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    SpongeBob Gets Fired From His Job Amid 'Harsh Underwater Economy' And Sparks A Real-Life Political Debate



    The controversial episode “SpongeBob, You’re Fired!” airs Monday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

    "SpongeBob SquarePants" may look innocent enough, but the animated Nickelodeon character is causing controversy after losing his job in an upcoming Nov.11 episode.

    Many are saying the storyline is symbolic of a harsh economic climate, sparking a heated debate over unemployment.

    Here's the plot line: SpongeBob is fired from his job of 15 years at the Krusty Krab after his boss figures out he can save "a whole nickel" from his payroll. One day later, SpongeBob is already a disheveled beggar — but his friend Patrick assures him that "glorious unemployment" can be fun and filled with free stuff and more time to relax.

    While eating a free meal, a downtrodden SpongeBob realizes "Unemployment may be fun for you, but I need to get a job," he tells Patrick, at which point the sad sea sponge turns into a sparkly clean, energetic sponge again.

    Here's why people are mad: "The episode subtly introduces a couple of hot-button issues, including the worth of social services, labor laws that caused SpongeBob's boss, Mr. Krabs, to fire his best employee, and more," notes The Hollywood Reporter.

    Here's what the critics are saying: After the New York Post and Fox News remarked on the episode, the progressive group Media Matters for America took action.

    In response to the Fox News segment (see below for video), Media Matters quickly posted an item titled "Right-Wing Media Use SpongeBob SquarePants' Firing To Attack Social Safety Net," arguing that the talking heads "are using the firing of fictional cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants to attack the social safety net and those who rely on it."

    According to the Media Matters article, "Right-wing media have a long history of attacking the social safety net. Recently, Fox attacked low-wage workers in the fast food industry who have to rely on necessary federal benefit programs because they earn below subsistence wages."

    Media Matters was also particularly bothered by this line from The Post story: "Lest he sit around idly, mooching off the social services of Bikini Bottom, a depressed SpongeBob sets out to return to gainful employment wherever he can find it," reporter Andrea Morabito wrote. "No spoilers -- but it's safe to say that our hero doesn't end up on food stamps, as his patty-making skills turn out to be in high demand."

    Here's what Nickelodeon is saying:

    “Like all really great cartoons, part of SpongeBob’s long-running success has been its ability to tap into the zeitgeist while still being really funny for our audience,” Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s president of content, development and production, told Page Six.

    “As always, despite this momentary setback, SpongeBob’s eternal optimism prevails, which is always a great message for everyone.”

    The episode “SpongeBob, You’re Fired!” airs Monday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

    Trailer + source businessinsider
     
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    Winners of the first-ever YouTube Music Awards, which was streamed live on Sunday 3/11/2013.

     
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    No sexism please, we're Swedish – films classified by representation of women

    Rating movies by gender equality may be a blunt tool but it raises serious issues



    Cinemas in Sweden have instituted a classification system for films, based not on the violence or sexual content they contain, but on how sexist they are.

    To be awarded the highest A rating for gender equality, a film must pass the so-called Bechdel test: the movie must contain at least two named women characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.

    The test – whose origins are in a 1985 storyline in Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For – may sound like an incredibly low bar. But an alarming number of films showing in cinemas fail to reach it. "The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social Network, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test," said Ellen Tejle, who runs Stockholm's Bio Rio, one of a number of independent cinemas that has instituted the classification.

    To that one might add a number of current releases and Oscar contenders: Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, despite its starring role for Sandra Bullock; Lee Daniels' The Butler, about a presidential servant and the civil rights movement; and Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass's piracy drama, which involves an all-male gang of pirates attacking an all-male shipping crew. The WikiLeaks film Fifth Estate, which is partly set in the offices of the Guardian, fails the test.

    Oddly enough, Thor (in which Chris Hemsworth plays the Nordic god, come to save us all from Christopher Ecclestone) does pass, since it features a scene in which Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings discuss nuclear physics.

    But some classics fail to meet the test, with the Shawshank Redemption, which regularly tops viewers' polls, falling foul of the Bechdel criteria.

    Claire Binns, director of programming and exhibition for the UK-based Picturehouse chain, said the classification idea would not be taken up in her cinemas anytime soon, but it certainly highlighted a real problem – a "criminal" lack of parts for older women in cinema, a desperate lack of women working behind the camera and a failure of the film industry to bring to the screen "women with real stories – women that aren't just there to be killed in reel three or raped in reel four".

    She said that she "did her utmost" to seek out for her chain films with strong female stories, mentioning the forthcoming Bright Days Ahead, directed by Marion Vernoux and starring French actor Fanny Ardant as a dentist embarking on an affair with a younger man.

    She also said Picturehouse had decided not to show the violent, macho cop drama The Sweeney on London screens, a film "which I found quite offensive".

