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Foreign Legion

LA Times Exec Warns Against the Dangers of ‘Mauvais Langue’

In Trinidad and Tobago, there’s a local bit of lingo known as “mauvais langue.” It’s pronounced “mo-vay-lang” and means to speak ill of someone, to gossip.

Thanks to an honorary degree acceptance speech given over the weekend at the University of the West Indies by Los Angeles Times Media Group executive vice president and editor Davan Maharaj (pictured), it’s also now our favorite new expression to describe a main challenge of the digital news gathering age. From a report in the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian:

“We all heard of mauvais langue, a penchant for gossip, for spreading lies, hearsay, or in my world as a journalist, to report a story without the full set of facts, a half-story,” Maharaj said. “It is something my grandmother, growing up in Palmyra, warned me about.”

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Alex Trebek Searching for a Few More Good Soldiers

Following sessions at two U.S. bases in Italy, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek is moving on to Germany as part of his 13th USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour. Those lucky enough to make it through this less rigorous training will get to possibly participate in the 2013 edition of the program’s popular “Salute to the Military” week.

In addition to more meet-and-greets at Ramstein Air Base and the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, Trebek will also take time to visit medical staff and recovering soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. This marks the 25th anniversary of the TV personality’s USO volunteer efforts.

He is joined on this latest trip by Ironman triathlete Kelly Miyahara, one of three members of the Jeopardy! Clue Crew. Created in 2001, the team of roving correspondents has recorded videotaped answers in 280 cities across 44 different countries.

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Oliver Stone Unearths Treasure Trove of Vietnam War Photos

This is really cool. This afternoon, via Twitter and his website, filmmaker Oliver Stone shared a heartening discovery.

Digging through a closet recently, he came across seven envelopes of old 35mm and 126 Kodak cartridge negatives from a Vietnam trip tour of duty he took way back completed in 1968. Blogs Stone:

It is an amazing moment when something lost reappears after more than 40 years. I developed 100+ of these pictures at a shop in Los Angeles that could actually handle the 126 format. Not everything came out by any means, but there were certainly some colorful, well-preserved images of the war.

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Ryerson University Students About to Descend on LA

Arthur Smith (pictured), executive producer of FOX’s long-running reality series Hell’s Kitchen, is an alumnus of Toronto’s Ryerson University. As such, he will soon be welcoming a group current Radio and Television Arts students to the set as part of a two-week “RTA in LA” intensive program running August 19-30.

This new, for-credit endeavor is being staged in partnership with UCLA. Per a report in Broadcaster magazine, the visiting group of 30 students will get to network with a wide variety of film and TV luminaries:

- Tom Nunan, executive producer, network executive (TV series: Crash, Angela’s Eyes; features: The Illusionist);
- John Pasquin, executive producer/director (TV series: Home Improvement, Last Man Standing, Rules of Engagement; features: The Santa Clause, Miss Congeniality 2);
- Robert Moresco, Oscar-winning writer (Crash, Million Dollar Baby);
- Cathy Schulman, Oscar-winning executive/producer (Crash, The Illusionist, Salvation Boulevard, Angela’s Eyes)
- Joel Surnow, executive producer/writer (The Kennedys, 24)
- Joe Russo, Emmy Award-winning executive producer/director (TV series: Arrested Development, Community and Happy Endings; feature: You, Me and Dupree);
- David Gale, executive vice president, MTVX at MTV Networks;
- Barbara Boyle, executive/producer (Phenomenon, Cinema Paradiso, My Left Foot).

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Reuters Pours Cold Champagne on Latest Brangelina Wedding ‘Report’

Is there a more logically named reporter to set the record straight about a questionable Brangelina wedding report than a Reuters correspondent with the last name of Love, based in Paris? We think not.

Responding to an unbylined Hello! magazine item this morning that does not directly quote or name the mayor of Correns but still manages somehow to pin the scoop on that office, the right honorable Michael Latz told Reuters’ Brian Love that he is going to pursue Hello for “misleading statements.” He insisted he doesn’t even know who Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are:

“It’s nonsense. I’ve had 50 phone calls and I am telling everyone to get lost because this is tiresome and irritates me.”

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Facebook Film Application Founder Moves Closer to Hollywood

The English-language version of moviepilot.com already gets 1.8 million unique visitors a month, even though it was only launched last fall. The U.S. Facebook stats for this German operation are even better: upwards of 4.1 million likes.

