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Possibly one of the most relevant films in recent years, Battle In Seattle has been seen by far too few people... Kindah Mardam Bey's review here!
Saturday, October 29, 2008 Movies You Should See: Battle In Seattle - Article
Cineaste. Vol. 33 No.4 (Fall 2008)
...It is especially rare in giving sympathetic treatment to characters not often seen in major motion pictures, namely political activists. It is particularly uncommon for such a politically-charged film to attempt to activate audiences, not through persuasive or factual argument as in a documentary, but through a compelling story. In this it follows in the tradition of filmmakers like Costa-Gavras...but certainly follows in the tradition of such works as Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool...
Townsend: This Is What Democracy Looks Like was a big inspiration. I thought it was a really great documentary. I am hoping that this film will somehow encourage people to go back and look at it. One of the reasons for me making a feature was the fact that there were documentaries made, but nobody saw them except for maybe some activists. My idea is to mainstream it, to make a film that is still not exactly mainstream, but to make a film that hopefully has a chance with a mainstream audience, to shine attention onto the subject.
Cineaste: Do you think the film has a role to play in the discussions and the movements since the protests?
Townsend: ...I hope it does this year...I think that Obama has politicized this whole new generation that needs to be politicized and needs to start caring about their country and where it's going. Get involved; take action; participate. That's what this film is about...It's about participation. That's a real democracy. Hopefully, the film shows the commitment that those protesters had and the level of patriotism. The power of the individual and the power of solidarity: all those issues are eternal. Ultimately, I just want the film to inspire people... If there's one thing that I would like people to come away with, it is to be inspired. Andrew Hedden's excellent interview here!
Saturday, October 25, 2008 In Dubious Battle - Review
...Once upon a time, there were laws against monopolies in business. Corporations were not allowed to get too big in order to dissuade total dominance and to encourage market competition. Things have changed. Now, not only do corporations dominate entire industries ... but they also have groups like the World Trade Organization where they can meet, schmooze, and lobby government to keep protecting their interests... The Vancouverista's review here!
Saturday, October 25, 2008 BATTLE IN SEATTLE - In Theatres - Review
...The appearance of Battle in Seattle so long after the summit itself eloquently testifies to the importance of this shift, as well as the role that those protests have played in popular culture. A mere nine years after activists brought Seattle to a standstill and stared down the world's most powerful interests, their actions have finally been cinematized. Such is the lag between corporate crimes, resistance, and the marketisation of both...
...Battle in Seattle is a solidly made movie. It has a fine cast, including Harrelson and Theron, Ray Liotta, Andre Benjamin (from the band Outkast) and Michelle Rodriguez. All are passable enough and the dialogue is neatly judged. Many people will be introduced to, or reminded of, the events of 1999 by the film, which can only be a good thing as globalization rumbles on. It's also simply heartening to see a film dealing with protest from the streets and affirming the power (and importance) of free assembly to counter concentrated power. That's not to be swept aside... Sam Urquhart's review here!
Monday, October 20, 2008 Saw Battle in Seattle - Blog
...Current affairs have a way of creeping up on you and this story is likely fresh in the minds of many. Alliance Viva Films presents a rather compelling expose of the riot that took place in the evergreen state... http://www.anevibe.com/film-reviews/battle-in-seattle-in-theatres.html by Kindah Mardam Bey's review (sorry, anevibe.com site is down)
Monday, October 20, 2008 Battle in Seattle in Tacoma - Review
boardhost.com - John Shirley Message Board
...So it was interesting film, gave me flashbacks, and told all sides of the story well. Most important it shows want [sic] an important thing it was. See it. John Shirley appears to have archived all 2008 posts including the referenced 1224556921.html
Friday, October 17, 2008 Battle in Seattle: Holds lessons for today - Review
...The Grand Cinema will screen Battle in Seattle beginning Friday, Oct. 24 Michael Swan's review here!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 Battle in Seattle - Review
thestar.com - Toronto Star
...The movie also benefits from today's global financing meltdown that makes challenging organizations like the WTO a necessity rather than an option. If current events hold, Battle in Seattle could look like prophecy as well as history. Peter Howell's review here!
