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Zachary Quinto on Boys, Acting In and Out of the Closet, and Mind Control

In the Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band, he leads an all-star cast of openly gay actors back to the days when being out was career suicide.

On a bright, cold Saturday morning in a squat, unmarked building in Brooklyn, the actor Zachary Quinto is sitting at a card table while a man from Kansas City explains that he was, 14 years ago, drugged and subsequently implanted with a series of microwave chips by a (former) friend who wanted to zap him into giving up the rights to a hygienic soda-can cover that both men were convinced would, eventually, make them millions of dollars.

It’s a very confusing conversation, but Quinto is steady. The interview is being filmed for In Search Of, a History Channel show of which Quinto is both the executive producer and the host. (This particular episode is about mind control.) “Are they still following you?” Quinto asks. His heavy, famous brow is furrowed. Quinto definitely has sci-fi chops — he was personally approved by Leonard Nimoy to revive the role of Spock in the J. J. Abrams remakes. He played a serial killer with superpowers on Heroes and had roles on two seasons of American Horror Story. He’s exactly the person a midwestern contractor who believes he’s been the victim of brain tampering would trust to take him seriously.

“They are following me,” says the man. “I saw them on my flight.” Quinto leans forward. He nods. “I believe you.”

In Search Of is a reboot of a show of the same name that ran from 1977 to 1982, hosted by Nimoy. Nimoy’s version was about phenomena that seem a little quaint now: yetis, the Bermuda Triangle, aliens. Quinto’s show expands to explore the interference of technology in a format he describes as “less turtlenecks and blazers, more Anthony Bourdain.”

It’s been a heady few months of production, but variety has always been what’s really set Quinto apart. So a few weeks after we meet, the minute he wrapped In Search Of, he flew to Los Angeles to begin rehearsals for a revival of a cultural relic of a different sort: The Boys in the Band, the 1968 Off Broadway play by Mart Crowley that is widely considered the first mainstream American play to deal openly with male homosexuality. The characters meet in an Upper East Side apartment to celebrate a birthday. They are drunk, they are funny, they are mean. The overwhelming sense is that they are hidden. The damage that this double life causes is palpable, painful, sad.

The revival is stuffed with blockbuster names — all of whom, in a conscious move by the producers, are gay. It’s produced by Ryan Murphy, directed by Joe Mantello, and Quinto’s co-stars include Jim Parsons, Andrew Rannells, and Matt Bomer. But even with all the attention that such a high-wattage project will bring, Quinto took some convincing to come aboard.

“Historically, the play has been really stigmatized,” he says. It’s after the In Search Of shoot, and Quinto’s eating a salad at the Library bar at the Public Theater, near the apartment he shares with his boyfriend, the actor and artist Miles McMillan. “When it appeared in 1968, it was revolutionary. No one had seen anything like it,” he says. “Then the movie came out in 1970, and in that period of time, Stonewall had happened, and this play became backward-looking, reductive, and stereotypical. It was a thing for the gay-rights liberation movement to say, This is exactly what we are not anymore. We are not these men who have to sneak around and make up stories.

Quinto, in fact, had always thought of the play that way himself. Since coming out in a 2011 New Yorkinterview, he’s been careful to pursue a varied career — he’s the action and science-fiction star with the healthy New York stage credentials. He co-founded a production company, as his friend Sarah Paulson (who once had to breastfeed him on American Horror Story) puts it, “before I even got a computer.” She points out that he was having big commercial-film success when he committed to doing The Glass Menagerie, which ultimately came to Broadway but began its run in Boston. “I can guarantee you his agents weren’t jumping for joy,” Paulson says, “but it ended up being wonderful, and I remember noting for myself that these things could exist simultaneously. You can have commercial success and take the power of that and use it to feed yourself artistically.”

“He’s one of the most versatile actors out there,” says J. J. Abrams.
“He’s limitlessly capable.”

As for The Boys in the Band, which begins previews at Broadway’s Booth Theatre on April 30, “I’ve worked really hard to carve out a career that is separate from my identity as a gay man,” Quinto says. “And there was a part of me that was just like, I want to go in a different direction.” A July workshop convinced him that Boyswould. “I think what this production does is go in the face of how far we’ve come,” he says, “and holds a mirror up to the audience and asks them to evaluate how far we still have to go. It’s incredibly relevant that a cast of accomplished, successful, authentic gay men are standing up and giving this seminal work a Broadway production. We’ve all been able to build diverse and satisfying careers for ourselves. The original cast of the play really struggled.” Even just having played gay men, they had limited opportunities as a result of being in the play.

