No, you've not lost your mind, the first one is not yet in theaters
While Levy is set for the sequel, the film is not yet officially greenlit - a decision that will come after the first film opens and its box office results can be analyzed. But with a positive, crowd-pleasing buzz already leaking out about the film, I suspect that Levy's belief that he and the studio will need to wait a month or so before officially announcing the sequel is playing it more than safe. But even if and when the sequel is officially set, Levy will need to work around Jackman's schedule, with the actor signed on for both "Les Miserables" and his Wolverine sequel most likely filming after that. Levy's schedule is also busy enough already, with the director expecting to make one of his next big, sure-to-be blockbusters sometime this spring. Those films? A new take on "Frankenstein" and a 3D "Fantastic Voyage." Levy seems to feel positively about both, but it's not yet determined which film will be lensed first.
Are you going to go see "Real Steel" when it opens?
Sundance hit from Joshua Leonard spins off T.C. Boyle's story
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Sundance documentary follows the journey of the man who pulls the strings
Chatting with the director of the Sundance hit and Norway’s entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar
Norway and Sweden are neighbors but Norway gets the short end of the stick when it comes to having its films recognized by the international community. Take the Oscars for Best Foreign Film. Both Scandinavian countries have had official entries in the category every year since the late 1950s. But Norway has only had four films accepted by Academy officials and has never won. Sweden, on the other hand, has had 14 films in the competition and has won three Oscars.
Much has been written about the friction between the two countries, with many saying that Norway feels the brunt of the “sibling rivalry.” But Norway's second-class status at the Academy Awards may change this year.
A Norwegian film called “Happy, Happy” won the World Cinema Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and is now enjoying a release in many American cities. Norway has submitted the film as its official entry for the upcoming Oscar competition. I think this funny, poignant film about an eternal optimist whose life changes when “the perfect couple” moves in next door has a good chance of not only snagging a nomination, but also the top prize. The five foreign film nominees will be announced on January 24, 2012.
I loved the film, which is being distributed in this country by Magnolia Pictures, and I recently had the chance to talk to first-time director Anne Sewitsky about her experience making the film and her hopes for its success far beyond the fjords of home.
Your main character, Kaia, reminded me of Sally Hawkins’ Poppy in Mike Leigh’s 2008 film, “Happy-Go-Lucky.” Both have overtly cheerful personalities that border on annoying but which seem to mask some great pain underneath.
Sewitsky: Exactly. I think everyone has met someone who exudes that kind of Mary Poppins enthusiasm to the point of being disgustingly “merry.” But we all know that behind many of those facades are sadder fates, masked with a veneer of cheerfulness. I see Kaia as a particular breed of Norwegian who feels the need to keep up appearances not only for the people on the outside looking in, but for her own mental stability. But the cracks are there, and it doesn’t take long for her mask to fall.
Tom Six's sequel to the first gross-out film really brings the depravity
The Oscar-nominated actress loves hopscotching across genres and playing smaller character roles
Getting Sigourney Weaver to appear in your film is like winning the lottery. Regardless of the size of her role, Weaver’s skill and instincts make every scene she’s in that much more interesting and intelligent. Let’s face it, it would be hard to think of another veteran actress who could provide Sigourney Weaver’s level of brains, beauty, and—yes—brawn!
Weaver’s brilliant career includes Broadway hits such as “Hurlyburly,” her collaborations with playwright Christopher Durang, acclaimed TV movies, and a dazzling film career that spans every genre. What other actress has starred in three of the most successful sci-fi series of all time, “Avatar,” “Aliens,” and “Ghostbusters,” received Oscar nominations for beloved films such as “Gorillas in the Mist” and “Working Girl,” and given searing dramatic performances in films such as “The Ice Storm,” “A Map of the World,” “Imaginary Heroes,” and “Snow Cake.”
I had the great pleasure recently to sit down with Weaver to discuss her role as Dr. Geraldine Bennett, therapist-slash-CIA operative, in the new John Singleton thriller, “Abduction,” starring Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, and Alfred Molina. We talked about how much she enjoys playing smaller roles in films where her characters’ actions help set the plot in motion:
Weaver: I always loved those actors like James Mason who would come in and get something going in a certain direction. He may not always have had that much screen time, but he was so memorable in those films. That was my inspiration for this part, I kept thinking, “What would James Mason do?” What appealed to me about this character was that in a very short period of time I have to set something up in a very pivotal way. Also, I guess I’ve been in therapy for so many years, I was tickled about the idea of playing a therapist here! When John (Singleton) talked to me about the part, I loved the challenge of how Geri fits into the story.
How did you like playing a CIA agent?
Weaver: It’s funny, I actually play another CIA person in a movie coming out in the spring! I thought it was quite bizarre that in the same year I’d play two, but these women are at opposite ends of the spectrum, with opposite views of their job. It’s a tough life, believe me. I thought Alfred played it perfectly, he was so exasperated by the constant adrenaline demanded by the job. I love that our characters had lots of shades of gray.
No, this is not remake news (phew!)
Releasing non-movie events in movie theaters is nothing new (most moviegoers should at least be well-familiar with the screenings put on by Fathom Events, which seem to advertise before every AMC theater screening), but the expansion into such publicized Broadway fare is a fresh move. While the idea of seeing a play or a musical or a philharmonic performance on a movie screen (and removed from the live buzz one gets from a staged performance) may seem a bit silly, these types of events are wonderful ways for audiences to check out events they otherwise could not.
Case in point – Fathom often puts on National Theatre Live events that feature some of the very best of contemporary British theater, which is how they recently released special showings of Danny Boyle’s “Frankenstein.” Though the play earned accolades due to its wonderful alternating performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller (who would switch off on roles as Frankenstein and the monster throughout the play’s run), Boyle’s production also had an absolutely captivating stage design. How did that all translate on screen? Quite wonderfully for what it was – I saw it in a small theater in downtown Los Angeles and managed to forget I was seeing a staged play on a movie screen.
Have you ever seen a non-film performance in a movie theater? Would you want to? Would you want to see any of these four musicals in a movie theater near you?