U.S. Targets $1 Billion in Assets in Malaysian Embezzlement Case After a few years of investigations (and it's not the only country investigating), the USA Department of Justice announced that it will be seeking to seize more than US$1 billion worth of assets 'bought with money stolen from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund by people close to that country’s embattled prime minister, Najib Razak' (perhaps the unnamed 'Malaysian Official 1', as according to US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch - recording; press release). The route of the money being laundered can be traced all the way to Hollywood, in a little movie you may have heard of. [more inside]
John Cho, star of the new Star Trek movies, Harold & Kumar, and Selfie, as well as the recent internet meme #starringjohncho, gives an honest, insightful interview about his experience as a Korean-American actor in Hollywood. Plus, an answer to the question: should Mr. Sulu have a human husband?
Fifty years ago, Rona Barrett forged a Hollywood gossip empire. Then she left it all behind, her innovations attributed to others, her legacy almost entirely overlooked. But as she nears 80, there’s very little Miss Rona regrets. [sl Anne Helen Petersen@BuzzFeed]
Cartoonist Boulet (previously, previously, related previously) thinks about the problem with all these elaborate traps in adventure movies.
“Safe”- MC Dumbfounded [NSFW Lyrics] [YouTube] Rapper Dumbfoundead Tackles Hollywood Racism in Amazing New Video [via: New York Magazine]
“I loved her so much as a child,” Olivia says wistfully. Ever the lady, she has steadfastly refused to discuss her sister or their relationship since the 1950s. Not so Joan. In a 1978 interview with People—a forceful blast of sua culpa meant to publicize No Bed of Roses—Joan flatly contradicted Olivia’s recollection of sibling tenderness, saying, “I regret that I remember not one act of kindness from Olivia all through my childhood.”--Olivia de Havilland and the Most Notorious Sibling Rivalry in Hollywood
Here’s a list of 245 movies directed by women, on Netflix right now. The list is compiled by Film Fatales.
John Cho could be your hero, your spy, your boyfriend. Given that a few well-known directors are unfamiliar with any "Asian movie stars", and others are less than thrilled with the notion of casting one in the lead, William Yu has taken on the effort of re-imagining various movies with Korean-American actor John Cho as a lead. [more inside]
Celebrate Orson Welles 101th birthday with this collection of his commercial work (and famous outakes), an episode of You Must Remember This on his relationship with Rita Hayworth and the Mercury Wonder show (original flyer) or listen to him narrate a bonkers documentary commissioned by the then Shah of Iran 'Eternal Light' .
TV's Dwindling Middle Class [SLNYT] Now on TV, no matter your actual job, almost everybody belongs to the same generic, vaguely upper-class class. [more inside]
It's a truly amazing time to be a headless female body part in Hollywood! This Tumblr examines the time-honored tradition of movie posters displaying women’s bodies without their heads or faces. AVClub asks "How can gender equality ever be achieved in movies if women are being chopped up for spare parts in the ads?"
How Lifetime Became One Of The Best Places In Hollywood For Women. Since Lifetime’s acquisition by A&E Networks in 2009, the channel has mounted a successful effort to legitimize itself — 12 Emmy nominations in 2013, and 17 in 2014. This new legitimacy has hinged on two strategies: Lifetime’s prioritizing the hiring of women to write and direct their stories, and its witty, postmodern self-awareness of its own tropes. [more inside]
This is not just a remarkable run; it is literally a singular one. No other woman or man unaided by a franchise in the last five years has emerged from nowhere to become such a completely dependable movie star, appearing in one successful film after another and regularly creating product that turns a profit, while maintaining a successful foothold in TV as well.