The question of whether Quinto’s coming out on the eve of his breakthrough role changed the guardrails of his career is not hugely interesting to him. “Look,” he says, cocking an eyebrow, “I don’t think I would have been James Bond anyway.” (He says it as a joke, but it doesn’t seem the hugest stretch.) “There are people who feel that preserving that aspect of their identity will generate better opportunities,” he says. “I wasn’t capable of any kind of lie about my authentic self.”

When The Boys in the Band finishes its 15-week run, Quinto’s not sure what’s next. He’s thinking of shifting his base of operations back to L.A., where he can focus on his production company. And while it seems like there are already many Zach Quintos out there — the deadpanning, sci-fi Quinto, the heartbreaking-and-honest stage Quinto, the curious-businessman Quinto — there’s still more. He wants to do episodic television, he wants to do comedy (“I mean, I’m hilarious,” he says), he wants to continue wrestling with the obscure.
“What did you think of that guy?” he asks later in the afternoon. “I mean, I feel like I have a lot more I want to ask.”

*This article appears in the April 30, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

Link to original article!

Halle Berry At Center Of ‘Jagged Edge’ Remake At Sony Pictures

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is in the early stages of mounting a remake of the 1985 thriller Jagged Edge, as a star vehicle for Halle Berry. The effort is being led by Steven Bersch, the Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group head who took over the genre arm Screen Gems. This one could very well be a standard Sony release, but they’re still working that out. The project is a priority and the studio has begun the search for the right writer to draft the new version.

Matti Leshem and Doug Belgrad will produce it. Scott Strauss will oversee for the studio.

Directed by Richard Marquand from a Joe Eszterhas script, the original starred Glenn Close, Jeff Bridges and Robert Loggia, latter of whom got an Oscar nomination. In the original, a San Francisco heiress is brutally murdered in her remote beach house. Her dashing newspaper publisher husband Jack is accused of committing the gruesome crime. He hires lawyer Teddy Barnes to defend him, and their chemistry spills into an affair. Even though the lawyer is falling in love, can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t quite right with the case, with the killer sending anonymous notes pecked out on an old typewriter. Is Jack the key to a happy future for the lawyer if she can get him acquitted in a courtroom, or is he a sociopath? The original was released when sexually charged whodunits were the rage. With TV minting money relaunching classic series like Roseanne, refashioning 80s concepts for price-minded updates seems a clever idea.

Weimaraner Republic Pictures’ Leshem has had success in female-driven thrillers, and Belgrad as an exec supervised the sleeper shark hit The Shallows, which made for an easy team up on this.

Berry was last seen in Kingsman: Golden Circle and Kidnap, and starred in the X-Men franchise and won her Oscar for Monster’s Ball. She’s repped by Mamagement 360 and WME.

Original Article:

How Amazon and Ted Hope Are Trying to Bring Back the ’90s Indie Film Boom

Amazon signs first look deals with three indie producing giants, including Christine Vachon’s Killer Films.

Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon at Cannes 2015

Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon at Cannes 2015

Today, Amazon Studios announced it has signed an exclusive first-look deal with indie powerhouses Bona Fide Productions (“Little Miss Sunshine”), Le Grisbi Productions (“Birdman”) and Killer Films (“Boys Don’t Cry”). Amazon is already doing business with all three entities – it’s about to unveil “Wonderstruck” (Killer) and “The Only Living Boy in New York” (Bona Fide) at Cannes – and the news is yet another sign that the company will continue to finance high-quality independent filmmaking from some of the most revered American directors out there. But it also signals a key reunion of major figures from an earlier period — the nineties indie film boom.

By formally reuniting New York indie film icons – head of motion picture production at Amazon Studios Ted Hope and Killers Films founder Christine Vachon – Amazon is almost singlehandedly using its deep pockets to reignite a creative flame that many assumed to have extinguished long ago.

During the nineties, Hope was at the center of a productive arena. In 1991, he and James Schamus launched Good Machine, which quickly became a major player shepherding the early careers of filmmakers like Ang Lee (“Wedding Banquet”), Todd Haynes (“Safe”), Todd Solondz (“Happiness”) – both Todds being produced by Vachon as well – while the breakout success of Ed Burns’ $28,000 “The Brother McMullen” became the poster child for every low budget filmmaker looking to cash in on the indie gold rush.

