Showing posts with label James Franco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Franco. Show all posts

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from August 1 to 6th, 2022 - Update #13

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


MOVIES - From Deadline:   Oscar nominee James Franco will play Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Miguel Bardem’s "Alina of Cuba."  Mía Maestro is set to play Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, the Cuban-born socialite he has a passionate love affair with.

SCANDAL - From Variety:  A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ordered actor Kevin Spacey to pay a total of 31 million dollars for his alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the Netflix drama, "House of Cards."  The award also includes damages for lost money because Spacey's misconduct forced the production company, MRC, to remove him from the series for its final season.

STREAMING - From VarietyWarner Bros. Discovery is going to merge its two streaming services, HBO Max and Discovery+, into a single service Summer 2023.

BLM - From NBCNews:  4 police officers federally charged by the U.S. Justice Department with civil rights violation in Breonna Taylor's death.

STREAMING - From VarietyWarner Bros. Discovery has been quietly culling content from HBO Max — including several Warner Bros. movies that were exclusively streaming on the service — in what appears to be an effort to cut costs.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  FX has provided updates on the fifth "Fargo" series, it TV series based on the film, "Alien," and on its new miniseries based on James Claville's 1975 novel, "Shogun," was previously adapted into the 1980 NBC miniseries.

TELEVISION - From DeadlineChris Rock's former live-action comedy, the former UPN and The CW series, "Everybody Hates Chris" (2005-09), will return as a re-imagined animated comedy, "Everybody Still Hates Chris."  The series will air on Comedy Central and stream on Paramount+.

CELEBRITY - From Deadline:  During a concert in Warsaw, Poland, Grammy-winning recording artist and Oscar-nominated songwriter, Sting, warned the audience that democracy is under attack worldwide.


From Deadline:  Film and television actor and director, Clu Gulager, has died at the age of 93, Friday, August 5, 2022.  He appeared in a number to theatrical and television films and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared in a many of TV Westerns.  Into the 1970s and 1980s, he appeared in numerous action, cop, and crime TV series.  He may be best remembered for his role in the 1985 cult film, "The Return of the Living Dead." Gulager was a 1969 Palme d'Or nominee for his short film, "A Day with the Boys."

From Variety:  American sportscaster and legendary Major League Baseball announced, Vin Scully, has died at the age of 94, Tuesday, August 2, 2021.  He was best known for his 67 years calling games for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, the longest tenure for any broadcaster with a single team.

From NYTimes:  Former professional basketball player and NBA legend, Bill Russell, has died at the age of 88, Sunday, July 31, 2022.  He played for the Boston Celtics from 1956-69, the team that drafted him.  Russell was an 11-time NBA champion (including 2 when he was a player-coach), 5-time league MVP, 2-time NCAA champ (University of San Francisco), Olympic gold medalist (1956 Melbourne Games).  He was the first Black head coach of any North American pro sports team (Celtics, 1966-69), and he received Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011

From Variety:  Actress, singer, dancer, icon, and role model, Nichelle Nichols, has died at the age of 89, Saturday night, July 30, 2022.  Nichols was best known for playing communications officer, "Uhura," on the original "Star Trek" (1966-69) television series.  Uhura was a groundbreaking role for African-American actresses.  From 1977 until 2015, Nichols volunteered her time to promote NASA's programs, and to recruit diverse astronauts, including women and ethnic minorities.

From NASA:  In a feature on its website, NASA says that “Nichelle Nichols was a trailblazing actress, advocate and dear friend to NASA."

From THR:  Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg says that the late Nichelle Nichols "was the first Black person I'd ever seen who made it to the future."  Goldberg, like her friend, Nichols, is an alum of the "Star Trek" franchise.



From ESPN:   A Russian court sentenced WNBA star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison Thursday, Aug. 4th.  Griner was arrested Feb. 17 for bringing cannabis into the country and pleaded guilty July 7, though the case continued under Russian law.

From ESPN:  The Biden administration has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday.

From RSN:  "Will Support From LeBron James, Joe Rogan, Kim Kardashian, and Other Celebrities Help Free Brittney Griner From a Russian Prison?" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar via Substack

From ESPN:  Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty on Thursday to bringing hashish oil into Russia, telling a judge that she had done so "inadvertently" while asking the court for mercy.

From CBSSports:  The Brittney Griner situation explained.

From RSN:  According to The Washington Post Editorial Board: "Brittney Griner is a hostage, plain and simple.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 1st to 5th, 2019 - Update #22

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BOX OFFICE - From TheWrap:  "Joker" made an estimated 13.3 million dollars in Thursday night preview shows.  That is a record for the month of October, surpassing the previous record holder, "Venom" (2018).

From THR:  "Joker" looking at a weekend box office debut of 90 million dollars.

JAMES BOND - From DigitalSpy:  An new poster for the next James Bond film, "No Time to Die," has bee release.

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:  Is there a feud between legendary TV actor and Emmy Winner, Henry Winkler, and legendary film actor and Oscar-winner Tom Hanks?  Well, Winkler was fired as director of Hanks 1989 film, "Turner and Hooch."

SCANDAL - From 5280:  The true story of the saga of the "Balloon Boy Hoax."

BOOKS - From ComicBook:  Novelist Suzanne Collins has announced the title of the first prequel novel to her bestselling series, "The Hunger Games," which was turned into a billion-dollar film franchise.  "The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes," due May 2020, will reveal how society fell and led to "The Hunger Games."

SCANDAL - From Variety:   Two former students of Oscar-nominated actor James Franco’s now-closed acting school ("Studio 4") filed a lawsuit Thurs., Oct. 3rd, alleging that the classes existed principally to create a way for Franco and his associates to take advantage of young women.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren's hour-long action drama, "The International," has been picked up by CBS as a "put pilot," which means it will become a series or CBS pay out a lot of money.

TRAILER - From BET:  BET has released a new thirty second promo trailer for its two new Tyler Perry series, "Sistas" and "The Oval," that are debuting Wed., October 23rd.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Stuntwoman, Joi Harris, a stunt rider, was killed on the set of "Deadpool 2" on August 14, 2017, when she lost control of her motorcycle and crashed into the side of a building in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  A British workplace safety investigation says  Twentieth Century Fox committed several safety errors that contributed to the fatal motorcycle crash on the set of "Deadpool 2."

MOVIES - From Deadline:  "How to Train Your Dragon's" Dean DeBlois to direct a new take on the classic novel, "Treasure Island," for Universal Pictures.

DISNEY - From Variety:  Walt Disney Animation has appointed four directors to work on four new projects.

BOX OFFICE - From TheWrap:  James Franco's film, "Zeroville," is being called a bomb after it box office debut of $8900 on 80 screams - an average of about $111 per theater.

MOVIES - From THR:  "The Terminator" and "Beetlejuice" are among the films in which the original writers have filed "copyright termination" notices.  In the case of "The Terminator," it is original writer, Gale Anne Hurd."

MOVIES - From YahooAP:   Comedy legend and Oscar-nominated actor, Eddie Murphy, talks about being rejuvenated by his new Netflix film, "Dolemite."

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Guillermo del Toro praises Martin Scorsese's new masterpiece, "The Irishman."

