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Tag: Politics (51-60 of 64)

Toronto: Luc Besson argues the benefits of piracy as 'The Lady' lands deal

michelle-yeoh-the-lady

French director Luc Besson is best known for frenetic action films like his La Femme Nikita and Taken, which he wrote. His latest effort, a devoted biopic of the heroic Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi starring Michelle Yeoh, switches gears entirely. Critics were downright chilly when The Lady premiered in Toronto on Monday night, but less than 48 hours later, the film secured U.S. distribution via the Cohen Media Group (Chasing Madoff). The company intends to give the film a limited Oscar-qualifying release in December before a wider run early in 2012.

The daughter of a patriotic hero and the wife of an English academic (played on screen by David Thewlis), Suu Kyi initially returned to her homeland to care for her ailing mother, but that trip became permanent when the country turned to her for leadership. Now 66, she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for refusing to yield to the ruling generals in Burma (also known as Myanmar) despite nearly 20 years of house arrest — a period that kept her from her family at crucial moments in their lives. In 2010, while The Lady was in production, she was finally freed from isolation, though severe restrictions remain on her freedom today.

Before his movie landed its deal, Besson sounded off on the film’s heroine, his dabbling in diverse cinematic genres, and the role of video piracy in bringing The Lady back to Burma. Read EW’s interview below: READ FULL STORY

Toronto: Harvey Weinstein challenges Michele Bachmann at 'Butter' premiere

Butter, the comedy about a driven housewife (Jennifer Garner) who attempts to succeed her husband (Ty Burrell) as Iowa’s champion butter sculptor — only to be challenged by a young African-American upstart — has already generated extensive buzz because of its heavy modern political references. At tonight’s gala at the Toronto Film Festival, studio chief Harvey Weinstein left no doubt about the film’s political relevance. With many of the cast’s female stars on stage before the screening, Olivia Wilde — who plays a spurned stripper — read an email from Weinstein inviting Republican congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to co-host the Iowa premiere of Butter… and discuss her stance on gay rights and women’s right to choose. Click below for the entire e-mail, which was well received by the Toronto audience. READ FULL STORY

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal respond to charges of inappropriate collaboration with the White House on Bin Laden film

Earlier today, Representative Peter T. King (R, N.Y.) called for an investigation into the White House’s cooperation with the makers of an upcoming film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, citing a recent column by The New York Times‘ Maureen Dowd that stated that “the moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history.” King, who is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, expressed his concern that, with the Bin Laden movie slated to be released just weeks before the 2012 election, the Obama administration may be leaking classified information to the filmmakers for its own ultimate political gain. In a press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney called King’s accusations “ridiculous,” saying that the filmmakers had not been given any classified information whatsoever and adding, “I would hope that as we face the continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie.”

Now the filmmakers, director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal — who collaborated on the Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker — have offered their own statement, disputing King’s charges: READ FULL STORY

PETA protests at 'Zookeeper' premiere. Director says animals were treated 'with love and respect'

About 50 sign-wielding protesters showed up to the premiere of Kevin James’ new film, Zookeeper, at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif., last night to decry the film for alleged cruelty to animals, a claim Sony Pictures and director Frank Coraci have denied.

“It doesn’t hamper my good mood or my celebration at all because I am completely secure with what happened on our set and believe we did everything we could to treat the animals well,” Coraci told EW on the red carpet. READ FULL STORY

Oliver Stone talks 'Platoon' and Charlie Sheen on the Vietnam film's 25th anniversary -- EXCLUSIVE

When Oliver Stone returned from Vietnam, the budding filmmaker wanted to capture his harrowing wartime experiences on screen. After years of frustrating false starts with director Sidney Lumet and producer Michael Cimino (and even a very early flirtation with legendary Doors singer Jim Morrison to star), Stone finally stepped behind the camera himself for 1986’s Platoon. His gut-wrenching masterpiece, starring a young Charlie Sheen as Stone’s onscreen alter ego, wound up winning four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Platoon is being released on Blu-ray today and looks better than ever. We spoke with Stone about his revolutionary film, his fresh-faced leading man, and that strange encounter with the Lizard King.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When was the last time you saw Platoon?
OLIVER STONE: About five years ago. READ FULL STORY

The Latin cats of 'Puss in Boots' -- a boost for Spanish-speaking culture?

