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Mission Impossible studio Paramount sues insurers over Covid costs

Film’s makers are accusing insurers of failing to pay out for pandemic-related production shutdowns

Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the Mission Impossible: 7 film, is suing its insurance company, accusing it of failing to cover the costs of a string of Covid-related production stoppages. Related: Tom Cruise’s car stolen while filming in Birmingham Related: Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 7 production temporarily shut down due to coronavirus case Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-31 16:10:08

Joan Collins’ star-studded home movies to feature in BBC documentary

Biggest names of Hollywood’s golden age appear in footage for British-born actor’s ‘rollercoaster life story’

She is one of the last surviving actors of Hollywood’s ”golden age”. Now Dame Joan Collins has given the BBC unprecedented access to her private home movies for a forthcoming documentary. Dating back decades, the footage features some of the biggest names of the silver screen, from Sammy Davis Jr to Paul Newman, who can be seen relaxing beyond the gaze of their fans and studio cameras. Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-31 10:01:44

Princess Diana film debuts at Venice as film industry aims for return to normality

Festival’s reputation as a predictor of award-winning fare seems set with films from Denis Villeneuve, Jane Campion, Edgar Wright, Paolo Sorrentino and Pedro Almodóvar

Spencer, the much anticipated film about Diana, Princess of Wales, starring Kristen Stewart, is due to receive its world premiere on Friday at the Venice film festival – one of a string of high-profile debuts that the film industry is hoping will herald a return to some sort of normality after 18 months of pandemic. Along with the near-simultaneous Toronto film festival, Venice has traditionally marked the end of the summer blockbuster film season and the arrival of films aiming for critical praise and subsequent awards recognition. Spencer is due to be joined at Venice by Dune, the long-gestating adaptation of Frank Herbert’s mammoth sci-fi novel directed by Denis Villeneuve; ...

Published 2021-08-31 15:33:17

Queen of Denmark hired as set designer on new Netflix film

Queen Margrethe II, the reigning Danish monarch, will add an adaptation of Karen Blixen’s fantasy novel Ehrengard to her two previous screen credits

Queen Margrethe II, reigning monarch of Denmark, is to design the sets for a forthcoming Netflix film adapted from a novel by Karen Blixen, it has been announced. A romantic fantasy set in the fairytale kingdom of Babenhausen, Ehrengard will be directed by Bille August, the veteran Danish director of Pelle the Conqueror (which won both the Palme d’Or and Oscar for best foreign language film in 1988) and The Best Intentions (which won August a second Palme d’Or). Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-31 15:38:02

Ed Asner, who played Lou Grant in two hit shows, dies aged 91

Actor shone in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and spin-offSpell as Screen Actors Guild president ended over liberal viewsEd Asner, a who became a star in middle age as the gruff but lovable newsman Lou Grant, first in the hit comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show and later in the drama Lou Grant, died on Sunday. He was 91.

Related: Ed Asner obituary Related: Mary Tyler Moore: a true cultural icon who changed the face of television Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-29 18:52:37

Tom Cruise’s car stolen while filming in Birmingham

Mission: Impossible star’s belongings reportedly missing from his BMW X7 when recovered in Smethwick

The Hollywood actor Tom Cruise’s BMW was stolen while he was filming in Birmingham. The BMW X7 had been used to ferry around the star, who has been in the city filming scenes for the seventh instalment in the Mission: Impossible series. Related: Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 7 production temporarily shut down due to coronavirus case Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-27 14:23:56

‘We want to create magic’: Taking cinema to remote Spanish villages

La Barraca de Cine has spent the past year roving its way around dozens of communities across the country

Stretching six metres and painted turquoise, the trailer has trundled across Spain, making its way to mountaintop villages, cobblestone plazas and medieval historical centres. No matter the location, the process starts much in the same way: with the unfurling of a giant screen. “Our motto is cinema for everyone and anywhere,” said Patricia de Luna, one of the co-founders of La Barraca de Cine, a roving cinema that has made its way to dozens of villages across Spain in the past year. “Those evenings of cinema with family, friends and that shared experience with those around you – that’s the magic we want to create.” Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-27 04:15:07

Spencer: first trailer shows Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana

The film, set to premiere at the Venice film festival, takes a look at a weekend in the life of Diana from Jackie director Pablo Larraín

The first trailer for Spencer, the much-anticipated Diana, Princess of Wales drama, has been unveiled just days before its premiere at the Venice film festival. Related: Spencer: first poster released for Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana film Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-26 16:56:33

