Controversies & Scandals: Articles

'Movies': Is That an 'Abhorrent' Word That Denigrates the Art Form? Many Believed So

“Movies” or…? Quo Vadis: One of the first feature films ever made, Enrico Guazzoni's Italian epic came out in 1913, going on to become a global sensation. Should American “moving picture” fans of the early 1910s have referred to it as a “photoplay” or a “movie”? Silent bites: The birth […]

How to Be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez & Leading Ladies + Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Hollywood Star

How to be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez, formerly known as Jacob Krantz from a working-class family of Austrian/Hungarian immigrants that had settled in New York City, succeeded in restyling himself as the next – even if, according to some, “second rank” – Rudolph Valentino. It's unclear whether or not […]

Merle Oberon: From Mystery Past & Hollywood Stardom to Shah of Iran Connection

Merle Oberon: 'Exotic' and mysterious star of British and American cinema was a victim of the 'Marion Davies Syndrome.' Merle Oberon movies: 'Exotic' and underrated actress with mysterious past is Star of the Month Merle Oberon is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of March 2016. The good news: […]

Critics' Choice Awards: 'Star Wars' Controversy & Nominations for Everyone

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Critics' Choice Awards Best Picture nomination controversy. Critics' Choice Awards: Everybody is a nominee Your U.S.-based awards group, all-encompassingly named the Critics' Choice Awards, wants to compete with the Golden Globes to become the second-rank Academy Awards – itself a second-rank version of its former […]

Boycott 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Controversy: Waste of the Time and Space Continuum

Stormtroopers deal with 'Boycott Star Wars: Episode VII' Twitter 'controversy.' The “Boycott 'Star Wars: Episode VII'” media idiocy The “Boycott Stars Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens” hashtag, concisely named #BoycottStarWarsVII, was trending earlier today (Oct. 19) on Twitter. Shocked? If so, you haven't spent much time on that […]

Hedy Lamarr 'Invention' & Inventor: Two MGM Movies

Hedy Lamarr inventor ca. early '40s. Hedy Lamarr: 'Invention' and inventor on Turner Classic Movies Two Hedy Lamarr movies released during her heyday in the early '40s – Victor Fleming's Tortilla Flat (1942), co-starring Spencer Tracy and John Garfield, and King Vidor's H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), co-starring Robert Young and […]

Racist '12 Years a Slave' Posters? + Bette Davis & Joan Crawford Shower Curtains Are Watching You

“Racist” 12 Years a Slave Italian poster? That's Brad Pitt – instead of lead Chiwetel Ejiofor – in Steve McQueen's 12 anni schiavo. But is this poster truly racist, as social media hysteria would have us believe, or merely another instance of lack of truth in advertising? Along with David […]

'Nymphomaniac' Trailer: 'Sexually Explicit' Scene Horrifies 'Frozen' Moviegoers?

Nymphomaniac character poster featuring Shia LaBeouf. According to some – since then discredited – reports, Frozen audience members were inadvertently shown the “sexually explicit” red band Nymphomaniac trailer. (Reality seems to have been closer to a Dallas Buyers Club threesome sex scene.) Directed by Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves, […]

'Twilight' Parody Trailer & Lionsgate/Summit $500 Million Lawsuit

'Twiharder' poster with John Gearries, Tanya Zoeller and Christopher Sean. Twilight parody $500-million lawsuit against Lionsgate Pictures and Summit Entertainment: Serious business Twiharder, not the son of Twilight and Die Harder but just Another Twilight Parody, reportedly had a planned late 2012 release date to coincide with the release of […]

Lesbian Sex Scenes Turned into Porn? 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' Author Julie Maroh vs. Abdellatif Kechiche

Léa Seydoux in Blue Is the Warmest Color. 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' graphic novel writer Julie Maroh discusses Abdellatif Kechiche's film adaptation + lesbian sex scenes Julie Maroh, the author of the graphic novel on which Abdellatif Kechiche's 2013 Palme d'Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color is based, […]

Jennifer Lawrence Oscar Speech + Obama's Campaign Manager 'Silver Linings Playbook' Push?

Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer Lawrence Best Actress Oscar acceptance speech Jennifer Lawrence's Best Actress Oscar 2013 acceptance speech: “Thank you. You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell and that's really embarrassing but thank you. [Twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, whose movie career spans four years, received a […]

'Zero Dark Thirty' Controversy Sells: Box Office vs. 'The Hurt Locker,' 'Black Hawk Down'

Zero Dark Thirty: Controversy boosts weekend box office Familiarity may breed contempt (if you're around the wrong person), but controversy surely breeds box office sales (if said controversy takes place at the time of the film's release). Blasted by Righteous U.S. congressmen and women, by CIA honchos (who always tell […]

Kristen Stewart vs. Robert Pattinson Box Office Flop Comparison Infuriates Fans

Kristen Stewart at the On the Road U.S. premiere in New York City. A major international name, Kristen Stewart rose to fame after being cast as the lovestruck Bella Swan in Catherine Hardwicke's 2008 film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's bestselling fantasy novel Twilight. Chris Weitz's New Moon, David Slade's Eclipse, and Bill Condon's […]

'Cosmopolis' 2012 Bombs: Reporting Facts = Anti-Robert Pattinson Bias?

'Cosmopolis' 2012 with Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon. Robert Pattinson 'Cosmopolis' movie: Highly unlikely further expansion Sept. 4, '12, update: Starring Robert Pattinson, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis had a solid debut at three U.S. theaters two weekends ago. (The film was screened in Canada – and surprisingly flopped badly – last […]

'On the Road' Again: Kristen Stewart Resurfaces & New Film Clip

On the Road movie trailer UK. Aug. 22, '12: Walter Salles' On the Road, a film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's '50s novel, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2012, where it was greeted by mixed reviews. Ultimately, Salles' On the Road movie failed to win any Official Competition awards at […]

Gore Vidal Controversial Movies: Gay 'Ben-Hur' Subtext?

Gore Vidal movies: The Best Man, Caligula, Suddenly Last Summer. (Image: A young Gore Vidal.) Author, playwright, screenwriter, acerbic storyteller, and political commentator Gore Vidal died Tuesday, July 31, '12, at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Vidal, who had been living in Los Angeles since 2003, was 86. Gore […]

'The Dark Knight Rises': Right-Wing Political Message vs. Occupy Wall Street? + Rabid Fans Attack Critics

'The Dark Knight Rises.' The Dark Knight Rises right-wing politics? July 27 update: In Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, Who represents You People? (Did you read the remarks by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's wife last week?) So, who does? Bane or Bruce Wayne? Their names sound similar […]

'Snow White and the Huntsman' Box Office vs. Budget: Hit or Flop?

'Snow White and the Huntsman' Kristen Stewart & Rupert Sanders 'cheating' scandal helped Snow White and the Huntsman box office? July 31, '12, update: In the United States and Canada, despite the loss of nearly 15 percent of its venues, Snow White and the Huntsman was down less than 8 […]

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorce: 'Jack Reacher' Box Office

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorce, Scientology, and Jack Reacher (photo). Tom Cruise has been much in the news lately because of his impeding divorce from Katie Holmes. Much speculation has been bandied about on whether Cruise's Scientology beliefs negatively impacted his marriage to Holmes – and, for now at […]

Samuel L. Jackson Goes After Film Critic's Job + 'Prometheus' Doomed 'At the Mountains of Madness'

Samuel L. Jackson, The Avengers The Avengers actor Samuel L. Jackson, whose self-righteous Nick Fury looks like an amateur next to Tom Hiddleston's brilliantly wicked Loki, has gone the James Cameron way. It's “either you like my movie, or you have no job writing about movies.” In response to an […]

Kirk Cameron vs. Gays + Christian Movies Box Office & Banana Video

Kirk Cameron, 41, has gone from his television teen idol days to starring in Fundamentalist Christian-themed movies such as Left Behind and Fireproof. Just recently, Cameron has also proven himself to be an outspoken anti-gay bigot, which has brought a swift response from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation […]

Harvey Weinstein Legion of Honor + Nicolas Sarkozy Letter Kept Secret During Oscar Race

