Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017


Angelina Jolie Decries Hate Speech and the ‘Failure of Democracy': ‘We Have to Pay Attention’

Star says she wanted to make her Oscar-contending film “First They Killed My Father” not about Cambodia, but with Cambodia

This story about Angelina Jolie and “First They Killed My Father” first appeared in the special foreign-language issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.
Angelina Jolie is not the only director in the Oscar foreign-language race who was not born in the country her film is representing, but she’s certainly the most famous one. An American who was granted Cambodian citizenship more than a decade ago for her humanitarian work in the country, Jolie returned there to make “First They Killed My Father,” a brutal but beautiful film that recounts the story of Loung Ung, who was five years old when her family was expelled from Phnom Penh in 1975.
Driven into work camps in the countryside by Pol Pot’s murderous Khmer Rouge regime, Ung endured four years of horrific treatment and watched as her parents and friends became victims of a genocide ostensibly aimed at creating a society without Western influence.
Ung survived and wrote her memoir, which is subtitled “A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers,” in 2000. Jolie enlisted Ung to co-write the screenplay, and then brought in Rithy Panh, the Cambodian director of the remarkable, Oscar-nominated 2013 film “The Missing Picture,” to produce the film. Shot in Cambodia using Cambodian actors, the film screened at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals before going to Netflix.
Jolie, Ung and Panh spoke to TheWrap in Toronto about “First They Killed My Father” and its resonance in today’s world.

Angelina, what led you to tell this story?
ANGELINA JOLIE Cambodia is a country that changed my life when I traveled there 16 years ago. I realized then how little I knew about the world. It humbled me and got me more engaged. I found a paperback copy of Loung’s memoir, and I loved that she wrote it through a child’s eyes. That was a way to connect with the audience, so that’s how we made the film.
And now I have a son who’s 16, and he’s Cambodian, and I wanted to make this film with him and for him. But above all for Cambodia, because I feel that it’s time to really talk about it. And I wanted to make it not about the country but with the country.
Loung, this is basically your experience as a child, and your family’s experience. Was it painful to revisit those experiences?
LOUNG UNG It was painful. However, I felt that it wasn’t just my story I wanted to tell, it was the story of my siblings and my parents and many other Cambodians who went through similar experiences from 1975 to 1979. In the span of four years — or three years, eight months and 20 days — of the Khmer’s genocide, 1.7 to 2 million Cambodians died.
I wanted to honor their lives and their spirits and their resilience and their humanity. And also, I wanted the descendants of my parents, their grandkids and great grandkids, who never got the chance to meet them, to have an opportunity to know what fighters, what survivors, what loving parents they were. That was important to me.
Did you ever imagine that it would become a film?
UNG It was a dream. And I always thought that if it was going to happen one day, it had to happen with the right team, the right people, who had great integrity and decency and kindness. And this is absolutely my dream team. Angie and Rithy and their families, we’re all very close. This is beyond anything I imagined. But you know, when you dream, dream big, and sometimes it happens.
Rithy, you made a very personal movie about the genocide a few years ago, “The Missing Picture.” What made you believe that a filmmaker who didn’t live through that experience could do it justice?
RITHY PANH Angelina came to visit me when she went to Cambodia, and I know her from her films, you know? But what is more important, she made the film with us. We do not want to be seen just as survivors. We needed a human being of imagination to make the film. We needed to bring us back our imagination.
The genocide is not only killing, it also destroys your identity, your imagination. And you have to learn it again, until you are capable of imagination, of poetry.
Somebody wrote some time ago that after Auschwitz, poetry is not possible anymore. I think that after Auschwitz, we need more poetry, we need more cinema, we need more books to explain to people, what is this? What has happened to us that can happen to you? History repeats all the time, and we need this kind of film to explain to the next generation, what is the value of the human being?
This is a beautifully shot film, but what’s happening on screen is horrifying. Angelina, was it tricky to figure out how much an audience can take, and how much you should show?
JOLIE Yes, but I never really thought about the audience. I thought about being true to the story, true to the experience. Because the film is shot from her point of view, what’s interesting is you take as much as she can take, when she can take it.
So when she’s younger, she looks away, often, from things she’s not ready to take. And in a way, her point of view matures and grows. I think by the end the audience is more ready, like she’s ready, to really look at it and face it. So that was helpful.
I don’t enjoy bad language and violence and blood. And because I don’t enjoy it, I use it only when it’s necessary. And I think it can be more effective if you’re careful with it and you use it in a way that’s real, and you use it only when it’s needed. And this was certainly needed when we used it.
Loung, what was it like to watch this film and see your own experiences on the screen?
UNG It was a beautiful experience. Like many other journeys, there were bumps. For me, personally, there were sad moments and happy moments and moments of redemption and healing. And the important thing in watching it was having the experience that I’m not alone.
Going through the war when I was young, even when we were living with my parents, and then they were taken away and when we were living in communal villages with other people, you were always alone. It was dangerous to be with other people. It was dangerous to be emotional, to be in love, to be an individual, to be seen, to be heard. And so you find yourself really curving inward and trying to disappear. To survive, I had to become deaf, dumb, mute, blind, invisible.
But here I was making a film with my friends and my family. I was seen, I was heard and we were able to be together. So for me, that was the most deeply moving experience, that I was not alone and I never had to be alone again.
Rithy, you mentioned history repeating itself. Why is it important to tell a story like this in today’s world?
PANH When you see what happened in Charlottesville, you ask, “Did we do everything that we could have done? What is possible today?” As an artist you are also a citizen, and you have a duty to work to open the mind of people. You say, “I cannot give you a real answer, but maybe I can help you to make a choice.”
You have the choice to live together or to live alone. The failure of democracy can hurt a lot of people in the world. 
JOLIE I agree with him. The failure of democracy — or weak democracy, when strong democracies are not leading and do not have a strong voice — that weakens other democracies or potential democracies around the world.
I grew up thinking, if we knew about Bosnia we would have done something. If we knew about Auschwitz, if we knew about Cambodia… We know so much today. We see what’s happening, we see video. As Rithy said, we see so much hate and so many people using hate language that builds this horrible ideology that ends up dividing people. We know where it ends.
This is very serious. This is the balance of our world — it’s what people live for, it’s human nature, it’s how we respect each other’s human rights. It is why we push for democracy and tolerance, because it is the difference between people living and dying.
Of people being murdered. Of masses of people being erased. And we see that today. We see it across the world. We have more people displaced than ever, we have wars going on, we have more injustice. And we really have to stand up very strong and pay attention.
Go here for more from the special foreign-language issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

