Sunday, December 17, 2017

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 2765
  • Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017
HBO's documentary chief, Sheila Nevins, leaving network
In this April 4, 2016 file photo, Sheila Nevins, left, Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt and Liz Garbus attend the premiere of "Nothing Left Unsaid" at the Time Warner Center in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The woman who has run HBO's documentary unit for 38 years and has been a key gatekeeper in the making of its nonfiction films says she will be stepping down early next year.

Sheila Nevins has worked on productions that have won 32 Emmy Awards, 42 Peabody Awards and 26 Academy Awards.

She told The New York Times that she'll be leaving but will continue to work on some leftover projects for HBO.

The 78-year-old said she is also considering a radio show and a book.

  • Friday, Dec. 15, 2017
Peter Jackson's Weinstein story opens old wounds for Sorvino
In this Dec. 9, 2014 file photo, Peter Jackson arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies" at the Dolby Theatre. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Director Peter Jackson says he is now realizing that Harvey Weinstein's advice to avoid working with Mira Sorvino or Ashley Judd was likely part of a smear campaign against the two actresses.

Jackson tells Stuff that he was told by Miramax in the late 1990s that they were "a nightmare" to work with and thus didn't consider either for his Lord of the Rings films.

Sorvino said on Twitter that she burst out crying when she saw the article. She says it is confirmation that Weinstein derailed her career.

Judd and Sorvino are among dozens of women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. A spokesperson for Weinstein disputed the account, saying that his company Miramax was not involved in casting, which was handled by New Line.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Dwight Williams, Jim Tanker to be honored at the 70th Annual DGA Awards
Dwight Williams
LOS ANGELES -- 

Dwight Williams will receive the 2018 Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an assistant director or unit production manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America. And Jim Tanker has been named the 2018 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an associate director or stage manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the DGA.  

Williams, a prolific unit production manager and assistant director of hit features and television series, has served for many years on the Guild’s Eastern and Western AD/UPM Councils. Tanker, a longtime associate director of high-profile events, news and sports, and reality series, has served on the Guild’s AD/SM/PA West Council for nearly two decades.

“Dwight Williams and Jim Tanker are leaders in their fields who have dedicated themselves to representing the interests of their fellow members and standing up for their creative and economic rights,” said Thomas Schlamme, DGA president. “The Directors Guild draws its strength from the service and dedication of its members, and our special award winners exemplify that spirit at its highest level.”

The awards will be presented at the 70th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. 

  • Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Morgan Spurlock on sexual harassment: "I am part of the problem"
In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, file photo, Morgan Spurlock attends an event at the SVA Theatre in New York. (Photo by Ben Hider/Invision/AP, File)
ATLANTA (AP) -- 

Declaring "I am part of the problem," documentarian Morgan Spurlock confessed in an online post to sexual harassment and infidelity, and said a woman accused him of rape in college.

In the post, which he linked to from his verified Twitter account, Spurlock wrote that as he watches other influential men brought down by allegations of sexual misconduct, "I don't sit by and wonder 'who will be next?' I wonder, 'when will they come for me?'"

Spurlock recounted a sexual encounter in college which he said he thought was consensual, but said the woman believed it was rape.

"I tried to comfort her. To make her feel better," Spurlock wrote. "I thought I was doing ok, I believed she was feeling better. She believed she was raped. That's why I'm part of the problem."

Spurlock also said he paid a settlement to a female assistant who worked at his office and whom he called "hot pants" or "sex pants." In the post, Spurlock says he thought the nickname was funny but later realized he was demeaning her.

"So, when she decided to quit, she came to me and said if I didn't pay her a settlement, she would tell everyone," he wrote. "Being who I was, it was the last thing I wanted, so of course, I paid."

Spurlock also wrote that he has "been unfaithful to every wife and girlfriend I have ever had."

"Over the years, I would look each of them in the eye and proclaim my love and then have sex with other people behind their backs," Spurlock wrote.

Spurlock wrote that he will do better and will be more honest with others and with himself. He ends the post by saying: "I've talked enough in my life. ... I'm finally ready to listen."

Spurlock is best known for his Oscar-nominated 2004 documentary "Super Size Me" on the fast-food industry, in which he ate nothing but McDonald's food to show the health effects of the industry. He has produced dozens of other documentaries and TV shows and completed a sequel to "Super Size Me" this year.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
"The Goonies," "Titanic" added to National Film Registry
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Kate Winslet in a scene from "Titanic." The film is among the 25 movies being added to the prestigious National Film Registry. (Paramount Pictures via AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

A band of misfits known as the Goonies, a sinking ship, some baseball ghosts and the unrelenting New York cop John McClane are being added to the prestigious National Film Registry.

