Monday, April 9, 2007

Hayek forms film partnership

Mexican actress and producer Salma Hayek has formed a film production company with Metro Goldwyn Mayer called Ventanazul.
The company will be housed at MGM studios in Hollywood and will produce or acquire independent films with Latino themes or feature Latino artists. The films will be marketed to Latino and non Latino audiences.

Hayek will serve as president and chief executive officer. Her producing partner, Jose Tamez, will be president of production.

Hayek already has a good record as a producer with the wildly successful Ugly Betty TV show.

Hayek's next film Lonely Hearts hits theaters April 13. The film also stars John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Jared Leto and Laura Dern.

According to Samuel Goldwyn Films, "A dark and exciting film noir based on the true story of lovers Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez, two serial killers that seduce lonely, vulnerable women, milk them of their money, and kill them in cold blood. Lonely Hearts stars Salma Hayek and Jared Leto as the two lovers, and John Travolta and James Gandolfini as the detectives hunting them down. The film is directed by Todd Robinson, whose grandfather was the police who is the basis for John Travolta’s character.

This Just In: DVD Releases

Legend of the Doll, 2006, Japan
In this quirky story set in Tokyo's fetish-catering Akihabara shopping district, lonely Ryouta (Hideo Tsubota) spends his time building action figures of pretty girls from kits. When a gorgeous life-size model comes to life, Ryouta must choose either the perfect doll who will do anything to make him happy -- or his ex-girlfriend. This comic fantasy romance co-stars Noriko Kijima as the living doll who sets out to win her creator's heart.

Buddenbrooks (4-Disc Series), 2006, Germany, Director Franz Peter Wirth
As the 19th century gives way to a new era, four generations of a German merchant family cope with the changing times and their own conventions. Destiny ties the rise and fall of the Buddenbrookses' fortunes to their conflicts between family loyalty and the drive for individual success. Based on Nobel Prize-winning author Thomas Mann's first novel, this presentation was originally broadcast as an 11-part miniseries on German television.

Coleccion Pedro Infante:
This collection of films starring singing sensation Pedro Infante includes: Angelitos Negros (1948), Asi Era Pedro Infante (1963), Cuando Lloran los Valientes (1947), Dicen Que Soy Mujeriego (1949), El Seminarista (1949), La Mujer Que Yo Perdi (1949), Las Islas Marias (1951), Nosotros Los Pobres (1948), Pepe el Toro (1953), Sobre Las Olas (1950) and Ustedes Los Ricos (1948)

Doktor Faustus, 1982, Germany, Director Franz Seitz
André Heller plays Satan, and Jon Finch stars as the composer who sells his soul to him in exchange for creative genius in German director Franz Seitz's adaptation of Thomas Mann's classic novel. Desperate to make his mark in the music world, the composer is prepared to go to any length to achieve his goal -- but when those close to him begin to suffer, he's forced to rethink his choices in this film festival favorite.

Dora-Heita, 2000, Japan, Director Kon Ichikawa
Thirty years after writing the script with fellow master directors Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi and Keisuke Kinoshita, Kon Ichikawa brings the story of an unruly samurai (Koji Yakusho) to the screen. Nicknamed Dora-Heita ("Alley Cat") for his penchant for debauchery, the samurai is assigned to clean up a lawless small town. His reputation is well-known, so the local thugs are in disbelief when the new magistrate gets down to business.

Hercules and the Masked Rider (Golia e Il Cavaliere Mascherato), 1964, Italy, Director Piero Pierotti
While traveling with Gypsies, legendary strongman Hercules (Sergio Ciani) encounters ex-soldier Don Juan (Mimmo Palmara), who's trying to save his lovely cousin from an arranged marriage to the evil Don Romero. After Juan throws on a mask and grabs a sword, the two heroes join forces to stop the villain's reign of terror. Hercules's fantastic strength combined with Juan's talents with the sword make for a nearly unstoppable duo.

Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon (Ercole Contro i Tiranni di Babilonia), 1964, Italy, Director Domenico Paolella
After the king of Babylon captures the queen of Helledes, Hercules (Peter Lupus) sets off to rescue the kidnapped royal in this sword-and-sandals epic. At first, the Babylonian leaders welcome the strongman openly as a guest, but soon, they challenge him to deadly battles with their top soldiers. Lupus, credited here as Rock Stevens, went on to star in the popular "Mission: Impossible" television series.

Raise the Castle!, 2005, Japan, Director Yo Kohatsu
After traveling 400 years to fulfill his dream of building a castle, samurai lord Ondaiji finds himself in a country town inhabited by eccentrics who advise him that his castle would be best made of cardboard. But why? As the townspeople set out to help Ondaiji build, will the secret they hold be revealed? Yo Kohatsu directs this festival-winning comedy starring Makoto Imazato, Yuko Nishimaru and Shuzo Mitamura.

Seguire Tus Pasos, 2006, Mexico
A young boy is left orphaned after highway bandits murder his father. Hardened by the reality of his life, he makes his way through the frightening world solely on his determination to survive. But when a compassionate monk teaches the child to let go of his anger, the boy opens his heart to the wonders of God. Julián Bravo and Manuel López Ochoa star in this touching family drama.

The Aura (El Aura), 2005, Mexico, Director Fabian Bielinsky
Part character study, part crime drama, The Aura follows reclusive and fastidious taxidermist Espinosa as he moves from dreaming about pulling off the perfect crime to actually planning and executing a real heist. Filmmaker Fabian Bielinsky (Nine Queens) lovingly nurtures Espinosa (Ricardo Darin), creating a complex character whose eerie frozen moments of epileptic seizure (hence the film's title) make for hypnotic viewing.

Kurau Phantom Memory (2-Disc Series), 2004, Japan, Anime, Director Yasuhiro Irie
In the year 2053, Dr. Amami's research into new forms of energy takes a frightening turn. The Rynax rays he was studying invade the body of his 12-year-old daughter, Kurau, imbuing her with unearthly powers. As Amami struggles to find a way to cure his daughter, Kurau is targeted by those who want to use her new abilities for their own gain. This chilling tale of the future is one of anime's most indelible stories.

Mussolini: The Churchill Conspiracies, 2004, Italy, Documentary
Examining a much-contested conspiracy theory, this intriguing documentary investigates accusations that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was assassinated by British secret agents on orders from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Though proof has never been found, theorists believe Churchill wanted to cover up the existence of secret and damaging letters from the prime minister to the dictator regarding Italy's position in World War II.