Wednesday, December 19, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 41 - 50 of 3327
  • Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018
Global lawmakers grill Facebook exec in U.K. parliament
In this file photo dated Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, Richard Allan, Facebook's director of policy for Europe, gestures as he speaks at the London Cyberspace Conference in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE)

Lawmakers from nine countries grilled a Facebook executive on Tuesday as part of an international hearing at Britain's parliament on disinformation and "fake news."

Richard Allan, Facebook's vice president for policy solutions, answered questions in London in place of his boss, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who ignored repeated requests to appear.

Allan, sitting next to an empty chair reserved for Zuckerberg, said the Facebook founder and CEO had already appeared before numerous other committees this year. He acknowledged that the company has not been without blame in how it handled various scandals.

"I'm not going to disagree with you that we've damaged public trust with some of the actions we've taken," he said.

Allan was responding to Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus, who said the social media giant has "lost the trust of the international community to self-police," and that lawmakers have to start looking at ways to hold the company accountable.

British lawmakers were joined by their counterparts from eight other countries at the hearing held by the parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Zuckerberg accepts that what's needed is "a regulatory framework and action by responsible companies like ours - it's the two in tandem," Allan said.

The hearing comes after the committee's chairman, Damian Collins, took the unusual move of forcing the CEO of an app maker to turn over confidential Facebook documents.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018
Amazon Studios’ “Modern Love” sets cast, directors
Sharon Horgan serves as director/writer of an episode of Amazon Studios' "Modern Love"
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Amazon Studios’ highly-anticipated adaptation Modern Love, based on the popular New York Times column and weekly podcast, has assembled a stellar cast of actors to appear in the anthology series. From Storied Media Group and The New York Times, each episode of the half-hour series will explore love in all of its complicated and beautiful forms.

Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway, Emmy Award winner Tina Fey, Emmy Award nominee John Slattery, Academy Award nominee Dev Patel , Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener , Academy Award nominee Andy Garcia , Cristin Milioti, Emmy Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon , Olivia Cooke , Andrew Scott, Julia Garner, Shea Whigham, Gary Carr, Sofia Boutella  and Tony Award winner John Gallagher, Jr.  are among the stars that will appear in the upcoming series.

John Carney (Once, Sing Street) serves as writer, director and executive producer. Additionally, Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Divorce) and Tom Hall (Sensation) will also direct episodes of the anthology series. Horgan will direct the Tina Fey-John Slattery led episode, which she also penned. Hall also wrote his episode and Rossum will direct an episode written by the late Audrey Wells (Under the Tuscan Sun, The Hate U Give).

Todd Hoffman will executive produce alongside Carney and Trish Hofmann serves as producer. Sam Dolnick and Choire Sicha of The New York Times will also serve as executive producers on the series; "Modern Love" column editor Daniel Jones serves as consulting producer. Modern Love is currently in production in New York.

  • Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018
U.K. film director Nicolas Roeg dies at 90
In this Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, Nicolas Roeg arrives for the Film Critics Circle Awards at a central London venue. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short, file)

Nicolas Roeg, the prominent British film director known for making provocative films and working with rock stars Mick Jagger and David Bowie over a six-decade career, has died. He was 90.

The director of "Don't Look Now" and many other films died Friday night, his son, Nicolas Roeg Jr., told Britain's Press Association.

"He was a genuine dad," Roeg Jr. said. "He just had his 90th birthday in August."

He didn't provide details about his father's death during a brief telephone call.

Roeg worked with Jagger in "Performance" and David Bowie in "The Man Who Fell to Earth."

Roeg's last major film was "The Witches," in 1990, which starred Anjelica Huston.

He worked his way into directing after winning acclaim as a cinematographer. He began his career as an editing apprentice in 1947. He said he couldn't understand how someone could become a director without first working in cinematography.

Roeg didn't believe in meticulous planning when it came to scripts and shooting schedules, preferring to give himself room to maneuver and improvise as needed. He was fond of saying that God laughed at people who made too many elaborate plans.

