New York Film Fest: ‘Captain Phillips’ Writer, Producer Talk About Gripping True Story, Movie’s Gotham Debut
our editor recommends New York Film Festival 2013: 13 Movies to Know The intense film, which stars Tom Hanks as the titular captain of a U.S. container ship that was hijacked off the Somali coast in 2009, was introduced with great fanfare — highlighted by the attendance of not only Greengrass, Hanks and the film’s principal Somali actors, but also Capt. Richard Phillips himself (before whom Hanks knelt to kiss his hand), a number of the men who worked alongside him on the MV Maersk Alabama and several uniformed U.S. Navy personnel who came to his rescue aboard the USS Bainbridge. FILM REVIEW: Captain Phillips At its conclusion, the film received a prolonged ovation — which turned into a standing ovation once a spotlight was placed on Greengrass and the Somali actors in a box above the rest of the audience (Hanks had to leave early) — from a crowd that included Sony Classics co-chiefs Michael Barker and Tom Bernard; the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Argo Chris Terrio, who’s writing a script for Greengrass now; and the Oscar-nominated actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who starred in Greengrass’ 1999 TV film The Murder of Stephen Lawrence; and writer-director James Toback. The general sentiment among New Yorkers at the screening and the Harvard Club after-party — at which Greengrass and particularly the Somali actors were the center of attention — was that the film has a strong shot at scoring a best picture Oscar nomination and an even stronger shot at bringing Hanks his first acting Oscar nom in 13 years, particular for his work during the final minutes of the film, which left much of the audience in tears. Rose Kuo, the executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, noted during her pre-screening remarks that the fest seems to have a thing for movies about men experiencing problems aboard boats: last year’s edition opened with the world premiere of Life of Pi and this year’s, in addition to opening with Captain Phillips, will include a screening of All Is Lost, another example of the sub-genre. This was also the second New York Film Festival opening night screening in the last four years to come courtesy of Sony Pictures and producers Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael DeLuca, whose last collaboration was the 2010 film The Social Network, which went on to be nominated for eight Oscars and won three. Other recent openers have included About Schmidt (2002), Mystic River (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) and The Queen (2006), which all went on to receive major Academy recognition, as well. This is the first New York Film Festival in 26 years that was not coordinated by Richard Pena. He was succeeded at the end of last year’s fest by Kent Jones.
New York seeks delay of costly FERC power capacity zone decision
13, 2012 | 9:07 PM | 2 By Reuters | Jan. 11, 2013 | 7:06 PM | 13 Sep. 29, 2013 | 6:02 PM | 1 As New York City health authorities and ultra-Orthodox groups clash over metzitzah bpeh, officials in other cities are making no effort to regulate the risky oral suction technique sometimes used during ritual circumcision. In fact, unlike in New York City , health authorities elsewhere often have no mandate to monitor the incidence of the herpes strain known as HSV-1 that babies can contract from the procedure. The diseases consequences for adults are seldom serious, but HSV-1 can cause developmental disabilities, nerve damage and occasionally death in infants due to the underdeveloped state of their immune systems. Assessing the possible risks and rate of infection is further complicated by the fact that outside the New York City area, even some ultra-Orthodox mohels and the families they serve appear to accept use of more sterile procedures, which are endorsed by local governments and rejected by many ultra-Orthodox groups in New York. In Baltimore, which has a large ultra-Orthodox population, a representative for the county department of health said her office doesnt have anything to do with tracking herpes or circumcision rites, and referred questions to the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality. A spokesperson from the state office confirmed that neonatal herpes was not mandated to be reported. The Department agrees that this is not a safe practice, the spokesperson wrote in an email, adding, We are not aware of any cases associated with this practice in Maryland. The departments lack of awareness could reflect the absence of mandated reporting of the illness. It might also reflect caution about antagonizing the community. In March, Helene King, a spokeswoman for Sinai Hospital, which serves Baltimores large ultra-Orthodox population, declined to answer even a general question from the Forward about babies with HSV-1 being admitted soon after their circumcisions. With such a close-knit community as the Baltimore Orthodox one is, I would not want to chance that any family or families would realize they were in an article like this, she wrote.
