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Hugh Jackman receives hilarious 50th birthday message from actor Ryan Reynolds

<p>Ryan Reynolds has delivered a very special message to Australian actor Hugh Jackman </p> <p>The<span> </span>Deadpool<span> </span>star and the<span> </span>Wolverine<span> </span>actor have been at a playful head for years now, but for Jackman’s birthday Reynolds has pulled out all guns so the former Marvel movie star can return next to Reynolds for a film together. </p> <p>Reynolds kept the trolling going with a 50th birthday message for Jackman during his<span> </span>The Man. The Music. The Show.<span> </span>concert at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.</p> <p>In a surprise video posted to social media, Jackman shared a hilarious Reynolds wearing a birthday party hat starting off a sweet message to his friend. </p> <p>“Hello Hugh. I was just going to wish you a happy birthday,” the Deadpool star said. </p> <p>“Then I saw what you said. In a word, ‘hurtful.’ Enjoy the show, Hugh Jackman.”</p> <p>Reynolds then belted out the “Happy Birthday” song for the Aussie star — but ended it with his own expletive-filled message.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3kABhRlKUS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3kABhRlKUS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Man The Music The Show 🎩 (@themanthemusictheshow)</a> on Oct 13, 2019 at 7:56am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“And I’m not even f—ing professionally trained Jackman you piece of s—,” Reynolds yelled at the camera as he gave the middle finger, which was censored, at the very end of the video.</p> <p>In his tweet featuring the birthday message video, Jackman wrote, “At first I thought – Ugh, now I actually have to apologize. But then … @VancityReynolds.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the duo’s hilarious years together. </p>

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Loved up royals! Princess Mary and Prince Frederik step out in Paris for royal tour

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Princess Mary is arguably one of the best dressed royals and has once again proven she knows how to perfectly put together an outfit. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Danish royal along with her husband, Prince Frederik are in France for a three-day working visit. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple is leading a business delegation of around 50 Danish companies and business organisations. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Looking both loved up and stylish, the couple were photographed sharing a smile as they visited the Grande Arche de la Defense building for the first day of their trip. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 47-year-old donned a dark blue midi-dress, featuring elegant pleats, cinched waistline and delicate buttons running across its centre. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The royal topped off the gorgeous ensemble with a pair of blue heels and a matching clutch. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Looking picture perfect next to his wife and future Queen of Denmark, Prince Frederik donned a smart navy suit and a blue and white tie to match his wife. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Later during the evening, the couple reunited for a reception celebrating 30 years of La Grande Arche. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She changed into a darling black polka-dot dress, by Black Halo, with a boat neckline for the occasion. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It's been a busy time for the Australian princess, who was just recently promoted to Acting Monarch by her mother-in-law, Queen Margrethe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll through the gallery to see Princess Mary’s stunning looks. </span></p>

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Top 10 Christmas movies

<p>Get into the holiday spirit and revisit some of the best Christmas movies of the season. From classics and family favourites to more recent hits, here are the top 10 Christmas movies for your viewing pleasure. So put your feet up, make some eggnog or mulled wine and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>1. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)</strong> <br />A young girl befriends the department store Santa Claus. On finding out he is the real Santa, we see her transform the lives of the people she loves and ultimately save Christmas. This beloved Christmas classic will warm your heart. </p> <p><strong>2. Love Actually (2003)</strong><br />Following the story of eight couples in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we see characters fall in love on a movie set, in the Prime minister’s office and even in the school yard. With an all-star cast including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson and Keira Knightley, this film is a genuine Xmas feel-good movie. </p> <p><strong>3. Home Alone (1990) </strong><br />Macaulay Culkin stars in this hit as Kevin McCallister who misses out on holidaying with the family and is left home alone! The lengths he goes to trying to prevent bandits from entering his home will have you in fits of laughter.</p> <p><strong>4. Elf (2003)</strong><br />Buddy the Elf has always lived on the North Pole, but now he must visit the real world in search of his father. During the journey he teaches everyone about the spirit of Christmas and finds true love.</p> <p><strong>5. The Nativity Story (2006)</strong><br />Return to the classic Christmas Story with this beautiful and poignant nativity depiction starring Keisha Castle- Hughes. </p> <p><br /><strong>6. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1998)</strong> <br />Jonathan Taylor Thomas stars in this Disney movie about a young man finding his way home, and ultimately himself, in time for Christmas Day. Funny and suitable for the whole family, this is a 90s favourite. </p> <p><strong>7. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989)</strong><br />The adventures of the Griswold family never go out of season, especially as we see them prepare to have the best Christmas ever. Enjoy a belly laugh as you watch Chevy Chase’s shenanigans. </p> <p><strong>8. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)</strong><br />This enchanting classic will remind you of the true meaning of the holidays as an angel shows James Stewart, a self-obsessed business man, what the world would be like if he did not exist.</p> <p><strong>9. The Holiday (2006)</strong> <br />A romantic comedy suited to the warmth of the season, this flick starring, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet tells the unlikely story of two women who swap houses (and countries) over the holidays in a bid to start again. </p> <p><strong>10. The Santa Clause (1994)</strong><br />Watching Tim Allen become Santa Clause in this classic is a staple for many families, so revisit the North Pole with this fun hit.</p> <p>Whether you are looking for a hilarious comedy the whole family will love, or want to sit back and enjoy a romance, there is the perfect Christmas movie for you this holiday season. Let us know about some of your favourites below!</p> <p><em>Written by Jessica Morris. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/top-10-christmas-movies.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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5 of the most romantic movies ever made

<p>Keep a box of tissues handy and reunite with old friends from 15 of the greatest romantic movies ever made.</p> <p><strong><em>1. An Affair to Remember, 1957</em></strong></p> <p>Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant are the lovers we couldn’ t take our eyes off in the 1957 remake of Love Affair(1939). Director Leo McCarey is responsible for both films, but An Affair to Remember is more widely cited as a romantic classic. Though both Nickie (Grant) and Terry (Kerr) are betrothed to others at the beginning of the film, a chance meeting between the pair leads to a promise to rendezvous at the top of the Empire State Building in six months time. You’ ll be asking ... will they? Won’t they? Where are the tissues? </p> <p><strong><em>2. The Notebook, 2004</em></strong></p> <p>The Notebook is undoubtedly the most popular romantic film of the 21st century. The film was responsible for creating an instant heartthrob out of Ryan Gosling (Noah) and a highly sought-after actress in Rachel McAdams (Allie). The film adaptation of Nicolas Sparks’ novel has it all: star-crossed lovers, jealousy, kissing in the rain, rowboat rides and steamy passion. The story is told from the protagonist’ s point of view as he regales his wife – who is suffering Alzheimer's disease – with their epic romance that blossomed in the 1940s and endured through decades of marriage and raising children. Keep the tissues handy!</p> <p><strong><em>3. Dirty Dancing, 1988</em></strong></p> <p>Following the ugly-ducking-turned-beautiful-swan plotline, Dirty Dancing is a musical romantic comedy that bought us stellar lines such as, “I carried a watermelon” and “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Taking place at the exclusive Kellerman’ s Resort in the Catskill Mountains (Lake Lure) during the summer of 1963, the music and choreography is superb. Patrick Swayze is the main man Johnny, who works as a very popular dance instructor at the resort. Baby is vacationing with her wealthy family and is instantly taken with the dreamy dancer. In between practicing lifts in the lake, Baby and Johnny dance their way to love, and the rest is history.</p> <p><strong><em>4. Harold and Maude, 1971</em></strong></p> <p>This film is poignant and surprising. The black comedy is absurd and focuses on a well-to-do 20 year old who drives a hearse for kicks and harbours a deep fascination with death. Meanwhile Maude is a vivacious 80-year-old Holocaust survivor who attends funerals with alarming frequency. The two strike up a very unlikely friendship that will mark a turning point in each of their lives. Unconventional but profound and romantic in its own unique way.</p> <p><strong><em>5. Pretty Woman, 1990</em></strong></p> <p>More than twenty-five years after Julia Robert played Vivian, the most loveable prostitute in the profession’s long history, Pretty Woman is still a trusted go-to movie night option. Her chemistry with leading man and business tycoon Edward (Richard Gere) was Cinderella-esque and so electric the movie holds the title as one of the highest grossing films in the romance genre.</p> <p><em>Written by Louise Smithers. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/top-15-countdown-to-the-most-romantic-movie-ever-made/page/1">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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A life in pictures: Judy Garland and her tragic downfall

