Hollywood rallies to save celluloid

Posted by MereNews On July - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Quentin TarantinoPulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino has been lobbying studio bosses

Movie directors including Quentin Tarantino and JJ Abrams are leading an attempt to save the last Kodak factory that manufactures physical film stock.

The digital revolution has led sales of movie film to drop by 96% since 2006.

Tarantino, Abrams and fellow directors Christopher Nolan and Judd Apatow have persuaded Hollywood studios to commit to placing long-term orders, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Kodak told the paper a deal should save the factory in Rochester, New York.

The studios have agreed preliminary orders with Kodak and are now “negotiating formal commitments”, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While many film-makers have switched to digital equipment, some retain an affection for physical film.

‘Undeniably beautiful’

Abrams, who is currently shooting Star Wars Episode VII on film, told the paper that the format “sets the standard for quality”.

“There’s something about film that is undeniably beautiful, undeniably organic and natural and real,” he said.

“Film sets the standard and once it’s no longer available, the ability to shoot the benchmark goes away.”

Studios are expected to agree to order a set quantity of film per year for the next several years.

Hollywood united

Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of Weinstein Co, said he had been lobbied by Quentin Tarantino.

“It’s a financial commitment, no doubt about it,” Weinstein said. “But I don’t think we could look some of our film-makers in the eyes if we didn’t do it.”

Warner Bros chief executive Kevin Tsujihara said: “In an industry where we very rarely have unanimity, everyone has rallied around keeping film as an option for the foreseeable future.”

Kodak is the only major company left producing motion-picture film, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Kodak spokesperson Louise Kehoe told The Hollywood Reporter the company is “very hopeful that an agreement will be put into place”.


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Tom Brook reports on the film-makers trying to ‘save’ film

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28559326#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Lawyers quit director’s sex case

Posted by MereNews On July - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Bryan SingerBryan Singer’s lawyer has dismissed the claims as ‘completely without merit’

Lawyers acting for a man who claims he was sexually abused by X-Men director Bryan Singer have asked to withdraw from the case.

Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher have filed a court motion saying they no longer want to represent Michael Egan.

The pair said their relationship with Mr Egan had “broken down completely and cannot be repaired”.

Mr Egan accuses Mr Singer of abusing him when he was 17, a claim the film-maker strenuously denies.

Mr Egan, a former child model and aspiring actor who is now 31, has alleged that he was lured into a sex ring at parties at which Mr Singer was present.

Out-of-court settlement

He has filed a legal action seeking more than $75,000 (£44,500) for each of the four charges, listed as battery, assault, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Mr Singer’s lawyer has dismissed the accusations as “completely without merit”.

“Bryan and his team will continue to fight to clear his name and intend to pursue charges of malicious prosecution against Egan,” Mr Singer’s lawyer Marty Singer said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Marty Singer, who is not related to the director, said Mr Egan wanted to settle out of court for a relatively low amount, demonstrating a “lack of confidence in their chances for success” in court.

Michael Egan

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Speaking in April, Michael Egan urged other victims to come forward

Mr Egan has previously filed three similar lawsuits against other Hollywood figures. All have been dismissed.

When he first filed the complaint, his attorney Jeff Herman said: “Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children.”

The US District Court in Honolulu, Hawaii, is due to hear a motion to dismiss the case from Bryan Singer on 9 September.

The director has said he was not in Hawaii at the time of the alleged abuse and did not have sexual contact with Mr Egan.

Mr Singer has directed three instalments in the X-Men franchise as well as The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns and Jack the Giant Slayer.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28562784#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

No appeal over Rolf Harris sentence

Posted by MereNews On July - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris’s sex offences sentence will not be referred to the Court of Appeal, despite 150 complaints over its “leniency”, the attorney general’s office has said.

The disgraced entertainer was jailed for five years and nine months for 12 indecent assaults on four girls.

Complaints were lodged following his sentencing earlier this month.

In a statement, the office said the attorney general understood the decision would cause disappointment.

