XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => The Director's Chair => Topic started by: MacGuffin on June 11, 2004, 02:10:39 AM

Title: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on June 11, 2004, 02:10:39 AM
Juliette Binoche Tells Italian Story
Source: Variety

Juliette Binoche will star in Barry Levinson's My Italian Story, which starts filming in Rome and Sicily this fall.

Binoche will play the mother of a Jewish boy in Nazi-occupied Italy during WWII on a quest for a rabbi to perform his bar mitzvah. My Italian Story is based on a true tale.

Variety says the project was written by Gary Foster and Ethan Silverman.
Title: Barry Levinson
Post by: mutinyco on June 11, 2004, 09:41:22 AM
I'm confused. They still let Levinson make movies?
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: Alexandro on March 10, 2006, 04:00:32 PM
i know this is old...but levinson can be decent sometimes...and he can even be good. wag the dog was funny.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: ©brad on March 13, 2006, 08:51:48 AM
i liked sphere.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: Alexandro on March 13, 2006, 12:31:37 PM
i liked avalon....probably his best film.

and when rain man is on tv or something, i always keep watching it.....dustin is something else on that one...

Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on February 08, 2007, 01:31:04 PM
Barry Levinson Directing Boone's Lick
Source: Production Weekly

Production Weekly says Barry Levinson is in talks to direct Boone's Lick, an adaptation of Larry McMurtry's 19th century American West novel, scripted by the author and Diana Ossana. Tom Hanks and Julianne Moore are attached to play the leads.

Location scouting has begun in Wyoming, with production scheduled to begin late summer. McMurtry and Ossana received an Oscar for their adaptation of Annie L. Proulx's novella Brokeback Mountain.

The Western revolves around a headstrong woman who drags her family on a rickety wagon from Boone's Lick, Mo., to the Wyoming fort where her husband lives.

Moore will play the woman and Hanks will play her husband's brother, who escorts the woman, her four children and her father on the trek and falls in love with her during the perilous journey.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on February 08, 2007, 09:40:35 PM
Penn, Willis join De Niro in 'What'
Actor added to cast of Levinson comedy
Source: Variety
Sean Penn, Bruce Willis, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro and Kristen Stewart have joined Robert De Niro in "What Just Happened?," the Barry Levinson-directed comedy that will be funded by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban's 2929 Productions.

Shooting begins March 22. De Niro and his Tribeca Productions partner Jane Rosenthal will produce with Art Linson.

Linson, the veteran Hollywood producer, wrote a screenplay that was inspired by his memoir. In the fictional film, De Niro plays a desperate movie producer trying to preserve some dignity as his soul is slowly destroyed by the machinations of Hollywood and the breakup of his second marriage.

Pic will be exec produced by 2929's Wagner, Cuban and Marc Butan, with Eric Kopeloff. Worldwide distribution rights belong to 2929, and 2929 International is handling overseas sales on the film.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on August 31, 2007, 10:51:01 AM
Barry Levinson on how it all happens
The filmmaker explains how the process works on his newest project, 'What Just Happened?'
Source: Los Angeles Times

In the 25 years since "Diner," Barry Levinson has been one of Hollywood's finest writer-director-producers, with credits that include "The Natural," "Avalon," "Toys" and "Rain Man," for which he won an Oscar.

That's why insiders and movie-lovers alike are gleefully anticipating his new independent comedy-drama, "What Just Happened?," a "sometimes painfully funny" movie about a Hollywood filmmaker juggling ex-wives and volatile projects. It features his "Wag the Dog" star Robert De Niro in the lead role.
Levinson is currently at work in his editing rooms in Connecticut, where he lives with his wife, Diana.

He talked about the filmmaking process.

In His Words: What happened is, Robert De Niro had always been on Art Linson to adapt his book [about his experiences as a Hollywood producer], "What Just Happened?" Eventually, Art wrote a draft of it as a screenplay, De Niro read it, and said, "I really like what this can be," and suggested to Art that it had sensibilities I would understand. I thought it had great potential and really good stuff. We spoke, and it evolved a bit, and over a period of several readings it took the shape for us to go off and finally do it.

