Reel News


Fri, Aug 17, 2007 - Page 17

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, said on Wednesday it re-elected Sid Ganis to his third straight term as president and made actor Tom Hanks one of its vice presidents.

Ganis is a film industry veteran who has been on the academy's Board of Governors for 21 years. He has been an executive with several film companies including Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

Hanks won two Oscars for best actor in 1993's Philadelphia and 1994's Forrest Gump. He had previously served as a governor of the academy's actors' branch, and has a long history in Hollywood as both an actor and producer.

In addition to Ganis and Hanks, the academy named several other officers to various posts.

The New York Film Festival announced the lineup for its 45th festival on Wednesday, unveiling a slate heavy on US.

Among the directors bringing films to the festival: Sidney Lumet (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead), Noah Baumbach (Margot at the Wedding), Gus van Sant (Paranoid Park), Brian DePalma (Redacted) and Todd Haynes (I'm Not There).

John Landis (Mr. Warmth, The Don Rickles Project), Ira Sachs (Married Life), Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Abel Ferrara (Go Go Tales) also will showcase their movies.

The selections already add to two previously announced American productions: Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, which will open the festival, and the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men, the festival's centerpiece.

The New York Film Festival, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, will run Sept. 28 through Oct. 14. Unlike most film festivals, it does not give awards.

Closing the festival will be Persepolis, the animated drama set during and after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. It won a jury prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Altogether, 28 films will premiere at the festival.

In her upcoming movie, Mary-Kate Olsen shares a passionate kiss with Oscar winner Ben Kingsley.

Olsen is now 21. Kingsley is 63.

Their film, The Wackness, is slated for release next year.

"There is a very passionate scene in the film, which we filmed last week,'' Kingsley, who won the best-actor Oscar for 1982's Gandhi, told the syndicated TV show Access Hollywood.

"It went extremely well and she was very focused. She was very good, very professional. She was quite wonderful." When asked if he thinks the scene will stir up controversy, Kingsley says: "I'm sure it will. (Her character) is this great free spirit, you know, she is equally seducing so it is a level playing field.'' In the film, Kingsley plays a therapist who forms a friendship with a teenage drug dealer (Josh Peck) who trades pot for therapy sessions. Olsen portrays one of the dealer's customers, who winds up kissing Kingsley's character.

"It's for a few seconds and then we disappear and we never see each other in the movie," Kingsley says. "But she is a trigger into my quest for happiness." Though brief, the scene left a good impression on him.

"Mary-Kate has huge energy," he says. "She is very, very committed to her work." Olsen, who rose to fame on TV's Full House, was last seen on the big screen opposite her twin sister, Ashley, in 2004's New York Minute.

James Bond star Pierce Brosnan will swap guns for Abba songs this month when he begins filming a Hollywood version of the hit musical Mamma Mia on the Greek island of Skiathos, the show said Wednesday.

The Irish actor's co-star Meryl Streep may also make an appearance when filming begins there and on the neighboring island of Skopelos on Aug. 29, a production official said on condition of anonymity.

The film is hoping to recreate the success of the British musical, created in 1999 using songs by hit Swedish band Abba.

The story revolves around a young girl who is about to get married and decides to track down the father she never knew.

Brosnan, best known for his slick portrayal of 007, will play - and sing - one of her possible dads and Streep will play her mother.

Tom Hanks is producing the film, due to be screened next year, and the stage musical's British creator, Phyllida Lloyd, will direct, according to the Hollywood trade press.

Two Chinese filmmakers said Wednesday that the release of their film Lost in Beijing (蘋果), which explores urban-rural tensions, has been delayed because of a propaganda campaign in the run-up to a key Chinese Communist Party meeting.

Producer Fang Li (方勵) said China's Film Bureau has lined up a series of "ethically inspiring" movies to set the tone for the Chinese Communist Party's upcoming congress, which is expected to set the agenda for the party and country for the next five years and produce some leadership changes.

"If Lost in Beijing is released under these circumstances, it's obviously not conducive to harmony. It's noise. So the Film Bureau asked our distributor, Beijing Polybona, to delay the release of the movie,'' Fang said.

Lost in Beijing is about the fallout after a Beijing foot massage parlor owner rapes one of his employees, a migrant worker from the countryside. The film stars Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Ka-fai (梁家輝).

While Lost in Beijing has cleared censors, the Chinese Film Bureau is worried that the movie will provoke a "negative social reaction," Fang said.