"I shoot a lot of stuff," he said. "I think that's probably come from not having gone to film school. Things work themselves out. You've lost the showmanship thing, the fairground barker, come-see-what's-inside aspect of filmmaking when you try to plan everything for the audience."

Roeg, who was born in London, worked on several famous films including "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Fahrenheit 451" before he entered the directing ranks in 1970.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018
Documentary follows Israeli family grappling with transition
This image released by Abramorama shows Galilt, left, and Amit Tsuka scene from the documentary "Family in Transition" that tells the story of an Israeli family adjusting to their patriarch transitioning into a woman. (Abramorama via AP)

"Family in Transition" is a new documentary that tells the story of an Israeli family adjusting to their husband and father transitioning into a woman.

Set in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya and shot over two years, the film follows husband and wife Amit and Galilt Tsuk, who have been married for 20 years and have four children.

It's a "film about love," explains producer Tal Barda. "There's so many forms of love and so many changes but it's still very much a film about finding your own path and being a loving person and partner and mother and wife or whatever it is. So that is very much the message of the film."

The 70-minute documentary , directed by Ofir Trainin, shows how the family pulls together to support Amit when he reveals his desire to undergo gender-reassignment surgery.

"One of my daughters came to her mother, to Galit, and she said, 'Our daddy is sick or he is hiding a big secret,'" said Amit. "And then we decided that we have to go and tell the children what is happening."

They started with the eldest, 17-year-old Yuval. The couple admitted they didn't know what was going to happen. "So she said, 'OK. I will try. We will be like the Kardashian family.' All that matters to her back then was that we're staying together," said Amit.

While some extended family members did not initially fully support Amit's decision, she and her wife and kids remained close. The family bond seemed solid at first, but cracks in their relationships began to show. Barda said the initial impulse was to show a love story about "a husband and wife who become wife and wife" but "at some moment this thing kind of collapses."

While her family's journey wasn't easy, Amit said she hopes that by letting cameras film the process they can help others.

"I think that I sacrifice my private life each day," she said, "to make Israel, and I hope the world, a better place for our community and to make people better people."

  • Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018
Cabral-Ebert, Stevenson To Receive Lifetime Achievement Honors At Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards
Susan Cabral-Ebert

Susan Cabral-Ebert, outgoing Local 706 president and Emmy®- nominated make-up artist, and Robert Louis Stevenson, legendary Emmy-winning hair stylist, will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Annual Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards (MUAHS, IATSE Local 706) honoring outstanding achievements for make-up artists and hair stylists in motion pictures, television, commercials, and live theater. The black-tie awards gala returns to the NOVO by Microsoft in L.A. Live on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

“I am truly honored to receive this special tribute as I leave the leadership role of the guild after so many productive and meaningful years. And I’m thrilled to celebrate alongside Robert Louis Stevenson, for his illustrious body of work over the past four decades,” said Cabral-Ebert.

Emmy-nominated make-up artist Cabral-Ebert has been the president of the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild for the past 15 years after an award-winning career in television and motion pictures. She was one of the first women to join the guild as a make-up artist. Nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards in Outstanding Makeup (ER, And the Beat Goes On: The Sonny and Cher Story, MADtv), her proficiency with all types of make-up from runway beauty to prosthetics kept her constantly working--from Dallas to LA Law. She transitioned into motion pictures as department head on numerous films such as The Perfect Storm, Erin Brockovich, Pleasantville and Dead Poets Society, among many others.

After 25 years on the sets of both television and film, she rose to leadership of Local 706 as VP, assistant business representative and president, an office she has held for an unprecedented five terms. During her tenure, Sue has worked tirelessly to elevate the visibility and importance of the talented Local 706 make-up artists and hair stylists. She has been elected chair of numerous IATSE committees, from Legislative to Diversity and was an original Women’s Committee member. She has become recognized for her work to bring jobs back to California with the California film tax incentive and successfully defeated an assembly bill that threatened Local 706 hair stylists. Sue has been an outspoken advocate for the 10-hour turnaround, recently accomplished in the latest contract negotiations. In addition, Cabral-Ebert is the chairperson for the Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards, plans the education for all classifications of Local 706 members, and is the editor for The Artisan, the guild’s magazine.

