'Family,' 'Brokeback' screen in <I>Variety</I> series

WHAT: Back-to-back Variety Screening Series and Q&A for 20th’s “The Family Stone” Wednesday and Focus’ “Brokeback Mountain” Thursday.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

WHO: Helmer Ang Lee

WHERE: The Fine Arts Theater on Wilshire

SILENCE IS GOLDEN: For Lee, lensing the most intimate of situations boils down to a simple formula: less talk, more action.

“I’m shy, so the best way for me to shoot lovemaking scenes is to not talk about it. We just shoot, and the actors deliver the goods,” he explained.

KEEP ON MOVING: For pic’s stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, who portray a pair of cowboys who find forbidden love in the Wyoming mountains, there was simply no time to feel self-conscious about baring it all for the cameras.

“My shoots are intense,” said Lee. “(They) don’t give them any time to feel embarrassed or to think about whether they are enjoying themselves.”

THE FAMILY STONE

WHO: Helmer-scribe Thomas Bezucha; thesps Dermot Mulroney, Tyrone Giordano and his sign interpreterBrian J. White

WHERE: Hollywood’s ArcLight

LATE ENTRY: Bezucha had a number of false starts getting this pic off the ground. “I wrote this five years ago, before shows like ‘Six Feet Under’ became popular,” he said. Pic went through a number of different gestations before production began.

Helmer praised Fox’s support of the $17 million pic, bumping its release closer to the holidays after each successful screening. Third time’s a charm. Fox has settled on Dec. 16.

“You pray for the best, going up against ‘King Kong,’ ” Bezucha said. “I don’t know who’s going to be in the theater; I’m going to be at ‘King Kong!’ “

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