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Just like mum! Liz Hurley’s son follows in her footsteps with sultry modelling campaign

<p>Liz Hurley’s son Damian has followed in the footsteps of his famous mother as he debuted his modelling skills in a glamorous new video for makeup artist Pat McGrath.</p> <p>The 17-year-old has clearly taken after his mum as he showed off his chiselled bone structure, perfect pout and voluminous hair.</p> <p>Damian worked the camera in his first ever campaign, which was announced on Wednesday.</p> <p>Keeping his look simple, the teenager opted for a leather jacket and a plain white T-shirt as the focus was kept on the natural makeup look he was sporting.</p> <p><span>His mother was known as a bombshell during her younger years – and still is at the age of 54 – and with his striking blue eyes, Damian seems to be heading in the same direction.</span></p> <p>Both Liz and Damian are signed with the same London-based modelling agency, TESS management.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0B97lPlXte/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0B97lPlXte/" target="_blank">SIMPLY SKINGENIUS™️ ⚡⚡⚡ FEAST YOUR EYES on the DIVINE @damianhurley1 in #SublimePerfection: The System photographed by the LEGENDARY Steven Meisel. _______ Damian wears #SublimePerfection Primer, Foundation Shade 'LIGHT-MEDIUM 13' &amp; Powder Shade '2' — ALL AVAILABLE at PATMcGRATH.COM 7.26.2019. Sign up NOW for EXCLUSIVE early access — #LinkInBio Starring #McGrathMuse @DamianHurley1 Photographed by #StevenMeisel Styled by #JoeMcKenna Hair by @GuidoPalau #makeupbypatmcgrath #teampatmcgrath</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/patmcgrathreal/" target="_blank"> Pat McGrath</a> (@patmcgrathreal) on Jul 17, 2019 at 1:09pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Damian is Liz’s only son, who she shares with ex Steve Bing, a millionaire US businessman.</p> <p>The duo appear to be very close as they both feature heavily on each other’s social media pages.</p> <p>Liz has also previously mentioned that the photographer behind her saucy Instagram snaps is none other than Damian himself.</p> <p>She defended the controversial revelation, saying he’s studying photography, so he has an eye for what looks good.</p> <p>“When we’re on holiday together, sure he’ll take some pictures,” she said.</p> <p>“And you know, he’s got a really good eye, and he’s studying photography and it’s ridiculous.”</p>

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The MAJOR change coming to James Bond

<p>Something incredible might be happening to James Bond: a separation, a personal Brexit of sorts. According to the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7244671/Thought-007-never-woman-black-shes-James-Bond-hand-number-over.html"><em>Daily Mail</em></a>, while Daniel Craig will return as Bond in the next film, Bond may not return as 007. There will, reportedly, be a new 007 in town, and she’ll be black. And a woman.</p> <p>At this stage, the rumour that 007 will be played by British actress Lashana Lynch is unconfirmed, sourced from tabloid “insiders”. But if this claim is true (and it does have more than a hint of authenticity to it) what does it mean? A dangerous fragmentation of the franchise? Or a necessary evolution?</p> <p>As a lifelong Bond aficionado, I hope the news is true for the simple reason that it’s about bloody time. I love Bond, but he has only ever moved with the times on the most surface of levels – like a cool uncle who continues to buy the latest tech, but no longer quite understands how to use it. For the entirety of its life, the franchise has been the epitome of conservatism.</p> <p>The first Bond film I saw was <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076752/"><em>The Spy Who Loved Me</em></a>. The action, adventure, humour, gadgets and “coolness” of the alpha-male in action was intoxicating, and I burned voraciously through the movies, novels and short stories.</p> <p>It should be said that there are two distinct Bonds: one of the page and one of the screen. The book Bond, created by Ian Fleming in 1953, actually worked in an office. The novels were a fulfilment fantasy of the (male) office clerk, one who was still experiencing the effects of rationing from WWII and had no opportunity for international travel.</p> <p>Bond had a (female) secretary and did mundane paperwork until he got the call from M, who would send him on impossibly glamorous and global secret missions. The books were unashamedly equal parts thriller and travelogue. Written in the <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/genres/pulp">pulp tradition</a>, the symbolism of the stories was deliberately obvious; heroes had names like “Trueblood”, with the villains usually foreign and most often “half-breeds”.</p> <p>Even now, the racism of the books tends to be classified as what critic and cultural commentator <a href="http://my.fit.edu/~rosiene/eco%20bond.pdf">Umberto Eco</a> once indulgently called just “a cautious, middle-class chauvinism”, with Fleming guilty of nothing more than portraying attitudes prevalent and unexamined at the time. However you label the variety of racism, it dated the books badly, sealing them in a time capsule of the 1950s.</p> <p>Bond himself was never given racist attitudes, instead the equally “of their time” sexist ones. Whereas the racism of the books did not translate directly to the screen, the misogyny carried over wholesale.</p> <p>The movie Bond is an always-active spy: a dashing, tough, charismatic man’s man (yes, even Roger Moore) who knew how to both charm and manipulate women. And this, apart from some cosmetic updating, is still essentially the Bond we have today.</p> <p><strong>Deceiving the zeitgeist</strong></p> <p>The clearest example of Bond attempting to deceive the zeitgeist comes from <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113189/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1"><em>Golden Eye</em></a>. It was 1995, and Bond was back after a six-year gap, with Pierce Brosnan in the lead. Much was made of the film series keeping up with current attitudes: there was now not only a female “M” (played by Judi Dench), but she got to call Bond a “sexist, misogynist dinosaur,” to much publicity (and in the trailer too).</p> <p>But this was merely lip-service: Bond was proven to be misunderstood (it seemed “M” mistakenly thought him a playboy dilettante), and the film simply carried on with its normal value system, including having a character called Xenia Onatopp who killed men during sex with her thighs. This was not just a missed opportunity, it completely missed the point.</p> <p>The old 20th century Bond films have become like the original books – dated cultural products that need context. However, the new Craig-era films are far more problematic.</p> <p>Full disclosure: I hate this Bond. Notwithstanding that this iteration has been rewritten not just as proto-Bond (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0381061/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1"><em>Casino Royale</em></a>), but also dumb-Bond (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1074638/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1"><em>Skyfall</em></a>) and eventually just inept-Bond (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2379713/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1"><em>Spectre</em></a>), the series started as a reactionary scramble to copy the success of the <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258463/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1">Bourne franchise</a>. This Bond might have had a vulnerable side, but he has been moulded not as a man-of-his-time, but a man-out-of-time.</p> <p>The problem is that he is still paraded as a figure to be idolised, a heroic role model for the new generation. This extends to one of the most questionable scenes of any Bond era: his sexually exploiting a sex slave who has come to him for help in <em>Skyfall</em>. Don’t get me wrong, sex scenes are completely welcome, a core genre convention, but the moment is barely consensual yet depicted simply as impressive sexual conquest.</p> <p>No-one wants a Bond rewritten as an asexual pacifist, but neither should he be defined by misogyny. The brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge, only the second woman since 1962 to be brought in to work on a Bond script, believes rightly that it is important the films evolve and <a href="https://deadline.com/2019/05/phoebe-waller-bridge-bond-1202624860/">treat women better, even if Bond doesn’t</a>. I hold a slightly different view - if Bond always exists in the always-present “now”, and his attitudes are simply indicative of the time, then there is no need to cling to outdated worldviews.</p> <p>This is why the prospect of a potential radical new era is so thrilling. If Lynch becomes 007, it will be a brilliant, yet still somewhat conservative move, as the makers are very late to the now market-tested “woke” table, but we may finally get a truly authentic contemporary Bond. One that still has plenty of gratuitous sex and violence, whether or not those engaging in it are black, female or 007.</p> <p><em>Written by Darren Paul Fisher. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/a-black-female-007-as-a-lifelong-james-bond-fan-i-say-bring-it-on-120419"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The big mistake in The Lion King remake: "It'll be off-putting for some"

