Wednesday Jun 8, 2016

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and...
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TV

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and died Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley, who called the actress a "warm, caring person who always put others' needs before her own. Saldana co-starred in the 1991-96 drama "The Commish" as the supportive wife of Michael Chiklis' police commissioner. Her most notable big-screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull," Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro. "I have such good memories of working with her on 'Raging Bull,' and I always admired the way that she handled the horrifying attack by a stalker — the good that she made of it," Scorsese said. "She was a wonderful actress and a fine human being." In 1982, Saldana was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a then-water deliveryman, Jeff Fenn, who held the man for police. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to Great Britain to face charges in a case there. Saldana, who endured a prolonged hospitalization, was both physically and mentally scarred and received treatment for both problems. She went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims for Victims, and played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." She also wrote "Beyond Survival," a memoir. In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Saldana said her recovery was long in coming but complete. "It's been a decade and it's over now, finally," she said. "If someone brings it up I remember, but I don't think about it all the time. It's certainly not a formidable part of my life anymore. I'm happy and excited. I'm doing really well." She and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on "The Commish" as police Sgt. William Frawley, married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna. Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and was adopted at five days by an Italian-Puerto Rican family. Her first film appearances came in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Nunzio." Other movie credits included "Defiance," ''The Evil That Men Do" and "Gang Warz." Her TV credits included "T.J. Hooker" and "Matlock" in the early and mid-1980s, "Diagnosis Murder" in the '90s and "The Bernie Mac Show" in 2003. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Watch: 'Marco Polo' Season 2 trailer
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Watch: 'Marco Polo' Season 2 trailer

Lorenzo Richelmy returns as the title character and explorer of the Mongolian Empire in a first trailer for July 2016's second season of "Marco Polo" on Netflix.The two-minute reel sets expectations for a 10-episode season due to drop July 1, with Marco Polo conscripted into the order of the Mongol Knights as the Empire's violent growth faces new challenges. Benedict Wong of "The Martian" and "Prometheus" returns as Kublai Khan in a cast that includes Olivia Cheng, Jean Chen, Zhy Zhu, Mahesh Jadu, Michelle Yeoh, Rick Yune and Uli Latukefu. Marco Polo Season 2 trailer: youtu.be/OXfgvcJ5T8E, facebook.com/MarcoPoloMP/videos/1044389592295431 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report

PriceWaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020" study estimates that online video consumed 82.1% of data traffic in the USA for 2015.Film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, and video games will change in the most impactful way over the period 2016 to 2020, said PwC. Event cinema, video game adaptations, local-language content will impact film, while China will become the world's top movie market in 2017; in TV, online delivery is "the new normal," with online home video already bigger than the box office. Live music experiences will continue to increase in importance, with digital streaming the predominant form of consumption and subscription services accounting for 80% of industry revenue. Virtual reality was identified as an "exciting area of growth" within video games, and competitive gaming, known as eSports, will benefit from increased local awareness in the US. For advertisers, mobile is of the most interest, with paid search and online video internet advertising to grow rapidly, as long as the challenges of transparency, ad fraud and privacy can be adequately dealt with. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

