The News Selected by Ray Pride See All

Hollywood Reporter

"On September 10, James Packer’s $200 million megayacht IJE was harbored in Tahiti, where it was scheduled to stay for three months. A bailiff attempted to board the luxury liner to serve the film producer and financier and was told to return the following day because Packer was not there. When the bailiff returned, IJE was pulling out of the harbor and heading to Bora Bora with the Australian billionaire onboard. Meanwhile, in Bulgaria, a process server was attempting to serve Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner at his Eastern Europe studio. Simultaneously, disgraced film producer Brett Ratner and former Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara were served at their homes in Los Angeles. Sources say the four men were notified of a petition filed September 3 in Los Angeles Superior Court by a woman named Melissa Parker, who was facing off against Clark Grandin, Bruce Hamilton, Gregory Kemp and Walter Nelson. The names wouldn’t ring a bell with anyone in the Hollywood community. That’s because they are pseudonyms, with Parker being a stand-in for Charlotte Kirk — the British actress at the center of a scandal that has led to the ouster of two studio executives from their top perches, Tsujihara and NBCUniversal chief Ron Meyer. The defendants are, in fact, Ratner, Tsujihara, Packer and Lerner. The men have used these pseudonyms in legal documents since 2017 in an attempt to shield their identities amid explosive claims."

Hollywood Reporter | September 25, 2020


Aaron Sorkin: "When you bring home a puppy, it’s said you should get a crate that is big just about big enough for the puppy to move around. That confined space will make the puppy feel secure. It’s the same with me. I like the four walls of the court and the office. I only have one movie under my belt, Molly’s Game, which had three principal characters. This film has eleven stars, most of whom are leads in their own movies and it has riots and teargas scenes. That’s not part of the puppy crate. Just writing the words, 'Exterior: Scene' on a screenplay makes me dizzy.... When I left Spielberg's house [in 2006], I called my father because I didn’t know about the events Steven was referring to. I said yes because it was Steven and he said there was a trial, so I thought courtroom and that was enough.”

Variety | September 25, 2020

Jonathan Lethem: "The sensation of sitting alone in the theater is one I compulsively compare to going to a brain laundromat. I’m there to have my brain rinsed in the stream of images. I specify “compulsively” because I think of this comparison every time I go. Watching a big screen in the dark relaxes and restores me, and takes me out of the realm of criticism and language that too often overtakes my pleasure at the immersive flow of reading. Those personal “sites”—immersive reading, dreamy-attentive moviegoing—are primal for me, and sacred."

September 24, 2020

Peter Jukes: "You didn’t have to meet Harry to feel his spirit and generosity. It infused everything he wrote and edited. He was everything a journalist should be: open, inquisitive, sceptical at times, but never cynical – always enthusiastic and positive. Maybe part of that generous energy was down to Harry’s background, which reads like a textbook lesson in all the possibilities of post-war British social mobility. The son of a railwayman from Eccles, he left school with no qualifications and started working in local journalism at the age of 16, rising to the pinnacle of the best British newspaper of the last century, the Sunday Times. No wonder, with this trajectory, Harry seemed to approach every day, and every person, with a sense of good fortune and mischief."

September 24, 2020

Shakeup At American Public Media, Which Long Sheltered Garrison Keillor And Produces "Marketplace"

