Monday, September 24, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 31 - 40 of 3192
  • Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2018
SAG-AFTRA Foundation to honor Harrison Ford, Lady Gaga
This combination photo shows Harrison Ford at a hand and footprint ceremony for director Ridley Scott in Los Angeles on May 17, 2017, left, and Lady Gaga at a press conference for "Gaga: Five Foot Two" on day 2 of the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 8, 2017, in Toronto. (AP Photo)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Harrison Ford and Lady Gaga are being honored by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation with the Artists Inspiration Award for their contributions to humanitarian and philanthropic causes.

The non-profit organization says Tuesday that the awards will be presented at its third annual Patron of the Artists Awards on Nov. 8 in Beverly Hills.

Both Gaga and Ford are actively involved in a number of philanthropic and advocacy organizations. For over 25 years, Ford has been an advocate for the environmental non-profit Conservation International where he serves as the vice chairman of the board of directors. Gaga started the Born This Way Foundation which focuses on empowering youth and mental health research.

Previous honorees include Leonardo DiCaprio and Lionel Ritchie.

  • Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
Armstrong sons, filmmaker defend moon landing in "First Man"
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Ryan Gosling in a scene from "First Man." (Daniel McFadden/Universal Pictures via AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The sons of Neil Armstrong are defending Damien Chazelle's docudrama about the moon landing after conservative pundits decried the film's lack of emphasis on the American flag's planting on the lunar surface.

In a joint statement Friday, Rick and Mark Armstrong, along with "First Man" author James R. Hansen, denied that Chazelle's film is "anti-American in the slightest." ''Quite the opposite," they said.

"This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement 'for all mankind,'" said the Armstrongs and Hansen. "The filmmakers chose to focus on Neil looking back at the earth, his walk to Little West Crater, his unique, personal experience of completing this journey, a journey that has seen so many incredible highs and devastating lows."

Though "First Man" includes several shots showing the American flag on the moon, it does not depict the flag planting. After the film premiered earlier this week at the Venice Film Festival, some commentators on social media who hadn't seen the movie criticized the film. They were reacting largely to Ryan Gosling, who stars as Neil Armstrong, telling reporters in Venice that the astronaut's accomplishments "transcend countries and borders."

Columnist Bill Kristol claimed the film was "a foolish and pernicious falsification of history."

But Chazelle said the decision around the flag planting wasn't political but aesthetic. The "La La Land" filmmaker was motivated to portray the risks and challenges of the moon mission through the eyes of Armstrong.

"The flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon," said Chazelle. "To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no. My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America's mission to the moon — particularly Neil Armstrong's personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours."

Film critics enthusiastically responded to the film, rocketing "First Man" to early lists of possible Oscar favorites. Universal Pictures will release it October 12.

  • Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
Actress in "ER," "Stand and Deliver" fatally shot by police
This undated self-portrait posted on Instagram shows actress Vanessa Marquez. The actress, who appeared on the TV medical drama "ER" and starred in the film "Stand and Deliver," was fatally shot by police officers in Southern California after they say she pointed a replica handgun at them. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, that Marquez, 49, died at a hospital following the shooting at her South Pasadena, Calif., apartment Thursday. (Vanessa Marquez via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

An actress who appeared on the TV medical drama "ER" and starred in the film "Stand and Deliver" was fatally shot by police officers in Southern California after they say she pointed a replica handgun at them.

Vanessa Marquez, who gained attention last year when she said George Clooney helped blacklist her from Hollywood, died at a hospital following Thursday's shooting at her apartment in South Pasadena, just outside Los Angeles.

South Pasadena police officers responded to a call from Marquez's landlord that she needed medical help. When they arrived she was having a seizure, Lt. Joe Mendoza with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Friday.

Paramedics treated Marquez, 49, who improved and began talking with three officers and a mental health clinician who spent an hour-and-a-half trying to talk her into getting medical help, Mendoza said.

Marquez became uncooperative, appeared unable to care for herself and seemed to have mental health issues, he said.

At some point, Mendoza said Marquez got what turned out to be a BB gun and pointed it at the officers, prompting two of them to shoot.

"It looked like a real gun," he said, adding that it's unclear where the gun was during her lengthy interaction with police.

The officers were wearing body cameras but footage won't be released for at least six months pending the investigation, Mendoza said.