Harvey Weinstein: Legion d'Honneur Chevalier nominated by French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Oscar race secret: Harvey Weinstein Legion of Honor 'nomination' Below is a letter (dated July 22, '11) French president Nicolas Sarkozy wrote to The Weinstein Company's cochairman Harvey Weinstein, who has been inducted as a chevalier into France's Légion […]

Steven Spielberg & Kate Capshaw + Sean Young vs. The Academy: The Oscars

Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw attend the Governors Ball following the 84th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA Feb. 26, 2012. Along with Kathleen Kennedy, Spielberg produced Best Picture nominee War Horse, which he also directed, and which features Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, and Tom Hiddleston. (Image: […]

Miramax Oscar Campaign Controversy: When Robert Wise Praised Martin Scorsese Social Drama

Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York Just last week, an email ad plugging Meryl Streep's performance in The Weinstein Company release The Iron Lady raised a number of eyebrows, as the email appeared to break the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' vote-soliciting […]

Michel Hazanavicius & Bérénice Bejo + Jean Dujardin: Golden Globes History Made Despite Kim Novak

Michel Hazanavicius and wife Bérénice Bejo: Making Golden Globes history. Michel Hazanavicius and wife Bérénice Bejo: 'The Artist' achieves unique Golden Globes feat Michel Hazanavicius and wife Bérénice Bejo accept the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for the comedy-drama The Artist – a Franco-Belgian co-production […]

Woman Comedians: Judd Apatow vs. Jerry Lewis + Critics' Choice Awards

While accepting the award for Best Comedy for Bridesmaids at the 2012 Critics' Choice Awards ceremony, Judd Apatow ended his speech with the following: “Jerry Lewis [photo] once said that he didn't think women were funny. So I'd just like to say, with all respect, fuck you.” Jerry Lewis' negative […]

Women Screenwriters in Old Hollywood: Discrimination?

Norma Shearer in 'His Secretary': Women Screenwriters in Old Hollywood Women screenwriters kept busy during silent era Frederica Sagor Maas, who had a handful of screenwriting credits in the 1920s, died Jan. 5, '12, at a nursing facility in La Mesa, in the San Diego metropolitan area. Sagor Maas was […]

'The Bourne Legacy': Jeremy Renner Reboot to Succeed? + 'Akira' Debacle

Jeremy Renner in 'The Bourne Legacy': Aaron Cross replaces Matt Damon in 'The Bourne Identity' reboot. Jeremy Renner in 'The Bourne Legacy': First look at Aaron Cross Matt Damon has gone from The Bourne Identity movies to Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo and Neill Blomkamp's upcoming Elysium. In Damon's […]

Salma Hayek Legion of Honor Induction Controversy + Kristen Stewart Cannes Entry?

Salma Hayek: Mexican actress in Legion of Honor controversy. Salma Hayek: Legion of Honor controversy There hasn't been much buzz about Marthe Keller's induction into France's Legion of Honor. Or the induction of actresses Dominique Blanc and Anny Duperey. Hardly a surprise, since the only film people that matter in […]

Clint Eastwood: Cameos in Family Reality Show & What Gay Marriage Support?

Clint Eastwood on the J. Edgar set with star Leonardo DiCaprio (as longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover) and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. One of the great cinematic hopes of 2011, J. Edgar has turned out to be a dud with both critics and U.S. audiences. Oscar chances are slim, […]

Bruce the Shark Leaves Universal + 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Filmmakers vs. Critic Brouhaha

Bruce the Shark and director Steven Spielberg, the de facto Jaws stars. Universal Studios Orlando is getting rid of the Jaws ride, starring Bruce the Shark, so as to replace it with something new to compete with rival theme park Islands of Adventure. One of the biggest box office hits in […]

Mike Leigh vs. Isabelle Adjani: Berlin Film Festival Gets 'Outspoken' President

Mike Leigh to be Berlin Film Festival Jury President. No Mike Leigh film has taken home the Berlinale's Golden Bear, but Happy-Go-Lucky was in contention in 2008, eventually earning star Sally Hawkins that year's Best Actress Silver Bear. More than a decade ago – in 1997 to be exact – […]