<div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>When <em>The Lion King</em> hit the cinemas in 1994, it quickly made waves among whole generations of moviegoers. The animated film became the second-highest grossing film of all time upon its release,</p> <p>That is why the 2019 remake by director Jon Favreau could not escape comparisons.</p> <p>Other remakes or adaptations of movies, such as <em>The Last Airbender</em> (2010) and <em>Dragonball Evolution</em> (2009) have received flak for straying too far from the source material – however, reviewers believe that the new <em>Lion King</em>’s doom lays on the fact that it follows the storyline of the original flick too closely.</p> <p>While the photorealistic animation makes for grand visuals, it does not fit well with the playful story that the movie sticks with, said Wenlei Ma, film and TV critic at <a href="https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/the-lion-king-remakes-big-mistake/3781652/"><em>news.com.au</em></a>. She noted how some musical numbers, such as <em>I Just Can’t Wait to Be King</em>, seemed to be slowed down “to accommodate the photorealism”, making them feel “flat” and dull.</p> <p>“Though by no means a disaster or even a bad movie, <em>The Lion King</em> would’ve been better off trying to be more of its own movie, do something different in terms of story and character,” she wrote.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">To be clear, I'm not inherently against remakes in general, or even a remake of The Lion King. It's just baffling that they tried to stick SO CLOSE to the original's beats and tone but in a new format so ill-suited to it.</p> — Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanaSchwartzzz/status/1150140136283238401?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Helen O’Hara of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.empireonline.com/movies/reviews/the-lion-king-2019/" target="_blank"><em>Empire</em></a> also said the movie suffers from an “emotional gap” due to the visual effects technology. </p> <p>“What we gain in realism we lose in expression, even in their limpid eyes; it’s distinctly jarring when these cats speak, and even more when they break into song,” she wrote.</p> <p>“You can’t help but mentally impose the performances of their 2D predecessors and see far more, well, animation in the older characters.”</p> <p>Luke Goodsell of the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-17/the-lion-king-review-disney-live-action-remake-is-majestic/11312854" target="_blank">ABC</a> was more supportive of the naturalistic design. </p> <p>“There’s an unusual dissonance to the photorealistic animals, who have only a fraction of the expression of their cel-animated counterparts, speaking with the voices of the human actors,” he wrote.</p> <p>“It’ll be off-putting for some, as though the original voice soundtrack had been dropped into a wildlife documentary, but it can be refreshing, too – at least for those who sometimes find Disney’s anthropomorphic animals a bit cloying.”</p> <p>But for some reviewers, fresh visuals do not suffice. Yasmin Omar of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/culture/culture-news/a28393880/the-lion-king-film-review/" target="_blank"><em>Harper’s Bazaar</em></a> said apart from the impressive computer-generated imagery, the new version offers nothing more.</p> <p>“Despite following the original plot to a tee, Favreau’s reinterpretation of<span> </span><em>The Lion King</em><span> </span>(or should that be ‘interpretation’?) is simply a regurgitation, drawing on digital technology designed to enhance viewer enjoyment,” she wrote.</p> <p>“This film is a digitally enhanced clone of the first. It feels like nothing more than an empty ploy to line the pockets of studio execs.”</p> <p>While the animated classic earned a rating of 93 per cent on review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the new version only managed to score 59 per cent.</p> <p>Nevertheless, the movie seems to be <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2476483/will-the-lion-king-still-hit-1-billion-after-disappointing-reviews" target="_blank">on track to make more than US$1 billion worldwide</a>. Another of Disney’s 2019 remakes, <em>Aladdin,</em> has made US$960 million so far.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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5 best Oscar acceptance speeches

<p>We are revisiting the best Oscar acceptance speeches ever. When Meryl Streep won the Best Actress Oscar for <em>The Iron Lady</em> in 2012 she just made us love her more when she quipped; “When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, 'Oh no. Come on. . . Her, again?' You know. But, whatever." Which quote is your favourite?</p> <p><strong>1. James Cameron – 1997</strong></p> <p>“I don't know about you but I'm having a really great time. Every director that ever stood up here had his cast to thank, and I had a killer cast. They really threw down for me. So, Kate, Gloria, Leo, Kathy, Frances and Billy, Bill, Suzy, Lewis, and about eighty others, you guys gave me pure gold every day and I share this gold with you. Everybody else that I was going to thank either got an Oscar or a nomination so they're covered, except for my fellow producers Rae Sanchini and Jon Landau; Josh McLaglen; Rod Lurie; my brother Mike Cameron, who built the deep diving camera system. My lovely wife Linda, our two beautiful children, Dalton and Josephine. And my original producers, my parents, who are here tonight, Phillip and Shirley Cameron. Mom, Dad, there is no way that I can express to you what I'm feeling right now, my heart is full to bursting, except to say, ‘I'm the king of the world!’”</p> <p><strong>2. Roberto Benigni – 1999</strong></p> <p>“Thank you! This is a terrible mistake because I used up all my English. I don't know! I am not able to express all my gratitude, because now, my body is in tumult because it is a colossal moment of joy so everything is really in a way that I cannot express. I would like to be Jupiter! And kidnap everybody and lie down in the firmament making love to everybody, because I don't know how to express. It's a question of love. You are really -- this is a mountain of snow, so delicate, the suavity and the kindness, it is something I cannot forget, from the bottom of my heart. And thank you for the Academy Awards for the, who really loved the movie. Thank you to all in Italy, for the Italian cinema, grazie al Italia who made me. I am really, I owe to them all my, if I did something good. So grazie al Italia e grazie al America, land of the lot of things here. Thank you very much. And I hope, really I don't deserve this, but I hope to win some other Oscars! Thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you!”</p> <p><strong>3. Grace Kelly – 1955 </strong></p> <p>“The thrill of this moment keeps me from saying what I really feel. I can only say thank you with all my heart to all who made this possible for me. Thank you.”</p> <p><strong>4. Sandra Bullock – 2010 </strong></p> <p>“I would like to thank the Academy for allowing me in the last month to have the most incredible ride with rooms full of artists that I see tonight and that I’ve worked with before and I hope to work with in the future, who inspire me and blaze trails for us.”</p> <p><strong>5. Bob Hope – 1965 </strong></p> <p>“Welcome to the Academy Awards - or as it's known at my house, Passover and for the first time ever, you can actually see the losers turn green.”</p> <p><em>Republished with permission <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/are-these-the-best-oscar-acceptance-speeches-ever/">Wyza</a>.</em></p>

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Diane Keaton reveals she hasn't dated anyone in 35 years: "Men never ask me out"

<p>Diane Keaton might be one of the world’s most iconic rom-com stars, but apparently love does not come easily to her in real life.</p> <p>In a recent interview with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.instyle.com/celebrity/diane-keaton-august-feature" target="_blank"><em>InStyle</em></a> magazine, the 73-year-old actress shared that she has not had a date in 35 years.</p> <p>When asked if men ask her out, Keaton said, “Never. All right? Let’s just get that straight.”</p> <p>She added, “I haven’t been on a date in, I would say, 35 years. No dates.”</p> <p>Keaton said she has only had men as friends in recent years. </p> <p>“I have a lot of male friends. I have a lot of friends, but no dates,” she said.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzxygePglQr/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzxygePglQr/" target="_blank">A post shared by instylemagazine (@instylemagazine)</a> on Jul 11, 2019 at 6:21am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite her past relationships with some of Hollywood’s biggest names such as Warren Beatty and Al Pacino, the <em>Annie Hall </em>star has never married.</p> <p>Keaton – the adoptive mother of Dexter, 23 and Duke, 18 – told <a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/movies/diane-keaton-on-why-shes-glad-she-never-married/" target="_blank"><em>PEOPLE</em></a> in May that she did not mind her single status. </p> <p>“I’m 73 and I think I’m the only one in my generation and maybe before who has been a single woman all her life,” she said.</p> <p>“I don’t think it would have been a good idea for me to have married, and I’m really glad I didn’t.”</p>

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Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban welcome new addition to the family

<p>Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have welcomed a brand new addition to the family and have shared him with the world in the sweetest social media post.</p> <p>The couple shared an adorable picture of their new furry friend – a Cavoodle dog who’s name is yet to be revealed.</p> <p>“My first puppy... actually my first dog. Been waiting my whole life for this!” Nicole wrote on Instagram.</p> <div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>In the adorable happy snap taken of Nicole and her newest family member, the mother-of-four was caught in a private moment with her forehead in line with the little pup who is wagging its tongue to lick its proud owner.  </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzwHA--JKmH/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzwHA--JKmH/" target="_blank">My first puppy... actually my first dog. Been waiting my whole life for this! 🐶</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/nicolekidman/" target="_blank"> Nicole Kidman</a> (@nicolekidman) on Jul 10, 2019 at 2:42pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The couple were quick to receive congratulations from their celebrity friends with Isla Fisher noting the new furry friend was “so cute.”</p> <p>“Best, best thing you’ll ever do! It’s a love like no other,” added Aussie star Deborah Hutton.</p> <p>The new pet who is yet to be named is sure to live a happy life surrounded by Nicole, Keith and their two children Sunday Rose, 11 and Faith, eight.</p> <p>Kidman’s other two children Bella and Connor Cruise might not get as much play time in as their two younger siblings as they are both famously devoted to Scientology alongside their father Tom Cruise.</p> <p>Earlier this week, the 52-year-old made headlines after reports emerged revealing the lengths the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/placido-domingos-daughter-in-law-reveals-scientology-secretsthe-celebrities-exposed" target="_blank">church had gone to in the past to influence Nicole’s relationship with her two older children.</a></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Youth vs truth: How box sets beat the box office