Thanks Felicity

not a newly recorded video

American Cinematographer

Anthony Dod Mantle, ASC, BSC, DFF describes his experience, creative process and collaboration with director Angelina Jolie on this harrowing drama.

American Cinematographer: Can you describe your experiences at Camerimage?

Anthony Dod Mantle: I’ve been here six times now, the first time with The Celebration [1998], this anarchic little film, and it was a pretty electric screening. I always remember that kind of atmosphere here. The screening of Slumdog Millionaire [2008] was extraordinarily beautiful. Even Snowden last year was interesting. [Listen to his podcast on the film here.]
You feel the journalists and critics and writers here are less focused on the directorial aspects and more focused on the images and how they came about. It means that the criteria of how the films are judged in a way is quite true. As an artist, it’s got a true angle. You can have hot screenings here, and the students can be quite tough. I’ve been booted around here for films that I’ve done.
When I went at college, somebody would come speak to us — Conrad Hall [ASC] or somebody like that. I remember thinking, “I just want to be them.” To just have a chance. That’s what the students here are thinking, too. So [for attending cinematographers] this festival is about being approachable. I see DPs experiencing — on a candid, one-on-one level — people who are very interested in what they do. This festival is very good for that.
Currently in the world, there is no better place to go, there is no better cinematography festival than this.