A summer bounty of TV drama, comedies and even a 'Hamilton'
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
A summer bounty of TV drama, comedies and even a 'Hamilton'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Summer travel packing list: swimsuit, sunblock, television. In this portable TV era, there's no reason to leave small-screen entertainment at home when cable channels, streaming services and networks are eager to keep you connected online with top-notch fare from, among others, Oscar-owning filmmakers. So hit the road with your smartphone, laptop or tablet — or, heck, stay put in front of an actual TV set — and check out this steamy-weather menu of hot picks (all times EDT). — "BrainDead," CBS, 10 p.m. Monday, June 13. A different political show from "The Good Wife" creators Robert and Michelle King, with Washington beset by brain-eating bugs and a bipartisan coalition out to stop them. Tony Shalhoub and Broadway and TV "Grease" heartthrob Aaron Tveit are among the comic thriller's stars. — "Animal Kingdom," TNT, 9 p.m. Monday, June 14. A teenager (Finn Cole) loses his mother to a heroin overdose and gains a violent family that includes a tough matriarch (Ellen Barkin) and her offspring in the drama series based on the Australian movie of the same name. — "Raised by Wolves," Acorn TV streaming service, Monday, June 20. A bluntly funny take on the lives of an unconventional single mother and her six home-schooled kids from writers Caitlin and Caroline Moran, sisters who lived a version of the comedy series. — "Queen of the South," USA, 10 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Drawn from the best-selling novel "La Reina Del Sur," which already spawned a hit telenovela, the drama stars Alice Braga ("I Am Legend") as a woman on the run in the U.S. from a drug trafficking ring after her boyfriend's murder. —"Dancing On the Edge," PBS, 8 p.m. Sunday, June 26. An eight-part drama about a black jazz band that finds success and tragedy in 1930s London. Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years A Slave") and Matthew Goode (aka Lady Mary's squeeze in "Downton Abbey") are part of the cast. — "Alexander Hamilton," History Channel, 9 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Finding tickets to the Broadway hit musical "Hamilton" too pricey? This two-hour documentary detailing his national legacy may leave you singing the founding father's praises. — "Roadies," Showtime, 10 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Rock stars ruled in filmmaker Cameron Crowe's Oscar-winning "Almost Famous," but it's the crew members who shine in the comedy series written and directed by Crowe. Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino and Keisha Castle-Hughes are part of the ensemble cast. — "Hello World!" Discovery Channel, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9. The family friendly series enlists the narration and tunes of Christina Aguilera, Usher, Joan Jett and others to educate us about wild animals and their habitats. — "The Night Of," HBO, 9 p.m. Sunday, July 10. A start-to-finish murder case as created by one Oscar-winning writer, Steven Zaillian ("Schindler's List") and one Oscar-nominated one, Richard Price ("The Color of Money"), with an assist from Peter Moffat, whose original U.K. series it's adapted from. John Turturro, Riz Ahmed star. — "The A Word," SundanceTV, 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. Both autism and adultery figure in this series, described as both thoughtful and humorous, about a 5-year-old boy and his extended family. — "The Get Down," Netflix, Friday, Aug. 12. New York circa 1970s is the setting for this music-saturated drama about South Bronx teenagers in a harsh and changing world. Extravagant filmmaker Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge!") directed and produced the series with young actors (Justice Smith, Shameik Moore) and veterans (Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito). ___ Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lawsuit: Ellen DeGeneres mocked woman's name for breast joke
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Lawsuit: Ellen DeGeneres mocked woman's name for breast joke

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia real estate agent is suing the producer of the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," claiming the comedian mispronounced her name to make a joke about breasts. Titi (TEE'-tee) Pierce alleges in the lawsuit filed against Warner Bros. last week that DeGeneres displayed one of Pierce's real estate signs during the Feb. 22 show that was rerun April 15. It says DeGeneres led into the joke about Pierce's name after showing a sign for the unrelated Nipple Convalescent Home. The suit also says the sign included Pierce's cellphone number and she was subjected to "ridiculing and harassing" phone calls. The suit claims invasion of privacy, defamation and emotional distress. It seeks unspecified monetary damages. Warner Bros. declined to comment on the suit. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and died Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley, who called the actress a "warm, caring person who always put others' needs before her own. Saldana co-starred in the 1991-96 drama "The Commish" as the supportive wife of Michael Chiklis' police commissioner. Her most notable big-screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull," Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro. "I have such good memories of working with her on 'Raging Bull,' and I always admired the way that she handled the horrifying attack by a stalker — the good that she made of it," Scorsese said. "She was a wonderful actress and a fine human being." In 1982, Saldana was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a then-water deliveryman, Jeff Fenn, who held the man for police. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to Great Britain to face charges in a case there. Saldana, who endured a prolonged hospitalization, was both physically and mentally scarred and received treatment for both problems. She went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims for Victims, and played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." She also wrote "Beyond Survival," a memoir. In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Saldana said her recovery was long in coming but complete. "It's been a decade and it's over now, finally," she said. "If someone brings it up I remember, but I don't think about it all the time. It's certainly not a formidable part of my life anymore. I'm happy and excited. I'm doing really well." She and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on "The Commish" as police Sgt. William Frawley, married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna. Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and was adopted at five days by an Italian-Puerto Rican family. Her first film appearances came in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Nunzio." Other movie credits included "Defiance," ''The Evil That Men Do" and "Gang Warz." Her TV credits included "T.J. Hooker" and "Matlock" in the early and mid-1980s, "Diagnosis Murder" in the '90s and "The Bernie Mac Show" in 2003. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report

PriceWaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020" study estimates that online video consumed 82.1% of data traffic in the USA for 2015.Film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, and video games will change in the most impactful way over the period 2016 to 2020, said PwC. Event cinema, video game adaptations, local-language content will impact film, while China will become the world's top movie market in 2017; in TV, online delivery is "the new normal," with online home video already bigger than the box office. Live music experiences will continue to increase in importance, with digital streaming the predominant form of consumption and subscription services accounting for 80% of industry revenue. Virtual reality was identified as an "exciting area of growth" within video games, and competitive gaming, known as eSports, will benefit from increased local awareness in the US. For advertisers, mobile is of the most interest, with paid search and online video internet advertising to grow rapidly, as long as the challenges of transparency, ad fraud and privacy can be adequately dealt with. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Suicide Squad' hits PG-13 target
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Suicide Squad' hits PG-13 target

August anti-hero movie "Suicide Squad" has nailed its anticipated PG-13 rating for US cinemas, even after February's "Deadpool" became a blockbuster with its rare R-rating.The Warner Bros movie has a host of DC Comics super villains recruited by a secret government agency; they'll be set free should they manage to somehow complete and survive their suicide mission. Jared Leto is the newest incarnation of The Joker, with cast members also including Will Smith (Deadshot), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) and Cara Delevingne (Enchantress); Ben Affleck is also set to appear as Batman, and Viola Davis as the crew's agency boss. While "Deadpool" romped to a $772m box office on the back of a rare superhero movie R-rating -- 2008's "Punisher: War Zone" developed a noteworthy following only after its time in theaters had drawn to a close -- and "Batman v. Superman" being prepared for an R-rated Ultimate Edition on DVD from June 28, there was some speculation that "Suicide Squad" might go the same route. But the PG-13 rating enables Warner's August tentpole to reach as wide an audience as possible, establishing a stronger platform for more movies further down the line. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Harry Potter play gets rave reviews
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Harry Potter play gets rave reviews

Harry Potter's stage debut got a standing ovation from a packed theatre audience in a new London play that imagines the fictional boy wizard as a grown-up father of three, British media reported on Wednesday."Judging by the whooping and cheering, nobody was disappointed," Clare Fitzimons wrote in The Mirror after the first showing of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" at the Palace Theatre. "It was phenomenal, it really was. It lived up to all the hype," said one fan interviewed by the BBC, while another in a Potter-style cape said: "This completely blew me away. J. K. Rowling did an amazing job." Potter creator Rowling made a special request for fans to keep the plot secret and the 1,500 audience members were handed badges reading "#KeepTheSecrets". "The storyline, a hymn to friendship and teenage misfits, contains enough twists to please the most knowledgeable of fans," Hannah Furness wrote in The Daily Telegraph. "Any fears that the world of Hogwarts on stage would struggle to compete with the multimillion-dollar special effects of film were quickly kicked into touch". "Has Rowling done it again? The audience was in no doubt," she wrote. The plot for the play reads: "While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. "As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places," it said. The show officially opens on July 30 and is set to be published as a book on July 31, which is Rowling's and Harry Potter's birthday. Rowling's books have sold more than 450 million copies since 1997 and been adapted into eight films. The show is written by English screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne, based on an original story co-written with Rowling and the play's director John Tiffany. Given the millions of fans around the world, the decision to move the characters on two decades was seen as risky. Like many of his fans, Potter has now grown up in the play and has three children with his wife Ginny Weasley, the sister of his friend Ron. He is working at the Ministry of Magic. He still has his trademark round-rimmed glasses and the scar on his head, a permanent reminder of his nemesis Lord Voldemort, but must now help his youngest son Albus confront the family's dark past. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Jason Bourne' movie issues explosive TV spot
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Jason Bourne' movie issues explosive TV spot

