When the best director Oscar winner is announced Sunday, chances are it will once again be a non-American -- highlighting Hollywood's focus more than ever on global markets vital for box office success. And if Mexican Alfonso Cuaron wins the coveted prize for space thriller "Gravity," as many predict, he will be the fourth non-American in a row to win in the category.
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ordered Google Inc to remove from its YouTube video-sharing website an anti-Islamic film that had sparked protests across the Muslim world. By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Google's assertion that the removal of the film "Innocence of Muslims" amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, had objected to the film after learning that it incorporated a clip she had made for a different movie, which had been partially dubbed and in which she appeared to be asking: "Is your Mohammed a child molester?" In a statement, Google said: "We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it." Cris Armenta, a lawyer for Garcia, said she is delighted with the decision. "Ordering YouTube and Google to take down the film was the right thing to do," Armenta said in an email.
Filmed over a six year period, three hour black & white epic "Hard to Be a God" is the work of influential Russian director Alexey German. Its plot revolves around one of the scientific cohort, Don Rumata, tasked with helping the crude civilization to progress. If their status as intellectuals did not make them vulnerable enough, the observers' credo prevents them from using violent means to advance their cause -- but it looks like Don Rumata's had enough. First shown at the 2013 Rome Film Festival, where German was posthumously given the Lifetime Achievement Award, "Hard to Be a God" was again screened at Rotterdam earlier this year.
The Hollywood actor, who is currently headlining the crime series "The Following," will co-star with Radha Mitchell in this micro-budget horror film. The two actors will play a couple whose family is followed by a dangerous supernatural force following a trip to the Grand Canyon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Australian filmmaker Greg McLean, who is known for his horror films "Wolf Creek" (2005) and "Rogue" (2007), will begin shooting "6 Miranda Drive" in Los Angeles this March. The feature comes from Blumhouse Productions, which has become one of the leading studios for small-budget horror films.