Jang Dong-gun & Kate Bosworth + 'The Pianist' Victim-Hero Accused of Gestapo Ties

Jang Dong-gun Kate BosworthJang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth: 'The Warrior's Way' junket panel.

Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth photos: 'The Warrior's Way' junket panel in Los Angeles

Actors Jang Dong-gun and Kate Bosworth attended a junket panel for The Warrior's Way on Nov. 18, '10, at the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles.

Written and directed by Sngmoo Lee, The Warrior's Way tells the story of a warrior-assassin hiding in a small town in the American Badlands after turning down an assignment.

In addition to Jang and Bosworth, the cast includes Best Actor Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine, 1996), Danny Huston, Tony Cox, and Jed Brophy.

The Warrior's Way opens in the United States on Dec. 3.

Jang Dong-gun and Kate Bosworth photo: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for Relativity Media.

Jang Dong-gunJang Dong-gun.

Jang Dong-gun movies

Jang Dong-gun has been featured in a dozen movies, mostly in his native South Korea. Titles include:

  • Typhoon (2005).
    Dir.: Kwak Kyung-Taek.
    Cast: Lee Jung-jae. Lee Mi-yeon. David Lee McInnis (as David McInnis).
  • The Promise (2005).
    Dir.: Chen Kaige.
    Cast: Hiroyuki Sanada. Cecilia Cheung. Nicholas Tse. Liu Ye.
  • Good Morning President (2009).
    Dir.: Jang Jin.
    Cast: Lee Soon-jae. Ko Du-shim.

Jang Dong-gun photo: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for Relativity Media.

Kate Bosworth movies

Beginning with Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer (1998), since the late '90s Kate Bosworth has been seen in about 15 feature films. These include the following:

  • Wonderland (2003).
    Dir.: James Cox.
    Cast: Carrie Fisher. Dylan McDermott. Val Kilmer. Michael Pitt. Josh Lucas. Tim Blake Nelson. Janeane Garofalo. Natasha Gregson Wagner. Christina Applegate. Eric Bogosian. Lisa Kudrow.
  • Beyond the Sea (2004).
    Dir.: Kevin Spacey.
    Cast: Kevin Spacey (as singer/actor Bobby Darin). Kate Bosworth (as actress Sandra Dee). John Goodman. Bob Hoskins. Brenda Blethyn. Greta Scacchi. Caroline Aaron. Matt Rippy.
  • Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004).
    Dir.:Robert Luketic.
    Cast: Topher Grace. Josh Duhamel. Nathan Lane. Sean Hayes. Gary Cole. Ginnifer Goodwin. Kathryn Hahn. Octavia Spencer. Amy Smart. Moon Bloodgood.
  • Superman Returns (2006).
    Dir.: Bryan Singer.
    Cast: Brandon Routh. Kevin Spacey. James Marsden. Parker Posey. Frank Langella. Sam Huntington. Eva Marie Saint. David Fabrizio. Jack Larson. Noel Neill.
  • The Girl in the Park (2007).
    Dir.: David Auburn.
    Cast: Sigourney Weaver. Alessandro Nivola. Keri Russell. Daisy Tahan. David Rasche. Patricia Kalember. Ian McWethy. Elias Koteas. Michael Patterson. Joanna Gleason. Stephen Kunken. Brendan Sexton III. Elisabeth Waterston.
  • 21 (2008).
    Dir.: Robert Luketic.
    Cast: Jim Sturgess. Kevin Spacey. Aaron Yoo. Liza Lapira. Jacob Pitts. Laurence Fishburne. Jack McGee. Josh Gad. Sam Golzari.

 

Jang Dong-gun movies' cast and directors info via the IMDb.

Kate Bosworth movies' cast and directors info via the IMDb.

'The Pianist' Victim-Hero Accused of Gestapo Ties in New Book

Adrien Brody, The Pianist
Adrien Brody as Wladyslaw Szpilman in Roman Polanski's The Pianist

The story of Polish-Jewish musician Wladyslaw Szpilman, who survived World War II against all odds, Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002) was sold as a motion picture about the “triumph of the human spirit.”

For those who believe that human survival instinct is somehow “spiritual” – I'm assuming most people do; I'm not one of them – The Pianist rehabilitated Polanski at least in terms of his filmmaking abilities, following a string of generally dismissed efforts such as Pirates, Bitter Moon, and The Ninth Gate.