<p>The northern summer of 2013 was a bad one for Hollywood. <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1815862/">After Earth</a>, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1210819/?ref_=nv_sr_1">The Lone Ranger</a>, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2334879/?ref_=nv_sr_1">White House Down</a>, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816711/?ref_=nv_sr_1">World War Z</a> </em>and <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/?ref_=nv_sr_1">Pacific Rim </a></em>were among the million-dollar turkeys. And you may have noticed the DVD shelves feature more TV series than ever before.</p> <p><strong>So what’s going on?</strong></p> <p>Cinema has been in crisis for 70 years. In the 1950s, it responded to the challenge of television with bigger, brighter and brasher spectacles. But the problem with big-budget spectacle is obvious: when you bet the bank, it’s easy to lose your shirt.</p> <p>A few massive flops such as <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056937/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Cleopatra</a></em> and <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061584/?ref_=fn_al_tt_7">Dr Dolittle</a></em> in the 1960s were enough to frighten investors and producers off the strategy.</p> <p>In the place of that approach, Hollywood discovered low-budget movies with the kind of adult themes television of the 1960s and 1970s couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. From <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064276/?ref_=nv_sr_2">Easy Rider</a></em> (1969) to <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075314/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Taxi Driver</a></em> (1976), the strategy worked, but a handful of expensive bombs such as <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080855/?ref_=nv_sr_1">Heaven’s Gate </a></em>(1980) changed LA executives’ minds again.</p> <p>But the TV problem persisted. How could you get your would-be audience to leave the sofa (and the proximity of the refrigerator) to go downtown to the movie theatre? In 1975 and 1976, two films set the model for the future: <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073195/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Jaws</a></em> and <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/?ref_=nv_sr_2">Star Wars</a></em>. Spielberg’s shark story was more than a film: it was an event.</p> <p>George Lucas’s first installment of his sci-fi epic went one better by opening up a new market for spin-offs: toys, clothes, games, theme-park rides and merchandise of every kind.</p> <p>Best of all, both films created the opportunity to tell more stories with the same basic set up: what Hollywood would come to call a franchise.</p> <p>The lesson was clear: parents might not be persuaded to get up off the couch, but teens everywhere could be persuaded to evade the watchful eye of Mom and Dad. For nearly 40 years, that wisdom has framed the way Hollywood has made movies.</p> <p>Reducing drastically the number of films they make each year, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_film_studio#Today.27s_Big_Six">the six major studios</a>, who together control more than 80% of global box office, concentrate on the 12-to-25 age range.</p> <p>The major target is boys, especially younger teens who tend to visit the cinema in groups, with a significant subsidiary market for slightly older teens on dates, and girls heading out for an evening together.</p> <p>Older film fans talk about genres such as westerns and science fiction. The industry talks about blockbusters for boys and date movies and rom-coms for girls.</p> <p><strong>Distraction</strong></p> <p>The rise of computer games in the 1980s and the internet in the 1990s increased competition for young audiences’ attention, already distracted by rock music, the revitalisation of the comic book industry in the 1980s, and a massive boom in consumer magazines in the same decade.</p> <p>In the 1980s, video piracy rattled the business: in the 2000s <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-battle-has-been-won-but-the-war-on-piracy-is-far-from-over-16211">the problem of piracy</a> exploded, as an increasingly internet-savvy generation used file-sharing to access the movies the studios lavished so much money and care on.</p> <p>The first strategic response by Hollywood was architectural. Loosening implementation of laws on cross-ownership starting in the 2000s allowed the majors to return to the theatrical end of the business, where they invested huge sums on new multiplexes, luxurious seating and state-of-the-art sound systems.</p> <p>The second strategic response was marketing. Today, at least a third of the budget for a new release is spent on “P&amp;A”, prints and advertising. Increasingly sophisticated teasers and trailers, reports from the set, leaks to the press and huge advertising campaigns jockey for the biggest possible success.</p> <p>The focus of the campaign is the opening weekend. Top-budget movies not only have to open to big crowds; the opening weekend establishes the brand of the film, which will be essential for its long-term success.</p> <p>Once the title, the logo, the specially-commissioned typeface and the carefully selected images have saturated television, billboards, websites, social media, newsprint and magazines, the stage is set for the longer haul of DVD sales and rentals, video-on-demand streaming, cable, satellite and free-to-air TV.</p> <p>According to top industry scholar <a href="http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_26228.html">Tino Balio</a>, that is where, in the 2010s, well over 60% of movie revenues are generated.</p> <p>Films such as <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120737/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">The Lord of the Rings</a></em> and <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Avatar</a> </em>(whose second and third installments are in preparation for 2016 and 2017 release) are typical franchises in at least three senses:</p> <ol> <li>Each film in the series remains open to a sequel.</li> <li>Because of the gap between release dates, fans are likely to buy a previous instalment to get in the mood in advance of the latest episode. </li> <li>The films are made with a lavish attention to detail that invites multiple viewings.</li> </ol> <p>Franchises are good for studios. A one-off film is a prototype: as scriptwriting guru <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Goldman">William Goldman</a> <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/457097-nobody-knows-anything-not-one-person-in-the-entire-motion">famously said</a> of Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.”</p> <p>If we could predict success, there would never be such a thing as a box office bomb.</p> <p>But if your <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258463/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4">first Bourne movie</a> is a hit, the chances its sequel will crash and burn are significantly lowered.</p> <p>Add to this the fact that all the majors are now parts of multimedia conglomerates, and that a franchise based on an already-successful product has a much better chance of success itself.</p> <p>Whether it’s a theme-park ride (Disney’s <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0325980/?ref_=tt_rec_tt">Pirates of the Caribbean</a></em>) or a comic book family (Warner’s <a href="http://www.dccomics.com/">DC Comics</a>, Disney’s <a href="http://marvel.com/">Marvel</a>), franchises build on synergies with other branches of their parent companies.</p> <p><strong>Curiosity</strong></p> <p>In the mid-20th century, some major film companies shunned TV.</p> <p>Others started making television, among them the wildly successful <a href="http://www.disney.com.au/">Disney</a>, which brokered its music hits, theme parks and TV shows to expand into grown-up films and computer animation, and to acquire the US’s <a href="http://www.disneyabctv.com/web/index.aspx">ABC television network</a> in 1995.</p> <p>This pattern was repeated through the relationship of Paramount with CBS, NBC’s with Universal, Newscorp’s ownership of both Fox Studios and the Fox TV network. Time Warner own HBO and the Turner network among other TV properties, and Sony, owners of Columbia, has also moved into television.</p> <p>Television is no longer the upstart challenger, it seems, but another wing of the same industry. And that’s without factoring in the studios’ involvement in online, mobile and games media.</p> <p>The youth market looks pretty much locked in. So why was the northern summer of 2013 such a tough one for youth-oriented blockbuster movies following a tried and tested formula?</p> <p>The secret may just be that older audience that was left behind in the blockbuster boom of the 1970s, sitting cheerfully at home minding the store.</p> <p>When the cable and satellite TV markets began to mature in the late 1970s, they were still dependent on advertising. But soon enough, execs began to notice the audience left behind by cinema.</p> <p>Those people were happy to pay a subscription to see premium product, especially without the interruptions of commercial breaks. Back catalogues of classic movies and premium runs of new films were early entrants.</p> <p>In 1997, HBO changed the game by launching its prison drama <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118421/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Oz</a></em>, followed in 1999 by the first season of <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0141842/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">The Sopranos</a>.</em></p> <p>Suddenly, we had television that wasn’t dumbed down to meet the requirements of advertisers, that used the serial form to develop complex characters, and that addressed grown-up themes in an adult form.</p> <p>By the 2000s, shows such as <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185906/">Band of Brothers</a>, <a href="http://www.hbo.com/#/deadwood">Deadwood</a>, </em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318997/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1"><em>Angels in America</em> </a>and <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248654/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Six Feet Under</a></em> had not only demonstrated the unfed demand for adult programming; they had staked a claim, with series such as <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0306414/?ref_=nv_sr_1">The Wire</a></em>, to the role once occupied by the popular social novels of Charles Dickens or Upton Sinclair.</p> <p>As the top shows garnered awards and critical praise in the serious as well as the popular press, the shows became collectable items, much like great novels, to be viewed and savoured more than once.</p> <p>Despite his success with <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118276/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Buffy the Vampire Slayer</a></em>, Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303461/?ref_=nv_sr_1">Firefly</a></em> was dropped after only one season, and as wily a judge of popular taste as Spielberg has consistently failed to ignite a TV franchise.</p> <p>Is TV unsuited to spectacular fantasy? The success of the BBC’s revamped <em><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006q2x0">Dr Who</a></em> and <a href="http://www.hbo.com/#/game-of-thrones">HBO’s <em>Game of Thrones</em></a> might suggest otherwise.</p> <p>Is TV likely to go the same way as the “new Hollywood” of the 1970s, overwhelmed by teen action and superhero spectacle? Unlikely at present given the critical and commercial success of <a href="http://www.amctv.com/shows/breaking-bad">AMC’s <em>Breaking Bad</em></a>.</p> <p>The reliable, comfortably-off audience for serious TV drama may yet trump that fickle youth demographic who stayed away in the summer of 2013.</p> <p><em>Written by Sean Cubitt. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/youth-vs-truth-how-box-sets-beat-the-box-office-18910"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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10 of the most magical movies

