Movies

'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Game of Thrones' Take Top Prizes at 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards. Lady Gaga and Elisabeth Moss helped to make this a very big night for females. Less than two months after its release, Avengers: Endgame won best movie at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards. This is the second time that a film in that lucrative franchise has walked off with this award. The first The Avengers won in 2013. Two other film franchises have won multiple awards in this category. The first four Twilight films all won the top award, as did all three The Lord of the Rings films. Two members of the Avengers: Endgame cast were singled out for awards. Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) won best hero. Josh Brolin (Thanos) took best villain. HBO's Game of Thrones took best (TV) show, after losing the last two years to Netflix's Stranger Things. This is the third year in a row that male and female actors have competed in the same categories at the MTV awards in both film and TV divisions. And this is the second time in those three years that females have walked off with both of those gender-neutral prizes. Lady Gaga took best performance in a movie for her role in A Star Is Born. Two years ago, the award went to Emma Watson for the reboot of Beauty and the Beast. Elisabeth Moss took best performance in a (TV) show for her role in The Handmaid's Tale. The award had gone the last two years to Millie Bobby Brown for Stranger Things. Females accounted for the entire field of four nominees in the TV category. (Jason Mitchell's nomination for The Chi was rescinded on May 29 due to alleged personal misconduct.) Females accounted for four of the five nominees in the film category. The only male nominated was Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody. Gaga's win over Malek, who won a raft of prizes for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, was surprising, at least initially. It makes a little more sense, at least by the sometimes convoluted logic of award shows, when you think about it. Malek, who won an Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG Award and BAFTA Award for his role in Bohemian Rhapsody, hardly needed another award. Gaga, on the other hand, lost at all four of those award shows (though she did win an Oscar for best song). A trophy for her acclaimed performance would be a nice consolation prize after just missing out so many times. Plus, of course, Gaga is MTV royalty. That fact probably also boosted such past MTV Movie Award lead performance winners as Janet Jackson (Poetic Justice, 1994), Will Smith (Ali, 2002 and I Am Legend, 2008) and Eminem (8 Mile, 2003). The result of the Gaga/Malek showdown was downplayed on the show. The list of nominees in that category wasn't even announced. And Gaga wasn't on hand to accept. The audience was told that she was in Las Vegas performing. Gaga won a second award for best musical moment for "Shallow," the smash hit from A Star Is Born. Noah Centineo, who played Peter Kavinsky in To All the Boys I've Loved Before, was also a double winner. He took best breakthrough performance and best kiss, for his liplock with Lana Condor, who played Lara Jean. Surviving Bobby Brown beat RBG, a doc about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for best documentary, but Ginsburg won a separate award for best reallife hero. Females even took the award for best fight. That award went to Brie Larson vs. Gemma Chan in Captain Marvel. It's the first time that an all-female smackdown has won in this category since 2010, when Beyonce Knowles battled Ali Larter in Obsessed. Dwayne Johnson won the MTV generation award. Jada Pinkett Smith took the MTV trailblazer award. Zachary Levi hosted the two-hour show, which was held at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, Calif. The show included two musical performances -- Lizzo's "Juice" and Bazzi's "Paradise." (Billboard)

Sofia Coppola's new film continues to piss off locals. Sofia Coppola's new movie is off to a "Rock"-y start with downtown residents. After The Post reported that a Soho florist was waging war against Coppola's in-production film, "On the Rocks" -- because the movie was allegedly diverting customers from the shop's doors -- Page Six has learned that the same film pissed off another neighborhood by posting "No parking" signs for blocks, then never showed up to shoot after residents gave up their prized parking spots. Seething sources said the production company for the film -- starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones -- plastered some three blocks on the west side with the dreaded signs banishing parked cars for Saturday and Sunday. While neighborhood movie shoots can always make parking a pain, this production found a way to amplify the ire of locals. "Not a soul showed up [to film]," said a flustered West Village person. "Everyone in the neighborhood was pissed, because people moved their cars." The source added, "Multiple people -- including [me] -- called the telephone number on the signs, but no one answered." When Page Six called the same number Monday, a person who picked up confirmed that they were with a production company but declined to comment or say whether they were working on "On the Rocks." A rep didn't get back to us. "You could hear people on the street asking why they had to move their cars if there was no movie," said our source. "It's a busy area on the weekend because of the High Line and Hudson Yards, so finding parking was a nightmare since they roped off so many streets Saturday and Sunday." Earlier this month, Soho florist Julia Testa claimed that the movie's set was threatening to disrupt her business. She put up a giant pink sign that read, "Movie shoots kill small business. Come in, we're open!," plus a message to shoppers who were allegedly diverted around the shoot: "Don't let them bully you -- you're allowed to walk past." (PageSix)

