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Matthew McConaughey To Receive 2014 American Cinematheque Award

By | Tuesday June 10, 2014 @ 11:09am PDT

86th Annual Academy Awards - Press RoomMatthew McConaughey this year won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club and is a frontrunner for an Emmy nom for HBO’s True Detective. Now he has another honor on the way: today he was named the recipient of its 28th American Cinematheque Award. The benefit gala is set for October 21 at the Beverly Hilton. He follows last year’s honoree Jerry Bruckheimer, the first producer so honored by the nonprofit group, which said McConaughey was a unanimous choice for the honor. That means another one of those patented McConaughey Speeches he perfected during the last awards season, like this one after his Golden Globes win:

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A-List Crowd Celebrates Jerry Bruckheimer’s American Cinematheque Honor

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 1:04am PST

Helen Mirren Jerry BruckheimerJerry Bruckheimer on Thursday became the first producer ever honored by the American Cinematheque, feted by some of the biggest names in show business who joined together to pay tribute a man whose name has become synonymous with big-box-office action movies. And because of it, he’s also one of the few filmmakers who has the distinction of being an international brand.

“No one is more shocked than myself that I am standing here tonight just having received this prestigious award, surrounded by Hollywood royalty not to mention a dame and a knight,” said Bruckheimer, referring to two of his presenters Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ben Kingsley, who celebrated the evening with him. The producer thanked his former partner, the late Don Simpson, and also Tony Scott, “a true visual genius whose energy and unique vision set the standard for high-voltage filmmaking.”

Related: Fleming Q&As American Cinematheque Honoree Jerry Bruckheimer

The evening at the Beverly Hilton was interspersed with clips from so many of the movies that has defined his career and contributed to his phenomenal $11.2 billion in worldwide box office: American Gigolo, Flashdance, Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Crimson Tide, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, Bad Boys, Remember the Titans, Black Hawk Down, and franchise hits Beverly Hills Cop and Pirates of the Caribbean, to name a few. Read More »

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Fleming Q&As American Cinema-theque Honoree Jerry Bruckheimer On 40 Years Of Hits, And A Paramount Pictures Future

Mike Fleming

Jerry Bruckheimer Interview Candid ExclusiveEXCLUSIVE: Tonight, the 27th American Cinematheque Award honors Hollywood’s longest-running and most commercially successful producer in Jerry Bruckheimer. Over the past 40 years, Bruckheimer has been the most consistent generator of films that filled theaters, moved popcorn and displayed more onscreen explosions than anyone else. First with late partner Don Simpson and then as a solo act, Bruckheimer’s films have earned estimated worldwide revenues of $16 billion in ticket sales, video and recording revenues, and he once had 10 TV series on networks in a single season, a record that still stands. Bruckheimer has something to prove as he moves from Disney to Paramount in the wake of the disappointing returns on The Lone Ranger. Bruckheimer doesn’t relish looking back as he starts a new chapter in a storied career that will include more installments of franchises Pirates Of The Caribbean, National Treasure, Bad Boys, Beverly Hills Cop and Top Gun. But he invited Deadline to his spacious Santa Monica headquarters recently to spend an afternoon reflecting on how far the son of a Detroit suit salesman has come.

DEADLINE: Your long run as Disney’s signature event film producer ends with your return to Paramount, a place where you and late former partner Don Simpson made some of the seminal hits of the 1980s. Disney moved toward a branded supplier program built around Marvel, Star Wars, DreamWorks, Pixar and away from proven producers. That is emblematic of the business now as studio producer deals fall by the wayside. You raised $20 million a couple years ago through Barclays Bank for development, and had a line on over $300 million, positioning you to be in step with hybrid producer/financiers with co-fi coin. Why did you instead opt for a throwback first-look Paramount deal?
tgBRUCKHEIMER: I like the camaraderie and collaboration of developing at a studio. Brad Grey I’ve worked with in the past and enjoy. I developed Top Gun 2 with Tony Scott, Paramount executives and David Ellison, and had a good experience with them. They are aggressive about material, and how they market, advertise and distribute their films.

DEADLINE: Most producers who can are raising their own money, as studios make fewer films and downgrade traditional first-look producing deals. You had the money in place and no producer has your long track record of hits if you wanted to raise more. Why didn’t you go that route?
BRUCKHEIMER: Because you spend your time finding millions, setting up time-consuming meetings with bankers, accountants and lawyers. It sucks the energy out of you and you are not spending your time making movies. For me, it was like trying on a suit and not liking the fit. I’d rather spend my time sitting in a room with a writer or a director, working out the beats of a story, or sitting with a designer to figure out how to make this set as cool as possible. A lot of people are good at running around raising money, and I’m not saying it’s something that isn’t in my future if I have to do it. I’d just much rather work at the creative end of the business.

