MPAA Overturns NC-17 Rating for ‘Blue Valentine’

In a rare case of a successful appeal before the MPAA, the NC-17 rating initially slapped on Derek Cianfrance‘s Blue Valentine has been overturned. Harvey Weinstein personally appeared before the appeals board to plead on behalf of the film. The film will go out to theaters with an R rating. Read More »

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It’s been a big Toronto Film Festival for Harvey Weinstein, as The Weinstein Company picked up films like Dirty Girl, Sarah’s Key and the surprise hit of the fest, Submarine. But there’s another Harvey-related buy that might not make him as happy: IFC has picked up Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project, a documentary about the industry titan.

The Barry Avrich-directed and produced film is said by IFC to be “a powerful, uncensored, no-holds-barred account that traces Weinstein’s path from concert promoter on the cold streets of Buffalo to his first trip to the Cannes Film Festival, where he arrived with one pair of pants and closed his first movie deal, to winning an Oscar, and breaking the bank with his first $100 million film.” Avrich previously claimed the film would be balanced, rather than a hatchet job.

The film isn’t yet finished, and a release date hasn’t been reported.[Deadline]

After the break, sales deals for John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole, the Korean thriller I Saw the Devil, and pre-sales for Almodovar’s next and Dredd. Read More »

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If you were following the Disney sale of Miramax earlier this spring, there was the point where it seemed almost a foregone conclusion that Bob and Harvey Weinstein — the guys who started Miramax in the first place, and named it after their parents — had successfully wrangled a deal to regain control of the company name and film library (despite Disney’s insistence to the contrary). In conjunction with supermarket mogul Ron Burkle, i.e. the guy providing the money, the Weinsteins supposedly had Miramax sewn up and would be announcing their triumph at Cannes.

Now, what’s being announced is that the deal has fallen apart. Read More »

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We have the intersection between famous people and crazy people to thank for no small amount of entertainment. Take the lawsuit filed by Dannez Hunter, who claims that in 1999 he submitted a story treatment to Miramax about a character named Ren. Hunter claims that Ren became O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill, and that Quentin Tarantino stole elements of his treatment, including the specific manner of murder of Ren’s mother.

But it gets better, because Hunter also applied for a job at Miramax, and was, ahem, “never given a return phone call, as numerous similar situated less qualified Jewish and White people were bestowed job after job after job.” He wants a bag full of money, in part because whites and jews got all the royalties from Kill Bill. Good luck with this one, buddy. [TMZ]

After the break something slightly more substantive but less amusing: Tarantino reportedly may make a Harvey Weinstein documentary. Read More »

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Some of the most entertaining moments in the movie business come about when one overbearing personality gets a chance not just to be a total dick to another, but to be relatively justified in doing so. Harvey Weinstein is a master of these moments. When thinking about talking crap about the responsibilities of Mr. Weinstein, you should be prepared for a scathing response.

In 1988, Errol Morris got a taste of Weinstein’s ability to dress down filmmakers in his employ when Morris complained about Miramax’s efforts to promote his film The Thin Blue Line. The movie’s place in history is well-known by now (as the subject of the film, convicted killer Randall Adams, was exonerated after its release) but at the time Morris thought Harvey needed to do more to sell the film. As it turns out, Harvey thought exactly the same thing about Morris, as a letter sent to the director demonstrates.

How’d you like to receive a missive that begins with the following? “Heard your NPR interview and you were boring. You couldn’t have dragged me to see THE THIN BLUE LINE if my life depended on it.” Check out the full letter after the break. It is glorious, even if you’re a devoted Morris fan.[via Gordon and the Whale] Read More »

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Sometimes a trade headline catches my eye and I can do nothing but stare at it for a few moments in disbelief. This is one of those times. Peter Biskind, the rabble-rousing chronicler of Hollywood, spilled a lot of secrets about the 1990s American indie film scene in Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film. (‘Chronicler’ is being generous, according to some who claim that Biskind fabricates or selectively reports facts and events.)

Now the book is, improbably, becoming the basis for a film called Down and Dirty, for which Vincent D’onofrio has been tapped to star as Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein. What I’d give to hear any phone call between the mogul and actor discussing this project. Read More »

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When Harvey Weinstein picked up the $2 million rights to A Single Man, he’s said to have personally guaranteed director (and former Gucci creative director) Tom Ford an Oscar for Best Director or Best Picture. And though a statuette for either category seems unlikely given ’09’s ‘stiff competition, especially in light of the Coen Bros.’ fantastic A Serious Man, a nom(s) remains quite possible. Critical response and hip international buzz is equally strong. Today, the official trailer has surfaced, and oddly enough, its classy use of repetitive-as-to-be-thrilling music and imagery sans plot is similar to the ballsy trailer for the Coens’ opus. And not unlike the recent poster (below) for A Single Man, its trailer playfully or curiously omits the lead character’s sexual preference.

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According to Deadline minutes ago, the Weinstein Company has temporarily (permanently?) pulled the plug on pre-production for Halloween 3D. With rumors circulating today throughout the industry that Summit Entertainment, flush with Twilight monies, might pursue an acquisition of TWC, this is not a good look. Sources tell Nikki Finke that TWC simply believed the production schedule was too fast—November ’09 start for a summer ’10 bow—only after receiving the script today. In the meantime, haters of Rob Zombie‘s recent Halloween II will be glad to hear that TWC is re-releasing the $31m grossing sequel on Halloween, news that demands the following: Derrrr.

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A couple months ago, Quentin Tarantino told the New York Times that he had a half-written prequel to Inglourious Basterds that he’d like to make if the first does well. This didn’t come as much of a surprise; if there’s one thing Tarantino likes to do, it’s mention follow-up projects to whatever he’s currently promoting. Additional Kill Bill stories and anime, the Vega Brothers movie and other projects have all been QT-touted vaporware over the years. Then again, Inglourious Basterds was vaporware for a decade, too, and now it exists. So who the hell am I to say? Why you might actually see a prequel/sequel to Basterds, after the jump. Read More »