Eli Roth on Inglorious Basterds

Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Film, Harvey Weinstein, Inglorious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino, Weinstein Brothers


Anne Brodie Aug 20, 2009

M O N S T E R S  A N D  C R I T I C S

Filmmaker and actor Eli Roth made a big impression on the horror world with his edgy outings Cabin Fever and Hostel. But he deals with real world horror in Quentin Tarantino’s WWII outing Inglourious Basterds. They worked together previously on Grindhouse but Basterds looks takes a look at a factual pit of hell – the Holocaust.

Roth plays a sergeant under Brad Pitt’s command in a motley crew of foot soldiers who call themselves The Inglourious Basterds. Roth plays the Jew Bear, a ‘huge and obnoxious” baseball bat wielding Boston Jew who beats his Nazi prey. His men scalp them, their goal – 100 scalps a day each. They spread terror throughout Nazi-occupied Europe and inspire others to stand up against the invaders.

Eli Roth – “We had scalping class. My character used a baseball bat. I’m the sergeant and in charge of them collecting scalps. I’m from Boston so it’s not too far from who I am! Quentin said to the guys in scalping class that whoever does the best job gets close-ups doing it. You can over scalp and scalp too fast and it’s a very delicate art to scalp it properly and make it look good.”

AB – The way Tarantino has shot the film, despite its brutal content, it’s a kind of feel-good movie that would warm the hearts of millions around the world.

ER – “The fictionalised story actually taps into something so real which is the human wish fulfilment of going back in time and sacrificing something to save thousands in this case millions of Jews. Like after 9/11 how I fantasised that I was on those planes and killing the hijackers. Something really, really real. It’s brilliant. It takes an artist like Quentin Tarantino to do it.”

Your Bottled Water is Killing You

Bottled Water, Cinema, Documentaries, Film, Food Inc., IFC, Tapped


Here’s the trailer for the documentary Tapped (warning: window-resizing website), a film about the multi-billion dollar bottled water industry and its effect on “climate change, pollution, health and our reliance on oil.” Kind of like the Food, Inc. of bottled water, the film goes into terrifying detail about the highly unregulated industry that supplies 29 billion bottles of water each year. Fun summer viewing!

Tapped is playing at the IFC Center in New York City through August 6th, moving on to the ArcLight in Los Angeles for a week-long run. If you can’t make the screenings, perhaps the five minute-plus long trailer will do:

Actors Union Reaches Deal With Producers of Television and Film

Alan Rosenberg.ABC.com, AMPTP, CBS.com, Film, Hulu.com, NBC.com, S.A.G., TV


SAG, producers reach tentative deal

By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch

April 17, 2009

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — The Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said Friday that they’ve reached a tentative agreement on a new deal covering TV programs and movies.
Details of the deal will not be disclosed, the two sides said in a joint statement, before the Screen Actors Guild’s board of directors formally reviews the agreement on Sunday during a videoconference in New York and Los Angeles.
A spokeswoman for SAG declined further comment about the agreement.
Should the deal be acceptable to SAG’s board, it probably won’t be ratified until around June 1, says Jonathan Handel, an entertainment attorney at TroyGould.
“Any opposing statements within the Guild have to be drafted, and Membership First has said they’ll oppose any deal,” Handel said, referring to a more militant wing of the guild led by President Alan Rosenberg.
According to SAG’s rules, the tentative agreement would then have to be mailed to SAG members, who would respond by mail.
By the time the voting process is completed, it will be late May, Handel commented.
To be ratified, the deal must receive 50% membership approval. “They won’t get the 90% range of approval that the Writers Guild got when it ratified its deal [last year],” Handel said, because there is opposition. But I think this deal gets done.”
SAG represents more than 122,000 actors. Its previous contract with the AMPTP expired June 30, 2008, a month after the producers walked out on negotiations.
The AMPTP represents the major studios, including those owned by Time Warner Inc. which also owns MarketWatch, the publisher of this report.
Among other demands, the actors have asked for residual payments from productions made specifically for the Web, cell phones and other nontraditional platforms, regardless of budget.
The union argued that the producers offer no residual compensation to actors for original programming that runs on ABC.com, NBC.com, CBS.com, Hulu.com or other network-owned new media platforms.
For its part, the AMPTP has said its offer to SAG would provide actors with $250 million more in compensation than did its previous contract, with terms related to online streaming that are similar to those accepted by other unions, including the Writers Guild of America, AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America. End of Story

David B. Wilkerson is a reporter for MarketWatch in Chicago.

Heath Ledger Found Dead In New York City Apartment; Autopsy Is Inconclusive Official Says

Film, Hollywood


Heath Ledger



Updated, 2:35 p.m. | An autopsy of the actor Heath Ledger was performed on Wednesday morning, but the results are inconclusive, according to Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch.

Additional blood and tissue testing needs to be performed before the manner and cause of death can be determined, Ms. Borakove said in a phone interview, estimating that the process could take 10 days to two weeks. “If you have no apparent cause, you have to do further testing,” she said.

No cause of death has been ruled out, she added. The autopsy, at the medical examiner’s headquarters at 520 First Avenue, near 30th Street on the East Side of Manhattan, began around 8:30 a.m. and lasted about two hours, she said.

The two types of tests that still have to be performed include toxicology, which examines the adverse effects of chemicals in the bloodstream, and histology, in which thin slices of tissue are analyzed by pathologists.

Ms. Borakove said the body was ready to be released to Mr. Ledger’s family for burial. “We don’t need to keep the body once the family is ready,” she said.

