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Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Weinstein’

Friday January 18th, 2013

The Top 10 Directorial Debuts Of All Time

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor


For a filmmaker, it’s rare to make a real impact with your debut feature. Most of the time, you begin your career with a calling-card movie or a work that doesn’t fully express your true talent. There are, however, certain instances when a director is able to wow audiences and leave his or her mark on the film world right from the get-go.

This year, we’ve seen Benh Zeitlin make his debut with a film that many absolutely love in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Zeitlin’s freshman feature has been mentioned as one of the top debuts by a filmmaker in some time, so that got me thinking: What are the 10 best of all time?

Of course, there’s some level of subjectivity to this kind of a list. If I were strictly going off of my personal favorite debuts, people such as Judd Apatow, Darren Aronofsky, Mel Brooks and Kevin Smith would be high up on my own Top 10. For the purposes of this list, though, I’m putting as much of my individual preference aside as possible. Below you’ll find 10 of the great directorial debuts of all time.

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Monday December 17th, 2012

Violence Could Become A Major Factor In This Year’s Crop Of Oscar Contenders

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor


Like everyone else, I was shocked and saddened by the tragic school shooting this past Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. The thought of little kids and their teachers being targeted is just sickening. The event even moved President Obama to tears.

There are two things that deserve the blame, above all else, for this and any other massacre like it: the gunman and his guns. But, seeing as we focus on Hollywood on this site, I think that we should be honest and acknowledge that the entertainment industry probably isn’t helping matters.

For me, the shooting in the Connecticut elementary school brought back memories of the mass shooting in a movie theater — another place in which we always presumed we were safe — in Aurora, Colo. on the July night earlier this year on which The Dark Knight Rises opened.

It was only a few months ago, but in the aftermath of that tragedy many in show business accepted that their glamourization of violence might he partially to blame for making a deranged guy want to dress up like The Joker and shoot up a movie theater. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who had nothing to do with that particular film, even called for a summit on violence in movies. But as the news faded from the headlines, and therefore the public’s consciousness, so too did the motivation and willpower to do anything about it.

(It’s a sad irony that the most violent film of this holiday season is none other than The Weinstein Co.’s Django Unchained.)

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Wednesday September 12th, 2012

Inside the Early Awards Race: ‘Argo,’ ‘The Master,’ ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Among Contenders

By Scott Feinberg and Gregg Kilday
The Hollywood Reporter


This story first appeared in the Sept. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Sometimes you win by losing. That, at least, was the tactic The Weinstein Co. used when The Master, one of its major fall awards competitors, failed to snare the Venice Film Festival’s top prize. Sure, the jury honored Paul Thomas Anderson as best director for his Scientology-based character study about a rootless man (Joaquin Phoenix) and the charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who takes control of his life. But, as if the applause that greeted Master at the Toronto International Film Festival were echoing across the Atlantic, Venice jury president Michael Mann sounded almost apologetic as he explained that festival rules prevented him from crowning the film with both a Golden Lion and a shared acting prize for the movie’s stars. “No, no, it’s great. We think it’s better,” insisted TWC co-chief Harvey Weinstein as he faced down the Toronto media. “I’m thrilled with whatever they hand over.”

Tuesday March 27th, 2012

Harvey Fights Back: ‘Bully’ to Be Released Unrated

By Josh Abraham

After a recent plea to the MPAA by Alex Libby, the teen subject of the controversial doc Bully, and The Weinstein Company (TWC) co-chairman Harvey Weinstein failed – by one vote – to get the film its deserved PG-13 rating, TWC is choosing to move forward with releasing the film unrated by the MPAA on March 30.

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Wednesday February 29th, 2012

FEINBERG: Recapping My Night at the Oscars

Last night, thanks to a very kind gesture on the part of my editor, I was able to realize a lifelong dream and sit in the audience at the Academy Awards. I covered the Oscars from the backstage press room three years ago, which was a thrill in and of itself, but, as someone who has spent a huge chunk of my life researching, writing, and talking about the Oscars, you can imagine how much more excited I was to have the chance to watch the ceremony unfold with my own two eyes. And, I’m pleased to report, the experience did not disappoint.

