Archive for July, 2007

Antonioni Dies

31st July 2007 by Maura McHugh


It’s not a good time for European Cinema with the news that Italian filmmaker, Michelangelo Antonioni, has passed away at age 94.

Antonioni’s most famous film, Blow-Up (1966), starred Vanessa Redgrave and David Hemmings, and was co-written by Antonioni and Tonino Guerra.

Film Archives Released

31st July 2007 by Maura McHugh

According to the Washington Post the American National Archives and Records Administration has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with Amazon.com, and its subsidiary CustomFlix, to reproduce and sell to the public copies of thousands of historic films and videotapes in the Archives’ holdings.

Stacey Hurwitz, a spokeswoman for CustomFlix, said the first six DVDs became available on Amazon July 16 and are already selling. She said they were newsreels from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

They include scenes of the famous 1959 “Kitchen Debate” between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in a model American kitchen on display in Moscow. Other footage shows a youthful Fidel Castro after the communist revolution in Cuba, along with reports about Hawaii becoming a state, and the Soviet space program.

Hurwitz said the DVDs will sell for $19.99 and will be manufactured on customer demand at the company’s facility in Scotts Valley, Calif. The Archives said they are part of its “Universal Newsreels,” which date from 1920 to 1967.

Thousands of other public domain and government films will become available in this fashion in the future. In a separate pilot program about 100 Archives films have also been made available free via Google.

RTE Commissioning Editor

31st July 2007 by Maura McHugh

IFTN reports that RTÉ had appointed Eddie Doyle as the new Commissioning Editor for Entertainment.

Eddie Doyle has been Assistant Commissioner for Factual programmes at RTÉ Television since January 2006. During that period he managed a number of high-profile documentaries and factual entertainment programmes, including the ‘Future Shock’ programmes, ‘The Hospice,’ ‘So You Want to be Taoiseach?’, and a number of ‘Hidden History’ productions. Previously Executive Producer of ‘Prime Time Investigates’, Eddie oversaw the series from its inauguration in 2002, managing, among others, programmes on Leas Cross and the Garda Siochana. In 2001 his programme on the private rental sector won the Celtic Film Festival Jury Prize, and in the same year his programme on the Taliban (Afghanistan: Hostage Nation) won the ESB Broadcast Journalist of the Year Award. Prior to joining RTÉ Eddie worked in entertainment broadcasting in Britain for various companies including the BBC, Channel 4, Hat Trick and Trans World International.

Kevin Linehan, RTÉ Television’s current Commissioning Editor for Entertainment, is delighted to take up a new role as Executive Producer, Music. Eddie Doyle will now work alongside Assistant Commissioning Editor for Entertainment, Julian Vignoles.

Hit Kid’s TV Show for NI

31st July 2007 by Maura McHugh

The Stage reports that Belfast production company, SixteenSouth, won the contract to create a Northern Irish version of the classic children’s television show, Sesame Street.

Along with familiar Sesame Street characters such as Elmo and Cookie Monster, new characters will be created for a Northern Irish audience.

Sesame Workshop president Gary E Knell applauded SixteenSouth’s “exciting original concept” and said he hoped it would result in “a unique show that will be relevant, humorous, engaging and reflective of a brighter future for the children of Northern Ireland”.

Colin Williams, managing director of SixteenSouth’s parent company The Inferno Group, welcomed the announcement as “a truly amazing opportunity, a real privilege to create a programme our children will grow up with and, 30 years from now, remember the songs, the loveable characters, the stories and, most importantly, the life lessons”.

The first series, which will comprise of twenty fifteen-minute episodes, will be broadcast by BBC NI from February 2008.

Ingmar Bergman Dead

30th July 2007 by Maura McHugh


The BBC reports that Swedish filmmaker and theatrical director, Ingmar Bergman, died today at the age of 89.

His famous 1957 film, The Seventh Seal is on release currently in art-houses around the world in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Bergman once said in a New York Times interview in 1976:

I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images.