Friday, August 31, 2007
Here's a direct link.
It's on Yahoo's movie homepage for the next two days.
The horror flick appears totally old-school. Small town. Fear of the unknown. Desperate moral conflicts between faith and fact. Fear and fanaticism. Probably science and the supernatural. More about interpersonal conflict than special effects.
Chatter about "The end of days," "Time to take sides," "The saved and the damned," "We are being punished," "If something happens, cut and run," and "It was them that brought down the final wrath upon us!" And bugs and tentacles.
What do you think?
Release date: Nov. 21.
PHOTO CREDIT: Director and screenwriter Frank Darabont on the mist-shrouded set of Dimension Films' "The Mist." Photo by Ralph Nelson, The Weinstein Company.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Federal prosecutors have charged Smith with bribery and conspiracy in what they say was a scheme to inflate budgets for movies shot in Louisiana so that producers could reap more lucrative tax credits.
The court refers to the Sept. 7 re-arraignment as a "change of plea hearing," a typical step in a legal process when a defendant is cooperating with law enforcement officials and intends to plead guilty. Smith would not comment.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten has said he expects more charges to result from the investigation, a joint effort by federal prosecutors, the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service.
Smith traveled widely to rally support for the state's motion picture development effort while he served in the Department of Economic Development under Governors Mike Foster and Kathleen Blanco from 2002 to 2006.
The state offers tax credits, which can be converted into cash, to movie investors and producers in a program that has made Louisiana one of the nation's top film destinations.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Regency and 20th Century Fox are the studios. If you remember correctly, we previously reported that "Dallas" was looking to split time between the real Dallas and Shreveport. The project fell apart, though.
It will be interesting to see if the project resurfaces. Variety says it is aiming for a January start. Will it come to Shreveport? Don't know yet.
Do you want to see a spoof on Dallas?
And is J.T. perfect for J.R. or what?
Monday, August 27, 2007
"Shreveport's history is likely to mirror that of Oakland, Calif. Before the great earthquake of 1906, Oakland was anonymous, but it doubled in size and gained a national profile when residents of San Francisco fled there after their city was devastated. San Francisco quickly regained its stature, but it gave Oakland a chance to grow."
Click here to read the whole story.
Friday, August 24, 2007
According an MPAA study from 2006, there are 1,742 single screens in the U.S. I'm working to find out how many drive-ins are included in this figure (or not).
We've written a story about it, which will be published soon.
Exploring old single-screen theaters is a passion of mine. I'm not against multiplexes, but I don't particularly enjoy the generic, loud and perfected experiences they provide.
I've logged all of my favorite movie-going memories at single-screen theaters that offer beat-up prints, suspect sound, sticky floors and squeaky seats. I like to feel my movies.
You could do that at the Morris Theatre in Morris, Minn. (bottom).
If you know me, you've heard this story before.
As I recall, I was a freshman at the University of Minnesota Morris. Despite it being winter (or, at the very least, snowing and cold as all Fargo), the Morris Theatre was undergoing a bit of remodeling.
It had a huge auditorium with a closed balcony (on most nights). If you went to the lobby to score popcorn for your date, it was best to send out a search party to spot her on the trip back down the aisle. You wouldn't have been surprised to have been sucked into a black hole en route.
Playing late one night was "Alive" (1993), the drama about the Uruguayan rugby team. Their plane crashed in the Andes Mountains, and they had to resort to cannibalism to survive. (You remember Ethan Hawke's better days, don't you? Yummy.)
The theater owner must have had a wonderful sense of humor and a perverse taste for immersing moviegoers in a movie world.
The exit doors at the screen's edges were no longer there. In their place were clear plastic tarps, waving furiously in an angry wind. The furnace wasn't really working. My hands were cold. I wore a stocking cap.
Along with a handful of patrons, I watched scenes of human desperation get bleaker and bleaker as my breath turned frosty and snow blew in from the dark alley. It was as if the auditorium was the fuselage and the movie theater had crashed onto the snowy prairies of western Minnesota.
Smell-O-Vision be damned. Moviegoing doesn't get better than that.
What's your favorite single-screen theater? Please share a favorite memory.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Mark S. Smith, 46, was charged in a bill of information with one count of conspiracy and one of bribery. The crimes are alleged to have taken place between 2003 and 2005.
Smith is no longer with state government and was not immediately available for comment. Letten said he will be arraigned soon but did not give a date. The name of the film company involved was not made public.
Friday’s announcement marked the latest in a string of corruption charges announced by the federal government. Earlier this week, a New Orleans City Council member resigned after pleading guilty to bribery in a long-running investigation of city government.
Charges against Smith are the first to arise from a probe of the film industry in Louisiana, where producers can get lucrative tax credits for productions in the state.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Megan Brown, a film actress who appeared in "Mr. Brooks." She moved here from Tampa and logged a degree at Columbia University in New York.
