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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Taxi-Cab Blogging

After an intermoinable wait in the baggage claim at the, erm, terminal, I have my bag and I am in a taxi headed from JFK Airport to my place in Battery Park City. I felt like I was playing beat the clock, because the red eye from Salt Lake was scheduled to land just before six AM, and NYC traffic begins in earnest not much later than that. By the time I was at the carousel, and then when the bags came out 20 minutes later, it was after 6:30 and we were getting into the traffic danger zone, where the traveling times can really change (movie reference anyone).

Anyway, we seem to be doing OK, though it’s a long trip to my place. I slept a bit on the flight, probably more than an hour uninterrupted. Three glasses of complimentary red wine in the Delta lounge did the trick – I’ll have to remember that for red eyes.

It feels pretty toasty in NY right now compared to the blizzard I left.

Flashback to twenty hours ago, Park City was being slammed by several feet of snow. Due to the late flight, I grabbed a ride from the Lodges into Old Town, and spent most of the day at a friend’s house (or the one he borrowed for Sundance). Even getting to that house was tough, and turned out that the big backpack (rather than suitcase) was a wise choice. My ride into town hadn’t been able to make it up Woodside, the street I needed to get to,…

Uh, oh, traffic. Hmmm.

Anyway, since he couldn’t get there, I ended up putting the pack on my back and fording heavy snow banks in a white out blizzard to find my destination. A suitcase wouldn’t have been good, especially because I had to climb straight up several hundred feet of stairs to get up to Woodside, which runs across the Park City Mountain.

Otherwise, travel was good, all things considered. While the roads were closed earlier for the blizzard, by the time my ride to the airport arrived at nine PM, everything was cleaned up, open and moving nicely.

And the traffic seems OK on the highway at the moment, here in the present tense. I think we’re on the BQE. Wasn’t paying attention. The cabbie went a weird way , triboro bridge. That’s traffic avoidance.

OK, not so interesting.

Its nice to be back in NY again. So looking forward to my apartment, to having a relaxing week before heading on the road again sometime soon.

I am kind of planning to head to the Image Awards, just in case My Brother wins its category, though I have my serious doubts. However, I suddenly don’t have a ticket because Anthony Lover, the director, gave the two tickets we were allocated away to Donovan Jennings and Chris Scott, two actors with Down Syndrome who stole the movie. Im cool with that, but I am not cool with plunking down $500 for my own ticket. I have my sources out looking for a ticket, comp., for me, but we shall see. I am pretty firmly not going to pay for one, so if I cannot get a ticket, I guess I wont be going. And if we win, then Vanessa Williams, who is nominated for Ugly Betty as well as being a huge part of the reason that My Brother is nominated, can accept on our behalf. Certainly, having her accept for us, there are worse things.


Have a good morning.



Grumpy (yes, a little).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Winding Down

Winding down from the ‘Dances in Park City. Last two days were frenetic at moments, relaxing and slow as well. After the Slamdance Awards on Friday night, where we announced “The Punished” as the Horror Competition Screenplay Winner, some of the crew went up the hill to a random “Industry” party.

I stuck around for the Slamdance after party, which had great tunes playing. Eric Presley, with whom I am working on a few projects, stuck around, as did numerous new friends Meredith, Katie, and their crew.

We never made it up the mountain ourselves, and in fact, by one AM or so, I went to the condo, picked up my stuff, and went to Eric’s hotel at Prospector Sq., because the condo was going to be at maximum occupancy Friday night.

In the morning, I walked forty five minutes or so in the snow into town, iPodding it all the way, and working up a bit of a sweat. Devlin came and got me, and took me back to the Condo, which despite the crowds, was a little more comfy and spacious than the hotel room (or a lot more, actually). Victor Garcia and I hung out and watched movies, until heading into town around nine with Eric to meet his friend Kalif.

Kalif is a stylist who did the clothes for a bunch of the artists playing at Harry O and the Zone Bar all week, including LL Cool j, Jason Mraz, and Michelle Branch. We were backstage with him, talking as he packed up his stuff to send back to LA. He is working some projects with Eric. Anyway, Kalif ended up walking us into the $1000 per plate Chef Dance (comped, of course), where we sat with the organizer of the event, Bethenny Frankel, who you may remember from the Martha Stewart Apprentice (never watched it myself). She was overwhelmingly gracious to a bunch of gate crashers, and told us all about the event (probably the hardest ticket at Sundance- even Redford himself attended, and he endorses nothing), and its history, while we sample the five courses prepared by the celebrity chef for night ten of Chef Dance.

