MERYL STREEP FILM REMASTERED

BERLIN – Following Meryl Streep’s comments at the Berlinale film festival in Berlin, her 1985 film Out of Africa is to be reissued.

We might all be Africans, but are we all Out of Africans? That’s the question that is on everyone’s lips today as Universal Pictures reissues the Sydney Pollack film in time to benefit from all the positive publicity that Ms. Streep’s brain fart has caused. Robert Redford was quick to defend Ms. Streep:

We are all Africans certainly. As an actor I’m not a scientist but I can say that at some point in the history of the universe we were all basically hydrogen atoms. Now people might look at the Oscar nominations or the Berlin judges panel and say it isn’t diverse but I say look at all those hydrogen atoms, mixed with oxygen and carbon and calcium and all the other atoms that make up those human beings. And if that isn’t diverse, what is?

Out of Africans is available for digital download immediately. Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

SUNDANCE BURIED UNDER AVALANCHE

UTAH – Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival – the forum for American Independent Cinema – has tragically been buried under a massive avalanche.

The avalanche began at two o’clock this afternoon in Park city after a showing of the new Jesse Plemons film Other People. The applause was not necessarily a factor, a spokesperson for the police said, ‘but it can’t have helped.’

What you have to understand that up here in the mountains, in January, there is an awful lot of snow and what with people enthusing about the latest Barack Obama – Michele Obama film, or that new film by the guy who did Broken Circle Breakdown, the queuing and the general chatter, something is going to give at some point. It isn’t like it is necessarily someone’s fault but it usually is.

Over 15 thousand people are thought to be buried in the snow and many film critics and film makers who for some reason were unable to go to Sundance have said things like ‘Oh well’ and ‘I hope they’re all okay’, while barely disguising delighted smiles.

Late news came in that a large group of directors, execs and critics have survived the avalanche in some strange air bubble/ice cathedral. Led by Werner Herzog, they have immediately sprung into action and started filming a whimsical documentary about their imminent deaths.

Sundance will continue until next week.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT SUNDANCE

UTAH – Sundance is American Independent cinema’s annual gathering, taking place in the high altitude resort of Park City and promoted by Robert Redford. But how much do we really know about this most secretive of cinematic happenings.

The Studio Exec FACT squad – under the direction of Steven Soderbergh – were dropped by helicopter to find out.

1. Although success at Sundance is a guarantee of lifelong wealth (see Steven Soderbergh), failure at Sundance can result in the payment of a terrible price. Filmmakers whose films are met with anything less than enthusiasm are ritually stripped of their clothes and forced to run through the snow in the nude, midst pelting stones and stinging mockery. 

2. The name Sundance comes from a role that Robert Redford played in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. However, for the first seven years of its thirty year existence the festival went by a number of names, including: ‘The Big Halsy Fest’, ‘The Sting Fest’ and the ‘The Bob Woodward Festival for the Appreciation of the Cinematic Arts.’

 3. Paul Newman also started a film festival in Berlin, Germany called ‘The Butch Cassidy Film Festival’ but he was so cool, he forgot to tell anybody about it and, after a disastrous inauguration year, it changed its name to ‘The Berlin Cassidy Film Festival’ and then ‘The Berlin Film Festival.’

4. Approximately 62% of the state of Utah are Mormons, which means for a film to be shown, there must be no scenes of coffee drinking and at least two wives per male character. 

5. The first film ever to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival was The Bad News Bears Go To Japan. The filmmakers were stripped naked and forced to run through the snow in the nude, midst pelting stones and stinging mockery.

For more FACTS click HERE.

FIRST LOOK AT JESSICA CHASTAIN AS DAVID BOWIE IN STARMAN

LONDON – He was Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and even David Robert Jones, but now David Bowie is the subject of a new biopic entitled Starman, to be directed by Robert Redford and starring Jessica Chastain as the Thin White Duke himself.

The news came just days after Chastain lost out to Scarlett Johansson to play the First Lady in the new Hillary Clinton biopic Rodham (for more on that story CLICK HERE). With a photograph released showing Chastain in the guise of the Ziggy Stardust crack’d actor himself, the fan world is delirious at the prospect of the film. 

