Programmers; Miramax Names new VP; Archive Nabs AFM Head; Mirvish Baby
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> Website Offers Peak at Footage Cut from New Toback Film
Chris Blackwell‘s Palm Pictures is turning to the Internet to hype its
upcoming James Toback film, “Black and White,” and raise concerns about the
MPAA‘s ratings system. The company is making available what it calls the
“censored and uncensored versions” of the movie’s MPAA-challenged scene on
the Sputnick7.com website. According to a company statement, the film was
recently submitted to the MPAA ratings board and given an “NC-17” rating
for sexual content.
While the film has since been edited for an “R” rating, Palm decided to
offer both versions of the scene in question, and also provide viewers with
an online bulletin board they can use to air their views on the decision.
Additionally, Toback, and the film’s executive producer Hooman Majd, will
participate in an online chat next Tuesday.
Toback, who also faced ratings issues with “Two Girls and a Guy,” opens
“Black and White” with a clothed threesome — involving two white women and
a black man — in the woods. Participating are actresses Bijou Phillips and
Kim Matalova, and Power, manager and member of the Wu Tang Clan. The
difference between the two scenes is a few seconds that include a movement
of Phillips’ elbow suggesting an act of masturbation.
The film, which will be released later this year or early next year, is
described as the story of “privileged white New York City high school teens
who harbor a reckless fascination with uptown black hip-hop culture.” It
stars Ben Stiller, Brooke Shields, and Robert Downey, Jr., with
performances by Claudia Schiffer, Mike Tyson, Elijah Wood, and Raekwon,
also of the Wu Tang Clan.
[For more information, visit the Sputnick7 site at:
>> MXG Media Targeting Teen Girls with Commerce-Focused Online Channel
Acknowledging that the “teen girl demographic is largely underserved,” MXG
Media has announced the launch of a new online outlet that will offer video
programming for teenaged, or Generation Y, girls. MXG clearly has its
sights set on e-commerce as a core revenue stream for the channel, dubbed
MXGtv.com. The company will enable and encourage viewers to shop for
clothing and accessories worn on the programs.
“In both our online and offline properties, we’ve found that it’s extremely
effective to combine entertainment and commerce opportunities,” explained
MXG VP Jan Gilbreath in a prepared statement. “Entertainment sites
consistently rank among the most popular for teen girls, and apparel is
their single largest spending category, so this is a natural fit.”
[For more information, visit the MXG site at:
>> Lechner Exits Miramax, Replaced by Vaines
Jack Lechner, who left Miramax last month to write a book, will be replaced
by Colin Vaines, the company announced last week. Vaines, formerly the
head of production and development at The Film Consortium in the UK, will
become the IndieWood distributor’s Executive Vice-President of Production.
According to Miramax, Vaines started his career as a reporter for Screen
>> Hamptons Fest Names Blackaby and Hansen Co-Directors of Programming
As reported in indieWIRE in February, Linda Blackaby and Lynda Hansen,
consultants to last year’s Hamptons International Film Festival, have been
named co-directors of programming for the fall festival. The two are
replacing last year’s programmer, David Schwartz who curated the festival
with Deena Juras. The event will run October 20 – 24, 1999 in East
[For more information, visit the official festival website at:
>> Kittleson Leaves AFM for Top UCLA Archive Post
Robert Rosen, who headed the UCLA Film and Television Archive for
twenty-five years and left to become dean of the University’s School of
Theater, Film and Television, has named Timothy Kittleson to the head the
archive. Kittleson led the American Film Marketing Association, which runs
the annual American Film Market.
>> Mirvish’s Deliver
Congratulations to filmmaker, and Slamdance co-founder, Dan Mirvish and his
wife Dr. Rachel Mirvish, on the delivery of their newborn baby. Rebecca
Sophie debuted Monday night in California, measuring 21 1/4 inches and
weighing in at 8 lb., 9 oz.