The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that the films "The Goonies," ''Titanic," ''Field of Dreams" and "Die Hard" are among the 25 movies tapped for preservation this year.

The library selects movies for preservation because of their cultural, historic or artistic importance.

This year's slate includes the 1987 musical biopic "La Bamba," ''Superman" from 1978, the 2000 thriller "Memento" and 1941's animated "Dumbo."

This year's picks bring the total number of films in the registry to 725. Last year, "The Breakfast Club," ''The Princess Bride" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "Thelma & Louise" were picked.

Films Selected for the 2017 National Film Registry
(alphabetical order)

Ace in the Hole (aka Big Carnival) (1951)
Boulevard Nights (1979)
Die Hard (1988)
Dumbo (1941)
Field of Dreams (1989)
4 Little Girls (1997) 
Fuentes Family Home Movies Collection (1920s and 1930s)
Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
The Goonies (1985)
 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
 He Who Gets Slapped (1924)
 Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905)
 La Bamba (1987)
 Lives of Performers (1972)
 Memento (2000)
 Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918)
 Spartacus (1960)
 Superman (1978)
 Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)
 Time and Dreams (1976)
 Titanic (1997)
 To Sleep with Anger (1990)
 Wanda (1971)
 With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain (1937-1938)

  • Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017
Oprah Winfrey to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes
In this Oct. 21, 2017 file photo, Oprah Winfrey arrives for the David Foster Foundation 30th Anniversary Miracle Gala and Concert, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Winfrey will be the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award at January’s Golden Globes. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Oprah Winfrey will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at January's Golden Globes.

Morgan Freeman made the announcement for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association during its broadcast of the "Golden Globe 75th Anniversary Special" Wednesday on NBC.

HFPA President Meher Tatna called Winfrey "one of the most respected and admired figures today" and "one of the most influential women of our time" in a statement Wednesday.

The DeMille Award is given annually to an "individual who has made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment." Past recipients include Freeman, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball.

Winfrey will receive the award during the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony on Jan. 7, 2018.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017
Cellphone company T-Mobile to launch TV service next year
This Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, file photo shows a T-Mobile store in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

T-Mobile is launching a TV service next year, becoming the latest company to marry wireless and video.

The service will target people who aren't interested in traditional cable and satellite TV packages. T-Mobile promises to address consumer complaints such as "sky-high bills" and "exploding bundles." The company wouldn't provide details on its upcoming offering, including how it would differ from existing online TV alternatives from Hulu, YouTube, Sony, AT&T and Dish.

The nation's No. 3 wireless carrier said Wednesday that it bought cable-TV startup Layer3 TV to help it roll out the service. T-Mobile didn't disclose how much it paid for Layer3, which is available in five U.S. cities.

T-Mobile's reputation for shaking up the wireless industry could give it leverage with consumers in an already crowded online-TV market. T-Mobile is known for largely getting rid of two-year phone contracts and helping bring back unlimited-data plans in wireless. The strategy has helped T-Mobile gain customers for years, even as growth in the industry has slowed overall because most Americans already have cellphones.

T-Mobile has already taken steps to connect its wireless business to video as the telecom, tech and media industries grow closer together. For instance, many T-Mobile wireless customers are getting Netflix for free.

AT&T's streaming service is called DirecTV Now, which AT&T discounts in bundles with wireless plans. It also throws in HBO for free for cellphone customers with unlimited plans. Cable company Comcast, the owner of NBCUniversal, this year launched a cellphone business. Media conglomerate Disney is working on new streaming services that could rival Netflix, bypassing traditional cable TV and going straight to consumers.

 

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017
Hayek says rebuffing Weinstein led to nightmare on "Frida"
In this Nov. 15, 2017 file photo, actress Salma Hayek attends the HFPA and InStyle Celebrate the 2018 Golden Globe Awards Season in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

In an op-ed, Salma Hayek said that her refusals to Harvey Weinstein's advances led to a nightmare experience making the 2002 Frida Kahlo biopic "Frida."

"For years, he was my monster," Hayek wrote in her account, published Wednesday by The New York Times.

Hayek, who regularly starred in films released by Weinstein's Miramax in the 1990s, credited Weinstein with helping her start her career. But she said that the movie mogul would turn up at her door "at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location."

