A selection of silent movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock has been added to the United Nations' U.K. register as a representation of British culture. The filmmaker's debut feature, The Pleasure Garden, will join boxing drama The Ring and seven of his other surviving early pictures on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) U.K. Memory of the World Register, which was created in 2010 and "reflects the richness of U.K. culture and history, from medieval manuscripts to ground-breaking cinema".
Robin Baker, head curator at the British Film Institute (BFI), which was responsible for restoring the movies, says, "We are very pleased to see that the early films from one of the world's best known filmmakers are taking their place alongside some of the greatest cultural artefacts of the United Kingdom.
"Film culture is too often overlooked in summaries of British cultural heritage."
A total of 11 items have been selected from libraries, archives and museums across Britain for the latest inclusion in the online catalogue.
Actress Jenna Elfman has stepped in to replace Parker Posey in new TV comedy Growing Up Fisher. Posey quit the project after network executives picked up the pilot and ordered a series of episodes from writer D.J. Nash.
The timing is perfect for former Dharma & Greg star Elfman, whose White House sitcom 1600 Penn was recently cancelled.
The actress will join Eli Baker and J.K. Simmons in the new series about a family coping with divorce. It will debut later this year (13).
Current Doctor Who star Matt Smith is to unite with past Time Lords including Tom Baker and Sylvester Mccoy at an event in London to mark the cult TV show's 50th anniversary. The actors will all appear at the 50th anniversary celebration event in the British capital in November (13), along with another former Doctor Who Colin Baker.
The convention will run over three days and feature question-and-answer sessions with cast members, a special effects display from the show's resident expert Danny Hargreaves, and masterclasses with Doctor Who's 'monster choreographer' Ailsa Burke.
The event will run from 22-24 November (13) at London's ExCeL exhibition centre, coinciding with the screening of the show's anniversary episode on 23 November (13).
The special installment will reportedly feature new castmember John Hurt as well as a reappearance by former Time Lord David Tennant and his onscreen assistant Billie Piper.
We read all the scripts, now we’re watching all the pilots. SSN brings you our insight on the hot new pilots of the upcoming TV season as we watch the screeners and report back to you.
GROWING UP FISHER NBC Comedy Premieres Midseason 2013
Executive Producer: DJ Nash (Up All Night, Guys with Kids, Traffic Light), Jason Bateman (Narrator), Jim Garavente Director: David Schwimmer (TV directing: Little Britain USA, Joey, The Tracy Morgan Show, Friends) Writer: DJ Nash Cast: J.K. Simmons, Eli Baker, Ava Deluca-Verley, Jenna Elfman, Narrator: Jason Bateman
Logline: This comedy is inspired by DJ Nash’s real family. Mel Fisher is a blind attorney. He kept it a secret for a long time and while he did, his 11 year old son Henry helped guide him in various situations. Then everything changed when Mel got a new guide dog named Elvis and Mel and his wife decided to divorce. As Henry tries to cope with all the changes at home, he blames it all on the dog. Meanwhile, Henry’s mom is going through an adolescence of her own as she’s no longer someone’s wife. This complicates things for the Fisher’s teenage daughter too as she wants a mother, not a BFF. In the end, Henry slowly discovers the guide dog is doing more to help his family than keep him from his dad.
SSN Insight: Casting note: Parker Posey played the mother in the original pilot; she has since departed the project. Jenna Elfman has since been cast in the role.
After working on a couple of woefully underappreciated comedies, NBC’s Bent and FOX’s Traffic Light, Nash has created a show that is a warm, affectionate remembrance. Very Wonder Years in feel, with the right balance of wryly funny moments and heart. Nash may have found the secret to a hit comedy: tell your own story and find the funny in your own truth.
The show’s competition: TBA
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We can hear the 1920s roar once more. Its dull name aside, The Other Typist has a good deal to be excited about. Keira Knightley is set to star in and produce the 1920s New York City-set drama, which is an adaption of Suzanne Rindell's novel of the same name, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In addition, Fox Searchlight has snagged the rights to the flick.
