November 26, 2007

November 26, 2007

Enchanted won the box office race this weekend. Box office take for the Amy Adams starrer was about $50 million making it one of the best Thanksgiving weekends ever. I was able to see the film this weekend. Thought it was cute. There were a couple of very funny lines. Interestingly, the guy in my group actually liked it better than the women did. Women thought it was too sappy. At the theatre I attended in upstate NY, the audience was varied; girls as well as adult couples. Film was able to crossover into all hit quadrants. This film clearly has legs.

The African-American targeted This Christmas shocked the Hollywood box office prognosticators by raking in $27 million over the five day weekend. These box office predictors must have their heads under a rock. Why is it always shocking that movies targeted at a particular film-going audience does well? More than 22 year old white boys go to the movies. This Christmas was made for $13 million so it is already hugely profitable.
Women Makes Movies (organization that supports women making independent films and videos) announces 12 new films chosen for its fiscal sponsorship program:

Akaken the Dragon - How the ancient Chinese sport of dragon boating is transforming the lives of a group of individuals searching for life after cancer. Dir. Liz Oakley

Changing My Mind About Palestine - An American woman takes a rollercoaster road trip through the West Bank that challenges her internalized stereotypes and perceptions of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Dir. Nora Malone

I Was Raped - Highlights the prevalence of rape in our culture and breaks the silence that surrounds it. Dir. Jennifer Baumgardner

I Wish I Was A Mango Tree - A powerful saga shared by millions of immigrants torn from their families by grinding poverty and a search for work. Dir. Irene Rial Bou

Semper Fi: Always Faithful - The troubling story of a massive water contamination at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, in which toxic water flowed for thirty years and exposed thousands of Marines to high levels of carcinogens. Dir. Rachel Libert

Someone Else's War - Three Filipino workers travel thousands of miles from home to work for the US military in Iraq. Dir. Lee Wang

South Africa's Women Judges - The personal struggles of six South African women judges, born and raised during apartheid, mirrors the larger struggle to establish a human rights-based constitutional democracy in that country. Exec. Prod. Ruth B. Cowan, Dir. Jane Thandi Lipman

Strong! - U.S. Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth works to become the strongest woman in the world. Dir. Julie Wyman

The Girls Of Rajasthan follows several students through an experimental school for girls who have had no education. Dir. Jennifer Dworkin

Watching - Profile of Eileen Clancy, founder of I-Witness video, a grassroots organization that networks and trains media activist in counter-surveillance tactics. Dir. Elizabeth Press

When Clouds Clear - A reflection of the history and culture of one small town that could vanish before it is even put on the map due to a corporate power structure that wishes to strip the land away from the local people. Dir. Anne Slick and Danielle Bernstein

U People upholds the vision that camaraderie and sisterhood is vibrant and sustaining, though not always easy among straight and gay and gender nonconformists in the African Diaspora. Dir. Hanifah Walidah

Learn More: Women Make Movies
Attention all female filmmakers who needs funds to finish their films. Women in Film Foundation is seeking applicants for their film finishing fund.
More details:
Women in Film Finishing Fund

SAG in support of the writers strike with a series of on-line videos: Speechless hosted exclusively on Nikki Finke's site Deadline Hollywood. make sure to scroll down. Also the NYTimes writes today about Finke and her importance in the writer's strike.
Alternative Journalist’s Web Site Is Scrutinized for Writers’ Strike News

Article on Natalie Portman
More Than Meet the Eye (The Guardian)

Most of the articles on the new regime at UA seem to focus on the Tom Cruise side of the partnership. Here is a piece from an Australian paper no less that focuses on Tom's better half, Paula Wagner.

Some interesting quotes:

She says that she refuses to think of herself as a woman in a man's world, but instead tries to capitalise on her "female qualities". "Females are traditionally more verbal, more articulate, more communicative, more empathetic, more concerned about people's feelings, more collegiate in a way, so I think that makes for great managerial qualities. Women also can be remarkably tough.

Of course times have changed. When I went to CAA in the talent department, I was one of three women there. Even in the early 1980s it was unusual, a female agent was an anomaly. And I will be honest, in my very lengthy career, I felt earlier on that I had to work really hard - that may just be my nature, but sometimes I felt I'm going to work harder, I'm going to run faster.

Hollywood's Leading Lady (The Age)

Q&A with Lili Taylor (Nerve)