DEADLINE: In your first stop at Paramount, you made films like Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop, and you are drafting new versions of each almost 30 years later. Studios all over are rebooting and sequelizing old stuff. Why is it so hard to create new franchises today?
bevBRUCKHEIMER: It’s always been hard to launch a franchise. You have to hit the mother lode on the first one, then figure out how to create longevity for each of the main characters. That’s not easy. We got very fortunate with Beverly Hills Cop because Eddie was just the greatest new comic that I’d seen. He’d made only a few movies previously and I could see he had the ability to capture the imagination of the audience. 48 Hours and Trading Places made that clear. But they thought we were nuts to have him carry a lead in a movie.

DEADLINE: Why?
BRUCKHEIMER: Because in both pictures he was a co-star.

DEADLINE: Didn’t Paramount prefer Sylvester Stallone for the Axel Foley role anyway?
BRUCKHEIMER: Originally. Here’s what happened. We went to Paramount and said, we want Eddie for this. They had the script, they loved it, they wanted to make the movie. They also had a pay or play commitment with Stallone, and they didn’t just want to pay him. So they wanted him for this movie. We said, we love Sly, but we created this script for Eddie. Even though Eddie didn’t know that we’d developed it for him. But we said, fine, you sign the checks, we’ll do what you want. We met with Sly and he said, I write my own stuff. We said OK, go ahead with your own thing. And when the project came in it had gotten way too expensive. He had written in car chases and everything. Barry Diller said, wait a minute, we’re not spending that kind of money on this movie. So he turned to us and asked who we would put in this movie if Sly couldn’t do it? We said, Eddie Murphy, but we didn’t say we’d originally given it to the studio for Eddie. Barry said, great, go make the movie! And he gave Sly his script back with all the things he wrote and Sly went off and used that to make Cobra, which was the direction he had taken Beverly Hills Cop. We went off and made it with Eddie. They still thought we were crazy because this was the first time an African-American had carried a studio movie. I think, ever. We were told we were nuts to spend that kind of money on Eddie, alone.

DEADLINE: Take movies like Pacific Rim, World War Z or The Lone Ranger this past summer. Each were franchise plays, but at $200 million or more, the high costs made it like shooting at a narrow moving target and hard to turn profit. The old way was to make films like Beverly Hills Cop for low price and if they build natural momentum, hello sequel.
BRUCKHEIMER: Beverly Hills Cop wasn’t expensive at all. It’s just so hard to make a successful movie to begin with, and to figure out which can be sustained. A lot of movies I’ve done, like The Lone Ranger, could have been franchises. But the audience didn’t brace itself for what might happen next with the characters. That is just how it has always happened. The difference is that now, everything is just a lot more expensive. Back then, Top Gun cost $14 million and Beverly Hills Cop was $8 million.

DEADLINE: Why didn’t The Lone Ranger catch on with audiences?
longrBRUCKHEIMER: I don’t really know. I can’t definitively tell you why Pirates Of The Caribbean worked so well. Nobody wants to make a picture that doesn’t make its money back, especially us. I loved the movie and enjoyed making it. You make the best movie you can, you put it out and then you find out. They did a good job marketing the movie, so I can’t say anything about that. It’s just one of those films that fell between the cracks. It certainly wasn’t helped by the negative press before the movie even got made. There were a lot of discussions about a lot of things that the audience shouldn’t care about, and maybe that turned them off.

DEADLINE: The average person or a journalist like me might say, $200 million or more is too much to spend on a picture. What doesn’t the lay person understand when they make statements like that?
BRUCKHEIMER: The part that gets me is, the audience only pays between $6 and $10 bucks, and they don’t pay any more when a film costs $200 million. It shouldn’t concern them. All they should care about is, did I love it? Do I want to go see it again? Will I tell my friends to go see it? That’s all that should be important to an audience. The media feeds into the cost of the movie, rather than, is it entertaining? Have the filmmakers used every nickel they spent to best advantage, where I can see it on the screen and it gave me a better experience? That’s what’s important, the moviegoer experience. And it is also important that someone like me looks at movies done by others that are so well done, so exciting, with such big endings that I say, ‘Jeez, how do we compete with that?’ And the way you compete is to be more inventive in finding concepts, actors and directors who’ll give the audience a real thrill ride. Read More »

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American Cinematheque Sets Presenters For Jerry Bruckheimer Honor

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 10:58am PST

Cuba Gooding Jr., Wayne Gretzky, Armie Hammer, Marg Jerry-Bruckheimer__130924182240-200x250Helgenberger, Sir Ben Kingsley, Helen Mirren, Luc Robitaille, Jon Turteltaub, Jon Voight and Diane Warren will be among those paying in-person tributes to Jerry Bruckheimer when he receives the 27th American Cinematheque award Thursday night at the Beverly Hilton. Bruce Willis will present Bruckheimer with the award. Pre-taped tributes also will be coming from Eric Bana, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Martin Lawrence and Judge Reinhold. Additional presenters will be announced as they are confirmed.