COMICS-FILM - From Yahoo:  During an interview to promote Netflix's "Dolemite is My Name," Wesley Snipes says that he has moved on from playing Marvel Comics character, Blade, which he did in three films, beginning with 1998's "Blade."

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Netflix renews "Stranger Things" for a fourth season.  Series creators, The Duffer Brothers, sign an overall development deal with Netflix.


From CNN:  New York Comic Con 2019 sees the release of a new trailer for CBS All Access's "Star Trek: Picard."

From DigitalSpy:  New York Comic Con also sees the release of the first-look trailer for CBS All Access' "Star Trek: Discovery."


From THR:  Pioneering African-American actress, Diahann Carroll, has died at the age of 84, Friday, October 4, 2019.  Carroll played the first non-stereotypical black female character to lead a TV series in NBC's "Julia" (1968 to 1971).  Carroll was the first black woman to win a Tony Award for best actress in a musical.  Carroll also received a best actress Oscar nomination for her role in Claudine (1974).  From 1984 to 1987, Carroll appeared in over 70 episodes of the ABC primetime soap opera, "Dynasty."  Her Dynasty character, Dominique Deveraux, was the first prominent African-American character on a primetime soap opera.

From Deadline:  The character actor, Lewis Dauber, has died at the age of 70, Thursday, October 3, 2019.  He was known for playing in the roll of a priest in numerous TV series, including "The Bernie Mac Show" and "Diagnosis Murder."

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from November 12th to 18th, 2017 - Update #39

Support Leroy on Patreon.

CELEBRITY - From ETCanada:  Musician and former "Partridge Family" star, David Cassidy, has been hospitalized with organ failure.

COMICS-FILM - From TheWrap:  Box office for "Justice League" looks to be less than forecasted.

MOVIES - From THR:  Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis joins director Malcolm D. Lee for the film adaptation of "I Almost Forgot About You."

MOVIES - From Variety:  Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali will star in and executive produce the crime thriller, "Burn."

From TheWrap:  "Selma" star, Carmen Ejogo, joins Mahershala Ali in Season 3 of HBO's "True Crime.

TERMINATOR - From Variety:  Screenwriter Billy Ray ("Captain Phillips") joins the writing room of the upcoming "Terminator" film.

BUSINESS - From Variety:  Comcast expresses interest in buying parts of 21st Century Fox, a week after news comes that Disney was in brief talks with Fox.  Verizon is apparently also interested.

SCANDAL - From TheDailyMail:  Back in 1988, a 16-year-old girl filed a police reported accusing Sylvester Stallone and his bodyguard of sexually misconduct.

From YahooEntertainmentET:  Stallone says the incident never happened.

CELEBRITY - From THR:  Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone, both Oscar winners, are working on a secret project together.

TELEVISION - From YahooEntertainment:  The seventh and final season of "Veep" has been postponed as star Julia Louis-Dreyfus is battling breast cancer.

COMICS-FILM - From THR:  James Franco in talks to join Fox's "X-Men" universe as "Multiple Man" in a self-titled film.

HARRY POTTER - From Variety:  Here is the first cast photo from "Fantastic Beasts 2."

SCANDAL - From YahooGMA:  Terry Crews finally names the Hollywood player who groped him in February 2016.

MOVIES - From Variety:  "Girls Trip" scene stealer, Tiffany Haddish is hot.  She became the first African-American stand-up comic to host, "Saturday Night Live" in its history (WTF!).  Now, she has landed lead roles in two film.

MOVIES - From THR:  Taraji P. Henson to star in a female take on the 2000 hit film, "What Women Want," which was directed by Nancy Myers and starred Mel Gibson.

COMICS-FILM - From ThePlaylist:  15 to 20 percent of Justice League is from Joss Whedon reshoots.

SPORTS/BLM - From ThePlayersTribune:  Stephen Curry pens "The Noise," about peaceful protests, Veterans Day, and accusing protesters of being against the military.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Zendaya will star in and produce the thriller, "A White Lie," playing the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College.

COMICS-FILM - From ComicBook:  Wonder Woman Gal Gadot does not want Brett Ratner (via his company RatPac-Dune Entertainment) involved with "Wonder Woman 2" because of sexual misconduct accusations against him... at least that what the Internet is reporting.

From LATimes:  Because of an issue of timing, Gadot's alleged demands may be moot.  Warner Bros.'s "Wonder Woman 2" is due in 2019, and Brett Ratner's arrangement with Warner Bros. will expire in 2018.

COMICS-FILM - From Variety:  Sony Pictures is developing a film based on Spider-Man antagonist, Morbius, the Living Vampire.

MOVIES - From ScreenRant:  Co-writer Danny McBride confirms the timeline and other information concerning the 2018 reboot of John Carpenter's horror film classic, "Halloween."

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Amazon sets "The Lord of the Rings" TV series with a multi-season commitment.  The series will apparently be a prequel to "The Fellowship of the Ring."

SOCIAL - From GQ:  "GQ" names blacklisted NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, "Citizen of the Year."

From FoxNews:  And Fox News is so bitter about that honor for Kaepernick.

JAMES BOND - From Deadline:  MGM and Annapurna to unite to distribute the next James Bond, which will star Daniel Craig.

COMICS-FILM - From Deadline:  The cast is set for "Deadly Class," the TV series from Syfy that is based on the comic book series published by Image Comics.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 11/10 to 11/12/2017 weekend box office is "Thor: Ragnarok" with an estimated haul of $56.6 million.

SPORTS - From YahooSports:  Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard, Lonzo Ball, became the youngest NBA player to record a statistical "triple-double."  At the age of 20 years and 20 days old, he beat the previous recorder holder, LeBron James by five days.

From YahooSports:  Lonzo really don't give a...

From LakerNation:  And LeVar Ball is handling the China situation.

STAR TREK - From YahooEntertainment:   George Takei says that he is "shocked and bewildered" by the sexual assault acclaim against him by a former model and actor.

SCANDAL - From TheSun:  "Smallville" actress Allison Mack is involved in some kind of "sinister sex cult."


From YahooGMA:  Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of legendary rock band, AC/DC, has died at the age of 64.  Malcolm founded the band with his brother, guitarist Angus Young, in 1973.  Malcolm had been suffering from dementia for several years.

From MLB:  Former Major League Baseball player and coach, Bobby Doerr, has died at the age of 99, Monday, November 13, 2017.  Doerr played 14 seasons for the Boston Red Sox and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and its only member to live to 99 years old.  He played for the Red Sox from 1937 to 1951, but missed the 1945 season for military service.

From TheWrap:  Legendary newspaper gossip columnist, Liz Smith, has died at the age of 94, Sunday, November 12, 2017.  Her column ran for more than three decades and she was credited with helping to bring forth the era of celebrity journalism.


From YouTube:  The first official trailer for the film, "Rampage," starring Dwayne Johnson and is due April 2018.

From YouTube:  First official trailer for "The Strangers: Prey at Night," the sequel to "The Strangers" and which is due March 2018.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

2017 Austin Film Festival Announces First Films and Television Line-Up

Austin Film Festival Reveals First Slate of Films and TV for 24th Annual Line-up, Including Season Finale of "The Deuce" and Marquee Titles "Permanent," "Please Stand By," and "An Ordinary Man"

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Austin Film Festival (AFF), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television, and new media, announced today the first wave of films included in their 2017 film slate.

