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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - In the mid-1980s, Wu Tianming's star was on the rise. With China opening up to the world after the Cultural Revolution and Mao Tse-tung's death, he had found success as director of movies including "Life" and "The Old Well" and as the head of the Xi'an Film Studio. Under his guidance, daring and innovative filmmakers like Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige were bursting onto the international scene with pictures like "Red Sorghum" and "King of Children. " Wu was making a name for himself for his willingness to shake up an ossified state-run studio - and was raising eyebrows for calling out Communist Party bureaucrats who meddled in the arts.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2014 | By Greg Braxton
Alfonso Cuaron, who labored for four years in creating "Gravity," won the Oscar Sunday for best director at the 86th Academy Awards. The native Mexican filmmaker, who had already won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the Directors Guild Award, became the first Latin-American to win the Academy Award in the category. The director received a rousing reception when his name was announced. When he finally reached the stage after hugging and kissing several well-wishers, Cuaron shared a soulful handshake with presenter and Oscar winner Sidney Poitier.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover
Doctors are fueling the nation's prescription drug epidemic and represent the primary source of narcotic painkillers for chronic abusers, according to a new government study. The finding challenges a widely held belief that has long guided policymakers: That the epidemic is caused largely by abusers getting their drugs without prescriptions, typically from friends and family. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the study, said the research showed the need for greater focus on doctors who are "problem prescribers.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
Alfonso Cuaron has won the Oscar for director for his space adventure “Gravity,” becoming the first Latin American director to take the top filmmaking prize. The Mexican director, 52, was the fourth Latin American to be nominated in this Oscar category, following Hector Babenco (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”), Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Babel”). The Oscar also offers a personal vindication of sorts for Cuaron, who before “Gravity” had not made a movie since 2006's dystopian thriller “Children of Men” and who waited years on “Gravity” for financing and technological issues to be sorted out. The win follows Cuaron's triumph in the same category at the Directors Guild of America's annual prizes.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 1, 2014 | By Jennifer Lee
(Disclaimer: Written while fully appreciating every second of this insane and transient journey) OK, so, throughout our entire "Frozen" press tour that began some four months ago, the question I've been asked most is: What is the hardest part about being a female director? During production, I might have picked the infamous notes sessions that occurred every 12 weeks in our story room, where about 40 of my fellow directors, writers and story artists bombarded us with notes and tore our film apart.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2014 | By John Horn
Anyone who has seen director Alfonso Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki work together might think they spend all of their time arguing like an old married couple, the squabbles punctuated by all manner of Spanish swear words. "They are very intense," said David Heyman, a producer of "Gravity," their Oscar-nominated and most celebrated collaboration. "They are both perfectionists and unrelenting in their pursuit of that perfection. " But like some old married couples, underneath their disagreements rest a deep and abiding trust and respect.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2014 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Though he's an award-winning director in his own right in Russia, Fedor Bondarchuk had a challenge emerging from the shadow of his famous father, the late Soviet filmmaker and actor Sergei Bondarchuk, who starred in and directed the seven-hour version of "War and Peace," which won the 1969 foreign-language Oscar. Bondarchuk, an actor and TV host, said that the Russian media are always looking for similarities between him and his father, who directed him in the 1986 film "Boris Godunov.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
As Disney's first animated film to arrive in theaters since "Frozen," "The Pirate Fairy" will and should be scrutinized to see whether the refreshing feminism in the Oscar-nominated fairy tale represents a fluke or a new direction for the studio. So far, so muddled. "The Pirate Fairy" features an enormously likable protagonist in Zarina (voiced by Christina Hendricks), the would-be Marie Curie of pixie dust, if only her scientific curiosity were encouraged. When her forbidden experiments go awry, Zarina is forced into exile.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
The Museum of Contemporary Art's new director, Philippe Vergne, has an official start date: March 10, MOCA has confirmed.  "I am very excited to welcome our new director Philippe Vergne to Los Angeles and to MOCA in his new leadership role which will begin officially on March 10," said MOCA Board Co-Chair Maurice Marciano. "I am also grateful for the remarkable commitment of Interim Director Maria Seferian in guiding the successful director search and in supporting the MOCA Board's recent fundraising achievements, placing the museum in its strongest position in 35 years.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By Susan King
Romanian new-wave director Calin Peter Netzer ("Medal of Honor") and screenwriter Razvan Radulescu ("The Death of Mr. Lazarescu") were bouncing around ideas for a film about a dysfunctional family when they began talking about their own relationships with their parents. "We discovered we both have some kind of domineering mother," said Netzer over the phone from his home in Bucharest. The result, "Child's Pose," which opens Friday, is an Oedipal tale in the guise of a psychological thriller about a domineering mother and her obsessive love for her now-adult son. BEST MOVIES OF 2013: Turan | Sharkey | Olsen "Child's Pose," which won the Golden Bear last year at the Berlin Film Festival and was Romania's Oscar submission for foreign language films, derives its title from the well-known yoga pose.
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