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Category: Michel Hazanavicius

Tony Curtis documentary to open the L.A. Jewish Film Festival

May 2, 2012 |  8:30 am


"Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom," a new documentary on the late actor born Bernie Schwartz in the Bronx, opens the 7th annual Jewish Film Festival on Thursday evening at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

Several participants in the documentary, including actresses Theresa Russell, Mamie Van Doren and Sally Kellerman, and Curtis' widow, Jill Vandenberg Curtis, will participate in a discussion at the screening. 

The festival, which attracts some 4,000 people, will screen 26 features, documentaries and shorts through May 10 at various locations.

"There is something for everyone and in every area," said Hilary Helstein, executive director of the festival.

She admitted that people often confuse the L.A. Jewish Film Festival and the Israel Film Festival, which took place in L.A. in March.

"The Israel Film Festival showcases works from Israel. Our mission is to showcase works that deal with Jewish subjects, Jewish issues, Jewish culture, Jewish matters," she said. "They can come from anywhere."

But she said her goal is to program films that will be of interest not only to a Jewish audience but also to a broad group of filmgoers.

One of the anticipated films in the festival -- at least for cineastes -- is Michael Curtiz's 1924 silent Austrian epic on the exodus of Jews from Egypt, "The Moon of Israel." The director came to Hollywood shortly after making the film and went on to make such classics as "Casablanca," for which he won the Oscar. Penelope Ann Miller of "The Artist" will introduce the film Sunday evening at the Saban in Beverly Hills.

Other films of note are "Shoah: The Unseen Interview," which features interviews and outtakes not featured in Claude Lanzmann's nine-hour epic documentary "Shoah"; the documentaries "The Price of Kings: Shimon Peres" and "Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story"; and the drama "Wunderkinder," about gifted young musicians during World War II.

There will also be comedies, including 2009's "OSS-117: Lost in Rio," (from "The Artist's" Oscar-winning team of director Michel Hazanavicius and actor Jean Dujardin), and "Dorfman" with Sara Rue and Elliott Gould, which closes the festival.

For more information on screenings and venues go to lajfilmfest.org.


Tony Curtis' ever-hot career

Elliott Gould on Groucho Marx, Ingmar Bergman and acting

--  Susan King

Photo: Tony Curtis, left, appears with Sidney Poitier in a scene from "The Defiant Ones." Curtis is the subject of a new documentary opening the L.A. Jewish Film Festival.

Around Town: 'The Artist' crowd's take on spy spoofs

March 1, 2012 |  6:00 am

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
Before they made the Oscar-winning "The Artist," director Michel Hazanavicius and actors Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo made the 2006 spy spoof "OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies," which screens Thursday through Saturday at the New Beverly Cinema, along with the 2009 sequel "OSS 117: Lost in Rio." http://www.newbevcinema.com

Film Independent at LACMA presents "Spotlight on Robert Bresson," Thursday at the Leo S. Bing Theatre. The evening opens with 1956’s "A Man Escaped," which is based not only on Andre Devigny’s account of his escape from a Nazi POW camp during World War II, but also the director’s 18-month incarceration in a camp during the global conflict, and 1971’s "Four Nights of a Dreamer," a romantic drama that has never been available in either DVD or VHS in the U.S. Both films from the renowned French director are presented in new 35mm prints.

LACMA also presents "Ellsworth Kelly Selects," which features three French films chosen by the American painter and sculptor. The series kicks off Friday with Jacques Tati’s lavish 1967 comedy classic "Playtime." And this week’s Tuesday matinee at the Bing is the 1959 comedy hit "Pillow Talk," starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson.

The Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival opens Thursday evening at the Egyptian Theater and continues through March 4. The festival will screen five feature films including Dervis Zaim’s "Shadows and Faces" on opening night and the award-winning "Honey" on closing night. The program also includes short films and a separate short film contest. http://www.latff.org

The American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre commences "Through a Lens Darkly: The Films of Ingmar Bergman" Thursday evening with the Swedish master’s Oscar-winning 1960 film "The Virgin Spring," with Max von Sydow (which later became an inspiration for Wes Craven’s "Last House on the Left") and the unsettling 1968 "Hour of the Wolf," with Von Sydow and Liv Ullmann. Friday’s program features "Cries and Whispers," which was nominated for a 1973 best picture Oscar, and 1978’s "Autumn Sonata," which was Oscar-nominated Ingrid Bergman’s final feature. The family epic "Fanny and Alexander," which won four 1983 Academy Awards including foreign language film, screens Sunday.

Saturday’s offerings at the Aero are a double bill of thrillers directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau: their latest film, "Silent House," with Elizabeth Olsen, and 2003’s "Open Water," with Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis.

And on Wednesday the theater presents its "Wednesdays with Hitchcock" retrospective with the 1951 thriller "Strangers on a Train," with Farley Granger and Robert Walker in his most acclaimed performance.

The Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre kicks off its "Wednesday with Welles" retrospective with "The Third Man," Carol Reed’s classic 1949 film noir set in post-war Vienna adapted by Graham Greene from his novel starring Welles as the charming but diabolical Harry Lime, Joseph Cotten as his old best friend, Trevor Howard and Alida Valli. http://www,americancinemathquecom

Two Gene Autry Westerns -- 1936’s "Red River Valley" and 1950’s "Mule Train" -- screen Saturday at the Autry Center’s Western Legacy Theater. http://www.autry.org

UCLA Film & Television Archive’s "Nina Menkes: Cinema as Story" continues Friday with 1996’s "The Bloody Child" and Wednesday with 2007’s "Phantom Love," at the Billy Wilder Theater. "Kino-Eye: The Revolutionary Cinema of Dziga Vertov" screens "Kino-Week: Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5,-21-25 from 1918, "Vertov Filmed in Person," which features outtakes and excerpts from 1922-’30, and "Vertov Interviews," from post-1935, Saturday at the Billy Wilder Theater. Margarita Nafpaktitis, librarian for Slavic and Eastern European Studies at UCLA, is the special guest

Fiona Fullerton, Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and a pre-"Phantom of the Opera" Michael Crawford star in a 1972 version of Lewis Carroll’s "Alice in Wonderland," Sunday for free at the Wilder Theater. Later that evening at the Wilder, the archive presents two more film in its "Spencer Tracy: That Natural Thing" retrospective: 1937’s "Captains Courageous," and 1938’s "Boys Town" -- Tracy won Oscars for both roles.

And Wednesday’s archive screening at the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown L.A. features the original 1958 "The Fly" and 1965’s rarely screened "Curse of the Fly." http://www.cinema.ucla.edu

Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents a weeklong engagement of director Andrzej Zulawski’s cult horror thriller "Possession," with Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani. The theater is also screening a new 35mm restored print of Charlie Chaplin’s beloved 1925 silent comedy "The Gold Rush," Friday through March 8. And on Wednesday evening, Cinefamily presents a restored print of the 1928 World War I romance "Lilac Time," with Gary Cooper and Colleen Moore. http://www.cinefamily.org

The Skirball Center commences it’s "Through a Glass Brightly: A Paul Mazursky Retrospective" with a free Tuesday matinee screening of 1980’s "Willie & Phil," which was inspired by Francois Truffaut’s "Jules et Jim." http://www.skirball.org

The Los Angeles Animation Festival opens Wednesday and continues through March 11 at the Regent Showcase in Hollywood. Sean Lennon is the artistic director. Among the films and shorts being presented are "Iron Giant" and the 1939 Technicolor film, "Gulliver's Travels." http://www.LAAFest.com


'The Artist' stars talk

Inside Ingmar Bergman

-- Susan King

Photo: Jean Dujardin and Louise Monot star in "OSS 117: Lost in Rio," which screens at the New Beverly. Credit: Emilie De La Hosseraye / Music Box Films

Oscars 2012: 'Artist' director doesn't expect wave of silent films

February 27, 2012 |  8:30 am

Michel Hazanavicius at Oscars 2012: Click for full coverage
“The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius thanked filmmaker Billy Wilder three times in his acceptance speech, but backstage at the Oscars, the best director winner said he would have thanked him “thousands of times” if he could.

