An Oscar won by filmmakers behind Rita Hayworth's movie musical My Gal Sal has gone under the hammer for $79,200 (£49,500), more than double its auction estimate. An heir of Joseph C. Wright, who won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction - Interior Decoration, Color, handed the gold statuette to Briarbrook Auctions bosses in Rhode Island and they valued it at between $5,000 (£3,125) and $30,000 (£18,750).
The award went up for sale on Monday (23Jun14), when it was snapped up by an anonymous telephone bidder from California.
Auction house owner Nanci Thompson tells Reuters, "Oscars are quite a rare commodity. There just aren't many around."
Wright won the prize before executives at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science enforced a rule in 1950, banning winners and their relatives from selling the Oscar.
Broadway producer Gary Goddard has filed a motion to have a new sex abuse lawsuit dismissed. The entertainment executive was hit with legal papers last month (May14) from an anonymous British plaintiff, who claims he was first contacted by Goddard via social media in 2003, when he was 14, and their relationship allegedly escalated to sex when he was 16.
Goddard was also sued in a separate lawsuit in April (14) by Michael Egan, who accused him of sexually assaulting him in 1999 when he was a teenager. Goddard denied the claims and filed for the lawsuit to be dismissed in May (14).
On Thursday (19Jun14), the producer moved to end the second case by filing a motion at a court in California asking for the anonymous plaintiff's lawsuit to be dismissed, alleging his accuser filed suit to latch onto the publicity surrounding the Egan case.
According to TheWrap.com, a memorandum in support of his motion reads, "The reason why Plaintiff did not file suit until 2014, more than eight years after the last act of alleged sexual activity, is transparent: there was no, and never has been any, misconduct by Mr. Goddard. Indeed, it was not until a widely publicised press conference by another plaintiff... who shamelessly made demonstrably false sexual conduct against four Hollywood executives, including Mr. Goddard, that Plaintiff decided he would tag along for the ride."
Goodfellas actor Frank Sivero was released from prison on Friday (13Jun14) after serving just three days behind bars for a weapons charge. The actor, famous for his mobster roles, was arrested in the lobby of an apartment complex in North Hollywood in March (14) after cops randomly searched him and found a firearm in his jacket pocket.
He was sentenced to 90 days behind bars on Wednesday (11Jun14) as part of a plea deal, but was released after three days, reports TMZ.com. He was also given three days credit for time served in March.
According to legal documents obtained by website editors, he is banned from carrying a gun for the next 36 months and has been ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for 26 weeks. He was also fined $220 (£137).
Focus Features via Everett Collection
If you take the unpredictability, the philosophical depth, and the groundbreaking artistry out of a Twilight Zone episode, you'll be left with something like The Signal: a "dude wakes up in a weird place and everything's different and he doesn't know why" story, lacking in most of the merit, but still packing a good sum of the entertainment factor. Although it's hardly the stimulating piece of thought provoking sci-fi that it might aim to be, The Signal is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through the avenues of B-movie kitsch, kookiness, and half-baked imagination.
The film does the trick in establishing palpable characters. However rote they may be, MIT student Nic (Brenton Thwaites), post-millennial geek Jonah (Beau Knapp), and Nic's girlfriend Haley (Olivia Cooke) are colored bright enough to cart us through the bizarre world soon to ensnare them with no dearth of empathy. We meet the trio at the tail end of a cross-country road trip; Haley is moving to the West Coast with plans reeking of a "fresh start" mentality, despite her affirmed devotion to the recently crippled Nic and their relationship. During their travels, Nic and Jonah are contacted by an anonymous hacker of renown, Nomad, and driven to find his secret hideout in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, exploration of a remote cabin leads our heroes to ultimate doom: they wake up the next morning steeped in a set of strange, often incomprehensible, and consistently titilating circumstances.
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Government facilities, men in spacesuits (Laurence Fishburne leading the bunch), dense interrogations, disturbing footage, and lanced memories... all of the Rod Serling traditions, each injected with an intimate connection gratis of our mumblecorey introduction to the early 20s trio. As we follow Nic on his endeavor to figure out what the hell is going on and get himself and his friends the hell out of dodge, we're driven both by the mystery and the personal evolution of the characters at hand.
Granted, neither one is offering particularly stellar material: Nic's character arc is basic at best, ditto the "big questions" circling the enigmatic setting. But the saving grace of The Signal, odd as it may be, is that we're never really expecting to be impressed. From the get-go, we feel as though we're stepping into a particularly hokey second-rate feature. It's the embrace of this identity, and the appreciation for a movie of this aesthetic, that can help to carry us to the end (the big reveal!) with plenty of enjoyment.