Leslie Mann Joins Adaptation of Noel Coward's 'Blithe Spirit'. Mann joins Dan Stevens and Isla Fisher in the comedy, which StudioCanal has picked up for the U.K. Leslie Mann has joined the all-star cast of Blithe Spirit, based on the renowned play by Noel Coward. Mann joins Dan Stevens (Legion), Isla Fisher (The Beach Bum), Julian Rhind-Tut (Rush), Emilia Fox (Silent Witness), Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake), James Fleet (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Judi Dench (Philomena) in the film, being directed by Edward Hall (Downton Abbey) from a script by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard and Piers Ashworth. Production has begun. The re-imagining of Cowards's classic comedy sees Stevens playing a best-selling crime novelist struggling with catastrophic writer's block whose desperate search for inspiration leads him to invite a medium recently exposed as a fraud to perform a seance in his home. Leonard and Moorcroft produce alongside James Spring (all three produced recent U.K. indie hit Fisherman's Friends), plus Hilary Bevan Jones (Pirate Radio), Peter Snell (The Wicker Man) and Toni Pinnolis. StudioCanal has picked up Blithe Spirit, a Powder Keg Pictures and British Lions Films title that Protagonist Pictures is selling internationally, for the U.K. Align, a newly formed L.A.-based production and financing group, is fully financing, with additional equity provided by Fred Films. Align CEO Adrian Politowski and svp production Martin Metz are producing on behalf of Align. (Hollywood Reporter)

Shanghai: China Pushes Soft Power Through Global Film Festival Alliance. International festival leaders gathered to discuss shared problems and plans for a shared future. The China-led but global Belt and Road Film Festivals Alliance represents a wide array of festivals catering to the whims of wildly diverse audiences, but it has been united by a common sense of purpose in Shanghai this week. "The first function of festivals is to promote the international exchange of culture and of movies," said Fu Wenxia, executive secretary-general of the organizing committee of the Shanghai International Film Festival. "Also, we all need to send new blood into the film industry and that is the second function of a film festival and an important role for all of us. Films tell the stories of all of us, and we should have more diversity at festivals." There were nine festival heads on stage at SIFF on Tuesday for a seminar that looked at the current state of the international festival circuit and the problems it faces. They came from as far afield as the Philippines' Sinag Maynila Independent Film Festival (represented by its founder, filmmaker Brillante Mendoza), the Festival do Rio (executive director Ilda Santiago) and Estonia's Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (head of industry Marge Liiske). "There are a lot of films being made, but there are a lot of films that struggle to find distribution," said Andriy Khalpakhchi, general director of the Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival. "That's an important role for festivals. To help them through screenings, through our markets. In terms of our audiences we can also provide a bridge between generations. We can show young people old films and introduce older people to what is new." China's Belt and Road Initiative is a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, launched back in 2013 with the primary focus of promoting international economic cooperation, but with an emphasis on the construction of infrastructure. Government claims are that around 126 countries and 29 international organizations are now engaged in various infrastructure and development projects under the initiative's umbrella, which was kicked off with a $40 billion investment from China. Critics claim that the agreements China asks its partners to sign are opaque and come with the risk that poorer countries will fall into long-term and debilitating debt with the world's second largest economy. Regardless, the initiative continues to expand in terms of both its reach and its ambition, more recently taking in cultural exchanges and promotions. The Belt and Road Film Festivals Alliance was launched last June with the purpose of streamlining festivals' access to Chinese films and Chinese filmmakers around the world. At the opening of SIFF on Saturday, it was announced that seven new festivals had joined the alliance this year, taking the number of member festivals and institutions to 38 from 33 countries. "This is our first year with the alliance, and this is a very important thing," said Francesca Via, general director of the Rome Film Festival. "It is a way we can share the experiences of every festival. This will have big meaning." For visiting festival heads, SIFF provides insight into current trends emerging on the domestic market. Stefan Laudyn, director of the Warsaw Film Festival, used the occasion to encourage more filmmakers to enter the fray. "China has 1.3 billion people, which means you have 1.3 billion stories to tell," he said. "Tell your stories. Be yourselves. Don't make American films or any other films. Make Chinese films, please." (Hollywood Reporter)

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