::FILM NEWS::   
LE Newsletter - June 11, 2009


  Carradine's Death Forces Local Producer To Postpone Filming

By Marke Andrews, Vancouver Sun

(June 6, 2009) The unexpected death this week of actor David Carradine has caused a Vancouver producer to push back the shooting of the feature film Portland, in which Carradine had a pivotal role.

The drama, about how the death of a young man affects those closest to him, was to begin shooting in July in Portland, Oregon and Laguna Beach, Calif. That date has been moved back to August or September, as the producers seek to recast an actor for Carradine's role of a priest.

"As much as we would like to take some time to let this loss sink in, we have to regroup quickly," said Elizabeth Levine, the Vancouver-based executive producer of Portland. Levine and business partner Adrian Salpeter run Random Bench Productions from Vancouver and Los Angeles.

Levine said Carradine's death is a big loss to independent filmmakers.

"He was an iconic actor who was so long a supporter of indie films, and that made him special to us in the independent film community,” said Levine. "It means so much for an actor with that résumé and that stature to get behind an indie film, because that's what makes indie films move and get made."

Carradine, 72, was found dead Thursday hanging from the closet of a Bangkok hotel room He was in Thailand to make the movie Stretch. On Friday, Times Online quoted Bangkok police stating that the actor died from a sexual practice called auto-erotic asphyxiation.

This is the second Vancouver-produced feature film to lose a major star in the last 18 months. In January, 2008, Vancouver's Infinity Features was co-producing The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus when actor Heath Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose.

Kung Fu Actor David Carradine Found Dead

Source: www.thestar.com -
The Associated Press

(June 04, 2009) BANGKOK – Actor David Carradine, star of the 1970s TV series "Kung Fu", has been found dead in the Thai capital, Bangkok. A news report said he was found hanged in his hotel room and was believed to have committed suicide.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy, Michael Turner, confirmed the death of the 72-year-old actor. He said the embassy was informed by Thai authorities that Carradine died either late Wednesday or early Thursday, but he could not provide further details out of consideration for his family.

The Web site of the Thai newspaper The Nation cited unidentified police sources as saying Carradine was found Thursday hanged in his luxury hotel room.

It said Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot a movie and had been staying at the hotel since Tuesday.

The newspaper said Carradine could not be contacted after he failed to appear for a meal with the rest of the film crew on Wednesday, and that his body was found by a hotel maid at 10 a.m. Thursday morning. The name of the movie was not immediately available.

It said a preliminary police investigation found that he had hanged himself with a cord used with the room's curtains. It cited police as saying he had been dead at least 12 hours and there was no sign that he had been assaulted.

A police officer at Bangkok's Lumpini precinct station would not confirm the identity of the dead man to The Associated Press, but said the luxury Swissotel Nai Lert Park hotel had reported that a male guest killed himself there.

Carradine was a leading member of a venerable Hollywood acting family that included his father, character actor John Carradine, and brother Keith.

In all, he appeared in more than 100 feature films with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman and Hal Ashby.

But he was best known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin priest traveling the 1800s American frontier West in the TV series "Kung Fu," which aired in 1972-75.

He reprised the role in a mid-1980s TV movie and played Caine's grandson in the 1990s syndicated series "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.''

He returned to the top in recent years as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's two-part saga "Kill Bill.''