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Home Movie News Bryce Dallas Howard: Jurassic World Star + Dutch Colonialism + Paolo Sorrentino Honor

Bryce Dallas Howard: Jurassic World Star + Dutch Colonialism + Paolo Sorrentino Honor

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Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World? Howard possibly the next female star in Jurassic Park franchise

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Bryce Dallas Howard, Rush director Ron Howard’s daughter perhaps best known for playing the Vengeful Vampire Victoria in David Slade’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, is “in talks” to star in Jurassic World a.k.a. Jurassic Park 4, to be directed by Safety Not Guaranteed‘s Colin Trevorrow. At this stage, it’s unclear what exactly Howard would be doing in Jurassic World – well, except that her (potential) character will somehow become entangled with dinosaurs and that there’ll be lots of green screens on the set.

According to various online reports, Universal had sets its sights on Bryce Dallas Howard a while back, but production was halted after Trevorrow took a pass on Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver’s Jurassic World draft. The current draft – plot unknown – was co-written by Trevorrow and his Safety Not Guaranteed screenwriter Derek Connolly. The reptilian characters are based on Michael Crichton’s novel.

Anyhow, there is no confirmation that Bryce Dallas Howard will star in Jurassic World, but she seems like the most likely candidate – at least for now. In case she does indeed get cast, Howard will be following in the footsteps of Jurassic Park‘s Laura Dern, The Lost World: Jurassic Park‘s Julianne Moore, and Jurassic Park III‘s Téa Leoni. Needless to say, none of the aforementioned actresses saw their careers take off because of their participation in movies whose actual stars are gigantic CGI creatures. But I’m sure the residuals must be phenomenal.

Jurassic World should start filming next winter in Hawaii; its current release date is June 12, 2015. Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are the film’s producers, while Steven Spielberg, the director of Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park, is one of its executive producers.

Bryce Dallas Howard movies

Bryce Dallas Howard’s movie career began in earnest in 2004, with roles in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and Alan Brown’s Book of Love. She was next seen as the lead in Lars von Trier’s controversial 2005 drama Manderlay, which was followed by leads or top supporting roles in Shyamalan’s box office flop Lady in the Water; Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, as Gwen Stacy opposite Tobey Maguire; and the Tennessee Williams adaptation The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, costarring Chris Evans.

Additionally, Howard was featured in McG’s Terminator Salvation, starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington; Clint Eastwood’s domestic box office flop Hereafter; Tate Taylor’s Best Picture Oscar nominee The Help, opposite Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain; and Jonathan Levine’s cancer comedy 50/50, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen.

Although Bryce Dallas Howard was supposed to have been author Stephenie Meyer’s first choice for the role of the vampire Victoria, Rachelle Lefevre eventually took on the part in both Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight and Chris Weitz’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Once Lefevre’s schedule prevented her from returning for Eclipse, Howard was brought in. In the film, she seduces Xavier Samuel, tries to bite Kristen Stewart’s head off, and does a little rolling in the snow with Robert Pattinson.

As a member of the Help ensemble, Bryce Dallas Howard has won several acting awards, including honors from the Screen Actors Guild, the National Board of Review, and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the TV movie As You Like It.

Empire Dutch Colonialism
Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism.

Long-lasting consequences of Dutch Colonialism: Empire at the REDCAT

Mixing personal narratives, investigative journalism, video art, and split/multiple screens, Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill’s transmedia documentary Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism – the lengthy title gives you a pretty good idea of what the film is about – will have its West Coast Premiere on Monday, Nov. 11, at 8:30 p.m. at downtown Los Angeles’ REDCAT. Both Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill are expected to attend the screening.

Previously shown at the 2013 New York Film Festival, Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism was filmed in more than half a dozen countries over the course of three years. According to the REDCAT press release, the Dutch-American filmmakers (Jongsma is Dutch; O’Neill is American) “traveled 140,000 kilometers through Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas to film this award-winning documentary.”

‘Sprawling’ Dutch colonial history

The release adds that “focusing on minute details and underrepresented populations,” Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism “reveals the gaps, lapses and contradictions of a sprawling colonial history which lasted from the 17th to the 20th century, and stretched from the Cape of Good Hope to the Indonesian archipelago, from New York City to South America’s Wild Coast.”