    In Sweden the experiment is reflective of a much more ardent debate on gender equality than in Britain or North America, said Sofia Nyblom, a Swedish journalist and arts consultant. It comes against the background of the Swedish film institute's gender equality directive, which states that 50% of its funding should go to women filmmakers.

    In other artforms, too, patience was running out with gender inequality, she said, citing Kvast, a body set up to agitate for better representation of women composers by performing groups and broadcasters. "I don't think this will attract sneers," she said.

    But the Bechdel test is, some argue, a crude way of assessing films for gender equality. Dr Bella Honess Roe, lecturer in film studies at Surrey University, pointed out that The Hurt Locker would not pass the test, though "it was a watershed moment for women directors when Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for it".

    Films that are, arguably, problematic in other ways, such as The Help, which was criticised for its race politics, would pass, she added. "If we are going to classify for gender equality then surely we would have to examine class, race, ethnicity and sexuality bias," she said.

    Clio Barnard, acclaimed as one today's most exciting British film-makers, notes that her most recent film, The Selfish Giant, with three male protagonists, fails the test. So does her debut feature The Arbor (on a formal technicality: its two main characters are both women, but they never speak to each other). "It's a good thing if it raises the question," she said. "But I'd like to have a discussion about changing the rules."

    A women's viewpoint behind the camera was at least as important as the characters on screen, she said – recalling her excitement at seeing Andrea Arnold's debut feature Red Road, and its "brilliant exploration of female sexual desire".

    Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of the Women and Hollywood website, acknowledged the crudeness of test ("it doesn't tell you whether it's a good film"). But it is at least presenting information that can contribute to a necessary debate, she said. "It would be great if our culture reflected who we were and didn't have to seek out information about whether we are included."

    And it matters, said Kate Gerova, the director of the Bird's Eye film festival, which screens work by women filmmakers. "We make sense of ourselves through cinema," she said. "Its first principle is one of identification. How you make sense of who you are, where you are in the world – we do this through cinema." There are plenty, it seems, who are fatigued by watching films, in the words of Honess Roe, about "men running around blowing each other up while women sit about in inappropriate clothes, waiting to be rescued."

    source theguardian
     
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    China Wants Its Movies to Be Big in the U.S., Too

    LOS ANGELES — Investment capital? They’re loaded.

    Film studios? They are promising to build the world’s fanciest.

    As for movie stars, few are more dazzling than Li Bingbing, who was an honored guest here on Tuesday at the annual U.S.-China Film Summit.

    But China’s ambitious new film entrepreneurs, dozens of whom gathered in the Los Angeles area this week for the summit meeting, the American Film Market and other events, are still searching for something that has largely eluded them: a homemade global hit.

    “We have 5,000 years of history. We have lots of stories,” said Yang Buting, the chairman of the China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association, who spoke on a panel at the gathering on Tuesday.

    But, Mr. Yang added, “to create movies that are universally appealing, that is an issue for us.”

    China’s domestic box office is now the world’s second-largest, behind the United States, with an expected $3.5 billion in sales this year. That growing market has been pursued aggressively, and with considerable success, by Hollywood, whose studios — to capture a mainland audience for films like “Iron Man 3” or “Pacific Rim”— have worked with Chinese partners, added Chinese subplots and bent over backward to satisfy China’s watchful censors.

    But a perhaps tougher struggle confronts Chinese film executives who dream of making movies that will be seen not just at home, but also by a measurable number of viewers in the United States and elsewhere.

    “We lack international experience, in general,” said Yu Dong, the chief executive of China’s Bona Film Group, which is about 20 percent owned by 21st Century Fox.

    Mr. Yu, who spoke over coffee at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills this week, referred to a growing group of film companies that are smaller than the giant state-owned China Film Group, but share ambitions to play on the world stage.

    “Every producer I’ve met has told me they want to reach the world audience,” said Rob Cain, a film consultant who is working with Chinese companies that hope to crack the global market, despite robust growth at home.

    At home, ticket sales have been rising about 35 percent annually. And they show no sign of letting up, as the number of movie screens, which has been rising at a similar rate and promises to reach about 18,000 this year, continues its expansion into smaller markets. Also, China’s domestic box office has recently tilted toward Chinese films rather than foreign imports.

    But the urge to export movies, Mr. Cain said, has much to do with the Chinese government’s promotion of what is often called “soft power”— the ability to project influence through nonmilitary means, including, of course, the film business.

    “If you’re trying to score points with the Communist Party and the central government, you want to support their soft-power agenda, to help spread the culture,” he said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

    Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, staged a remarkable show of such strength in September, when he hosted Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood luminaries at his company’s celebration of a planned studio and entertainment complex in the beach city of Qingdao.

    Styled the “Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis,” Wanda’s proposed development is projected to cost as much as $8.2 billion, and would match or surpass the capacity of studios in the United States.

    But nothing would speak louder than a globe-spanning hit.

