Thursday Jul 31, 2014

Samsung launches world's first flexible TV

If you want an ultra-high-definition TV but can't decide on a flat or curved screen, the Samsung UN78S9B might be just the thing.And that's because its 78-inch screen goes from flat to concave curve, on command. Demonstrated for the first time at the 2014 International CES in January, the TV...
Read More

TV

Samsung launches world's first flexible TV
Thursday Jul 31, 2014
Samsung launches world's first flexible TV

If you want an ultra-high-definition TV but can't decide on a flat or curved screen, the Samsung UN78S9B might be just the thing.And that's because its 78-inch screen goes from flat to concave curve, on command. Demonstrated for the first time at the 2014 International CES in January, the TV has gone from prototype party piece to actual product and will be going on sale in the company's native South Korea on August 1. The logic goes that curved-display TV screens, especially ones that boast four times the resolution of High Definition, offer a more immersive, cinematic experience -- so great for watching movies and for gaming. However, some things, like using smart TV apps or checking the weather or watching the news might be better on a flat screen. The past several weeks have been very busy for Samsung's TV business. At the end of June it launched three new ranges of flat UHDTVs, including its first sub-$1000 model -- the 40-inch HU6950, then followed that up with the frankly gigantic 105-inch curved screen UN105S9 UHD TV with its equally colossal $120,000 price tag. And while the new bendable TV is the first to market, it won't be the last. Samsung's closet direct rival LG has been equally busy launching new TVs. Earlier this week it launched its own 105-inch curved screen UHDTV and just like Samsung, demonstrated a flat screen TV that converts to a curved screen on command at CES this year. There is currently no word as to how much Samsung's bendable television will cost, or when it will be offered for sale beyond South Korea. However, there is little doubt that momentum is beginning to build in the 4K UHD TV market and that consumers are getting ready to take a chance on what is still, technically speaking, an emerging technology. The latest consumer confidence report from the Consumer Electronics Association (published on July 22) shows that in the US, optimism, and therefore desire to spend big on tech devices, is back at levels not seen since 2012 and that companies that make UHDTVs could be beneficiaries of this newly rediscovered optimism. UHD TVs are not expected to become mainstream consumer devices until the end of the decade, however shipment data and polls reveal that adoption rate is growing and at a faster rate than uptake of HDTV sets when the technology was new and exciting. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Former 'Fringe' actor boards 'CSI'
Thursday Jul 31, 2014
Former 'Fringe' actor boards 'CSI'

Mark Valley has joined the forensic investigation drama's 15th season in a recurring role.On the upcoming season of "CSI," the 49-year-old actor will play a former police detective who now works as a private investigator. The character teams with Julie Finlay (Elisabeth Shue) following the disappearance of her partner. Valley has plenty of experience with this type of role by now, having played a detective on "Body of Proof," an FBI agent on "Fringe" and the director of the CIA on "Crisis." While there will be some tension between Finlay and her new partner, "the attraction between them will be undeniable," according to sources at EW.com. After the original drama set in Las Vegas and the spin-offs in New York and Miami, the latest addition to the family is "CSI: Cyber," which premieres this fall. The new show stars Patricia Arquette as the head of the FBI's cybercrime division. Season 15 of "CSI" (Las Vegas) premieres September 28 on CBS. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

BBC's 'War and Peace' miniseries could star Paul Dano, Lily James
Wednesday Jul 30, 2014
BBC's 'War and Peace' miniseries could star Paul Dano, Lily James