Hong Kong to scour old films for subversive themes under new censorship law

Movies deemed a security threat can bring penalties of up to three years’ jail under stricter law that also covers previously approved titles

Hong Kong will scrutinise past films for national security breaches under a tough new censorship law in the latest blow to the city’s political and artistic freedoms. Authorities announced in June that the financial hub’s censorship board would check any future films for content that breached the security law. But on Tuesday they unveiled a new, hardened censorship law that would also cover any titles that had previously been given a green light. Related: Four Hong Kong students arrested for ‘advocating terrorism’ Related: Hong Kong reportedly lets Nicole Kidman skip Covid quarantine Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-25 05:46:41

Spencer: first poster released for Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana film

Ahead of Venice premiere of Pablo Larraín’s biopic, teaser poster appears to show Diana weeping into enormous dress

A first poster has been released for Spencer, the forthcoming film about three days in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, starring Kristen Stewart and directed by Pablo Larraín. The poster comes a week before the biopic is due to premiere at Venice film festival. The image appears to show Stewart bent double and weeping into a vast white gown, likely to be a version of the “Diaghilev” gown Diana Spencer wore on occasions such as a visit to the Royal Opera House and the film premiere of The Living Daylights. It was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who also created her wedding dress. Related: Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana biopic to screen at Venice film festival ...

Published 2021-08-25 17:07:41

Marvel’s Elizabeth Olsen praises Scarlett Johansson in legal battle with Disney

The actor expressed support for Johansson’s legal action against the studio for releasing Black Widow on Disney+ at the same time as in cinemas

Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney over Black Widow has received support from fellow actor Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Scarlet Witch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Olsen (who is currently starring in Marvel’s WandaVision series on Disney+) said that Johansson was “so tough” and “when I read [about the legal action] I was like, ‘good for you Scarlett’”. She added that “when it comes to actors and their earnings, I mean, that’s just, that’s just all contracts. So it’s either in the contract or it’s not.” Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-24 10:41:52

Sex Pistols win legal fight against Johnny Rotten over songs

High court judge rules that Paul Cook and Steve Jones are entitled to use material in Pistol TV series

The former Sex Pistols frontman, Johnny Rotten, has lost a high court attempt to block the punk band’s songs from being used in a forthcoming drama series. The group’s former drummer, Paul Cook, and guitarist, Steve Jones, sued the band’s ex-singer, whose real name is John Lydon, to allow their songs to feature in Pistol, a TV series directed by Danny Boyle. Related: John Lydon: 'Don't become entrenched in one opinion and get stuck there for ever' Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-23 11:13:41

Hong Kong reportedly lets Nicole Kidman skip Covid quarantine

Actor said to be given exemption to film Amazon TV series, as territory braces for tougher travel rules

Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAs Hong Kong braces for more draconian Covid-19 travel restrictions from Friday, the Australian actor Nicole Kidman has received an exemption from the government to skip quarantine, media reported. The exemption was given to allow her to film an Amazon television series called The Expats, the news website HK01 reported, a move that contrasts sharply with the mandatory hotel quarantine of up to three weeks that residents must undergo after entering the Chinese-ruled territory. Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-19 11:01:53

Sonny Chiba, martial arts master and Kill Bill star, dies aged 82

Chiba made his name with the 1970s Street Fighter trilogy, before Quentin Tarantino’s admiration brought him fame in the west

Sonny Chiba, the Japanese martial arts movie star who found late-career renown in Hollywood after outspoken admiration from Quentin Tarantino, has died aged 82 from a Covid-related illness. Variety reported that it had received confirmation of the news from Chiba’s agent. With an acting career beginning in the 1960s with a string of roles in Japanese martial arts films and TV shows, Chiba became widely known in the west after being name-checked in True Romance, the 1993 thriller written by Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott. By then, Chiba had become a star in Japan, appearing in titles such as the 1970s Street Fighter trilogy (and its spin-off, Sister Street Fighter), Bullet Train ...

