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 SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS TO DISTRIBUTE BYRD MCDONALD’S STEAMPUNK DOC “VINTAGE TOMORROWS” WORLDWIDE

SCREENMANCER STEAMPUNK ALERT: (Los Angeles—May 17, 2016) Coming off the coattails of screening at the Steampunk World’s Fair and heading into screenings at Clockwork Alchemy and the Seattle International Film Festival, Samuel Goldwyn Films announced today that the company has acquired Worldwide rights to VINTAGE TOMORROWS, a documentary film that investigates the trajectory of the constantly changing steampunk movement.  VINTAGE TOMORROWS began its festival journey at San Diego ComicCon in 2015 and will be released globally a year later July 19, 2016 on VOD and digital by Samuel Goldwyn Films.  The film is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. GoldwynlogoAccording to Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films: “We live in a world of mass-produced product yet everyone is looking for individuality.  VINTAGE TOMORROWS showcases uniqueness of character and creativity in a fascinating world that brings the past as well as the future together in a refreshing and entertaining format.”

Filmmaker Byrd McDonald stated:  “Our documentary VINTAGE TOMORROWS showcases the amazing minds and artistic creations of dozens of individuals in the steampunk community.  We are overjoyed to be partnering with an indie-doc champion like Samuel Goldwyn Films.  Their expertise in distribution will help bring this vital and relevant cultural movement to a global audience.”

VINTAGE TOMORROWS examines the Steampunk movement’s explosive growth, origins, and cultural significance, from its sci-fi beginnings into an aesthetic and DIY movement that influences art, fashion, design and music globally.  Through in-depth interviews with the writers and artists credited with galvanizing the movement and the cultural historians and social scientists investigating the phenomenon, VINTAGE TOMORROWS poses the fundamental question: What does Steampunk tell us about history, community and our complicated relationship with technology?

The movie includes a prominent collection of Steampunk’s pioneering voices, including writers William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, China Miéville, Cherie Priest, Gail Carriger; graphic novelists Paul Guignon and Anina Bennett, musicians Abney Park and Erica “Unwoman” Mulkey, artist/maker Shannon O’Hare and the Neverwas Haul gang, and over 20 other denizens of the subculture.

VINTAGE TOMORROWS is directed by Byrd McDonald and produced by McDonald, Alan Winston, and Sean Hutchinson.

ABOUT Samuel Goldwyn Films

Samuel Goldwyn Films is a major, independently owned and operated motion-picture company that develops, produces and distributes innovative feature films and documentaries.  The company is dedicated to working with both world-renowned and emerging writers/filmmakers and committed to filmed entertainment that offers original voices in uniquely told stories.  This is best exemplified by the Academy Award® nominated THE SQUID AND THE WHALE and SUPER SIZE ME, AMAZING GRACE and Julie Delpy’s hit comedy 2 DAYS IN PARIS.  Past Goldwyn titles include: HARRY BROWN starring Michael Caine, the box office smash FIREPROOF and the 2010 independent hit MAO’S LAST DANCER.  Samuel Goldwyn Films also released THE WHISTLEBLOWER, a powerful, ripped-from-the-headlines thriller starring Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz, and the 2012 critics’ darling ROBOT & FRANK, starring Academy Award® nominee Frank Langella and Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon.  Additional Samuel Goldwyn Films releases include: DIANA VREELAND:  THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL; Gilles Bourdos’ RENOIR, the lush film about the famous painter’s later years and France’s official submission for the 2014 Academy Awards®; Jason Wise’s cult-hit film SOMM; 2015 Academy Foreign Language Film Award® nominee TANGERINES; the Israeli dark comedy THE FAREWELL PARTY; Sacha Jenkins’ FRESH DRESSED; the Sundance cult-hit LILA AND EVE starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez; Damon Gameau’s eye-opening THAT SUGAR FILM which takes on the sugar industry; and Morgan Matthews compelling drama A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND. Current Samuel Goldwyn Films releases include: Chris Bell’s expose PRESCRIPTION THUGS; Andrew Renzi’s Tribeca Film Festival favorite THE BENEFACTOR starring Richard Gere; the widely anticipated Jason Wise follow-up SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE; Toronto Film Festival’s Gala Presentation HYENA ROAD directed by Paul Gross; Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt’s octave-fueled documentary HAVANA MOTOR CLUB; and Los Angeles Film Festival 2015 Audience Award recipient HOSTILE BORDER by co-Directors Michael Dyer & Kaitlin McLaughlin.  Upcoming films including Mark Sawer’s sci-fi comedy NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT and Ted Balaker’s docu CAN WE TAKE A JOKE?.

[Editor’s Note: More to come on Steampunk. Live links above for Clockwork Alchemy happening shortly and Steampunk World’s Fair, which just happened.]

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Kate Beckinsale Is For Fangirls Too In “Love & Friendship,” Whit Stillman’s A+ Austen Romp

[From Filmfestivals.com, by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent, Opens May 13.]