"Faith-based dramas" (i.e., Christian wish-fulfillment stories) are making their way to multiplexes and attracting a lot of eyeballs and dollars. From the 2008 surprise indie hit Fireproof (starring Kirk Cameron as a porn-addicted firefighter who reconnects with his wife thanks to God) to this month's Miracles From Heaven (starring tabloid A-lister Jennifer Garner as a mother whose child is miraculously cured of a debilitating disease), the overtly evangelistic genre is increasingly mainstream. The AV Club takes a look at whether the new wave of faith-based filmmaking can transcend propaganda. [more inside]
As Matt Damon explained in The Guardian, “Ben’s wife, Jennifer Garner, sells a shitload of magazines in the midwest. Magazines that — Ben explained this to me — you and I have never heard of, but that appeal to the mom in the midwest, who for some reason identifies with Jennifer and wants to know what she’s doing as a mom.”
Two years ago, flamboyant fitness guru Richard Simmons vanished from public life and now his close friends are worried he's being held against his will in his Hollywood Hills mansion
Real female actors seeing and reading real casting calls for the first time and being captured on film.
Comedy actor Thomas Lennon describes what it's like to play a cameo on elusive director Terrence Malick's latest film Knight of Cups.
How Randy Newman and His Family Have Shaped Movie Music for Generations by David Kamp [Vanity Fair] Sure, you know of the Oscar-winning composer behind Toy Story and his endearingly offbeat songwriting, but Newman, 72, is also the patriarch of a clan that has helped shape movie music since the talkies. [more inside]
What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*If you’re not a straight white man.) (SLNYTimes, Interactive)
It is one of the most iconic props in film history. For 75 years since Humphrey Bogart tracked down The Maltese Falcon, various collectors have claimed to have the Falcon itself. Some of them must be wrong. Vanity Fair put the properly-alliterative Bryan Burrough on the case, and of course, a shadowy mystery ensued. [more inside]
The New Yorker unfurls a longform expose on Harvey Levin's gossip empire, TMZ, in The Digital Dirt - How TMZ gets the videos and photos that celebrities want to hide.
"JANE (late 20s) sits hunched over a microscope. She’s attractive, but too much of a professional to care about her appearance." Hollywood producer retweets actual intros for female characters in actual proposed scripts.
Studio Heads Of The Classic Era Ranked In Terms Of Personal Awfulness -by resident Hollywood expert The Whelk [via mefi projects]
Classic Era Warner Bros outakes, 1936-46. The breakdowns of 1941 part 1, part 2 The breakdowns of 1946. 1944
Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin has been documenting the Los Angeles urban landscape for over a decade. His latest project, The Los Angeles Recordings, examines the physical structure of neighborhoods and how they are molded and reconfigured by outside elements (demographics, gentrification, the passage of time.) “The Los Angeles Recordings is a project I’ve been working on in some way, shape, or form for over a decade. Very soon after getting into photography, I recognized the medium as a way I could show others the city as I viewed it. LA’s people, landscape, and topography exist in a state of constant change that is, in my opinion, rarely portrayed from street level." [h/t] [more inside]
It was, in some sense, intended to be a memorial. People filtered into the stadium under giant waving flags on the stadium’s external jumbotrons. But once inside, they were greeted with the giant floating head of John Krasinski, better known as Jim from The Office, who plays the movie’s protagonist, a security contractor named Jack Da Silva.I Watched Michael Bay's Benghazi Movie at Cowboys Stadium With 30,000 Pissed-Off Patriots
When [Krasinski] was interviewed on the stadium’s immense on-field red carpet, as part of the pre-show, he spoke about working with the real-life Da Silva to develop his character. A man in front of me groaned. “Oh, so now we know that character doesn’t die,” he said. “Great spoiler, dude.” Yes: Jim from The Office spoiled Benghazi.