October 26 - November 2 - AFF will premiere the season finale of HBO’s new drama "The Deuce." Other titles include Permanent, Please Stand By, 24 Hours to Live and romantic comedy Amanda and Jack Go Glamping.

The complete list of programming will be announced in late September.

*indicates in attendance

24 Hours to Live
Writers: Zach Dean, Jim McClain, Ron Mita
Director: Brian Smrz
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Liam Cunningham

Amanda & Jack Go Glamping
World Premiere
Writer/Director: Brandon Dickerson*
Starring: David Arquette*, Amy Acker, Adan Canto, June Squibb

Confessions of a Serial Killer – 1985 Retrospective
Writer/Director: Mark Blair*
Starring: Robert Burns, Dennis Hill

The Deuce-Season Finale
World Premiere
Creators: David Simon*, George Pelecanos*
Starring: James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Zoe Kazan

Flock of Four
World Premiere
Writer/Director: Gregory Caruso*
Starring: Braeden Lemasters, Shane Harper, Reg E. Cathey

Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End
World Premiere
Director: Pablo Bryant*

An Ordinary Man
North American Premiere
Writer/Director: Brad Silberling
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Hera Hilmar, Peter Serafinowicz

The Outdoorsman
US Premiere
Writer: Ryan Gilmour*
Director: David Haskell*
Starring: Brent Morin*, Sasheer Zamata*, Spencer Grammer

Writer/Director: Colette Burson
Starring: Kira McClean, Rainn Wilson, Patricia Arquette

Please Stand By
Writer: Michael Golamco
Director: Ben Lewin
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Toni Collette

North American Premiere
Writer/Director: Karl R. Hearne
Starring: Hugh Thompson, Lola Flanery

Austin Film Festival (AFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their contributions to film, television and new media. This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department and the Texas Commission on the Arts. All attendees and events are based on permitting schedules and are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. For media credentials, complete the application. Badges and passes are available for purchase online at or by phone at 1-800-310-FEST.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from July 1st to 9th, 2016 - Update #44

Support Leroy on Patreon.

COMICS - From Indiewire:  Writer-producer Simon Kinberg hopes "Gambit" movie (with Channing Tatum playing Gambit) starts filming in 2017.

MOVIES - From ScreenDaily:  "Tomb Raider" has been set for a March 2018 debut.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Kiefer Sutherland, who was an original cast member of the film, Flatliners (1990), is likely to join the remake.

STAR TREK - From YahooNews:  "Star Trek Beyond" will introduce Sulu's husband.

From YahooMovies:   George Takei, the Sulu from the original Star Trek cast, wishes there were a gay Star Trek character, but does not want Sulu to be that gay character.

From Deadline:  Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg respond to "gay Sulu" debate.

MOVIES - From Variety:   Justin Timberlake joins Woody Allen's 2017 unnamed film, which begins shooting this fall.

COMICS - From YahooNews:  It is finally revealed.  Mads Mikkelsen will play the villain, Kaecilius, formerly a goon in service of Baron Mordo.

TELEVISION - From THR:  Former FOX News blonde bimbo, Gretchen Carlson, sues FOX News boss, Roger Ailes, for sexual harassment.

COMICS - From YahooMovies:  Tony Stark has been replaced as Iron Man by a young Black woman.

TELEVISION - From Hitfix:  The start of "Game of Thrones" Season 7 to be delayed.

The Killing of #AltonSterling and #PhilandroCastille and #Dallas:

From YahooNews:  Cuba Gooding, Jr.  once took a photo with one of the Dallas police officers killed on Thursday, July 7, 2016.

From YahooNews:  Dallas Police Chief David Brown earns praise for his steady hand.

From HuffingtonPost:  Rudy Giuliani is an racist, opportunistic ass; yet people are still surprised.

From NYTimes:  Details emerge in the death of Philandro Castille.

From telSUR:  Cops kill detained man #AltonSterling in Baton Rouge, LA.

From RSN:  More video related to #AltonSterling

From YahooNews:  Katie Couric interviews family of #AltonSterling.

From YahooNews:   Federal civil rights investigators were called in Wednesday to probe the fatal police shooting of a black father of five in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge was captured on cell phone video.

HISTORY - From YahooNews:  Slave descendant unites with plantation owner for heartwarming dinner 181 years after families lived there.  The plantation owner, a descendant of the plantation's original owner is also a cousin to the slave descendant.

JAMES BOND - From Variety:  Nicolas Winding Refn says that he turned down the directing gig on the recent James Bond film, "Spectre."

COMICS - From Movieweb:  Colin Farrell will play a mystery role in "Justice League."

COMICS - From DarkHorizons:  "Thor: Ragnarok" begins filming.

OBITS - From TheWrap:  Acclaimed Iranian film director, Abbas Kiarostami, has died at the age of 76, Monday, July 4, 2016.

MOVIES - From VillageVoice:  Post-"Twilight" Kristen Stewart continues to astound critic Melissa Anderson.

OBITS - From TheWrap:  The actress Noel Neill has died at the age of 95, Sunday, July 3, 2016.  Neill's fame primarily comes from the fact that she was the first actress to portray the character, Lois Lane, from the Superman comic books.  She played Lois for the first time in the 1948 film, "Superman," and most famously in the classic 1950s TV series, "The Adventures of Superman."

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Chris Costello talks about her father, Lou Costello of the legendary comedy duo, "Abbot & Costello," and her book, "Lou's on First."

MOVIES - From Variety:  Has Steven Spielberg lost his platinum touch?

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the box office for the four-day, July 4th (2016) holiday weekend is "Finding Dory" with an estimated take of $50.19 million.

OBIT - From TheGuardian:  Robin Hardy, the director of "The Wicker Man" (1973), one of the most unsettling films ever made, has died.  He died Friday, July 1, 2016 at the age of 86.

ANIMATION - From YahooStyle:  Disney getting heat about a fat character in their upcoming film, "Moana."

BOX OFFICE - From TheWrap:  "Finding Dory" wins the Saturday box office of the 4th of July weekend.

From YahooCelebrity:  "The Legend of Tarzan" doing better than expected.  "The BFG" is in trouble.

COMICS REVIEW - From Patreon:  "Don't Be Cruel 2-in-1 Edition Volume 1"

From Patreon:  "Tales from the Darkside #1" by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

From Patreon:  "Star Wars: The Force Awakens #1" - Marvel Comics adaptation

From Patreon:  "Han Solo #1"

COMICS - From BleedingCool:  The long-running worldwide hit manga, Bleach, will end this Fall.

CULTURE - From TheWrap:  Patricia Clarkson on Hollywood Sexism: ‘A White Male Actor Should Never Be Allowed to Complain About Anything’

OBIT - From TheWrap:  Director Michael Cimino has died at the age of 77.  He is best known for his film, "The Deer Hunter," for which he won a "Best Director" Oscar.  He also directed legendary film flop, "Heaven's Gate."

OBIT - From NYTimes:  Elie Wiesel has died at the age of 87, Saturday, July 2, 2016.  Wiesel was an Aushwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner.  As an author, his most famous work is the short biographical novel, "Night."