After Chef Dance and a little more packing of the styles of Kalif, we headed across the street to the Spur, to watch the Mayor of Park City play with his band. It was a very Grateful Dead vibe. I was wiped out by now though, so it was back to Prospector Sq. Lodge.

Eric left today, but not before hooking me up to a room at the opulent Lodges at Deer Valley. Its where all the studio big wigs from Disney and Sundance Festival sponsor HP executives stay. Its rustic and sparse, matching an “outdoorsi-ness” with 1000 thread count sheets and some of the best hot cider in the lounge that I’ve ever tasted. At the same time, its outside of town, and while I think they have complimentary shuttles back and forth, I don’t want to push my luck after getting the free room. So I did a little shopping in their grocery area, and I am camped in my deluxe room (looks like a suite to me, though I am told its just a deluxe room), watching television, and catching up on reading.





Looking forward to heading back to NY tomorrow, even if only for a week or ten days. Its been a fun few days, peppered with a bit of stress, but overall a good time. Nice to have friends.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Slamdance Winners....Meet "The Punished"

'Parade' takes top Slamdance prize
By Gregg Kilday

Jan 26, 2008
Tom Quinn's "The New Year Parade," which looks at the effects divorce has on a family, was named the Grand Jury Narrative Feature winner at the 14th annual Slamdance Film Festival, which ended Friday.

The Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature went to Greg Kohs' "Song Sung Blue," which focusses on a husband and wife singing duo who pay tribute to the music of Neil Diamond. "Blue" was also the audience award winner in the documentary feature category.

The awards were announced at closing night ceremonies in Park City as the fest, which began Jan. 17, drew to a close.

The two winners -- both from first-time filmmakers working with budgets of less than $1 million -- will be screened at New Yorks' IFC Center next month.

Grand jury prizes also went to: Andrew McPhillips' "Blood Will Tell," animated short; C.A. Voros' "The Ladies," documentary short; Michael Langan's "Doxology," experimental short; and Daniel Mulloy's "Son," best narrative short.

Other audience award winners were Ryan Piotrowicz's "The Project," named best narrative feature, and Gloria Kim's "Rock Garden," best anarchy film. Jonathan Lisecki's "Woman in a Burka" received the Spirit of Slamdance Award.

Writer awards were handed out to: Anthony Meindl, "The Wonder Girls," feature length screenplay; Will Harman, "Easy Pickins," short screenplay; Barbara Marshall, "Stage Six Pandemic," teleplay; and Damian Lahey & Ian Ogden,"Child in the Dark," creative excellence award for the horror screenplay competition.

Tony Mosher took top horror screenplay honors for "The Punished," and Slamdance, Angel Baby Entertainment and Maverick Films will produce a feature film based on the script.

Sascha Drews & Ezra Kyrbus won the Kodak Vision Award for best cinematography for their work on "Portage."

The award winners shared more than $200,000 in cash and prizes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Harry-Os and Gavin

Been in town for a few days, and quite frankly, its been quite amazing.

The condo that the VidShadow guys booked for the trip is gorgeous. Its not quite walking distance to Main St. but it’s a very short trip to town by car, from Deer Valley North, where we are, maybe just five minutes.

I drank wine on Wednesday night after getting here, and hung back while the rest of the crew went out to Harry-O’s and saw LL Cool J. I am from Queens, like LL, so while I can respect that, I didn’t feel much of a loss. I only had two hours of sleep before getting on an early flight Wed morning so staying home and getting a solid nine was a good idea. Even if the revelers came back at two AM and started yelling my name and pounding on my door. I hid and went back to sleep.

Yesterday. Different story.