Published 2021-08-19 16:22:40

Elizabeth Debicki channels Diana in first peek into The Crown’s fifth season

Production has begun in the UK on the next instalment of the wildly popular Netflix series, with an Australian taking centre stage

Netflix has released its first look of the Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales in the upcoming fifth season of The Crown. The British actor Dominic West will play her estranged husband Prince Charles as the pair traverse the 1990s, an era beset by extramarital affairs, eating disorders and assorted royal family dramas. Related: 'Famously the most Spanish city': The Crown mocked for lacklustre recreation of Australia Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-19 01:50:40

Werner Herzog to tell story of Japanese soldier who refused to surrender

The German film director has announced two new books: a memoir and The Twilight World, about a remarkable second world war officer

Werner Herzog is writing a book about Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese soldier who took three decades to surrender after the end of the second world war. The esteemed German film director’s take on the life of Onoda, The Twilight World, will be translated by the poet Michael Hofmann, and published next summer by The Bodley Head. A memoir by Herzog will follow in 2023, reflecting on his life and the decades he has spent in the film industry, creating films including Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, and documentaries Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-18 12:56:08

Amanda Gorman: hosting the Met Gala is like ‘Cinderella going to the ball’

The poet who rose to fame at Joe Biden’s inauguration will co-chair with Gen Z favourites Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet and Naomi Osaka

Amanda Gorman has said that hosting the Met Gala next month feels like “Cinderella going to the ball”. The 23-year-old US national youth poet laureat, who rose to fame after her performance of The Hill We Climb in January at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, will co-chair the Met Gala alongside Gen Z favourites Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet and Naomi Osaka on 13 September. Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-16 16:11:41

Director Ken Loach says he has been expelled from Labour

Leftwing film-maker claims move by party is because he would ‘not disown those already expelled’

The veteran leftwing film-maker Ken Loach has said he has been expelled from the Labour party. Loach, whose films are regarded as landmarks of social realism, claimed the move by the party was because he would “not disown those already expelled”, and he hit out at an alleged “witch-hunt”. Related: Keir Starmer expected to back purge of far-left Labour factions Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-14 11:46:05

Disney reports post-Covid rebound as theme parks reopen

Streaming service Disney+ attracts 12m new subscribers, with company beating analysts’ forecasts

Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe reopening of theme parks and 12 million new subscribers to Disney+ fuelled a post-pandemic recovery at the world’s biggest entertainment company, which beat Wall Street expectations in the quarter to 3 July. Disney+ reached a global user base of 116 million in the quarter, ahead of analyst estimates of 115 million, dispelling fears that growth was slowing after the company missed targets in the second quarter. Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-13 07:42:01

Bollywood’s Kareena Kapoor subject to online abuse over baby’s name

Supporters say attacks over choice of name similar to 17th-century Muslim Mughal emperor rooted in prejudice against inter-faith marriage

Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor has received abuse online from extremists over her new baby’s name. Kapoor has been attacked on social media for calling her second son Jehangir, the imperial name of the 17th-century Mughal emperor, which means “conqueror of the world”. Kapoor, a Hindu, and her husband, Saif Ali Khan, a Muslim and also a Bollywood star, have faced abuse for their marriage. Related: Indian domestic workers lose their jobs to Covid fears Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-14 06:01:31

Una Stubbs, actor in Sherlock and Till Death Us Do Part, dies aged 84

TV and film actor, who also starred in Worzel Gummidge, ‘passed away quietly with her family around her’

Una Stubbs obituaryUna Stubbs: a life in picturesUna Stubbs, the actor whose long career took in Summer Holiday, Worzel Gummidge, Till Death Us Do Part and most recently Steven Moffat’s Sherlock, has died aged 84. In a statement her family said: “Mum passed away quietly today with her family around her, in Edinburgh. We ask for privacy and understanding at this most difficult and sad of times.” Related: Una Stubbs: ‘Which living person do I most despise? Tony Blair' It was one of the great joys of my life to work so closely with and to adore Una Stubbs. She was a wonderful, wonderful woman and a great and serenely graceful actor. Mischief was in her blood. We were so blessed ...

Published 2021-08-12 16:20:04

Una Stubbs: a life in pictures

Una Stubbs – the actor whose long career took in Summer Holiday, Worzel Gummidge, Till Death Us Do Part and most recently Steven Moffat’s Sherlock – has died aged 84.