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An unnamed British man has added to filmmaker Bryan Singer's woes by alleging the X-Men director sexually assaulted him in a new lawsuit. The new suit, filed by Jeff Herman, the same attorney who filed child sex abuse suits last month (Apr14) on behalf of Michael Egan against Singer and three Hollywood executives, suggests Singer had sex with his client at a Superman-themed party at a London hotel, when the plaintiff was 17.
Singer and producer Gary Goddard, who has also been named in the anonymous Brit's lawsuit, have denied the claims they sexually assaulted him.
Singer’s lawyer, Marty Singer, who previously dismissed Egan's claims against his client has called the new allegations "totally untrue," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He adds, "After the substance of (Herman’s) previous defamatory and fabricated filing in Hawaii was disproved based on unassailable evidence, Mr. Herman's desperation has led him to fabricate these new anonymous accusations against Mr. Singer, which we will also prove to be completely false."
Egan claimed he had had sex with Bryan Singer at a party in Hawaii, while the director's lawyer insists he has credit card receipts, cellphone bills, movie production schedules and over a hundred witnesses that will demonstrate Bryan Singer was elsewhere at the time.
In his suit, the latest plaintiff also alleges Goddard contacted him via social media when he was 14, and they eventually had sex after a series of nude webcam sessions.
Goddard’s lawyer, Alan Grodin, says, "It is a shame that the specious claim made by Herman in the Egan case has resulted in this new claim that we note is over 10 years old. For now we will say the claims are denied and Gary will vigorously defend."
The earlier suit against Singer has yet to be served, prompting Singer's attorney to add, "It is time for the media and public to focus their attention on Mr. Herman's nefarious motives and tactics which seem to be driven solely by his need to shake down an innocent man like Bryan Singer. We intend to seek sanctions against Mr. Herman for his reckless, unethical behaviour."
British actor Sam Reid couldn't believe his luck when he was offered a leading role in acclaimed new period movie Belle - because the day before he was preparing to play a Nazi. The Anonymous star was just about to start work on a film that fell through when the Belle opportunity presented itself.
He tells WENN: "I was supposed to be playing a Nazi from ages 18 to 60, which is an interesting project in itself. He fell in love with a nun, who converted from Judaism to Catholicism.
"That film fell apart, which is quite possibly a good thing. That night when that film fell apart I got the script for Belle and devoured it. I met (director) Amma Asante the next day and got the part the day after I met her. The rest is history... I could've been a Nazi!"
Kaley Cuoco has seemingly been everywhere recently. Since showing up last fall unexpectedly on The Voice while her sister auditioned, The Big Bang Theory's resident hot girl has been chatting up reporters, even landing on the cover of Cosmopolitan, dishing openly about everything from her wedding to professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting to her breast implants. Then there are her Instagram posts, which have featured Cuoco showing off the tattoo that she got in honor of her nuptials (the Roman numeral equivalent of the date), her new shorter haircut, and her stunning bikini-clad body.
It's not as though Cuoco has been averse to publicity before this. She's been in the public eye going back to when she was 17 and playing the late John Ritter's too-sexy daughter on 8 Simple Rules. She's also never been shy about showing some skin; beyond just the skimpy outfits her character Penny wears on Big Bang, the actress has done multiple cover shoots for Maxim. Something about this recent wave feels different, however.
With a guarantee of three more seasons of her sitcom in place, Cuoco appears to be making a play for a larger role in the public's mind and to keep from being known only as "Penny." In today's world, one way to compete with the Kardashian and Jenner sisters — not to mention Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, etc. — is to put more of your personal life out for public consumption. In Cuoco's case, she's earned the right to take some chances and see if they pay off.
Over the course of her run on Big Bang, Cuoco has taken the character from being a one-note joke — the hot girl across the hall — and turned her into a three-dimensional person. She's infused her character with a funny mixture that's equal parts brashness and low self-esteem. Instead of just being the "normal" person reacting to the geniuses, we've gotten to see Penny deal with insecurities at being the non-college graduate amongst a group of Ph.Ds. Cuoco's comedic timing has improved nearly every season since the beginning of the show… with her at some point taking on somewhat of a Dean Martin persona, looking for a drink to help smooth out the rough edges.
