NORTH BY NORTHWEST REMAKE GREENLIT

HOLLYWOOD – Hot on the tails of the To Catch A Thief remake announcement, Hollywood once again proves you can’t have too much of a good thing. Paramount Studios have announced the creation of the Hitchcock Extended Universe. The next film will be a North By Northwest remake to star Ryan Reynolds and Amy Schumer. The Exec spoke with Denise Fahrtknocker, Head of PR at Paramount about the North By Northwest remake.

Denise, What Gave You The Idea To Remake Such Beloved Classics?

Money. We were sat around in our gold-lined giant hot tub in Malibu worrying that we didn’t have enough cash because it’ll be months before Tom shits out another Mission Impossible. It was then after several Martinis and lines of coke that the idea hit me. Hitchcock! We can cash in on Hitchcock.

Aren’t You Worried A North By Northwest Remake Has Little Artistic Value?

Artistic what? You talk real funny for someone who’s so fucking poor. Did you know that? Look, we don’t need artistic-whatever-the-fuck-you-said, because we got a great cast. They’re so talented and committed to the project, we think they’re going to surprise a lot of nay-sayers out there.

Who Are They?

Ryan Reynolds and Amy Schumer, that’s who. Ryan will be playing the Cary Grant role and Amy will play the Eva Marie Saint role. Sounds like dynamite, don’t it?

Who Will Play The Villains?

I’m glad you asked me that. We got Jesse Plemons in the Martin Landau role, because he’s kinda funny looking in his own way. And we got Alan Rickman playing the James Mason role. Who could be better to give us that mid-Atlantic, villainous charm? Nobody, that’s who.

But Alan Rickman Is Dead.

Yeah? Ok, fuck-it. We’ll get Gary Oldman. He’ll play any old villain as long as there’s enough green to be had. Who gives a shit.

The North By Northwest Remake Goes Into Production Shortly

A CINEMATIC RUNNING GUIDE

The Exec is proud to present A Cinematic Running Guide. We break down all the elements required to make sure the running in your film is up to speed. A Cinematic Running Guide is presented in proud association with NIKE. NIKE, just fucking do it already.

A Cinematic Running Guide, Nay A History

Since the burgeoning cinema at the start of the 20th Century, film makers have captured running in all its forms. From Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, men, women and children have run on screen. Sometimes towards the camera, sometimes away and sometimes they even ran across the shot. Cinema audiences around the world have been thrilled in whichever direction people could run in films.

And ACTION!

With the introduction of sound, running in movies became an even more immersive experience. Hollywood film makers such as Hitchcock used it to great effect in action sequences. Take North By Northwest, Hitchcock uses running towards camera AND away from a fucking plane to create an iconic scene. Without running, this scene would have been dog shit.

It’s All About The Running

Take Tony Richardson’s run-fest, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner. It came just three years after North By Northwest, but already running is in the title and features heavily as a plot device and arty-farty metaphor. Ok Tony, you went to Oxford, we get it already, jeez!

But Where’s The Chariot?

Fast forward to the early 80s and running is now the entire narrative in Hugh Hudson’s Oscar winning Chariots Of Fire. But audiences were left confused because there were no chariots to be seen anywhere. What’s wrong with these crazy Brits?

Blockbuster Running

With boxing underdog movie Rocky, Sylvester Stallone took running to new, heroic heights. Sly continued to fly the flag for heroic running (mainly toward camera but away from the exploding whatever) in films as diverse as First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II and the inexplicably titled Rambo III. There was no Rambo II. What the fuck Sly?

Nice Try Arnie

Other blockbuster action stars tried to get in on the running, but with less success. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried with a bit of running in Conan The Barbarian. But this was mainly across the shot, which was proven to be the least effective. He even tried using running in one of his titles, The Running Man. But all anyone remembers about that film is how piss poor Mic Fleetwood was in it. I’ll be back? Nah, you’re ok man. Stay where you are.

