French actress Audrey Tautou will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the 66th Festival de Cannes. Even though it is a largely ceremonial position that doesn’t hold any sway over what film will go home with the coveted Palme d’Or, Tautou is sure to be as Amélie-adorable as ever when she welcomes the awards jury, led by jury president Steven Spielberg, to the stage on May 15 at the famed Grand Théâtre Lumière.
Tag: Steven Spielberg (21-30 of 108)
Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Harvey Weinstein, Barack Obama reflect on the career and life of Roger Ebert
Acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert has written many words of praise over the years for celebrated, prolific filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Harvey Weinstein. Now, following the news of Ebert’s death on Thursday, these three filmmakers have their own words of admiration for Ebert.
Spielberg — whom Ebert praised for his enduring “talent and flexibility” in an ever-changing industry — said in a statement that the Chicago Sun-Times critic “wrote with passion through a real knowledge of film and film history.” Read his full statement below, which also highlights the success of the multiple television programs Ebert hosted for 23 years (including At the Movies, which Ebert co-hosted with Gene Siskel, who is pictured above): READ FULL STORY
As a child, Steven Spielberg was captivated by dinosaurs. He collected cast-iron figurines of them and preferred them in starring roles on the big screen. “I was more interested in the dinosaurs in King Kong than I was in King Kong himself,” remembers the Academy Award-winning director. “I thought the T. rex was one of the most awesome dinosaurs of the fossil record! But I never knew how to parlay all my love for paleontology into a story until Michael Crichton came along and wrote his book.”
That book was Jurassic Park, which Spielberg adapted in 1993 into an exhilarating adventure and one of the highest-grossing movies of all time—not to mention a groundbreaking technological achievement. “It changed special effects forever,” the director says, “and for better or for worse, it really did introduce the digital era.”
In honor of Universal rereleasing Jurassic Park in 3-D and IMAX on April 5 and the movie’s 20th anniversary, EW looks back at the film that so memorably shook the earth.
Spielberg and author Crichton had been developing a feature film based on Crichton’s script Cold Case, about his time as a medical resident (which would become the TV series ER). Crichton, who passed away from cancer in 2008, told the director about another idea he was working on: a novel about dinosaurs being brought back to life through old samples of their DNA. Spielberg was immediately hooked. When galleys for Jurassic Park made their way around Hollywood in May 1990, the sci-fi adventure became the It project to buy. According to Spielberg, other interested directors may have included Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon) and James Cameron (Avatar). Universal won the bidding war, thanks in large part to Spielberg’s relationship with Crichton. The director started storyboarding before the script was even written and quickly assembled an effects team. Creature master Stan Winston (Aliens) created the large-form models, including a nearly 20-foot-tall T. rex, and stop-motion artist Phil Tippett (RoboCop) would animate miniatures based on those Winston designs for the more elaborate action sequences. Then Industrial Light & Magic’s Dennis Muren, who had just designed the liquid-metal effects in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, brought up the idea of using CGI to animate the dinosaurs. Muren invited Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, and Tippett to watch a CG demo of a gallimimus stampede.
STEVEN SPIELBERG Director Here’s what was scary: We were creating the title characters of a film. These were the stars of the picture, these dinosaurs. And if that didn’t work, nothing about Jurassic Park could have worked. So that was daunting, because I was using Universal’s money to basically make an experimental dinosaur picture. READ FULL STORY
“Now he belongs to the ages.”
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was credited with that death-bed epitaph hours after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in 1865, and with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln arriving on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, his words resonate — albeit in a less hallowed sense. Ever since Daniel Day-Lewis agreed to portray Lincoln — a role that must’ve felt as daunting as Hamlet mixed with Jesus Christ — cinephiles and academics alike awaited the finished result, to see if the British actor who’d magically infused himself into the souls of characters like Christy Brown and Daniel Plainview could resurrect and reintroduce our 16th president to the 21st century.
The result, we can say now, was truly historic. Day-Lewis won the Oscar — his third for Best Actor — and we learned all the tales of his total commitment to the role, which entailed him being in-character for as much as possible while on the set. “I never ever felt that depth of love for another human being that I never met,” Day-Lewis told 60 Minutes about playing Lincoln, and in countless interviews promoting the film, he expressed how sad it made him to say goodbye to the character.
In an exclusive feature from the new Blu-ray, Spielberg talks about the day their film work was finally done, when Day-Lewis, who’d been Lincoln for months, finally lowered the veil to his director. READ FULL STORY
From low-budget time travel to big-budget dinosaurs.
Colin Trevorrow has scored quite the massive follow-up gig to his charming indie Safety Not Guaranteed: He will direct Jurassic Park 4, Universal announced Thursday. READ FULL STORY
The last time Steven Spielberg set a movie in India, the result was 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom — a record-breaking box-office smash that also angered Indians due to its inaccurate depiction of their culture. But after a 29-year break, it seems that Spielberg is ready to return to the subcontinent — though this time, perhaps he’ll leave the monkey brains in Los Angeles. READ FULL STORY
France’s Cannes Film Festival says it has finally snagged Steven Spielberg to serve as president of the award jury.
Gilles Jacob, the festival’s president, recounted how he had been trying to get the award-winning director to head the jury for years — but the American was always working. Finally, this year, Spielberg got in touch.
“When this year I was told ‘E.T., phone home,’ I understood and immediately replied: ‘At last!'” Jacob said in a statement posted on the festival’s website Thursday. READ FULL STORY
Just as viewers seemed divided over Seth MacFarlane’s hosting of this year’s Oscars, so Academy voters were split over the films themselves. Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Amour, Lincoln, and Silver Linings Playbook all scored major awards, with Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis winning the top acting Oscars. But Life of Pi director Ang Lee took home the Best Director prize while Argo won Best Picture. You can check out the full list of winners below.
Ben Affleck claimed the Directors Guild of America Award for Argo on Saturday in Hollywood’s latest thumb-in-the-eye to the small group of filmmakers in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who failed to nominate him for an Oscar.
“I worked really, really hard to become the best director I could be, by putting in as [many] hours as I can, and banging my head against a wall, berating myself, lying to myself about whether it’s going to work,” Affleck told the crowd, never mentioning the snub. “Basically, I got to a point where I was nominated for this award. And I don’t think this makes me a real director — but I think it means I’m on my way.”
It’s the third time in its 65-year history that the DGA Award has gone to a filmmaker who was not also up for Best Director at the Academy Awrds. It happened to Ron Howard, who claimed the DGA honor in 1995 for Apollo 13, and Steven Spielberg, who won in 1986 for The Color Purple.
If 150 minutes of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln just wasn’t enough for you, you’re in luck — DreamWorks just released a 20-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that details the film’s 12-year-long development on iTunes.
The special, called Lincoln: An American Journey, features interviews with the movie’s creative team — including Spielberg, screenwriter Tony Kushner, and Team of Rivals author Doris Kearns Goodwin, on whose book the movie is largely based — as well as stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sally Field. Though it’s available to watch anytime online, the featurette will also air on Los Angeles’s CBS affiliate on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 9 a.m. PT.
(Hear that, Academy members?)
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