Edward Norton Speaks Out About Climate Change and Trump


At a festival in Poland, the actor says citizens can meet environmental commitments “without the permission of the U.S. government.”

Edward Norton said Friday that citizen activism had the power to neutralize Donald Trump’s opposition to global climate change accords.

The actor and environmental campaigner said the U.S. President’s decision in early June to formally pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord was irrelevant when states such as New York and California had committed to tackling global warming at a local level.

The actor was speaking in Poland, where he noted the power of citizen activism in a reference to current mass nationwide demonstrations against moves by the government to undermine judicial independence. He said the environmental commitments of New York state and California would fill the hole left by Trump’s decision to walk away last month from the climate accord.

Giving a Master class in Lodz, Poland, where Norton was due later Friday to be honored with a “Glocal Hero” award at the closing of the 7th edition of the Transatlantyk Film Festival, Norton said between them, New York and California represent the “third largest economy in the world.” The commitment of those two states, along with a further “40 or 50” mayors and municipalities across the United States, would more than make up for the formal abandonment of the climate change treaty by the U.S. government, he said. 

“The truth is that the citizens of the U.S do not need Donald Trump to stay in the Paris Climate Accord,” the actor told an audience of more than 1,000 at a Masterclass hosted by the festival in the Grand Theater in Lodz.

Referring to mass protests across Poland over moves to replace the country’s independent judiciary with politically appointed judges, Norton added: “Talking about what is taking place in Poland today, we are at a moment when people are shocked about the apparent deconstruction of democratic principles, but we must remember that with technology and the network effect of the global community, it is much harder now for the political matrix to isolate people and control them.”

Norton, who is the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity, added: “Whether it is individuals or cities or states, our capacity to create a shift through lots of determined local personal efforts, is real and it is actually happening.”

Dubbing Trump’s opposition to action on climate change “unbelievably regressive,” he said: “The truth is, that if you look, despite how terrifying the prospect of global environmental collapse is, looking at it from a slightly more optimistic angle, we have really only been aware of this for a few decades.”

“The truth is that out awareness and global generational acceptance that this is happening on a historic scale is moving fairly fast. I do think the era of denial is falling behind us.”

Norton said he was confident that, given the speed of change over the past two decades, he was confident positive change would come in the next 20 years: “It is a weird and frightening moment now, but there are also lots of signals that a global citizenry can make things happen. Ultimately, Exxon will suffer more. I think we are going to win.”



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Kevin Spacey to Play Gore Vidal in Netflix Film


Michael Hoffman is directing the film for Netflix.

Two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey is next slated to play Gore Vidal in a new Netflix film about the writer’s life. 

Michael Hoffman (One Fine Day, The Last Station) is directing the film for Netflix. The project is currently in pre-production in Rome. Andy Paterson is producing. 

Shooting will begin at the end of August in Rome, according to soures, and then move to the Amalfi Coast, where most of the film will take place. 

Vidal purchased his infamous cliffside mansion in Ravello, La Rondinaia in 1972 and moved there permanently in 1993. 

The writer hosted numerous international celebrities in the seven-bedroom mansion over the years, including Mick Jagger, Susan Sarandon, Hillary Clinton, Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. 

Vidal sold the Amalfi Coast mansion in 2004, and it was again placed on the market in 2015. 

The writer spent a number of years in Italy. After making it big in Hollywood as a scriptwriter on films including Suddenly Last Summer and Ben Hur, he settled in Rome to redefine his career as a novelist.

After befriending Federico Fellini, he appeared as himself in Roma and later wrote a draft of Casanova. Vidal wrote a number of novels in Italy, including Washington, D.C. (1967). 

Vidal never saw himself as an ex-pat in Italy, but rather considered La Rondinaia his “perch” from which to view the world. 



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Amazon Takes Tim Roth, Christina Hendricks Revenge Thriller Series 'Tin Star'


Roth stars as former British detective who becomes a small town police chief.

Amazon has picked up exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Tin Star, the upcoming series starring Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks, and is set to debut the show on Prime Video later this year. 

The 10-parter, written and created by Rowan Joffe (28 Weeks Later), was produced by Endemol Shine-owned banner Kudos (Broadchurch, Humans) for the U.K.’s Sky Atlantic. 

