Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Doctor Who’; ‘Mea Maxima Culpa’; Doha Film Institute

‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Lines Up Daleks & Zygons
The 50th anniversary Doctor Who special has booked a new monster. Time Lords Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt will do battle in the special with the deadly Daleks, the BBC said today. The shape shifting Zygons were previously announced as set for an appearance. The special airs November 23 and also stars Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and Joanna Page. The Daleks first appeared in 1963. Exec producer Steven Moffat said, “The Doctor once said that you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies, so it’s fitting that for this very special episode, he should facing the greatest enemies of all.” Read More »

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HBO On ‘Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God’: TCA

By | Friday January 4, 2013 @ 3:57pm PST

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

The scope of the devastation wrought by abusive members of the clergy took center stage at TCA this afternoon during a panel on the HBO documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God, which premieres on the network February 4. The doc from writer-director Alex Gibney examines the abuse of power in the Catholic Church through the stories of four deaf men who were involved in one of the first cases of young sexual abuse victims exposing their abusing priest. One of those interviewed in the piece, a former Benedictine monk and mental health counselor named Richard Sipe, has spent most of his life researching and serving as a crusader in the field. Now 80, he discussed how his piercing the denial of abuse in the United States was initially wildly unpopular. The first indicators were studies conducted of the 1966 and 1972 graduating classes of the major seminary of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. “Thirty percent of the two classes (had engaged) in the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church”, Sipe said. “It was just so unique to find this among a group of men whom we say are entirely sexually safe, who do not practice sex in any form at any time. And that is the myth that I have had to be faced with in my life”.

Related: Q&A: Director Alex Gibney On ‘Mea Maxima Culpa’, Sex Abuse & Taking The Film To Italy Read More »

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Q&A: Director Alex Gibney On ‘Mea Maxima Culpa’, Sex Abuse & Taking The Film To Italy

Alex Gibney won an Oscar for his 2007 documentary Taxi To The Dark Side about U.S. policy on torture and interrogation. He was also nominated for 2005’s Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room. His latest film, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God, taps into a subject that has, in various forms, increasingly made headlines this year. As allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by trusted figures have continued to surface — think the Penn State scandal and the ongoing crisis over BBC kids’ show host Jimmy Savile — Gibney’s film is a damning investigation into pedophilia in the Catholic Church. Shining a light on what it calls “an international conspiracy of silence” that reaches all the way to the Vatican, the documentary “teaches us that we must recognize that the worst predators often consciously use their own personal charisma and the prestige of their institutions to commit and cover up their crimes,” Gibney says.

At the outset, the story is told from the point of view of four deaf men who attended a Milwaukee Catholic boys school in the 1950s and ’60s where Father Lawrence Murphy abused them as well as what is believed to be over 200 others over time. Interweaving the boys’ saga, which the now-adult men recount in sign language voiced over by actors Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Jamey Sheridan and John Slattery, the story travels to two of the world’s most Catholic countries: Ireland and Italy. There, stories of similar sex abuse cases are revealed as well as the actions of members and friends of the Holy See. Mea Maxima Culpa debuted in Toronto and won the documentary feature prize at the recent London Film Festival. It was released in NY and LA on Friday for its Oscar-qualifying run and will air on HBO on February 4. It was also, surprisingly given the subject matter, picked up for distribution in both Ireland (Element Pictures) and Italy (Feltrinelli), although it was refused by recent Italian festivals. I recently had the chance to catch up with Gibney and our conversation follows: Read More »

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