A mysterious message comes to an American journalist, hinting at a global intelligence network tracking the moves of every person by any means. Laura Poitras, an award winning journalist and documentary film maker, was one of three summoned to Hong Kong to meet with the illusive whistle-blower, who's message came with the conformation that if anything was leaked prematurely, he would surely be implemented and face terrible consequences. The journalist met with the man and began gathering his information which would mark a breakthrough in the world of journalism. The man's name was Edward Joseph Snowden.
Continue: Citizenfour Trailer
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SXSW isn’t just about music; it’s a cultural hub for forward-minded individuals, giving them the chance to converge and share ideas and experiences. Today (moments ago, in fact, depending on when you’re reading this) the Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden spoke via video link from Russia to an SXSW crowd about the increasingly controversial subject of Government surveillance.
Julian Assange and Edward Snowden Have Been Giving Video Link Talks at SXSW
USA Today has a handy transcript of the conversation, edited for your reading pleasure over on their site. In the talk, Snowden talked about his motives for disclosing classified documents, which revealed the extent to which the NSA were had the American people under unprecedented levels of surveillance.
Continue reading: Edward Snowden Talks Surveillance And Disclosure At SXSW
In a packed week of news, Miley Cyrus returned for her second stint on Saturday Night Live and Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity dominated the U.S. box office with a cool $50 million.
Miley's Homecoming: Miley Cyrus made her triumphant return to Saturday Night Live on Sunday and, hey, what do you know, the reviews were actually pretty good. She clearly had plenty of material to work with, though it seems like the Wrecking Ball star did a pretty good job. Check out the reaction here.
Gravity's Pull: Alfonso Cuaron's sci-fi thriller Gravity exceeded expectations at the box office during its opening weekend, pulling in a massive $50 million despite modest promotion. Of course, it was the unanimously positive reviews that drove movie fans to the theaters, leaving Gravity as a very credible Oscar contender indeed. Read our roundup here.
When he said it wouldn't be a good film, he was sort of right
Julian Assange has become pretty annoying. There was a period when the WikiLeaks founder was an intriguing guy. People started calling him a rock and roll star. Now, he's holed away in the Ecuadorean embassy, demanding $1 million for interviews, getting visits from Lady Gaga and being mean to Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Official Fifth Estate Poster
It was revealed in a leaked email this week that Julian Assange refused to meet with the British actor while he was preparing to play the whistleblower in The Fifth Estate, describing Bill Condon movie as "toxic" and "distorted," and forebodingly urging Cumberbatch to "reconsider your involvement in this enterprise."
The intriguing email depicts Assange's attempt to stop the Fifth Estate from being made.
Full of ominous phrases, like “You should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise,” Julian Assange’s email to Benedict Cumberbatch has been released, showing the extent to which the WikiLeaks founder attempted to halt production of the movie, The Fifth Estate.
Benedict Cumberbatch protrays Julian Assange in 'The Fifth Estate'
Entitled, ‘Message from Assange,’ which has a certain terrifying quality to it, Assange goes on to compliment Cumberbatch, saying he thinks the actor is a good man, and that he would like to meet him one day. But the thrust of the message is aimed at derailing the movie based on him, his website and his rivalry with Daniel Domscheit-Berg, played by Daniel Bruhl. “But I must speak directly,” Assange continued. The email has been quoted by many sources, including The Wrap, who published it in full.
The film is getting mixed reviews so far, but Cumberbatch believes it's a faithful interpretation.
Benedict Cumberbatch has a lot of respect for Julian Assange and believes his portrayal of the WikiLeaks founder in the upcoming film The Fifth Estate to be a celebration of Assange’s work. Even so, Assange himself has distanced himself from the film and Cumberbatch and co. haven’t had any access to the him during their work on The Fifth Estate.
Cumberbatch defines his performance as "a celebration" of Assange's work.
Assange, who lost the Australian senate race this week, has previously rejected the film and Cumberbatch rightly assumes that he would not like his own portrayal in The Fifth Estate. The film opened this week at Toronto Film Festival, with Cumberbatch commenting for Reuters after the premiere: "I am not a betting man, but I imagine he won't particularly want to support the film."
It's Friday and the barbecue smoke plumes of the not-so-distant weekend beckon, but if you fancy going to see a film this weekend here's what's just been released.