<p>In 1954, singer and actress Judy Garland appeared in what was going to be her last iconic role as Esther Blodgett (aka Vicki Lester) in<span> </span><em>A Star is Born.</em></p> <p>At only 32 years old, Garland had already spent most of her life on stage and on screen, with a career that greatly impacted her mental health.</p> <p>"I’m the queen of the comeback,” <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.biography.com/news/judy-garland-personal-life-struggles-husbands%EF%BB%BF%EF%BB%BF" target="_blank">Garland said</a> during an interview in 1968. “I’m getting tired of coming back. I really am. I can’t even go to… the powder room without making a comeback.”</p> <p>It would only be a year later that Garland would pass away under tragic circumstances.</p> <p>In 1969, Garland’s new husband Mickey Dean would break down the door to the locked bathroom and find Garland dead at the age of 47 years old.</p> <p>The coroner, Gavin Thurston, <a rel="noopener" href="https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&amp;d=DS19690626.2.98&amp;e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1" target="_blank">announced to the press</a> following the autopsy, “This is quite clearly an accidental circumstance to a person who was accustomed to taking barbiturates over a very long time. She took more barbiturates than she could tolerate.”</p> <p>Barbiturates were a then-common sleep aid, but Garland had a history of depression and alcoholism. She had attempted suicide several times, with her third husband<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1969/06/23/89002088.pdf" target="_blank">Sid Luft</a><span> </span>alleging that she tried to take her own life on at least 20 different occasions.</p> <p>However, addiction was in Garland’s history, with her mother giving her pills to keep her energy up and bring her down and sleep at the young age of ten. This is according to the biography<em> <a rel="noopener" href="https://aax-us-east.amazon-adsystem.com/x/c/Qp3DrXv8BwRGrf9nTihmGmMAAAFthZVmLQEAAAFKAW2eFyI/https:/assoc-redirect.amazon.com/g/r/https:/www.amazon.com/Get-Happy-Life-Judy-Garland/dp/0385335156?creativeASIN=0385335156&amp;linkCode=w61&amp;imprToken=PjiEgE51E5pnhGrC4RlEXA&amp;slotNum=0&amp;tag=townandcountry_auto-append-20&amp;ascsubtag=%5bartid%7C10067.a.29254579%5bsrc%7C%5bch%7C%5blt%7C" target="_blank">Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland</a>.</em></p> <p>The problem only worsened when Garland was signed onto MGM, as she was expected to work at a breakneck pace.</p> <p>"They had us working days and nights on end. They’d give us pills to keep us on our feet long after we were exhausted. Then they’d take us to the studio hospital and knock us out with sleeping pills­–[co-star Mickey Rooney] sprawled out on one bed and me on another," Garland said, according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Garland-Paul-Donnelley/dp/1904950817?tag=townandcountry_auto-append-20&amp;ascsubtag=%5bartid%7C10067.a.29254579%5bsrc%7C%5bch%7C%5blt%7C" target="_blank">Paul Donnelley's biography</a> of the actress. "Then after four hours they’d wake us up and give us the pep pills again so we could work 72 hours in a row. Half of the time we were hanging from the ceiling, but it was a way of life for us."</p> <p>Garland didn’t have much success in her personal life, as she went onto marry five different people. She was 19 when she married bandleader David Rose and following their divorce in 1944 went onto marry Vicente Minnelli.</p> <p>Garland married Sid Luft in 1952, Mark Herro in 1965 and finally Mickey Deans in 1969, which was just three months before her death.</p> <p>Towards the end of her life, debt was slowly taking over and Garland played solo concerts to pay off thousands in taxes she owed to the IRS.</p> <p>"It took drugs ... to get her back to a level place where you could have a conversation with her, where you could get her to sign checks, sign contracts, talk about business," Garland's manager Stevie Phillips <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.insideedition.com/judy-garlands-manager-remembers-stars-spiraling-drug-addiction-56276" target="_blank">told <em>Inside Edition</em></a> of the star's later years.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Garland throughout the years.</p>

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Trick or treat? The psychology of fright and Halloween horrors

<p>Halloween is upon us. The spirits of the departed return to haunt the living and demons roam the land.</p> <p>Predictably, scary movies flood television screens and packs of costumed, sugar-crazed children wander the streets.</p> <p>In many ways, trick or treating and watching horror movies are puzzling activities. What possesses people to help their children become ghouls, monsters and supernatural villains for one enchanted evening?</p> <p>Why do we seek out experiences that we know will expose us to dread, disgust and terror?</p> <p>Not everyone is drawn to these experiences, of course. As a rule, humans seek pleasure and avoid pain. But some seem to welcome emotional pain and even luxuriate in it.</p> <p><strong>The ‘Dark’ factor</strong></p> <p>Researchers have explored what influences enjoyment of horror movies in the hope of understanding the paradox that lies at its heart.</p> <p>Liking horror movies is associated with an underlying dimension of <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964424/">entertainment preferences</a>, dubbed “the Dark factor”.</p> <p>People who find horror particularly appealing tend to enjoy heavy metal or punk music, cult films and erotica. They tend to be young and male. Those with Dark tastes value intensity, edginess and rebellion. Their personalities lean towards risk taking, antagonism, imagination and tough mindedness.</p> <p>Some of these attributes reflect the personality trait of sensation seeking. High sensation seekers crave intense, novel, and risky experiences and are especially fond of frightening movies.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19585588">One study</a> used fMRI to scan brains of people while they watched a horror film. Those who scored high on a sensation-seeking measure showed activation in brain regions associated with arousal and visual processing during threatening scenes. This activation was stronger than when they were exposed to neutral scenes.</p> <p>Intriguingly, high sensation seekers’ neural response to scary scenes wasn’t higher than their low sensation seeker peers. Instead, high sensation seekers reacted less intensely to neutral scenes.</p> <p>By implication, sensation seekers are bored and understimulated by the everyday. They show a magnified response to thrilling departures from normality. In essence, they enjoy horror because it is arousing.</p> <p><strong>The pleasure paradox</strong></p> <p>Empathy is also related to our differing fondness for frightening movies. More empathic people are likely to put themselves in the shoes of horrors movies’ sliced and mangled victims and to find the vicarious experience unpleasant.</p> <p><a href="http://crx.sagepub.com/content/17/5/616">One study</a> showed people who scored higher on an empathy test made more effort to distract themselves during horror scenes and found them less appealing. They also showed a greater drop in skin temperature, indicating unpleasant arousal.</p> <p>Arguably, having less empathy enables people to interpret frightening scenes as “just a movie” and detach their emotional response. Of course, there is a world of difference between coming face to face with a knife-wielding man in a hockey mask and seeing him on a screen. That difference may just be smaller for more empathic people.</p> <p>Another factor that influences the enjoyment of fright is “meta-emotion”. This concept refers to how people feel and think about their emotions. Some derive enjoyment from negative emotional states, as when enjoying a “good cry”, for instance.</p> <p>Indeed, <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15506878jobem4402_8">a study</a> found that people who like sad films enjoy a scene relative to how much sadness it elicits. The stronger the sadness, the higher the enjoyment.</p> <p>The idea of meta-emotion resolves the hedonic paradox (the pursuit of negative experience for pleasure) by recognising that we can put a positive frame around a negative experience, and vice versa.</p> <p>In one study, <a href="http://crx.sagepub.com/content/37/2/167.abstract">German researchers found</a> people who generally avoided strong emotions felt negatively about their emotional response to a horror film. Those drawn to strong emotions enjoyed the movie experience more.</p> <p>Enjoying horror films may be like enjoying chilli pepper or skydiving. The apparent benign masochism is driven by a desire for intense experiences, even when they are painful, unpleasant and contrary to our animal instincts.</p> <p><strong>Trick or treat!</strong></p> <p>Trick or treating has also interested psychologists. During this <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/eth.2005.33.2.180/abstract">inversion of social norms</a> children dress as powerful, wicked or monstrous beings and taboos around death and evil are relaxed. Researchers have used this ritualised suspension of normal expectations as a creative way to study rule-breaking.</p> <p>Several studies have examined whether being costumed or masked affects childrens’ tendency to take more treats than allowed. Such effects might reveal the dangers of deindividuation (where individuals lose social restraints in groups).</p> <p>Sure enough, costumed children who are <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1976-20842-001">anonymous</a>, by wearing masks for instance, are more likely to take extra candies.</p> <p>Halloween also seems to bring out excesses in adults. Costumed Halloween celebrators tend to have <a href="http://eab.sagepub.com/content/39/3/352.short">higher blood alcohol</a> readings than people in plain clothes. There are also substantially increased levels of vandalism and property destruction.</p> <p>One form of crime that <a href="http://sax.sagepub.com/content/21/3/363.abstract">does not spike at Halloween</a> though, is sexual abuse of children by strangers – despite some panic in the United States. But children on the day are at substantially increased risk of pedestrian motor vehicle accidents.</p> <p>So look left, look right, and be careful on the roads. And don’t forget to look out for other dangers lurking under the bed, in the closet, beneath the stairs, behind the curtains, inside the vacant house on the corner ….<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/49800/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Nick Haslam, Professor of Psychology, University of Melbourne</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/trick-or-treat-the-psychology-of-fright-and-halloween-horrors-49800" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The children who've lived before