The two actors are circling a miniseries adapted from the classic novel, Deadline reports.Revealed in "Little Miss Sunshine" before garnering critical acclaim for supporting roles in "There Will Be Blood," "Prisoners" and "Twelve Years a Slave," Paul Dano could soon appear in the lead for a change. The 30-year-old actor has been offered the role of Pierre Bezukhov in an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" from the Weinstein Company and the BBC. Lily James is also circling the miniseries, according to Deadline. The "Downton Abbey" star, who will soon be seen in theaters as "Cinderella" in Kenneth Branagh's adaptation, was offered the role of Natasha Rostova in the miniseries. Announced in 2013, the project seems to finally be coming together with the news of these first potential recruits. The two actors would follow in the footsteps of Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn, who played the two lead roles in King Vidor's 1956 adaptation for the silver screen, and more recently Alexander Beyer and Clémence Poésy, who played the roles in a pan-European 2007 miniseries directed by Robert Dornhelm. Like Tolstoy's novel, the miniseries will follow five aristocratic families in early 19th-century Russia. The project is written and executive produced by "Broadchurch" and "House of Cards" producer Andrew Davies. BBC is slated to air "War and Peace" in the UK in 2015. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Contract dispute delays 'Big Bang' production
Wednesday Jul 30, 2014
Contract dispute delays 'Big Bang' production

NEW YORK (AP) — Production on a new season of "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed because of a contract dispute with its top actors. The Warner Brothers Television studio, which makes television's most popular comedy, said that Wednesday's scheduled first day of work after the summer hiatus was postponed. There's no word on when "The Big Bang Theory" team will be back at work. The CBS series is heading into its eighth season, and the studio is trying to hammer out new deals with actors Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar. Contract disputes aren't unusual at popular, long-running TV series, and CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler seemed to take it in stride when asked about the negotiations two weeks ago. "I just love being able to answer these questions year after year, primarily because we have successful shows," she said. "And when you have successful shows, you have renegotiations. We're feeling very confident that everything will work out. These deals manage to get done somehow miraculously year after year." CBS had no additional comment on the negotiations Wednesday. It's considered far too early for such a dispute to affect the timing of a show's season premiere. "The Big Bang Theory" opens its new season on Sept. 22. The show is moving temporarily to Mondays for the beginning of the new season with CBS airing NFL football games on Thursdays for the first half of the season. ___ Associated Press writer Alicia Rancilio contributed to this report. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC's Peter Pan
Wednesday Jul 30, 2014
Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC's Peter Pan

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC has picked its Peter Pan: high-flying "Girls" star Allison Williams. The network announced Wednesday that Williams will play the boy who refused to grow up in NBC's new staging of "Peter Pan Live!" The live telecast of this musical classic will air Dec. 4. The 26-year-old actress-comedian plays Marnie Michaels on HBO's comedy "Girls," for which she has recorded several songs. She is the daughter of NBC News anchor Brian Williams and has also appeared on "The Mindy Project" and "The League." NBC recently announced that Oscar winner Christopher Walken will play the villainous pirate Captain Hook. "I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old, so this is a dream come true," said Williams, who added, "What could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?" This musical version of "Peter Pan" has a long tradition on NBC. It opened on Broadway in 1954, starring Mary Martin as the flying boy and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook in a pair of Tony Award-winning performances. They reprised their Broadway roles in a live telecast of the production that aired on NBC in 1955, revived a year later with a second live telecast — and then, in 1960, with a new, videotaped "Peter Pan" that again starred Martin and Ritchard. The upcoming "Peter Pan Live!" is a follow-up to the success NBC found with a live version of "The Sound of Music" in 2013 with Carrie Underwood. Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who produced "The Sound of Music," are also working on "Peter Pan Live!" Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Samsung launches world's first flexible TV
Thursday Jul 31, 2014
Samsung launches world's first flexible TV

