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1-20 of 54 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »

Peter Debruge’s Top 11 Films of 2015

17 December 2015 11:34 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

1. “Son of Saul.” Earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, Chaz Ebert hosted a panel in which she invited experts to interpret a line from Roger’s memoir, “Life Itself”: What did her late husband mean when he wrote, “The movies are like a machine that generates empathy”? “Son of Saul” is perhaps the best possible answer anyone could give to that inquiry — a rare chance for audiences to experience the horrors of the Holocaust from the most conflicted perspective imaginable, that of a death-camp Sonderkommando. In this landmark artistic achievement, Hungarian newcomer Laszlo Nemes presents an exercise of stylized subjectivity, in which we watch Saul’s face, as opposed to seeing through his eyes, discovering certain truths never before captured on film.

2. “Spotlight.” In 2002, a crack team of reporters at the Boston Globe blew the lid off the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse. Last year, »

- Peter Debruge

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Watch Rachel Dratch Tackle Billy Eichner's Scientology Obstacle Course

8 December 2015 7:41 PM, PST | | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Billy Eichner unleashed Rachel Dratch on a harrowing, hilarious Scientology-themed obstacle course in a ridiculous new clip from Billy on the Street.

Eichner fittingly dubbed the challenge, "Leah Remini's Escape From Scientology," a nod to the actress who recently detailed her split from the Church in a new book. The host explained to Dratch that the first few obstacles would find her joining the Church of Scientology, before cracking, "Then there's a twist: You decide you need to escape the religion, save your kids, save your friends and most importantly save your acting career! »

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Why L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Hospital Wouldn't Exist Without Debbie Reynolds

13 November 2015 5:30 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. It sounds like something out of an L. Ron Hubbard novel, but The Thalians is one of the longest-running celebrity charities in Hollywood, helping to build Cedars-Sinai hospital, among other L.A. institutions. On Nov. 14, one of its founding members, Debbie Reynolds, 83, who served as the group's president for six decades, will be presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, the honorary Oscar for public service. { "nid": 817780, "type": "news", "title":

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- Chris Gardner

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BFI London Film Fest Review: Louis Theroux Takes On Xenu With Documentary ‘My Scientology Movie’

19 October 2015 10:01 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Probably because it’s completely barking mad, we seem to be endlessly fascinated by Scientology. The religion/cult, discovered/made up by sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard, has been the subject of endless speculation in its half-century history, partly thanks to its secretive nature. But despite it counting a number of major movie stars among its ranks (or more likely, because of that fact), cinematic investigations of Hubbard’s creation had mostly been limited to John Travolta’s propaganda movie flop “Battlefield Earth.” But things have changed of late. Paul Thomas Anderson’s thinly-veiled story of the founding of the religion, “The Master,” was followed within a couple of years by Alex Gibney’s scintillating exposé documentary, “Going Clear,” which was released earlier this year. Now, we get another non-fiction examination of the phenomenon, with John Dower’s “My Scientology Movie,” fronted by the well-known British journalist/presenter Louis Theroux and produced by. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Tiff 2015. Wavelengths, Part One: The Short Films

12 September 2015 1:26 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Youth On The MARCHThere are 48 individual films screening in the Wavelengths section of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The relative importance of this section, amidst the vast array of offerings in this relatively huge festival, depends on your taste in movies, of course, to say nothing of your specific objectives. If you’re coming to Toronto to try to score a hot tip in this year’s Oscar race, well . . . I feel sorry for you on a number of levels. But Wavelengths is unlikely to be your jam. Originally conceived exclusively as a showcase for experimental and non-narrative films (hence the section’s title, a direct tribute to avant-garde master and Toronto native son Michael Snow), Wavelengths now encompasses the edgier, less commercial side of art cinema. This is the first of two preview essays, and my aim is to cover everything in the section. These are the »

- Michael Sicinski

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Going Clear Director Alex Gibney Talked Scientology During His Reddit Ama: Here Are His Best Answers

