A New Perspective of the Day: The World’s Smallest Movie
Researchers at IBM have created the world’s smallest stop-motion animation by moving carbon monoxide molecules under a scanning tunneling microscope frame by frame.
The classic “Star Wars” film that launched a science fiction empire is being dubbed in the Navajo language.
A handful of Navajo speakers translated the script for “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” Now people are being sought to fill some two dozen roles.
Casting calls are scheduled Monday in Burbank, Calif., and next Friday and Saturday at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz.
Potential actors don’t have to sound exactly like Princess Leia or Luke Skywalker but should deliver the lines with character.
Museum director Manuelito Wheeler says he sees the translation as entertaining and a way to preserve the Navajo language. Wheeler says it’s rewarding considering the U.S. once tried to eradicate the language, then called on Navajos to use it during World War II.
Ellen DeGeneres will reprise her role as Dory, the blue fish introduced in 2003’s Finding Nemo, and co-director Andrew Stanton will return to helm Finding Dory as well. We hope you’ve been practicing your Whale. source
Update: For all of those concerned about a possible April Fools’ prank, it’s worth noting that this story wasn’t posted until after the start of normal business hours on April 2. Oh, and Ellen confirmed the news on her show. — Scott @ SFB
Sanaa Lathan, Terrence Howard, Blair Underwood and Harry Lennix to Star in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ set in the Caribbean
The film, to be titled Macbett, is written and directed by Aleta Chappelle, who is the first African American woman to direct a film version of a Shakespeare play.
The film is set to start pre-production in Sept. 2013 on location in Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Nine-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis will play the title role in “Annie,” Sony’s Columbia Pictures announced on Sunday.
“Annie” is due to hit theaters in 2014 during the winter holiday season, and is based on the stage play about an orphan’s adventures in finding her family and a better life while overcoming the schemes of orphanage mistress Miss Hannigan.
President of production at Columbia Pictures Hannah Minghella expressed confidence in Wallis’ talent and star power.
“With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star,” she said.
“She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her.”
Among the film’s co-producers are Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. Carter’s 1998 Grammy-winning album “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life” contains a hip-hop version of “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” a song from the original Broadway musical “Annie.”
The hit musical was first made into a film starring Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan in 1982. A made-for-TV version with Kathy Bates in the same role aired on ABC in 1999, and earned two Emmy awards.
Wallis is the youngest actress to ever be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. She was nominated for her role as Hushpuppy in indie drama “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which also earned a nod for Best Picture. “Beasts” is Wallis’ first acting job.
Among her other firsts, she will also be the first African-American actress to play Annie, who has been traditionally portrayed as a freckle-faced redhead.
Later this year, she will star alongside Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen’s historical drama “Twelve Years a Slave,” based on the book by Solomon Northup.
‘Girl Rising’ Spotlights Need For Girls’ Education
Just because a film isn’t finished doesn’t mean it can’t get buzz at Sundance.
Director Richard Robbins showed about 10 minutes of his new movie, “Girl Rising,” at the independent-film festival Monday, even though he still has a few weeks of post-production work to do on the project.
The film tells the stories of nine girls from different developing countries — including Cambodia, Haiti, India and Afghanistan — and shows how access to education would change their lives.
Robbins, who works as a writer for TV’s “Scandal,” said he had hoped to finish the film in time to compete or premiere at Sundance, but after visiting 10 countries in 12 months gathering footage, he just couldn’t make it in time. Still, he wanted to generate interest in the film, which is set for release in March.
It is being distributed by CNN Films and Gathr, an on-demand distribution platform that allows those interested in the film to request a theatrical showing in their neighborhood.
Actress Freida Pinto introduced “Girl Rising” Monday at Sundance by sharing some powerful statistics: There are 66 million girls who are not in school; 14 million girls under 18 who will be married this year; and 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence each year.
“No one is more vulnerable than an uneducated girl,” said Pinto, who is active with the 10x10 organization behind the film and its campaign to educate girls worldwide. “Making a girl aware of her fundamental human rights through education can change all that.”
Girls who are educated marry later, have fewer and healthier children, achieve self-sufficiency and continue the cycle of education with their own children, Pinto said.
“If you educate girls, you will change the world,” she said.
