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March 27, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
In the upcoming romantic comedy "Words and Pictures," Clive Owen plays a writer-turned-teacher whose world changes when a beautiful artist (Juliette Binoche) shows up to teach at his school. "Don't trust the words. The words are lies," Binoche tells her students. Owen catches up with her later. "So, the words are lies?" he says. "And pictures are ... ?" "Do I have to actually say it?" she asks. There is the rub, the word guy and the visual gal, words versus pictures. Film, of course, is about how those two work together, and this romantic comedy seems destined to bring its leads together as well.
March 26, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- An FBI affidavit alleging that state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) offered to set up an arms deal paints a starkly different picture of Yee than his public persona as a supporter of gun control and advocate against gun violence. In 2006, Yee was named to the Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll by the Brady Campaign for his efforts that included co-authoring a first-in-the-nation bill to require new semiautomatic handguns to be equipped with ballistics identification technology known as micro-stamping.
March 26, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Astronomers searching for the faintest glimmers of light beyond distant Pluto say they've discovered a new dwarf planet - and that this planetoid's movements hint that an invisible giant planet perhaps 10 times the size of Earth could be lurking around the dark fringes of our solar system. The new dwarf planet 2012 VP-113, described Wednesday in the journal Nature, helps confirm the existence of an “inner Oort cloud” in an interplanetary no man's land that was once thought to be empty but could potentially be teeming with rocky denizens.
March 20, 2014 | By Leah Ollman
The photographs of Yamamoto Masao are expansive to the mind, even as they are utterly reductive to the eye. They are straightforward, even taxonomic in their informational clarity, and yet they leave room for interpretation. Their subjects derive from geology and botany, but they easily dialogue with spirituality and poetry. In his newest work, "Shizuka=Cleanse," at Craig Krull, Yamamoto photographs stones and tree branches as isolated, sculptural forms against dark, indeterminate grounds.
March 17, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Layoffs are underway at Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Sony Corp.-owned film and television studio that vowed late last year to significantly reduce its overhead. The cuts, which began Monday and will continue this week, include employees at divisions throughout the studio, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. The layoffs were felt at the studio's Culver City headquarters and at international offices. Among the divisions said to be deeply affected by the staff reductions is Sony Pictures Interactive, the studio's digital marketing arm.  "We are continuously evolving the business to make SPE more efficient and competitive," Sony Pictures spokesman Charles Sipkins said in a statement.  PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV At an investors conference in November, Sony Pictures executives outlined  $250 million in budget cuts that were already underway.
March 12, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
If George Clooney's "The Monuments Men" did nothing else, it made possible the theatrical re-release of "The Rape of Europa," a splendid documentary that shows the true story behind the Nazi theft of European art and interviews some of the real-life Monuments Men who got it back. The film is packed with information and also tells a series of wonderful truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tales. "The Rape of Europa" even details the postwar fights about who owns which paintings that culminated in the sale of Gustav Klimt's gold portrait for a record $135 million.
March 12, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
The Fresno Bee is testing a small drone aircraft that could possibly be used for news reporting purposes, the Business Journal reported this week. “This is a new thing and it's way down the pike,” Tom Cullinan, president and publisher of the Fresno Bee, told the Business Journal. “We saw it demonstrated and the cost is reasonable.” The quadcopter would possibly be used for aerial photography of accidents, fires, farmland and waterways, the Journal reported.  Cullinan said the remote-controlled drone would also come in handy in situations where reporters are unable to get to a news scene.
March 10, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Biebers. In video clips from a deposition taken last Thursday in Miami, Justin Bieber at 20 looks like little more than a petulant child - and attention to the clips might be getting under the singer's skin. "Love how some people love to twist and justify the horrible action of others. We all have a right to defend ourselves and feel harassed," he tweeted Monday, hours after the tapes started making the rounds. PHOTOS: Justin Bieber's tattoos The clips, culled by TMZ from 4½ hours of deposition footage (related to a paparazzo's lawsuit alleging he was attacked by one of the singer's bodyguards)
March 6, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Walt Disney Studios and Shanghai Media Group Pictures have stuck a multiyear partnership agreement to co-develop Disney-branded movies that would be released in China and other international markets. China's film business is expanding rapidly. Last year, its total box office take topped  $3.6 billion, up about 27% from 2012. According to Motion Picture Assn. of America data, the country is the world's second-biggest movie market behind the United States. Under terms of the deal, Disney Studios, a unit of Burbank-based Walt Disney Co., would pair U.S.-based writers with writers and filmmakers in China to collaborate on movie projects.
March 4, 2014 | By John Horn
Was it ultimately a race about race? The best picture Oscar is meant to honor the year's greatest achievement in film, and "12 Years a Slave" had no shortage of supporters before winning the top honor Sunday. But for all the film's artistry, the undercurrent of many "12 Years a Slave" conversations hinged on race and how Hollywood has for decades given short shrift to one of the most inglorious chapters in the nation's history. The film's distributor anchored its awards campaign around the line "It's time," easily interpreted as an attempt to exhort members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences into voting for the movie because it was the right thing to do. FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2014  |  Complete list of winners The film's director, British filmmaker Steve McQueen, said repeatedly during the long awards season that Hollywood appeared more comfortable making Holocaust movies than slavery stories.
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