The New York Film Festival kicked off Friday night with a standing ovation for the premiere of Sony’s Captain Phillips , the audience clearly impressed by the suspenseful Tom Hanks-starrer, based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips’ struggle with Somali pirates in 2009. our editor recommends New York Film Fest: New Chief Explains 2013 Picks (Q&A) Before the movie, screenwriter Billy Ray told The Hollywood Reporter that the gripping nature of the real events made it easy for him to turn them into a film. “As true stories go, this one laid out like a movie,” he said. “I mean, it had drama and tension and huge politics to it. It had action built into it. The beauty was I didn’t have to invent anything, we just had to make smart event choices and get out of its way.” PHOTOS: New York Film Festival’s Movies to Know Ray conceded that there were challenges in terms of trying to portray the events accurately, but he had help from the real Captain Phillips to make sure he got the details right. “I had access to him whenever I needed it,” Ray said. “I spent a great deal of time with him and his family. A lot of phone calls, a lot of e-mails back and forth when he was back at sea againHe was absolutely invaluable.” Ray’s previous work includes writing screenplays for Shattered Glass and the movie version of State of Play, and he told THR that those titles, as well as Captain Phillips, are all films about integrity. Captain Phillips notably bypassed the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals to debut in New York, a decision that producer Michael De Luca told THR was based on a combination of timing and his and producer Scott Rudin’s Gotham-centric backgrounds. PHOTOS: Exclusive Portraits of Captain Phillips’ Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi “It’s always a combination of schedule and the best platform for the movie and we just thought the New York Film Festival would be the best opening platform for the film and it worked out for us schedule-wise,” De Luca said. “They really embraced the movie, and any chance to be at the New York Film Festival (I’m a New Yorker, ex-New Yorker because I live in L.A. now, Scott Rudin’s a New Yorker), any chance to be in this festival because of its prestige and what a great show they put on, we had to leap at it.” Prior to its enthusiastic reception at the festival, Captain Phillips had already received good reviews from critics like THR’s own Todd McCarthy . “It seems like the intention of the filmmakers has been received and appreciated by audiences and critics, which is a fantasy but when it comes true, you’re really happy about it,” De Luca told THR, noting that he reads every single review. FILM REVIEW: Captain Phillips De Luca is also one of the producers of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, and he said that he understood the backlash to that film’s casting choices, but he thinks fans will be happy with the final product.
Outside New York, controversial Jewish circumcision rite goes unregulated
Demand response providers who agree to reduce power usage when needed can also participate in capacity markets. The new zone will include the current NYISO zones G, H and I in the Lower Hudson Valley and zone J in New York City. The PSC and NYPA said the state is already working on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s so-called Energy Highway initiative to expand the state’s transmission resources to bring more power from upstate New York to the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City area. The PSC and NYPA said the Energy Highway could negate the need for FERC to offer financial incentives to build more power plants downstate. “We strongly urged FERC to reconsider its decision to create a new capacity zone in New York, which it says is needed to build more power plants downstate to alleviate demand for electricity,” PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman said in the release. “We are well aware of the downstate demand for electricity…However, in its decision, FERC did not take into consideration the ongoing initiatives included in the Governor’s Energy Highway,” Zibelman said. The biggest power companies in New York include units of Consolidated Edison Inc, National Grid Plc, Iberdrola SA, Entergy Corp, TransCanada Corp and NRG Energy Inc. COSTS TO RISE The PSC said if FERC’s plan goes into effect, typical residential customers in the Lower Hudson Valley could see monthly bill increases ranging from 5 percent to almost 10 percent, depending on the utility. The increases for industrial and commercial customers could be even higher, the PSC said. “Creation of a permanent new capacity zone undermines the Governor’s Energy Highway initiatives,” Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive, said in the release. “The Energy Highway pursues a long-term solution to deliver lower-cost, upstate power to the downstate area by reinforcing the transmission system, Quiniones said, noting the new capacity zone will “take money out of the pockets of ratepayers and result in a windfall of profits for existing power plant owners in the region.” The NYISO plans to implement the new zone by May 1, 2014.