Tuesday Jul 22, 2014

CGames: Ten to watch in Glasgow

Ten to watch at the 2014 Commonwealth Games which get under way in Glasgow on Wednesday:Usain Bolt JAM - Athletics The towering Jamaican is the arguably the biggest name in world sport and his presence in Glasgow, albeit solely in the 4x100m relay, is a huge boost for the Commonwealth Games....
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TV

CGames: Ten to watch in Glasgow
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
CGames: Ten to watch in Glasgow

Ten to watch at the 2014 Commonwealth Games which get under way in Glasgow on Wednesday:Usain Bolt JAM - Athletics The towering Jamaican is the arguably the biggest name in world sport and his presence in Glasgow, albeit solely in the 4x100m relay, is a huge boost for the Commonwealth Games. The 27-year-old six-time Olympic gold medallist and double sprint world record holder ensures that the world media's attention will be focused on Scotland. Fans will only be hoping that he might still be able to compete in individual events and really light up the Games. David Rudisha KEN - Athletics The 800m world record holder has made an impressive long-awaited return from injury, clocking the world's fastest two laps this season at no lesser place than Glasgow. That appearance was Rudisha's first since he stormed to his world-record setting Olympic gold medal showing in London in 2012, covering 800m in just over 101 seconds. But he will face stiff competition in Glasgow, notably from his own teammates and Ugandan rivals. Mohammed Farah GBR - Athletics Somali-born Farah stormed to British acclaim when he won both the 5,000 and 10,000m at the London Olympics, becoming one of the "local" faces that helped set the Games out as one of the most successful ever. He went on to win the double at the 2013 Moscow worlds but was unsure whether he would actually compete in Glasgow after dabbling with the marathon. After an eighth place in London, he stepped back in distance and Glasgow breathed a sigh of relief. Sally Pearson AUS - Athletics The Australian is rumoured to be going for a double in Glasgow, in her usual 100m hurdles and also the 100m flat. Coming back from injury, the 27-year-old Queenslander has at times struggled this season, but will be wanting, perhaps, to better her outing over 100m in New Delhi four years ago, where she was stripped of the title for a dubious false-start on appeal. DJ Forbes NZL - Rugby Sevens The 31-year-old has been with the all-conquering New Zealand rugby sevens team since 2006, the shaven-headed flanker a stalwart of Gordon Tietjen's squad that has so far won all four Commonwealth Games titles and dominated the IRB world circuit throughout. Forbes' abrasive defence ties in perfectly with a great linking and supportive game that makes the All Blacks tick, more often to victory. Nicola Adams GBR - Boxing Adams won the first ever Olympic women's boxing gold medal at the London Games in 2012 when she defeated China's world champion Ren Cancan. Adams started boxing at the age of twelve and had her first bout a year later. In 2007, she was the first ever English female to earn a medal in a major tournament when she won silver in the European Championships. Alicia Coutts AUS - Swimming The 26-year-old Coutts has won 21 medals for Australia in major championships over the past four years. That haul included five medals at the 2012 Olympics including one gold. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Coutts was the most decorated swimmer winning gold in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200 individual medley, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay. Nicol David MAS - Squash The 30-year-old seven-time world champion and global number one David completed her collection of major international titles with Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi. In Glasgow, Nicol will also be out to win Malaysia's first medal in the women's doubles with teammate Low Wee Wern. David is an eight-time Asian champion and once also enjoyed a 13-month, 51-match winning streak, from March 2006 until April 2007. Anna Meares AUS - Cycling Meares will be defending her 500m time trial and individual sprint titles in Glasgow and equal fellow cyclist Kathy Watt's Australian record of competing at four Commonwealth Games. Meares is also a four-time world champion in the time trial. The 30-year-old from Queensland is also a two-time Olympic gold medallist having won the 500m time trial in 2004 and sprint at London eight years later. Bradley Wiggins GBR - Cycling The 34-year-old Wiggins made history in 2012 when he became the first British rider to win the Tour de France before going on to take the gold medal in the Olympics time trial. He had already won three track gold in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Knighted for his services to the sport, his record didn't guarantee him a place at the 2014 Tour de France when he was dropped by his Sky team. lp-dj Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Kris Jenner to publish Kardashian family cookbook
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Kris Jenner to publish Kardashian family cookbook

