72nd Cannes Film Festival - Closing ceremony
72nd Cannes Film Festival – Closing ceremony – Cannes, France, May 25, 2019. Director Bong Joon-ho, Palme d’Or award winner for his film “Parasite” (Gisaengchung), reacts. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

May 25, 2019

By Sarah White

CANNES, France (Reuters) – “Parasite”, a suspenseful dark comedy about class struggles directed by South Korea’s Bong Joon-Ho, won the top Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

The award adds to a successful run at the French cinema showcase for Asian films after Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda clinched the prestigious gong last year.

Bong, who made his mark at Cannes in 2017 with Netflix-produced “Okja”, set his latest movie in modern South Korea.

It follows a down-on-their-luck family of four who spot an opportunity to con a wealthy household into giving them jobs.

They worm their way into the other family’s lives – before things start going south.

This year’s Cannes film festival also shone a light on newcomers, in an unusually crowded field.

“Atlantics”, a ghost story about migrants directed by Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop, won the runner-up Grand Prix award.

The movie, based on her 2009 short documentary, was Diop’s first feature-length film.

Spain’s Antonio Banderas won the male acting prize for his role as a tortured filmmaker in Pedro Almodovar’s loosely biographical “Pain And Glory” – one of the films that had been tipped for the top honor.

Britain’s Emily Beecham was crowned best actress after starring in Jessica Hausner’s “Little Joe” as a botanist who starts having doubts about her latest genetically-modified creation when it begins to affect her loved ones.

(Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Inti Landauro)

Source: OANN

72nd Cannes Film Festival - Photocall for the film
FILE PHOTO: 72nd Cannes Film Festival – Photocall for the film “Pain and Glory” (Dolor y Gloria) in competition – Cannes, France, May 18, 2019. Director Pedro Almodovar poses. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

May 25, 2019

By Sarah White

CANNES, France (Reuters) – An introspective turn by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar with a movie about an filmmaker, and a darkly humorous South Korean thriller are among the movies sparking awards buzz at Cannes in an unusually crowded field of runners and riders this year.

The film festival’s top Palme d’Or prize will be announced on Saturday evening after the jury headed up by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu hash out their picks from the movies vying in the main selection.

“It’s been quite a strong year in all the competitions at Cannes,” said Meredith Taylor, editor of arthouse film site Filmuforia, adding that she had handed out more four-star reviews than usual.

Cannes juries have been known to stump critics, however.

“Quite often an outsider comes in,” Taylor said.

French director Celine Sciamma has also earned glowing praise for period love story “Portrait Of A Lady On Fire”, while first time director Ladj Ly of France impressed with the politically charged “Les Miserables”, a tale of police violence.

And as well as Almodovar’s “Pain And Glory”, the festival was not short of other strong entries from Cannes darlings, including two-time Palme d’Or winner Ken Loach with a searing swipe at Britain’s gig economy in “I’m Sorry We Missed You.”

Almodovar’s return with his loosely biographical film starring Antonio Banderas, on top form as a tormented filmmaker looking back at his life, has nonetheless sparked talk of long overdue recognition at Cannes.

The “All About My Mother” director has never won the top prize at the French cinema festival, where he headed up the jury two years ago.

His latest entry has him vying against another Cannes heavy-hitter in the field of filmmakers delving into the world of cinema for inspiration – Quentin Tarantino presented “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”, his ode to a bygone era in tinseltown.

Its star-studded premiere this week marked one of the high points of the festival, as Tarantino walked the red carpet with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in tow, though despite critical acclaim few have billed it as the one to watch.

Instead, Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite”, a suspenseful, wickedly funny satire about class struggles has sparked buzz of awards glory for the South Korean director.

Few films out of the 21 selected for Cannes’ main competition hit a bum note with critics – bar one-time award-winner Abdellatif Kechiche, whose three-and-half hour movie with extensive close-ups of a young girls twerking in a nightclub, “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo”, was panned by reviewers.

(Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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72nd Cannes Film Festival - Un Certain Regard prize
72nd Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard prize – Cannes, France, May 24, 2019. Director Karim Ainouz celebrates winning the Grand Prix Un Certain Regard Award for the film “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao” (A Vida Invisivel de Euridice Gusmao). REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

May 24, 2019

By Johnny Cotton

CANNES, France (Reuters) – A Brazilian victory in Cannes has sent a message of hope at a difficult time for the country’s movie industry, director Karim Ainouz said on Friday after winning an award at one of the film festival’s prestigious side competitions.

“The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao”, a tale of two sisters and their struggles in a male-dominated society 

in 1950s-era Brazil, won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, which aims to shine a light on more unusual movies.

Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has talked of waging war on “cultural Marxism” and has reduced the remit of the country’s culture ministry, leaving many filmmakers fearing it will become more difficult to get their movies made.