    In the United States, the best-selling Chinese-language film to date remains “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which had about $128 million in North American ticket sales after its release by Sony Pictures Classics in 2000. Since then, some international blockbusters have had Chinese backers, co-stars and settings; but they mostly have been Hollywood products with a Chinese veneer.

    In a next wave, China’s emerging film companies are proposing to reverse the equation, by finding Chinese stories with global appeal and just enough American content or backing to attract viewers who have grown comfortable with Hollywood-style movies.

    As Mr. Yu puts it, any Chinese film with international ambitions must be rooted what he called “an American way of looking at China.”
    His own company’s best bet, Mr. Yu said, is a planned action thriller, called “Moscow Mission,” about six Chinese police officers who tackle crime on the Beijing-to-Moscow train. “There will be a lot of English dialogue, but with a Chinese story,” he said of the film, which is still in the script stage.

    Still, the difficulty of marketing such hybrids was underscored last weekend by the modest performance of “Man of Tai Chi,” a Chinese-American co-production that starred Keanu Reeves.

    The film, which has dialogue in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, sold few tickets when it was released on a handful of screens in the United States by Radius-TWC. It was nonetheless featured as a model Chinese-American co-production in a Monday night presentation at Universal Studios by Chinese officials and filmmakers, as well as Christopher J. Dodd, the chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America.

    An enduring challenge for Chinese filmmakers who want to go global is their own government’s insistence on tight control of film content through a still-rigorous censorship apparatus.

    “We want to see positive Chinese images,” Zhang Xun, president of the China Film Co-Production Corporation, told those assembled at the film conference on Tuesday. To underscore her point, Ms. Zhang ticked off “hot spots” to be avoided, including excessive violence and horror, scenes that might offend third countries and potentially volatile religious references.

    Some executives have concluded that the fantasy or historical adventure genres, which largely sidestep those concerns, are likely to spawn the next real Chinese global blockbuster.

    Zhang Zhao, the chief executive of Le Vision Pictures, for instance, said in a Tuesday interview that his company was developing what it hoped would be a universal hit, based on the classic Chinese novel “Water Margin,” about outlaws and spirits during the Song Dynasty, a thousand years ago.

    Mr. Zhang said he believed the global breakthrough for China would come “very soon,” though, earlier in the day, he sounded a cautious note on the subject.

    “I don’t think Chinese films can travel the world all that well,” he warned peers during a panel discussion.

    But, Mr. Yu, of the Bona Film Group, contended that to conquer the movie universe, it is really only necessary to prevail in two places, the United States and China.

    “If we are able to play a part in these two markets, we pretty much control a majority of the world,” he said.

    source nytimes
     
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    MTV Europe Music Awards: Miley Cyrus sparks controversy with 'rolled-up joint'



    Rapper Eminem had triple cause to celebrate after he was the biggest winner at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards in Amsterdam.

    But it was Miley Cyrus who sparked controversy after she appeared to light a rolled-up joint on stage.

    US hip-hop star Eminem, 41, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers, triumphed with the prizes for Global Icon and Best Hip Hop act on the same day he scored his seventh consecutive number one UK album with The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

    He took to the stage to perform Berzerk and Rap God - two tracks from his new album.

    "This is crazy. I want to say thank you to everybody over the years," he said to Will Ferrell's Anchorman alter-ego Ron Burgundy as he accepted the Global Icon gong.

    Making a reference to the 2004 comedy, he joked: "I love award."

    Cyrus, 20, alluded to her drug-taking past by taking what looked like a joint from her handbag as she accepted the award for Best Video for her song, Wrecking Ball.

    The Bangerz singer, who opened the show with a performance of We Can't Stop accompanied by a dwarf, previously courted controversy for her "twerking" with Robin Thicke.

    "I couldn't fit this award in my purse but I did find this," she said before flicking a lighter and smoking it.

    Other big winners on the night included Katy Perry, One Direction and Justin Bieber.

    Perry proved she had the edge over fellow songstresses Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez to be crowned Best Female.

    "This is so cool. I was sitting backstage drinking champagne, looking at all those people, thinking I'm not going to win. I love what I do and I'm glad you see that," she said as she received her trophy on stage.

    Jared Leto and his Thirty Seconds To Mars bandmates took home the award for Best Alternative act.

    "This is actually surreal because we are going to play this venue in two days. Thank you to all the dreamers... You made ours come true," the frontman said.

    There were memorable performances from Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Kings Of Leon and The Killers, before Swedish duo Icona Pop - Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo - closed the ceremony with their hit, I Love It.

    Thicke's performance of Blurred Lines featured a special guest appearance from Australian rapper Iggy Azalea.

    The MTV Europe Music Awards, which were hosted by LMFAO's Redfoo, were streamed live on MTV channels around the world.

