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Survey Finds 70% Of American Silent Movies Have Been Lost To Time Or Neglect

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 1:07am PST

mary pickfordIn what now looks like a prescient move, silent screen legend Mary Pickford paid for the preservation of her films, ensuring that most of them endured. The effort spared 40 of her movies from being among the casualties of time and neglect that are represented in a new survey by the Library of Congress. The report, The Survivial Of American Silent Films: 1912-1929, has found that 70% of feature-length silent films made in America have been completely lost. During the period the study voyage dans la lunecovers, 10,919 silent feature films of U.S. origin were released and only 14% of those still exist in their original 35mm format. Of those, 5% are incomplete and 11% are only available in foreign versions or lower-quality formats. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington called the state of America’s silent film heritage an “alarming and irretrievable loss to our nation’s cultural record.” Martin Scorsese weighed in about the findings, saying the report was “invaluable because the artistry of silent film is essential to our culture.” Scorsese’s Hugo was a tribute to the silent era, incorporating Georges Méliès’ Le Voyage Dans La Lune, which the Cannes Film Festival screened in an impressively restored version a few years back. It was also at Cannes that eventual Best Picture Oscar winner The Artist began its career, a throwback to the time before the talkies.

the artistContributing factors to the staggering loss of silent films are the vulnerability of nitrate film stock to fire and deterioration, and the industry’s practice of neglecting or destroying prints and negatives, the Library of Congress says. Among some of the notable films considered lost in their complete form are Lon Chaney’s London After Midnight (1927); The Patriot (1928); Cleopatra (1917); The Great Gatsby (1926), and all four of Clara Bow’s feature films produced in 1928, including Ladies Of The Mob. Meanwhile, only five of Will Rogers’ 16 silent features survive and 85% of films by Hollywood’s first cowboy star, Tom Mix, are lost. Read More »

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‘The Sapphires’ Opens Strong In Australian Debut

By | Monday August 13, 2012 @ 9:07am PDT

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.

Australian musical The Sapphires rang up $A2.3M ($2.4M) in its debut Down Under this weekend, ranking 2nd behind the The Dark Knight Rises in its 4th frame and ahead of the opening of The Campaign. The film’s four-day tally bodes well for the feel-good pic which The Weinstein Co. acquired on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival in May. Last year’s Oz-made hit, Red Dog, took $1.8M in its first weekend and went on to be the biggest local picture of 2011. It was also crowned Best Film by the Australian Academy. Although The Sapphires is a sort of Aboriginal Dreamgirls that could tune up awards heat, Harvey Weinstein told Deadline’s Pete Hammond in Cannes that he doesn’t see it following in the Oscar dancesteps of The Artist. Rather, he said the film was an entertaining comedy-musical he hopes will draw good word of mouth and turn out to be a sleeper hit. Directed by Wayne Blair, it’s based on the true story of four singers from the Outback who entertained U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. Chris O’Dowd co-stars. The Weinstein Co. acquired worldwide rights to The Sapphires, with the exclusion of the UK & Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Canada, Israel, and Portugal. There’s no date yet for the U.S.

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Hot Film Titles For U.S. Buyers: Cannes 2012

By | Wednesday May 16, 2012 @ 3:23am PDT
Mike Fleming

Domestic distributors will have a wide variety of choices at Cannes this year, from completed films in competition to packages that have begun production or are only at the script stage with loose commitments from filmmakers and stars. Most of the buyers I spoke to claim they are in no rush to bid up the joint, but the pace of buying usually depends on several variables.

