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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Olsen’

LAT Screening Series Adds the Impressive Company of Robert Redford

Long before Watergate and a starring role in All The President’s Men, Robert Redford knew there was something off about Richard Nixon.

Chatting last night with LA Times “Indie Focus” reporter Mark Olsen at his new Sundance Cinemas on Sunset Blvd. after a newspaper subscriber screening of The Company We Keep, the actor-director remembered the time he was presented at age 13 in Santa Monica with a high school athletic award. “I didn’t know who he was,” Redford said of the 1949-50 school year encounter. “He was just a guy in a suit. But it was Earl Warren, the governor, and Nixon, then a senator. When Nixon handed me the award and shook my hand, it was just a vibe. I thought, ‘I don’t like this guy.’”

There was also some great reminiscing during the Q&A about how Redford gradually became interested in the investigative efforts of Bob Woodward and  Carl Bernstein. ”When I read an article about them, I realized one was a Jew and one was a WASP,” Redford recalled. “One guy was a Republican, the other was a radical; one guy was a very good writer, the other wasn’t so good. They didn’t like each other, but they had to work together. I thought, ‘Wow, that’s fascinating, that’s a great story.’”

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Golden Globes Power LAT’s The Envelope to Best Traffic Day Ever

The remarkable and fascinating speech given at the 70th Golden Globes by 50-year-old Lifetime recipient Jodie Foster was equally golden for latimes.com. A rep for the paper tells FishbowlLA that the rush of clicks to their Foster coverage helped power The Envelope to its best day in history Monday with 12.5 million Web-based page views and another 2.3 million mobile user clicks. For a whopping total of 14.8 million page views.

Mark Olsen cranked out the quick first report about Foster’s six minutes and 40 seconds, including her backstage clarification that the speech was not a retirement announcement. Then, Monday morning, came Betsy Sharkey‘s impassioned op ed, which concluded with:

Though the specifics of what Foster actually did say, what she meant, why she chose this forum and whether she even had the right to go public in such a public, yet unconventional way, will be debated in the days, weeks and years to come. What I know is that this was one from the heart. And it was unforgettable.

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Trio of LA Times Entertainment Contributors Get Bumped to Full-Time

The fall-winter of 2008-2009 was a particularly bad time for LA movie critics. Carina Chocano was let go from the LA Times in October; the Daily News laid off Glenn Whipp in December; and Andy Klein got his walking papers from LA CityBeat in January.

Today, the LA Times announced that Whipp is joining the paper fulll-time as anchor reporter for The Envelope, “with the special mission of making the online version as compelling as the print edition.” There’s a certain level of irony there, but given that this gig comes with full benefits and a fair amount of prestige, Whipp will take it.

Fellow LA Film Critics Association member Mark Olsen, author of the paper’s Saturday “Indie Focus” column and contributor to LAT film festival coverage, has also been promoted to full-time status. In his LAFCA questionnaire a few years ago, Olsen had this advice to would-be fellow film critics:

“Please do not enter this profession expecting to become rich in a monetary sense, but it will push you as a person in ways you likely cannot expect. Also, there will, if you’re lucky, be crazy-ass moments when you’re utterly pinching yourself knowing that your 15-year-old self just had his/her mind totally blown. (Your 15-year-old self will also sometimes frown and be scornful of the very grown-up compromises and decisions you will be forced to make. But maybe it’s better to forget that kid.)”

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LAFCA President Simon Says: Inception Not on my Top Ten

On Sunday, October 24th, members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association will gather to decide who is going to receive their 2010 Career Achievement award. As with all matters involving LAFCA, the man at the helm of the proceedings will be President Brent Simon, truly one of the nicest-guy film critics out there.

Because LAFCA has had a history with this award and others of thinking outside the publicist box – past Career kudos for example have gone to editor Dede Allen, cinematographer Conrad Hall, executive John Calley and French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo – they are fairly impervious to the full-court PR press. But that doesn’t mean it won’t get heated this coming weekend.

“We frequently have around two dozen Career candidates,” reveals Simon via e-mail interview with FishbowlLA. “Any member who nominates an individual speaks for a bit about their reasoning, and we typically have at least eight to ten solid candidates who garner the majority of the vote. Sometimes, candidates make strong showings several years in a row before being selected. Other times, they remain perennial bridesmaids.”

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