I’m assuming “South America’s Wild Coast” is a reference to modern-day Suriname and Northeast Brazil. In fact, both Suriname and Brazil are included among the countries Jongsma and O’Neill visited for their documentary, in addition to the aforementioned Indonesia, plus Ghana, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Referring to Dutch colonialism as “the first global capitalist endeavor,” the REDCAT release elaborates that although Dutch colonialists “came in pursuit of short-term profits, the companies left behind a legacy that can still be seen today in the cultures, and in the bloodlines, of people and communities around the world.”

And in this video interview, filmmaker / artist Eline Jongsma explains:

“There are many sides to the colonial experience. So we wanted to highlight that in the presentation, and not make a narrative film, you know, with a beginning, middle, end, and a conclusion. It doesn’t fit the subject matter. It’s a very fragmented history, and there are many untold stories, especially from the perspectives of people whose lives – or their ancestors’ lives – have been severely affected by colonialism. But it’s not something they process in the way you maybe learn in a history book.”

European colonialism at the movies

As an aside, European colonialism and/or its legacy hasn’t been a topic frequently explored at the movies, apart from Empire-glorifying adventure epics such as Henry Hathaway’s Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935), Michael Curtiz’s The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), Rowland V. Lee’s The Sun Never Sets (1939), and George StevensGunga Din (1939), with the likes of Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. winning the day for the British Crown. Notable exceptions to that rule include:

  • George Cukor’s Bhowani Junction (1956), starring Ava Gardner as a “half-caste” Anglo-Indian woman facing some serious issues regarding her ethnic allegiances – in terms of romance, not politics. Who should she choose: British Stewart Granger, Anglo-Indian Bill Travers, or Indian Francis Matthews (in brown make-up)?
  • Gillo Pontecorvo’s political drama Burn! / Queimada (1969), starring Marlon Brando as an Englishman who foments a revolt against Portuguese rule – so as to benefit the English sugar trade – on the Caribbean island of Queimada.
  • David Lean’s A Passage to India (1984), in which Englishwomen Judy Davis and Peggy Ashcroft quite literally become engulfed by the Raj – South Asia under British rule.
  • Steven Spielberg’s well-intentioned but embarrassingly contrived and historically laughable Amistad (1997), about the slave trade between Africa and the Americas.

Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill: ‘Cross-platform storytelling’

Among the various film festivals, museums, and galleries that have showcased Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill’s videos and installations are the aforementioned New York Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town, and CBK Zuidoost / Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.

Additionally, Jongsma and O’Neill’s journalistic work has been featured in The Huffington Post and on The Netherlands’ VPRO Television and De Correspondent.

A curiosity: Kel O’Neill was originally cast as Daniel Day-Lewis’ son in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, but was later replaced by Paul Dano. Among O’Neill’s other acting credits are Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s Easier with Practice, with Brian Geraghty; Brian De Palma’s Redacted; and Hilary Brougher’s Stephanie Daley, with Amber Tamblyn.

‘Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism’ at the REDCAT

The REDCAT is located at 631 West 2nd Street, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. Tickets to Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism may be purchased at 213.237.2800 or at the REDCAT website, or in person at the REDCAT Box Office.

Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud, the presentation of Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism is partly supported by public funds from the Netherlands Cultural Services.

Finding Hillywood Rwanda movie industry
Finding Hillywood Rwanda movie industry.

‘Finding Hillywood’: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to present documentary about Rwanda’s budding film industry

The 2013 documentary Finding Hillywood, which offers a glimpse into the budding film industry in Rwanda, will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Bpeace, the Business Council for Peace, at a special screening on Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Academy Theater in New York City.

The Finding Hillywood screening will be followed by an onstage discussion with Leah Warshawski, who directed and produced the documentary with Christopher Towey, and production designer Wynn Thomas (Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind, Spike Lee’s Inside Man), who was a member of the Academy’s International Outreach delegation to Rwanda and Kenya in 2011.