Related: Veteran Sales Execs Flood Croisette With Films And New Companies

Will Harvey be buying? Last year, Harvey Weinstein, coming off a Best Picture win for The King’s Speech, reloaded with awards-caliber films that included eventual Best Picture winner The Artist, as well as The Iron Lady, Lawless (which is in competition) and the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed The Master. TWC preempted the festival buying the Dustin Hoffman-directed Quartet already. The Weinstein Company comes in with a full slate for 2012, as do distributors like Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics and Focus Features. But all are looking for 2013 product. Some other variables: Will CBS Films, which made the big buy of last Toronto with Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, be aggressive here? They certainly took a step in that direction acquiring Ends Of The Earth just before the festival began. FilmDistrict is back after restaffing its executive roster following the exits of Bob and Jeanne Berney; will Peter Schlessel’s division be as hungry for product as last year, … Read More »

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Can Cannes Make A Major Mark On The Oscar Race Two Years In A Row?

By | Tuesday May 15, 2012 @ 9:14am PDT
Pete Hammond

The driver who brought me into Cannes this morning from the Nice airport told me I’m lucky because the weather here was horrible the day before. Well, the sun has started shining now, just as the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival is in heavy preparation mode for its big opening night Wednesday with Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom kicking things off from director Wes Anderson, who’s making his Croisette debut. Certainly festival director Thierry Fremaux and Gilles Jacob hope the sun will shine on the official selection this year as well after a rousing 2011 where Cannes had an an unusually large impact on the Oscar race. An impressive three films that debuted here – Midnight In Paris, The Tree Of Life and The Artist – all received Best Picture nominations, with the latter winning and also taking four other Oscars — including one for Best Actor Jean Dujardin repeating his Cannes victory. A fourth 2011 competition entry, Drive was also a major player during awards season after picking up the Best Director prize here for Nicolas Winding Refn.

That’s a pretty tough act for Fremaux to follow. When I saw him at  this year’s Governors Ball chatting up Harvey Weinstein just a short time after The Artist’s Oscar triumph (the first French picture ever to pull that off), I suggested that the pressure is on to repeat again this year. “I’m just here supporting our film,” an excited Fremaux told me at the time, but certainly ‘how do you top this?’ had to be in the back of his mind. Of course, Cannes being the world’s most important film festival doesn’t depend on finding movies that strike the fancy of Academy voters, but the two biggest red carpets in show business are important for each other.

Oscar and Cannes don’t always see eye to eye, so last year might have been an abberation. 1955′s  Marty still  remains the one and only film to win Best Picture and its Cannes equivalent the Palme d’Or (The Artist could have been the second but lost the Palme to the only American competition entry, The Tree Of Life). Read More »

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O$CARS: Was The Campaigning Worth It?

Pete Hammond

After all the money the studios and independent distributors poured into campaigning, what was actually winning an Oscar really worth? If you go by pure box office results in the heat of the publicity and mass audience viewership ofOscars 2012 the Academy Awards, then probably not as much bang for their buck as they would like.

For some films that managed a major win — like The Help (for supporting actress Octavia Spencer), Beginnners (for supporting actor Christopher Plummer), or Midnight In Paris (for Woody Allen’s Original Screenplay) — there may be added incentive to pick up the DVD, but no other residual value. In TV ads I saw for last week’s home video release of nominations leader Hugo, there was no mention of its impressive haul of five Academy Awards (in technical categories), but I am sure they will probably put a sticker on the box. Still, the expensive Martin Scorsese film, which had earned $55 million up to the week before its 11 nominations, added only another $14 million by the time the Oscars rolled around a month later — despite a big campaign spend on TV and print by Paramount. Internationally, Oscar wins can be a very big thing. Sony Pictures Classics’ Best Foreign Language Film winner, Iran’s A Separation, stands to gain from its exposure in the Academy race this season. With nearly $1 million added over the weekend (on more than 200 screens) and a $3.4 million domestic take to date, it will be a sizable art house hit far eclipsing SPC’s disappointing 2010 Foreign Film winner from Denmark, In A Better World, which only rode its Oscar victory to a $1 million gross. Read More »

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Academy Awards For Sale And Other Post-Oscar Talk: Hammond