The Running King

And now we come to the undisputed king of running in movies: Tom Cruise. Cruise tried his hand at ‘acting’ in films such as The Color Of Money, Rain Man and Born On The Fourth Of July. But he found his little running feet in The Firm. Here, Cruise discovered he could thrill audiences the world over just by sprinting towards the camera and away from scary, cuddly uncle Wilford Brimley. But he really got up to pace three years later with Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible. The legendary scene where Tom leaps away from exploding chewing gum on a fish tank is an all time running classic. The invention and the daring to not only run toward the camera and away from the water, but in slow-mo and then under the camera is ground-breaking. I mean… shit the bed shivers up my spine.

Running The Show

Since then, Cruise has gone from strength to strength. He can run on sand, on roads, rooves, through windows and even under water. He continues to thrill and astound audiences with his running. Hardly anyone has noticed he really can’t act. And he owes it all to running. Go figure.

HIDDEN GEMS: 22. PSYCHO

Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week psychological thriller ‘Psycho’. You’re welcome.

Despite being English and fat, Alfred Hitchcock was actually a highly regarded director in his time. Alfred what cock? you say. Yeah, I know. He has a kind of porn-y name, but believe me, hundred of years ago people liked his movies. Now, alas, no one except me knows who he is. So why don’t you dust off this totally unknown thriller and see what lies beneath?psycho

Psycho starts with a robbery. Janet Leigh is Marion Crane, an employee who absconds with a wadge of cash from work and runs away to be with her lover. Along the way she stops at an old empty motel in the pouring rain. Here she meets Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a lonely young man under the thumb of his mother. What happens next is scarier than a lift from Ted Bundy. And it all happens in the shower. The shower? What could be scary about a shower? you say. That’s where I go to get clean. Well, you won’t think about it the same way once you’ve seen the film.

Although no longer talked about the film was actually a hit when it came out. There were a number of sequels and Gus Van Sant even made a shot-for-shot remake called Milk.

For more Hidden Gems CLICK HERE.

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS INGRID BERGMAN

HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the actress they called the ‘Swedish Tractor’: Ingrid Bergman.

Of all the beautiful women I’ve stared at while they weren’t looking, Ingrid Bergman was the most beautiful of all. No-one else has ever lit up the screen quite like her, but to be perfectly honest with you, her table manners were never anything short of appalling. I once saw her eating peas with a knife, and we used to dread it when they served soup in the canteen as the noise was truly disgusting. Gregory Peck would bring in ear plugs. Things came to a head when shooting one of those Alfred Hitchcock films that she was always in, and the studio was forced to feed her from a trough next to the bins. Then seeing her make short work of a couple of turnips gave me an idea…

With Bing Crosby’s help I herded her into my car and we headed off for the woods. As soon as I opened the door Ingrid caught the scent and was off! It was all Bing and I could do to keep up with her, but then she stopped, snuffled around beneath a tree, and uprooted the biggest truffle you ever did see!

It was enormous!

Lou Costello had just opened a new restaurant and we sold it to him for a pretty penny with the promise that he’d take as many as we could find. We were onto a winner and no mistake!

Sadly Bing and I lost all the cash when Ingrid sued us over the film rights to the story, but there were no hard feelings and she ended up with Academy Awards coming out of her ears. We tried to make some of the money back by milking Frank Capra, but that’s another story…

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS ALFRED HITCHCOCK

HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the globulous Alfred Hitchcock.

One of the pictures I’m asked about most often is actually a film I never appeared in! I am talking, of course, about Vertigo. I only take Sight and Sound magazine for the crossword and gardening tips so you could’ve knocked me down with a feather when that venerable publication recently announced that Vertigo was the best film ever made! I never cared for it much myself, but I think Jerry Lewis is funny so what do I know?