Friday 12th July has been quite the launchpad for a host of new and exciting films, showcasing the genre spectrum. From action blockbusters to indies, political thrillers to kids animation films, there'll be something to suit all tastes and ages as the summer of film gets hotter.
Well, we'll start off with Trap For Cinderella first because it's the underdog erotic thriller indie with an interesting premise. The Iain Softley film will star young, up-and-coming British actresses Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach as vivacious Micky and shy Do: two girls who are reunited after years apart and reignite a secret passion despite the disapproval they are faced with.
Tuppence Middleton & Alexandra Roach In Trap For Cinderella.
Just what exactly happened between Gibney and Assange?
Alex Gibney is one of his generation’s finest documentary makers, and amidst the flurry of WikiLeaks films, documentaries and books that are set to document the very real thriller that is Julian Assange’s life, he was first to cover it – but where is Assange’s interview?
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addresses a crowd from the Ecuadorian Embassy
We Steal Secrets: the Story of WikiLeaks is not only the first WikiLeaks documentary, but it’s generally considered to be the best, but, as Gibney confirms, Assange’s absence from the film isn’t due to his busy schedule, or constantly seeking asylum in different countries. Rather, it’s a financial dispute. "Here's this tremendously romantic figure travelling the world with a laptop in his knapsack, exposing abuses of power," says Gibney. "That sounds like a pretty good story to me."
Continue reading: How Julian Assange's $1m Request Drove Alex Gibney Away
Controversy surrounds Alex Gibney's new documentary.
It was only a matter of time before the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks got adapted for the big screen. The idea of one man taking on the world’s government with the aid of thousands of anonymous informers seems to capture the zeitgeist of the 21st century so well, that it is perfectly suited for a movie adaptation – or several. Director Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is only the first of several – Laura Poitras, Ken Loach, Craig Ferguson, even Steven Spielberg are all working on documentaries or adaptations of the story, with Spielberg’s The Fifth Estate having just wrapped. Some have the blessing of Assange himself, while others do not.
Alex Gibney did not have Assange's backing.
We Steal Secrets falls in the second category. While Gibney worked in cooperation with Assange initially, the working relationship broke down when the WikiLeaks founder asked for $1 million for his interview. Gibney, however, doesn’t pay his subjects. He explained for the Guardian: "[Assange] then came up with an outrageous idea: 'How about you spy on the other interview subjects and report back to me, because I want to know what they're saying.' I said, 'No. I can't do that for you. I don't work for you.' [Assange] said in a huff, 'I don't work for you, either.'"
The Fifth Estate - due to be released in November - "traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks," say the film's studio, DreamWorks.
But Wikileak's central figure, a certain Julian Assange, branded the film as "a lie upon lie," telling the audience at the university's Oxford Union debating club that, "The movie is a massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff." The Australian internet activist managed to procure the script, and divulged that the opening scene was set inside a military complex in Iran with documents containing nuclear symbols. "How does this have anything to do with us?" Assange queried from the Ecuadoran embassy in London. DreamWorks Studios announced on Tuesday that it had begun shooting the WikiLeaks movie, which stars British actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange.
The director, Bill Condon - who helmed the final two "Twilight" films - said the movie "won't claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgement". He added that "We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked."
The contemporary social biopic has dug a niche for itself in popular cinema, spearheaded lately by such movies as The Social Network. They examine the lives of those who have been influential in contemporary history, and whose influences are still felt. 2013 will hold a host more, including the much anticipated movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, now known to be title The Fifth Estate.
According to EW, Dreamworks have just released news that 'principal photography has commenced'. "Now titled The Fifth Estate, the film traces the meteoric rise of the site through the eyes of Assange colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg" they write. Bill Condon is directing, he's responsible for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, which for many is foreboding rather than exciting, but working with a script from The West Wing writer Josh Singer he's beginning with better material, so hopefully that translates and the movie unfolds.
Alongside Cumberbatch's Assange, Daniel Brühl plays Domscheit-Berg and Laura Linney, David Thewlis, Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), and Alicia Vikander provide a talented supporting cast. Clearly, the team behind Condon is a step above the Steward/Pattinson group as part of Twilight, so despite certain reservations around the director, there's enough good news for us to be a little excited about The Fifth Estate. With its central character still an international fugitive, there is heightened poignancy to its content. Expect its release to hit around November this year, just in time for the awards season.
