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Mirren, Bates, Nyong'o share life lessons at Elle dinner

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:18:11 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lupita Nyong'o, Helen Mirren and Kathy Bates shared life lessons with three generations of actresses at Elle magazine's Women in Hollywood awards. Mirren imparted general life tips such as "at the blackjack table, always split aces, eights and nines," and "ignore anyone who judges the way you look." The three Oscar winners were recognized alongside Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Anna Kendrick, Aja Naomi King and Kristen Stewart on Monday at the magazine's 23rd annual celebration of women's creative contributions in Hollywood. Nyong'o was introduced by her former mentor, director Mira Nair, and the actress talked about the experience of becoming a mentor herself. While starring in Nair's latest film, "Queen of Katwe," Nyong'o found herself guiding the young actors on set in Uganda — particularly Madina Nalwanga, who plays the title character. "Show young women than building community is stronger than the individual instinct to survive," Nyong'o said.

Tokyo festival produces heartwarming trilogy of Asian films

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 07:24:17 UT

TOKYO (AP) — Cannes-winning Brillante Mendoza is among the three directors tapped by the Tokyo International Film Festival to create "Reflections," a trilogy that depicts the intertwining of stories among Asian nations. Be it a Filipino worker in Japan or a Japanese bureaucrat in love with a Cambodian woman, the main characters are old and lonely, caught in an Asian nation other than their own, in films that reflect the real-life erasing of barriers in this region. The close-ups of actor Lou Veloso's forlorn face, speckled with the snowflakes of northern Japan, which he would never see in his tropical home, are tragically majestic. Because we need to live together. Yukisada noted that funding from outside Japan, such as China, and filming with non-Japanese staff and actors, are increasingly becoming part of his life, an experience that's feeding back into his directing. Kenji Ishizaka, professor at Japan Institute of the Moving Image, who oversaw the trilogy, insists independent Asian filmmaking has strengths and appeal, and the festival plans to produce another in 2018, with new directors.

Box Office Top 20: 'Madea' tops charts, 'Moonlight' shines

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 23:35:41 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween outmuscled the Tom Cruise vehicle Jack Reacher: Never Go Back at the box office this weekend. Perry's film netted $28.5 million — slightly higher than initial projections, while the "Jack Reacher" sequel came in slightly lower with $22.9 million, according to studio actuals Monday. Rounding out the top five were the adult thrillers "The Accountant" with $13.6 million and "The Girl on the Train" with $7.2 million. In limited release, the highly praised indie "Moonlight," expected to be a significant awards contender this year, got off to a sparkling start earning $402,075 from just four theaters. The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore: Never Go Back, Paramount, $22,872,490, 3,780 locations, $6,051 average, $22,872,490, 1 week. Origin Of Evil, Universal, $14,065,500, 3,167 locations, $4,441 average, $14,065,500, 1 week. Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

If I only had $85K: Fundraiser for 'Oz' Scarecrow costume

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:30:15 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Now that the Smithsonian has reached its crowd-funding goal to preserve the ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," the museum is asking for more money to conserve another relic from the beloved movie. The museum will seek another $85,000 to care for and display a Scarecrow costume worn by actor Ray Bolger and donated to the museum by his widow, Gwendolyn Bolger, in 1987. The slippers, one of four pairs made for the 1939 movie that are known to exist, are among the most popular items in the museum's collection. Not built to last, the sequin-covered shoes have deteriorated from exposure to light and moisture, and most of the $300,000 will go toward scientific research on how best to construct a new display case that will better protect them.

Ship that helped saved 7 in 'The Perfect Storm' to be sunk

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:03:06 UT

CAPE MAY POINT, N.J. (AP) — A ship that towed warships to safety during World War II and battled 40-foot waves to help rescue seven people in what was portrayed in the book and film "The Perfect Storm" is poised to be sunk off the New Jersey and Delaware coasts. Officials told The Record newspaper ( ) the 205-foot Coast Guard vessel Tamaroa will help grow a reef near Cape May Point by drawing large game fish and boosting recreational fishing. The sinking is planned around Oct. 30, the 25th anniversary of the storm in which the Tamaroa helped rescue the crew of a sailboat and a downed Air National Guard helicopter in waters off Massachusetts.

