November 24, 1999 |
It's been decades since the phrase "Bleeding Kansas" and the dark figure of pro-Confederate raider William C. Quantrill, mentor to outlaws Frank and Jesse James and Cole Younger, were familiar on-screen presences. But once upon a time TV westerns and even B-pictures like "Dark Command," "Kansas Raiders" and "Quantrill's Raiders" often focused on this bloody sideshow of the Civil War, with friends fighting friends in vicious guerrilla warfare along the Kansas-Missouri border.
November 22, 2006 |
As chief executive of Universal's Focus Features, James Schamus knows firsthand what his awards nominees feel because he's been there himself. Schamus' longtime collaboration with director Ang Lee gave him best screenplay and best song nominations for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," and a best picture nomination in last year's Oscars for "Brokeback Mountain." He lost each time.
December 12, 2000 |
Come Oscar time, Ang Lee's martial-arts romance "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" will surely win awards. And a special statuette should go to the film's co-writer and producer, James Schamus, for a remarkable performance by a financial acrobat. Schamus delivered an epic network of cross-cultural funding. He not only found financing for the arthouse fare, but he managed that feat with a $15-million Chinese language film, one of the worst box office bets around.
October 10, 2004 |
In Hollywood there is no shortage of strange bedfellows. But could it be that the same people who brought you "The Pianist" and "Lost in Translation" are behind a B-level horror movie about a homicidal redheaded doll? Indeed, come Nov. 12, "Seed of Chucky" will be playing in a theater near you, courtesy of Rogue Pictures, the genre label Focus Features launched earlier this year.
January 15, 2009 |
Universal Pictures said it was combining its international production group with its specialty film label, Focus Features, to create a single entity overseen by Focus Chief Executive James Schamus and Christian Grass, who heads Universal Pictures International Production in London. The studio said the consolidation was intended to extend Focus' brand, known for such films as "Milk" and "Brokeback Mountain," and make it easier for filmmakers to finance, produce and distribute movies in local and foreign markets.
May 5, 2006 |
"Brokeback Mountain" co-star Randy Quaid has dropped a lawsuit over his compensation for the Academy Award-winning film. Quaid had sued Focus Features and producers David Linde and James Schamus in March, claiming he was fleeced into working cheaply by the filmmakers' assertion that "Brokeback Mountain" was "a low-budget, art-house film, with no prospect of making any money."