Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Deanna Durbin, Plucky Movie Star of the Depression Era, Is Dead at 91

Deanna Durbin, Plucky Movie Star of the Depression Era, Is Dead at 91

Universal Pictures
Deanna Durbin and Robert Benchley singing a duet in the 1941 Universal movie “Nice Girl?”
Universal Pictures, via Getty Images
Ms. Durbin with Franchot Tone in “His Butler’s Sister” (1943).
In a newsletter, the Deanna Durbin Society said Ms. Durbin died “a few days ago,” quoting her son, Peter H. David, who thanked her admirers for respecting her privacy. No other details were given.
Ms. Durbin had remained determinedly out of public view since 1949, when she retired to a village in France with her third husband.
From 1936 to 1942, Ms. Durbin was everyone’s intrepid kid sister or spunky daughter, a wholesome, radiant, can-do girl who in a series of wildly popular films was always fixing the problems of unhappy adults.
And as an instant Hollywood star with her very first movie, “Three Smart Girls,” she almost single-handedly fixed the problems of her fretting bosses at Universal, bringing them box-office gold.
In 1946, Ms. Durbin’s salary of $323,477 from Universal made her the second-highest-paid woman in America, just $5,000 behind Bette Davis.
Her own problems began when she outgrew the role that had brought her fame. Critics responded negatively to her attempts to be an adult on screen, as a prostitute in love with a killer in Robert Siodmak’s bleak film noir “Christmas Holiday” (1944) and as a debutante mixed up in a murder plot in “Lady on a Train” (1945.)
The child-star persona affected her personal life as well.
“When my first marriage failed, everyone said that I could never divorce. It would ruin the ‘image,’ ” she told Robert Shipman in Films and Filming magazine in 1983. “How could anybody really think that I was going to spend the rest of my life with a man I found I didn’t love, just for the sake of an ‘image’?”
The man was Vaughn Paul, an assistant director, whom she had married at 19 in 1941. The marriage lasted two years. Her second marriage, to Felix Jackson, the 43-year-old producer of several of her films, also ended in divorce, after the birth of a daughter.
The third marriage was a success: in 1950, at 28, she married Charles David, the 44-year-old French director of “Lady on a Train.” After starring in 21 feature films, she retired to a French farmhouse.
Edna Mae Durbin was born on Dec. 4, 1921, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and grew up in Southern California, where she studied singing. She was discovered by an MGM casting director searching Los Angeles singing schools for someone to portray the opera star Ernestine Schumann-Heink as a child.
Signed by the studio at 13, Ms. Durbin, who already possessed a mature coloratura soprano, soon appeared in a one-reel short, “Every Sunday,” with another recently signed 13-year-old, Judy Garland, who sang swing while Ms. Durbin sang classical music.
Her MGM career ended suddenly, however, when Schumann-Heink, who was to play herself as an adult in the movie about her life, died at 75 and the studio did not pick up Ms. Durbin’s option. Shortly afterward she moved to Universal, shepherded there by Rufus Le Maire, a former MGM executive who had switched his allegiance to the rival studio.
Ms. Durbin was quickly handed to Joe Pasternak, who produced her first 10 movies, and to Henry Koster, who directed six of them: “Three Smart Girls,” “One Hundred Men and a Girl,” “Three Smart Girls Grow Up,” “First Love,” “Spring Parade” and “It Started With Eve.”
In his autobiography, “Easy the Hard Way,” Mr. Pasternak — who would eventually move to MGM and build the careers of two other coloratura sopranos, Kathryn Grayson and Jane Powell — said that stardom was always “a matter of chemistry between the public and the player” and that no one could take credit for discovering Deanna Durbin.
“You can’t hide that kind of light under a bushel,” he wrote. “You just can’t, even if you try.”
Ms. Durbin, who was originally to have ninth billing in “Three Smart Girls,” became the movie’s star when studio executives saw the first rushes. About the same time, in 1936, she began singing on Eddie Cantor’s popular weekly radio program.
In 1938 there was a nationwide search to choose the young man who would give Ms. Durbin her first screen kiss in the movie “First Love.” (Robert Stack was the actor chosen.) She was given a special miniature 1938 Academy Award for her “significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth.”
In movie after movie Ms. Durbin’s character found a way to help the struggling grown-ups in her life: reuniting her divorced parents, persuading the conductor Leopold Stokowski to help her out-of-work musician father, cajoling a stranger into becoming her father for a day.
Many of the films were Depression fairy tales in which Ms. Durbin won over or defeated silly rich people with the help of butlers, cooks and chauffeurs, who often risked their jobs to aid her.
After moving to France in 1949 and settling outside Paris in the village of Neauphle-le-Château, Ms. Durbin devoted most of her time to keeping her home, cooking and raising her children. In addition to Peter, her son from her marriage to Mr. David, Ms. Durbin had a daughter, Jessica, from her second marriage. Mr. David died in 1999, a few months before their 50th wedding anniversary.
Mr. David once said that he and Ms. Durbin had made a deal that he would protect her “from spiders, mosquitoes and reporters.”
Ms. Durbin, who gave almost no interviews after she left Hollywood, did send reporters a letter in 1958 that read in part: “I was a typical 13-year-old American girl. The character I was forced into had little or nothing in common with myself — or with other youth of my generation, for that matter. I could never believe that my contemporaries were my fans. They may have been impressed with my ‘success.’ but my fans were the parents, many of whom could not cope with their own youngsters. They sort of adopted me as their ‘perfect’ daughter.”
In the letter, which was excerpted in some newspapers, she also wrote: “I was never happy making pictures. I’ve gained weight. I do my own shopping, bring up my two children and sing an hour every day.”