    Full list of winners:

    :: Best UK & Ireland Act: One Direction

    :: Global Icon Award: Eminem

    :: Best Look: Harry Styles

    :: Biggest Fans: Tokio Hotel

    :: Best Song: Locked Out Of Heaven, Bruno Mars

    :: Best Hip-Hop: Eminem

    :: Best Alternative: 30 Seconds To Mars

    :: Best Female: Katy Perry

    :: Best New Act: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

    :: Best Rock: Green Day

    :: Best Electronic: Avicii

    :: Best Male: Justin Bieber

    :: Worldwide Act: Chris Lee

    :: Global Icon: Eminem

    :: Best Pop: One Direction

    :: Best Live: Beyonce

    :: Best Video: Wrecking Ball, Miley Cyrus

    source independent
     
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    Run-in with paparazzo takes chat-show host Alec Baldwin off the air



    It was gossip manna from heaven. A fiery Hollywood star confronted by a paparazzo, loses his rag and, better yet, hurls a "gay slur" towards the offending photographer.

    But after a week that saw the turbulent career of Alec Baldwin take another turn for the worse, the star of The Hunt for Red October and, more recently, 30 Rock, has been hastily taken off the air. After claims and counter claims over what Baldwin said to the pap, the network MSNBC announced it was suspending his show, Up Late With Alec Baldwin for two weeks.

    Baldwin initially claimed to have called the photographer a "fathead" and not a "fag". He later said: "I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have – and for that I am deeply sorry."

    The gay rights group Glaad, which defended Baldwin when he was accused of homophobia this summer, said the star needed to "end this pattern of anti-gay slurs". It added: "Mr Baldwin can't lend his support for equality on paper, while degrading gay people in practice."

    The incident came shortly after the 55-year-old had tearfully testified at the trial of Genevieve Sabourin, a Canadian actor who was last week jailed for 210 days after being found guilty of stalking Baldwin and his wife Hilaria.

    The events prompted a series of frantic headlines from gossip sites. "Alec Baldwin Bangs into Car, Chews Out Reporter," TMZ roared on Thursday.

    The star has, over the past few years, garnered more press coverage for his tirades against cabin crews and journalists than for his lacklustre film career. In June he was accused of homophobia after taking to Twitter to call the MailOnline's reporter George Stark a "toxic little queen", after he claimed Baldwin's wife had been texting during James Gandolfini's funeral.

    He was ejected from plane in 2011 after refusing to stop playing a mobile phone game, and has become embroiled in confrontations with news photographers. He and a New York Post photographer filed harassment complaints against each other after an altercation in February, and a Daily News photographer said Baldwin punched him in 2012, which the actor denies.

    source independent
     
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    The Crazy Story Of Frank Sinatra Playing A Club For A Week Straight Because Chicago's Mob Boss Was Mad At JFK

    The Mafia detested the administration of John F. Kennedy as Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy raised the number of mob convictions from 35 in 1960 to 288 in 1963.

    But there may be a much deeper connection between the Kennedys and the mob, and legendary entertainer Frank Sinatra reportedly served as a key intermediary and whipping boy in one case.

    According to "The Dark Side of Camelot" by Seymour Hersh, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (JFK's father) set up a meeting with Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana to obtain Giancana's support for Jack Kennedy's run for the White House — thereby combining the sway of Chicago crime syndicate with that of Mayor Richard J. Daley's Democratic machine.

    Hersh also reported, along with others, that Giancana also helped funnel cash to buy votes and endorsements for the West Virginia Democratic primary election in May 1960.

    The new book "The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy" by University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato highlights the connection by citing the story that Joseph Kennedy asked for Giancana's help over a dispute with another mobster, Frank Costello, and offered "the president's ear" in return.

    Sabato also writes that "when JFK began having an affair with a black-haired beauty named Judith Campbell while he was still a U.S. senator, Giancana slept with her as well, reportedly so that he would eventually have a direct link to the White House."

    It turns out, according to Sabato, that Sinatra introduced Senator Kennedy to Judy Campbell and also "served as the go-between for the West Virginia primary shenanigans."

    After JFK reached the White House, however, the mob boss was not welcome near the president's ear. And Sinatra was the one that ultimately paid for it.

    From "The Kennedy Half-Century":

    When the Kennedys turned on Giancana once they were in the White House, Sinatra had to work hard to deflect the mobster's wrath at Sinatra on account of the Kennedys' unfaithfulness. In atonement, the singer played at Giancana's club, the Villa Venice, with his "Rat Pack" of fellow entertainers, for eight nights in a row.

    Sabato notes that "Sinatra worked his way back into Giancana's good graces, but the Kennedys never did."

    Here's The Rat Pack playing "Chicago" at the Villa Venice in 1962:


    source businessinsider
     
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    Blue Is the Warmest Colour: Film review - 'A searingly frank and intimate account'



    The sex scenes are very frankly shot but almost every other scene has the same level of detail and nuance, writes Geoffrey Macnab



    It was very bold of the Cannes Jury headed by Steven Spielberg to give Blue Is the Warmest Colour the Palme D’Or. After all, this is a film featuring explicit lesbian sex and made by a middle-aged male film-maker.

