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Dark comedy "Birdman" boosted its Oscars hopes after landing the top prize at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards, a barometer of likely success at the all-important Academy Awards. The film about a washed up superhero movie star attempting to revive his career on Broadway took the SAG equivalent of the Oscars best picture with victory in the outstanding performance by a cast category. The honor for "Birdman" came just 24 hours after Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film scooped the top prize at the Producers Guild of America awards, another significant Oscars bellwether.
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — "Once (Sundance) started to click and move, ... more and more people came. Pretty soon, I could see that it was becoming, for a lot of people, the place to be at this time and that brought in all ...the ambush marketers who couldn't care less about film, who couldn't care less about Sundance. What was upsetting to me at a certain point was the media — the outside media was beginning to look at the festival and they assumed we were selling out because all these marketers were there which had nothing to do with us. ... You can't get rid of them and that's OK, but as long as we can maintain who we are and have that come through it's all that matters to me."
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — "It's a good idea to put out there in the universe that you can do different and varied, kind of sort of things so people don't get tired of you, but I think experientially from the inside it's more fun to do different things, you know? And I got into acting because I think the first play that I did I played 20 parts, so I think my whole concept of what acting was in the beginning was precisely that, getting the opportunity to disappear into multiple, multiple roles."
Toto, which packed arenas with 1980s hits such as "Africa" and "Hold the Line," will release its first album in nearly a decade in March followed by an extensive tour. The Los Angeles-area rockers said they regarded "Toto XIV," their first album of new material since 2006, as a sequel to 1982's "Toto IV," which jumpstarted the band's career. "This is opposite of going through the motions," said keyboardist Steve Porcaro, the last of three brothers from the original lineup. The band wants to "make the best music we can.
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster was ordered deliberately by Moscow, as a coverup to distract attention from a failed weapons project. "The Russian Woodpecker," screened at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend, tells the tale of a Ukrainian artist's bid to find out what actually caused the 1986 catastrophe in the then Soviet republic. "Putin's strategy is to ensure that there are a ring of failed states around Russia," Gracia told AFP in an interview, adding: "Putin holds all the cards.
Clint Eastwood's mega-hit "American Sniper" was the top film at North American movie houses for a second week, despite controversy over what some feel is a jingoistic message and graphic violence. The war drama, based on the true story of Iraq War Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, earned $64.4 million this weekend, industry estimates showed, after last weekend's massive haul of nearly $90 million -- a record January opening. Nearly half of all movie tickets sold over the weekend were for "American Sniper" and all told, the film has so far earned more than $200 million since its release, giving it bona fide blockbuster status. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said Muslims are facing increased threats in the United States after the release of the movie "American Sniper," because of the way it portrays Arabs and Muslims.
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, the crack-pot team behind "Frances Ha," have proven their delightful screwball talents once more with "Mistress America," which premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is a dreamy and idiosyncratic comedy about two enigmatic soon-to-be stepsisters who are just trying to figure out how they fit in the world,