Eventually, The Pianist went on to receive three Academy Awards: Best Director, Best Actor for Adrien Brody for his highly Americanized portrayal of the Polish Szpilman, and for Ronald Harwood's adaptation of Szpilman's book of memoirs.

Now comes Polish journalist Agata Tuszynska, who claims in a biography of the late cabaret singer Wiera Gran that her subject accused Szpilman of having collaborated with the Gestapo to keep himself alive during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Hardly the kind of “spiritual” survival instinct people want to hear about.

Curiously, Szpilman had previously accused Gran of being herself a Nazi collaborator. According to Eric Westerwelt's NPR report, Gran spent the rest of her life trying to clear her name.

Szpilman's descendants, for their part, assert the accusation found in Tuszynska's book is completely false. His son, Andrzej, has vowed to take legal action to try to stop the publication of the Gran biography.

This isn't the first time that a Nazi era hero made famous at the movies gets his name besmirched. Following the success of Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler's widow claimed that the former Nazi spy-turned-Jewish savior was a “pitiful” figure who really couldn't have cared less whether or not he could've done more for those in his charge.

Photo: Focus Features

Gay Ghost Love Story 'Undertow': New York & Los Angeles Screenings

Undertow Contracorriente Manolo Cardona Cristian Mercado
Manolo Cardona, Cristian Mercado, Contracorriente / Undertow

Javier Fuentes-León's Contracorriente / Undertow, winner of the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance 2010 and Peru's submission to the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, opens Friday, Nov. 26, at New York's Cinema Village and Los Angeles' Laemmle's Sunset 5 (actually in West Hollywood).

Undertow's synopsis, via distributor The Film Collaborative, reads as follows:

In this unique ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside, a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions. Miguel (Cristian Mercado), a handsome young fisherman, and his beautiful bride, Mariela (Tatiana Astengo), are about to welcome their first child. But Miguel harbors a secret; he's in love with Santiago (Manolo Cardona), a painter, who is ostracized by the town because he's gay. After a tragic accident occurs, Miguel must choose between sentencing Santiago to eternal torment or doing right by him and, in turn, revealing their relationship to Mariela—and the entire village.

Its Los Angeles area opening means that Undertow will also be eligible for the 2011 Oscars' regular categories as well. Will Academy members pay attention to a small, Spanish-language movie? We shall see.

Official site.

Future screenings include:

December 17
Miami, Coral Gables Art Cinema
Boca Raton, Living Room Theaters, Boca Raton

December 24
Portland, Living Room Theaters, Portland

December 31
Seattle, Landmark

January 7
San Diego, Landmark
Miami, Miami Dade College's Tower Theater

January 21
Palm Springs, Cinémas Palme D'Or

January 28
Washington, D.C., Landmark

February 4
Boston, Landmark
Denver, Landmark

TBD
Chicago, Landmark
Philadelphia, Landmark
Minneapolis, Landmark

Photo: Héctor Álvarez / The Film Collaborative

Academy's Best Documentary: 'The Tillman Story' & 'Waiting for Superman'

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences haven't officially released their longlist of Best Documentary Feature contenders for the 2011 Oscars, but the 15-film list has already been circulating online thanks to a leak (see “update” below) somewhere inside the Academy. (Deadline was the first site to publish the list; others have followed suit since.) [Update: The Academy says the announcement was released at 12:17 p.m. and that no outlet was given priority. Deadline's current post date says “12:21 p.m.” We at Alt Film Guide received the announcement via e-mail at 12:59 p.m.]

Most documentaries that pundits expected would get a nomination have been included in the longlist, e.g., Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for 'Superman', about the sad state of the American education system; Alex Gibney's Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, a look at the political machinations behind the rise and fall of New York governor Eliot Spitzer; Amir Bar-Lev's The Tillman Story, about the U.S. military's shameless deception following the death of football-player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman; and Charles Ferguson's Inside Job, the pathetic tale of the 2008 global economic crisis. Yet, several well-received docs have been left out.

Most notable among the missing is Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams – is it not getting a 2010 release? [Update: The Academy says Herzog's film was both submitted and eligible.]