An award-winning hair stylist, Stevenson, whose career in motion pictures spanned 40 years, continues to serve as a wig designer and consultant on films since his retirement. He is a pioneer to the art and the first male black hair stylist in Local 706. One of the most sought-after hair stylists in films with over 120 credits over his career, he is respected and well known throughout the industry for his creativity, speed and winning personality.

Stevenson has won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Hair styling for The Jesse Owens Story and was also nominated for The Atlanta Child Murders and for The Jacksons: An American Dream. He won a Hollywood Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Award for The Butler, and has been included in an elite group of 5,000 well-known and respected African-Americans to be in the History Makers national archives at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

He’s also known for his work on Flash Dance, Get On Up, Amistad, Waiting to Exhale, Coming to America, What’s Love Got To Do With It, The Color Purple and 14 years working with Samuel L. Jackson as his personal hairstylist. His film credits with Jackson included Soul Men, Unbreakable, Shaft, Rules of Engagement, The Long Kiss Good Night, A Time to Kill, The Great White Hype and Jackie Brown, among others. His TV department head credits include Murder, She Wrote; Life Goes On; The Jacksons: An American Dream; and a hair stylist on Melrose Place. Stevenson has also been hair stylist to Angela Bassett, Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to one make-up artist and one hair stylist for extraordinary Lifetime Achievement, exceptional contributions to the motion picture arts and sciences, or outstanding service to their union or the entertainment industry. Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Make-Up Artists are Greg Cannon, Leonard Engelman, Ve Neill, Rick Baker, Montague “Monty” Westmore, Bob Schiffer, John Chambers, Jack Pierce, Daniel Striepeke and Dick Smith. Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Hair Stylists are Mary Guerrero, Barbara Lorenz, Yolanda Toussieng, Kathryn Blondell, Sydney Guilaroff, Vivienne Walker, Paul LeBlanc, Colleen Callaghan and Gail Ryan.

Additional awards will honor a Distinguished Artisan and nominees for outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater. Nominations for this year’s awards will be announced on Thursday, January 10, 2019. Final ballot on-line voting closes on Friday, February 8, 2019. Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Awards gala.

  • Monday, Nov. 19, 2018
On Netflix now, Frank Grillo is looking for a fight
This image released by Netflix shows actor and self-described fight enthusiast, Frank Grillo, right, in a scene from "Fightworld," a docu-series that follows Grillo as he goes globe-trotting to explore fighting styles and the cultures behind them. (Netflix via AP)

Most travelers to new places usually aren't looking for a fight. Frank Grillo definitely is.

"Fightworld," a new Netflix docu-series, follows Grillo, an actor and self-described "fight enthusiast," as he goes globe-trotting to explore fighting styles and the cultures behind them.

"I immerse myself in certain fight cultures" said Grillo. "And through the eyes of the fighters, we explore the culture of that place in a very different way. It's very similar to what Anthony Bourdain did, but instead of food, it was fighters."

Grillo travels to places such as Mexico, Thailand and Senegal, locations chosen based on his familiarity with those country's various fighting disciplines such as Muay Thai, wrestling and boxing. "I know these things well, so I could go there and immediately embed myself," he said.

Grillo also visited Israel, where citizens are required to join the army since the country is surrounded by hostile nations. He asked the mayor of Jerusalem to define Israelis in one word. "He said 'fight' because that's in their in their DNA, that's in their blood."

Grillo has had film roles in "Zero Dark Thirty," ''End of Watch" and plays Brock Rumlow in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Captain America: Civil War." He hears lots of rumors about the next Captain America, even that the iconic character may not look like previous versions of the superhero.

