Thursday Oct 23, 2014

Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall

Ikea has recreated a scene from classic horror movie "The Shining," in what could be its scariest advert yet just in time for Halloween. Here we take a look at some of the best frightening ads to hit screens so far this year.IKEA Halloween Ikea Singapore has recreated the famous hallway scene...
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TV

Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall

Ikea has recreated a scene from classic horror movie "The Shining," in what could be its scariest advert yet just in time for Halloween. Here we take a look at some of the best frightening ads to hit screens so far this year.IKEA Halloween Ikea Singapore has recreated the famous hallway scene from Stanley Kubrick's spine-tinglingly scary film "The Shining" featuring a little boy riding a trike around one of its darkened warehouses. How does it end? See if you dare watch.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqsonfSQk2I Skittles Web - Extended Version The extended version of the #SkittlesWeb commercial tells the touching tale of a giant spider adapting to family life... but there's a twist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPt0x0uJ1H8 Horror Movie: It's What You Do - GEICO Horror movie clichés are a dime a dozen but it doesn't stop Hollywood from churning them out, or cinemagoers from lapping them up. Now insurance brand Geico has turned them into a clever commercial.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWv-dIUP9oc Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Debut 'Age of Ultron' trailer dated for October 28
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Debut 'Age of Ultron' trailer dated for October 28

The first trailer for 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" will premiere during a break on October 28's TV episode of spin-off serial "Agents of SHIELD," with theatrical and online versions expected to follow soon after.Joss Whedon's second ensemble film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is to pull in repeat appearances from a number of core characters, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). In addition, several new faces to the franchise arrive including James Spader's malevolent AI Ultron, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as her twin brother Quicksilver. The film, due from May 1, 2015, is to conclude Marvel's second phase of cinematic outings, a relatively quick arc that began in May 2013 with "Iron Man 3" and went on to encompass "Thor: The Dark World," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and the largely unrelated "Guardians of the Galaxy." Next up after that will be "Ant-Man" in July 2015, starring Paul Rudd ("This is 40") and directed by Peyton Reed ("The Break-Up"), with titles beyond that including a third "Captain America" (May 2016), "Doctor Strange" (July 2016) and a "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel (July 2017). Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Former 'Gossip Girl' star cast in 'The Slap'
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Former 'Gossip Girl' star cast in 'The Slap'

The American remake of the Australian miniseries "The Slap" has been joined by Penn Badgley, the actor known to teen audiences for his role on "Gossip Girl."The actor who plays the budding novelist Dan Humphrey has not appeared on the small screen since the end of the teen drama on Manhattan's privileged youth. NBC will soon bring him back into the limelight through a recurring role in its eight-episode miniseries "The Slap," adapted from the Australian format of the same name. The American remake will have the same plot as the original, exploring the chain of consequences arising when an adult slaps someone else's child at a birthday party. Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right") will helm the eight episodes, which will also feature Peter Sarsgaard ("The Killing"), Mary Louis-Parker ("Weeds"), Zachary Quinto ("Heroes," "Star Trek") and Brian Cox ("Deadwood"). Based on the eponymous novel by Christos Tsiolkas, the Australian miniseries "The Slap" was set within a group of friends living in Melbourne's suburbs and included a number of Greek-Australian characters. First aired in 2011 on Australian TV, the original production was headlined by Jonathan LaPaglia ("The District") and Alex Dimitriades, who played a high school student on "Heartbreak High" during the 1990s. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'Cabin Fever' remake to recycle original script
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
'Cabin Fever' remake to recycle original script

Deadline indicates that the remake will be produced by Eli Roth, the gore and horror specialist who directed the original 2002 movie.While remakes are common practice in Hollywood, the screenplay is almost always updated for the second go around. But the new version of "Cabin Fever" will use the exact same script as the original, so the only updates will come from Eli Roth's change of title from director to producer and from the refreshed cast. Deadline reports that Gage Golightly ("Teen Wolf"), Dustin Ingram ("Paranormal Activity 3") and Samuel Davis ("Sin City: A Dame to Kill For") are among those cast to play the college students who rent a cabin in the woods where a flesh-eating virus interferes with their partying plans. The feature will be the helmed by Travis Zariwny in his directorial debut. "Travis had an amazing vision for my original script, and as a scary movie fan I really wanted to see it," said Roth, optimistic about the young filmmaker's potential. "I almost see this like re-staging a play, and I'm excited to see what ideas Travis and the cast bring to it. They're all fans of the original and want to make a film that's a new classic and I believe they will." The film begins shooting this week in Portland, Oregon. No release dates were announced. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