“He’s the perfect director. He’s the soul of Hollywood,” Hazanavicius said of the “Some Like It Hot” and “Sunset Blvd.” filmmaker.

As to whether his awards-sweeping black-and-white, almost entirely silent film will influence future filmmakers, he claimed that “The Artist” alone couldn’t make a change in the film industry because “one movie doesn’t change things … 10 movies do,” but if it did, “I would be very proud of it.”

PHOTOS: Red carpet arrivals | Quotes | Winners | Best & Worst

Taking home best picture to cap a successful awards season, “The Artist” wasn’t held back by its throwback format and didn’t have trouble getting acclaim once it started screening at festivals such as Cannes.

“It’s not selling, not promoting. You just smile and say, ‘Thank you,’” Hazanavicius said of what he called a “not difficult” process of spreading awareness about the film.

“The Artist” producer Thomas Langmann, meanwhile, gave the majority of the credit for the film’s best picture win to Harvey Weinstein. Langmann recalled inviting Weinstein to France a month before Cannes to view the movie — one with a French director and cast the producer had barely heard of.

“I was supposed to leave him alone in the screening room, and I checked to make sure that the beginning was going OK, and I heard him laugh and laugh, so I stayed through the whole screening,” Langmann said. “He loved the movie, and I knew that Harvey could sometimes be very enthusiastic. But I saw in his eyes and his attitude that he really cared for the movie, and he believed that maybe we could be here today. I must say I think he’s the only distributor, even with this very special movie, to be able to take it to where it is today.”

“The Artist,” which won five Academy Awards on Sunday night, also took home statuettes for original score, lead actor and costume design.


Oscars 2012: Full coverage

TIMELINE: Eight decades of Oscars history

'The Artist' is big winner at Academy Awards

— Emily Rome and Amy Kaufman

Photo: Michel Hazanavicius backstage in the press room at the Academy Awards on Sunday night. Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times.

Oscars 2012: Woody Allen wins for original screenplay

February 26, 2012 |  7:30 pm

Woody Allen

"Midnight in Paris" writer-director Woody Allen won the Oscar for original screenplay at the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday night.

The Paris-set film stars Owen Wilson as a successful Hollywood screenwriter who roams the streets of the French city encountering literary and artistic megaliths of the past in his present. Allen directed the love letter to Paris, which also stars Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Tom Hiddleston and Kathy Bates.

Allen's original screenplay won the Golden Globe and Writers Guild of America award and earned a nod at the BAFTA Film Awards. At the Oscars, Allen was nominated for director and the film was nominated  for best picture and art direction.

Oscars: Red Carpet | Quotes | Key Scenes Ballot | Cheat Sheet | Winners

The director previously won Oscars for "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Annie Hall."

"Midnight in Paris" bested "The Artist" writer-director Michel Hazanavicius, "Bridesmaids" writers Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig, "Margin Call" writer-director J.C. Chandor and "A Separation" writer-director Asghar Farhadi.

The Academy Awards are taking place in Hollywood and are being televised live on ABC. They are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose membership was recently examined in depth by the Los Angeles Times.

For more Oscars breaking news and analysis, check back on 24 Frames.


Oscars 2012: Full coverage

Follow the Oscars live on Twitter

Timeline: Eight decades of Oscar history

— Nardine Saad

Photo: Woody Allen in November 2011. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times

Oscar predictions: 'The Artist' to take picture, director races

February 25, 2012 |  7:00 am

The Artist

The Envelope's Gold Standard columnist Glenn Whipp is sweeping through all 24 Oscar categories this week, predicting the winners. Check previous posts for tips on marking your Oscar pool ballots for the music categories; short films; sound races; animation, documentary and foreign films; visual crafts; and the screenplay and editing races.

