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Mike Medavoy Teams up with Shanghai Film Group for Two Productions Print E-mail

Written by: Mike Flemming,

June 13, 2011

Mike Medavoy in China

The Shanghai Film Group has teamed with Mike Medavoy to make a feature film and six-hour miniseries, both set in WWII China. The film will be an adaptation of The Cursed Piano, a novel by Chinese author Bei La. It is a love story set against the backdrop of Japanese-occupied China at a time when Shanghai offered refuge to Europe's persecuted Jews. The miniseries will be based on Daniella Kuhn's story Tears of the Sparrow, and that will focus more closely on the Jewish experience in Shanghai. The film and mini will be made in concert and will share story elements and characters. Medavoy and Shanghai Film Group president Ren Zhonglun announced the project at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Black Swan Graces Cover of '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die' Print E-mail

Barron's Educational Serires has chosen Black Swan as the cover of the fourth edition of their 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die! Check out the beautiful cover and the publisher's description below.

Natalie Portman: Oscars 2011 Best Actress Winner Print E-mail

Natalie Portman wins Oscar

All that sacrifice was worth it.

Natalie Portman was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress for her starring role in "Black Swan," in which she plays a mentally plagued ballet dancer striving for perfection and the lead part in "Swan Lake" -- and losing her mind in the process.

Portman trained for over a year for the role, losing extreme weight, cracking a rib and pushing her body to the limit. In fact, at one point, she even thought the role would kill her. Turns out, it took her career to new heights.

She also got a family out of the deal; Portman fell in love with choreographer and film dance partner Benjamin Millepied; the two are engaged and expecting a child.

The win caps off an impressive sweep for Portman, who took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress, as well as the Independent Spirit Award.

Cameron Diaz Confirmed for What To Expect When You're Expecting Print E-mail
Written by:
May 13, 2011

diaz what to expect expecting
Lionsgate and the producers of the film adaptation of the worldwide bestselling book What to Expect When You're Expecting have announced that Cameron Diaz will be starring in the film, which is expected to begin shooting mid-Summer 2011. Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine, Nanny McPhee) is directing the film, which was acquired from a script by Heather Hach and re-written by Shauna Cross (Whip It). The film is based the book by Heidi Murkoff that has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 500 weeks. Lionsgate has worldwide rights to the film.
'Black Swan' director Darren Aronofsky defends Natalie Portman in body-double controversy Print E-mail
Written by Adam Markovitz   
Monday, 28 March 2011 15:31

Responding to claims that Black Swan star Natalie Portman didn’t do the majority of her on-screen dancing in her Oscar-winning role, director Darren Aronofsky released the following statement through studio Fox Searchlight:

“Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched.  28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that’s 80% Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie Portman.

And to be clear Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic. I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don’t want anyone to think that’s not her they are watching. It is.”

Last Friday, ballerina Sarah Lane told EW that Portman only danced 5 percent of the full-body shots in the film. She also claimed that one of the film’s producers asked her not to speak publicly about her work during Oscar season. Lane’s comments came after Black Swan choreographer (and Portman fiancé) Benjamin Millepied told the L.A. Times that Natalie did “85 percent” of the dancing in the film. Lane could not be immediately reached for comment regarding Aronofsky’s statement.

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