October, 2008 Stuart Townsend - Exclusive Interview By: Rocco Passafuime - www.thecinemasource.com - Interview (snippets)
...The film's earnest desire to inform moviegoers about the devastation wreaked by global corporate interest and the resulting erosion of the environment, human rights and civil liberties is admirable - these days there might even be a growing audience for politically critical entertainment. Unlike the lingering romance surrounding the resistance movements of the late '60s, the WTO protests have mostly drifted out of popular memory. It's unlikely that Battle in Seattle will elevate the events to legendary status, but it could generate some needed discussion... Damian Rogers's review here!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 TONIGHT! BATTLE IN SEATTLE LAUNCHES IN CANADIAN THEATRES! - Blog - Trailer
Interview By: Rocco Passafuime
The 35 year-old actor-turned filmmaker shared with us what first motivated him to tackle an under-reported subject like the anti-globalization movement into a dramatic film...
"It started with the environment and meeting with a lot of environmental activists, hearing about erosions, hearing about our forests, freaked out, it's like a Pandora's box," ... but I didn't realize it was so connected to politics and connected to globalization. And I read a book by Anita Roddick called Take It Personally.... Very simple and I can read it and I could understand it..."
"I was just putting in the hours... about a year and a half researching the event and just reading all the books, like pro-free-trade books like Thomas Friedman and [Jagdish] Bhagwati and middle ground sort of Joseph Stigletz kind of books and books like Lori Waloch's Who's Trade Organization?... I was just doing all the research from both sides and making my own opinions. I'm still kind of doing it...
"You look at the recent financial crisis, that's the same economic sense that people were warning against and fighting against in 1999 and the media acts like it's a big shock," Townsend claims, "It's like, no, it's not a shock. People have been waiting for this bubble to burst for a long while. It continually evolves. The world food riots, that was about IMF policies, structural adjustment programs, flooding local markets with imports, and killing off the local food..." "I think that if you have to get involved in something, you have to be really passionate about it. Obviously, Tara Hill was something that I was really passionate about. I was really hurt when we lost the battle... I'm not involved in a million different causes...
"The crane sequence, our insurance company was like, no way, you can't have two actors 300 filled [sic] up on a crane, so we shot them on a 15 foot crane rig," Stuart continues, "And then, intercut with all the wide shots is the real footage and that saved us. We wouldn't even have been able to have done the scene without the real footage..."
"Joshua Jackson's there," Stuart adds, "He's the anarchist there with a bandana on his face. He was in two scenes. I actually had to cut where you see his face. I had to cut one scene, a scene that I really liked, including one of Channing Tatum's. I had to really cut a lot of my favorite scenes. I had to cut the funniest scene in the movie, I had to cut one of the most visual scenes in the movie, and then, I had to cut this lovely scene with Channing and Woody just acting their hearts out ...
In a country currently undergoing not only one of the biggest presidential elections in recent memory, but a burgeoning economic crisis on Wall Street, we asked Townsend what he hopes Battle in Seattle will add to the current, already heated-up dialogue in American politics...
"I'd love to make another movie, yeah," Townsend enthusiastically responds, "I have a few ideas, but I cannot really say yet...
Rocco Passafuime's FULL Exclusive Interview here!
Friday, October 10, 2008 '"Battle" tries to make sketch happen' - Review
Seattle, November 29, 1999. (N29): 4:00 a.m. Five protesters from the Rainforest Action Network scale a 170-foot construction crane overlooking the Interstate 5 and unfurl banners reading "Democracy" and "WTO" with arrows pointing in opposite directions. This moment really happened, but it is also dramatically recreated, with a little romantic overtures, in the opening of the film Battle In Seattle which is launching in Canadian theatres this Friday. Katherin Dodds' review here!
Thursday, October 9, 2008 'Battle In Seattle' - Review
yaledailynews.com - Yale Daily News
One of the key achievements of this film is its overwhelming portrayal of pandemonium. The jerky, shaky camera appears to mimic the movements of a scared, disoriented protester. Misha Mihailova's review here!