By | Tuesday February 28, 2012 @ 4:35pm PST
Pete Hammond

UPDATE, TUESDAY 10:39 PM:  All 15 Academy Awards auctioned tonight by Nate D. Sanders sold for $3,060,089 (which the auctioneer calls a record-breaking amount), a total about $1 million less than some estimates for the entire lot but impressive nonetheless. Getting top dollar was Herman Mankiewicz’s 1941 Screenplay Oscar for Citizen Kane going for $588,455 (about $300,000 less than what Orson Welles scripting statue went for in December), How Green Was My Valley’s Best Picture Oscar went for  $274,520 while another Fox Best Picture, 1933′s Cavalcade garnered $332,165. The oldest of the Oscars in the lot for 1931′s Skippy fetched $301,973 while the two acting Oscars being auctioned also did well. Ronald Colman’s  1947 Best Actor statuette for A Double Life went for $206,250  and Charles Coburn’s supporting award for  1943′s The More The Merrier took in $170,459.

PREVIOUS, TUESDAY PM: Now that all of those Academy Award nominees who didn’t win on Sunday night have had a full day to lick their wounds, there is good news: If you hurry you can get in on today’s record sale (by Nate D. Sanders Monthly Auctions) and buy an Oscar statuette. See, things are already looking up. Of course, the Academy totally frowns on this Oscar fire sale but they can’t do anything about it since the awards on the block are all pre-1950 — the year the Academy changed the rules and forged agreements with winners that they (or their estates) must first offer to sell the Oscar back to Academy for $1 before putting it on the market.

In today’s lineup of gold men — which instantly doubles the number of Oscars ever auctioned on the free market — there are some pretty historically significant awards. They include a screenwriting Oscar won by Herman Mankiewicz for co-writing Citizen Kane (its only win in 1941; the matching Orson Welles Screenplay Oscar fetched $861,000 in December) and Best Picture Oscars for the 20th Century Fox films How Green Was My Valley (1941) and Cavalcade (1933), the latter the first Best Pic Oscar for the studio. There is also director Norman Taurog’s Oscar for 1931′s Skippy, which he won at age 32, making him still the youngest to win in the category. You might want to purchase the first-ever Special Effects Academy Award for 1938′s Spawn Of The North or a Black and White Cinematography award for the 1939 classic Wuthering Heights and a color one for 1948′s The Yearling. Art Directors might like Paul Groesse’s Color Art Direction award for 1949′s Little Women. This year’s losing composers might want to consider purchasing Hugo Friedhofer’s 1946 Scoring of a Dramatic Picture Oscar or even the Film Editing award for the same movie.  Actors can choose between 1947′s A Double Life Best Actor Oscar for Ronald Colman or (probably less expensive) Charles Coburn’s 1943 Supporting Actor statuette for The More The Merrier, a title that describes the spirit of this whole lot of Oscars on the block. The auction ends at 5 PM (PT) today, but there is extended bidding beginning at 5:15. Read More »

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OSCARS: The Good, The Bad And The Uggie — Hammond Analysis

By | Monday February 27, 2012 @ 4:29am PST
Pete Hammond

In the end it was mostly predictable. The only stunning surprise of the 84th Annual Academy Awards was that somehow The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo came out of nowhere to win the Best Film Editing award, something no pundit I know of saw coming. But it served to stop the early momentum of Hugo, which at one point was leading front-runner The Artist  5 awards to 1. Was Harvey Weinstein nervous that there could be an upset brewing over his heavily favored film? No. When I caught up with him at the Governors Ball, he said he was just enjoying the show and not keeping tabs. Eventually Artist caught up and won all the big ones — the Oscars everyone was predicting including Best Picture, Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius and Best Actor for Jean Dujardin in addition to music and costumes. I am told The Weinstein Company plans to expand the little-film-that-could to 2000 screens by next weekend in what should be a real test of Oscar’s drawing power at the boxoffice. So far after a little over three months the film has just grossed over $30 million domestically. Weinstein will hope to double that with an Oscar bounce.

Among those congratulating Weinstein was Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux, who proudly championed the film at last May’s fest, even switching it from out of competition to a competition slot, where it won the first Best … Read More »

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OSCARS: Wins By Film

By | Sunday February 26, 2012 @ 9:42pm PST

OSCARS: Wins By Studio
OSCARS: Winners List

WINS BY FILM
Hugo — 5
The Artist — 5
The Iron Lady — 2
Beginners — 1
The Descendants — 1
The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore –1
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo — 1
The Help — 1
Midnight In Paris — 1
The Muppets — 1
Saving Face — 1
The Shore — 1
A Separation — 1
Rango — 1
Undefeated — 1

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Oscars Winners List 2012: ‘The Artist’, Meryl Streep, Jean Dujardin, Michel Hazanavicius, ‘Midnight In Paris’, ‘The Descendants,’ ‘The Muppets’, Christopher Plummer, ‘Rango’, ‘Hugo’, Octavia Spencer

By | Sunday February 26, 2012 @ 5:24pm PST

OSCARS: The Good, The Bad And The Uggie — Hammond Analysis
Nikki Finke: Live-Snarking The Oscars
OSCARS: Who Wore What On The Red Carpet
OSCARS: Wins By Studio
OSCARS: Wins By Film
Backstage At The Academy Awards

Best Picture
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company)
A La Petite Reine/Studio 37/La Classe Américaine/JD Prod/France3 Cinéma/Jouror Productions/uFilm Production, Thomas Langmann, Producer

Actress in a Leading Role
Meryl Streep
“The Iron Lady” (The Weinstein Company)

Actor in a Leading Role
Jean Dujardin
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company)

Directing
Michel Hazanavicius
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company) Read More »

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OSCARS: Backstage At Academy Awards: ‘Artist’ Producer On Movie’s Color Version, ‘Artist’ Director On His Next Project & More

By | Sunday February 26, 2012 @ 5:20pm PST

Nikki Finke: Live-Snarking The Oscars
Oscar Winners List

Brian Brooks, Diane Haithman and Anthony D’Alessandro are contributing to Deadline’s Oscar coverage

After his success with a silent film, how does French actor Jean Dujardin plan to transition back to talkies? “I’m not an American actor, I’m French,” the Best Actor winner said tonight backstage at the Academy Awards. “If I could make another silent movie in America, I would. But I’ll always be a French actor in America. Nonetheless, there are a few ideas I would like to develop.” Dujardin admitted that in the French portion of his acceptance speech he dropped the equivalent of the F-bomb.“I said thank you so much! It was amazing … uh, yeah, I guess I said that.” And as far as the whereabouts of his four-legged co-star Uggie, “He went to bed already,” Dujardin said.

“H-i-i-i-i-i,” drawled Meryl Streep when she finally showed up in the press room long after the show was over to talk about her Best Actress win for The Iron Lady. She was immediately asked to address her self-deprecating comments during her acceptance speech: “When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no. Oh, come on. Why her? Again?” Streep acknowledged she thinks she may be “pushing the tolerance” of the Academy and the fans after 17 nominations and three wins. “I understand ‘Streep Fatigue,’ I really do,” she later said. “Frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t override this tonight.” But getting another Oscar was thrilling, Streep said, adding that she might take a nip of whiskey like Thatcher to celebrate. “I thought I was so old and jaded, but they call your name and you just sort of go into a white light. I was like a kid again,” she said, joking that two of her fellow nominees “were not even conceived” when she won her first Oscar. She also said she was excited by the win of her Iron Lady makeup artists earlier in the evening “not for making a monster, but for making a human being.” Streep confirmed that she wore Ferragamo shoes, Margaret Thatcher’s favorite, to get into character. She did not meet Thatcher, noting, “the challenge was to imagine her present life.” Streep was asked how it felt to see herself for the first time in makeup as Thatcher.  She said the change was so gradual there was no shock, but one thing was unnerving. “When we first had the old age makeup on, I saw my Dad. Maybe my Dad looked like Margaret Thatcher.”