After doing some work in the morning, we headed to Star Café to see some music. It was a Sundance pass only thing, and huge lines, but Cheri got us on the ASCAP list and we walked right in. Once I get in there, I see my friend, Gavin DeGraw (he does that “I dont wanna be” that is the theme from One Tree Hill or something like that, I can never remember). I know Gavin a bit from NY because he’s close friends with Joe Coots. I say hi, and after he finished his set, he hangs with us. We were waiting for hours because of the rumor that Crosby Stills Nash and Young were gonna play – Neil Young eventually did show up, but only sang backup on my least favorite Neil Young song. It was a little annoying, because I skipped a screening to wait for CSNY and then, well, nothing.

After the music, Gavin came back with us to the condo, and we sat around and bullshitted for a while. He had to bounce to a dinner, and we headed to see a new friend play guitar rock at a little restaurant on Heber, before heading to Harry-O’s again. Harry’s was a mad house, but our group was connected and once again, we walked right in. It felt like Vegas, actually, with the dancing girls and a really great cover band doing every dance tune you can think of.

I danced my feet off for like three hours straight. I haven’t danced like that, that ferociously, for that long, in years. I wasn’t even drinking really, just chugging water because I was really working up a sweat. I was feeling it, no doubt. I think my group was a little taken aback, because I tend to project, shall we say, a reserve.

Late in the evening, Gavin came and met up with us, and hung for a bit before jumpin on stage to do some Al Green, driving the crowd (particularly the women) into an absolute frenzy. We kept it up for another hour or so, at which point I was on pure adrenaline.

And now, the next morning, I feel like I ran a treadmill for fifteen miles. In a good way. Hey, at least I am not hungover.

And the Slamdance awards are tonight.

Grumpy

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Airplane Bloggin’: Park City the Second

God awful early flight to Salt lake City out of Newark. Its frigid cold when I get in the cab, but I know that this cold bear little in common with the cold I’m going to experience when I get to Park City for the Dances (Slam and Sun).

As I stepped up to the cab stand outside my building, immediately one car pulls forward to pick me up in front of the cab at the head of the line, whose driver is not in the car. That driver comes running up and they start arguing about whose passenger I am. They each plead their cases, but I explain that I am not King Solomon. I don’t want to decide. I get into a third cab and depart.

And now I am sitting in the middle seat (a very small middle seat) on a Delta flight bound for Salt Lake. I only slept three hours because I couldn’t fall asleep. Gonna try to get some winks on the flight, and avoided coffee this AM so maybe I’ll get luck.

(Later)…
In fact I did get lucky and caught some zzzz’s on the plane. Not overwhelmingly refreshing, and had to take a pill to make it happen. However, I’d rather be a zombie for an hour than one all day. Now I need to eat.

Currently, I am in a van to Park City from Salt Lake, which is a forty minute trip through the mountains. Seemed to take forever to get to the gate and then to get on the shuttle after we landed, but its still just after noon and we are closing in on Park City. The shuttles absolutely full, so we’ll have to wait and see about how long it will take to dump my stuff at Slamdance Headquarters (the Treasure Mountain Inn) for the afternoon.

When I went to bed last night, and even more so when waking up at the crack of dawn this morning, I really wasn’t too enthusiastic about coming to Park City. But now, with the cold yet sunny day we’re having, pulling into town, I am beginning to get my positive mind frame back. We haven’t shot the last Slamdance winner yet, and we’re about to announce the second annual winner of the Horror Competition. In fact, I imagine the finalists are already posted on Slamdance’s website.

Time to pack up to get out of the van. Talk to y’all later.

Grumpy (and Sleepy)

Post-script
The fully stocked condo is SWEEETTTT. Really nice. Big. Comfy. And full of wine, beer, soda, red bull, snacks, sandwich stuff and real food for cooking. Looking like its gonna be a decent time. Certainly wont be freezing or starving.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dem darn Oscar nominations

BEST PICTURE
"Atonement" (Focus Features)
A Working Title Production
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
"Juno" (Fox Searchlight)
A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production
Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)
A Clayton Productions, LLC Production
Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production
Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
George Clooney in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros.,
Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah" (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises" (Focus Features)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Casey Affleck in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Hal Holbrook in "Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson’s War" (Universal)
Tom Wilkinson in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal)
Julie Christie in "Away from Her" (Lionsgate)
Marion Cotillard in "La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in "The Savages" (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in "Juno" (Fox Searchlight)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Cate Blanchett in "I’m Not There" (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in "American Gangster" (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in "Atonement" (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone" (Miramax)
Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)

DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson - "There Will Be Blood"
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - "No Country For Old Men"
Tony Gilroy - "Michael Clayton"
Jason Reitman - "Juno"
Julian Schnabel - "The Diving Bell And The Butterfly"

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Brad Bird - "Ratatouille"
Diablo Cody - "Juno"
Tony Gilroy - "Michael Clayton"
Tamara Johnson - "The Savages"
Nancy Oliver - "Lars and the Real Girl"

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Paul Thomas Anderson - "There Will Be Blood"
Ethan & Joel Coen - "No Country for Old Men"
Christopher Hampton - "Atonement"
Ronald Harwood - "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Sarah Polley - "Away from Her"

ANIMATED FEATURE
"Persepolis" - (Sony Pictures Classics) Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
"Ratatouille" - (Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Distribution) Brad Bird
"Surf’s Up" - (Sony Pictures Releasing_ Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"Beaufort" - Israel
"The Counterfeiters" - Austria
"Katy?" - Poland
"Mongol" - Kazakhstan
"12" - Russia

ART DIRECTION
"American Gangster" (Universal) Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners) Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

CINEMATOGRAPHY
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Warner Bros.) Roger Deakins
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Seamus McGarvey
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Janusz Kaminski
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roger Deakins
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Robert Elswit

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
"No End in Sight" (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production; Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience" (The Documentary Group) A Documentary Group Production; Richard E. Robbins
"Sicko" (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company) A Dog Eat Dog Films Production; Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara
"Taxi to the Dark Side" (THINKFilm) An X-Ray Production; Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
"War/Dance" (THINKFilm) A Shine Global and Fine Films Production

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
"I Met the Walrus" A Kids & Explosions Production; Josh Raskin
"Madame Tutli-Putli" (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production; Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
"Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)" (Premium Films) A BUF Compagnie Production; Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
"My Love (Moya Lyubov)" (Channel One Russia) A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production; Alexander Petrov
"Peter & the Wolf" (BreakThru Films) A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production

LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
"At Night" A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production; Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
"Il Supplente (The Substitute)" (Sky Cinema Italia) A Frame by Frame Italia Production; Andrea Jublin
"Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)" (Premium Films) A Karé Production; Philippe Pollet-Villard
"Tanghi Argentini" (Premium Films) An Another Dimension of an Idea Production; Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
"The Tonto Woman" A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production; Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

VISUAL EFFECTS

"The Golden Compass" (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners) Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" (Walt Disney) John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro) Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

COSTUME DESIGN

"Across the Universe" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
"Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
"Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

"Freeheld" A Lieutenant Films Production; Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
"La Corona (The Crown)" A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production; Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
"Salim Baba" A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production; Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
"Sari’s Mother" (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production; James Longley

FILM EDITING
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal) Christopher Rouse
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Juliette Welfling
"Into the Wild" (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment) Jay Cassidy
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Dylan Tichenor

SOUND MIXING
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney) Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
"3:10 to Yuma" (Lionsgate) Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro) Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

SOUND EDITING
"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Universal) Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
"No Country for Old Men" (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Skip Lievsay
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney) Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
"There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Matthew Wood
"Transformers" (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro) Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

ORIGINAL SCORE
"Atonement" (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
"The Kite Runner" (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics) Alberto Iglesias
"Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard
"Ratatouille" (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
"3:10 to Yuma" (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

ORIGINAL SONG
"Falling Slowly" from "Once" (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
"Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"Raise It Up" from "August Rush" (Warner Bros.) Nominees to be determined
"So Close" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
"That’s How You Know" from "Enchanted" (Walt Disney) Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

MAKEUP
"La Vie en Rose" (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
"Norbit" (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount) Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" (Walt Disney) Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Park City Shuffle

Im heading off to Park City for Slamdance (and Sundance) on Wednesday at the crack o’ dawn. Second year of the competiton for Best Horror Screenplay. I wasn’t sure until just today whether I was actually going to go. I am going. And I am looking forward to it. I don’t know where I am going after that – whether I’ll go to LA or come back to NY. My plane booking is that I am coming back to NY. We will see though.

We’ve got some great screenplays coming in, and picking the best one isn’t going to be so easy. There are least three or four very strong candidates. I hope we (the judges/producers) can reach a consensus on the screenplay winner.