Terence Towles Canote, a close friend of Marquez's, said the actress was having health and financial problems but that she showed no signs of depression or other mental troubles. She still talked about her dream of winning an Oscar one day and was hopeful for a career comeback, he said.

"She was looking forward to life," Canote said. "This is not a woman who wanted to die."

Marquez posted extensively on Facebook and elsewhere about her health problems, saying she was terminally ill and had seizures and celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that can damage the small intestine if gluten is ingested.

In 2014, she said in an online post that she had spent her life savings on doctors and hospitals who didn't properly treat her and that she couldn't work or "do most basic everyday functions."

Marquez had a recurring role during the first several years of "ER," which ran from 1994 to 2009. She also appeared on episodes of "Seinfeld," ''Melrose Place" and "Malcolm & Eddie" but her career largely fizzled after "ER."

Marquez gained attention last year after tweeting that Clooney helped blacklist her from Hollywood when she complained about sexual harassment and racist comments among their "ER" co-stars. Clooney said in a statement to "US Weekly" at the time that he was just an actor on the show and was unaware of any effort to blacklist her.

"If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career then she was lied to," he said. "The fact that I couldn't affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn't."

In one of her social media posts, Marquez talked about being grateful to be a part of "Stand and Deliver," a 1988 film about a math teacher who motivated struggling students at a tough East Los Angeles high school.

"If you're truly fortunate, you get to live your dream and do the work you were put on this Earth to do," she wrote. "If you're really, really fortunate you do a film that makes history and affects the lives of millions of people ... It will live on long after we're gone."

Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report from New York City.

  • Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
Farrow's former producer criticized NBC on Weinstein story
In this April 13, 2018 file photo, Ronan Farrow attends Variety's Power of Women event in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Ronan Farrow's former producer at NBC News says his old network breached its journalistic duty by failing to stick with the story of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct.

Farrow instead took the story to the New Yorker, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize with the New York Times for the story that launched the #MeToo movement.

"As a journalist for 16 years I do know that when you have an explosive story you never let it walk out the door," said Rich McHugh, who just left NBC as an investigative producer, and issued a statement through lawyer Ari Wilkenfeld. "You keep digging for more so you can publish at your network."

McHugh's statement and interview with The New York Times ripped open a scab at NBC News. The network has said that it released Farrow to take the story elsewhere following a disagreement over whether he had enough material to go with it. Farrow, who was a freelancer when working on the story with NBC, is writing his own book about the issue.

McHugh said that when he and Farrow were about to interview a woman with a credible allegation of rape against Weinstein, "I was told not to do the interview and ordered to stand down, thus effectively killing the story. Those orders came to me from the highest levels of NBC. That was unethical, and a massive breach of journalistic integrity."

McHugh did not say who at NBC ordered him to stand down, and Wilkenfeld did not return a message asking for clarification.

NBC said that Farrow and McHugh asked for an NBC camera crew for the interview after it had already been decided that Farrow was taking the story elsewhere.

NBC said in a statement that when Farrow believed he had a story ready to go on the air, he did not have a single victim of misconduct by Weinstein, or witness, who was willing to be identified.

"Two months later, he published a strong piece that cited the following victims by name: Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Lucia Evans, Emma de Caunes, Jessica Barth and Sophie Dix," NBC said. "Not one of these seven women was included in the reporting Farrow presented while at NBC News."

NBC said it was an "outright lie" that it tried to kill the Weinstein story while Farrow was working on it.

  • Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
Emmy Rossum exiting "Shameless" after upcoming 9th season
In this May 24, 2018 file photo, Emmy Rossum attends the "Shameless" FYC event in Los Angeles. Showtime announced that the upcoming ninth season of "Shameless" would be Rossum's last. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Emmy Rossum is saying goodbye to "Shameless" after the show's upcoming ninth season.

In an emotional Facebook post Thursday, Rossum said playing her complex character was a "gift" and called the past eight years the best of her life.

Showtime Networks programming chief Gary Levine said the network was saddened by Rossum's decision to leave and praised her work as Fiona, daughter to William H. Macy's dysfunctional patriarch, Frank.

In 2016, Rossum reportedly sought pay parity with fellow series star Macy.

Executive producer John Wells said work is underway on a season finale aimed at giving Rossum and her character a worthy send-off.

As the series continues, Wells said, the door will remain open for Rossum's Fiona to visit or return home.

The ninth season of "Shameless" debuts Sept. 9.

  • Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018
Film Independent Spirit Awards issues call for entries
Actor Robert Pattinson (center) at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards (photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES -- 

Film Independent announced that the call for entries for the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards is now open. The regular deadline is Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the final deadline is Tuesday, October 9, 2018 and the extended Film Independent member deadline is Friday, October 12, 2018. The nominations will be revealed on Friday, November 16, 2018 in a press conference in Los Angeles. The 2019 Awards will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 and will premiere exclusively on IFC. In addition, the date for the 2020 Awards has been set for Saturday, February 8, 2020.

American Airlines and IFC are returning as Premier Sponsors. In both 2019 and 2020, the Bonnie Award will once again be presented, funded by American Airlines. The Bonnie Award recognizes a talented, mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted cash grant.

Film Independent members comprise the exclusive voting body who determines the winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Members are filmmakers, film industry leaders and film lovers. Click here for submission guidelines and forms.

The Spirit Awards is the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote inclusion in the industry. 

  • Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018
Marvel head Kevin Feige to receive Producer Guild's David O. Selznick Award
In this July 14, 2012 file photo, Kevin Feige speaks at the "Iron Man 3" panel at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calif. Feige is set to receive the prestigious David O. Selznick Achievement Award at the 2019 Producers Guild Awards. He will accept the award at 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, January 19 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is set to receive the prestigious David O. Selznick Achievement Award at the 2019 Producers Guild Awards.

The Producers Guild of America says Thursday that Feige will join the ranks of Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Billy Wilder and Clint Eastwood in receiving the honor which recognizes a producer's body of work.

As the president of Marvel Studios since 2007, Feige has helped change the fabric of Hollywood by helping to create the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has produced films from "Iron Man" to "The Avengers" and collected more than $17.6 billion at the global box office.

Feige will accept the award at 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

  • Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018
"Top Gun: Maverick" pushed, "A Quiet Place" sequel sets date
In this Tuesday, May 30, 2017, file photo, Tom Cruise poses during a photocall for the French premiere of "The Mummy" in Paris, France. Cruise will star in the "Top Gun" sequel, which is slated for release on June 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

The "Top Gun" sequel is going to take a little longer to land in theaters.

Paramount Pictures says Wednesday that "Top Gun: Maverick" is being pushed back a year to a June 26, 2020 theatrical release. The Tom Cruise-starrer is in production and had been previously set to fly into theaters next summer.

The studio has also set a May 15, 2020 release date for a sequel to John Krasinski's breakout creature thriller "A Quiet Place." Kraskinsi is writing the follow-up, but no director has been set.

  • Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018
Quite Frankly Productions to open U.S. shop 
Catherine Crowe
NEW YORK -- 

Branded content producer Quite Frankly Productions (QFP), headquartered in London, is broadening its global footprint with the upcoming launch of  a second subsidiary business: Quite Frankly Productions USA, Inc., in New York. 

Plans for a U.S. office have been in the pipeline for the last year, following an increase in the number of commissions from international clients. Doors will open on September 10, based at the headquarters of Hunter Public Relations in Manhattan. The Hunter/Quite Frankly relationship started in 2017 when the agency commissioned QFP to produce the Tabasco 150 anniversary brand film which involved shooting in the USA, U.K. and Japan.

Executive producer Catherine Crowe will head up the U.S. operation, having joined from Nickelodeon. 

Jez Frankel, managing director of Quite Frankly Productions, said: “New York will be our third business after London and Bangalore and I’m thrilled that Catherine has agreed to join us. A producer with her experience is a rare breed and I’m looking forward to working with her to see how far we can grow our business in the USA.”

Quite Frankly has a client base that includes Diageo, Coca-Cola, Omega and Michael Kors.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018
"Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D" to be remastered for IMAX
In this Jan. 31, 1993, file photo, Michael Jackson performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XXVII in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Michael Jackson's estate and IMAX are partnering to digitally remaster "Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D" into IMAX 3D.

The partnership was announced Wednesday, which would have been the singer's 60th birthday. It will be released in IMAX theaters across the U.S. for one week, beginning Sept. 21.

The estate's co-executors say Jackson loved to give his fans the "latest and greatest in technology and entertainment experiences."

The short film, directed by John Landis, premiered in Los Angeles in 1983. The 3D version was first shown at the 74th Venice Film Festival in 2017.

The remastered release precedes the launch of Amblin Entertainment's fantasy film, "The House with a Clock in Its Walls," starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett.

Jackson was 50 years old when he died in June 2009.

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