Saturday, October 4, 2008 The Impact of the 'Battle In Seattle' - Review - Article
Los Angeles Times - By KENNETH TURAN
..."Battle in Seattle" does much better at capturing the physical, on-the-street feeling of the event. Mixing some nine minutes of real footage with re-creations shot by Barry Ackroyd and edited by Fernando Villena, the film convincingly brings the look of those chaotic days to the screen....
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 Stuart Townsend and Martin Henderson - Interview
CommonDreams.org - News Center
Nine years after the World Trade Organization came to Seattle, a new feature film sets out to dramatize the historic protests that the institution's meetings provoked. The issue that Battle in Seattle filmmaker Stuart Townsend seeks to raise, as he recently stated, is "[what it takes] to create real and meaningful change."...
...The altered fate of the WTO is itself very significant. But this is only part of a wider series of transformations that the global justice protests of the Seattle era helped to usher in. Toward the end of Battle In Seattle, Andre 3000's character, an activist who spends a decent part of the film dressed as a sea turtle, makes a key point: "A week ago nobody knew what the WTO was," he says. "Now... they still don't know what it is. But at least they know it's bad." Mark Engler's review here! (senior analyst with "Foreign Policy In Focus" and author of "How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle Over the Global Economy" (Nation Books, 2008). He can be reached via the Web site http://www.DemocracyUprising.com
artistdirect.com - News Archives
Why did you choose Andre Benjamin for his role as an environmental activist...
Stuart Townsend: "I saw him in OutKast [see pic] and I loved the show. The energy coming off of him was amazing. ... And that guy looks good in anything so I thought he'd look great in a turtle suit. There's not many people you can put in a turtle suit..."
Why don't you think people protest with all of these problems today?
Martin Henderson: As a non-American, I ask myself that today. I protested the war [Iraq]. I didn't believe it was just; ... It seemed convenient that certain things aligned and then we went into this country. I protested in Australia. And I think fear and the government here [USA] did a clever job in making people who spoke out about the war feel un-American and unpatriotic. There was a real culture of fear [dissuading] people to voice their rights...." Drew Tewksbury's interview here!
Summer 2008 Movie Maker Magazine - Mag
Saturday, September 27, 2008 Movie Review: Battle in Seattle - Review
News story with various interview quotes.
current.com's footage here!
Friday, September 26, 2008 Battle in Seattle - Catholic News Review
...as an overall cinematic experience with a strong message, this is one to see.
While perhaps you don't care quite as much about the characters as you do the actual outcome of the protest story itself, it is still engrossing and well told, shot and acted and it deserves recognition as such. 3 out of 4 stars. Brandon Scott's review here!
Friday, September 26, 2008 Entertainment :: Movies - EDGE, San Francisco Review
Woody Harrelson is particularly good as a cop whose pregnant saleswoman wife (Charlize Theron, nicely understated) gets caught in a violent skirmish. For more on the church's perspective on global trade, the WTO and globalization, go to www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/globaltrade.shtml.
Harry Forbes's (Catholic News Service) review here!
Friday, September 26, 2008 Stuart Townsend and Charlize Theron, Savoy Cinema in Dublin - interview
The WTO, we are essentially told, is a consortium of rich guys getting richer and letting the world's most vulnerable and impoverished perish... even as they loot the landscape, pollute the environment, and drive the middle class toward the ranks of those poor...
Townsend, ... may know a thing or two about conspiracies, given his stint ... as Carl Kolchak on the ... ABC reboot of The Night Stalker a couple of years ago. His film, however, has the feel of a biodegradable jigsaw puzzle: you know just where each large, day-glo piece is supposed to fit, and predicting how the paths of various characters will intersect--Woody Harrelson's seasoned Seattle cop, for instance, is destined to clash with Martin Henderson's principled protester--is distressingly easy... Kilian Melloy's review here!
Sep 2008 Exclusive to www.stuarttownsend.org
From a public press conference which took place in the Savoy Cinema in Dublin, February 16th 2008.
She was the first person to read the script....