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:  Steven Spielberg's "The BFG" looks like the loser of the July 4th weekend's major new releases.  "The Purge 3" looks to be a big hit.  It may tie the other big new release, "The Legend of Tarzan" as the top new performer at the box office.

COMICS - From ScreenRant:  Jon Watts is directing "Spider-Man: Homecoming."  What can his earlier films, "Cop Car" and "Clown" tells us about what to expect from Spider-Man.

MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  "Underworld: Blood Wars" (the fifth film in the franchise) has been pushed from October 2016 to a January 2017.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  "Gone with the Wind" star, Olivia de Havilland is 100 years old today.

COMICS - From Kickstarter:  Veteran comic book writer-artist and illustrator, Kody Chamberlain, is working on a new comic book project with newcomer Gavin Guidry.  It is called "Smut and Jeff," and it has a Kickstarter campaign.


ANIMATION - From Deadline:  The 2012 animated film, "Wreck-It Ralph" will have a sequel, due in 2018.


From Vevo:  See Rihanna's video for the song "Sledgehammer" from "Star Trek Beyond."

From Facebook:  Dr. McCoy gives Spock advice in latest "Star Trek Beyond" clip.

From YouTube:  The debut trailer for "Why Him?" with James Franco and Bryan Cranston.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Award Winners at the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival Announced

17th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival Announces Award Winners

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) announced today the winners of the 2016 Festival. On April 28, 2016, the Festival wrapped up its eight day run with the Southern California premiere of The Fixer starring Dominic Rains, James Franco, Rachel Brosnahan and Melissa Leo at Lido Live (3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach) with the post party in the Via Lido Plaza.

    The Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) announced the winners of the 2016 Festival.

The Newport Beach Film Festival celebrated outstanding contribution to global cinema at a special event during the 17th annual Festival at the Balboa Bay Resort on April 23. Additionally, The Festival’s selection committee reviewed more than 2,500 films. The Festival screened over 400 films, representing 50 countries. The films competed for Jury, Festival Honors and Audience Awards.

The 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival jury featured an impressive roster of film industry professionals, including Vice President of Film Acquisitions at Fandor, Amanda Salazar, Film industry veteran, Arthur Jeppe, Executive Director of the Cucalorus Film Festival, Dan Brawley, award-winning independent producer, screenwriter and director, Hans-Martin Liebing, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions, Research, and Network Operations for Pivot, Jennie Morris, Screenwriter Kenneth Young, Program Director for the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF), Jim Brunzell III, Toronto International Film Festival’s Lisa Haller, Kim Leadford, co-founder of StarStream Media and Reel Asian Head of Programming Kristine Estorninos.







FEATURE FILM – The Lennon Report – Jeremy Profe, Director
FEATURE FILM - Nobody Walks in LA – Jesse Shapiro, Director
FOREIGN FILM - Battalion (Батальон) - Dmitry Meskhiev, Director
DOCUMENTARY - Orange Sunshine - William A. Kirkley, Director
DOCUMENTARY - The Ataxian - Zack Bennett and Kevin Schlanser, Directors
ACTION SPORTS - Dirty Old Wedge - Tim Burnham, Director
ENVIRONMENTAL - Huntwatch - Brant Backlund, Director
ART, ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN - Tyrus – Pamela Tom, Director
FAMILY- The Kids From 62-F - Imani Shakur, Director


BEST NARRATIVE SHORT FILM - Seeking: Jack Tripper - Quinlan Orear
BEST NARRATIVE SHORT FILM - Reality+ - Coralie Fargeat, Director
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM – Follow Your Heart - Rob O'Neill, Director
BEST FOREIGN SHORT FILM – Zaatari - David Ghali - Director
ART, ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN - The Whimsical Imagineer – Ken Kebow, Director


BEST FEATURE FILM – Embers - Claire Carré, Director
BEST ACTOR - George Kosturos - American Wrestler: The Wizard
BEST DIRECTOR - Claire Carré - Embers
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - Rudiger Barth, William A. Kirkley - Orange Sunshine
BEST DOCUMENTARY - Off The Rails - Adam Irving, Director
BEST EDITING - Chris Catanach - Orange Sunshine


BEST NARRATIVE SHORT FILM - Hi, How Are You – Director, Daniel Johnston
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM - The Last Barn Dance - Jason Arthurs and Ted Richardson, Directors
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM – Violet - Windy Marshall, Director
BEST FOREIGN SHORT FILM – Deszcz - Malina Maria Mackiewicz, Director


OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING: FEATURE FILM - American Wrestler: The Wizard - Alex Ranarivelo, Director
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING: FOREIGN FILM - The Innocents (Agnus Dei) – Anne Fontaine, Director
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILMMAKING: SHORT FILM - Clock Maker’s Dream - Cashell Horgan, Director

Attendance at the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival was 50,000 with a record number of sellouts. The Newport Beach Film Festival is sponsored in part by City of Newport Beach, Visit Newport Beach, Arrowhead Water, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Celebrity Cruises, Fashion Island and Los Angeles Times.

About The Newport Beach Film Festival
Celebrated as one of the leading lifestyle film festivals in the United States, the Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program, a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the NBFF focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of studio and independent films from around the globe. The 17th annual Newport Beach Film Festival ran April 21st - April 28th and spotlighted over 400 films from around the world.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Crime Drama, "The Fixer," to Close 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival

2016 Newport Beach Film Festival Announces Closing Night Film and Celebration

17th Annual Festival to Close with The Fixer Starring Dominic Rains, James Franco, Rachel Brosnahan and Melissa Leo

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) proudly announces its Closing Night film and celebration. The Festival will end its eight-day run with the Southern California premier of “The Fixer” on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 7:30pm at Regency Lido Live (3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach, CA). Following the screening, the Newport Beach Film Festival, in partnership with Modern Luxury and Via Lido Plaza, will host the Closing Night Celebration at Via Lido Plaza (3425 Via Lido, Newport Beach, CA). The outdoor event will feature culinary creations from top Orange County’s restaurants, hosted bar by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Stella Artois, live entertainment and a special fashion presentation from Ted Baker London.

    The Newport Beach Film Festival proudly announces its Closing Night film, "The Fixer", and Celebration!

“The Fixer” tells the story of a former Afghan journalist (Dominic Rains) who settles in a small town in Northern California and takes a job with a local newspaper. However, when he attempts to cover local crime, he stumbles into local corruption that puts himself and others in danger.

“The 17th annual Newport Beach Film Festival will enlighten the public with a first-class international film program and exciting seminars. We are honored to close an excellent festival with a world premiere of such an impressive film,” stated Gregg Schwenk, Executive Director/CEO of NBFF.

"We are thrilled to bring The Fixer to the Newport Beach Film Festival! I can't wait to share the film with their audience," said Ian Olds, director, “The Fixer.”

"We couldn't be more honored to close the Newport Beach Film Festival and are excited to have some of our cast there to celebrate this Northern California-made film with the festival," added Caroline von Kuhn, producer, “The Fixer.”