9 September 2015 8:39 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

To promote his latest film, Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine, Alex Gibney participated in a Reddit Ama on Tuesday. Although the conversation was pegged to Jobs, many of the questions focused on Gibney's jaw-dropping Scientology exposé Going Clear, and what has happened since the movie's release. Gibney told Redditors about the fallout from the project, talked at length about the IRS and Scientology's contentious tax-exemption status, and teased that he has much more in store for L. Ron Hubbard's brainchild. Read highlights from the crowdsourced interview below:Is there a follow-up planned for Going Clear? There is much more to be done on Scientology. ... Yes, I would like to do a sequel. We have a lot of material. What roadblocks did he run into with Going Clear and Jobs? The hardest part is finding the story. The biggest roadblock to me in making both films was the unwillingness of so many to engage. »

- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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Honesty (No Lie!) About The Movies Of 2015… So Far!

13 August 2015 3:42 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

So here we are, smack dab in the middle of the dog days of summer (and if you don’t get that little saying, try lying out on the sidewalk in 100-degree heat for 15 minutes or so, like Fido does, and see if a light bulb doesn’t go off). The dogs are often howling in movie theaters too—at times it seems as though August has replaced January in the hearts of moviegoers as the dumping ground for pictures not really worthy of our attention (or a serious investment in the marketing department). Movies like Pixels and Fantastic Four have their perverse fascination—just how bad can they possibly be? Both were greeted with reviews so scathing and unyielding in their acidity that studio heads can only pray nothing in October, November or December will be perceived as worse, and I have to admit a certain curiosity. But that »

- Dennis Cozzalio

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Scientology Documentary ‘Going Clear’ to Air on Rupert Murdoch’s Sky

5 August 2015 7:41 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Berlin — Rupert Murdoch’s European pay TV operator Sky is to air Alex Gibney’s controversial documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”

The film, which recently garnered seven Emmy Award nominations, including for direction and documentary special, will screen on Sept. 21 on the Sky Atlantic channel.

The documentary profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology, shining a light on how the  church attracts true believers and the things they do in the name of religion. It highlights the church’s origins — from its roots in the mind of founder L. Ron Hubbard to its rise to popularity in Hollywood and beyond.

“Going Clear,” which is based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, is produced by Jigsaw Productions for Sky Atlantic.

Celia Taylor, Sky’s head of non-scripted commissioning, commented: “’Going Clear’ is a brilliantly compelling film that unflinchingly probes the secretive world »

- Leo Barraclough

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'Battlefield Earth' is no longer the funniest thing to result from Scientology

19 July 2015 3:20 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Living in La is enormous fun. Or at least, the potential for enormous fun is always there, provided you actually pay attention and go to things and get out of the house and actually take advantage of the various amazing opportunities that are around. The Ucb Theater is a place I should spend more time. No two ways about it. There are all sorts of things that happen there that I would love to see. Some of those, I hear later or see later, and thank god they make the effort to record so much of it, because I just listened to two of the funniest hours I've heard this year, and it is well worth your time to seek it out. Here's something from the official website of "The Dead Authors Podcast": 826 National is a nonprofit organization that provides strategic leadership, administration, and other resources to ensure the »

- Drew McWeeny

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Leni Riefenstahl: Reclaiming Tiefland

18 July 2015 3:24 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Continued from this article

Part I. Denazifying Leni

After World War II, Leni Riefenstahl couldn’t escape the Fuhrer’s shadow. Arrested first by American, then French troops, her property and money seized, she endured interrogations about her ties to the regime. Riefenstahl argued she’d been coerced into making propaganda and wasn’t aware of Nazi atrocities. The image stuck: three denazification tribunals acquitted her (one cautiously branding her a “fellow traveler”), and Riefenstahl began the road to rehabilitation.

