Tom Cruise the movie mogul
Tom Cruise reportedly brought down the house at a recent Hollywood preview of Tropic Thunder, in which he has an uncredited cameo as a bald, hairy-chested, foulmouthed movie mogul who’s only too happy to throw an actor to the wolves when his popularity slips.
Coincidentally, in August 2006, after starring in some huge hits for Paramount, Cruise was dropped by Sumner Redstone, the chairman of Viacom, the studio’s parent company.
A Paramount production directed by Ben Stiller, Tropic Thunder is an action comedy about actors whose jungle war movie turns unexpectedly real. It stars Stiller, Robert Downey Jr (who spends most of the movie in blackface), Jack Black, Nick Nolte and Matthew McConaughey, and opens here on September 19th.
Meanwhile, the release of Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie, starring Cruise, sporting a black eye patch as a German officer who plotted to assassinate Hitler, has been delayed for a second time. It’s now set for February 2009.
Drama on the Burren
Shooting began in Co Clare last week on Love and Savagery. The CanadianIrish co-production, directed by John N Smith (Dangerous Minds), is set in 1968, when a Newfoundland geologist (Allen Hawco from Closing the Ring) is exploring the Burren, He falls for a young local (Sarah Greene from Eden), but she is committed to entering a religious order. The Irish executive producer is Tristan Orpan Lynch of Dublin-based Subotica Entertainment.
Celtic media in focus
Jimmy McGovern, the award-winning writer of Cracker, Hillsborough and Priest, is among the guests at the Celtic Media Festival, which runs from Wednesday to Friday next week in Galway. Speakers will include Once executive producer David Collins; Garage producer Ed Guiney; pioneering fly-on-the-wall documentary director Paul Watson; and producer Philip Edgar-Jones, who has overseen the UK series of Big Brother. www.celtic mediafestival.co.uk
Film School/ Screen Academy
The National Film School at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dún Laoghaire, is a partner with Screen Academy Scotland (at Napier University in Edinburgh) and the Baltic Media School in Tallin, Estonia, in ENGAGE, a project to help film and TV students and graduates collaborate across frontiers. The 24 selected participants will learn about script development, finance, production and distribution in an international context through a series of workshops, the first of which begins in Dublin today.
Krasinski behind the camera
John Krasinski, who plays Jim Halpert in the US version of The Office, is following the example of George Clooney, his director and co-star in Leatherheads, (opening today and reviewed on page 11). Krasinski is in post-production on Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, his first feature as writer-director. It stars Julianne Nicholson as a jilted student exploring the male psyche for her graduation dissertation, with Dominic Cooper, Christopher Meloni, Bobby Cannavale, Max Minghella and Tim Hutton.
Three movies for Swift
Jonathan Swift will be celebrated with three screenings in the Dublin: One City, One Book event. The 1939 animated version of Gulliver’s Travels is playing the Irish Film Institute at noon tomorrow, with Mary McGuckian’s Words Upon the Window Pane, featuring Jim Sheridan as Swift, there at noon on Sunday. Kieran Hickey’s documentary Jonathan Swift will be shown at Central Library in the Ilac Centre at 1pm daily from April 21st to 26th. Admission to all screenings is free. www. dublinonecityonebook.ie
Ve haff vays of making you laff
John Krasinski: want to be just like George