Here, a look at the final two categories -- picture and director -- which will likely bring some serious noise for “The Artist.”


The nominees:

“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
“The Help”
“Midnight in Paris”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

And the winner is … “The Artist.” It became ridiculously popular to compare this year’s best picture race to the Republican presidential primary, casting “The Artist” as the middling Mitt Romney-like candidate that nobody particularly loves but who will somehow end up winning, much to the consternation of True Believers across the land.

The problem with this analogy is that while you might be hard-pressed to find a passionate Romney enthusiast outside his own immediate family, quite a few people truly love “The Artist,” among them folks who aren’t easily won over by nostalgia or charming trifles. The New York Film Critics Circle gave it best picture, as did numerous other critics groups. Those Cannes snobs nominated it for the Palme d’Or and gave the dog, Uggie, a special prize. Yes, the movie’s box-office has been slight, unless you consider that it’s a silent movie imported from France! Given those peculiarities, it has practically put up “Harry Potter” numbers.

The Producers Guild win all but sealed the deal. Back-to-back best picture winners for Harvey Weinstein. And he has Paul Thomas Anderson, David O. Russell and Quentin Tarantino lined up this coming fall. Let the backlash begin!

Unless … The backlash swings into action early. Then maybe enough voters thought that the pitch-perfect, contemporary family dynamics at the heart of “The Descendants” merited a win. Hey, it is the only nominee not set in the past.


The nominees:

“The Artist,” Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants,” Alexander Payne
“Hugo,” Martin Scorsese
“Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen
“The Tree of Life,” Terrence Malick

And the winner is … Since the Directors Guild winner has taken this Oscar 57 times in its 63-year history, relative newcomer Hazanavicius (he’s practically a toddler compared with most of the rest of this field) wins over the worthier likes of Scorsese and Malick. Too bad last year’s bridesmaid, David Fincher, won’t be at the bar to offer consolation.

Unless … Voters name “The Artist” best picture, but decide there’s room enough to honor that other nostalgic love letter to Hollywood’s past, "Hugo."


New York critics name 'The Artist' best film of the year

DGA names 'The Artist's' Michel Hazanavicius best director

Oscars 2012: Cheat Sheet | Key Scenes | Pundit's picks | Ballot

-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo in "The Artist." Credit: Weinstein Co.

'The Artist' stars and other Oscar nominees set for Santa Barbara film fest Saturday

February 2, 2012 | 11:56 am

The Artist

Among the many events for Oscar nominees to attend as awards season heats up is the 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which this weekend will feature panels with filmmakers including “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius and “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig.

The festival, which kicked off Jan. 26, wraps Sunday after a weekend of multiple panels and final screenings. Among the films still screening are the Adrien Brody-starrer Detachment and the documentary Nothing Like Chocolate,” which received a standing ovation at its premiere last weekend.

Sharing the stage with Hazanavicius and Feig at the directors panel at 11 a.m. Saturday are five other directors who also helmed Oscar-nominated films, including “Rango” director Gore Verbinski and "Hotel Rwanda" director Terry George, nominated this year for his short film, "The Shore."

Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein will moderate the Movers & Shakers panel at 2 p.m. Saturday for a Q&A with six filmmakers behind some of this year’s Oscar best picture nominees, including “The Descendants” producer Jim Burke and “Hugo” producer Graham King.

SBIFF also presented awards to Viola Davis, Christopher Plummer and Martin Scorsese. On Saturday, "The Artist" stars Bérénice Bejo and Jean Dujardin will receive the festival's Cinema Vanguard Award.

Festival tickets and schedule are available at Sbiff.org.


Santa Barbara Film Festival to honor 'The Artist' stars

'Rango,' 'Margaret' head back into movie theaters Friday

Oscars 2012: 'Descendants' producer closer to 'career goal' with nom

— Emily Rome

Photo: "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius (left) will participate on SBIFF's directors panel Saturday. The film's stars, Bérénice Bejo (center) and Jean Dujardin (right), will receive the festival's Cinema Vanguard Award that evening. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times.