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged” that Jane Austen (1775-1817) will be source material in the foreseeable forever, but it is actually surprising that director Whit Stillman (Last Days of Disco, Metropolitan) has so nailed her work in his new film Love & Friendship, that lead Kate Beckinsale should be Oscar-worthy for 2016.

And while giddy Fanboys still own Beckinsale for her sleek, sexy turn in the “Underworld” franchise, she is now property of Fangirls too. With her head-spinning role as Lady Susan Vernon, she creates a designing widow built on stellar speeches.

Based on Austen’s lesser known novella “Lady Susan,” basically a collection of letters outlining a virago and manor marriage-wrecker, Stillman has culled a character for Beckinsale that is not only a must-see but a must-see-again. (He also wrote a companion book “Love & Friendship, In Which Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated,” just to drive the point home for readers.) This is a tale spun from whip-smart mannered language and overlapping laugh-lines.

Chloe Sevigny (Mrs. Alicia Johnson) is also fantastic as the American ex-pat “exile” and coconspirator in manipulating the hapless gentleman in this romp. Tom Bennett is a scene stealer too, as Sir James Martin, an affable oaf with a substantial income to be “divided” wisely by the seemingly powerless women of this period who turn out to be power-brokers. A shotgun marriage of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions, this film is set for a May 13 release, and Stillman literally raised completion funding himself with some of the same investors from his Academy-Award nominated cult hit Metropolitan. For now, here’s Kate Beckinsale and Whit Stillman on which roles Kate loves most, shooting in 27 days, how real-life over-the-top women are just over-the-top. Plus a bonus item: why Whit Stillman hates Stanley Kubrick.

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KATE BECKINSALE: Before we started shooting, I kept harassing Whit for a locked in shooting draft. Because I had that notion of, you know, when you rehearse a play, quite often like Shakespeare, you tend knowing the lines. He was very coy about that. Then I realized he likes to change it up on the day. So that can be quite challenging on this than it can be on some.  It’s a great, big speech, that gets moved around, it’s like a mental agility test. By the end I was pretty sure I didn’t have Alzheimer’s.

I really am attracted to characters that people don’t write that often, which are women who are — not necessarily someone you’d want to go on holiday with for two weeks — but that you are fascinated watching because they are difficult and tricky to watch. Lady Susan is just ruthless. They need someone to cheer them up. Whit is very good at writing this. He’s very allergic to Acting with a capital “A.” So he picked actors that are nuanced. Even the broader parts of the movie, Tom Bennett. He arrived with a complete character. Whit is very dignified and rather diffident and acutely aware of nuance and stuff like that. He can be quite brutal in his direction sometimes. He’s not shy of saying ‘I really don’t like that.’ But he says it so eloquently, and he’s usually right, so… we were pretty much on the same page.

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We were shooting in Dublin, February and March. Make-up was about 30 seconds, and hair was a bit longer. It was actually getting dressed that took the longest. Underneath, it was really cold, we all had thermal underwear, long leggings, so you really were like this stiff snowman baby kind of wheeled out of your trailer like Hannibal Lecter on that thing (a stretcher).

When I was sent the script, I remembered when I had done Emma, there was a fashion at that time of people writing in the style of Jane Austen, and I thought that’s what Whit had done. But it seemed atypical of a romantic literature heroine. I kept thinking ‘when is she going to get punished, when is she going to die?’ But in fact, she sort of gets every single thing she wants. I was sort of thrilled by that. Then reading the novella afterward, (Lady Susan) was even more extreme with her daughter, and we had to tone it down a little bit.

It’s my absolutely favorite thing (sharp comedic roles), then the thing I was doing as an experiment (“Underworld”) took off. I think people are used to seeing me with a machine gun. So it’s been an interesting journey, like a little bird in a birdbath, back to normal.

I’m definitely not like Lady Susan, she’s not interested in being a parent. Not a natural mother. Her daughter, if anything, is more of an inconvenience. I think if Lady Susan were transplanted to now, she would not be rushing to have a child. She’s got a fairly strong narcissistic streak which makes her entertaining, but not an ideal parent. I think, in terms of not judging her, as a woman it was a very constraining period of time especially if you’re an intelligent woman. You’re not expected to get a deep education, nor a fulfilling career, and your whole livelihood depends on marrying a man who has money, so that’s a very different situation. So, it seems to me, Jane Austen must have expressed some of her frustration through writing this kind of larger than life character. Which makes it seem very progressive now, but it speaks a bit to what she was facing.

(Drops her phone) I have two phones, like a drug dealer. One’s for England, one’s for here.