Medium Cool is actually in the film - real footage. Haskell Wexler wrote this film in 1968, which is about the Democratic Convention riots. That was the last big, mass mobilisation. I always wanted to have a little piece of the riot footage in the film. I worked with this amazing person called Barry Ackroyd who did all of Ken Loach's films, and I had worked with him twice as an actor, and he is a great guy. He knew Haskell and asked if we could get Medium Cool in the movie and Haskell said yes and then said he could come up and do C camera. So he actually did C camera and then we threw him into the film for a couple of seconds.... public press conference here! (new link)
Official pictures of Stuart Townsend @ ReelzChannel.
(Click image for full size pic)
Stuart Townsend and Leonard Maltin at ReelzChannel promoting his directorial debut, "Battle in Seattle,".
This episode of "Secrets Out" premiered FRIDAY September 26, at 9pm.
Secret's Out - Stuart Townsend and Leonard Maltin interview, see it here!
All reelzchannel's clips on Stuart through here!
Thursday, September 25, 2008 In photos: 'Battle In Seattle Special Screening - Arrivals' - Photos
"I wanted to get people involved in the film. I wanted to go beyond all the political facts because the real idea was try and make an action movie...But I don't see it as a political movie, I see it more as a film to inspire and whack you in the stomach a little bit."
There's no question Townsend has succeeded in his action movie goal, but he's also succeeded in throwing light on the WTO Itself. The massive global organization that affects how we live, what we earn, what we eat, and how we're governed has rarely been so effectively criticized on film... Irish Voice's interview here!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 Video: Stuart Townsend Talks 'Battle in Seattle' - Insider Interview (Video)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 Battle in Seattle - Movie Review - Review snippets
theinsider.com (2 mins)
Stuart talks with the insider.
my insiders' footage here!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 Access Hollywood | VIDEO - 'Battle In Seattle' Premiere, New York - Interview (Video)
...The best work in the acting department goes to seasoned veterans Woody Harrelson ... and Charlize Theron. ...Most of the screen time goes to newcomers Martin Henderson, Michelle Rodriguez and AndrÃƒÂ© Benjamin as Jay, Lou and Django, the brains, beauty and attitude that makes the anti-WTO action as fascinating to watch as it was amazing. They are accompanied on-screen by an ensemble cast of a half dozen promising young actors. ... A lot of the credit for the realistic and believable look and feel of the film goes to cinematographer Barry Ackroyd. ... While not Haskell Wexler's "Medium Cool," "Battle in Seattle" approaches it and respects that landmark combination of documentary and narrative fiction film making. In fact, Wexler hisself shows up in the film for a most deserving moment.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 Martin Henderson Talks About "Battle in Seattle" - Story
Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend and Ray Liotta (Premiere NYC)
Access Hollywood' footage here!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 The Landmark Theater - Los Angeles - (Click below)
New Zealand-born actor Martin Henderson:
Martin Henderson: "I've just come from doing a couple months of theater, down in Australia, and I love doing that partly because there is no camera. You're forced to relate to the actor." ... "It was a great character to play because not only is he motivated by the possibility of political change, and he has a certain cross to bear with that, but he has this emotional agenda as well, seeking vengeance for the death of someone he loved. So there was an intensity and a drive to him that is lovely to portray. And, there was a lot of anger. It was a wonderful part, and a real heroic part, really." Rebecca Murray's story here!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 Stuart Townsend Discusses "Battle in Seattle" - Story
Monday, September 22, 2008 Stuart Townsend's Battle in Seattle - MyFox LA Interview (Video)
Townsend's been acting in movies since the early '90s but it wasn't part of his game plan to turn to writing and directing. "I've always loved movies. I'm a big movie fan. I'm a movie nerd. So, I got into acting, not because of acting, but because of movies. Over the years, being in movies, I was always looking for stories," explained Townsend. "I don't know why. I guess in the back of my head somewhere, I wanted to make a film. When I saw this event, that was it. I was like, 'I want to make this film!' I could see it in my head, and I stupidly went forward and did it." Rebecca Murray's story here!
myfoxla.com (6 mins)
Stuart live in the studio !
my fox Los Angeles' footage here!