September 24, 2020

A David Fincher Title Sequence Retrospective

September 24, 2020

LA Times

"In 1921, when the world had just barely recovered from a pandemic, Fred Cook and his wife, Lovey, opened a restaurant inside a replica dining car on the outskirts of downtown Los Angeles. Nearly 100 years later, a different pandemic has claimed it. Pacific Dining Car in Westlake, one of the oldest restaurants in the city, has closed, and we are the poorer for it. (The Santa Monica location, opened in 1990, shut in June.) Pots and pans, wall sconces, valet uniforms and even the massive front signage — two plump bovines looking out placidly over the intersection of Witmer and West 6th streets — are all being sold at auction. The bidding on the sign has closed at $7,250. But however high that figure is, it won’t save the restaurant. Nor will it save us from the rapidly growing list of closures of our beloved dining institutions. And while this isn’t the first business to close due to COVID-19 and will not be the last, this one feels different. It cuts deeper. The unabashed homer in me says L.A. is the best city in the country to grab a meal, but I’ll admit there are blind spots — one being that bars and restaurants tend to close early. And Pacific Dining Car was a late-night escape in a city that, well, sometimes sleeps. A 24-hour restaurant is a blessing no matter where you are, but especially here, and Pacific Dining Car took it up a notch. It was a 24-hour fine-dining restaurant, replete with crushed-velvet-upholstered, high-backed chairs, waitstaff in tuxes and tiny nets covering the lemon halves. It was your favorite diner but fancy. It certainly had no match in this city and, I imagine, this hemisphere. It was an expensive place to eat — for special occasions, certainly — but there was a 10 p.m.-till-6 a.m. menu with cheaper options, and everyone knew you could nab a Groupon to make the final bill more palatable. Despite the cost, L.A.’s dearth of middle-of-the-night eating options meant that Pacific Dining Car ended up attracting every kind of person you could imagine — couples in prom clothes, nurses in scrubs, slick producer types, foreign tourists and their children, and club kids who decided, for whatever reason, that they wanted to cap a night out with a bone-in rib-eye, creamed spinach and Roquefort mashed potatoes. You could waltz in wearing ripped jeans and a ball cap and sit next to a couple dressed for the Vanity Fair Oscar party and no one would look at you sideways. In that sense, it was the most egalitarian of restaurants. One of the first times I went to Pacific Dining Car was with an old girlfriend, a native Angelena who reinforced in me an essential truth about L.A. dining: It’s the best city in the county for restaurants that are a little off-kilter or quirky in some way — Clifton’s, Cafe Jack, Dan Tana’s, Inn of the Seventh Ray. The vastness of the city, oft maligned, also supports idiosyncrasies: There’s room for everybody. Inside Pacific Dining Car was all forest greens and polished brass; burnished wood and tasseled window dressings, even stowage above some of the tables to mimic the true train compartment experience. The size of the restaurant always surprised me — there were so many different dining rooms and hidden spaces, it was a pleasure to explore. On the walls you might see framed wine labels, miscellaneous Western-themed artwork, a mirror adorned with antlers or my favorite, above a table near the entrance to the “Club Car” room, a painting of a dog dressed as Napoleon. The steaks were pretty good to very good. The sides were satisfactory."

LA Times | September 24, 2020

Hollywood Reporter

"Whispers of horror stories are making their way around town. There's the film that told its cast and crew they couldn't leave the Motel 6 where they were staying, only to realize there that there was no restaurant on the property — a logistical 'nightmare.' There's the studio feature shooting in Atlanta that gathered its cast and crew, only to realize at the last minute that the studio and the production facility had gotten their wires crossed. Each thought the other was handling testing, and neither "had their act together.' A desperate call to the head of a nearby production studio ensued, and that facility stepped in and processed hundreds of tests for a movie it had nothing to do with."

Hollywood Reporter | September 24, 2020

BAFTA Outlines Wide Range Of Qualification And Campaigning Restrictions

September 24, 2020

The Guardian

'Under Evans’ leadership between 1967 and 1981, the Sunday Times gained a reputation for crusading journalism on behalf of the victims of the thalidomide scandal and for stories such as exposing Kim Philby as a Soviet spy. But his legacy was shaped by a failed attempt to lead a staff buyout of Times Newspapers and a subsequent falling out with the new proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, which led to Evans’ departure from the company. After this, he remained a lifelong critic of the Australian media mogul’s backroom political deals with British prime ministers: 'Murdoch’s News International came to think it was above the law, because it was.'"
Sir Harold Evans Was 92