<p>Whether it was the enchanting characters, the memorable scenes or simply because it was the first film mum or dad took you to, these are the movies that have left the most lasting impressions over the decades. How many do you have a soft spot for?</p> <p><strong>1. The Wizard of Oz</strong></p> <p>“For me it was <em>The Wizard of Oz</em> with Judy Garland, in fantastic Technicolor. Back then I was lost in the emotions of a young girl trying to find her way home, following that yellow brick road and meeting all sorts of friends with problems of their own.” <strong><em>– Debbie Moody</em></strong></p> <p>“<em>The Wizard of Oz</em> was a truly magical movie depicting the adventures of Dorothy and her dog when they were whisked during a cyclone to the Land of Oz and met fascinating characters and animals on their way to meet the Wizard. The special effects, scenes, colour, songs, humour and dialogues were wonderfully entertaining and somehow resonated with me emotionally.” <strong><em>– Melanie Gomes</em></strong></p> <p><strong>2. Beauty and the Beast</strong></p> <p>“<em>Beauty and the Beast</em> – an enchanted castle, a mysterious beast and above all things LOVE… it was every little girl’s fantasy in a movie!” <strong><em>– Sarah Blockley</em></strong></p> <p>“<em>Beauty and the Beast</em>, for its romance, strong female lead and Disney charm that warms the heart.” <strong><em>– Tyra White</em></strong></p> <p><strong>3. Willy Wonka &amp; the Chocolate Factory</strong></p> <p>“The original <em>Willy Wonka &amp; the Chocolate Factory</em>. I loved it for two reasons. First, it showed a wonderful, loving extended family. I was fascinated by their kitchen setting and where the boy Charlie slept in a little nook. Secondly, inside the chocolate factory was what all children dream of, surely. From go to whoa the whole movie transported me from my childhood worries and into a fairyland world. <strong><em>– Margaret McKee</em></strong></p> <p><strong>4. Dumbo</strong></p> <p>“<em>Dumbo</em> – for a kid who often felt like she didn’t fit in, and wasn’t good at anything, it was magical to see Dumbo discover his talent and become loved and celebrated.” <strong><em>– Lorraine Cormack</em></strong></p> <p>“I loved <em>Dumbo</em> as it showed those who are bullied can win if they believe they can.” <strong><em>– Mary Madigan</em></strong></p> <p><strong>5. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids</strong></p> <p>“In a way, <em>Honey, I Shrunk the Kids</em> is all about childhood imagination. It recognises that most kids are able to look at our own backyards and see a world of infinite adventure. Rather than limit those adventures to the minds of children, however, <em>Honey, I Shrunk the Kids</em> manages to take that same backyard setting and turn it into the staging ground for an on-screen journey as epic as <em>The Odyssey</em> by shrinking the main characters down to the size of a bug. What’s amazing about this movie all these years later is how it is able to get so much out of its relatively simple premise by throwing nearly every obstacle at these kids that could possibly occur in this situation. As scary as their adventure was, though, there wasn’t a single kid who saw this movie that wouldn’t have gladly embarked on it at least once.” <strong>– Susana Goncalves</strong></p> <p><strong>6. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang</strong></p> <p>“<em>Chitty Chitty Bang Bang</em> had me enthralled with its magic, villains and adventure. Children who believed in themselves, magic and those around them can do anything.” <strong><em>– Adele Smith</em></strong></p> <p>“<em>Chitty Chitty Bang Bang</em>. Yes, it’s a great story written by the creator of James Bond – but to be honest I had a massive crush on Dick Van Dyke.” <strong><em>– Sarah Fairley</em></strong></p> <p><strong>7. The NeverEnding Story</strong></p> <p>“<em>The NeverEnding Story</em> has to be the most magical movie from my era. The story had everything a young kid could ask for: a great story, a mythical flying dog and a gripping ending. Our family continues to watch it today.” <strong><em>– Aaron Elliott</em></strong></p> <p>“I cried so much when Artax died. I also loved the rock/man thing, and I think it was the first time I had ever heard the name ‘Sebastian’.” <strong><em>– Kate Timms</em></strong></p> <p><strong>8. Little Women</strong></p> <p>“I have really fond memories of my dad taking me to see <em>Little Women</em>. I was pretty impressed that my burly dad would even consider this outing with his two pre-teen daughters. He really enjoyed it.” <strong><em>– Maggie Westbrook</em></strong></p> <p><strong>9. The Sound of Music</strong></p> <p>“It was <em>The Sound of Music</em>. I have such fond memories of this magnificent film, which I saw at some point of my youth in the ‘60s at a drive-in movie theatre in Alice Springs with my parents and sisters. All of us crammed into my father’s HK Holden. It absolutely captivated me from start to finish; the songs, the storyline, the suspense… what wonderful memories.” <strong><em>– Andrew Moore</em></strong></p> <p>“When I was young, movies were a treat, With lollies, friends and a canvas seat. There was a special one that I did adore, And many times I’ve gone back for more. The songs, the scenery, the storyline, Always transports me to another time. <em>The Sound of Music</em> is such a classic, My memories of it are so fantastic.” <strong><em>– Joanne Carter</em></strong></p> <p><strong>10. Cinderella</strong></p> <p>“<em>Cinderella</em>. When my mum and dad broke up I really did inherit bad stepsisters who were mean and called me ugly. Luckily I was more like the ugly duckling and grew to be a swan.” <strong><em>– Ann Sculley</em></strong></p>

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Nicole Kidman shares rare photo of daughters Sunday and Faith

<p><em>Big Little Lies</em> star Nicole Kidman and her country singer husband Keith Urban are very private about their two children, Sunday Rose, 11 and Faith Margaret, 8.</p> <p>However, in a sweet snap on Instagram to celebrate Sunday Rose’s birthday, Kidman shared a never-before-seen photo of the two young girls in Paris.</p> <p>The siblings are looking out at the city in the iconic clock at the Musee d’Orsay.</p> <p>"Happy Birthday darling Sunday #Paris," the Oscar winning actress captioned her post.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzoHwc-pLVJ/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzoHwc-pLVJ/" target="_blank">Happy Birthday darling Sunday ❤️ #Paris</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/nicolekidman/" target="_blank"> Nicole Kidman</a> (@nicolekidman) on Jul 7, 2019 at 12:14pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Eagle-eyed followers recognised the setting and wished Sunday a happy birthday, including Nicole's <em>Big Little Lie</em>s co-star Reese Witherspoon, who wrote:</p> <p>"Happy Birthday sweet girl!"</p> <p>For her birthday last year, Kidman shared a moving snap of her and Urban holding Sunday Rose as a newborn.</p> <p>"Ten years ago today our little girl came into the world. You are our joy Sunday Rose. We love you, Happy Birthday," she captioned the post.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk8YmOKlIDW/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk8YmOKlIDW/" target="_blank">Ten years ago today our little girl came into the world 💕 You are our joy Sunday Rose. We love you, Happy Birthday 🎂❤️</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/nicolekidman/" target="_blank"> Nicole Kidman</a> (@nicolekidman) on Jul 7, 2018 at 1:15pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Kidman opened up to Oprah Winfrey about the meaning behind the name ‘Sunday Rose’ and shared the emotive explanation.</p> <p>"That's our favourite day because if you're happy and you've got your family and the things around you, then Sunday's a beautiful day."</p> <p> </p>

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Inside Rachel Griffiths $2.5 million "mid-century modern oasis” LA home

<p>Australian actress Rachel Griffiths, who is best known for her roles on US TV series <em>Six Feet Under</em> and <em>Brothers &amp; Sisters</em>, as well as her famous role in Australian classic<span> </span><em>Muriel's Wedding</em>, has parted ways with her Los Angeles mansion, which she has owned since 2005.</p> <p>She has moved back home to Australia with her husband, Andy Taylor, and their children Banjo, Adelaide and Clementine, and since returning to Oz, the house in LA has officially gone under offer.</p> <p>The single-storey home was built in 1961 and blends minimalistic and modernist elements in an open floor plan. The home is more than 2,800 square feet and offers commercial-grade appliances, custom cabinetry and a prep island located in the kitchen.</p> <p>It’s referred to as a “celebrity owned mid-century modern oasis” in the listing by the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/rachel-griffiths-quickly-finds-buyer-for-los-angeles-home/" target="_blank">real estate</a>.</p> <p>All of the rooms have walls of glass, and there’s a step-down living room with a fireplace.</p> <p>The gated residence also has a pool.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to take a tour inside the luxurious home.</p> <p>Photo credits: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-hotprop-rachel-griffiths-encino-home-20190611-story.html" target="_blank">LA Times</a>  </p>

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Where are they now? Marc McClure