Ted Hope Spike Lee Bob Berney

Bob Berney, Spike Lee and Ted Hope at the premiere of Amazon Studios’ ‘Chi-Raq’

Dave Allocca/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

When Good Machine got bought by Universal – as every studio wanted their own specialty division and folded into a new entity called Focus — Hope moved on to continue to produce films like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

When the indie film bubble burst – specialty divisions shuttered, Focus fired Schamus, and significantly cheaper digital films started dominating film festivals – Hope didn’t sugarcoat the situation, writing a series of provocative articles with names like “Indie Filmmakers Can Not Survive As Things Are” that captured the desperate financial state of independent film. Searching for a new way, he made the case for non-profit support and for a year took over the San Francisco Film Society. He then focused on the potential for new revenue in the form of the burgeoning streaming world and spent a year running the online streaming platform Fandor. Every step of the way, he was keying into ways in which filmmakers could access contemporary resources to make great art — and find an audience for it.

Once tapped by Amazon Studios honcho Roy Price to run the original movie side of Amazon, Hope found himself with deeper pockets than ever before — and got to work rescuing nineties icons Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch, Terry Gilliam and Whit Stillman from having to rub two nickels together to make a movie. (He also built a team of indie film stalwarts that included Picturehouse veteran Bob Berney and film critic Scott Foundas.)

The model of backing auteur-driven art films approach has only continued since with new works by Nicolas Winding Refn, Chan-wook Park, Richard Linklater, James Gray, Woody Allen and Todd Haynes. Meanwhile, Hope and his team have also brought their wallets to film festivals acquiring films like Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester By the Sea” and “The Big Sick” for $10 million a pop. Many kept waiting for the party to end – office pools were started in the industry to predict Hope’s exit day – but as the company’s latest announcement shows, Amazon just keeps expanding its support of arthouse film.

READ MORE: Netflix Keeps Buying Great Movies, So It’s a Shame They’re Getting Buried

As the IndieWire team argued in the run up to this year’s Sundance, the best case scenario for filmmakers looking to sell their films at the festival was to draw Amazon’s interest because it meant the best of both worlds – deep SVOD pockets, with a promise of full theatrical release. Hope has made Amazon the anti-Netflix – many believing Netflix is burying their quality films – bringing aboard indie distribution veteran Bob Berney to make sure each film took full advantage of each distribution window, including theatrical, before hitting Prime for free. For example, “Manchester” — which was released in November and benefitted from a full and successful awards campaign — will only hit Prime this Friday.

Casey Affleck, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, MIchelle Williams, Matt Damon and Kenneth Lonergan.

Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios

With Hollywood studios backing away from even funding prestige awards films – this year the major Oscar players “Moonlight,” “La La Land,” “Manchester,” “Arrival” were all not funded by a studio – rumors of Hope and Price knocking on the door of $25-60 million films with an awards angle only seems like the natural next step. While it’s hard to imagine the economic model for Amazon’s original movie strategy is a profitable one in terms of box office and other forms of revenue, Hope and his team have brought prestige and a brand of quality to the streaming giant, which might at this conjuncture may prove to be more valuable to the rapidly expanding company than the bottom line. Most importantly, that quality stems from a world of talent that’s been around for a while, waiting for the right opportunity to find its second act on a bigger platform. Just as Hope has found his second act, the filmmakers he has championed seem to have followed.

The Silver Lake drought is over: Reservoir will be finally refilled

Silver Lake Reservoir to be refilled

The drought is over in Silver Lake — at least, at its picturesque reservoir.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials announced Wednesday that the popular Silver Lake Reservoir — which has stood empty for more than a year — will be refilled starting in mid-April.

The 96-acre reservoir is expected to be fully refilled by the middle of June, nearly a year ahead of schedule. Officials previously said refilling would begin in May and take about 12 months.

The faster rate owes to months of powerful winter storms that soaked California and caused record snowpack levels in the Eastern Sierra, whose runoff provides much of L.A.’s water supply.

“With the above-average snowpack, we have a surplus of water in the L.A. Aqueduct system and with it the opportunity to refill Silver Lake Reservoir ahead of schedule,” said Richard Harasick, the agency’s senior assistant general manager of water.

Still, L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, whose district includes part of the reservoir, called for continued conservation.

“This overflow is a gift,” he said, but “we need to continue to be vigilant in our conservation efforts for water use.”

