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Disney Animation, Pixar chief John Lasseter taking leave

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 03:52:45 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Just days before Pixar's "Coco" is set to hit theaters, Pixar co-founder and Walt Disney Animation chief John Lasseter announced he is taking a six-month leave of absence citing "missteps" with employees. The boisterous, Hawaiian shirt-wearing personality behind some of the most beloved children's films of the past 30 years like "Toy Story" is the latest entertainment titan to be exposed for claims of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct in the workplace. In a vaguely-worded memo obtained by The Associated Press Tuesday, Lasseter says he knows he has made some employees feel disrespected and uncomfortable. "I deeply apologize if I have let you down.



The Latest: Rashida Jones denies report about Pixar chief

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 03:20:44 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on allegations against Pixar co-founder John Lasseter that have led him to take a leave of absence (all times local): 7:15 p.m. Rashida Jones is denying a report that she quit working on "Toy Story 4" because of unwanted advances by Pixar co-founder John Lasseter. Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack say in a statement first released to The New York Times on Tuesday that they left the company because of creative and philosophical differences. Their statement called on Pixar to do more to hire women and people of color for creative positions, including as directors. The statement came hours after the trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter reported that Lasseter made an "unwanted advance" toward Jones.



In erotic 'Call Me By Your Name,' sunshine and summer love

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:02:30 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — In the longest and most emotional close-up in "Call Me By Your Name," director Luca Guadagnino asked for three variations, one per take, from his young actor, Timothee Chalamet: dry, humid and wet. The Italian summer of "Call Me By Your Name," set in 1983, is unchanging: day-after-day of sunshine and languid bliss. But for the 17-year-old Elio (Chalamet), who's awakening to the beauty and heartbreak of love, the weather is churning. To capture it all, Guadagnino elected for simplicity. A single 35mm lens for the whole production. Minimal cuts. And one devastating close-up. "I shot this on film so if you listen closely, you will hear the sound of the camera whirling," says Guadagnino. "I love it.



'Call Me By Your Name' leads Indie Spirit Award nominations

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:01:32 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The romantic coming-of-age film "Call Me By Your Name" has a leading six Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, followed by Jordan Peele's satirical horror "Get Out" and the Robert Pattinson thriller "Good Time" with five nominations each. Actresses Tessa Thompson and Lily Collins announced the nominees for the 33rd installment of the awards show Tuesday. Luca Guadagnino's "Call Me By Your Name," a lush romance set in 1980s Italy, was also recognized for directing, cinematography and editing. Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer's received acting nominations for their performances.



The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:29:54 UT

iTunes Movies U.S. charts for week ending November 19, 2017: iTunes Movies US Charts: 1. Atomic Blonde 2. Wind River (2017) 3. Spider-Man: Homecoming 4. Logan Lucky 5. Wonder Woman (2017) 6. Cars 3 7. Baby Driver 8. Girls Trip 9. War for the Planet of the Apes 10. The Hitman's Bodyguard iTunes Movies US Charts — Independent: 1. Wind River (2017) 2. Band Aid 3. Kedi 4. Sweet Virginia 5. Almost Friends 6. The Trip to Spain 7. Pilgrimage 8. Gilbert 9. Columbus 10. Bushwick __ (copyright) 2017 Apple Inc.



Report: Weinstein paid $1M to accuser after 2015 case died

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:32:55 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein paid $1 million to silence an Italian model who accused him of groping her in 2015 after prosecutors decided not to charge him, and in the 1990s, his brother paid other accusers from his personal bank account, a magazine reported Tuesday. Ambra Battilana Gutierrez told The New Yorker she signed a nondisclosure agreement before knowing the media mogul had a pattern of sexually harassing and abusing women. But she felt at the time pressured to sign the agreement. "I didn't even understand almost what I was doing with all those papers," she told the New Yorker. "I was really disoriented. My English was very bad. All of the words in that agreement were super difficult to understand.



Arkansas man admits stealing Geena Davis' laptop

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:51:40 UT

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to stealing a laptop from actress Geena Davis. Investigators say 67-year-old Gerardo Mancia-Hernandez took the computer on a luggage cart after Davis arrived at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport on May 1. Investigators say the actress placed her computer on the cart when she stopped to take a picture next to a poster for Arkansas' Bentonville Film Festival, which she co-founded in 2015. Airport security footage shows a man placing his baggage on the same luggage cart and leaving the terminal. Davis' assistant notified airport police after Davis realized she didn't have the $2,200 laptop.



