July 31, 2008

‘Taking Woodstock,’ ‘Ong-Bak 2,’ Stony Brook Fest

By Rafer Guzman, Newsday, Melville, N.Y.

Jul. 31--WHO Tony Jaa

THE MOVIE "Ong-bak 2"

THE DEAL Jaa, the Thai actor and martial-arts stuntman who brought the fluid, sinewy movements of Muay Thai fighting to American screens in 2003's "Ong-bak" (released under Quentin Tarantino's banner), is starring in and directing a sequel, "Ong-bak 2." Jaa recently left the set under accusations of overspending, but, according to Variety magazine, he resurfaced on a Thai television talk show Monday night to explain himself. At one point he broke down on-camera. "I make this film not with the number and figures in mind, but for its artistic quality," Jaa said. "I invest my effort in it with almost spiritual devotion."

WHO Ang Lee

THE MOVIE "Taking Woodstock"

THE DEAL Filming is set to begin in upstate New York later this month on Ang Lee's feature, based on the memoir of Elliot Tiber, a writer who played a colorful role in the making of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. According to a Square One publicist, Tiber suggested the project to Lee when the two happened to meet in the "green room" of a CBS-affiliate talk show in San Francisco. Square One Publishers of Garden City Park, which published Tiber's book, negotiated the movie deal with Focus Features, the specialty arm of Universal Pictures that released Lee's "Lust, Caution."

WHAT 2008 Stony Brook Film Festival

THE DEAL Winners of the 13th annual festival were announced last weekend, with the best feature jury prize going to Mary Stuart Masterson's directorial debut, "The Cake Eaters," about the relationship between an aimless young man and a disabled girl. "Children of Glory," set in revolution-era Hungary and written by Joe Eszterhas, won best feature-audience choice; "The Stone Angel," a road-trip movie starring Ellen Burstyn, won for achievement in filmmaking.


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