Lindsay Lohan Nude 'Playboy' Photos Leaked Online: 'Top Internet Search Name'

Lindsay Lohan nude Playboy images – or at least some of them – have been leaked online. In the photo shoot, the Freaky Friday and Mean Girls actress is made up to look like Marilyn Monroe in the late 1940s/early 1950s. Here's why: before becoming a 20th Century Fox star, […]

Judy Lewis Dies: Loretta Young-Clark Gable Out-of-Wedlock Daughter

Clark Gable, Loretta Young, The Call of the Wild Judy Lewis, out-of-wedlock daughter of Loretta Young and Clark Gable, died of cancer on Friday, Nov. 25, at a retirement home in the Philadelphia suburb of Gladwyne. She was 76. Young, who was an ardent Catholic, and Gable, then married to […]

Eddie Murphy No Longer Oscar Host

Eddie Murphy is out as host of the 2012 Academy Awards telecast. After a terse announcement that Brett Ratner would no longer be co-producing the Oscar ceremony with Don Mischer, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released another terse statement announcing Murphy's (not at all unexpected) departure. […]

Ramon Novarro Death: Brutally Killed Halloween Eve

Ramon Novarro: MGM star ca. 1925. Ramon Novarro death: Silent film star brutally killed on Halloween eve 1968 Ramon Novarro, the original (and most effective) Ben-Hur, Greta Garbo's leading man in Mata Hari, and the star in the silent film classics Scaramouche and The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, was […]

'Persepolis' Tunisia Broadcast Furor + Iranian Actress Freed

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis 'Persepolis' Broadcast: Tunisian Television Station President Apologizes to Offended Muslims Three days ago a group of 200 Fundamentalist Muslims protested outside the headquarters of a television station in Tunis for showing Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi's Academy Award-nominated animated feature Persepolis. What irked the […]

Lars von Trier 'Not Mel Gibson' But Cannes' 'Persona Non Grata' Following 'I Understand Hitler' Remark

This probably isn't the last of Lars von Trier – according to him, his project with Martin Scorsese is still a go – but the 'persona non grata' filmmaker has found the need to explain himself once again, this time to The Hollywood Reporter. Von Trier apparently wants to make […]

James Caviezel Jesus Backlash? 'Rejected in My Own Industry'

Jim Caviezel claims he has been “rejected in my own industry” after playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004) – worshiped by many as the closest a Hollywood blockbuster will ever get to the Second Coming, reviled by others as a sadistic, fetishistic work tainted with […]

Natalie Portman 'Black Swan' Dance Controversy: The Body Double & the Fouettés

Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan Did Natalie Portman do most of the fouettés in Black Swan? Or did Portman's dance double and American Ballet Theatre member Sarah Lane do most of the dance sequences? Lane told the Wall Street Journal that “I should specify the actual percentage of […]

Amy Adams Near Oscar Record & Melissa Leo Makes Academy Award History (of Sorts)

Amy Adams: Oscar Red Carpet. Amy Adams Oscar photos Amy Adams is pictured at the 2011 Oscar ceremony, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in the fast-thumping heart of Hollywood. Adams was – for the third time in six years (more info below) – a Best Supporting Actress […]

Annie Awards: DreamWorks Animation vs. Pixar-Disney Unfair Edge Controversy

Annie Awards winner How to Train Your Dragon, directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. Annie Awards and DreamWorks Animation 'marriage' A commenter took me to task for stating in a post written last night (Feb. 5; see further below) that the “marriage” between the International Animated Film Association and […]

Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider: 'Last Tango in Paris' Butter Sex Scene Offensively Ridiculous

Maria Schneider Schneider vs. Bernardo Bertolucci vs. Marlon Brando: Last Tango in Paris Blame Game After Marlon Brando died in 2004, Maria Schneider watched Last Tango in Paris once again and found it “kitsch.” Watching the infamous butter sex/rape scene below, one can see why. The “thrusting, jabbing eroticism” that […]

Maria Schneider: Controversial 'Last Tango in Paris' Actress Dies

Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris. The scandalous film was reviled by Lucille Ball, admired by Robert Altman, and reinterpreted by Ingmar Bergman Maria Schneider, best known for her sex scenes with Marlon Brando in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (1972), died of cancer […]