"I don't know what will happen with Captain America. But wouldn't it be great if Captain America was African-American?" Grillo remarked. "Or a woman?" Then he said: "Or an African-American woman?"

He also hopes that instead of asking people of color to portray traditional superheros, it might be better to create new, diverse characters.

"Superman was a white guy with black hair and who has a curl, right? So that's kind of the iconic look of Superman. Could Superman be Anthony Mackie? Yeah, sure. But I'd rather see Anthony Mackie do something else," said Grillo. "Where are the new characters who represent certain people?"

  • Monday, Nov. 19, 2018
"Little Drummer Girl" remains relevant in new AMC miniseries
This Nov. 6, 2018 photo shows actors Alexander Skarsgård, left, and Michael Shannon posing for a portrait in New York to promote their AMC series “The Little Drummer Girl," based on John le Carre’s best-selling novel. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

John le Carre's best-selling novel "The Little Drummer Girl" was released in 1983 but remains timely — and that disturbs Alexander Skarsgard.

Skarsgard and Michael Shannon star in a six-hour miniseries based on the novel, playing Israeli agents on the hunt for a Palestinian bomber. "The Little Drummer Girl" premieres Monday night on AMC.

"What's depressing is the fact that it takes place 35 years ago, but it feels more relevant today than ever," Skarsgard said. "We're in a situation where feels like we'll be having this conversation in 35 years. And it's horrific what's happening down there."

The story centers around the manipulation of a radical left-wing actress named Charlie, played by Florence Pugh, who is coerced to go undercover to help root out a terrorist named Khalil, responsible for bombing Jewish-related targets in Europe.

Shannon didn't see any ethical issues with the premise of using a thespian to a root out a terrorist. Instead, he was enthralled by the concept.

"It seems to highlight something that I find very intriguing — that there can be a difference between your identity and your true self. That you can actually present yourself to be someone entirely other than who you actually are, which I think people do a lot," Shannon said.

Korean director Chan-wook Park, best known for the 2003 classic "Old Boy," helmed all six episodes of the miniseries.

"To spend like four or five months with one of the greatest filmmakers on the planet, it's obviously such a treat for us actors," Skarsgard said.

Skarsgard, fresh off an Emmy win for the HBO series "Big Little Lies," tends to gravitate toward meatier projects, so the script length also appealed to him.

"When you have a 400-page script as opposed to 100, it's so rich. You can go so deep and you can discover," Skarsgard said. "You can really take your time and enjoy it and slowly introduce characters and conflicts."

  • Monday, Nov. 19, 2018
Best-picture Oscars up for sale in rare auction
This undated image provided by Profiles in History shows the best picture Academy Award for "Gentleman's Agreement." The Oscar the 1947 film starring Gregory Peck that took on anti-Semitism and won three Academy Awards is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000.(Lou Bustamante/Profiles in History via AP)

Two Academy Awards for best picture are going up for sale in a rare auction of Oscars.

Auction house Profiles in History announced Monday that an Oscar awarded to "Mutiny on the Bounty" in 1936 and another given to "Gentleman's Agreement" in 1948 will go up for auction in Los Angeles starting Dec. 11.

The "Mutiny on the Bounty" best-picture statuette is expected to go for between $200,000 and $300,000. Frank Capra presented the award to Irving Thalberg at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles when the Academy Awards were less than 10 years old. The award is being put up for sale for the first time by the family of Thalberg, an essential figure in the early history of Hollywood.

The best-picture Oscar for "Gentleman's Agreement," the 1947 film starring Gregory Peck that took on anti-Semitism and won three Academy Awards, is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000. Its seller wants to remain anonymous.

Hans Dreier's art-direction Oscar for 1950's "Sunset Boulevard" and Gloria Swanson's Golden Globe for best actress in a drama for the film are also on offer in the December auction along with other historic movie awards.

Auctions of Oscar statuettes are very uncommon because winners from 1951 onward have had to agree that they or their heirs must offer to sell it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1 before selling it to anyone else. The Academy has said it firmly believes Oscars should be won, not sold.

