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Zero Dark Thirty

February 21, 2013
Re "Road to Oscars a minefield for 'Zero,'" Feb. 19 I was disgusted by the opening scenes in "Zero Dark Thirty" portraying torture. Contrary to actual events, the prolonged scenes failed to portray any significant awareness of the current moral and legal controversies, which swirled around and through the brutality that government agents were perpetrating in violation of international law. Perhaps this incredible omission served the film's...
September 30, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
It's been a quarter-century since the last Frederick Forsyth novel was turned into a film--"The Fourth Protocol" all the way back in 1987. But momentum is building to turn his latest book, "The Kill List," into a movie. Lem Dobbs, the veteran screenwriter behind internationally minded thrillers such as "The Limey," has been hired to write the script for the new film, according to two people close to the production who asked not to be identified because the project is still coming together.
February 1, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
It didn't dawn on Jessica Chastain until after she saw "Zero Dark Thirty" that her character in the film, a driven CIA agent named Maya, had a few things in common with the movie's director, Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow.  "On set, you feel like you are the character," Chastain says in the video interview above, the final segment of three parts.  EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Jessica Chastain on 'Zero Dark Thirty'  Later, Chastain says, she realized, "Wow, there are two women that work in fields dominated by men … and they do expert work and they lead with their work before anything else and they never complain about the glass ceiling in their jobs.
September 5, 2013 | By Matt Cooper
Customized TV Listings are available here: Click here to download TV listings for the week of Sept. 1 - 7, 2013 in PDF format This week's TV Movies     SERIES America's Next Top Model One of the models has a fear of clowns in this new episode. 9 p.m. KTLA Luther Detective John Luther (Idris Alba) must clear his name after being accused of crimes he didn't commit while working to stop a vigilante killer in the conclusion of four-episode season.
January 11, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
If you're keeping score this Oscar season - and who isn't? - chalk up this year's nominations as a victory for the bullying power of the United States Senate and an undeserved loss for "Zero Dark Thirty" in general and director Kathryn Bigelow in particular. Yes, "Zero Dark" did get five nominations, including best picture, lead actress for Jessica Chastain and original screenplay for Mark Boal. But that was only one more than for the ineffective "Anna Karenina" and nowhere near the 12 picked up by Steven Spielberg's front-running "Lincoln.
January 24, 2013 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to cultivating a red carpet identity, lead actress nominee Jessica Chastain hasn't exactly been consistent since she burst on the scene in 2011. Last year alone, she went minimalist-modern in coral Calvin Klein at Cannes, evil fairy godmother in a crinkled, corseted and crystal-embellished Louis Vuitton gown at the Met Ball, over-the-top baroque in a heavy, black-and-gold brocade Alexander McQueen gown at the Oscars and everything in between. But with numerous public appearances in recent weeks to promote dual successes on Broadway in "The Heiress" and on screen for her role as CIA operative Maya in "Zero Dark Thirty," it seems like Chastain's personal brand of chic may finally be coming into focus.
January 11, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik and Nicole Sperling, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal has replied swiftly and strongly to a member of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences who said he would not vote for “Zero Dark Thirty” in any Oscar category because of the film's torture scenes. “We are outraged that any responsible member of the academy would use their voting status in AMPAS as a platform to advance their own political agenda,” Pascal said in a statement Friday, responding to an event organized by the character actor David Clennon, who is a member of the academy.
December 21, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
When it comes to “Zero Dark Thirty,” there's been a lot written about the CIA and torture - whether it looked in real life the way it does on screen, whether it was effective, whether it was ethical. As we've been reporting this week, John McCain and other lawmakers don't agree it went down that way . The film, they say, misrepresents how the CIA found Osama bin Laden. Filmmakers say they've created an accurate depiction. Now that the movie has opened, we thought we'd ask you what you thought of the scenes.
December 19, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
In both the recently concluded season of Showtime's “Homeland” and the new film “Zero Dark Thirty,” a young female CIA operative becomes obsessed with tracking an elusive terrorist and nearly destroys herself in the process. As it turns out, both “Homeland's” Carrie (an ostensibly fictional character played by Claire Danes ) and “Zero Dark's” Maya (an ostensibly real-life one portrayed by Jessica Chastain) share similarities with an actual agent who doggedly pursued Osama bin Laden . (She makes an appearance as "Jen" in "No Easy Day," written pseudonymously by retired Navy SEAL Mark Owen; the Washington Post describes her as fiercely intelligent, if combative and a little credit-hungry.)
December 19, 2012 | By Oliver Gettell
Opening in limited release Wednesday, director Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," a dramatized account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is already the talk of two towns. In Washington, questions have arisen about whether Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal got access to classified information (the Pentagon says they didn't), and controversy has swirled around the film's depiction of CIA torture. Back in the land of Hollywood, meanwhile, the film is widely viewed as an award season front-runner, and initial reviews are overwhelmingly positive, praising it as a taut, complex and morally ambiguous thriller.