Jennylyn Mercado Snub + Catholics vs. 'Father Jejemon' Child Abuse Subplot: Metro Manila Film Festival Controversies

Jennylyn Mercado in 'Rosario': Period feminist drama has been a Metro Manila Film Festival box office disappointment. Metro Manila Film Festival: Jennylyn Mercado Best Actress snub while feminist 'Rosario' a box office disappointment Jan. 3 '11 update: Actor-turned-director Albert Martinez's Rosario, a feminist period drama toplining film & television star […]

'The Ghost Writer' Sweeps European Film Awards: Roman Polanski Political Thriller Win a Political Message?

The Ghost Writer, with Roman Polanski on the set. Winner of the Best Director Academy Award for the World War II drama The Pianist (2002), the 77-year-old Polanski now also has a Best Director European Film Award for the political thriller The Ghost Writer, based on Robert Harris' novel, itself […]

'Welcome to the Rileys': Kristen Stewart Fans Attack Article

Kristen Stewart in 'Welcome to the Rileys,' with James Gandolfini. Kristen Stewart Welcome to the Rileys online controversy To date (Nov. 14, '10), none of my posts has attracted as much attention – in sheer number of comments – as the one titled “Kristen Stewart Welcome to the Rileys Box […]

'Breaking Dawn' Filmed in Rio: Break-in, Bathrooms on Fire & Forgetting Sylvester Stallone

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart 'Breaking Dawn' filmed in Rio de Janeiro: Pristine waterfalls & portable bathrooms on fire. 'Hollywood Days' in Brazil: 'Fast Five' & 'Breaking Dawn' filmed in Rio Rio de Janeiro is currently having its “Hollywood Days” as per local reports, thanks to the presence of The […]

Zach Galifianakis vs. Mel Gibson

Zach Galifianakis in 'The Hangover': Saying No to Mel Gibson? 'The Hangover 2': Zach Galifianakis vs. Mel Gibson? Zach Galifianakis may have been the reason for the cancellation of Mel Gibson's cameo in Todd Phillips' The Hangover Part II. The cameo was meant to be Gibson's first baby step into […]

Roman Polanski Set Free, Samantha Geimer Responds

Roman Polanski, 76, will not be extradited to the United States following a decision by the Swiss Justice Ministry. In September 2009, Polanski – among whose efforts are Knife in the Water, Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, Tess, and The Pianist – was arrested upon arrival in Zurich, where he was to […]

Edward Norton Out of 'The Avengers,' Former Hulk Actor Defends Himself

July 12, '10, update: First Marvel's Kevin Feige lambasted Edward Norton, who played Bruce Banner in Louis Leterrier's 2008 The Incredible Hulk, in a missive sent to Feige bluntly explained that Norton's temper had been the cause for the actor's being dropped from the upcoming The Avengers. Then Norton's […]

Mel Gibson Expletive-Filled Controversy & 'The Beaver'

Mel Gibson in Jodie Foster's The Beaver Mel Gibson's rant, in which he yells over the phone at girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, has been made available at The rant revolves around Grigorieva's supposedly “fake” breasts and the way she dresses. It has become infamous worldwide because it contains sexually abusive […]

Megan Fox Fired: Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg Responsible?

Megan Fox as Mikaela Banes in Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen June 20, '10, update: Can you imagine Michael Bay taking orders from anyone? Michael Bay, the tough guy who makes bombastically macho movies such as Transformers and its sequels. The guy referred to as “Hitler” by Transformers […]

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley In & Megan Fox Out + Tom Cruise Les Grossman Movie?

