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.
February 8, 2014 |
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.
August 20, 2010 |
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.
March 20, 2013 |
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.
January 10, 2013 |
"I Am Not a Hipster" is the kind of lovingly crafted, deeply affecting drama that gives small indie films a good name. It's also a terrific showcase for first-time feature writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton and his superb leading man, Dominic Bogart. The San Diego-set movie tracks one particularly trying week in the life of Brook Hyde (Bogart), a talented musician so completely at odds with himself - and his art - he can barely function; a seemingly decent guy drowning in bad behavior (his explosive radio interview with an earnest DJ, well-played by Brad William Henke, is a corker)
April 11, 2013 |
A spaceship-like, 1,000-seat theater may be the most striking feature of the Motion Picture Academy's planned film museum at LACMA, but the organization has also revealed a bevy of other details about what the six-story, 290,000-square-foot facility opening in 2017, will include. Some highlights: Ground Floor: This will consist of a public piazza, the museum lobby, a cafe and a gift store. The piazza will connect the film museum to the rest of the LACMA campus. The academy says "a majestic red carpet and Cannes-style grand staircase" will take visitors into the soaring 1,000-seat, domed "premiere theater," to be named for David Geffen, who has pledged $25 million to the $300-million museum.
August 18, 2012 |
William Friedkin's film of Tracy Letts' play"Killer Joe" is nasty, brutish and just short enough to concentrate its fiendish energies for maximum wincing effect. As enthralling as it is repulsive, the movie seized hold of my attention with the ferocious tenacity of T-Bone, the pit bull chained to a neighboring trailer home in the trashy Dallas outskirts where the story is set. But when the brutality was finished and the lights came up, I had to wonder about the point of sitting through so much casual bloodshed and prolonged sexual humiliation.
December 3, 2010 |
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.
March 21, 2014 |
NEW YORK--Pretty much since the moment it began shooting, Lars von Trier's “Nymphomaniac” has whipped up controversy for its explicit nature and willingness to tackle sexual taboos. The film's frank portrayal of sexual obsession--and a character's eagerness to act thereon - is a notion most English-language films stay away from, and certainly English-language films with mainstream celebrities like Shia LaBeouf. But one of the film's stars says that there's little place or reason for outrage.
November 12, 2012 |
Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" and Sam Mendes' "Skyfall," the latest installment in the James Bond series, both enjoyed overflow crowds at theaters this weekend, including one venue of particular note -- the 1,012-seat Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills -- which had to turn away film academy members who showed up too close to the movies' 7:30 p.m. start times. "Lincoln" screened Saturday night and, judging from the ovations afforded the post-screening panel -- director Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, leads Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, screenwriter Tony Kushner and composer John Williams -- the film appears poised to fulfill its promise as an awards-season juggernaut. "You could feel the respect in the room, but it went beyond that," said one academy member in attendance.