If you want an ultra-high-definition TV but can't decide on a flat or curved screen, the Samsung UN78S9B might be just the thing.And that's because its 78-inch screen goes from flat to concave curve, on command. Demonstrated for the first time at the 2014 International CES in January, the TV has gone from prototype party piece to actual product and will be going on sale in the company's native South Korea on August 1. The logic goes that curved-display TV screens, especially ones that boast four times the resolution of High Definition, offer a more immersive, cinematic experience -- so great for watching movies and for gaming. However, some things, like using smart TV apps or checking the weather or watching the news might be better on a flat screen. The past several weeks have been very busy for Samsung's TV business. At the end of June it launched three new ranges of flat UHDTVs, including its first sub-$1000 model -- the 40-inch HU6950, then followed that up with the frankly gigantic 105-inch curved screen UN105S9 UHD TV with its equally colossal $120,000 price tag. And while the new bendable TV is the first to market, it won't be the last. Samsung's closet direct rival LG has been equally busy launching new TVs. Earlier this week it launched its own 105-inch curved screen UHDTV and just like Samsung, demonstrated a flat screen TV that converts to a curved screen on command at CES this year. There is currently no word as to how much Samsung's bendable television will cost, or when it will be offered for sale beyond South Korea. However, there is little doubt that momentum is beginning to build in the 4K UHD TV market and that consumers are getting ready to take a chance on what is still, technically speaking, an emerging technology. The latest consumer confidence report from the Consumer Electronics Association (published on July 22) shows that in the US, optimism, and therefore desire to spend big on tech devices, is back at levels not seen since 2012 and that companies that make UHDTVs could be beneficiaries of this newly rediscovered optimism. UHD TVs are not expected to become mainstream consumer devices until the end of the decade, however shipment data and polls reveal that adoption rate is growing and at a faster rate than uptake of HDTV sets when the technology was new and exciting. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Jude Law: With maturity comes complication
Thursday Jul 31, 2014
Jude Law: With maturity comes complication

LONDON (AP) — Jude Law feels his work options are widening as he gets older, and he revels in the complications. The 41-year-old British actor — best known for his roles in "The Talented Mr Ripley," ''Cold Mountain" and more recently "Sherlock Holmes" — says there is now "less emphasis on playing romantic leads." "You get over a certain age, and you're more complicated anyway," he said in an interview. "So, I guess characters written for that age are more complicated, you know." Law said he likes to take risks by picking roles that terrify him, such as his much-acclaimed stint in "Henry V" in London's West End last year. "There's this moment when you haven't quite learnt your lines, the play doesn't feel like it's coming together or at least you don't feel that you've fully understood the role or indeed the piece yet and everyone's looking around for a way out, an excuse," he said, recalling the rehearsal period. "And yet you know that you have a set day ahead of you when you are going to open to the press — and indeed to the public — and it's nothing short of terrifying." "It's usually at that moment you question yourself, your job, why you're doing this," he added, "but it's also an opportunity to sort of face failure and fear." Among Law's current roles is playing a submarine captain in Kevin Macdonald's "Black Sea," due for release at the end of the year. Filmed on a 1970s submarine, Law says filming "was an amazing experience being that many people in such a small space, for that long. It brought on incredible energy and incredible drama." And next up, Law is to replace Michael Fassbender as Thomas Wolfe in Michael Grandage's directorial debut, "Genius." "At the moment I'm up to my elbows reading up and around the wonderful Thomas Wolfe and his relationship with Max Perkins, his editor, who is played by Colin Firth," Law said. ___ Law spoke to The Associated Press as part of a promotional campaign for a short online film he appears in for Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Veteran TV impresario Robert Halmi Sr. dies at 90
Thursday Jul 31, 2014
Veteran TV impresario Robert Halmi Sr. dies at 90

NEW YORK (AP) — Prolific TV producer Robert Halmi, Sr., has died. Halmi died Wednesday in his New York City home at 90, said spokesman Russ Patrick. The Hungarian-born Halmi found success as a magazine photographer after arriving in America in 1951, shooting pictures for such publications as Life and Sports Illustrated. But in a mid-career switch in the mid-1960s, he turned to moving pictures. During the next half-century he produced more than 200 programs and miniseries for television. His specialty was family friendly entertainment, with TV projects including "The Josephine Baker Story," the Bette Midler-starring "Gypsy," ''Merlin," ''Dinotopia" and "The Lion in Winter" with Glenn Close. Other projects included TV versions of "The Odyssey," ''Alice in Wonderland," ''Gulliver's Travels," starring Ted Danson, and "In Cold Blood," with Anthony Edwards and Eric Roberts. Often teaming on his films with his son, Robert Halmi Jr., he claimed every project was a passion project, including the 1994 miniseries version of "Scarlett," Alexandra Ripley's sequel to "Gone With the Wind," which he defended as not a rip-off of the world's most beloved movie, but "an eight-hour study in American history." Still active well into the new millennium, he produced the TV miniseries "Neverland" in 2011, and a year later a new version of "Treasure Island," starring Donald Sutherland and Elijah Wood. "Today's producers are just money people who have X number of dollars, and with them they buy people, mostly on the phone," Halmi told The Associated Press in 1993. "I'm somebody with pretty good taste who goes one step further. With the creative process, everything has to be nurtured. I know on every project, every day, where it stands dollars-and-cents-wise, but I also know did someone have a cold." His projects were honored with 136 Emmy Awards. A Peabody Award citation hailed him as "perhaps the last of the great network television impresarios." Halmi recently had begun filming "Olympus," a mythological series for the Syfy channel. "There are two English words which I never could understand or cope with ever since I came to this country," he told the AP. "One is 'security.' The other is 'retirement.'" Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

