1. James Franco is the latest very wealthy celebrity who has taken to crowdfunding to find money for his next project. The actor has set up shop at Indiegogo, “hoping to adapt his own book of short stories, titled ‘Palo Alto,’ into a trilogy of films.” Profits from the films “will go to the nonprofit Art of Elysium,” according to Franco, “which encourages working artists to voluntarily dedicate their time to children who are battling serious medical conditions.” So I guess that makes it slightly better. Franco is looking to raise $500,000 for the films, and plans to have younger, up-and-coming directors step behind the camera and helm each. [Hollywood Reporter] (more…)
SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily
Archive for the ‘Film’ Category
In Five: James Franco to Crowdfund Project, Mick Jagger’s Hair Up for Auction, and More Culture News
In Five: Jay-Z Announces “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” Gets a Trailer, and More Culture News
1. Not to be outdone by his friend and frequent collaborator Kanye West, Jay-Z, in a three-minute-long commercial that aired during game five of the NBA finals last night, officially announced the existence and upcoming release of his 12th studio album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” The first million copies of the album will be available via an exclusive Samsung Galaxy app on July 4, three days before it goes on sale everywhere else. We’ve got no other details other than that at this time, but based on the very long infomercial, we’re expecting contributions from Timbaland, Pharrell, Swizz Beatz, and Rick Rubin. [Billboard] (more…)
By Bryan Hood | For awhile there details surrounding Neill Blomkamp’s latest film, the Matt Damon-starring “Elysium,” were scarce. But the latest trailer for the director’s follow up to “District 9,” fills in a lot of blanks, and while the mystery around the movie may have faded, if anything we’re more excited for it now than we were before. Damon plays Max De Costa, a former ne’er do well attempting to turn himself into a good citizen on the slum world that is Earth in the year 2154. Things are already bad enough for Max and the rest of his fellow Earthlings, but then he falls gravely ill. Fortunately, a cure is available on the luxury habitat floating above the planet, Elysium. Of course, as a poor, decrepit Earth dweller Max isn’t allowed up there, and Elysium’s security head, played by Jodi Foster, is doing to do her darnedest to make sure he doesn’t find a way into the future’s version of a very exclusive gated community. Dystopian setting, lots of a visceral action, and class warfare? Sounds good to us! As we’ve pointed out repeatedly, a lot of this summer’s biggest films have felt like a wastes of time, but this, along with Guillermo Del Torro’s “Pacific Rim,” give us hope. No, it’s unlikely that either of them are award challengers, but we’ve never been ones to turn our backs on a well made and enjoyable genre flick. “Elysium” is out on August 9.
In Five: Natalie Portman Being Courted for “Dare Me,” Polaris Prize Nominees Announced, and More Culture News
1. Natalie Portman, the one actor who hasn’t fled the troubled “Jane Got a Gun,” is being sought by the producers of “Dare Me.” The film, an adaptation of Megan Abbott’s novel of the same name, will be directed by Mike Sucsy (2009’s “Grey Gardens), and “is described as ‘Heathers’ meets ‘Fight Club,’ with teenage cheerleaders.” Though she’s only 32, we’re guessing Portman won’t be cast as a teen, but who knows! [Deadline] (more…)
1. Nearly 22 years after their last show, The Replacements are reuniting for a series of headlining gigs at the three Riot Fests in Chicago, Denver, and Toronto later this summer. Last year, founding members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson kind of got back together to record the covers EP, “Songs for Slim,” a release meant to raise money for former bassist Slim Dunlap, who’d suffered a stroke. Westerberg and Stinson will be part of the reunion, and the rest of the lineup will be announced later. [Pitchfork] (more…)
In Five: Scarlett Johansson Sues French Author, “Kinky Boots” Gets Post-Tonys Boost, and More Culture News
1. Scarlett Johansson is suing French author Grégoire Delacourt, and his publisher JC Lattes, ”over a bestselling novel which featured a fictional character that resembles her.” The book, released in March, “concerns a mysterious woman who looks just like Ms Johansson, who asks for help at the house of a car mechanic in a village in the Somme, in northern France.” “I am also very sad,” Delacourt said in a statement. “I was hoping that she might send me flowers because this book is, in a way, a declaration of love.” [The Independent] (more…)
By Craig Hubert | In case you needed proof that Kayne West is more self-aware then you realized: The New York Post’s Page Six reports that West is filming a music video that is a recreation of a scene from “American Psycho,” the film based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Scott Disick, an “American reality television personality, model and businessman” who also happens to be part of the Kardashian clan (he has two children with Kourtney Kardashian), is reportedly playing the role of Patrick Bateman, the psychotic serial killer. The video “will re-create Christian Bale’s famous ‘Huey Lewis‘ monologue, but with Lewis’s name substituted by references to West and his forthcoming album ‘Yeezus,’” according to the Post. Jonathan Cheban, a friend of West’s girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, and familiar presence on the family’s reality show, will also have a role in the video. Reportedly, West originally wanted James Franco for the role, but dreams don’t always come true. If you’re not familiar with the scene from the film, watch it here. Be advised: It is not safe for work.
1. Owen Wilson has joined Jim Carrey in “Loomis Fargo,” the “true story of four not-bright guys who successfully robbed a bank of $17 million.” Wilson will play one of the bumbling criminals. Jared Hess (“Napoleon Dynamite”) is directing, SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels is producing, and the screenplay was written by “Up All Night” creator Emily Spivey. [Deadline] (more…)
1. Leonardo DiCaprio is gearing up to play Rasputin, the Russian mystic “who became an adviser to the Russian Imperial family the Romanovs.” Jason Hall (“American Sniper”) will write the script, and reportedly “unearthed” new elements about Rasputin’s life that sparked DiCaprio’s interest. What were those elements? “To his enemies, he was a charlatan who prolifically bedded women, possibly including the Tsar’s wife,” according to reports. Yeah, that makes sense. [Deadline]
By Craig Hubert | Woody Allen, noted champion of the little people, has released the trailer for his new film, “Blue Jasmine,” and, you know, it sort of looks good. Does this fit the Woody Allen title theory? Cate Blanchett stars as Jasmine, who is forced to move in to the San Francisco apartment of her sister, played by Sally Hawkins, after her husband, played by Alec Baldwin, throws her out and leaves her homeless and poor. Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Cannavale, and Louis C.K., appear as a trio of schlubs who seem to be vying for the attention of Hawkins. Has Blanchett ever played a comedic role before? And no, “Notes on a Scandal” doesn’t count. Sony Pictures Classic will release the film on July 25th. Watch the trailer below: