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April 3, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, a novelist and screenwriter whose long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions yielded two Academy Awards for her work on the films “A Room With a View” and “Howards End,” has died. She was 85. Jhabvala died early Wednesday at her home in Manhattan after a long illness, said her daughter Firoza. A prolific author, Jhabvala (pronounced JOB-vah-lah ) wrote 19 novels and short-story collections that reflected the cultures she absorbed on three continents during her half-century career.
April 3, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
For years, people who read Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's novels assumed she was born in India. She wrote about swamis, social climbers, duplicitous landlords and other characters from the Indian bourgeoisie who inevitably found themselves colliding with curious visitors from the West. But Jhabvala was a Westerner herself: a German Jew displaced by war to England, who married an Indian man and settled in his country. She absorbed enough of subcontinental culture to portray it with clarity and comic sensibility in books that earned her comparisons to Jane Austen.
March 27, 2013 | By Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times
Fay Kanin, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for the 1958 Clark Gable-Doris Day comedy "Teacher's Pet" and former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, died Wednesday. She was 95. In a writing career that spanned more than four decades, Kanin penned screenplays for movies such as the 1954 Elizabeth Taylor romantic drama "Rhapsody" and television specials such as "Tell Me Where It Hurts," for which she won two Emmy Awards in 1974. She won another Emmy in 1979 for producing "Friendly Fire," a critically acclaimed Carol Burnett TV movie based on the true story of an American soldier killed in the Vietnam War. Kanin served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1979 to 1983, and was its second female president after actress Bette Davis.
March 9, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
For years Melissa Rosenberg toiled away as a TV writer, jumping from one show to the next, never finding the right fit for her voice and personality. Then she landed on Showtime's "Dexter" and the combination of her dark sense of humor and the show's edgy story lines melded together in a frothy mixture of critical acclaim and avid viewership. Rosenberg was on the Emmy-winning show for four years, convinced it was the best job she would ever have in television. Until now. The 50-year-old writer-producer, now best known for her screenwriting work on the wildly successful "Twilight" movie franchise, is the show runner behind ABC's new female-driven series "Red Widow.
March 3, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
In the latest effort by China to expand its cultural influence and build stronger ties to Hollywood, government officials in Beijing are looking for U.S.-based screenwriters to help tell their stories. The Cultural Assets Office of the Beijing Municipal Government on Monday will announce the 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition, which organizers called a "groundbreaking initiative" to foster artistic collaboration and an ongoing creative dialogue between China and the U.S. Open to U.S.-based contestants of all nationalities, the competition will consider screenplays for feature films and short films centered on Beijing and its culture.
February 16, 2013
Ronald Dworkin Constitutional law expert and liberal scholar Ronald Dworkin, 81, an American philosopher, constitutional law expert and liberal scholar who argued that the law should be founded on moral integrity, died Thursday of leukemia in London, his family said. Dworkin, a professor of law at New York University and professor emeritus at University College London, was one of the best known and most quoted legal scholars in the United States and also an expert on British law. Dworkin was best known for the idea that the most important virtue the law can display is integrity - understood as the moral idea that the state should act on principle so each member of the community is treated as an equal.
February 7, 2013 | By David Kipen
"Hushpuppy grabs a baby chick and puts it to her ear. A TINY HEARTBEAT. She listens with focused wonder and intensity. " - from the "Beasts of the Southern Wild" screenplay Can we please drive a stake through the heart of the Screenwriting 101 commandment that using a voice-over is somehow cheating? Lucy Alibar, for one, would really appreciate it if all the script gurus would just pipe down. She's the co-screenwriter and, really, co-creator of "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which she and her friend since they were teens, director Benh Zeitlin, adapted from her play "Juicy and Delicious.
November 28, 2012 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" is a historical biopic more concerned with depicting the 16th president's log-rolling politics than his log-splitting childhood. "Lincoln," one of many high-profile films this season based on real events, has been warmly embraced by critics and audiences. But there's another group whose opinion matters - historians. "There have been other movies about Lincoln," said James McPherson, a Civil War historian, Lincoln biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Battle Cry of Freedom," in a recent interview after seeing the film.
November 2, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
The bar at the Century Plaza Hotel is about the last place you'd think John Gatins would want to revisit. It's where the now successful screenwriter worked when he was a much younger - and much different - person. It was a time in his life when he was a struggling actor in the throes of a crippling addiction to drugs and alcohol. Living fast and reckless, Gatins in his early 20s was described by his friends as a "charming ne'er-do-well," openly flirting with death. "I just came unglued.
November 1, 2012 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
Oscar-award winning screenwriter Paul Haggis and his wife, actress Deborah Rennard, have sold their home in Santa Monica for its asking price of $5.25 million. The East Coast-inspired traditional house sits on nearly a third of an acre of grounds with mature trees, lawn and formal gardens. The home features skylights, French doors that open to terraces and an outdoor kitchen, two fireplaces, five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and 5,690 square feet of living space. Haggis, 59, has written for numerous television shows and created "Walker, Texas Ranger" (1993-2001)
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