Showbiz Sandbox 265: This Year’s Oscar Nominations Aren’t Only Racist, They’re Anti-Lego

While debating Oscar nomination snubs has become an annual tradition, the criticism over this year’s list of nominees had to do with racial bias and a lack of diversity. Specifically, a film about civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. was nominated for Best Picture, but its female director and lead actor, both black, were surprisingly overlooked.

Yet few seemed to notice is that “Selma”, the film in question, is only the twelfth film directed by a woman to receive a Best Picture nomination in the 86 year history of the Academy Awards. On only four occasions has the filmmaker also been nominated for Best Director. And six of these movies were nominated during the last 10 years, pointing towards a positive trend for female helmers.

Also under represented in the Best Picture category at this year’s Oscars are hit movies. Sure, all of the nominees were successful, but only “American Sniper” earned big bucks at the box office. If only Legos were eligible to vote… maybe they’re film would have been nominated for Best Animated Feature.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Barbara Streisand’s latest platinum album, Amazon’s move into theatrical film distribution and why James Cameron is delaying the “Avatar” sequels to 201.

Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 265: This Year’s Oscar Nominations Aren’t Only Racist, They’re Anti-Lego

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Showbiz Sandbox 59: Movie Piracy Becomes Unthinkable

On the weekend of June 11th the film “Unthinkable” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Sheen rocketed up the Internet Movie Database’s MovieMeter. It wound up at number three beating out such new releases as “Get Him To The Greek” and “Shrek Forever After”. The funny thing is, this film wasn’t playing in theaters and at the time hadn’t even been released on DVD. A pristine pirated version however did leak online.

Cotty Chubb, the producer of “Unthinkable”, joins us to discuss the film, whether the illegal version helped its recent release and ultimately how movie piracy is affecting the entertainment industry.

“Toy Story 3” didn’t have to worry about being pirated when it opened this weekend since most theaters were showing it in 3D. The film earned debuted in first place with a whopping $109 million. That makes it the most successful Pixar opening ever.

Piracy doesn’t seem to be affecting Michael Jackson’s estate either. In the year since the performer’s death his music and film work has earned nearly a billion dollars according to Billboard magazine.

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Showbiz Sandbox 22: The Trouble With Indie Films, Roman Polanski and Hollywood Guilds

When the Toronto Film Festival concluded last week only one of its official selections had been picked up for distribution. This touched off a string of articles and blog posts from the likes of Anne Thompson and Roger Ebert on the state of the independent film industry. One of the more interesting blog posts came from indie producer Ted Hope who has produced over 60 films in a career which spans three decades. He joins us on this week’s episode with independent film producer Christine Vachon.

Hope has worked with such filmmaker as Ang Lee, Michel Gondry, Hal Hartly, Todd Solondz, Ed Burns, Todd Field and Tamara Jenkins while producing films like “In The Bedroom”, “The Ice Storm”, “Eat Drink Man Woman”, “The Brother’s McMullen”, “American Splendor”, “21 Grams”, “Happiness” and “The Savages”. His production company This Is That has produced more than 17 films since it was founded in 2002.

Vachon has also produced an astounding number of indie films, including Todd Haynes’ “Poison” and “Far From Heaven”, Larry Clark’s “Kids”, John Cameron Mitchell’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, Todd Solondz’s “Storytelling” and Kimberly Pierce’s “Boys Don’t Cry”. Along with Pamela Koffler, Vachon has been running the production company Killer Films for the 14 years.  Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 22: The Trouble With Indie Films, Roman Polanski and Hollywood Guilds

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