By the time The Artist producer Thomas Langmann made his way backstage, there wasn’t much left to say about how très excited the cast, producers and creative team were about the film’s endless stream of awards culminating in a Best Picture Oscar. Langmann was asked about an earlier backstage comment by Artist costume designer Mark Bridges that the black-and-white film had been shot in color in case they were unable to sell it in black and white in some markets. Asked if he had any plans for that color footage, Langmann replied cheerfully, “No. Sorry, but no.” He spoke about producer Harvey Weinstein. “Harvey has been really good to us,” Langmann said. “I asked him to come a month before Cannes with a director and cast he’d barely heard of. But he came. I stayed in the screening room to see if everything was OK. He loved the movie and was laughing throughout.  I saw in his eyes and attitude that he cared for the movie. He believed that we could possibly be here today. He’s the only distributor who could take this movie here today.” Weinstein was not The Artist‘s only good luck charm — Langmann acknowledged that he had a lucky coin in his pocket given to him by his daughter. As for the possible impact from the success of The Artist, the first silent movie to win a best picture Oscar since the first Academy Awards ceremony 83 years ago, “if The Artist can help another producer be audacious, this is a great thing,” Langmann said. “I’ve shown this movie to kids. Some had never seen a black-and-white movie and after five-10 minutes, they enjoyed it. Silence is a way of telling a story. It’s an experience and maybe it’s as great as a 3D experience.” Read More »

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Is ‘The Artist’ In Spirit Of An American Indie?

By | Saturday February 25, 2012 @ 12:42pm PST

Do the Spirit Awards matter? They’re supposed to bring needed attention to American independent film – and they do. But the devil is in the details. The Artist just swept France’s top film awards, the Césars. But if the film wins the top prize today at the Independent Spirit Awards, then it will be America’s top indie. The Artist made the cut as an “American film” this year as outlined by the Spirit Awards’ general guidelines. But shouldn’t there be more stringent qualifications to ensure the focus is on American film if the Spirits’ mandate is to champion American independent cinema and not just make the cut on a technicality? If the momentum-meter is any indication, The Artist could win best feature today and likely take the Oscar after winning best film at the British BAFTAs. So it wouldn’t be a year that the Spirits distinguished itself as a voice for American independent film at least in the Best Feature category. This isn’t meant to be a hazing of The Artist. (Though I can’t understand how Weekend by Andrew Haigh failed to make the cut when The Artist did.) Perhaps the Spirits – including its selection committee and its voters – should leave the big tent to the Oscars and nurture its American indie/specialty niche. Perhaps it’s time for Film Independent and its 6,900 qualifying voters to consider some rule changes.

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‘The Artist’ Triumphs At France’s César Awards With Surprises In The Mix

By | Friday February 24, 2012 @ 2:46pm PST

UPDATED: The Artist was the big winner at the 37th César Awards tonight in Paris with prizes for best picture, director, cinematography, score, art direction and actress for Bérénice Bejo, who accepted her prize in one of the evening’s most moving moments. Best Actor Oscar-tipped Jean Dujardin, however, lost out to Untouchable‘s Omar Sy, who starred in the feel-good film that was 2011′s biggest hit in France and is now the third-biggest grosser of all time here.

I watched the ceremony at a viewing party thrown by Wild Bunch, the international sales company behind such winners and nominees as Artist, Poliss and Declaration Of War. Some of the industry-laden crowd were unsurprised by Sy’s win over Dujardin, saying they sensed that even the somewhat staid French Académie was reticent to let the tireless Sy go without recognition. The soirée was held in Wild Bunch’s movie theater-cum-lounge near the Pantheon with the sales teams, distributors and production folk who worked on their films plus other industry types – and filmmaker Gaspar Noe, too. The gathering had several horses in the various races but took it all in Gallic stride, cheering each other on, catcalling and yawning at the boring parts (and there were quite a few — the show tried to pull a Billy Crystal at the outset, inserting host Antoine de Caunes into the nominated films to a pretty muted reaction).

