One thinks of Elizabethan England, Gupta India, Renaissance Florence, and Tang Dynasty China at the height of the Silk Road. These were eras when travel and trade linked together many fascinating cultures and peoples, and great art and innovation were the result. For women today, being cosmopolitan means being open to the world, to innovation, to new possibilities. It means not being held back by outmoded ideas of what a woman’s place should be, or what kinds of stories a woman should tell on the big screen. In keeping with this spirit, the audience at Social Media Week LA strongly agreed when I suggested that female filmmakers should not be confined to just romantic comedies and chamber dramas. We should have the opportunity to write and direct grand historical epics, ambitious sci-fi films, imaginative fantasy-adventures, huge comic book movies, sweeping literary adaptations, and much more. It’s by leading such big cinematic efforts that women can make their greatest mark in reshaping the culture. And this reshaping of culture is very much needed today. On a technical level we are more cosmopolitan than ever before, with our greater connectivity to everyone else on the planet (and even the galaxy, with Voyager 1 now leaving the solar system) — but our thinking is not equally broad-minded and cosmopolitan. Despite all our advances in digital communication, the peoples of the world are as riven as ever by conflicts between races, genders, religions, and cultures. I was tremendously proud a few weeks ago that America, a nation that I love for its revolutionary ideals of freedom and democracy, would welcome the first Miss America of Indian descent, Nina Davuluri.
‘The Hobbit’ production costs so far: Twice as much as all three ‘LOTR’ movies combined
and director Peter Jackson may consider it money well spent. To date, only the first movie in the latest trilogy has been released. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” took in just over $1 billion at the box office. The documents, filed online by New Zealand’s Companies Office, provide a rare insight into the exact costs of a blockbuster Hollywood production. Often studios release only rough estimates, if anything. When making the trilogy, Warner Bros. created a wholly-owned New Zealand company it named “3 Foot 7 Ltd,” in reference to the diminutive stature of the movie’s hobbits and dwarves. Company documents show that New Zealand taxpayers have so far contributed NZ$98 million to the trilogy through an incentive scheme designed to attract big budget movies to the country. Such schemes are common among U.S. states and foreign countries that compete for movies. The trilogy also appears to be one of the most expensive movie productions in which two or more movies are shot at the same time. Both Box Office Mojo and Guinness World Records estimate the most expensive single movie ever made was “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” with an estimated $300 million production tag. That movie, in conjunction with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” which was shot at the same time held the previous record for the most expensive total production, costing an estimated $450 million to $525 million. According to Box Office Mojo, Jackson’s previous trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings,” cost a total $281 million to make. The Star Wars prequel trilogy, meanwhile, cost $343 million, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks movie costs and box office receipts.
” The World’s End “: The British comedy trio behind “Shaun of the Dead” is responsible for this rollicking ride about a pub crawl that gets interrupted by the apocalypse. ” In a World… ” Lake Bell stars in her writing and directorial debut about a voiceover artist following in her father’s very large footsteps. Drama ” Wadjda “: The coming-of-age film about a young girl who wants to buck the established order is the first feature-length movie made in Saudi Arabia. ” Short Term 12 “: Brie Larson plays a supervisor in a halfway house for troubled teens in Destin Daniel Cretton’s second feature. ” The Patience Stone “: An Afghani woman finds relief when she reveals her deepest secrets to her husband, who happens to be comatose. ” The Spectacular Now “: Another coming-of-age film, this dramedy deals with a bookish teen who starts a relationship with a hard-partying classmate. Documentary ” Generation Iron “: The engaging documentary follows seven men in the 2012 Mr. Olympia competition. Other movie options: ” Harvest of Empire “: Artisphere is hosting a free screening of the eye-opening documentary about immigration on Thursday at 7 p.m. Film|Neu : The annual film festival, which starts Friday, focuses on the latest and greatest from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Most of the movies will show at E Street Cinema, and highlights include a screening of the award-winning day-in-the-life film “Oh Boy” and the 3D movie “Measuring the World,” which recounts the friendship between mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and geographer Alexander von Humboldt. Tickets for most films cost $11.50. DC Drive-In : After the success of the summer series, Union Market is reviving its drive-in movie experience starting this Friday with “Caddyshack.” Entry is free and the parking lot is first-come, first-served starting at 6 p.m. Cars aren’t required, however; there will be space to picnic as well.