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Friday, May 16, 2008

Studio to distribute Georgia-made ‘Dance of the Dead’

The indie horror film “Dance of the Dead,” filmed in Rome and North Georgia, will be distributed this fall by Lionsgate in a deal with Sam Raimi’s new partnership Ghost House Underground.

“Dance,” directed by Gregg Bishop, a 1992 graduate of McEachern High School in Powder Springs and 1999 graduate of USC film school in Los Angeles, had three sold-out screenings last month at the Atlanta Film Festival. It earlier had its world premiere at South by Southwest in Austin.

“Dance” mixes blood, gore and humor in relating how the rising dead invade a high school prom. Roughly 80 percent of the cast, many of them teens and young adults, are Georgians.

The film is expected to be part of Ghost House’s inaugural slate of offerings dubbed October Horror.

“‘Dance of the Dead’ has found the perfect home,” Bishop said in an e-mail press release.

The deal involves both Raimi (“Evil Dead” and the “Spider-Man” movies) and Rob Tapert (“30 Days of Night,” “The Grudge”).

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His popcorn tab must run in the high five figures

Hi Mister Smithee!

I’m 10 years old, and my mom likes to read your column. She said the most movies she’s ever seen in a year was 250. How many movies you have seen in one year? How many movies you’ve seen all together?

WALTER WEBER, Decatur

Hi Now-Wee!

To tell you the truth, my noble son, I have never counted. I know people who do. They keep long lists with copious notes on every little aspect of cinema this and cinema that they’ve seen.

But I can tell you this: I have seen so many movies that on more than one occasion I have been watching a film and suddenly realized I’d already seen it.

Since so many people ask me this question in e-mails (and in person), I have at least attempted to reconstruct my viewings so far this year.

And I also must say, your mom has seen her fair share.

In the first 137 days of 2008, I have seen 124 full-length documentaries and features. (This does not take into account film shorts.)

If this pace continues, by year’s end I will expect to have seen 315 full-length films.

That sounds about right.

I do recall very clearly the most full-length movies I’ve ever seen in one day. It’s seven. At Sundance.

ALAN

P.S. You get a plush toy for “Kung Fu Panda” and a child-size “Ask Alan Smithee” T-shirt.

Dear Mr. Smithee,

With your resources … in the history of movies and theater, who is the only male actor who won an Oscar and also a Tony for the same show on film and on Broadway?

Now see if you can name the only two women in drama winning an Oscar and Tony for the same movie and show they appeared in.

BOB LEWIS, Boynton Beach, Fla.

Dear Nice Try,

Are you trying to get me to answer quickly and then, therefore, trip up?

Your first question does not specify drama or musical or supporting or lead performance. Therefore, the answer involves six men, each performing the same role onstage and in a film.

Jose Ferrer (“Cyrano de Bergerac”) and Paul Scofield (“A Man For All Seasons”) each won drama lead Tonys and best actor Oscars. Yul Brynner (“The King and I”) won a supporting musical Tony and a best actor Oscar. Rex Harrison (“My Fair Lady”) won a lead musical Tony and a best actor Oscar. Joel Grey (“Cabaret”) won a supporting musical Tony and a supporting actor Oscar. Jack Albertson (“The Subject Was Roses”) won a supporting drama Tony and a supporting actor Oscar.

The answer to the second question about drama actresses is Shirley Booth (“Come Back Little Sheba”) and Anne Bancroft (“The Miracle Worker”), who each won a drama actress Tony and best actress Oscar.

ALAN

P.S. You get a “Michael Clayton” bag and a child-size “Ask Alan Smithee” T-shirt (am almost out of the Smithee shirts and wee-ones are all I have left, so count yourself lucky, my friend).

Dear Mr. Smithee,

I’m looking for a word to describe my reaction to Alfred Hitchcock films.

They are too familiar to be scary, suspenseful or thrilling, but they do evoke a response.

Can you help me put a name to it?

KATHLEEN CLEBERG, Fridley, MN

Dear Misguided,

How about comatose?

ALAN

P.S. You get a “Son of Rambow” T-shirt and a child-size “Ask Alan Smithee” T-shirt.

FAN MAIL: Sometimes readers write just to wish all’s well. As in this kind missive from one sweet Dee Booker of Florida:

“I really enjoy your column and in fact share the copies of them with my sister who lives in West Seneca, N.Y. She gets quite a kick out of them. She does think that you are somewhat arrogant in your writing, but I told her that’s your style and that is why fans (like myself) read your articles.

“(I’m) going back up North and won’t be catching your columns. Wish we could have your type of movie news in the Buffalo News. See you next year. Have a great summer.”

My, ahem, esteemed response: You, too, my dear. And please tell your sis I take great offense at the unkind word “somewhat.”

HAVE A QUESTION FOR MR. SMITHEE?

E-mail him at alansmithee@ajc.com or go to accessAtlanta.com and click on Movies. Please include your name, city and daytime phone number. Mr. Smithee can’t reply to every request, but inquiries chosen for publication will receive movie-related prizes.

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Will you pay $20 for ‘Kit Kittredge: An American Girl’?

Five cities, including Atlanta, are part of a select early opening of “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” starring Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin. While the movie opens nationally July 2, it can be seen early starting June 20 in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dallas.

But here’s the rub. And since I think it’s significant, I’ll quote the press release sent to me Thursday by the studio Picturehouse: “With the purchase of each premium ticket ($20) the patron will receive a limited edition t-shirt.”

Did you catch that? Tickets will be $20 for a G-rated movie based on a popular doll for little girls!

My editor’s head still explodes every time I mention the earlier Miley Cyrus 3D concert film. She unhappily says she forked over $18 per ticket so her daughter could see that movie.

There’s everything to be said for pricing tickets according to what the market will bear. But there’s also something negative to say about taking advantage of the emotions of little children and their parents.

I think anybody who forks over $20 for a ticket should get a limited edition t-shirt. Because at that price, they’ve already bought it.

Will you pay $20 a ticket for you and yours to see “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl”? Do you think Hollywood is reasonable in pricing these special movies and special events?

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