Japan animation auteur Hosoda sees beasts in child's growth

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:13:54 UT

"A child growing up is fascinating and stunning, a true wonder of the world," the burly but friendly Japanese animation director said recently in an interview at his suburban Tokyo Chizu Studio. All the films feature the trademark hand-drawn style of the art-school-trained Hosoda, especially stunning in the depiction of rural landscapes below cloud-filled skies that evokes luscious paintings. A decade into his feature-animation career, Hosoda continues to defy the time and cost-saving technological advantages of computer graphics, now the standard at studios like Pixar and Disney. Hosoda, honored internationally, including at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, as well as at home, winning the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, is also recognized for his collaboration on animation with acclaimed visual artist Takashi Murakami, who designed manga-like motifs for Louis Vuitton luxury bags. Hosoda, who sees Disney's 1991 "The Beauty and the Beast" as the film that influenced him the most, stressed it's important for artists like him to be aware of their position in international filmmaking, while staying true to the storytelling of Japanese settings, situations and characters that are close to his every day.

Tyler Perry's 'Madea' tops Cruise's 'Jack Reacher' sequel

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 19:52:05 UT

Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween opened in the top spot with an estimated $27.6 million, edging Cruise's Jack Reacher: To market the film, which reportedly cost $20 million to produce, Lionsgate leveraged the social media audiences of Perry and his cast as well as promotional videos like one featuring Jimmy Fallon as Trump alongside Madea that ended up going viral. The Madea character has provided box office dividends for years. A Madea Halloween proved to be the strongest of the slew of sequels this weekend, topping even the star power of Tom Cruise, whose Jack Reacher: Never Go Back took in $23 million for Paramount Pictures. The sequel, directed by Edward Zwick and costing $60 million, will also likely be making the bulk of its money from international audiences. Origin of Evil" with $14.1 million — just the latest in a string of highly fruitful and modestly budgeted horror pics this year, including "The Conjuring 2," ''Don't Breathe" and "Light's Out." The film, starring Isla Fisher and Zack Galifianakis as a pair of boring suburbanites intrigued by the arrival of a glamourous new couple played by Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot was savaged by critics. In limited release, the critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" got off to a robust start in four theaters with $414,740 and many sell-out showings. Dergarabedian noted that it's an interesting market for films right now, which have a lot of competition in theaters in addition to the distraction of the election. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore: Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

Palestinians aim to promote local cinema with new award

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 17:33:04 UT

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian film organization has launched a new cinema award in an attempt to stimulate the local filmmaking industry and promote cinema culture in the Palestinian territories. The Israeli occupation created this cycle of violence, and a new generation was born violent because of that, said May Odeh, the film's producer. A second prize was given to "Ambulance," a documentary about an ambulance driver in the Gaza Strip during the 2012 conflict between Israel and Hamas militants. "Most of the cinema houses in the Palestinian territories have been closed for either political or economic reasons," said Hanna Atallah, Filmlab's artistic director. Movie theaters were popular in the Palestinian territories from the 1960s to 1980s, but shut down after the first uprising against Israeli rule erupted in 1987. "Palestinian cinema started with documenting the misery of the Palestinians resulting from the Israeli occupation, and the picture of the Palestinian in those movies was either as a hero fighting the occupation or a victim of this occupation," he said.

Donald Glover cast as Lando Calrissian in Han Solo film

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:28:54 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Donald Glover is joining the "Star Wars" universe. Disney announced Friday that the writer, actor and rapper will play Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo "Star Wars" film. Alden Ehrenreich was previously cast as the title character. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller say the new film will explore Lando in his formative years, before the events depicted in "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." The untitled film is set for release in 2018.

