and “The Grudge” screenwriter Stephen Susco have boarded “Alone,” a remake of the 2007 supernatural Thai thriller by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom. The new film follows conjoined twin sisters from an Asian family in Boston whose loving relationship is tested when one of them befriends a
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AMC Networks’ streaming service Shudder has acquired the genre thriller “Dead & Beautiful,” directed prominent Dutch filmmaker David Verbeek (“Full Contact”), for the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The film is represented in international territories by Indie Sales. Verbeek’s seventh feature “Dead & Beautiful” follows a group of young and spoiled teenagers
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The Berlin Festival has taken a hit from the coronavirus epidemic that began in China, but the absence of Chinese buyers may signal wider industry problems. Festival organizers, who do not anticipate further virus-related damage, told Variety that 118 individuals set to attend from China have cancelled, out of approximately 21,000 accreditations. From other territories
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In “The Night Clerk,” Tye Sheridan and a very busy Ana de Armas star as a hotel clerk with Asperger’s and the solicitous beauty who shows up after a murder. The chemistry between Sheridan and de Armas is involving. The casting of Helen Hunt as a enabling mother and John Leguizamo as a police detective
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Ron Howard, over the last decade, has directed a handful of documentaries (all of them about popular musicians), and maybe it’s no surprise that he has turned out to be an ace craftsman of the nonfiction form. But “Rebuilding Paradise,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, is a different kind of Ron Howard documentary,
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MK2 has boarded Alex Helfrecht’s “A Winter’s Journey,” a feature blending live-action, CGI and hand-painted animation made by the creative teams behind “Despicable Me” and “Loving Vincent.” Adapted from Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise,” the film stars Gaspard Ulliel, John Malkovich, Martina Gedeck, Charles Berling  and newcomer Gabriella Moran. Set in 1812 Bavaria, the film tells the
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Munich-based world sales company Global Screen has pre-sold the new adaptation of Eric Knight novel’s “Lassie Come Home,” whose canine character was first brought to the big screen more than 75 years ago, to more than 44 countries. Territories include Italy (Lucky Red), France (Mediawan Rights), Scandinavia (Angel Scandinavia), Israel (Film House), CIS (Volga Film),
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