    It has been rated NC-17 in the US, a certificate that alarms and alienates mainstream American cinemas in equal measure. (ET this is not.) In its depiction of a young love affair, Blue Is the Warmest Colour is intimate to the point of being claustrophobic. Director Abdellatif Kechiche takes his audience oppressively close to his two protagonists, 15-year-old Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and her blue-haired lover Emma (Léa Seydoux.)

    The film-maker approaches his two young female leads with an anthropologist’s relish. It’s as if he believes that by observing them as intently as possible, he will be able capture their innermost feelings. For all the queasiness his voyeuristic, hyper-realist approach induces along the way, Kechiche has delivered a film of extraordinary richness and emotional complexity.

    There are constant huge close-ups of the women’s faces. Kechiche seems determined not to miss any tell-tale sign, whether a smile, a frown or a look of bemusement. We don’t have a sense of Exarchopoulos, in particular, “acting.” It’s a measure of her skill that she seems throughout to be behaving naturally and spontaneously. It is also indicative of the way the director moulded her performance. He reportedly shot hundreds of hours of material, pushing his cast and crew close to mutiny in the process, as he searched for emotional truthfulness.

    The film is inordinately long, a full three hours. This is a chamber piece – a film with only two main characters – and yet it still has an epic quality that belies its origins. (It is adapted from a relatively short graphic novel by Julie Maroh.)

    One of the surprises of Blue Is the Warmest Colour – given its notoriety – is the ordinariness of its settings. This isn’t a film that takes place in Amélie’s Montmartre or the fashionable Left Bank of Midnight in Paris (in which Seydoux also appeared). Instead, it unfolds against everyday backdrops in Lille. Made as a drama, Blue Is the Warmest Colour nonetheless has the same relentless focus on its subjects that you find in fly-on-the-wall documentaries.



    The sex scenes are very frankly shot but almost every other scene in the film has the same level of detail and nuance. This is especially true of the earliest parts of the film in which we see Adèle and her friends at school. When Adèle catches an early glimpse of Emma while on a date with a boy from her school, we’re immediately instantly aware of her fascination with someone whose rebellious spirit she immediately identifies with recognises.

    As we first encounter her, Adèle is a conformist schoolgirl. She has a token “gay” friend but takes it for granted that girls go out with boys. Adèle, though, is at a pivotal moment in her life. She is intensely curious. When she and a school friend share a kiss almost on a whim, the friend sees it as little more than a joke. For Adèle, it is far more important than that. There is a wonderful sequence when she wanders into a bar hoping to meet Emma – it is as if she has entered an exotic and dangerous new world.

    Julie Maroh has complained that Blue Is the Warmest Colour is a heterosexual male director’s vision of what a lesbian affair might be like and is close to pornography. That seems unfair. This is primarily a film about a relationship. The fact that it is between two women isn’t the key factor. For Adèle, her lover represents difference and defiance. Emma is an artist. She is self-consciously rebellious and unashamed about her sexuality.

    The two girls come from very different social backgrounds. Adèle is working class, Emma comes from an artistic elite. This is made very apparent in the scenes in which the girls and their families sit down at table. Kechiche loves to show his characters eating. Emma and her parents are shown shovelling spaghetti into their mouths.

    “I eat everything,” Adèle blithely declares. Her voracious appetite for life is reflected in the way she devours her food. In theory, she doesn’t like shellfish but when Emma’s family offer her oysters, her curiosity gets the better of her.

    In the first half of the film, as Emma and Adèle come together, the differences between them fall away. The film-maker’s approach remains determinedly naturalistic. There is nothing here like the famous scene in Ingmar Bergman’s Persona in which the two women’s faces seem to merge together, as if they are a single personality.



    The storytelling style changes subtly in the second half of the film. It’s as if Kechiche is taking a step back. The close-ups aren’t as big. The intensity in the relationship gives way to a cosy domesticity as Adèle pursues her new career as a teacher and Emma works away at her art. There is still one astonishing scene when the couple have a full-blown row. The rancour is every bit as fierce as their tenderness had been earlier on.

    The film tapers out in its final quarter. Its ending is strangely conventional. There have been countless other films that have chronicled young love affairs in a similar way. What makes Blue Is the Warmest Colour different, though, isn’t the story itself but the searingly frank and intimate way in which it is told.

    source indpendent

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    John McAfee accused of stalking

    Software entrepreneur who fled Belize in 2012 amid murder investigation says civil case stems from dispute with landlords





    The anti-virus software entrepreneur John McAfee has been evicted from his Oregon apartment and hit with a civil stalking complaint.

    McAfee, 68, last year fled the Central American nation of Belize, where authorities sought to question him in the fatal shooting of a US expatriate who lived near McAfee's home. He has denied any involvement.