The Festival will showcase over 350 films from 50 countries, along with nightly special events, red carpet galas, post screening receptions, compelling conversations with filmmakers, international spotlights, industry seminars and retrospectives. The Festival offers filmgoers unique opportunities to mingle with celebrities, filmmakers from around the globe and film industry professionals in a beautiful seaside locale. The NBFF is sponsored in part by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Fashion Island and the Los Angeles Times.

Tickets to the Closing Night Film and Celebration are $95 and can be purchased in advance at the Festival’s website. The minimum age for guests is 21 years old.

Passes and tickets for film screenings, galas and special events are available online at

About the Newport Beach Film Festival
Celebrated as one of the leading lifestyle film festivals in the United States, the Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program, a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the NBFF focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of studio and independent films from around the globe. The 17th annual Newport Beach Film Festival runs April 21st- April 28th and will spotlight over 350 films from around the world.

About Newport Beach, California
Nestled among golden stretches of pristine Pacific coastline between Los Angeles and San Diego, Newport Beach epitomizes the casually sophisticated lifestyle of Southern California. This idyllic seaside destination is widely celebrated for its natural beauty and vibrant yachting community alongside stylish accommodations, eclectic coastal cuisine and upscale shopping. Ranked among the “Top 10 Resort Towns in the U.S.,” Newport Beach also is distinguished as one of the country’s “Top 10 Best Family Beaches.” A mild climate and picturesque backdrop minutes from John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA) offers year-round appeal. For more information on Newport Beach or for a complimentary visitor guide, visit, or call (800) 94-COAST.

Cast and crew from “The Fixer” are scheduled to appear at the red carpet and screening. Press check in will be from 5:30pm - 6:30pm and red carpet arrivals will take place from 6:30pm - 7:30pm. The screening will commence at 7:30pm. All press must be credentialed prior to covering the Closing Night event. Press can register for credentials online at


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

EPIX Announces "The 4%: Film's Gender Problem" Documenary Series

EPIX to Air “THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM” – An Original Series of 6 Short Documentaries with First Person Insights About Gender Inequality in Hollywood Debuts March 8, on International Women’s Day 2016

Produced by Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, Directed by Caroline Suh and Featuring Interviews with Jill Soloway, Paul Feig, Toni Collette, Anjelica Huston, Catherine Hardwicke, Judd Apatow, Amy Heckerling, Julie Delpy, Lake Bell, Mira Nair, Amanda Peet, Patricia Clarkson, Mo’Nique, Anne Sweeney, James Franco, Christine Vachon, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Kristin Wiig and more…

Informed by Research Conducted by USC Annenberg Professor, Dr. Stacy L. Smith

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Premium TV network EPIX® announced today that THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM, a series of 6 original short films designed to explore the issues around the current gender gap in Hollywood, has completed production. The 6 shorts will air on the network and across all EPIX platforms on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2016 – and run throughout the month, coinciding with Women’s History Month. The first short will be presented at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival’s “Women at Sundance Brunch” on January 25, 2016.

Produced by Alex Gibney’s award-winning Jigsaw Productions (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Taxi To the Darkside, Enron: Smartest Men In the Room), the series spotlights directors and creative personalities – both women and men – who share first-person insights, questions and anecdotes about the role of women in Hollywood.

Participants include: Judd Apatow, Joe Arcidiacono, Lake Bell, Amy Berg, Patricia Clarkson, Toni Collette, Jonathan Dayton, Julie Delpy, Valerie Faris, Paul Feig, America Ferrera, James Franco, Donna Gigliotti, Geoffrey Gilmore, Debra Granik, Catherine Hardwicke, Mary Harron, Amy Heckerling, Dawn Hudson, Anjelica Huston, Vicky Jenson, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Rebecca Keegan, Jon Kilik, Ellen Kuras, Mimi Leder, Franklin Leonard, Tina Mabry, Victoria Mahoney, Michael Mann, Lori McCreary, Mo’Nique, Michael Moore, Rachel Morrison, Mira Nair, Amanda Peet, Kimberly Peirce, Keri Putnam, Pamela Romanowsky, Cathy Schulman, A.O. Scott, Melissa Silverstein, Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Jill Soloway, Anne Sweeney, Anne Thompson, Rosemarie Troche, Christine Vachon, Mandy Walker and Kristen Wiig.

The series is informed by research conducted by USC Annenberg’s Dr. Stacy L. Smith, a renowned expert in the field, and which was supported by Women in Film Los Angeles and Sundance Institute. The series also has the support of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media and Meryl Streep.

Even though it is widely recognized that female directors are strikingly under-represented in Hollywood, the numbers still manage to surprise. According to a multi-year study led by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and conducted by the USC Annenberg Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative, across 1,300 top-grossing films from 2002 to 2014, only 4.1% of all directors were female. This calculates into a gender ratio of 23.3 male directors to every 1 female director.

Each film will focus on a different theme, with segments varying in tone – from thoughtful, to controversial, to funny, sometimes all at once.

Mark S. Greenberg, President and CEO, EPIX, said, “EPIX has supported Stacy’s research for years and these shorts offer a richer, more authentic portrayal about the role of women and girls in media today. Support for this project has also brought together the talented Alex Gibney, and a prestigious list of some of the most gifted artists and creatives from the worlds of entertainment and the arts. Our objective is to help provide a forum for the discussion of ideas and potential solutions, as we collectively work towards closing the gap that exists today.”

Dr. Stacy L. Smith, the Initiative’s Founder and Director and lead researcher on the investigation, said, “The series offers an opportunity for a national audience to hear from the entertainment industry directly about the issues women face both as filmmakers and in other creative roles. My research is clear: females face a very real fiscal cliff as they pursue work at the highest echelons of this industry. I am proud that my research is associated with a team and a network that cares about female filmmakers and creating systemic change.”

According to research from Dr. Stacy L. Smith:

    In the 100 top films of 2014, only 2 women worked as directors.
    Across 700 films and 779 directors from 2007 to 2014, only 3 were Black or African American female directors.
    Women were only 11% of writers and less than 20% of producers across the 100 top-grossing films of 2014.
    Only 30% of all on-screen speaking characters in 700 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2014 were girls or women.
    A total of 21 of the 100 top films of 2014 featured a female lead or roughly equal co-lead.
    Less than a quarter of all speaking characters were female in the top animated films of 2014.
    Only 22% of speaking characters in top action/adventure films of 2014 were female.
    34% of characters in top 2014 comedies were female.

Other data on female directors shows:

    Only four women have been nominated for a Best Director Oscar® in the past 85 years, with only one winner among them.

“THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM points to the fact there is an undeniably gaping disparity in Hollywood. It’s one that many – including those in Hollywood and at the ACLU and EEOC – believe needs to change. What better way to draw attention to the issue than to have some of the business' most recognizable voices come together in support of more diversity in making movies,” notes director Caroline Suh. “I’m very happy that the project found a partner in Jigsaw, a company known for its activism in exploring human rights violations and the abuse of power. Jigsaw is an amazing group of diverse yet like-minded people whom I’ve loved working with. Further pleased to be working with the support of EPIX, led by Mark Greenberg, who has been committed to these issues for a long time. There’s also a great team of executives and production people who have rallied around the cause.”