'Django Unchained' tops DVD, Blu-ray sales and rental charts

Leonardo DiCaprio
(Andrew Cooper SMPSP, AP)

LA Times Company Town Blog

Director Quentin Tarantino’s fiery slave-revenge story “Django Unchained” broke out atop the DVD and Blu-ray sales and rentals charts, knocking holdovers “The Bible” and “Life of Pi” off their perches.
Here are the top titles for the week that ended April 20 for sales and April 21 for rentals, according to Rentrak.
1. “Django Unchained” | Anchor Bay/Starz | Week 1
2. “The Bible (The Epic Miniseries)” | Fox | Week 3
3. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” | Warner Bros. | Week 5
4. “Lincoln” | Disney | Week 4
5. “Wreck-It Ralph” | Disney | Week 7
6. "Les Miserables” | Universal | Week 5
7. “Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season” | Warner Bros. | Week 9
8. “Rise of the Guardians” | Paramount | Week 6
9. “Life of Pi” | Fox | Week 6
10. “Zero Dark Thirty” | Sony | Week 5
1. “Django Unchained” | Anchor Bay/Starz | Week 1
2. “Life of Pi” | Fox | Week 6
3. “Hobbit, The: An Unexpected Journey” | New Line | Week 5
4. “Les Miserables” | Universal | Week 5
5. “Zero Dark Thirty” | Sony | Week 5
6. “Lincoln” | Buena Vista | Week 4
7. “Argo” | Warner Bros. | Week 9
8. “This Is 40” | Universal | Week 5
9. “Red Dawn” | MGM | Week 7
10. “Skyfall” | Fox | Week 10

Openly gay in NBA: Will Jason Collins get 'Hollywood Treatment'?