Director Robert Redford spoke exclusively to Studio Exec about the project:

Starman has been in the works since the eighties, but the script was never quite right. I’ve always been fascinated by Bowie and especially his androgyny, his drug taking and his willingness to push the boundaries to often dangerous degrees. In those respects I think we’re very, very similar.    

Has Bowie collaborated on the project?

I know that he knows about it, because we obviously had to approach his people about rights and what have you, but I feel both camps have been respectfully wary. We don’t want to get too close and they are interested in seeing what we’ll come up with.

 And what about the rival Tilda Swinton project [entitled Moonlight Daydream Oh Yeah]?

I can’t really comment on that, except to say that Bowie is a big enough player for there to be many films about the man.

What is your own personal attachment to Bowie?

As I said earlier, I think our careers are very similar. When I did Butch people were saying ‘Woah! Gay cowboys?’ but then Brokeback Mountain comes along and well … Nowadays I listen to his music all the time, I often go to parties dressed as Bowie and people are like ‘When’s Redford coming?’ Ha ha! Ha ha, ha.

Starman is due to be released in 2017.

NICK NOLTE IN LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE

HOLMEFIRTH – Last of the Summer Wine news keeps on coming following the teaser posters for Robert Redford’s new film, issued last week. The latest shows the legendary Nick Nolte in the role of Norman Clegg, a part made famous by Peter Sallis in the original Roy Clarke BBC sitcom.

Nolte – a notoriously difficult actor – was almost kicked off the film when he repeatedly punched Robert Redford during their scenes together. An insider on set told the Studio Exec exclusively:

He said that it was all part of his method but in actual fact Nolte kept laughing every time he did and kept muttering something about hating Downhill Racer. It turned out Nolte had wanted to do a film called Slalom, but the release of Redford’s skiing movie essentially torpedoed Nolte’s project.

Last of the Summer Wine will be released in 2015.

AL PACINO JOINS LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE

HOLLYWOOD – Following the first glimpse of Robert Redford as Foggy, Last of the Summer Wine gets another character poster, featuring Al Pacino in the role of Compo. 


The veteran actor Al Pacino told the Studio Exec:

Hooo Haaaaaa! Yes! The Summer Wine. Last of. Yorkshire. Making this film was one of the most creative experiences of my entire life! Bar none. Redford, a master. Nolte. What can you say about the man who gives everything of himself to a role? An artist! And a part! What a part! Compo. Compo Simmonite to give him his full name. Compo. HA!

How did you prepare for the role? 

I went back to the text. I wanted to get away from Bill Owen’s superfluous performance. It was too strong. Too raw for me. I needed to kill him as my theatrical father. And then allow him to haunt me like Hamlet’s ghost father. But with a piece of string keeping his trousers up. 

Last of the Summer Wine will be released in 2015. 

LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE: FIRST LOOK

HOLLYWOOD – The first character poster is out for Robert Redford‘s new film Last of the Summer Wine and it looks great.


We reported on the film several months ago (Click HERE), but since then details have been few and far between. But here we see Redford in full glamour mode for his role as Walter ‘Foggy’ Dewhurst, a role made famous by Brian Wilde in the original BBC comedy by Roy Clarke.

Redford, who is joined in the cast by Al Pacino and Nick Nolte, said of the role:

I believe this will be the capping point of my entire career. An actor dreams of a role like Foggy. He is Shakespearean in his complexity, Dickensian in his pomposity and Chekovian in his underlying sadness.

The Last of the Summer Wine will be released in 2016.  

ROBERT REDFORD PROBABLY WON’T WIN BEST ACTOR OSCAR

HOLLYWOOD – News coming in that Robert Redford will probably not win the Best Actor Oscar for his role as ‘Our Man’ in All Is Lost. Redford joins Oscar Isaac and Idris Elba in the WTF? corner.