<p><strong> “When I was your age, I changed your diaper,”</strong> said the dark-haired boy to his father. Ron* (* names of boys and their family members were changed to protect privacy) looked down at his smiling son, who had not yet turned two. He thought it was a very strange thing to say, but he figured he had misheard him.</p> <p>But as baby Sam made similar remarks over the next few months, Ron and his wife Cathy gradually pieced together an odd story: Sam believed that he was his deceased grandfather, Ron’s late father, who had returned to his family. More intrigued than alarmed, Ron and Cathy asked Sam, “How did you come back?”</p> <p>“I just went whoosh and came out the portal,” he responded.</p> <p>Although Sam was a precocious child – he’d been speaking in full sentences from the age of 18 months – his parents were stunned to hear him use a word like portal, and they encouraged him to say more. They asked Sam if he’d had any siblings, and he replied that he’d had a sister who “turned into a fish”.</p> <p>“Who turned her into a fish?”</p> <p>“Some bad guys. She died.”</p> <p>Eerily enough, Sam’s grandfather had a sister who had been murdered 60 years earlier; her body was found floating in San Francisco Bay. Ron and Cathy then gently asked Sam, “Do you know how you died?”</p> <p>Sam jerked back and slapped the top of his head as if in pain. One year before Sam was born, his grandfather had died of a cerebral haemorrhage.</p> <p><strong>Is Reincarnation Real?</strong></p> <p>Today more than 75 million people in America – across all religions – believe in reincarnation, according to a Pew Forum on Religion &amp; Public Life poll; a separate survey reports that roughly one in ten people can recall his or her own past life. In October last year, the <em>Dr Oz Show</em> in the US covered the “reality of reincarnation”. There are other reality-TV series and documentaries on the topic such as <em>Ghost Inside My Child</em>, about children with past-life memories, and <em>Reincarnated: Past Lives</em>, in which people go under hypnosis to discover their earlier existences.</p> <p>Why this fascination? Part of reincarnation’s appeal has to do with its hopeful underlying promise: that we can do better in our next lives. “With reincarnation, there is always another opportunity,” explains Stafford Betty, a professor of religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield, and the author of <em>The Afterlife Unveiled</em>. “The universe takes on a merciful hue. It’s a great improvement over the doctrine of eternal hell.”</p> <p>Yet despite the popular interest, few scientists give reincarnation much credence. They regard it as a field filled with charlatans, scams and tall tales of having once been royalty.</p> <p>Reincarnation is “an intriguing psychological phenomenon,” says Christopher C. French, a professor of psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, who heads a unit that studies claims of paranormal experiences. “But I think it is far more likely that such apparent memories are, in fact, false memories rather than accurate memories of events that were experienced in a past life.”</p> <p>For more than 45 years, a team at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia (UVA) has been collecting stories of people who can recall their past lives. And if the professors determine that there is some merit to these memories, their findings will call into question the idea that our humanity ends with our death.</p> <p><strong>“Mommy, I’m So Homesick”</strong></p> <p>Among the UVA case studies is the story of an Oklahoma boy named Ryan. A few years ago, the four-year-old woke up screaming at two in the morning. Over the preceding months, he’d been pleading with his bewildered mother, Cyndi, to take him to the house where he’d “lived before.” In tears, he’d beg her to return him to his glittering life in Hollywood – complete with a big house, a pool, and fast cars – that was so fabulous, he once said, “I can’t live in these conditions. My last home was much better.”</p> <p>When Cyndi went into her son’s room that night, Ryan kept repeating the same words – “Mommy, I’m so homesick” – as she tried to comfort him and rock him to sleep.</p> <p>“He was like a little old man who couldn’t remember all the details of his life. He was so frustrated and sad,” Cyndi says.</p> <p>The next morning, she went to the library, borrowed a pile of books about old Hollywood, and brought them home. With Ryan in her lap, Cyndi went through the volumes; she was hoping the pictures might soothe him. Instead, he became more and more excited as they looked at one particular book. When they came to a still of a scene from a 1932 movie called <em>Night After Night</em>, he stopped her.</p> <p>“Mama,” he shouted, pointing to one of the actors, who wasn’t identified. “That guy’s me! The old me!”</p> <p>“I was shocked,” Cyndi admits. “I never thought that we’d find the person he thought he was.” But she was equally relieved. “Ryan had talked about his other life and been so unhappy, and now we had something to go on.”</p> <p>Although neither Cyndi nor her husband believed in reincarnation, she went back to the library the next day and checked out a book about children who possessed memories of their past lives. At the end of it was a note from the author, Professor Jim Tucker, saying that he wanted to hear from the parents of kids with similar stories. Cyndi sat down to write him a letter.</p> <p><strong>The Ghost Hunters</strong></p> <p>Tucker was a child psychiatrist in private practice when he heard about the reincarnation research being conducted by Dr Ian Stevenson, founder and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at UVA. He was intrigued and began working with the division in 1996; six years later, when Stevenson retired, Tucker took over as the leader of the division’s past-life research. The UVA team has gathered more than 2500 documented cases of children from all over the world who have detailed memories of former lives, including that of a California toddler with a surprisingly good golf swing who said he had once been legendary athlete Bobby Jones; a Midwestern five-year-old who shared some of the same memories and physical traits – blindness in his left eye, a mark on his neck, a limp – as a long-deceased brother; and a girl in India who woke up one day and began speaking fluently in a dialect she’d never heard before. (Tucker describes these cases in his book <em>Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Their Past Lives</em>.)</p> <p>The children in the UVA collection typically began talking about their previous lives when they were two or three years old and stopped by the age of six or seven. “That is around the same time that we all lose our memories of early childhood,” Tucker says. When he first learns about a subject, he checks for fraud, deliberate or unconscious, by asking two questions: “Do the parents seem credible?” and “Could the child have picked up the memories through TV, overheard conversations, or other ordinary means?” If he can rule out fraud, he and his team interview the child and his or her family to get a detailed account about the previous life. Then the researchers try to find a deceased person whose life matches the memories. This last part is essential because otherwise the child’s story would be just a fantasy.</p> <p>Close to three-quarters of the cases investigated by the team are “solved”, meaning that a person from the past matching the child’s memories is identified. In addition, nearly 20% of the kids in the UVA cases have naturally occurring marks or impairments that match scars and injuries on the past person. One boy who recalled being shot possessed two birthmarks – a large, ragged one over his left eye and a small, round one on the back of his head – which lined up like a bullet’s entrance and exit wounds.</p> <p>In the case of Ryan, the boy longing for a Hollywood past, an archivist pored over books in a film library until she found a person who appeared to be the man he’d singled out: Hollywood agent Marty Martyn, who made an unbilled cameo in <em>Night After Night</em>. After Cyndi spoke with Tucker, he interviewed Ryan, and then the family contacted Martyn’s daughter. She met with Tucker, Ryan and Cyndi, and along with public records, she confirmed more than 50 details that Ryan had reported about her father’s life, from his work history to the location and contents of his home. Cyndi felt tremendous relief when she was told that her son’s story matched Martyn’s. She says, “He wasn’t crazy! There really was another family.”</p> <p><strong>Plane on Fire!</strong></p> <p>Tucker learned about the best-known recent reincarnation case study from TV producers. In 2002, he was contacted to work for and appear on a show about reincarnation (the programme never aired) and was told about James Leininger, a four-year-old Louisiana boy who believed that he was once a World War II pilot who had been shot down over Iwo Jima.</p> <p>Bruce and Andrea Leininger first realised that James had these memories when he was two and woke up from a nightmare, yelling, “Airplane crash! Plane on fire! Little man can’t get out!” He also knew details about WWII aircraft that would seem impossible for a toddler to know. For instance, when Andrea referred to an object on the bottom of a toy plane as a bomb, James corrected her by saying it was a drop tank. Another time, he and his parents were watching a History Channel documentary, and the narrator called a Japanese plane a Zero. James insisted that it was a Tony. In both cases, he was right.</p> <p>The boy said that he had also been named James in his previous life and that he’d flown off a ship named the <em>Natoma</em>. The Leiningers discovered a WWII aircraft carrier called the <em>USS Natoma Bay</em>. In its squadron was a pilot named James Huston, who had been killed in action over the Pacific.</p> <p>James talked incessantly about his plane crashing, and he was disturbed by nightmares a few times a week. His desperate mother contacted past-life therapist Carol Bowman for help. Bowman told Andrea not to dismiss what James was saying and to assure him that whatever happened had occurred in another life and body and he was safe now. Andrea followed her advice, and James’s dreams diminished. (His parents coauthored <em>Soul Survivor</em>, a 2009 book about their family’s story.)</p> <p>Professor French, who is familiar with Tucker’s work, says “the main problem with [his] investigating is that the research typically begins long after the child has been accepted as a genuine reincarnation by his or her family and friends.” About James Leininger, French says, “Although his parents insisted they never watched World War II documentaries or talked about military history, we do know that at 18 months of age, James was taken to a flight museum, where he was fascinated by the World War II planes. In all probability, the additional details were unintentionally implanted by his parents and by a counsellor who was a firm believer in reincarnation.”</p> <p>Tucker says that he has additional documentation for many of James Leininger’s statements, and they were made before anyone in the family had heard of James Huston or the <em>USS Natoma Bay</em>. French responds that “children’s utterances are often ambiguous and open to interpretation. For example, perhaps James said something that just sounded a bit like <em>Natoma</em>?”</p> <p>Bruce Leininger, James’s father, understands French’s disbelief. “I was the original sceptic,” he says. “But the information James gave us was so striking and unusual. If someone wants to look at the facts and challenge them, they’re welcome to examine everything we have.” Bruce laughs at the idea that he and his wife planted the memories, saying, “You try telling a two-year-old what to believe; you’re not going to be able to give them a script.”</p> <p><strong>Long Live Hope</strong></p> <p>Tucker, too, knows that for most scientists, reincarnation will always seem like a fantastical notion regardless of how much evidence is presented. For him, success doesn’t mean persuading the naysayers to accept the existence of reincarnation but rather encouraging people to consider the meaning of consciousness and how it might survive our deaths.</p> <p>“I believe in the possibility of reincarnation, which is different from saying that I believe in reincarnation,” he explains. “I do think these cases require an explanation that is out of the ordinary, although that certainly doesn’t mean we all reincarnate.”<br />Does Tucker believe that in the future, there will be a child who is able to recall his own memories? “Memories of past lives are not very common, so I don’t expect that,” he says. “But I do hope there’s some continuation after death for me and for all of us.”</p> <p><em>Written by Stacy Horn. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/the-children-who-have-lived-before"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Royal twins? Meet Grace Kelly’s lookalike granddaughter Jazmin