Jason Collins, George Stephanopoulos
NBA center Jason Collins spoke with George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday about his decision to reveal to the public that he is a gay man. (Eric McCandless / Associated Press / April 29, 2013)

NBA center Jason Collins made history on Monday, becoming the first athlete in one of the big four American professional sports leagues — NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL — to declare he is openly gay while still an active player. 
Collins’ decision to come out in the pages of Sports Illustratedhas already made him a topic of discussion beyond the world of sports and landed him on the front page of several major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.
So how long before Hollywood comes knocking on Collins’ door?
Lisa Cohen, who is handling public relations on Collins’ coming out for his agency Wasserman Media Group, says the player has no deal in place to sell the rights to his life story, nor does anything appear to be in the works.
Is Collins' story marketable enough to translate into film?
“It frankly depends on how interesting his story arc is. And how far he wants to go," said Howard Bragman, vice chairman of, a marketing firm. Bragman has helped steer LGBT clients including country singer Chely Wright out of the closet and into development deals.
“I think there’s a chance for a book. But the bigger chance is the chance to change the world," Bragman said.
Collins, a free agent, is currently looking for a new NBA team and his decision to come out may make finding a home a little tougher.
“This guy is going to get a lot of scrutiny,” said Bragman, who represents openly gay NFL kicking prospect Alan Gendreau. “I’d love him to keep playing, even if it’s just one game as an openly gay man."
Follow Matthew Fleischer on Twitter @mattefleischer

2013 Tony Award Noms (2012-2013 seasion)

‘Kinky Boots’ Leads With 13 Tony Nominations; 

Tom Hanks Gets Nod for ‘Lucky Guy’