More diligent investigators challenged her self-portrait. In 1946, American journalist Budd Schulberg interviewed Riefenstahl for the Saturday Evening Post. Riefenstahl claimed she didn’t know about Nazi concentration camps. Later, asked why she made Triumph of the Will, Riefenstahl claimed Joseph Goebbels threatened her with a concentration camp. Disgusted with Riefenstahl’s self-serving contradictions, Schulberg labeled her a “Nazi Pin-Up Girl.”

Then the German tabloid Revue published a damning article in »

- Christopher Saunders

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Laura Prepon Says Scientology Improved Her Acting Career: "It's Magic, It Really Is"

8 July 2015 8:08 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Laura Prepon says she has Scientology to thank for her onscreen success. The Orange Is the New Black actress expanded on her experience with the L. Ron Hubbard-created religion in its latest Celebrity Magazine issue, and how the process of auditing — a form of counseling central to Scientology philosophy — has improved her acting skills. "I feel a lot of the auditing that I’ve had helps me to be willing to go there and be free and vulnerable and really jump into these scenes wholeheartedly," she said in the interview of accessing her emotions in scenes. "There are

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- Ashley Lee

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Film Review: 'Going Clear'

27 June 2015 5:04 AM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★★☆ Paul Haggis, director of the Oscar-winning Crash (2004), was a struggling young writer in a failing relationship when he first came across a man on a street corner offering self-help advice via a book called Dianetics. Written by pulp sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard, the book had been a massive bestseller and led to the formation of the Church of Scientology, which sought to formalise, institutionalise and proselytise Hubbard's teachings. Haggis was hooked, reacting to the direction and discipline it offered and defending it from criticism at every possible opportunity. It certainly didn't hurt to have a network of actors and agents who were also Scientologists.


- CineVue UK

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Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llywelyn Puts the Church on Blast in Shocking Essay

24 June 2015 10:49 AM, PDT | Us Weekly | See recent Us Weekly news »

Another former Scientologist is speaking out against the Church, this time in a lengthy essay for Gawker. On Tuesday, June 23, the site published a piece by actress Carmen Llywelyn, who has had small roles in movies including Never Been Kissed and Chasing Amy, and who was married briefly to actor and Scientologist Jason Lee.  In the article, titled simply "Why I Left Scientology," Llywelyn details her history with the L. Ron Hubbard-founded religion, including what happened when she read the anti-Scientology book A Piece of Blue [...] »

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Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief Movie Review

19 June 2015 7:06 AM, PDT | ShockYa | See recent ShockYa news »

Title: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief Director: Alex Gibney Genre: Documentary Alex Gibney – defined by Esquire magazine as “the most important documentarian of our time” – unveils the hidden and harrowing history of Scientology. ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief’, produced by HBO, is based on Lawrence Wrights’s book, with the same name. The film that premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival thoroughly deconstructs the church’s claims, through a condensed timeline of the institution and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, along with the accounts of the way celebrities interact with Scientology. The movie has a classic three act structure. In the first, the  [ Read More ]

The post Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief Movie Review appeared first on »

- Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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“5 to 7″: The Best of the First Third of 2015

1 May 2015 12:13 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Ahoy! With it now being May, we’ve officially finished up with the first third of the year. As such, I wanted to highlight the best of the year so far, consisting of my top ten and various awards for 2015 to date. Much like last time, when I did the first quarter of the year, I’m mostly limiting it to things that have already hit theaters. My only exception is that I’m including titles from the recently concluded Tribeca Film Festival. There are some others from last year that I’m fond of and might have otherwise included, but I didn’t want to cheat too badly, so they’re on hold. Anyway, let’s get to the fun stuff… Below you’ll find my top ten of the year so far, along with my awards for the first quarter of 2015. Here you go, and enjoy: 10. Amira & Sam »

- Joey Magidson

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Alex Gibney Wins a Peabody for His James Brown Documentary

