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Posts Tagged ‘12 Years a Slave’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Courts FCC | Kasell to Retire From NPR | CNN’s Primetime Test

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Comcast Points to NBCU Deal to Convince Regulators (Financial Times)
Comcast is trumpeting its compliance with conditions attached to its 2009 acquisition of NBCUniversal as a model for how to convince regulators to approve its $45.2 billion bid for rival cable operator Time Warner Cable. Variety Comcast launched another prong in its strategy, announcing a pledge to continue offering basic broadband for $9.95 per month to low-income families indefinitely. Effectively, the cable giant is spinning the expanded low-cost Internet Essentials program as one of the key benefits of the proposed deal for Time Warner Cable — despite the fact that post-deal, Comcast would control nearly one-third of U.S. broadband market. CNET Comcast started the Internet Essentials program as part of a voluntary commitment it made to the Federal Communications Commission in order to get its merger with NBCUniversal approved. Back then, the company promised to keep the program up and running for three years. Adweek The program provides eligible low-income families with $9.95/month Internet service, an option to purchase a computer for under $150 and multiple options for digital literacy training. In two and a half years, Comcast has signed up 1.2 million low-income Americans or 300,000 families. Internet Essentials dovetails nicely with President Obama’s ConnectED program to increase digital literacy and the FCC’s recent plan to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband in schools and libraries. Bloomberg Comcast executive VP David Cohen will hold meetings at the FCC through Wednesday, said two agency officials knowledgeable about the plans. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, needs approval from the FCC and antitrust officials at the Justice Department for its proposed purchase of New York-based Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 carrier. The Time Warner deal would create “appropriate scale” that enables Comcast to invest in new services, and would create a new national advertiser to increase competition in that market, Cohen said.

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Vanity Fair Under Fire for February Lupita Nyong’o Photo

Was the 30-year-old Kenyan’s skin deliberately lightened? Or was it a matter of too-bright, washed out lighting? That’s the debate raging on Twitter and the Web after Vanity Fair on Wednesday shared a sneak peak of a shot of 12 Years a Slave co-star Lupita Nyong’o featured in the February issue “Vanities” section.

LupitaNyongoVanityFair

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NYFCC Verdicts: Armond White Expelled; Lou Lumenick Suspended

ArmondWhiteTwitterAvatarThe craziest film-journalist group kerfuffle this side of a Hollywood Foreign Press Association rumble has been brought to a swift and resolute close.

At a special emergency meeting today of the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC), it was decided that Armond White is to be expelled for his miscreant behavior at the organization’s recent annual awards gala. White continues to adamantly deny the accusations, even though there is corroborating audio and no one else has come forward to take ownership of the muttered comments about the filmmaker who accepted last night’s Best Drama Golden Globe.

Here’s the NYFCC statement issued today, via THR:

“The New York Film Critics Circle deeply regrets any embarrassment caused its guests or honorees by any member’s recent actions,” said Stephen Whitty, critic for the Star-Ledger and the group’s new chair. “Sadly, disciplinary measures had to be taken, to prevent any re-occurrence. We apologize again to our guests and look forward to the rest of 2014 and our 80th anniversary.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Golden Globes Awarded | NowThis News Expands | McCain Gets New Show

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Golden Globes 2014: 12 Years, Hustle, Blanchett Among Top Winners (LA Times / Movies Now)
12 Years A Slave went into the 71st Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night with seven nominations but was passed over again and again. That is, until the last award of the evening, and arguably the best of them all. The harrowing portrayal of slavery in America took home the prize for best drama of 2013. The film’s director, Steve McQueen, seemed surprised by the win. “Little bit in shock,” said the British filmmaker, clutching the award. “I wasn’t expecting it.” But the evening’s biggest victor was David O. Russell’s Abscam-inspired comedy, American Hustle. NYT The two female stars of American Hustle, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, both picked up acting awards. Lawrence beat out Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years A Slave, who was viewed as the leading contender, in the supporting actress category. USA Today Leonardo DiCaprio won for best actor in a musical/comedy for his hedonistic stockbroker in The Wolf of Wall Street. When accepting his award, DiCaprio took the time to honor the greats, including fellow nominee Bruce Dern of Nebraska. The Guardian / TV & Radio Blog One of the few genuinely shocking wins at the 2014 Golden Globes was the triumph of cop sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine in the best comedy series category. Having only last week aired its twelfth episode on Fox, the win — alongside a Globe for its lead actor, Andy Samberg — may have almost single-handedly saved the show from cancellation. Variety What might go down in history as the pregnant-pause, followed-by-being-played-off Golden Globe Awards proved a curiously awkward affair, even by the standards of an awards showcase with a reputation for looseness and unpredictability. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reprised their role as hosts, but the duo failed to produce more than sporadic moments of mirth, in a show where honorary-award recipient Woody Allen looked prescient, in hindsight, by staying home. NYT It was a gender-bending Golden Globes, or at least, the hosts made an effort to celebrate gender equality. Fey and Poehler tried hard, and sometimes too hard, to top their first hosting job last year. It didn’t work so well when they aimed to be like the guys and go blue — their jokes about prosthetic penises fell flat. Deadline Hollywood First Mia Farrow tweeted she was turning off the Golden Globes on NBC when they went to the Allen tribute. Then her son and upcoming MSNBC host Ronan Farrow lashed out against his mother’s former longtime companion, also on Twitter: “Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” THR / Golden Globes E!’s pre-Golden Globes show was under fire Sunday evening after the network put up a questionable “fun fact” for nominee Michael J. Fox as stars made their way down the red carpet. The “fun fact” that was displayed said: “Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991.”