Related: Jerry Bruckheimer Tapped For American Cinematheque Honor

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Jerry Bruckheimer Tapped For American Cinematheque Honor

By | Tuesday September 24, 2013 @ 11:05am PDT

This is an interestingly timed bit of news. It’s been a busy week or so for Jerry Bruckheimer, who is seeing his longtime first-look film deal with Disney come to an end after this year, and his latest TV series Hostages premiered on CBS last night. He will be honored with the 27th American Cinematheque award, with the ceremony set for December 12 at the Beverly Hilton. He was a unanimous choice for the honor, the org says, which goes to “an extraordinary filmmaker in the entertainment industry who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion picture.” In reality the award usually goes to an actor, though last year’s winner Ben Stiller acts and directs. Rob Reiner, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese have won before, but Bruckheimer seems to be the first pure producer to be honored. Here’s the official release that’s longer than the U.S. Tax Code:

Related: Iger: ‘Lone Ranger’ Not Responsible For Break With Bruckheimer Read More »

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Ben Stiller Honored By American Cinematheque, Called “Renaissance Man Of Comedy”

By | Friday November 16, 2012 @ 2:32am PST
Pete Hammond

“Of course we are all here for one reason, and that’s because Deadline Hollywood might tweet a link to a write-up about this and we all might get mentioned,” Ben Stiller joked in his very funny acceptance speech as the recipient of the 26th annual American Cinematheque Award on Thursday night at the Beverly Hilton. Friends and co-stars including Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Laura Dern, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor among others offered tributes to the star-writer-director-producer-humanitarian the Cinematheque’s chairman Rick Nicita called a “Renaissance man of comedy” — to which Stiller said later, “I didn’t know you could be a Renaissance man of just one thing. It’s like  being a jack-of-all-trades of carpentry.” But judging from the numerous clips and in-person tributes, he is about much more than just “one thing”. Read More »

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Ben Stiller Cinematheque Set Presenters

By | Wednesday October 31, 2012 @ 8:26pm PDT

Jack Black, Patton Oswalt, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell and Jeffrey Katzenberg will lend support as live presenters. Ben Stiller receives the American Cinematheque Award at the organization’s November 15 gala at the Beverly Hilton. The star of the upcoming The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as well as the Meet The Fockers, Madagascar and Night At The Museum movies plus Tropic Thunder, Zoolander, Along Came Polly, is the Cinematheque’s 26th honoree. Others signed up to poke fun at Stiller include Bob Odenkirk, Jay Roach, Laura Dern and Christine Taylor.

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Robert Downey Jr. Asks Hollywood To ‘Forgive’ Mel Gibson While Accepting American Cinematheque Award

Pete Hammond

The American Cinematheque tribute to Robert Downey Jr last night held might have been unthinkable just a few years ago when the actor was hopelessly hooked on drugs, destroying his career and winding up in prison. But if there is anything Hollywood loves, it is redemption –  and a second (or third or fourth) chance. That’s something Downey received and ran with largely thanks to his wife Susan who put him on the right course and hasn’t let him fall off since. With a hot career thanks to a second Oscar nomination for Tropic Thunder and blockbuster franchises like Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, Downey not only turned around his career, he fixed his life and now he’s reaping the rewards as evidenced by the great turnout on Friday night at the Beverly Hilton. But the evening took a serious turn when Downey made an impassioned plea to Hollywood to “forgive” his friend Mel Gibson who was on hand to present him with the award. “Unless you are without sin – and if you are, you are in the wrong [expletive] industry, you should forgive him and let him work,” Downey said to much applause.

The undisputed highlight of the night came when previously unannounced guest Mel Gibson appeared.  Gibson and Downey Jr co-starred in Air America and Gibson’s unwavering support of Downey during his darkest hours was well-documented at the time. Gibson brought up Downey to accept the award to a standing ovation and said, “He taught me many things and I will use the ‘C’ word, courage. There’s nothing so much wrong with him. Of course you have to worry about the guy making the judgement here. He’s a good dude with a good heart.”