The cat speaks English, but those purrs have a distinctive Latin accent.

So is Puss in Boots a step forward for diversity?

Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek showed off footage from the upcoming Shrek spin-off in Cannes on Wednesday, and discussed how unusual it is for the two main characters in an American animated movie be voiced by Spanish-speakers. “I feel very proud, actually. I never pretended when I first went to Hollywood to be a guy from Oklahoma,” said Banderas, who was born in Spain. “I am what I am.” READ FULL STORY

Johnny Depp wants 'The Lone Ranger' to back off Tonto: Why is the f–––ing Lone Ranger telling Tonto what to do?'

Johnny Depp hopes to make a big-screen version of The Lone Ranger soon, but the masked guy who ends up yelling “Hi-yo, Silver!” better get used to being the sidekick.

This is sounding like Tonto’s movie.

“I remember watching it as a kid, with Jay Silverheels and Clayton Moore, and going: ‘Why is the f—ing Lone Ranger telling Tonto what to do?'” Depp tells EW, recalling the 1949-1957 TV show, which was seen decades longer in reruns. “I liked Tonto, even at that tender age, and knew Tonto was getting the unpleasant end of the stick here. That’s stuck with me. And when the idea came up [for the movie], I started thinking about Tonto and what could be done in my own small way try to — ‘eliminate’ isn’t possible — but reinvent the relationship, to attempt to take some of the ugliness thrown on the Native Americans, not only in The Lone Ranger, but the way Indians were treated throughout history of cinema, and turn it on its head.”  READ FULL STORY

Controversy over Julian Schnabel's 'Miral' premiere

Miral-poster

Tonight Julian Schnabel’s new film, Miralabout an orphaned Palestinian in the wake of Israel’s 1948 war for independence — is due to premiere at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. But the American Jewish Committee is trying to shut it down. AJC Executive Director David Harris, in a letter to UN General Assembly President Joseph Deiss, states that the film has a “clear political message” which portrays Israel in a “highly negative light.”

Both Schnabel and distributor Harvey Weinstein (also both Jewish-Americans) were quick to respond:  READ FULL STORY

Berlinale to protest jailing of Iranian filmmaker

The Berlin Film Festival will screen several of Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s award-winning films, including his 2006 film, Offside, in an effort to support the imprisoned filmmaker and protest his incarceration. Panahi had been selected to be a member of festival’s jury, but that was before he was imprisoned in his home country for inciting protests and making films without state permission. “We are going to use every opportunity to protest against this drastic verdict,” Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement. In addition, there will be a panel with Iranian artists discussing censorship and the restriction of freedom of opinion in Iran on Feb. 17.

Read more:
Hollywood directors criticize jailing of Iranian filmmakers
Iranian director sentenced to 6 years
Iran releases filmmaker Jafar Panahi from prison
Jafar Panahi: A terrific filmmaker is in prison, not at Cannes where he belongs

Arnold Schwarzenegger unlikely to return full-time to movies, says director -- EXCLUSIVE

Ivan-ReitmanImage Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos; Albert L. Ortega/PR PhotosIvan Reitman helped turn Arnold Schwarzenegger from a muscleman to a funnyman with movies such as Twins and Kindergarten Cop, but the filmmaker doesn’t think his old friend will return to movies full-time now that he is no longer governor of California.

Schwarzenegger hasn’t said definitively what his next step will be, though he did a handful of cameos while governor, most notably joining the menagerie of veteran action stars for Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables. While Hollywood and many of his longtime fans wonder if he’ll try to return to his leading man days, Reitman thinks he will largely focus his efforts on public policy, which could mean running for another public office or perhaps just advocating for particular issues. (Schwarzenegger didn’t succeed much in helping California’s budget crisis, but he was regarded as a strong force for environmental issues.)  READ FULL STORY

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