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Mexico prosecutors eye son in killing of film director, wife

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:56:25 UT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The murder of film director Leon Serment and his wife's subsequent death are believed to have been contract killings arranged by their son for the equivalent of about $5,200 per victim, Mexico City's top prosecutor said Friday. Prosecutor Rodolfo Rios alleged at a news conference that the unnamed son and his girlfriend were the "intellectual authors" of the murders and said four suspects, including those who ordered and those who carried out the killings, were arrested Thursday. Investigators also determined that just a half-hour after the killing, the attackers withdrew money from ATMs and made a purchase at a convenience store using the director's bank cards, indicating that they had access to his PINs.

With grim topicality, 'The13th' opens New York Film Festival

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:21:20 UT

Ava DuVernay's documentary on mass incarceration, "The 13th," opened the festival, the first documentary to ever mark the start of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's prestigious celebration. Taking its name from the 13th amendment, DuVernay's film traces the criminalization of African Americans from the abolishment of slavery up to today's overcrowded prisons and Black Lives Matter protests. Lee's adaption of Ben Fountain's novel about an Iraq war hero on a victory tour in Dallas, was made in 3-D and with a much faster frame-rate than the traditional 24-frames-per-second to boost definition. There's Kenneth Lonergan's heart-breaking "Manchester by the Sea," Barry Jenkins' lyrical coming-of-age tale "Moonlight" and Maren Ade's celebrated comedy "Toni Erdmann." [...] unlike those buzz factories, the New York Film Festival, led by festival director Kent Jones, generally offers a more sober place for assessment and celebration of some of the year's best films from around the world.

Savannah Film Festival to open with Portman as 'Jackie'

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:02:00 UT

The Savannah College of Art and Design announced the lineup Friday for its 19th film festival, which is to run from Oct. 22 through Oct. 29. Other films scheduled for the 2016 festival include the original musical "La La Land" starring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and John Legend.

Tim Burton slammed for comments on new movie's diversity

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:29:09 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Tim Burton is getting criticized on social media over his explanation on why his new movie's cast is overwhelmingly white. The major characters in Burton's "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" are all white, save for Samuel L. Jackson's Barron.

Hart? Hanks? New film academy members offer Oscar host ideas

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:04:19 UT

New film academy members offer Oscar host ideas (AP) — The newest members of the film academy will cast their first Oscar ballots this season, but the choice for Oscar host — usually decided in October — will be strictly up to Oscar brass. Yet that didn't stop a few of the new recruits from chiming in on the process at a private welcome reception held earlier this week by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . "Oh, my God!" said Oscar nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy at the prospect of picking an Academy Awards host.

6 emerging writers win film academy's Nicholl Fellowships

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:08:11 UT

Winners will receive the first installment of their prize money and hear their work performed aloud at a Nov. 3 event at the film academy's headquarters in Beverly Hills, California.

Nate Parker unapologetic in '60 Minutes' interview

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:01:55 UT

Parker, who stars in, directed, co-wrote and co-produced "The Birth of a Nation," instead argued that his film, about Nat Turner's slave rebellion, deserves more attention than himself and the rape accusation, made when he was a student at Penn State. "The Birth of a Nation" first debuted in January at the Sundance Film Festival where it was hailed as an antidote to the then-raging "OscarsSoWhite" backlash. Parker's film immediately sparked widespread Oscar expectations and a bidding war among distributors. Fox Searchlight, an Academy Awards regular, landed it for a festival record $17.5 million, with the assurance of a nation-wide release. [...] the newfound attention on Parker put a spotlight on a rape case from when he was a sophomore and wrestler at Penn State University. Parker was acquitted, though his college roommate, Celestin (who has a story credit on "The Birth of a Nation") was initially found guilty of sexual assault. "Given what happened to my sister, and how no one was held accountable for it, I find this invention self-serving and sinister, and I take it as a cruel insult to my sister's memory," she wrote in the column in Variety.

'Amanda Knox' pulls back the curtain on a media circus

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:02:58 UT

[...] is the provocative opening of "Amanda Knox," a documentary premiering Friday on Netflix that gives the participants of one of the most sensational trials of the century a chance to tell their story, straightforwardly, directly to the camera. For a case that often seemed like a horror movie played out in the nightly news, "Amanda Knox" allows the drama's main characters to step out from their media-crafted roles. Three years after Rudy Guede was convicted for the murder and sexual assault of Kercher, the convictions of Knox and Sollecito were overturned in 2011, allowing Knox to return home to Seattle after spending four years in jail. The case captivated the world with its grisly details (prosecutors claimed Kercher was killed in a bloody sex game), its attractive alleged murderer (dubbed "Foxy Noxy" by the tabloids) and its culture clash, which pitted a young American abroad against a quaint old Italian city. "The power of narrative to embed these incredibly strong opinions no matter what side you're on is something we're seeing in every aspect of our daily lives now," says McGinn, pointing to the U.S. presidential election. The Daily Mail, for example, published photographs — the kind usually reserved for jet-setting movie stars — of Knox and her current boyfriend, writer Christopher Robinson, with whom she lives in Seattle, arriving in Toronto.