Lionel Barber: "Together, Harry and Tina became the Big Apple’s media power couple, throwing the best parties at their bijou duplex in mid town near the East River. He was a meritocrat, who once wrote that Britain has “a penchant for secrecy, social privilege and the nurturing of an educational elite which remained pervasive in the culture and has not been quite expunged to this day”. Nonetheless, he accepted a UK knighthood from Tony Blair’s government. After all, it guaranteed a better table at a Manhattan restaurant and a more distinguished email address. In his final years, Evans continued to write, to interview on stage (as editor-at-large of Thomson Reuters) and to encourage journalists old and young. 'He was to journalism,' as former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said, 'what Dr Spock was to child-rearing.'"

Alan Rusbridger: "His time in the editor’s chair was not driven by his views, but by an endless hunger to find things out. Reporting came first and last – “peeling the onion, peeling the onion,” he called it. What was the one immutable rule of journalism, I asked him in 2010? “Things are not what they seem on the surface. Dig deeper, dig deeper, dig deeper.” “Just find out what the bloody facts are." He knew the importance of facts to a functioning society long before we descended into information chaos, with a majority now saying they no longer know what’s true and what isn’t. In an age of widening divisions there is delicious escape in thinking back to the simple comfort of evidence."

The Guardian | September 24, 2020

NY Post

Penske Parlays Paddock: Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Deadline, Sportico, Robb Report, Vibe, Variety, Goldderby, Footwear News, IndieWire, Deadline, WWD, Rolling Stone, Hollywood Life; PMC Merger With MRC Creates PMRC; Former PMC Reported Cash-Rich By NYPost, From $200 Million Injection In 2018 From Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund

NY Post | September 24, 2020

Kubrick, Solved, By "Although without a doubt one of the most talented filmmakers of all time, visionary auteur Stanley Kubrick was never able to tap into his true potential because of his toxic masculinity and obsession with the gender binary, among other things. His films are so colorful and artistic, yet never allow women to be the main focus. It felt like Kubrick was almost afraid of femininity unless it was there to serve a man or please the eyes. Despite his immense talent, Kubrick was so stubborn and close-minded and never allowed himself to receive feedback from his cast and crew. He also refused to treat them as his team, as if he always needed to be in control, which in turn hurt his films more than he ever knew. To put it simply, if Kubrick was never brainwashed by stereotypes, who knows what kind of masterclass filmmaking he could have achieved. Kubrick was a perfectionist who was terrified of failure, and that fear held him back from being the best artist he could truly be. Instead of properly directing his actors and giving them the chance to truly become their characters, Kubrick forced them to do takes over 100 times in order to make it "perfect." At that point, if an actor is not allowed to fully express themself in a scene because the director wants it to be an exact way, they are being stunted. A great filmmaker is not only great because of their talent, but also for the way they cooperate with others. Kubrick's treatment of his cast and crew seem closer to the actions of a dictator than a film director."

September 24, 2020


"Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., 69, will retire as chairman of The New York Times Company's board on December 31. His son, A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of The Times, will succeed him."

Twitter | September 24, 2020

Steve Harvey Says Ellen Degeneres Is A Good Person; "People want to take something and make something out of everything."

September 23, 2020

Ted Hope: “Storytelling is a financial privilege. Unless you find a way to address that it is never going to be fair or just.We need a new process to create excellent work. Producers are the people I think responsible from lifting the good into the great. We need far more producers quickly and at a level who can afford to do this vocation.The speed of transformative change makes me very optimistic. Now we are in a streaming-dominant portfolio-based global economy and that changes everything. But we’ve been dealing with it. And then we are going to find the better thing as that to collapses. Each time we find a new way to make it work.” But "without the independent finance model we will lose those very distinctive voices." Yet "There is a huge new range of perspectives that will change and expand the storytelling form it is the golden age of new voices."

September 23, 2020