This week's edition of Cinema Chat, Michigan Theater Director, Russ Collins sits down to talk with WEMU's Program Director, Patrick Campion to talk about about the latest upcoming movies downtown and around town. The conversation starts with a discussion on the impact of Shirley Temple on film and American culture.
Cinema Chat is a regular feature heard each Thursday during Morning Edition on 89.1 WEMU.
SHIRLEY TEMPLE A GREAT, PINT-SIZED MOVIE STAR
Golden Globe Award-Winner and Oscar Nominee “The Great Beauty” follows writer Jep Gambardella (the highly regarded Italian star Toni Servillo) has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a fixture in the city’s literary and social circles. However, when his 65th birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Tom Long of the Detroit News says, “Throughout the film, [director] Sorrentino delivers gorgeous images, crazy images, startling and sexy and serene images; it's a visual bath of sorts - the great beauty is everywhere, Jep (and we) just have to be open to it.” “The Great Beauty,” the odds on favorite to win the Best Foreign Language Oscar, opens Friday at the Michigan.Special Screenings Downtown
The UM Nam Center’s Korean Cinema Now Series continues with “New World,” directed by Park Hoon-jeong-I, Saturday, February 15 at 2 PM with free admission.
“Knights of Badassdom” follows three best friends (Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn and Ryan Kwanten) and dedicated LARPers (Live Action Role Players) as they take to the woods to reenact a dungeons and dragons-like scenario fresh out of the mythical Middle Ages. It plays Thursday, February 20 at 9:30 PM.
LIONSGATE RELEASES BIGGEST FLOP OF 2014Lionsgate, which has transformed itself into a box-office powerhouse in recent years with the Twilight, Hunger Games, and Madea franchises, experienced a rare debacle as its horror flick Nurse 3D opened over the weekend in 10 theaters with a total gross of just $4,981. That amounts to an average of just $166 per theater for each of the three days.
CHINA SAYS IT WON’T RAISE QUOTA ON FOREIGN FILMSChina has dashed widespread speculation that it would relax its quoted on foreign films now that its own films are holding their own at the Chinese box office. Among the published reports was a Hollywood Reporter item specifying that the country was considering raising the quota to 44 films annually from the current 34. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an unnamed official of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television as saying that the 2014 quota would remain in-line with the 2012 agreement that increased the quota from 20 films to the current level. The restriction is intended to support local film producers, but for the first time, Chinese movies roared ahead of Hollywood in 2013 and were responsible for 58 percent of the total box-office.
CANNES REVISES DATE FOR FILM AWARDS
Last year’s decision by the European Parliament to move its every-fifth-year elections to May from June has prompted the Cannes Film Festival to rejigger its closing events. It announced on Monday that winners of its annual competition will be disclosed on Saturday, May 24 instead of Sunday, May 25. “The final film in competition will be shown on Friday 23 May and the jury will meet the next day to select the winners,” the festival said in its announcement. It added that it will close out the festival this year with a screening of the film that wins its top award, the Palme d’Or, on Sunday, May 25. The festival is May 14-25 in the French seaside resort community of Cannes.
OSCAR ‘LOSERS’ BECOME WINNERW WITH OSCAR LOSER GIFT BAGS
What’s a measly Oscar statue when you can have a swag bag worth more than $55,000? That’s the value of what this year’s Oscar “losers” in the best actor/actress, supporting actor/actress and director categories will be taking home, thanks to Distinctive Assets’ Everybody Wins gift bags. The “losers” will be able to enjoy a wine/chocolate flight pairing from Chicago-based Chocolatines. They will also be able to donate 10,000 meals of Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres’ Halo natural pet food to the animal shelter of their choice. “To be part of the film industry’s biggest night on any level is thrilling,” Distinctive Assets founder Lash Fary said. “We always look forward to introducing celebrities to an array of companies with fabulous gifts to share, but it’s particularly fun to be able to do so when you know it will truly brighten someone’s day.”
JOHN SINGLETON BACK AS DIRECTOR FOR TUPAC SHAKUR BIOPIC
After falling off the project two years ago, all eyes are on John Singleton to return to Morgan Creek’s untitled Tupac Shakur biopic — a film he’s long wanted to make. Singleton has closed a deal to re-write, direct and produce the biopic about the iconic rapper, which would follow his rise to being one of the most popular hip-hop artists as well as his untimely murder following a boxing match in 1996 in Las Vegas. Morgan Creek is co-financing the film with Emmett/Furla/Oasis. “Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with,” Singleton said. “His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation.” The next move is to find the actor to play Shakur. Singelton will soon dive into rewriting the script, with hopes of beginning production sometime this June.
See you at the movies!