Park drama, park thriller and part dark comedy, Tin Star tells the story of Jim Worth (Roth), a former British detective now small town police chief who brings his family to the tiny and tranquil town of Little Big Bear for a better life. The cast also includes Genevieve O’Reilly (Star Wars, The Honourable Woman), Abigail Lawrie (The Casual Vacancy), Oliver Coopersmith (Dickensian), Christopher Heyerdahl (True Blood), Stephen Walters (Outlander), Ian Puleston-Davies (Marcella), Roark Critchlow (Pretty Little Liars) Sarah Podemski (Cashing In), Ryan Kennedy (Major Crimes) and Kevin Hanchard (Orphan Black). 

The show was commissioned for Sky by head of drama Anne Mensah, commissioning editor Cameron Roach and director of Sky Atlantic Zai Bennett. It is executive produced by Alison Jackson (Hunted) and Kudos CEO Diederick Santer (Grantchester) and produced by Jonathan Curling (The Secret) for Kudos. 

Tin Star is jointly distributed by Endemol Shine International and Sky Vision and will air on Sky Atlantic in the U.K. later in 2017.



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Mark Rylance Says He "Would Never" Campaign For Oscar: "How Embarrassing"


“It seems very demeaning and time-consuming,” says the ‘Dunkirk’ star, who won best supporting actor for Bridge of Spies in 2016.

As the five-star reviews for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk continue to roll in from around the world, the early Oscar buzz is already gathering steam. 

But while many agree that Nolan is deserved of a nod in the best director category (his first) and there are likely to be numerous honors for cinematography and other behind-the-camera work, among the ensemble cast, while praised, only Mark Rylance has been tipped as a possible contender for best supporting actor. 

Not that the actor – who plays a British civilian who sets off in his yacht to save marooned troops on the French coast – is likely to push for it. 

Speaking to London’s Time Out magazine, Rylance explained that although he won best supporting actor for Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies in 2016, he had been too busy with a stage play to take part in the prior awards campaining, but “wouldn’t” have gotten involved anyway,

“How embarrassing to campaign for an award, to sell yourself,” he said. “I would never do that. It seems very demeaning and time-consuming. Fortunately, I didn’t have to have the philosophical debate, because I was busy.”

However, Rylance’s non-participation may have actually aided his victory, or at least made Academy voters take notice. 

He added: “I’m told it caused quite a ripple in L.A.”



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Amazon Prime Acquires Australian Drama ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock’


The sale of the period drama that stars Natalie Dormer is largest U.S. commercial deal ever for an Australian television series.

Amazon Prime has acquired U.S. rights to Foxtel drama series, Picnic At Hanging Rock, starring Game Of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer, in a deal which is said to be the largest ever commercial deal for an Australian series.

The limited run period drama is based on Joan Lindsay’s classic Australian novel of the same name. Peter Weir made a landmark film based on the novel in 1975.

Dormer stars as English headmistress Hester Appleyard in the series, which centers on the mysterious disappearance of three schoolgirls and one teacher at Hanging Rock in rural Victoria on Valentine’s Day 1900. It is being produced by FremantleMedia Australia, from scripts by Bea Christian and Alice Addison, with Brett Popplewell producing. Directors are Larysa Kondracki, Michael Rymer and Amanda Brotchie. For Amazon, the series will be overseen by Amazon Studios’ Head of International Series, Morgan Wandell. 

Picnic at Hanging Rock will air on Foxtel in Australia in 2018. It is a FremantleMedia Australia production made with investment from Screen Australia. The series was shot in Victoria, Australia, with the significant assistance of the Victorian Government through Film Victoria.

Picnic At Hanging Rock is Foxtel’s third major Australian drama series to be sold to the U.S market. All five seasons of prison drama Wentworth are seen in North America on Netflix, The Kettering Incident is available on Amazon Prime U.S. and long running rural drama A Place To Call Home screens on Acorn and American Public Television.



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Serbian Director Emir Kusturica to Make Movie in China


The two-time Cannes Palme d’Or winner has signed a contract with Dirty Monkey Films Group.

Two-time Cannes Palme d’Or winning Serbian director Emir Kusturica will make his next movie in China, and it will be based on works 19th century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Kusturica was quoted by the Russian online paper gazeta.ru as saying that he has signed a contract with a Chinese production company to make a movie in that country and is currently working on the script.

The Serbian magazine Blic specified that the company in question is Hong Kong based Dirty Monkey Films Group.

“The film will be dealing with moral dilemmas from Dostoyevsky’s works, but they will be explored in a different environment,” Kusturica was quoted as saying by gazeta.ru.