Built in 1907, the Silver Lake Reservoir originally held an emergency supply of drinking water, but it later became part of the drinking water infrastructure.

The reservoir was drained in 2015 as part of a project by the DWP to build a pipeline that would maintain a connection to the water supply and isolate the reservoir, which will be filled but no longer part of the drinking water system. The lost storage was replaced with a new underground storage facility called the Headworks Reservoir.

The new subterranean reservoir, located north of Griffith Park, had to be built to comply with federal regulations requiring drinking-water storage to be covered or underground.

The 4,600-foot bypass pipeline project, which includes a 66-inch steel trunk line that runs along the bottom of the reservoir, was completed in February, according to utility spokeswoman Ellen Cheng.

Without water, the Silver Lake Reservoir was an unsightly concrete basin that resembled a proving ground, with construction trucks, equipment and sprawling weeds.

“We got our water back,” said Jill Cordes, one of the leaders of the Refill Silver Lake Now campaign, after the DWP made the announcement Wednesday.

The organization Cordes helped lead sprouted up amid a larger community debate over possible development around the reservoir, which is part of a 127-acre complex that includes a recreation center, open land and the smaller Ivanhoe Reservoir. The area is a popular destination for joggers.

Some want only to refill the reservoir, while others are open to expanded recreation opportunities.

Among the improvements that some residents are hoping for is the opening of a path along the southern part of the reservoir. Currently, the path ends and pedestrians have to walk around a recreation center before returning to the path closer to the water.

A larger community planning process is underway to solicit input about the future of the reservoir — something Cordes and others are eager to accelerate.

“We can look at this beautiful lake while we take five or 10 years to figure out what will make it better,” Cordes said. “It’s a win-win.”

Sundance: Gay Love Story ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Sells to Sony Pictures Classics (EXCLUSIVE)

Sundance 2017

Courtesy of Sundance

One of the buzziest titles to debut at this month’s Sundance Film Festival is already off the market. “Call Me By Your Name,” a gay love story in the tradition of “Brokeback Mountain,” has sold to Sony Pictures Classics, Variety has learned.

The deal for worldwide rights, estimated to be north of $6 million, was struck after several buyers expressed serious interest. The movie will debut in the upcoming Park City festival’s Premieres section on Jan. 22.

“Call Me By Your Name,” adapted from the 2007 novel by Andre Aciman, follows an affair after a chance meeting in 1980s Italy between a 17-year-old boy (Timothee Chalamet from “Homeland”) and a twentysomething man (Armie Hammer). It’s not clear what the movie will be rated, but the book involves a sexually explicit act with a peach and other charged moments.

The film was made by acclaimed Italian director Luca Guadagnino (“A Bigger Splash”) and produced by Emilie Georges, Guadagnino, James Ivory, Marco Morabito, Howard Rosenman, Peter Spears and Rodrigo Teixeira.

Executive producers include Naima Abed, Tom Dolby, Sophie Mas, Francesco Melzi, Lourenco Sant’Anna, Derek Simonds and Margarethe Baillou.

The early sale for “Call Me By Your Name” coincides with a trend happening at film festivals, where hot properties are scooped up early, as distributors are eager to avoid all-night bidding wars with deep-pocketed players like Netflix. Last year’s Sundance featured two such big auctions for “The Birth of a Nation” (which sold for a record-breaking $17.5 million to Fox Searchlight) and “Manchester by the Sea” ($10 million to Amazon Studios). The rest of the titles in 2016 either arrived with distribution in tow or found homes in a slow trickle of deals.

WME and UTA Independent Film Group handed the sale.

How L.A.’s Silver Lake Became TV’s Most Neurotic Neighborhood

How L.A.’s Silver Lake Became TV’s Most Neurotic Neighborhood


YTW 208-07
Aya Cash and Chris Geere on You’re the Worst. Photo: Byron Cohen/FX

For basically the entire history of television, if a show was explicitly set in Los Angeles, you knew what that signified: beaches, Hollywood, blondes of both sexes, cool cars, and money, money, money. Law, for example, would just be a generic show about lawyers, but L.A. Law is about lawyers steeped in sunshine and SoCal glamour. Even caustic comedies like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Larry Sanders Show were set against the backdrop of vacuous Hollywood. “Previously, L.A. bought into the image imposed on it by other cities that it was the beautiful dumb one,” says L.A. Times TV critic Mary McNamara. “It was La-La Land.”