It said Attorney General Jeremy Wright would not refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal as “he did not think they would find it to be unduly lenient and increase it”.

‘Just and proportionate’

The office said the judge had been required to take Harris’s age into account.

“The sentencing judge was bound by the maximum sentence in force at the time of the offending,” it added.

“The judge made some of the sentences consecutive to reach the total sentence, but he could not simply add up sentences on individual counts; the overall sentence had to be just and proportionate to the overall offending.”

Harris, 84, was prosecuted in line with legislation in force during the period his offences were committed – when the maximum sentence for indecent assault was two years in prison, or five years for offences committed against victims under 13.

His offences took place between 1968 and 1986 against four girls aged seven or eight to 19.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed it has received “a number of allegations” against Harris since his conviction.

A spokesman said these further allegations were being considered.

Peter Saunders, of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood, said Harris’s sentencing could not make up for the suffering he had caused.

“A lot of people have said to me that they think that Rolf Harris got a very lenient sentence,” he said.

“But whether he was sentenced to five years or 20 years in prison, it cannot make up for the lifetime of suffering experienced by his victims.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28564695#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Actress Sally Farmiloe dies aged 60

Posted by MereNews On July - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Stephen Yardley and Sally Farmiloe in Howards' Way

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Sally Farmiloe played Dawn in Howards’ Way

Actress Sally Farmiloe, who appeared in Howards’ Way and had an affair with Jeffrey Archer during the 1990s, has died of cancer at the age of 60.

Farmiloe, born in South Africa, played a series of small TV roles before landing the part of barmaid Dawn in the popular BBC nautical soap.

But her relationship with Archer eclipsed her career when it was exposed in the press in 1999.

The novelist said he was “saddened” to hear of Farmiloe’s death.

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Jeffrey Archer

After Sally’s brave struggle against this terrible disease, I was saddened to hear the news of her death”

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Jeffrey Archer

He added that she had put up a “brave struggle” against breast cancer, which she was told last year had spread to her liver and bones.

Farmiloe’s husband and children called her “a warm and caring woman”.

She spent the latter part of her life raising funds for cancer charities, publishing a book called My Left Boob which chronicled her experiences – with all proceeds going to charity.

Farmiloe was also in the process of writing a follow-up about her battle with secondary cancer.

The actress met the former Conservative politician at a party fundraising benefit after setting up an events management company when her acting work dwindled.

The pair’s relationship propelled Farmiloe into the headlines after the affair was made public in a tabloid newspaper.

Writing in the Daily Mail last year, Farmiloe said she did not regret her relationship with Archer, but the reputation she swiftly gained.

Sally Farmiloe and Stephen Yardley in Howards' Way, 1985Sally Farmiloe’s character Dawn embarked on an affair with Ken Masters in Howards’ Way

Sally Farmiloe and Judy CornwellSally Farmiloe on stage with Judy Cornwell in a 2010 production of When The Lilac Blooms

“Overnight I acquired a new and unwelcome persona. I was no longer known as an actress and an intelligent woman with a savvy head for business. Suddenly I was a scarlet woman.”

She added that she was suddenly “persona non grata” on the after-dinner speaking circuit.

Farmiloe’s acting career encompassed a number of other small roles, including in classic sitcom Steptoe and Son and 1980s Jersey-based detective series Bergerac.

She appeared on stage on numerous occasions in London and national tours, including Absent Friends and When the Lilac Blooms.

Later on in her career, she played a number of roles in pantomime.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28560113#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Apology over Turtles ’9/11 poster’

Posted by MereNews On July - 30 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesThe Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in a US comic in 1984 before spawning an animated series and film in 1990

Paramount Pictures has apologised over a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster that accidentally referenced the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The image shows the characters jumping from an exploding New York skyscraper, above its Australian release date of 11 September.

After receiving criticism online, the film studio deleted the poster from its Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“Combining that image and date was a mistake,” Paramount Australia said.

“We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia.

Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesThe poster has been removed from Paramount Australia’s Twitter and Facebook accounts

“We intended no offence and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use.”

