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Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 18/09/2009 - 07:36

Damon feeling lucky to be working with Eastwood
Matt Damon
has signed to star in Clint Eastwood's latest producing/directing project, Hereafter. It marks a move for Eastwood into the supernatural thriller territory, and is being described as being in a similar tone to Sixth Sense. Shooting will begin this Autumn. More at Variety.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 18/09/2009 - 07:09

Music fans are in for several treats this evening. BBC4 has devoted its entire output to music, starting 7.30pm with the Leeds International Piano Competition. Folk music is having a major revival right now - a new series of Transatlantic Sessions at 8.30pm showcases the legendary James Taylor plus Aly Bain, Dan Tyminski and more. At 9pm, How A Choir Works unveils the workings of singing together. Then it's back to the Scottish season for Caledonia Dreamin' at 10pm, a look at the iconic post-punk pop label that was Postcard Records, followed by Home Again, the truly inspiring story of how Edwyn Collins reclaimed his life and music following two devastating brain haemorrhages.

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E20-20 Vision

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 17/09/2009 - 09:31

Walford goes live

Diederick Santer, Eastenders' executive producer, has announced that the soap's 25th anniversary in February 2010 will be marked with a live episode.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 17/09/2009 - 08:13

The Scottish season continues apace on BBC4 and tonight's hot pick is not only Scottish but also is about film. Scotland on Screen is presented by home-grown film star Alan Cumming, who takes us on a tour of a huge range of locations used for shooting movies in the land of tartan. There's the inevitable appearance by Bill Forsyth but watch out too for other giants of Scottish film popping up to chat about the places that had a starring role. Films include The Wicker Man, Trainspotting, Braveheart and Rob Roy (with a comparison of the two) and more. It's a shame the film that follows is Gregory's Girl - charming as it is, it's trotted out too often as the epitome of Scottish cinema and it would have been nice to see a more imaginative choice to follow the documentary.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 17/09/2009 - 07:35

Focus on Netherland
Focus Features
has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions and Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions to create a feature adaptation of Joseph O'Neill's novel Netherland. Christopther Hampton, the Atonement screenwriter, will turn in a scriot for the project and Sam Mendes could potentially direct. More on this story at Variety.

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New trailer for Toy Story in 3D

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 16/09/2009 - 13:49

Pixar has released a new trailer for the 3D version of the original Toy Story in 3D, which is getting a limited theatrical release in the UK next month. The first two Toy Storys have been given the 3D makeover ahead of the release of the ALL-NEW Toy Stoy 3, which is set for release next June (in the US, Israel, Russia, Taiwan, Australia and Brazil; July for the UK). This trailer – plus some footage from Toy Story 3 – were shown to us at the Disney/Pixar animation preview in London last week that was hosted by the great man himself, John Lasseter. All the original voice cast are back for Toy Story 3 – Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, , Erik von Detten, Laurie Metcalf and John Morris, who played Andy – plus newcomers Michael Keaton as a Ken doll, and Timothy Dalton as a thespian hedgehog toy called Mr Pricklepants. I have to say I'm hugely excited about this. I loved the first two Toy Storys, and the storyline for this one – a now-grown Andy is heading off to college – appears to be a real winner. You can read more about the film at last week's blogpost ... or you can watch the trailer below (then go read it)!

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 16/09/2009 - 09:29

Is there no end to ways to reinvent hospital dramas? Casualty had its Holby City spin-off plus "1909" to give us a taste of life before the NHS. Almost all medical soaps seem to focus on A&E so I'm looking forward to watching Trafalgar Battle Surgeon (More4, 10pm) which will tell the story of the famous naval dust-up through the eyes of the HMS Victory's surgeon William Beatty. Things were a tad primitive in 1805 so it's given we'll be getting hacksaws and rum rather than scalpels and novocaine. Francis Magee and a very grizzled Roger Daltrey star.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 16/09/2009 - 09:19

The Italian Job screenwriter dies at 77
Troy Kennedy Martin
, the screenwriter behind the original Italian Job, has died of cancer at the age of 77. He began his career in 1958 at the BBC, before going on to create his most famous TV show, the Liverpool set police drama Z-Cars that ran for 15 years. For more on Troy Kennedy Martin see the Guardian.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 15/09/2009 - 08:42

Patrick Swayze dies aged 57
Patrick Swayze
, the actor know for his standout roles in Dirty Dancing and Ghost, has lost his near two-year fight with pancreatic cancer. He was originally trained as a dancer and had roles on television, stage and movies. Swayze most recently played a tough FBI agent in TV drama The Beast. More at The Guardian .

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Michael Jackson's This Is It ...is this it★ Let's hope so!

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 14/09/2009 - 14:54

Without wanting to invoke the wrath of a pan-global army of rabid Jackophiles, while the world lost a great entertainer in the shape of Michael Jackson this year, there are those who argue that we lost him in the early 90s anyway, and there are others who suggest the best way to give the dead some dignity is to leave them to rest in peace.

Personally, I subscribe to both of the above, and think he missed a chance for contemporary redemption when passing on what was to become Justin Timberlake's debut LP, preferring to wallow in slushy Heal The World invectives, and choosing to not talk about his charity work almost as much as Diana did.

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