A new breed of L.A.-based comedies has arrived — and the L.A. they’re based in, and which they comedically exploit, may not be the one that reflexively springs to mind. It has its origin with Jill Soloway: Back when she was writing her debut film, Afternoon Delight, which came out in 2013, she considered several possible cities as settings, but she settled on the neighborhood she lives in: Silver Lake. If that place sounds familiar, it’s likely because (a) you live in L.A., (b) you’ve read something recently-ish about the ascendance of the city’s hipper eastern neighborhoods, or (c) you currently watch comedies on TV. Soloway set not only her film in Silver Lake but also much of her subsequent Amazon series, Transparent.Another comedy, on FXX, You’re the Worst, is set in Silver Lake and the surrounding neighborhoods. Last year, when Casual premiered on Hulu, the comedy set in or around Silver Lake was already becoming a recognizable trope. HBO’s recently canceled Togetherness, about 30-somethings navigating modern marriage, took place in Eagle Rock, and this year Netflix debuted the comedy Love, which takes place in and around its creators’ neighborhood of Los Feliz.

The Silver Lake show (and here, no doubt to the irritation of L.A. residents, I’ll use “Silver Lake” as shorthand for Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Echo Park, and Eagle Rock) is an entirely new genre of comedy. These shows are different from L.A. comedies like Entourage or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air because they’re not at all about the glamour and wealth of L.A. The characters may hold minimally satisfying jobs at the fringes of the entertainment industry — writers, music producers, publicists, tutors to child stars — but they aren’t fantastically successful or even reliably employable. And while these shows are definitely related to the larger genre of comedies about restless urban singletons, such as Girls andBroad City, the Silver Lake shows have a distinct flavor from their cross-country cousins in New York. If Seinfeld was patient zero for shows about nothing, it also pioneered a distinctly New York–y juxtaposition between trivial matters and characters who fret about those matters in a near-constant state of comic exasperation. In the Silver Lake shows, there’s a sun-baked equanimity to their brazen aimlessness. The neurotic sputtering of George and Elaine, or Hannah Horvath, or even Abbi and Ilana, would be entirely out of place here, as characters hotbox or gather at night to write fake theme songs to existing movies. The representative episode of the genre might be You’re the Worst’s “Sunday Funday,” in which the four leads — Gretchen, her sort-of, not-really boyfriend, Jimmy, and their sidekicks Lindsay and Edgar  plan a free-form day of drunken brunching and pointless cool-kid high jinks, such as visiting a petting zoo and racing shopping carts. As Edgar says, “I’m from L.A. — fun hipster shit is just poor Latino shit from ten years ago.”

It’s tricky and, frankly, perilous, to try and pinpoint the beginning of Silver Lake as a trendy enclave, but the Silver Lake comedies date back approximately to 2014, when both Transparent and You’re the Worstdebuted. There are a few reasons for their rise. The advent of ­single-camera streaming shows—what we might call the indie-­film-ification of TV comedy — means more shows are shot on location, rather than on sets, so they can take place in L.A. instead of on a soundstage in L.A. that’s dressed to look like New York. The economics of Peak TV also mean that more comedy creators are living in — and setting their shows in — these neighborhoods. “Back in the go-go ’90s, when you were on your second year of a hit show and you’re immediately getting a $2 million studio deal, there was a large component of TV writers who lived on the West­side,” says Stephen Falk, a resident of Los Feliz and the creator of You’re the Worst. “Now there’s been a slow migration east. People want to be in the cool place, and the West­side has lost that — it’s a little akin to Manhattan versus Brooklyn.” Nearly all the Silver Lake shows gently (or not so gently) satirize people more or less exactly like the people who make them. “We knew we were going to focus on the East­side,” says Paul Rust, who co-created Love with his wife, Lesley Arfin, and stars in the show. “We figured we’re already doing a lot of navel-gazing, so let’s focus on the neighborhood we live in.”

L.A. has long been a city of distinct neighborhoods, but in the national imagination, the whole city’s been lumped under the general classification of Hollywood. “So much TV is made here,” says McNamara, “but it took so long for you to see a Los Angeles that was not either a very grim depiction of South Central or Beverly Hills — the palm trees and the swimming pools and the movie stars and the beach.” Falk grew up watching Cheers, set in Boston, and Seinfeld, set in New York — both of which, of course, were filmed in L.A. “Los Angeles in television spent so long pretending to be something else,” he says. “Now maybe there’s a younger generation of writers who are from L.A., who live here, and who don’t have any problems with representing the city in which they live.”