The combination of imagery and release date prompted anger and surprise online for its similarity to the terrorist attacks, during which desperate victims were seen jumping from the World Trade Center.

Stephen Scott tweeted: “Bad move. Poor taste.”

Suzanne Carbone added: “Really? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles jump out of fiery NY tower in poster for film released Sep 11.”

Ross O’Donovan said: “How did this slip by the marketing team?”

However others were more forgiving – Alex Shuba wrote: “Target demographic is either too young to remember or born after 9/11, and this is a foreign market – I forgive them.”

William added: “Not being from Australia, I’m not certain how much of an impact the date has on them. They probably didn’t even think of it.”

The film, which stars Megan Fox and features the voice of Johnny Knoxville as turtle character Leonardo, is due in US cinemas on 8 August.

It is not due for release in the UK until 17 October.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28560042#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Ronstadt receives White House honour

Posted by MereNews On July - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Linda RonstadtLinda Ronstadt was presented with her medal by US President Barack Obama

Grammy winning singer Linda Ronstadt has been awarded the National Medal of Arts – the highest arts honour in the US.

The 68-year-old was presented with the medal by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony.

She was honoured for her “one-of-a-kind voice and her decades of remarkable music”.

The White House added she helped “pave the way for generations of women artists”.

Ronstadt, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was brought into the East Room at the White House by wheelchair with the help of a military aide, but walked to the stage to receive the award.

When presenting the singer’s medal, President Obama revealed he “had a little crush on her back in the day”.

Linda Ronstadt and Barack Obama

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Linda Ronstadt, who has Parkinson’s disease, has won 11 Grammys and is credited for inspiring women in rock music

Inspiring women

Ronstadt got her start in the folk group Stone Poneys before forging a solo rock career in 1968.

Best known for hits such as It’s So Easy and You’re No Good, her success in the 1970s – at a time when rock was dominated by men – is credited with inspiring women in the genre for decades.

She has released more than 30 studio albums covering a range of genres including country, jazz and big band.

The singer has sold more than 100 million records, earning her 11 Grammys and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year.

The Medal of Arts is awarded to individuals and groups who “are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States”.

“The arts and humanities aren’t just there to be consumed when we have a moment… we need them,” President Obama said at the ceremony.

Eleven other arts figures were honoured, including Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, novelist Julia Alvarez, documentary film-maker Albert Maysles and choreographer Bill T Jones.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28540954#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Band ‘didn’t believe’ Watkins abuse

Posted by MereNews On July - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Sinead Garvan
Newsbeat music reporter

29 July 2014 Last updated at 05:22

No Devotion

New band No Devotion

The former members of Lostprophets have talked about their shock and disgust after finding out that singer Ian Watkins was a paedophile.

The 36-year-old was jailed for 29 years in December for a string of child sex offences.

Bassist Stuart Richardson said: “Even though I was completely done with him, I hoped it was all a mistake, he was innocent, he had to be.

“The first time, we knew the band was done. You can’t go back from that.”

In an exclusive interview with Newsbeat, the five remaining members – Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson – say they are trying to move forward with their new band, No Devotion.

The band are sitting in a north London pub, the afternoon before they play the third show on a run of four gigs.

Gaze, Richardson and Lewis say they are aware that before this band can truly begin, they have to confront the past.

They say the shock of hearing the news last year about their former frontman is still difficult to put into words.

Lloyd Webber to sue over Superstar

Posted by MereNews On July - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

John Lydon and the US cast of Jesus Christ SuperstarJohn Lydon (left) threw bananas into the audience at a press launch for the show.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production company, Really Useful Group, is suing the promoter of a cancelled US tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

The show had been due visit 50 US cities, with a cast including Sex Pistol John Lydon and former Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams.

But the promoter, Michael Cohl’s Options Clause Entertainment, pulled the plug at the end of May.

Really Useful Group says it has “no option” but to recover its costs.

In a statement, the company said Michael Cohl and Options Clause Entertainment had agreed to promote the North American tour, and were “responsible for all of the costs associated with the US dates”.