Speaking of movies (how rarely do I do that), I went to the National Board of Review screening of Cloverfield this past Friday. For the uninitiated, Cloverfield is a Godzilla type story which definitely evokes a 9/11 feel. It does so on purpose, without a doubt. I am not the sort of fellow who likes to give away the ending, so I won’t, although I think the marketing of it does so a bit. (Stop reading if you’re worried about any of that, though I am going to be very careful not to give anything away).

It’s an interesting film. Some of the photography is so bouncy at times, though, that I got a little bit nauseous about two thirds of the way through the movie. But other than that (and I was a bit hungover, juiced on caffeine and hadn’t eaten, so maybe it wasn’t totally just the jumpy handheld), I liked the movie, and was definitely entertained despite some script holes and goofiness.

It did feel, watching the film, like seeing some 9/11 stuff all over again. In its oblique approach to the events of 9/11, it was some how more affecting than some of the movies I’ve seen that directly discuss those events. I am not sure why – perhaps its just that I had more in common with the experiences of the characters in Cloverfield than in some of those other films. (I did find United 93 quite affecting, but maybe for different reasons).

Don’t read this and think that Cloverfield cannot be viewed as simple escapism and a monster movie. Most of the time, that’s exactly what it feels like. It doesn’t come across as a diatribe on politics or anything else, and given the topic, that’s definitely to its benefit.

America seems to agree, as its headed for a monstrous 50 million dollar opening. Yes, monstrous. Couldn’t resist.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"MY BROTHER" nominated for NAACP Image Award

My Brother, which I produced for Anthony Lover, has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Best Independent Film.

Here is the competition in the category.

Outstanding Independent or Foreign Film
• “A Mighty Heart” (Paramount Vantage)
• “Dirty Laundry” (Codeblack Entertainment)
• “Honeydripper” (Emerging Pictures)
• “My Brother” (Codeblack Entertainment)
• “Persepolis” (Sony Pictures Classics)

We could use some press at the moment, so this is great news. I hope that we win. The Awards are to be televised live on Fox on February 14th. Don't know if I am going yet.

Grumpy

Monday, January 14, 2008

Seems Like Old Times

In the category of oldies but goodies, and in light of the dearth of good comedy these days (Jason Reitman and the Farrelly Bros. notwithstanding)…

Ray Stark’s production of Jay Sandrich’s “Seems Like Old Times” is one of two terrific comedies pairing Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase, both at the very height of their talents (and popularity), the other being “Foul Play.”

While Sandrich is and was mostly known as a television director of comedy, his direction is perfect for this script, written by the incredible Neil Simon. Yes, it has a certain sitcom-iness but it raises to another level, because of the scope of the screenplay and the performances by leads Hawn, Chase, Charles Grodin, Robert Guillaume, and T.K. Carter. And Sandrich keeps the hijinx moving perfectly along.

Its interesting, I was reading a review by Roger Ebert of a movie from 1998. He quoted as follows:

“Stanley Kauffmann, the great film critic of The New Republic, was on Charlie Rose's show the other night, sharing the discoveries of 40 years as a film critic. What he has noticed over the years, he said, is that we are getting more good dramatic films than in the old days--but fewer good entertainments. It is easier to excel at drama than at comedy.”

This is true. Comedy has become a rare success these days. Good thing for movies like Seems Like Old Times which retain their sense of humor, a few decades later.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005V5NS/imdb-button/

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Golden Globe Winners

MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
"American Gangster" - Imagine Entertainment/Scott Free Productions; Universal Pictures
WINNER: "Atonement" - Working Title Productions; Focus Features
"Eastern Promises" - Kudos Pictures - Uk Serendipity Point Films - Canada A Uk/Canada Co-Production; Focus Features
"The Great Debaters" - Harpo Films; The Weinstein Company/MGM
"Michael Clayton" - Samuels Media and Castle Rock Entertainment a Mirage Enterprises/Section 8 Production; Warner Bros. Pictures
"No Country For Old Men" - A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
"There Will Be Blood" - A Joanne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production; Paramount Vantage and Miramax Films