There’s also a lot that the Silver Lake comedies leave out — for starters, given that they take place in such a diverse city, they’re notably white. And they tend toward a granular focus on the particular foibles of a subset of a demographic. “I’m a firm believer that specificity leads to universality, rather than the other way around,” says Falk. “So rather than set a show in a city I’ve been to and like, like Seattle or Austin or Chicago, I figured I would have a little more authenticity writing about the neighborhood in which I live.” Of course, this works well when there’s one or two shows set around your neighborhood, but it becomes a problem when there’s, say, half a dozen and counting. “To be honest, I’m not particularly excited about the crop of new shows that mostly came out on our heels,” says Falk. “It all feels a little watered-down to me. Love came along and shot in the exact same diner and the exact same booth we’d used for one of our sets. To me, that doesn’t help my show at all.”

But really, other than an overbooking of shooting locations, what’s to stop Silver Lake from becoming the new locus of TV comedy? If the whole country can laugh at Archie Bunker in Queens, or Sam and Diane in Boston, why not Mickey and Gus, or Jimmy and Gretchen, in Echo Park or Silver Lake? Rust thinks these lives, too, can be made to feel universal. “A lot of times, we talk about keeping the focus of the show on these two people falling for each other,” he says, “because there’s no more universal experience than ‘I like this person and I hope she likes me back.’ Then that allows you to add in the more specific observations.” Though, he adds, “we’re very proud we’ve never used that word in the show: the H-word.”

I initially assume, given the show’s L.A. setting, that he means “Hollywood.”

“Hipster,” he continues — citing the word that’s most often affixed to Silver Lake. “To me, it seems unnecessary. Why would we make a joke about a coffee shop being a hipster hangout? It’s like, I’m pretty sure that by now everyone likes ­coffee.”

*This article appears in the June 13, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.

Breaking: Beats By Dre President Luke Wood Won the Battle For Silver Lake’s Spectacular Silvertop House

10/28/2014   Curbed   by Adrian Glick Kudler

Silvertop, one of architect John Lautner‘s masterpieces (he had several) and one of the great Los Angeles properties, is known more formally as the Reiner-Burchill Residence, for its first two owners—the man who first dreamed up the house and the neighbors who moved in to finish it. This week, after 40 years, the house has its third owner, and it’s another neighbor: Luke Wood, the president of Beats By Dre and a long-time Silver Lake resident, who intends to restore the house to the height of Lautner’s vision.

Silvertop was first commissioned in 1956, for a hard-to-match site on a hill above the Silver Lake Reservoir, by a hairclip-and-aircraft-nut magnate named Kenneth Reiner, who was also a devoted inventor and tinkerer—he created several clever gadgets and systems for the house, including a dining table on a hydraulic pedestal (so it could be lowered for the cocktail hour); electric skylights; and invisible, soundless heating and cooling systems. Lautner brought his ecstatic shapes, preternatural sense of light, and retractable glass walls to the project.

But all of kooky gadgets and breathtaking forms are expensive, and Reiner ended up bankrupt, forced to sell the house before it was finished. In the mid-1970s, Silvertop was bought and then finished by Philip and Jacklyn Burchill, who had lived up the street for years. In August, Jacklyn put the house up for sale for the second time ever, for $7.5 million.

Silvertop went into escrow less than three weeks later and officially sold Friday for $8.55 million. Word is that big-money buyers flew in from all over and competition was obviously fierce to end up with an asking price that high, but Wood and his family ended up coming, like the Burchills, from right around the corner (they’ve owned a house a street away away since the 1990s). Crosby Doe, the real estate agent who represented both sides of the sale, tells us that Wood and his family intend to restore the house and live there.

Wood has already hired the hugely-respected local firm Bestor Architecture, which just recently finished up work on Beats By Dre’s Culver City headquarters, and principal Barbara Bestor says she’s already been digging in all the relevant archives and working with an architectural historian to make sure her work is sensitive to the original intent.