“This is my fuckin’ time,” Downey said. “Mel and I have the same lawyer, same publicist and same shrink. I couldn’t get hired and he cast me. He said if I accepted responsibility – he called it hugging the cactus – long enough, my life would take meaning. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him.” Downey then went to on to hug Gibson and urge people to let Mel continue his career without shame.

It was a star-studded event, to be sure. Jack Black called Downey a “stone cold stud muffin” while Michael Douglas (looking great) said working with Robert Downey Jr on The Wonder Boys was “something special. Read More »

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HAMMOND: Time For Billy Crystal & Oscar Again? UPDATE: Brett Ratner Responds

Pete Hammond

MONDAY PM  UPDATE: As you know, Brett Ratner is producing the Oscar show with Don Mischer and emailed me tonight with his reaction to Billy Crystal’s statements regarding possibly hosting the Oscars again. Ratner says: “I didn’t see what Billy said. I’m really focused on finishing my film Tower Heist right now. [But] I was told by the Academy that I don’t have to make a decision until mid-September.”

PREVIOUS: So is Billy Crystal once again the answer to all of Oscar’s woes? His statement in answer to a fan’s query at an American Cinematheque screening of City Slickers on Friday night was that he might be open to hosting again “maybe one or two more times”. But that’s not even the first time he’s dropped the hint this year. In March, shortly after he made his appearance on the 83rd Oscar show to honor Bob Hope, he was hosting a charity event  and told a reporter, “I think the show needs to change. There’s too many awards and it has to sort of freshen itself up, and if I can be a part of that, that would be great.” Between that and Friday’s encouraging words, what more do the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and newly minted producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer need to hear? Read More »

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OSCAR: No T-Day Slowdown For Contenders

Pete Hammond

Traditionally, most Hollywood businesses grind to a halt for the 5-day Thanksgiving holiday. But not this wide-open awards season. Tangled had its official Academy screening last Sunday morning but only drew about 200 people. Instead, the holidays actually seem like a good time to push an animated Disney musical. So Disney isn’t even taking Turkey Day off: instead, the studio has skedded screenings of Tangled at the DGA open to all Guild and Academy members. This isn’t actually a new practice. In the past, Oscar hopefuls like Dreamgirls, The Lord Of The Rings, and others have done the same thing at the DGA theater drawing surprisingly strong crowds of potential voters on a day most people are thought to stay at home. Disney also sent a note warning some early voting groups that they wouldn’t be able to send screeners of the film before deadlines for ballots (piracy concerns are part of that problem), so the T-Day screenings take on even greater import.

Tangled aside, distributors have been rushing to get screeners in as many voter hands as possible before Thanksgiving when they think people will have more time on their hands to pop a DVD in the player before the real crunch comes in December. Among those sent in the last few days are The Social Network, Made In Dagenham, Inside Job, Stone, Let Me In, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Conviction, Never Let Me Go, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,  The Town, Inception, Hereafter, Legends Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, and The Ghost Writer.

Meanwhile, campaign season continues. Over the weekend, American Cinematheque also proved why it can be a very useful tool during awards season by hosting two sold-out events  for Oscar hopefuls. Saturday night, there was a tribute to Pierce Brosnan at the Aero in Santa Monica with a double feature of Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer and Matador. Inbetween, Pierce appeared for a nearly hour-long Q&A (I moderated) in which he discussed his career from TV’s Remington Steele to James Bond to an Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer in which he plays ex-British Prime Minister (Tony Blair, anyone?) now writing his controversial memoir. Summit Entertainment is hoping the pic will land him in the Best Supporting Actor conversation. Its early February release is a hindrance but by having a toney organization like American Cinematheque create these little tribute evenings, studios believe they can get the “right” kind of association for their contenders.

It was completely sold out, as was the next night at the same venue which hosted a Q&A session with writer Aaron Sorkin and stars Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield and Armie Hammer following a special screening of Sony Pictures’ The Social Network. All were talking about the genius of Director David Fincher (away on location in Sweden shooting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake) and the number of takes he would require of his actors. “Sometimes there would be 99 of them, but not 100, never 100,” Timberlake said. In an encouraging sign for writerly respect, most of the audience questions from the predominantly young crowd were surprisingly directed at Sorkin who said dialogue-heavy movie might have been written by Paddy Chayefsky in another era. Not bad company to be in since Paddy won no less than three screenwriting Oscars. Some are asking if there is any way Sorkin can lose the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar this year? Especially after The Social Network opened to near-unanimous acclaim and strong business for a drama.

Other Best Picture competitors were also active over the weekend Read More »

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