<p>Many of us grew up feeling like we knew the characters in the early <em>Superman</em> series. The series started out with <em>Superman</em> and it was so successful there were three sequels – <em>Superman II, Superman III</em> and <em>Superman IV: The Quest for Peace</em>.</p> <p>McClure played Jimmy Olsen in all of these movies, alongside the fabulous Christopher Reeve as Superman/Clark Kent and the unforgettable Margot Kidder as Lois Lane.</p> <p>In his role as the Daily Planet’s photographer, McClure carved out a niche for himself in this iconic movie series. He's the only actor who appeared in the same role in all four of the Christopher Reeve-era <em>Superman</em> films and <em>Supergirl</em>.</p> <p>McClure had another recurring role as Dave McFly, Marty McFly's brother, in <em>Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II</em> and <em>Part III</em>. He appeared in other films as well, including <em>Apollo 13, Freaky Friday</em> and numerous television series.</p> <p><strong>So where is McClure now? </strong></p> <p>At 59, McClure is married and lives in California where he grew up. He has been in Australia for the first time, speaking at special screenings of a new cut of the <em>Superman II</em> film, called <em>Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.</em></p> <p>At one of these screenings in Sydney last week, McClure explained that for reasons which are still not known, the original director of <em>Superman II</em>, Richard Donner, was taken off the movie when filming was only about 75 per cent complete.</p> <p>McClure said the role of director was handed over to the second director, Richard Lester. However, in order for Lester to receive full credit as director of the movie, he had to reshoot up to 51 per cent of the scenes. This included refilming several sequences originally filmed by Donner.</p> <p>As McClure explained, many diehard fans still feel the original <em>Superman II</em> sequences were superior to what was actually released in the cinemas in 1980. So in 2006, a re-cut version of the film was released, which restored much of Donner's original conception and original scenes.</p> <p>McClure said all the actors were told Donner had been taken off the movie but not the reason why: "We came back and were told we had a new director. I remember getting on the stage and there'd be an X and you'd be told, you say this line here and then you move over here to this X. It was just such a different world. With Donner we'd work it out. But then it became so different."</p> <p>"Richard Donner is the reason we're sitting here tonight," he added. "He's as good as it gets. The footage we have here tonight was found in a vault in Kansas by Michael Thor and he put it together. It's so special.</p> <p>"There's not a lot of people who can tell stories on celluloid. There's maybe 10 on the planet and Dick Donner is one of the best," he added.</p> <p><strong>Pure luck </strong></p> <p>Looking fit and healthy, McClure went on to let the audience know he felt it had been a stroke of "pure luck" when he landed the iconic role of Jimmy Olsen.</p> <p>"I did nothing for my audition," he said. "At the time, I was living on a boat and I was just hanging out. I never really thought I was going to be an actor. I thought I was going to be a jockey because I weighed hardly anything. But a friend of my mom's told me about these auditions and so I started going to them and I started to get jobs."</p> <p>For the <em>Superman</em> audition, he said he went in and met Richard Donner, and they talked about what it was like living on a houseboat for around half an hour. "At the end of our chat he said, 'Do you know who Jimmy Olsen is?' and I said 'Golly!' and that was it. I was just being myself."</p> <p>McClure said thought he didn't get the role because he didn't hear anything but a few months later, he was asked to come in and told he had the job.</p> <p>"Just getting that part in these movies has turned into a lifetime of this..." he said, pointing to the audience who were listening to every word.</p> <p>"I've been very lucky with the <em>Superman </em>movies and the <em>Back to the Future</em> movies. I don't really know how I got here," he added.</p> <p><strong>What does he think of the new <em>Superman</em> movies?</strong></p> <p>McClure says he would like to say he enjoys the new Superman movies such as <em>Man of Steel </em>released in 2013, and <em>Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice</em>, released this year, but he finds it difficult.</p> <p>"I go to these new films and I'm rooting for them so I can pass on the torch. But I have to say it hasn't happened. Now they're getting so dark and serious. Before, you could escape with these characters of Jimmy Olsen, Clark Kent and Lois Lane. There was an innocence that Jimmy Olsen had – he had something special. And the <em>Superman </em>movies had humour. I think the new ones are missing the point," he said.</p> <p>Asked if he had retired, he laughed and said: "I did retire for four years. But this year I went back to work and I'm playing a character in an NBC pilot called <em>Powerless</em> that's going to be a series – I'm not sure if you'll get that here. I have a recurring role."</p> <p><strong>Dedication to Christopher Reeve</strong></p> <p>Before the special screening of the re-cut version of <em>Superman II</em>, McClure made a point of acknowledging Christopher Reeve, saying: "Well before we go any further, let's hear it for the man who will always be The Man of Steel and that's Mr Christopher Reeve."</p> <p>"I could get teary-eyed but, you know, to be The Man of Steel and then be in a wheelchair and yet to continue to speak to people – incredible, incredible! Maybe one day they will tell the full Christopher Reeve story. He had an incredible lifetime. And Christopher Reeve was a teacher to all of us," he said with strong emotion.</p> <p>It was obvious that over the years of playing Jimmy Olsen and Superman/Clark Kent in four films, McClure and Reeve had cemented a firm friendship.</p> <p>Later, as <em>Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut</em>, began to play, a poignant dedication to Reeve only further endorsed what McClure had said: This film is dedicated to Christopher Reeve without whom we would never have believed that man could fly.</p> <p><em>Written by Pamela Connellan. Republished with permission </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/where-are-they-now-marc-mcclure.aspx"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Grace Kelly’s granddaughter marries in second stunning wedding dress

<p>Princess Grace of Monaco’s granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi has celebrated her new marriage again with a religious ceremony in Southern France.</p> <p>It was the second wedding for Charlotte and her husband, film producer Dimitri Rassam.</p> <p>They had a civil service on June 1 at Monaco’s Prince’s Palace.</p> <p>The first service was where Charlotte paid homage to her famous grandmother, as the necklace she chose to wear in the above photo is her grandmother's Cartier piece, and is one of the most celebrated of the family’s Cartier treasures.</p> <p>The three-strand necklace, according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/jewelry-and-watches/a27698288/charlotte-casiraghi-princess-grace-wedding-jewelry/" target="_blank"><em>Town and Country Magazine</em></a>, was created from approximately 64 carats of round and emerald cut diamonds which were set in platinum.</p> <p>It was a gift from Prince Rainier to his bride, Princess Grace, on their wedding day in 1956.</p> <p>Granddaughter Charlotte's second wedding service was held in the village of Saint-Remy-De-Provence on the weekend.</p> <p>"It is this particular love of Provence she wants to share with her family and friends," a friend told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/royals/charlotte-casiraghi-monaco-weds-second-religious-marriage-ceremony/" target="_blank"><em>People</em></a>.</p> <p>Charlotte, 32, wore a gown by Italian designer Giambattista Valli, who shared a photo of the couple on Instagram.</p> <p>"Congratulations Charlotte Casiraghi and Dimitri Rassam on their wedding in Saint-Remy-de-Provence.</p> <p>"The bride wore a custom Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown. Very happy to be part of their dream!"</p> <p>Attendees of the wedding included Charlotte’s mother Princess Caroline, her uncle Prince Albert and her three siblings, as well as Rassam’s mother, French actress Carole Bouquet.</p> <p>The bride’s bouquet featured lavender, which the region of Provence is known for.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the outfits from the happy couple's two weddings.</p>

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Frozen was our most important feminist film: Why the sequel won’t have the same impact