Still, occasionally Oscars beyond the reach of the rules go up for sale and sell for large sums of money.

The late Michael Jackson acquired David O. Selznick's "Gone With the Wind" Oscar for a record $1.5 million in 1999.

Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" statuette sold for $861,542 in 2011.

And in 2014, James Cagney's best-actor Oscar for 1942's "Yankee Doodle Dandy" failed to sell when no one would meet the minimum bid demand of $800,000.

  • Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018
New Tsukamoto film inspired by masters, horror of violence
In this Nov. 7, 2018, photo, Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto holds a banner about his latest film "Killing" during a press conference in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)
TOKYO (AP) -- 

Japanese filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto turned to his country's masters for inspiration for his latest work, "Killing," his first samurai movie. But he also emulated the way Martin Scorsese gave free rein to his actors, a technique Tsukamoto learned when he was cast in "Silence" as a Christian martyr.

"Killing," a poetic but brutal story about the horrors of violence, premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year and opens in Japan on Nov. 24. Overseas release dates have not been announced.

"This film is the total antithesis to the heroism depicted in usual samurai films," Tsukamoto, who wrote, directed and edited "Killing," said at a recent preview screening at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo.

He said he was an admirer of the samurai films he grew up on, including the classics by Akira Kurosawa and Kon Ichikawa. But he wanted to do something different.

A samurai film has signature elements such as choreographed fight scenes. Juxtaposing what's unexpected makes people think, raising questions, Tsukamoto said.

"I wanted to cast doubt," he said, pointing to the assumption that the samurai is a hero. "Is he really the good guy?"

The Scorsese technique of being positive while giving freedom to the actors appeared to work in "Killing."

Yu Aoi, who plays a young farmer in love with the main character, found herself taking a different approach to her acting.

She usually likes to create her character clearly and not sway from it throughout the work. But in "Killing," she allowed herself to go where the film took her, transforming from childlike carefreeness into wanting revenge, and then descending into psychological devastation.

Her love interest is portrayed by Sosuke Ikematsu, 28, who was in "The Last Samurai" as a child. In "Killing," he starts out innocently enough, pursuing the art of sword-fighting like an athlete seeking perfection.

As he becomes recruited for more serious samurai business by an older samurai, played by Tsukamoto himself, the film gradually takes on a gruesome reality, showing the duels for the bloody slicing up of body parts that they are.

"Killing" is in one sense a genre switch from the satirical cyberpunk works like "Tetsuo" that have won Tsukamoto an international cult following since the late 1980s.

But the eerie energy, the dizzying camerawork, the almost painful sensitivity to sound and the purity of his message are trademark Tsukamoto.

The work does not glorify the gore, although the scenes are sensual and mesmerizing. The love story is truncated and pathetic, never descending into sentimentality.

"Killing" is what Tsukamoto called "a scream" — a wake-up call about where the world could be delusively headed.

"Without real images, people can more easily go to war," he said.

  • Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018
Polish prosecutors want bail for released U.S. cinematographer
In this Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011 file photo "Black Swan" cinematographer Matthew Libatique arrives before the 83rd Academy Awards, in Hollywood. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- 

Prosecutors in Poland are seeking to have bail set for an Oscar-nominated American cinematographer after a court ordered his release from the jail where he was held for allegedly attacking paramedics.

A spokeswoman for prosecutors in the city of Bydgoszcz, Agnieszka Adamska-Okonska, told Polish media Friday the prosecutors disagreed with the court's decision to release Matthew Libatique without bail a day earlier.

Libatique was charged Wednesday with assaulting one of the paramedics who responded to a hotel where he was seen staggering.

He was in Poland as an honorary guest at the Camerimage international film festival. Libatique was nominated for an Academy Award for the 2010 film "Black Swan" and was the cinematographer for Bradley Cooper's recent remake of "A Star is Born."

The festival's closing ceremony was Saturday evening.

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