“I think it sends a message of hope,” Ainouz told Reuters after the ceremony in the south of France.

“I think it’s a brilliant year for Brazilian cinema at the festival and I think, I hope, that this is not in any way challenged by what we’re going through in the country,” he said.

“Bacurau” by Brazil’s Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles is also in contention for this year’s top Palme d’Or prize at Cannes, which will be announced on Saturday.

“The Invisible Life” centers on two loving sisters whose dreams are frustrated by some of the men in their lives, and was inspired by a book by Martha Batalha.

Variety said the film was “a gorgeous melodrama about women whose independence of mind remains undiminished”, rendered in “lustrous textures, boldly saturated colors and lush sounds.”

Lebanese director and actor Nadine Labaki, whose film “Capernaum” won the Grand Jury Prize in Cannes’ main competition last year, headed up the Un Certain jury.

She said that although politics did not play a part in this year’s choice, an award from Cannes sent a strong signal.

“Every kind of recognition on such huge platforms is making everything resonate so much louder,” she told Reuters.

Chiara Mastroianni – the daughter of actors Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve – won the Un Certain Regard acting prize for her role as a woman trying to decide if she did the right thing by leaving her husband, in “On A Magical Night”.

(Reporting by Johnny Cotton in Cannes; Editing by Sarah White and Matthew Lewis)

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72nd Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film
72nd Cannes Film Festival – Screening of the film “Pain and Glory” (Dolor y gloria) in competition – Red Carpet Arrivals – Cannes, France, May 17, 2019. Bella Hadid poses. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

May 24, 2019

By Johnny Cotton

CANNES, France (Reuters) – Enormous bouffant dresses decked out in lace or feathers ruled the red carpet at this year’s Cannes film festival, one of the of the world’s most glamorous stages for actors as well as fashion designers.

As well as oversized gowns, more classic monochrome looks also scored design points for some fashion critics amid the spangles, patterns and fringes that were certainly not lacking at parties and premieres on the French Riviera.

“I felt like on the carpet this year it was either go big or a little bit more iconic, understated looks and I loved that,” New York-based stylist Elizabeth Sulcer said.

The festival is due to draw to a close with an awards ceremony on May 25, one of the swankiest nights of the calendar.

In the classic corner, U.S. actress Selena Gomez walked the red carpet for her zombie movie “The Dead Don’t Die” wearing a white silk bra top and skirt with a high slit by Louis Vuitton.

“I think sometimes less is more and I really loved it in the white — it was bright and very beautiful,” Sulcer said of the outfit.

Others followed suit. Model Bella Hadid also kept it simple in a red cutout Roberto Cavalli gown at the premiere of “Pain and Glory” by Cannes veteran Pedro Almodovar.

But down the coast at Thursday’s exclusive amfAR charity gala many stars chose to pump up the volume including singer Dua Lipa, in a bombastic, red feathery Valentino number.

For Sulcer, sparkling pantsuits were one trend that hit more of an off note.

Margot Robbie, who stars in Quentin Tarantino’s new film “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”, wore black sequinned Chanel trousers paired with an off-the-shoulder white top to the premiere.

(Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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72nd Cannes Film Festival - News conference for the film
FILE PHOTO: 72nd Cannes Film Festival – News conference for the film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” in competition – Cannes, France, May 22, 2019. Director Quentin Tarantino attends the news conference. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

May 24, 2019

By Phyllis Xu and Fedja Grulovic

CANNES, France (Reuters) – Twenty-five years after taking the festival by storm with “Pulp Fiction”, Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie has already clinched an award at Cannes – thanks to a dog in a show-stealing fight scene.

“Brandy”, which was actually played by three different pitbulls, won the unofficial “Palm Dog” prize at the cinema showcase on Friday.

“I have to say I am so honored to have this,” Tarantino told the light-hearted ceremony to pick up the collar handed out to winners.

“I would like to dedicate this to my wonderful actress Brandy,” he added, drawing laughs from the crowd at the award that is made every year at the festival.

Tarantino said one of the dogs that took part in the fight scene was initially his favorite among the canine cast, but he said he had later been drawn to the expressive face of another of the pitbulls during the editing process.

The U.S. filmmaker said he would keep the award even though he does not have a dog, adding that he might get one some day but it would likely come from a rescue center if he did.

Tarantino said of the Palm Dog: “It will go on my mantelpiece, alright, my mantelpiece of honor.”

Set in the late 1960s, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, an actor struggling to come to terms with his fading career, and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, his stunt double.

Booth keeps a pitbull, with which he has one-on-one scenes, including comedy moments that include preparing an unappetising-looking dinner for his pet and training the dog to respond to commands.

The dog makes a comeback in the film’s final sequence. Tarantino has pleaded with critics who viewed the movie at Cannes not to reveal any major spoilers.