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Monday February 27th, 2012

Oscars: “The Artist” Cast Speaks!

By Sean O’Connell

Before we put the Academy Awards to bed, I wanted to repost our interviews with the cast and crew of “The Artist,” last night’s winner for Best Picture.

Over the course of the lengthy (lengthy) awards marathon, I was lucky enough to interview Best Director winner Michel Hazanavicius, Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin, Best Supporting Actress nominee Berenice Bejo, and Oscar czar Harvey Weinstein. All had a very successful evening last night at the Oscars, and most talk about the ceremony during our conversations.

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Friday February 24th, 2012

Why Getting a PG-13 for Bully is More Important Than Fighting the MPAA on its Lone Ironclad Rule

By Scott Mendelson

You can’t have more than one ‘f-word’ in your movie and still get a PG-13. There have been a few exceptions over the years, but generally it’s one ‘f-word’ in a non-sexual context. Anymore than that, and its an automatic R-rating. We can debate the morality/practicality of that specific rule. Hell, I’d probably agree with you that it’s a silly arbitrary requirement, especially considering the sort of violent content that ends up in PG-13 movies. But at the end of the day, it’s one of the MPAA’s few ironclad rules. Thus I have little sympathy when Weinstein films keep trying to skirt that ‘one rule’ and still get their PG-13.

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Wednesday February 22nd, 2012

Tuesday’s 5 P.M. Oscar Ballot Deadline Brings End to Awards Campaigning (Analysis)

The 2011-2012 Oscar race, which effectively began six months ago at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, will come to an official end tonight at 5pm PST, when final ballots are due back at the Academy’s accounting firm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

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Sunday January 22nd, 2012

Oscars: “The Artist” Takes Top Producers Guild Prize

By Sean O’Connell

It’s beginning to look a bit like a landslide. The Producers Guild of America is the latest group to reward Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” with its year-end Best Picture honors, paving the way for what could be Oscar domination next month.

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Friday December 30th, 2011

Contender Castoffs: What Happened to These 13 Would-Be 2011 Awards Hopefuls?

As 2011 winds to a close and the announcement of Oscar nominations approaches, I thought it might be interesting to catch up with some of the films many thought, at one time or another, would factor into this year’s awards race but never did.

Some screened at festivals in search of a distributor but didn’t find one; others found a distributor, but the distributor decided it lacked the money, manpower or time to mount a campaign this year. Some had distributors before they were in the can and simply were not completed in time to be released this year; others were completed in time to be released this year, but their distributors had their hands full with other contenders and decided to hold them until next year.

It is important to remember that just because a film is not part of this year’s awards race doesn’t mean it won’t be part of next year’s. True, some of these titles will never be heard from again — but others could follow in the footsteps of, say:

  • Crash, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2004, at which time it was picked up for U.S. distribution by Lionsgate and held for the following year; was released theatrically in May 2005; and, in March 2006, won the best picture Oscar.
  • The Visitor, which premiered at Toronto in September 2007, at which time it was picked up for U.S. distribution by Overture and held for the following year; was released theatrically in April 2008; and, in February 2009, was represented at the Oscars in the best actor category.
  • Lovely, Still, which premiered at Toronto in September 2008; was not picked up by a distributor until 2010, when Monterey Media decided to take a chance on it; and was released in theaters in September 2010.
  • The Hurt Locker, which premiered at Toronto in September 2008, at which time it was picked up for U.S. distribution by Summit and held for the following year; was released theatrically in June 2009; and, in March 2010, won the best picture Oscar.
  • The DebtEverything Must GoThe First GraderGirlfriendMeek’s CutoffSarah’s KeyTabloidThe Way and The Whistleblower, all of which premiered at Toronto in September 2010; were subsequently picked up by various distributors; and were held for release until 2011.

Without further ado, here is the class of 2011:

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