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  • post Trapped in the Sunken Place: how Get Out?s purgatory engulfed pop culture - 17 March
  • A year after Jordan Peele?s horror, its key scene has come to signify a sinister state of being for the likes of Kanye West, Stacey Dash and OJ SimpsonIn February 2016, Daniel Kaluuya arrived on set at a large suburban home in Fairhope, Baldwin County, Alabama. In many ways it seemed like any other morning during the three-week, low-budget feature shoot. However, the movie?s director, Jordan Peele, seemed to believe the footage they would shoot that day might take on a greater resonance. ?Yo, this is iconic,? the actor remembers Peele saying to him. Kaluuya wasn?t sure if his director was simply trying to amp him up; nevertheless, he took his place opposite the Oscar-nominated actor Catherine Keener and focused. ?It felt intense,? he later recalled to Variety. ?It was just that five-page scene that day.? Continue reading...
  • post Academy president reportedly under investigation for sexual harassment - 17 March
  • John Bailey, cinematographer and president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said to be facing three allegations
    The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, is reportedly under investigation for sexual harassment.John Bailey, a veteran cinematographer who heads the film industry?s trade group, is facing three harassment allegations, Variety reported on Friday. Continue reading...
  • post The final frontier: how female directors broke into sci-fi - 16 March
  • It was seen as a job for the boys. That?s changing thanks to the likes of Ava DuVernay, Patty Jenkins and Claire Denis being given opportunities to oversee big-budget productionsCritical reactions to Ava DuVernay?s A Wrinkle in Time may have been mixed, but there?s no denying it is a cinema landmark. DuVernay is not just the first woman of colour to direct a $100m (Ł72m) movie, but a member of a very exclusive club ? female directors of big-budget science fiction.It is sobering to realise that Kathryn Bigelow?s $42m sci-fi noir Strange Days was released nearly a quarter of a century ago. It was a resounding flop, which no doubt convinced studios that women should not be allowed to direct the genre at all. Since then, we have also had Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending from the Wachowskis. But one can?t help wondering if, back in 1999, Warner Bros would have entrusted The Matrix?s $60m budget to a couple of relative unknowns if they had been called Lilly and Lana, instead of Larry and Andy. Continue reading...
  • post Keep the Change: actors with autism get the chance to shine in romcom - 16 March
  • The director and star of a new low-budget film discuss their hopes of changing the narrative of how autism is represented in mediaWhen Rachel Israel set out to make a feature film based on a longtime friend, who has autism, and his first serious romance, casting the lead role was easy. The only person she could imagine playing her friend, Brandon Polansky, was himself.Casting a woman to play his love interest, though, proved a much greater challenge. Israel auditioned roughly 100 professional actors, but nobody fit until Israel shifted tactics and cast a co-star who was also on the spectrum. Israel cast two more actors with autism in supporting roles and worked with all four of them until she had something truly unique ? a story in which the characters with autism drive all the action. Continue reading...
  • post ?Pakistan is ready for change?: Verna star Mahira Khan on her controversial career - 16 March
  • The star gained global attention when her film about a rape survivor who takes revenge on her attackers was nearly banned in Pakistan. She explains why its release was a victory for all womenMahira Khan represents a face of Pakistan rarely seen outside the country: a face that doesn?t fit into the dynamic in which Pakistani women are either a ?Madonna or a whore?. An unapologetic rebel in her life choices, she represents a new generation ? and is helping redefine what it is to be a Pakistani woman.The 33-year-old came to the attention of the world in a whirl of controversy when her film, Verna (Or Else), about a rape survivor who wreaks revenge on her attackers, was denied a certificate by the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) in Pakistan because of its ?mature themes? and ?edgy content?. The ruling attracted global condemnation and the film won the backing of the international film fraternity, including the Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and the Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone (who had faced a similar backlash for her film Padmavati). Continue reading...
  • post Olivia de Havilland, 101, on suing Feud: TV show 'put false words in my mouth' - 16 March
  • The last great star of the 1930s condemns hit FX docudrama that depicted her as a gossip who called her sister a ?bitch?The words come via email but the voice echoes down from Hollywood?s golden age.
    ?The creators of Feud used my identity without my consent and put false words in my mouth, including having me publicly calling my sister, Joan Fontaine, a ?bitch?.? Continue reading...
  • post Danny Boyle reveals he is working on script for next James Bond film - 15 March
  • Boyle?s comments suggest he will direct Daniel Craig?s final outing as Bond in late 2019Danny Boyle has confirmed he is working on a script for the next James Bond film alongside his Trainspotting collaborator John Hodge.The news suggests Boyle will direct the 25th installment in the franchise, the final one featuring Daniel Craig in the title role. Continue reading...
  • post Funding Dora: fears Queensland will lose out on major film productions - 14 March
  • Dora the Explorer may not be made in Queensland due to lack of tax breaks to film in AustraliaQueensland?s film industry risks being snuffed out unless the federal government increases tax breaks to attract international film companies, the head of Screen Queensland said.

    Tracey Vierra says they have been working to get the new Dora the Explorer live-action movie to film in Queensland, but it may not come here because there is not enough of an incentive to film in Australia compared to other countries, including New Zealand.

    Australia has a 16.5% tax offset for international film productions, compared to 25% in New Zealand and 30% in the US state of Georgia. Related: Record ?$1.3bn spent on Australian TV and film drama in 2016-17 Continue reading...
  • post Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Paul Feig adopt 'inclusion riders': 'It's just common sense' - 13 March
  • Affleck and Damon pledge to use diversity clauses at their production company as Bridesmaid?s director calls it ?right thing to do? Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Paul Feig have committed to adopting an ?inclusion rider? for their companies? films as the diversity agreement that Frances McDormand promoted in her Oscars speech continues to spread within Hollywood and other industries.
    The public pledges from the high-profile actors and directors to embrace inclusion riders ? a contract clause stipulating diversity in casts and crews ? has increased pressure on other celebrities and studios to follow suit, and comes as businesses outside of entertainment are also exploring the concept. Continue reading...
  • post Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ? first full trailer released - 13 March
  • The first footage for the follow up to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been launched onlineThe first full-length trailer for the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been released. Subtitled The Crimes of Grindelwald, it sees Eddie Redmayne return in the role of ?magizoologist? Newt Scamander in the second of the projected five films in the JK Rowling-scripted Harry Potter spinoff series.Directed by Potter veteran David Yates, Fantastic Beasts 2 sees Scamander and Albus Dumbledore (played by Jude Law) take on powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Katherine Waterston also returns from Fantastic Beasts, as Tina Goldstein, the rehabilitated auror who also joins the fight against Grindelwald. Continue reading...

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