Make cine­mas im­mo­bile

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News - Michael Dwyer on film

I note that one of my pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives, jus­tice min­is­ter Michael McDow­ell, is in­tro­duc­ing mo­bile phone block­ing tech­nol­ogy to our pris­ons fol­low­ing a con­vict’s call to Joe Duffy on Live­line last week. I’m sure there are votes out there for any par­ties promis­ing to in­tro­duce this tech­nol­ogy in cine­mas and the­atres, where the use of mo­biles for calls and tex­ting has be­come a per­sis­tent ir­ri­tant for au­di­ences and ac­tors.

In 2003, the op­er­a­tors of the Savoy 1 cin­ema in Dublin took the laud­able de­ci­sion to in­stall an im­ported US Mo­bileBlocker de­vice that scram­bled sig­nals from cell­phones. A day af­ter they were con­grat­u­lated in The Ticket on their en­ter­prise, the Com­mis­sion for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Reg­u­la­tion or­dered the cin­ema to dis­man­tle the equip­ment.

Ap­par­ently, the Savoy was breach­ing the 1926 Wire­less Teleg­ra­phy Act (no kid­ding), along with con­tra­ven­ing EU di­rec­tives on the sale or use of such equip­ment, and on block­ing ac­cess to emer­gency ser­vices. How­ever, even if a gen­uine emer­gency should arise inside a cin­ema, the block­ing equip­ment would not pre­vent mak­ing land­line calls.

Hol­ly­wood: Canada can just do with­out

Blame Canada. That was the ti­tle of the Os­car-nom­i­nated song from the 1999 South Park movie, and now it’s the mantra for Warner Bros, which is re­fus­ing to hold any more pro­mo­tional previews and word-of-mouth screen­ings in Canada un­til the gov­ern­ment makes it il­le­gal to take cam­corders into cine­mas. Over the past 18 months, Warner Bros claims, 70 per cent of all pi­rated films from its stu­dio orig­i­nated in Canada. It’s likely that other Hol­ly­wood stu­dios will fol­low suit.

It’s a Spidey world – you’re just liv­ing in it

Be­fore Spi­der-Man 3 opened last week­end, there seemed to be a con­sen­sus among crit­ics that it would be the last movie in the se­ries. Sur­pass­ing all com­mer­cial ex­pec­ta­tions, the movie shat­tered box-of­fice records ev­ery­where it was re­leased over the week­end, amass­ing over $382 mil­lion in its first three days. Sony es­ti­mates that 80 per cent of all cin­ema­go­ers across the world last week­end chose to see Peter Parker’s latest ex­ploits.

The un­sur­pris­ing re­sult is that there will be many more se­quels. “There will be a fourth [film], a fifth, a sixth and a sev­enth,” Sony Pic­tures co-chair Amy Pas­cal de­clared.

Queen ru­mours are ga ga says Sacha

An­other one bites the dust. The widely re­ported story that Bo­rat star Sacha Baron Co­hen will play Queen singer Fred­die Mer­cury in a biopic have been flatly de­nied by the ac­tor’s pub­li­cist, who dis­misses the re­port as “pure hokum”.

The ru­mour is said to have cir­cu­lated af­ter Co­hen re­vealed his singing voice on the set of the screen mu­si­cal Sweeney Todd, which is due for re­lease here in Jan­uary. Co­hen joins Johnny Depp, Helena Bon­ham Carter, Alan Rick­man, Ti­mothy Spall and Christo­pher Lee in the movie, which is di­rected by Tim Bur­ton and based on Stephen Sond­heim’s stage mu­si­cal, now run­ning at the Gate in Dublin.

Re­turn of the lizard king

Greed is still good, it would ap­pear, given that 20th Cen­tury Fox is pro­ceed­ing with a se­quel to Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, which earned Michael Douglas the 1987 Os­car as best ac­tor for his por­trayal of ruth­less cor­po­rate raider Gor­don Gekko.

The se­quel, Money Never Sleeps, takes its ti­tle from one of Gekko’s guid­ing tenets in the orig­i­nal.

De­spite re­peated in­vi­ta­tions to make the se­quel, Stone has de­clined and a di­rec­tor has yet to be as­signed. But Douglas will be back as Gekko who, af­ter serv­ing time in prison, re­sumes his machi­na­tions on a global scale.

Gay fest gets new di­rec­tor

Michele Devlin, who has been di­rec­tor of the Belfast Film Fes­ti­val since 2000, has been ap­pointed pro­gramme di­rec­tor of the Dublin Les­bian & Gay Film Fes­ti­val, which cel­e­brates its 15th an­niver­sary this year, run­ning from Au­gust 2nd-6th.

On the QT

There! Just got through the en­tire col­umn for the first time in weeks with­out a men­tion of Q*****n T*******o and his G********e project.

King of Bling de­nies Queen ru­mours

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