Tarantino won the top Palme d’Or film award at Cannes in 1994. He is vying against veteran directors including Ken Loach and Pedro Almodovar for this year’s prize, set to be announced on May 25.

(Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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File photograph shows Spice Girls members arriving for the premiere of the musical
FILE PHOTO: Spice Girl members Melanie Brown (L-R), Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm are seen arriving for the premiere of the musical “Viva Forever!”, based on the music of the Spice Girls, in central London in this December 11, 2012 file photograph. REUTERS/Toby Melville

May 24, 2019

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Nineties girl band the Spice Girls return to the stage as a foursome on Friday, kicking off a reunion tour in Dublin with happy wishes from their absent band mate Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham.

The British pop group, which shot to global fame with their bouncy debut single “Wannabe” in 1996, announced last year they would perform together again. Beckham, now a successful fashion designer and part of a global celebrity family brand with soccer-player husband David, did not join them.

Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Geri Horner (Ginger Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice) and Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) will play 13 dates over the next few weeks, starting with Dublin on Friday before performing in cities around Britain.

“TODAY IS THE DAY!” the band wrote on their Twitter page, with a poster for the “Spice World” tour showing most gigs, including Friday’s and the last three in London, as sold-out.

On Instagram, Beckham shared an old picture of the group, which formed in 1994, with the message: “Good luck to the girls today as they start their tour!”

The 13-date tour is the latest reunion for one of the world’s biggest girl bands which sold tens of millions of records, and is known for hits like “Say You’ll Be There”, “2 Become 1” and “Spice Up Your Life”.

Horner left the Spice Girls in 1998, while the group’s remaining members went their separate ways in 2000. The band got back together for a tour in 2007-2008 and also performed at the closing ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics.

Earlier this week, Brown told fans she had suffered a recent health scare of inflammations in both her eyes. Sharing a picture of a bandaged eye, she said she now had to get “a very cool Scary eye patch”.

The group have posted pictures this week of rehearsals, also giving fans a glimpse of their stage adorned with a huge globe-like structure and colorful lights.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about getting this tour on the road!” Bunton wrote on Instagram on Thursday beside a picture of herself at Dublin’s Croke Park stadium.

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian in London; Editing by Peter Graff)

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FILE PHOTO: Film producer Harvey Weinstein departs from a court hearing in New York
FILE PHOTO: Film producer Harvey Weinstein departs from a court hearing in New York, New York, U.S., April 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

May 24, 2019

(Reuters) – Harvey Weinstein, women who accused him of sexual misconduct, his former film studio’s board members and the New York attorney general’s office have reached a tentative $44 million deal to resolve lawsuits and compensate alleged victims of the Hollywood producer, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people it said were familiar with the matter.

The deal, if finalized, would resolve a civil rights lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general’s office last year that accuses Weinstein Co’s executives and board of failing to protect employees from a hostile work environment and Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, the Journal said.

A representative for Harvey Weinstein and Weinstein Co did not immediately respond to request for comment. Weinstein has previously denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Rigby)

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72nd Cannes Film Festival - The amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2019 event
72nd Cannes Film Festival – The amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 2019 event – Antibes, France, May 23, 2019. Dua Lipa poses. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

May 23, 2019

By Sarah White and Johnny Cotton

CAP D’ANTIBES, France (Reuters) – From Pamela Anderson to Dua Lipa, the great and good of the movie and music world mingled at the Cannes Film Festival’s most glamorous fixture on Thursday night, a fundraiser for AIDS research where stars including Mariah Carey were set to perform.

Reality TV star and model Kendall Jenner, actors Antonio Banderas and Andie MacDowell, and designer Tommy Hilfiger were among guests at the swanky AmfAR dinner on the French Riviera, put on by the U.S.-based Foundation for AIDS Research.

Attendees and AmfAR representatives said this year’s event, also set to feature a performance by crooner Tom Jones, was particularly poignant, following medical breakthroughs in trying to find a cure for AIDS.

An HIV-positive man in Britain became the second known adult worldwide to be cleared of the AIDS virus after he received a bone marrow transplant from an HIV-resistant donor, his doctors said in March.

“As optimistic as we are going forward, this disease is nowhere near finishing,” AmfAR board Chairman William Roedy told journalists ahead of the party on the grounds of the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, an exclusive hotel on the Cap d’Antibes, which juts out into the Mediterranean along the coast from Cannes.

“We have to keep our foot on the pedal,” he said.

Australian actress Rebel Wilson presented one of the items on auction at the event, a marble Mickey Mouse statue, which sold for 450,000 euros ($503,235) after bids started at 50,000 euros.

A stay on a private island off Tanzania went for 100,000 euros.