Her refusals — of massages, showers and sex — enraged him, she wrote. "I don't think he hated anything more than the word 'no,'" wrote Hayek.

When Hayek brought "Frida," which she was producing, to Miramax to distribute, Weinstein made outrageous demands as payback. Hayek said he insisted on rewrites, more financing and, most heinously to her, a sex scene with full frontal nudity.

In order to finish what was a labor of love for Hayek, she agreed. But she said she had a nervous breakdown while shooting the scene. "My body wouldn't stop crying and convulsing," wrote Hayek.

"It was not because I would be naked with another woman," she wrote. "It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein."

Even still, Weinstein initially refused to give the movie a theatrical release. He eventually relented after pressure from director Julie Taymor and Hayek. It went on to gross $56.3 million worldwide and land six Oscar nominations, winning two.

Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, and numerous women have said he raped them. Weinstein, who is currently under investigation for sexual assault in four cities, has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex. Representatives for Weinstein didn't immediately return messages Wednesday.

"Why do so many of us, as female artists, have to go to war to tell our stories when we have so much to offer? Why do we have to fight tooth and nail to maintain our dignity?" Hayak wrote. "I think it is because we, as women, have been devalued artistically to an indecent state, to the point where the film industry stopped making an effort to find out what female audiences wanted to see and what stories we wanted to tell."

 

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017
Emmy Award telecast moves to Monday on NBC next year
In this Sept. 17, 2017 file photo, host Stephen Colbert speaks at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. The next Primetime Emmy Awards will move to Monday night to avoid a huge potential tackle by “Sunday Night Football.” NBC and the Television Academy said Tuesday, Dec. 12, that the three-hour telecast will air next year on Sept. 17. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The next Primetime Emmy Awards will move to Monday night to avoid a huge potential tackle by "Sunday Night Football."

NBC and the Television Academy said Tuesday that the three-hour telecast will air Sept. 17. The last time the Emmys was staged on a Monday was in 2014.

The ceremony aired on a Sunday this year and was hosted by Stephen Colbert. It competed with pro football and drew 11.4 million people, one of the show's lowest ratings.

No host has been announced for the 2018 ceremony yet, which will originate from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

The ceremony is hosted on a rotating basis by ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017
"A Fantastic Woman" director celebrates Golden Globe nod
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows Chilean director Sebastián Lelio on the set of "A Fantastic Woman," which was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best foreign film. (Sony Pictures Classics via AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Director Sebastian Lelio feels that "A Fantastic Woman" has gone beyond the cinematic experience with its social message, to a great extent thanks to the performance of its star, Daniela Vega.

The film follows Marina, a transgender woman who, after the passing of her older lover, is mistreated by his family and the police officers investigating his death. It is Chile's selection for the Academy Awards and on Monday was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the best foreign film category.

"I am very proud of Daniela, of how she faced the challenge of a movie that not only meant an absolute leading role ... that goes through an emotional spectrum, but that in addition flies, faces wind storms, sings two operatic arias. In short, it's a polytonal role of great complexity and she ... didn't have much experience so it was an all or nothing betting," Lelio told The Associated Press in a phone interview shortly after the Globes nominations were announced.

"It was very beautiful to see how she gave herself completely and played this character with such complexity and beauty," he added about Vega, whose performance has received Oscars buzz. If she is nominated next month, it would be the first Oscar nomination for a transgender actress.

"Somehow Daniela's presence and the power that her body brings are the heart of the movie and it has been very nice and exciting to witness how she has become a voice not only of the movie but a sort of symbol of everything that is fragile, cornered," said Lelio. "In some ways this is when cinema surpasses cinema and gets in the social fabric and that is very powerful."

"A Fantastic Woman" debuted last February at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Teddy Award for best feature film as well as the Silver Bear for its screenplay, written by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza. Among other honors, it has also been nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Lelio is in Los Angeles filming an English version of his acclaimed 2013 film "Gloria," starring Oscar-winner Julianne Moore.

"It has been very exciting to be able to revisit what's universal in the story and see a performer as powerful as Julianne Moore playing this role," he said.

For now, he is savoring the Globes nomination, where "A Fantastic Woman" will compete against Angelina Jolie's "First They Killed My Father" (Cambodia), "In the Fade" (Germany/France), "Loveless" (Russia) and "The Square" (Sweden/Germany/France).

"It's a joy for the team, for everyone who made this movie, to be among this select group of such powerful movies that have been selected", the director said.

As for Vega, he said: "I spoke to her this morning and she was very happy with the news. She is already getting her dress."