A 30-second clip for July's fifth entry to the Bourne franchise promises an all-action movie whose plot calls rogue agent Jason Bourne out of the shadows one more time.Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne, with Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons who, having been his agency handler at one point, lets him know that the secretive training programs he sought to dismantle have returned with a vengeance. Fortunately for fans of the franchise, so has Bourne himself, and this time he's got an advantage -- "I know everything," says the former amnesiac. Some viewers feel that they too now know too much, identifying what could be a potential spoiler halfway through the clip. Also involved in the film are Tommy Lee Jones ("Captain America: Civil War"), Alicia Vikander ("Ex Machina"), Ato Essandoh ("Django Unchained"), Riz Ahmed ("Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"), and Vincent Cassel ("Black Swan.") "Jason Bourne" starts its international rollout the week of July 29, 2016, including territories such as the USA, Canada, the UK and Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Singapore. Japanese showings commence from October 7. Jason Bourne TV spot: youtu.be/ApNnmNNvW8o, twitter.com/jasonbourne/status/740236183569997824, facebook.com/TheBourneSeries/videos/1219039824802806 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Ursula K. Le Guin, Ann Patchett voted into arts academy
Monday Feb 27, 2017
Ursula K. Le Guin, Ann Patchett voted into arts academy

NEW YORK (AP) — Not even an honorary National Book Award kept Ursula K. Le Guin from being surprised by her latest tribute: membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. "My reputation was made as a writer of fantasy and science fiction, a literature that has mostly gone without such honors," she told The Associated Press recently. Known for such classics as "The Left Hand of Darkness" and "The Dispossessed," Le Guin has won numerous science fiction and fantasy awards, but only in recent years has she received more literary recognition, notably a National Book Award medal in 2014. The arts academy, an honorary society with a core membership of 250 writers, artists, composers and architects, once shunned "genre" writers such as Le Guin. Even such giants as science fiction writer Ray Bradbury and crime novelist Elmore Leonard never got in. Academy member Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, advocated for Le Guin. "As a deviser of worlds, as a literary stylist, as a social critic and as a storyteller, Le Guin has no peer," he wrote in his recommendation, shared with the AP, that she be admitted. "From the time of her first published work in the mid-1960s, she began to push against the confines of science fiction, bringing to bear an anthropologist's acute eye for large social textures and mythic structures, a fierce egalitarianism and a remarkable gift of language, without ever renouncing the sense of wonder and the spirit of play inherent in her genre of origin." The 87-year-old Le Guin is one of 14 new core members, the academy told the AP. Others include fiction writers Junot Diaz, Ann Patchett, Amy Hempel and Colum McCann, former U.S. poet laureate Kay Ryan and fellow poets Henri Cole and Edward Hirsch. The academy also voted in the artists Mary Heilmann, Julie Mehretu and Stanley Whitney, architect Annabelle Selldorf and composers Melinda Wagner and Julia Wolfe. Three foreign honorary members were added: authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith and composer Kaija Saariaho. The arts academy was founded in 1898, with members since ranging from Henry James and William Dean Howells to Chuck Close and Stephen Sondheim. The new inductees will be formally welcomed at a ceremony at the New York-based academy in May, where academy member Joyce Carol Oates will deliver the centennial Blashfield Foundation keynote address. Previous speakers have included Helen Keller, Robert Frost and Robert Caro. Patchett, author of the acclaimed "Bel Canto" and most recently "Commonwealth," said she had tears in her eyes after learning she had been selected. Years earlier, she had been given a prize by the academy, presented to her by John Updike. "They could have just given me the Getting-To-Eat-Lunch-With John-Updike award and that would have been the biggest thrill of my life," she told the AP. "This is an institution where all of my heroes gather. I am very moved that they've invited me in." Diaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his novel "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," told the AP that he was surprised to get into the academy, in part because he was informed in an old-fashioned way — by letter. "No one sends letters anymore," he wrote recently in a more prevalent form of communication, email. Le Guin lives in Portland, Oregon, and will not be attending the May ceremony. For a time, she didn't even know she had been chosen. Blame it on the risks of sending paper letters. "(T)he academy's written invitation never got to me," she said, adding that she feared comparisons to Bob Dylan, who took more than two weeks to personally respond to winning the Nobel Prize for literature. "I found out they'd been waiting days or weeks for a reply. I thought: 'Oh, no, they'll think I've been pulling a Dylan on them!'" Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Hillel Italie from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Hollywood embraces people power with Oscar tour bus surprise
Monday Feb 27, 2017
Hollywood embraces people power with Oscar tour bus surprise

