Hollywoods unions and their pension and health plans have filed court papers to protect their members residuals and benefits in the Weinstein Companys ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. Its a common move when companies declare bankruptcy so that current and future obligations to the unions members will be paid.
SAG–AFTRA, the DGA and the WGA East and West – and their respective pension and health plans – filed a joint motion to preserve the money owed to their members and to authorize the continued use of existing cash management systems and bank accounts to pay their members what theyre owed now and will be owed in the future. They were joined by IATSEs benefit plan, the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans.
In their filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, the guilds noted that “a substantial portion of the compensation payable to guild-represented employees comes in the form of residuals,” and that their P&H Plans are supported by contributions based on initial compensation and fringe payments calculated in the same fashion as residuals.
“Despite disputes concerning proper and timely residuals payments,” they said in their filing, “the debtors nevertheless have annually paid several million dollars in residuals to guild-represented employees and to the pension and health plans.”
The Weinstein Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 19, and the next day, the court entered an interim order on the cash management of its assets. A hearing on the final order of its cash management will be heard on April 19.
The unions said that the retention of the interim order “is sensible,” but noted that the “retention cannot be construed as a waiver by the union entities with respect to any rights, interests or remedies, all of which are expressly reserved, in connection with any and all funds that should have been paid or should be payable to union entities, toward satisfaction of any and all obligations under union entity collective bargaining agreements.”
In other words, the unions want to make sure that the court protects the money the Weinstein Company owes their members now and in the future. The companys bankruptcy is the result of the still-evolving sex scandal that destroyed its co-founder, Harvey Weinstein.
‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.