The film features the voices of Meryl Streep, Salma Hayek, Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, Cate Blanchett and Selena Gomez, among others.
The earliest surviving Charles Dickens film has been found in the BFI’s archive after sitting on a shelf for more than 50 years.
The Death of Poor Joe, a one minute-long silent film based on an episode in Dickens’ novel ‘Bleak House’, was filmed in Brighton in 1901.
It is thought to be the work of the pioneering Brighton filmmaker G.A. Smith, a view that is backed up by the his wife’s appearance in it. Smith was married to the stage actress Laura Bayley, who appeared in many of his films and plays the role of the young boy ‘Jo’ in this short.
Bryony Dixon found the film in February, the day after the world celebrated the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth. Her research revealed this to be the earliest film made featuring a Dickensian character.
“It’s wonderful to have discovered such a rare and unique film so close to Dickens’ bicentennial. Not only does it survive but it is the world’s earliest Dickensian film. It looks beautiful and is in excellent condition. This really is the icing on the cake of our current celebration of Dickens on Screen,” said Dixon. The BFI said that the picture would have been shot in one take with a 17.5mm film.
Smith was fond of fairytales and comedy, and went on to make adaptations of ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost’ in 1901 also.
The Earliest Hitchcock Film ‘The White Shadow’ Now Available for Free Streaming
“The Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest surviving work on record The White Shadow(1924) is now available for free streaming via the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF). A tale of two sisters—one good and the other evil—based on Michael Morton’s novel Children of Chance, the silent film was long thought to be lost for decades until it was recovered in the garden shed of New Zealander cinema projectionist Jack Murtagh in 1989 and donated to the NFPF.
J.R.R. Tolkien Fan Builds a Hobbit Hole with 2,600 BalloonsIn celebrating the upcoming release of The Hobbit, Utah-based Balloon artist Jeremy Telford turned his family living room into an authentic hobbit hole using 2,600 hand-pumped balloons over three days in about 40 hours of work. If you’re curious about the process, be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes video!
Glittering Sapphires: The incredible story of an Aboriginal band who overcame racism to become Australia’s Supremes
An inspiring new film tells the unlikely story of four young Aboriginal singers who rose to fame in the face of racial prejudice as Australia’s answer to The Supremes.
A favourite at Cannes and a box office smash Down Under, The Sapphires follows the talented quartet as they are plucked from obscurity in a remote Aboriginal mission, formed into a dynamic singing group and sent to entertain the troops in Vietnam in 1968. The heartwarming tale is brought to life by writer and former Neighbours star, Tony Briggs, whose mother Laurel Robinson and her sister and cousins - Lois Peeler, Beverley Briggs and Naomi Mayers - were the real Sapphires, four decades ago.
‘I said to the women, ”we have to take a lot of artistic license, but the core of this story for me is about the strength of character of the individuals and the women in my family, my aunties and cousins and who I’d grown up with”,’ Briggs told The Australian.
‘It is based on a true story and true events,’ he said. ‘And I’ve been the one responsible for pulling their stories together.’He said his family loved the idea that their experience had inspired a mainstream feature film.
The movie, one of the highest-grossing in Australian history, received a 10 minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was bought up by heavyweight producer Harvey Weinstein.
It will be released in Britain next month.
An adaption of a hugely successful Australian stage musical, the movie stars 23-year-old Australian Idol sensation Jessica Mauboy as lead singer Julie. Irish actor Chris O’Dowd from the IT Crowd and Hollywood comedy Bridesmaids is the group’s kind-hearted, soul-loving manager Dave who discovers the girls one night in a dusty outback tavern. Impressed by their honey-sweet voices, Dave convinces the band to switch their act from country and western to soul.
While the racist locals strongly oppose the idea of an Aboriginal singing group, Dave vows to make the Sapphires sparkle - all over the world. And he succeeds, with the group’s first performance taking them to Vietnam where they sing tunes by Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding for the appreciative soldiers. The true story differs somewhat. Only two of the four women born into the Yorta Yorta community along Victoria’s Murray River, ventured to Vietnam - Briggs’ mother, Laurel, and her sister, Lois, - while the others refused in protest of the war.As well as portraying the anger brought on by Australia’s involvement in the war, the racism the singers encountered as they sought stardom is a central issue. ’The Sapphires are four black twenty-something women who for one brief period of time have an opportunity to transcend the circumstances they’re born into and reach their full potential,’ the movie’s Aboriginal director Wayne Blair told the Guardian.
