February 6, 2012
Mike deGruy, 60, an award-winning cinematographer who spent three decades making documentary films about the ocean, was killed in a helicopter crash in eastern Australia. His employer, National Geographic, said Sunday that Mr. deGruy and Australian television writer-producer Andrew Wight died Saturday. Mr. DeGruy won multiple Emmy and British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for cinematography. An accomplished diver and submersible pilot, the Santa Barbara, Calif., resident was the director of undersea photography for James Cameron's 2005 documentary Last Mysteries of the Titanic . Mr. DeGruy spent much of his early film career traveling the world, shooting for clients including the BBC, PBS and National Geographic, his website says.
March 28, 2011
Richard Leacock, 89, a documentary filmmaker and pioneer of the unobtrusive camera technique cinema verite who followed John F. Kennedy on his presidential campaign and was seen by some as the grandfather of reality television, died Wednesday in Paris. His technical acumen supplied the likes of Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut with the tools of their trade. His insightful direction laid the groundwork for generations of filmmakers seeking to use their cameras to capture real life as it happened, colleagues said.
April 27, 2011
PHIL ROSENTHAL would prefer I not call him a control freak. "I don't think it's freakish to want it correct," the star, writer and director of "Exporting Raymond" complained mildly. It was the morning after he'd screened his new documentary at Philadelphia's Cinefest for an audience that included a few dozen of the nearest and dearest of his Delaware County-native wife, actress Monica Horan. The documentary, which opens here Friday, is a comic look at Rosenthal's efforts to help Russia produce its own version of his long-running sitcom hit, "Everybody Loves Raymond," replacing Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton and their co-stars with Russian actors, but sticking - mostly - to the original scripts.
November 4, 2011
OPENING LAST night and continuing through Tuesday is the fourth annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, sponsored by HBO and Comcast and screening at various locations around the city. The festival comprises 10 features and 18 shorts for all audiences, from romantic comedy to documentary. Today's Asian American filmmakers target broader audiences by exploring more universal themes while retaining an Asian American flavor in their work. "Enforcing the Silence," for example, explores themes of discrimination as it focuses on the unsolved murder of San Francisco Vietnamese activist Lam Duong in July 1981 by anticommunist extremists.
August 9, 2012
Robert Hughes, 74, the eloquent, combative art critic and historian who lived with operatic flair and wrote with a sense of authority that owed more to Zola or Ruskin than to his own century, died Monday at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. He died after a long illness, said his wife, Doris Downes. With a Hemingwayesque build and the distinctively rounded vowels of his native Australia, Mr. Hughes became as familiar a presence on TV as in print, over three decades for Time magazine, where he was chief art critic and often a traditionalist scourge in an era when art movements fractured into unrecognizability.
October 7, 2012
End of Watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are best friends and patrol car partners, cruising the mean streets of South Central L.A. in David (Training Day) Ayer's visceral, violent cop thriller. R Looper A slam-bang blast of a time-travel thriller, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as a guy named Joe - yes, they're the same guy, separated by 30 years in the dystopian future and brought together when Young Joe, a hit man, gets a job to kill Old Joe. Emily Blunt co-stars, as the mother of a kid with weird powers.
December 18, 2011
Bert Schneider, 78, a producer of Easy Rider and other films that helped define the social unrest of the late 1960s and early '70s, died Monday in Los Angeles. Mr. Schneider was a major behind-the-scenes force in the movement to make Hollywood more responsive to a youthful audience. Hearts and Minds (1974), which he produced with Peter Davis, was a documentary that focused on opposition to the Vietnam War. It won the Academy Award as best documentary in 1975.
February 22, 2013
By Steve Hallock This year's menu of Oscar-nominated short documentaries offers not only compelling viewing but also hope for those who despair over the decline of a robust, independent press that serves as investigative watchdog over government, business, and society. Not only are some newspapers going out of business, but those remaining - other than a few major city dailies - are eliminating investigative reporting teams and closing foreign and national bureaus. Broadcast television, meanwhile, long ago saw its special reports and foreign bureaus wither as the networks and the cable brethren exponentially increased sports and entertainment fare.
January 30, 2012 |
WHEN ALL of Comcast's legal and financial minds got together to discuss a purchase of NBC, do you think any of them raised the hypothetical question: "Do we have a corporate position on donkey semen?" That was the question du jour for the media conglomerate after "Fear Factor" shot an episode this past summer in which contestants were challenged to drink a glass of donkey semen (and one of urine, you know, as a cocktail) and some of them did - because one's thirst for cash knows no limits.
March 2, 2011 |
THE ON-AGAIN off-again relationship between Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider and businesswoman Roseanne Martin is newly back on, according to both Snider and Martin. "We are happy as could be," the usually private Snider told us yesterday. The couple sat courtside at last night's Sixers game at the Wells Fargo Center. Snider, 78, and Martin, 48, were once engaged before splitting up around 2003. From 2004 to 2009, he was married to jewelry designer Christine Decroix , wife No. 3, and Martin dated disgraced state Sen. Vince Fumo for several years.