“INTERVIEW WITH SELMA AS A DEADHEAD CRACK MOM” -The Poker House- DVD.
I asked Selma Blair how it felt to portray a wasted mom in this severe slice-of-life drama derived directly from Lori’s teen life. Selma began, “Well the script grabs you because it’s ugly and appealing at the same time. Its Lori’s story about her uncontrollable mom filled with plenty of cuss words and comes directly from Lori’s mind and memory. However, some things were added to the script for drama when Agnes starts wielding a gun in one pivotal scene. Strange now that the film has been made, Lori now shares a better relationship with her mom who has shaken off all this terrible behavior today.” Actually now that the dark period is over in Lori’s life, she now has a wonderful relationship with her mom.” (Lori’s mom is now a successful Real Estate business woman). What does Lori’s story say to you and an audience? “Well it’s all about a mom who lets her older daughter get sexually abused by her pimp father (Bokeem Woodbine) and an unacceptable home overrun by gamblers, thieves and johns. When Agnes get’s the guts to bail from her home the plot shows that women can become empowered to change a life threatening situation. You may be hurt but your soul survives. The film also delivers hope and I enjoyed this meaty role and loved playing a messed up woman.” What about Lori as a first time director? “She was very upbeat and energetic, just a great artist, she trust your judgment and let’s you go with the scene thoroughly!” What about rehearsals on the set? “Not many rehearsals, Lori likes to capture honest moments, like my shirt flapping open accidentally. You get a flash of flesh and that’s okay- it’s honest.” Anything else you’d like to share? “Yes, I hope the audience feels the empathy and passion for these true characters and to forgive people what they did in the past. And to be thankful to be alive today, don’t let the past affect your present.” Lastly, will you work in TV again? “That’s difficult, never says never, but with Universal and their Corporate Company GE followed by NBC, there are too many studio heads to please and it becomes a very stressful job.” _____________
Metairie Movie Man
Director/Editor Jay Duplass creator of the “Indie” dramedy “Cyrus, “ the smash break out hit that’s generated over $3.4 million in just four weeks of limited release, was born in Metairie and a Jesuit High School graduate. Jay, now 37, and his brother Mark grew up watching movies and remember his first big encounter with the film industry. “I was still in the 7th grade and remember going to the Lakeside Cinema (long demolished before Katrina) and entered a candy counting contest guessing how many pieces appeared on the big screen.” Jay explained, that was hard and confusing to do, so he extrapolated the images, got the total correct, and became an instant winner. His prize was free passes to Lakeside Cinema and the opportunity to take his brother to see every single movie playing there. Movies became an obsession and started the Duplass’s love affair with the cinema.
Moving forward, Mark and Jay graduated from The University of Texas in Austin and began making short films after meeting and mingling with other aspiring filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City” -2005).They created a $3 digital film entitled “This Is John (2003)” and won critical acclaim when entered in various film festivals. With their foot or foots in the industry, the Duplass brothers dabbled in all forms of filmmaking and divided the responsibilities among themselves. Mark does all the writing and Jay handles the editing process. A string of “indie” films followed with the biggest hit “Baghead (2008)” winning critical acclaim as a cabin/horror thriller and played to packed audiences at the then Canal Place Cinema. With their stylized brand of unexpected endings the brothers finally found a larger audience outside the geek and art house circles with “Cyrus.”
“Cyrus” is a dramatic comedy and their most mainstream effort to date. After securing a major distribution deal with Fox Searchlight they were able to acquire recognizable talent like John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill (as the troublemaker Cyrus) and Marsia Tomei. Was this a dream project? “Well yes, we breezed along with digital equipment utilizing a film crew of about 60 people and completed the film in less than thirty days. “ How would you rate the cast? “Well John was a very lovable, smart and an earnest person on set and got along very well with Jonah and Marsia. Marisa was a breeze to work with. Hill, a quiet guy who did his work then left unassumingly from the set, went head-to-head with Reilly and created some memorable moments as a mamma’s boy who had problems sharing his mom (Tomei) with a new love in her life (Reilly). Congratulations to our home grown boys and be sure to look forward to their next films “Jeff Who Lives at Home (2011)” and “The Do-Deca-Pentathlon” set for release some time in 2010. ____________########
ACTRESS ASHLEY BELL CONQUERS DEMONS, CARNIVAL AND HOLLYWOOD SOUTH!