“The idea is to show the main aspects of Dostoyevsky’s works from the Chinese society’s viewpoint and thereby make the Russian classical author’s ideas closer to contemporary reality,” he went on to say.

According to Kusturica, the yet untitled film will be set in contemporary China, with the main character being a woman who has a severe sight problem and needs expensive treatment in France.

Kusturica won the Palme d’Or for When Father Was Away on Business in 1985 and Underground in 1995.

His most recent feature, On the Milky Road, starring Monica Bellucci and the director himself, premiered at Venice Film Festival last year.



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Kremlin Reacts to Putin Being Cut From Hollywood Movies


According to a Kremlin spokesman, Russian authorities have no knowledge about Putin’s character being excised.

The Kremlin said Thursday it had no knowledge that the character of Russian President Vladimir Putin had been cut from two upcoming Hollywood films over fears of possible hacker attacks.

“We do not know anything about those movies,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian news agency TASS on Thursday.

“We do not know who is making them and what they are about,” he went on to say, as quoted by the outlet. “It is not our topic.”

On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Putin’s character was excised from two upcoming features, Fox’s Red Sparrow and EuropaCorp’s Kursk, over concerns that the studios could be targeted by Russian hackers in retaliation.

Russia has repeatedly denied allegations that it was behind hackers’ attack that targeted the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Based on former CIA officer Jason Matthews’ novel, Red Sparrow is centered on the story of a Russian spy (Jennifer Lawrence) hired by the CIA to become a double agent.

Kursk is based on the true story of a Russian submarine that sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea in 2000, just months after Putin was elected president for his first term.

 



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How Andrew Garfield in London's 'Angels In America' Is Broadcasted to International Screens


THR outlines the ambitious process taken by National Theatre Live to bring live performances of the two-part epic to movie theaters worldwide.

Those who don’t have tickets to see Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane in Angels in America have received a miracle, as performances of the sold-out run will broadcast from London’s National Theatre to movie screens worldwide.

The critically-acclaimed stagings of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-winning plays, which are  set in New York at the height of the AIDS crisis, are presented in two parts: Millennium Approacheson July 20 and Perestroikaon July 27. The breakthrough broadcast initiative National Theatre Live is bringing the live performance to more than 2,500 venues throughout 60 countries.

“It’s a mammoth production, both technically because it’s eight hours of theatre that we’ve got to capture, as well as in the performance required of all the actors for that duration,” says NT Live’s head of broadcast Emma Keith. “But still, there’s a sense of going to an event — you buy a ticket and watch it with other people. And we hope there’s that sense of energy and electricity of a live theatre performance.”

National Theatre Live began when its then-director Nicholas Hytner aimed to replicate the broadcast of his Met Opera production, despite the dismal notion that filmed theatre performances peaked at a low quality. “He said, this could work for the theatre, but we have to approach it with a slightly different mindset: we need to priority the theatre audience that night, put the cameras in the best seats in the house, and film it in an interesting and dynamic way,” recalls Keith.

Its first broadcast bowed in 2009 with a production of Phèdre, starring Helen Mirren, and was seen in theaters by over 50,000 people, which is now considered a broadcast’s breakeven point (any profits are split between NT Live and the production itself). Since then, the company has distributed live productions of the West End’s No Man’s Land with Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart, Young Vic’s A View From the Bridge starring Mark Strong, and Broadway’s Of Mice and Men with James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, among many others. Its biggest broadcast to date is 2015’s Hamlet which starred Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican Theatre and played for 690,000 ticketholders.

Each production is captured by six ultra high-definition cameras capture, jointly guided by each show’s theatrical director and camera director. Only minimal changes like costume colors or lighting are made ahead of a broadcast, and the entire creative team is engaged in doing so. “We’ve tried to be very sensitive to the original productions — it’s not about making it work on camera, but the camera working around the existing production to reach a new and different and broader audience, which is ultimately what everybody wants,” says Keith. Even more so, cinema viewers “can even see the sweat on the actors’ faces, and the emotion and energy behind those performances up close.”

Angels in America is a particularly challenging endeavor, as it’s NT Live’s first true two-parter (previously, they broadcasted two versions of 2011’s Frankenstein in which Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated the lead role). Broadcasting one week apart (as most live attendees usually prefer to take a break between the two shows), the productions air live throughout the UK and on a slight time-shift in the U.S. and other territories. Though the actors are not usually wearing microphones for the show, they will be to ensure a dynamic sound mix, and the camera movements will aim to parallel the immersive, metaphysical settings onstage.