The new Broadway musical “Kinky Boots” led the pack with 13 nominations for the 67th annual Tony Awards, including for best musical, director, actor, score, and choreographer, while its chief rival “Matilda” had 12 nominations in many of the same categories. The nominations were announced at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The revival of “Golden Boy” had the most nominations of any play, 8, with the new Tom Hanks play “Lucky Guy” close behind with 6 nominations. Lead acting nods went to only a handful of the Hollywood stars performing on Broadway this season – Mr. Hanks, Laurie Metcalf, Holland Taylor, and Cicely Tyson; among those snubbed were Bette Midler, Jessica Chastain, Katie Holmes, Scarlett Johansson, and Al Pacino. Among the surprises were snubs of “Motown” for a best musical nomination and its star, Brandon Victor Dixon, for best actor. Fill out your ballot here. A slide show of the nominees is here.
Best Musical Horse Race
The race for best musical may have four nominees – “Bring It On,” “Matilda,” “Kinky Boots,” and “A Christmas Story” – but only two real contenders: “Matilda” and “Kinky Boots,” both song-and-dance shows with large casts that center on an underdog storyline. “Matilda,” created in England and based on a Roald Dahl children’s novel, received the best reviews of the season for a new musical; “Kinky Boots,” created by the Broadway veterans Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Mitchell and based on a 2005 British movie, received slightly more mixed reviews – though, importantly, those notices stressed the joyous nature of the show, while “Matilda” came off more as a thinking person’s show. Which is to say, “Kinky Boots” may have more passionate fans who will help get out the vote among the 868 eligible Tony voters. Still, “Matilda” has to be judged as the front-runner: It has the sort of critical acclaim and pedigree (a Royal Shakespeare Company production; the winner of a record seven Olivier Awards, London’s version of the Tonys) that tend to appeal to Tony voters. The big surprise in this category is the snub of “Motown,” which is the best-selling new musical this season – but apparently too much of a jukebox show for many Tony nominators. And who would have expected a Tony nomination for “Bring It On,” a musical about cheerleaders that closed months ago?
Best Actress in a Play
The most competitive Tony Awards race next month, without question, will be best actress in a play. The nominees are Laurie Metcalf (“The Other Place”), Amy Morton (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”), Kristine Nielsen (“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”), Holland Taylor (“Ann”), and Cicely Tyson (“The Trip to Bountiful”). Among the prominent actresses who didn’t make the cut – despite also giving critically acclaimed performances – were Bette Midler (“I’ll Eat You Last”), Jessica Hecht (“The Assembled Parties”), and Fiona Shaw (“The Testament of Mary”). Ms. Midler’s omission is particularly surprising because this is her first role on Broadway in roughly 40 years and she was roundly cheered by theater critics. Of the five women nominated, Ms. Morton is a slight surprise – if only because her play closed in early March. Still, in the four productions of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” on Broadway since its debut in 1962, the actors playing he battling spouses George and Martha have always been nominated – as they were again with the nominations of Ms. Morton and Tracy Letts. As for the front-runners, Ms. Metcalf, Ms. Nielsen, and Ms. Taylor are seen as particularly strong.
Best Score
If Tony nominee Cyndi Lauper wins for best score for the musical “Kinky Boots,” she would become the first woman to ever win solo in the category. Earlier winners Betty Comden, Lynn Ahrens, and Lisa Lambert shared Tonys for best score with their songwriting partners. This is Ms. Lauper’s first Tony nomination – indeed, “Kinky Boots” is her first Broadway show – and some producers are already predicting that she will edge out her toughest competition in the category, Tim Minchin, who wrote the score for “Matilda.” The other nominees are the scores for “A Christmas Story” and “Hands on a Hardbody.”
Alec Baldwin Botch
The producers of the Broadway play “Orphans” may have botched Alec Baldwin’s chances at a Tony nomination. The producers had wanted Mr. Baldwin to be eligible for a best actor Tony, and his co-stars, Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge, to be eligible for featured actor nominations. But when the Tony administration committee met Friday to consider those requests, members balked: They viewed Mr. Baldwin’s character – the gangster Harold – as a featured role, given time onstage and lines of dialogue. In the end, the committee decided to make all three actors eligible in the lead category. And on Tuesday, Mr. Sturridge received a best actor nomination for his portrayal as the young shut-in Phillip – but Mr. Baldwin came up empty-handed.
Best Actor and Actress in a Musical
The winners in the lead acting categories for musicals are often hard to predict; the same is true this year, though the contests are relatively easy to define. The best actor race is likely to be between two men in drag: The British actor and Broadway newcome Bertie Carvel, as the sadistic headmistress Miss Trunchbull in “Matilda,” and the New York theater veteran Billy Porter as the drag queen Lola in “Kinky Boots.” If there’s a dark horse in the field, it’s Stark Sands, who plays the straight man Charlie in “Kinky Boots.” Among the best actress nominees, the contest is between Patina Miller (the Leading Player in “Pippin”) and Laura Osnes (the title role in “Cinderella”). The two women were nominees in the category before – Ms. Miller for “Sister Act,” Ms. Osnes for “Bonnie and Clyde” – and both women were helped by a Tony committee ruling last week that the four young actresses rotating in the role of Matilda were not eligible. (The four will receive special Tony honors for their work in “Matilda.”) But while the contests are likely to be just two-person races, the eventual winner seems like anyone’s guess right now.
Best Play
More than in any recent year, the Tony Award for best play is up for grabs. The recent winners in the category – “Clybourne Park,” “War Horse,” “Red,” “God of Carnage” and “August: Osage County” – were all favorites to varying degrees. This year’s nominees have admirers and detractors, and none can be called a front-runner at this point. The first nominee, Richard Greenberg’s “The Assembled Parties,” received many glowing reviews, but he has won for best play already, in 2003 for “Take Me Out.” The second, “Lucky Guy,” drew critical praise for its star Tom Hanks and its director George C. Wolfe (both nominated) but mixed reviews for the writing; still, the author is Nora Ephron, a beloved figure in New York who worked on the play for a decade before her death last June. The third nominee, “The Testament of Mary,” is a lovely piece of writing with moments approaching poetry, but reviews were mixed on the production and its lead actress, Fiona Shaw, who plays the mother of Christ (and who was not nominated). The final best play nominee, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” earned strong reviews and has the added appeal of its playwright, Christopher Durang, a longtime fixture of New York theater who has never won a Tony. Still, his play is a comedy – though with some powerfully moving monologues in the second act – and the Tony for best play tends to go to a drama.
