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Lead actress confirmed for upcoming Princess Diana movie

<p><span>Kristen Stewart has been confirmed to be playing the late Princess Diana in a new film that will explore the breakdown of her marriage.</span><br /><br /><span>Hollywood trade publication Deadline first reported that Stewart, 30, who is best known for her role in the "Twilight Saga" movies, has been cast in the film which will take place over three days in the early 1990s.</span><br /><br /><span>The renowned time was especially remarkable for the royal family as it is when Diana made the bombshell decision to part ways with Charles and remove herself from becoming queen.</span><br /><br /><span>Charles and Diana separated in 1992 and divorced four years later.</span></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/B4A7yzZH0yH/?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/B4A7yzZH0yH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Princess Diana🌹 (@dianaremembered)</a> on Oct 24, 2019 at 1:36pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>Their breakdown of marriage was an unprecedented move in modern times for an heir to the British throne.</span><br /><br /><span>Diana died in a Paris car crash just five years later after separating from Charles in 1997 at the age of 36.</span><br /><br /><span>The independent movie, to be directed by Chilean Pablo Larrain, is expected to start shooting in 2021.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836578/kristen-stewart.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2a999b36769c492196afd9b42f414f35" /></p> <p><em>Kristen Stewart. Image: Getty </em><br /><br /><span>No casting has been announced for Charles.</span><br /><br /><span>"When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, I’d rather go and be myself, it’s a big big decision, a fairy tale upside down," Larrain told Deadline.</span><br /><br /><span>“How and why do you decide to do that? It’s a great universal story that can reach millions and millions of people, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make a movie that goes wide, connects with a worldwide audience that is interested in such a fascinating life,” he added.</span><br /><br /><span>The movie is set to be titled "Spencer" after Diana's maiden name and is the latest in a string of movies, television series, documentaries and even a Broadway musical about the life of the late princess.</span><br /><br /><span>Larrain said Stewart was a great fit for the part.</span><br /><br /><span>"She can be very mysterious and very fragile and ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need," he told Deadline.</span><br /><br /><span>"I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time."</span></p>

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Psycho turns 60 – Hitchcock’s famous fright film broke all the rules

<p>November 1959. Film director <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000033/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Alfred Hitchcock</a> is at his commercial and critical peak after the successes of <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/?ref_=nm_knf_i2">Vertigo</a> (1958) and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/?ref_=nm_knf_i3">North by Northwest</a> (1959). So what does he do next? A black-and-white made-for-TV movie hastily shot, with no big-name actors and a leading actress who takes a shower, and … well, we’ll come to that.</p> <p><a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054215/?ref_=nm_knf_i1">Psycho</a> (1960) remains Hitchcock’s most celebrated film. But it is really two films, glued together by the most iconic scene in cinema history.</p> <p>Part one is a run-of-the-mill morality tale. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) steals $40,000 from her Phoenix employee, and goes on the run. Guilt-stricken, she pulls into a deserted motel and chats with the owner, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).</p> <p>He seems friendly enough – he makes her sandwiches and talks fondly about his mother – and Marion resolves to return the money.</p> <p>Part two is a whodunnit. Marion’s sister (Vera Miles) and her lover (John Gavin) investigate her disappearance, and trace her steps back to the motel. Soon, they begin to have suspicions about Norman.</p> <p>‘She just goes … a little mad sometimes.’</p> <p><strong>Thriller with a twist</strong></p> <p>A few years earlier, Hitchcock had watched Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1955 psychological masterpiece <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046911/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Les Diaboliques</a> and sought out a similar project – a horrific thriller with a twist ending. He read <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/156427.Psycho">Robert Bloch’s novel Psycho</a> – itself inspired by the real-life <a href="https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/ed-gein">Wisconsin killer Ed Gein</a> – and optioned the film rights.</p> <p>Audiences saw things in Psycho that had never been shown before on screen. A toilet flushing. A murderer who goes unpunished. A post-coital Leigh, lying on a bed, dressed only in white underwear, while Gavin stands topless over her.</p> <p>All of Hitchcock’s trademark obsessions are on show: voyeurism, the dominant matriarchal figure, the blonde heroine, the untrustworthy cop.</p> <p>Over his career, Hitchcock had always flouted Hollywood’s <a href="https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93301189">Production Code</a>, those rigid rules that had been in place since the 1930s that prohibited onscreen nudity, sex and violence. Nowhere is Hitchcock’s brazen censor-defying clearer than in Psycho’s “shower scene”.</p> <p>Marion steps into the shower, a shadowy figure rips back the curtain, and cinema’s most visceral scene unspools, brutally, before our very eyes.</p> <p>Hitchcock, the master of suspense, never actually shows knife slicing flesh. Everything is implied, through liberal doses of chocolate sauce, hacked watermelons, Bernard Herrmann’s screeching violins, and Leigh’s blood-curdling screams.</p> <p>In one 60-second scene, Hitchcock shatters all the rules. It’s the most famous of all bait and switches: you expect one thing, but get another. Up to that point, no film had killed off its lead character so early in the story (nowadays, such an audacious twist shows up everywhere, from The Lion King to Games of Thrones). As Leigh slides down the blinding white tiles, arm outstretched, a new kind of cinema is born: twisted, shocking, primal.</p> <p><strong>Inventing the cinema event</strong></p> <p>Hitchcock famously ordered cinemas to not let any latecomers into screenings of Psycho, to keep the element of surprise.</p> <p>Previously, cinema-goers could wander into a film midway through, watch the last half, and then stick around for the restart to catch up on what they had missed. When your leading lady is butchered 45 minutes in, the film makes little sense if you arrive late – hence Hitchcock’s decree.</p> <p>While the reviews at the time of its cinema release were lukewarm, cinema as an “event”, as a communal experience shared by hundreds of people in the dark, began. There were queues around the blocks in cities across America as word of mouth grew. Grossing US$32 million (equivalent to A$468 million today) off a budget of US$800,000 (A$12 million today), Psycho made Hitchcock a very wealthy man.</p> <p>Other elements contributed to Psycho’s enduring influence. Saul Bass’s opening credits, all intersecting lines and sans-serif titles, anticipate the film’s fixation with duality and overlap.</p> <p>Budget constraints meant that Bernard Herrmann could only rely on his orchestra’s string section. Even people who have never seen the film instantly recognise his score.</p> <p>And Anthony Perkins, typecast forever after as the nervous mother’s boy with a dark secret, crafts a performance that is both sweetly disarming and deeply unsettling.</p> <p><strong>Psycho sequels</strong></p> <p>Its reputation has only grown since 1960. Critics and audiences remain transfixed by Psycho’s storytelling verve and its queasy tonal shifts (murder mystery to black comedy to horror).</p> <p><a href="https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/turner-prize-1996/turner-prize-1996-artists-douglas-gordon">Douglas Gordon’s 1993 art installation 24 Psycho</a> slowed the film down to last a full day.</p> <p>Douglas Gordon’s 24 Psycho (1993) video installation pays homage to every frame of the film.</p> <p>Academics have had a field day too, from <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=qx9dDwAAQBAJ&amp;lpg=PA4&amp;ots=3sAjXQ_r40&amp;dq=Raymond%20Durgnat%20micro-analysis%20psycho&amp;pg=PP1#v=onepage&amp;q=Raymond%20Durgnat%20micro-analysis%20psycho&amp;f=false">Raymond Durgnat’s lengthy micro-analysis</a> to <a href="https://egs.edu/biography/slavoj-zizek/">Slavoj Žižek</a>’s reading of Bates’s house as an illustration of Freud’s concept of the id, ego and superego.</p> <p>Three progressively sillier sequels were made, as well as a colour <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0155975/?ref_=vp_back">shot-for-shot remake </a>by Gus van Sant in 1998. Brian De Palma’s entire back catalogue pays homage to Hitchcock, with whole sections of <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070698/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_30">Sisters</a> (1972) to <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080661/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_24">Dressed to Kill</a> (1980) reworking Psycho’s delirious excesses.</p> <p>Psycho’s box office success undoubtedly contributed to Hollywood’s abiding fascination with true-crime stories, serial killers, and slasher films.</p> <p>More recently, the TV prequel series <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2188671/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Bates Motel</a> ran for four seasons, deepening Norman’s relationship with his mother and tracking his developing mental illness.</p> <p>That series provides a set up for the events at the Bates Motel. Sixty years on, the setting for Psycho continues to exert such a pulsating thrill, even as we watch from behind the sofa.</p> <p><em>Written by Ben McCann. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/psycho-turns-60-hitchcocks-famous-fright-film-broke-all-the-rules-140175">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Gone With the Wind dropped for being racially unjust

<p>The classic US film<span> </span>Gone With The Wind<span> </span>has been removed from HBO’s streaming platform due to mass protests worldwide against racism.</p> <p>The Oscar-winning US Civil War epic was released in 1939 and remains the highest-grossing movie of all time.</p> <p>However, its depiction of happy slaves and heroic slaveholders has garnered criticism.</p> <p>“’Gone With The Wind’ is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society,” an HBO Max spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p>“These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.”</p> <p>“12 Years A Slave” writer John Ridley said in a Los Angeles Times op-ed Monday that “Gone with the Wind” must be removed as it “doesn’t just ‘fall short’ with regard to representation” but ignores the horrors of slavery and perpetuates “some of the most painful stereotypes of people of colour.”</p> <p>The film will return to the streaming platform at a later date, along with a discussion of its historical context.</p> <p>No edits will be made “because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”</p> <p>“If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.”</p> <p>It comes after Netflix has pulled British comedy series<span> </span>The Mighty Boosh<span> </span>and<span> </span>The League of Gentlemen<span> </span>for their use of blackface.</p> <p>Netflix also removed four popular Chris Lilley shows from its platform, which were<span> </span>We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys<span> </span>and<span> </span>Jonah From Tonga.</p> <p>Netflix and Chris Lilley are yet to comment.</p>

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International film archives are streaming up a storm during lockdown: Australia’s movie trove isn’t even online

<p><a href="https://www.cinetecamilano.it/">Cineteca Milano</a> is renowned for its silent film holdings. With a collection of more than 35,000 Italian and international films dating back to the 1890s, it was both coincidental and fortuitous that, in December 2019, the archive began digitalisation.</p> <p>Part of a national <a href="http://www.cinema.beniculturali.it/Notizie/5188/66/contributi-per-il-piano-di-digitalizzazione-anno-2018/">digitalisation program</a>, the Cineteca decided rather than merely deposit their digitised materials into the holdings of the Cineteca Nazionale in Rome, they would release films online.</p> <p>Matteo Pavesi, the director of the Cineteca Italiana, tells me they wanted to “make our oldest archival materials visible; we wanted to publish these holdings for everyone to enjoy”.</p> <p>Since the Cineteca was shut in February, Cineteca’s staff of six have been releasing 20 films a week on their free streaming service.</p> <p>Pre-coronavirus, Cineteca Milano attracted around 300 users to its site each day.</p> <p>In March, the online archive attracted more than 4 million users.</p> <p><strong>Saving history</strong></p> <p>Film archives began to <a href="https://www.fiafnet.org/pages/History/FIAF-Timeline.html">be established in 1933</a> as archivists realised films needed to be safeguarded for their own sake, rather than for military or religious purposes.</p> <p>Nitrate film used from the early 1890s through the mid-1950s, and magnetic tape used from the mid-1940s to the early 2000s, cannot survive the test of time. So, in addition to managing storage environments, archives <a href="https://www.nfsa.gov.au/corporate-information/publications/deadline-2025">preserve films digitally</a>.</p> <p>Commercial streaming services offer access to films, but they do not ensure this content is stored, saved and contextualised. They are not custodians of history or culture. Archives ensure recordings of the past remain meaningfully embedded in our contemporary life.</p> <p>In a time when the audiovisual is our primary mode of communication, the archive as an institution protecting and championing our shared history is more important than ever.</p> <p><strong>Making history</strong></p> <p>Since the <a href="https://www.bfi.org.uk/">British Film Institute</a> (BFI) shut its London doors on March 17, Bryony Dixon, their curator of silent film, tells me they have seen a 200% increase in online traffic.</p> <p>Short, punchy films are popular, and Dixon says these early silent films are like TikTok: “designed to just go ‘Here I am, I look at this’”.</p> <p>The BFI is also working to document the period of the COVID-19 crisis.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/archive-projects/britain-on-lockdown">Britain on Lockdown</a> asks the public to send in videos to chart the national development of the coronavirus crisis.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/announcements/these-hands-michael-rosen-poem-nhs">These Are The Hands</a> is a short and emotive found-footage film using archival public health movies and contemporary footage of NHS staff. We see hands touching the newborn, the young, the aged, the disabled, and the sick. At every stage of our lives, the film reminds us health-care workers are essential.</p> <p>These Are The Hands was released the day I spoke with Dixon.</p> <p>“There won’t be a dry eye in the house,” she says. “It is very powerful.”</p> <p><strong>A quiet archive</strong></p> <p>While use of these archives in Milan and London has increased under lockdown, Australia’s <a href="https://www.nfsa.gov.au/">National Film and Sound Archive</a> (NFSA) has not seen a significant change.</p> <p>Meg Labrum, general manager of collections, tells me in Europe people “appreciate, celebrate, use, know about their archive”.</p> <p>In Australia, she says the film archive is “a kind of interesting, slightly odd, cultural provider”.</p> <p>Although the NFSA has a significant collection in Canberra, it does not release 20 films a week like the Milan archive, nor does it boast a dedicated streaming service like the BFI.</p> <p>The NFSA’s online presence is focused on curation, rather than the delivery of streaming material. It frames small samples of screen content into topical themes and exhibitions. With rare exception, users cannot watch films, but they can (for example) listen to producers Jocelyn Moorhouse and Lynda House speak about <a href="https://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection/curated/muriels-wedding">the making</a> of Muriel’s Wedding.</p> <p>Australia was once the <a href="https://apnews.com/e8187ca922bbc63541581ace1535a769">end-of-the-line</a> for global film distribution. Films sent around the globe for viewing would often remain in Australia – it made no financial sense to return bulky film reels to their country of origin. This means the NFSA has an internationally important collection, including items such as the most complete version of the French actress <a href="https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/sarah-bernhardt/">Sarah Bernhardt</a>’s Camille (1911).</p> <p>As a film historian, I am frustrated by <a href="https://online.ucpress.edu/fmh/article/2/1/135/106359/Interview-in-Melbourne-with-Meg-Labrum-National">licensing issues</a> in Australia blocking our access to film heritage. Local copyright laws and an aversion to copyright risks have meant these <a href="http://www.unswlawjournal.unsw.edu.au/article/digital-access-the-impact-of-copyright-on-digitisation-practices-in-australian-museums-galleries-libraries-and-archives/">legal issues</a> seem to haunt the NFSA far more than they do in comparable institutions abroad.</p> <p>With staff working from home, Labrum sees the COVID-19 crisis consolidating the NFSA’s drive towards the digital: “an experiment […] testing just how far we can keep the collection open in a purely existing digital content context.”</p> <p>While not streaming films, the NFSA has nevertheless focused on digital preservation, continuing the digitisation of magnetic tapes during shutdown.</p> <p><strong>Films to the people</strong></p> <p>Two days after our interview, Dixon was put on furlough, her pay reduced by 20% and unsure about her future employment. For now, her team “split work. […] We’ll cover a skeleton service”.</p> <p>But she remains optimistic about the impact of COVID-19 on the BFI and its operations.</p> <p>The pandemic has “proved the worth of digitising material and putting it online in a massive way,” she says.</p> <p>“If it means that the people don’t go to the films, we need to take the films to the people.”</p> <p>The increased traffic to the BFI and Cineteca Milano shows there is a want to engage with our film histories – coronavirus makes obvious how hampered Australians are in the access to ours.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by Victoria Duckett. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/international-film-archives-are-streaming-up-a-storm-during-lockdown-australias-movie-trove-isnt-even-online-137169">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Coughs on film and the fine but deadly art of foreshadowing

<p>Movie characters – like Greek heroes – are typically faster, stronger, braver and better looking than those of us in the audience who stare on in admiration. We watch as obstacles are overcome and goals achieved, attracted by the <a href="https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/asu/f/Bazzini_Doris_1999_Are_the_Beautiful_Good_in_Hollywood.pdf">beauty and goodness</a> in the cinematic story world.</p> <p>But, should movie characters cough as they go about their extraordinary business, you can just about guarantee they will be dead before the end of the film. The screen cough, it seems, is fatal.</p> <p>In the time of COVID-19, the screen cough takes on new significance. A low budget Canadian film <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-52232382/coronavirus-seven-people-stuck-in-a-lift-then-one-coughs">made early this year</a> is thought to be the first movie about coronavirus. It features a woman getting into a lift with others and the confrontations that ensue when she starts coughing.</p> <p><strong>More than a tickle</strong></p> <p>From Marguerite Gauthier (played by Greta Garbo) in the 1936 movie <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028683/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Camille</a>, to Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgard) in the HBO series <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7366338/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Chernobyl</a> (2019), coughing on screen has deadly significance.</p> <p>In the dramatic opening moments of the first episode of <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4786824/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">The Crown</a> (2016), there is only darkness and silence … until we hear the sound of a dreadful hacking cough. Fade in to reveal King George V (Jared Harris, who also coughed in Chernobyl) in his bathroom, looking concerned. He coughs some more. Terribly sorry, your Majesty, but you’ll be dead before the end of Episode 2.</p> <p>Satine (Nicole Kidman) coughs in Moulin Rouge (2000)</p> <p>Nicole Kidman, as Satine in Baz Luhrmann’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0203009/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Moulin Rouge</a> (2001) coughs on page 35 of the screenplay. Well, she has been singing and dancing vigorously in front of Christian (Ewen McGregor) in a steamy Parisian nightclub, so perhaps it’s just a question of fitness.</p> <p>“Oh, these silly costumes” she says to those gathered around her, in an attempt to explain her breathlessness. But it’s neither the clothes nor the exertion: the screen cough means she is doomed to die 83 pages later, in her lover’s arms, afflicted like Garbo’s Marguerite with tuberculosis.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mijaVWfKhKU">sound of a cough opens</a> Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1598778/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Contagion</a>, currently one of the world’s <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/06/contagion-streaming/">top streaming titles</a>.</p> <p>That cough belongs to Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) and, sure enough, she doesn’t make it very far into the movie. The virus that takes her to an early screen grave also infects Erin Mears (Kate Winslet) who coughs while on the phone to her boss (Laurence Fishbourne). His look is enough to confirm our fears and within a few scenes her lifeless form is being zipped into a body bag.</p> <p>Erin Mears (Kate Winslet) coughs in Contagion (2011).</p> <p>Many others have succumbed to the <a href="https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IncurableCoughOfDeath">incurable screen cough of death</a>, including even Yoda in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086190/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Return of the Jedi</a> (1983). To be fair, Yoda is 900 years old and knows he’s about to die. “Soon,” he splutters to Luke Skywalker, “I will rest. Yes, forever sleep” and promptly becomes one with the Force.</p> <p><strong>Selling it</strong></p> <p>The screen cough is a phenomenon so well known by screenwriters that it’s become the subject of parody. Mitchell &amp; Webb played with the trope in a BBC sketch named The Man Who Has A Cough And It’s Just A Cough And He’s Fine in 2008.</p> <p>Alec Baldwin went one step further on Saturday Night Live in 2009 with an actors studio-style breakdown on how to sell your impending death effectively, starting with the fateful cough. The <a href="https://snltranscripts.jt.org/08/08pcoughs.phtml">sketch</a> – First Coughs: Mastering the Art of Foreshadowing Your Character’s Death – starts with step one: say “it’s only a cold”. Sometime later, the actor should emphatically state, “I don’t need any damn doctors!”. The final step is complex but mightily effective: “cough into a handkerchief, notice that there’s blood on it, look around nervously, then quickly shove it back in your pocket and hurry on your way”.</p> <p>When I see these send-ups, of course I laugh, but with a tinge of resentment: parody is both celebration and humiliation. I can’t help but think that I’ll never again be able to see the beautiful &amp; dramatic subtlety of a well placed screen cough without a snigger.</p> <p>The Man Who Has A Cough And It’s Just A Cough And He’s Fine (2008)</p> <p><strong>Smoke signals</strong></p> <p>The art of signalling a future event in narration is a literary device apparent in the earliest ancient stories. It comes in many forms, from prophesy, dreams and omens to portents and apprehensions.</p> <p>In the 4000-year-old poetic work, <a href="https://theconversation.com/guide-to-the-classics-the-epic-of-gilgamesh-73444">Epic of Gilgamesh</a>, dreams predict the hero’s victorious battle with a great bull as well as his friend’s tragic death. Early in Sophocles’s play <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/Oedipus-Rex-play-by-Sophocles">Oedipus Rex</a>, a blind prophet riddles the truth of the story to come. The Bible is full of prophecy, none more memorable than Jesus’s prediction in The Gospel of John that one of his disciples would betray him.</p> <p>Driven by our need for certainty, we value knowing what may lie ahead. Facing open time, with all its possibilities, takes courage and – from budgets to prayers – we seek to gain a sense of control over our future. It’s unsurprising that we find pleasure in stories where foreshadowing signals what will happen, from storytellers who sneak the future into the present.</p> <p>The ability to manipulate the direction of time is fundamental to sophisticated narration. Merely explaining what happens next – the way time works in real life – is not enough when it comes to entertainment. There’s nothing more tedious than a story that proceeds along the lines of “this happens, then this, then this” and so on. Novelist E. M. Forster – who wrote A Room with a View, Howard’s End and A Passage to India – famously <a href="http://publications.anveshanaindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/NARRATIVE-TECHNIQUE-IN-LITERATURE-WITH-REFERENCE-TO-E-M-FORSTER%E2%80%99S-WORKS.pdf">decreed</a> that this kind of primitive narration causes listeners to fall asleep or rise up to kill the storyteller.</p> <p>To avoid such a fate, skilled narrators use foreshadowing to create tension, build anticipation and hook the audience into a belief that there’s something of interest to follow. We instinctively know that everything in a story has been planned and the author has determined the destiny of each character, so we intuitively look for the signs and the structures that will take us towards closure, including moments of foreshadowing.</p> <p>They can be subtle and poetic (a storm or a shooting star), psychological (a character worrying about something that has yet to be revealed) or concrete, like the appearance of a deadly weapon. But common to all these forms of foreshadowing is that we see them as the future pointing backwards. The grief to come has caused the present storm; bad news the anxiety; the body at the end of the film requires the gun at the start.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPFsuc_M_3E">Alfred Hitchcock</a> knew only too well the importance of being able to play with time. Imagine four people seated at a table having a conversation about football for five minutes, when suddenly a bomb goes off. That’s five minutes of boredom followed by a surprise. What’s in it for the audience, says Hitchcock, is only “ten seconds of shock”. But take the same scene and show the audience the bomb at the beginning, and the conversation about football becomes an exercise in suspense and high anxiety.</p> <p>Orson Welles plays out this idea in the famous opening scene of Touch of Evil (1958), showing us a bomb set to go off in three minutes. It’s then hidden in the boot of a car that moves erratically through a busy crowd. We hold our breath wondering where the car will be when the time is up.</p> <p>Opening Scene of Touch of Evil (1958)</p> <p><strong>The cough is a timebomb</strong></p> <p>The screen cough is also the ticking of a bomb, leaving both character and audience unsure when it will go off. One of the most dramatic screen coughs occurs in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5027774/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri</a> (2017). It’s revealed early in the movie that police chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) has terminal pancreatic cancer, but it’s a brutal shock when he violently coughs blood over Mildred Hayes (Francis McDormand).</p> <p>In a strangely poignant sequence, writer/director Martin McDonagh opts for Willoughby to take his own life rather than let the disease run its course: he knows what lies ahead after that dreadful coughing incident.</p> <p>Storytellers have a delicate balancing act to maintain when it comes to foreshadowing. Too oblique or poetic and the audience struggles to see the connection between the signalling moment and the signalled event, or perhaps only recognises it retrospectively. Because the screen cough is linked to both a specific individual (the sufferer) and a specific outcome (death), it’s necessary to be subtle when using it as a narrative device.</p> <p>Perhaps we are now beyond subtlety. The combination of our current hyper-vigilance of respiratory symptoms and the increasing awareness of the function of the screen cough, risks it becoming a dreadful cliche, a trope in need of a innovative makeover. Like the good guys wearing white hats in Westerns, and detectives smoking excessively in <em>film noir</em>, it may just be time to give the screen cough a breather.</p> <p><em>Written by Simon Weaving. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-coughs-on-film-and-the-fine-but-deadly-art-of-foreshadowing-135697">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Escaping the Palace: Harry and Meghan to be the subjects of a third Lifetime movie

<p><span>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's highly publicised royal exit is getting its very own Lifetime movie after it was revealed by the network that they intend to make a third tele-film about the couple’s life together.</span><br /><br /><span>The film aims to chronicle the events of Meghan and Harry’s announcement to step down as senior royal members.</span><br /><br /><span>The made-for-TV movie will, of course, present a fictional account of “the couple's controversial conscious uncoupling from the crown, after the birth of their son Archie,” as said by TVLine.</span><br /><br /><span>“The movie details the struggles of the new parents and unique challenges of being part of the royal family, which ultimately led Harry and Meghan to give up their royal ties to forge a new life on their own terms.”</span><br /><br /><span>However, despite the green light to go ahead with the project, there has been no information on casting, likely due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions.</span></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/CABkPVgK40W/?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/CABkPVgK40W/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by _Meghan_Markle_fan (@_meghan_markle_fan)</a> on May 10, 2020 at 3:41pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><em>Harry &amp; Meghan: Escaping the Palace</em><span> will follow Lifetime's last two movies about the couple: </span><em>Harry &amp; Meghan: A Royal Romance<span> </span></em><span>and </span><em>Harry &amp; Meghan: Becoming Royal</em><span>.</span><br /><br /><span>The first film was announced in January 2018 — just under two months after Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, announced their engagement — and aired that May, five days before their royal wedding.</span><br /><br /><span>Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser played Meghan and Harry in the first biopic, showed how the pair fell in love from their first date in 2016 to their engagement in November 2017.</span><br /><br /><span>Actress Tiffany Smith played the Duchess of Sussex, while British star Charlie Field took on the role of the Duke of Sussex in the second film which looked at their lives after marriage and aired in May 2019.</span><br /><br /><span>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shook not only the world but the royal family on January 8 when they revealed on Instagram that they were going to step back as senior royals, become financially independent, and split their time between North America and the United Kingdom.</span><br /><br /><span>It was reported at the time that no member from The Firm were made aware of Harry and Meghan’s announcement.</span></p>

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Life of Pi actor dies at 53

<p><span>Indian Bollywood heavyweight Irrfan Khan, who starred in movies that broke through to the western cinematic barrier and made its own place among some of the great classics, including Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi, has passed away at the age of 53.</span><br /><br /><span>Khan’s death was confirmed on Wednesday in a brief statement given by a spokesman.</span><br /><br /><span>“He fought the many battles that came with it,” the spokesman said, referring to the diagnosis of Khan’s rare cancer in 2018.</span><br /><br /><span>He was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in 2018 and underwent extensive treatment in London.</span></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/B_ksvwPhKNB/?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/B_ksvwPhKNB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by DesiBolly (@desibolly)</a> on Apr 29, 2020 at 10:41am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>Khan became one of the first Indian actors to make a name for himself in western cinema and was soon considered a legend in Bollywood.</span><br /><br /><span>The star had Hollywood success in “Jurassic World”, “The Amazing Spider-Man”, “The Namesake” and “Inferno”.</span><br /><br /><span>After being diagnosed with cancer, he became well enough to shoot for his last film, Angrezi Medium, which was unfortunately cut short when the coronavirus spread.</span><br /><br /><span>Khan was admitted into intensive care on Tuesday at Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital with a colon infection.</span></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/B_kseHCFRuE/?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/B_kseHCFRuE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by FIlmoment (@filmoment)</a> on Apr 29, 2020 at 10:35am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>The star was born Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan in the western desert state of Rajasthan, into a family that had no ties to cinema.</span><br /><br /><span>He recalled in interviews that he and his siblings were not permitted to watch movies as children</span><br /><br /><span>The only exception was when a visiting uncle took them to the theatre.</span><br /><br /><span>“An incredible talent,” Bollywood superstar said of Amitabh Bachchan, among the numerous tributes on Twitter.</span><br /><br /><span>“A gracious colleague. A prolific contributor to the world of cinema .. left us too soon creating a huge vacuum.”</span></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/B_knsbRjnFv/?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/B_knsbRjnFv/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by good movie quotes (@gofites)</a> on Apr 29, 2020 at 9:53am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>Director Karan Johar, wrote, “Thank you for raising the bar as an artist … Thank you for enriching our cinema… We will miss you terribly, Irrfan.”</span><br /><br /><span>Khan is survived by his wife Sutapa and sons Babil and Ayan.</span></p>

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Goldie Hawn delivers the “brain break” we all need during COVID-19 crisis

<p>As people around the world continue to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, Goldie Hawn has come up with ideas to help children and their families get through these uncertain times.</p> <p> The Academy Award-winning actress has released her guided five-minute mindfulness meditation named “brain break” to help individuals regulate their emotions and focus their attention.</p> <p>The exercise is part of her foundation’s signature program MindUP, which is aimed at giving children the tools to manage stress.</p> <p>“What we do is we quiet our minds,” Hawn explained in an Instagram video earlier this month.</p> <p>“We get that ‘barking dog’ … and get him back in the dog house and get calm. That’s the one time that the pre-frontal cortex can think.”</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/tv/B_BDIS8HPU7/?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/tv/B_BDIS8HPU7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@goldiehawn)</a> on Apr 15, 2020 at 2:23pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The 74-year-old said such meditation could help both children and adults in managing their emotions while living with “uncertainty, fear, anger, [and] reactivity”.</p> <p>“As a family, it’s a really good thing to have your moments of meditation or as we call it, a ‘brain break’ throughout the day as it will serve you in such a way that you just won’t believe it.”</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/tv/B97p5l6nbCK/?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/tv/B97p5l6nbCK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">In these times of uncertainty and fear, it is important to calm your brain to help reduce stress and anxiety. Please enjoy this brain break with your child and your family every day. The brain break is part of our @mindup curriculum - it is an act of mindfulness to bring balance, reduce stress and create more mental fitness for ourselves and for our children. ❤️ Please visit @twilightmoshi to get this free brain break (and a really fun sleep story I narrated) on their app 🌙</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/goldiehawn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Goldie Hawn</a> (@goldiehawn) on Mar 19, 2020 at 3:41pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The brain break exercise has been made available for free on the Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness app and via the <a href="https://mindup.org/brain-break-at-home/">MindUP website</a>.</p> <p>The MindUP program was launched in 2003 in collaboration with academics working in psychology, neuroscience and education. It is now used in 250 schools in the UK and Ireland.</p>

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No more negotiating: New rules could finally force Google and Facebook to pay for news

<p>Digital platforms such as Google and Facebook will be forced to compensate news media companies for using their content, under a <a href="https://theconversation.com/government-orders-mandatory-code-of-conduct-for-google-facebook-136694">new mandatory code</a> to be drawn up by Australia’s competition watchdog.</p> <p>The announcement, <a href="https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/josh-frydenberg-2018/media-releases/accc-mandatory-code-conduct-govern-commercial">made by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg today</a>, follows last year’s <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/digital-platforms-inquiry-final-report">landmark report</a> by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which found that news media businesses lack bargaining power in their negotiations with digital giants.</p> <p>News media businesses have complained for years that the loss of advertising revenue to Google and Facebook threatens their survival. The economic crash caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has turned that crisis into an emergency.</p> <p>Frydenberg <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-20/facebook-and-google-to-face-mandatory-code-of-conduct/12163300">pledged</a> that the latest move will “level the playing field”, adding: “It’s only fair that those that generate content get paid for it.”</p> <p><strong>Power imbalance and tumbling profits</strong></p> <p>A mandatory code of conduct was not the original plan. When the ACCC released its report last year, it suggested that Google and Facebook should each negotiate with news media businesses to agree on how they should fairly share revenues generated when “the digital platform obtains value, directly or indirectly, from content produced by news media businesses”.</p> <p>The report concluded that tech giants are currently enjoying the benefit of news businesses’ content without paying for the privilege.</p> <p>For example, Google’s search results feature “news snippets” including content from news websites. Both Google and Facebook have quick-loading versions of news businesses’ articles that don’t display the full range of paid advertising that appears on the news websites’ own pages.</p> <p>These tactics make it less likely users will click through to the actual news website, thus depriving media businesses of the ensuing subscription and advertising revenue. Meanwhile, as the ACCC report showed, media companies’ share of advertising revenue has itself been slashed over the past decade, as advertisers flock to Google and Facebook.</p> <p><strong>Platforms giveth, platforms taketh away</strong></p> <p>Why don’t news businesses negotiate compensation payments with the platforms themselves, rather than asking the government to step in?</p> <p>The answer is the vast mismatch in bargaining power between Australian media companies and global digital giants.</p> <p>The ACCC report found that digital platforms such as Google and Facebook are “an essential gateway for news for many consumers”, meaning the news businesses rely on them for “referral traffic”.</p> <p>Put simply, much of news companies’ web traffic comes via readers clicking on links from Google and Facebook. But at the same time, these digital giants are dominating advertising revenues and using news companies’ content in competition with them.</p> <p><strong>The pandemic effect</strong></p> <p>The COVID-19 crisis has <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-news-corp-idUSKCN21V24H">dealt a further blow</a> to media companies’ advertising revenue, as potential advertisers are forced into economic hibernation or simply go out of business.</p> <p>Content licensing payments from Google and Facebook could provide crucial alternative revenue. But if the payments are structured as a share of advertising income, the publishers will share in Google and Facebook’s own advertising downturn.</p> <p>The ACCC will not unveil the draft code until July, so it is still unclear how the obligations will be implemented or enforced.</p> <p>ACCC chief Rod Sims has <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/media-and-marketing/big-tech-penalties-will-be-large-enough-to-matter-20200420-p54lce">pledged</a> that Australia’s mandatory code of conduct will feature “heavy penalties” for Facebook and Google if they fail to comply, involving fines that are “large enough to matter”.</p> <p><strong>How might Google and Facebook react?</strong></p> <p>The platforms could conceivably attempt to sidestep the compensation rules by no longer providing users with quick-loading versions of news articles. Google could also cease publishing news snippets at the top of its search results, as it did in Spain when faced with similar obligations.</p> <p>But there is <a href="http://www.newsmediaalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Final-Revised-Spain-Report_11-7-19.pdf">evidence</a>, albeit from <a href="https://www.newsmediaalliance.org/google-news-shutdown-in-spain-not-as-bad-as-google-would-have-you-believe/">news publishers themselves</a>, that this would merely drive readers directly to publishers’ websites.</p> <p>Australia’s decision to abandon negotiations in favour of mandatory rules stands in contrast to the situation in France, the European state most advanced in the implementation of a similar policy flowing from the European Union’s 2019 <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/modernisation-eu-copyright-rules">Copyright Directive</a>.</p> <p>Earlier this month, France’s competition regulator <a href="https://www.autoritedelaconcurrence.fr/en/press-release/neighbouring-rights-autorite-has-granted-requests-urgent-interim-measures-presented">ordered Google</a> to negotiate in good faith with publishers on remuneration for use of content. Any agreed compensation will be backdated to October 24, 2019, when the Copyright Directive became law in France.</p> <p>Google’s previous solution had been to require that publishers license the use of snippets of their content to Google at no charge. But France’s watchdog argued this was an abuse of Google’s dominant position.</p> <p>Google and Facebook are likely to continue to resist these developments in Australia, knowing they could be copied in other jurisdictions.</p> <p>Even if they do cooperate, it’s not yet clear that “levelling the playing field” with the tech giants will make any difference to the collapse of media advertising revenue driven by the coronavirus.</p> <p><em>Written by Katharine Kemp and Rob Nicholls. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/no-more-negotiating-new-rules-could-finally-force-google-and-facebook-to-pay-for-news-136718">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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5 classic isolation movies recommended by a film scholar

<p>As a film scholar, I am constantly being asked if I am enjoying the lockdown because it has given me more time to watch films. My answer is not simple. Yes, it is good to catch up on some films I missed at the cinema, or finally get around to rewatching <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9nZFUgyclE">Berlin Alexanderplatz</a></em>.</p> <p>But, for someone like me, who finds social isolation very difficult, watching movies alone can be a painful reminder of what a communal activity cinema-going usually is, as this <a href="https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/files/iser_working_papers/2005-14.pdf">research from Essex University</a> has found.</p> <p>So I have started to watch films that reassure me that I am not the only one feeling lonely and going stir crazy. Here, then, are five great films about being stuck indoors or in forced isolation. Some of these may not be for the faint-hearted, but they are all well worth watching.</p> <p><strong><em>Rear Window</em> (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)</strong></p> <p><a href="https://variety.com/1954/film/reviews/rear-window-1200417736/"><em>Rear Window</em></a> may be the definitive lockdown movie. The story is simple: Jimmy Stewart’s adventure-seeking photographer finds himself trapped in his apartment with a broken leg. He begins to semi-innocently spy on his neighbours until he becomes convinced that one of them may have murdered their wife.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6kCcZCMYw38?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The film is both a mischievous examination of the voyeur in us all, and a cautionary tale about the devil making work for idle hands. It is also a testament to the power of imagination. We might not be able to have meals, complete with champagne, delivered to us by Grace Kelly, but we can make up stories about what that strange man across the street is up to. It will help pass the time. And you know he’s doing the same about you.</p> <p><strong><em>The Exterminating Angel</em> (Luis Buñuel, 1962)</strong></p> <p>Buñuel’s <a href="https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-exterminating-angel-1968">surrealist masterpiece</a> remains cinema’s definitive portrait of societal breakdown, and 90% of it takes place in one room. Following a lavish dinner party at one of their houses, a large group of aristocrats find themselves inexplicably unable to leave the drawing room. The longer they remain there together the more the thin veneer of civilisation cracks.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ERHL5nzEMmM?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>First the servants leave and the guests are reduced to using antique vases as toilets. Soon the food and water run out and precious medication is stolen. The elderly and frail start to die. Some respond by indulging their hedonistic desires, some resort to prayer and calls for sacrifice, others kill themselves in despair. This might sound unbearably bleak, but Buñuel plays it all for the most mordant kind of comedy. Six decades have not blunted the fangs on this one.</p> <p><strong><em>This is Not a Film</em> (Jafar Panahi, 2011)</strong></p> <p>In late 2010, Jafar Panahi, one of Iran’s greatest filmmakers, was sentenced by his government to six years in prison and a 20-year ban on making films for allegedly conspiring to produce “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”. Awaiting the final verdict under house arrest, Panahi did what any good dissident would do: he made a film.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AgZy00svH08?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Shot on an iPhone and a digital camcorder, <em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/movies/hes-jafar-panahi-but-this-is-not-a-film.html">This is Not a Film</a></em> shows Panahi going about his daily routine, speaking to his lawyers, acting out scenes from a film he expects to never make, talking about his previous work, and interacting with a few neighbours and workmen.</p> <p>The result is a powerful riposte to state censorship and a sly work of meta-cinema typical of its maker. But the film also has an incredible urgency about it. It is as if Panahi had to make the film simply to stay sane. A timely reminder that you don’t need expensive equipment or money to make great art, and that sometimes the best work comes out of crisis and restraint.</p> <p><strong>Housebound (Gerard Johnstone, 2014)</strong></p> <p>It is easy to see why Peter Jackson went <a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/new-line-remake-new-zealand-772536">out of his way to champion</a> this low-budget effort by first-time writer-director Gerard Johnstone (the famed New Zealand director called it “bloody brilliant”). Like Jackson’s own early films, <em>Housebound</em> shoots for a difficult balance of irreverent comedy, suspense, and splatter, and somehow pulls it off.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ji8Tsuj3u0c?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The story revolves around a 20-something tearaway named Kylie who placed under house arrest in her childhood home, which her mother casually insists is haunted. At first Kylie thinks her mother is just dotty, but when she is also confronted by mysteriously opening doors, disappearing objects and noises in the night, she begins to wonder.</p> <p>Essential viewing for people with old, noisy houses. Extra points for the probation officer who reveals himself to be an amateur ghost hunter, and the very plucky female protagonist whose response to encountering a creepy doll is to smash its face in.</p> <p><strong><em>Crowhurst</em> (Simon Rumley, 2017)</strong></p> <p>Independent British filmmaker <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/film-review-crowhurst-b9lrx9rbp">Simon Rumley’s retelling</a> of Donald Crowhurst’s <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/drama-on-the-waves-the-life-and-death-of-donald-crowhurst-421934.html">disastrous attempt</a> to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968, which ended in his disappearance and probable suicide, offers a masterclass in low-budget filmmaking. A good deal of the movie consists of Crowhurst (played by the excellent Justin Salinger) alone on a very small trimaran. Rumley, however, puts the viewer squarely inside Crowhurst’s head as his loneliness, isolation and fear of failure slowly cause him to crack.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qgWC8bJTld4?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>This is not a movie for everyone. It is intense to say the least, and the more unhinged <em>Crowhurst</em> gets, the more self-consciously raw the filmmaking becomes. The fact that it was championed by Nicolas Roeg, the late, great maestro of mind-bending British cinema, will be the ultimate recommendation for those looking for something more adventurous.</p> <p>This list is hardly exhaustive. There are many more films about isolation to watch while in isolation: from <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/dec/29/persona-review-ingmar-bergman-rerelease">Persona</a> </em>to <a href="https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2020/04/11/1995-film-safe-has-new-meaning-during-our-coronavirus-isolation"><em>Safe</em></a>, from <a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-10-03-9710030449-story.html"><em>Repulsion</em></a> to <em><a href="https://variety.com/2006/film/markets-festivals/right-at-your-door-1200519062/">Right at Your Door</a></em>. I just wanted to guide people to a few lesser-known films alongside a pair of classics that worth revisiting now more than ever.</p> <p>Stay safe and happy viewing.<!-- 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/135705/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brian-hoyle-475856"><em>Brian Hoyle</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-dundee-955">University of Dundee</a></em></span></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-classic-isolation-movies-recommended-by-a-film-scholar-135705">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro’s exciting announcement that you can be a part of

<p>Hollywood heavyweights Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro have announced an exciting new way that fans can be a part of the pair’s next upcoming film.</p> <p>The actors revealed that fans will have an opportunity to get a walk-on role in a new film directed by Martin Scorsese, <em>Killers of the Flower Moon.</em></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/B_AHXwEFvag/?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/B_AHXwEFvag/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio)</a> on Apr 15, 2020 at 5:44am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“We recently launched <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/americasfoodfund/" target="_blank">#AmericasFoodFund</a> to help make sure every family in need gets access to food at this critical time. Our most vulnerable communities need our support now more than ever. That’s why we’re asking you to help us with the <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/allinchallenge/" target="_blank">#AllinChallenge</a>,” DiCaprio wrote in a post to Instagram. “If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be able to work with the great <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.instagram.com/martinscorsese_/" target="_blank">@martinscorsese_</a>, Robert De Niro and myself, this is your chance. Robert and I are going to be starring in a new movie called Killers of the Flower Moon, directed by Martin Scorsese.</p> <p>“We want to offer you a walk-on role, the opportunity to spend the day on the set with the three of us, and attend the premiere.</p> <p>“To take part, please go to allinchallenge.com and donate whatever you can.”</p> <p>All the funds will go towards charity and the winner who will get the exciting opportunity to be apart of the movie will get to spend a day on the set and attend the premiere DiCaprio revealed.</p> <p>The<span> </span><em>All In<span> </span></em>challenge which was created by Fanatics founder Michael Rubin gives stars the opportunity to auction once-in-a-lifetime experiences in order to raise money to feed the elderly, children and frontline workers struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>When a star accepts the challenge, they then pass on the initiative to another star.</p> <p>Donations are dispersed to Meals on Wheels America, No Kid Hungry and America's Food Fund.</p> <p>DiCaprio and De Niro challenged Matthew McConaughey, Ellen DeGeneres and Jamie Foxx.</p>

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5 and a half ways to make movie masterpieces at home

<p>Isolation is a common theme in cinema: stranded on an island (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162222/">Cast Away</a>), in space (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454468/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Gravity</a> or <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">The Martian</a>), on a boat (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Life of Pi</a>), stuck in the desert (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1542344/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">127 hours</a>), or simply confined to an apartment (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047396/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Rear Window</a>). But what about when the filmmakers themselves are stranded?</p> <p>Luckily, most of us are carrying sophisticated cameras in our pockets and have easy access to online film libraries and creative collaborators.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199791286/obo-9780199791286-0052.xml">psychoanalytic approaches to filmmaking</a> reveal, our screens have a unique ability to see beyond reality. Our screens reach into the deepest depths of our desires, fantasies, and emotional landscapes.</p> <p>Here are five approaches to filmmaking that can challenge our perception of the world, from the (dis)comfort of your own home:</p> <p><strong>1. Video diary</strong></p> <p>I’m not referring to the kind of YouTube vlogging that made <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/fashion/jenna-marbles.html">Jenna Marbles</a> a millionaire, nor the diary room confessional of Big Brother, but a visual rendition of expressive journal keeping.</p> <p>Avant-garde filmmaker <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/postscript/my-debt-to-jonas-mekas">Jonas Mekas</a> pioneered the film diary in the 1960s by experimenting with the camera’s limits – incorrect exposure, disorderly movement, re-arranging time, and injecting a poetic voice. The challenge here is to portray your inner experience and not let the recording device simply “capture” it.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kzkzQExJ9rc?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Jonas Mekas – Always Beginning | TateShots.</span></p> <p>If diaristic wanderings prove difficult, Gillian Leahy’s <a href="https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mylifewithoutsteve/179709856">My Life Without Steve</a> is a beautiful example of what can be achieved in a single apartment. The reflective narration from protagonist Liz guides us through emotional turmoil, memory, and theories of lost love.</p> <p>Additionally, the meticulous still-life compositions by cinematographer Erika Addis, entirely restricted to the apartment space, offer an intimacy and familiarity beyond words: streetlights dancing on the water, a steaming kettle, floral wallpaper …</p> <p><strong>2. Location home</strong></p> <p>Sometimes the location can be more significant than the person. This is certainly the case in films documenting imprisonment such as Berhouz Boochani’s experience of Manus Island detention centre in <a href="https://vimeo.com/230860000">Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time</a>, or Jafar Panahi’s discrete autobiography <a href="https://youtu.be/ajOgE_BPLVU">This Is Not A Film</a> recorded under house arrest in Iran. In 2015, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2415458/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">The Wolfpack</a> told the unusual tale of seven brothers confined to a New York apartment with Hollywood movies as their window onto the world.</p> <p>Isolation offers an opportunity to interrogate the politics of home. The 1970s feminist movement gave rise to scathing critiques of gender-based domestic roles. Martha Rosler’s video art performance <a href="https://www.moma.org/collection/works/88937">Semiotics of the Kitchen</a> has inspired generations of classroom appropriations. The crude infomercial inspired performance undermine both the authority of the camera and the kitchen as a space of domination.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oDUDzSDA8q0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Semiotics in the Kitchen (1975)</span></p> <p>Chantal Akerman’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073198/">Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles</a>, also released in 1975, offers a less obvious subversion of domesticity. The protagonist is a single mother undertaking sex work as part of her daily routine to provide for her child. Rather than sensationalising prostitution, the camera respectfully captures the subtle gestures and emotions of the working mother.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ih3nBxjkBH8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Online collaboration</strong></p> <p>Collaborative media comes in many forms: participatory video, citizen media, user-generated and crowd-sourced content.</p> <p>Collaborative approaches to filmmaking were pioneered by visual anthropologists attempting to accurately and ethically record foreign cultures. Handing the camera over was seen as a way to access insider knowledge. YouTube and Instagram could be considered large-scale collaborative media projects. More coherent and meaningful projects focus on a particular theme or creative parameter.</p> <p>User-generated content (UGC) and fan-based creations have since become common to the genre, such as <a href="https://vimeo.com/15416762">The Johnny Cash Project</a>, <a href="https://youtu.be/CB5ib4ouxes">Shrek Retold</a>, and <a href="https://vimeo.com/29174093">Man With A Movie Camera: The Global Remake</a>.</p> <p>Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s <a href="https://hitrecord.org">HitRecord</a> is one of the most innovative UGC platforms with more than 750,000 contributors and the opportunity to get paid if the production makes money. By investing in personal contributions, the audience gains a sense of proprietorship over the project and boost distribution through their social networks.</p> <p>The best examples of collaborative media are highly curated and elaborately produced. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Katerina Cizek have produced a series of ambitious multimedia compilations under the <a href="http://highrise.nfb.ca">Highrise projects</a>. Of these projects, <a href="http://outmywindow.nfb.ca/#/outmywindow">Out My Window</a> is perhaps the most relevant to our current experience, featuring 13 participants from around the globe sharing personal stories from their highrise homes.</p> <p>Collaborative media offers a multitude of voices to common themes and experiences. The trick to maintaining cohesion and continuity is to formulate detailed instructions for how to contribute.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/31376449" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Highrise / One Millionth Tower | National Film Board of Canada.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Found footage</strong></p> <p>Found footage documentaries are composed entirely from existing media. The recent surge in this genre such as <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8760684/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Apollo 11</a>, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5433114/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Maradona</a>, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2870648/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2">Amy</a>, and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7694570/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">The Final Quarter</a> about footballer Adam Goodes, all demonstrate that filmmakers need not touch a camera to produce a cinematic masterpiece.</p> <p>While we may not individually be able to acquire rights to copyrighted material, most of us are unwittingly accumulating extensive media archives of our lives. The popular <a href="https://1se.co/">1 Second Everyday</a> app demonstrates how existing phone footage can be transformed into a revealing and enthralling sequence through rhythm-based montage.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lyx6O_WFJhU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">1 Second Everyday.</span></p> <p><strong>5. Machinima</strong></p> <p><a href="https://voices.uchicago.edu/machinima/sample-page/">Machinima</a> (machine-cinema) is an innovative alternative to animation, in which detailed 3D graphics engines of computer games are used as cinematic stages. Most of the productions in this genre mimic mainstream comedy and action movies but there are a few examples of how the artform can interrogate our relationship to virtual worlds.</p> <p>Nominated for the “Weird” category of the <a href="https://www.webbyawards.com/">Webby Awards</a> for online excellence, the narrator of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1tAmAFSc-YS63RrFMwkG0GuPVN70ku_G">Grand Theft Auto Pacifist</a> navigates the ultra-violent game world, understood as an extension of our lived society, in a hilarious experiment to see if he can exist peacefully.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nDRKbYNjRic?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Grand Theft Auto Pacifist.</span></p> <p>But be warned, the first person I knew to go down the machinima path disappeared without a trace for two months, lost to the <a href="https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-gb/">World of Warcraft</a>.</p> <p><strong>The ½ – since it’s not for everyone</strong></p> <p>Lastly, my half recommendation. While not something I can recommend to students, during this difficult period of social distancing those of us fortunate enough to be isolated with loved ones might use the opportunity to master the elusive art of sexual desire … erotica.</p> <p>Again, the camera need not be enslaved as a witness but can be recruited to explore the psychological and physical playing field of our desires.</p> <p>And not all of your filmmaking need be shared around.<!-- 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/134907/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/aaron-burton-676917">Aaron Burton</a>, Lecturer in Media Arts, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/great-time-to-try-5-ways-to-make-movie-masterpieces-at-home-134907">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Wonderful unseen photos of Robin Williams found during self-isolation

<p>Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda has shared an unearthed photograph she took with her father while spring cleaning her house during self-isolation.</p> <p>The 30-year-old actress took to Twitter on Wednesday evening to share the treasure she found – a polaroid snap reel she took with her late dad – to fans.</p> <p>“Isolation spring cleaning is turning up some fun old gems,” she wrote.</p> <p>The montage of pictures showed the pair pulling funny faces for the camera, in classic Williams’ fashion.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835202/robbin-williams-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e2ff309c5ba34b20b2b0fcb68ae3a8a9" /></p> <p>Fans were quick to commend Zelda for sharing the post, writing: “I bet he was the most fun dad ever. We all miss him like he was ours”.</p> <p>Another wrote “Your dad was a comet that only comes around once in a lifetime. Special human being.”</p> <p>Zelda is the daughter to Robin and his second wife, who is a film producer, Marsha Grace Williams.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835204/robbin-williams.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6153a1bd2d4e4fc4b4da99c953c350d9" /></p> <p>Robin, whose daughter was born just 10 days after her dad’s 38th birthday, admitted he named her after Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda video game series. </p> <p>The Oscar-winning actor, who died at the age of 63, became a household name for his portrayal of Mork from Ork on the hit sitcom<span> </span>Happy Days<span> </span>and its spin-off<span> </span>Mork &amp; Mindy. </p>

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Film review: Moffie is a harrowing meditation on white masculinity

<p>In the opening moments of the film <em><a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10699362/">Moffie</a></em>, Nicholas van der Swart is walking away from a family gathering. As he disappears into the darkness, he is wishing that a part of himself will disappear.</p> <p>It’s 1981. The 16-year-old is about to leave for his two years of <a href="http://www.saha.org.za/youth/the_militarisation_of_the_south_african_state.htm">conscription</a> into the South African army. During <a href="https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/history-apartheid-south-africa">apartheid</a> it was compulsory for white men to serve in the military because South Africa was waging wars against liberation forces on its borders and beyond. Nicholas must enlist to fight the <a href="https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/publication/CWIHP_SouthAfrica_Final_Web.pdf">“communist threat”</a> at the <a href="https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/angolan-civil-war-1975-2002-brief-history">Angolan border</a>.</p> <p>Nicholas is gay. To the Christian nationalist rulers, he is just as much of a threat as the black resistance fighters who are nameless, faceless enemies to be exterminated in the film. Everything that is not <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-lingering-unspoken-pain-of-white-youth-who-fought-for-apartheid-46218">in service of the apartheid state</a>must be extinguished or repressed.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rMOycDIbNTg" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>This repression is hammered home for the viewer through the constant verbal assaults that the young men suffer – and mete out – during their military training. In the South Africa portrayed in <em>Moffie</em>, every white character, be it a parent, general, pastor, even a friend, is policing borders and boundaries; there are clear lines that cannot be crossed.</p> <p>Moffie examines the violent persecution of gay men under apartheid.</p> <p><strong>Violence and language</strong></p> <p>The most powerful way that this mental conditioning takes place in the film is through the use of the word <a href="https://dsae.co.za/entry/moffie/e04835">“moffie”</a> (often translated as “faggot”) which those in charge use relentlessly to <a href="https://www.channel24.co.za/Movies/News/watch-marc-lottering-armand-aucamp-pieter-dirk-uys-on-being-called-a-moffie-20200305">insult and control</a> the troops. The scenes of training are often harrowing, and the word comes to be an act of violence on the viewer as well.</p> <p>Its effect is to strip away any resistance, and to associate femininity, diverse sexuality and any emotional range as weakness. To be gay, then, is the ultimate offence against this regime of machismo.</p> <p>The violence of the word is reinforced with physical violence – menial tasks that lead to exhaustion and deprivation – along with other epithets (racist, gender shaming) that destroy any sense of self-worth or individuality. The young recruits are becoming the men that apartheid South Africa needs in order to cling to life: men who are violent, hateful and emotionless.</p> <p><strong>Fear and desire</strong></p> <p>Only in moments of darkness and isolation do the characters feel able to be intimate. In the first scene where Nicholas (Kai Luke Brümmer) is alone with his love interest, Dylan Stassen (Ryan de Villiers), the young men are ordered to spend the night waiting in deep trenches.</p> <p>Their commanding officer, Sergeant Brand (Hilton Pelser), seems to take pleasure in setting a boundary that they cannot cross, to stay in the trenches no matter what, until the sun rises. What Nicholas and Dylan find, trapped in the confines of these limitations on their freedom and movement, is a moment of intimacy, a spark of desire.</p> <p>The fear that Nicholas feels in realising his attraction for Dylan is palpable. He can never be caught, because not only will he be subject to violence, but he will be sent to a mental facility to “cure” him of his desire.</p> <p>These forbidden moments are riddled with anxiety, which seems to rob the boys of the love story which this film might have become.</p> <p><strong>The black body</strong></p> <p>Hermanus is masterful in linking oppressive masculinity to racism in <em>Moffie</em>. I’ve <a href="http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&amp;pid=S1021-14972018000100002">written before</a> about his 2011 film, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1922721/"><em>Skoonheid</em> (Beauty)</a>, and how toxic masculinity and racism place limits on intimacy.</p> <p><em>Moffie</em> is in many ways a superior film, with striking cinematography emphasising the bleakness of the surroundings and a punching, unnerving score that points to the conflict and anxiety of the characters.</p> <p>The film is bookended by two moments of violence against black characters. The first is when the young conscripts throw a bag of vomit into the face of a black man, demanding he not sit on a bench at a train station. The second is when Nicholas kills a black soldier in combat. Nicholas looking down at the corpse, in the dark of the night that he had once found refuge in, shows how he can never escape the racist and patriarchal duties that define apartheid.</p> <p>There is a similar consciously political placement of black bodies in <em>Skoonheid</em>. Hermanus – a black man – features black characters in two highly charged moments in a film about the secret gay sex lives of white Afrikaner farmers. The one is before a sex scene and the other is on a university campus as <em>Skoonheid</em>reaches its terrible conclusion.</p> <p><strong>Standout performances</strong></p> <p>The actors in <em>Moffie</em> brilliantly portray these moments of being subject to the assault of toxic masculinity, with a particularly strong performance by Matthew Vey, who plays Nicholas’s best friend, Michael. Another strong performance is from Stefan Vermaak, who plays Oscar, the more willing participant in racist and patriarchal ideology.</p> <p>Brümmer’s powerful performance as the central character shows both subtle resistance and then participation as an agent of the apartheid state.</p> <p>At the end, it is unclear whether the young men are able to escape the encroaching ideology that dictates their lives, and whether the moments of refuge and isolation are enough to free them from the memory of the incessant labelling of “moffie” that defined their youth.</p> <p><em>Moffie</em> is a challenging and deeply affecting film that represents the important, often overlooked realities of living in apartheid for gay men.</p> <p><em>Written by Grant Andrews. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/film-review-moffie-is-a-harrowing-meditation-on-white-masculinity-133182">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson released from hospital following coronavirus diagnosis

<p><span>After testing positive for coronavirus last week, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have left the Queensland hospital they were being treated at.</span></p> <p><em>PEOPLE<span> </span></em>reported that according to the Hollywood star’s rep, the couple are now taking it easy at their home where they remain in quarantine.</p> <p>The couple, who tied the knot in 1988, have been in Australia for pre-production of Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis Presley biopic in which Hanks plays Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker.</p> <p>Last Thursday, Hanks took to Instagram to reveal that he and Wilson had contracted COVID-19.</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/B9qBEyjJu4B/?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/B9qBEyjJu4B/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Hello folks. @ritawilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us. We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else. There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness. We are taking it one-day-at-a-time. There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no? Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. Hanx</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/tomhanks/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Tom Hanks</a> (@tomhanks) on Mar 12, 2020 at 7:08pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive," he shared on Instagram and Twitter. "Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed.</p> <p>"We Hanks' will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We'll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves! Hanx!"</p> <p>Officials from Queensland released a statement last week revealing where the couple likely contracted coronavirus.</p> <p>While they did not name Hanks and Wilson specifically, they did say that all of the state’s new patients are non-contact cases. Which means they have “contracted the illness outside Australia and travelled to Queensland with the virus”, so were most probably infected in the United States or while travelling to Australia.</p>

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Hugh Jackman SLAMMED after coronavirus hand washing video gains traction

<p>Hugh Jackman has apologised after being harshly criticised for a light-hearted clip that turned ugly.</p> <p>The star was filmed dancing whilst washing his hands in a sweet response to the coronavirus pandemic that has plagued communities across the world.</p> <p>However, eagle-eyed fans spotted a small detail in the clip that irked them – a running tap.</p> <p>Jackman apologised for leaving the tap running whilst demonstrating his unusual method for washing his hands to the popular song<span> </span>Say So<span> </span>by Doja Cat.</p> <p>He later deleted the video just 12 hours later, admitting it was wrong of him to have left the tap running.</p> <p>“Thank you everyone for picking me up on my mistake, which was to wash my hands while leaving the water running the whole time,” he wrote in a changed caption.</p> <p>He added: “That was not good. I wasn’t thinking.”</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/B9vGv8SnF6x/?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/B9vGv8SnF6x/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Take 2. You’re ALL absolutely right. Turn off the tap whilst washing your hands. Smart, healthy practices for yourself .. and the planet. 🧼 🖐 🤚 🗺 #washyourhands #savewater #world #healthylifestyle</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/thehughjackman/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Hugh Jackman</a> (@thehughjackman) on Mar 14, 2020 at 6:43pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>However, just a few hours later the Australian actor chose to delete the video from all social media.</p> <p>The Greatest Showman<span> </span>star then returned to social media for a revised and re-filmed clip of him washing his hands – this time however, he turned off the tap.</p> <p>“Take 2. You’re ALL absolutely right,” he wrote in the caption.</p> <p>“Turn off the tap whilst washing your hands. Smart, healthy practices for yourself .. and the planet.”</p> <p>Hugh Jackman was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to performing arts and to the global community.</p>

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A brief history of invisibility on screen