According to the Academy’s website, Wynn Thomas and several other Academy delegates, among them actress Alfre Woodard (Cross Creek), writer-director Phil Robinson (Field of Dreams), and cinematographer John Bailey (Groundhog Day), conducted workshops for African filmmakers “and saw the promise of Rwandan filmmaking and the magic of Hillywood screenings firsthand.”

‘Finding Hillywood’: ‘Inspirational’ documentary about ‘the power of cinema’

A handful of international movies have been set in Rwanda, e.g., Michael Apted’s Gorillas in the Mist, which earned Sigourney Weaver a Best Actress Academy Award nomination; Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda, starring Oscar nominees Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo; Raoul Peck’s Sometimes in April, with Idris Elba and Debra Winger; and Roger Spottiswoode’s Shake Hands with the Devil, with Roy Dupuis and Deborah Kara Unger.

Yet, outside of that country little is known about locally made Rwanda-set movies – even though Lee Isaac Chung’s American-Rwandan drama Munyurangabo, the story of a genocide orphan seeking revenge in Rwanda’s countryside, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Los Angeles-based AFI FEST’s Grand Jury Prize in 2007, while Alrick Brown’s Kinyarwanda (officially a Franco-American production), won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Set at the time of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Kinyarwanda features several personal stories, including the love affair between a Tutsi woman and a Hutu man.

Enter Finding Hillywood, described on the Academy’s website as an “inspirational” documentary that “shows the power of cinema as a catalyst for healing and change.” The brief synopsis below is also from the AMPAS’ site:

The film centers around Ayuub Kasasa Mago, a local filmmaker whose mother died in the 1994 genocide. A coordinator for the Rwanda Film Festival (now in its 9th year), Mago leads a crew that travels from town to town for Hillywood, the section of the festival that presents locally made movies outdoors on giant inflatable screens, bringing joy and inspiration to tens of thousands in rural Rwandan communities.

Bpeace, the Business Council for Peace, is described as “a nonprofit network of business professionals who volunteer skills to entrepreneurs in conflict-affected countries to help them create significant employment.”

More information about Finding Hillywood can be found on the film’s website.

Finding Hillywood image via the film’s site.

Paolo Sorrentino to receive Starz Denver Film Festival honor

Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino will receive the fifth Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award at the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival. Sorrentino will be handed his award prior to the screening of The Great Beauty / La grande bellezza on Nov. 16 at 1:00 p.m. at the Sie FilmCenter. Sponsored by the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, the award, which “recognizes the best in contemporary Italian cinema,” includes a $10,000 honorarium.

Previous recipients of the Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award are Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Massimo Natale, Gianni Di Gregorio, and Federico Bondi.

‘The Great Beauty’

The Starz Denver Film Festival press release describes Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty – clearly influenced by Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita – as follows:

Populated by the debauched, disenchanted or simply disinterested elite of Roman society, Sorrentino’s latter-day Babylon revolves around Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo). Gambardella is a successful journalist and frustrated former novelist with an acerbic wit and irresistible charm, also known as “the king of the high life.”

The Great Beauty is Italy’s submission for the 2014 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. A Q&A with Paolo Sorrentino will follow the screening.

Besides frequent Sorrentino collaborator Toni Servillo, The Great Beauty features Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, Serena Grandi, and Isabella Ferrari.

Paolo Sorrentino

Born in Naples in 1970, Paolo Sorrentino had his first feature, the dramatic comedy One Man Up / L’uomo in più, screened at the Venice Film Festival. Three years later, Sorrentino’s The Consequences of Love / Le conseguenze dell’amore premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, eventually winning five David di Donatello Awards (the Italian Oscars): Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor for Toni Servillo, and Best Cinematography.

Sorrentino’s next big-screen effort was The Family Friend / L’amico di famiglia (2006), followed by the political comedy Il Divo (2008), a corrosive portrait of former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti that won the Jury Prize at that year’s Cannes Film Festival.

More recently, according to the IMDb Paolo Sorrentino is one of the filmmakers directing the various segments in the upcoming omnibus feature Rio, I Love You / Rio, Eu Te Amo. The film’s cast includes Rodrigo Santoro, Emily Mortimer, Jason Isaacs, Nadine Labaki, and Wagner Moura.

For a complete schedule of the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival, which runs November 6-17, visit

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