Newsday, The Times & The Gloomiest Cannes Ever

cityfile · 05/12/09 11:13AM

Jim Dolan's Cablevision says that Newsday is not for sale, which is good since there isn't a company on the planet that wants to buy it. [E&P]
• David Geffen made an offer to acquire the stake in the New York Times Co. controlled by Phil Falcone's Harbinger fund; Harbinger passed. [Fortune]
• The mood isn't too upbeat at the Cannes Film Festival, unsurprisingly. [THR]
60 Minutes' segment on Anna Wintour should air this Sunday. [Gawker]
• As of the publishing biz didn't have enough to worry about, "web pirates" are now posting copies of books on the Internet. [NYT]
Anderson Cooper's ratings have been on the decline all year. [LAT]
OK! appears to be dissolving into chaos. [ASSME, Gawker]

STV · 05/30/08 07:30PM

The totally accidental mystery of the angry critic who stormed out of a crowded Cannes screening of Two Lovers rather than "wait an hour for fucking [director] James Gray" was put to rest this afternoon at Entertainment Weekly, where critic Lisa Schwarzbaum copped to the outburst we once guessed came from Manohla Dargis. "And since I'm giving PopWatch readers a spectacular scoop, let me tell you what happened next," Schwarzbaum wrote. "I extricated myself from the angry mob at 9:30 p.m., took myself out to dinner, had a nice bowl of pasta and a glass of wine, and returned an hour later to a crowd, albeit smaller, still waiting for f——-g James Gray. ... As they say in beer ads, read blog items responsibly!" The catch? Schwarzbaum outed herself on a blog! We're not falling for that one; we'll believe it when it's in the magazine. [EW]

STV · 05/29/08 12:25PM

As if Page Six's blind items weren't problematic enough, NY Post film critic Lou Lumenick last week offered a fun one from Cannes that found our refined hunch-dar betraying us. "Members of the press were lining up at the entrance to the announced venue well more than a hour before [Two Lovers] began," he wrote. " 'I'm not going to wait an hour for f—-ing James Gray,' one major U.S. film critic declared, before storming off, of the film's American director, who is much more popular among critics in Europe than he is in his native country." There's a pretty short list of "major U.S. film critics" these days anyway, but the anecdote provoked visions of the NY Times' Manohla Dargis protesting to the Cannes overlords. However, as Dargis assured us this morning, "storming" is not her style; she indeed waited an hour just like everyone else for fucking James Gray. So it's back to the blind-item drawing board for us, alas. Was Rex Reed at Cannes? [Defamer]

German Cinema Legend Makes Comeback With Cannes' Prestigious 'Crap d'Or' Trophy

STV · 05/28/08 04:45PM

And here we thought Che had it rough with critics at Cannes. Enter Wim Wenders, the New German Cinema pioneer whose Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire were among the fest's most beloved films of the '80s, but yet who's fallen on hard times of late with a string of dodgy bombs including Don't Come Knocking and Land of Plenty. His return to the Croisette with Palermo Shooting, about a fashion photographer who comes face-to-face with death, isn't likely to help matters much — particularly not with the Absolute Worst Review of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival now making the rounds.

Jealous Harvey Weinstein Stakes His Own Claim to 'Valkyrie' Debacle

STV · 05/28/08 11:55AM

Amid all of Tuesday's post-holiday hustle and bustle, we regrettably overlooked perhaps the most profound news item of the day: Harvey Weinstein indirectly hopped in the Valkyrie fray at Cannes by picking up US theatrical/DVD rights to Operation Valkyrie, a 2004 German retelling of the failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. It's the same film Tom Cruise and Bryan Singer made (or are making, with worse accents) only to see it bumped twice to a Feb. 2009 release-date Siberia by Cruise/UA's partners at MGM — oddly the same folks with whom The Weinstein Company shares its own distribution deal. Small world, eh? It gets even weirder — kind of.

Blame France for the New Screenwriting Diddy

People Paula · 05/27/08 07:25PM

He can rap! He can act! He can produce (music AND plays)! He’s the dapperest of gentlemen ever to be accused of assault, bribery, shootings, sweatshop labor, a fatal stampede and making coats out of dogs! And now Diddy has a new occupation: screenwriter. According to the always reliable entertainment news service WENN, Diddy was “so inspired” by this year’s Cannes Film Festival that he decided to venture into feature writing. But wasn’t the festival like two days ago, you ask? Yes, yes it was. Apparently, Mr. Puffycombs wastes no time making his brand new dreams come true.

Cannes Hell Wrap-Up: What Does 'Variety' Have Against 'Che,' Anyway?

STV · 05/27/08 02:10PM

The Cannes Film Festival wound down Sunday pretty much where we left it Friday: Lindsay Lohan still digs girls, distributors mostly kept their checkbooks closed with one or two exceptions, and Sean Penn and his competition jury putatively fulfilled their social mandate by awarding the French schoolroom drama Entre les Murs (The Class) this year's Palme d'Or. The remaining winners reflect both a who's who of perennial Cannes rock stars (screenplay winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, directing winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan) and sure-fire up-and-comers (Best First Film winner Steve McQueen).