Brad Pitt skips film premiere to focus on 'family situation'

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 05:37:47 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A producer says "we all respect his privacy" as Brad Pitt skipped his first public appearance after last week's split with Angelina Jolie Pitt. The IMAX Experience, said in a statement Wednesday that he's grateful to have been part of the project, but is currently focused on my family situation and don't want to distract attention away from this extraordinary film. Because the 90-minute (version of "Voyage of Time") premiered in Venice, so it was like a one hour hop over from the south of France to Venice. Jolie Pitt cited irreconcilable differences in her Sept. 20 filing to end their two-year marriage, and she is seeking sole custody of the couple's six children. The incident led to allegations that Pitt was abusive to his 15-year-old son, and several media outlets have also reported the actor is under investigation by a child welfare agency.

Disney to make live-action 'Lion King,' Favreau directing

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:18:43 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The animated classic "The Lion King" will be the latest Disney film to get a live-action remake. Disney announced Wednesday that Jon Favreau, who helmed the box-office hit "Jungle Book" remake, will direct the new "Lion King."

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:16:04 UT

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store iTunes Movies U.S. charts for week ending September 25, 2016: iTunes Movies US Charts: Civil War The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates iTunes Movies US Charts - Independent:

Review: A Holocaust denier is brought to justice in 'Denial'

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:33:41 UT

Mick Jackson's "Denial" brings all the decorous polish of a British courtroom drama to the pungent libel case of a Holocaust denier. Because of the nature of libel cases in the United Kingdom (where Irving filed the suit), the burden of proof is on the defender, not the plaintiff. When he brings the lawsuit against her publisher, Penguin Books, the assembled legal team begins hashing out a strategy of how to argue history in a courtroom, how to prove the Holocaust. Despite Lipstadt's protests, the attorneys want neither her nor Holocaust survivors to take the stand to subject themselves to Irving's questions. "Denial" is carried less by the normal theatrics of courtroom dramas than a staunch sense of duty to protect the truth. Denial," a Bleecker Street release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "mild action and some thematic elements.

AP Exclusive: New film academy members talk #OscarsSoWhite

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:59:56 UT

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — The newest members of the film academy say the #OscarsSoWhite crisis inspired them to seek membership. At a private reception Monday for the latest academy inductees, actors Chadwick Boseman and Rita Wilson were among the new members who told The Associated Press they joined the organization to advance the diversity discussion in the film industry. "I felt obligated to join," said Boseman, who plays Thurgood Marshall and Marvel hero Black Panther in upcoming films. "After a certain number of years when you see something happen and you feel like there are worthy films that should be nominated or presented, yeah, you have to join. You have to be a voice.

'Deepwater Horizon' film stirs emotion in victims' families

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:26:34 UT

(AP) — Arleen Weise was apprehensive when she learned Hollywood was making a movie about the offshore explosion that killed her son, Adam, and 10 other men aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. While their reactions to the movie vary, Weise and other relatives of the 11 workers who died in the April 20, 2010, rig explosion hope it will remind people about the disaster's human toll. Many family members believe a focus on the catastrophic environmental damage from BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico unjustly overshadowed their loved ones' deaths. The film is meant to honor and pay tribute to all the men and women who worked aboard the Deepwater Horizon, especially the heroic men, like Jason, who lost their lives. Relatives said photographs of the 11 men are shown on screen at the end of the movie. Besides Anderson and Adam Weise, they were Aaron Dale Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Ray Curtis, Gordon Jones, Roy Wyatt Kemp, Karl Kleppinger Jr., Keith Blair Manuel, Dewey Revette and Shane Roshto. Federal prosecutors, who later dropped the manslaughter charges, accused Vidrine and Robert Kaluza of botching a crucial safety test before the explosion.

Review: Riveting 'Deepwater Horizon' captivates throughout

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:53:51 UT

When the BP oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, 11 people died and millions of gallons of oil spewed into the waters and up against the Gulf shores in the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Based on a New York Times article, "Deepwater Horizon's Final Hours," the film is about the crew — the men and women aboard just doing their jobs. Mark Wahlberg anchors as Mike Williams, a no-nonsense engineer, who leaves his wife (Kate Hudson) and precocious daughter at home for his dangerous job on the rig. "Deepwater Horizon" rises above expectations of what a movie like this is capable of at every turn — restrained where you think it might go too big or sentimental, and genuinely affecting when you think you're gearing up for an eye-roll. "Deepwater Horizon" achieves that impossible balance of being a tribute to the workers who both perished and survived that day and a searing critique of the rotten system that put them there in the first place. Deepwater Horizon," a Lionsgate release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "for prolonged intense disaster sequences and related disturbing images, and brief strong language.