The news of Robert Redford’s disappointment came hard on the heels of the revelation that Inside Llewyn Davis wasn’t particularly well directed and that there were at least nine, if not more, better films released in 2013. 
The Coen Brothers issued a joint statement earlier today: 

Our reaction to the news, after some time of painful reflection and introspection, is to go on a massive cocaine binge and we suggest Mr. Redford do the same. We know he’s in Utah now at the Sundance Film festival, so he shouldn’t have any trouble finding some snow. If you know what we mean.  

Fortunately science has proven that the Oscars are ‘a bunch of bullshit’ according to a study by Colombia University, though that might come as scant consolation to those who have failed to win nominations and are thereby unworthy to lick the boots of those who have. 

The Oscars will be broadcast on television.

LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE

HOLMEFIRTH – The beloved BBC comedy The Last of the Summer Wine is due to get the big screen treatment with Robert Redford as Walter ‘Foggy’ Dewheart, Nick Nolte as Clegg and Al Pacino in the role of loveable scruff Compo.

The three pensioners spend their time wandering about the countryside – Southern California will replace the Yorkshire Dales – pondering on their Autumn years, nostalgically recalling their past and conniving to forward the romance between Compo and Nora Batty, played by Cameron Diaz.

Director, Chris Columbus said that he was a fan of the original Roy Clarke show which was broadcast throughout the eighties:

It was absolutely awesome. But I think our version is going to be absolutely ‘stonking’ as the Brits say. When I was making Harry Potter, I studied the Brits and their culture and for years I wanted to do an updated heterosexual version of Are You Being Served? but I couldn’t get the funding, so I’m going to ‘make do’ with this.

Al Pacino says that he is not playing Compo. ‘I am Compo,’ he barked.

The Last of the Summer Wine will be released in 2015.

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP: REVIEW

Are you wearing a mask?
Bobby Sundance Redford’s radical past threatens to overtake him when the nun from Dead Man Walking gets arrested and the Gatsby has to high tail it out of there, leaving his great great grand daughter (what? Really?) leaving his ‘daughter’ with Tex Richman. He is pursued by the guy Don Cheadle scabbed off Iron Man and the charisma gap that was Indiana Jones Junior Junior.

Redford’s iconic status and some intelligent to and fro make this the kind of thriller which is better when it slows down. Good Sunday afternoon fare, but it meanders in the shadow of better films – Three Days of the Condor anyone? – and the one lingering mystery is how many intelligent Hollywood directors seem to think Shia La Beouf is a good actor.

In two words: Geriatric Fugitive. 

BREAKFAST WITH ASSHOLES: 11: SPIKE LEE

Poached eggs, spinach, cappuccino.

I meet Spike Lee in a small patisserie in Brooklyn, New York. He’s wearing his trade mark baseball cap and trade mark glasses. Spike hasn’t even sat down before he starts complaining about his fellow film makers. 

Christopher Nolan? You know he wanted to call The Dark Knight, The Darkie Knight. Goddam limey racist. 



Spike, lets talk about your films. You have several films due out this year. Can you tell me something about Red Hook Summer?

 Sure. Clint Eastwood’s Firefox didn’t have a single black character. Not one. 

But Eastwood made Bird?

A black director should have made that movie. That was supposed to have been a black director’s film. I should have made it, but then this goddam cowboy comes along – a man who makes a film called The Pale Rider goddam it – Jesus.

Why didn’t you make it?

 That’s beside the point. The point is that Hollywood is racist through and through. James Cameron? Racist. Steven Spielberg? Slave owning racist. Stanley Kubrick? Racist. White people in space scared of a goddam black monolith? Goddam honky.

 So your documentary about Michael Jackson’s album Bad shows…

Robert Redford? Racist.George Lucas? Racist.

But he produced Red Tails about black airmen in the…?

A black director should have made that film.

But a black director did make that film. Anthony Hemingway.

 No, I mean a black director who wears glasses and a baseball cap. Whose name sound slike the kind of name you’d give a cartoon dog.

Okay. I suppose we better talk about Quentin…

Racist motherfucker. 

Tarantino. So you haven’t seen Django Unchained?

I don’t need to see Scary Movie 5 to know it ain’t funny.

The Scary Movie franchise was created by a black director.