    McAfee moved into a high-end apartment building in south-east Portland. The stalking complaint was filed by Connor Hyde, a property manager with the Riverstone Residential Group.

    Hyde no longer worked at the location, said Crystal Pierce, senior property manager at The 20 on Hawthorne, adding that the company did not comment on legal matters.

    Hyde's court filing, obtained by the Oregonian, says McAfee sent threatening emails and had access to weapons and armed associates from a motorcycle club.

    McAfee said in a phone interview on Monday that he moved to Montreal two months ago and had just learned of his eviction. He said he had issues with building management over "wilful lapses of security" but was not forced to leave.

    "I've never been evicted from anything," he said.

    McAfee said he had a "severe problem" with Hyde but never threatened him with anything except lawsuits. "He gave keys out to all of his friends, and friends of friends," he said. "People were partying in vacant condos. It's turned into a nightmare ever since the new owners purchased the building four months ago."

    Judge Steven Evans granted a temporary protective order against McAfee and scheduled a 3 January hearing.

    McAfee said he did not plan to attend the January hearing and the protective order was inconsequential because he was no longer living in Oregon.

    McAfee sold his stake in the software company named after him in the early 1990s and moved to Belize about four years ago to reduce his taxes. He has dabbled in yoga, ultralight aircraft and the production of herbal medications.

    He told the New York Times in 2009 that he had lost all but $4m of his US$100m fortune in the US financial crisis. However the Gizmodo website later quoted him as describing that claim as "not very accurate at all".

    source theguardian
     
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    Let there be light - well, actually half a million of them: family claims world record for Christmas decorations















    An Australian family has reclaimed their Guinness World Record by stringing up more than half a million Christmas lights around their suburban home.

    Guinness World Records official Chris Sheedy confirmed today that the Richards family of Canberra set the record for Christmas lights on a residential property with 502,165 twinkling bulbs.

    The family first entered the famous record book in 2001 with 331,038 multi-colored lights. But they were trumped last year by a family in LaGrangeville, New York, who illuminated their home with 346,283 lights.

    The Richards home with its lights on more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) of cable in suburban Forrest will be open to the public from the weekend to raise money for charity.

    David Richards — husband of Janean and father of Aidan, 13, Caitlin, 10, and Madelyn, 6 — said most of his neighbors supported the display. But some hadn't spoken to him since the last record was set.

    "I have always loved Christmas. Having the Christmas lights with the community coming in and sharing it is a time when you get to know people you probably should know better, I guess," he said.

    He said while he bought the lights, a local power company would donate the estimated 2,500 Australian dollars ($2,300) in electricity that would illuminate them for the next month.

    He had vowed he had retired from Christmas lights competition after his 2011 record. While Richards won't rule out a defence of his latest record, he said he would need a generator to get any more electricity for his home.

    source independent
     
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    Prolific Hollywood Producer Reveals His Double Life As An Israeli Spy


    Arnon Milchan has produced over 120 full-length films including "Natural Born Killers," "Pretty Woman," “Fight Club,” “L.A. Confidential," and "The Fountain." Here he is with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the premiere of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" in 2005.

    Prolific Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan has confirmed that he helped Israel develop its nuclear weapons program as a spy, according to the investigative television program Uvda on the Israeli Channel 2.

    The book "Confidential" details Milchan’s double life as a hotshot and Israeli intelligence operative, which the multi-billionaire never discussed on the record.

    Milchan reportedly told interviewer Ilana Dayan that he set up bank accounts and companies to acquire material and equipment for Israel's secretive LAKAM economic espionage unit. He reportedly operated 30 companies in 17 different countries at the peak of his spying activity.

    “Do you know what it was like to be a 20-something guy whose country decided to let him be James Bond? Wow! The action! That was exciting,” Milchan, who was born in 1944 in what was then Palestine, told Dayan.

    In the 70s, Milchan brokered deals for hundreds of millions of dollars between Israel and U.S. companies for helicopters, missiles, and other equipment.

    Milchan, who is good friends with current Israeli President Shimon Peres, told Uvda that he then helped Israel obtain key nuclear equipment and information while Peres built the Dimona nuclear reactor as Director-General of the Ministry of Defense.

    (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who used to work for Heli Trading Co., is also a friend of Milchan.)

    Milchan's company, Heli Trading Co., brokered the shipment of 800 krytons — sophisticated triggers for nuclear weapons — from the California company MILCO International Inc. to the Israeli Ministry of Defense between 1979 and 1983.

    In 1985, the U.S. indicted MILCO President Kelly Smyth on 30 counts of smuggling and making false statements.

    When asked about the transactions, Milchan told Dayan: "I didn't know Israel ordered the triggers. I didn't even know what triggers were."

    source businessinsider
     
    EuroMode

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    REPORT: MSNBC Has Fired Alec Baldwin

    MSNBC has fired host Alec Baldwin, the New York Post's Richard Johnson is reporting.