BBC's 'War and Peace' miniseries could star Paul Dano, Lily James
Wednesday Jul 30, 2014
BBC's 'War and Peace' miniseries could star Paul Dano, Lily James

The two actors are circling a miniseries adapted from the classic novel, Deadline reports.Revealed in "Little Miss Sunshine" before garnering critical acclaim for supporting roles in "There Will Be Blood," "Prisoners" and "Twelve Years a Slave," Paul Dano could soon appear in the lead for a change. The 30-year-old actor has been offered the role of Pierre Bezukhov in an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" from the Weinstein Company and the BBC. Lily James is also circling the miniseries, according to Deadline. The "Downton Abbey" star, who will soon be seen in theaters as "Cinderella" in Kenneth Branagh's adaptation, was offered the role of Natasha Rostova in the miniseries. Announced in 2013, the project seems to finally be coming together with the news of these first potential recruits. The two actors would follow in the footsteps of Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn, who played the two lead roles in King Vidor's 1956 adaptation for the silver screen, and more recently Alexander Beyer and Clémence Poésy, who played the roles in a pan-European 2007 miniseries directed by Robert Dornhelm. Like Tolstoy's novel, the miniseries will follow five aristocratic families in early 19th-century Russia. The project is written and executive produced by "Broadchurch" and "House of Cards" producer Andrew Davies. BBC is slated to air "War and Peace" in the UK in 2015. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Jason Bateman steals Olivia Wilde from his best friend in 'The Longest Week'
Wednesday Jul 30, 2014
Jason Bateman steals Olivia Wilde from his best friend in 'The Longest Week'

The trailer has arrived for the new romantic comedy, which is the feature debut of writer and director Peter Glanz.The new video introduces the love triangle between the characters played by Jason Bateman ("Horrible Bosses," "Identity Thief"), Olivia Wilde ("House") and Billy Crudup ("Blood Ties," "Public Enemies"). In "The Longest Week," Bateman stars as Conrad, a deadbeat living off of his family's fortune. When his parents decide to cut off his allowance without warning, he decides to move in with his best friend Dylan (Crudup). Things get complicated when he meets Dylan's new girlfriend Beatrice (Wilde). Conrad has one week to find an apartment and a job, all while trying to woo the lovely Beatrice away from his best friend. Judging by the trailer, things won't be easy for the character. "The Longest Week" is due in US theaters on September 5. Bateman will also be seen this fall in "This Is Where I Leave You" (September 19) and "Horrible Bosses 2" (November 26). Watch the trailer: youtu.be/DBMV1ndl3Ww Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Veteran TV impresario Robert Halmi Sr. dies at 90
Thursday Jul 31, 2014
Veteran TV impresario Robert Halmi Sr. dies at 90

