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Kathleen Turner Conversation + Woody Allen-Cate Blanchett Movie Project

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Actress Kathleen Turner, perhaps best remembered for seducing William Hurt in Lawrence Kasdan’s Body Heat and for romping about with Michael Douglas in Robert ZemeckisRomancing the Stone, will be present on May 7 at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Bell Lightbox to discuss her career in films and on stage. Turner will be making her Toronto stage debut in spring 2012: Matthew Lombardo’s High at the Royal Alexandra Theatre from May 8–13.

Turner, 58 next June, has appeared in nearly 30 features. In addition to the aforementioned two titles, her credits include Ken Russell’s Crimes of Passion, as a Belle de Jour-like sex worker; John Huston’s Oscar-nominated Prizzi’s Honor, as Jack Nicholson’s partner in crime; the Lewis Teague-directed Romancing the Stone sequel The Jewel of the Nile; Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married, which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination; and Danny DeVito’s The War of the Roses, once again opposite Michael Douglas.

Turner’s career went downhill in the early ’90s after a series of box office misfires, including Jeff Kanew’s V.I. Warshawski, Michael Lessac’s House of Cards, and John WatersSerial Mom.

The information below is from the TIFF website:

Critically acclaimed actress Kathleen Turner first came to prominence in 1981 with her unforgettable debut as sultry femme fatale Matty Walker in Lawrence Kasdan’s Body Heat. She made a name for herself throughout the decade by playing sexy, strong and often very funny women, earning Golden Globe awards for her memorable performances in Romancing the Stone and Prizzi’s Honor and an Academy Award nomination for Peggy Sue Got Married.

Her screen career continued to thrive with roles in such acclaimed films as The War of the Roses, The Accidental Tourist and The Virgin Suicides, while her equally impressive theatre career yielded Tony nominations for her performances in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Ms. Turner returns to Toronto to perform in a limited run of Matthew Lombardo’s High at the Royal Alexandra Theatre from May 8–13, following the play’s Broadway run, where she earned a Drama League Award nomination for her performance. …

Tickets go on sale for TIFF Members on April 11th, and for non-members on April 13th.

Kathleen Turner photo via TIFF.

Cate Blanchett Hanna
Cate Blanchett in Joe Wright’s Hanna

Woody Allen Movie Project: Cate Blanchett & Sally Hawkins?

In the last few weeks, Cate Blanchett’s name has been mentioned in connection to Woody Allen’s next film not to be shot in Copenhagen. According to, Allen has indeed made offers not only to Blanchett, but also to Sally Hawkins, best known for almost getting an Academy Award nomination for her Berlin Film Festival hit Happy-Go-Lucky.

The Forbes article adds that “there’s no word at all” on Bradley Cooper. The Hit and Run / The Hangover star had been rumored as another possibility for Allen’s film.

Still untitled (as usual), Allen’s next will be shot in San Francisco and New York City. Allen’s latest, To Rome with Love, took in $3.7 million in Italy this past weekend, topping the box office chart in that country. It opens in the US on June 22.

To Rome with Love features Allen himself, Life Is Beautiful‘s Roberto Benigni, Vicky Cristina Barcelona‘s Penélope Cruz, The Social Network‘s Jesse Eisenberg, Juno‘s Ellen Page, A Passage to India‘s Judy Davis, 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin, Midnight in Paris’ Alison Pill, Greta Gerwig, Riccardo Scamarcio, Alessandra Mastronardi, Alessandro Tiberi, Isabella Ferrari, Antonio Albanese, Flavio Parenti, and veterans Giuliano Gemma and Ornella Mutti.

Hanna photo: Alex Bailey / Focus Features

Caméra d’Or Jury President Carlos Diegues

Carlos Diegues, best known internationally for his 1980 hit Bye Bye Brasil, will head the Caméra d’Or jury at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Previous jury presidents include Bong Joon-Ho, Gael García Bernal, Roschdy Zem, and Abbas Kiarostami.

