Monday, June 3, 2013

Argentine Drug Enforcement Chief Shot

Argentine Drug Enforcement Chief Shot

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The chief of the Argentine Federal Police’s dangerous drugs division was shot outside his house and investigators do not consider the incident a random crime, Security Secretary Sergio Berni said Sunday.

Guatemalan Police Make Big Cocaine Bust

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Drug enforcement agents seized 1,048 kilos of cocaine hidden in a van in Puerto Quetzal, a city in the southern Guatemalan province of Escuintla, but no arrests were made, a police spokesman said Sunday.

IAPA President: Organized Crime, Authoritarianism Threaten Press in Latin America

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Inter American Press Association (IAPA) president Jaime Mantilla says that organized crime, drug trafficking, authoritarian governments and impunity were the greatest threats to freedom of the press in Latin America.

Protests Staged Across Europe Against Austerity

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Protesters took to the streets in several European cities this weekend to call for an end to the austerity policies imposed by the Troika – the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – in a number of countries.

Manning's attorney thanks supporters

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The lawyer for an Army private accused of sending troves of classified material to WikiLeaks has issued a message of thanks to supporters who gathered outside Maryland's Fort Meade ahead of Pfc. Bradley Manning's court-martial.

Group of Mormons joins Utah Pride Parade again

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For a second straight year, a large group of Mormons took part Sunday in the Utah Pride Parade in a show of support for the gay community.
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Interview: Talking ‘The Purge’ with Ethan Hawke