24 April 2015 8:54 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

It's astonishing how any filmmaker can keep up the pace that Alex Gibney does while maintaining such consistent quality standards. Gibney has had three films premiere on HBO in less than a year: four-hour biodoc "Sinatra: All or Nothing At All" and Scientology expose "Going Clear" --which has generated new scrutiny of the tax-exempt empire founded by L. Ron Hubbard--and last Fall's "Mr Dynamite: The Rise and Fall of James Brown," which may be the best of the lot. Read: Why Mick Jagger & Alex Gibney's 'Rise of James Brown' is a Musical' The film, which tells the James Brown story from his rural Southern childhood and his musical ascension to his civil rights impact, has just won the hard-working director a 74th Peabody Entertainment Award. Read More: Behind the Scenes with Alex Gibney at His Jigsaw Productions Orlando von Einsiedel's Oscar-nominated "Virunga" also made this week's Peabody list. »

- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio

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Top 5: WonderCon 2015, Star Wars on Digital HD, Sony Resurrects The Dark Tower, James Wan Eyed for Aquaman, Me And Earl And The Dying Girl Trailer

11 April 2015 2:46 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

HBO launched its new standalone streaming platform, HBO Now, earlier this week and is currently offering a 30-day free trial of the service. While there's plenty to be said about HBO Now and what it could mean for the future of traditional pay TV, I'm bringing it up today for one purpose: to let you know that it can be used to watch director Alex Gibney's fantastic documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief for free, right now. Pay $14.99/month to use it faithfully for years to come or burn through the 30-day free trial and promptly kiss it goodbye. It makes no difference to me either way as long as you take advantage of it long enough to watch Going Clear. Premiering at Sundance earlier this year (read Matt's review), Gibney's film is an emotional, disconcerting look at the Church of Scientology from its conception by »

- Jason Barr

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SNL's Scientology Spoof Is Too Ridiculous For Words

5 April 2015 12:15 PM, PDT | POPSUGAR | See recent BuzzSugar news »

Scientology has been back in the news, thanks to HBO's new documentary Going Clear, and now Saturday Night Live has provided a thinly veiled take on the controversial church. In this weekend's episode, some of your SNL favorites sing along in a music video set in 1990. Sure, the show presents the short as a "Church of Neurotology" ad, but with Bobby Moynihan dressed as Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and references to the church's mysterious auditing process, there's no doubt what this spoof is really about. Watch the outrageous clip below, and then catch up on the latest viral videos. »

- Nick-Maslow

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"SNL" Takes Aim at Scientology with Hilarious Music Video

5 April 2015 7:40 AM, PDT | TooFab | See recent TooFab news »

The Church of Scientology got shredded on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. While one of the sketches was a music video for "Neurotology," it's pretty clear who it was really about -- as the clip mentioned billion year contracts, E-Meters and alien spirits. It was even crafted to look like the real life "We Stand Tall" video Scientology released in 1990. Danny Masterson Says Scientology Critics Can "Go F**k Themselseves" Other references to the controversial belief system included Taran Killam dressed in David Miscavige's Navy-style uniform, Bobby Moynihan as an L. Ron Hubbard type and a shot of a "Diametrics" book ... an obvious reference to "Dianetics."  And then there's all the people from the video who went "missing" after speaking out against the church. Yeah, we don't think Scientology is going to like this parody too much. Video: Leah Remini Reveals Best Thing About Leaving Scientology Celebrity host Michael Keaton »

- tooFab Staff

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Watch ‘SNL’s Scathing Scientology Satire ‘Church Of Neurotology’

5 April 2015 5:36 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

The big question about HBO’s harsh Alex Gibney-directed Scientology documentary Going Clear was whether the movie could generate a wide mainstream audience for a decidedly negative depiction of founder L. Ron Hubbard and the allegedly oppressive practices that Scientology followers are forced to endure. Well, the resulting broadcast sure caught the zeitgeist meter of Saturday Night Live, which last night delivered this scathing satire called Church Of Neurotology. It was… »

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