Among the other surprises of the night were a win in the best original screenplay category for L’Exercice De L’Etat‘s Pierre Schoeller, who beat out Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist as well as other favored nominees. Among the highlights was Honorary César winner Kate Winslet, who had been charming the local press in the past days saying it was so much better to receive an award she knew she was going to win. Roman Polanski had been expected to bestow the honor but it was her Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry who was on hand — after host de Caunes congratulated Winslet for being against plastic surgery via her “message”, which according to him is “Don’t fuck with Mother Nature.” In accepting, Winslet made a note to particularly thank her Carnage director Roman Polanski; she later accepted the adapted screenplay prize for Polanski for Carnage. With the kudos pretty well spread out, one attendee this evening told me it wasn’t such a big deal if The Artist didn’t win every prize at home: “It’s more imortant it wins at the Oscars. It’s good for the Césars to pull a rabbit out of the hat sometimes.” Following is a full list of the winners:

Best Picture
The Artist, producer: Thomas Langmann

Director
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

Actor
Omar Sy, Untouchable

Supporting Actress
Carmen Maura, Les Femmes Du 6e Etage

Supporting Actor
Michel Blanc, L’Exercice De L’Etat

Original Screenplay
Pierre Schoeller – L’Exercice De L’Etat

Adapted Screenplay
Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski – Carnage Read More »

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César Awards Set To Celebrate Big Year For French Movies

By | Friday February 24, 2012 @ 11:29am PST

‘The Artist’, ‘Poliss’ Lead Cesar Nominations

Tonight, the French film industry converges at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet to celebrate what was a banner year for French film. Along with Oscar darling The Artist, the French will fête a year in which the local box office hit an all-time high (about $1.7 billion), with 67.5% of the population buying a cinema ticket. The two biggest grossers of 2011 were home-grown pics: Gaumont’s Untouchable directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (now third on the all-time gross list behind Titanic and Welcome To The Sticks and acquired by the Weintseins for the U.S. along with remake rights), and Pathé’s Nothing To Declare, starring and directed by Dany Boon, who was also behind 2008’s Sticks. Nothing To Declare is a straight comedy and as such has no nominations tonight — the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma does not typically like rewarding broad fare or films that rock the box office. Untouchable, however, has several nods including Best Picture, Director(s) and acting mentions for its two leads.

The actual César ceremony, a sometime stilted affair, is on its way to improving — they’ve recently learned the wonders of dimming the lights in the theater — and this evening portends better than most. Meanwhile, Cannes Film Festival general delegate and artistic director Thierry Frémaux has to be feeling pretty good right about now since many of the films rolling through awards season started their … Read More »

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OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Final Academy Award Predictions In All 24 Categories

By | Thursday February 23, 2012 @ 7:44am PST
Pete Hammond

OSCARS: AwardsLine Nominees Profiles

Oscar Predictions 2012Take this forecast with a grain a salt, built as it is on buzz, precursors, Oscar history, nominee pedigrees, educated guesses, instinctive hunches and conversations with voters. Enter your office pool with confidence but don’t blame me if you lose to some grandmother who hasn’t been to a movie since Gone With The Wind. As the race has entered its final phase I have tweaked this forecast from an earlier article in Issue 7 of AwardsLine (see all of our AwardsLine editions here). This is where I have landed for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Predicting Oscars is not an exact science, and this year some of the categories are kinda tricky, but if you count on The Artist to make the most noise on Oscar night you’re likely to turn up in the winners’ circle. That is unless the common wisdom of collective punditry is completely wrong this year. Now wouldn’t THAT make for an interesting show? Read More »

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Netflix Lands Pay-TV Rights To ‘The Artist’ As Part Of Weinstein Co. Deal

