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Michael Bay’s Furry Friend Appears in New ‘Transformers’

50 minutes ago

If you want any insight into the mind of Michael Bay, just look to his canine companions. “If you understand how he feels about his dogs, you’ve got it,” says producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “He’s nuts about them, they’re like his kids.”

Currently, Bay is father to three English Mastiffs: Rebel, the oldest, and puppies Nitro Zeus and Bumblebee. Many of his past pups have been named after characters in his films, such as Bonecrusher, named after a Transformer, and Mason, for Sean Connery’s character in “The Rock.” Both dogs even made appearances in the “Transformers” franchise.

That love isn’t just limited to his own dogs. His producing partner at Platinum Dunes, Brad Fuller, recalls a day he and his wife were in a car with Bay. “A dog kind of jumped in front of us,” Fuller says. “He pulled over immediately, put on the hazards, »


- Jenelle Riley

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Michael Bay Reflects on His Career as He Receives Hands and Feet Honor

50 minutes ago

On May 23, Michael Bay will have his hands and feet encased in cement outside the iconic Tcl Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, alongside classic stars from Marilyn Monroe to Meryl Streep.  While Bay is thrilled, he does have one hesitation. “I just remember as a kid, going to see the handprints and I always thought the people who got this honor were so much older,” he says with a laugh.”

For the record, Bay is a youthful 52, but it’s a credit to his career that his accomplishments over the past 20 years have put him in the ranks of his mentors Steven Spielberg and super producer Jerry Bruckheimer, both of whose imprints are also in the Chinese forecourt. And it’s full circle for Bay, a native Angeleno who  discovered he wanted to be a director at that very theater.

At age 15, Bay was working at Lucasfilm, filing storyboards for “Raiders of the Lost Ark. »


- Jenelle Riley

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Celebrities Remember Roger Moore: ‘The King of Cool’

1 hour ago

Tributes to the late Roger Moore flooded social media Tuesday following the announcement that the James Bond actor had died at the age of 89 in Switzerland. Singer Boy George hailed Moore as “the king of cool” while Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe tweeted succinctly: “Roger Moore, loved him.”

R.I.P Sir Roger Moore. He was the king of cool.

Boy George (@BoyGeorge) May 23, 2017

In a series of tweets Crowe went on to say he had tried to dress like Moore’s “The Saint” character Simon Templar as a kid.

Roger Moore , loved him

Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 23, 2017

At 10 I used to try to dress like Simon Templar .

My mother worked part time at the Indonesian embassy.

Added intrigue to my persona .

Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 23, 2017

Pinewood Studios, where all seven of Moore’s James Bond movies shot and where the actor kept an office since 1970, posted a tribute on its »


- Robert Mitchell

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Cannes: FilmNation Sells Out Internationally on ‘Disobedience,’ Untitled Julianne Moore Project (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

Cannes — Continuing to work with world-class directors from across the globe, Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment has sold most of the world on its double bill of upcoming English-language movies from Sebastian Lelio: Romantic drama “Disobedience,” currently in post-production, starring Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz, Academy Award nominee Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola; and Lelio’s untitled film with Academy Award winner Julianne Moore, in a reimagining of his critically-acclaimed Berlinale 2015 smash hit “Gloria,” which is currently in pre-production.

”We feel very fortunate to work with Sebastian [Lelio] and some amazing producers on two truly special films.  This is proof positive that excellence and boldness in film can still guarantee a filmmaker world class distribution,” said Glen Basner, FilmNation CEO. 

As proof, “Disobedience” has been acquired by Curzon Artificial Eye for the U.K., Roadshow for Australia, Mars for France, Cinema Srl for Italy, Lev for Israel, and Pathe for Switzerland. »


- John Hopewell

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Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Little Stranger’ Lands at Focus

1 hour ago

Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to the ghost story “The Little Stranger,” starring Domhnall Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter with Lenny Abrahamson directing.

Focus, which announced the deal Tuesday at the Cannes Film Festival, said production will begin in the U.K. this summer for a 2018 release. Pathe will handle distribution in the U.K., France and Switzerland.

Abrahamson, who received an Academy Award nomination for “Room,” will direct from a script by Lucinda Coxon, who wrote the screenplay adaptation of Focus’ “The Danish Girl.” Coxon has adapted “The Little Stranger” from Sarah Waters’ 2009 novel of the same name.