You’re introducing First They Killed My Father, which you shot for director Angelina Jolie. Can you talk about how you got onto the project?
I was about to embark on a Michael Winterbottom film about Russ Meyer — a comedy with Will Ferrell — and I was so, so looking forward to doing it. But the production fell apart two, three weeks before I was officially due to start. I was quite shocked when it collapsed. I knew it so well; I was reconnoitering it in downtown Los Angeles with Michael — it was such a fun project.
Angelina knew Michael and knew I was attached to his film. When I flew back home to Copenhagen, she and [producer] Mike Vieira called. We talked for about 45 minutes, mostly about the concept of a subjective camera and how we were going to achieve it.
If I had three months or three years to think about it, I would never had said no to this film. I met the crew, asked them if they wanted to carry on. I said I wanted to make the same film as Angelina. If they wanted to do that, then the film is more important than our egos.
I very quickly brought a few people in to help me. I brought a camera builder in from Sweden who has worked with me on many, many films. He was my teacher from 30 years ago, a close friend and a brilliant engineer. He could work [on location] in the rice paddies with the welder and fix things.

First They Killed My Father is told from the point-of-view of 7-year-old Loung Ung, played by Sreymoch Sareum. Can you talk about your approach to her as a character and how her perspective of the story suggested your visual approach? 
The film is, as much as we could get, this young girl witnessing what goes on around her. That’s easy to sort of equate in your head — but then, from that, to doing it is something else. It’s not just about POV, because a POV is many things. A child will look at the face of an opposing actor, but she might for no apparent reason and for no intellectual reason, just because she’s a child, just wander off and get distracted by a flower or dancing light or butterflies. So it's the speed with which her glance moves from one thing to another, it’s why she moves from the more obvious POV.
We had Steadicam, and a strong Steadicam shooter. But I needed something between handheld and Steadicam. Not shakiness, but an agility, and a lightness. Which is actually why I’ve gone smaller — using smaller rigs — and why I’ve shot multiple formats from time to time. Because at least I know I can get that agility. [Due to Netflix delivery requirements, this project was shot in 4K, using a combination of Sony CineAlta PMW-F55 cameras and Panavision Primo, Leica Summicron-C and Angenieux Optimo lenses.]
Then it became very clear that we had to always shoot her first. We created a kind of space or a form where the actors should work. We gave them guidelines. Sreymoch was very talented, very composed. We did allow her to just move where she wanted to go. Which took me back to my acceptance of freedom, independence and limitation of documentary work. I just had to try to let things go. I did it in Slumdog. You try to control, but you cannot control everything.

These are long takes through complicated sets and action.
Well the only way forward with my three days’ prep was to say, let’s build on her experience, let’s watch her experience, let’s start the day with the biggest scene. As long as you know emotionally what you’re doing, as long as you know you have enough experience about what she will do, then you can go with a long lens, sometimes double shoot, sometimes track and move. So, it’s not Steadicam all the time.

You go to overhead shots several times. How did that decision come about?
I remember showing Angelina some highly magnified photographs of the DNA of tears, which I found on the net. They looked like a mixture of artwork and satellite imagery. The wonderful thing about Angelina, she has an artistic gene. She was always open to debate about color, about light, about shadow, always opens, even under stress.
I showed her these pictures of tears. And then we started talking about satellite pictures, from above, from God’s point of view. I guess out of that, the tear landscapes and God’s point of view became the drone shots. So I heaved a drone team in from Thailand. It was not so much about movement — there are very few moments where the drone actually moves — but looking down at these subjects and asking why is this happening.

A few times during the story Loung has flashbacks to her earlier life.
There’s a yearning. After we’d gone pretty well into the film, to the point where she is experiencing hunger, there is a scene where they’re talking about what they miss the most [about their previous life]. It’s before the father is taken away, at night. At that time, in that scene, it’s yearning. We go into her face and she’s in her old clothes and we’re back in her flat.
We decided to shoot it differently, to have it half back in the flat, so you see the food with pinks and yellows and cyans, a boar’s head, all the things that she dreamed of — overcolored, like surreal, enhanced, saturated colors.
And then I felt there was something slightly wrong about that. Angelina and I chatted about it. We decided to put in the fencing of the hut [in the Khmer Rouge labor camp] into the picture. So you're halfway back in the home, but there's also the fencing of the prison hut in the frame.

