Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Some of the most notable scenes of the recent summer movie season involved great sights and spectacles — and little to no talking. In several of the biggest upcoming fall releases, directors have crafted memorable characters out of a mute janitor, a deaf young girl and a near-silent victim of a Cambodian genocide.
NEW YORK — Michael Fassbender tensed up for the briefest instant when the topic of his relationship with Alicia Vikander, both his co-star and his girlfriend, arose. Then he relaxed and offered a Zen thought. “People will make the presumptions they want to make. If you start to defend anything, it becomes, ‘Methinks the lady doth protest too much,’” the actor said, when asked if he thought moviegoers would draw real-life inferences from his work.
“Ben-Hur” was shooting in the south of Italy last year when disturbing news reached the set: Islamic State had executed Christians on a beach just across the Mediterranean in Libya. The movie’s principals found the parallels unsettling. As they were making a story about strife between Romans and Jews nearly 2,000 years before, religious-based violence was again sweeping the globe.
NEW YORK — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” has made history in numerous ways, injecting energy into the musical, populating the stage with people of color and bringing young audiences to a middle-aged Broadway. But there’s one barrier in which the 11-time Tony winner is unlikely to make a dent: the lag between hit show and Hollywood film. “I think the show will end up on screen without a doubt,” star and Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. said at a Tonys after-party Sunday night. “I just think it will be like 10 years from now.”
If you think you've had a lot of Donald J. Trump exposure lately, try being Joe Randazzo. The former editor of the Onion, Randazzo spent months last year immersed in the collected clips and writings of the GOP front-runner, turning it into a 1980s-set parody script for the website Funny or Die. "I was ready," he recalled dryly, "to jump off a bridge."
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A bid by Bill Cosby's lawyers to have the sexual-assault charges against the entertainer dismissed was rejected by a Philadelphia-area judge Wednesday evening, clearing the way for the famed comedian to be brought to trial. Judge Steven O'Neill ruled that there was "no basis to grant the relief request" by the attorneys, after they had presented evidence over the previous two days that former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor had made a deal with the entertainer's lawyer years ago that Cosby wouldn't be prosecuted.
PARK CITY, Utah—There’s good timing. There’s great timing. Then there’s “The Birth of a Nation” at Sundance. In one of the most charged-up festival screenings in recent memory, the new film about the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831 by actor-director Nate Parker played to a rapturous response Monday evening. In the dawn hours of Tuesday, the reaction reached a new plateau when Fox Searchlight won world rights to the film for an estimated $17.5 million, the highest in the festival’s history.
Sean Penn hasn’t been in a blockbuster thriller in more than a decade, not since his turn as a tormented father in “Mystic River” 12 years ago.
A photo from the opening of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” in 1977 at the old Mann Chinese Theatre in Hollywood shows swarms of fans waiting to enter. The image is fascinating, not only taking us back to a time before the world ever knew “Star Wars” but also conjuring thoughts of what it might have been like to be there at the creation.
NEW YORK — Nonfiction stories on screen, long a little traction-challenged, have become especially slippery lately. Hit television reality franchises such as “The Bachelor” and “Real Housewives” present basic human emotions as a form of sports. Sports figures themselves are dressed up by television in elaborate narratives.