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I was always worried about the other people in the scenes, especially in the interior scenes. There were quite a few days, it was actually me banging on for 30 minutes, then the other person would have one line. And then I’d go off again. I thought ‘one of these actors is going to fall asleep,’ I’d be embarrassed, but they weren’t. It was lovely to have a chance to have a relationship with Chloe that wasn’t me bullying her and being mean, like we were in Last Days of Disco (also directed by Stillman). I love to see female relationships I like that, it’s not that common, but they just completely approve of each other. They approve of each other; they’re not in competition. The real love story is us, our friendship. There’s a complete lack of judgement and acceptance. Chloe’s character says so many times ‘well, nobody deserves you,’ as if it’s a fact. There’s something nice about seeing that female friendship, although they’re plotting terrible things and not being very nice. I love seeing that.

Whit Stillman, Being Himself & The Film’s Director-Auteur-Novelist

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WHIT STILLMAN: [He begins our interview with a this curveball…] You look like my sister. Hello, sister, hello Linda. [The redirect question was “how did you handle so much dialogue?”]

Well there’s was a lot more dialogue, before. This is a very relaxed adaptation. It was very relaxed, but a very long process. Like taking everything from (Jane Austen’s) letters, like a deck of cards. I did a very long version, and trying not to go back to the novella, just working from the script. Before it was close to being a film script, it was a reading experience. In the adaptations a lot of the comedy tends to get lost or left, but I think there must be some kind of deep character story in Austen that must be good to adapt (to any time period). Because when I read the novella, I thought it was really funny, like an Oscar Wilde play, but I wasn’t sure there was a good story. But I think that if people keep bringing it forward, changing the time period into a Clueless or a Bridget Jones Diary, there must be a deep story dynamic.

Kate can do this funny, egoistical over-the-top character. The first thing I saw her in was Cold Comfort Farm (adapted from the book) by Stella Gibbons. Kate was great in the movie. It’s sort of based on the novel “Emma.” Lady Susan is sort of malicious Emma.

I find dominant women characters over-the-top really funny. I mean I know some women like that. Then I realize they are just over-the-top. Lady Susan is so manipulating and self-confident and funny. You sort of like her more than the Emma character.

Kate and Chloe come at (acting) from very different directions. So they approach it really differently, but they end up coming together. I think people underestimate Chloe, because to listen and react to funny lines and not make it oppressive is very accomplished. Chloe has that ability to exist in space with her lovely eyes and her lovely expressions, it’s very relaxing. They are really, really disciplined. One reason we finished a day early, 26 days, is because Kate would just do her lines, no problem at all.

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[Bonus: Stillman talks about the music, soundtrack for “Love & Friendship.” The temp track first put in was a classical track with echoes from Stanley Kubrick’s “2001.”]

I have a strange relationship with Stanley Kubrick, because for a while he was the filmmaker I most hated. I remember my best friend and I going to see 2001, ‘a space odyssey,’ isn’t it? And we hated it. That was the first time I saw a director’s name in the credits. My friend said ‘Stanley Kubrick, you’re a marked man.’ Our Sound Editor had first put in Sarabande from Kubrick. One of the challenges we had was to get the music of Barry Lyndon (1975) out of our film. That first big scene, leaving Langford, the editor first put in (George Frideric) Handel’s Sarabande from Kubrick. Finally I found (Henry) Purcell’s Funeral March of Queen Mary; it worked really well, the drums. Then people say ‘oh Kubrick used that in Clockwork Orange.’ We couldn’t escape Kubrick.

Love & Friendship from Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions open May 13, and watch for it to be nominated for Best Actress, Screenplay, and Film for Award Season 2016. The website is here for full cast and screening locations.

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Here’s How We Know The Price of Words Is Going Up: Facebook, For One

LOS ANGELES, CA: 03/11/2016 — On April 12, Facebook will open its Instant Articles to all (pro) writers, whereas they’d only offered this to major media outlets before making the new deal structure with writers public. TheZuck16You can get informed by The Wall Street Journal, it spells New Revenue Stream for writers. Even the throw-back word “articles” is indicative that there’s a new respect for blue chip content online.
Okay so here at the intersection of Entertainment and Technology, call it EntTech, we at Screenmancer have had a front row seat since about 1997; that said, we know what else is next, and now you will too.
The transition from Freemium to Premium Content has finally arrived. After years of the devaluation of everything written by humans, and some very fancy bylines, the price of words is about to get hiked up by a lot. RyanGMeme