Did you use visual effects for that?
I built the bloody fencing in the flat in this ridiculous location in Battambang. Not me, but Tom Brown, the production designer — he lugged the fencing and we built it and I lit it. I dimmed the light so I could move the color temperature from colorful to cold, and then there’s a [Khmer Rouge] guard walking by. It just got more and more complicated. I was tracking round this flat that I think Angelina has purchased — a very nice flat that had seen better days. That’s where we shot their home.
But that’s the yearning. The color — because she’s been more and more deprived [in the camp]. The deprivation factor starts at the first roadblock, where she sees her mother’s red dress. This young soldier just takes it and holds it up and throws it into the bag.
Again, Angelina’s casting. That young actor who plays a Khmer Rouge soldier, at this stage of the fight he’s an example of what they believe in. Which is why this film is extremely important today. Whether we talk about ISIS or we talk about European children, if there's one thing we unanimously links cultures, it’s how we treat children. Because if you don’t treat your children properly, if you don’t do the best you can with your children and others, they will lose their way, and, if worse comes to worst, they’re going to turn on you.

But the film takes pains not to blame the child soldiers.
It’s our fault. It’s still our fault. And it seems always to be our fault. It can be rectified. There is hope.
When you’re shooting difficult scenes with child actors, how do you divorce yourself from the emotions they are showing?
Easily, and for most cinematographers I think I’d say the same. We're so damn busy. We’re busy physically, doing what we have to do, mentally thinking at the same time about what we’re doing and why, continually questioning our activities. And there’s the social engineering. My antenna’s out to the sound, to the lights, to the actors, to what else is going on in the background, because I may see something else more interesting I always shoot with both eyes open.
I remember my Polish teacher at film school saying, “You sit there with your eye in the eyepiece but your left eye’s going around and around, I’ve never seen that before.” That comes from my background as a still photographer. I always used rangefinder cameras — a Leica — so I could shoot with both eyes open.
do get emotionally involved; I can give you many examples. I even get touched at grading. When I was grading First They Killed my Father frame-by-frame in London, I found myself as I was in this high-speed technical environment getting goose bumps, particularly around the scene at the end. I said to myself, “This has got to be good — otherwise why am I getting emotionally involved like this?”
Oddly, I found that more so happening in the grading than when I was physically on location shooting in Cambodia in 120°F, 100 percent humidity. I’ve done some pretty wacky films — I shot 127 Hours in a slot canyon and Slumdog was high-speed chasing through feces-ridden slums. I was just on Kursk with [director] Thomas Vinterberg, where I was working with the camera underwater for hours and hours every day — I lost 11 stone, 11 kilos.

That can't be good for you.
I’m like De Niro and method acting. But this film was so tough. There was one day when 12 people went down due to exhaustion and heat. It was that tough.
A Netflix production, First They Killed My Father is the official Cambodian entry in the 2017 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Thanks jordan932002

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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Curt Sobel American compose
Finished the day screening "First They Killed My Father" - a true story of a young girl recounting the horrors she suffered under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge - expertly executed by Angelina Jolie, cast and crew were superb - another important story that needs to be told. Here's a view from 424 Stage in Hollywood for reception afterwards. — in Los Angeles, California.

Thanks Pride&Joy

I think she is refering to the Catherine the Great book that was optioned two years ago.  No word of any progress since.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


Poland’s Camerimage fest wrapped Saturday with the Golden Frog top prize for “On Body and Soul,” a Hungarian story of shared dreams filmed by Mate Herbai and directed by Ildiko Enyedi.
The jury, headed by British director Michael Apted, honored Russian family drama “Loveless,” with cinematography by Mikhail Krichman and directing by Andrei Zvyagintsev (“Leviathan”), with a Silver Frog, while the Bronze Frog went to Angelina Jolie’s account of the Cambodian guerilla war, “First They Killed My Father,” filmed by Anthony Dod Mantle.
The jury honored Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country,” an Australian outback thriller filmed by Dylan River and Thornton, with the FIPRESCI award, while “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” shot by Ben Davis and directed by Martin McDonagh, won the fest’s first-ever audience prize.

Random Fuzzy

- There has always been fan interest in their tattoos and since the petition, the tattoo on Brad's arm has been a particular obsession.  There is really little point in looking at a close-up of a very low resolution photo that was itself a crop from a long distance shot.  I had made this point previously when a similarly low res shot taken in Berlin in June gave a blurred view of the same tattoo which elicited the same reactions.  His arm -- any arm -- is not a flat surface so light will not hit all parts of the tattoo evenly.  Tattoos can appear darker or lighter, under- or over-exposed depending on the angle and the light.  All you can really tell in a photo with this resolution is the general outline of the tattoo. All the letters that make up the tattoo as we know it are reduced to smudges: the under-exposed in the inside of his arm appear as darker smudges, the over-exposed on top appears lighter.  Everything on the same side of his arm, letters and lines, appear equally dark or light.