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In America wracked by escalating crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity including murder becomes legal. The police can’t be called and hospitals suspend help. It’s one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. ‘The Purge’, directed by James DeMonaco stars Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey.
Here’s what Ethan Hawke had to say about his recent project.
Why do you think families in peril make for a good suspense film?
Ethan Hawke: Well families in peril is everyones fear. In the movie when you see the husband and wife loading guns and him teaching her how to take the safety off, it’s kind of every parents worst nightmare. Nightmares are also a strange thing because they’re also…your worst fear is sometimes something you like thinking about for some strange reason, I don’t know why that is. it’s some kind of fantasy that you play out, what would I do to protect my children. I’d do anything and then you watch it play out. I’m petrified of such a thing and don’t really enjoy thinking about it. My favorite element in the script was Lena Heady’s character. We did a movie together when I was 18 and she was 14. We did a movie in England and I always thought she was a magical actress. We didn’t even have scenes together and it was a movie called ‘Waterland’ and I remember thinking there was something special about her and I just watched her from afar her whole career and she’s a terrific actress. She plays this part so interestingly, it’s my favorite aspect of the movie. I think partly because I’ve known her for so long it made the whole family dynamic really easy.
What was it that you liked about doing ‘Sinister’ and being in that type of movie and the script of ‘The Purge’ that made you want to return to that genre?
Ethan Hawke: We were finishing ‘Sinister’ or just finished it and Jason Blum (producer) gave me this script because the world is not as complex as one might think. We both over the years have loved James DeMonaco, the guy who wrote and directed this movie and Jason said “I just got this crazy script by James DeMonaco” and I also had so much fun on ‘Sinister’. When I was younger I loved genre movies one of my first directors was this guy Joe Dante who directed ‘The Howling’, ‘Piranha’ and ‘Gremlins’ and he had taught me a real love of what was possible with a genre movie. Mainly that a good genre movie is really scary, a really fun thing to see Friday night, but also has some subterranean political message. ‘The Purge’ is perfect and ‘Sinister’ in a way does too. I also wanted to flirt with genres. I also did ‘Daybreakers’ and in a lot of ways ‘Training Day’ is a genre movie too, I could do a little series of them because it’s just a cop genre. Good genre movies are kind of like trying to write a haiku. There are certain things you have to do to fulfill the audiences expectations but inside that you have this complete freedom to talk about whatever you want. In a way that’s wonderful because your able to make a movie that deals with all these social political…who wants to see a movie about gun violence in America and class. But if you set it in this terrifying fun roller-coaster ride of a movie, you can talk about whatever you want. From the 50′s on that’s been the game that genre movies play when they do it well.
How realistic do you think the premise of this film can really be?
Ethan Hawke: I think it plays into an aged old human fear, you know when any of us sees glimpses of revolution or riots on television or absolute anarchy. You know when you’re younger kids in a school yard act like a pack of wolves it can be really terrifying. It’s an extremely violent film with an anti-violent message, it’s almost an oxymoron it doesn’t make any sense at all. I find something powerful about the movie, about watching this African American actor run threw this gated community and being shot at that’s all of a sudden not some wild science fiction. Seeing this culture with guns, and sharping their knives, our country is obsessed with violence and our right to protect our violence. They call you unpatriotic if you’re not violent, it heightens it. It’s just taking a certain thing and exaggerating it and this is what this is trying to do.
As a writer yourself did you have any input with the script?
Ethan Hawke: I have a lot of respect for James DeMonaco. It’s very difficult to make a movie like this with this budget and he had his work cut out for him. I couldn’t begin to write a movie like this. I could try to help him or help myself create a full dimensional character. This character was very hard to play in a lot of ways because he’s not overtly a bad guy, he thinks he’s a good guy. It’s easy to play a villain and it’s easy to play a hero. But this guy has this weird gray zone of a person who is cope able for a lot of negative things in his life but isn’t aware of it and slowly wakes up. But I certainly didn’t assist on the writing I could only just work on my character.
With these types of films do you guys try to film in chronological order?
Ethan Hawke: Yeah we pretty much did. That was one of the more fun aspects of the movie because the movie was all shot in one location. Not exactly in sequence but more then usual and that was really nice to be able to do. Once we got that thing up and running we can do it like a play, all in one set. We had this amazing French cinematographer who was running at the movie, trying to create this tremendous amount of energy and adrenaline for the film. He made us all incredibly anxious.
If it came to having a gun or a weapon which one would you chose when it came to defending your own family?
Ethan Hawke: I would rather the people outside… if no one had a gun I wouldn’t have to worry about it. There’s some sort of knee jerk response that more walls and more guns make people safer and I’m entirely suspect to that way of thinking.
How did you view your character as a father because he’s also selling the armor to protect themselves from this day?
Ethan Hawke: That’s what so subtle about the movie. You can take a movie like ‘Lord of War’ that I worked on and that’s a very clear cut thing. It’s a movie about a guy selling arms to kids or anybody and he’s an obvious bad guy. But in this one someone is making money in a society that is corrupt and in a way that’s so dangerous about the character, all of us could be that person. He’s attentive but he also wants his kids to do what he wants to do. He’s not overtly good or bad. One of the more challenging aspects of the movie is that it doesn’t tell you how to think about it.
You had pretty great fight scenes was there a lot of training and choreography that you had to go through?
Ethan Hawke: The fun of it was doing fight scenes in such a domestic environment. Just imagining those situations of just being hunted in your own home, I think all of us can imagine it. I would secretly love to do one of those crazy fight movies that involve all this training. I’ve done just enough my whole life, little fight thing here and a little fight thing there that always had some training in it but I wouldn’t wish I was Jackie Chan.
We’ve seen you in a bunch of small projects, what is it about the smaller projects that attract you to them?
Ethan Hawke: I’ve always done small projects.I’ve always been interested in creative freedom and the truth is the more you get paid the less freedom you have. They never pay you for nothing. I’ve managed to do this for more then 20 years and keep dodging and weaving and not being one thing. I think I’ve always resisted that, I’ve always wanted the freedom to do something else. In many ways as I get older I wish I’ve made other decisions. Sometimes I watch how people have parlayed their career one way or the other. I just tried to do things that interested me sincerely and they don’t all turn out good and I haven’t made all perfect decisions. But I’ve tried to stay interested in my job and I have succeeded at that. In doing little projects helps me because I feel like I don’t work for anybody.
Do you think that the concept of ‘The Purge’ would actually work for society?
Ethan Hawke: If you study the history of mankind it seems to be a history of violence, it’s kind of terrifying. Certainly the history of art where you look at paintings or movies or plays there’s just a linty of murder and death. Somehow I’m always optimistic that I think that we are fascinated by things that scare us and one of the things that scare us is violence. But if you think about it the great mass of us never really perform an act of violence. For every crazy kid that wants to blow something up there’s a hundred people willing to stop it, thousands of people crying tears that it did happen. Violence exist and it’s a real part of our life and we are obsessed with what we are scared of but it certainly doesn’t define us.
‘The Purge’ is in theaters June 10th.

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