Lovely Ashley Bell returned to Hollywood South to reprise her role as the demon-possessed Nell Sweetzer in The Last Exorcism Part II (CBS Films opening today) and apparently her highly praised acting job in the first Exorcism film created in Louisiana in 2011 didn’t rid her of her satanic entities. I asked Ashley what she thought of her role as the new scream queen of horror and all the success that went with it. “Well, I couldn’t believe how such a small budget film became a huge hit with horror fans and how the poster (I did my own stunts twisting and contorting my body as well as that famous back bend since I was agile and prepared as a trained ballerina performer) became an iconic Movie poster !” That poster still frightens me even today, I added. Bell continues, “you know, we didn’t have any money for CGI Effects, so when I told the director I could do poses like that with my body, he re-wrote the script and I just added these contortions into the first film that created a following that became huge at the box office.” Did you have other training for film? “Yes, I went to NYU to study theatre and learn to play emotionally and physically demanding characters.” Ashley, you come from parents with famous backgrounds, what did they think of you in that horror poster? Ashley laughs, “my mother started the renowned Groundlings in Los Angles and my father is a famous noted voice over actor giving voice to such animated characters as The Smurfs, G.I. Joe and Transformers. My parents just smiled at that Iconic creepy poster.” You also conquered Mardi Gras and rode on a float. “Yes, it was the Krewe of Okeanos. I had my name and a big poster of The Last Exorcism Part II posted on the side of the float and my arms are still hurting from throwing all those beads and doubloons. I certainly didn’t need any cardio work out for days after the ride. It was so much fun and I loved it.” And the new film produced by Eli Roth. Give us the scoop. “ Roth is such a talent, we went for a different perspective since in the first film Nell was a sheltered farm girl who could only listed to Christian Music and never even knew what an iPad was. The new story shifts to New Orleans where she is discovering herself for the first time after being traumatized in the first film. Nell then starts a new life in The French Quarter, pacing about in the Southern gothic surroundings of Louisiana rich in ghost stories and ghoulish histories. What better place for the demon to pop up and torment Nell again in New Orleans, a place that makes her continuing story of possession even more terrifying.” Do we have any Jump-up moments in the new film? “Yes, the new director, Ed Glass-Donnelly, continues the story from Nell’s point of view and the unexpected ending is very frightening. So don’t miss it, Part II has a clear stylistic shift from the docu-style of the first film that’s deeper and darker. And touring all of New Orleans and exploring the Voodoo shops was truly a gift to work here that way.” Ashley, you are so sweet and charming, thanks for talking about your new success and congratulations receiving The Independent Spirit Award for the first film grossing nearly $ 70 million worldwide. Yes, only in Hollywood South, - where you can find true atmosphere for all genres of filmmaking! _______ COPYRIGHT ED HELD STUDIO NEWS 2/ 2013.
FILMMAKER FONTAINE OBSESS ON ADORE
I interviewed Anne Fontaine via phone from Europe and was curious how Adore came about and how she chose one of Doris Lessing’s former novella’s, to be precise, The Grandmothers, and how that morphed into the film Adore that is now on BD. Ms. Fontaine responded, “I was one of the last people to talk to Doris before her passing in London, she was a great author, she was a conformist, a woman of free thinking, and a supporter of women’s rights. Doris escaped taboos, she believed in what is natural and that is how she wrote. Of the Novella, Ms. Lessing conveyed that “The Grandmothers” was based on a true story after an encounter with an 18-year-old youth who confessed he knew of two men, the best of friends living in Australia, who were having the bizarre but binding affairs with the other man’s mother. To translate that to the screen and get today’s audience’s attention, the producers felt it was more important to build up the youth angle rather than present a title bearing the implications of the word “old.” Americans and the English feel afraid of subjects which refer to anything about old age. So the title of Adore was chosen as it implies something metaphysical and abstract.” I continued, you engaged a special cinematographer to frame the story. Ms. Fontaine: “Yes, Chistophe Beaucarne is a master framing the subjects and landscapes in cinemascope to create sensual images related to the erotic subject of four characters that fight over the impossible love connection.” Yes, the film is beautiful and atmospheric and the strong feelings of raw emotions just spills off the screen. That was quite a photographic achievement that Christophe brought to the production. Also, did you purposely end the film on an ambiguous note as to allow the viewer to make their own conclusions as to what happens to this lopsided love quadrangle? Anne concludes: “When I brought this up to Ms. Lessing, she became gibe, why do you want an ending? There was no end in my story that reveals this horrible situation about four people, young and old, who can’t separate themselves.” Justifiably so I added to my closing remarks. Anne Fontaine was born on July 15, 1959 in Luxembourg, the sister of actor ‘Jean-Chretien Sibertin-Blanc,” and is noted for her savvy production of Coco Before Chanel (2009). My life has been enriched listening to this gifted woman who shed a new perspective about the Cinema Arts and one who was inspired by a Nobel Prize Winner. ____ Copyright Ed Held Studio News. Interview took place on Friday, November 22nd 12:12 CST.______
TV HERCULES (KEVIN SORBO) TALKS ABOUT LA MADE “GOD’S NOT DEAD”
Ed Held: Mr. Hercules, how did you ever get involved with the Louisiana Indy Faith Film God’s Not Dead?