Little did I think that cinema history was in the making when I answered the phone one morning to none other than Alfred Hitchcock. I’ll never forget his first words to me.
‘Neddy,’ he said, ‘it’s Alfred Hitchcock here.’ 
That’s the kind of man he was you see, friendly, charming, but professional to the soles of his shoes. He wanted me for a scene early on in the picture where a portly gentleman walks past carrying a musical instrument case. Well, it’s the part I was born to play. There was no fee, but I was virtually guaranteed a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Academy Awards so I headed down to the set. There was no rehearsal to speak of, or any script for that matter, Hitch just wanted to capture the moment, so I walked past the camera only for him to shout cut! 
‘Anything the matter darling?’ I asked. 
‘No, no, no,’ said Hitch, ‘just give me another one,’ so we rolled camera and I walked past again. 
And again.  And again. 
After the seventy eighth take I could tell there was something wrong, so I wandered over to Hitch to see if there was a different angle we could try. ‘The problem is’ he said in that familiar cockney drawl, ‘you’re just not portly enough.’ 
It was dear old Jimmy Stewart who had the bright idea of sticking a cushion up my jumper, so we did that and tried again. Then we tried again. Then we tried again with a different cushion, but it was still no good. Say what you will about Hitch but he knows what he wants, and I for one respect him for that. In the end I nipped off for a cigarette and by the time I came back just a couple of minutes later the scene was in the can with none other than Mr Alfred Hitchcock himself playing the part of the portly gentleman who walks past carrying a musical instrument case! 
I was flattered: it’s not many actors who can say their part was played by one of the cinema’s greatest directors, but I’m proud to be one of them. 
As I said there was no fee for my cameo, although Hitch did offer me $50 to push Kim Novak into the harbour.
But that’s another story…

For more of Sir Edwin FLUFFER, be a peach and Click Here.

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE TO BE A REMAKE

HOLLYWOOD – The Angry Birds movie is going to be based on a classic Hollywood thriller, Cormac McCarthy revealed today.

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec, Cormac McCarthy was more forthcoming about the details of the new Angry Birds movie and the fonts of inspiration.

 I had already written an Angry Birds script as a struggling novelist in the 1970s but no one knew what Angry Birds was. It took someone to actually invent the game for cell phones before people began to warm to the idea.  It is no secret that I have always been a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan and when Brian dePalma got in in touch I thought this would be a perfect fit. I mean only dePalma can give you that Alfred Hitchcock feeling that you need when you want to make a Hitchcocky film, but Hitchcock is you know, dead. The only question was which film to do.

What did you decide on?

Well, what you have to do is find a film that has a lot of Angry Birds in. We wracked our brains as you can imagine. Was there an Angry Bird in Rope? Dial M for Murder? I can’t remember. There were lots of dead birds in Psycho so that was a promising idea for a draft or two. I mean, Norman Bates is stuffing birds and those birds are not happy.

But surely…

I know what you’re thinking. North by North West!

No, I wasn’t.

We’re all thinking about that very closely, but then all of a sudden Martin Scorsese write me an email suggesting this obscure little known Hitchcock made called The Bards. I couldn’t even find it on IMDb but then it turned out that Scorsese had mistyped the title and it was The Birds. So now we had our idea and the script came so easy. Well, to be honest, I photocopied it.

The Angry Birds will be released in 2016.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

HIDDEN GEMS 11. VERTIGO

Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. You’re welcome.

Films about being dizzy were legion in the 1940s and 50s, reflecting a widespread distrust of government and an increasing paranoia about the activities of the Soviet Bloc. Who can forget Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking Whoops-a-Daisy starring Peter Sellers, or Billy Wilder’s hilarious satire I Need to Sit Down, starring Jack Lemmon. In an attempt to bolster his failing reputation – following the little known and underwhelming Read Window – British director Alfred Hitchcock decided to cash in on the trend with Vertigo, a film about a policeman Scottie (played by relative unknown James Stewart) who retires from the force following a dizzy spell during a rooftop chase. Living in San Francisco doesn’t help, nor does a case he takes on as a private investigator involving an old friend’s wife.

Hitchcock’s film is a sun-kissed noir, a convoluted twisting plot taking place in the labyrinthine twists of San Fransisco. Scotty is an empty man filling his empty days with an obsessive pursuit which threatens to consume him entirely. Bernard Hermann’s score is a luscious and hypnotic setting for the story and the acting is superb. Unfortunately, the film was a commercial and critical disaster and is very difficult to get hold of now. Hitchcock went on to make the poorly received Psycho and is now largely forgotten as a film director. If he’s remembered for anything, it’s because he was fat. In this he resembles Orson Welles, a similarly corpulent ghost from the past whose films are unjustly ignored.

The British Film Institute in its recent retrospective of Dizzy Cinema not only neglected Hitchcock’s work but denied that Vertigo even existed and Sight and Sound in its poll of top film critics found the film positioned number one of one hundred films that were considered ‘absolute bullshit’.

For more Hidden Gems CLICK HERE.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER LOOKS NOTHING LIKE STEVE JOBS

HOLLYWOOD – In a stunning trailer to the new Danny Boyle film, Steve Jobs we saw an unrecognizable Michael Fassbender, in the sense that he didn’t look anything like Steve Jobs.

The new Danny Boyle film is from a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, which is itself based on the bestselling Walter Isaacson biography. Fassbender wears Jobs clothes but has obviously decided to dispense with any attempt at uncanny resemblance. Seth Rogen has a beard but other than that he follows his co-star in looking nothing like Steve Wozniak.

Has to be said, this might be a good thing. Acting is not and never should be impersonation. For an example of the opposite going entirely wrong watch Anthony Hopkins in a fat suit for Hitchcock. The prosthetics were so exaggerated and distracting that I almost missed how ridiculous Hopkins’ accent was and how banal the script.

Michael Fassbender is appearing in a number of films this year, including Slow West and a new version of Macbeth, and he looks nothing like Macbeth.

For more FACTS about Michael Fassbender CLICK HERE.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

Steve Jobs will be released in October, 2015.

 

FLUFFER AND STANLEY KUBRICK

I really don’t know why so many actors complain about Stanley Kubrick. Much like Alfred Hitchcock, he was quite simply the best director who has ever lived, and so was William Wyler.

We first worked together on a little picture called Spartacus, which sadly never got the commercial or critical success it really deserved. I was a Roman or something, and so spent all day sitting around in a toga with my sandals on waiting to be called, but it was well worth the wait. He’d put his arm around my shoulder, give me a couple of pointers like ‘all you need to do Neddy, is walk down the steps, turn to Olivier, and give the line: action!’ 

And that was it! You were off! 
I’d walk down the steps, turn to Larry, do the line, Kubrick would shout ‘cut!’, give me the thumbs up, and that was it, on to the next scene. 
I know that some people complain that he’d make them do endless re-takes, but I like to get it right first time, every time. You really do get to the bar a lot quicker that way. 
It’s only because I kept calling Olivier ‘Larry’ and not ‘Crassus’, that my scenes couldn’t be used in the final cut. If truth be told it was quite a relief, as to this day I can’t believe that anyone’s watched Spartacus without thinking that it must be the worst film they’ve ever had the misfortune to yawn their way through. I tried to add some comedy to the final scene, by waiting until everyone yelled ‘I’m Spartacus’ then shouting ‘and I’m Sir Edwin Fluffer!’, but Tony Curtis was furious and pushed me over.  
Peter Ustinov thought this was hilarious and told the story over and over again in his one man show for many more years than anyone cares to remember. I tried to make him shut up by hiring a hitman, but that’s another story…

ADAM SANDLER AND FRANK CORACI: TOGETHER AGAIN

HOLLYWOOD – Celebrations were announced throughout Hollywood and in Pakistan, Israel, New Zealand, Ecuador and Boston, public holidays were declared. The reason? Frank ‘the new Kubrick’ Coraci and Adam Sandler were together again.

The dream team who brought us the depth of The Waterboy, the Nolan-like mind games of Click and the terrifying meditation on aging to rival only Haneke The Wedding Singer were back together again.

A source close to the inspirational font declared:

Frank has been really down since Here Comes the Boom  missed out on the Oscar nominations it had been widely tipped to receive. But he got together with Adam and, after the usual jokes about Frank’s Chariots of the Gods beard, they started thrashing out ideas and it wasn’t long before that peculiar magic began to work.