Una Stubbs, actor in Sherlock and Till Death Us Do Part, dies aged 84Una Stubbs obituary Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-12 18:09:18

Una Stubbs, actor in Sherlock and Till Death Do Us Part, dies aged 84

TV and film actor, who also starred in Worzel Gummidge, ‘passed away quietly with her family around her’

The actor Una Stubbs, best known for roles in the film Summer Holiday and the BBC series Worzel Gummidge, Till Death Us Do Part, In Sickness and in Health and Sherlock, has died at the age of 84, her agent said. Born in Hertfordshire in 1937, she had a career in film, television and theatre spanning decades, including a recent role as Mrs Hudson in the BBC’s Sherlock opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. Related: Una Stubbs: ‘Which living person do I most despise? Tony Blair' Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-12 15:11:52

Instagram apologises after Almodóvar poster censorship row

The poster for new film Parallel Mothers, which depicts a female nipple, was removed from the social network but has been restored because of ‘clear artistic context’

Instagram has apologised for removing the official poster for Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s new film from the social network because it showed a female nipple, after the poster’s designer complained of censorship. Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that several images of the poster for Parallel Mothers (Madres Paralelas), which shows a lactating nipple, were removed “for breaking our rules against nudity” after they were uploaded on Monday. Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-11 15:33:41

Spanish female film-makers protest lifetime achievement award for Johnny Depp

President of Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media says film festival award ‘transmits a terrible message’

A leading group of Spanish women film-makers condemned the San Sebastián film festival’s decision to award Johnny Depp its highest honour, saying it gave the international event a bad name. Cristina Andreu, the president of Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, said she was “very surprised” by the decision to award Depp the Donostia award at the festival’s 69th edition in September. The award is the event’s top prize and aims to honour lifetime achievement. “This speaks very badly of the festival and its leadership, and transmits a terrible message to the public: ‘It doesn’t matter if you are an abuser as long as you are a good actor’,” ...

Published 2021-08-10 10:13:34

Johnny Depp to get lifetime achievement award from prominent film festival

San Sebastián film festival honours Depp as ‘one of contemporary cinema’s most talented actors’, despite recent controversy

Johnny Depp is to receive a lifetime achievement award from the San Sebastián film festival. In a statement on its website, the festival, based in the Basque resort town, praised Depp as “one of contemporary cinema’s most talented and versatile actors”, announcing that he would be given the Donostia award on 22 September. Previous recipients of the award include Viggo Mortensen, Penélope Cruz and Judi Dench. Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-9 14:59:52

‘We are pretty bruised’: UK cinemas bounce back from Covid closures

Admissions are almost at pre-pandemic levels despite fears that streaming would wreck business

Moviegoers are flocking to cinemas in numbers not seen since before the pandemic as the return of Hollywood blockbusters to the big screen fuels what theatre owners hope is the start of a post-Covid box office recovery. Tim Richards, the chief executive of Vue, the UK’s third biggest chain, says last weekend proved to be its best since February 2020 thanks to a slate of new films being given a theatrical release rather than just on streaming services. Related: Britons spent third of time watching TV and online videos in 2020 Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-6 12:56:36

Idris Elba western The Harder They Fall to open London film festival

The film will receive its world premiere at the 65th festival which is expected to mix in-person events with virtual programmes

The Harder They Fall, a new western starring Idris Elba, Jonathan Majors and Zazie Beetz, is to be the opening film for the 2021 edition of the BFI London film festival, it has been announced. Directed and co-written by Jeymes Samuel (AKA the Bullitts), The Harder They Fall is described by the festival as a “righteously new school western”, and features Majors as an outlaw who assembles a gang to take revenge on his enemy, played by Elba, who has recently been released from prison. Related: Idris Elba: ‘I used work to exorcise my demons’ Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-4 13:22:33

Mel Brooks announces his first memoir at the age of 95

All About Me!, to be published on 30 November, will cover everything from the film director’s military service to his long comedic partnership with Carl Reiner

At the age of 95, the comedian and film-maker Mel Brooks has written his first memoir. All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business will be published on 30 November by Penguin Random House in both the US and the UK. The book will cover everything from Brooks’s New York childhood and service in the second world war to his creative partnership with the late Carl Reiner, his 40-year marriage to Anne Bancroft and how his film The Producers was adapted into an award-winning musical. Related: 'Love and free food': Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner share the secrets of their 70-year friendship Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-4 16:53:40

Noel Clarke quits his own production company following sexual misconduct allegations

The film and TV actor has left Unstoppable Film and TV after more than 20 women accused him of bullying and harassment

Noel Clarke has left his production company, Unstoppable Film and TV, after allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct first reported in the Guardian in April. Clarke, 45, has left the firm – which produced his Sky series Bulletproof as well as films including Adulthood and Brotherhood – along with co-founder Jason Maza, 34. The company was founded by the pair in 2017, and was backed by the “super indie” distributor All3Media, who confirmed their departure in a statement to Variety. Clarke and Maza had been suspended from the company after the Guardian’s initial reporting. Related: ‘Sexual predator’: actor Noel Clarke accused of groping, harassment and bullying by 20 ...