Rindell's novel focuses on an introverted typist for the NYPD, Rose Baker (Knightley), who befriends a gorgeous yet eerie Odalie, who drags her into the dazzling and risqué, but highly illegal, world of speakeasies in the hip 1920s New York City scene as Baker simultaneously keeps up her job for the police force. It sure sounds like a lot of key typing and alcohol guzzling.
While the film is still brewing under the careful watch of Searchlight production's team, our minds go to another recent 1920s New York-set novel adaptation: The Great Gatsby. Is Knightley's picture riding on the coat tails of the Baz Luhrmann picture? Will it surpass or pale in comparison? Our homeboy Jay is King of the Roaring '20s, after all.
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Whether you're familiar with the source material or not, the film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods has got to be looking pretty appealing to you — with a cast including Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt, and Chris Pine, you'd have to be rigidly anti-showbiz to reserve disinterest. Joining the lot is yet another promising player, Anna Kendrick, who The Hollywood Reporter reports is in talks to take on the role of Cinderella in the fairy tale sendup.
Kendrick's vocal talents were showcased quite prominently in the 2012 hit Pitch Perfect, and she has proved herself duly capable of both comedy and drama in films like Up in the Air and 50/50.
Cinderella comes into play in the story when a baker and his wife, played by stage actor James Corden and Blunt, venture into the woods (just like the title!) in an effort to lift the powers of a witch's spell from their family. Their journeys lead them to encounter the likes of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and the Big Bad Wolf (to be played by Depp, while the witch will be handled by Streep).
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter.
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Actor Val Kilmer is working on plans to take his one-man show about beloved writer Mark Twain to Broadway. The Batman Forever star has been staging his play Citizen Twain in various venues across the U.S. for over a year, and he is due to take the production to London's West End this autumn (13).
However, there is still one big stage Kilmer is keen to set foot on as the legendary storyteller.
Kilmer was asked about the possibility of staging the play on Broadway during an appearance on the New York-based Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday (13Jun13), prompting him to reveal, "I've been meeting producers here. I'll do it here."
If Kilmer does secure a deal to take Citizen Twain to the Big Apple's famous theatre district, it will mark his first return to Broadway since 1983, when he performed in a production of Slab Boys.
The actor's play is part of his research for a planned movie he's writing about Mark Twain and his relationship with religious leader Mary Baker Eddy.
It may be the most famous scene in Western literature: Romeo’s declaration of love beneath Juliet’s balcony. So how do you stage it without words? If you stage it as a dance how do you deal with the separation of the two lovers? Sir Kenneth MacMillan provided an easy answer in his choreography for Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. You get Juliet off that balcony and down on terra firma for a pas de deux with Romeo stat. The challenge is that the dancers’ physicality has to be as good as Shakespeare’s words.
Cory Stearns and Gillian Murphy of the American Ballet Theatre meet MacMillan’s challenge as the star-crossed title characters in a new production of Prokofiev’s ballet playing at Lincoln Center through June 15. But they’re lucky. They have the support of the spare-no-expenses American Ballet Theatre ethos. It’s resulted in another sumptuous, soaring ballet.
ABT’s Romeo and Juliet opens on the marketplace of Verona. There’s a wooden stairway, several stalls for vendors, some hay scattered about, all the little organic details the company likes to establish for complete immersion. The marketplace slowly comes alive as the baker arrives, then the blacksmith, then the fishmonger. This is a living space, perfect for MacMillan’s unfussy, down-to-earth choreographic style. He even integrates some elements of northern Italian folkdance into the traditional ballet when he has a group of wheat-toting women perform light clogging. Before you know it, the entire marketplace has erupted in violence with Montagues dueling Capulets via some fierce swordplay.