New York Times critic, Abelard Haverland wrote in an in-depth profile of the pair:

One thinks of the great director / actor pairings, when a peculiar symbiosis creates masterpieces; one thinks of Scorsese and De Niro; Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart; Woody Allen and Woody Allen. Now we add to that Coraci and Sandler.

The plot outline remains necessarily vague – as with every Coraci film, the maestro shrouds each project in complete secrecy. However, we do know a blind date is involved and will go disastrously wrong, but the mismatched couple will be stuck together probably because they’ve been mistaken for witnesses in the trial of a mob boss or something.

‘This is the audacity Frank has,’ said Haverland. ‘Most people will look at that plot line and think that’s been done a thousand times. It’s a cliche with absolutely nothing surprising to offer. I can close my eyes and see the whole goddam movie. But Frank thinks no you can’t. And he makes it anyway.’

ANTHONY HOPKINS: HITCHCOCK BODY MADE FROM REAL PEOPLE

Hollywood – It was revealed today that the fat body suit that Anthony Hopkins wore to make himself look similar to the girth of the famous director Alfred Hitchcock in the film Hitchcock was actually made from parts of real people.

Special effects supervisor Jonas Patterson said today: ‘Four people in total went into the making of the suit. It was a very complicated process which first involved trapping  the people, then starving them to loosen the skin up a little, then slaughter, drying, tanning and finally sewing, with Hopkins coming in for several refits.’

Animal rights group PETA congratulated the film makers for the innovative way they hadn’t hurt animals. The film’s director Sacha Gervasi praised his team for their commitment to reality:

Of course, when it comes to killing human beings – even for the purposes of making a highly entertaining movie like Hitchcock, there are going to some unavoidable unpleasantness, so what we did was play Norah Jones when we were doing the killing and everything went off without a hitch. Oh wait. Did you see what I just did there?

 Hopkins himself said that wearing the suit was quite comfortable. ‘Human flesh is actually very easy to wear, especially around the trunk, and it’s authentic because of course Ed Gein on whom Psycho was partly based also made himself a man suit, so there’s some irony there,’ said the ex-Welsh actor. ‘This is my third film involving skin-wearing psychos. Silence of the Lambs, Hitchcock of course and The Human Stain although on that film it was Nicole Kidman who wore the skin.‘ 

XAVIER POULIS: DIRECTORS WEAR HATS

Many people think that directing is all about under standing the text of the script, having an individual visual style and motivating actors. All that’s bullshit. It’s about wearing the right hat. Proceed resident Swiss Cinema Expert and millinery muffin, Xavier Poulis:
Charlie Chaplin always directed films in his favourite hat which was loaned to Alfred Hitchcock, or Hitch – as he preferred to be known – while directing The Birds, to huge acclaim.  


 Marty Scorsese never wears hats these days and spends thousands of dollar a year on his wiry locks, but in the free and easy days of the seventies and under the influence of Roger Corman, Martin wore this little man from Delmonte number.

Steven Spielberg has no money and so often has to resort to advertising his own films on the top of his head and just above his petulant face. Look at how bitter he is. An angry disappointed man, what in Switzerland we would call a ‘man’. 

Howdy there! Mr David Lynch, no Eraserhead he! But rather a full on Stetson that the crazy squirrel sandwich eater sports with a happy go lucky grin as he prepares go ape shit at a ho-down. Yeee-Ha!

What a Maverick! When he’s not busy criticizing films he hasn’t actually seen, Spike Lee rocks in this erm… What the fuck is that? To forsake his usual baseball cap for this is bizarre get up is truly the act of a rebel but on the other hand, well, it is very, very funny. Go for it, Spike! Just for once, Do the Wrong Thing!

And finally Kathryn Bigelow shows that it isn’t only the boys who can have fun. One night in Baghdad and no head gear to hand, the Bourne-like Bigelow steals into a local carpet shop and Voilà! No Muslim need feel offended at her Western decadence! And let the torture commence!