July 25, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
One of James Gandolfini's final films is coming to theaters in September. "Enough Said," Nicole Holofcener's romantic dramedy that stars the late  "Sopranos" actor as a romantic lead, will open in limited release on Sept. 20, studio Fox Searchlight said Thursday. The theatrical release will hit several weeks after the Toronto international Film Festival premiere, announced this week. The film is also considered a likely selection as a sneak preview at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend.
June 19, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
Though he'll forever be known as Carmella's husband, Junior's nephew and a thorn in the side of every two-bit stoodge who tried to cross him, James Gandolfini had a pretty robust acting career outside his Tony Soprano role, particularly in film. The actor, who died Wednesday at 51, was on the big screen as far back as the early 1990's in small but memorable tough-guy parts--in Tony Scott's "True Romance," or opposite Geena Davis in the Brooklyn neighborhood tale "Angie. " But his character-acting career took off after the screen went black on "The Sopranos" in 2007.
June 17, 2013 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Even at 80, Costa-Gavras is fighting the good fight. The Greek-born, naturalized French writer-director best known for his politically charged films such as 1969's Oscar-winning "Z" and 1982's "Missing," found himself in the middle of police action in April in Istanbul. Costa-Gavras and fellow directors Mike Newell and Jan Ole Gerster were part of a protest condemning the demolition of the historical Emek Cinema. CHEAT SHEET: L.A. Film Festival "It was very peaceful," Costa-Gavras said Friday over a coffee at a West Hollywood hotel.
June 7, 2013 | By Susan King
More than 3,700 unpublished images of the legendary Marilyn Monroe from photographer Milton H. Greene's estate will be auctioned by Profiles in History on July 27. The images will be sold with copyright. A top fashion and celebrity photographer during the 1950s and '60s, Greene created indelible images that graced more than 100 covers for Life and Look as well as Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country and Vogue. He first shot Monroe in 1953 for Look magazine. The two not only became great friends, but they also formed a production company that resulted in 1956's "Bus Stop" and 1957's "The Prince and the Showgirl.
June 5, 2013 | By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - When screenwriter Mark Boal went seeking Pentagon and CIA help on last year's hit movie "Zero Dark Thirty," he wooed glamour-starved official Washington with the classic Hollywood pitch: Let's do lunch. Boal promised "a real L.A. lunch" to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Douglas Wilson in a June 2011 email thanking Wilson for setting up a one-on-one meeting with a top Pentagon official who was involved in the CIA-led operation that killed Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Pakistan the previous month.
May 13, 2013
Oscar and Golden Globes darlings went head-to-head as newly arriving David O. Russell's “Silver Linings Playbook” knocked Quentin Tarantino's “Django Unchained” off the top sales and rental charts -- in a field crowded with the year's most-nominated and awarded movies. Also remaining on the charts, after many weeks in release, are "Lincoln," "Life of Pi," and "Zero Dark Thirty. " Here are the top titles for the week that ended May 5 for sales and May 4 for rentals, according to Rentrak.
December 20, 2012 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before figuring out if I can get out of town next week. The Skinny: I'm almost over this annoying cold that has hampered me for over a week. So don't cough around me. Thursday's stories include a look at whether Tom Cruise is big enough to pull off "Jack Reacher", and three senators criticize "Zero Dark Thirty. " Daily Dose: Fox Business News is wrapping up its best year ever while CNBC will be happy when 2012 is over. Although CNBC is still dominates among viewers and adults 25-54, it is down 14% and 15% respectively in those key categories.
December 15, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
When the Osama bin Laden-raid film  “Zero Dark Thirty” was coming together last year, right-wing commentators scoffed; after all, any film about  President Obama's hallmark overseas success timed for a pre-election release had to have partisanship on its mind. Rep Peter King (R-N.Y.) asked whether the administration was getting too cozy with the filmmakers by offering them high-level access. The movie, his questions implied, would be little more than an extended campaign ad for the president as sponsored by Hollywood, the Democrats' resident Super PAC. What a difference a year makes.
May 1, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
How many films about the search for and killing of Osama bin Laden can the market bear? The answer appears to be three - a bad one, a good one and now, a messy but provocative one. National Geographic Channel's docudrama "Seal Team Six" was first out of the Bin Laden box, although its combo of histrionic drama and sketchy intel made for a better headline than film. Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," on the other hand, provided a master class in how to turn a crowded, complicated, highly emotional series of events into a beautifully constructed, if factually controversial, story.
April 24, 2013 | By Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Jean-Luc Godard made his second feature film, "Le Petit Soldat," in 1960, but it was banned until 1963 because of its tough look at the then-current French-Algerian conflict and unblinking portrayal of torture. Opening Friday at the Nuart in a new 35-millimeter print with fresh translation and subtitles, the often-overlooked film provides a lens through which to view the French director's unparalleled streak of provocation and productivity in the 1960s, as well as a startlingly contemporary-feeling counterpoint to recent politically tinged war films such as "Zero Dark Thirty.
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