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Replaces Megan Fox in 'Transformers 3' Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been cast as Megan Fox's replacement in Michael Bay's Transformers 3. She has no acting experience – not that much emoting will be required from her. The robots will provide all the necessary acting in the […]

Edward Cullen: Robert Pattinson vs. Henry Cavill & Shirtless Taylor Lautner vs. Climate Change

Edward Cullen a.k.a. Robert Pattinson ready for his 'Eclipse' close-up. Edward Cullen Twilight: Robert Pattinson handsome photo May 4: In the promotional image above, Robert Pattinson is seen as the vampire Edward Cullen in the upcoming The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. That's an unusually good picture of Pattinson as Edward. The […]

Daniel Radcliffe LGBT Youth PSA, 'The Hurt Locker' Producer Latest Email Storm

Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, who'll next be seen with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in David Yates' Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 in the fall, has done a public service announcement for the Trevor Project, described as “the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide […]

Ramon Novarro Biography 'Beyond Paradise' in Paperback

Jeanette MacDonald, Ramon Novarro, The Cat and the Fiddle Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro is a film star biography I wrote several years ago. The book tells the story of the first Latin American performer to become a major Hollywood star, Ramon Novarro. Beyond Paradise: The Life of […]

Olivia de Havilland on Joan Fontaine + Romance Classic

Olivia de Havilland. Olivia de Havilland is the subject of an interview published in the London Evening Standard about a week ago. The piece is a must-read. Discussed are de Havilland's youth, her early years in Los Angeles, Errol Flynn, Gone with the Wind, the Academy Awards, and – tangentially […]

Jafar Panahi Arrest + Jeff Bridges Dude & Academy Email To-Do

Jafar Panahi's Offside Jafar Panahi, 49, the Iranian director of the Venice Film Festival winner The Circle, was arrested on Monday night along with his wife and daughter and 15 house guests following a raid at his home in Teheran, according to The Times of London. Panahi had supported opposition […]

Margaret Avery & God: 'The Color Purple' Oscar Controversy

Whoopi Goldberg and Margaret Avery in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple; Avery's “Dear God” trade paper ad   Long before the Nicolas Chartier/vote-for-The Hurt Locker-not-Avatar e-mail and the Robert Wise/Miramax's Gangs of New York Oscar ads caused a stir, lots of eyebrows were raised when both Margaret Avery and God […]

James Cameron & Charles Pellegrino 'The Last Train from Hiroshima' Controversy

James Cameron, whose Avatar is doing incredible business worldwide, recently bought the film rights to Charles Pellegrino's The Last Train from Hiroshima, a book recounting stories from survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which killed 70,000 people. Pellegrino's tome also includes remembrances from US military personnel involved in the […]

'The Hurt Locker' Oscar Controversy: Producer Nicolas Chartier Vote-Soliciting Email

Feb. 27 update Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker producer Nicolas Chartier will be facing some sort of punishment from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following multiple e-mails he sent out asking Academy members to vote for the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Iraq War […]

'Whitewashing' in Hollywood Movies: Racism? Luise Rainer & Ramon Novarro + Nancy Kwan

The ethnic controversy surrounding the casting of Gérard Depardieu as Alexandre Dumas in Safy Nebbou's The Other Dumas reminded me of Arthur Dong's 2007 documentary Hollywood Chinese, which discusses how Caucasian actors usually played major Chinese roles in American movies – a.k.a. “whitewashing” – up to the not-too-distant past. Among […]

'My Name Is Khan': Shah Rukh Khan Political Film Targeted by Nationalist Hindu Fanatics

'My Name Is Khan' with Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan: Cricket League comment leads to Hindu nationalist outrage and fat box office receipts. 'My Name Is Khan': Solid box office in spite of – or because – threats of attacks Like Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, My Name Is Khan, […]

Kristen Stewart, Abbie Cornish & Carey Mulligan: 'Racist' 'Vanity Fair' Cover

First a furor over Avatar, now Vanity Fair. It's February, Black History Month, and Vanity Fair dares to put nine young lily white up-and-coming actresses on its March (don't ask) cover: Kristen Stewart, Abbie Cornish, Anna Kendrick, Rebecca Hall, Carey Mulligan, Mia Wasikowska, Amanda Seyfried, Emma Stone, and Evan Rachel […]

Mel Gibson Is Back & So Is Controversy, 'Hugh Hefner' Documentary Sold

Mel Gibson's revenge thriller Edge of Darkness opened today, Jan. 29, '10. Directed by Martin Campbell and written by Academy Award winner William Monahan and Martin Bovell, the film marks Gibson's comeback in a starring role since M. Night Shyamalan's 2002 Christian sci-fier Signs – in which God allows most […]