Ryan Williams, a local theater actor and director who has an impressive musical resume.
Gordon Christy, a local theater actor who played in two Shakespeare shows with Marjorie Lyons Playhouse last summer.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Lanford Wilson's "Burn This," directed by Robert Alford.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 5-7.
COST: $15, in advance; $18. at the door, $10, students, staff and faculty; $8 each, groups of 5 or more; $10 for Senior citizens and military; $8 each, for groups of 5 or more.
RESERVATIONS: (318) 797-5375 or (318) 797-5283.
There's also an alternate cast featuring James Palmer, Chris Pierce, John F. Daniel and Christina Ramona Diaz.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Keep the following in mind as you ponder Shreveport's potential for growth.
* Yesterday the city council greenlit Millennium Films' studio project for Shreveport's Ledbetter Heights. (Click the graphic to enlarge.)
* The state is considered applications to precertify 28 infrastructure projects from around the state, valued at a total of $3.8 billion. Pre-certified projects would be able to take advantage of tax credits valued at 40 percent of the approved costs.
* So far in 2007, the state has hosted 48 film and TV projects worth $456 million. $337 million of that has been spent in state, according to Chris Stelly, film and TV director for Louisiana Economic Development.
* Northwest Louisiana accounts for 10 projects in 2007. At the very least, three more ("Pulse" sequels and "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde") are in the works. I expect to see more during the fall.
* Two lingering challenges should be considered. Locally, I still hear grumblings about an ongoing shortage of locally based crew members. Numbers aren't growing fast enough to keep up with demand. And producers still aren't pleased with the lack of a direct flight between Shreveport and Los Angeles.
* Other states have seriously increased their success in attracting the film industry. New Mexico, at present, seems to be Louisiana's main U.S. competitor in luring productions and studios away from Hollywood.
* And one telling comment from Emmy-winning actor Pruitt Taylor Vince reinforcements my gut feeling that the Louisianas and New Mexicos of the world can expect more growth if they keep pace in the tax incentive game. Vince and I were chatting about his experience in working on the TV series "Murder One" ten years ago. The 20-year Hollywood veteran was thrilled at the opportunity to work on a real studio lot for the first time in his career: "The 20th Century Fox lot, with the soundstages and riding golf carts … I never got to do that. Movies are all on location now."
Of course, he was exaggerating. But you get the point.
Graphic: David Wright/The Times.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Click on her website to learn more.
The scene study group begins Aug. 26. You can't register for it, though, if you haven't taken her classes before.
Newbies would have to take the intro course on Aug. 25, though. (Confused yet?) If you go, let me know how it goes.
WHAT: introduction to acting classes with Theresa Bell.
WHEN: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 25.
WHERE: 714 Elvis Presley Ave., Shreveport.
COST: $75 (4 auditing slots available $25) .
TO REGISTER: contact Tara Duncil at firstname.lastname@example.org OR (318) 573-0039.
RESTRICTIONS: 12 students ages 15 and older.
Monday, August 13, 2007
"I decided to call it 'The Story of Bonnie and Clyde' because you can be in the room and hear the event told in five different ways. I had to pick the version that I thought was closest to the truth," Holly said. She's confident she'll film in north Louisiana. "We’re looking very closely at Homer, Arcardia, Gibsland, Angola, and Haynesville."
No, it's not another Clint Eastwood flick with an orangatang. (You have no idea how much this disappoints me. I've never interviewed a primate.)
But yes, it is another feature about crime history's most famous partners and crime, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Apparently, Cypress Moon Productions is getting ready to shoot "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" either this fall or in early 2007.
It may be shot in Homer or in surrounding cities. The project is spearheaded by Alabama-based Tonya S. Holly.
There will be a casting call Aug. 20 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Homer City Hall (400 E. Main St.).
The production needs men and women, and specifically children ages 7 and up. Applicants should bring headshots, contact info, and a resume.
Cities in consideration for the project also include St. Francisville, Donaldsville, Sorrento, Arcadia and Gibsland.
It looks to be a small independent project, and I'll report more as details unfold.
AP Photo: Bonnie Parker holds a gun on her partner in crime, Clyde Barrow, as the two mug for the camera in this photo made aproximately one year before their deaths. On May 23, 1934, five lawmen laying in ambush ended the crime spree of the hapless pair, pumping 180 rounds into their stolen car and flailing bodies.
Friday, August 10, 2007
What are your thoughts? Have I fallen off my broom?
Thursday, August 09, 2007
The university is creating the space specially for this show, which is pretty cool.
To the local theater community, "Burn This" represents a chance to share the stage with an Emmy winner. Pruitt won for "Murder One" in 1997 (outstanding guest actor in a drama series). I know I'm repeating myself, but this opportunity should not be overlooked.
