Reuters - 52 minutes ago
Sundance gives rise to "star docs"
PARK CITY, Utah - Since the 1994 box office hit "Hoop Dreams," documentaries have come a long way from basic reporting with expert witnesses to fictional-style storytelling more like feature films in movies such as 2005's "Murderball." But this year at the Sundance Film Festival, which kicked into high-gear this weekend and has long championed non-fiction film as an art form, something new appears to be afoot -- the rise of the celebrity documentary, or "star doc."
Mariah Carey goes from "Glitter" to grim at Sundance
PARK CITY, Utah - Singer Mariah Carey has taken a break from pop stardom to act in new movie "Push," but far from her lead role in semi-autobiographical "Glitter," Carey has opted for a supporting part in this often grim tale. In fact, the real star of "Push," which debuted this past weekend at Sundance, is an unknown actress from Harlem, Gabourney Sidibe, playing an obese and overburdened 16-year-old named "Precious" Jones who is twice impregnated by her father and is beaten by her mother.
Who makes the Obamas dance? Stevie Wonder!
WASHINGTON - What President-elect Barack Obama has on his iPod may soon be a state secret, but musicians Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks and Pete Seeger all got the president-elect moving at a concert on Sunday. Obama, his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha sat sedately along with Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill as Bruce Springsteen sang "The Rising" and Mary J. Blige did a knockout performance of "Lean on Me."
Tom Cruise says grew up wanting to kill Hitler
SEOUL - Tom Cruise, who fails to assassinate Adolf Hitler in his new movie "Valkyrie," said he grew up really wanting to kill the Nazi leader. In the World War Two thriller based on a true story of the unsuccessful attempt by German soldiers to kill Hitler, Cruise plays Colonel Claus Von Stauffenberg who plants a briefcase bomb under a table at Hitler's military headquarters.
Amy Poehler's "Spring Breakdown" lightens Sundance
PARK CITY, Utah - U.S. comedian Amy Poehler's film "Spring Breakdown" lightens the economic gloom shadowing the Sundance Film Festival, premiering despite itself having been rocked by the financial crisis. The comedy about three 30-something women who go on spring break -- the wild annual vacation taken by U.S. college students -- was made in 2006 but languished after its studio home shut down last year.
Kevin James is top "Cop" with box office hit
LOS ANGELES - Kevin James, the star of the sitcom "The King of Queens," is now the king of the North American box office, thanks to a surprisingly strong No. 1 opening for his feature headlining debut. His family comedy "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" sold an estimated $33.8 million worth of tickets during the three days beginning January 16, distributor Columbia Pictures said on Sunday, helping boost overall ticket sales for a fourth consecutive weekend.
Patrick Swayze released from hospital
LOS ANGELES - Actor Patrick Swayze, the "Dirty Dancing" star who is battling pancreatic cancer, has been released from a weeklong stay at a hospital where he was treated for pneumonia, People magazine reported on Friday. Swayze, 56, was hospitalized in Los Angeles on January 9, hours before he was scheduled to appear at a gathering of television critics to promote his new TV crime drama, "The Beast," which premiered on the A&E cable network on Thursday.
Boy George sentenced to 15 months in jail
LONDON - Former Culture Club frontman Boy George was sentenced on Friday to 15 months in jail after being found guilty last month of falsely imprisoning a Norwegian male escort. Tried under his real name George O'Dowd, the 47-year-old Briton denied the charge of false imprisonment at his London flat in April, 2007. After his conviction on December 5, judge David Radford had warned him that he faced a prison term.
Sundance opens with hope for indie film
PARK CITY, Utah - The 25th Sundance Film Festival opened on Thursday with founder Robert Redford sounding an optimistic note for cinematic art and an artful movie challenging audiences to laugh through the pain of an imperfect world. The Australian animated film "Mary and Max," a tale of misfits on opposite sides of the globe who find friendship by becoming pen pals, was described by festival director Geoffrey Gilmore as being about "compassion, love, friendship and ideas."
Piven hit with grievance for leaving Broadway: NYT
NEW YORK - The producers of the Broadway play "Speed the Plow" filed a grievance with Actors' Equity against actor Jeremy Piven, who left the Broadway show in the middle of its run, citing health concerns due to mercury poisoning, The New York Times reported on Saturday. Jeffrey Richards, one of the lead producers of the David Mamet play, said in a statement that a grievance had been filed with the union over Piven's departure last month and that a date for proceedings by the union was still to be determined.
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