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‘X-Men’ director Bryan Singer accused of raping teen boy in 1999; case mentions sex offender Marc Collins-Rector of DEN


'X-Men' director Bryan Singer. Photo: Reuters


A 2007 mugshot of sex offender Marc Collins-Rector, former chairman of DEN. He is mentioned in the 2014 lawsuit against Singer.

Bryan Singer, the director of the forthcoming film “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is accused in a lawsuit filed today in Hawaii federal court of drugging and raping a teenage boy in 1999. The case is a civil case, not a criminal case, and Singer's attorney says the charges are "without merit." AP reports that the lawsuit was filed in Hawaii "because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases."

Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Marc Collins-Rector, a sexual predator and founder and chairman of Digital Entertainment Network (aka DEN or <EN), an early internet video startup that made headlines for high capitalization and sex parties involving founders and teen boys. Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender who fled to Spain, and was arrested there in 2002. In 2004, Collins-Rector pled guilty to charges he lured minors across state lines for sexual acts. The allegations of sexual abuse involving Collins-Rector and other DEN executives shocked the web startup world in 1999, and led to the collapse of DEN's IPO.

Variety reports on the charges against Brian Singer filed today:

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The Dune in our Heads

A problem crops up when filmmakers try to adapt epic fantasy worlds to the big screen—particularly beloved, richly-imagined literary ones. Sacrifices must be made. Characters are cut, and plotlines are re-routed. Scenes and places don’t match what readers have pictured with their minds. Fans of the original book cry foul.

In the case of director Alejandro Jodorowsky, his vision for Frank Herbert’s masterwork Dune was so over the top, so surreal (and, at times, so absurd), it probably would have blown the minds of critics before they had a chance to grumble.

That is, if Jodorowsky’s translation and transmogrification of Dune had ever been made. It never was.

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Bot & Dolly and the rise of creative robotics

Remember this incredible video above? In the new issue of BusinessWeek, I profile the brilliant minds behind it, creative robotics studio Bot & Dolly, whose astonishing technology was also instrumental in the special effects of Gravity:

Behind a small cafe in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood stands an unmarked warehouse where the future of human-machine interaction is taking shape. Inside this sprawling maze of soundstages, machine shops, and computer labs, artists collaborate with engineers, cinematographers brainstorm with coders, and everyone has a collegial relationship with the small army of industrial robots stationed here. This is Bot & Dolly, a boutique design studio that specializes in combining massive mechanical arms with custom software for movies, architecture, digital fabrication, and entertainment installations. “We’re a culture of makers, of creators with open minds,” says Tobias Kinnebrew, Bot & Dolly’s director for product strategy. “We work on things that don’t seem possible and try to make them possible.”
"Bot & Dolly and the Rise of Creative Robots"

New Peanuts movie represents three generations of the Schulz dynasty

A new Peanuts movie will come to the big screen on November 6, 2015, produced by Charles Schulz's son Craig Schulz with a screenplay co-written by his son Bryan Schulz.

"It's about a round-headed kid and his dog, and that's about as far as I'm willing to go," Craig Schulz told USA Today.

Hollywood wants "$400m a year" from the California taxpayer

Hollywood, legendary home of creative accounting, wants a new round of subsidies. David Sirota at Pando Daily:

Now that California has a budget surplus, the question for the state’s lawmakers is pretty simple: Should they use all the new money to reverse recession-era cuts to social programs. Or, should they spend up to $400 million a year of the new resources on more taxpayer handouts to the film industry? Yesterday, 59 California state legislators called for the latter, sponsoring a bill to increase tax credits to the film and television industry. Call it yet another Hollywood heist, this one engineered with a double-shot of chutzpah.