Fucking hilarious. Bad example. Anyway Tarantino is using our history as entertainment. He wouldn’t do that with the Holocaust, would he?

Inglourious Basterds?

Bad Example. The point is slavery… What I mean is that the history of black people… I want to say that… racist, racist, racist.

Spike Lee takes his baseball cap off and throws it on the ground and then jumps up and down on it, which is his traditional way of signalling that the interview is over.

For all the Breakfasts CLICK HERE.

BREAKFAST WITH ASSHOLES 5: TERRENCE MALICK

Bran, fruit, hot milk, Heidegger, Jaegermeister and coco-pops

Terry Malick famously doesn’t give interviews, but he does eat breakfast, and Studio Exec was invited over to Malick HQ to break bread with the great man during magic hour and finally ask him some questions. He was out on the heli-pad waving flares even though I’d told him on the phone I would be arriving by car. He threw the flare into a sand bucket and then, breaking open a bottle of Jaegermeister, grabbed me in a head lock and rubbed the top of my head with his knuckles. “Hey my man!”, he barked, “You bring a camera?”
To my surprise, Terry was very disappointed that I hadn’t brought a camera. “I wanted you to take my photo. They keep using that one of me wearing that big hat – I look like a f*cking dufus.”

I assured him we would use a different one as we went into the house and down the spiral staircase (like a seashell, or a Spanish cathedral, or a fractal drawing of the universe) to the kitchen. The Jaegermeister was gone. “Do you want some coco-pops?”, he asked, “Or bran? What do you want? Who are you? Are you there? What are you that wants breakfast? Two ways of eating breakfast: the way of fiber and the way of taste? Who are you to ask for breakfast? Have you seen the glory? It was here somewhere. The glory? Near the little bowl where I keep my keys, maybe.”


Terry seemed to drift off and indeed was soon wandering about the house, inspecting the microscopic movement of bacteria or glancing out the window at the flaring sun. I asked him how his latest film To the Wonder had come about.


“I was talking to Ben Affleck and the 007 girl and I got them to run about a bit. Buffaloes in a field, birds take flight, the sun glimpsed through the sudden flash of water. Who are we? What are we? Who cares? Threw it all together and hey presto! Classic!”


And you are currently working on Knight of the Cups?


Temptation, celebrity, excess. Yes.


With Christian Bale and…


Everybody on the planet. I got everybody who I could. You hear the phrase open casting call. I mean I know, right now I know, I’m not going to use half of these people, not even a tenth. You see I write a script like a novel, a really great novel. They read it and they say yes. Then I throw the script out. Throw it the fuck out and get them to walk around beaches, deserts, forests looking confused. Some Arvo Part, a little Gorecki, who knows, a dinosaur even. Bang! Classic! Malick in the house!


Right. 


There’s always got to be a river. Every single film there’s a river. Badlands, The Thin Red Line – that fucker Spielberg and his Saving Private Ryan bullshit – Days of Heaven, The New World and The Tree of Life. River, river, river. You ever see that Redford film, A River Runs Through It? That was Bobby’s homage to me. Oh, and a fire and a bird cage.


Terry slumps worn out with all his thinking and bleary eyed with the liqueur. He naps for a few minutes, and then resumes his musing:


And you know, why do we do this? Is there a God? Who is the power? The power that draws us on? What is it at the heart of nature? Where do we come from? Who are you?  


I like it. Philosophical inquiry, like Heidegger?


No, I mean who the fuck are you? Have you come to install my cable? Terry has to have his wrestling


No, I’m Chad. We spoke on the phone. 


But Terry had lost interest he had opened another bottle of Jaegermeister and was setting off flares in the back garden, screaming ‘I see the glory!” at the top of his lungs. On my way out I spoke to Pedro ,his PA, and expressed my disappointment at the interview. “Such a wasted opportunity.”, I said, “He only gives one interview in three decades…”


“What are you talking about?”, Pedro said, “He gives tonnes of interviews, but they’re all like this so no one uses them.”


At last in Studio Exec, Terry had met an outlet with absolutely no standards whatsoever.

For all the Breakfasts CLICK HERE.