The live audience of Hollywood actors, actresses, and industry insiders welcomed a busload of tourists into the heart of 2017's 89th Academy Awards, with members of the public surprised by the impromptu, televised meet and greet with stars like Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Aniston.Partway through the 89th Academy Awards February 26, 2017, host Jimmy Kimmel told his audience a secret. It was a secret shared with viewers of the live, televised show, but not the passengers on a tour bus snaking its way through Los Angeles. Instead, the tour's participants were told that they would make a special stop-off to see a "special exhibit of Oscar dresses and gowns," Kimmel said. "In a way it's true, they will see dresses and gowns, but [those clothes] will be on people." "They don't know, but the moment they open the door, they're going to be on live TV, and we're going to surprise them." And that's what they did. Heading the line were Gary and Vicki from Midwestern city Chicago, and their time in the limelight proved one of the ceremony's high points. Kimmel introduced them to front row guests including Best Supporting Actress nominee Nicole Kidman ("Lion"), seated next to husband Keith Urban who posted the moment to Twitter, and fellow nominee Octavia Spencer ("Hidden Figures,") as well "La La Land" stars Ryan Gosling (who offered Gary a handful of mementos) and Emma Stone. 2016's Oscars were criticized for its overwhelmingly Caucasian slate of nominees, lambasted using the social media hashtag #OscarsSoWhite and lampooned by the inaugural All Def Movie Awards. This year saw three major awards go to coming-of-age movie "Moonlight," a Florida-set story about growing up as a person of color in difficult circumstances. Best Supporting Actress went to Viola Davis ("Fences"), Best Documentary Feature to "O.J.: Made in America," and Best Documentary Short to Syrian rescue workers tale "The White Helmets" while Iranian feature "A Salesman" won in Foreign Language. "I feel like you're ignoring the white celebrities," Kimmel remarked, as Gary made his way along the front row, recording the occasion on his purple smartphone. "I am!" Gary chuckled in response. And when Kimmel discovered that Gary and Vicki were engaged to be married, he invited Vicki's favorite actor, Denzel Washington, to be best man at the wedding. Washington conducted an unofficial ceremony for them in front of the crowds; Jennifer Aniston ("Friends" and "Office Christmas Party") offered her sunglasses as a wedding gift. Having ribbed them during his opening monologue, Kimmel highlighted all-time leading Academy Award nominee Meryl Streep and noted philanthropist (and "Manchester by the Sea" producer) Matt Damon. There were selfie opportunities galore -- with Mahershala Ali who had already received an Oscar statuette for Best Supporting Actor -- before the tourists left to a round of applause from an auditorium full of Hollywood stars. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2017. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Hollywood takes on Trump at Oscars with message of inclusion
Monday Feb 27, 2017
Hollywood takes on Trump at Oscars with message of inclusion