The house is a little leaky and a little “creaky,” but overall is in pretty good shape. (“The dramatic aspect of it, the concrete shell in the living room, that’s totally fine,” Bestor says.) The Burchills used their own plans when they finished the kitchen and master bathroom in the 1970s, so Bestor intends to renovate those to Lautner’s original 1957 designs; otherwise, the project should mostly be a strict historical restoration, handling deferred maintenance, getting all the mechanics running smoothly again, and installing new heating/cooling/electrical systems (The original “really weird heating system” takes 72 hours to heat up the living room). Amazingly, most of Reiner’s gadgets still work, and Bestor’s in touch with “a lot of the original guys who worked on” them.

Landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, who worked on some of the finest Mid-Century Modern projects (and with many of the finest architects of the era), designed landscaping for the hilltop site—the hardscape seems to be in place, but the planting is not, so they’ll be recreating that too.

Wood has only owned the house for a few days, so Bestor’s investigation (“architectural forensics”) is just beginning. She says the family will probably be able to move in next summer.

Roland Emmerich’s ‘Stonewall’ Acquired By Roadside Attractions

Deadline   3/25/2015  

Roadside Attractions has snapped up U.S. distribution rights to Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall and is planning a fall release for the drama that stars Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman and Jonny Beauchamp. Goldcrest Films is handling international rights. Emmerich’s Centropolis Entertainment produced Stonewall from a script by John Robin Baitz.

Pic is set against the 1969 Stonewall Riots when the gay community rioted against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. At the time, it was illegal for gay people to congregate, and police brutality against gays went unchecked. Irvine plays Danny Winters, who flees to Greenwich Village after being kicked out of his parents’ house. Homeless and destitute, he befriends a group of street kids who soon introduce him to the local watering hole The Stonewall Inn; however, this shady, mafia-run club is far from a safe haven. As Danny and his friends experience discrimination, endure atrocities and are repeatedly harassed by the police, a rage begins to build.

Stonewall is produced by Emmerich, Michael Fossat, Marc Frydman, and Carsten Lorenz; and EPs are Kirstin Winkler, Adam Press and Michael Roban.  Other cast members include Caleb Landry Jones, Joey King, Karl Glusman, Vlademir Alexis, Alexandre Nachi as well as veteran actor Matt Craven.

First Look at Franco, Quinto, Carver Threeway in “I Am Michael”

1/22/2015   The Back Lot by

The upcoming film I Am Michael tells the true story of former gay activist Michael Glatze (James Franco), who would later denounce homosexuality and become a Christian pastor. But before that, all bets were off – as evidenced by newly released stills depicting James Franco, Zachary Quinto, and Teen Wolf ‘s Charlie Carver… forming a holy trinity.

We knew back in November that Quinto, Franco & Carver would be involved in an onscreen threesome for the film but now we have some visual proof. This still, along with an number of other images from the film was just released.. and is sure to cause he breathless uproar.

The three characters meet in a dance club in the 80′s. When Charlie’s character asks Michael if he has a boyfriend, he replies, “He’d like you too.” The full contents of the scene have yet to be revealed, but let’s just say you might want to get a head start filling out the addresses on your “thank you” letters.

Other new stills include a visit to a rave…

Quinto and Carver staring into the middle distance…

Franco graciously continuing to refuse to wear a shirt…

Something with a tree that will probably make you cry…

Franco and Quinto kissing, which will definitely make you cry…

and Franco embracing Emma Roberts, perhaps congratulating her on her escape from the iron grip of American Horror Story: Freak Show

I Am Michael premieres at Sundance on January 24th, further release dates TBA.

How a Camera Malfunction Became Fractured, a New Photo Book

Photographer Jeremy Kost releases his latest book, Fractured
10/20/2014   Details   BY Max Berlinger

Photographer Jeremy Kost has become known for his moody, sexually-charged photos that document chiseled models and habitués of the downtown New York club scene, images which were compiled into the books We Were All Innocent Once and It’s Always Darkest Before Dawn. His latest outing, Fractured, builds upon a career that has focused on the male form, but, thanks to a happy accident, suffuses it with a meditative, dreamlike energy.

Kost, who is known for working almost exclusively via the anachronistic Polaroid, took advantage of a camera malfunction which caused one image to be exposed multiple times for Fractured. In it, you’ll find bucolic images of men, many in various stages of undress, shot with other ghostly images layered over them. The results are voyeuristic and dreamy, and have a softer, more romantic edge than some of Kost’s previous work.

According to the Kost, the book celebrates male beauty and identity, while acknowledging unrequited desires and tangible memories layered in mystery.The artist provided us with exclusive images from the book, which you can buy here (there’s a special artists edition available too), which you can see below.