NEW YORK (AP) — Prolific TV producer Robert Halmi, Sr., has died. Halmi died Wednesday in his New York City home at 90, said spokesman Russ Patrick. The Hungarian-born Halmi found success as a magazine photographer after arriving in America in 1951, shooting pictures for such publications as Life and Sports Illustrated. But in a mid-career switch in the mid-1960s, he turned to moving pictures. During the next half-century he produced more than 200 programs and miniseries for television. His specialty was family friendly entertainment, with TV projects including "The Josephine Baker Story," the Bette Midler-starring "Gypsy," ''Merlin," ''Dinotopia" and "The Lion in Winter" with Glenn Close. Other projects included TV versions of "The Odyssey," ''Alice in Wonderland," ''Gulliver's Travels," starring Ted Danson, and "In Cold Blood," with Anthony Edwards and Eric Roberts. Often teaming on his films with his son, Robert Halmi Jr., he claimed every project was a passion project, including the 1994 miniseries version of "Scarlett," Alexandra Ripley's sequel to "Gone With the Wind," which he defended as not a rip-off of the world's most beloved movie, but "an eight-hour study in American history." Still active well into the new millennium, he produced the TV miniseries "Neverland" in 2011, and a year later a new version of "Treasure Island," starring Donald Sutherland and Elijah Wood. "Today's producers are just money people who have X number of dollars, and with them they buy people, mostly on the phone," Halmi told The Associated Press in 1993. "I'm somebody with pretty good taste who goes one step further. With the creative process, everything has to be nurtured. I know on every project, every day, where it stands dollars-and-cents-wise, but I also know did someone have a cold." His projects were honored with 136 Emmy Awards. A Peabody Award citation hailed him as "perhaps the last of the great network television impresarios." Halmi recently had begun filming "Olympus," a mythological series for the Syfy channel. "There are two English words which I never could understand or cope with ever since I came to this country," he told the AP. "One is 'security.' The other is 'retirement.'" Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Destiny' attracts 4.6 million gamers in beta test
Thursday Jul 31, 2014
'Destiny' attracts 4.6 million gamers in beta test

On July 30, Activision and Bungie announced the beta test results for their new sci-fi shooter game."Halo" had better watch out. A total of 4,638,937 unique players tried out "Destiny" in its beta version, allowing the game to set a new record for a next-generation console title. The two companies organized the beta test from July 17 to 27 to collect feedback from players and better prepare for the game's official launch on September 9.  Preorder customers were able to try out all of the main activities featured in "Destiny," which won three prizes at the 2013 Gamescom Awards.  "We were totally blown away by the number of people who played the beta," said Pete Parsons, chief operating officer at Bungie. "We surpassed even our own goals and the feedback was invaluable. We cannot thank the community enough, the response was humbling and in the weeks ahead we'll be working hard to ensure that Destiny lives up to the expectations at launch." Set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, "Destiny" places the player in the role of one of the Guardians, the warriors responsible for preserving what's left of human civilization. In addition to fighting off aliens at home, the Guardians may be led to travel to Mars or Venus to reclaim what was stolen from humanity during the Golden Age. Sci-fi multiplayer shooter enthusiasts can find out more when the game launches on September 9. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

What problem? Ariana Grande is new princess of pop
Thursday Jul 31, 2014
What problem? Ariana Grande is new princess of pop

