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Director Todd Haynes has established himself as an indie filmmaker who creates memorable roles for women, including his newest film, Carol, which stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Oscar-nominated, respectively, as best actress and best supporting actress.  Haynes and Carol producer Christine Vachon tell us that their past success didn't make it easier to find money when financiers learned there would be no male leads in their movie. They also talk about one of their earliest projects, Superstar, the Karen Carpenter biopic made entirely with Barbies.

Photo: Director Todd Haynes and star Cate Blanchett on the set of Carol. © 2015 The Weinstein Company

Hollywood News Banter 6 MIN, 41 SEC

Matt Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • The Nate Parker passion project, The Birth of a Nation, made Sundance history when Fox Searchlight bought the film for an unprecedented $17.5 million. Parker reportedly turned down a $20 million offer from Netflix because he wanted his film to have a traditional theatrical release.
  • Netflix and Amazon are disrupting the festival film-buying scene by purchasing digital and streaming rights only, leaving theatrical rights up for grabs with no one eager to buy theatrical rights alone. Amazon paid $10 million for the streaming rights to Manchester by the Sea.
  • The Oscars So White story continues. Blowback begins following rule changes by the Academy. Some older members feel like they're being pushed out because of their age.

Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter (@THRMattBelloni)

Todd Haynes & Christine Vachon: Carol 20 MIN, 32 SEC

Director Todd Haynes and producer Christine Vachon are longtime friends and collaborators. They first met as students at Brown University in the 1980's, and together they've made films including Safe and Far from Heaven, as well as the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce.

When they joined us in the studio, we talked about one of their first projects, Superstar, the 1987 biopic of singer Karen Carpenter. The short film used Barbie dolls to tell the story of the singer's rise to fame and struggle with anorexia that led to her death at the age of 32.

Many years and many movies after Superstar comes Haynes and Vachon's newest collaboration, Carol,a love story that stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Oscar-nominated, respectively, as best actress and best supporting actress.

Before Vachon and Haynes got involved, Carol was already many years in the making. Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, now Oscar nominated, first wrote an adaption of the Patricia Highsmith novel on which the film is based in 1997. Producers, directors and cast members came and went.

Finally, in 2013, British producer Elizabeth Karlson -- who had labored for years to pull the project together -- thought she might be close to success. She had Blanchett attached to play the lead but suffered another setback when she lost her director. Karlson just happened mention her troubles to her friend, Christine Vachon. Simply commiserating, Vachon said her director friend Todd Haynes also had just a project fall through, and suddenly, they had the perfect team.

Todd Haynes, filmmaker
Christine Vachon, Killer Films (@kvpi)


Todd Haynes


Kim Masters

Kaitlin Parker

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