The Neverending Process: [In these initial readings] you get a bunch of actors together. It's not like anyone is trying to read for a part, which would add a whole other element to it. We're just doing it so we can evaluate the screenplay. It was very helpful because there were changes from the first one to the second, and then after the second one as well; then there were changes that happened when we went off to shoot, from things that happened along the way. Things continue to evolve. Certain things you do in the course of the movie sometimes have an effect you may not anticipate.

Serendipity: On "Rain Man," I said to Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise one day, "We've got to come up with a little thing that Tom does so at least the audience knows he does care for Dustin as he takes him across country." So someone said, "What about, like, Tom gave him fresh underwear?" And I said, "Let's try it." And Tom says, "I gave you a fresh pair of my underwear," and that leads to Dustin saying "I get my boxer shorts at K-Mart in Cincinnati." . . . That all came out of the thought that we needed a little something, and out of the throwaway we came up with, while we were shooting on a road in Kentucky. And it suddenly becomes something that runs through the movie. An audience will connect to a particular moment and its repercussions will be beyond anything you can imagine. And that's a mystery.

Invention: [When you invent things on the set] you don't want to switch one thing for another just for the arbitrariness of it all; you want to protect what you have in the script and still be open enough to see if some new moment shows itself. It's got to be both; otherwise the thing becomes hermetically sealed, for me.

Schedule: When you're shooting, you may have a 6 a.m. call and when you're finally getting back into a room it's 10:30 at night. Post-production is much more normal: You may go into the editing room at 10 and leave at 6 in the evening.

In the Editing Room: In my mind, I have a scheme about how a scene is supposed to work and what's needed in each scene. But then you hope that a scene doesn't suddenly come apart in the editing room so that you're fighting for its life. Sometimes the scene in front of it is affecting it in some way. And there are all these little surprises that come about. Sometimes you find holding back on some moment makes it all the stronger. It's extraordinary how much impact a particular cut from one shot to another can have. The mathematics of, "We need to extend this shot for six more frames," and suddenly with those six frames I feel something there, that moment, and that's all there is -- it's just extraordinary there.

Finding the Music: I might go in in the morning, and I'll sit with the editor [Hank Corwin] and talk over something for an hour and a half, two hours, and I'll go away for a couple of hours, and wander back. Sometimes I sit and listen to songs and music in general, and it will give me ideas for things I haven't tried with the movie yet. Music has a huge effect. You have to find the voice of the music. You don't want to push the movie emotionally. You have to allow it to breathe on its own. And when you have comedy and drama that plays simultaneously, as in "What Just Happened?," the score can't do both. And therefore you say, "Maybe we shouldn't do anything musically -- maybe we should just play a piece of source music," which doesn't define a scene, and just becomes an element of it. This is not a full-out comedy, not a perky thing that just spins along. It has a lot of energy to it. But it is a blend of dramatic comedy. At times it's painfully funny.

Facing the Music: Every movie has a sneak preview to test it. It's standard procedure. The more challenging the movie, the lower the [approval] number will be. And that doesn't mean the movie can't do well; it's just in the nature of being challenging -- you're forcing the test audience to say what they think, and they haven't figured out what they think, as opposed to if you give them the sequel to something or a movie where they know what the ground rules are.

The Credibility of Testing: They test everything on TV. They go as far as to wire you. They wire you! Pressing buttons, seven seconds into a scene, it's getting boring. And you would assume, because they have all of that, their success rate is 90%. And I think the success rate for a new show is somewhere like 10%. But sometimes, just by being in a room with 10 people watching a film, the energy in the room gives you a certain sense of things: This is a little slow; this is a little draggy here; they didn't know what that meant there. You just sense it.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on January 29, 2008, 12:37:12 AM
Redford, Levinson go for 'Walk'
Plans afoot for adaptation of best-selling travelogue
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Robert Redford and Barry Levinson are lacing up their boots for "A Walk in the Woods," an adaptation of the best-selling travelogue by Bill Bryson.

Levinson is in discussions to direct the long-gestating project, which at one time was being eyed as a Redford-Paul Newman reunion. Levinson's involvement would be a leap forward for the project. Redford plans to star and produce.