‘In Australia in 1968, the racial divide was significant. My own Nana died in 1966… she died in her own country classed as an outsider.’
The girls’ tour of Vietnam was an extraordinary achievement for two young Aboriginal women, considering that Aboriginal people had just received the right to vote. All four original Sapphires still live in Australia. Naomi Mayers has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Medical Service for 30 years and received an Order of Australia Medal in 1984.
Ms Peeler became Australia’s first Aboriginal model and is now the Executive Director of Worawa Aboriginal College, a secondary education facility for young Aboriginal Women.
Collection of pre-1917 films returned to Russia
Lenfilm Studios has received a collection of 350 Russian silent movies made before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the St. Petersburg City Culture Committee said on Friday.
The collection was handed over by Steven Krams, president of Magna-Tech Electronic Co. Inc. The films were taken out of Russia during the Civil War. Krams decided to return the films to Russia as a sign of respect for Lenfilm Studios’ contribution to cinematography.
According to Lenfilm board chairman Eduard Pichugin, the collection will arrive in Russia by December. The films will be digitized and prepared for screening.
Lenfilm, Russia’s second largest film studio, was founded in 1918.
The drive-in you can watch anywhere: Smart unveils car that comes with its own cinema projector
If you’ve ever been driving around town and been hit with an overwhelming urge to watch a film - good news. Car firm Smart has unveiled a concept electric car with a built in film projector.
The Smart Forstars, unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, has a projector in the bonnet, allowing any wall to be turned instantly into a cinema screen. The firm describes the move as a ‘witty idea’.
‘This enables the work of film stars to be spontaneously shared with friends at any time,’ it enthuses in a press release.
Smart boss Dr Annette Winkler said: ‘The smart is Europe’s most inexpensive series-produced electric car.
‘Not only is it emission-free and fast, it is also possible to conveniently set the perfect interior temperature in advance with a smartphone, and it is simple to charge at a domestic socket.
‘What’s more, with its powerful battery and integrated projector the smart forstars can transform any grey backyard into an animated open-air cinema.’
The projector integrated in the front bonnet is operated via Bluetooth from an iPhone. A sound system with additional loudspeakers in the ventilation openings behind the doors also projects sound outside the car. The firm said got the idea from the air scoops found on racing cars.
‘Where rally cars have an air scoop on the bonnet, on the smart forstars a video projector is integrated here as an ironic highlight,’ said smart.In place of a conventional rear-view mirror the smart forstars features a smartphone accommodated in a holder at the top of the windscreen. The driver can see what is happening on the road behind with the help of an integrated video camera. With 135 Newton metres of torque it boasts powerful, lag-free acceleration and can overtake other vehicles with the greatest of ease.
The vehicle has a top speed of more than 130 km/h and the lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 17.6 kWh.
“As you wish: The Film Society of Lincoln Center officially announced on Monday that the “Princess Bride” will screen at this year’s New York Film Festival to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary.
The 1987 classic will screen in what the Film Society of Lincoln Center calls a “newly struck and pristine 35mm print.” After the movie, cast members Billy Crystal, Cary Elwes, Carol Kane, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon and Robin Wright will join director Rob Reiner for a Q&A and discussion.”
Just a friendly reminder that this is happening.
Hideo Kojima and Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad took to the stage at the Metal Gear 25th anniversary party to announce that Marvel and Columbia Studios had a Metal Gear movie in the works.
This isn’t the first time that a Metal Gear movie’s been announced. Back in 2006, Hideo Kojima revealed that there was a Metal Gear Solid movie in the works. The adaptation never saw the light of day and the project was canned in 2010.
Hopefully, this time, the new Metal Gear movie will avoid development hell and manage to stay faithful to the original source material. The good news is, Arad was careful to mention that Marvel would stay true to Kojima’s story: “We will take our time and tell the story with all the nuances, ideology, and cautionary tales needed.”
We’ll only know whether or not Arad was telling the truth when the movie releases. Kojima, after all, did just give the rights to his baby to Hollywood.