How do we know this beyond Facebook’s latest chess move, you may ask? Who remembers Anita Stewart? Or Florence Lawrence? How about Lois Weber? Exactly. As soon as the money came in to early Hollywood, those two top actors and top director were adios-ed right out of the industry. Notice the sale in January of IndieWire, taking along Anne Thompson‘s TOH!, to Jay Penske. You can read the PRNewswire on it. Clearly Penske had already mogulized his position with the purchase of Deadline, founded by Nikki Finke, and had Arianna Huffington not already sold The Huffington Post he’d be a likely candidate for that property. See a pattern here?
When the boys rush in to buy media companies, this can only mean one thing: Big Money is Coming. And there is the subtle tingle of bells and whistles not previously thought to be worth anything, of sudden value. This is happening online right now. Nikki Finke’s new venture, a Hollywood Fiction site, Hollywood Dementia was launched on about Aug. 2015, to the initial derision of some. Writers of indisputable literary worth, read: William Faulkner, and Michael Tolkin (The Player) are just a few names among many glittery bylines.
Again, the concept met with some resistance within the industry. But, lo and behold, as of March 2016, CNET is now publishing tech fiction, opening with “The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley” by Michelle Richmond, the online magazine hopes to herd its 30+ million eyeballs to this new feature each month. KonnerDunhamYou can peruse the Old School New York Times spinning the intellectual gloss on it here. But Finke was there first, followed by Lena Dunham’s Lenny Newsletter with Jenni Konner that runs fiction now too, along with non-fiction and interviews. These early adopters have seeded the Cloud, and now let’s hope they are among the Compensated when the Freemium to Premium rainmaking happens.
Because the endgame is to monetize those formerly discounted content luxury items — Fiction, Storytelling, Creative Non-Fiction — and round out the myopic brains of not just the CNET digerati who now seek to find that liberal arts education they missed on the way to becoming 24/7 Code Jockeys, but for millions on Social Media who have advanced beyond Troll Valley. Now they want something good to read, and it has to be thrilling because the Boredom Threshold for the visual, the compound emoji, and TTYL’s has been reached. Scientific American agrees, and figured this out almost a decade ago with a study that shows “Bored people tend to score low on measures of self-awareness. They find it difficult to accurately monitor their own moods and feelings and hence understand what they truly want. These findings fit into the psychodynamic model of boredom, whereby people repress their true wants and desires and therefore cannot locate satisfying activity.” Interwebs to the rescue, that is. SteveJobs
The late insanely great Steve Jobs had this boredom thing all figured out, and he’d no doubt be at Apple with an astounding new iContent gizmo if he were still on the planet. “I’m a big believer in boredom,” told a WIRED reporter once, “Boredom allows one to indulge in Curiosity.
“Out of Curiosity comes everything,” and it still holds true. — SCREENMANCER CEO

Screenmancer is a gathering place for people who make movies & technology & owns the Intersection of Entertainment and Technology, EntTech,

news@screenmancer.tv

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Screenmancer Learns New Waze to Be Prez, Thanks Gerry Butler

Waze Partners with the Legendary MORGAN FREEMAN as Vice President Trumbull from LONDON HAS FALLEN to make YOU the President!GerardButler16

LOS ANGELES, February 22, 2016 — In anticipation of London Has Fallen – the eagerly awaited follow-up to the high-octane actioner Olympus Has Fallen– Waze is prepared to make you the President. Starting Monday, February 22, and for a limited time in the United States, Morgan Freeman (in character as Vice President Trumbull from London Has Fallen) will be the voice of Waze, helping you, the President, safely navigate the streets and into theaters where the sequel opens nationally March 4, 2016.  Buckle up, listen closely and enjoy the (power) trip.

Download the free Waze app for iOS or Android to access the voice at www.waze.com/get. To access the voice within Waze, go to Settings > Sound > Voice Language > Morgan Freeman.

About London Has Fallen

Gerard Butler returns as Secret Service Agent Mike Banning in London Has Fallen, the high-octane sequel to the box office smash hit Olympus Has Fallen. Also returning in starring roles for the non-stop, suspenseful action thriller are Aaron Eckhart as U.S. President Benjamin Asher; Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs; and Morgan Freeman as Allan Trumbull, now the Vice President. A Gramercy Pictures presentation in association with Millennium Films of a Millennium Films/G-BASE production. London Has Fallen also stars Alon Moni Aboutboul, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Sean O’Bryan, Charlotte Riley, and Waleed F. Zuaiter. Directed by Babak Najafi, the movie has a running time of @99 minutes and has been rated R.

About Waze

Waze is the social navigation pioneer, leveraging mobile technology and a passionate global community to redefine expectations of today’s maps. Waze is home to the world’s largest network of drivers who work together daily to outsmart traffic and save time and money. The app consistently recommends the fastest routes based on real-time driving and data from more than 50 million users. From traffic reroutes to low gas price alerts and relevant offers from favorite brands, Waze is one of the most comprehensive driving companions in the marketplace.

SCREENMANCER Thanks WAZE & #LondonHasFallen for a chance to do this shameless plug.

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Marketwired Gives Screenmancer the Lowdown on DEW 2016

The Chernin Group’s founder, Peter Chernin shares some news.