One-hour Director Roundtable With Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Tom Hooper, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Ridley Scott, Danny Boyle and David O. Russell (SLYT)
"That night, Soloway sat in the bathtub, while her husband, Bruce Gilbert, a music supervisor for film and television, brushed his teeth. She remembers telling him, “ ‘I don’t want to use the money to pay off our debt. I want to be a director, and I want to make a film with it and get into Sundance. I want to double down on me.’ And Bruce was, like, ‘O.K.’ ” Then, just as Soloway was making the leap to directing her own material, her father called one afternoon and came out as transgender." (SL New Yorker)
“The distance between the station and the train was accurately measured ... I was not nervous as it approached and I leaped without hesitation,” she recalled. She landed safely, but the rocking motion of the train rolled her straight toward the end of the car. Just before being pitched off, “I caught hold of an air vent and hung on.” Then, with a sense of the dramatic, silent film actress Helen Gibson let her body “dangle over the edge to increase the effect on the screen.” [more inside]
Diana Serra Cary, also known as Baby Peggy, is one of the last living silent film actors, and possibly the only major star of the 1920s still alive. [more inside]
When workers first arrived on the lot that Monday morning, they got a message through a security guard or a colleague or a handwritten sign taped up to the wall: Don’t turn on your computer. Later, someone might pop in and deliver the latest directive fourth-hand: “Unplug your computer from the wall.“ Which plug? The network cable? The power cord? Who knows? Just unplug everything. Says one worker: “It was all the hysteria of not knowing.” --One year later, what it was like to work at Sony when all their internal systems got hacked.
I want to direct good stories. I don't care whether it's a guy fighting a giant freakish eagle or he's trying to decide what to do about his divorce. I don't know why women are marginalized to talk about love and fashion.The Women of Hollywood Speak Out (NYTMag).
“You have lost your mind,” telegraphed Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount Pictures. “Stop filming and return to Los Angeles at once.” DeMille refused. “I cannot and will not make pictures with a yardstick,” he wired back to the studio. “What do they want me to do?” he was rumored to have said, according to Higashi. “Stop now and release it as The Five Commandments?” Excavating the "City of the Pharoah," the biggest set ever built for a Hollywood film in the 1920s. [more inside]
Under the name Attaboy Clarence/The Secret History Of Hollywood, Adam Roche creates very long, very in-depth podcasts about classic Hollywood how it relates to broader sociopolitical trends. Clocking in at 171 minutes, Hunting Witches With Walt Disney goes into the background, motivations, and effects of the Red Scare in Hollywood and the House Of Un-American Activities. The nearly 3 hour long podcast spans a cast of characters including Budd Schulberg, Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Dorothy Comingore, Edward Dymytryk, Dalton Trumbo, Walt Disney, Humphrey Bogart, and of course, Howard Hughes
...if I’m honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.” At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled.”Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence on the wage gap between male and female actors
Jackie Collins, Novelist Who Wrote of Hollywood’s Glamorous Side, Dies at 77 [New York Times]
Jackie Collins, the best-selling British-born author known for her vibrant novels about the extravagance and glamour of life in Hollywood, died on Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 77. The cause was breast cancer, her family said in a statement.
Walt Disney - "An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers -- Walt Disney."
Inside the Agent Raid That Changed Hollywood in One Day
When UTA raided CAA, poaching 10 top talent reps in less than 24 hours, it did more than set off a conflict that threatens to draw in every agency in town, it shined a light on a dark truth: Bankable stars, like oil, are a vanishing resource.[more inside]
History vs Hollywood fact-checks "based on a true story/inspired by true events" popular movies, and tries to match faces and events with their real-life counterparts.
You Must Remember This: Charles Manson's Hollywood - Karina Longworth's podcast on the hidden history of Hollywood (previously, previously) takes an an in depth look at the darker side of the 60s. [more inside]
As Sayed and Waleed and the others describe their various demises, it strikes me that the key to making a living in Hollywood if you're Muslim is to be good at dying. If you're a Middle Eastern actor and you can die with charisma, there is no shortage of work for you. Jon Ronson in GQ on the Muslim-American actors who earn virtually their entire livings pretending to hijack planes and slaughter infidels. [Via.]
Over a decade ago, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow laid the foundations for today's effects-driven blockbusters. Why haven't its creators made a film since?