The story is set in a remote English village after the close of World War II, when Gleeson’s local practitioner is called to the aged estate of Hundreds Hall to tend to an unwell parlor maid. The resident is also home to Rampling’s glamorous widow and her two grown children, »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes Film Festival Boosts Security, Cancels Fireworks After Manchester Bombing

2 hours ago

In response to the deadly terror attack in Manchester, the Cannes Film Festival has canceled a fireworks display planned for its 70th anniversary celebration Tuesday night and further beefed up security around the Palais.

The fireworks display was to have taken place over the Cannes bay after a retrospective screening and special anniversary dinner. But festival officials decided Tuesday to call off the pyrotechnics.

They also moved to increase security staffing around the Palais by another 10%, sources say. With a terrorism alert in force in France, security measures in Cannes had already been ramped up to unprecedented levels, to the point where some attendees have said the heavy vigilance detracts from the festive ambiance.

“The level of security is the highest we’ve ever had at the Cannes Film Festival. We can’t give you a staffing figure, but whatever you can imagine, it’s more,” said Georges-François Leclerc, »


- Elsa Keslassy and Pat Saperstein

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Martin Scorsese Pens Heartfelt Tribute to Brad Grey: ‘He Protected Me’

2 hours ago

Usually I’m the one chasing down movies, but this time they were chasing me. I’d been through two tough films — well, they’re all tough, but these were marked by constant fighting with the producers and studio — and I was drained. I wasn’t playing hard to get; I just didn’t know if I could do it. But I liked the script by Bill Monahan, the cast was coming together; and maybe a gangster picture was just what I needed. I listened to the pitch by the young producer, Brad Grey, and agreed to direct “The Departed.”

Over the next month, red flags started to appear. The usual stuff — problems with scheduling, the budget, etc. — and I didn’t want to step into that maelstrom. I walked away. Then another meeting was set up. We went over the budget and schedule. It all seemed reasonable, and I »


- Martin Scorsese

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Roger Moore, James Bond Star, Dies at 89

3 hours ago

Roger Moore, the handsome English actor who appeared in seven films as James Bond — the most of any Bond actor — and as Simon Templar on “The Saint” TV series, has died in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer. He was 89.

His family issued an announcement on Twitter: “It is with the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated.”

With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg

Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017

Moore appeared in more official Bond pics than his friend Sean Connery over a longer period of time, and while Connery’s fans were fiercely loyal, polls showed that many others favored Moore’s lighter, more humorous take on 007.

In 1972, Moore was »


- Carmel Dagan

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Radiance’

3 hours ago

“Nothing is more beautiful than what disappears before our eyes,” a character murmurs more than once in “Radiance,” a gentle-hearted, quintessentially new-age but fatally cloying new outing from Japan’s premier cinematic naturalist Naomi Kawase. It’s a line that reads as wishful thinking in an attractively sunlit film that all but turns to vapor on screen. In a story of the tentative romance that blossoms between a blind photographer and a kind of seeing-eye translator for the cinema, the film’s thematic preoccupation with the power of images — as perceived through any of the senses — is a worthy and thoughtful one. Yet the execution lacks the visual and emotional rigor of Kawase’s most imposing films, instead swaddling viewers in buttery lighting and blunt, earnest platitudes. Some will respond to such comforts, though “Radiance” is unlikely to significantly expand the international profile of a filmmaker still best loved on the Croisette. »


- Guy Lodge

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AFI Docs to Honor ‘Citizenfour’ Director Laura Poitras

3 hours ago

The American Film Institute’s AFI Docs festival will pay tribute to “Citizenfour” director Laura Poitras as the festival’s Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.

The award will be presented at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on June 16 and will include an in-depth conversation with Poitras along with clips from her works. Poitras’ latest film “Risk,” a six-year project following WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was released by Neon on May 5 and will air on Showtime this summer.

Poitras’ documentary credits include “The Oath” (2010), “My Country, My Country” (2006) and “Flag Wars” (2003). “Citizenfour” grew out of a meeting with Edward Snowden in 2013 after he e-mailed her inside information about illegal wiretapping practices of the U.S. National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies. She won the 2015 Academy Award for  Best Feature Documentary for the film.

“Poitras has the extraordinary instinct and ability to put her camera in the heart of history as it unfolds, »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes Film Festival to Hold Moment of Silence for Manchester Victims

6 hours ago

The Cannes Film Festival has denounced the bombing that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night in Manchester, England.

The 70th edition of the fest will hold a moment of silence for the victims on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Cannes time.

“The Festival de Cannes would like to express its horror, anger and immense sadness following the attack on the public and the city of Manchester last night,” the festival said in a statement.