Monday, September 22, 2008 Charlize Theron goes to 'Battle' in support of partner Stuart Townsend - Movie News
ilcaonline.org (international labor communications association)
..."Battle in Seattle" offers a biting critique of our current economic system in the tradition of films such as "Grapes of Wrath" and "Wall Street." Writer-director Stuart Townsend, a native of Ireland, said the more he learned about what happened on the streets of Seattle, the more he has come to question conventional notions of freedom and democracy. After seeing "Battle in Seattle," you will, too.
Barb Kucera's review here! (editor of www.workdayminnesota.org) at American Federation of Labor page with Film and ticket links.
Monday, September 22, 2008 'Battle in Seattle' film opens in US, but not AZ yet - Blog
Boston Hearald "The edge"
Townsend showed her his script several years ago. "I was the first person who got to read it, and unfortunately I'm just not one of those people who cannot bull---- my way through something," she said. "I knew that our relationship is very honest, with anything that we do. There's always a truth in our opinions toward each other and I value that so much. So reading the script was the scariest moment for me." Fortunately for the film - and their relationship - Theron loved it. Stephen Schaefer's news here!
Monday, September 22, 2008 Strut Magazine - Interview with Mary Aloe (Producer) [PDF]
Daniels's New and Views
TUCSON -- The new movie 'Battle in Seattle' about the Nov-Dec 1999 World Trade Organization protests opened Friday at limited theaters across the US, but none in Arizona, despite the fact that 75+ Grand Canyon State activists, including me, my wife and others with the Sonoran Justice Alliance, had important non-violent roles in Seattle.
Hopefully this important film will make it to the big screen in Tucson, Phoenix, Yuma, Flagstaff and other AZ theaters soon.
Daniel's blog here! (has link to "Demand it" for AZ's)
Sunday, September 21, 2008 An anarchist review of Battle in Seattle - Review
Strut Magazine Feature
With her latest movie, Battle In Seattle, Mary Aloe is quickly becoming one of the most prominent independent female producers in Hollywood. But what exactly does a producer do, anyway? Strut's Vicki Hogarth checks in with Aloe for the lowdown
"...I had a great feeling in Toronto the other night [at the premiere of Battle in Seattle]. We had a lot of interest [from distributors], and we had four offers. But the standing ovation at the end for 15 minutes - it's just as exciting as seeing Stuart Townsend crying and Charlize crying for a story, and everybody hugging and kissing after a year of work putting this together..."
Vicki Hogarth's interview here! (PDF of this feature story only)
Sunday, September 21, 2008 'Battle in Seattle': Directorial Debut for Charlize's Man, Stuart Townsend - Interview
...I spent my nineteenth birthday in the cold and rain, breathing in tear gas and fleeing the police. It was 1999 and I was in Seattle, joining in the tens of thousands who descended on the city to protest the World Trade Organization's first Ministerial Conference in the United States ... The reasons to oppose the WTO were a thousand-fold, but central to me was the larger system at play...
...Almost ten years later, the protests have inspired a feature film. Directed by Stuart Townsend, Battle in Seattle is a clearly well-researched fictionalized drama taking place during the WTO protests. The pacing and general narrative is quite accurate to the events as they actually unfolded. This new, sympathetic attention to a pivotal moment of the anti-globalization movement brings up many old questions and debates, most of which still linger on today... Jen Rogue with Andrew Hedden's review here!
Hollywood.com: What was one of the biggest hurdles getting this story to screen?
Stuart Townsend: We were ten weeks into pre-production and we had waited on one actress for seven weeks, and financing was kind of contingent on her and she said "no" and it was like, "Ohhhh!" We spent three weeks scrambling... the producers were like if we can get it cast we're going to have to shut down. And it came down to the day before hand, and Woody (Harrelson) said "yes" and then Ray Liotta and Andre Benjamin said "yes." Obviously Charlize (Theron) was already signed on. Suddenly everyone wanted to be in the film, and within a week we cast all eleven roles. It's by the seat of your pants filmmaking! Brigid Brown's (Hollywood.com Staff) interview here!
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