Ahad, 18 Mei 2014

The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

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The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

New generation Coppola tackles James Franco's teen tales

Posted: 17 May 2014 04:40 AM PDT

Family tradition: Although she trained to be a photographer, Gia Coppola (above) was compelled to carry on the family's filmmaking tradition, releasing her first cinematic feature Palo Alto, which she wrote and directed, basing her script on James Franco's collection of short stories of the same name. Franco appears in the movie (below), as a physical education teacher who has an affair with a student. He also helped produce the film.

Coppola's family has a history of exploring coming-of-age stories, from her grandfather's 1983 films The Outsiders and Rumble Fish to her aunt's 1999 feature film debut with The Virgin Suicides, all of which Coppola said she referenced during her own debut process.

The film features vivid cinematography influenced by the director's photography training, and follows four characters whom Coppola pulled together from the stories of Franco, who also appears in the film.

April, played by Roberts, is introverted and mysterious, the object of Teddy's (Kilmer) affections but who is seduced by her 35-year-old teacher, Mr B (Franco). Fred (Nat Wolff) is the dangerous rebel without a cause who woos the shy and quiet Emily (Zoe Levin), only for their relationship to take a dark turn.

While Franco's book is set in the 1990s, Coppola sets her film in the present, sprinkling cell phones in lightly, but she said she wanted the film to feel "timeless".

Teen boredom

Franco, 36, wrote Palo Alto as part of his Master of Fine Arts writing degree at Brooklyn College, and while he has delved into writing and directing films, he said he didn't want to adapt his own book as he felt too close to the material.

He chose Coppola, whom he met five years ago, to direct the adaptation after seeing her photography. "The photos seemed to have the sensibility that was similar to the one I was trying to capture with the book," he said.

"They looked like little glimpses at youth that was filled with dreaming, a bit of the mundane, a bit of skepticism about the world around them, but also engaging with the world with a creative spirit," Franco added.

Actress Emma Roberts in a scene from Gia Coppola's movie Palo Alto.

The actor was quick to emphasise that his own childhood growing up in Palo Alto, an affluent San Francisco Bay Area community, was a happy one, but he wanted to capture the boredom he and his peers suffered. "Even though I was in this great place and I was at a really good school and I had friends and people thought I was cute, I still remember feeling more like nothing works out," he said.

Despite Coppola's Hollywood ancestry, Franco said financing the film was difficult due to the darker premise of the teenagers' stories. He said he donated his own salary from a film project to make the movie for a budget of under US$1mil (RM3.23mil) with his production company Rabbit Bandini.

Playing physical education teacher Mr B wasn't easy for Franco, who made his own breakout in Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks television series as a brooding rebellious teen. The actor said he "hated" one particular scene in Palo Alto, which didn't make the final cut, in which he reprimands two teenage boys.

"I hated being on that side of things, because my alliance is with the kids in the book, all my feelings align with the kids, so I hated being the bad adult," he said with a laugh. – Reuters

Harrison Ford is badly wanted for 'Blade Runner' sequel

Posted: 15 May 2014 11:15 PM PDT

The actor is being wooed by the studio, Alcon Entertainment, via a press statement.

Alcon Entertainment wants Harrison Ford to return for Ridley Scott's sequel to Blade Runner, and it wants him so badly that it announced its offer to the actor in a press release. That is a highly unusual move in Hollywood where studios try to cover up potential castings until the deals are closed.

Ford starred in Scott's original film, a glimpse into a dystopian-future Los Angeles based on Philip K. Dick's book. The movie bombed at the box office when it first came out, but is now regarded as one of the greatest science fiction movies ever made.

In the original, Ford plays Rick Deckard, a retired police officer whose job used to be tracking down and killing replicants, bioengineered beings with a limited lifespan. He realises some mischief within the Tyrell Corporation, which makes the replicants.

Alcon wants Ford to reprise his role in the sequel, which is set several decades later than the original. TheWrap has reached out to UTA, which reps Ford, for comment.

"We believe that Hampton Fancher and Michael Green have crafted with Ridley Scott an extraordinary sequel to one of the greatest films of all time," Alcon co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said in a statement.

"We would be honoured, and we are hopeful, that Harrison will be part of our project." Alcon Entertainment acquired the movie and all franchise rights in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin, who will produce the sequel with Kosove and Johnson. — Reuters

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