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February 18, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
"Son of God" won't be giving the devil his due - or rather, his screen time. To avoid another controversy about the character of Satan bearing a physical resemblance to President Obama in the upcoming religious film, the filmmakers have gone out of their way to edit the devil's scenes out of "Son of God," which is based on the TV miniseries "The Bible. " "It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor," producer Roma Downey told the Hollywood Reporter . "This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time.
February 11, 2014 | By Tony Perry
His aging truck was wheezing and the hot-air balloon in the trailer was ragged and non-functional. So Leonard Knight, self-described "little hobo bird," pulled into a barren patch of desert in the Imperial Valley and decided that he had found the right spot to bring his message to the world: "God is Love. " He planned to spend a week or two. But then he was gripped by the spirit. For the next three decades the lean and sturdy New Englander joyously painted a tall mound of adobe he called Salvation Mountain.
February 5, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
When Stuart Murdoch, the frontman for the indie pop group Belle & Sebastian, was shooting his directorial debut "God Help the Girl," he decided to offer a cautionary word to the crew. "I told them, 'You know this movie won't open, because Belle & Sebastian never opens,'" he said, laughing, sort of. In its nearly two-decade history, the Glasgow, Scotland, act may never have had a chart-topping smash. But in a culture of tabloid ephemera and gone-tomorrow musical phenoms, Belle & Sebastian has managed something more elusive: longevity.  Now Murdoch has translated the delicate and wry sensibilities that have made the band a long-running tastemaker favorite, known for its melodic nuggets about oddball children and sideways romances, to the medium of film.
February 3, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik and Jessica Gelt
The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman on Sunday marked the abrupt end to an acclaimed career, but for audiences there will be much more of his performances to savor. The prolific actor had recently shot a wide variety of work that will be seen at numerous intervals between now and at least November 2015, when the fourth and final film in the "Hunger Games" series is set to hit theaters. The actor played chief gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in the recent Lionsgate blockbuster "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" as a man with complicated loyalties who stages the titular competition.
January 30, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield
In 1215, English nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, limiting his power. It's been downhill ever since for the British monarchy - and it's apparently about to get worse. Seems that Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family have a problem many families here in the colonies, uh, the United States can relate to: They spend more than they make. A report from a House of Commons committee released this week says the royals got about $50 million from British taxpayers in 2012-13, but spent so much that the royal reserves are down to about $1.3 million.
January 21, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Three full weeks of 2014 passed before James Franco did something bookish and newsworthy: He directed "Child of God," a film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's 1973 novel, and the (extremely violent) trailer is now online. "Child of God" was McCarthy's third novel; like his other early books, it is set in rural Tennessee. In it, a man who is a town outcast is pushed and compelled beyond the margins of society to depravity and murder. Brutal, wild, and without conscience, he is described -- bitterly?
January 21, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Does James Franco ever sleep? In the past year, he's starred in such diverse films as "Oz the Great and Powerful," "Spring Breakers" and "This Is the End"; directed art house efforts like "Sal" and "Interior. Leather Bar. "; mentored Gia Coppola in adapting his book "Palo Alto Stories" into a film; been roasted on Comedy Central; mounted an unusual Oscar campaign; and even parodied a Kanye West video for good measure. Now a new trailer has been released for his directorial effort "Child of God," adapted from the novel by Cormac McCarthy.
January 19, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
PARK CITY, Utah -- Seven years ago at Sundance, a member of a soulful rock band from across the pond made his directorial debut with a music-themed movie populated with haunting melodies and a delicate relationship between a male and female musician. That film was John Carney's "Once," and it became such a success story that in the promo short that runs before each screening this year touring great discoveries over Sundance's 30 years, it makes an appearance, right alongside “Reservoir Dogs” and “Hoop Dreams.” On Saturday night at Sundance, another music-themed narrative film, Stuart Murdoch's "God Help the Girl," made its premiere.
January 16, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
The protagonist of Okey Ndibe's unforgettable new novel, "Foreign Gods Inc.," is a failed immigrant. Ike (pronounced EE-kay ) is a New York City cab driver who brings in lots of cash but can't hold on to it for very long. His mother back home in Nigeria lives with the shame of having an American son who doesn't send her any money. An article in New York magazine offers Ike hope. He reads about an art gallery in lower Manhattan that specializes in statues of foreign deities, with the most impressive specimens commanding six-figure prices.
January 5, 2014 | By L.A. Times Staff
This post has been Updated at 11:09 a.m. Two days after an agreement was reached to move 13-year-old Jahi McMath from an Oakland hospital, it remains unclear where the brain-dead girl will end up. An attorney for McMath's family has said it has located a doctor willing to work with them and mentioned that she could be sent to a facility in New York, according to NBC Bay Area. Though a court and hospital officials say Jahi is brain-dead, her mother, Nailah Winkfield, still holds out hope and claims the girl is "improving.
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