Make cinemas immobile
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