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Cate Blanchett - "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"
WINNER: Julie Christie - "Away From Her"
Jodie Foster - "The Brave One"
Angelina Jolie - "A Mighty Heart"
Keira Knightley - "Atonement"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
George Clooney - "Michael Clayton"
WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis - "There Will Be Blood"
James McAvoy - "Atonement"
Viggo Mortensen - "Eastern Promises"
Denzel Washington - "American Gangster"

MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
"Across The Universe" - Revolution Studios International; Sony Pictures Releasing
"Charlie Wilson’s War" - Universal Pictures/Relativity Media/Participant Productions/Playtone; Universal Pictures
"Hairspray" - Zadan/Meron Prods./New Line Cinema in association with Ingenious Film Partners; New Line Cinema
"Juno" - Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production; Fox Searchlight Pictures
WINNER: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" - Parkes/Mac Donald and Zanuck Company; Warner Bros. Pictures

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Amy Adams - "Enchanted"
Nikki Blonsky - "Hairspray"
Helena Bonham Carter - "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
WINNER: Marion Cotillard - "La Vie en rose"
Ellen Page - "Juno"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
WINNER: Johnny Depp - "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Ryan Gosling - "Lars And The Real Girl"
Tom Hanks - "Charlie Wilson’s War"
Philip Seymour Hoffman - "The Savages"
John C. Reilly - "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story"

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
"Bee Movie" - DreamWorks Animation; DreamWorks Animation
WINNER: "Ratatouille" - Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Distribution
"The Simpsons Movie" - Gracie Films; Twentieth Century Fox

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days" (Romania) - Mobra Films; IFC First Take
WINNER: "The Diving Bell And The Butterfly" (France And USA) - A Kennedy/Marshall Company And Jon Kilik Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
"The Kite Runner" (USA) - Dreamworks Pictures Sidney Kimmel Entertainment And Paramount Classics Participant Productions Present A Sidney Kimmel Entertainment And Parkes/Macdonald Production Distributed By Paramount Classics
"Lust, Caution" (Taiwan) - Haishang Films; Focus Features
"Persepolis" (France) - 247 Films; Sony Pictures Classics

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
WINNER: Cate Blanchett - "I’m Not There"
Julia Roberts - "Charlie Wilson’S War"
Saoirse Ronan - "Atonement"
Amy Ryan - "Gone Baby Gone"
Tilda Swinton - "Michael Clayton"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Casey Affleck - "The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford"
WINNER: Javier Bardem - "No Country For Old Men"
Philip Seymour Hoffman - "Charlie Wilson’s War"
John Travolta - "Hairspray"
Tom Wilkinson - "Michael Clayton"

DIRECTOR - MOTION PICTURE
Tim Burton - "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - "No Country For Old Men"
WINNER: Julian Schnabel - "The Diving Bell And The Butterfly"
Ridley Scott - "American Gangster"
Joe Wright - "Atonement"

SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE
Diablo Cody - "Juno"
WINNER: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - "No Country For Old Men"
Christopher Hampton - "Atonement"
Ronald Harwood - "The Diving Bell And The Butterfly"
Aaron Sorkin - "Charlie Wilson’s War"

ORIGINAL SCORE - MOTION PICTURE
Michael Brook, Kaki King, Eddie Vedder - "Into The Wild"
Clint Eastwood - "Grace Is Gone"
Alberto Iglesias - "The Kite Runner"
WINNER: Dario Marianelli - "Atonement"
Howard Shore - "Eastern Promises"

ORIGINAL SONG - MOTION PICTURE
"Despedida" from "Love In The Time Of Cholera" - Music By: Shakira, Antonio Pinto, Lyrics By: Shakira
"Grace Is Gone" from "Grace Is Gone" - Music By: Clint Eastwood, Lyrics By: Carole Bayer Sager
WINNER: "Guaranteed" from "Into The Wild" - Music & Lyrics By: Eddie Vedder
"That’s How You Know" from "Enchanted"- Music By: Alan Menken, Lyrics By: Stephen Schwartz
"Walk Hard" from "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" - Music & Lyrics by: Marshall Crenshaw, John C. Reilly, Judd Apatow, Kasdan