Sharon Stone's Bold 'Karma Tectonics' Theory Infuriates Chinese Quake Victims

STV · 05/27/08 12:40PM

When Sharon Stone wasn't joking about Sean Combs's crack budget last week at the Cannes Film Festival's high-powered amFar benefit, she took a few minutes on the red carpet to play amateur seismologist for the international press. That went about as well as you'd expect when, only seconds into discussing the humanitarian crisis facing China after the May 12 earthquake that killed more than 67,000 people, Stone attributed the tragedy to... karma?

Today in Cannes Hell: Market Lags for Everything But Photos of Lindsay Lohan Making Out With Samantha Ronson

STV · 05/23/08 12:00PM

As we established previously, little is happening movie- or industry-wise at the Cannes Film Festival; even Croisette-weary NY Times critic A.O. Scott is officially on the record now with his ambivalence about this year's crop. As such, we lead today's fest news round-up not with the general befuddlement over Synecdoche, New York or continued rapture around Che, but with the only story worth our consideration as the event slumps, thuds and dies until a phoenix-like restoration in 2009: OMG Is Lindsay, like, totally kissing Samantha Ronson? More press conference photos shameless paparazzi indulgence after the jump.

Americans Need Balls, Indies Need Buyers as Chilly Cannes Winds Down

STV · 05/22/08 06:10PM

Where are the big spenders this year at Cannes? After a 2007 buying spree that topped out with Universal snagging We Own the Night for a whopping $11.5 million, only one distributor has made any considerable investment in the current crop of selections — IFC Films, which made news Wednesday by acquiring the acclaimed Irish drama Hunger, its seventh buy in as many days. And even its other deals — an international mash-up including A Christmas Tale (France), Chaser (S. Korea) and the American indie The Pleasure of Being Robbed — are slated for minimal theatrical play as they funnel into IFC's day-and-date on-demand circuit.

Today in Cannes Hell: The Great 'Che' Debate Begins

STV · 05/22/08 11:40AM

One tiny, loaded word pretty much summed up Wednesday at Cannes: Che. Steven Soderbergh's two-part, four-hour-plus biopic premiered last night to a sprawling range of reactions, most of which seem to embrace the challenging film (and particularly Benicio Del Toro's performance as the title revolutionary) even while doubting the film would ever again screen again in its current version. Soderbergh and star Benicio Del Toro were only slightly defensive when it came time to face the press:

Nick Nolte Tells All to Nick Nolte in Stirring New Documentary

STV · 05/21/08 01:10PM

While the Cannes cognoscenti revel in the unblinking confessions of Mike Tyson in his eponymous documentary currently screening there, another opus of self-reflective, crazy-ass candor has found increasing traction at the festival as well. Like Tyson, Nick Nolte: No Exit reportedly features an unadulterated one-on-one session with its subject, but boosts the stakes with the added integrity of an unprecedented Nolte-on-Nolte grilling:

Today in Cannes Hell: Spike Lee vs. The World, 'Che' Unveiled and Mouthbreathing Over Penelope Cruz

STV · 05/21/08 11:55AM

Only a few days remain before Cannes ends and we can roll our bleary eyes from the backs of our heads. In the meantime, the rubbernecker in us can't help but take an interest in Spike Lee's latest sortie against the Hollywood establishment — this time as personified by Cannes darling Clint Eastwood, whom Lee railed against while promoting his upcoming Afro-centric World War II drama Miracle at St. Anna:

The Five Words Defining Cannes '08: 'Macaulay Culkin Group Sex Movie'

STV · 05/20/08 04:55PM

Just when we didn't think we could be muster interest in another dispatch from Cannes, along comes Spout's resourceful Karina Longworth with five words: "Macaulay Culkin group sex movie." Apparently Sex and Breakfast is among the hundreds of films screening at the Cannes market, featuring Culkin and Eliza Dushku (!) as a troubled Los Angeles couple consulting a sex therapist who prescribes open relationships to help liven things up. "After sex, I get this moment of clarity," Culkin says in closing, something he's likely pondered aloud before staring up a Peter Pan ceiling mural at Neverland Ranch. "Do you ever get that?"

Today in Cannes Hell: Gwyneth Paltrow's Breast, Critic Riots and a Word with Charlie Kaufman

STV · 05/20/08 11:40AM

With the minor exception of missing out on Jim Toback's documentary on Mike Tyson (which will screen here this fall anyway — we can wait), the only regret we have so far about sitting out the Cannes Film Festival is our absence at the mini-riot that preceded the press screening of director James Gray's drama Two Lovers, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow. That's when we're at our best, as were Lou Lumenick and the "major U.S. film critic" (*cough* Manohla Dargis *cough*) who apparently exclaimed, "I'm not going to wait an hour for f—-ing James Gray" before an ensuing screening delay, shoving match and seating free-for-all.

Shocker! Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie Make Oscar-Bait Drama Everybody Loves

STV · 05/20/08 11:00AM

Ho-hum. Clint Eastwood went to Cannes and all he got were more late-career raves, award mentions, his star Angelina Jolie on his arm and perhaps the most meta title switcheroo in Hollywood history: The Exchange (née Changeling) has all kinds of fans at the festival, where the child-disappearance drama premieres today in competition and already has Variety's Todd McCarthy running back at his hotel room to change his pants: