Fri, Sep 23, 2005 - Page 17 News List

Reel News


Mick Jagger, a vague resemblance to former Czech president Vaclav Havel? Surely some mistake?


Mick Jagger, the 62-year-old Rolling Stones frontman, is repor-tedly considering making a film about the life of Vaclav Havel, the former Czech president.

The two first discussed the idea a year ago, Havel told a Prague daily. Havel, 68, is a close friend of Jagger, co-owner of Jagged Films production company.

In 1990, Hollywood star Jane Fonda approached him with a similar idea, the civil rights activist said.

"She wanted to film my life and that of my former wife Olga, with herself playing Olga. Maybe it's not a bad thing that nothing came of it," Havel said.

The film studio Dreamworks has also unveiled plans for a new movie last week with the announcement that it will produce a sequel to the animated film Madagascar, one of the summer's biggest box office hits.

The sequel should be released in 2008 with Ben Stiller and Chris Rock reprising their roles as the voices of Alex the Lion and Marty the Zebra, said Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of the Dreamworks Animation studio, at a press


The computer-animated film, which was released in May in the US, tells the story of a zebra, lion and a hippopotamus who escape from their zoo in New York and find themselves in Madagascar in the company of some neurotic penguins.

The original film has earned more than US$500 million at the international box office, making it the company's most profitable movie ever.

Film pundits with an eye of the future were watching closely last week as Tsotsi and Look Both Ways won the top awards at the Toronto International Film Festival, while David Burke's Edison got set to close out the 30th edition of the event often seen as the kickoff to Oscar season.

Tsotsi, a joint UK/South African production about a Johannesburg gangster who steals a car and finds an infant in the back seat, won the People's Choice award, voted on by regular moviegoers.

The prize is often an indicator of future Academy Award nominations, with past recipients including Oscar winners American Beauty, Life is Beautiful and Chariots of Fire. Last year's winner was Oscar-nominated Hotel Rwanda.

The movie narrowly edged out the Finnish/Swedish film, Mother of Mine, and more high-profile entrants Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, and Brokeback Mountain, which has received Oscar buzz for its telling of a taboo love affair between two cowboys.

Australian film Look Both Ways won the event's Discovery award. The prize is chosen by the hundreds of journalists who attend the festival, which ranks with Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Sundance as one of the world's most influential.

The event screened 335 films, 84 percent of which were either world, international, or North American premieres.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong director Stanley Tong and the University of California at Los Angeles will launch a bilingual Chinese-English film school in Shanghai next year, the director is reported as saying.

The school will start out with 500 graduate students in September 2006 and will eventually expand to an undergraduate program, Tong said.

The school would bring together Hong Kong's business savvy and China's large pool of talent. Hong Kong is known for its sophisticated movie productions while China boasts many successful art-house directors, such as Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige.

``I want to combine Hong Kong's, Hollywood's and mainland China's systems of video production,'' Tong said. ``When the students graduate, they'll be able to take on any project.''

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