By many standards, Ashby was an unlikely candidate for Hollywood fame. He was a high school dropout from Ogden, Utah (his father committed suicide when he was 12) who hitchhiked to Los Angeles and began his studio career as a multilift operator. Determining that being an editor was the best way to learn the business, Ashby apprenticed with Robert Swink, William Wyler’s editor, and got so good at the craft that he won the editing Oscar for “In the Heat of the Night.” That award was the result of a random meeting on the Universal lot with a young director named Norman Jewison, who directed “Night” and three other films Ashby edited. , Tthe two became the closest of friends, and the most moving sequences in “Hal” involve the now 92-year-old Jewison reminiscing about his departed soulmate and reading from letters that often closed with sentiments like “with 18 tons of peace and love.” Ashby and Jewison set up shop in Frank Sinatra’s former bungalow on the Goldwyn lot in Hollywood, and the habits of a lifetime took shape there: sleeping little, smoking weed (“you could get a contact high just walking in,” a visitor says) and using his phenomenal memory for footage as he worked almost around the clock. (Even though he was married five times and had no lack of female companionship, everyone agrees that the reality was that Ashby was married to his job). Jewison helped him get his first directing job, 1970’s “The Landlord,” a prescient film about gentrification starring Beau Bridges. It labored under an atrocious ad campaign, the first of the director’s many grievances against the studio system. “Hal” deals with each of the director’s films in a smart, engaging manner. As befits a former editor, director Scott has an ear for the great quote and the skill to make it all flow beautifully, to both entertain and help us understand who Ashby was and what he wanted to do. In the 1980s, Ashby’s touch deserted him and Scott does not dwell on the failures, though she does mention that the director was deep into pre-production for “Tootsie” before threats and bickering between studios forced him off the project. In retrospect, it proved to be his last chance.
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Where you may have seen her: Most likely in the grim U.K. crime-drama “Broadchurch,” where Whittaker portrayed the mother of a murder victim in a series that coincidentally featured another “Doctor Who” connection in tenth doctor David Tennant. Why she matters: Funny, earnest and acutely aware of the significance of “Doctor Who” making a long-overdue shift in perspective, Whittaker already won over the show’s devoted fans at this year’s Comic-Con. With a new showrunner in Chris Chibnall (also of “Broadchurch”) and a storytelling perspective that’s promised to be more inclusive, the show might win over some new ones as well. Jay Hernandez takes over the role of Magnum previously played by Tom Selleck. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times) Where you can see him: Under a Detroit Tigers cap (but minus a mustache) in the rebooted “Magnum P.I.” on CBS (Sept. 24). Where you may have seen him: In addition to playing Curtis Pryce in the last season of “Scandal,” Hernandez appeared behind some facial ink as El Diablo in 2016’s “Suicide Squad” and was tormented in Eli Roth’s “Hostel” (2005) a few years after his breakthrough alongside Kirsten Dunst in “Crazy/Beautiful” (2001).
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Both the United States and Turkey, which are opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, have warned that an attack on Idlib by the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, could further destabilize the region and harm civilians. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to recover “every inch” of Syria. However, Turkey and the United States have differing views about the YPG. The militia has been a strong ally of the United States in the fight against Islamic State. Turkey, on the other hand, considers the YPG a terrorist organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has led an insurgency against the Turkish state since the 1980s. Ankara has repeatedly expressed its anger over the U.S. support for the YPG. In the letter to Times editors, which was in response to an op-ed the newspaper published last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that Washington should “asses who its real allies in the region are.” “New reports suggest that the Y.P.G., a terrorist group operating from Syria that has received arms and aid paid for by American taxpayers, has forged an alliance with Mr. Assad and is sending troops as part of a deal brokered in July to help him recapture Idlib from the rebels,” he wrote.