Moviepilot relies on Facebook Connect and proprietary algorithms to cater to people who regularly attend Hollywood movies on opening weekend (“a.k.a. “first weekenders”). The idea is to better link up the “right” fans with the “right” upcoming film. At this point in the firm’s evolution, CEO and founder Tobi Bauckhage tells Screen International he felt it was logical to relocate to LA:

“The problem is that our offering is not very easy to box: we’re not a media agency, we’re not a publishing site, we’re not a research company, we’re kind of everything.”

“It needs explaining, so that’s why I moved over here to LA to talk to the studios. The second bit is to educate the studios and show them how powerful and potentially meaningful this data is for their daily work.”

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Jason Whitlock Believes Serena’s Crip Walk Celebration Was ‘Premeditated’

Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock is getting a lot of feedback this morning – both positive and negative – for a column entitled “Serena Deserves the Criticism.”

He’s not buying any of the excuses articulated by Williams and supporters regarding the Olympic gold medalist’s decision to celebrate at Wimbledon on Saturday with a dance popularized by Crip gang members. Whitlock thinks it was her crafty way of getting back at the All England Club:

A couple of years ago, the Queen visited Wimbledon for the first time in 33 years. Serena was the reigning Wimbledon champion. She practiced her curtsy in anticipation of playing in front of the Queen at Centre Court. Wimbledon placed Serena on Court 2 and let one of the fashionable white girls play Centre Court in front of the Queen…

I bet in a private moment Friday night or Saturday morning, Serena told her sister Venus, “I’m going to kick this $*%& ass and Crip Walk all over this crusty-ass place.”

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Itemizing The Bourne Legacy’s Filipino Connections

Taking advantage of a rare bit of geographical synchronicity, HFPA member Ruben Nepales was able to make his native country the focus of a dispatch about the upcoming sequel The Bourne Legacy (Universal Pictures/August 10).

The final 40 minutes of the film takes place in Manila and other parts of the Philippines. Writer-director Tony Gilroy explains that it took ten weeks of first and second unit work to film a motorcycle chase involving the characters played by Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. He also acknowledges the value of a versatile local acting community:

“I wish we had more for both of them to do.,” he said. “I really do. We take a great deal of pride in casting great actors in small parts. In the Philippines, it was just an embarrassment of riches… You’re taking these stars and saying, ‘Will you come and do bit parts in our film?’ But for us, it was a big advantage because everybody was so talented…”

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Barbara Demick Explains Why North Korea Forbids the Bible

LA Times Beijing bureau chief Barbara Demick (pictured) recently flew back to the west coast to speak to students at Brigham Young University. The author of the award-winning book Nothing to Envy, a look at the accumulated life experiences of six defectors, shared her uniquely informed perspective on the so-called Hermit Kingdom.

Demick’s talk is chronicled in a report today by BYU public relations major Michal Christine Savage. The country’s ban of all things Christian is well known. Perhaps not so celebrated is the underlying motive:

“In North Korea everyone is ranked by their loyalty to the regime,” Demick said. “How high your standard is is whether or not your family believes Kim Il Sung is a God-like figure. As you may know, there is no religion in North Korea, but they’ve plagiarized the Bible. If you read North Korean propaganda, Kim Il Sung is God and the son is Jesus. When he was born, there is a star that heralded his birth and then a rainbow. There is a reason they banded the Bible, its because they’ve plagiarized it.”

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TV Director Makes an Offer to Kim Dotcom

Although the topic of video piracy is no laughing matter, we have to hand it to writer-director Bruce Leddy. His response to Kim Dotcom’s July 17 open letter in The Hollywood Reporter still managed to find the funny.

Leddy writes that he is more than happy to take up Dotcom on his recent conciliatory offer, with one major proviso:

I’m tired of being a chump and writing and directing stuff for a decent wage when I could just as easily “share” other people’s stuff on the Internet and make huge money off it. So I’ve decided to start selling all your property on eBay, beginning with your pile of luxury cars.

That Mercedes Brabus SV12 alone will easily pay for my kids’ college tuitions. I mean, sure, they don’t technically belong to me. But if I can find a country where they don’t really have rules about that kind of thing yet, I’m going to be living large! Probably change my name to Bruce Web$tarr. Extra “r” for extra RICH! You like it?

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