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – February 16, 2016) – IDG World Expo and Digital Media Wire’s third annual Digital Entertainment World (DEW) today announced the three-day Los Angeles conference wrapped last week with attendance leaping by nearly 20% over last year and a full one-third higher than the inaugural 2014 event. Over 1,800 attendees mixed with C-Level thought leaders at the intersection of technology and entertainment who participated in more than 100 sessions, turning DEW into the top-trending topic on Twitter in Los Angeles on its first full day of sessions at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

The conference concluded Thursday with journalist and entrepreneur Jon Erlichman, CEO of unique live-streaming service Parachute TV — Periscope’s first TV channel — crowned the winner among the 12 finalists of the DEW Startup and Pitch Competition. DEW recognized Parachute TV, which through a single Periscope account offers more than 50 scheduled shows per week and is planning to create more than 30 hours of original content, as the most innovative global startup.

Parachute TV will receive a $50,000 prize package, including one-year of free premium hosting service on Rackspace; an exhibitor package and four all-access registrations; an invitation to the San Francisco office of IDG Ventures for a two-hour consultation with senior partners of the firm; a marketing services package from Digital Media Wire; as well as legal services from Baker & Hostetler.

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The three days and five industry specific tracks at DEW featured a number of high-profile conversations featuring senior executives from top media and entertainment companies. The discussions covered the future of content monetization, the emergence of virtual reality, as well as monetization challenges and opportunities they face. Highlights included:

•Internet celebrity Logan Paul delving deep into his relationships with brands and authenticity.

•The executive team behind Otter Media, the joint video venture from AT&T and The Chernin Group making their public debut on stage with executives from Fullscreen and Ellation as well.

Bento Box Entertainment co-founders Scott Greenberg and Joel Kuwahara choosing DEW as the venue to announce the creation of a new young adult animation production arm — Bento Box Digital Studios — and plans to create a 2D animation VR channel with Littlstar.

Kristin Patrick, Global Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo gave a conference-goers peak into the company’s global content strategy.

Additional top-tier names speaking on the main stage this year:

Ocean MacAdams, Vice President, GoPro

Brett Bouttier, President, AwesomenessTV

Ross Levinsohn, Board of Directors, Tribune Company, Millennial Media, ZEFR, DramaFever

Ralf Jacob, Chief Revenue Officer, Verizon Digital Media Services

Adrian Sexton, Interim President & COO, Endemol Beyond USA

Jimmy Chamberlin, Drummer, Smashing Pumpkins / CEO, BlueJStrategies

•And more (registration for next year includes signing up for panels as well as attendance.)

DEWwheel16Ned Sherman, the executive producer of Digital Entertainment World, also produces and curates New York Media Festival, which evolved out of his DMW Week and takes place each fall in Manhattan. In 2015 — its first year under the New York Media Festival brand — attendance rose from 1000 to 4300+ registered attendees across 24 city-wide events including three conferences, an innovation track, nightly industry VIP dinners, open houses at Conde Nast Entertainment, iHeartMedia, The Orchard and others, as well as several parties. Here’s a list of speakers: http://mefest.com/speakers. 

For more information about DEW, including a complete list of speakers and the full agenda, visit DEWExpo.

SCREENMANCER thanks DEW & Tinzar Sherman for the wrap-up.

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Why Sylvester Stallone Could Take Oscar, Thanks to Ryan Coogler’s CREED

by Quendrith Johnson, Awards Intelligencer (Feb.10, 2016) — awfj.org

Maybe it’s a little-known fact that a deep bond exists between Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone and a newly minted phenom, Creed director Ryan Coogler. Coogler, who turns 30 in May, was also homeless once and had to fight his way to the big leagues in movies. Deadline’s reporter Pete Hammond, on hand to present Stallone with the Montecito Award in Santa Barbara, prods Stallone on this, skipping the connection with Coogler who lived in his car on-and-off while attending USC Film School. The “legend in the house,” as Hammond has introduced him, wags his head and looks toward the floor at this question. “I lived in my coat — you call it coat, I call it a house.” CreedJordanSly16In typical Rocky fashion, “Sly” Stallone, takes this loaded question and just detonates it to reveal something breathtakingly human. He recounts “living in the port authority bus station, outside a post office. My coat became my buddy, my house. But there’s something to be said about struggle.”

Later he will segue into one of the most beautiful and telling John Huston (Maltese Falcon, Key Largo, Asphalt Jungle) stories ever, from the 1981 film Victory with the unlikely cast of Stallone and a youngish Michael Caine in a politically charged soccer match against Nazi players, with Max von Sydow playing a heavy in jackboots. It even has a cameo by Pelé.

“He was a great storyteller,” Stallone exhales, before watching a clip of Victory. “So John Huston. You get two alpha dogs together. He’s like ‘hmm who’s this guy? We were in Hungary.” To make a long story short, Stallone quickly rattles off all the directions Huston gave him, hard ones, as in a whole list of physical demands: “go through the barbwire… down a hill… crawl through the grass… in one take. So ‘(Camera) Rolling.’”