World Series rating for opener drops to low
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
World Series rating for opener drops to low

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A World Series opener involving the San Francisco Giants set a record low TV rating for the second time in three seasons. San Francisco's 7-1 win over Kansas City drew a 7.3 rating and 12.2 million viewers Tuesday night on Fox, according to fast national ratings by Nielsen Media Research. That broke the previous low of a 7.6 rating and 12.2 million for the Giants' 8-3 victory over Detroit in 2012. San Francisco's 11.7 win over Texas in the 2010 opener got an 8.9 rating. The rating for this year's opener began with a 6.9 from 8:05-8:30 p.m. EDT and peaked at 8.5 in the half hour starting at 9 p.m. With the Giants scoring three runs in the first inning and leading 5-0 by the fourth, the rating ended at 5.7 from 11:30-11:41 p.m. Still, Fox said Wednesday it expects to win the prime-time night and have its best Tuesday night since February 2012. Fox Deportes averaged 273,000 viewers, a record for Spanish-language World Series coverage. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Spooky Halloween ads putting the fright on this fall

Ikea has recreated a scene from classic horror movie "The Shining," in what could be its scariest advert yet just in time for Halloween. Here we take a look at some of the best frightening ads to hit screens so far this year.IKEA Halloween Ikea Singapore has recreated the famous hallway scene from Stanley Kubrick's spine-tinglingly scary film "The Shining" featuring a little boy riding a trike around one of its darkened warehouses. How does it end? See if you dare watch.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqsonfSQk2I Skittles Web - Extended Version The extended version of the #SkittlesWeb commercial tells the touching tale of a giant spider adapting to family life... but there's a twist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPt0x0uJ1H8 Horror Movie: It's What You Do - GEICO Horror movie clichés are a dime a dozen but it doesn't stop Hollywood from churning them out, or cinemagoers from lapping them up. Now insurance brand Geico has turned them into a clever commercial.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWv-dIUP9oc Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

James Wan to return to horror with 'The Conjuring 2'
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
James Wan to return to horror with 'The Conjuring 2'

After helming the 2013 movie about the paranormal detective team, James Wan will return for the sequel, Deadline reports. News of his arrival follows the decision to push "The Conjuring 2" forward to 2016.James Wan, who recently wrapped "Fast and Furious 7," is no stranger to the horror genre. Among his directing credits are the first "Saw" movie, "Insidious 1 & 2" and "The Conjuring." And after the success of the latter movie, it's hardly surprising that New Line called upon him to helm the sequel. Confirmation of "The Conjuring 2" comes just weeks after the release of the prequel "Annabelle," which has been an international success. The sequel is due to begin lensing next summer for a release in 2016. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Sam Mendes to direct Enid Blyton adaptations
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Sam Mendes to direct Enid Blyton adaptations

The "Skyfall" director is to helm a film based on Enid Blyton's "The Faraway Tree" stories after his production company acquired rights to the series' four books.The stories were childhood favorites, Mendes's production partner Pippa Harris told Variety, as their company, Neal Street Productions, announced plans for the franchise to Variety. British children's author Enid Blyton is perhaps better known for creating "Noddy" and "The Famous Five," but "The Faraway Tree" would appear to be fertile ground for Mendes. Currently helming the 24th James Bond film for MGM, Mendes has also involved himself in stage productions, most recently directing 2013's hit West End musical "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," an updated version of the Roald Dahl children's story. First in "The Faraway Tree" series is 1953's "The Enchanted Wood," introducing its forest setting and recurring characters in sibilings Fanny, Bessie and Jo; the next 12 years saw debuts for "The Magic Faraway Tree," "The Folk of the Faraway Tree" and "Up the Faraway Tree." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Review: Shailene Woodley gets lost in a blizzard
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Review: Shailene Woodley gets lost in a blizzard

By now, there should be no question in anyone's mind that Shailene Woodley is an actress on a rapid-fire journey to stardom. She's enchanted us in enough films — "The Descendants," ''The Spectacular Now," ''The Fault in Our Stars" — that one less-than-stellar film won't alter her upward trajectory. Which is good, because "White Bird in a Blizzard" doesn't do her many favors. Actually, let's amend that — those Woodley fans who are excited about the news that she sheds some clothes here will probably not care a whit about whether the film meets its lofty artistic goals. As for the rest of us, well, it's not that Woodley herself disappoints — as usual, she's fresh, natural and always interesting to watch — but the film is such an uncomfortable oddity that its overall weirdness ultimately swallows her up a bit, too. There's a kernel of something tantalizing in "White Bird," writer-director Gregg Araki's highly stylized adaptation of the YA novel by Laura Kasischke about a teen girl discovering herself emotionally and sexually amid some serious family trauma. And few actors portray the awkwardness of teen self-discovery — and sometimes its grace — as well as Woodley. But there's a fine line between stylized and campy, and Araki defiantly crosses it, in any number of cringe-in-your-seat, can-you-believe-this-dialogue, my-gosh-that-feels-fake moments. The voiceover narration is also particularly clunky. Woodley plays Kat Connors, who's 17 when her tragically beautiful mother, Eve (Eva Green, going all-out vampy here, and then some, and then some more) disappears, leaving Kat and her repressed father, Brock (Christopher Meloni) alone and bewildered. Where has she gone? That question would surely consume any household, but Kat seems relatively unaffected at first, assuring her dad that hey, Mom will come back eventually. Even in her periodic meetings with a therapist (Angela Bassett, not given much of anything to do here), she doesn't seem that upset. Except for those darned dreams, where she's wandering through a fake blizzard, everything all bleachy white like in a snow globe — and comes across her mother lying there, nude. Araki has departed in various ways from the book, moving the action from Ohio to suburban California, and changing the time frame; we begin in 1988 and move ahead to 1991 (the soundtrack includes Depeche Mode, The Cure and Cocteau Twins). He's also changed key details about Kat's two best friends. That's fine, but the dialogue between the three — Woodley, Mark Indelicato and Gabourey Sidibe — is inexplicably clunky. The film hops around in time as it explores the mystery of what happened to Eve. We see her in flashback as a pretty young mother, frolicking with her daughter (once again, these scenes feel strangely fake, not to mention vaguely 1960-ish) and later as a frustrated housewife, chafing at the nightly chore of making dinner, competing with her own daughter for the attention of the studly young stoner, Phil (Shiloh Fernandez), who Kat's sleeping with, and slowly going nuts. Woodley gets to be sexier and brasher here than we're used to (not to mention topless, and a bit more). Exploring her newfound sexuality, she even makes a play for the handsome, grizzled detective (Thomas Jane) who's investigating her mother's disappearance. Their seduction scene is one of the best in the movie, because it feels authentic, a quality often lacking elsewhere. It all comes down to a doozy of a plot twist, and it's enjoyably shocking. But at the end you're still left shaking your head, feeling lost, wishing there was something tangible to hold on to — perhaps a bit like being trapped in a snow globe. "White Bird in a Blizzard," a Magnolia Pictures release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America "for sexual content/nudity, language and some drug use." Running time: 91 minutes. Two stars out of four. ____ MPAA definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Q&A: Poitras on capturing history in a hotel room
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Q&A: Poitras on capturing history in a hotel room

NEW YORK (AP) — Imagine if Bob Woodward's clandestine meetings in a Washington D.C. parking garage with Deep Throat had been documented — or, better yet, filmed by Woodward, himself. The analogy isn't perfect, but that's about the closest equivalent to Laura Poitras' one-of-a-kind documentary "Citizenfour," which captures former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden during his leak of NSA documents to Poitras (a documentarian and reporter) and journalist Glenn Greenwald. In strikingly intimate footage — history from a Hong Kong hotel room — "Citizenfour" documents Snowden's first encounters with Poitras and Greenwald and their eight days together going over the NSA revelations that would lead to espionage charges against Snowden, a share in a Pulitzer Prize for the subsequent reporting by Poitras and Greenwald, and nationwide debate about post-9/11 surveillance of Americans. Poitras spoke the morning after "Citizenfour," which opens Friday, premiered at the New York Film Festival. After the screening, the Lincoln Center stage swelled with the movie's filmmakers, whistleblowers like former NSA official William Binney and Snowden family members. Poitras called the crowded stage "a show of force." AP: What was it like in that hotel room? Poitras: My experience was unlike any that I've ever filmed. I've worked in conflict zones and this felt more dangerous than any other place I've ever been. I felt the stakes were just incredibly high. I remember thinking very much that all my experiences as a filmmaker kind of went on autopilot. Emotionally, it was really hard because I really felt this person was absolutely putting their life on the line, and there was a certain burden to participate in that and witness it and not know what the outcome would be. So it felt like a bit of a freefall. AP: Was your role at all confusing, being that you were there as a journalist, a filmmaker and an ally in a cause? Poitras: When I was in Hong Kong, I was there as a documentary filmmaker, so I would call that visual journalism. I was there to record what I perceived to be a historic event. I wanted to be able to see somebody who's risked everything. That doesn't happen every day. I had different roles at different times. A lot of people could have written stories about these documents, but I felt like not a lot of people would have gotten into that hotel room. AP: It makes for a completely unique film. Poitras: I had a bunch of legal meetings before going and they were like, "Well, it's a bit risky to go to Hong Kong. Just don't document anything." I was like, "No, no, that's not what's going to happen. I'm going to document everything." AP: What really comes across is Snowden's level-headed conviction and his understanding of the likely ramifications for himself. Poitras: He was totally in a Zen state. He had arrived in a state where he was going to accept whatever consequences came, so he was very calm but very intentional, like: "There are things in my brain that I want to communicate to you. You're not going to understand them all. But write them down because the world needs to know them and I might not ever see you again." AP: How was it editing the film in Berlin, where you worked to be outside of U.S. jurisdiction? Poitras: We were working in lots of encryptions. Only my editor and I know certain things. There were real risks. When I came back from Hong Kong, I had to sit everyone down and say, "If this doesn't feel comfortable, you need to let me know, because there is a chance we get a knock on the door." These are real potential things, that the government might try to seize the footage. AP: A few weeks ago, you visited Snowden in Russia, where he's living in asylum. The footage from that visit shows him living seemingly happy with his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. Poitras: I've visited him in Moscow several times in the past year. When I saw him last time, I was like, "Wow, he seems good." Having Lindsay there is really good for him. He feels less of the weight of the world on him. AP: What did he think of the film? Poitras: He took a lot of notes and then a lot of them were like, "So on that shot, on the table behind there, you can see a thumb drive." He was basically looking at it from an operational security perspective. There's a bit of an irony in it because he began our meeting by saying, "I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about the issues." And yet I've made a film about him. I think he understands why I've done that and he's consented to it. But I think there's a part of him that would like to recede from the story. AP: What kind of effect would you like "Citizenfour" to have? Poitras: Hopefully seeing the risks that someone takes in a situation like this, maybe it provides a place or protection for people to come forward. ___ Follow AP Film Writer on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

Rockettes to try again to dance this spring
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Rockettes to try again to dance this spring

NEW YORK (AP) — The Rockettes are taking a second stab at opening a spring show, and they're leaning on some Broadway creative stars to do it. MSG Entertainment said Wednesday that Warren Carlyle, Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner have signed up to put together "New York Spring Spectacular" for Radio City Music Hall in March. Last year, the show "Hearts and Lights" was canceled only days before its spring launch. Carlyle won a Tony Award for choreographing "After Midnight," Paulus is the Tony-winning director of Broadway revivals "Pippin" and "Porgy and Bess," and Weiner, her husband, is the producer of immersive shows such as "Sleep No More" and "Queen of the Night." Harvey Weinstein will help produce. Playwright Joshua Harmon, who wrote the well-received play "Bad Jews," has been tasked with putting together the story, which will be about a whirlwind adventure in Manhattan for three people. "Heart and Lights" had been written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Doug Wright. Previews begin March 12 and the show runs through May 3. It is an attempt to expand the Rockettes' brand beyond the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" and take advantage of the tourist traffic that swells in New York in the spring. The new show will salvage some of the visual elements from the scrapped one, including a 26-foot, talking Statue of Liberty puppet by the Australian The Creature Technology Co. There will also be 3-D video and large-scale LED screens. ___ Online: http://www.radiocity.com Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Review: 'John Wick' delivers non-stop action
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Review: 'John Wick' delivers non-stop action

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In an intriguing cinematic twist, Keanu Reeves' Matrix stunt double Chad Stahelski becomes his co-director with David Leitch on "John Wick," a visceral revenge thriller that marks a confident, muscular action debut. After a marked absence from the genre, Reeves resoundingly returns with an effortless, kinetic style that positions the film extremely well for any potential follow-ups. With much of the marketplace distracted by awards contenders and the seasonal onslaught of horror offerings, "John Wick" may find an opening to start building some seriously sustained momentum with both male and female Reeves fans during its initial rollout. Economically recapping the recent personal loss of retired Russian mob assassin John Wick (Reeves) in nested flashbacks following the untimely death of his wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan), the opening scenes find Wick shuffling around in a fog of grief before latching onto his only remaining connection to her, a beagle puppy named Daisy that Helen arranged as a gift before her passing. As he struggles to regain any sense of normalcy, the dog and fond memories of his marriage give Wick some hope for the future, but it proves short-lived when he's antagonized by petulant young gangster Iosef (Alfie Allen), who tries to intimidate Wick into selling his classic 1969 black Mustang. When that doesn't work, Iosef and his crew break into Wick's New Jersey home to steal the car, leaving him battered and bloodied before Iosef kills Daisy in a fit of pique. Wick quickly snaps back into cold-blooded killer mode even after five years on the sidelines once he's deprived of his only remaining solace, determined to hunt Iosef down in retribution. Unearthing his stash of weapons and cash, Wick discovers that his target is actually the son of his former gang boss Viggo (Michael Nyqvist). Fully realizing who they're up against, Viggo tells Iosef: "It's not what you did that angers me so, it's who you did it to," even though he's committed to protecting his son's life by putting a $2 million price on Wick's head. First to consider the opportunity is Wick's former colleague Marcus (Willem Dafoe), a crack sniper, as well as Perkins (Adrianne Palicki), a female contract killer who's as deadly as she is gorgeous. Derek Kolstad's admirably lean script propels the film's galvanizing action with only the barest narrative essentials, quickly dispensing with the series of improbable coincidences necessitated by the initial setup. With rarely more than a quarter-hour between dynamically staged set pieces, there's little time to wonder whether Wick has anything more on his mind than elemental revenge. Whatever his inner motivations, Wick isn't one to clearly articulate them, which makes the character a natural fit with Reeves' typically taciturn demeanor. With his stringy dark hair, scraggly beard and lithe physique, he's in excellent form throughout the film, whether battling his way through imaginatively staged fight sequences or handling an impressive array of firearms and lethal blades. Distilling a couple of decades of stunt work and second-unit directing experience into 96 minutes of runtime, Stahelski and Leitch expertly deliver one action highlight after another in a near-nonstop thrill ride. With a tendency to favor skillfully framed master shots over quick cuts from multiple angles, he immerses viewers in dynamic onscreen clashes that recall John Woo's classic bullet ballets with an overlay of emotional intensity. "John Wick," a Lionsgate release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for strong and bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use. Running time: 96 minutes. ---- MPAA rating definition for R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. ____ Online: http://www.johnwickthemovie.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michelin awards San Francisco two new 3-star restaurants
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Michelin awards San Francisco two new 3-star restaurants

San Francisco has made a major culinary leap in the 2015 edition of the Michelin guide, with the addition of two new restaurants, Benu and Saison, earning three stars.For the ninth edition of the red guide for the San Francisco Bay Area and wine country, inspectors expanded the three-star club -- an exclusive club anchored for years by The French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood -- by adding two popular dining destinations which both serve Asian-inspired cuisines. At Benu, chef Corey Lee is known for his mastery of classic French techniques as well as his masterful combinations of Asian flavors -- Chinese, Korean, Japanese -- with New American cuisine. Think oyster, pork belly and kimchi; lobster coral xiao long bao; and his signature, faux shark fin soup made with Dungeness crab and Jinhua ham custard. Likewise, chef Joshua Skenes taps the flavors of Asian gastronomy and local, seasonal ingredients at Saison to develop a distinctly Californian menu that may include plates like smoked, cured chunk of sturgeon belly on kelp, topped with caviar, and gelee made from grilled sturgeon bones. “The San Francisco Bay area is among the most exciting culinary scenes in the world,” said Michelin’s international director Michael Ellis in a statement. “Californian chefs are mixing their exacting cooking technique superb local ingredients and culinary influences from all parts of the globe. The result is a rich, dynamic and unique dining scene.” Restaurant Acquerello, which serves fine Italian dining, was the only San Francisco area restaurant to collect two stars, a promotion from single star status last year. Here’s the final star count: ***4 restaurants**60 restaurants, of which one is new *30 restaurants, of which two are new Bib Gourmand78 restaurants, of which 11 are new Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Pakistani Nobel laureate honored in Philadelphia
Wednesday Oct 22, 2014
Pakistani Nobel laureate honored in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pakistani teenager awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote girls' education brought her passion for learning to Philadelphia, where she received the Liberty Medal on Tuesday. In accepting the honor, Malala Yousafzai implored world leaders to spend money on supporting learning, not wars, and to solve their differences with words. "Education is the best weapon against poverty, ignorance and terrorism," she said. Yousafzai, 17, recently became the world's youngest Nobel laureate. Organizers of the Liberty Medal ceremony didn't know that would be the case when they decided months ago to honor her. But the coincidence might have been expected: She has become the seventh medal recipient to subsequently receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The medal is given annually at the National Constitution Center to someone who strives to secure freedom for people around the world. Tuesday's ceremony included speeches from women with powerful stories about education, including Minnijean Brown Trickey, who helped integrate an Arkansas high school in 1957, and University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann, a first-generation college student who rose to lead an Ivy League school. Gutmann, also a board member of the Constitution Center, praised Yousafzai for her "compelling vision and immense courage." "An educated mind is the most powerful force for good on our planet," Gutmann said. Yousafzai began her activism six years ago by using an alias to write for the BBC about living under Taliban rule. In 2012, a Taliban gunman shot her in the head while she was returning from school because of her vocal support for gender equality and education for girls. She ended up being treated for her injury in Britain, where she recovered and now lives with her family. She attends a high school for girls but continues activism on those issues through speaking engagements, a best-selling book and a nonprofit organization called the Malala Fund. Yousafzai said Tuesday that when the Taliban went to Pakistan's Swat Valley, where she lived with her family, she had two options: not speak and wait to be killed or speak and then be killed. "Why should I not speak?" she said. "It is our duty." She said the Taliban "made a big mistake" trying to silence her. The day she was shot, she said, "Weakness, fear and hopelessness died, and strength, power and courage were born." Her appearance in Philadelphia came less than two weeks after she became the youngest Nobel laureate, sharing the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, a children's rights activist from India. The Liberty Medal comes with a $100,000 award, which Yousafzai said she'll spend in Pakistan on children who need education and other support. Previous recipients of the Liberty Medal who went on to win the Peace Prize include former South African President Nelson Mandela, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former President Jimmy Carter. The National Constitution Center is dedicated to increasing public understanding of the Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. ___ Online: http://www.constitutioncenter.org http://www.malalafund.org ___ Follow Kathy Matheson at http://www.twitter.com/kmatheson Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

How Cooper will stay limber for 'Elephant Man'
Tuesday Oct 21, 2014
How Cooper will stay limber for 'Elephant Man'

NEW YORK (AP) — Bradley Cooper will contort his limbs into uncomfortable positions for eight shows a week when he begins his run in the Broadway revival of "The Elephant Man." That means he'll need to take extra care of his body to stay limber. "I have an inversion table. That's a new thing, it goes like that," Cooper said while using hand motions to show the up and down tilting of his body on the table. He'll use it twice a day and have a chiropractor nearby. The play by Bernard Pomerance, which premiered at the Booth Theatre in 1979, shows some two dozen snapshots in the life of the grotesque Joseph Merrick, tracing his journey from an abused circus freak to a curiosity of London's high society. Cooper won't use prosthetics, opting instead to imply disfigurement through facial expression and twisted posture. Cooper, an Academy Award nominee, already knows the physical demands of portraying the character onstage from a short run at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2012. "I got to research the real guy and I just fell in love with who he was a human being, as a man," Cooper said. "It's been a wonderful, eye-opening experience into that world of the late 1800s in London and Leicester and what he went through." Cooper became fascinated by Merrick's life after seeing the 1980 film version by David Lynch, which he cites as the catalyst for wanting to pursue a career in acting. But he wasn't acquainted with the stage production until much later, when he was studying at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York. "It wasn't until grad school where we had to choose a thesis and I came across Bernard Pomerance's play," Cooper said, adding that Merrick had loomed large for him growing up: "I probably thought about him maybe every day since I was 12, so I took a shot at it and it seemed to feel like a fit." But the actor has had a busy schedule over the past few years, so it took a little more than a whim for him to thread the boards for the play's 14-week Broadway run starting Nov. 7. "We wanted to keep the cast, including the interns, who were interns in Williamstown, and it had to be at the Booth Theatre, which is where it originated. To me it's the only place you could have this play exist and we got both, thank god," Cooper said. Cooper, a veteran of "The Hangover" franchise, will join a special list of actors to portray Merrick, including Philp Anglim, David Bowie, John Hurt and Billy Crudup. The Pomerance play emphasizes Merrick's humanity — there's even a love interest — and his civility despite his appearance. Cooper said that's what drew him to the work. "There's this love story and you also get a sense of Merrick being a real survivor and having a real wisdom about him," Cooper said. "It's sort of heartbreaking in the face of reality and the limits that faced him." ___ Online: http://www.elephantmanbroadway.com ___ Follow AP Entertainment producer John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.