This week, two formidable men in very different show business worlds.
Julian Schnabel, perhaps the only independent filmmaker in the universe who doesn't have to worry about financing, discusses getting funding for his films from people who collect his art and about how, for him, making movies is not a business endeavor. His new movie, Miral, based on the autobiographical novel by Palestinian journalist, Rula Jebreal, deals with the Palestinians' struggle for statehood as seen through the lives of three generations of women. When Miral had its US premiere at the UN General Assembly earlier this month the state of Israel and some Jewish groups protested. An American Jew himself, Schnabel talks about how that was "silly" and that his film isn't anti-Israeli but a cry for empathy and peace.
Then Simon Cowell joins us to talk about launching his new Fox talent show, The X Factor, which is due to premiere in the Fall. They haven't shot one second of the series and he expressed worry that if they don't get good contestants at the auditions (which launch this Sunday in Los Angeles) then they'll have no show. He also outlines the anxiety of casting the judging panel and finding a host. Despite some tabloid reports, he denies there's bad blood from his side towards the American Idol folks, and says he's grateful for the show and that he's in touch with Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson and a couple of the producers regularly. He also says when he's watched American Idol this year he's had the odd experience of feeling like he wants to speak up but then realizes he's not on the show.
Today's Banter Topics:
Sony experiments with $12.99 downloads on Amazon and iTunes, starting with The Tourist and How Do You Know
IMAX builds 75 new screens in China
Cinemacon -- the annual confab of theatrical exhibitors formerly known as ShoWest -- starts in Vegas this week where among, other things, Paramount will screen some of the new J.J. Abrams movie, Super 8
The new PG13 version of The King's Speech opens April 1
Banner image: (L) Julian Schnabel, © Jose Haro; (R) Simon Cowell, Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images