    The move comes two weeks after Baldwin flipped out at a cameraman and videographer and allegedly called one of them a gay slur. The network had suspended his show, "Up Late With Alec Baldwin," for two weeks after the incident.

    But Baldwin's exit also comes, in part, due to his unfriendliness toward his co-workers at MSNBC, according to the Post report.

    Here's one particularly terrible example:

    Besides demanding a humidifier because he claimed the air at 30 Rock was too dry, Baldwin alienated staffers when he demanded a separate makeup room being used by a woman with cancer who is sensitive to hairspray.

    When Baldwin was told he couldn’t have his way, he allegedly bellowed at the top of his lungs, “I don’t give a f - - k if she has cancer or not, I want that f - - king makeup room.”

    A network spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

    source businessinsider
     
    EuroMode

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    27 animals died during filming of Hollywood blockbuster The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, says report



    It’s the comforting, post-credits pledge that lets animal lovers enjoy their favourite movies without worrying that anyone really killed Kevin Costner’s horse or Tom Hanks’s dog.

    But now it seems the slogan “no animals were harmed” is not always to be believed after the publication of a report claiming animal cruelty is still rife in Hollywood.

    A number of animals were injured or killed during the production of some of last year’s biggest blockbusters, including Life of Pi and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, while the HBO horse-racing drama Luck was cancelled after four horses died during filming.

    The report by The Hollywood Reporter accuses the American Humane Association (AHA) – the issuer of the familiar “no animals were harmed” credit – of not only failing to protect animals on set, but also of covering up those lapses. The real-life Bengal tiger that played the circus animal “Richard Parker” in the director Ang Lee’s acclaimed Life of Pi was reported to have almost “drowned” during a sequence that was shot in a water tank in Taiwan; the report claims the animal was snagged with a catch rope and dragged to the side of the tank.

    The Oscar-winning film was awarded the “no animals were harmed” stamp, despite an AHA official having witnessed the incident.

    Gina Johnson, a representative for the AHA, described the tiger’s mistreatment in an email to a colleague in 2011.

    “This one take with him just went really bad and he got lost trying to swim to the side. Damn near drowned,” she wrote. “I think this goes without saying but don’t mention anything to anyone! Especially the office. Have downplayed the **** out of it.”

    The report also claims the AHA neglected to investigate animal cruelty that took place on a New Zealand farm during the filming of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 2011, when 27 animals – including sheep and goats – reportedly perished from dehydration, exhaustion or drowning.

    An animal trainer working on the film informed an AHA official of the fatalities in 2012, but was told the lack of physical evidence would make it hard to investigate the claim further. When the trainer replied that he had buried the animals himself and knew of their location, the AHA representative told him that because the deaths had taken place off-set, it could not officiate.

    The film was later given the carefully worded credit that noted it “monitored all of the significant animal action. No animals were harmed during such action”.

    These recent incidents of animal neglect are not isolated. According to the report, a husky dog was punched in the diaphragm on Disney’s 2006 film Eight Below, a chipmunk was fatally squashed in the 2006 comedy Failure to Launch, starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker, and dozens of dead fish and squid were washed ashore during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean in 2003.

    In a statement, the AHA denied the allegations made in the report and said it could only bear responsibility for an animal’s welfare while it was on a film set.

    “Far from allowing abuse or neglect to occur, we have a remarkably high safety record of 99.98 per cent on set,” the AHA said.

    “Despite our best efforts, there have occasionally been rare accidents, most of them minor and not intentional.”

    Writing to condemn the animal deaths during production on The Hobbit last year, Dr Robin Ganzert, the chief executive of the AHA, said: “We do not have either the jurisdiction or funding to extend oversight to activities or conditions off-set or before animals come under our protection. “There are too many incidents off the set and this must stop. It is vital that we work with the industry to bring the kind of protection we have for animals during filming to all phases of production.”

    Animal Cruelty: Film’s recent record

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

    Twenty seven animals including goats and sheep were said to have perished from dehydration, exhaustion or drowning on a New Zealand farm during filming.

    Zookeeper (2011)

    An elderly giraffe died during the movie’s production run.

    Eight Below Zero (2006)

    A huskie was beaten during filming, and given five punches to its diaphragm. Force was also used to break up a dog fight.

    source independent
     
    EuroMode

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    Hollywood Producer/Spy Arnon Milchan Played A Key Role In Israel's Nuke Program


    Israeli-American movie producer Arnon Milchan (C) is flanked by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres (L) and Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he announces his donation of US$100 million to establish a new Israeli university, at a press conference on March 28, 2005 in Jerusalem, Israel.

    Film producer Arnon Milchan recently confirmed that he served as an Israeli spy for decades while also working in Hollywood.

    And it seems he was no ordinary spy.