NEW YORK (AP) — Ariana Grande is the new princess of pop, topping the charts with her addictive single "Problem," impressing critics with her thick, gliding vocal range and maintaining an image that her young Nickelodeon fans can vibe with, signature ponytail and all. The 21-year-old is having the best time of her life. But it's also the worst. Her grandfather, with whom she had a very close relationship, died last week. "I personally felt like I've been not as appreciative as I could be of the music success I wanted all my life because I've been distracted by my grandfather and his health and this being such a dark time," she said in an interview. Grande said she hasn't had much time to "sit back and realize and just enjoy" her musical breakthrough, and what's coming next may not allow any time for it. Her sophomore album, "My Everything," arrives Aug. 25 at midnight, moments after the MTV Video Music Awards, where Grande is nominated for three moonmen. She released a new single, "Bang Bang," this week with Nicki Minaj and Jessie J, which quickly topped the iTunes charts. The Iggy Azalea-assisted "Problem," which has sold 2.6 million tracks so far, is spending its 13th consecutive week in the Top 10 and another single, "Break Free," is a rising radio hit. "What's so attractive about Ariana is, No. 1 she's an extraordinary talent, No. 2 she's an exceptional actress, and the third part of it — which makes her a triple threat — is she has this wildly successful fan base on the Internet unlike anything we've seen in some time," said Monte Lipman, the CEO and chairman of Republic Records who signed Grande when she was 17. MTV reprised its "Total Request Live" for a day for Grande. Amy Doyle, the network's executive vice president of music and talent programming strategy, said MTV sat down with Grande's team to plan ways to help launch her new album. "If 'TRL' was around today, Ariana would be a fixture in the same way Britney (Spears) was when Britney was of the moment," said Doyle, who said the network had been thinking of ways to bring back "TRL," but hadn't come up with the right idea until they thought of Grande. "She was absolutely the perfect artist to do that because her fans are active and she's very social." The triumph in music comes a year after Grande released her debut, "Yours Truly," which featured the multiplatinum Top 10 hit "The Way" and drew comparisons to Mariah Carey. At about the same time, Nickelodeon premiered "Sam & Cat," which at times was the network's most popular series. The network announced this month the show wouldn't have a second season. Grande said she's learning to find herself outside of her TV character. "I have a lot of mixed emotions about it because it's easier putting yourself out there as somebody else than it is to put your actual self out there," she said. "It took me a long time to embrace that and to become comfortable enough in my own skin and let down that sort of Cat Valentine shield." Grande's fans from the show have carried over to her music career, a transition other entertainers have struggled with. When "The Way" was released last year, it sold an impressive 219,000 units in its first week. "Problem" sold a whopping 438,000 tracks in its debut week in May. Grande is changing her image, but not drastically: She's traded her puffy, princess-style dresses for miniskirts paired with knee-high boots. And Grande says she's ready for the celebrity spotlight. "I feel like I'm doing all the right things in my personal life to maintain a healthy space to make sure I am ready for all of this and ready for the attention that comes with this because, you know, I'm mostly focused on music, but I understand that there's a lot that comes with being a part of this industry," she said. Grande's new album will also help her land an audience outside of young kids, thanks to its eclectic collaborators: The Weeknd, Childish Gambino, A$AP Ferg and Big Sean make appearances; EDM darlings David Guetta and Zedd work on tracks; and hitmakers like Max Martin, Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder and Rodney Jerkins are also part of the lineup. There's even a ballad written by One Direction's Harry Styles. "It's interesting because when you hear it, it makes sense," said Grande, who picked the collaborators. She added: "If I don't want to do it, it won't be done." ___ Online: http://www.arianagrande.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90
Wednesday Jul 30, 2014
Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90

Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles, has died at age 90. His son Thatcher Drew confirmed he died Wednesday at his home in Sharon, Connecticut. Starting in 1960 with "Primary," Drew produced and sometimes directed a series of television documentaries that took advantage of such innovations as light hand-held cameras that recorded sound and pictures. With filmmakers newly unburdened, nonfiction movies no longer had to be carefully staged and awkwardly narrated. Directors could work more like journalists, following their subjects for hours and days at a time and capturing revealing moments. Filmmaker Michael Moore said Wednesday that Drew, along with Pennebaker and Richard Leacock, "made it possible for real stories to be told through film." "Modern art has Picasso. Rock-n-roll has Bill Haley. And the documentary film has Robert Drew," Moore said. "All of us who make nonfiction movies can trace our lineage to what he created." Drew's dozens of films included "The Chair," a 1963 documentary about a death penalty case in Illinois, and "784 Days That Changed America: From Watergate to Resignation," winner in 1982 of a Peabody award. Many of his movies were edited and co-produced by his wife, Anne Drew, who died in 2012. While a photographer and editor with Life, Drew formed Drew Associates in 1960 with the goal of applying his magazine experience to films. Among those joining him were such future directors as Pennebaker ("Don't Look Back," ''The War Room"), Maysles (who with brother David made "Gimme Shelter" and "Grey Gardens") and Leacock ("Happy Mother's Day"). Their approach, called cinema verite, or direct cinema, also was used in feature films, by directors John Cassavetes, Louis Malle and Agnes Varda among others. And the new style led to fierce and enduring debates about truth in movies, whether a fly-on-the-wall approach was any more objective than a narrative with a point of view worked out in advance. Frederick Wiseman, the award-winning documentary maker, would call cinema verite "just a pompous French term that has absolutely no meaning." Drew's "Primary" is widely ranked among the most important political documentaries and in 1990 was entered into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry for historic works. It follows presidential candidates and fellow Democrats Sen. Hubert Humphrey and Sen. John F. Kennedy as they campaigned in Wisconsin for their party's nomination, which Kennedy eventually received. "Kennedy asked questions about how this would work," Drew later explained. "I told him we were partial to neither side and would edit fairly, and for this to work at all, he would have to trust me. He gave me a long look and said, 'If I don't call you by tomorrow, we're on.' And he didn't call, and we were on." Like Theodore White's classic campaign book "The Making of the President, 1960," Drew's film was a new kind of narrative that captured a revolutionary change in politics — the ascendance of the telegenic Kennedy over the plainer, chattier style of Humphrey. "Primary" revealed such contrasts as a polite gathering of farmers at a Humphrey speech in a half-empty meeting hall and the large, cheering crowds that showed up for Kennedy's events. Drew and Kennedy agreed that they should make a film showing how the presidency worked in real time. In 1963, Drew and associates made "Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment," about the showdown between the Kennedy administration and Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who was resisting a court order to integrate the University of Alabama. The filmmakers went everywhere from the White House to the office of Attorney General Robert Kennedy to the Alabama university campus, where a defiant Wallace stood in a schoolhouse door, to inside Wallace's car. The public wasn't used to seeing a sitting president filmed on the job, and some reviews criticized Drew for turning the White House into a movie set. "The White House isn't Macy's window," a New York Times editorial complained. Pennebaker would break with Drew after "Crisis," alleging the film had been edited to President Kennedy's advantage. Pennebaker also believed that Drew made too much use of narration, which Pennebaker and others would abandon. Drew was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1924, and at age 19 joined the Army Air Forces, flying 31 missions in Italy and surviving being shot down in Germany. While overseas, he would be deeply impressed by the war correspondent Ernie Pyle, whose detailed reporting shaped Drew's filmmaking. Drew's documentaries covered various subjects, but he retained a special fondness for Kennedy. The filmmaker would remember the president telling him that he should spend enough time around him so he wouldn't even know he was there. The system worked so well Kennedy nearly undermined his own foreign policy. "He forgot about us so completely that at one point he was talking about joint maneuvers off Cuba," Drew said. "The country hadn't gone into Cuba yet. A general who was there had to remind him there was a camera in the room shooting. He looked at me and grinned. I grinned back, and we walked out." ___ AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report from Los Angeles. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC's Peter Pan
Wednesday Jul 30, 2014
Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC's Peter Pan

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC has picked its Peter Pan: high-flying "Girls" star Allison Williams. The network announced Wednesday that Williams will play the boy who refused to grow up in NBC's new staging of "Peter Pan Live!" The live telecast of this musical classic will air Dec. 4. The 26-year-old actress-comedian plays Marnie Michaels on HBO's comedy "Girls," for which she has recorded several songs. She is the daughter of NBC News anchor Brian Williams and has also appeared on "The Mindy Project" and "The League." NBC recently announced that Oscar winner Christopher Walken will play the villainous pirate Captain Hook. "I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old, so this is a dream come true," said Williams, who added, "What could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?" This musical version of "Peter Pan" has a long tradition on NBC. It opened on Broadway in 1954, starring Mary Martin as the flying boy and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook in a pair of Tony Award-winning performances. They reprised their Broadway roles in a live telecast of the production that aired on NBC in 1955, revived a year later with a second live telecast — and then, in 1960, with a new, videotaped "Peter Pan" that again starred Martin and Ritchard. The upcoming "Peter Pan Live!" is a follow-up to the success NBC found with a live version of "The Sound of Music" in 2013 with Carrie Underwood. Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who produced "The Sound of Music," are also working on "Peter Pan Live!" Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.