Published 2021-08-3 11:14:55

Hollywood’s Sunset Studio to open new base in Hertfordshire

US production house is latest major studio to find a home in region as demand for TV and film surges

Hollywood’s Sunset Studios, which produced La La Land, Zoolander and the first in the X-Men franchise, has become the latest US movie production house to adopt the leafy Hertfordshire countryside as its main base outside the US. Backed by £700m from two major US investment firms, the TV and film studio complex will create more than 4,500 jobson a 37-hectare (91-acre) greenfield site in Broxbourne, close to the arc of rival studio complexes north-west of London known as Britain’s Hollywood. Continue reading...

Published 2021-08-2 06:00:19

Arctic thriller’s film crew struggled to find true frozen waste

Colin Farrell and his co-stars in the BBC’s North Water shocked at the loss of wilderness at the north pole from global heating

It’s a problem that, a century ago, anyone on a ship in the Arctic Circle just didn’t have to worry about: where is all the ice? Yet this was the unexpected stumbling block faced by the film-makers of a forthcoming BBC thriller set in the Arctic in the 1850s. The North Water is an epic five-part adventure about an ill-fated 19th-century whaling expedition into the Arctic. In the pursuit of realism, its producers realised that they could not rely on special effects. Nor would shooting it in a studio tank or off the coast of Britain achieve the authenticity of filming in the Arctic, however extreme the conditions and challenges. Related: Arctic ice loss forces polar bears to use four ...

Published 2021-08-1 05:00:02

Amanda Knox says Matt Damon film Stillwater ‘rips off’ and distorts her story

Writer-director Tom McCarthy’s movie ‘inspired’ by 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher reinforces conspiracy theories about the case, says Knox

Amanda Knox has accused actor Matt Damon and director Tom McCarthy of “rip[ping] off my story without my consent at the expense of my reputation” in the upcoming film Stillwater, which McCarthy has said was inspired by Knox’s experience after the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. In an essay on the online publishing platform Medium, Knox takes particular aim at McCarthy, who told Vanity Fair that Stillwater was directly inspired by the Kercher case, which resulted in Knox being wrongly convicted for Kercher’s murder along with her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and spending four years in prison, before ultimately being acquitted in 2015 by ...

Published 2021-07-30 13:37:22

Scarlett Johansson suing Disney over Black Widow streaming release

The actor claims that the studio breached her contract by releasing her standalone Marvel adventure on Disney+

Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the recent release of Black Widow. The actor is claiming that the studio’s decision to launch her first, and last, Marvel standalone film on Disney+ as well as cinemas is a breach of contract. Related: Scarlett Johansson criticises ‘hypersexualisation’ of Black Widow in Iron Man 2 Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-29 18:24:02

The Exorcist: Ellen Burstyn to reprise role in new $400m trilogy

Universal has picked up the rights to an ambitious new continuation of the Oscar-winning horror

Universal is set to pay $400m for the rights to a new trilogy continuing the story of The Exorcist. The new films will see original star Ellen Burstyn reprise her Oscar-nominated role of Chris MacNeil alongside Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr as a father tracking her down when his daughter is possessed. Related: Cinema legend Ellen Burstyn: 'It was never my intention to be a movie star' Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-26 19:14:45

Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana biopic to screen at Venice film festival

Spencer, telling the story of Diana and Charles’s bitter divorce, will battle for the Golden Lion in September alongside the latest by Pedro Almodóvar

The story of Diana, Princess of Wales’s agonies over divorcing Prince Charles will do battle with an adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter and The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion’s long-awaited return to the big screen, for the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival. The lineup for the 2021 event in September was announced on Monday by artistic director Alberto Barbera, which, like last year’s edition at the height of the pandemic, will be a primarily in-person event. It will closely follow Cannes, which staged a physical festival earlier this month, having been forced to delay from its traditional slot in mid-May. Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-26 13:42:53

‘The law is cold. It doesn’t reflect the life lost’: mothers of murdered women tell their stories

Grieving parents of two young women killed by their ex-boyfriends launch a new film to step up their campaign for justice

A new campaign film keeps the pressure on the Ministry of Justice to change the minimum sentence for domestic murder. The Changes That We Can Make features Carole Gould and Julie Devey, two mothers who have been campaigning since February 2020 on behalf of their daughters, Ellie and Poppy. Sixth-form student Ellie Gould, 17, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Thomas Griffiths, on 3 May 2019. Quantitative trading analyst Poppy Devey Waterhouse, 24, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Joe Atkinson, on 14 December 2018. Though these were frenzied attacks involving multiple injuries, and the killers tried to hide their crimes, the guidelines for murder sentencing meant that both received less ...