Mr. Ledger, 28, the Australian-born actor whose breakthrough role as a gay cowboy in the 2005 movie “Brokeback Mountain” earned him a nomination for an Academy Award, was found dead on Tuesday afternoon in an apartment at 421 Broome Street, between Crosby and Lafayette Streets, in SoHo. Prescription sleeping pills were found near his body, but it is not known if the medication played a role in his death.

WCBS-TV reported today that “along with the prescription drugs that were found in the apartment, police also recovered a rolled up $20 bill with narcotic residue on it” and that police “also found several drug packets containing an unknown substance.”

Asked about the CBS news report, Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said it was largely inaccurate.

Mr. Browne said that investigators found a “rolled-up $20 bill” in the apartment where Mr. Ledger’s body was found, but he said that the police “never said residue was found on it.”

He said the bill had not yet undergone forensic tests. “We have a rolled-up $20 bill and we never said it had residue on it or was tested,” Mr. Browne said. “It will be tested, because it was rolled up.”

Mr. Browne said no other narcotics were found in the apartment. He speculated that WCBS — in reporting that several drug packets were found — might have been confusing it with some “blister pack” of prescription drugs. He said some prescription drugs were in bottles and some in blister packs.

“There was no narcotics found in the apartment, period,” Mr. Browne said.

Mr. Browne declined to identify the name of any physicians listed on the prescription drugs.

Al Baker and John Sullivan contributed reporting.


The Independant is reporting that the New York City Police Department is calling the death “possibly drug-related”




NEW YORK — New Yorkers clustered outside the Soho loft apartment building where Heath Ledger was found dead on Tuesday said they were “devastated” and “anguished” to learn of the tragedy.

Tamba Mossa, the superintendent of 421 Broome Street — where Ledger had lived for the past four or five months — called the “Brokeback Mountain” actor a “very great man” but said he was blindsided by the news.

“I wasn’t prepared to hear about his death at that moment,” Mossa told a crush of reporters at the scene. “I’m very, very sad.”

But Ledger had seemed depressed recently, according to the superintendent.

“He looked sad,” said Mossa.

New York City Police officers guarded the entrance of the white apartment building, which sits on a cobblestone street in the swanky SoHo section of New York City next to a Nanette Lepore boutique. Swarms of paparazzi, fans and passersby milled about on the sidewalk. One woman came carrying flowers.

The Australian-born Ledger, 28, was found dead by his housekeeper Tuesday afternoon, naked and at the foot of the bed. Sleeping pills and other medications that had been prescribed to him were discovered in the apartment, according to police.

“I’m devastated,” said a young woman who lives in the neighborhood and identified herself only as Jen. “There was never any news of him being involved in anything other than his acting. I’m definitely a fan of his. This is shocking.”

She said she had spotted Ledger in the area a few times while he was still with his former fiancée, actress Michelle Williams, whom he met on the set of “Brokeback Mountain” and with whom he had a 2-year-old daughter named Matilda.

The couple, who lived together with the baby in Brooklyn, broke up last year. In recent months, Ledger had been renting the SoHo apartment.

One passerby on his way home was stunned to learn of the actor’s death.

“I wasn’t familiar with his work, but I just feel anguished,” said David M. Rheingold, 35, who works for a nonprofit. “I feel terrible for his daughter. It’s horrible, just horrible.”

One SoHo resident marveled at the throngs of people who had descended on the scene of Ledger’s death.

“In life, he would not have drawn any kind of crowd like this,” said Roark Dunn, 50, who produces photo shoots. “He’s comparatively obscure.”

Many of those who stopped in front of Ledger’s apartment building said they admired the actor’s work.

“I was moved by the movie ‘Brokeback Mountain,'” said Paul Khor, 40, a fashion buyer visiting from Singapore.

Three Fordham University freshmen and self-professed Ledger fans said they came to SoHo as soon as they heard the news.

“We’re sad,” said Daria Tavana, 19, a playwright major. “He’s somebody who recently had begun to take on really hard roles. It’s totally unbelievable.”

Another onlooker said he appreciated Ledger’s acting and called his performance in “I’m Not There,” the recent Bob Dylan film, “tortured.”

“I respect him very much. He seemed like a legitimate artist,” said the 28-year-old journalist, who declined to give his name but said he works in the neighborhood. “In this day in age, it’s hard to get shocked about any celebrity passing, but he was a really talented actor. It’s sad he’s not going to be around anymore.”



From The Seattle Post Intelligencer Blog

Update, 3:25 p.m.: Paolo Dayao, 26, attended Stadium High School in Tacoma and was an extra in “10 Things I Hate About You.” In an e-mail we asked what he remembered of Ledger. He responded:

I remember him being really nice and down to earth. I guess since he was unknown at the time we did that movie, he didn’t have that Hollywood snobbiness that some of the other actors had. He hung out with the extras in between takes and I remember that he didn’t always go back to his trailer like some of the others would when they were setting up the next scenes. I did get a chance to hang out with him and play hacky sack in between some of the scenes that we shot. He was a pretty nice guy.

Hacky sack with Heath Ledger. Wow.


Two years ago this month, actor Heath Ledger learned that his breakthrough performance in Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” earned him an Academy Award nomination. Today, hours after a new slate of actors heard about their Oscar hopes, Ledger was found dead.

Ledger was not a Seattleite. He was a not a Northwesterner. But for anyone who remembers the filming of “10 Things I Hate About You,” he was — at least for a short time — a presence in the region.

At Gasworks Park, he tamed Julia Stiles over a game of paintball. At Stadium High School in Tacoma, he frolicked over the bleachers, singing to Stiles during soccer practice and delighting dozens and dozens of student extras. The film also featured location shots at Seattle’s Fremont Troll and the Buckaroo Tavern. (See our 1999 review and the Seattle Film Office map for more.)

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