Fosse’s “Pippin” vs. Paulus’s “Pippin”
In 1973 Bob Fosse’s original “Pippin” received 11 Tony nominations and won 5, for best actor, director, choreography, lighting and sets; it lost best musical to the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler show “A Little Night Music.” On Tuesday, Diane Paulus’s new “Pippin” received 10 nominations, including for best musical revival, best actress (Patina Miller), best featured actress (Andrea Martin), best featured actor (Terrence Mann), best choreographer (Chet Walker), and best director for Ms. Paulus. Will her “Pippin” top Mr. Fosse’s in the Tonys haul?
Best Play Revival
For best play revival, three of the nominees were foregone conclusions: The critically acclaimed productions of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and Clifford Odets’ “Golden Boy,” and the well-liked “Trip to Bountiful” – a sentimental favorite for nominated lead actress Cicely Tyson and playwright Horton Foote, who never won a Tony in his 55-year career before dying in 2009. But the fourth nomination was anyone’s guess. Would it be the Al Pacino-led revival of “Glengarry Glen Ross,” which was a box-office smash but a critical mixed bag? The star vehicles “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (with Scarlett Johansson) or “The Heiress” (Jessica Chastain), despite the disappointing reviews for each production? Or another Odets play, “The Big Knife,” or Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac,” or Alan Cumming’s one-man “Macbeth” – all among the lesser-reviewed shows of the season? No, the fourth slot went to “Orphans,” which also received mixed notices – but may have benefited from a strong performance from best actor nominee Tom Sturridge, and the relative weaknesses of the also-ran competition.
Cyndi Lauper is Mulling Another Musical
“Thirteen is my lucky number,” Cyndi Lauper said by telephone this morning after the news that her Broadway musical “Kinky Boots” had received 13 Tony nominations, including one for her music and lyrics. “My brother was born on Mar. 13th, so when I heard 13 I knew we’d be good. I’ve won awards before, but you never assume you will. I take work a day at a time. I’d been doing all these punishing concert tours when I was asked to do ‘Kinky.’ You know, my whole life I’ve been chasing work around the whole world, but I never would have imagined that I only had to look in my own backyard to find something like this” – and here Ms. Lauper, a Queens native, took a moment as she cried softly. Ms. Lauper said she was already thinking about writing a second Broadway musical. “At one of our performances I saw all these stars around me, like Bernadette Peters and Glenn Close, and I thought, ‘why wasn’t there a vehicle for all these great actresses to star in together? Something funny and fun.’ No solid ideas yet, but I’m thinking.”
Will 2013 Be Diane Paulus’s Year?
Rarely is attention paid to the race for best director for a musical, but this year’s contest is a juicy one. It’s widely seen as a face-off between Matthew Warchus (“Matilda”) and Diane Paulus (“Pippin”). Ms. Paulus is a celebrated and somewhat controversial figure in theater: Her previous Broadway shows, “Hair” (2009) and “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” (2012), won the Tonys for best musical revival, and “Pippin” is the favorite for best musical revival this time around. In other words, if “Pippin” wins in June, Ms. Paulus will have conceived and staged the musical revival winners in three of the last five years. Yet she has been criticized from time to time, for her initial plans to change some plot and dialogue “in Porgy and Bess” – a beloved classic for many – and for her leadership of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., which was once a major center of avant-garde theater but is now better better known as an incubator of Broadway shows. (The theater’s production of “The Glass Menagerie,” directed by Tony winner John Tiffany, is the latest to transfer to Broadway; performances begin in September.) Still, Mr. Warchus has dissenters as well among Tony voters – some of whom find him a bit dour, and others who feel “Matilda” is a little cold – and he has already won a Tony for directing the 2009 play “God of Carnage.” Will this be Ms. Paulus’s year?
Final Thoughts
The 2012-13 Broadway season was a weak one, if critics’ reviews and box office sales are the measures, and the Tony nominations reflected this reality – with most attention going to a relative handful of acclaimed or popular shows. On the whole, the nominators favored big-cast productions with relatively traditional plots and old-fashioned scores, and bypassed several shows and performances that were more challenging or experimental, like Alan Cumming’s “Macbeth” or Fiona Shaw’s star turn as the mother of Christ in “The Testament of Mary.”
Among the dozen or so musicals in contention for nominations, only four received a sizable number: The new musicals “Kinky Boots” (13) and “Matilda” (12) and the revivals “Pippin” (10) and “Cinderella” (9). Meanwhile “Motown: The Musical,” the biggest commercial hit among the new shows, was snubbed in the best musical and best actor categories, reflecting the mixed judgments from critics.
The Tony nominators were so hard-pressed to pick four best musical nominees that they reached back to the fall season for one nominee, the cheerleading musical “Bring It On,” which got mixed reviews and closed at a financial loss. And while the nominators did give a nod to “Annie” for best musical revival, the show (which drew mixed to negative reviews) received nothing else – a disappointing turn of events for a production that had been highly anticipated by theater-goers last fall.
As for the plays receiving Tony nominations, the stand-outs were the acclaimed revivals of “Golden Boy” (with 8 nominations) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (5), and the new plays “Lucky Guy” and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” – with 6 nominations apiece. There is no clear front-runner for either best play or best play revival, but there are some clear surprises: Douglas Carter Beane’s play “The Nance” was passed over, and several Hollywood stars failed to earn Tony love: Bette Midler, Alec Baldwin, Jim Parsons, and Jessica Chastain among them. The Tony Awards ceremony is June 9 on CBS.
Tony Nominations by Production
“Kinky Boots” – 13
“Matilda: The Musical” – 12
“Pippin” – 10
“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” – 9
“Golden Boy” – 8
“Lucky Guy” – 6
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” – 6
“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” – 5
“The Nance” – 5
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – 5
“Motown: The Musical” – 4
“The Trip to Bountiful” – 4
“The Assembled Parties” – 3
“A Christmas Story, The Musical” – 3
“Hands on a Hardbody” – 3
“The Testament of Mary”- 3
“Bring It On: The Musical” – 2
“The Heiress” – 2
“Orphans “- 2
“Ann” – 1
“Annie” – 1
“The Big Knife” – 1
“Chaplin” – 1
“Cyrano de Bergerac” – 1
“The Other Place” – 1
“Scandalous” – 1