<p>Grace Kelly is one of the most iconic  and prolific faces from the Old Hollywood era. </p> <p>She was not just admired for her charming onscreen appearance, stunning facial features and effortless style, she was beloved by the people of Monaco after she went on to marry the Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956. </p> <p>The royal’s very own granddaughter doesn’t fall too far from the tree and is an actress herself. </p> <p>27-year-old daughter of Prince Albert II of Monaco, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was raised in California by her mum who met the dashing royal while on holidays at Côte d'Azur, on the French Riviera, in 1991.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ZodPjHaDi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ZodPjHaDi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">“ I would like to be remembered as a person who did her job well. An understanding, kind and decent human being.” #GraceKelly Truly the epitome of Elegance , Grace and Beauty. I’m proud to be her granddaughter!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/jazmingrimaldi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> JazminGraceGrimaldi</a> (@jazmingrimaldi) on Sep 14, 2019 at 10:46am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Prince Albert finally confirmed his daughter’s paternity in 2006, when Jazmin was barely a teenager. </p> <p>"I was 14, getting ready to go to high school, when it hit the media that my father had a daughter, and it was me," Jazmin told<span> </span><a href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a11468/jazmin-grace-grimaldi-grace-kelly-granddaughter-0815/"><em>Harper's Bazaar in 2015</em></a>, in her first ever interview.</p> <p>"It's a difficult time for any young adult, and it was an adjustment to have that attention. But I knew it was going to come someday."</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ZoGZvnHZD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ZoGZvnHZD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Remembering my Beautiful, Smart and Talented Grandmother #Gracekelly on this day. It has been 37 years since the day she was taken from us way too soon. I was born exactly ten years later and wish I could’ve met her. Although, we were never able to have a physical relationship and she never knew of her many wonderful grandchildren I feel the warmth of her spirit and guidance around me often. I hope she is smiling down today. #gracekelly #icon #life #memory #remember #actress #grace #beauty #harpersbazaar #michaelavedon @harpersbazaarus shoot with @mavedon212 📸🙏🏻</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/jazmingrimaldi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> JazminGraceGrimaldi</a> (@jazmingrimaldi) on Sep 14, 2019 at 10:42am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Jazmin said connecting with her family members for the first time at 11 was “great”. </p> <p>"Not having had that figure around, I missed that. It's wonderful that it happened when it did, and we've been enjoying a great relationship ever since."</p> <p>Interestingly enough, she bears a striking resemblance to her famous grandmother, who gave up her illustrious career to marry Prince Rainier III. </p> <p>While she never got the opportunity to meet Grace - as she died tragically from a stroke ten years before Jazmin was born - she found that they bonded through her films. </p> <p>"One of my first and fondest memories involving my grandmother was watching High Society," Jazmin said. </p> <p>"It was the first time I realised we had a connection. I'm passionate about acting, singing, and dancing. I saw that in her in this movie. It was a real goose-bumps moment for me."</p> <p>The 27-year-old regularly pays tribute to her “beautiful, smart and talented grandmother,” on social media. </p> <p>"I was born exactly ten years later and wish I could've met her. Although, we were never able to have a physical relationship and she never knew of her many wonderful grandchildren I feel the warmth of her spirit and guidance around me often. I hope she is smiling down today."</p> <p>In another post Jazmin wrote, "Her life, light and legacy lives on.</p> <p>"Truly the epitome of Elegance, Grace and Beauty.</p> <p>"I'm proud to be her granddaughter!"</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Grace Kelly’s look-alike granddaughter Jazmin.</p>

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21 movies that have hilarious titles in other countries

<p>When movies travel abroad, their titles can get a little lost in translation. Check out what your favourite films are called overseas!</p> <p><strong><em>The War of the Stars</em></strong></p> <p>That’s the French title for Star Wars; in Spanish, it was The War of the Galaxies. Makes sense! The title isn’t the only thing that got a major switch in translation. In Germany, the Millennium Falcon became the Speeding Falcon. In France, Han Solo was instead Yan Solo and his Wookie sidekick got the name “Chico.” And their ship? The “Millennium Condor.” The Force definitely wasn’t with those translators.</p> <p><strong><em>Knight of the Night</em></strong></p> <p>It kind of makes sense…? In Spain, that was the title of <em>The Dark Knight</em>. You may have thought that the Batman movie got its title from its brooding protagonist and gloomy cityscapes, but in Spain, they were much more literal – it’s because so many scenes take place at night!</p> <p><strong><em>Super Power Dare Die Team</em></strong></p> <p>You’re not going to be able to guess this one: <em>Super Power Dare Die Team</em> would have been the Chinese title for the <em>Ghostbusters</em> reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones – had it ever been released. Guidelines in China forbid movies that “promote cults or superstition,” though the country’s censors said the official reason was that it wouldn’t appeal to the Chinese audience.</p> <p><strong><em>A Very Powerful Whale Runs to Heaven</em></strong></p> <p>The beloved tearjerker <em>Free Willy</em> is known for its happy ending. The Chinese saw things differently, giving the movie the above title instead. Then again, Willy did jump (not run) to the metaphorical heaven of the open ocean.</p> <p><strong><em>He’s a Ghost!</em></strong></p> <p><em>The Sixth Sense</em> has one of the greatest twist endings of all time – unless you happen to live in China. Although most audiences were stunned by the movie’s revelation in the final minutes, Chinese viewers were already clued in by the title.</p> <p><strong><em>The Boy Drowned in the Chocolate Sauce</em></strong></p> <p>Denmark gave <em>Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory</em> quite the dark (but also kind of hilarious) spin! While greedy Augustus Gloop does take a harrowing swim in a chocolate river, his fate is not quite that grim. While many countries kept the original title of the Gene Wilder classic, and others tweaked it to <em>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</em> (the title of the Roald Dahl novel it’s based on), Portugal changed it to <em>Charlie’s Wonderful Story</em> and Spain picked <em>A Fantasy World</em>. But Denmark’s interpretation definitely takes the (chocolate) cake.</p> <p><strong><em>Die Hard: Mega Hard</em></strong></p> <p>Let’s face it: It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood co-opts this Danish title for <em>Die Hard with a Vengeance</em>. In Denmark, mega means huge, but it also signifies a million. Those Danes are intense. “Die Hard: A million times hard.”</p> <p><strong><em>I’m Drunk and You’re a Prostitute</em></strong></p> <p>The Japanese get points for brutal honesty with this title for <em>Leaving Las Vegas</em>. Nicolas Cage won the Best Actor Oscar for his devastating performance, and his co-star Elisabeth Shue was riveting in her role in the acclaimed drama. Nonetheless, he was portraying a drunk, and she did play a prostitute. (The title also happens to be a paraphrase of one of Cage’s lines from the movie.)</p> <p><strong><em>It’s Raining Falafel</em></strong></p> <p>Israel, where meatballs are not a popular dish, clearly wanted to make <em>Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs</em> more appealing to its audience. So the Hebrew title swapped out the meatballs for falafel, a more recognisable food. In the film itself, though, the animated meatballs were not altered.</p> <p><strong><em>Sexy Dance</em></strong></p> <p>In the first <em>Step Up</em> film, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan come from opposite sides of the tracks. But they’re able to bond through dance and it’s beautiful. Whoever titled the French version of the film simply cut to the chase and called it <em>Sexy Dance</em>. That pretty much nails it!</p> <p><strong><em>Vaseline</em></strong></p> <p>Yep: <em>Grease</em>. Everyone loves Olivia Newton-John as Sandy during her epic transformation in this iconic musical from 1978. John Travolta as Danny is the one that she wants, even though he’s a tough guy greaser. In 1950s slang, that means he slicks his hair back and has a bad reputation. But for the movie release in Argentina, the title was simply <em>Vaseline</em>. Talk about lost in translation…</p> <p><strong><em>A Twin Seldom Comes Alone</em></strong></p> <p>This German designation for the reboot of <em>The Parent Trap</em> is quite… literal. It was Lindsay Lohan’s first starring turn – the 1961 original starred Hayley Mills. The story is about twin sisters, raised apart by feuding parents, who decide to reunite the family; the twins are played by a single actress in both film versions. Maybe that’s why the German title-writer decided to get philosophical with this title.</p> <p><strong><em>My Boyfriend is a Psycho</em></strong></p> <p>The point of <em>Silver Linings Playbook</em> is that they’re both a little crazy, Russia! However, we can’t blame translators for changing this title. Since the English phrase “every cloud has a silver lining” doesn’t really have foreign equivalents, other countries had to seek an alternative name for the film. France called the comedy <em>Happiness Therapy</em>, and Lithuania went with <em>The Story of the Optimists</em>. And finally, since a “playbook” is an American football term, the United Kingdom dropped that part and just went with <em>Silver Linings</em>. Seems reasonable.</p> <p><strong><em>The Teeth of the Sea</em></strong></p> <p>The marketing of the blockbuster <em>Jaws</em> was brilliant for its minimalist simplicity. With one word, audiences got a taste of the horror to come. The visual of the iconic movie poster – a woman swimming above a massive open-mouthed shark – gave the single word “Jaws” its power and impact. In France, the effect was a bit muted: <em>The Teeth of the Sea</em> sounds much less scary and a lot more confusing.</p> <p><strong><em>Mum, I Missed the Plane</em></strong></p> <p>The French must have decided that every parent’s worst nightmare – leaving a child behind – is actually the child’s fault. That can be the only explanation for altering John Hughes’ <em>Home Alone</em> to the above title. That’s right: Kevin missed the plane, and he brought all this home alone burglar mayhem stuff on himself!</p> <p><strong><em>Dimwit Surges Forth</em></strong></p> <p>Adam Sandler comedies are not usually known for their inspirational, overcoming-the-odds tales of high stakes struggle and survival. So it’s not clear why <em>The Waterboy</em> was titled <em>Dimwit Surges Forth</em> in Thailand. However, the dimwit’s rinky-dink team does, ahem, surge forth in the end.</p> <p><strong><em>The Incredible Journey in a Crazy Plane</em></strong></p> <p>This was Germany’s interpretation of the madcap-comedy-slash-disaster-movie-spoof <em>Airplane!</em> Italy also went literal, calling it <em>The Craziest Plane in the World</em>. Several other countries, including Croatia, France and Peru, also lengthened the one-word title, calling it some variation of <em>Is There a Pilot on This Plane?</em> But the funniest title of all might be the working title used for the film during production: <em>Kentucky Fried Airplane</em>.</p> <p><strong><em>Big Liar</em></strong></p> <p>Anthony Hopkins gave an acclaimed performance as the disgraced president in the biopic <em>Nixon</em>, a drama that humanised the flawed American leader. Oliver Stone’s three-hour epic intended to depict the complexity of Nixon’s impact on history. In China, the film was released with the title <em>Big Liar</em>. Why mince words?</p> <p><strong><em>Fantastic Emotional Turmoil</em></strong></p> <p>The beloved Pixar film <em>Inside Out</em> told a complicated emotional tale to child and adult audiences alike. However, multiple countries struggled with a quick, clear title for this movie: In China, the movie was called <em>The Great Team Inside the Head</em>. Russia went with <em>Jigsaw</em>. Vietnam chose <em>The Puzzle Emotions</em>. But Thailand may have taken the day by dubbing it <em>Fantastic Emotional Turmoil</em>. That works!</p> <p><strong><em>Honey, Wait, I’m On My Way</em></strong></p> <p>To be fair to the Slovenian translators, that is an accurate summation of the road trip buddy comedy <em>Due Date</em>. Robert Downey Jr. must take a cross-country trip, with Zach Galifianakis as his wacky travel companion, to arrive home in time for the birth of his baby. Unlike Slovenia, some other countries took the original route, working the pregnancy into the title. In Portugal, the film was called <em>A Childbirth Trip</em>. Perhaps most hilarious of all, the movie’s Polish title translates to <em>Before the Water Goes</em>.</p> <p><strong><em>Grandpa Carl’s Flying House</em></strong></p> <p>Most countries kept the simplicity of the title of Pixar’s <em>Up</em>. Argentina chose <em>Up: An Adventure Up High</em> and the Czech Republic chose <em>To the Skies</em>. Japan, however? Not so much. They chose <em>Grandpa Carl’s Flying House</em>. While that might sound like a comically literal summation of the film, it’s actually somewhat inaccurate – a pivotal detail of <em>Up </em>is the fact that Carl is childless, and therefore not a grandpa. Though we suppose this is a more tactful title than <em>Grumpy Old Guy Carl’s Flying House</em>.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Molly Pennington, PhD</span>. This article first appeared in </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/entertainment/21-movies-that-have-hilarious-titles-in-other-countries" target="_blank"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V" target="_blank"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Maddox Jolie-Pitt breaks silence on strained relationship with dad Brad Pitt