A painting by Andy Warhol, a motorbike and a collection of designer dresses were also up for auction, as well as a stay in London that included a chance to meet Prince Charles and participate in events linked to his charitable foundation.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein used to be a staple of the AmfAR event in Cannes. Last year’s dinner was the first in his absence after he was embroiled in a scandal when more than 70 women accused him of sexual misconduct.

($1 = 0.8942 euros)

(Reporting by Sarah White and Johnny Cotton; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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2019 Billboard Music Awards– Photo Room – Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., May 1, 2019 – Mariah Carey poses backstage with her Icon Award
FILE PHOTO: 2019 Billboard Music Awards– Photo Room – Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., May 1, 2019 – Mariah Carey poses backstage with her Icon Award. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

May 23, 2019

By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

LONDON (Reuters) – Pop rock band The 1975 were the big winners at the Ivor Novellos in London on Thursday, scooping two major prizes at Britain’s annual awards honoring songwriting and composing.

Chart-topper Mariah Carey and ballad singer Dido were also honored at the 64th edition of the awards named after the early 20th century Welsh composer, actor and entertainer.

The 1975’s George Daniel, Adam Hann, Matthew Healy and Ross MacDonald were named Songwriters of the Year, with presenters the Ivors Academy describing their album “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships” as “stand(ing) out as a vivid picture of modernity.”

“These songs are a quintessential snapshot of the emotional complexities of life in the here and now, but with all the hallmarks of a body of work that will stand the test of time,” the Academy said in a statement.

Their record “Love It If We Made It” was named Best Contemporary Song. The band, currently in the United States on tour, were not able to collect the prizes in person.

Ben Howard’s “Nica Libres at Dusk” was named Best Song Musically and Lyrically while Best Album went to “Joy as an Act of Resistance” by punk rock band Idles.

Hit song “These Days”, by Rudimental and featuring Macklemore, Jess Glynne, Dan Caplen, won Most Performed Work.

U.S. megastar Carey was given a Special International Award, recognizing her as “an extraordinary global talent (and) an impactful songwriter.”

“I rarely get acknowledged for my songwriting which is the core of who I am, so I thank you so much for this incredible, incredible honor,” Carey said in a video message.

Dido, who was catapulted into the spotlight when her soft vocals featured on rapper Eminem’s hit song “Stan” in 2000, was given an award for Outstanding Song Collection.

“For me it is sort of the most important award in a way because…I started as songwriter who happened to end up singing the songs in the end,” she told Reuters.

Dido is on her first tour in 15 years after releasing a new album in March. “I’m having such a good time,” she said. “It’s really different this time, it’s sort of just really relaxed, really fun.”Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Ian Paice were honored with an International Achievement prize, with their keyboardist Jon Lord recognized posthumously.

(Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian; additional reporting by Jayson Mansaray; editing by John Stonestreet)

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UK premiere of the Elton John biopic 'Rocketman' in London
FILE PHOTO: Elton John and his husband David Furnish attend the UK premiere of the Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’ in London, Britain, May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

May 23, 2019

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Movies like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Love, Simon” and “Deadpool 2” helped increase the numbers of gay and bisexual characters in Hollywood movies last year.

But a study by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and/or queer (LGBTQ) advocacy group GLAAD on Thursday found that transgender characters were entirely absent from films released in 2018 for the second year in a row.

The GLAAD report found that of the 110 releases from the seven largest Hollywood studios, 20 included LGBTQ characters. That marked an increase from 2017 and the second-highest percentage of inclusive films in the seven-year history of the annual GLAAD report.

Yet more than half the LGBTQ characters had less than 3 minutes of screen time, and there also was not a single animated or family film that included an LGBTQ character.

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” which brought Rami Malek a best actor Oscar for his performance as the late bisexual Queen singer Freddie Mercury, “Deadpool 2,” with the first openly lesbian superhero movie characters, and teen comedy “Blockers,” featuring a teen girl with a crush on another girl, all proved box office hits last year.

“While the film industry should include more stories of LGBTQ people of color and transgender people, studios are finally addressing the calls from LGBTQ people and allies around the world who want to see more diversity in films,” GLAAD Chief Executive Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.

Upcoming movies include the musical biopic “Rocketman,” about gay icon Elton John, and high school comedy “Booksmart,” which has a lesbian lead character.

Yet the GLAAD report said the movie industry lags television, which last year broadcast shows like “Pose,” about 1980s New York drag culture, and “Supergirl,” which has a transgender superhero.

The report also expressed “real concern” over Walt Disney Co’s acquisition earlier this year of 21st Century Fox, particularly since it said that none of the 10 films released by Disney in 2018 had any gay characters. Fox 2000 Pictures, the production company behind critically acclaimed gay teen romance “Love, Simon,” is to be shuttered by Disney later this year.

“Studios may be more hesitant to invest in new types of content, and decisions on what gets green-lit and who is involved are made by smaller groups of people,” Ellis said.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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