A travelogue with wit, satire, political commentary and criticism, the 1998 book is about the attempt by Bryson -- accompanied by an ex-alcoholic friend -- to hit the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, only to get hit right back.

Jason Eberts also is a producer.

"Walk" is not necessarily Redford's next movie. He also is developing an untitled Jackie Robinson project that Thomas Carter is attached to direct. Redford is attached to star as Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey, the executive who broke baseball's color barrier by signing the black second baseman.

Both "Walk" and the Robinson project are dependent on Redford's script approval and are awaiting drafts. The writers strike is delaying that process. The projects also need to finalize financing. Whichever project is further along is the one Redford likely will choose.

The ICM-repped Levinson recently was at Redford's Sundance Film Festival, where he was promoting his Hollywood insider movie "What Just Happened?" The film still is looking for a distributor.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on May 01, 2009, 08:55:40 AM
Barry Levinson going back to 'Sixty-Six'
Writer-director's coming-of-age film will be set in Baltimore
Source: Hollywood Reporter
NEW YORK -- Barry Levinson is going back to Baltimore.

The prolific writer-director will return to his birthplace and cinematic stomping ground with "Sixty-Six," a story about a group of characters coming of age in 1966 Baltimore on the eve of significant historical events such as the counterculture movement and the war in Vietnam.

Levinson will write and direct from his own novel.

The protagonist in "Sixty-Six" is a staffer at a local television station, whom some have noted is a stand-in for Levinson and his professional and personal life. Like one of the director's most famous works, "Sixty-Six" also will feature a diner as the center of social activity.

The film completes an informal series of sorts in which Levinson examines the social dynamics in Baltimore at various periods throughout the 20th century. He kicked that off with 1983's "Diner" set in a very different city of 1959, and covered related ground in "Avalon" (1990), "Tin Men" (1987) and "Liberty Heights" (1999).

"It's really the last of the diner stories," Levinson said of "Sixty-Six." "It's about a world that's on he cusp of a big change and a group of people who are on the cusp of adulthood."

The director said he plans on financing the movie independently and is set to go out to cast shortly.

Levinson most recently completed "Polliwood," which is premiering this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary generally looks at the intersection of Hollywood and politics and the effect that TV has had on the electoral process in particular.

"Like all great inventions, tele¬vision has brought some great changes but I also think it's brought some hugely negative consequences," he said. "And unlike, for example, the automobile, these negative consequences have been far more subtle."

In looking at the interaction of politics and celebrity, the movie explores another passion of Levinson's, which he examined in such satires as "Wag the Dog" and "Man of the Year."

"I've been fooling around with media for a while," he said. "What I wanted to do with this movie was look at the subject as a whole."
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on July 08, 2010, 03:39:12 PM
Barry Levinson to Direct Brother Jack
Source: ComingSoon

Academy Award®-winning director Barry Levinson is attached to helm the film Brother Jack for Columbia Pictures, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures.

Brother Jack, based on the life of human rights activist Jack Healey, is the coming of age story of an idealist who leaves the priesthood for a life on the streets and successfully wages a one man war to elevate the issue of human rights. The screenplay is being written by Harley Peyton, with a current rewrite by Kelly Masterson. The film will be produced by Mosaic and Jack Healey.

Levinson most recently directed and executive produced "You Don't Know Jack," a biopic of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, for HBO, which earned 15 Emmy nominations this morning, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie.

Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, "Barry Levinson is one of the industry's most thoughtful, accomplished and acclaimed directors. His work chronicling the life of Dr. Jack Kevorkian was brilliant and we think his take on how one social activist can influence a nation will be equally engaging and compelling."

Healey is the world-renowned human rights activist and pioneer. An effective and innovative leader in the human rights movement for over 25 years, Healey helped move the topic of human rights from closed-door diplomatic negotiations to widespread awareness, public debate, and direct citizen action. Colleagues credit him with making human rights a major focus of governments, advocacy organization, and individuals around the world.

Called "Mr. Human Rights" by U.S. News and World Report, Healey brought human rights to the global stage by his creative use of media and enlistment of world-class musical talent as advocates and spokespersons as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA for 12 years.