With that said, what appears to be a new and larger "A" -- to the right of the "A" on the outer side of his wrist and apparently connected to the line that runs underneath all the initials -- could just be light and shadow playing in the over-exposed area of the photo. 

Or it could be what it appears to be. πŸ˜‰

playing around with exposure:

playing around with sharpness and clarity:

top right photo taken outside Houseago's studio in July, bottom right photo taken in March for GQStyle

-- Fussy


Out with his white Tesla on Friday, Nov. 17.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Published on Nov 17, 2017
The new fragrance Mon Guerlain is a tribute to today’s femininity - a strong, free and sensual femininity, inspired by Angelina Jolie.

More imaginative than “Coco,” more soulful than “Moana,” more everything than “Despicable Me 3,” Nora Twomey’s “The Breadwinner” cements Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon as an animation powerhouse worth mentioning alongside the likes of Pixar, Laika, and the great Studio Ghibli. A deeply anguished story that’s told with the same vivid style as Cartoon Saloon’s two previous features, “The Secret of Kells” and “Song of the Sea,” “The Breadwinner” triumphs with a sense of emotional sobriety that strikes far deeper than anything that passes for children’s entertainment in this part of the world — it may be aimed at (older) kids, but it’s certain to hit their parents twice as hard.

Maureen Lee Lenker November 17, 2017 AT 03:33 PM EST

As an Academy Award winning actress, director, and activist, Angelina Jolie has quite the body of work to her credit. So when Nora Twomey, the director of animated film The Breadwinner, learned of the possibility of Jolie producing her film, she was a bit intimidated. “It was initially daunting, I guess quite scary,” she tells EW. “Working with Angeline Jolie was flying through the airport in the morning and looking at pictures of Angelina Jolie on a newsstands and then going into a meeting with her.”

Jolie immediately signed on to produce the project, based on a 2000 novel about a young girl named Parvana living in Afghanistan under Taliban rule and struggling to support her family.

“I loved the opportunity to tell the story of Afghanistan, to bring to life a country that is little understood, that is conflicted and confused and way too complex anywhere outside of a story,” explains screenwriter Anita Doron.

The film with its tale of female empowerment in a nation embroiled in conflict is in Jolie’s wheelhouse, particularly because she has long supported girls’ schools in Afghanistan.

“She came on at an early stage and from that time on really helped look through every animatic and just helped give guidance on it,” explains Twomey. “Very much having a connection with Afghanistan herself, she supports girls schools in Afghanistan and has done for over a decade, she was able to help us focus. It was a fine line in terms of the sensitivity of the film.”

The Breadwinner hits theaters on Friday. Watch the clip above for more about the film.

Random Fuzzy

Brief observations

- Chloe Dalton, who signed JP.D.H's latest financial statements posted earlier, was with her in Vancouver.  Formerly a ubiquitous presence around Angelina and the children while they were living in Malibu, the last photo I saw of her was taken in Kenya, when she and Arminka Helic were present for another speech Angelina gave on sexual violence, that time before the actual peacekeepers on the ground.

- Both Dalton and Helic were with Angelina in Cambodia when she went over for FTKMF's world premiere.  They were in the audience during her press conference with the cast and conferred with the bodyguard who frequently accompanies her and Brad on overseas trips.  I have not seen either Dalton and Helic in any FTKMF engagement since.

- Dalton apparently has not spent much time around the family since they moved to the DeMille,  which was earlier in June before they left for Africa.

- Recall that Angelina said the DeMille was a big jump forward for them.

- A press release issued by the Bangladeshi delegation to the Vancouver conference revealed that she is planning to visit with the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.  Her trips to refugee camps are seldom announced ahead of time and the press release did not indicate when the visit will take place.