By | Tuesday February 21, 2012 @ 8:26am PST

The Weinstein Co’s Oscar front-runner The Artist will make its pay TV debut on Netflix rather than on traditional cable as part of a multi-year licensing agreement announced today. The deal will make Weinstein foreign-language films, documentaries and other titles available exclusively to Netflix’s streaming subscribers in the U.S. within a year of their theatrical release. It’s the first such agreement between Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s indie distributor and Netflix; terms weren’t disclosed. Undefeated, nominated for a Documentary Feature Oscar, also will make its pay-TV debut on the streaming service. Other Weinstein titles included in the arrangement are Sarah’s Key, W.E. and Coriolanus. ”It is a fantastic coup for Netflix to acquire The Artist and the package of additional titles,” Weinstein co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said today in a release announcing the pact. “With this deal, a company that loves movies, Netflix, joins forces with a company that is built on that same love.”

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OSCARS: Production Designer Laurence Bennett — ‘The Artist’

By | Monday February 20, 2012 @ 2:40pm PST

Diane Haithman is a contributor to AwardsLine

Surprisingly, Laurence Bennett, production designer for The Artist, calls his first experience working within the confines in black and white “incredibly liberating.” Bennett, also production designer for 2004’s Best Picture Oscar winner Crash, says that black and white, for all its limitations, strips a film down to its “essential imagery. There is less getting in the way of composition.” Read More »

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Weinstein Co Looking To Raise $150M: Bloomberg

By | Monday February 20, 2012 @ 1:19pm PST

The Weinstein Co in full awards-season glory thanks to this year’s Best Picture Oscar frontrunner The Artist leading the distributor’s 16 overall nominations. But the black-and-white silent film hasn’t been a blockbuster at the box office, having taken in only about $28 million domestically to date. So it’s not surprising to see that Bloomberg is reporting that the indie studio is looking to raise $150 million to support film operations and retire debt. The sources cited in the report said that amount could change, but that the loan would be backed by the company’s library and Union Bank is leading the deal. The studio restructured its debt in 2010 and has been working its way back up the ladder, winning the Best Picture Oscar last year with The King’s Speech and receiving critical praise this season with The Iron Lady and My Week With Marilyn.

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OSCARS: Costume Designers Roundup

By | Monday February 20, 2012 @ 1:15pm PST

When it comes to meting out naked statuettes for Costume Design, the Academy loves its period looks. Consider the most recent winners: Alice In Wonderland, The Young Victoria, The Duchess, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Marie Antoinette. This year, again, there’s no shortage of organza, tweed and cloches from films spanning the late 1920s to the early ’60s. Sure enough, a contender such as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo — with its contemporary gritty style — couldn’t upset the trend. AwardsLine contributor Monica Corcoran talked to the nominees about their craft and asked each to do the unspeakable, clothe Oscar himself. Read More »

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‘No Rest For The Wicked’ Tops Spain’s Goya Awards; ‘Artist’ Is Best European Film

By | Monday February 20, 2012 @ 1:16am PST

Spain’s film academy handed out its Oscar equivalent, the Goyas, last night in Madrid. Enrique Urbizu’s police thriller No Habrá Paz Para Los Malvados (No Rest For The Wicked) took best picture, best director, original screenplay, editing, sound and best actor for José Coronado. Urbizu beat out Pedro Almodovar in the directing category although the Spanish master’s The Skin I Live In earned the best actress prize for Elena Anaya as well as honors for music, make-up and best new actor Jan Cornet. Another multiple winner was Mateo Gil’s Blackthorn, a western with an international cast that includes Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega and Stephen Rea. The film took production design, cinematography, artistic direction and costume design. Also scoring wins were Kike Maíllo’s Eva, which earned the best new director prize and war drama La Voz Dormida (The Sleeping Voice) for original song, supporting actress (Ana Wagener) and best new actress (Maria Leon). The Artist also picked up yet another prize, this time for best European film.

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