'Avatar': Movie Racist & Paganistic? & China Ban

In James Cameron's Avatar, a white human is turned into a blue Na'vi, the inhabitants of a far-off moon. He eventually turns against the human invaders, becoming the leader of the Na'vi in their fight to preserve their way of life. Some people are pissed off because the human is […]

Metro Manila Film Festival: Action-Fantasy Starring Actor-Politician Tops Controversial Fest

Ang Panday with Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr. A special-effects-laden mix of fantasy, adventure, and European-inspired legends, Ang Panday (“The Blacksmith”) stars Filipino actor-politician Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr. as the titular blacksmith who unexpectedly becomes a powerful force against the evil wizard Lizardo, played by veteran Phillip Salvador – who had […]

Julia Roberts' Golden Globes + Gabourey Sidibe Cheated Out of Best Actress Award?

Duplicity with Julia Roberts. Three-time Golden Globe winner Julia Roberts not only is a (somewhat, considering the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) surprising nominee in the Best Actress - Comedy or Musical category, but she'll also be a presenter at the 2010 ceremony to be held in Beverly Hills. Roberts' three […]

Petition for Roman Polanski Signatories

List of individuals who have signed (as of Oct. 7) the “Free Roman Polanski” petition organized by the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD): Michael A. Russ Erika Abrams, Fatih Akin, Yves Alberty, Stephane Allagnon, Woody Allen, Pedro Almodóvar, Gianni Amelio, Greta Amend, Wes Anderson, Michel Andrieu, Roger Andrieux, […]

Roman Polanski Arrested

Roman Polanski's attorney Douglas Dalton and the filmmaker Roman Polanski, who won a best director Oscar for the Holocaust drama The Pianist in 2003, was arrested at the Zurich airport last night. According to reports, the 76-year-old filmmaker could face extradition to the United States for charges of having sex […]

Jared Leto & Riccardo Scamarcio + Mussolini 'Whore' Controversy & Venice Film Festival Winners

Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham and director Jaco van Dormael: The curious case of 'Mr. Nobody' talent. 'Mr Nobody' director Jaco van Dormael and actors Jared Leto, Diane Kruger and Sarah Polley: Venice Film Festival Mr. Nobody director Jaco van Dormael along with actors Jared Leto, […]

'Brüno' Gay Controversy: Rights or Stereotypes?

Brook Barnes in the New York Times: “So it goes for Brüno, a movie that, in mercilessly exploiting the discomfort created when straight men are ambushed by aggressive gayness, happens to (surprise!) expose homophobia. Gay groups are reacting with deeply mixed emotions, heightened by the recent triumphs (Iowa) and losses […]

Beyoncé & Jay-Z + Tom Cruise & Double Winner Kate Winslet + Biggest Loser Meryl Streep: Eclectic Golden Globes

Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Pop celebs such as Beyoncé and Jay-Z mingled with movie celebs at the 2009 Golden Globes ceremony. Beyoncé, a.k.a. Beyoncé Knowles, was in the running in the Best Original Song category for the Cadillac Records ditty “Once in a Lifetime,” which she co-composed. The winner, however, was another pop […]

Jerry Lewis: Comedian Gets Academy Honor But Enmeshed in Gay Slur & Other Controversies

Jerry Lewis: Comedian host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Telethon will be receiving the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, given since the 1957 Oscar ceremony to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” Besides […]

'Brokeback Mountain' Gay Love Scenes Censored on Italian TV + Heterosexual Sex Scene Left Intact

Brokeback Mountain with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as gay cowboy lovers kept apart by fear and bigotry. Directed by Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), the 2005 romantic drama became both a critical favorite and a sleeper box office hit, ultimately collecting $178 million worldwide. Brokeback […]

Kathleen Turner Autobiography 'Send Yourself Roses': Dissing William Hurt & Nicolas Cage + Burt Reynolds

Kathleen Turner. Back in the male-centered 1980s, Bette Midler and Kathleen Turner were the only two Hollywood actresses with more than one or two major domestic box office hits. Turner had a quartet of significant commercial performers: Romancing the Stone (1984), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Peggy Sue Got […]