MacMillan’s democratic style meant populating his stage with a multitude of elements at once and encouraging you to scan about and perceive as many details as possible. That means any of the background peasants get as much attention as Tybalt and Mercutio. Only Romeo and Juliet themselves get the spotlight. As Romeo, Cory Stearns, who’s only been a principal at ABT for two years, is athletic and engaging. The Long Island native is more streamlined than muscular, perfect for capturing a youth in the throes of his first true passion. And Gillian Murphy, a South Carolina prodigy who’s been a principal for eleven years, is appropriately willowy and ethereal.
In bringing life to their characters, Stearns and Murphy are supported by Prokofiev’s propulsive 1935 score, conducted here by Charles Barker. The Russian modernist was a master of narrativizing music, and he’s best known today for teasing out the full drama of his works by assigning themes to each of his characters. One of his most famous pieces, Peter and the Wolf, goes so far as to designate a specific instrument for each animal in the story. Something similar happens here, with flutes corresponding to Juliet and strings to Romeo. But overall, Romeo and Juliet is one of Prokofiev’s looser compositions. In conjunction with MacMillan’s choreography it’s a ballet that exists on the opposite pole from, say, Prokofiev’s score for the film Alexander Nevsky, in which the music is perfectly synchronized with the images — a vision of determinism reflecting a time in which free will seemed unattainable in Russian society.
The one time you feel that level of control in Romeo and Juliet is, of course, the famous “Dance of the Knights,” a brooding, violent piece in which the Montagues and Capulets march with militaristic menace. MacMillan places the two camps in strictly regimented formation as if the Montagues and Capulets are extras in Triumph of the Will. It’s easy to imagine that Prokofiev, living at the height of Stalin’s “show trials” and with the Nazis about ready to march across Europe, might have likened the Montagues and Capulets’ culture of violence to ‘30s fascism. Not traditional romantic music, Prokofiev’s composition seems to underline the lovers’ break from tradition more than their sensual longing. It shows that Romeo and Juliet truly is timeless, because it can be so easily modified to fit the priorities of the time in which it’s retold.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
The 67th Tony Awards, was already a highly anticipated event after it was announced that the magical Neil Patrick Harris would reclaim the honor of hosting the Broadway event of the season — And now, there's even more to sing about. The Tony Awards are always a star-studded affair, but this year the stage will shine even brighter from all the A-listers jammed into the Radio City Music Hall.
Ready for the complete list? Confirmed to take the stage to honor Broadway’s best are Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Feguson, Sally Field, Megan Hilty (R.I.P. Smash!), Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick, Zachary Quinto, Jane Krakowski, Alan Cumming, mega-hottie Jake Gyllenhaal, Sigourney Weaver, Glee's Matthew Morrison, Andrew Llyod Webber, Laura Benanti, and the one-and-only Andrew Rannells.
But wait there's more! Those celebs will join previously announced presenters Steven Van Zandt, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Cryer, Martha Plimpton, and Jesse Eisenberg. So basically these are like The Plastics of the entertainment industry. Sorry everyone else in Hollywood, but you can't sit with them!
Don't miss the 67th Annual Tony Awards airing live Sunday, June 9 at 8 PM on CBS!
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British actor Tom Hardy is shining a light on the horror of the poaching industry in Africa by exposing the harrowing practise in a new documentary series. The Dark Knight Rises star will travel to South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania to explore the poaching crisis and the affect it has on the community and wildlife.
The animal-loving actor is fronting the project, titled Poaching Wars With Tom Hardy, for British broadcaster ITV through his Hardy, Son and Baker production company, and he is also acting as executive producer.
Jo Clinton-Davis of ITV says, "The story of the impact of wildlife poaching in Africa is one that is important to tell now more than ever. Tom Hardy's palpable concern and commitment to shedding light on what is happening and what the answers might be allow him to bring this reality home in a way that we believe will resonate powerfully with our audience."
Dean Baker, of Hardy, Son and Baker, adds, "Tom's goal is to bring the senseless slaughter of endangered wildlife in Africa, to the attention of the masses. This documentary is the first step of that process."