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June 2, 2011 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
The Dances With Films Festival was born out of a typical Hollywood rejection: 15 years ago, Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent made a feature film for $50,000. They submitted it to a bunch of festivals, only to be turned down. "When we got back all of those generic rejection letters, you start wondering at some point did they even look at my film?" Scallon recalled about "Indemnity. " "Did they even see it?" Trent decided they should organize a festival that would feature their film plus 15 other starless, low-budget indies.
November 12, 2012 | By Glenn Whipp
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.
May 12, 2012 | By David Undercoffler, Auto Critic
If you were one of the 18 billion people who went to see "The Avengers"recently, you probably noticed the film concludes with Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark getting into a dark red Acura convertible and driving off with Bruce Banner. (Calm down, that's no spoiler). But unlike the other Acuras making cameos throughout the film (the automaker having stolen the product placement mantle from Audi, whose R8 supercar was Stark's ride in the two Iron Man films), this model doesn't currently exist.
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 13, 2011 | By David Freeman, Special to the Los Angeles Times
If any best-picture contender was going to face questions about taking liberties with the facts this Oscar season, it seemed likely it would be "The Social Network. " But now that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have tactfully retreated a bit from their initially contentious stands, the accuracy debate has shifted to "The King's Speech. " "The King's Speech" is being sold as a feel-good tale of how a friendship between a royal and a commoner affected the course of history.
October 1, 2012 | By Robert Ito
In the 1927 silent film "The Unknown," Lon Chaney plays Alonzo the Armless, a circus performer who hurls knives with his feet at his comely assistant, played by a young Joan Crawford. During the movie's quieter moments, Alonzo uses his toes to drink wine, smoke cigarettes and strum a guitar. Though Chaney was blessed with a myriad of theatrical abilities, smoking cigarettes with his feet was not one of them. For those moments in the film, the director employed an armless double, Paul Desmuke, a knife thrower and sometime violinist.
February 25, 2006 | By Scott Collins, Times Staff Writer
Don Knotts, the saucer-eyed, scarecrow-thin comic actor best known for his roles as the high-strung small-town deputy Barney Fife on the 1960s CBS series "The Andy Griffith Show" and the leisure-suit-clad landlord Ralph Furley on ABC's '70s sitcom "Three's Company," has died. He was 81. Knotts, who lived in West Los Angeles, died Friday night of lung cancer at UCLA Medical Center, according to Sherwin Bash, his longtime manager. Family members said that his longtime friend Griffth was one of his last visitors at Cedars on Friday night.
April 11, 2013 | By Julie Makinen and Nicole Sperling
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.
April 22, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Writer-director Denis Villeneuve begins "Incendies," his film adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad's critically acclaimed play, with beauty and rage, motifs that will drive this modern tragedy of ancient conflicts from its roots in the Middle East to the seemingly safe haven of Canada. The film opens with the first of many clues about the story to come: a desert landscape of a back country village somewhere in the Middle East so desolate that the trees struggle to survive fills the screen.
February 5, 2013 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - As moviegoers in the U.S. hustle to see Oscar contenders "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty" before the golden statuettes go out, the films are also hitting screens in Tehran - as examples of the “cultural assault” of the West. “Why can Hollywood get away with assaulting Iran and Islam?” Nader Talebzade told reporters at the Azadi Hotel, where his "Hollywoodism and Cinema" conference kicked off Sunday.The success of "Argo," based on a 1980 CIA operation to spirit Americans out of Iran during a hostage crisis, shows that “promoting phobias of Islam and Iran is part of Hollywood's plan,” he said.
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