Diegues’ fellow jury members are Gloria Satta, journalist with Italy’s Il Messaggero; Rémy Chevrin, representing the French Association of Film Cinematographers; Hervé Icovic, on behalf of the Federation of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries; Michel Andrieu, representing the Society of Film Directors; and Francis Gavelle, for the French Union of Film Critics.

Launched in 1978, the Caméra d’Or is given to the best first film presented in the Official Selection (Competition, Out of Competition and Un Certain Regard), La Semaine de la Critique or Directors’ Fortnight. This year, 22 are eligible.

The information below is from the Cannes Film Festival website. The “Northeast” referred to in the text is the Brazilian Northeast (more specifically, the city of Maceió, in the state of Alagoas) – not New England, Queensland, or Lorraine and Alsace. Also, I’m not sure why Joanna Francesa (“Joanna Frenchwoman”) is spelled as “Joanna Francesca” in the text (and in several other websites). Jeanne Moreau had the title role in that movie, dubbed by 1998 Best Actress Oscar nominee Fernanda Montenegro (Walter SallesCentral Station).

Carlos Diegues, by the way, turns 72 on May 19. He’ll be celebrating at Cannes.

A native of the Northeast, Carlos Diegues studied law in Rio de Janeiro, whilst also running film clubs. He became a film critic and directed short films imbued with social realism. A pioneer of Cinema Novo, in particular with Glauber Rocha, he sought to imprint Brazilian filmmaking on the national consciousness.

His first feature films Ganga Zumba (1964) and The Big City (1966), spoke of his dream of a fairer world. He then went on to direct The Heirs(1969), Joanna Francesca (1973) with Jeanne Moreau and Xica da Silva (1976), which ushered in a period of great popularity for Brazilian cinema, reinforced by the success of Summer Showers (1978) an Official Selection at Cannes, as were Bye Bye Brasil (1980), Quilombo (1984) and Subway to the Stars (1987). His exploration of popular culture continued with Rio’s Love Song (1994) and Orfeu (1999). In 2006, he won the Best Film Award at the Montreal Festival, with The Greatest Love of All.

Carlos Diegues photo: © DR

Una Noche movie Javier Nunez Florian Anailin de la Rua de la Torre
Lucy Mulloy’s Una Noche: Javier Nuñez Florián, Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre.

Tribeca Film Festival: Politics Nation

World and national politics played an important role at the Tribeca Film Festival 2012, both on screen and off. Kim Nguyen’s War Witch, about a kidnapped African girl who is forced to become a child soldier, was chosen as the Best Narrative Feature at the festival, while Lucy Mulloy’s Una Noche, in which Cuban teenagers attempt to flee Havana for Miami, won awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography (Trevor Forrest and Shlomo Godder), and a shared award for Best Actor (Dariel Arrechada and Javier Nuñez Florián).

Additionally, War Witch‘s leading lady, 14-year-old Rachel Mwanza, was Tribeca’s Best Actress. The Congo-born Mwanza had previously won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival.

Off screen, Una Noche caused a commotion after it was revealed that two of the film’s leads, Best Actor co-winner Nuñez Florián and Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre, had “disappeared” after arriving in Miami. It was assumed that life was imitating art.

But will those two Cubans find True Freedom on American soil? Well, they should have a chat with Short Film jury member Susan Sarandon, who told those present at a q&a with fellow jury member Michael Moore that her phone had been tapped and that she had been under government surveillance. Sarandon is well-known for her liberal views, and was an ardent and highly vocal opponent of the Iraq War.

Among Tribeca’s less blatantly political winners were Daniel Burman’s Argentinean comedy All In, which received honors for Best Screenplay (Burman and Sergio Dubcovsky), and Nisha Pahuja’s depiction of the Miss India pageant, The World Before Her, winner of the Best Documentary Award.

This year, the Tribeca Film Festival’s various jury panels included Oscar show almost-producer Brett Ratner, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2‘s Kellan Lutz and Dakota Fanning, In the Name of the Father‘s Jim Sheridan, Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire‘s Mike Newell, and Sex and the City‘s Kim Cattrall.

Javier Nuñez Florián, Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre / Una Noche photo: Tribeca Film Festival 2012.