Crash report turns out to be scene for Billy Crystal film

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:23:31 UT

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (AP) — A report of a car crashing into a pizza and ice cream shop on Long Island turned out to be a scene for a film starring Billy Crystal. Police in Long Beach tell Newsday that officers and firefighters were dispatched Monday morning after someone reported a vehicle had crashed into Slices & Ices. Police department officials say they were aware that a movie was being filmed there, but had to be sure a real accident hadn't occurred. An officer was posted at the location to direct motorists around the scene, which may have led someone to believe that there had been a crash. Crystal grew up in a Long Beach neighborhood near where the scene was being shot for a comedy titled "We Are Unsatisfied.




Rare 'Dracula' poster sells for $525,800 at auction

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:08:09 UT

DALLAS (AP) — An auction house says a rare poster for the 1931 horror film "Dracula" has sold for $525,800. Dallas-based Heritage Auctions said the sale Saturday appears be the highest amount a movie poster has garnered at auction. Heritage says the poster, which features the image of actor Bela Lugosi as Dracula, is one of only two known to be left of that particular version. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous. Heritage says the poster was put up for auction by the family of longtime cinematographer and photographer George J. Mitchell Jr., who had owned the poster since the 1950s.



Bounty offered for beheadings of Bollywood director, actress

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:48:28 UT

NEW DELHI (AP) — A member of India's Hindu nationalist ruling party offered 100 million rupees ($1.5 million) to anyone who beheads the lead actress and the director of an unreleased Bollywood film "Padmavati" rumored to depict a relationship between a Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler. Suraj Pal Amu, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader from the northern state of Haryana, offered the bounty against actress Deepika Padukone and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Sunday. The film's producers postponed the release of the film, which was set to be in theaters Dec. 1, and Amu was reported by local media to have said at a public rally that the film would not be allowed to be released at all.



Box Office Top 20: 'Justice League' falls to $93.8 million

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:53:41 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Justice League" opened even lower than Warner Bros. estimated on Sunday. According to Monday's final tally of the weekend's box office receipts, the costly superhero ensemble pic grossed $93.8 million from 4,051 North American theaters making it the first film in the DC Extended Universe to debut under $100 million. It left room for the family friendly drama "Wonder" to make a surprisingly strong showing in second place with a $27.5 million launch. "Thor: Ragnarok" fell to third place in its third weekend in theaters with $21.7 million, while "Daddy's Home 2," in its second weekend, took fourth with $14.4 million. Also in weekend two, "Murder on the Orient Express" placed fifth with $13.8 million.



In 'Coco,' Pixar journeys to Mexico and beyond the grave

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 22:02:40 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Pixar films have never been shy about death. The "Toy Story" films are, in part, about mortality. The poetic highlight of "Up" is a wordless sequence of a spouse's passing. The Earth, itself, was left for dead in "Wall-E." But Pixar plunges fully into the afterlife in "Coco," a brightly colored fable surrounding the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The imagery of skeletons and graves in a kids' movie might have put off other animation studios. But director Lee Unkrich ("Toy Story 3," ''Monsters, Inc.") envisioned a film about family heritage and keeping alive the memories of deceased loved ones so they aren't, as he says, "just fading photos in an album.



'The Wire' star makes documentary 'Baltimore Rising'

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:34:59 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Sonja Sohn has gone from being in front of the camera to behind it. The actress, who played a Baltimore detective on "The Wire," has become a documentary filmmaker and her debut offering is a powerful look at her beloved adopted city. "Baltimore Rising," which was to debut Monday on HBO, examines a fearful community in the wake of riots after the death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured while in police custody in 2015. Sohn and her team accumulated some 600 hours of footage over a year to make the 90-minute film. Sohn leveraged the good will she created from "The Wire" as well as her own help in the community to gain amazing access to both police and social activists.



Review: As moving as it is colorful, 'Coco' a joy for all

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:32:14 UT

At first, Disney-Pixar's latest, "Coco ," sounds a lot like the 2014 Fox film "The Book of Life." Both are animated features steeped in the aesthetics and customs of Day of the Dead: the Mexican tradition of creating elaborate altars, painted skulls and paths of marigolds to welcome the spirits of dead loved ones for a temporary visit to the world of the living. And both films focus on a young boy who follows his musical dreams at the risk of disappointing his family.



'Justice League' disappoints in US with $96 million opening

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:55:13 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Only in the modern era of superhero films could a $96 million opening weekend be considered anything less than impressive. But that's the situation Warner Bros. and DC's "Justice League" find themselves in. The big budget superhero mashup came in well under expectations, which had pegged it for a $110 million launch in North American theaters. If studio estimates hold, it will also have the dubious distinction of being the lowest-opening film in the DC Extended Universe. It has been a rollercoaster for the DC Universe since "Man of Steel" kicked off the comic book franchise in 2013, with films battling high expectations, critical reviews and the impossible standard of competing against the Marvel Cinematic Universe.