Kevin Sorbo: I had all the TV fun behind me, starring in Hercules, the Legendary Journeys for seven years then into space with Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda series, so after playing all those heroes , I decided to try different hats, different shoes and branched out into other films about life and faith. In fact, I’ve had a perfect five year relationship with the brilliant folks from Pure Flix Entertainment, who are devoted to making Family Based Films. Hollywood sees the potential for more family films, now that PF has produced over 75 films that inspire others to live bigger, love deeper and go after their God-given dreams and reaching people for Christ through high quality storytelling.
EH: God’s Not Dead became the highest grossing faith film of all time – taking in over $60 million dollars at the box office. What was your reaction to the success of the film?
KS: Everyone involved was thrilled at the B.O reception and amazed since it only cost less than $3 million to make.
EH: How did you prepare for the role of an antagonist?
KS: I played it like it was written, the tone of a bitter, over-educated man. The script was fascinating, written by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, my character was so interesting, such an atheist and who also had problems with his Christian girlfriend, became a disbeliever in general. At the start of the film, Philosophy Professor Radisson (my character) challenges his college students with a mandate to denounce God in a written statement the first day of class! That’s persecution of Religion. It is so amazing how today educators removes God from the equation. That was the very reason our ancestors left Europe, to start anew in America, and free themselves to pray as they believed. A strong point in the film, since everyone is searching for God’s existence, and I’m sure God doesn’t mind that we ponder that question, does he really exist! The film was adapted from the book published by Thomas Nelson and from a Christian band named Newsboys who recorded the song God’s Not Dead. The group appears in the film that was filmed in Houston, TX at the Reliant Arena during a live concert event.
EH: What did you like best about filming in The Big Easy?
KS: I love New Orleans, we shot the film at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and have a fondness for The Big Easy. I’ve filmed several movies in TBE as well as Shreveport and other Louisiana Parishes. I had a wonderful experience and even made a comment on location how delightful that Hercules and Superman (referring to co-star Dean Cain) were both in the same film God’s Not Dead!
EH: Thank you Kevin, your interview was very inspirational. God’s Not Dead is available on DVD and VOD. Mr Sorbo continues to make Family based films and has won praises for his performance in What If …. , a film nominated for Best Family Movie of the year 2011 by the Movie Guild Awards and Sorbo himself was nominated and received the Movie Guide Award for Most Inspirational Performance of the Year for his portrayal of “Ben Walker.” In 2013 Sorbo was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Riverside Festival. Kevin lives in Los Angeles with his wife Sam and his three young children. Kevin asked me to invite everyone to leave comments on Kevin Sorbo Official Facebook Page. ____ Interviewed by Ed Held on my birthday August 6, 2014 @ 2:30 PM Central. ____________
Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center
"Something for and against everyone"
New Orleans incendiary cinema since 1986
1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70113
ED HELD STUDIO IN RECORDING SESSION FOR THE SCRIPT RECORDING OF "BLOODY PERKS" FROM ONE OF MY FILM FRIENDS
Opens August 4:
THE ORNITHOLOGIST, Fernando, a solitary ornithologist, is looking for
black storks when he is swept away by the rapids. Rescued by a couple
of Chinese pilgrims, he plunges into an eerie and dark forest, trying
to get back on his track in this Portuguese drama.
Opens August 11:
NOWHERE TO HIDE, Nowhere to Hide follows male nurse Nori Sharif
through five years of dramatic change, providing unique access into
one of the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible areas – the
“triangle of death” in central Iraq.
I DREAM IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE, Sundance Winner from Mexico about a young
linquist who travels to the jungle of Mexico to save a mysterious
indigenous language disappearing since the last two speakers had a
fight fifty years ago refusing to speak a word with each other.
Opens August 18:
THE CONFESSIONS, a star-studded Italian/English Language thriller.
The world's most powerful economists are gathered for a G8 meeting.
One of the guests is a mysterious Italian monk, invited by Daniel
Rochè, the director of the IMF. He wants the monk to receive his
confession. The next morning, Rochè is found dead...Connie Nielsen,
Toni Servillo, Daniel Auteuil, Moritz Bleibtreu, Lambert Wilson star.
Friday, August 18 @ 9:30 pm - IMPROVISATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL
Thursday, August 24 @ 9:30 pm - Cutting Edge CE Conference presents
Friday, August 25 @ 9:30 pm - THE TIME FLIES (Jazz/rock fusion from
Germany via Bloomington, Indiana) featuring Peter Kienle - guitars;
Monika Herzig - keyboards; Quinn Sternberg - acoustic and electric
bass; Kirk Duplantis - drums.
Saturday, August 26 @ 9:30 pm - Cutting Edge CE Conference presents
Opens September 8:
THE OATH (Eiourinn) Icelandic auteur Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, 2
Guns, Everest) directs and stars in this psychological thriller about
a father who tries to pull his daughter out of her world of drugs and
Saturday, September 23 @ 7:00 pm - GHOST MICE and LYCKA TILL (from
Sweden) in concert.
Opens September 29:
HEARTSTONE, Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent
summer as they try to win the heart of a girl while wrestling with
feelings for each other. This acclaimed gay coming of age film from
Iceland has won 27 awards internationally.
Opens October 6:
EX LIBRIS -The New York Public Library by legendary documentary
filmmaker Frederick Wiseman takes the audience behind the scenes of
one of the greatest institutions of knowledge in the world. The New
York Public Library.
Saturday, October 14 @ 9:30 pm - 3 DEAD TRICK OR TREATERS, a Canadian
indie horror film which chronicles 5 stories of grisly Halloween
rites, rituals and traditions. Screens as part of our ongoing series
CANADA IS BIGGER THAN THE U.S.
Friday, October 20 @ 7:00 pm - WILDKAT WRESTLING HALLOWEEN SPECIAL -
Premiere Screening & reception
Saturday, October 21 @ 6:00 pm - HOPE FOR HAITIAN CHILDREN FOUNDATION FUNDRAISER
Monday, October 30 @ 7:00 pm - MAJORITY RULE, CITY OF CATERPILLAR, THOU
GKIDS, ANNECY INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL AND VARIETY LAUNCH "ANIMATION IS FILM" FESTIVAL
INAUGURAL EDITION TO TAKE PLACE OCTOBER 20-22, 2017 AT MANN'S CHINESE THEATER IN LOS ANGELES
ANNECY, FRANCE (June 16, 2017) - GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the world's leading animation Festival and Market, and Variety magazine, have announced the launch of ANIMATON IS FILM, an annual animation film festival in Los Angeles. The first edition will run October 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood (Mann's Chinese Theater) with a showcase of 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short film programs.
ANIMATION IS FILM aims to fill a gap in the US market by establishing a world class animation festival on par with the major events in Europe and Asia - and locating it in the world capital of animated filmmaking. The Festival will be a vocal advocate, in the heart of Hollywood, for excellence in animation, and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.
The mission of the Festival is to:
* Present a highly selective, annual showcase of the best new works of animation from around the world, with programs for both adults and families.
* Champion and support filmmakers who use animation to pursue unique cinematic visions and who are unconstrained by conventional notions of what animation is capable o f.
* Champion and support women filmmakers.
* Champion and support filmmakers from a wide range of cultural, economic, and national backgrounds.
* Support communication, understanding and positivity in the world.
The Festival Organizing Committee includes:
* Eric Beckman - Founder and CEO, GKIDS, Co-founder, New York Int'l Children's Film Festival
* Patrick Eveno - CEO, CITIA - Annecy International Animation Film Festival
* Mickaël Marin - CITIA Managing Director, Head of Economic Development & Mifa
* Marcel Jean - Artistic Director, Annecy International Animation Film Festival
* Michelle Sobrino-Stearns - Group Publisher, Variety
* Steven Gaydos - Executive Editor, Variety
* Peter Debruge - Chief Film Critic, Variety
* Fumi Kitahara - Chair of Publicity, Women in Animation
Of the Festival, GKIDS Founder and CEO Eric Beckman said, "Creating a stateside film festival that recognizes the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form has long been a dream of GKIDS. We are thrilled that Annecy and Variety have partnered with us to launch Animation is Film and bring exceptional animated filmmaking from around the world to audiences in Los Angeles, the world capital of filmmaking. We look forward to working with an expanding group of partners and supporters to grow the festival over the coming years."
"The Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market are excited to be working together with Variety and GKIDS to create Animation Is Film. This new event is a wonderful opportunity to radiate animation and all its diversity in the heart of Hollywood and is a very important step in our strategy to expand abroad. The festival is another occasion, following Annecy Goes to Cannes and the creation of the Annecy Asia International Animated Film Festival in Seoul, to promote films and artists from all over the world to an even wider audience."
"We are honored to partner with GKIDS and Annecy to bring the best of animated films to Los Angeles through the launch of Animation Is Film," said Variety Group Publisher and CRO, Michelle Sobrino-Stearns. "The festival will be a champion of excellence in animation, an exciting audience event, and a significant new addition to the cultural landscape of Los Angeles."