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Armond White Embarrasses Himself at NYFCC Awards Gala… Again [Updated]

ArmondWhiteTwitterAvatarThe good news, for those who attended the latest New York Film Critics Circle awards celebration: Armond White‘s outburst from the back of the room could not be heard at the front. The bad news: In a roomful of reporters, anything said can be quickly and duly noted, casting a permanent pall on the proceedings:

From the back of the Edison Hotel Ballroom, White yelled at Steve McQueen, the NYFCC’s Best Director winner for 12 Years a Slave. “You’re an embarrassing doorman and garbage man. F— you. Kiss my ass,” according to a Variety reporter seated near him.

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Michael Musto, Tom O’Neil Concoct Some Juicy Michael Fassbender Rumors

Did you hear the whispers about 12 Years a Slave being based on a much more recent tome by Rush Limbaugh and Paula Deen? How about the rumor that the film’s title is an insider’s wink to what it’s like to work for Harvey Weinstein… for a week.

MichaelFassbender12Years_SmallThese and other ridiculous notions were floated by goldderby.com maestro Tom O’Neil and podcast guest Michael Musto to poke fun at the “smear campaigns” that creep into each film awards season. Given how competitive the field is this year, that aspect of the proceedings is already off to a vigorous running start. From O’Neil, Musto’s convo:

Musto: I hear for the 12 Years a Slave DVD, they’re going to do it in 3D and they’re going to add naked scenes of [Michael] Fassbender. It’s really going to jut out from the screen.

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THR Features Editor Highlights ‘Dirty Games’ of Awards Season

Right after introductions were made for a weekend panel discussion at the Savannah Film Festival featuring The Hollywood Reporter trio of Stephen Galloway, Scott Feinberg and Tim Appelo, Galloway offered some intriguing observations about the first phase of this year’s film awards season.

Picking up on Feinberg’s analogy that the process resembles a Presidential election campaign, with the “primaries” of film awards season (festivals, critics awards, Golden Globes) leading up to the big night of the Oscars, the THR executive editor of features noted what is now business-as-usual:

“The [favored films] lists start to come into play; people start to jostle; potential winners begin to emerge. And then, like politics, the dirty games start.”

“I was fascinated, a couple of weeks ago, when the New York Times wrote a piece questioning the authenticity of the book behind 12 Years a Slave. It’s based on a memoir by a black man who was captured and enslaved for 12 years, Solomon Northup.”

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Alamo Drafthouse Still Waiting for Madonna Apology

Shutterstock_MadonnaMadonna is going to remember The Alamo Drafthouse for a very long time.

Since the pop diva chose to text on her Blackberry throughout the first half of the New York Film Festival October 8 premiere of 12 Years a Slave, all manner of media hell has broken loose. Sparked by a Facebook post from film critic Charles Taylor about her rude Lincoln Center behavior.

We’ve confirmed with a rep for the Alamo chain that per CEO/founder Tim League‘s tweet that she would be as a result banned from all Alamo locations unless she apologized (a joke that he is now standing more firmly behind), Madonna has not at press time contacted the theater chain. As far as the ensuing, exploding media coverage of The Blackberry Girl’s Lincoln Center transgressions, one of our favorites items is Toby Young‘s op-ed in London’s Telegraph:

I’m so hysterical about it [objecting to people being anti-social in movie theaters] – so shouty and aggressive – that my wife refuses to go to the cinema with me. She would far rather turn a blind eye to the disturbance than endure the torture of sitting next to me when I explode with indignant rage because the person two rows in front is eating their popcorn too loudly.

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Mark Harris on the Inanity of Early Oscar Buzz

There’s something extra special about this year’s marathon Oscar handicapping season being kick-started at Telluride and Toronto by a drama titled 12 Years a Slave. Because in recent years, the once organic and more tempered process of advance film buzz has become a slave to an endless 12 months of town-cried Academy Awards prognostication.

Not that film journalists are alone in this behavior. Tom O’Neil, the grand master of Gold Derby, rightly likes to point out that many other realms besides film awards season (ex: the 2016 U.S. presidential race) lead to early and heavy odds-making by so-called media experts.

Nevertheless, on the Oscar side, it seems to get a little worse each year, amplified by social media and the return in 2012-13 of more robust studio marketing budgets. Enter Mark Harris. In a Grantland piece titled “Is 12 Years a Slave Really a Best Picture Lock?,” he makes a number of resonating observations:

The recent compulsion to anoint a Best Picture favorite around Labor Day, a full 17 weeks before the end of the eligibility period for movies, represents the convergence of several factors… [including] an infection of festival coverage by Web-driven “First!” culture.

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