Mumbai film fest opens amid protests over Pakistani talent

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:17:21 UT

Johar released a video message asking Hindu nationalist protesters to not disrupt the Oct. 28 release of his big-budget romantic drama "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil," or "Difficulties of the Heart," which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a small role. [...] a blanket ban against showing Indian content on Pakistani television networks and radio stations took effect Friday. [...] the regional political party Maharashtra Navnirman Samiti threatened to disturb any attempts to screen any film involving Pakistani talent. Film director Zoya Akhtar called out the hypocrisy of protesters shutting down films while ignoring the ongoing cricket matches involving teams from both countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's political party along with state authorities in Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, have issued statements assuring that violent protests would not be tolerated.

Tom Hanks sees US election warning in thriller 'Inferno'

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:47:46 UT

LONDON (AP) — Embedded within the manic action of "Inferno," the latest big-screen adaptation of a Dan Brown thriller, is a warning about the dangers of seeking simple solutions to complex problems. In his third screen outing as Langdon, Hanks is sent on a high-stakes treasure hunt centered around the life and works of Dante Alighieri, whose "Divine Comedy" created a teeming vision of hell that has influenced artists and writers for 700 years. Hanks, who played Langdon in "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels & Demons" — both directed by Ron Howard, as is "Inferno" — says he still finds pleasure in making the border-hopping thrillers. For the viewer, the movie offers the pleasures of a good old-fashioned caper — Hanks likens it to a scavenger hunt — in which the characters must decipher a string of clues in a race against time. For the actor, there's also the pleasure of absorbing large quantities of information so his character can dispense gobbets of exposition and expertise about everything from Dante's death mask to the nine circles of hell. Howard has assembled an international cast that includes Sidse Babett Knudsen (star of Danish political drama "Borgen") as an ambiguous World Health Organization boss, France's Omar Sy ("The Intouchables") as one of her agents, Romania's Ana Ularu as a mysterious assassin and Indian star Irfan Khan as an amoral international fixer.

'Queen of Katwe' stirs hope in slum where film was born

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 04:07:13 UT

"Queen of Katwe" follows the rise of Mutesi as a chess player amid grinding poverty, with her single mother barely able to support her and her two siblings. After Mutesi's brother is hit by a speeding motorcycle and hospitalized, the mother, played by Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o, stealthily pulls the boy from his hospital bed because she is not able to pay the bill. The film's pathos will be familiar to those who have lived in Katwe, where poverty drives young people to despair, if not violent crime. The film has received mostly favorable reviews in Uganda, where it premiered earlier this month at a red-carpet event in which Ugandans, many of whom had never acted before, shared the limelight with stars like Academy Award winner Nyong'o. Timothy Kalyegira, a prominent social critic in Uganda, drew widespread anger when he wrote online that "Queen of Katwe" is plagued by "lackluster acting by the Ugandans" and "the ineffective sequence of the scenes." "The biggest benefit from (Queen of Katwe) is that here is a film that puts forward a truly Ugandan story of hope, of discovery, of small people pulling themselves up by the bootstraps, taking on and conquering the world," said Daniel Kalinaki, a columnist with Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper.

Pakistan imposed blanket ban on Indian content over Kashmir

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 18:39:23 UT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's media regulation authority said Thursday it was imposing a blanket ban on Bollywood films and other Indian content on its television networks and radio stations amid increasing tension between the two nuclear-armed rivals on the issue of the disputed region of Kashmir. The ban will be enforced from Friday and any TV and radio station found violating it will be shut down, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, or PEMRA, said in a statement. PEMRA gave no reason for the move, but two government officials said the step was taken following reports that some Indian filmmakers were refusing to use Pakistani actors in movies. The two government officials said certain parts of the Indian film industry had been asking Pakistani actors and singers to leave India since last month's attack. Pakistani authorities say Indian forces have been carrying out human rights violations in the area for months.

'Manchester by the Sea' leads Gotham Awards nominations

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:29:08 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kenneth Lonergan's family drama "Manchester by the Sea" has picked up a leading four Gotham Independent Film Awards nominations, including best feature and best actor for star Casey Affleck.

Actress pleads not guilty in North Dakota pipeline protest

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:41:57 UT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Actress Shailene Woodley has pleaded not guilty in a North Dakota court to criminal trespass and riot charges after her arrest in a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux want construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline halted, saying it could taint the water supply and encroach on tribal burial sites.