DreamWorks Animation beats expectations despite 40% profit drop

The Croods
"The Croods" was a hit for DreamWorks Animation, but because it was released late in the first quarter it contributed only $4 million of revenue in the period. Above, a scene from the movie. (DreamWorks Animation / April 30, 2013)
For the three months ended March 31, the Glendale studio posted net income of $5.6 million, or 7 cents a share, on revenue of $135 million. That compared with net income of $9.1 million, or 11 cents a share, and revenue of $136.1 million during the same period a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
Still, despite the decline in profits the company's results exceeded what industry analysts had projected. Analysts predicted DreamWorks Animation would post a loss of 3 cents a share.
"This year is off to an outstanding start for DreamWorks Animation. 'The Croods' has reached a blockbuster level of nearly $480 million at the worldwide box office and is well on its way to becoming the number one movie released during the first four months of 2013," Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive of DreamWorks Animation, said in a statement.
Because "The Croods" was released late in the quarter, it contributed only $4 million of revenue. Fueling results were home video sales from "Rise of the Guardians," "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" and revenue from Classic Media's library titles, which DreamWorks acquired last year.
The first-quarter results were an improvement from the previous quarter, when DreamWorks lost $82 million in part because of the poor results from last year's "Rise of the Guardians," for which the studio was forced to take a write-down.