Julian Assange shot to fame in 2010 after using his already controversial website WikiLeaks to publish secret documents from the US military. More recently, he has been under a European arrest warrant following charges of sexual assault on two women in Sweden. Over fears that the UK will send him over and that he subsequently will be extradited to the US and possibly face charges surrounding his releasing of classified American diplomatic cables in 2010, he has fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has diplomatic asylum. 'We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks' tells his story of computer hacking, public rights to government-classified information and the real ethical nightmare surrounding both issues.
This is a documentary focusing on the real intentions of WikiLeaks and raising various moral issues about its use. It has been directed by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney ('Taxi to the Dark Side', 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room') who co-produced the film with Marc Shmuger ('Dead of Winter') and Alexis Bloom ('Frontline/World') and features founder Julian on his rapid journey to global fame. It is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 with UK release dates yet to be announced.
Director: Alex Gibney
Lady GaGa has apparently been to visit the controversial Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Gaga sure is having an eventful of it whilst in Europe; she recently threw up whilst on stage in Spain and, in a move that might've further suggested that she's suffering from tiredness, she gave her fans just 30 seconds when appearing at the London department store Harrods to unveil her new perfume 'Fame'.
She's evidently not felt too tired that a trip to visit one of the most-talked about men in current politics was out of the question though. The Telegraph reports that singer M.I.A. had tweeted a message to Lady Gaga saying: "If ur at harrods today, come visit Assange at the Ecuador embassy across the st. im there. Ill bring TEA and CAKE (sic)." A rep couldn't confirm whether M.I.A had been there as well, but did confirm that Gaga had turned up to the embassy to visit him, adding "People can visit him (Assange) but usually he has his own team set up the appointments."
Gaga then confirmed the visit herself, posting a picture of her with the man, who is currently on the run and seeking asylum after being wanted in Sweden for alleged sex attacks on two women. Assange skipped bail to seek asylum in Ecuador, causing his backers to pay the courts $149,000. Other supporters of Assange have already lost more than $320,000.
No one really knows what the pair discussed, but Gaga wasn’t secretive about her visit; she posted a nice picture of her and the controversial Wikileaks founder on her website. Assange probably expects government officials, extradition officers and the odd anarchic admirer to permeate his political safe zone, so the visit of a global pop star must have come as a surprise. M.I.A, who is an active political voice as well as being a popular rapper, tweeted a message to Lady Gaga saying: “If ur at harrods today, come visit Assange at the Ecuador embassy across the st. im there. Ill bring TEA and CAKE (sic).” An embassy spokeswoman confirmed Lady Gaga had visited but said she did not know whether M.I.A. had been there. She said: “People can visit him (Assange) but usually he has his own team set up the appointments.” Devotees of the whistle-blower, who had previously entered in legally binding support of his, are now being forced to come up with they cash they once promised, as Assange has skipped bail with a view to asylum.
Gaga was in London promoting the release of her new perfume when she popped in on Assange. She didn’t have a great time of it though, turning up an hour late and getting booed by the Harrods crowds for her poor timekeeping skills.
Never one to fear publicity, nor controversy, Lady GaGa popped into the Ecuadorian embassy for dinner with Julian Assange this week. It is at the embassy, which is next door to Harrods, where Gaga launched her new perfume on Monday night (8thOct2012), that the Wikileaks founder is currently seeking political asylum. Mia invited Gaga to visit Assange via Twitter, promising the singer 'TEA and CAKE'.
Gaga has been outspoken about a variety of issues and is constantly preaching to her 'little monsters' to educate themselves on world affairs. With over 30 million followers on Twitter, Gaga's influence is surprisingly far reaching. Most recently, as reported by the Guardian, she prompted her followers “to read up on fracking, the controversial technique of extracting shale gas, which campaigners complain causes environmental destruction.”
Assange is currently avoiding extradition to Sweden where he will face rape and assault chargers, and to add insult to serious injury, he also believes he's wanted in the US for releasing classified governmental documents. He fears he'd be sent to Guantanamo Bay for the breach.
Continue reading: Lady Gaga And Julian Assange Dine In London
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