Next thing, “I zip down, dip, zing… dogs are barking — I’m in grass crawling, crawling. I’ve gone 50 yards. No camera in the world can follow, unless it is connected to a lawn mower — the grass is five feet high. I stand up. No one around. They’re all leaving (up the hill).” A much younger Stallone is incensed, feels the humiliation. He goes to air his grievances with Huston. How does the wry John Huston react? SlyPeleCaineJH16

“He says, ‘If you have a problem with me, Mr. Stallone, put it in a letter. And I will read it in the morning.’ He had a sense of humor that was a little weirder than mine.” The “Italian Stallion” as he once was known in the 70’s from his blue film period, does a pitch perfect impersonation of Huston, complete with condescending pauses, as he recalls those words.

And while all the focus is on Creed right now, which is notable for being the first “Rocky Balboa” movie with Stallone in it, not penned by the actor, Sylvester Stallone’s history in show business can not be overlooked in thinking about Award Season. Another gem is when he tells of auditioning for Woody Allen for Bananas, where “Woody didn’t find us intimidating enough,” to be “muggers on a subway.” So he and a friend got Allen to “freak out,” when they came back “with Vaseline in our hair, soot, looking really ugly,” and scared Woody Allen into casting them. StalloneFB16

As for John Rambo franchise that began with First Blood, Stallone tosses off a shocking statistic. “We were losing 20,000 vets a month (men and women) by their own hand,” when they returned from Vietnam. His whole persona drops for a moment. That number rings in the air. Stallone invokes slogans of the period, saying he’d hate to come back from defending the country only to be “spit on,” and called a “Baby-killer.”

The most hair-raising story is from Rocky IV, where Swede Dolph Lundgren who plays the Russian villain who pulled no punches on set. “Next thing I know, I’m on a low attitude flight to St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica. Seriously they had nun, actually nuns around the bed.” The doctors said “he hit you in the heart so hard, he made your pericardial sac swell. Its like you have been in a car accident. (Dolph) is like a Swedish truck.”

Carl Weathers,” who is here tonight to do the honors for the trophy presentation, “is by far the finest athlete I’ve ever worked with in the ring. He was so super. He is a world class athlete… It’s been a privilege to get punched out by these guys.” CarlWSlyStalloneSo the tribute clips, which Stallone claims “you’re killing me with this” each time he sees himself in early career, finally flicker to Creed starring Michael B. Jordan, directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler.

Coogler did the wildly acclaimed movie Fruitvale Station, “but he hadn’t even done that,” when he first approached a reluctant Stallone with an Apollo Creed-son storyline. In the old days, 2011, they used to list Coogler’s agent’s email as a contact, he was that unknown. Now that he has coached Rocky’s originator to raw heights as trainer to eponymous Creed’s son Adonis Johnson (Jordan), you won’t see his contact info anymore. But you will see woven into this tale, bits and pieces of fathers and sons on both sides. Which is why Sylvester Stallone — against all odds, meaning fellow noms Mark Ruffalo, Christian Bale, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy — could walk away with the gold this year.

Coogler has his own father-son story, but the fact that Stallone lost his son Sage Stallone, 35, under tragic circumstances in 2012. Michael B. Jordan, who also was in Coogler’s Fruitvale, becomes Stallone’s son here, and the tears aging Rocky holds back on screen just rip your heart out when you know the backstory on Sage. JennFlavinSo can Sylvester Stallone best heavily favored Ruffalo, perennial favorite Bale, a breakthrough by Rylance, and the mighty Tom Hardy? The answer might be “yes,” because the ‘heart wants what it wants,’ even among Academy members. This just might be seen as an Unforgiven, a movie that turns a genre on its head as Clint Eastwood did in that remarkable late-career defining Western.
As for tonight, accompanied by his very adoring wife Jennifer Flavin who laughingly admits “we’re praying” about the 88th Oscar presentation results, Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone who turns 70 in July, sums it all up with “I’m grateful,” and “life is pretty good.” On Sunday, Feb. 28, we’ll know just exactly how good.

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You & The Universe’s Primordial Soup Flowing at CERN

SCREENMANCER NEWS RELAY — Researchers have recreated the universe’s primordial soup in miniature format by colliding lead atoms with extremely high energy in the 27 km long particle accelerator, the LHC at CERN in Geneva. The primordial soup is a so-called quark-gluon plasma and researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have measured its liquid properties with great accuracy at the LHC’s top energy. The results have been submitted to Physical Review Letters, which is the top scientific journal for nuclear and particle physics. 

A few billionths of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was made up of a kind of extremely hot and dense primordial soup of the most fundamental particles, especially quarks and gluons. This state is called quark-gluon plasma. By colliding lead nuclei at a record-high energy of 5.02 TeV in the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider, LHC at CERN in Geneva, it has been possible to recreate this state in the ALICE experiment’s detector and measure its properties. You“The analyses of the collisions make it possible, for the first time, to measure the precise characteristics of a quark-gluon plasma at the highest energy ever and to determine how it flows,” explains You Zhou, who is a postdoc in the ALICE research group at the Niels Bohr Institute. You Zhou, together with a small, fast-working team of international collaboration partners, led the analysis of the new data and measured how the quark-gluon plasma flows and fluctuates after it is formed by the collisions between lead ions.