Actor John Goodman does both silent and 'Extremely Loud'

January 30, 2012 |  6:00 am

John Goodman
John Goodman has stolen plenty of scenes with midsize and supporting roles, including memorable turns as the unhinged bowler and Vietnam veteran Walter in “The Big Lebowski,” the everyman father Dan on the TV series “Roseanne” and the lovable blue beast Sulley in the animated film “Monsters Inc.” This year, Goodman pops up in two high-profile Oscar contenders, playing a movie studio boss in the old Hollywood-inspired silent film “The Artist” and a doorman in the 9/11 drama “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”

Goodman spoke to 24 Frames from London, where he is working on the BBC miniseries “Dancing on the Edge,” about his work in two very different films.

You’re in two movies up for best picture at the Academy Awards. That must be gratifying.
Right now it’s cool. It would be cooler if one of them wins. But it’s just nice to be in successful things.

Let’s start with “The Artist.” How different was it acting in a silent film?
It goes back to the old days where you’d put up a scenario and then improvise your dialogue. The only challenge really was improvising with Jean Dujardin, who doesn’t speak any English — or, he didn’t at the time. He’s learning very rapidly. And I done flunked high school French. But we knew what we were talking about, and we listened very closely to each other, which led to a great ensemble feeling. Everybody knew they were doing something that was a little off, a little different, a little special. It created a great camaraderie in the cast. [But] the acting wasn’t really any different. You just look at each other and pay attention and listen.

Are you a big fan of silent movies?
Yeah. The older I get, the more I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into what we do. Watching those guys creating, especially like Buster Keaton, [Charlie] Chaplin, I can’t believe that they did the stuff they do. Incredible skills went into it. What I’m learning to appreciate now is like my character [in “The Artist”] — these were really tough. They wanted to entertain people and wanted to put butts in the seats. To do that, they had to wrestle all kinds of stuff but ultimately have a gut feeling about what looked good up there and what people wanted to see.

What was it like working with director Michel Hazanavicius?
He presented me with a scenario for the movie since they couldn’t show me a screenplay, which was a beautiful printed scenario — it had pictures of old Hollywood movies. The way he presented it to me, I said, “Well this guy really knows his onions and he knows what he wants and he obviously has a passion for it.” So he kind of sold me there. And then we met on Wilshire Boulevard and talked about what he wanted to do, and I was ready to go.

You’re also in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” a very different film in terms of tone, story and setting. Do you see any similarities between the two films?
Well, “The Artist” is a story of loss and redemption, and I guess in a way, “Extremely Loud” is as well.

What was it like working with director Stephen Daldry?
Oh, he was great. He’s story-first. He seemed to me like a theater guy, because he set up a  rehearsal space in Brooklyn and we went over the scenes over and over and over again. I just love that. I really like to rehearse, figure out what I’m doing. I actually only wound up working one day on [the film], and they kept asking me if I still wanted to do it, and I said, “Yeah, I’m in.” The screenplay was very moving when I read it, and I wanted to be a part of it. I’ll follow Stephen Daldry off a roof.

It sounds as though there was a lot of improvisation on “The Artist” and more rehearsal on “Extremely Loud.” Do you have a preferred way of working?
I do whatever they tell me to pretty much, but I do like to rehearse to get it down. To me it pays off because I’m a slow learner. I don’t trust myself to improvise. Thank god the microphones were not on [for “The Artist”]. But the more you do it, you get better and better at it.

They say comedy is one of the hardest things to do in show business. As someone who’s done his fair share, do you find that to be true?
It’s difficult, but I don’t think it’s as hard as people say it is. It’s something you feel. You either got it or you ain’t.