“This is yet another attack on culture, youth and joyfulness, on our freedom, generosity and tolerance, all things that the Festival and those who make it possible –the artists, professionals and spectators– hold dear. The Festival de Cannes invites all festival-goers to show their solidarity with the victims, their families and the British people by observing a minute’s silence this Tuesday 23 May at 3 p.m.”

Also at the festival, Disney and Pixar »


- Variety Staff

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‘Cars 3’ Media Event in Cannes Canceled Following Manchester Bombing

6 hours ago

A champagne reception in Cannes to promote Pixar’s “Cars 3” was canceled Tuesday in response to the deadly bombing in Manchester, England.

“In the wake of last night’s tragic attack, and out of respect for the casualties and all of those impacted, we are not moving forward with today’s promotional activities,” a publicist for the event said.

The suicide bombing Monday night at a concert by Ariana Grande killed 22 people and injured 59.

The “Cars 3” event was planned for late Tuesday afternoon at the posh InterContinental Carlton Cannes Hotel. Car-racing champion Lewis Hamilton was expected to attend.

Security at Cannes has been tight throughout the festival, with bag searches and metal detection at the Palais and barriers on sidewalks.

Related storiesAriana Grande Tour Not Postponed Yet -- Team Still AssessingCannes: FilmNation Sells Out Internationally on 'Disobedience,' Untitled Julianne Moore Project (Exclusive)Manchester Arena Staff 'Inspired' by Community, »


- Henry Chu

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TV Drives Growth at Entertainment One Amid Overhaul of Film Side

7 hours ago

Mark Gordon and TV distribution powered growth at Entertainment One in 2017, as the Canada-based company overhauls its film operations and plans for fewer bigger-budget features next year.

International sales drove TV revenues, with new series “Private Eyes,” “Cardinal,” and “Mary Kills People” coming through in the company’s 2017 financial year. EOne also has AMC zombie hit “The Walking Dead,” as well as ABC series “Designated Survivor,” after taking a majority stake in The Mark Gordon Co., which posted a seven-fold rise in revenue to £119 million ($155 million). Overall TV revenues for eOne were £328.2 million, up 85% from the previous year.

Film revenues were £594.2 million, a 7% increase year-on-year. Earlier this month, U.K.-listed eOne had warned investors to brace for $47 million of writedowns, mostly stemming from its film business.

The largest single charge recorded in the full-year results released Tuesday was $25 million, which eOne said related to an unspecified film distribution agreement. »


- Stewart Clarke

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Gabriel and the Mountain’

8 hours ago

Watching “Gabriel and the Mountain” is like getting to know all sides of a friend’s character: You may discover more arrogance than expected, but the elements you always liked are reinforced. That was presumably Fellipe Barbosa’s goal when making this follow-up to his much-acclaimed debut “Casa Grande,” based on school friend Gabriel Buchmann, who traveled to Africa and died on the slopes of Malawi’s Mount Mulanje in 2009. Though Gabriel came from the same milieu as the characters in Barbosa’s previous film, the two features are very different in feel; there’s some social critique, but mostly the director extends heartfelt warmth to his friend, with the help of men and women who met Gabriel on his journey. At a running time of more than two hours, the film’s length may give art-house programmers pause, but fests will have an audience pleaser.

Early descriptions have implied »


- Jay Weissberg

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Out’

8 hours ago

Like an Eastern European Candide, a downsized Slovak power-plant engineer leaves for Latvia, pursuing a dream of a better job and good fishing in the absurdist picaresque “Out,” from feature debutant György Kristóf, who like his protagonist is an ethnic Hungarian Slovak. Although a tad lacking in dramatic oomph, the smartly stylized episodic tale is crammed full of oddball characters and boasts a deeply sympathetic turn from Hungarian actor Sándor Terhes as the protagonist, who sets out on his odyssey with barely more than schoolboy Russian and a vintage fishing pole. Fests most definitely should bite; sales agent Cercamon is closing on several Asian territories and following up on interest from European distributors.

Embracing the opportunity to go out into the world, naïve, fiftysomething Ágoston (Terhes, who has a minor role in competition title “Jupiter’s Moon”) leaves his stoic wife (Éva Bandor) and university student daughter (Judit Bárdos) for »


- Alissa Simon

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Film Review: ‘Baywatch’

9 hours ago

Baywatch,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, is a stupidly entertaining trash folly, the kind that could only be made today: an obscenity-and-insult-laced, aggressively “competent” adaptation of a 25-year-old TV show that manages to repackage every aspect of the series except, perhaps, the reason it was popular in the first place. And what was that reason? If Rodney Dangerfield were around, he might say, “There were two reasons!” But actually there’s a bit more to it.