<p>Maddox Jolie-Pitt has opened up about his dad Brad Pitt, giving a brief insight into the difficulty of their relationship. </p> <p>It seems their relationship hasn’t improved, he admitted in a rare interview about his famous father. </p> <p>The 18-year-old who is studying biochemistry at Yonsei University in South Korea, said on film obtained by In <em>Touch Weekly</em> that he wasn’t sure if his father would visit him while he is studying abroad. </p> <p>“I don’t know about that [or] what’s happening,” he told a reporter. </p> <p>Maddox also spoke on their relationship being over or improving to which he said “Well, whatever happens, happens”. </p> <p>Reports show Maddox and his 55-year-old Hollywood heavyweight father had a falling out in 2016 after an incident aboard a private plane. </p> <p>Allegedly, Pitt hit his eldest son in a rage - a few days later, his wife Angelina Jolie filed for divorce. </p> <p>Pitt fell under investigation by US authorities after being accused of physically and verbally abusing his children during an angry outburst, <em>TMZ</em> reported in September 2016. </p> <p>Pitt vehemently denied allegations of violence against his children, however he did admit to screaming at his son. </p> <p>The FBI cleared Pitt of any violent wrongdoings and said they would not file charges against him. </p> <p>44-year-old Angelina dropped Maddox off at university in August. </p> <p>Together, Brad and Angelina share six children; Maddox, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 11.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the Jolie-Pitt family. </p>

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15 things you never knew about Grace Kelly

<p>Elegance personified; Grace Kelly is one iconic Silver Screen star whose adoration seems infinite. Aptly named and always alluring, join us as we take a look at 15 fun facts you may not know about the statuesque beauty.</p> <p><strong>1. Charmed childhood</strong></p> <p>Grace Kelly was born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, when she was entered the world in Philadelphia on 12 November 1929. Her father, John Brendan Kelly, Sr, was arguably the greatest American rower of his generation, winning three Olympic gold medals and 126 consecutive single skull victories. Her mother, Margaret Katherine Majer, was also an athletic type, teaching physical education and later becoming the first female coach of women’s sport at Penn State University. Rather than following her parents’ lead, Grace became interested in acting at a young age and worked as a theatre actress and model in New York before cracking into Hollywood</p> <p><strong>2. The Hitchcock connection</strong></p> <p>“There are many leading women,” Alfred Hitchcock is quoted as saying. “But Grace Kelly is a leading lady.” While her early work garnered interest, it wasn’t until Kelly teamed up with director extraordinaire Alfred Hitchcock that her career was turned up a notch – or ten! First came Dial M for Murder and Rear Window, both released in 1954 and the latter of which heralded international fame and recognition for the young actress. “Mr. Hitchcock taught me everything about cinema,” she said. “It was thanks to him that I understood that murder scenes should be shot like love scenes and love scenes like murder scenes.”</p> <p><strong>3. Brief but illustrious film career</strong></p> <p>After a string of TV appearances, Kelly made her film debut as a 22-year-old in Fourteen Hours (1951). Her breakthrough role came the following year when she starred alongside Cary Grant in High Noon before her star-status was cemented in 1953’s Mogambo (with Clark Gable). In 1954 she could be seen in a number of films; Dial M For Murder, Rear Window, Country Girl, Green Fire and The Bridge at Toko-Ri. In 1955 she starred in To Catch A Thief, while her final two films were made in 1956 – The Swan with Alec Guinness and High Society with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra – when she retired from the business abruptly and entirely.</p> <p><strong>4. Academy award winner</strong></p> <p>Despite her brilliant ‘Hitchcock’ performances, Grace Kelly won her first and only Best Actress Academy Award for the 1955 film The Country Girl, in which she starred alongside Bing Crosby. Additionally, Grace won three Golden Globes and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; not bad for a woman who stuck around Hollywood for only a handful of years.</p> <p><strong>5. We can lick the back of her head (kind of!)</strong></p> <p>Kelly enjoys the title of first actress to have her likeness printed on a postal stamp, when a number of limited edition stamps were circulated in 1993 – 11 years after her death.</p> <p><strong>6. She was a Barbizon babe</strong></p> <p>After high school, at her parent’s insistence she complete tertiary education, Kelly was accepted into the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York. During this time, she roamed the hallowed halls of the Barbizon Hotel for Women in New York, where she counted Liza Minnelli and Ali MacGraw among her neighbours. First opened in 1927, the residential building was intended to give female professionals a place to stay – or a ‘safe retreat’ – in the Big Apple without male intrusion.</p> <p><strong>7. Not even Grace Kelly was perfect</strong></p> <p>During her time at AADA, teachers were concerned with the pitch and tone of her voice. Apparently, a high voice with nasal undertones and a thick Philadelphian accent was the issue, so she worked diligently with voice coaches and listened to hours of recordings until she perfected her gentle tongue that sounded almost British, and always charming.</p> <p><strong>8. Could bring grown men to their knees, or make them traipse across the globe</strong></p> <p>Famous fashion designer Oleg Cassini wasn’t just smitten with Grace Kelly: he was crazy in love! She sent him a letter while on the set of To Catch A Thief in France that stated, ‘Those who love me, follow me.’ Surprise, surprise… he did!</p> <p><strong>9. Royal romance</strong></p> <p>After a whirlwind romance, which included a proposal of marriage after just 11 days of wooing, Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly tied the knot on 18 April 1956. ‘It seemed right and it felt right, and that was the way I wanted it,” Kelly later explained. “I knew that I was going to do it, and even if there was a chance I was making a mistake, I would find out later. Right then and there, nothing mattered to me except staying together.” The love story began one year earlier after the pair crossed paths at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, where Kelly was representing the American delegation He was so taken with the American beauty that he travelled to her hometown of Philadelpia three months later to visit Kelly and meet her family. After agreeing to walk away from her film career and devote herself to royal life, she bore the Prince three children; Caroline, Albert and Stephanie.</p> <p><strong>10. Wedding dowry</strong></p> <p>Becoming a princess doesn’t come cheap, and Mr Kelly had to fork out $2 million for the Prince to seal the deal. It seems the dowry was purely a formality, and we’re fairly certain a man who proposed after just 11 days would have taken her hand no matter the sum.</p> <p><strong>11. Matrimonial censorship</strong></p> <p>Somewhat surprisingly, the screening of any film featuring Grace Kelly was banned in Monaco shortly after she wed Prince Rainier. Indeed, she was offered a plum role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1962 movie Marnie but turned it down after fierce domestic opposition from Monaco residents (and no doubt the royal family).</p> <p><strong>12. Humble princess</strong></p> <p>“I would like to be remembered as someone who accomplished useful deeds, and who was a kind and loving person. I would like to leave the memory of a human being with a correct attitude and who did her best to help others.”</p> <p><strong>13. Tragic end</strong></p> <p>Grace Kelly’s untimely death at the age of 52 sparked a wave of grief across Europe and Hollywood. Indeed, fans around the world mourned for the actress-turned-princess, when she died 24-hours after a car accident on 14 September 1982. The result of a stroke, Kelly lost control of the vehicle that was also carrying her 17-year-old daughter, Stephanie, who escaped with only minor bruises. She was buried four days later in the Grimaldi family vault, where her husband would join her in 2005.</p> <p><strong>14. Famous friends</strong></p> <p>During his eulogy for the starlet, James Stewart said: ‘You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met’.</p> <p><strong>15. A fondness for flowers</strong></p> <p>After her death, Prince Rainier created a garden bordering a small lake in his late-wife’s honour. Opened in 1984, the garden was recently renovated to include more than 8,000 rose bushes. “My love of flowers opened a lot of doors for me,” Grace said. “I've made many friends because of their passion of flowers and their vast knowledge in this field.” A statue of the princess stands in the garden.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/15-things-you-never-knew-about-grace-kelly/page/1">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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15 facts you didn’t know about the Wizard of Oz

