Fri, May 09, 2008 - Page 17 News List

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Nicole Kidman is going to do battle with Dusty Springfield's demons.

PHOTO: EPA

Superbad has supergood chances of winning a trophy at the MTV Movie Awards.

The buddy comedy starring Michael Cera and Jonah Hill leads the awards ceremony with five nominations in categories such as Best Comedic Performance and Best Movie, MTV announced Tuesday.

Other multiple nominated films included Juno, Enchanted, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Knocked Up. A new category - Best Summer Movie So Far - will debut at the annual awards ceremony. Nominees for that category are Iron Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Sex and the City: The Movie, Speed Racer and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Viewers can vote for all winners online through May 23. They can also submit online movies parodying films from the past year in the user-generated category, Best Movie Spoof. The live ceremony will be broadcast on June 1 from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.

The grim prospect of another Hollywood strike inched closer earlier this week after a fresh round of contract talks between producers and the biggest actors' union ended with no resolution in sight.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) accused the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) of "unreasonable demands" as the two sides attempted to broker a contract to replace the existing deal that expires on June 30.

The deadlock has revived memories of the devastating Hollywood writers strike that plunged the US entertainment industry into crisis and cost billions of US dollars in losses according to some estimates.

Tuesday's stalemate occurred after both sides last week agreed to extend negotiations into a fourth week, with a cut-off set at 6pm Tuesday.

The AMPTP said in a statement it remained optimistic of reaching agreement after resuming negotiations at a later date.

The producers' alliance said key obstacles to a new deal were differences on royalties from DVD sales and new media.

"Under these circumstances, with SAG's continued adherence to unreasonable demands in both new and traditional media, continuing negotiations at this time does not make sense," AMPTP said in a statement.

SAG officials meanwhile insisted that the guild had negotiated in good faith, accusing AMPTP of suspending talks despite the objections of their team of negotiators.

"It is unfortunate and deeply troubling that the AMPTP would suspend our negotiations at this critical juncture," SAG President Alan Rosenberg said.

"We have modified our proposals over the last three weeks in effort to bargain a fair contract for our members.

"Our negotiating team is prepared to work around the clock for as long as it takes to get a fair deal. We want to keep the town working."

This year's screenwriters strike was the US entertainment industry's most damaging dispute in years, forcing the postponement of several US television shows and movie projects.

Yasukuni war shrine is Japan's ultimate taboo subject. A symbol of the country's militaristic past, the shrine is revered by nationalists, despised by Japan's Asian neighbors, and rarely mentioned in public by anyone else.

On Saturday, that taboo faced a test with the Tokyo premiere of a documentary film that has drawn protests from right-wingers, spooked theater owners and won praise from Japanese who say it's time to openly discuss the shrine.

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