Baywatch,” which premiered at the tail-end of the 1980s (and stumbled out of the gate, becoming a hit in syndication the way “Star Trek” did), was a muscle-beach soap opera that anticipated the sexy-youth-kitsch-for-adults appeal of “Beverly Hills 90210.” It was also an L.A. crime series where the law enforcers wore spandex swimwear; a cheeseball star vehicle that revamped the camp-stud Ken-doll mystique of the former “Knight Rider” hero David Hasselhoff; and, yes, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Cannes: Mubi Buys Bruce McDonald’s Coming-of-Age Drama ‘Weirdos’ for U.S. (Exclusive)

10 hours ago

Streaming platform Mubi has acquired all U.S. rights to coming-of-age drama “Weirdos” for a late summer release in theaters, followed by an exclusive streaming premiere, Variety has learned exclusively.

Canadian director Bruce McDonald directed from a script by Daniel MacIvor. The movie is set in 1976 in Nova Scotia during the weekend of the American Bicentennial. Dylan Authors plays a 15-year-old running away from home with the help of his girlfriend, portrayed by Julia Sarah Stone, to move in with his estranged mother and to find himself. Molly Parker plays the mother.

Weirdos” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September. Dennis Harvey said in his review for Variety: “More a short story than a novel in terms of cumulative heft, ‘Weirdos’ nonetheless benefits from the literary virtues of revealing character through a seemingly casual, anecdotal narrative. The performances are nicely in tune with the general tenor of wry, lower-case observation. »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes Facetime: Director Fatih Akin

11 hours ago

 

German filmmaker Fatih Akin returns to the Cannes competition lineup with “In the Fade,” above, a contemporary drama about a woman who takes revenge after her husband and son are murdered by the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Underground (Nsu).

Q: Is the Nsu still active in Germany?

A: We have this very strange case, a scandal right now, involving neo-Nazis and right-wing extreme right groups in the German army. German soldiers, whose political background is extreme right, created fictional personalities. Pretending to be Syrian refugees, they were planning bomb attacks, in order to blame the refugees as terrorists, so the state wouldn’t let refugees in anymore. That was their aim. These things are happening right now, this week.

Q: In what ways is this a personal film for you?

A: I am somehow “the other” in this country with my background. I have black hair, my parents are from Turkey. »


- Alissa Simon

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More Than Half of Doha Film Institute New Grants Go To Women Arab Auteurs

11 hours ago

The Doha Film Institute has announced the new batch of 29 film projects from 16 countries that will receive grants funding, which includes new works by France’s Sonia Kronlund, whose “Nothingwood” is screening in the Cannes Directors Fortnight, Tunisia’s Mohamed Ben Hattia (“Hedi”), Morocco’s Leila Kilani (“On the Edge”), and Palestine’s Annemarie Jacir (“When I Saw You”).

Significantly, more than half of the Dfi Spring grants are going to films helmed by women directors with a large portion of coming-of-age stories centered around  female protagonists. Over 80% are the Arab world.

“It’s not deliberate in our part, but it’s fantastic to see how more [Arab] women are being empowered to do films than ever before,” commented Dfi CEO Fatma Al Remaihi.

Two of the projects, “A Man on Fire,”  by Lebanon’s Ibrahim Harb, and “Days of Grace,”  (pictured) by Bahrain’s Saleh Nass, germinated from the 2016 Dfi Producers Lab, »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Wonders’ in 3D Sold to China’s Emperor (Exclusive)

11 hours ago

The Arnold Schwarzenegger-produced “Wonders of the Sea 3D” is set for a theatrical release in China. Directed by Jean-Michel Cousteau and narrated by Schwarzenegger, the film was picked up by China’s Emperor Films.

The deal was sealed between Emperor and producer Bruber Media Partners on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival. Deal terms were not disclosed. All other rights are represented by Conquistador Entertainment.

Emperor is planning a release of the 3D film on several thousand screens. That will be one of the first times that a documentary gets such a wide outing in China.

Bruber was represented by chairman and CEO Beryl Huang. Emperor was represented by its president and CEO Yang Gao. Also present at the signing were Schwarzenegger, Sally Zhao and Cousteau, the son of famous French explorer Jean-Jacques Cousteau.

“We are thrilled that mainland China is taking such a significant step towards »


- Patrick Frater

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