<p>“Elsa, the past is not what it seems.” The opening line from the latest Frozen II trailer invites us to revisit not only the original world of the film but to re-think its meaning.</p> <p>Of course, this is a well-worn technique with most sequels – a deeper dive into the mythology, sometimes deepening the experience (The Empire Strikes Back), sometimes complicating it to catastrophic effect (The Phantom Menace).</p> <p>However, it’s also an important time to reflect on what the original Frozen meant to our world, a very different time in 2013, and to make a bold claim: I think that Frozen is perhaps the most important feminist film ever made.</p> <p>It is still the most successful animated musical of all time, having made <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/">over $1.2 billion</a> in the cinema alone, not including the merchandising that permeates children’s bedrooms all over the world.</p> <p>To set the scene, in 2013 Obama was still president and Harvey Weinstein still respected, if not awed, as a film producer. No #metoo, little significant dialogue in the screen world on gender equality (although Geena Davis was making increasing impact with her <a href="https://www.facebook.com/GDIGM/">Institute on Gender in Media</a>, founded back in 2004), and even less on racial diversity and gender fluidity.</p> <p>Frozen, a Disney animation about two princess sisters, one with the power to manipulate ice and snow, had been in development for decades, based on the Hans Christian Andersen Snow Queen story. Elsa was the villain. The film that audiences finally saw was somewhat of a happy accident: when one of the directors heard Let It Go for the first time (the now-forever-torch-song-of-self-acceptance), it inspired her to completely re-think the story and reshape it around sisterly love.</p> <p>The overriding messages of the film are almost embarrassingly simple: suppressing your authentic self is hugely damaging; fear is negative; love is positive. But here’s the meta-level kicker: it’s a fairytale (and a Disney one, at that) that tells us that princesses-in-jeopardy do not need a male to save them, thank you very much.</p> <p><strong>The Nevermind of this screen generation?</strong></p> <p>The take-home is clear: Women no longer need to be defined by their relationships to men. Here even romantic love is presented as problematic for the female characters, instead of a solution (opposite to the tradition of female love being the complication to the male hero’s journey). When Anna rejects her “true” love Kristoff to sacrifice herself for her sister, it is a deliberately symbolic meta-gesture, that had a far bigger impact than the filmmakers could have genuinely expected.</p> <p>It’s important to note here, that the problem (women always presented as objects-to-be-saved – especially princesses) was largely one created by Disney, although they should be given kudos for also being the one to eventually smash the trope. But it is also absurd that in 2013 the idea that women could have agency (and stories) independent of men should have been so culturally significant.</p> <p>Still, the fact that a Disney blockbuster overturned this trope was key. The huge commercial success of Frozen proved that these stories make money, influencing the mainstream to generate similar tales. Just look at the current output of Marvel and DC. The idea of women not defined by men has become a given, part of the intellectual fabric of an entire generation of girls and boys, something a challenging indie or art-house film could never hope or expect to achieve.</p> <p>And Frozen did something even more rare, it closed the door on those old damsel-in-distress characterisations, perhaps forever, in the same way that Dances with Wolves forever closed the door on the representation of American Indians as one-dimensional savages (noble or otherwise).</p> <p>In fact, I think Frozen has become the Nevermind of this screen generation; just as the seminal Nirvana album instantly dated all rock that come before it, Frozen magically made all previous fairy tales hopelessly old-fashioned.</p> <p><strong>A different world</strong></p> <p>So what for Frozen II (which will open in <a href="https://www.disney.com.au/movies">Australian cinemas</a> on November 28)? It’s arriving in a very different world from its predecessor. Story-wise, from the “autumnal” feel to the trailer, it’s clear that the film is going to be the second of four movies/seasons (no points for that one), and the “past is not what it seems” theme, combined with lots of Elsa in the sea does indicate (but I hope it doesn’t go there) that her dead parents might somehow be brought back to life.</p> <p>But will it have the same cultural impact? Absolutely not. And nor should it. Frozen was a lightening-rod moment in the zeitgeist, but to try to make it to strike twice would be disastrous, both creatively and financially. I am keen to see what happens to Elsa and Anna, but would worry if the film attempts to up the thematic stakes to extend the cultural conversation.</p> <p>Don’t get me wrong, I would love Disney and other studios to make films that better represented our ethnically, sexually and gender diverse populations (intersectional feminism, anyone?), but I think that might just be too much pressure on one narrative, even with all of Elsa’s magical powers.</p> <p><em>Written by Darren Paul Fisher. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/frozen-was-our-most-important-feminist-film-but-the-sequel-wont-have-the-same-impact-118915"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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The heartfelt way Magda Szubanski remembers Heath Ledger

<p>Comedian and LGBT activist Magda Szubanski has posted a heartfelt tribute to her late friend and worldwide famous actor, Heath Ledger.</p> <p>In the past, Magda has honoured the late Joker actor in emotional posts to social media and she has proven time and time again she is not one to shy away from remembering Heath.</p> <p>The pair both went viral in 2006 at the AFI Awards when Magda’s Kath &amp; Kim character ‘Sharon Strzelecki’ met Heath Ledger on the red carpet.</p> <p>She squealed in excitement from seeing the then 27-year-old and, in a moment no one expected, the actor grabbed ‘Sharon’s’ face and in Magda’s own words “pashed ME!”</p> <p>The actress hilariously fell to the ground in shock and later presented an award alongside Dannii Minogue to Heath, and joked he had given her a “Heath rash.”</p> <p>Later, in a 2017 post the beloved Australian comedian took to Instagram to give inside details about their special on-air moment.</p> <p>“Ah beautiful Heath. This is one of my favourite career moments ever. Heath had no idea I was going to do this,” Magda shared, mentioning the Aussie actor at the time was having a “rough” experience with the Australian media and was “nervous” to be appearing on a red carpet.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ0IhqxDWOI/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ0IhqxDWOI/" target="_blank">A post shared by Magda Szubanski (@magda_szubanski)</a> on Oct 3, 2017 at 10:36pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“The producers and I planned that, as Sharon, in her role as stage manager for the event, I would surprise Heath with a "Sharon pash". I'd met him a couple of times and he was such a great guy. When the moment came I was so 'in the moment' I naturally did what Sharon would do: I fangirl screamed.</p> <p>“Heath had NO idea any of this was gonna happen. But being the magical, receptive actor he was, he totally went with the flow and then upped the stakes even further, grabbed Sharon's (my) face and pashed ME!</p> <p>“Tell ya, he almost turned me.</p> <p>“Then the next day he rang me and said he'd had so much fun he wanted to be written into @kathandkim as Sharon's stalker. He and I had a chat about it when I was in London. And then he went off to play The Joker. And well...</p> <p>“Anyway, this is the beautiful, playful, lighter side of The Joker. I'm so honoured I got to share this moment with him. And as my friend Ron just said, had romance blossomed our love child would've been called #Sheath.</p> <p>“Always in our hearts #heathledger.”</p> <p>Heath tragically died in an accidental prescription drug overdose in 2008 in New York, at the age of 28.</p> <p>He shares one daughter, 13-year-old Matilda Ledger, with American actress Michelle Williams.</p>

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The 5 best Meryl Streep movies

<p>Thanks to a dazzling succession of films, Meryl Streep’s name has become synonymous with elegance, raw emotional depth and amazing performances. To celebrate the release of her latest film, Ricki and the Flash, we have revisited 5 of her best movies.</p> <p><strong>1. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)</strong></p> <p>The first of Meryl Streep's three Academy Awards came in this classic family drama, co-starring Dustin Hoffman. This simple and affecting story about heartache and separation and constituted an iconic and groundbreaking study of the modern family unit. At the time the film boldly challenged stereotypes about parenthood and the role of women in domestic life.</p> <p><strong>2. Sophie’s Choice (1982)</strong></p> <p>In this acclaimed film, Meryl Streep shines as Sophie, a Polish immigrant with a haunting tale. Through the use of flashbacks, viewers are taken on a tear-inducing voyage through war-torn Europe. Sophie is a survivor of the holocaust and tells a young writer about her struggle with the most difficult situation a mother could face. Streep won her second Oscar with this tender portrayal (her first for Best Actress).</p> <p><strong>3. Silkwood (1983)</strong></p> <p>Taking on the unglamorous role of Karen Silkwood who works at a plutonium processing plant, with her boyfriend Drew (Kurt Russell) and flatmate Dolly (Cher). Streep brings an impressive and gritty performance which stands the test of time. Karen is determined to prove there is something very, very wrong going on at the plant and is prepared to put her life in danger to expose it. Directed by Mike Nichols and written by Nora Ephron and based on a true story. It is a must watch!</p> <p><strong>4. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)</strong></p> <p>Clint Eastwood's emotionally charged drama was a smash-hit and is still a heart-warming yet tear-jerker love story for the ages. The film centres on a four-day love affair between a photographer (Eastwood) and a former Italian war bride (Streep). As their romantic interlude unfolds, the pair is struck by the gravity of their impending choices and the everyday burdens of their lives. Poignant and romantic.</p> <p><strong>5. Adaptation (2002)</strong></p> <p>In this more experimental film, Adaptation saw Streep collaborating with Charlie Kaufman. The result is a sensational film jam-packed with meta-plot-twists and eccentrically engaging performances (Nicolas Cage, in a dual role as pair of screenwriter twins). Taking on the role of Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, Streep lights up the screen with her sensual, Oscar-nominated performance.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/we-revisit-meryl-streep%E2%80%99s-7-best-movies/"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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5 films not to miss from the 2019 Sydney Film Festival

