Just as Bruce Broughton has been punished by the Academy for his questionable campaign tactics, Vulture has chimed in with a detailed timeline of strategies employed by the master of Academy manipulation, Harvey Weinstein -- not all of them strictly by the Oscar playbook. Take this anecdote about Weinstein's 1996 campaign for Billy Bob Thornton in "Sling Blade": "John Ericson, a retired actor who lives in Santa Fe, N.M., said he was called several times recently by a representative from the studio. In the first call, this person asked Mr. Ericson if he had received Sling Blade and urged him to watch it. A few days later, the representative called back to gauge Mr. Ericson's reaction ... 'He said: "Didn't you think he was wonderful? I hope it will be something worthy of a nomination,"' Mr. Ericson recalled." [Vulture]
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When I was on the set of the original "Thor," the person who spent the day showing the press around was Craig Kyle. At the time, he was one of the junior guys with the company, but it was obvious that, like most of the guys at Marvel, he had one character who was more near and dear to his heart than any of the others, and for him, that character was Thor.
As a result, I'm pleased to see that Craig Kyle's been hired to co-write the third "Thor" film with Christopher Yost.
He was the senior vice-president of Production and Development for Marvel when this decision was made, and he'll obviously leave that job to become the writer of the film. Yost, his co-writer, was one of the guys who shared screenplay credit on "Thor: The Dark World," along with Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and Don Payne and Robert Rodat. There are some big story threads that have been left dangling at the end of "Thor: The Dark World," including Loki's final trick, and I would assume the third "Thor" will deal with those elements as well as whatever story threads are set up in "Avengers: Age Of Ultron."
Updated (11:06 PM): Bruce Broughton and his wife responded to the controversy on their Facebook pages tonight.
"Citizen Kane" holds such a monumental place in our popular culture that whether or not you've seen the film, you most likely know the film's "big secret," since like "Psycho" and "Planet Of The Apes" and "The Empire Strikes Back," the film practically embodies the idea of a film built on a twist or a surprise or a reveal, and those things have been parodied and re-stated and borrowed from endlessly by now.
In the case of "Kane," the entire film is built around a search for meaning in the final words of a dying mogul, and it is only in the film's closing moments that the meaning of the cryptic word "Rosebud" is revealed. It all goes back to a pivotal moment in childhood, a lost sled that he misses still. So many people are defined by a few particular moments along the way, and one of the biggest questions in life is whether we would be different people if a few key things that happened a different way at key turning points in our lives. It's easy to pinpoint those moments in a movie, but for someone's real life, it can be far more difficult. However, in the case of M. Night Shyamalan, I think there is a pivotal moment that pushed him in the direction he's been heading for most of his career, and in a surprise twist, it looks like he's about to get a chance to go back and try again.
For Shyamalan, everything changed when "The Sixth Sense" was released and he was a sudden overnight sensation. For most people, that was their introduction to his work, and when he ended up on the cover of Newsweek, where they declared him "The New Spielberg?", it helped cement the narrative that he had come out of nowhere, fully formed and awesome.
So, our journey with "American Horror Story: Coven" finally gasps its agonized last breath this week, and a new Supreme is crowned. But first, a music video from Stevie Nicks! Because that makes sense, right? Stop laughing. Misty would be, like, TOTALLY mad at you.
When the title track for the independent faith-based production "Alone Yet Not Alone" picked up a Best Original Song Oscar nomination on Jan. 16, we at HitFix were the first to raise an eyebrow at the curiosity. One of the song's writers, Bruce Broughton, had formerly served as an Academy governor, making the whole situation smell a bit fishy.
It soon came out that he had directly campaigned on the song's behalf by sending notes to some of his fellow Music Branch members asking them to consider it. But my reaction at the time was "big deal." So the guy reached out to a few people. This happens every day of every Oscar campaign season and anyone who tells you different is either clueless or naive. But when Nikki Finke first Tweeted this afternoon that she had heard the Academy was about to announce a repeal of that nomination due to campaign violations, I started to feel bad for all involved.
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Bless Justin Bieber and the peach fuzz on his upper lip. In his new video for “Confident,” featuring Chance the Rapper, he dances in those ridiculous baggy jeans that sag to his knees, and wears a necklace that, instead of looking like cool bling, looks like he stole it from his grandma’s jewelry box when she wasn’t looking. And her sweater too.