Tribeca movies

The film lineup for the 2012 Tribeca Online Film Festival has been unveiled. Four world premiere feature selections from the Tribeca Film Festival, and five short films, three of which are world premieres, will be available during the online Festival at Each film will have limited screening windows and capacity. Reservations begin on April 10 for American Express Cardmembers and April 16 for the general public.

Online viewers will be able to vote for Best Feature Film ($10,000 prize) and Best Short Film ($5,000 prize). Winners will be announced at the Tribeca festival awards on April 26. Both Tribeca festivals run April 18-29.

There will also be a “social voting competition”: The feature and short that receive the most Facebook likes will each receive a separate $500 prize.” Those winners will be announced on April 30.

Below is the Tribeca Online Film Festival movies (synopses from the TOFF press release):

Babygirl, directed and written by Macdara Vallely. (Ireland, USA) – World Premiere, Viewpoints. For as long as she can remember, Bronx teenager Lena has watched her mom Lucy squander her life on a series of deadbeat men. When Victor, her mom’s latest boy toy, starts hitting on Lena, she sets up a trap to expose Victor for the creep he is… but the plan backfires. Macdara Vallely crafts a heartfelt drama about the emotional highs and lows in the moment between childhood and adulthood.

On the Mat, directed and written by Fredric Golding. (USA) – World Premiere, Viewpoints and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. Achieving greatness in high school wrestling requires a level of devotion unmatched perhaps by any other sport. That greatness has become a yearly expectation at Lake Stevens High, winner of seven Washington state championships in the past 10 years. Narrated by Lake Stevens wrestling alum Chris Pratt (Moneyball), this riveting documentary follows the team over the course of a season as they fight through injuries and academic issues to maintain their school’s legacy.

The Russian Winter, directed by Petter Ringbom. (Russia) – World Premiere, Spotlight. Brooklyn-born John Forté was a Grammy-nominated musician in The Fugees at 21 and a federal prison inmate at 26. When his prison sentence was remarkably commuted in 2008, Forté was given a second chance to share his talents with the world. Chronicling his concert tour across Russia, this inspirational documentary takes us on Forté’s personal journey—one that’s as much about having his voice heard as having his music heard. In English, Russian with subtitles.

Town of Runners, directed by Jerry Rothwell. (UK) – World Premiere, Viewpoints. Over the past two decades the small, rural Ethiopian town of Bekoji has been the unlikely home to numerous Olympic champion long-distance runners, whose athletic success has paved the way for a generation of young Ethiopians searching for a better future. With a keen artistic eye, TFF award winner Jerry Rothwell (Donor Unknown) follows two teenage track hopefuls who face the challenge of growing up and striving for greatness in a developing nation. In Amharic, Oromo with subtitles.

The short films are:

BFF (World Premiere) Directed / written by Neil LaBute. Jack and Jill have been “best friends forever,” and when Jill suspects that her boyfriend is cheating on her, Jack offers to help her.

CatCam (New York Premiere) Directed by Seth Keal. German engineer Jürgen Perthold was intrigued about where his newly adopted stray, Mr. Lee, disappeared to for days on end, so he developed the CatCam to help solve the mystery.

Scenes from a Visit to Japan (World Premiere) Directed and written by Joel Schlemowitz. An experimental film invoking diverse cultural landscapes, suggesting a collective struggle of humanity between apocalyptic visions of the past, present, and future, and the redemptive power of the human spirit.

Transmission (International Premiere) Directed and written by Zak Hilditch. Following a deadly pandemic that has decimated the world’s population, a father drives his nine-year-old daughter from the west coast of Australia to the safe zone.

Doggy Bags (World Premiere) Directed and written by Edward Burns. A young man suspects the girl he is dating to be hiding a secret after she routinely orders massive amounts of food to go. Produced by American Express as a result of the 2011 My Movie Pitch contest. This film is ineligible for awards.

Leonardo DiCaprio letter polar bears
Leonardo DiCaprio letter: polar bear’s SOS

Leonardo DiCaprio: Polar Bear SOS

As part of its Green Filmmaking online series of articles, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has posted a list of ten environmental organizations supported by Hollywood stars. So, who are those monstrous “liberals” wasting time with issues such as polar bears and rainforests when there are so many more worthwhile causes, i.e., the right to own private nuclear warheads or an end to marriage equality (i.e., gay marriage)?