Hulu adds two new shows as subscriber base swells to 4 million

Quick Draw
A screen grab from the new Hulu original series "Quick Draw." (Hulu / February 26, 2013)
Hulu is adding more original content.
The online video site, which is owned by Walt Disney Co.News Corp. and Comcast, told advertisers Tuesday it was launching two new shows: the Wild West comedy “Quick Draw” from writer-director Nancy Hower and writer-star John Lehr, and the drama “East Los High,” which features an all-Latino cast, about an East Los Angeles high school.
The shows will premiere, along with nine other original shows, this summer.  
Hulu’s push to increase the number of original shows comes as the subscriber base for its Hulu Plus service has expanded to 4 million. The company said it has seen an 800% growth in subscribers to its Hulu Plus service since 2011. In the first quarter of 2013 alone, Hulu Plus added 1 million subscribers. Mobile viewing, which the company didn’t even offer two years ago, accounts for 15% of all videos watched.
“Overall, Hulu continues to grow very quickly,” Hulu’s acting CEO Andy Fossell wrote in a blog post. “In Q1 of this year, we set new records for revenue, and for the first time ever, Hulu viewers streamed more than 1 billion content videos in a single quarter.”
Follow Matthew Fleischer on Twitter @mattefleischer


Screen Actors Guild Foundation

Screening followed by a Q&A with Nick Robinson and Gabriel Basso
Tuesday, May 7th

SAG Foundation Actors Center
5757 Wilshire Blvd, Mezzanine
Los Angeles
Starring Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie & Mary Lynn Rajskub
Premiering to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, THE KINGS OF SUMMER is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends – Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias) - who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents' rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family - whether it is the one you're born into or the one you create – is something you can't run away from.Register for event


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Log into our site and click on the "User account" link on the right side of the screen.
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Frequently asked questions

D.C. insider Tom Wheeler likely to be nominated to head FCC


Tom Wheeler
Tom Wheeler, shown in 2002 when he was president of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Assn., may be the next FCC chairman. (Los Angeles Times / April 30, 2013)

Tom Wheeler, who has headed lobbying associations for both the cable television and mobile phone industries, is the leading candidate to succeed Julius Genachowski as chairman of the regulatory agency, Washington insiders confirm.
Chatter about Wheeler started inside D.C. circles almost immediately after Genachowski announced his intention to step down in March. Last week, the industry publication Broadcasting & Cable reported that the White House was vetting Wheeler.
The White House is expected to announce the nomination of Wheeler, currently a managing director with the private equity firm Core Capital Partners, in the coming days. While Wheeler goes through the confirmation process withCongress, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is expected to serve as acting chairman. 
Wheeler is a former president of the National Cable Television Assn. and the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Assn. Despite his close ties to industries he will soon regulate, some media watchdogs are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
“As someone who has known Tom for years, I believe that he will be an independent, proactive chairman," said Gigi B. Sohn, president and chief executive of Public Knowledge, adding that she has "no doubt that Tom will have an open door and an open mind, and that ultimately his decisions will be based on what he genuinely believes is best for the public interest, not any particular industry."
Free Press President and Chief Executive Craig Aaron was a little more jaded about the prospect of Wheeler becoming chairman of the FCC.
"The Federal Communications Commission needs a strong leader — someone who will use this powerful position to stand up to industry giants and protect the public interest. On paper, Tom Wheeler does not appear to be that person, having headed not one but two major trade associations," Aaron said.
However, Aaron indicated that Free Press is hopeful that Wheeler and the rest of the FCC will "engage the public and make policies that truly benefit all Americans."

CNN continues acquisition spree with 'Pandora's Promise'

CNN Films is stepping up its acquisition efforts.
One week after landing the television rights to the Penny Lane documentary “Our Nixon,” the network has acquired domestic television broadcast rights to the Sundance film selection “Pandora’s Promise.”
Directed by "Radio Bikini" Academy Award nominee Robert Stone, the film tells the story of several prominent environmentalists who have put their careers in jeopardy to tout the societal benefits of nuclear energy – in the face of disasters such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the recent Fukushima meltdown in Japan.
“'Pandora’s Promise' should inspire broad discussion on the fundamental issues of economic and social disparities and environmental risks,” said CNN Worldwide senior vice president for talent and content development Amy Entelis in a statement. “This is precisely the type of challenging debate we had hoped for when we conceived the mission for CNN Films.”
The film will premiere on CNN in November, following its theatrical release on June 12.
Follow Matthew Fleischer on Twitter @mattefleischer