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Michael Keaton a SAG presenter; Indie Spirit Awards name co-hosts

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Kevin Costner, Ethan Hawke, SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard, Rashida Jones, Michael Keaton, Lorelei Linklater, Matthew McConaughey, Matt McGorry, Edward Norton, Julia Roberts and Emma Stone will be presenters at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, executive producer Kathy Connell announced today.
 
The SAG Awards ceremony will include the presentation of the Life Achievement Award to Debbie Reynolds by Carrie Fisher.
 
The show will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. (ET) 
 
In other awards news, Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell will co-host the Indie Spirit Awards. 
 
“The only thing better than having a great host for the Spirit Awards is having two great hosts,” said Josh Welsh, Film Independent president. The ceremony celebrating the best in independent film will air live on IFC Saturday, Feb. 21, at 5 p.m. Eastern time.
 
Check your cable listings to see if you have IFC. 
 
 
 

 

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Next Avatar postponed to 2017

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

Avatar-1
 
James Cameron says the next “Avatar” movie is being bumped by a year to late 2017. 
 
The reason, he told the Associated Press, is that writing three sequels proved to be “very involved” and the 2016 target for the first time was too ambitious. Cameron plans to film the highly-anticipated sequels at one time and then release the three films over consecutive years.
 
“There’s a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don’t get when you’re making a stand-alone film,” he said in Wellington, New Zealand, where he was helping promote the local film industry with other directors including Peter Jackson.
 
Cameron said the goal was to have the three scripts completed this month. He’s leading the writing team.
 
“We’re writing three simultaneously. And we’ve done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films. We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that,” he said in an AP story by Nick Perry. “And parallel with that, we’re doing all the design. So we’ve designed all the creatures and the environments.”
 
Cameron said he thought it was important that each film linked forward to the next one in a satisfying way but also came to a resolution so that the audience wasn’t left hanging. The sequels, like the original, will be shot in New Zealand. 
 

 

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Directors Guild announces 5 nominees for top film honor

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

The Directors Guild of America announced five nominees for its top honor the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2014. 
 
The nominees are:   Wes Anderson for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Clint Eastwood for “America Sniper,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for “Birdman,” Richard Linklater for “Boyhood” and Morten Tyldum for “The Imitation Game” along with their teams. 
 
This was Eastwood’s fourth DGA nomination. He won for “Million Dollar Baby” and “Unforgiven” and was nominated for “Mystic River.” He also received the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. 
 
Mr. Inarritu was nominated in this category for “Babel.” He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for “Best Job” (Procter and Gamble) in 2012. The others are first-time nominees. 
 
The winner will be announced at the 67th annual DGA Awards on Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Jane Lynch will serve as host for the evening.
 
Still to come are nominations in television, commercials and documentaries, set to be announced Jan. 14. 
 
“In a year full of excellent films, DGA members have nominated a stellar group of passionate filmmakers,” said DGA President Paris Barclay in announcing the nominees.  
 
“Inspiring and artistic, these five directors made films that left an indelible impact not only on their fellow directors and members of the director’s team, but on audiences around the world. Congratulations to all of the nominees for their terrific work.”
 

 

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Lohio saying farewell with reunion show

Written by Scott Mervis on .

Lohio-glowing-450x300Coming along in 2005, Lohio was Pittsburgh's best answer to Wilco at the time, led by the moody, rootsy songwriting of Greg Dutton. And like Wilco, Lohio gradually added pieces and found more of an indie-rock, power-pop groove on 2008's "History, The Destroyer."

Obviously, Lohio didn't become Wilco size, but the band did gain a steady following locally and toured regionally before going separate ways.

On Saturday, Lohio will play a reunion/farewell show at the Thunderbird Cafe. Dutton, who has an architecture firm with branches in Columbus and Pittsburgh, moved to Columbus earlier this month with his wife and Lohio bass player Liz Adams after she was offered a job in the city.

“It’s going to be incredibly tough leaving [Pittsburgh],” he said. “We’re so attached to everything there — our friends, the music community, all that stuff.”

As for the band playing its first reunion in four years, he says, “We did a handful of rehearsals through December. It’s been really incredible. It’s funny what happens with muscle memory. I was worried that it was going to take a lot of time for us to get back on the same page, but it came back together really quickly.

Josh Verbanets, who fronts Meeting of Important of People, was a member of Lohio from 2006- to 2009. He said of Dutton, “He was (and is) hands-down the most important person to me and many local music folks that came up around that group, the guy who first got everyone organized and developed relationships with press and radio around here, not to mention an incredible songwriter. It’s definitely the end of them playing regular music in Pittsburgh though, and we’re pretty sad to see them go.”

Meeting of Important People is also on the bill at 10 9 p.m. Tickets are $10; www.thunderbirdcafe.net.

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Introducing Quick Hits

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

Happy New Year! I'm excited to introduce a new web-first (and web-friendly) series: Quick Hits will allow me to harness the grand powers of the internet to provide more concert previews and reviews — and to explore the digital possibilities of classical-music criticism. More on that notion, as well as the first Quick Hit, at this link: http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/music/2015/01/09/Quick-Hits-New-look-on-Pittsburgh-s-classical-music-scene/stories/201501090220

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