Hollywood seized the global platform of the Oscars on Sunday to take on Donald Trump, but stars kept the tone light and inclusive after the US president's divisive debut.With Trump famous for his angry Twitter attacks on critics, Hollywood's stars made jibes about incurring his wrath but mostly adopted a celebratory mood, with multiple winners highlighting their origins as immigrants, minorities or foreigners. "This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us," the awards' host, Jimmy Kimmel, said in his opening monologue. The late-night comedian quipped that Trump, who pulled off a political upset win with his campaign that targeted immigration, had taken the heat off Hollywood and its annual gala. "I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That's gone," Kimmel said. "We are very welcoming to outsiders here in Hollywood. We don't discriminate on people based on what countries they come from. We discriminate them based on their age and weight," he said. The top prize went to "Moonlight," the coming-of-age story of an African American boy and his struggles with sexual identity -- although the Oscar was announced only after an embarrassing mistake in which feel-good musical "La La Land" was first announced as the winner. "This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls, and non-gender-conforming, who don't see themselves -- we're trying to show you," playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney said as he accepted the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. - Iranian director boycotts - "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins was one of several nominees to sport a blue ribbon in support of the American Civil Liberties Union, the rights lobby that has been stridently fighting the Trump administration in court. Also for "Moonlight," Mahershala Ali won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his portrayal of a drug dealer -- becoming the first Muslim to pick up a golden statuette for acting. In perhaps the night's most potent symbol, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi boycotted the gala as his drama "The Salesman" won for best foreign language film -- the second time his work has won that prize. Farhadi was protesting Trump's visa ban that bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries including Iran from entering the United States. While a court has put Trump's order on hold, the US leader has vowed to bring it back -- and Farhadi vowed solidarity with "disrespected" people. "Dividing the world into the US and 'our enemies' categories creates fear -- a deceitful justification for aggression and war," he said in the statement read at the gala by the Iranian-born US engineer and astronaut Anousheh Ansari. "Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others -- an empathy which we need today more than ever." Instead of coming to Los Angeles, Farhadi screened his film -- a loose adaptation of the classic American play "Death of a Salesman" that delves into the lives of the actors in Tehran -- before thousands of fans in London's Trafalgar Square. - Trolling Trump - The creators of "Zootopia," an animated Disney movie about animals that speak to one another and find ways to coexist, saw a larger message as they accepted the award for best animated feature. "We are so grateful to the audiences all over the world who embraced this film with this story of tolerance being more powerful than fear of the other," co-director Rich Moore said. Meryl Streep, who now has a record 20 Oscar nominations, had taken Trump to task in a speech last month at the Golden Globe Awards, pointing in part to his mockery of a disabled journalist. Trump responded on Twitter that Streep was "one of the most overrated actress in Hollywood" -- a moniker that Kimmel played with as he introduced her at the Oscars. "Everybody, please join me in giving her a totally undeserved round of applause, will you? The highly overrated Meryl Streep, everyone," he said. As the show neared its end, Kimmel feigned disappointment that Trump had not yet weighed in. He took out a phone and tweeted at Trump to ask if he was awake -- a message quickly retweeted more than 225,000 times. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2017. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Emma Stone wins best actress Oscar for 'La La Land'
Monday Feb 27, 2017
Emma Stone wins best actress Oscar for 'La La Land'

