Propaganda at its finest?
Propaganda at its finest?
If you enjoyed the Star Wars prequels then I suppose you might be more well disposed towards the idea of doing the same with the sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner, but I can’t say I have high hopes for any prequel or sequel. Like it or not, Deadline Hollywood reports that they’re coming:
Warner Bros-based financing and production company Alcon Entertainment (“The Blind Side,” “The Book of Eli”) co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, in the most significant property acquisition negotiations in the Company’s 13-year history, are in final discussions to secure film, television and ancillary franchise rights to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic 1982 science-fiction thriller “Blade Runner.”…
Alcon is negotiating to secure the rights from producer-director Bud Yorkin, who will serve as producer on “Blade Runner” along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.
No, the above isn’t hyperbole. The New Yorker has a fascinating and authoritative exposé on Scientology. The experiences of Hollywood director and ex-Scientologist Paul Haggis are the starting point, but the piece hits upon everything from the cult’s origins to its use of violence and child labor to John Travolta magically healing Marlon Brando’s leg via touch:
In December, 2009, Tricia Whitehill, a special agent from the Los Angeles office, flew to Florida to interview former members of the church in the F.B.I.’s office in downtown Clearwater, which happens to be directly across the street from Scientology’s spiritual headquarters.
Whitehill and Valerie Venegas, the lead agent on the case, also interviewed former Sea Org members in California. One of them was Gary Morehead, who had been the head of security at the Gold Base; he left the church in 1996. In February, 2010, he spoke to Whitehill and told her that he had developed a “blow drill” to track down Sea Org members who left Gold Base.
Lawrence Wright’s forthcoming tell-all book about the Hollywood uber-cult Scientology (The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs.The Church of Scientology) has been in the news often the past few weeks, mostly concerning speculation about whether or not award-winning scribe Paul Haggis “officially” collaborated with Wright.
The book still hasn’t been scheduled for publication and considering the cult’s propensity for litigation it might face considerable delays. For those who can’t wait, Wright has contributed a fascinating and lengthy essay on the topic to the current issue of the New Yorker.
It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the cult of Scientology. Here’s the beginning:
On August 19, 2009, Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International, received a letter from the film director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. “For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” Haggis wrote.
According to his kids, anyway, Marky Mark smells of skunk. US Magazine reports that he’s given up smoking weed to save his kids from his skunky odor. The cynic in me says it might have more to do with his becoming a big shot in Hollywood, not only as an actor but also as executive producer of HBO shows like Entourage and Boardwalk Empire (note the part of his quote below where he says he goes to church instead of partying – yeah right, Mark!):
“I stopped smoking weed for my kids,” explained the star, who added that he’s replaced weekend partying with church-going.
“One day, we were driving and you could smell it from somewhere. My daughter asked what the smell was so I told her it was a skunk. Then she said, ‘Sometimes Daddy smells like that!’ to me and my wife. So I knew I had to quit.”
In their never-ending quest to tweak the sensibilities of anyone dumb enough to take them too seriously, the “hipsters” at VICE profile ’70s terrorists, from the Tupamaros to the Red Brigade:
In Hollywood they’re making yet another film about Carlos The Jackal, and Bernhard Schlink’s writing books about the Baader-Meinhof gang again. From Spielberg’s Munich to Soderbergh’s Che, the last decade’s been happy to fete the terrorists who were at large in the 1970s. In contrast to the amorphous and utterly unquenchable threat currently hanging over our Western heads, everyone knew what figures like Guevara and The Black September group wanted: suitcases crammed full of cash and choppers to Cuba. They had a negotiable quality to them that’s largely missing from today’s suicide fanatics. Here are some lesser known terrorists from the 1970s that pop culture’s yet to turn into stocking-clad, cemtex-strapped, hostage-garotting rock stars.
FRONT DE LIBERATION DU QUEBEC
The FLQ’s Mario Bachand.
Leslie Gornstein a/k/a The Answer Bitch, E! Online’s resident question-and-answer columnist, asks disinformation author Ed Rampell for help with this question:
Just saw a new video with Olivia Wilde urging people to vote progressive, and it got me to thinking: Why is Hollywood so darned liberal?
—Brenda, San Antonio
You speak of the MoveOn.org video featuring Wilde as a hard-bitten activist from the future who berates you—you specifically, thanks to some Facebook-aided personalization—for not voting in the upcoming election.
It’s certainly not the kind of message you’d see from, say, Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Here’s why:
Indeed, Wilde and Romany Malco, he of The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, jokingly warn that without your vote, President Palin will, among other things, declare an “ultrawar” against the Pacific Ocean and “whatever country Björk is from.”
Now, I talked to Ed Rampell, author of Progressive Hollywood, about this. Rampell offers three very interesting reasons why the entertainment business is so full of non-Republicans.
Google, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix … it’s only a matter of time till Blockbuster files for bankruptcy. In case we didn’t already have enough access to instant movie viewing, Google is looking for a new deal with Hollywood studios. From Wired:
Google is reportedly in talks with the major movie studios to launch full-length video rentals on YouTube by year’s end.
YouTube has already experimented with film rentals, offering selections from the Sundance Festival earlier this year when it would not rule out the addition of Hollywood movies. And the site was reportedly in talks with the same studios around this time last year, so this does not come as much of a surprise, the Financial Times’ “scoop” notwithstanding.
However, YouTube’s movie rental program currently focuses on independent filmmakers and music artists. The addition of mainstream, pay-per-view feature films to YouTube would represent a significant development, regardless of how long these reported talks have been ongoing (at least a year).
Here’s a fairly insane marketing effort by Universal Pictures for their upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Created in a 8-bit video game style, this “I-trailer” has commentaries, videos, making of footage and other stuff that usually is included in the DVD extras or commentary. (Click the image below for the trailer.)
Perhaps interactive trailers will become as commonplace as 3D has become for big budget films … coming off the buzz this film had a Comic Con, they certainly have kicked it up a notch.
Sharon Waxman, one of Hollywood’s insider journalists, proves it’s open season on Mel Gibson-bashing with her sarcastic comments on Herr Gibson’s search for interns in her WaxWords blog at The Wrap:
It’s apparently business as usual for Mel Gibson over at Icon Productions, where they are advertising for a passel of interns for the fall.
United Talent Agency’s latest insider Hollywood job list has a posting that advertises for “positive, hardworking” young folks who have a “team based attitude.” They can apply to work (no money, as per usual) around the production company team that brought you “Apocalypto,” “Passion of the Christ” and the as-yet unproduced Mel-as-Psychopath audio tapes.
Unwritten but presumed: Jews, blacks and Russian women need not apply.
Here’s the notice, but honestly I’d lock up your children first:
Icon Productions (PUSH, APOCALYPTO, BRAVEHEART) seeks fall interns.