    Israel's secretive LAKAM economic espionage unit, which was tasked with securing technology for Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program, recruited Milchan in the 1960s. At one point, the 69-year-old told Channel 2, he operated 30 companies in 17 different countries.

    (Milcharn reportedly became a key operative for LAKAM chief Benjamin Blumberg and top spy Rafi Eitan, who ran jailed spy Jonathan Pollard and infiltrated a U.S. company to obtain tons of highly-enriched uranium.)

    Milchen, who is good friends with current Israeli President Shimon Peres, also said that he helped Israel obtain key nuclear equipment and information while Peres established the Dimona nuclear reactor as Director-General of the Ministry of Defense.

    Milchan's company, Heli Trading Co., brokered the shipment of 800 krytons — sophisticated triggers for nuclear weapons — from the California company MILCO International Inc. to the Israeli Ministry of Defense between 1979 and 1983.

    In 1985, the U.S. indicted and extradited MILCO President Kelly Smyth on 30 counts of smuggling and making false statements.

    Here's what Smyth told FBI agents in Los Angeles (via IRMEP):

    Smyth details his recruitment by Arnon Milchan, meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu who then worked at smuggling front Heli Trading (Milchan Brothers Trading Company) in Israel, and how the "Project Pinto" smuggling operation was rolled up after his arrest for smuggling 800 nuclear triggers and subsequent flight from the U.S.

    Milchan denies that he knew about the nuclear triggers, which require a U.S. State Department munitions license to be exported. In any case, it's clear that he was integral to Israel's nuclear program.

    Milchan, who still works in Hollywood, has produced over 120 full-length films including "Natural Born Killers," "Heat," "Pretty Woman," “Fight Club,” “L.A. Confidential," and "The Fountain."

    source businessinsider
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    Paul Walker dies in car crash

    ‘Fast and Furious’ actor Paul Walker dies in car crash

    Andre Penner / AP file
    Actor Paul Walker


    Actor Paul Walker, the 40-year-old star of Universal Pictures' "Fast and Furious" movie franchise, was killed in a single-car crash in California Saturday, according to a post on his official Facebook page.
    Walker was a passenger in a friend's car while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide, the post read. Both lost their lives.
    "Sadly I must confirm that Paul did pass away today in a car accident," Walker's representative Ame Van Iden told NBC News.
     
    Abou Sandal

    Abou Sandal

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    ‘Fast and Furious’ actor Paul Walker dies in car crash

    Andre Penner / AP file
    Actor Paul Walker


    Actor Paul Walker, the 40-year-old star of Universal Pictures' "Fast and Furious" movie franchise, was killed in a single-car crash in California Saturday, according to a post on his official Facebook page.
    Walker was a passenger in a friend's car while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide, the post read. Both lost their lives.
    "Sadly I must confirm that Paul did pass away today in a car accident," Walker's representative Ame Van Iden told NBC News.

    The red Porsche sports car crashed into a lamp post in Valencia, north of Los Angeles
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25173331

    RIP
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member

    The red Porsche sports car crashed into a lamp post in Valencia, north of Los Angeles
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25173331

    RIP
    I think actors should stay away from Porsches.
    I for one never felt safe in a Carrera. Its rear engine 60/40 weight distribution makes it highly unstable and very dangerous at high speeds.
    http://history1900s.about.com/od/1950s/qt/deandies.htm

    James Dean Dies in Car Accident

    The mangled remains of 'Little Bastard,' James Dean's Porsche Spyder sports car in which he died during a high-speed car crash, being towed by a tow truck, California. (1955)

    Portrait of American actor James Dean leaning against a wall on the set of director Nicholas Ray's film, 'Rebel Without a Cause




    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbi...tar-34-killed-car-crash-Porsche-explodes.html

    Jackass star Ryan Dunn dies in horror crash as $100,000 Porsche flies off road and explodes in fireball after night out drinking


    Wreckage: The charred remains of the Porsche 911 GT3 are towed away as police survey the scene following the smash in Pennsylvania yesterday which also killed another as-yet-unidentified male
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    Paul Walker
    Final Moments Before Fatal Ride [Photo]

    11/30/2013 10:45 PM PST

    Exclusive

    Moments before Paul Walker took what would turned out to be a fatal ride -- he posed proudly next to the exotic car that exploded on impact in the deadly accident.

    Paul was photographed with the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT that belonged to a friend ... while attending a charity event in Santa Clarita, CA.

    We're told the photos and video were taken about 30 minutes before the accident.



    As TMZ first reported ... Paul had put together the event -- through his Reach Out Worldwide organization -- to support typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines.

    Paul was the passenger in the Porsche when his friend lost control and slammed into a tree. The car exploded, and the Sheriff's Department says speed was a factor.






    Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/11/30/paul-walker-final-photo-before-deadly-crash-porsche/#ixzz2mD9bHNcx
     
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