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    Showing posts with label Tribeca Film Festival. Show all posts

    Robert De Niro, Judd Apatow Discuss 100 Years Of Universal At The Tribeca Film Festival

    At the end of April, Universal Studios celebrates its 100th anniversary. To mark the milestone, the studio has a heavy presence at the eleventh annual Tribeca Film Festival. Its upcoming comedy, "The Five-Year Engagement," opened Tribeca on Wednesday night, and on Thursday, the fest hosted Judd Apatow and Robert De Niro for an hour-long discussion about their contributions to the studio.

    De Niro has made twelve films for Universal throughout his lauded career, including "Meet the Parents," "Cape Fear," "The Deer Hunter," "Casino" and "Midnight Run." All four of Apatow's directorial efforts ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Knocked Up," "Funny People" and the upcoming "This is 40") were released by Universal, as was the Apatow-produced comedy "Bridesmaids." (He also produced "Five-Year.") As Universal president and CEO Ron Meyer said at the beginning of the presentation, the two men are "an integral part of [the] organization."

    Despite a shaky start -- mostly owing to the fact that moderator Mike Fleming asked a torrent of questions about De Niro's work in "The Deer Hunter," his first Universal feature, that the actor didn't seem all that interested in answering -- Apatow and De Niro had a good rapport during the panel, discussing everything from personal failures to the future of digital filmmaking. (Meryl Streep, who made "Out of Africa" and "Mamma Mia" for Universal was scheduled to attend, but had to bow out due to an illness in her family.)

    Tribeca Film Festival: Women Play Starring Role

    If there's a keynote performance at the 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival, it may well be Abbie Cornish's riveting portrayal of a Texas single mother who, desperate for money to regain custody of her son, haphazardly smuggles Mexican immigrants across the border.

    Such leading roles don't frequently come around for women, but this year's Tribeca boasts a boatload of them. In David Riker's "The Girl," which will make its world premiere in competition at the festival, Cornish's fraught, sweaty performance of a mother on the brink bears two more pervasive themes at the 2012 Tribeca: financial straits and overlapping worlds.

    "It totally rebirthed me as an actor," says Cornish, the Aussie actress of "Bright Star" and "Limitless." "It felt like it was the first time again. In making the film, I felt like it was the best I had ever been as an actor in all regards – as an actor, as a collaborator, as a human being."

    The New York festival, founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, opens Wednesday with the flashy premiere of the comedy "The Five-Year Engagement," starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt. Tribeca is punctuated by such popcorn-friendly tent-pole events, including the closing night superhero bonanza, "The Avengers," and numerous outdoor screenings.

    The slate, numbering 90 movies this year, is typically among the most varied (and hardest to define) of the large international festivals. This year's selections were programmed by a somewhat new team that includes veterans of Sundance and Cannes.

    "These are stories that start off on familiar turf – on territory and genres that I feel like I know where this is going – and take turns and go in directions that I totally didn't anticipate," says Geoff Gilmore, the chief creative officer of Tribeca Enterprises, who programmed the Sundance Film Festival for years. "And they end up feeling fresh."

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