Published 2021-07-24 11:39:56

Scorsese, Nolan, Pike … giants of cinema unite to save Radio 4’s film show

A host of movie stars have signed a letter, published in the Observer, calling on the corporation to keep The Film Programme

Radio 4 executives know their listeners are known for reacting badly when the BBC changes the station’s schedule. This time, they may have met their match. More than 100 actors, writers and film-makers, many drawn from Hollywood’s elite, have condemned the corporation’s decision to axe The Film Programme. A-list actors such as Liam Neeson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo have joined acclaimed directors including Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan, producer David Puttnam and numerous writers, producers, cinematographers, designers and composers, in calling for the BBC to reverse its decision to cancel the show after 17 years. Related: BBC cancels ...

Published 2021-07-24 16:00:26

They Are Us: controversial film about Christchurch attacks put on hold

Fictional account of mosque shootings starring Rose Byrne as Jacinda Ardern has been criticised as ‘insensitive’

Work on the controversial film They Are Us, which dramatises the 15 March Christchurch mosque shootings, has been put on hold. The film takes its name from a phrase in a speech made by prime minister Jacinda Ardern following the killing of 51 Muslim worshippers by a white supremacist in 2019. It focused on Ardern’s response following the attacks, with actor Rose Byrne slated to play Ardern. Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-23 06:31:29

Cannes Palme d’Or goes to female director for only the second time

Julia Ducournau’s serial killer film Titane scoops top award, while best actor and actress go to Caleb Landry Jones and Renate Reinsve

The Palme d’Or, the most prestigious of cinema festival prizes, has gone to Titane, an unconventional and violent film directed by the 37-year-old French director Julia Ducournau. Related: Cannes 2021: Titane didn’t deserve the Palme, but it had guts, drive – and an anthro-automotive hybrid devil child Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-17 19:42:19

Chien film festival: Tilda Swinton’s dogs win canine award at Cannes

Actor starred with springer spaniels Snowbear, Dora and Rosy in The Souvenir Part II

It is one of the most sought-after prizes in the movie world; not the celebrated Cannes Palme d’Or for best film, awarded on Saturday night to French entry Titane, but its animal alternative, the Palm Dog. This year’s coveted leather collar award conferred for the best canine performance on screen was given to Tilda Swinton’s three springer spaniels as the prize celebrated its 20th anniversary – its 103rd in dog years. Related: Cannes makes up for lost time with a thrilling auteur-packed lineup | Peter Bradshaw Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-18 14:05:36

Cannes 2021: who will win the Palme d’Or – and who should

As a very strange edition of the festival draws to a close, our film critic predicts who will walk away with the Palme d’Or and other prizes – and awards his own alternative Braddies

So it actually happened – the Cannes film festival defiantly took place in the era of Covid, and two months later than usual, in sweltering July. More tourists, but fewer actual festival-attenders from the media. Some streets were eerily quiet and the legendary bar, Le Petit Majestic, usually packed with movie-world people, getting drunk, exchanging cards and crowding densely out into the street every night until three in the morning, was doing hardly any business. Masks were worn throughout all films, though not on the hallowed red carpet, and every 48 hours we had to report to a special tent for Covid testing: it was not possible to enter the Palais without having the vital QR code ...

