When Rachel Boynton first went to Africa to research her documentary Big Men, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, she had three unrelated phone numbers. Six years later, she had a film that takes an expansive, yet focused, look at how oil makes its way from deep in an ocean off the coast of Ghana to the U.S. stock exchange, and the ensuing complications.
The film explores the connections between the Ghanaian company who finds the oil field, the small Texas oil company who drills, the Wall Street private equity partners who invest, and the Ghanaian government officials who manage the contracts. The glitch, depending on your seat, comes when Ghanaian leadership changes, the justice department is called in to investigate allegations of corruption on the part of the U.S. firm and credit contracts due to the financial crisis.
The film’s backdrop is the increasing violence in Nigeria, where militants are stealing from and blowing up foreign gas pipelines in an effort to siphon off profits from the corrupt Nigerian government who isn’t sharing the riches. The doc simultaneously looks at the process and implications of western companies investing in foreign oil ventures, profiles an African country trying to profit after centuries of exploitation and watches as everyone navigates how to slice the billion-dollar pie.
Actor-producer Brad Pitt made an unannounced appearance at the annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas to show off material from his upcoming apocalyptic epic, “World War Z.”
“Listen, five years ago, I knew absolutely nothing about a zombie; today, I consider myself an expert,” Pitt said, smiling for a packed house of surprised theater owners at Caesars Palace on Monday night. “This whole thing started because I just wanted to do a film that my boys could see before they turned 18 — one that they would like, anyways. And they love a zombie.” The 49-year-old Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie have six children, including three sons.
“So, we settled on this book, Max Brooks’ book, called ‘World War Z,’” Pitt continued. “We were faced with two Herculean challenges: How do we keep the global, spectacular, dynamic scope of the book and how do we originate a genre that’s been done quite often and really, really well? What you’re about to see is our answer to those two questions.”
A 3-D version of the film’s trailer was shown, along with 2-D versions of frantic and frightening stand-alone set pieces from the movie, which were perhaps best described as “The Running Dead.”
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Things are moving very quickly on director David Ayer’s WWII film Fury. The writer/director sold his spec script to QED in February for a cool $1 million off the success of his 2012 cop drama End of Watch, and last week he landed some major starpower by way of Brad Pitt who signed on to topline the film as an army sergent named “Wardaddy.” Now Columbia Pictures has acquired domestic distribution rights for the film and has set a November 14, 2014 release date, with production poised to begin this coming September. The pic will open opposite Matthew Vaughn’s comic book adaptation The Secret Service and will be sandwiched between Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi pic Interstellar and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.
The story of Fury takes place in 1945 as the Nazi regime collapses and the five-man crew of an American tank called Fury battles a desperate German army.
Brad Pitt, a potential 2014 MTV Movie Award nominee for this summer’s zombie-apocalypse film “World War Z,” has signed on to present the award for Movie of the Year at this Sunday’s 2013 MTV Movie Awards ceremony. And Pitt isn’t the only star coming to the show. “Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage will present the Comedic Genius Award to his “Elf” co-star Will Ferrell in a moment that will surely provide the Internet with plenty of GIF fodder.
Movie of the Year, the biggest award of the night, is an apt award for Pitt to present considering that the actor is one of the biggest stars in the world. The “Moneyball” and “Inglorious Basterds” actor will be handing off the Golden Popcorn to one of last year’s biggest movies — “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Django Unchained,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Ted.” Only time will tell if the winner is human, super human, or a foul-mouthed stuffed animal.
Read more. This airs this sunday, april 14th. Be sure to watch.
Today, with very little effort, anyone can land in virtually any city in this country, and within a day or two, procure their drug of choice. Since declaring a war on drugs 40 years ago, the United States has spent more than a trillion dollars, arrested more than 45 million people, and racked up the highest incarceration rate in the world. Yet it remains laughably easy to obtain illegal drugs. So why do we continue down this same path? Why do we talk about the drug war as if it’s a success? It’s a charade.
The drug war continues because it is a system that perpetuates itself. On a local level, any time a bust is made, scarcity drives up prices and, of course, the profit potential. History has taught us that there is no shortage of opportunists willing to fill the void and so the cycle continues and rates of drug use and dealing remain unchanged while incarceration skyrockets.
A high-profile auction of tapes featuring A-list Hollywood stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt auditioning for roles has been cancelled following complaints by the US’s largest acting union.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) stepped in after it emerged that video tapes made by casting directors for 2001′s Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, a 1990 TV adaptation of the 1983 brat pack drama The Outsiders and the 1991 firefighter thriller Backdraft were due to go under the hammer. The tapes included DiCaprio’s failed audition for the role of Ponyboy in Frances Ford Coppola’s little-seen small screen take on The Outsiders, Crowe’s audition for the role of maths genius John Nash in Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind (which eventually won him a Bafta and a nominated for an Oscar for best actor) and auditions by Pitt and Robert Downey Jr for the role of Chicago firefighter Brian McCaffrey in Backdraft (which eventually went to William Baldwin).
“SAG-AFTRA considers the right of performers to control the use of their image to be of utmost importance and we vigorously protect those rights,” the union said in a statement. “Auditions are not public performances, and under SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreements performers are entitled to expect them to remain private. SAG-AFTRA, on behalf of our members, has requested that Julien’s Auctions discontinue the sale of these private tapes, and they have agreed to do so immediately.”
After directing last year’s sadly overlooked police thriller End of Watch, complete with stellar performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, we learned that David Ayer was going into World War II for his next film, Fury. QED International picked up the script from Ayer back in February for a cool million, their biggest spec script deal ever. Now the project is heating up as Deadline reports Brad Pitt is currently in final negotiations to star in the film set in 1945 during the final days of the war as the Nazi regime is collapsing. The story focuses on five crew members of an American tank called Fury as they head into battle.