INTERVIEW: Josh Hutcherson on Escobar, Acting & Benicio Del Toro

There’s more to Josh Hutcherson than The Hunger Games. Not that he minds being associated with the exceptionally popular franchise, but he’s equally passionate about bringing to life stories that are perhaps a little less special effects driven. Stories like Escobar: Paradise Lost which has had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Things don’t always move at the speed of light in the movie biz. Hutcherson read the script for Escobar two years before it went to camera, but he was immediately attracted to it. “It was like 160 pages, it was going to be like a 3 hour movie, so they changed a lot,” he recalls, “but I read the script and just fell in love with the story and the character of Nick.”

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Robert X Modica

July 30th 1931-March 14th 2015 (83)

I don’t know what to say. I mean, what can you say when someone so spectacularly special departs?

All I can do is recall his story, told through my own (rambling) recollections…

Robert Xavier Modica (83) has been a master acting teacher for over 50 years. But he taught so much more than acting. For those of us fortunate enough to study with him in room 809 at Carnegie Hall (and later, elsewhere), we learned lessons in humanity and in living truthfully and fully. In that room, surrounded by plays, peers, and peeling, crackling, magical paint, we spent nights reading the greatest playwrights and listening to Mr. Modica’s stories.

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An Update…

I never think I’m going to be busy. So I’m wrong most of the time. I’ve been paddling as hard as I can beneath a sea of work, as well as a pet project: a a new event series in Vancouver called STAGE to SCREEN. Our first event which mixes film, live theatre, and conversation, turned out beautifully, with a truly engaged audience, and a wonderful guest, Pulitzer/Tony winner, David Auburn (ProofThe ColumnistThe Girl in the Park). Now, everyone keeps asking, who’s next?

Since I’ve been so terrible at providing new content for this blog, here are a few recent articles I’ve written:
Is the Other Woman Not Safe for Men? (Mashable) Continue reading

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What does ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ want? More.

“My name is Jordan Belfort. The year I turned 26 I made $49 million dollars which really pissed me off because it was 3 shy of a million a week.”

More. More money. More drugs. More sex. More power. More everything. Why? Because more is never enough.

That’s the driving philosophy for Jordan Belfort, the over-the-top-thrill-seeking subject of Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”  Based on a true story, the film captures Belfort’s exploits in the 1990s as a penny stockbroker (aka swindler) who accumulates so much wealth that he can literally throw around stacks of money without giving it a second thought. Worry not, Belfort has other hobbies too. In between selling pink sheets, he manages to find time to pursue just about any drug and sexual position possible. Yes, there are endless yacht parties, superficial luxuries, hookers, orgies, an infinite supply of booze and sliminess — but the crowning achievement for keeping company morale high: midget tossing competitions.

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How to Build a Fountain of Youth

The smell of freshly cut grass on a lazy summer day. The sensation of a melting popsicle covering your lips and cooling down your soul during a sticky heat wave.  Getting soaked under a summer storm.

The tango-dancing leaves of spring.

Your first snowflake. Your first snowman. Your first paper route. The first time you quit it.

The crashing vastness and overwhelming busyness of your first visit Downtown. Your first trip abroad. The first time you get to press on a gas pedal. That very first kiss.

Our youth consists of many firsts.
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I Can’t Sleep

I have a complicated relationship with sleep.

We don’t talk on the phone for hours. We don’t exchange clever emails. We don’t even text.

We don’t do anything at all because…I can’t sleep.

Well, it’s not so much that I can’t, but that I won’t. After all, it’s such a bloody waste of time.  I mean, you’re gonna get plenty of sleep after you die, right? So why rush things?

I’m convinced that eventually people will evolve and we will no longer require any more than an hour’s worth of sleep. Why the extra hour? Nostalgia.

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Mourning Fictional Characters…

So the strangest thing happened. Apparently Keanu Reeves was visiting a close friend of mine – a distant relative of his. Since he was a newcomer to this fair city, and friendless, she asked me to meet Keanu and show him around a little. I obliged. Continue reading

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‘The Bling Ring’ & the Age of ME

We live in a society that is obsessed with celebrity. That statement cannot come as a shock.

Whether it’s the usual suspects, which consist of movie stars with megawatt smiles, or athletes with the Herculean abilities, or larger-than-life, carefully crafted musicians, we can’t get enough.

We’re so addicted to celebrity that we even worship at the alter of people who are famous solely for being famous (eg. reality TV stars). Well, some of us do.

The real-life story behind The Bling Ring, which Sofia Coppola has adapted from a Vanity Fair article and brought to life on the big screen, makes for fascinating fodder.

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The Cannes Report: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ nabs Palme d’Or

It has been a dizzying 12-days of premieres, red carpets, soirees, yachts, paparazzi, and cinematic treats at the 66th Cannes Film Festival, which opened with a gala screening of The Great Gatsby. Although rain made a special guest appearance at the France Riviera for part of the festival, the mood was not dampened. Perhaps the weather was merely a clever ploy to encourage packed houses at film screening.

The festival handed its most prestigious award, the Palme d’Or to the coming-of-age, three-hour sensual lesbian romance, Blue is the Warmest Colour: The Life of Adele (French: La Vie d’Adèle), by Tunisian-born director Abdellatif Kechiche. The Steven Spielberg led jury presented the award not only to the film’s director, but also to its two fearless actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos.

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Transmedia – A Richer Canvas for Telling Stories

Let’s talk about Transmedia, for a moment.

Long gone are the days of static content. Consumers are looking for more and transmedia storytelling offers an increasingly popular approach for creating property-based universes. Transmedia content itself is also evolving. It’s becoming more dynamic, more interactive, offering greater opportunities to engage audiences with creative user-generated content that adds to the storytelling experience. It is becoming more communal.
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Random Photos

I’ve been walking around lately with my little Leica camera, snapping random photos, capturing still images, here are some:

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