THE 4%: FILM’S GENDER PROBLEM is a series of EPIX Original short documentary films produced by Jigsaw Productions. Caroline Suh is the director and Erika Frankel is the producer. Executive Producers are Stacey Offman, Laura Michalchyshyn, Lynne Kirby, Caroline Suh, Betsy West and Alex Gibney. Jocelyn Diaz, Ross Bernard and Jill Burkhart are Executive Producers for EPIX.

About USC Annenberg Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative
Dr. Stacy L. Smith is the Founder and Director of the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California. Dr. Smith's work examines gender and race on screen and behind the camera in cinematic content as well as barriers and opportunities facing women and people of color in the entertainment industry. She also conducts economic analyses related to diversity and the financial performance of films. Dr. Smith has written more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and reports on content patterns and effects of the media. In terms of the popular press, Dr. Smith’s research has been written about in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times,, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety,,, The Boston Globe, NPR, and USA Today, to name a few. She has a co-edited essay in Maria Shriver’s book, A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything (2009). Dr. Smith’s most recent research reports include a landmark study with Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles, a study of 700 top-grossing films conducted at USC Annenberg, and multiple investigations with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Her work is also generously supported by EPIX, The Harnisch Foundation, LUNAFEST, The Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation, and other individuals. To learn more, visit or follow on Twitter @MDSCInitiative.

Jigsaw Productions is helmed by Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney. Jigsaw has produced some of the most acclaimed documentary films in recent years, including the Academy and Emmy Award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Showtime’s Emmy-winning History of the Eagles, the Sundance-premiering We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, and the explosive film about Lance Armstrong’s long fall from grace, The Armstrong Lie. More recent Jigsaw releases include the controversial and three-time Emmy winner Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, one of the most watched documentaries in HBO’s history, the Peabody Award-winning Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, the Emmy-nominated two-part series Sinatra: All or Nothing At All for HBO, and Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine for CNN Films, in theaters now. Television projects currently in production include: The New Yorker Presents for Amazon, which adapts the venerable The New Yorker magazine to the screen; Cooked, a four-part food docu-series based on the award-winning Michael Pollan book of the same name for Netflix; and the four-part Parched: The Water Wars for National Geographic.

About EPIX
EPIX is a premium movie and original programming entertainment network delivering the latest movie releases, classic film franchises, original documentaries, comedy and music events on TV, on demand, online and on digital devices. Launched in October 2009, EPIX has pioneered the development and proliferation of “TV Everywhere.” It was the first premium network to provide multi-platform access to its content online at and to launch on Xbox, PlayStation®, Android phones and tablets, and Roku® players. EPIX is also available across Chromecast, Apple® iPhones® and iPads®, Android TV and more and is the only premium service providing all its programming on all platforms, delivering more movies than any other premium network, with thousands of titles available for streaming.

EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom Inc., its Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM). Through relationships with cable, satellite and telco partners, EPIX is available to over 50 million homes nationwide. For more information about EPIX, go to Follow EPIX on Twitter @EpixHD ( and on Facebook (, YouTube (, Instagram (, Google+ (, Pinterest ( and Vine (


Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: "The Wicker Man" Remake is Whickety Whickety Whack

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 201 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux (support on Patreon)

The Wicker Man (2006)
Running time:  102 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for disturbing images and violence, language, and thematic issues
DIRECTOR:  Neil LaBute
WRITER:  Neil LaBute (based upon the screenplay by Anthony Shaffer)
PRODUCERS:  Nicolas Cage, Norm Golightly, Avi Lerner, Randall Emmett, John Thompson, and Boaz Davidson
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Paul Sarossy, B.S.C., C.S.C. (director of photography)
EDITOR:  Joel Plotch
COMPOSER:  Angelo Badalamenti

MYSTERY/HORROR/THRILLER with elements of drama

Starring:  Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan, Frances Conroy, Molly Parker, Leelee Sobieski, Diane Delano, Michael Wiseman, and Erika-Shaye Gair

The subject of this movie review is The Wicker Man, a 2006 horror film and mystery thriller from director Neil LaBute.  The film is a remake of the 1973 British film, The Wicker Man, and this remake sources both the 1973 screenplay by Anthony Shaffer and the 1967 horror novel, Ritual, that was the source material for the original film.  In the 2006 version of The Wicker Man, a policeman searches a small island for his missing daughter, but meets resistance from the island's secretive neo-pagan community.

After failing to save a little girl from a fiery car crash, California Highway Patrol officer Edward Malus (Nicolas Cage) sinks into months of pill-popping.  He finds his chance at redemption when another opportunity arrives to save a little girl in danger.  He receives a mysterious and desperate letter from his former fiancée, Willow (Kate Beahan): her daughter, Rowan (Erika-Shaye Gair), is missing.  Willow begs Edward to come to her home on a private island in Washington’s Puget Sound, Summerisle.  Edward soon finds himself on a seaplane headed for the islands of the Pacific Northwest.

He finds, however, the community on Summerisle to be exceedingly strange.  The local culture, built around honey harvesting, is dominated by its matriarch, Sister Summerisle (Ellen Burstyn), and the community is in fact a commune and a matriarchy where the women apparently rule over the men who speak nary a word.  Malus finds Willow, now Sister Willow, vague about the disappearance of her daughter, saying only that she believes her fellow islanders have taken Rowan.  The secretive women of Summerisle only ridicule his investigation insisting that Rowan doesn’t exist or that she did but is no longer alive.

Edward also finds the islanders bound by arcane tradition, and they are preparing for a festival to which they refer as “the Day of Death and Rebirth.”  As Edward navigates these bizarre (to him) ancient traditions, he believes that he is getting closer to finding Rowan, but he is also moving towards something unspeakable and perhaps closer to a mysterious figure known as The Wicker Man.

If you’ve ever seen the Robin Hardy-directed British film, The Wicker Man, which stars Edward Woodward as a strongly-devout Christian (and virginal) cop investigating the disappearance of a little girl and Christopher Lee as the leader of a pagan community on an isolated Scottish isle, you’re probably angry that anyone would remake the cult classic.  The original (written by famed playwright Anthony Shaffer who was in turn influenced by actor/writer David Pinner’s novel, Ritual) was genuinely creepy (and occasionally kitschy) with a killer ending.  This film is required viewing for true film fanatics who must experience the pagan villagers swaying like mad trees in their happy, smiling dance of death.

Neil Labute’s remake, also entitled The Wicker Man, is an American “re-imagining” that does have its inventive moments, but is mostly so-so – the kind of thing that seems like a strange CBS television movie.  Some of LaBute’s (an indie director known for such films as In the Company of Men and Your Friends & Neighbors) new touches and ideas are rather sweet.  There is something uncomfortably charming about Summerisle as an old-fashioned agrarian society (this one sustains itself by harvesting honey).  Building the film’s costume and production design around the beehive motif adds for some cool visuals.  The beehives are in a field in which the layout resembles a honeycomb (super cool!).  The villagers are still creepy, but whereas they seemed like clueless Jonestown yokels in the original, they’re more dangerous, like Charles Manson’s followers.