<p><strong>For fans of <em>The Wizard of Oz</em> </strong>the mere mention of MGM’s movie masterpiece conjures instant memories: Judy Garland’s tender rendition of “Over the Rainbow”. The Wicked Witch of the West cackling, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” Dorothy and her friends dancing down the winding Yellow Brick Road. And how many kids were terrified of those sinister Winged Monkeys?</p> <p>Since its Hollywood debut on August 15, 1939, more than one billion people have seen Dorothy’s whirlwind journey from Kansas to the Land of Oz. No matter how many times we’ve watched, it’s hard not to be awed when the farmhouse door opens on a Technicolor world. Decades later, there’s still no place like home…</p> <p><strong><em>1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz </em></strong>wasn’t Dorothy’s only journey to Oz. L. Frank Baum wrote 14 novels and six short stories about her adventures. Recent movies such as <em>Oz, The Great and Powerful </em>and <em>Dorothy of Oz </em>were based on these books. Bradford Press has ­­­recreated these elaborately illustrated first editions. Learn more about these replica books at OriginalOz.com.</p> <p><strong>2. Ray Bolger wore an asbestos version </strong>of his Scarecrow costume for the scene in which the Wicked Witch lights him on fire. Men with fire extinguishers stood out of camera range.</p> <p><strong>3. The 1939 movie is a remake. </strong>Two silent film versions preceded it, in 1910 and 1925. The latter starred Oliver Hardy as the character then called the Woodsman.</p> <p><strong>4. No shade of expensive yellow paint </strong>seemed to photograph properly on the Yellow Brick Road – until someone tried an ordinary house paint.</p> <p><strong>5. The jacket Frank Morgan wore </strong>as Professor Marvel came from a thrift shop. MGM spread the story that, by coincidence, the jacket was later found to have belonged to L. Frank Baum.</p> <p><strong>6. Judy Garland wore a corset </strong>throughout filming to give her a younger physique.</p> <p><strong>7. Judy Garland was 16 years old </strong>when filming began. As a minor, she was only permitted by Californian law to work four hours a day.</p> <p><strong>8. Oscar winner Gale Sondergaard </strong>was originally signed to portray a glamorous Wicked Witch of the West. When MGM realised it would affect the whole plot, actress Margaret Hamilton was cast as a more cantankerous witch.</p> <p><strong>9. The film cost $2,777,000 </strong>to produce but earned only $3 million when it was first released.</p> <p><strong>10. The actors who played the Munchkins </strong>were reportedly each paid $50 per week, while Toto earned $125 per week.</p> <p><strong>11. The Emerald City horses </strong>had jelly crystals sprinkled over them to give them their colour.</p> <p><strong>12. Toto, a terrier, was sensitive to noise, </strong>and had to be concealed during the filming of the explosion caused by the Wicked Witch’s arrival in Munchkin Land.</p> <p><strong>13. MGM Studios boss Louis B. Mayer </strong>bought the rights hoping it would follow the success of Walt Disney’s <em>Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs</em>(1937).</p> <p><strong>14. The caps that the inhabitants </strong>of the Emerald City wore caused some extras’ hair to fall out.</p> <p><strong>15. The Wicked Witch’s crystal ball </strong>has a large zodiac on the floor encircling it. This is considered by many as a homage to the Evil Queen in <em>Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs</em>, who has pictures of the zodiac surrounding her magic mirror.</p> <p><em>Written by Jay Scarfone &amp; William Stillman. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/entertainment/Off-To-See-The-Wizard"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><em><u> , </u></em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Steven Spielberg: “Artistic freedom is everything”

<p>In box-office terms, Spielberg is the most successful movie director in the world.<span> </span><em>Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Indiana Jones</em><span> </span>… his movies are cinema classics. But alongside these popcorn-sagas he has also turned his hand to sterner stuff. Moviegoers all over the world found his black-and-white Holocaust drama<em><span> </span>Schindler’s List</em><span> </span>deeply moving. 2016 saw the release of<span> </span><em>The BFG</em><span> </span>(short for Big Friendly Giant), a movie version of the children’s book by Roald Dahl in which a benevolent giant ‘kidnaps’ a little orphan girl.</p> <p><strong><em>Reader’s Digest</em>: The little heroine of your latest movie is scared of giants. What were you afraid of when you were a child?</strong><br /><strong>Spielberg:</strong><span> </span>I was my own monster. My imagination was incredible, so I was afraid of everything. A chair could very quickly change into a spider. I remember staring up at the sky when I was five. One of the clouds up there looked like a beautiful swan, then suddenly it was a dinosaur. I ran home screaming</p> <p><strong><em>Reader’s Digest</em>: What did your parents feel about that?</strong><br /><strong>Spielberg:<span> </span></strong>For my parents my imagination was a real problem, so much so that they seriously considered having me examined by a doctor. After all I was constantly seeing things that didn’t exist except in my head. My mother and father thought I had some major mental problems. I probably did – but they were the gateway to a great career!</p> <p><strong><em>Reader’s Digest</em>:<span> </span>How important is it for you to preserve the child within?</strong><br /><strong>Spielberg:<span> </span></strong>The fascinating thing about children is that they’re just there. When they’re small, they don’t know right from wrong­ – it’s not important to them. Those are years of complete freedom, which come to an end when at some point the brain takes over and tells you how to behave. I remember that time very clearly.</p> <p><strong><em>Reader’s Digest</em>:<span> </span>You turned 70 this past December 2016. What do you consider your greatest career achievement so far?</strong><br /><strong>Spielberg:<span> </span></strong>The right to decide my own projects. That was ­always my only goal, telling my stories without anyone else interfering. It was also why I established my own studios. Artistic freedom means everything to me.</p> <p><strong><em>Reader’s Digest</em>:<span> </span>Which movie did you enjoy making most?</strong><br /><strong>Spielberg:<span> </span></strong>That was<span> </span><em>E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial</em>, because it was the first time I realised I wanted to be a father. Three years later I finally made the grade with the birth of my first son.</p> <p><strong><em>Reader’s Digest</em>: Do you make home movies?</strong><br /><strong>Spielberg:<span> </span></strong>Yes, I always have a video camera with me. At Christmas it’s traditional for there to be a joint movie about the family that lasts one hour. I edit the footage I’ve collected in the course of the year and combine it with our children’s videos. And of course there’s a soundtrack and special effects. We all watch the film together and everyone gets a DVD of it.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Dieter Osswald</span>. This article first appeared in </em><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/artistic-freedom-everything" target="_blank"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V" target="_blank"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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How Martin Scorsese is going to change your home movie experience

<p><span>Hollywood’s biggest filmmakers have teamed up to launch a technology that will make the experience of watching movies at home more like what they intended.</span></p> <p><span>In partnership with the UHD Alliance, leading directors including Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins, Ryan Coogler, Rian Johnson and Paul Thomas Anderson revealed the new “Filmmaker Mode” for upcoming TVs from LG, Panasonic and Vizio that removes technical features that have frustrated the industry.</span></p> <p><span>There has been a growing concern among the creators’ community over features such as motion smoothing, a setting used to adapt movies to smaller screens and reduce blur in fast-moving scenes. It is often referred to as the “soap opera effect” due to the way it makes the actors and backgrounds appear fake or set-like. </span></p> <p><span>“Modern televisions have extraordinary technical capabilities, and it is important that we harness these new technologies to ensure that the home viewer sees our work presented as closely as possible to our original creative intentions,” said Nolan.</span></p> <p><span>“Through collaboration with TV manufacturers, Filmmaker Mode consolidates input from filmmakers into simple principles for respecting frame rate, aspect ratio, color and contrast and encoding in the actual media so that televisions can read it and can display it appropriately.”</span></p> <p><span>Michael Zink, chairman of the UHD Alliance said the initiative highlighted the importance of home viewing. </span></p> <p><span>Johnson, director of <em>Star Wars: The Last Jedi</em>, said the Filmmaker Mode provides “a single button that lines up the settings so it works for the benefit of the movie and not against it”. He said, “If you love movies, Filmmaker Mode will make your movies not look like poo-poo.”</span></p> <p><span>Scorsese said more people view classic flicks in the comfort of their home rather than in theatres. “I started The Film Foundation in 1990 with the goal to preserve film and protect the filmmaker’s original vision so that the audience can experience these films as they were intended to be seen,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>“Most people today are watching these classic films at home rather than in movie theaters, making Filmmaker Mode of particular importance when presenting these films which have specifications unique to being shot on film.”</span></p>

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How the new Aladdin stacks up against a century of Hollywood stereotyping