You’ve been to the Academy Awards before. Is there anything you’d add to, subtract from or change about the show?
No [laughs]. The show is what it is. I don’t think they should worry about pleasing people. I think that’s been a fault in the past. They worry about trying to get a new audience or whatever — just relax and be the Oscars.


Oscars 2012: 'The Artist,' 'Extremely Loud' up for best picture

John Goodman on what the actors say in a silent movie [video]

Directors Roundtable: Daldry, Hazanavicius and others talk shop

— Oliver Gettell

Photo: John Goodman as studio boss Al Zimmer in "The Artist." Credit: The Weinstein Co.

DGA names 'The Artist's' Michel Hazanavicius best director

January 28, 2012 | 11:17 pm

Scorsese payne hazanavicius fincher dga

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

The Directors Guild of America on Saturday evening named Michel Hazanavicius best film director of 2011 for “The Artist,” the nostalgic black-and-white, nearly silent movie that hearkens back to the time of transition in Hollywood from silents to talkies. It is the first guild win for the 44-year-old French filmmaker.

"It's maybe the highest recognition I could hope. I really love directors, I over-respect directors. This is very moving and touching to me," he said, receiving a standing ovation. "Best director -- I really don't know what that means. All movies are different, so it's a strange thing to try to compare them and say which is best, but I'm very happy to get this. Thank you."

The other nominees were Martin Scorsese ("Hugo"), Woody Allen ("Midnight in Paris"), David Fincher ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") and Alexander Payne ("The Descendants").

PHOTOS: Directors Guild of America Awards

The DGA feature film awards are considered one of the most dependable bellwethers for the Academy Awards for best director. Over the past 63 years, the DGA and academy have disagreed on their choices only six times. The last time was nine years ago when Rob Marshall won the DGA award for “Chicago” and Roman Polanski was named best director by the academy for “The Pianist.”

Hazanavicius had already been named best director by the New York Film Critics Circle and the Critics Choice Movie Awards. He was in contention for a Golden Globe and is nominated for a BAFTA and Independent Spirit Award for best director.

Last week, “The Artist” won the Producers Guild of America award, which is one of the indicators for the best film Oscar. On Tuesday, “The Artist” earned 10 Oscar nominations, one less than the top nominee “Hugo.” Hazanavicius is up for three of those Oscars for director, screenplay and editing.

The 64th annual DGA Awards were held at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland. Recent Golden Globe winner Kelsey Grammer was the host of the evening, succeeding Carl Reiner, who had become an institution at the event, hosting 24 times. Reiner agreed to host for a final time at the 2011 ceremony.

"Welcome to what will be a glorious night....for some of you. Last year we celebrated the DGA awards of biblical length -- it was so long, the Mayans could not predict an end," he said. "The director's cut was two hours shorter. Even James Cameron said, 'it was too long.'"

Before being named the night's big winner, Hazanavicius was presented with his nominee medallion by his two stars, Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin. Upon taking it, he said: "It's a thrill to be here and to be among these wonderful directors. I'm honored," he said in accepting the medallion. "Maybe you haven't noticed but I'm French. I have an accent and I have a name that is very difficult to pronounce. I'm not American and I'm not French, actually. I'm a filmmaker. And I made a film about my love for Hollywood. We create stories that tell people they are not alone. We separate life from shadows. Hollywood helped me grow up. I believed in values like courage, perseverance and integrity."

"I made this film as a love letter to Hollywood. I feel like I am being accepted by you -- not you as Americans but as filmmakers. So thank you." And he added:  "For my wife Berenice, I'm so glad we shared this together and I love you."

The guild gave James Marsh the award for feature documentary for "Project Nim."

The DGA award for best directing in a TV comedy series went to Robert B. Weide, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ("Palestinian Chicken").

In accepting, Weide said: "I have very mixed feelings about this because this means that I just lost a $300 bet to my wife, Linda. Why do they call this a medallion? It's a plate. I understand when you go to Don Mischer's house for dinner, you actually eat off of these."