Ellen Burstyn gives a simply delicious performance as Sister Summerisle, her every appearance dominates the screen and she literally eats up a script that cannot contain her performance nor satisfy her fire.  Nicolas Cage is actually pretty good as Edward Malus, but once again I think he would have played better had LaBute written stronger supporting characters to go up against Malus, as well as given some of them more lines.  The implausible aspects of this concept show more here than they did in the original.  Also, like the original, this would work better as a longer film, and like the original, the sight of The Wicker Man and that killer ending still hit hard.

5 of 10

Saturday, September 23, 2006

2007 Razzie Awards:  5 nominations: “Worst Picture,” “Worst Actor” (Nicolas Cage), “Worst Screen Couple” (Nicolas Cage... and his bear suit), “Worst Remake or Rip-Off,” and “Worst Screenplay” (Neil LaBute based on the original screenplay by Anthony Shaffer)

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Selma," "Still Alice" Win Best Movie Awards from Women Film Critics Circle

The Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC) is an association of women film critics, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media.  Founded in 2004, this group is the first women critics’ organization in the United States.

The 2014 Women Film Critics Circle Award winners were announced December 13, 2014.

Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2014:

Still Alice

Selma: Ava Duvernay

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]
Ida: Rebecca Lenkiewicz [Co-screenwriter]

Julianne Moore: Still Alice

Eddie Redmayne: The Theory Of Everything

Mira Grosin: We Are The Best

Jenny Slate: Obvious Child

Two Days, One Night

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

Horrible Bosses 2
Love Is Strange

Dumb And Dumber To


The Skeleton Twins


Life Itself
The Skeleton Twins
Winnie: Boxtrolls

Big Hero 6

The Homesman


LAURA POITRAS: For bringing the Edward Snowden NSA revelations to light in Citizenfour, and driven into exile in Germany for doing so.

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: A film that most passionately opposes violence against women:
Private Violence

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America:
Anita: Speaking Truth To Power

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity:

For her work with The Lower East Side Girls Club; the environmental group Global Cool; the ONE Campaign; Oxfam; Amnesty International; Voto Latino; V-Day, a global non-profit movement that raises funds for women's anti-violence groups; RESPECT! Campaign, a movement aimed at preventing domestic violence; and countless other organizations.

Oprah Winfrey

COURAGE IN ACTING: [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]:
Julianne Moore: Still Alice

Oprah Winfrey: Selma

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD: [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]:
Felicity Jones: The Theory Of Everything

Jessica Chastain: Interstellar

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Nymphomaniac
Uma Thurman: Nymphomaniac


*Best Female Images: Nymphomaniac

*Forty-Plus Female Empowerment Award: For the producers who give women over forty  meaningful roles in movies on a regular basis, in an industry where forty is the new  ninety-five - and as other than maniacs and witches.

*Merry Macho Award: Seth Rogen and James Franco: For advancing the cause of world peace with their presidential assassination comedy, The Interview. And who knows, while possibly mulling the  Interview II sequel comedy, the assassination of US President Obama. And for further extending  Hollywood as a wing of the US military and CIA, following leaked email revelations that the US State Department advocated Sony to use the film to help bring down the DPRK government.

Big Hero 6: 'Stop Whining. Woman Up!'

About the Special Mention Awards:
**ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower rack in her bathroom, to make it look like a suicide. He later confessed that he was having a “bad day.” Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film, Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.

**JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

**KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her.  And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days.  Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954.  She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Negromancer News Bits and Bites for December 14th to 20th, 2014 - Updated #9


From Variety:  "The Interview," Seth Rogen and James Franco's comedy about a silly assassination plot against Kim Jong-un (North Korean dictator), will not get a theatrical release.  It may not get any kind of release.

From Variety:  Steve Carell's North Korea-set thriller dropped by New Regency.

From Vulture:  Frank Rich interviewed Chris Rock.

From YahooMovies:  It was 75 year ago today that the Gone with the Wind premiere was held in Atlanta.  Oops, none of the black actors could attend, even eventual Oscar-winner, Hattie McDaniel.

From Variety:  FOX's Exodus: Gods and Kings was the #1 film at the box office for the weekend of Fri., Dec. 12th to 14th, 2014 with an estimated take of $24.5 million.

From Arstechnica:  Marvel reveals plot details about "Ant-Man."

From LATimes:  Sony emails about Obama.  Actually, they aren't terrible.


From Screengonzo:  News of a possible "meeting of the minds" between Marvel and Sony about Spider-Man.

From IGN:  Joss Whedon talks about a big surprise in Avengers: Age of Ultron.


From EntertainmentWeekly:  Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director, Jason Reitman stages a live reading of The Empire Strikes Back, with surprise performances by Mark Hamill and Rainn Wilson.

From EntertainmentWeekly:  10 things Andy Serkis can say about Episode 7.


From YahooSports:  Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan for third place on the National Basketball Association (NBA) scoring list.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

57th Grammy Nominations Announced; Beyonce Among Nominations Leaders

Beyoncé, Sam Smith, and Pharrell Williams Lead GRAMMY® Nominations with Six Each

Beck, Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and Pharrell Williams Vie for Album of the Year at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Feb. 8, 2015, Live on CBS

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nominations for the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards® were announced tonight by The Recording Academy® and reflected an eclectic mix of the best and brightest in music over the past year, as determined by The Academy's voting members. The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on "GRAMMY Sunday," Feb. 8, 2015, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

    “This year's nominees are a reflection of the music community's diversity and range of talent, and a testament to The Academy's voting process”

This year, Beyoncé, Sam Smith and Pharrell Williams top nominations, garnering six each. Iggy Azalea, Beck, Eric Church, Tom Coyne, Drake, Gordon Goodwin, Jay Z, Miranda Lambert, Sia, Usher, and Jack White earn four nominations each. Additionally, Azalea, Bastille, Brandy Clark, Haim, and Sam Smith vie for the Best New Artist award.

"This year's nominees are a reflection of the music community's diversity and range of talent, and a testament to The Academy's voting process," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "The Recording Academy is pleased to celebrate this talented crop of artists, nominated to receive music's greatest honor for their contributions to their respective genres. The tone for Music's Biggest Night® has undoubtedly been set, and we look forward to producing one of the most exciting telecasts in GRAMMY® history."

Nominations were revealed on a rolling basis throughout the day, starting with four categories on "CBS This Morning," followed by a series of video announcements posted by a variety of artists and celebrities on Twitter. The day culminated with the unveiling of Album Of The Year nominations on the one-hour entertainment special, "A Very GRAMMY Christmas," which featured performances of holiday classics and current pop songs.

Following is a sampling of nominations across 83 categories from the GRAMMY Awards' 30 Fields. For a complete nominations list, please visit For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.