The 15 contenders are:

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Alex Gibney, director (ES Productions LLC)

Enemies of the People, Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath, directors (Old Street Films)

Exit through the Gift Shop, Banksy, director (Paranoid Pictures)

Gasland, Josh Fox, director (Gasland Productions, LLC)

Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould, Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont, directors (White Pine Pictures)

Inside Job, Charles Ferguson, director (Representational Pictures)

The Lottery, Madeleine Sackler, director (Great Curve Films)

Precious Life, Shlomi Eldar, director (Origami Productions)

Quest for Honor, Mary Ann Smothers Bruni, director (Smothers Bruni Productions)

Restrepo, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, directors (Outpost Films)

This Way of Life, Thomas Burstyn, director (Cloud South Films)

The Tillman Story, Amir Bar-Lev, director (Passion Pictures/Axis Films)

Waiting for 'Superman', Davis Guggenheim, director (Electric Kinney Films)

Waste Land, Lucy Walker, director (Almega Projects)

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, directors (Disturbing the Universe LLC)

The 2011 Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The 2011 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 27 '11, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the US, it'll be broadcast live on ABC.

Robert Paynter Dies: Shot Michael Jackson 'Thriller' Music Video

Cinematographer Robert Paynter, a frequent Michael Winner and John Landis collaborator among whose credits include the Michael Jackson music video Thriller, died last Oct. 20, The Guardian reported yesterday. Paynter (born in London on March 12, 1928) was 82.

Directed by Landis, the 14-minute Thriller (1983) mixed hip dancing and visual effects – Michael Jackson metamorphosing into a werewolf and a zombie – to bring the music video a horror-movie feel. Thriller remains in all likelihood Paynter's best-known and most widely seen effort.

Paynter's first feature-film work was on Winner's Hannibal Brooks (1969), in which a British POW and Lucy the elephant escape across the Alps into Switzerland. Oliver Reed played the latter-day Hannibal.

Among Paynter's other efforts in various genres were Winner's spooky The Nightcomers (1971), Landis' comedy blockbuster Trading Places (1983), Richard Lester's fantasy-adventure Superman II (1980), and Frank Oz's cartoonish musical Little Shop of Horrors (1986).

Grassroots Campaign for 'Machine Man', Woody Allen-ish Comedy-Drama Latest News

Starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, Barry Levinson's Oscar-winning Rain Main (1988) brought worldwide awareness to autism, while Randa Haines' Oscar-nominated Children of a Lesser God (1986) dramatized the trials and tribulations of the hearing impaired – and earned leading lady Marlee Matlin a Best Actress Academy Award.

In order to dramatize the struggles of people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, actress-filmmaker Kellie Madison is working on a narrative feature titled Machine Man.

According to a press release about this project-in-the-works, Machine Man chronicles “the spirited tale of an average man, who struggles with an extraordinary problem, facing his most debilitating fear in order to save the woman he loves.”

Kellie MadisonThe release adds that Madison “is using her passion for the project to attempt a filming feat no Producer has yet to achieve: raising the entire $2,000,000 budget of the film through philanthropic support from the local community. We need YOUR help in spreading the word.  This grassroots campaign is a unique, ambitious and worthwhile endeavor.  Depending on the level of support, all participants will be rewarded, including the opportunity for a role in the film.  Additionally, partial proceeds will go to the International OCD Foundation.”

For more information about Machine Man, visit www.machinemanthemovie.com and check out a four-minute video introduction about the project here.

Photos: Courtesy MJK Public Relations

'Happy Holiday's news

A while back, Alt Film Guide did a q&a with filmmaker James C. Ferguson, whose Woody Allenish comedy-drama Happy Holidays, co-written by Ferguson and Tom Misuraca, centers on the dysfunctional friendship of three school friends reunited at their Connecticut hometown right before Christmas. One man (Paul Hungerford) is a gay guy at odds with his father; another (Thomas Rhoads) is a cheating husband (and devout Catholic) in town for his father's funeral; and a third (John B. Crye) has just converted to Judaism so as to match the faith of the latest woman in his life.

Ferguson has some news about Happy Holidays, which can be found on the film's Facebook page.

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1 Comment to Jang Dong-gun & Kate Bosworth + 'The Pianist' Victim-Hero Accused of Gestapo Ties

  1. richard paynter

    I was fascinated that robert paynter,on visiting michael jackson home,for the first time,robert wrote an 8 page notes,about michael,the very first time,that he wrote any notes about anyone.