<p>Though critically acclaimed and widely beloved, the 1992 animated feature “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103639/?ref_=nv_sr_2?ref_=nv_sr_2">Aladdin</a>” had some serious issues with stereotyping.</p> <p>Disney wanted to avoid repeating these same problems in the live action version of “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcBllhVj1eA">Aladdin</a>,” which came out on May 24. So they sought advice from a Community Advisory Council comprised of Middle Eastern, South Asian and Muslim scholars, activists and creatives. I was asked to be a part of the group because of <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=HZ-HRd0AAAAJ&amp;hl=en">my expertise on representations of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. media</a>.</p> <p>The fact that a major studio wants to hear from the community reflects Hollywood’s <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/02/21/696471501/hollywood-diversity-report-finds-progress-but-much-left-to-gain">growing commitment to diversity</a>.</p> <p>But while the live action “Aladdin” does succeed in rectifying some aspects of Hollywood’s long history of stereotyping and <a href="https://www.vox.com/2016/2/22/11091170/john-oliver-hollywood-whitewashing-oscars">whitewashing</a> Middle Easterners, it still leaves much to be desired.</p> <p><strong>Magical genies and lecherous sheikhs</strong></p> <p>In his seminal 1978 book “<a href="https://books.google.com/books/about/Orientalism.html?id=66sIHa2VTmoC">Orientalism</a>,” literature professor <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Edward-Said">Edward Said</a> argued that Western cultures historically stereotyped the Middle East to justify exerting control over it.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/when-will-we-stop-stereotyping-people/p06p97cr">Orientalism in Hollywood</a> has a long history. Early Hollywood films such as “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0012675/?ref_=nv_sr_2?ref_=nv_sr_2">The Sheik</a>” and “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034465/?ref_=nv_sr_4?ref_=nv_sr_4">Arabian Nights</a>” portrayed the Middle East as a monolithic fantasy land – a magical desert filled with genies, flying carpets and rich men living in opulent palaces with their harem girls.</p> <p>While these depictions were arguably silly and harmless, they flattened the differences among Middle Eastern cultures, while portraying the region as backwards <a href="https://books.google.com/books/about/Unthinking_Eurocentrism.html?id=KqjAAwAAQBAJ">and in need of civilizing by the West</a>.</p> <p>Then came <a href="https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520244993/epic-encounters">a series of Middle Eastern conflicts and wars</a>: the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Gulf War. In American media, the exotic Middle East faded; replacing it were depictions of violence and ominous terrorists.</p> <p>As media scholar Jack G. Shaheen <a href="https://shop.mediaed.org/reel-bad-arabs-p133.aspx">observed</a>, hundreds of Hollywood films over the last 50 years have linked Islam with holy war and terrorism, while depicting Muslims as either “hostile alien intruders” or “lecherous, oily sheikhs intent on using nuclear weapons.”</p> <p><strong>Cringeworthy moments in the original ‘Aladdin’</strong></p> <p>Against this backdrop, the Orientalism of Disney’s 1992 animated “Aladdin” wasn’t all that surprising.</p> <p>The opening <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3kkVGuiKFI">song lyrics described</a> a land “Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face” and declared, “It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home!”</p> <p>When the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee <a href="https://variety.com/1993/film/news/aladdin-lyrics-altered-108628/">protested the lyrics</a>, Disney removed the reference to cutting off ears in the home video version but left in the descriptor “barbaric.”</p> <p>Then there were the ways the characters were depicted. As <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1992/12/27/when-will-it-be-okay-to-be-an-arab-the-disney-people-didnt-have-to-invent-a-fictional-city-for-aladdin-its-set-in-baghdad/22c97a21-58f9-468b-a575-514e1c65e894/">many</a> <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1222519.Thinking_Class">have noted</a>, the bad Arabs are ugly and have foreign accents while the good Arabs – Aladdin and Jasmine – possess European features and white American accents.</p> <p>The film also continued the tradition of erasing distinctions between Middle Eastern cultures. For example, Jasmine, who is supposed to be from Agrabah – originally Baghdad but fictionalized because of the Gulf War in 1991 – has an Indian-named tiger, Rajah.</p> <p><strong>Questionable progress</strong></p> <p>After 9/11, a spate of films emerged that rehashed many of the old terrorist tropes. But surprisingly, some positive representations of Middle Eastern and Muslim characters emerged.</p> <p>In 2012, I published my book “<a href="https://nyupress.org/9780814707326/arabs-and-muslims-in-the-media/">Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11</a>.” In it, I detail the strategies that writers and producers used after 9/11 to offset stereotyping.</p> <p>The most common one involved including a patriotic Middle Eastern or Muslim American to counterbalance depictions as terrorists. In the TV drama, “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1796960/">Homeland</a>,” for example, Fara Sherazi, an Iranian American Muslim CIA analyst, is killed by a Muslim terrorist, showing that “good” Muslim Americans are willing to die for the United States.</p> <p>But this didn’t change the fact that Middle Easterners and Muslims were, by and large, portrayed as threats to the West. Adding a ‘good’ Middle Eastern character doesn’t do much to upend stereotypes when the vast majority are still appearing in stories about terrorism.</p> <p>Another strategy also emerged: reverting to old Orientalist tropes of the exotic, romantic Middle East. Maybe writers and producers assumed that depicting the Middle East as exotic would be an improvement over associating it with terrorism.</p> <p>The 2004 film “<a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/article/454768/pdf">Hidalgo</a>,” for example, tells the story of an American cowboy who travels to the Arabian desert in 1891 to participate in a horse race. In classic Orientalist fashion, he saves the rich sheik’s daughter from the sheik’s evil, power-hungry nephew.</p> <p>The 2017 movie “<a href="https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/victoria-abdul-stephen-frears-judi-dench-eddie-izzard/Content?oid=31655216">Victoria and Abdul</a>” depicts an unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian-Muslim servant, Abdul Karim. While the film does critique the racism and Islamophobia of 19th-century England, it also infantilizes and exoticizes Abdul.</p> <p>Nonetheless, some glaring problems persisted. <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/05/why-is-a-white-actor-playing-prince-of-persia-title-role/345435/">Jake Gyllenhaal was cast</a> in the lead role of “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473075/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1">The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time</a>” (2010), while Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton were cast in “<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1528100/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1">Exodus: Gods and Kings</a>” (2014) as Egyptian characters.</p> <p>Why were white actors assuming these roles?</p> <p>When challenged, producer Ridley Scott <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/05/why-is-a-white-actor-playing-prince-of-persia-title-role/345435/">infamously said</a> that he can’t “say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I’m just not going to get it financed.”</p> <p><strong>Does the new ‘Aladdin’ make strides?</strong></p> <p>Perhaps in a desire to avoid the mistakes of the past, Disney executives sought advice from cultural consultants like me.</p> <p>There’s certainly some notable progress made in the live-action “Aladdin.”</p> <p>Egyptian Canadian actor Mena Massoud plays Aladdin. Given the <a href="https://www.menaartsadvocacy.com/">dearth of people of Middle Eastern descent in lead roles</a>, the significance of casting Massoud cannot be overstated. And despite the fact that <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/disney-aladdin-skin-darkening_n_5a54e36fe4b003133eccb275">some white extras had their skin darkened during filming</a>, Disney did cast actors of Middle Eastern descent in most of the main roles.</p> <p>Casting Indian British actress Naomi Scott as Jasmine was <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/07/17/disney-aladdin-jasmine-naomi-scott_a_23034316/">controversial</a>; many hoped to see an Arab or Middle Eastern actress in this role and wondered whether casting someone of Indian descent would simply reinforce notions of “Oriental” interchangeability. Nonetheless, the film does note that Jasmine’s mother is from another land.</p> <p>The biggest problem with the 2019 “Aladdin” is that it perpetuates the trend of reverting to magical <a href="http://arabstereotypes.org/why-stereotypes/what-orientalism">Orientalism</a> – as if that’s a noteworthy improvement over terrorist portrayals. In truth, it’s not exactly a courageous move to trade explicit racism for cliched exoticism.</p> <p>To be fair, “Aladdin” distinguishes itself from “Hidalgo” and other Orientalist films of this trend by not revolving around the experiences of a white protagonist.</p> <p>However, once again, characters with American accents are the “good guys” while those with non-American accents are mostly, but not entirely, “bad.” And audiences today will be as hard pressed as those in 1992 – or 1922, for that matter – to identify any distinct Middle Eastern cultures beyond that of an overgeneralized “East.” Belly dancing and Bollywood dancing, turbans and keffiyehs, Iranian and Arab accents all appear in the film interchangeably.</p> <p>Just as making positive tweaks within a story about terrorism doesn’t accomplish much, so does making positive tweaks within a story about the exotic East. Diversifying representations requires moving beyond these tired tropes and expanding the kinds of stories that are told.</p> <p>“Aladdin,” of course, is a fantastical tale, so questions about representational accuracy might seem overblown. It is also a really fun movie in which Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott and Will Smith all shine in their roles. But over the last century, Hollywood has produced <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Reel-Bad-Arabs-Hollywood-Vilifies/dp/1566567521/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=reel+bad+arabs&amp;qid=1557265888&amp;s=books&amp;sr=1-1-catcorr">over 900 films that stereotype Arabs and Muslims</a> – a relentless drumbeat of stereotypes that <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-bad-news-for-one-muslim-american-is-bad-news-for-all-muslims-61358">influences public opinion and policies</a>.</p> <p>If there were 900 films that didn’t portray Arabs, Iranians and Muslims as terrorists or revert to old Orientalist tropes, then films like “Aladdin” could be “just entertainment.”</p> <p>Until then, we’ll just have to wait for the genie to let more nuanced and diverse portrayals out of the lamp.</p> <p><em>Written by Evelyn Alsultany. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-new-aladdin-stacks-up-against-a-century-of-hollywood-stereotyping-115608"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The Razzies and what makes a movie truly awful