Album Of The Year:
Morning Phase — Beck
Beyoncé — Beyoncé
X — Ed Sheeran
In The Lonely Hour — Sam Smith
Girl — Pharrell Williams

Record Of The Year:
"Fancy" — Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
"Chandelier" — Sia
"Stay With Me" (Darkchild Version) — Sam Smith
"Shake It Off" — Taylor Swift
"All About That Bass" — Meghan Trainor

Song Of The Year:
"All About That Bass" — Kevin Kadish & Meghan Trainor, songwriters (Meghan Trainor)
"Chandelier" — Sia Furler & Jesse Shatkin, songwriters (Sia)
"Shake It Off" — Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
"Stay With Me" (Darkchild Version) — James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters (Sam Smith)
"Take Me To Church" — Andrew Hozier-Byrne, songwriter (Hozier)

Best New Artist:
Iggy Azalea
Brandy Clark
Sam Smith


Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
"Fancy" — Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
"A Sky Full Of Stars" — Coldplay
"Say Something" — A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera
"Bang Bang" — Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
"Dark Horse" — Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J


Best Dance Recording:
"Never Say Never" — Basement Jaxx
"Rather Be" — Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne
"F For You" — Disclosure Featuring Mary J. Blige
"I Got U" — Duke Dumont Featuring Jax Jones
"Faded" — Zhu


Best Rock Performance:
"Gimme Something Good" — Ryan Adams
"Do I Wanna Know?" — Arctic Monkeys
"Blue Moon" — Beck
"Fever"— The Black Keys
"Lazaretto"— Jack White


Best Alternative Music Album:
This Is All Yours — Alt-J
Reflektor — Arcade Fire
Melophobia — Cage The Elephant
St. Vincent — St. Vincent
Lazaretto — Jack White


Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Sail Out — Jhené Aiko
Beyoncé — Beyoncé
X — Chris Brown
Mali Is… — Mali Music
Girl — Pharrell Williams


Best Rap Performance:
"3005" — Childish Gambino
"0 To 100/The Catch Up" — Drake
"Rap God" — Eminem
"I" — Kendrick Lamar
"All I Need Is You" — Lecrae

Best Rap Album:
The New Classic — Iggy Azalea
Because The Internet — Childish Gambino
Nobody's Smiling — Common
The Marshall Mathers LP2 — Eminem
Oxymoron — Schoolboy Q
Blacc Hollywood — Wiz Khalifa


Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
"Gentle On My Mind" — The Band Perry
"Somethin' Bad" — Miranda Lambert With Carrie Underwood
"Day Drinking" — Little Big Town
"Meanwhile Back At Mama's" — Tim McGraw Featuring Faith Hill
"Raise 'Em Up" — Keith Urban Featuring Eric Church

Best Country Album:
Riser — Dierks Bentley
The Outsiders — Eric Church
12 Stories — Brandy Clark
Platinum — Miranda Lambert
The Way I'm Livin' — Lee Ann Womack


Best Improvised Jazz Solo:
"The Eye Of The Hurricane" — Kenny Barron, soloist
"Fingerprints" — Chick Corea, soloist
"You & The Night & The Music" — Fred Hersch, soloist
"Recorda Me" — Joe Lovano, soloist
"Sleeping Giant" — Brad Mehldau, soloist


Best Gospel Album:
Help — Erica Campbell
Amazing (Live) — Ricky Dillard & New G
Withholding Nothing (Live) — William McDowell
Forever Yours — Smokie Norful
Vintage Worship — Anita Wilson

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
If We're Honest — Francesca Battistelli
Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. — For King & Country
Hurricane — Natalie Grant
Welcome To The New — MercyMe
Royal Tailor — Royal Tailor


Best Latin Pop Album:
Tangos — Rubén Blades
Elypse — Camila
Raíz — Lila Downs, Niña Pastori And Soledad
Loco De Amor — Juanes
Gracias Por Estar Aquí — Marco Antonio Solís


Best American Roots Performance:
"Statesboro Blues" — Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal
"A Feather's Not A Bird" — Rosanne Cash
"And When I Die" — Billy Childs Featuring Alison Krauss & Jerry Douglas
"The Old Me Better" — Keb' Mo' Featuring The California Feet Warmers
"Destination" — Nickel Creek


Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):
Actors Anonymous — James Franco
A Call To Action — Jimmy Carter
Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America — John Waters
Diary Of A Mad Diva — Joan Rivers
A Fighting Chance — Elizabeth Warren
We Will Survive: True Stories Of Encouragement, Inspiration, And The Power Of Song — Gloria Gaynor


Best Comedy Album:
Mandatory Fun — "Weird Al" Yankovic
Obsessed — Jim Gaffigan
Oh My God — Louis C.K.
Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time — Patton Oswalt
We Are Miracles — Sarah Silverman

This year's Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to Paul Epworth, John Hill, Jay Joyce, Greg Kurstin, and Max Martin.

This year's GRAMMY Awards process registered more than 20,000 submissions over a 12-month eligibility period (Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014). GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on Dec. 17, 2014 to The Recording Academy's voting members. Ballots are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 16, 2015, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the 57th GRAMMY Awards telecast.

The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, and Louis J. Horvitz is director.

"A Very GRAMMY Christmas," hosted by two-time GRAMMY winner LL COOL J featured the announcement of Album Of The Year nominees as well as performances by Ariana Grande with Big Sean, Maroon 5, Tim McGraw, Sam Smith, and Pharrell Williams.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like "The GRAMMYs" on Facebook, and join The GRAMMYs' social communities on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Barry Levinson's "The Humbling" to Premiere at 2014 Austin Film Festival

Austin Film Festival’s Opening Night Selections to Include Richard LaGravenese Presenting The Last 5 Years and the US Premiere of The Humbling

Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari to Present Rosewater as 2014 Closing Night Film

Edward Zwick to Receive “Extraordinary Contribution to Film” Award

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Austin Film Festival (October 23-30), the premier film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television and new media, released their 2014 Opening Night and Closing Night selections, their Extraordinary Contribution to Film Award Recipient, and new programming announcements.

The Opening Night Film will feature the US Premiere of Barry Levinson’s The Humbling on Thursday, October 23rd, based on the Philip Roth novel, starring Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig.

Also kicking off AFF’s 21st anniversary, writer/director Richard LaGravenese will present the Jason Robert Brown musical adaptation of The Last 5 Years starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.

Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari will present Stewart's directorial debut, Rosewater, as the Closing Night Selection on Thursday, October 30th.

Edward Zwick will accept the Extraordinary Contribution to Film Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival Awards Luncheon, held at the Austin Club. Previous honorees have included Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Danny Boyle, Oliver Stone, Sydney Pollack, and John Lasseter.

Zwick’s directorial credits feature About Last Night, Courage Under Fire, The Siege, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, Defiance and Love & Other Drugs, and the Academy® Award winning films Glory and Legends of the Fall. Producing credits include I Am Sam, Traffic, and Shakespeare in Love. Zwick most recently directed and produced Pawn Sacrifice.

Luke Wilson joins the 2014 Retrospective series, presenting The Pope of Greenwich Village alongside his short film Satellite Beach, which he wrote, directed, and starred in.

Scott Haze will present The Sound and the Fury, James Franco’s adaptation of the William Faulkner novel.

Austin Film Festival’s annual staged script-reading will feature the comedy Flarsky, by Dan Sterling (writer The Office, Girls, The Interview) in a live event co-presented by The Black List on Sunday, October 26th.

The full Film and Conference schedule is live on the AFF website,


AFF is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Badges and passes are available for purchase online at or by calling 1-800-310-FEST.

AFF’s 2014 partnerships include Austin Film Society (in association with Rosewater), AGLIFF, OnStory, Texas Book Festival, Harry Ransom Center, Houston Cinema Arts Society, The New Movement, The Wittliff Collections, and many more.