Advanced methods of measurement
The focus has been on the quark-gluon plasma’s collective properties, which show that this state of matter behaves more like a liquid than a gas, even at the very highest energy densities. The new measurements, which uses new methods to study the correlation between many particles, make it possible to determine the viscosity of this exotic fluid with great precision. Ursuppe

You Zhou explains that the experimental method is very advanced and is based on the fact that when two spherical atomic nuclei are shot at each other and hit each other a bit off center, a quark-gluon plasma is formed with a slightly elongated shape somewhat like an American football. This means that the pressure difference between the centre of this extremely hot ‘droplet’ and the surface varies along the different axes. The pressure differential drives the expansion and flow and consequently one can measure a characteristic variation in the number of particles produced in the collisions as a function of the angle.

Mapping the primordial soup 

“It is remarkable that we are able to carry out such detailed measurements on a drop of ‘early universe’, that only has a radius of about one millionth of a billionth of a meter. The results are fully consistent with the physical laws of hydrodynamics, i.e. the theory of flowing liquids and it shows that the quark-gluon plasma behaves like a fluid. It is however a very special liquid, as it does not consist of molecules like water, but of the fundamental particles quarks and gluons,” explains Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje, professor and head of the ALICE group at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje adds that they are now in the process of mapping this state with ever increasing precision – and even further back in time.

Captions:
1: You Zhou, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the ALICE research group at the Niels Bohr Institute, has, together with a small, fast-working team of international collaboration partners, led the analysis of the new data and measured how the quark-gluon plasma flows and fluctuates. It has been an impressively quick analysis of a very complex phenomenon and they have achieved a remarkable result.

2: The figure shows how a small, elongated drop of quark-gluon plasma is formed when two atomic nuclei hit each other a bit off center. The angular distribution of the emitted particles makes it possible to determine the properties of the quark-gluon plasma, including the viscosity. (Credit: State University of New York)

Contact:
Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje, Professor, head of the ALICE research group, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, +45 3532-5309, +45 2099-5309, gardhoje@nbi.ku.dk

You Zhou, Postdoc in the ALICE research group at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, you.zhou@nbi.ku.dk

Gertie Skaarup
Redaktør, Editor in Chief
Niels Bohr Institutet

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JohnnyDeppHand

No, Johnny Depp Didn’t Get Overlooked, He Got Leonard Maltin’s Modern Master Award

Tonight Johnny Depp’s alleged “Oscar slight” was put into perspective by esteemed film critic Leonard Maltin at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. “There are only five slots,” Maltin said of Depp’s absence from the Best Actor category for BLACK MASS. “It was a career high for him.” This was on the red carpet right before a sit-down interview with Johnny Depp before the Maltin Modern Master Award was presented by BLACK MASS director Scott Cooper. Cooper opened up with lines you read in obituaries, waxing poetic with: “there was Charlie Chaplin, Lon Chaney, there was Brando, and there’s Depp.”

The official one-paragraph sum-up goes something like “Depp is a three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Actor for his work in “Finding Neverland,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”  Over the last three decades, Depp’s diverse range of roles has made him one of the leader actors of his generation including performances John Waters’ “Cry Baby,” “Benny & Joon,” Lasse Hallstrom’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Chocolat,” Mike Newell’s “Donnie Brasco,” Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” Ted Demme’s “Blow,” “The Libertine,” Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” and several collaborations with Tim Burton including “Edward Scissorhands,” “Ed Wood” and “Sleepy Hollow.””

Depp is seated across from Maltin in comfy talk show chairs while Scott Cooper stands at the podium delivering the rest of that outsized speech, including a cautionary tale about meeting one’s heroes, and how this actor has never disappointed. If you look closely at the Man Who Gave Us Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise, you notice Johhny Depp is clearly wearing marijuana-leaf patterned knit socks atop thick-soled shiny patent-leather shoes. The contrast to the pinstripe gray bespoke tailored suit, with buttoned vest, and black matte dress shirt is completely in character. His blue-hued nightshades, as opposed to sunglasses, are the only hint left that he lived in Paris for a number of years raising his two children in his former relationship to Vanessa Paradis.

Whether that is Amber Heard who keeps appearing on stage when the lights go down for clips of Depp’s body of work — from WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE to BLOW to RUM DIARY to his portrayals of Hunter S. Thompson, Donnie Brasco, John Dillinger in PUBLIC ENEMIES, to Willy Wonka to The Mad Hatter from ALICE IN WONDERLAND — it’s hard to say. His new bride, star of DRIVE ANGRY and most recently The DANISH GIRL, skipped the red carpet.

He was 47 minutes late for this. It’s almost like Leonard Maltin has coaxed him into this ceremony, being the iconoclast that the Tim Burton protege has become.

