Montreal-based Telescene and Finnish producer Mandart Entertainment have begun lensing the Michael Ironside starrer “Going to Kansas City,” Telescene officials have announced.
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While the rest of the country still waits for the film version of the Titanic to arrive, New Yorkers now have a culinary version of the epic sea disaster in addition to a musical one.
A trip to the Poconos in the 1950s was in store for theatergoers attending the July 16 premiere of Neil Simon’s “proposals” at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
Less glitz, more art, a raft of U.S. indies and an almost total dearth of big U.S. studio releases marks the lineup of the 54th Venice Intl. Film Festival (Aug. 27-Sept. 6), which was announced July 18.
The antic coming of age of three Arkansas brothers centers the amusing and entertaining “Wild America.” A yarn about pursuing one’s dream, the film mostly sidesteps the serious stuff, making its points with levity. It has the type of appeal that used to spell sleeper, but in the present crowded marketplace is more apt to get lost in the jungle and quickly be consigned to matinee screenings.
This wildly unfunny sitcom revolving around twin brothers looks more like a TV Land reject than an MTV-sanctioned production. Jason and Randy Sklar, while exhibiting nice brotherly chemistry and comic timing, have transferred characters and bits from their New York stage shows to a boringly traditional sitcom setup.
Just how vicious and raw is “Oz,” HBO’s first drama series? So much so that the typically bold pay cabler is debuting it in the ungodly timeslot of Saturday at 11:30 p.m., leaving the impression that even HBO is a little squeamish about launching a prison drama in which sadistic white supremacists co-exist alongside cannibalistic parent killers. Just the kind of thing you want to come home to after the perfect date.
Time period notwithstanding, “Oz” is the kind of brash, unsparing, disturbing ensemble series we would expect from Tom Fontana, the “Homicide: Life on the Street” guru who executive produces (with partner Barry Levinson) and writes all eight installments of this urban nightmare come to life.
A revelatory and inspiring look at a little-known aspect of World War II and modern cultural history, “Beyond Barbed Wire” stirringly reaffirms the notion that severe adversity can bring out the best in people. Modestly made but heroically themed docu spotlights the extraordinary irony of Japanese-American combat soldiers fighting on behalf of democracy at a time when many of their families were incarcerated in internment camps back home.
Even 1,500 years ago, it turns out that the Celtics were in need of a decent shooting guard and a big man in the middle. At least, that’s what we’re told in this adventure drama set in 5th century Europe that follows a ragtag band of Celtic warriors (is there another kind?) and their bloody battles with a group of nasty, oppressive Romans. Think of the Carringtons vs. the Colbys with a lot more leather … and fewer showers.
“Roar” boasts deliciously elaborate costumes (from designer Jean Turnbull) and impeccable period detail. Yet unlike the divertingly cheesy “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” this summertime spectacle takes itself relatively seriously — a mistake when your chief female evildoer has a taste for bathing in cow dung.
Aeschylus meets Robert Wilson in “Les Danaides,” Romanian director Silviu Purcarete’s avant-garde adaptation of the ancient Greek tragedy. Given its U.S. premiere at the Lincoln Center Festival 97, “Danaides” is as impressive visually as it is distant emotionally, a work that strives for grand vision but falls into a cool mix of choreographed ensemble movement and minimalist set design that will seem all too familiar (and second-rate in its monotony) to fans of the Wilson-Robert Lepage school.
Epic in sweep and cast size (at times more than 100 actors move about Lincoln Center’s large outdoor stage in Damrosch Park), “Danaides” reconstructs the tragedy largely through visual imagery (although the French-language dialogue is translated via English supertitles). One of the oldest, and perhaps least well-known, of Greek plays, “Danaides” is based on a myth about the origins of the Greek nation in which 50 woman — the Daughters of Danaos, or the Danaides — are violently pursued by 50 men — the Sons of Egyptos — for the purpose of forced marriage.
A shamelessly sentimental but occasionally majestic evocation of a WWII boyhood in a large Jewish family in Algiers, Roger Hanin’s semi-autobiographical “Sun” features a radiant turn by Sophia Loren as a loving matriarch. The pic, produced by Hanin’s wife, industry vet Christine Gouze-Renal, is extremely old-fashioned but sincere in its approach, and will warm the cockles of older Eurotube viewers’ hearts after making some theatrical rounds.
Scripter-helmer Hanin plays the grown Meyer Levy, a distinguished surgeon in France who suffers a heart attack before the opening credits are over. Film consists of his flashback memories of a poor but eventful adolescence during the five years his mother (Loren) managed her brood of five while her absent husband (Philippe Noiret) toiled for the post office near Paris under an assumed name. As a Jew, the civil service — indeed, any decent job — would have been off-limits in his native Algeria.