Live from Toronto Film Festival: Wrapping up

18 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Film cut from fest for offensive images.

BEIJING, Sept. 18 (Xinhuanet) – Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have cancelled the premiere of “London Fields” after the director sued the producers.The producers of a star-studded adaptation of the Martin Amis novel London Fields have attacked the Toronto film festival’s decision to cancel its world premiere following a legal dispute with the movie’s director.Director Mathew Cullen, left, and producer Bernard Rahill accept the Best Short Form Music Video award for ‘Pork And Beans’ by Weezer during the 51st Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Centre on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.Martin Amis adaptations have a habit of creating fury among directors; director William Marsh, who made Dead Babies in 2000, also complained of a cut going out without his sign-off.

Director Mathew Cullen filed legal proceedings against producers Christopher Hanley and Jordan Gertner, saying they altered the movie and added offensive imagery about Islam and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Muse Film and Television issued a statement labelling the move an “ill-considered decision made against our rights” after Toronto bosses pulled tonight’s red-carpet screening and said the film was no longer part of the festival. “We are greatly disappointed that Tiff decided to pull the film from the festival,” reads the statement. “We have always loved launching our films here, but feel that in this particular case there has been an ill-considered decision made against our rights. Matthew Cullen, the director, is suing producer Chris Hanley, claiming he and his associates “secretly prepared their own version of the film” that included “incendiary imagery evoking 9/11 jumpers, edited against pornography”. Actors Amber Heard, Jim Sturgess, Billy Bob Thornton and Johnny Depp have all reportedly written to the producers to express their opposition to the way it has been edited.

In a statement released Thursday, TIFF organizers said, “We have recently learned of a legal matter that has arisen between the director and the producers of the film London Fields. Given that the present is a far scarier place and a more suitable setting for the dystopian tale, the director’s change of period makes perfect sense. He is suing producers Jordan Gertner and Christopher Hanley – whose wife, Roberta, wrote the script – for fraud, misappropriation of name and likeness, material failure of consideration and unfair competition, and hopes to take the $1m (£640,000) case to trial.

Images of a world in chaos flash throughout the film, which is told from the perspective of an American writer who has come to London to seek inspiration for a new novel. Along with the allegations about content, the lawsuit says producers failed to properly finance the film and haven’t properly paid Cullen for his work and expenses, which total more than $1 million (about R13.22m). “Sadly, Mathew can’t deal with the fact that he does not control the final cut of the movie,” said the statement released by publicist Maxine Leonard on behalf of the producers. “He was given two deadlines to deliver a ‘director’s cut’ and missed both deadlines. His guild has rules for withdrawing his name from the picture, and he missed those deadlines.” “It is unfortunate that the producers continue to attempt to distort the facts, but it is no longer unexpected,” Weingarten wrote.

However Amis gave his tacit backing to Mr Hanley’s version as he was the only member of the cast – he has a cameo appearance – to make himself available for press interviews. The production company will vigorously oppose the lawsuit.” London Fields centres on a beautiful clairvoyant, Nicola Six (Heard) who knows the time and place of her murder, on the eve of her 30th birthday, but isn’t sure whether it will be committed by posh pretty-boy Guy Clinch (Theo James) or darts-obsessed working-class wideboy Keith Talent (Jim Sturgess). In an email to The New York Times on Monday, Mr Hanley said: “I have been through creative battles with every film we have made with every director.” He could not be reached for comment.

David Guy Levy, a producer/director who worked on the film until falling out with Mr Hanley, told The Independent: “From what I’ve heard through other people on the film, who also were shut out, basically Chris shut out everybody but himself and his wife. Christopher Hanley previously brought Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers and Mary Harron’s much-praised Christian Bale-led adaptation of American Psycho to the big screen as a producer. Young has two suspects in mind: a cockney hooligan who dreams of being a darts champion (played by Jim Sturgess) and a city slicker (Theo James) who is bored with his seemingly idyllic life. London Fields has received mixed reviews from critics at Toronto, but has won praise from Amis, who told the Telegraph: “I was relieved and pleased.

Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. All three parts of this love triangle give dire performances and when the action settles on their shenanigans the film falls apart, and the early promise of an inquiry into the writing process, à la Adaptation, goes by the wayside. Of the characters it’s only the uncredited Depp, the coolest guy in the room with his dapper dress sense and long sideburns, who comes away with any credit.

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