- After spending Thanksgiving apart last year, I would think they would want to gather together for a traditional dinner this year.  Maybe in Los Angeles, possibly in Springfield.  But 12 years ago, they made a trip to Pakistan after it was devastated by an earthquake and spent Thanksgiving helping distribute aid to the victims.  It's not altogether impossible for them to make a trip to the same part of the world this year for a different, but equally devastating crisis.

- There were no sightings or photos of her leaving or arriving back in L.A.  Just the airport sighting leaving Vancouver on Thursday, Nov. 16.  She apparently wasn't accompanied by other members of the family.

-- Fussy

Thursday, November 16, 2017

dailystar (Bangladesh)
Jolie shared her views on the Rohingya victims of sexual violence,  reads a press release of Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) special envoy told a Bangladesh delegation led by Lt Gen Mahfuzur Rahman, principal staff officer of Armed Forces Division, that she is planning to visit the Rohingya victims of sexual violence ...

She applauded Bangladesh’s generous humanitarian approach in dealing with Rohingya influx during a closed door meeting on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, the press release said.

Angelina Jolie also congratulated Bangladesh along with Canada and UK for their leadership role in launching women, peace and security network yesterday, it said.

Bangladesh Delegation to the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial in Vancouver is headed by Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, also defense and security adviser to the prime minister.

Thanks to Pride&Joy

screenshots, site at link
JP.D.H London

“It wasn't like, ‘What would make a cool movie?’ It was really, ‘What do I feel I want to spend years of my life on? What has affected me?’ It was clear to me it was that book,” Angelina Jolie says of Loung Ung's fictionalized retelling of her childhood under the Khmer Rouge. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Not only have the two women known each other for more than a decade, they are bound by their shared collaboration, the epic film “First They Killed My Father.” The film, released in September, adapted Ung’s 2000 fictionalized retelling of her family’s experiences. The celebrated work chronicles Ung’s childhood under the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1970s. Jolie directed the picture, which is Cambodia’s official entry for the foreign language Academy Award, and co-wrote the screenplay with Ung.

Until she helmed the 2011 Bosnian war drama “In the Land of Blood and Honey” Jolie bluntly admits she never saw herself as a filmmaker. It was after that film, however, that she began to wonder what types of stories she should tackle next. And that’s when she remembered her friend Ung’s novel and realized it was a story her son Maddox, whom she adopted from Cambodia, needed to experience.

“It wasn't like, ‘What would make a cool movie?’ It was really, ‘What do I feel I want to spend years of my life on? What matters? What has affected me?’ It was very clear to me it was that book,” Jolie says. “And as Maddox [was] growing up, I really need him to understand [what happened] and felt the country hadn't been speaking about it. It's not as open and discussed as it should be.”

The longer Jolie and Ung converse, the easier it is to understand the friendship between them. The pair first met while they were both stuck in a monsoon while Jolie was on a humanitarian mission in the Cambodian countryside. Years later, Jolie asked Ung if she’d be interested in a movie version of her book and if she’d want to do a pass with her on the script. According to Ung, figuring out the storyline began over a three-day stint at Jolie’s home.

One item from the novel Jolie recalls insisting be included in the film was the blue shirt Ung’s mother hid for her children so they would never forget her or their lives before the Khmer Rouge took over the country. And, in fact, that shirt still exists today in a fire-proof safe in the Vermont home of Ung’s brother.

“The kids overheard it and then they surprised her with a gift of a blue silk shirt,” Jolie recalls of her children. “They would throw her random birthday parties because she doesn't know her birthday.”
Ung had explained to Jolie’s kids that she doesn’t know the date of her birth because records were destroyed, but that her brother wrote it down as April 17.

“The day the Khmer Rouge took over the country,” Ung clarifies. “I never felt that could sound right. When you're turning 16, you want to have a 16th birthday party, but you know around the world people are lighting candles and remembering 2 million lives lost. How do you actually have a cake?”
Jolie adds, “We give her new [birthday dates] every year. We were talking about it just yesterday, trying to figure out when your next one is.”

One of the most remarkable aspects of Jolie and Ung’s screenplay is how little exposition there is. Almost the entire story is seen through the eyes of young Loung, played by Sareum Srey Moch.
“The tricky thing about this one was you can't know that much more than she knows, and she's a child,” Jolie says. “You can't know her inner thoughts, which a lot of the book [allowed you to] fill in the politics because you could write what was going on or inner thoughts. You can't use that. We decided no voice-over. We have to just be her and even if there's a whole section where she doesn't understand what's going on and the audience is confused, so is she.”