Other awards handed out Saturday night:

Movies for Television and Mini-series: Jon Cassar, "The Kennedys"

Dramatic TV series: Patty Jenkins, for the pilot of "The Killing"

Musical variety TV: Glenn Weiss, for the 65th annual Tony Awards 

Reality TV programs: Neil P. Degroot, for "Biggest Loser"

Daytime TV serials: William Ludell, for "General Hospital" ("Intervention")

Children’s programs: Amy Schatz, for "A Child's Garden of Poetry" 

Commercials: Noam Murro

Three special awards were also presented. Ed Sherin was named an Honorary Life Member; Katy Garretson received the Frank Capra Achievement Award; and Dennis Mazzocco recieved the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award.

[For the record, 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29: A previous version of this post misspelled the last name of "Project Nim" director James Marsh as March.]


Oscar nominations: Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese top list for best director

Oscar nominations: Who's been hottest so far this awards season?

'The Descendants' expands rapdily, 'The Artist' slowly

-- Jasmine Elist and Susan King

Photo: Directors Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, Michel Hazanavicius and David Fincher attend the 64th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards Meet the Nominees Breakfast held at the DGA on Saturday.Credit: Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA 


Martin Scorsese on being reviewed: 'You can't be bothered'

January 25, 2012 |  1:03 pm

There are certain external indicators filmmakers can look to when trying to evaluate the quality of their work — positive reviews, triumph at the box office, awards gold — but even these are imperfect measures. So how and when do filmmakers know if they've made a good movie?

At the recent Envelope Directors Roundtable, Martin Scorsese ("Hugo"), Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist"), Alexander Payne ("The Descendants"), George Clooney ("The Ides of March") and Stephen Daldry ("Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close") addressed that question.

"I have a problem: I always think it's good," Hazanavicius said of his work. "So I think I'm not a good judge, really." But, he added, "What's true one day in October on a set, it's not the same truth four months later in an editing room. So I try to trust what I wrote, to trust what I storyboarded and to let things happen on set."

Payne said he has confident days and not-so-confident days: "Some days I am Orson Welles," he said. "Other days I am the worst loser, impostor, know-nothing, wannabe filmmaker in the world. I believe both with equal conviction."

Scorsese added that it's important to focus on the work and have confidence, without paying too much attention to concerns like movie reviews. "If you read the good ones, you might believe those, and if you read the bad ones, you certainly believe those," Scorsese said. "At a certain point, you've got to work."

Check out their full conversation in the video above.


Directors Roundtable: All seven videos

Directors Roundtable: An anxious, joyful art

Oscars 2012: Scorsese, Hazanavicius, Payne vie for best director

— Oliver Gettell

George Clooney on directing: 'Forward momentum' is important

January 23, 2012 |  6:40 pm

Whether a director is trying to coax a nuanced emotional performance or a death-defying stunt from an actor, earning their trust is an important part of the job.

Filmmakers George Clooney ("The Ides of March"), Stephen Daldry ("Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"), Martin Scorsese ("Hugo"), Alexander Payne ("The Descendants") and Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist") recently visited the Envelope Directors Roundtable and discussed how crucial trust is on a set and how they establish it.

Clooney, who has worked on both sides of the camera, offered a different perspective. As an actor, he said, he inherently has faith in directors whose work he admires. "If I've seen movies of yours that I like and think are good," he said, "then I automatically have a trust."

One of the challenges Clooney has faced in his transition to directing has been earning that same measure of trust with his own casts. "That's a tricky thing to do," he said, but he attempts to do so by keeping things moving, having a point of view and being confident in his choices. "If actors smell blood in the water, the first thing they do is sort of take over," he said.

Hear more of what Clooney and his peers had to say in the video above, and check back tomorrow for a new video from the roundtable.


Alexander Payne on directing: casting is 'first among equals'

Stephen Daldry: Young Thomas Horn is 'a proper leading man'

Martin Scorsese: Doing just one shot makes a fine 'first half-day'

— Oliver Gettell


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