Emma Stone completed a clean sweep of Hollywood's major acting prizes on Sunday with an Oscar for her performance as an aspiring actress in the romantic musical "La La Land."Her best actress prize was probably the least surprising victory of a glittering night for Damien Chazelle's nostalgic musical, as the 28-year-old also picked up trophies at the Golden Globes, British BAFTAs and Screen Actors Guild Awards. "To the women in this category... you were all so extraordinary and I look up to you and I admire you more than I can put into words.," said Stone of fellow nominees Isabelle Huppert, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga and Meryl Streep. "La La Land" casts Stone as a wannabe movie star who falls in love with a struggling musician played by Ryan Gosling, who was a losing nominee in the best actor category. The movie pays tribute to classic musicals, with nods to scenes from "Singing in the Rain" (1952) and "Grease" (1978) as well as old-school favorites like "Bringing Up Baby" (1938) and "Top Hat" (1935). Stone's Mia is a wide-eyed romantic who goes from audition to audition in her quest to make it big while Gosling is Sebastian, a jazz pianist with a mission to save the medium who struggles to pay his bills. The pair meet in one of LA's famous traffic jams and then at a celebrity party before wooing each other in dreamy dancing sequences reminiscent of those performed by legendary screen partners Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The pair first appeared together in "Crazy, Stupid, Love" (2011) and then again in "Gangster Squad" (2013), and were described as a modern-day "Fred and Ginger" as they sunk their hands and feet into the cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre in December, a longstanding honor for Hollywood's biggest stars. Born Emily Jean Stone in Scottsdale, Arizona to a homemaker mother and businessman father, Stone began acting in youth theater in Phoenix. At the age of just 14, she made a PowerPoint presentation entitled "Project Hollywood" to persuade her parents to allow her to drop out of school and pursue a movie career. The pitch worked and she and her mother moved to LA, where Stone was home-schooled between auditions. "It's nuts that they agreed to it," Stone told The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't condone it. Everybody should go through high school and graduate." Her first role came with the part of Laurie Partridge in the VH1 talent/reality show "In Search of the Partridge Family." She has appeared in more than 20 movies since her 2007 debut in "Superbad" but really came to the fore as a major talent in "The Help," Tate Taylor's 2011 drama about the racism faced by black maids in 1960s Mississippi. A string of hit films followed, including two "Spider-Man" movies and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman," which earned Stone a best supporting actress nomination. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2017. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Mahershala Ali becomes first Muslim actor to win Oscar
Monday Feb 27, 2017
Mahershala Ali becomes first Muslim actor to win Oscar

Heavily-backed favorite Mahershala Ali won the best supporting actor Oscar on Sunday for his portrayal of a drug dealer in coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" -- becoming the first Muslim film star to pick up a golden statuette. A first-time nominee, the 43-year-old actor saw off competition from Britain's Dev Patel, veteran US actors Jeff Bridges and Michael Shannon and newcomer Lucas Hedges. "I want to thank my teachers, my professors," Ali said. "One thing that they consistently told me... 'It's not about you. It's about these characters. You are a servant. You're in service to these stories and these characters'." He thanked his fellow cast members -- and his wife, who gave birth to their first child, a baby girl, just days earlier. Barry Jenkins's "Moonlight" tells the life story of a young African-American struggling to find his place as he grows up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. In a brief but acclaimed performance, Ali's drug dealer Juan imparts life lessons to the protagonist Chiron that help him survive in prison and in the outside world. The role won Oakland-born Ali best supporting actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, although he lost out to Aaron Taylor-Johnson ("Nocturnal Animals") at the Golden Globes. Ali, a Muslim convert since 1999 with a Christian minister for a mother, joined the minority Ahmadiyya Community, a movement seen as heretical by other Islamic sects, in 2001. Muslims have won Oscars in various categories over the years -- including Pakistani documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and feature director Asghar Farhadi -- but none has taken a statuette for acting. Ellen Burstyn, who won a best actress Oscar in 1975, has practiced a blend of Sufism and other religions since her late 30s but has said she considers herself a "spirit open to the truth" rather than a Muslim. Ali recently told Britain's Radio Times magazine that he discovered he was on an FBI watchlist after the September 11, 2001 attacks. "If you convert to Islam after a couple of decades of being a black man in the US, the discrimination you receive as a Muslim doesn't feel like a shock," he said. "I've been pulled over, asked where my gun is, asked if I'm a pimp, had my car pulled apart. Muslims will feel like there's this new discrimination that they hadn't received before -- but it's not new for us." - From 'House of Cards' to 'Luke Cage' - Ali's previous notable roles have come in Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond the Pines," Gary Ross's civil war era drama "Free State of Jones," the final two "The Hunger Games" films and, on television, Netflix's "Marvel's Luke Cage." He is best known however for his Emmy-nominated portrayal of White House lobbyist turned chief of staff Remy Danton in Netflix political drama "House of Cards." Born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore -- he was named after a child of the biblical prophet Isiah -- and raised near San Francisco, Ali studied mass communications at St. Mary's College of California. He made his professional debut performing with the California Shakespeare Festival and, soon after, earned a master's degree in acting from New York University. His first major movie role was in David Fincher's 2008 fantasy drama "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," opposite Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Ali and his wife Amatus Sami-Karim have a cat called Nas, named after the US rapper. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2017. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.