'Momager' Kris Jenner, matriarch of the reality TV Kardashian clan, is set to publish a family cookbook with the upcoming release of “In the Kitchen with Kris, a Kollection of Kardashian-Jenner Family Favorites.”Though details are sparse, the cookbook is set for an October release and will feature family recipes and entertaining tips by the woman who has made an empire of the Kardashian name. According to the International Business Times, Jenner, who often entertains friends at home, decided to write a cookery book because of the many recipe requests she gets from friends. Aside from a “mean grilled cheese sandwich,” photos of a cream pie and vegetable-topped pasta, there are few other details on the types of recipes readers can expect to find in the book thus far. The cookbook is the latest among media projects for Jenner that included a short-lived stint hosting a daytime TV talk show which was canceled due to poor ratings and a best-selling memoir "Kris Jenner… And All Things Kardashian." Jenner joins "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice who also parlayed her reality TV fame into a cookbook. Jenner’s book, published by Gallery Books, is due to be released October 21. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Prince George, 'style icon', to celebrate first birthday
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Prince George, 'style icon', to celebrate first birthday

Britain's Prince George celebrates his first birthday on Tuesday, capping a year in which the globetrotting infant became the trend-setting face of the modern royal family.The young prince will mark the occasion with a low-key party at the family home at Kensington Palace, in keeping with the wishes of his parents William and Kate to keep their first-born out of the media glare. The royals released a new photograph of George on Saturday showing how much he has grown. Taken a few weeks ago during a visit to London's Natural History Museum, the picture shows the prince walking confidently with his arms outstretched. The photographer, John Stillwell, said the future king was "very lively and very sure of himself and confident -- a very determined young boy". The cherubic royal has charmed onlookers during his few appearances in the public eye, particularly during a recent visit to Australia and New Zealand. And the arrival of the third in line to the British throne has provided a feel-good factor that has given the royal family a major boost. Influential magazine Vanity Fair celebrated George's birthday by putting him on its front cover, calling him a "media star, style icon and PR triumph", and the world's "most eligible infant." This is high praise for a one-year-old, but perhaps inevitable given the popularity of William and Kate, the young, fun and relatively modern face of the royals. With William's brother Harry -- - who has joked that his nephew looks like a "young Winston Churchill" -- they have helped rebuild the family's image following its much-criticised response to the death of the princes' mother Diana in a 1997 Paris car crash. George will spend his birthday surrounded by close family and friends at home, in sharp contrast to William, who spent his first birthday at home with his nanny while parents Prince Charles and Diana toured Canada. Royal expert Katie Nicholl rejects suggestions that Charles was a cold parent, however, saying he was partly responsible for William becoming "the modern dad". "Charles loved doing bath time and was a doting and loving father, so William is taking a leaf out Charles's book," she told AFP. - 'Loud baby' - George Alexander Louis was born at 4.24 pm (15:24GMT) at London's St. Mary's Hospital on July 22, 2013, weighing eight pounds and six ounces (3.8kg). The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revealed that George was a loud baby and cried a lot in the early days because he was always hungry. Over his first year, the young prince is estimated to have consumed 2,901 litres of breast milk, been burped around 4,092 times and gone through 2,735 nappies, according to research conducted by baby-gift website my1styears.com. George, the great-grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, "doesn't go to play groups", said Nicholl, but he enjoys play dates with the young children of friends. He appeared comfortable when romping with other tots during a play date in New Zealand, as part of the family's official three-week visit Down Under. Kate's fashion choices are closely watched and Prince George is building up his own following. "It's the way his parents dress him in traditional clothes, like collared shirts and smart little shorts which really make him so cute and stylish," said Nicholl, author of biography "Kate -- the Future Queen". My1styears founder Daniel Price added: "If he's spotted wearing or doing anything, then it becomes a sell out or a new trend every mum and dad wants a part of." Guests to the birthday party are faced with the quandary of what to buy for the baby with everything, but there is one pleasure even a pampered prince will have to defer. "One thing George will be receiving is a magnum of red wine from the Otago Valley in New Zealand, which the couple visited in April," said Nicholl. "It will be laid down in the cellar at Kensington Palace until he turns 18." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Milan launches fashion film festival
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Milan launches fashion film festival