Depp will dash off 80’s phrases like “Chia Pet,” “Killer,” and “I’m right there with you, man,” that underscore his 52 years. But he also has this hand-through-the-hair, ring-wearing ephemeral quality that is 100% musician, as in Rock Star. When he tells a story about Marlon Brando as a mentor, Depp opens with “they tell you never meet your heroes,” but then goes on to relate that Brando was strictly human, a relaxed guy. But. “There would always be kimonos. I’m not going to twist it around for you,” his words end in a flourish. “There would be Marlon getting out of a car in the morning, in a kimono…” The point is that Brando’s eccentricities were legendary, but he was “a relaxed human being,” who showed Depp that if “you are playing Henry the 8th, you shouldn’t be eating Doritos at the Craft Table.” He adds that “whatever you need to get you ‘there’ is what works for me,” in acting.

Depp winces at every clip, except BLOW. But it is fake cringing, and you instinctively get how he has survived in Hollywood all these years. This is a “TV actor, I was a TV actor first” on 21 Jump Street who refused to do anything Their Way. “Once I wore a turban and I wouldn’t take it off… I guess I was trying to get fired. I’m always trying to get fired.” Then he segues into how “I tortured Leo on Gilbert Grape, I don’t know why. I told you it was a dark time.”

His nightshades come on and off, another time he sincerely twists a thread on his weed-socks, then he rolls and lights a deep brown cigarillo, blows smoke as it nears 10:30 pm, running long because he was late. Maltin makes him promise to show his unreleased Brando film (possibly still titled “The Brave”) at the festival next year. Johnny Depp shakes his hand in a gentleman’s agreement, and somehow manages to have completely escaped being defined or answering any probing professional or personal questions. You’ll find out “I’m a fraud,” he jokes. “If you have an ideas,” about acting, “share them with me.” The audience has gone from hormonal screaming on his arrival to rapt attention to “Aww” when he mentions struggling to pay the rent in his early years. But even with Leonard Maltin, the quicksilver that is Johnny Depp and the mists of his various moods haven’t lifted. His true self is hiding in plain sight, and you can only really understand the Kentucky-born Depp in these three photos taken when we spoke briefly on the red carpet.Depp is answering “There are many of the same actors in gangster films BLACK MASS and PUBLIC ENEMIES, did you do this on purpose?” He thinks about it, hand to his mouth, then walks away while saying, “Yes, I did. There’s a story to that. You’ll hear it in a moment.” Meaning, he thinks Leonard Maltin will bring it up, but he doesn’t. And this ironically sums Depp up, he leaves you hanging, wanting more even though you’re not sure what you’re going to get.

Stay tuned for more SBIFF 2016 with Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Sylvester Stallone, and many more to come…

 

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF.  Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin.  Past recipients include Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson. The 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, February 3rd through Saturday, February 13th.

From filmfestivals.com

For more information, please visit www.sbiff.org

Brad and Angie are tired of traditional offline Hollywood too, ps.

Screenmancer Launches New Look for DEW 2016

Los Angeles, CA — Okay, well, Screenmancer isn’t just launching a new look for Digital Entertainment World (DEW) to be held Feb. 9 -11 in Century City, Calif. But after our founding in 1996 by UCLA Film School alums Quendrith Johnson and Robinson Rea, with a first launch live in 1997, we thought the site could use a pick-me-up on the way to our Screenmancer 20th Anniversary next year. So, first we want to thank Leanne McMahon in the UK for the creative infusion, and then we want to thank all of Screenmancer Staff, Advisory Board Members John P. Mello, Jr., Mark Andrew Allen, Scot Byrd, and Eric Djie in Phuket, Thailand, as well as Co-Founder Emeritus Robinson Rea, Screenmancer’s wunderkind Perry Randall.

Brad and Angie are tired of traditional offline Hollywood too, ps.

Brad and Angie are tired of traditional offline Hollywood too, ps. That’s why we created Screenmancer in 1996.

We also want to thank supporters/contributors like Christopher Keane in Boston, Mass., Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin (“This Is Your Brain On Music” in re: film scores) from McGill University, Jon Asp in Sweden as Ingmar Bergman‘s chronicler for us once, Donna White from Script Savvy, and the now-famous script consultant Dara Marks whom our Screentalk founder Robinson Rea found back in the day. Rea “discovered” Nia Vardalos (“My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding”) for us before she was famous (find it on the menu bar); interviewed Greg Beal of the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship back in 1998, and even met Dawn Hudson, now President of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), back when she was with Women In Film.

We have tried very hard to not to make a profit at Screenmancer, and so far, have succeeded with flying colors. Now we’d like to open a dialogue with investors. Because we did Free for almost 20 years, and now we’d like to Monetize. That’s all folks!, as the Warner Bros would say.

Scroll through our redesign and make yourself at home. We’ve left some Archive pages just as they were, as we migrate our content through 2016 to 2017.  Contact us at news@screenmancer.tv.

**Our revamped Screenmancer Lot is under construction for 2017 relaunch.