<p>A “top five” list from a major film festival will inevitably annoy many people, because, by necessity, there are many films that one is not able to see, and the scheduling at this year’s Sydney Film Festival involved significant clashes.</p> <p>Still, perhaps the best thing about large film festivals is that they make people watch films they normally wouldn’t. Of the 30 or so I did catch, there were fewer spectacular ones - and notably, fewer duds - than in years past. Here are my five stand-outs.</p> <p><strong>1. School’s Out</strong></p> <p>Directed by Sébastien Marnier, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7175992/">School’s Out</a> was my pick for best film at the festival. The narrative follows Pierre (Laurent Lafitte), a substitute teacher who takes over a class of elite students at a French private school, after the suicide of their teacher in the film’s opening scene. What begins as mere attitude from the arrogant students, led by Apolline (brilliantly played by Luàna Bajrami in her first feature film), turns into something more menacing as the film progresses.</p> <p>For the most part, the film is told from Pierre’s point of view, and this creates a sense of claustrophobic paranoia as he feels increasingly threatened by his students. We can never quite put our finger on the reason for this and this interplay between his sense of danger and the objective perspective of the other teachers regarding the saintliness of the elite students drives the tension.</p> <p>The whole thing is undergirded by a deep ecological anxiety that endows the film with a sense of significance greater than the ostensible clash between a teacher riven with an inferiority complex and his precocious students. It is as if we are watching a staging of the struggle between entrenched power, which continues to destroy the planet, and the nihilistic youth who are in tune to this, following their final, fatal attempts to do something about it.</p> <p>This thematic material is engaging enough. But it is the sheer control with which Marnier manages the tension and manipulates the viewer (whilst avoiding thriller cliches) that makes School’s Out a masterpiece. A magnificently wrought, flawless film, it also happens to be incredibly engaging at an affective level.</p> <p><strong>2. Bacurau</strong></p> <p>The “people hunting people for sport” sub-genre has produced some of the most disturbing – and effective – films in genre cinema, dating back to The Most Dangerous Game of 1932. Cornel Wilde’s The Naked Prey (1965) remains one of the best, as does John Woo’s Hard Target (1993), one of the only genuinely good Jean-Claude Van Damme films. <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2762506/?ref_=rvi_tt">Bacurau</a>, an excellent genre thriller from Brazilian writer-directors Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho, marks another entry on this continuum.</p> <p>Set sometime in the near future, the film revolves around a hamlet of the same name in the sertão in north-east Brazil. The inhabitants notice that Bacurau has disappeared from GPS mapping. This is quickly followed by a series of murders of the inhabitants, the victims of a squad of mercenary killers led by Michael (played by the inimitable Udo Kier). Most of these killers are from the US, and, whilst there are political motivations underpinning their invasion of the town, they seem to be mainly doing this for the fun of it (which includes only hunting with old-fashioned weapons such as Tommy Guns!).</p> <p>The inhabitants catch wind of the situation pretty quickly, and, led by guerrilla freedom fighter Lunga (Silvero Pereira), organise their resistance to the coloniser, which, needless to say, involves a great deal of blood. The second half of the film, channelling the films the directors clearly love in staging this struggle (ie those made by Sam Peckinpah and John Carpenter), is more effective than the first half, which is a little meandering in its kind of loose, new wave style.</p> <p>It is an extremely violent – and extremely funny – film, with bad taste aplenty. And this will, surely, alienate many viewers. But Bacurau will not disappoint those of us who like trashy genre films.</p> <p><strong>3. The Brink</strong></p> <p>The Brink follows alt-right puppeteer Steve Bannon, after his dismissal as Trump’s Chief Strategist, as he sets about fostering a populist, anti-immigration movement uniting Europe and the US in the lead up to the US congressional election of 2018. Filmmaker Alison Klayman is given extremely close access to Bannon, and we see him strategising in meetings with European leaders of far-right parties, in “fly-on-the-wall” style – there is no clear exposition, and no talking heads and voice-overs here.</p> <p>The viewer (like Klayman) simply accompanies Bannon throughout his self-styled campaign. The intimacy she is granted is, perhaps, testament to Bannon’s vanity - he and his team are very open about their activities (for instance, they laugh at a supporter’s house at one point), and he does seem to be performing for the camera a lot of the time.</p> <p>What is particularly interesting, though, is the insight the film gives into Bannon and his motivations. Often presented as a kind of fringe lunatic and extreme right zealot in the popular media, Bannon is revealed here as little more than a cynical Machiavellian who will do whatever he can to maintain his power – and class privilege. (Like Trump, he pretends he is an outsider who appeals to blue collar workers but most of his support comes from white collar workers. He is, after all, the ex vice-president of Goldman Sachs, and was educated at elite universities.)</p> <p>We see, perhaps more than anything, how Bannon relies on personal charm, irony and humour to try to disarm his critics and opponents. Bannon appears as a man desperate to be liked – a bit of a loner, a nerd – unwilling to face any direct confrontation or challenge of his views. When a Guardian reporter, for example, challenges his antisemitic rhetoric, Bannon responds by touching the man’s arm and trying to laugh it off in a blokey way.</p> <p>The Brink offers a thrilling, energising insight into political strategy. To call Bannon deceptive – or to moralise about his actions – would be to miss the point. The film suggests Bannon’s aim is to consolidate power, and the ways he goes about this reveal important lessons for anyone interested in politics and populism.</p> <p><strong>4. The Mountain</strong></p> <p>American indie director Rick Alverson’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7950334/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">latest film</a> is an exquisitely photographed and scored exercise in weirdness featuring Jeff Goldblum as a kind of snake-oil salesman who drives around the American west in the 1950s hawking lobotomies and electroshock therapy treatments to willing hospitals. Andy (Tye Sheridan), a young man with his own mental health issues, is employed as his photographer, visually documenting his surgeries and his patients’ experiences.</p> <p>There is an eerie starkness to the film – the white of winter snow (with faint echoes of The Shining), of lab coats, of asylum walls – that grounds its at times heavy-handed attempts at strangeness.</p> <p>Although a little pretentious in places, The Mountain is so beautifully made, and the story offers such an effective mixture of comedy and horror, that it is one of the strongest “strange cinema” films of recent years. At the same time, The Mountain, for all its hammy weirdness, does mark an effective intervention into narratives of medical progress through its measured depiction of the brutal treatment of mental illness in America.</p> <p><strong>5. God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya</strong></p> <p>Despite the irritating title (which perhaps works better in its native language, Macedonian), <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8054608/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1">God Exists, Her Name is Petrunya</a> is a delightful parable from Macedonian writer-director Teona Strugar Mitevska. Set in a small Macedonian town, the film follows the social ostracism and persecution of unemployed Petrunya (Zorica Nusheva), when she wins a religious game traditionally played by men involving the retrieval of a cross cast by a priest into a freezing cold river. She is hounded by police, representatives of the Church, and an increasingly violent mob of men, yet refuses to return the cross to the Church.</p> <p>Her persecution is in tandem with journalist Slavica (played by the director’s sister, Labina Mitevska) and her attempts to present the hapless Petrunya as some kind of champion of womens’ rights, a modern day feminist martyr suffering for gender equality in the Balkans.</p> <p>Despite the incisive points the film makes about small town politics in general, it has a whimsical and gentle humour. Every image is beautifully framed, and realised with a subtlety rare in films on the festival circuit. Remarkably, the film is based on real events that happened in the town in which it is set and shot.</p> <p><strong>And the rest</strong></p> <p>There are, of course, several other excellent films that screened at the festival. Some of these, like Meeting Gorbachev, Werner Herzog’s latest documentary, could easily have been in the top five. Herzog’s study of the Soviet leader shows his usual cruel and absurd brilliance. It interweaves footage from 1980s USSR and US with commentary about the fall of the Soviet Union and contemporary interviews with Gorbachev himself and figures from the time who worked against or alongside him.</p> <p>Peter Strickland’s In Fabric – a demented tale involving a coven-like department store and a demonic red dress – could also feature in the top five, and is definitely something to watch and re-watch.</p> <p>Other highlights included the anime film Children of the Sea – typically enigmatic, and great to watch on a big screen – the bloody and comical horror thriller Come to Daddy, starring Elijah Wood as a son returning to his prodigal father, the intense, extremely well-made French cop thriller Les Misérables, the ambitious Australian medieval fantasy, Judy and Punch, the sentimental but effective film from Emilio Estevez about the position of the public library in an America of have-nots, The Public, and Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory, a stately reflection on ageing with Antonio Banderas playing a subdued filmmaker reflecting on his childhood and career.</p> <p>The only real disappointment was Claire Denis’ High Life, a space film starring Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche that seemed to confuse being obscure with being interesting. This film has all the right elements. Its premise is great – deep space experiments into sexual reproduction involving death row inmates – as is its cast (and budget). But nothing really works, and, aside from a moderately interesting final 20 minutes or so, the whole thing was something of a bore.</p> <p>One of the annoying aspects of festivals playing across multiple screens – and Sydney has been expanding its number of screens in recent years – is that one seldom gets to see everything one wishes to see. Some of the bigger films I missed, this year, which are, from all reports, excellent, include: Thomas Vinterberg’s submarine thriller, Kursk, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away, Korean auteur Joon-ho Bong’s Parasite – which won the festival prize – the Mongolian thriller Öndög, and the Jim Jarmusch zombie film The Dead Don’t Die.</p> <p>Most of these will see general theatrical release in Australia, so perhaps festival tickets are better used catching films otherwise impossible to see on a big screen.</p> <p><em>Written by Ari Mattes. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/five-films-not-to-miss-from-the-2019-sydney-film-festival-118775"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The major role Russell Crowe turned down that would have made him $100 million

<p>Russell Crowe has revealed why he turned down a role in <em>The Lord of the Rings</em><span> </span>film series.</p> <p>The actor was offered 10 per cent of the film’s profits instead of an upfront fee to play Aragorn in the blockbuster trilogy.</p> <p>However, Crowe said he passed on the role because he believed Peter Jackson, the director of the film series, did not want him in the cast.</p> <p>“I think he was forced into talking to me [by the studio] because there was a moment in time where everybody wanted me in every [movie],” Crowe told Howard Stern in a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.howardstern.com/show/2019/6/18/russell-crowe-making-gladiator-turning-down-lord-rings-and-buying-dinosaur-head-leonardo-dicaprio/" target="_blank">new interview</a>.</p> <p>The Oscar winning <em>Gladiator</em> star said when speaking to Jackson in a phone call, he could tell that the director was not familiar with his work. </p> <p>“And he's a fellow New Zealander, so I can hear his voice … My instinct was that he had somebody else in mind.</p> <p>“He should be allowed to hire the actor that he wants.”</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KzYGjni_x-w"></iframe></div> <p>The role ended up going to Viggo Mortensen. Other actors who reportedly passed on playing Aragorn include Nicolas Cage and Daniel Day-Lewis.</p> <p>According to Stern, Crowe would have raked in about US$100 million if he had agreed to appear in the first movie.</p> <p>Crowe is not the only actor who missed out on a huge payday from the fantasy series. Sean Connery, who passed on the role of Gandalf, was <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/sean-connery-would-have-earned-how-much-if-hed-played-gandalf" target="_blank">reportedly</a> offered US$10 million per film in addition to 15 per cent of the profits, which could have earned him around US$450 million.</p> <p>The <em>Lord of the Rings</em> trilogy earned a total of US$2.91 billion in global ticket sales.</p>

