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December 22, 2012
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday moved forward with nine potential nominated movies for the next round of voting in the foreign language film category for the 85th Academy Awards, narrowing the field from 71 qualifying films. There were no major surprises in the winnowed-down lineup, with the list including Austria's "Amour," directed by Michael Haneke and winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, as well as France's "The Intouchables," directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, which has been a worldwide box-office sensation.
March 20, 2013 | By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore
HONG KONG -- There is a moment in “The Last Time I Saw Macau” -- which plays Wednesday at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and is being distributed in the United States this summer by Cinema Guild -- in which the camera captures the city through the backseat of a cab. The small screen attached to the back of the driver's seat plays news footage of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. But the image is upside down. The shot drolly observes Macau's new identity as a Chinese city.
August 20, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Mark Twain famously said that politicians, old buildings and prostitutes become respectable with age. To that category, a provocative and disturbing new documentary claims, you can add Nazi propaganda films. "A Film Unfinished," directed by Yael Hersonski, focuses on about an hour of incomplete Nazi footage shot in the infamous Warsaw Ghetto in May 1942, just months before the ghetto was liquidated and its half a million Jewish residents sent to their deaths. That footage, found without sound or credits, was discovered in cans labeled simply "The Ghetto" in a concrete vault hidden in a forest.
February 7, 2010 | By Susan King
When girls are good they are very good, but when they are bad they are even better. And during the height of the film noir genre in the 1940s and '50s, some of the juiciest roles for women were as femmes fatales in snappy B-movies. Sony's terrific two-volume "Bad Girls of Film Noir" DVD collections, due out Tuesday, offer eight scrappy samples featuring several female icons of the genre. Volume I kicks off with the 1950 thriller "The Killer That Stalked New York." The killer in question is played by Evelyn Keyes, though she isn't a typical film noir villainess.
June 11, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
After watching the Dodge-supplied "Fast and Furious" films pull in mountains of cash and millions of fans, Ford is looking for similar attention. The automaker announced Monday that it has partnered with DreamWorks Studios to integrate several Ford vehicles into the 2014 film "Need for Speed," now in production. The film is based on the popular video game series by the same name, which has sold more than 140 million copies worldwide. It will feature "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul, as well as Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton.
December 3, 2010 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Novelist Mordecai Richler, a caustically brilliant observer of the human condition ? especially when it was Jewish, Canadian or politically incorrect ? was never one to spare himself or his loved ones. So I have to believe that somewhere in the great beyond, he is chuckling over a single malt and a Montecristo at the sublime, dark distraction of "Barney's Version," the screen adaptation of his final and most autobiographical work, starring Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman. This is, as Richler offered by way of introduction, the story of Barney Panofsky's "wasted life" and the scandal that followed him to his grave.
February 19, 2014 | By Steve Zeitchik
Of the many unexpected moments in Phil Lord and Chris Miller's breakout hit "The Lego Movie," perhaps none is as surprising as the film's ending, which is daring even by the standards of this unconventional film. So daring, in fact, that even its filmmakers weren't sure they could get away with it. "We were terrified," said Miller. "We didn't know if you would care about the universe once you understood how the universe worked," alluding to how the movie turns itself inside-out at the end. PHOTOS: Images from 'The Lego Movie' In a season in which the typically tricky art of the movie ending has largely satisfied - witness the well-regarded twist in "American Hustle," the Quaalude-enabled piece de resistance of "The Wolf of Wall Street" and the return-to-Earth redemption of "Gravity" - the finale of "Lego" may top them all. Warner Bros., which financed and released "The Lego Movie," was also unsure about the finale and for a time pushed the filmmakers to consider a more conventional path.
October 6, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
When children kill children, the cry of social anguish almost always ends with "Why?" Even when we actually know the answers. When a child wins a gold medal or plays Carnegie Hall, we look to the people who supported that journey. But when one child kills another, society takes several steps back. How did this happen, we wonder, wringing our hands as the headlines decrease in point size, and then we all move on. Marta Cunningham's documentary "Valentine Road" is a profoundly disturbing and extremely effective attempt to make us stop in our tracks and try to answer the questions we so patly ask. PHOTOS: Families that changed TV On Feb. 12, 2008, while in the computer lab of E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, 14-year old Brandon McInerney took a gun from his sweat shirt pocket and shot his 15-year-old classmate Larry King in the back of the head.
January 7, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Santa Clarita, the suburban northern Los Angeles County community that has played Afghanistan, Kentucky and Washington, D.C, had a record year for film and TV production. The city generated 1,264 location film days in 2013, up 38% from last year. Those projects generated an estimated $30.5 million in spending on wages, hotels, catering and other goods and services in the city, up from $21.7 million in 2012, according to preliminary figures from the Santa Clarita film office. It marks the third consecutive record year for filming activity in Santa Clarita, which saw steady gains in television production, commercial shoots and mostly lower budget movies, including “Love and Mercy” and “Kitchen Sink.”   ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll Two high-profile features that also filmed in Santa Clarita last year were the Denzel Washington thriller “2 Guns” and Marvel Studios' “Iron Man 3," which was mostly filmed outside of California.
February 8, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Southland Lumber & Supply Co., one of the leading suppliers of lumber to the entertainment industry, is shutting down next week after nearly seven decades in business - another casualty of runaway production. The closing of the Inglewood company, founded in 1946, marks the end of an era for one of the industry's oldest vendors, whose customers include Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures. “It has become too difficult to keep going with the big features being taken out of state,” co-owner Johnny Crowell said.
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