What the actress hasn't been able to do so far, though, is make that translate into something more than being a star on TV's top rated sitcom. A lot of her recent publicity push has been in support of Authors Anonymous, a low-budget comedy costarring Chris Klein (American Pie). Her biggest on-screen success thus far has been a supporting role in the kiddie flick Hop, where she didn't even get to play the female lead (she played a secondary character, James Marsden's sister).
Despite the solid work on Big Bang, Cuoco's career hasn't exactly progressed at lightning speed. Her next project, The Wedding Ringer, puts her alongside Kevin Hart — never a bad thing — but it still places her squarely in a supporting role.
Cuoco comes across in interviews as funny and down-to-earth. She's not obnoxious about what she chooses to share about herself and it's hard to find anyone that begrudges her success. If putting her life (and body) front and center in the jostling for media attention leads to the actress being offered better film roles, then more power to her. Few others have paid their dues as long as she has for the opportunity.
Lindsay Lohan has confirmed she wrote a list of celebrity lovers which was leaked to the press. Last month (Mar14), a U.S. tabloid published a handwritten list of 36 names said to be Lohan's former lovers, including James Franco, Ashton Kutcher, Heath Ledger, Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron, Colin Farrell and Wilmer Valderrama, who she dated for six months in 2004.
The star has previously dodged questions about the note, but during a candid interview on late night U.S. talk show Watch What Happens Live on Thursday (17Apr14), she confessed she penned the list as part of her rehab treatment last year (13).
She explained, "That was my fifth step in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) in (rehab centre) Betty Ford. And someone, when I was moving during the (reality) show, must have taken a photo of it. So that's a really personal thing. It's really unfortunate." Lohan will discuss the scandal at length during the two-hour finale of her docu-series, Lindsay, which airs in America on Sunday (20Apr14).
Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul joined the anonymous celebrities who appear masked onstage with rockers Arcade Fire during the Canadian band's set at the Coachella festival in California at the weekend.
The actor has revealed he was the man behind the papier mache Pope Francis head during Sunday's (13Apr14) show after the group's manager Scott Rodger posted a picture of Paul holding the prop on Instagram.com. The Strokes star Julian Casablancas joined Arcade Fire onstage in a mask of frontman Win Butler during the band's set at Lollapalooza Chile earlier this month (Apr14).
Paul wasn't the only celebrity onstage with the band at Coachella - Blondie star Debbie Harry also joined the group. Arcade Fire will return to the desert to headline the final night of the second weekend of the festival this coming weekend (20Apr14).
Paramount via Everett Collection
Last year, it was difficult to escape news coverage of the Steubenville case: a small town in Ohio covered up the rape of a 16-year-old girl to protect two local football players despite evidence of the crime on social media accounts. When the famed hacktivist group Anonymous got involved, the story garnered national headlines. Now, a little more than a year since the trial ended, Brad Pitt’s production company bought the rights to Rolling Stone’s article “Anonymous v. Steubenville” and plan to make a movie. The proposed film will focus on Deric Lostutter, a member of Anonymous who faces jail time for his part in releasing information and exposing the cover up. But is that the version of this story we really need to see?
While Lostutter’s experience is certainly an interesting side of the Steubenville case, it’s not the only story. To many, there was a small victory won in the way that people, especially the media, talks about rape cases. It was the first time that people rebelled in a big way against slut shaming and victim blaming language. (One infamous instance of victim blaming was when Serena Williams said the victim “shouldn’t have put herself in that situation.”) An online petition protesting CNN’s coverage of the trial garnered over 200,000 signatures when the anchors talked more about how the case will affect the rapists’ future than the lasting effects of the crime on the victim.
While that facet of the story might be more difficult to translate to film without the whole thing feeling like a made-for-TV melodrama, it’s important to at least incorporate within any movie about Steubenville. We’re worried that Pitt’s film may leave it out entirely, or discuss it in a way that negates the progress made during the Steubenville coverage, which would be worse.
Of course, there’s a possibility that Pitt and the production team helming the project will handle the subject beautifully and with grace; they did create the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave. Though the fact that they’re choosing to tell the story from a male perspective rather than a female perspective (like, say, the crime blogger that originally broke the story) is still somewhat dubious.
As much progress was made in the form of the aforementioned movement, a film on the issue could really do some good in shifting the way America views instances of sexual crime. If Pitt and his company are planning on making a film detailing the tragedy that befell Steubenville, they might serve the world best by keeping this element of the story at the forefront.