Get your red pencils ready. They are the following (via AMPAS’ website):

Conservation International: Harrison Ford serves as Vice Chair, Board of Directors for this non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., and has served on its board for over a decade.

Earth Day Network: Brad Pitt, Miley Cyrus, Cate Blanchett, and Orlando Bloom are just a few of the people who have supported and celebrated this coordinated yearly focus on environmental issues.

Global Green: Dedicated to creating green buildings and urban environments, this non-profit counts many celebrities among its network including Brad Pitt, Oliver Stone, Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Charlize Theron, Jake Gyllenhaal, and James Cameron.

Green Cross International: Pierce Brosnan was given an Environmental Leadership Award, and its current network includes Robert Redford and Ted Turner.

Keep America Beautiful: Since the early 1950s, this organization has been dedicated to ongoing community improvement with supporters including Julianne Moore, Eva Longoria, and Brooke Shields.

National Resources Defense Council: This environmental advocacy charity has taken numerous steps to raise American awareness of worldwide green issues, including a 2008 letter campaign by Leonardo DiCaprio about polar bear endangerment and trustees including Robert Redford, who has joined its crusade for wilderness preservation.

Rainforest Action Network: Its green sustainable campaigns have drawn the support of celebrities including Woody Harrelson and Whoopi Goldberg.

The Rainforest Foundation: Co-founded by Sting to preserve the rainforests and its inhabitants, this charity has the support of actors including Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, Kate Hudson and Scarlett Johansson.

The Sierra Club: One of the largest and most enduring environmental organizations, with supporters including Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, and Paul Rudd.

The Wilderness Society: Edward Norton not only contributes to this organization devoted to America’s wilderness, he also narrated a video about them.

“As one of the first species to face extinction as a direct result of global warming,” Leonardo DiCaprio writes in a letter from the National Resources Defense Council, “the [polar] bear’s future is literally melting away along with the Arctic Sea ice.”

A few days ago, the Academy posted DiCaprio’s letter on its Facebook page. Unsurprisingly, many of the responses to his plea ranged from the idiotic to the demented.

Some complained the Hollywood star should be fighting for starving American children, not starving foreign bears (as if the two causes are mutually exclusive). Others remarked that global warming should please the Titanic star; never mind the fact that higher temperatures mean more – not fewer – icebergs (not “iceburgs,” they aren’t cities) as a result of the melting polar ice caps.

Others still claimed that the polar bear isn’t really in danger, citing a recent study purporting that the number of bears spotted in northern Canada is growing. Never mind the fact that the study in question – widely cited by the far-right – was sponsored by the Inuit-dominated government of Nunavut, where Inuit hunters are eager to resume their slaughter of the giant white bears. (The Nanuvut government has also supported the slaughter of seals and offshore oil drilling.)

Considering the aforementioned general mix of apathy, hostility, selfishness, and willful ignorance, I couldn’t help but wonder why DiCaprio should bother. But then again, someone has to, since the vast majority of people don’t give a damn. And if the polar bears go the way of the dodo bird, there’s a very good chance we won’t be too far behind.

Though, of course, it’d be ironic if the polar bears do survive global warming – but human beings don’t.

Here’s an interesting World Wildlife Fund article on the plight of the polar bears. And make sure to take a look at this beautiful image.

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Omg -

Since when is gay marriage more important then the potential destruction of the environment, our supply of clean drinking water, air that is actually for to breathe, and protecting an ozone that keeps the sun that doesn’t destroy us from simply walking outside … WHO WROTE THIS ???? And how do they not see the environment that supports & sustains all life on this planet as a “wast of time” or “not worthwhile”??? No wonder we have these issues and animals suffering then people, children, the world!!!

Liz -

Thanks for the article, Andre. So impressed by your output! And this reminds me that it’s been too long since I’ve seen Bye Bye Brasil…I’ll have to watch it again. :)


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