Gay Slurs: Sharon Stone vs. Isaiah Washington To-Do + 'Hounddog' Rape Controversy & Jessica Lange vs. Iraq War

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2. Are gay slurs just that, (vulgar, offensive, insensitive) gay slurs, no matter the occasion? This somewhat esoteric question is neither asked nor answered in Michael Caton-Jones' 2006 critical and box office disaster Basic Instinct 2, shortlisted for seven Razzie Awards. In the cast: Sharon Stone, […]

'The Hollywood Book of Breakups': Q&A with James Robert Parish

Prolific author James Robert Parish answers seven questions about his latest tome, The Hollywood Book of Breakups. Unlike his previous book, Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops, an analysis of Hollywood moviemaking, the Book of Breakups focuses on the private lives of those who have worked in the motion […]

How to Sell Your Soul: Must-See Long-Thought-Lost Classic Resurfaces in Restored Print

Souls for Sale with Eleanor Boardman and Barbara La Marr. Long before Hollywood became the target of relentless political attacks for being out of touch with the values of God-fearing, mom-loving, apple-pie-eating Americans, Sodom-on-the-Pacific was the favorite target of U.S. religious and “conservative” social leaders – which could have resulted in […]

Harold Pinter Nobel Prize in Literature Winner: Fiery Anti-U.S. & Anti-Iraq War Speech

Harold Pinter. Nobel Prize in Literature winner delivers controversial acceptance speech fulminating against the U.S. government, the Iraq War, and war hawks George W. Bush and Tony Blair. Harold Pinter plays include The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, and Betrayal. Among his screenplays are those for The Pumpkin Eater, The Go-Between, […]

Silent Movie Star Vera Kholodnaya: 'Queen of Russian Cinema' Returns

Russian silent movie star remembered: Vera Kholodnaya Vera Kholodnaya, Russia's top female movie star of the 1910s, will be brought back to the fore thanks to a Moscow theater's silent film series, reports the Moscow Times. Beginning on November 23, 2005, four of Kholodnaya's five extant films – including three […]

'Meet the Fockers': Top Live-Action Comedy Ever? And Oscar Winner Controversy

'Meet the Fockers' with Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner and Teri Polo. 'Meet the Fockers': Biggest live-action comedy blockbuster ever? Jay Roach's low-brow family – or rather, families – comedy Meet the Fockers, starring Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Blythe […]

Joan Collins Quotes + Lauren Bacall vs. 'Movie Legend' Nicole Kidman & Greek Attorneys vs. Gay Alexander the Great

Joan Collins in Dynasty. Joan Collins quotes have been media fodder for decades, as the British actress has been around since the early 1950s. Half a century after Decameron Nights, The Slasher, and Our Girl Friday, Collins continues to be quoted, this time after weighing in on the multifaceted controversy […]

'Hotel Rwanda' Movie: Rwandan Genocide & Oskar Schindler-Like Hero Fact or Fiction?

Hotel Rwanda movie with Don Cheadle and Nick Nolte: History or fiction? In Terry George's 2004 family/political drama Hotel Rwanda, Don Cheadle plays Kigali's Hôtel des Mille Collines manager Paul Rusesabagina, an ethnic Hutu credited with having saved the lives of more than 1,200 people who had sought refuge at […]

'I Heart Huckabees' Movie Review: Tragically Unfunny Nihilistic Nietzsche

'I Heart Huckabees' with Jude Law and Naomi Watts. 'I Heart Huckabees' quotes nihilistic Nietzsche while stellar cast mostly flounders Beginning with Spanking the Monkey (not a film about animal abuse), David O. Russell has gained a reputation as a director of quirky comedies. I Heart Huckabees is no exception. […]

John Kerry Vietnam War Movie, 'Crash' Title Battle: Toronto Controversies

John Kerry Vietnam War movie 'Going Upriver.' John Kerry Vietnam War movie, 'Crash': Toronto Film Festival controversies Besides Charlize Theron's no-show and Kevin Spacey's “show” sporting a dyed scalp, the 2004 edition of the Toronto Film Festival, which runs until Sept. 18, has had its share of controversies thanks to […]