TELEVISION

TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
"Big Love" (HBO) - Anima Sola and Playtone Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
"Damages" (Fx Networks) - FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
"Grey’s Anatomy" (ABC) - ABC Studios
"House" (Fox) - Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions in association with Universal Media Studios
WINNER: "Mad Men" (Amc) - Lionsgate Television
"The Tudors" (Showtime) - Showtime/Peace Arch Entertainment/Working Title/Reveille Productions Limited/An Ireland-Canada Co-Production

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
Patricia Arquette- "Medium"
WINNER: Glenn Close - "Damages"
Minnie Driver - "The Riches"
Edie Falco - "The Sopranos"
Sally Field - "Brothers & Sisters"
Holly Hunter - "Saving Grace"
Kyra Sedgwick - "The Closer"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
Michael C. Hall - "Dexter"
WINNER: Jon Hamm - "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie - "House"
Jonathan Rhys Meyers - "The Tudors"
Bill Paxton - "Big Love"

TELEVISION SERIES - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
"30 Rock" (NBC) - Universal Media Studios In Association With Broadway Video And Little Stranger - Inc.
"Californication" (Showtime) - Showtime Presents In Association With Aggressive Mediocrity, And Then…, Twilight Time Films
"Entourage" (HBO) - Leverage And Closest To The Hole Productions In Association With HBO Entertainment
WINNER: "Extras" (HBO) - BBC And HBO Entertainment
"Pushing Daisies" (ABC) - Living Dead Guy Productions, The Jinks/Cohen Company in association with Warner Bros. Television

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES -COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christina Applegate - "Samantha Who?"
America Ferrera - "Ugly Betty"
WINNER: Tina Fey - "30 Rock"
Anna Friel - "Pushing Daisies"
Mary-Louise Parker - "Weeds"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin - "30 Rock"
Steve Carell - "The Office"
WINNER: David Duchovny - "Californication"
Ricky Gervais - "Extras"
Lee Pace - "Pushing Daisies"

MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
"Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" (HBO) - A Wolf Films/Traveler’S Rest Production In Association With HBO Films
"The Company" (TNT) - Sony Pictures Television
"Five Days" (HBO) - HBO Films In Association With BBC Films
WINNER: "Longford" (HBO) - A Granada Production in association with Channel 4 and HBO Films
"The State Within" (BBC America) - BBC America, BBC

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Bryce Dallas Howard - "As You Like It"
Debra Messing - "The Starter Wife"
WINNER: Queen Latifah - "Life Support"
Sissy Spacek - "Pictures Of Hollis Woods"
Ruth Wilson - "Jane Eyre" ("Masterpiece Theatre")

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Adam Beach - "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee"
Ernest Borgnine - "A Grandpa For Christmas"
WINNER: Jim Broadbent - "Longford"
Jason Isaacs - "The State Within"
James Nesbitt - "Jekyll"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Rose Byrne - "Damages"
Rachel Griffiths - "Brothers & Sisters"
Katherine Heigl - "Grey’s Anatomy"
WINNER: Samantha Morton - "Longford"
Anna Paquin - "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee"
Jaime Pressly - "My Name Is Earl"

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Ted Danson - "Damages"
Kevin Dillon - "Entourage"
WINNER: Jeremy Piven - "Entourage"
Andy Serkis - "Longford"
William Shatner - "Boston Legal"
Donald Sutherland - "Dirty Sexy Money"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back in NY

I cannot believe I forgot to airplane blog. Despite the fact that i've been away in California for three months, it occurs to me that this is the longest period of time in several years that i've stayed in one place, that I haven't been on an airplane (at least I think it is). Anyway, no airplane bloggin'. It didnt even occur to me.

I did do a lot less bloggin', at least true blogging rather than simple reposting, while I was out there. Not sure why, because I have less to conflict with my blogging time in LA than in NY (at least I think that is true).

Where is my head at?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Could not sleep and it just hit me



Richard Kiel and Quentin Tarantino? Have a look. Long lost relatives?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Big Apple

I am headed back to NYC finally, probably late next week. Been three months, and it wont be for that long, but its overdue. I haven’t slept in my (real) own bed in forever. Looking forward to seeing friends in NY. I may stay for less than a month (could be shorter than that, even). I need to catch up on some stuff though, and being back may help me clear my head.

I haven’t felt much like writing recently, as things remain promising yet difficult. I’m muddling through the way I usually do, though.

Greg