Published 2021-07-16 16:00:25

Anthony Bourdain documentary sparks backlash for using AI to fake voice

Roadrunner director Morgan Neville revealed he used AI to create three lines of voiceover by the late celebrity chef

A new documentary about Anthony Bourdain has sparked a debate over its use of artificial intelligence to stitch together voiced quotes by the late celebrity chef and effectively bring his voice back to life. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, directed by Morgan Neville, takes an intimate look into the life and death of Bourdain, including his global fame, career and pursuit of happiness. Related: Five of Anthony Bourdain’s favourite food destinations Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-16 18:45:37

Renée Dorléac, actor and mother of Catherine Deneuve, dies aged 109

Star who dubbed French versions of talkies starring Olivia de Havilland and Judy Garland quit acting during second world war

Renée Dorléac, the French film star and mother of actors including Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac and Sylvie Dorléac, has died aged 109 in Paris, her family confirmed to Le Figaro. Born in the port town of Le Havre on 10 September 1911, the actor – known professionally as Renée-Jeanne Simonot – began her career aged seven in Paris’s Odéon theatre, where she worked for three decades. Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-15 13:44:25

Sacha Baron Cohen sues over cannabis billboard in US featuring Borat

Massachusetts billboard features fictional Kazakh journalist promoting drug with thumbs-up sign

Sacha Baron Cohen is taking legal action against a US cannabis dispensary after it used his Borat character on a billboard in Massachusetts. The billboard features the fictional Kazakh journalist promoting cannabis sold by Solar Therapeutics with both thumbs up alongside the words “it’s nice!” – globally recognised as the character’s catchphrase. Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-13 12:30:11

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s ashes buried after flight with caviar and champagne

Five years after her death, the Hungarian star’s funeral has taken place, following a first-class journey from Los Angeles to Budapest for her remains

The ashes of Hungarian-born female actor Zsa Zsa Gabor, renowned for her diamond-studded glamour, witty quips and nine marriages, were buried in Budapest on Tuesday almost five years after her death. Gabor’s ashes were laid to rest in a prominent cemetery in the capital city alongside other famous Hungarian actors, writers and poets, in a ceremony where a gypsy band played and her favourite yellow and pink roses were on display. Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-13 12:36:11

Why Benedict Cumberbatch fell for ‘oddball’ artist and his world of cats

Actor makes plea for tolerance of outsiders as his new film and a book explore the life of Louis Wain

He was known as “the man who drew cats” thanks to his humorous, hugely popular paintings of anthropomorphised felines, but Louis Wain struggled with schizophrenia and ended his life in an asylum. Now, on the eve of the release of a film about the artist, Benedict Cumberbatch has called for more compassion in society, urging kindness to “oddballs and outsiders”. Cumberbatch, who plays Wain, has written the foreword to a forthcoming book about the artist in which he asks us to show “more love” for strangers and anyone who just happens to be different. Related: Cat snap: Jane Bown's feline photographs Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-11 09:10:41

Oliver Stone derided for film about ‘modest’ former Kazakh president

Eight-hour series about Nursultan Nazarbayev criticised for stoking cult of personality of 30-year ruler

Oliver Stone has interviewed Kazakhstan’s former president Nursultan Nazarbayev for a new eight-hour film series which has been attacked as a hagiography that contributes to the leader’s cult of personality. In the film, Qazaq: History of the Golden Man, Stone employs the same non-confrontational approach to interviewing autocrats that has made him a favourite of Vladimir Putin, Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych and others seeking to polish their reputations by sitting down with the Oscar-winning director of Platoon and JFK. Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-11 09:13:47

‘Openly neglected by an obscene administration’: Sean Penn criticises Trump’s handling of pandemic

Premiering new film Flag Day in Cannes, director and actor likens former president’s approach to ‘someone with a machine gunning down communities that were most vulnerable’

Sean Penn has criticised Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, likening the former president’s approach to someone opening fire on vulnerable communities. Speaking at a press conference following the premiere of his new film, Flag Day, Penn said: Related: Flag Day review – Sean Penn shows he’s still got it in tale of unrepentant swindler Continue reading...

Published 2021-07-11 11:49:57

‘Blasphemous? Of course not.’ Director of lesbian nuns film hits back at critics

‘I did not invent these scenes,’ says Paul Verhoeven defending the graphic violence and sex in his film, based on a true story

It might be based on a scholarly study of medieval nuns in Tuscany, but Benedetta, the new film from controversial director Paul Verhoeven, is full of lust, gore and brutality, and it has split opinion with equal violence at the Cannes film festival this weekend. The film, by the Dutch director of Basic Instinct and Total Recall, is accused of blasphemy and misogyny by some critics, and of mere lurid camp theatricality by others. Scenes of torture and of explicit sex, one including the use of a statuette of the Virgin Mary as a sex toy, run through the film. While some critics have applauded Verhoeven’s bold showmanship, others left the premiere on Friday with a mix of amusement and ...

Published 2021-07-10 18:00:22

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