He currently heads the Human Rights Action Network, a non-profit based out of Washington, D.C. Using the arts and new technologies, the organization works creatively to develop new strategies to stop human rights abuses. Healey's goals include spreading awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, restoring Aung San Suu Kyi to power in Burma, creating innovative, forceful, effective solutions to assist victims in protecting themselves, supporting growing human rights groups all over the world, and creating a fund to get people out of harm's way in exceptional human rights abuse cases.

Brother Jack will be overseen at Columbia by Belgrad and Jonathan Kadin. David Householter will oversee on behalf of Mosaic along with George Gatins. Levinson and Masterson are represented by ICM.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: Pubrick on July 08, 2010, 11:21:58 PM
Academy Award®-winning director Barry Levinson

haha please. there has to be a time period after which reminding us of someone's Oscar credentials becomes embarrassing.

Barry Levinson could be the benchmark.. 20 years it is. 

(James L Brooks i'm looking in your direction..)
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on May 04, 2011, 01:56:48 AM
'Rain Man' filmmaker Levinson takes on Gotti story

LOS ANGELES -"Rain Man" director Barry Levinson has signed on to tell a big-screen story about the John Gotti crime family. Academy Award winner Levinson is directing "Gotti: Three Generations," which stars John Travolta as John Gotti Sr. and co-stars Lindsay Lohan and Joe Pesci. Production starts this fall in New York, with the film expected in theaters late in 2012. In an announcement Tuesday, Levinson said he was attracted to the project because it provides an insider's view. The film is told from the perspective of John Gotti Jr., whose life story was acquired by Fiore Films, which is producing the movie. Gotti Sr. died in prison in 2002. "Rain Man" earned four Oscars in 1988, including best picture and director.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: MacGuffin on September 03, 2013, 07:38:34 PM
Bill Murray to Star in Barry Levinson’s ‘Rock the Kasbah’
Source: Variety

Bill Murray set to star in Barry Levinson’s “Rock the Kasbah.”

QED’s Bill Block, Venture Forth’s Jacob Pechenik and Shangri-La Entertainment’s Steve Bing will produce. Mitch Glazer penned the script.

Story follows a burned-out music manager who goes to Afghanistan on the USO tour with his last remaining client. When he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport, he discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice, whom he sneaks back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show, “The Afghan Star,” Afghanistan’s equivalent of “American Idol.”

QED will be selling international rights at the Toronto Film Festival.

Murray can be seen next in Sony’s “Monuments Men.” The ICM Partners-repped Levinson most recently directed “The Bay.”
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: wilder on June 05, 2017, 03:05:15 PM
Al Pacino’s Joe Paterno Film ‘Happy Valley’ Back On At HBO
via The Playlist

A few years back, HBO “suspended pre-production” on “Happy Valley,” a film tackling the Joe Paterno scandal, that would’ve reteamed Al Pacino and Brian De Palma, and had John Carroll Lynch in the role of Sandusky. Well, the suspension became permanent and we pretty much thought the movie was dead, but it’s now kicked back to life.

Deadline reports that HBO has now given the green light to “Happy Valley,” but there has been a creative change. Instead of De Palma behind the camera, the movie will now be directed by Barry Levinson. The director has been tight with HBO most recently helming “The Wizard Of Lies” starring Robert De Niro, and previously working with Pacino on the Jack Kevorkian pic, “You Don’t Know Jack.”

The film will actually be going under a yet-to-be-determined new name (probably to avoid confusion with the documentary about the same subject), with Debora Cahn, John C. Richards and David McKenna all tackling the script about the legendary football coach Joe Paterno, who saw his career and legacy left in shambles when it emerged that his defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been sexually abusing young boys for years. No word yet on if Lynch will return to play Sandusky, but I presume we’ll know soon as this film moves forward.
Title: Re: Barry Levinson
Post by: Alexandro on June 05, 2017, 03:18:08 PM
well, that wizard of lies film was pretty solid and it has the best de niro performance in ages...perhaps his best since the 90s.
pacino en the kevorkian film was brilliant, too. what's with hbo making these old guys swing for the fences again?