Recognized in recent years as a genre and an art form all its own, the fashion film will soon be in the spotlight in Milan. This September, at the start of fashion week, the city will host the very first Fashion Film Festival Milano.Already known the world over for its fashion week, Milan hopes to build on its reputation to launch a new forum for celebrating fashion films. Founded and directed by Constanza Cavalli Etro, with support from the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the festival is the first of its kind in Italy and will offer exposure and recognition for emerging talent. Scheduled to take place over two days at the start of fashion week (September 14-15), the festival will include two sections: an exhibition and a competition. The exhibition will take a look back at the best fashion films made by established names and leading brands, while the competition will showcase a selection of emerging directors and their short films relating to fashion. Prizes will then be awarded in the categories of best fashion film, best Italian fashion film, best emerging brand/designer, best director, best styling, best art direction, best editing and best music. For up-and-coming directors interested in an opportunity to present their work, the competition is open to the public and submissions may be made via the festival's website:www.fffmilano.com/submission. Paris also hosts a fashion film festival, A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF), which has also gone on tour to cities like New York and Tokyo. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Carrie returns with a dangerous mission in 'Homeland'
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Carrie returns with a dangerous mission in 'Homeland'

Showtime has just released new footage from the fourth season of its political drama, which returns in October.After the teaser unveiled last week, the new trailer reveals additional details on the fourth season of "Homeland," showing Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in a series of dangerous situations. The lead actress is surrounded by several new cast members, including Raza Jaffrey ("Smash"), Michael O'Keefe ("Roseanne"), Suraj Sharma ("Life of Pi") and Corey Stoll ("House of Cards"). And Mandy Patinkin, F. Murray Abraham and Rupert Friend have returned to their roles as Saul Berenson, Dar Adal and Peter Quinn respectively. After tying up multiple ends in an intense third season centered on Brody (Damian Lewis), the series is headed for something of a reboot with its fourth run. The action takes place in Istanbul, where Carrie is now in charge of one of the most dangerous CIA stations in the Middle East. Airing since 2011, "Homeland" won over the public and critics alike and claimed several awards in 2012 and 2013, including the Golden Globes for Best Drama and Best Actress as well as the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series both years. Critics found the third season less convincing, and the series was not even shortlisted for the 71st Golden Globes in January nor for the 66th Emmy Awards, which will take place on August 25. Audiences were more enthusiastic, however, and the season three finale was the most-watched episode in the show's history, with 2.4 million viewers. Season four premieres October 5 on Showtime. Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/-A6vKiOM0Ws Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Movies

Working late in life, directors refuse to say cut
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Working late in life, directors refuse to say cut

Visiting a retired Frank Capra at his Sierra Nevada hideaway, Clint Eastwood was baffled. "I always thought: He could be making a film right now. He's as lucid as could be. Here's the great Frank Capra not doing it,'" Eastwood recalled of the famed director, who died in 1991 at 94, three decades after his last film. "I always thought, 'I wonder why that is?'" Eastwood, who at 84 just released the musical "Jersey Boys" and wrapped shooting on the Navy SEAL drama "American Sniper," isn't the only filmmaker blowing past conventional retirement age. This Friday, Woody Allen, 78, will, like clockwork, release his latest, the French Riviera romantic comedy "Magic in the Moonlight." He's also already on to the next one, shooting in Rhode Island this summer. In June came "Venus in Fur," from 80-year-old Roman Polanski. And in May, 83-year-old Jean-Luc Godard, the perpetual enfant terrible, premiered his 3-D "Goodbye to Language" at the Cannes Film Festival. Both European iconoclasts remain as mischievous in old age as Allen and Eastwood have been steadfast. Polanski's film is a gloriously comic, self-referential gender play. Godard's film — in which his dog played a starring role — was more experimental than most 25-year-old's would dare. It was greeted in Cannes by an audience member's cry: "Godard forever!" At a time when literary giants like Philip Roth, 81, and Alice Munro, 83, have quit their craft, many of cinema's auteurs have stubbornly persisted, while at the same time churning out frequently acclaimed, often vibrant films in a youth-driven industry. "In Hollywood there is that kind of hackneyed, commercial thinking where they think, 'Oh, this guy is over the hill, this guy can't direct that kind of picture,'" says Allen. "But the truth of the matter is that in my lifetime, there have been many directors like John Ford, John Huston, Billy Wilder who were wonderful as they got older and they made sometimes better pictures than they made when they were younger." Certainly, film history is littered with directors who worked well past retirement age. Akira Kurosawa, Sidney Lumet and Robert Altman all worked into their 80s, producing some fine films: Altman's "Gosford Park," Kurosawa's "Dreams," Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead." Huston, at 81, died months after the release of "The Dead," his Oscar-nominated adaptation of the James Joyce story. The French film director Alain Resnais was active right up to his passing, at 91, in March. Such longevity would only be possible for widely admired filmmakers who still have the drive to tell a story and the industry weight to attract financing. Because of tight-fisted studios, it's arguably harder today to get a movie made than ever before, adding to what's already a hugely taxing profession that demands tremendous energy and attentiveness through years of pre-production, shooting, editing and promotion. Martin Scorsese, 71, sounded slightly dejected by this part of contemporary moviemaking when releasing "The Wolf of Wall Street," an explicit romp of a movie few would associate with a director in his 70s. But it also took years to get a green light. "The problem is, it's too much," Scorsese said last year. "It's almost becoming that I want to do so much, and when you get to this vantage point, there's not much time left." Around the same time, Scorsese guessed he had about two movies left in him: "Who knows?" he said. "You may have a couple of minutes left. You may have 20 years left." Few have kept their edge like Scorsese. Late-period films are generally more placid things. Often, even a good film for a master filmmaker late in life is merely a footnote to their younger, more urgent work. Such a fear has previously prompted Quentin Tarantino, 51, to declare that he'll never become "an old-man filmmaker." He has instead suggested he will quit moviemaking around 60 so as to not dilute his filmography with weaker rehashes. But such catalog care is of little concern for others, who continually filter their lives through a camera lens. Between the two of them, Eastwood and Allen have combined to make a staggering 20 films since turning 70. What compels them to make a film year after year? The answer, Allen said in an earlier interview, is pure distraction from sitting at home pondering, "Gee, life is meaningless. We're all going to die." "I get to get up in the morning and go into work and there's Penelope Cruz, these beautiful women and scintillating guys — Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg," said Allen. "So I'm distracted for the day with trivial problems." If for Allen filmmaking is a way to order his day-to-day life, for Eastwood, it's a means for staying young. Age, he says, is "a mental outlook." Maintaining interest — movies or anything else — is his secret to life. One striking commonality between the likes of Allen, Eastwood and even Godard is that none are abundantly precious about their films. None, for example, are likely to go past take two or spend five years laboring over a project. Whatever keeps them going, one director has them all handily beat. The Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira is 105. Earlier this year, he shot his latest, a short about Portuguese history. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Here's sellin' to you, kid. Casablanca piano up for sale
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Here's sellin' to you, kid. Casablanca piano up for sale

The iconic piano from Hollywood romance "Casablanca" goes on sale at auction in New York in November, the highlight of more than two dozen collectors' items from the fabled war-time classic."Play it, Sam," says a stunning Ingrid Berman, cajoling Dooley Wilson into singing "As Time Goes By" before a moody Humphrey Bogart storms over to find his ex-lover sitting in his nightclub. Wilson's character Sam first played the song on the piano for Bogart's character Rick and Bergman's Ilsa when they fell in love in Paris as Nazi troops advanced on the French capital. The salmon-colored instrument is the star of more than 30 items from the 1942 black and white movie offered for sale on November 24 by Bonhams auction house and Turner Classic Movies. Also on sale are the doors of "Rick's Cafe Americain," Bogart's nightclub where Bergman asks Bogart to help her fugitive Czech resistance leader husband escape to America. Other lots include passports and transit papers created for the film, a final draft screenplay, signed photographs of the cast and production memos. All of the lots come from a private collector. "Bonhams is thrilled to represent this remarkable 'Casablanca' collection, certainly one of the most significant film memorabilia collections still in private hands," said Catherine Williamson, director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams. The auction house expects the piano to sell for seven figures. It last sold for $602,500 at auction in 2012, below Sotheby's then estimate of $800,000 to $1.2 million. The sale also features a host of other collector pieces from other films, including a test dress and pinafore designed for Judy Garland for the 1939 production of "The Wizard of Oz." The items will go on display in preview exhibitions held in Los Angeles from November 6-9 and in New York from November 20-24. "Casablanca" is ranked one of the greatest American films of all time by the American Film Institute. The Warner Bros movie won three Oscars in 1943 for Best Picture, Best Writing (Screenplay) and Best Director. It is perhaps best known for Bogart's catchphrase to Bergman "Here's lookin' at you, kid." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'X-Men' VR experience coming to Comic-Con
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
'X-Men' VR experience coming to Comic-Con

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Comic-Con attendees will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enter the mind of Professor X. 20th Century Fox has created an "X-Men"-themed virtual reality stunt especially for the pop-culture convention, which kicks off Thursday in San Diego. The interactive digital experience utilizes the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, which is not yet available to consumers, to simulate the fictional Cerebro technology used to track down mutants by the character portrayed by Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy in the "X-Men" films. The 360-degree, 90-second virtual adventure will take place on the Comic-Con show floor inside Fox's booth, where attendees will sit in a replica of Professor X's wheelchair and virtually hunt shape-shifting mutant Mystique in the San Diego Convention Center. Each experience will be recorded and made available for users to share on social media. Fox is using the VR stunt to promote the Oct. 14 Blu-ray release of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." At its booth on the Comic-Con show floor, the studio will sell limited-edition copies of a Blu-ray box set that includes all the "X-Men" films in a replica of the Cerebro helmet. It won't be the only use of an Oculus Rift headset at Comic-Con. Outside the convention center at an interactive zone at Petco Park, Fox is also employing the VR technology to transport users to the fictional town depicted in the TV series "Sleepy Hollow." The second season of the supernatural series is set to debut on the network this fall. Fox's use of the technology at Comic-Con is the latest example of how Oculus is making in-roads with Hollywood. HBO similarly used the technology to promote "Game of Thrones" with a virtual rendition of the fantasy series' icy 700-foot-tall wall during a recent exhibition. During a demonstration of the "X-Men" experience to The Associated Press ahead of its Comic-Con debut, the short interactive film narrated by a Patrick Stewart sound-a-like mimicked what it might look like to roll into the iconic domed Cerebro chamber depicted in the "X-Men" films and harness Professor X's telepathic powers to spot characters like Wolverine in a crowd. Over the past two years, Oculus' immersive VR technology, which covers users' eyes and reacts to head movement, has received considerable attention from video game developers, but it hasn't been released yet for consumers. Facebook purchased the company behind the technology earlier this year for $2 billion. Several networks, studios and publishers use Comic-Con to hype their upcoming entertainment releases with premieres, panels, autograph sessions, one-time-only stunts and interactive attractions in downtown San Diego. This year's promotional efforts include Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed: Unity" obstacle course and Paramount and Pizza Hut's full-size replica of the Pizza Thrower vehicle — complete with a working pizza-tossing cannon — from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Milan launches fashion film festival
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Milan launches fashion film festival

Recognized in recent years as a genre and an art form all its own, the fashion film will soon be in the spotlight in Milan. This September, at the start of fashion week, the city will host the very first Fashion Film Festival Milano.Already known the world over for its fashion week, Milan hopes to build on its reputation to launch a new forum for celebrating fashion films. Founded and directed by Constanza Cavalli Etro, with support from the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the festival is the first of its kind in Italy and will offer exposure and recognition for emerging talent. Scheduled to take place over two days at the start of fashion week (September 14-15), the festival will include two sections: an exhibition and a competition. The exhibition will take a look back at the best fashion films made by established names and leading brands, while the competition will showcase a selection of emerging directors and their short films relating to fashion. Prizes will then be awarded in the categories of best fashion film, best Italian fashion film, best emerging brand/designer, best director, best styling, best art direction, best editing and best music. For up-and-coming directors interested in an opportunity to present their work, the competition is open to the public and submissions may be made via the festival's website:www.fffmilano.com/submission. Paris also hosts a fashion film festival, A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF), which has also gone on tour to cities like New York and Tokyo. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

How to win a private screening of 'Star Wars 7'
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
How to win a private screening of 'Star Wars 7'

It's the Star Wars news of the day: J.J. Abrams is giving fans a chance to win a private screening of the movie in their hometown for up to 20 friends.As part of his Star Wars: Force for Change fundraising initiative in support of UNICEF, J.J. Abrams has announced that one lucky supporter will win a private screening of "Star Wars: Episode VII" before the movie hits theaters. Also among the prizes up for grabs is the chance to have a cameo in the film. Those interested can enter the competition by donating to the initiative through the fundraising platform Omaze.  Made on the set of the next "Star Wars" movie at Pinewood Studios, the video announcing the competition shows an X-Wing, the type of craft used by the rebel fighters in the previous episodes to attack the Death Star.  Another piece of information on the franchise has cropped up recently, although this one is unofficial: the screenplay may have been leaked to the internet, according to Badass Digest. While it is known that the new episode will take place 30 years after the end of "Return of the Jedi," no other details have been officially confirmed. But the website reports, among other claims, that the opening scene will show a severed hand gripping a light saber floating through space, which falls onto a desert planet inhabited by the movie's protagonists. "Star Wars: Episode VII" is currently being shot in Puzzlewood, England, a location that suggests the possible return of the Ewoks. To find out whether the "leaked" screenplay is indeed the official one, fans will have to wait until December 18, 2015, or for the lucky contest winner, until the private screening. Watch the video for J.J. Abrams' Force for Change initiative: http://youtu.be/xWBGrkc360M Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Milan launches fashion film festival
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Milan launches fashion film festival

Recognized in recent years as a genre and an art form all its own, the fashion film will soon be in the spotlight in Milan. This September, at the start of fashion week, the city will host the very first Fashion Film Festival Milano.Already known the world over for its fashion week, Milan hopes to build on its reputation to launch a new forum for celebrating fashion films. Founded and directed by Constanza Cavalli Etro, with support from the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the festival is the first of its kind in Italy and will offer exposure and recognition for emerging talent. Scheduled to take place over two days at the start of fashion week (September 14-15), the festival will include two sections: an exhibition and a competition. The exhibition will take a look back at the best fashion films made by established names and leading brands, while the competition will showcase a selection of emerging directors and their short films relating to fashion. Prizes will then be awarded in the categories of best fashion film, best Italian fashion film, best emerging brand/designer, best director, best styling, best art direction, best editing and best music. For up-and-coming directors interested in an opportunity to present their work, the competition is open to the public and submissions may be made via the festival's website:www.fffmilano.com/submission. Paris also hosts a fashion film festival, A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF), which has also gone on tour to cities like New York and Tokyo. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Carrie returns with a dangerous mission in 'Homeland'
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
Carrie returns with a dangerous mission in 'Homeland'

Showtime has just released new footage from the fourth season of its political drama, which returns in October.After the teaser unveiled last week, the new trailer reveals additional details on the fourth season of "Homeland," showing Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in a series of dangerous situations. The lead actress is surrounded by several new cast members, including Raza Jaffrey ("Smash"), Michael O'Keefe ("Roseanne"), Suraj Sharma ("Life of Pi") and Corey Stoll ("House of Cards"). And Mandy Patinkin, F. Murray Abraham and Rupert Friend have returned to their roles as Saul Berenson, Dar Adal and Peter Quinn respectively. After tying up multiple ends in an intense third season centered on Brody (Damian Lewis), the series is headed for something of a reboot with its fourth run. The action takes place in Istanbul, where Carrie is now in charge of one of the most dangerous CIA stations in the Middle East. Airing since 2011, "Homeland" won over the public and critics alike and claimed several awards in 2012 and 2013, including the Golden Globes for Best Drama and Best Actress as well as the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series both years. Critics found the third season less convincing, and the series was not even shortlisted for the 71st Golden Globes in January nor for the 66th Emmy Awards, which will take place on August 25. Audiences were more enthusiastic, however, and the season three finale was the most-watched episode in the show's history, with 2.4 million viewers. Season four premieres October 5 on Showtime. Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/-A6vKiOM0Ws Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'Simpsons' marathon, digital Simpsons World coming
Monday Jul 21, 2014
'Simpsons' marathon, digital Simpsons World coming

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be followed this fall by a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. A website and app dubbed "Simpsons World" will allow on-demand access to all of the 500-plus episodes of Fox's animated comedy and enable users to search through the life histories of Mr. Burns, Bart and other lemon-hued Springfield residents. "I'm not going to overpromise, but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care," longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean told a TV critics' meeting Monday. He said the accompanying app "completely blew me away." SimpsonsWorld.com and content available through FXNOW apps for devices including iPhone, Xbox and smart TVs are set to debut in October. FXX's marathon showing of all "Simpsons" episodes and "The Simpsons Movie," in chronological order, will begin Aug. 21 and air 24 hours a day through Sept. 1. Beginning on Sept. 2, FXX will regularly air "The Simpsons" throughout its weekday and weekend schedule, with a Sunday "mini-marathon" of eight episodes. "Simpsons World," the encyclopedic book by series creator Matt Groening, was the "bible" for the digital content, FX Networks executives said. Fans of Sideshow Bob, for instance, will see "curated" material that includes a list of his attempted murder victims Krusty the Clown and Homer Simpson, among others. Clips and the treasure trove of "Simpsons" factoids can be shared through social media. FXX announced last November that it had secured exclusive cable and video-on-demand rights to TV's longest-running scripted show and winner of 28 Emmy Awards. For the first time in 20 years, however, the show missed out on a top-series nomination for this year's awards, airing Aug. 25. FXX will get future seasons of "The Simpsons" that air new on Fox. ___ Follow Lynn Elber on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Burke fashions epic story in 'Wayfaring Stranger'
Monday Jul 21, 2014
Burke fashions epic story in 'Wayfaring Stranger'

"Wayfaring Stranger" (Simon & Schuster), by James Lee Burke Author James Lee Burke is a descendant of tough Texas lawmen. In fact, his maternal great-grandfather once tangled with some of the West's most notorious gunslingers. Although Burke is most famous for hard-boiled crime novels featuring Louisiana lawman Dave Robicheaux, he has written seven fine novels inspired by the Hollan side of his family, changing the surname to Holland when he introduced Hackberry Holland, a hard-drinking lawyer, in "Lay Down My Sword and Shield" in 1971. In "Wayfaring Stranger," he introduces another member of the family, Weldon Avery Holland. When we first meet him, it's 1934, and Weldon, a teenager, is living on a hardscrabble Texas farm with his mentally ill mother and his grumpy grandfather, the man who had fought the likes of John Wesley Hardin, Bill Dalton and Pancho Villa. But now, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker wander into their lives, hiding out on the edge of the Holland property between bank robberies. Unsure if they are evil thugs or the avenging angels Depression-era popular culture made them out to be, Weldon is haunted by the encounter. But later, as a second lieutenant, Weldon and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, discover what true evil is when a Waffen SS Tiger tank nearly takes their lives. Separated from their unit, they accidentally wander into an abandoned Nazi death camp where Weldon saves a young woman named Rosita Lowenstein, who eventually agrees to be his wife. After the war, Weldon and Hershel return to Texas where they go into business together, building pipelines for the booming oil business. But rich and politically well-connected Texans are eager to destroy their business and acquire the unique welding process they have patented. The two friends want to believe they left evil behind in Europe, but they soon discover that anti-Semitism is not foreign to American soil, and that rampant greed is just another form of evil. The forces arrayed against Weldon and Hershel bear down on them with all the force of a freight train, tearing at their marriages, threatening them with prison and even attempting to take their lives. The epic story Burke has fashioned is thick with tension to the very end. His characters, both heroes and villains, are superbly well drawn, and as in every Burke novel, the poetic descriptions of both urban and country settings bring Texas to life on the page. Burke's last three novels, "Light of the World," ''Creole Belle" and "Feast Day of Fools," were arguably his best. "Wayfaring Stranger" joins them as one of his most powerful and ambitious novels to date. ___ Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award, is the author of three crime novels including "Providence Rag." ___ Online: http://www.jamesleeburke.com/ http://brucedesilva.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Design book of the week: Hollywood in the 30s
Sunday Jul 20, 2014
Design book of the week: Hollywood in the 30s

It is almost a century since the ‘golden age’ of Hollywood came around, yet the birth of Tinseltown and the decade following it is still regarded as one of the most glamorous eras of the 1900s. “Hollywood in the 1930s” turns the lens on the home of the original motion picture, starting with Charlie Chaplin’s silent films and graduating through to color movies such as “The Wizard of Oz.”The result of collaboration between German illustrator and artist Robert Nippoldt and author and film critic Daniel Kothenschulte, the book turns the spotlight on the “movers and shakers of the age”, from directors and stars to movie sets, costume departments and more.This edition is a translation of the German edition, which won a host of awards, including the Red Dot Design Award and “Cinema Book of the Year” at the German Film Institute when it was first released in 2011.“This enchanting journey in images and words takes the reader back in Tinseltown time, direct to the heart, and the sheer movie-making thrill, of a decisive cinematic decade,” claims publisher Taschen."Hollywood in the 30s" will be available to purchase in Engish, French and Spanish from September for €39.99 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.