At the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’s Governors Awards, Dakota Johnson told a journalist she would star in eighty-seven-year-old Elaine May’s upcoming project, Crackpot, according to Vanity Fair. Little is known about the film, but if May’s improv partnership with Mike Nichols, “Nichols and May,” is any indication, it is apt to be a comedy on par with her A New Leaf (1971) and The Heartbreak Kid (1972), though it could be a drama like Mikey and Nicky (1976). May hasn’t sat in the director’s chair since her fourth movie, Ishtar (1987), starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman.
Kasi Lemmons’s Harriet (2019) was released Friday, and Kate Larson, the expert consulted for the film, says the fictionalized Harriet Tubman biopic is still a faithful retelling of the Maryland-born historical figure’s life, according to WBALTV. Larson, who has studied Tubman for the last twenty-five years, says she grew up a slave separated from much of her family, until running for freedom on the Underground Railroad with her brothers September 17, 1849, before they could be sold into the Deep South. Larson says she hopes the film will inspire audiences to visit the communities where Tubman became an American hero.
While accepting her honorary Oscar at the Academy’s Eleventh Annual Governors Awards, ninety-one-year-old Anna Wertmüller, the first female Best Director nominee for her Pasqualino Settebellezze (1975), called for a female Oscar named “Anna,” according to WTHR. Only five women have been up for Best Director in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and two of them, Jane Campion as well as Greta Gerwig, were in attendance at the untelevised dinner event. Cherokee actor Wes Studi also became the first Native American actor to receive an Oscar last night, alongside the prolific David Lynch and Geena Davis.
As Jane Fonda was being handcuffed Friday in Washington for the third time in fourteen days as part of her demonstration of civil disobedience against climate change by getting arrested every week, she gave an acceptance speech to a nearby camera, according to the New York Daily News. She was due to receive the honorary Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles later that night, the fifth actor to win it after Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Matt Damon, as well as Cate Blanchett. Fonda is a two-time BAFTA Best Actress, for Fred Zimmerman’s Julia (1977) and James Bridges’s The China Syndrome (1979), in addition to a two-time Academy-Award honoree (out of seven nominations), for Alan J. Pakula’s Klute (1971) and Hal Ashby’s Coming Home (1978).
Beginning Tuesday night, Porchlight Music Theatre artistic director Michael Weber is reviving the stage adaptation of Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950) at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts through December 8, according to the Chicago Tribune. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as lyrics and book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, the two-and-a-half-hour play first opened in 1993 London after leading lady Gloria Swanson spent much of the 1950s fighting to create a musical interpretation. Patti LuPone played Norma Desmond during the production’s London run, while Glenn Close, Petula Clark, Diahann Carroll, and Kim Zimmer were cast in the role stateside.
Emile O’Brien, who founded the environmentalist film and television consultancy service Earth Angel, was inspired to do so after studying production at New York University and seeing how much waste there was on sets, according to Vice. As an example, BAFTA says a single hour of fiction or nonfiction television produced in the UK generates thirteen metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is almost as much CO2 as an American produces on average in a year. To encourage a business which prides itself on its progressivism to put its money where its mouth is environmentally, O’Brien suggests that crews departmentalize “Eco Production Assistants,” and that activist groups host awards ceremonies for sustainability.
Thirty-seven-year-old Priyanka Chopra Jonas returned to Bollywood for Shonali Bose’s The Sky Is Pink (2019), telling the cohosts of The View during her Tuesday interview about how the production helped her reach a catharsis after the death of her father, according to ABC News. Ashok Chopra lost a years-long battle with cancer in June 2013, but not before raising his daughter to be confident in her opinions and decisions, knowing she had her family to back her unconditionally. Chopra Jonas says his parenting style inspired her activism, which may or may not one day mean a career in politics for her.