This broadcast is self-distributed to 700 UK cinemas — which is 90 percent of the region’s theaters, the same as a blockbuster film — and works with Fathom Events in the U.S. and BY Experience internationally.Each theater participating in any live alternative content project must be equipped with high-definition projection abilities and satellite equipment to receive the live signal.

In particular, Angels in America has received a heightened interest in both advanced ticket sales and exhibitions in regards to booking encore screenings. Throughout the U.S., the offering is popular in larger markets like New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, “especially because leading up to the July broadcast, there have been a lot of gay pride festivals,”says Julie Borchard-Young, BY Experience co-owner.“The theaters has been smart in using the calendar as a marketing tool to appeal to the LGBT audience and beyond.”

Maybe Angels in America will help move the needle on alternative content events, as the biggest hurdle faced is securing prime booking against opening-weekend movies like Christopher Nolan’s WWII movie Dunkirk and Luc Besson’s sci-fi flick Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

“Hollywood doesn’t see us as a threat but as a complement to those movies, so that other audiences can be reached. We’re not really in the lane of competing with Sony or Disney, but there’s an audience that wants to see movies that speak to them as a cultural segment. The big blockbusters are gonna open around us all the time — we’re never gonna compete with them in that way — but unless you travel to London and buy a ticket, you can’t see these shows. This process democratizes the art for a very broad audience.”



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'Workin' Moms' Comedy Adds to Season Two Cast


‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ star Amanda Brugel joins as a barista and improv teacher.

The Handmaid’s Tale star Amanda Brugel, Angela Asher and CSI: Miami’s Christopher Redman have nabbed leading roles in Black-ish star Catherine Reitman’s original comedy, Workin’ Moms, now shooting its second season.

Brugel, who plays Rita on the popular Hulu drama, will play a barista and improv teacher in Workin’ Moms, while Asher takes the role of Dorothy, a wealthy eccentric, and Redman grabs the role of a hypnotherapist. The comedy follows four young women in a judgmental mommies’ group who form an unlikely friendship.

Reitman, who writes, directs and stars in Workin’ Moms, plays a warm and grounded PR exec. Also returning for the sophomore season is Dani Kind as a no-nonsense therapist, The Killing star Juno Rinaldi as Frankie, Orphan Black star Jessalyn Wanlim as Jenny and Philip Sternberg as Nathan.

Los Angeles-based Reitman’s acting credits include It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Friends With Benefits and Knocked Up. The half-hour created by Reitman for the CBC is produced by Wolf & Rabbit Entertainment, with production in Toronto.

Reitman and Philip Sternberg are executive producers. Workin’ Moms is their production shingle’s first TV project.

The series is distributed internationally by Coldsprings Media and is represented by Vanguarde Artist Management and CAA.

 



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Amid Pay Gap Criticism, BBC Says New Doctor Who Actress Will Be Paid Same as Current Star


The director general has confirmed that while the gender of the Time Lord may have changed, the salary will stay the same.

When the BBC on Wednesday revealed the wages of its top earners, the broadcaster came under instant fire for sexism, with the figures showing a major disparity between the wages of its male and female employees.

Many of Thursday’s front pages in the U.K. were dedicated to the fact that former Top Gear host and Radio Two DJ Chris Evan earned some $2.9 million in 2016, almost five times more than the highest paid female, Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman. 

Coming just three days the BBC announced its new Doctor Who, curious eyes then turned to the famed Time Lord’s renumeration. Would Jodie Whittaker receive the same financial rewards for taking control of the Tardis than outgoing Doctor Peter Capaldi? 

As it turns out, she will. 

BBC director general Tony Hall said there would be “parity” between the two actors, speaking to the Evening Standard newspaper. 

While Whittaker’s pay-packet hasn’t been revealed, Hall’s comments indicate that she is likely to earn between $260,000 and $325,000, the amount received by Capaldi in 2016, according to Wednesday’s announcement. 

Hall also responded to some of the criticism the BBC had received over its first female Doctor Who, saying he thought “it was time” for the 13th incarnation to be a woman. “I watched my first Doctor Who in the Sixties, hiding behind the sofa. As a devoted Whovian, I’m incredibly excited,” he added. 

In a statement on the BBC website, the broadcaster also offered its rather polite response to the “unhappy” viewers who had contacted them over Whittaker’s casting. 

“The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender,” it pointed out, adding that Whittaker was “destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.”

 



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