Fri, Jan 07, 2005 - Page 17 News List

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John Malkovich will play the lead in a movie about the life of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.

PHOTO: AP

Oz steals the limelight

A film of the classic children's book Charlotte's Web will be shot in Australia next year, officials said yesterday.

Steve Bracks, premier of Victoria state, said the Paramount Pictures' adaptation will be a mixture of animation and live action that will be filmed in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown and Greendale in the state's west.

Production is scheduled to begin late next month and the film is slated for for release in 2006, he said.

"A major international production of Charlotte's Web is going to be the important remake, the definitive remake," Bracks said.

It was the second recent coup for the local film industry after Victoria won the production of another blockbuster movie, the Marvel classic Ghost Rider for next year.

Charlotte's Web, written by American author EB White and set in the 1940s, tells the story of a friendship between a pig, Wilbur, and a spider, Charlotte.

Meet the Klimts

Shooting for a movie featuring John Malkovich as Austrian art nouveau painter Gustav Klimt began Tuesday in Vienna, a publicity company said.

The movie, titled Klimt, depicts the life of the famous painter, whose masterpieces include the painting The Kiss.

Filming in Vienna is set to continue until the end of the month, a news release said. Next month, filming will continue in Cologne, Germany.

The movie's screenwriter and director, Raoul Ruiz, chose a dispute about paintings commissioned by the state as a central theme, the release said. The film also focuses on Klimt's struggle for artistic freedom and on his personal relationships, including his lifelong, platonic friendship with Emilie Floege, played by Veronica Ferres.

`Fockers' still on top

North American box-office champ Meet the Fockers helped push overall movie sales to a new record for this year, and the sequel film earned almost as much after two weekends as the original, Meet the Parents,drew in its entire run, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

Meet the Fockers, a lowbrow family comedy starring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller and Dustin Hoffman, easily retained the No. 1 position at the US New Year holiday box office. It sold about US$42.8 million worth of tickets in the three days beginning Friday, setting two records in the process. Its total after 12 days rose to US$163.4 million. Meet the Parents, released in October 2000, ended its run with US$166 million.

`Rwanda's Schindler' appears to promote film about his story

He saved over 1,000 people from the horror of genocide, has been dubbed "Rwanda's Schindler" and is the subject of a Hollywood movie on the 1994 bloodshed.

But Rwandan Paul Rusesabagina does not think of himself as a hero.

"I wouldn't take myself as a hero," the softly-spoken 50-year-old said in an interview, despite his real-life heroics.

"I rather take myself as someone who did his duties and responsibilities, someone who remained until the end when others changed completely their professions, and most of them became killers and others were killed."

Ten years after Rwanda descended into chaos, during which 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates were slaughtered in just 100 days, the genocide is back in the headlines.

Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle as Rusesabagina and Nick Nolte as a UN commander, centres around the Mille Collines hotel in Kigali, the country's leading hotel. It is being touted as a candidate for the Oscars and is being heavily promoted.

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