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Gwyneth Paltrow doesn't live with her husband – and their sex life has never been hotter

<p>Gwyneth Paltrow married her husband Brad Falchuk over nine months ago, however they have not moved in together – and they have no plans to in the near future.</p> <p>The Golden Globe winning actress recently admitted the decision was purposeful and the key to their “marital bliss".</p> <p>Talking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/gwyneth-paltrow-goop-interview-ageing-menopause-power-better-going-to-be-haters-family-brad-falchuk-b2zk5x3gp" target="_blank"><em>The Sunday Times</em></a>, the 46-year-old shared the way the couple keep their spark alive is by living together part-time.</p> <p>The star's 48-year-old hubby Brad – who is one of the co-creators of<span> </span><em>Glee</em><span> </span>and also a writer and director – spends a few nights a week at his own home not too far away from Gwyneth, with his own two children, Isabella and Brody.</p> <p>Then four days a week, he lives with the actress in her Los Angeles home, with her children with Chris Martin, Apple and Moses, to keep their relationship “fresh” and “exciting".</p> <p>“Oh, all my married friends say that the way we live sounds ideal and we shouldn’t change a thing,” Gwyneth said.</p> <p>The couple spend just enough time apart to miss each other and keep their respective children from previous marriages in their own home, only to come together a few nights a week.</p> <p>The decision is one that Michael Boehm, Gwyneth’s intimacy coach, says is the secret to marital bliss.</p> <p>“When two people first meet, they don’t know each other, so there’s a very strong attraction,” she explained to Claire Murphy, host of Mamamia podcast, The Quickly.</p> <p>“Everybody knows that first honeymoon period when you get to know each other, and you spend all night up talking and you discover all these similarities and what you have in common. It’s amazing, you talk, and then you have sex, and then you talk again.</p> <p>“It’s just really, really exciting and electrifying.”</p> <p>The intimacy expert said couples over time become too comfortable with each other, so having boundaries such as space allows for the relationship to remain interesting.</p> <p>“So the more you actually have in common, the better you get along,” she said.</p> <p>“If people’s likes are very different, it’s not going to work. In divorce court, they call that irreversible differences.</p> <p>“So when you choose a mate, you have to choose someone with whom you have a lot in common and that’s what makes for a healthy relationship.</p> <p>“But sexual interaction – the spark, or the flame, or the polarity – comes from the difference. That’s why it’s called ‘opposites attract’.”</p> <p>Boehm added those who have a lot in common usually make a good pair for relationships, however are having terrible sex.</p> <p>“The more different opinions and ideas and behaviours people have when it comes to the sexual tension, the more exciting and hot the sex is,” she explained.</p> <p>“And that is why most people come to a place where they’re not that interested in having hot sex. And that’s not necessarily a problem except when people think it’s a problem.”</p> <p>The intimacy coach also explained those looking to spice up their relationship don’t necessarily have to live in separate homes but instead look for ways to add excitement to a relationship.</p> <p>She explained couples have to find what made their relationship so exciting in the first place and “recreate that kind of atmosphere".</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram @gwynethpaltrow </em></p>

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Netflix is opening its first Australian HQ

<p>Netflix officially entered the Australian market in 2015, and now reaches <a href="https://www.acma.gov.au/-/media/Research-and-Analysis/Report/pdf/Communications-report-2017-18-pdf.pdf">50% of Australia’s adult population</a>. Despite its remarkable success, Netflix has had no local office and a handful of local staff.</p> <p>This looks likely to change when Netflix <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/netflix-sets-up-australian-outpost-as-streaming-battle-intensifies-20190607-p51vfq.html">opens</a> its Australian headquarters later in the year. The company has hired two senior Sydney-based staffers – a head of publicity for Netflix originals in Australia/New Zealand, and a director of public policy – and is looking for office space to house what is expected to be a team of around 10 employees.</p> <p>All this suggests Netflix may be inching closer to becoming a “local” media company, with an increased presence in our small but profitable national market. What might this mean for local screen producers?</p> <p><strong>The context</strong></p> <p>The streaming revolution has brought with it benefits and risks for different parts of the industry.</p> <p>On the positive side, Netflix and its local competitor Stan have introduced welcome competition into broadcast and pay-TV markets; provided the production industry with another distribution and funding source; picked up and revived series dumped by broadcasters; addressed underserved viewing communities; contributed to more cosmopolitan popular culture consumption; and provided a global platform for select Australian content.</p> <p>Yet there are significant policy challenges ahead, especially when it comes to local content. A study of the Netflix Australia catalogue last year by members of our research team found it carries around <a href="http://apo.org.au/node/196611">1% Australian content</a>. Unsurprisingly, Netflix is <a href="https://makeitaustralian.com/">under pressure</a> to increase the number of Australian originals and to increase the number and discoverability of Australian titles in its catalogue.</p> <p>On the production front, Netflix and Stan are largely responsible for the rapid growth – off a low base – in <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2018/10-30-drama-report-2017-18-home-grown-expenditure">online drama expenditure</a>, which totalled $53 million in 2017-2018 (for the first time, more than the total spend for kids’ television). However, this needs to be seen in the context of total production expenditure, which has fallen to a six-year low.</p> <p>Another issue to consider is the government’s <a href="https://www.if.com.au/election-scuppers-government-plan-to-extend-offsets-to-streamers/">recent decision</a> to extend the Post, Digital and Visual Effects and Location Offsets to streamers. Previously available only for broadcast, pay-TV and film producers, these schemes will now extend to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Stan, who can claim a refundable tax offset when producing in Australia.</p> <p>This will have the knock-on effect of employing local production houses, actors and other businesses and is likely to further increase investment in the online drama category.</p> <p>So far, the federal government has shown little inclination to follow the European Parliament’s decision last year to <a href="https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/european-content-quota-streaming-service-finalized-end-2019-1203094034/">approve a 30% local (i.e., European) content quota for video streaming services</a>, despite concerted and coordinated advocacy from production industry bodies.</p> <p>But one thing is for sure – if there is no move to incorporate streamers into the regulatory framework, the disparity between commercial broadcasters’ regulatory burden and that of foreign streamers will grow, strengthening the regularly-put case by broadcasters and pay-TV for deregulation.</p> <p><strong>On the ground in Australia</strong></p> <p>This context is important for understanding why Netflix has chosen to establish an official Australian headquarters. Opening foreign branch offices is partly about shoring up a policy presence in jurisdictions that might need on-the-ground sensitivity, which would suggest Netflix expects heightened pressure for regulation to support local content.</p> <p>Netflix runs most of its operations out of California, but has recently opened a number of overseas production hubs (including Toronto and Madrid), with regional headquarters in Singapore, Amsterdam, São Paulo.</p> <p>A physical presence in Australia means that key Netflix decision-makers will be more accessible to local producers, policy stakeholders, and government agencies.</p> <p>It’s too early to track direct correlation effects, but we should note that Netflix’s non-US offices are based in territories where they have commissioned much of their non-US original product, so that is a positive sign for future growth in investment in Australia.</p> <p>However, it is important to stress that the company’s decision does not come with a promise to establish a <a href="https://media.netflix.com/en/press-releases/netflix-creates-production-hub-in-toronto-leasing-studio-space-at-pinewood-and-cinespace-studios-extending-canadian-efforts">global production hub</a>. Instead, the Sydney office is likely to focus on policy liaison and managing the company’s advertising and PR budgets for Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see what other kinds of local activities may result. Stan, also based in Sydney, regularly uses its headquarters for premieres, viewing parties and marketing events.</p> <p><strong>The big picture</strong></p> <p>Foreign production and distribution interests have long been <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1329878X1314900103">a significant presence</a> in the Australian television market. And history suggests that establishing local offices tends to<a href="https://www.bloomsbury.com/au/transnational-television-in-europe-9781845119539/"> increase media giants’ responsiveness</a> to foreign audiences and governments.</p> <p>Time will tell, of course, but Netflix’s move might be the latest stage in the gradual localisation of a global media giant.</p> <p><em>Written by Ramon Lobato and Stuart Cunningham. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/netflix-is-opening-its-first-australian-hq-what-does-this-mean-for-the-local-screen-industry-118903"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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