Here's a snippet from the interview I couldn't work into the article. When Pruitt was getting ready to play Clifford Banks on "Murder One," he had a meeting with Steven Bochco to discuss the character. Banks is a vigilante who decides to execute criminals the justice system did not. Here's what Pruitt told Bochco:
"I have a big thing, an actor is supposed to play a role from that character’s point of view, not from your point (or) somebody else’s point of view. I think Clifford thinks he’s the last sane man in America. And I would like to play it that way, that he absolutely is convinced he is the last sane man in America. (Bochco) said go for it. I said ... OK? It was a dangerous choice. The crazy guy would have been more fun."
Auditions for "Burn This" continue today and Saturday.
WHEN: 6 p.m. today; and noon Saturday.
OPEN PARTS: The three available parts are Larry, an acerbic advertising executive; Burton, a wealthy screenwriter; and Anna, a shy choreographer. All characters are in their late 20s or mid to late 30s. Understudies are needed, too.
WHERE: LSUS Black Box Theatre, Bronson Hall 109.
INFO: (318) 797-5283.
Photo: Greg Pearson/The Times.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
The spots will air this weekend on FuelTV, but you can also catch them by clicking here.
They're effective takeoffs on the Dating Game. Bachelor no. 2, per usual, is a total hoser.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
The first flick was about a college-aged computer hacker who tapped into a mysterious wireless signal and discovered a world of deadly ghosts.
(Does this explain the goblins in my laptop? I haven't gotten a reliable wireless signal since 2005.)
Fax résumés to (323) 653-0409. Reach the movie hotline at (225) 342-3456.
And judging by Louisiana Movies' very unscientific poll, you really want to see it.
Here's the official synopsis from TWC's website: "Three-time Oscar®-nominee Frank Darabont ('The Green Mile,' 'The Shawshank Redemption') reunites with horror-master Stephen King to write and direct this chilling adaptation of the author’s original short story. Following a violent thunderstorm, artist David Drayton and a small town community come under vicious attack from creatures prowling in a thick and unnatural mist. Local rumors point to an experiment called the ‘The Arrowhead Project’ conducted at a nearby top-secret military base, but questions as to the origins of the deadly vapor are secondary to the group’s overall chances for survival. Retreating to a local supermarket, Drayton and the survivors must face-off against each other before taking a united stand against an enemy they cannot even see!"
Photo: Director and screenwriter Frank Darabont gets physical with actor Chris Owen ("Norm") to demonstrate how he wants a scene from Dimension Films' "The Mist" to look. Ralph Nelson.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Local DJ charged with rape
August 6, 2007
By Adam Kealoha Causey
A local DJ who has garnered national attention from his connection to a hit rap song is behind bars in connection with a rape investigation.
DJ Bay Bay, whose real name is Terrance Stewart, is charged with one count each of simple rape and intimidation of a witness, according to Shreveport police spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave.
Stewart was arrested this afternoon and booked into the Shreveport City Jail where his bond is set at $150,000, Hargrave said.
Investigators say an employee at Kokopelli’s found a woman lying drunk and unconscious about 4 a.m. Thursday on the downtown night club’s second floor. Police think she was raped late Wednesday or early Thursday.
“I’m not sure if the sexual assault happened after she was drunk or before she got drunk,” Hargrave said. “We are continuing our investigation, more arrests are possible.”
Rapper Hurricane Chris’ song “A Bay Bay” is a tribute of sorts to the K103 Tha Beat radio personality. It peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is at No. 10 in the latest issue of the chart.
John Grindley from the Robinson Film Center just wrote to say, "Louisiana Produces will hold its monthly meeting Tuesday, Aug. 7. It will be same time, same place -- 7 p.m., Bossier Parish Community College,Building D."
To read more about Hayes, visit the Louisiana Hot Props website.
The two available parts are Larry, an acerbic advertising executive, and Burton, a wealthy screenwriter. The production also needs an understudy for the part of Anna, a shy choreographer. All characters are in their late 20s or mid to late 30s.
Auditions are 6 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 8); 6 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 9); and noon Saturday (Aug. 11). They will be held at Bronson Hall’s room 111 at LSUS.
The play was written by Lanford Wilson and will be directed by Robert Alford. Performances are Sept. 27 through Oct. 7.
For more information, call (318) 797-5283.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
The date may be look far away, but you better book if you want a seat. RFC sold out its recent screening of "Waitress."
"Once" took home the World Cinema Audience Award (drama) at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
The official synopsis reads:"Featuring Glen Hansard and his Irish band 'The Frames,' the film tells the story of a busker and an immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story."
WHAT: "Once," directed by John Carney, presented by the Robinson Film Center.
WHEN: 7 p.m. Aug. 30.
WHERE: Regal Cinemas Louisiana Boardwalk Stadium 14, Bossier City.
TO RESERVE: (318) 424-9090.
WEBSITE: click here (Fox Searchlight).
TRAILER: click here (Apple).
REVIEWS: click here (Metacritic).