“Since Mr Cohl’s unilateral decision to cancel the tour,” it continued, “the Really Useful Group has been tirelessly working to find an out of court settlement of the costs incurred by cancellation at such a late stage.

Barney Wragg, chief executive of the Really Useful Group, added he was “hugely disappointed to be let down in this way, particularly taking into account the impact (both personal and financial) that it has had on the many people who have put so much hard work into this project.”

“We had a sell-out UK arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2012,” he added in a statement, “and in 2013, the same production toured Australia also playing to capacity audiences with unprecedented success.”

The US tour would have starred Ben Forster as Jesus – a role he previously played in the UK after appearing on the ITV series Superstar.

The 54-city trek had been scheduled to begin in New Orleans on 9 June and include stops in New York and Boston.

Producers never explained the reason for the show’s cancellation, but offered refunds on all tickets.

Mr Cohl, who was also a producer on the ill-fated Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark musical on Broadway, declined to talk in detail about financing when the tour was unveiled in April, but said the show’s total costs were in the “eight figures” range.

He added it needed to pull in “several hundred thousand dollars” each night to keep it on the road.

His office was not open when the BBC called for a response to Really Useful Group’s legal action.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28545902#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Apes continue reign in UK cinemas

Posted by MereNews On July - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Dawn of the Planet of the ApesAndy Serkis reprises his motion-capture role in the film as Caesar

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has easily held on to the top spot in the UK and Ireland box office in its second week of release.

The sequel to the 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which sees Andy Serkis reprise his motion-capture role as intelligent ape Caesar, took £3.75m.

Its nearest competition came from fantasy action Hercules, which entered the chart at two with £1.45m.

Close behind was horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy, taking £1.17m.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’s total box office haul is just short of £17m after two weeks.

The film’s hold on the top of the chart is likely to end this week however, when Marvel comic adaptation Guardians of the Galaxy is released on Thursday.

The House of MagicThe House of Magic features the voices of Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor

Elsewhere on the chart there were three other new entries.

Family sci-fi adventure Earth to Echo, about three friends who discover an alien, opened at six taking £618,379.

Asian action comedy Kick, starring Salam Khan, made its debut at eight with £239,850 – averaging £1,860 at the 129 cinemas it was screened.

Animated film The House of Magic, about an abandoned young ginger cat who stumbles into a magician’s house, rounded out the top 10 taking £223,047.

Featuring the voices of Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor and William Shatner, it averaged £724 across 308 screens.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28545009#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Government ends prison guitar ban

Posted by MereNews On July - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Billy BraggBilly Bragg started a project to send guitars into prisons in 2007

A ban on steel-string guitars in prison cells in England and Wales has been reversed after a campaign by rock stars including Billy Bragg and Johnny Marr.

Prisoners had been unable to play the instruments outside supervised sessions since rules were changed last November.

Bragg, Marr, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Elbow’s Guy Garvey were among the guitarists who signed a letter saying the move undermined rehabilitation.

The government said the rules had been relaxed after feedback from governors.

However, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said rules preventing prisoners from receiving books would remain in place.

‘Important work’

Billy Bragg founded Jail Guitar Doors, a scheme that has sent around 350 to prisons since 2007. Most were steel-stringed, he said.

“As an incentive to engage in rehabilitation individual access to steel strung guitars can really help the atmosphere on a prison wing,” the musician said.

“I’ve had a number of projects involving guitars on hold which now will be able to go ahead, and will allow those using music in prisons to get on with this important work.”

The ban was introduced in November as part of a wider tightening of the privileges that prisoners were allowed.

Good behaviour

Inmates will still need to earn the right to have the instruments through good behaviour.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Following feedback from prison governors, we have made a few minor adjustments to the property prisoners are allowed to have.

“These are still subject to individual risk assessments and can be refused by governors.

“As a result of this government’s reforms, prisoners are now expected to engage with their rehabilitation and comply with the regime. Those who don’t will have privileges withdrawn.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28542329#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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