90: Things We Lost In The Fire
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NEXT UP...Kevin Wilmott may just be Hollywood's best kept secret. The professor-turned-screenwriter-turned-director recently finished principal photography on his latest feature indie film, The Only Good Indian, starring Native American actor Wes Studi (Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Last of the Mohicans). Actor James McDaniel ("NYPD Blue") is the executive producer. Studi portrays an early 1900s era Cherokee bounty hunter hired to return an escapee from an Indian boarding school. Haven't heard of Willmott yet? Well, he wrote and directed the highly acclaimed independent feature CSA: Confederate States of America, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and Ninth Street, which starred Martin Sheen and Isaac Hayes. He has written scripts for Oliver Stone, NBC, 20th Century Fox and Columbia Tri-Star. According to Willmott's spokesperson, Scott Richardson, the filmmaker will soon be shopping around for a distributor for Good Indian. Heads up everyone, given his experience this could just be one to watch.
eWOMEN...On the heels of the announcement of their sale to NBC, we hear ivillage.com has a hot new show featuring Kim Coles ("The Geena Davis Show," "Living Single") as co-host, along with "The Apprentice" winner Bill Rancic and ex-Apprentice candidate Ereka Vetrini. Filming in Chicago, "In The Loop" (http://intheloop.ivillage.com/) is an interactive lifestyle show for women which launched mid-Sept. and features celeb interviews as well as segements on finances, fashion, and health. Twice Emmy winning producer Marlaine Selip (Donahue, Joan Rivers, Montel Williams, John Walsh and Jane Pauley's talk shows) is producer; supervising producer is 30-year TV veteran Cindy Patrasso, who has worked at ESPN, NBC, CBS and ABC Sports. Viewers can interact by text messaging the hosts, emailing in topics and competing in the show's online games. As then number of women online surpasses that of males using the Internet, according to eMarketer, Coles could have a hit show on her hands.
FREEZE FRAME...Prolific documentary filmmaker St. Clair Borne just sent notice that the subject of his latest project, veteran civil rights photographer Ernest Withers, 85, has died. Remember Withers' famous 1968 photo of striking Black sanitation workers calling signs reading "I Am A Man" on the picket line?Well, it's that strong image and its aftermath which prompted this project. Borne still plans to push ahead with the endeavor, tentatively entitled Ernest Withers, Photographer: A Life in Black and White and slated for release Sept. 2008. "It's always sad when someone does and especially tragic when a Black artist concerned with recording our history makes the transition," says Borne. The film is being produced through Chamba Media Works with veteran Hip Hop media/art maven Bill Adler as co-producer.
HIP HOP HOLLYWOOD
NEWSXM RADIO REPORTS NET DOUBLE LOSES DESPITE GROWTH
Things We Lost In The Fire, DreamWorks SKG
So The A-List i rocked up to the British Film Festival's UK premiere for Things We Lost In The Fire and what a pleasant surprise it was! Halle Berry looked stunning with her pregnant glowing halo--picture perfect, gracious, funny and HEAVILY GUARDED. She attended along side producer, Sam Mendes (American Beauty)--sans Benicio del Toro, as he's filming multiple Chez Gurvera flicks in Mexico at the moment--but the real star of the evening was the director Susanne Bier. This was the first time the Belgium-born talent shot a film in English, and she didn't miss a beat! The film stars Berry who is married to David Duchovny ("The X-Files"). They have two kids and an all around BEAUTIFUL life. But Duchovny has an old friend (ex-lawyer, del Toro) who is smack in the middle of a life crisis--he is a full-on heroin addict. Needless to say, Berry doesn't approve of her husband's continued friendship with del Turo, but they've been friends since second grade and Duchovny just wont give up on him. Cut to when it all goes up in smoke--Duchovny is shot and killed one night while returning home with ice cream for the family. Berry and her children then slip into a deeply sad fight to find their way out of hell. Berry's need to be close to anything her husband loved, finds her seeking out del Toro--for comfort, to help him...and then it all gets complicated.
The entire film is set in sadness but del Toro has such amazing moments of humor that you barely describe the antics. It's just those crazy things that your insane uncle might do that cracks you up! Director Bier is brilliant at taking a simple story and making it real and severely honest--leaving you feeling quite attached to all the characters. Even those who aren't fans of Berry will even think she delivers quite a performance in this film. But on the back hand side of that compliment--she tends to relish rolls that have her crazed and/or crying her eyes out. Probably why Cat Woman and even her character Jinx in Die Another Day were so bad. Never the less, this was by far a more Oscar-worthy performance, but we'd bet on just an Oscar nomination for this one. Yeah, this is a definite must see but be prepared because it's not a straight-forward, feel-good, Saturday night at the movies. Hmmmm, and we're still wondering why it didn't open well in America. Rating: B+ List. --Melissa Ross
Filmmaker John Singleton; actors Gabrielle Union, Essence Atkins and Michael Clarke Duncan; entertainment industry insiders Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Steven Temple, and Karl Planner were among the presenters at the Closing Night ceremony for the 2007 Turks & Caicos Film Festival.
SHOUT OUT TO MELISSA ROSS AND GIL ROBERTSON FOR ALWAYS PROVIDING HOT NEWS!