<p>While Hollywood’s elites <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-predictable-are-the-oscars-more-than-you-might-think-73191">eagerly anticipate</a> the most important award ceremony of the year – and possibly their careers – another, very different group, are getting ready for a far less glamorous night at the <a href="http://razzies.com/">Golden Raspberry Awards</a>.</p> <p>The Razzies, as they are known, celebrate the very worst that the film industry has offered up in the preceding year. Since 1981 – when the ceremony was first held in co-founder JB Wilson’s living room – the awards have been naming and shaming the worst performances, directors, pictures and screenplays to hit the silver screen.</p> <p>This year, the bulk of <a href="http://ew.com/awards/2017/01/23/razzies-2017-nominations-list/">the nominations</a> (nine) go to “15-years-too-late sequel” <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/feb/10/zoolander-2-review-ben-stiller-and-owen-wilson-are-so-lukewarm-right-now">Zoolander 2</a>, with comic book epic <a href="http://www.empireonline.com/movies/batman-v-superman-dawn-justice/review/">Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice</a> following closely with eight nominations, and Dirty Grandpa, starring Robert de Niro, coming in with six.</p> <p>Since that first makeshift award ceremony, The Razzies have gained considerably in notoriety and popularity, and now even the industry is looking to it for confirmation that the movies they paid to see really were that awful. Everyone’s in on the joke, it seems, though some certainly react with more <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-7s_yeQuDg">grace and hilarity</a> than others when they hear the news that they’ve won.</p> <p><strong>Terrible films</strong></p> <p>So what is it that makes a bad movie? Just because the critics pan a film <a href="http://screenrant.com/great-movies-panned-critics/?view=all">doesn’t mean</a> it won’t be a box office success, and likewise, just because the critics love a movie doesn’t mean it will be a commercial triumph. Just look at 2016’s Batman v Superman movie. Nominated for numerous Razzies, it has a risible <a href="https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/batman_v_superman_dawn_of_justice/">27% Rotten Tomatoes rating</a>, and yet just five weeks after release it had made <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2016/04/29/box-office-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-was-a-855m-wash/#738434b31e08">more than $850m worldwide</a>.</p> <p>There are also those films that were box office flops but have in later years became true classics. The 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9POizW1ucK4C&amp;pg=PT69&amp;lpg=PT69&amp;dq=blade+runner+box+office+flop&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=MDaRSQv2PJ&amp;sig=1Rvdwld0pK_2D3fK_kFfGy2TAKw&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjr8Ja8m6TSAhXoJ8AKHSA1C-Q4ChDoAQguMAM#v=onepage&amp;q=blade%20runner%20box%20office%20flop&amp;f=false">barely made back</a> its $28m budget, but later director’s cuts and video releases led to the film eventually being <a href="https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/complete-national-film-registry-listing/">picked for preservation</a> in the US Library of Congress.</p> <p>Although filmmakers can be pretty sure what will make an audience cry, or jump from their seats, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how bad movies are created. Certainly, it’s not intentional: nobody goes into the long and arduous task of producing a film with the hope that it will only make <a href="http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a460182/danny-dyers-run-for-your-wife-flops-with-602-at-the-box-office/">£602 on its opening weekend</a>.</p> <p>But it would seem that movies which are universally panned do have some things in common. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow1cnlrlank">Glitter</a> starring Mariah Carey, Adam Sandler’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJVv3PBoPMc">Jack &amp; Jill</a> and Disney’s <a href="https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/john_carter/">critic dividing</a> John Carter all feature a common mixture of overly ambitious narrative, a pitiful effects budget and length. They also all boast some absolutely terrible acting.</p> <p>It must be noted that one doesn’t have to be a terrible actor to display some truly awful acting, however. Some Oscar winning movie stars have turned in some truly woeful performances in their time. Just look at <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kgYUoeOPj4">Michael Caine in Jaws: The Revenge</a>, Al Pacino in <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3100568.stm">Gigli</a>, and Nicolas Cage in any movie that isn’t Wild at Heart.</p> <p><strong>Good bad v bad bad</strong></p> <p>There are some movies which can be good and bad at the same time, however. But there is a difference between a good bad movie and a bad bad movie. A good bad movie is magical because it is genre changing. A bad horror movie, for example, denies the audience any real terror, but a good bad horror movie turns into a parody of itself and so becomes a comedy. Far more enjoyable.</p> <p>A bad bad movie, on the other hand, is a chore to watch. It’s dull, which is the biggest sin any filmmaker can commit. Long periods of nothing interesting peppered with plots so laboured that you can virtually see the exposition being pulled out of the screen.</p> <p>A <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.poetic.2016.04.002">recent study</a> caused a flurry of interest by suggesting that people who watch bad movies are of higher intellect. Of course, I would agree wholeheartedly, but still how is it that films like <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/14/sharknado-syfy-cheesiest-movie-summer">Sharknado</a> or <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/culture/story/20160212-the-room-why-so-many-love-the-worst-film-ever-made">The Room</a> attract viewers who know they are sitting down to watch a bad film? One researcher behind the project, Keyvan Sarkhosh, has admitted that <a href="https://www.mpg.de/10675056/trash-film-audience">it seems “paradoxical”</a> that someone should take pleasure in watching badly made, embarrassing or disturbing films. And yet we continue to do it out of some sort of ironic enjoyment or strange curiosity.</p> <p>Truly “trash” movies with low budgets are seen as an alternative to mainstream blockbusters, and audience expectations are a lot lower, so they are much easier to enjoy. Unlike these good bad movies, the type of films which tend to attract the most Razzie nominations are those that took the money and ran – the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6pJbjbRnAA">Halle Berry-starring Catwoman</a>, for example. Not even a bad film lover relishes watching these films.</p> <p>At the end of the day, movie enjoyment is truly subjective and what is bad to one person may be good to another. Personally, I would rather squeeze a lime in my eye than sit down to watch a Fast and the Furious movie, but their continued success suggests I might be in a minority.</p> <p><em>Written by Nicola Vaughan. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/the-razzies-and-what-makes-a-movie-truly-awful-73464"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Tarantino has a questionable record in the #MeToo context – so should we boycott his new film?

<p><em>This story contains spoilers for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.</em></p> <p>While promoting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the Cannes Film Festival, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino was asked why Margot Robbie’s character – murdered actress Sharon Tate – was given so few lines. An “angry-looking Tarantino”, as reported the ABC, curtly replied: “<a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-23/tarantino-snaps-at-reporter-over-question-about-margot-robbie/11141352">Well, I just reject your hypothesis</a>.”</p> <p>Tate’s implied lack of voice and Tarantino’s refusal to address the extreme violence against women in the film has renewed discussions about his representations and treatment of women on screen.</p> <p>The #MeToo movement and cancel culture have shifted the way we consume media. So what does this mean for Tarantino and his depictions of violence?</p> <p><strong>25 bloody years on the big screen</strong></p> <p>Tarantino found instant acclaim with his debut Reservoir Dogs in 1992. Two years later, Pulp Fiction solidified his cult status. Over his 25-year career, he has directed nine films spanning western to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jan/11/blaxploitation-shaft-foxy-brown-film">blaxploitation</a> to samurai. Across genres, his films are united by the protagonist’s quest for justice and bloody vengeance.</p> <p>Tarantino is notorious for his stylised and hyperreal violence: macabre, shocking, and comical. When Pulp Fiction first came out, I was a first-year undergraduate studying and making films. I revelled in Tarantino’s approach to storytelling and the film’s originality.</p> <p>Tarantino was the new King of Cool, and Pulp Fiction heralded a new era of filmmaking. Discussions about the violence mainly revolved around the subject of style and Tarantino’s brand of humour.</p> <p>25 years later I’m analysing Tarantino again. But now it’s in the context of one of the largest social activist movements in contemporary history.</p> <p><strong>Contemporary controversies</strong></p> <p>Tarantino has come under the #MeToo spotlight mainly because of his close partnership with Miramax and The Weinstein Company, both co-founded by Harvey Weinstein (currently facing multiple counts of rape and sexual assault), and the distributors of most of Tarantino’s films.</p> <p>The controversy, however, goes deeper than guilt by Weinstein-association: Tarantino has admitted being a knowing bystander. In <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/movies/tarantino-weinstein.html">a 2017 interview</a>, Tarantino said: “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew [Weinstein] did a couple of these things.”</p> <p>Tarantino also faced allegations of misconduct by Uma Thurman, who rose to fame in Pulp Fiction and starred in Kill Bill: Volumes 1 &amp; 2.</p> <p>In 2018, Thurman <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/opinion/sunday/this-is-why-uma-thurman-is-angry.html">spoke about a car crash</a> during the filming of Kill Bill: Volume 1 which caused long-term neck and knee injuries. Despite airing her concerns about safety, Tarantino convinced her to perform the stunt.</p> <p>Tarantino has <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/02/quentin-tarantino-uma-thurman-regrets">since admitted</a> his wrongdoing.</p> <p>This is an example of the hypocrisy in Hollywood: Kill Bill was about female empowerment, but its star was being coerced by the director and pressured by the studio.</p> <p>Days after Thurman’s interview, an <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/quentin-tarantino-roman-polanski-rape-young-girl-sex-minor-uma-thurman-director-a8197811.html">audio recording</a> resurfaced from 2003 where Tarantino defended director Roman Polanski’s sexual abuse of a 13-year-old victim in 1977. Polanski was 43 at the time.</p> <p>Tarantino can be heard saying: “she was down with it. [ … ] I don’t believe it’s rape. I mean not at 13. Not – not for these 13-year-old party girls.”</p> <p>Alongside the era of #MeToo we have seen a rise in “<a href="https://oracle.newpaltz.edu/culture-critique-the-power-of-cancel-culture/">cancel culture</a>”, where questionable views and actions of influential figures are called out, and audiences are encouraged to withdraw support. Calls for “cancelling” Tarantino <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jul/23/cancel-quentin-tarantino-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood">are growing</a>.</p> <p>He may be a groundbreaking filmmaker still breaking records at the box office – but is this enough for us to overlook his indiscretions?</p> <p><strong>What happens in the cinema, stays in the cinema?</strong></p> <p>Should we stop watching films connected with problematic individuals? What do we gain from cancelling the works of Tarantino, Polanski, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/may/13/ronan-farrow-interview-woody-allen-harvey-weinstein-me-too">Woody Allen</a> and <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2019/01/23/bohemian-rhapsody-director-bryan-singer-faces-new-sexual-abuse-allegations_a_23651119/">Bryan Singer</a> from our collective consciousness?</p> <p>Should judgement of a movie be separate to our judgement of the people who create them? Can we judge a movie separate to our judgement of the people who create them?</p> <p>During a screening of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood my mind drifted to these matters.</p> <p>I wondered if Tarantino still had the same admiration for Polanski as he did in 2003; whether he still holds those skewed ideas about rape.</p> <p>I was irritated that Emile Hirsch was cast as Jay Sebring - Tate’s close friend and former lover. Hirsch <a href="https://variety.com/2015/film/news/emile-hirsch-guilty-assault-15-days-jail-1201571705/">plead guilty</a> to assaulting a female studio executive in 2015.</p> <p>At a time when abusers are being publicly denounced on social media, did Tarantino have any reservations about this casting choice? Was it even an issue for him?</p> <p>Despite these questions, I could not suppress my laughter and gasps of gleeful shock at the spectacle of violence in the film’s climax.</p> <p>And it is violent. The most striking death is when one of the female members of the Manson Family is maimed in the face by a can of dog food, before being fried with a flamethrower.</p> <p>Over the course of the film, my thoughts continually wandered between the story on screen to the story off screen. Real world politics kept intruding into my viewing experience.</p> <p><strong>To boycott, or not to boycott</strong></p> <p>I left the cinema ruminating on the confusing range of emotions and responses I had, ready to unpack how the baggage of Tarantino’s opinions and treatment of female characters and cast members have influenced the way I read Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.</p> <p>Boycotting a film can send a strong message – not least of all to the studio’s bottom line. But there is also benefit to viewing these films, and using them as talking points for why we find them problematic.</p> <p>Watching Tarantino now, I still have immense respect for the artistry of his films and their aura of detached coolness. They captured the zeitgeist of a Generation X that was desperate for something different.</p> <p>But knowing some of the troubling issues surrounding a production and the filmmaker has added another layer of awareness and critique. It has given the films a different sort of relevance for the times. The questions I ask don’t look the same as those I asked before.</p> <p>Tarantino isn’t making cinema in the same world as he once was – but then again, I’m not watching it in the same world, either.</p> <p><em>Written by Christina Lee. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/tarantino-has-a-questionable-record-in-the-metoo-context-so-should-we-boycott-his-new-film-121985"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Movies