That journey finds the movie’s depiction of Loung trekking through forests and rice fields where millions of urban Cambodians were sent to work as the authoritarian regime attempted to turn the clock back and remove all Western influence from the nation.

“When you have other wars, you have prison camps and they have walls. In Cambodia, the whole country was a prison,” Jolie says. “There were no walls. There's nowhere to go to be safe. The entire country became a prisoner.”

The heartache of the Khmer Rouge era still brings back painful memories for many, but when it came to film the scenes where Cambodians were ordered to evacuate Phnom Penh, the capital city, Jolie was taken aback by what the survivors wanted to teach their children.

“Even with the exodus scenes, the extras, that they came as families as well,” Jolie says. “They brought their own kids. I was talking to some extras who remember the first evacuation that they did. Now they're bringing their kids and grandkids, to show them what it was like. That was touching.”

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Brooklynn Prince to star in the film with a script from Mike White ('School of Rock'), adapting the Newbery Medal-winning book written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao.

Brooklynn Prince, the breakout lead of acclaimed indie drama The Florida Project, may have just nabbed her first big studio feature, one that involves Angelina Jolie.
Prince is in talks to join Jolie in The One and Only Ivan, Disney's adaptation of the Newbery Medal-winning book written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao.
Thea Sharrock, director of the tearjerker Me Before You, is directing Ivan, which has a script by Mike White and is intended to be a live-action hybrid. Prince and Jolie will make up part of the voice cast for the movie.
Published by HarperCollins in 2011, the book centers on a silverback gorilla named Ivan who lives in a cage in a shopping mall along with an elephant named Stella and a stray dog called Bob. Ivan does not remember life before the mall, but when a baby elephant named Ruby enters and Ivan finds himself taking care of her, he begins to rediscover his previous life and concocts a plan to take the baby elephant away from their abusive owner.
Prince will voice Ruby opposite Jolie’s Stella.
Casting searches are underway to play the human characters.
Brigham Taylor (The Jungle Book) has boarded the project as a producer, joining Allison Shearmur, who was one of the producers on Disney’s live-action take on Cinderella as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Jolie.
Florida Project, which is slowly being unspooled by A24, is one of the movies that is generating major buzz this awards season.
Prince recently signed with UTA and is also repped by Thirty Three Management and Hansen Jacobson.

Keynote Speaker at UN Defense Ministerial Peacekeeping Conference


In a forceful speech to United Nations peacekeeping officials assembled in Vancouver, Angelina Jolie called on international conflict negotiators to take their role in preventing and punishing sexual violence more seriously.
Calling sexual violence “a critical obstacle to achieving women’s equality and our full human rights”, Jolie asked those gathered to recognize sexual violence as a weapon and to play a part in preventing it.
It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective,” she said.
Her remarks came as part of her keynote address to the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver and amid several current conflicts which underscore how sexual violence can be weaponized, Jolie said.
She pointed to the mass displacement of Rohingya taking place in Myanmar. Almost every female refugee who has fled for makeshift camps in Bangladesh, the UN said, was a survivor of or witness to sexual violence, including rape.
“This is rape and assault designed to torture, to terrorize, to force people to flee, and to humiliate them. It has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with the abuse of power. It is criminal behavior.”
Jolie also made an oblique reference to the outpouring of sexual harassment allegations against powerful men in Hollywood and beyond – some of her first comments since she confirmed to the New York Times that she had had “a bad experience” with Harvey Weinstein that caused her to refuse to work with him and warn others to avoid the powerful producer.
“All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need,” she said. “But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive.”
She criticized international leaders for nevertheless treating rape and sexual assault as an inevitable product of violent conflict, rather than a central issue for peace negotiators to address and punish.
“Even if we accept that sexual violence has nothing to do with sex, that it is a crime, and that it is used as a weapon, many people still believe that it is simply not possible to do anything about it.
“It is hard, but it is not impossible. We have the laws, the institutions, and the expertise in gathering evidence. We are able to identify perpetrators. What is missing is the political will.”