Shirley Temple, RIP

Shirley temple look like now recent 2013 photo2

Shirley Temple Black, child movie star and adult diplomat, has died. She was 85. Above, Temple sings "On the Good Ship Lollipop" in the 1934 film Bright Eyes. (New York Times)

Inspiration for Kelly McGillis's Top Gun character now Pentagon #2

Christine fox

Christine Fox, the former mathematician at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar who inspired Kelly McGillis's character in Top Gun, has become the first female Deputy Secretary of Defense, the number two role at the Pentagon. Fox will serve in an "acting capacity" until a permanent person is confirmed for the job by the Senate. (CNN)

Physics is not interested in your delusions of grandeur

It's impossible to dive in front of a bullet and play the hero. Likewise, you can't really dodge a bullet either (unless you get a big lead on the fact that it's heading towards you). Kyle Hill explains why the stuff that looks fancy and flashy on TV doesn't work in the real world. Maggie 63

As seen on Miami Vice

What do Ben Stiller, Bruce Willis, Steve Buscemi, Julia Roberts, Benicio del Toro, Viggo Mortensen, and Michael Richards have in common? As young, mostly-unknown actors they all appeared on Miami Vice, my favorite TV cop show (except for Barney Miller). Yes, that's Ben Stiller in the above clip. "27 Actors Who Got Their Starts on Miami Vice" (Mental Floss, via Next Draft)

The story of Forbidden Planet's soundtrack

NewImage

The soundtrack to Forbidden Planet (1956) was a milestone moment in the history of electronic music. It was the first entirely electronic film score, composed by Louis and Bebe Barron using DIY circuitry inspired in part by Norbert Wiener's 1948 book Cybernetics: Or, Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, a seminal text in its own right. At the time that the film's producer at MGM, Dore Schary, met the Barrons they were beatnik musicians hanging out in Greenwich Village. The soundtrack to Forbidden Planet continues to astonish even today. (Listen to the "Main Title" at left.) My friend Ken Hollings, author of the fantastic outré history book "Welcome to Mars," created a wonderful audio documentary that just aired on BBC Radio 3 about the Barrons and their iconic "electronic tonalities."

You can listen to the BBC Radio 3 piece here: "Sound of Cinema: Return of the Monster from the Id"

And you buy the soundtrack here: "Forbidden Planet: Original MGM Soundtrack

The suits of James Bond

Leisure Safari Jacket 1024x519 Who goes hang gliding in a leisure suit? Bond. James Bond. Graphic designer Matt Spaiser's blog "The Suits of James Bond" should be an inspiration to all of us. Nobody in Hollywood wore terrycloth or linen better than 007.

LEGO Back to the Future DeLorean

NewImage NewImageThe official LEGO DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future goes on sale August 1. The kit, containing Minifigs of Marty McFly and Dr. Emmet “Doc” Brown, is based on a design submitted to LEGO by fan builders Masashi Togami and Minifig Builder Sakuretsu. The two are donating their royalties from the product to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. LEGO Back to the Future

Two vintage Hollywood faces, one new celebrity

NewImage

NewImageArtist John Stezaker collected, cut up, and collaged vintage publicity photos of classic Hollywood film stars into provocative portraits of unreal celebrities in juxtaposed elegance. Simple but highly effective.

“Images in charity shops are like orphans,” Stezaker told the British Journal of Photography. “They’ve lost their context or culture, they’ve gone a little bit out of date. They’ve been neglected and overlooked for years and people have passed them by, then suddenly here I am, the alternative foster home, but unfortunately I then inflict terrible abuse down in the basement where I cut them up.”

"Two Faces, One Portrait" (Smithsonian)

Spotting science mistakes in the movies

In the interview I posted earlier today, SETI's Seth Shostak talked about how Hollywood has to make their science more accurate today than they did 40 years ago. That's because today's movie-watching tech makes it easier to spot flaws, and the Internet makes it easier to share them. But different people notice different kinds of flaws, in different contexts. In a post from 2010, journalist Colin Schultz writes about a study that examined the differences between the kinds of scientific movie mistakes that men noticed, and the kind that women found. Everybody saw the errors, but the context was different. Maggie

Movie poster colors through history

Vijay Pandurangan visualized the colors found in movie posters since 1914. Would you look at all that teal? Thanks, Hollywood complementary color voodoo! [via Explore]