<p>What would you do if you could be invisible? Would this newfound power bring out the best in you, instilling you with the courage to discreetly sabotage the efforts of evildoers? Or would the ability to slip in and out of rooms unnoticed tap into darker impulses?</p> <p>This alluring fantasy has long been fodder for filmmakers, many of whom have taken cues from the eponymous character in H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel, <em><a href="https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Invisible_Man/vdAOAAAAIAAJ?hl=en">The Invisible Man</a></em>.</p> <p>First adapted to the screen in 1933, the invisible man (and his descendents) appeared in six films from 1933 to 1951. Now, he’ll be making his latest screen (dis)appearance in a film directed by Leigh Whannell. <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1051906/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_4">This iteration</a> takes a horror-movie tack: Its protagonist, played by Elisabeth Moss, is harassed by an ex who has faked his own death. But beyond <em>The Invisible Man</em> franchise, the concept of invisibility has inspired a raft of movies over the decades.</p> <p><a href="https://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/mlongenecker/profile.html">As a film professor who studies adaptations and series</a>, I’m most interested in the versatility of these invisible characters. They can star in cautionary tales or embody underdog heroes; they can act as vessels for social critique or vehicles for masochistic power fantasies.</p> <p><strong>The mechanics of invisibility</strong></p> <p>For almost as long as people have been appearing onscreen, they’ve been disappearing. French illusionist and experimental filmmaker <a href="https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/72124/5-pioneering-facts-about-georges-melies">Georges Méliès</a> was one of the first to toy with the concept of invisibility. Using hidden cuts, he would create the illusion of a character vanishing into thin air.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YezJqdx7AuU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Georges Méliès was one of the first filmmakers to experiment with invisibility.</span></p> <p>Universal’s 1933 <em>The Invisible Man</em> was the first official adaptation of the Wells novel. Depicting an invisible character over the course of a film was no small task. But director James Whale came up with ingenious solutions that other filmmakers would later mimic.</p> <p>The costume Whale created – <a href="https://cdn2us.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeekus/files/styles/main_wide/public/2019/02/the-invisible-man.jpg?itok=bGORzDEq">a bandaged head, dark glasses, overcoat and gloves</a> – became the default way to represent an invisible character on screen.</p> <p>When the invisible character isn’t wearing the costume, props manipulated by wires or unseen hands would signal his presence: a bicycle rolling down the street, collapsing cushions and rocking chairs. The invisible man also, helpfully, talks a lot.</p> <p>Amazingly, all of this was done without green screens or CGI. To create the effect of invisible body parts in scenes where actor Claude Rains is wearing a suit and hat, Whale had Rains <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ysmepAjLIs&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=863%22">wear a black velvet suit and be filmed against a black velvet background</a>. The filmmakers then used this footage to composite the actor’s props and costumes into the rest of the scene, making him appear invisible within the space.</p> <p><strong>The many faces of invisibility</strong></p> <p>More and more films would go on to explore the power of invisibility. But it never came to serve any one specific purpose.</p> <p>H.G. Wells had script approval over the 1933 version, so it remains relatively faithful to his original work. Like the novel, the film is about a loner scientist who chooses to test an invisibility serum he’s developed on himself – only to realize he can’t reverse the effects.</p> <p>Wells’ invisible man is an anti-hero; despite a gradual slide into violent megalomania, we’re supposed to see a tragedy of scientific ambition – and its effect on someone who loses self, soul and life in pursuit of progress.</p> <p>But starting in 1934, <a href="https://daily.jstor.org/end-american-film-censorship/">increased enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code</a> encouraged films to be written with a clearer moral framework. So subsequent studio-era versions tended to couch invisible characters as victims who wielded the power of invisibility to right a wrong.</p> <p>For example, in 1940’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032635/"><em>The Invisible Man Returns</em></a> and 1951’s <em><a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043255/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Abbot and Costello Meet the Invisible Man</a></em>, sympathetic scientists turn wrongfully accused men invisible so they can escape capture, discover who framed them and clear their names.</p> <p>In “Invisible Agent,” a descendant of the original invisible man agrees to distribute the invisibility serum to the U.S. military to help combat the Nazis. <a href="http://blogs.ischool.berkeley.edu/i103su09/structure-projects-assignments/research-project/projects-and-presentations/film-as-propaganda-in-america-during-wwii/">Working in service of Hollywood’s propaganda goals</a>, this is the most overtly heroic version.</p> <p>1940’s <em><a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032637/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3">The Invisible Woman</a></em>, on the other hand, addresses wider social injustices. It tells the story of a frustrated working girl who answers a kooky inventor’s ad and agrees to test-run his invisibility machine. It works – and she immediately decides to exact revenge on her cruel boss, spooking him with her disembodied voice and threatening him until he agrees to enact better working conditions.</p> <p>This film offers a variation on another recurring scenario in films that feature invisible characters: The disembodied voice of the invisible hero lectures a bewildered, frightened antagonist, assuming the voice of someone’s conscience, a ghostly judge or a voice of God.</p> <p>In a way, she gives voice to everything an audience might fantasize about saying to a belittling authority figure, whether it’s a boss, policeman or teacher.</p> <p><strong>A return to cynicism</strong></p> <p>As time goes on, films featuring invisible characters swung back towards exploring the slippery slope of granting people this superpower.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036959/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0"><em>The Invisible Man’s Revenge</em></a>, the psychologically damaged protagonist wants to exact revenge on former friends he thinks have cheated him. As luck would have it, he conveniently stumbles upon a mad scientist willing to lend him a hand. Yes, he ends up being felled by a heroic dog, but the film nonetheless creatively imagines the horrors of power in the wrong hands.</p> <p>More recently, 2000’s <em><a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0164052/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Hollow Man</a></em> has a title that suggests both the literal and symbolic effects of invisibility. Its invisible lead is an arrogant, entitled scientist who – like Wells’ protagonist – experiments on himself. But as he explores his powers of invisibility, he indulges himself in increasingly violent ways. Director Paul Verhoeven is known for his <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114436/">lurid</a>, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3716530/">often vicious</a> social critiques, and <em>Hollow Man</em> is no different: Key scenes are shot from behind the eyes of the power-mad invisible villain as he prepares to sexually assault a neighbor, forcing viewers to <a href="https://www.salon.com/2000/08/04/hollow_man/">uncomfortably consider their identification with the predator</a>.</p> <p>In a sign that times continue to change, the invisible subgenre’s 2020 entry contains a timely social critique. Rather than indulging viewers in a power fantasy, the perspective shifts back to the victim. As she attempts to convince others that her abusive ex is still alive and harassing her, it isn’t difficult to sense cultural undercurrents of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/us/toxic-masculinity.html">toxic masculinity</a> and <a href="https://hbr.org/2020/01/metoos-legacy">society’s unwillingness to listen to victims</a>.</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marc-longenecker-942400">Marc Longenecker</a>, Assistant Professor of the Practice in Film Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/wesleyan-university-1361">Wesleyan University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-brief-history-of-invisibility-on-screen-130175">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Shadow Catchers review: Fakes, body doubles and mirrors from the analog to the digital lens

<p><em>Review: </em><a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/shadow-catchers/"><em>Shadow Catchers</em></a><em> at Art Gallery of New South Wales.</em></p> <p>Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-28/vladimir-putin-says-he-never-used-body-double/12009780">denied using a body double</a>, saying he’d been offered one before but declined. The rest of us, in our glorious anonymity, might take up the offer. An actual person could shadow us through daily life. They could hold us tight while we attend to the task of living. They could reply to emails, chauffeur children and stand in for us at work while we go to the beach instead.</p> <p>Body doubles come into focus in a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Curated by Isobel Parker Philip, <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/shadow-catchers/">Shadow Catchers</a> includes almost 90 works from the art gallery’s collection: photography, video, sculpture and installations from Australia’s most respected artists, alongside important international works.</p> <p>Common to the works is the use of shadows, body doubles and mirrors, many of which challenge a straight forward understanding of photography and the moving image.</p> <p><strong>The camera can lie</strong></p> <p>Shadow Catchers shows that since the <a href="https://photo-museum.org/niepce-invention-photography/">first photography in 1827</a>, the medium has given us truthful copies of ourselves and the world. However, we also know it is easily exploited. In the era of fake news, we increasingly question the veracity of images.</p> <p>One of the oldest works in the exhibition, Clarence H. White and Alfred Stieglitz’ 1907 work <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/425.1977/">Experiment 27</a> (lady in white with crystal ball), shows images have long performed a dual function of revealing but also manipulating or concealing reality. The exhibition presents us with distortions, mirror images and doppelgangers and brings us truth and fiction in equal measure.</p> <p>Viewing the works of <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/412.2016.1-120/">Patrick Pound</a>, <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=redgate-jacky">Jacky Redgate</a> and <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=phillips-debra">Debra Phillips</a>, I wondered whether I was seeing the moon, the Earth, a UFO, a mirror or a simple ball.</p> <p>I was drawn into the cosy domestic space of what I thought was a lesbian couple. Instead, I was being intimately invited by <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=phillips-emma">Emma Phillips</a> to witness the tenderness of twin attachment.</p> <p>The self-splitting allure of the mirror reveals itself in works by <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/artists/moffatt-tracey/">Tracey Moffatt</a> and <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=morley-lewis">Lewis Morley</a> (famous for his portrait of Christine Keeler). The erotic force of a simple shop mannequin is the signature of French photographer <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=molinier-pierre">Pierre Molinier</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=bing-ilse">Ilse Bing</a>’s intimate self-portrait from 1931 illustrates the central curatorial premise, duplicating her dark beauty in a staging of two angled mirrors where she looks both at us and away from us.</p> <p>Other highlights include eight imposing photographs by <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=raskopoulos-eugenia">Eugenia Raskopoulos</a>. Activating the illusory properties of the mirror after a hot shower, letters from the Greek alphabet are wiped onto the steamy surface.</p> <p><strong>Grand scale</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=fairskye-merilyn">Merilyn Fairskye</a>’s large scale portraits, printed on a plastic substrate, emit a shadow onto the wall behind them and create a schism that gently ruptures the faces of her subjects.</p> <p>Body double, a work by <a href="https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=rrap-julie">Julie Rrap</a>, is the centrepiece of the exhibition. The artist has worked with notions of the double in sculpture, video and photography since the early 1980s. Two silicon rubber casts of the artist’s body lie corpse-like on a stage, one face down and one face up. A ghost-like figure of a man or a woman is projected onto the bodies. The projection of the body rolls across the stage from one figure to the other, appearing to resuscitate the silicon forms.</p> <p>The organisation of the works across four rooms intermingles historical works with the contemporary, reminding us that the present is always informed by the past.</p> <p>The exhibition offers a poetic reflection and critical account of our enduring fascination with technologies of representation.</p> <p>While the exhibition successfully returns us to photography’s past and the defiant contribution of postmodern approaches to “doubling”, it neglects to question our current and future predicament.</p> <p>The world today is saturated, even drowning, in shadows, which we are too slow or too tired to catch. Today we share the world with millions of our body doubles whether we want to or not.</p> <p>Shadows and mirrors follow us through daily life and reflect us in the screens of our digital devices, ultrasound images, x-rays, dentists’ moulds; our experience of ourselves in the world is constantly mediated through the experience of seeing ourselves duplicated. Bitmoji, digital avatars, gaming skins, VR personas, Instagram feeds, CCTV surveilance and passport scans mean we have plenty of body doubles lurking in cyberspace.</p> <p>It is suggested we live in a <a href="https://www.lensculture.com/articles/mois-de-la-photo-montreal-biennale-2015-the-post-photographic-condition">post-photographic</a> time. What this means is that technology is creating images of and with us, for and not for us. These may be better or worse than our mortal bodies and mostly beyond our control.</p> <p><em>Shadow Catchers is showing at Art Gallery of New South Wales until May 17.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Cherine Fahd. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/shadow-catchers-review-fakes-body-doubles-and-mirrors-from-the-analog-to-the-digital-lens-132668"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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​Meghan Markle scoping out role in superhero movie

<p>Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is keen to get back into acting roles after two years away serving as a royal member, reports say.</p> <p>According to numerous sources, the Hollywood starlet is scoping out different roles for an upcoming superhero flick that could suit her well, after she permanently steps down as a senior royal member.</p> <p>Before she married husband Prince Harry, Meghan worked with agent Nick Collins of LA's Gersh Agency.</p> <p>Now it is speculated she may return to the agent to “actively search” for a suitable role in a blockbuster film, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8060475/Its-Meghan-Marvel-Duchess-Sussex-tells-agent-role-Hollywood-superhero.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail.</a></p> <p>It is widely reported that Duchess Meghan is in the works to produce a film with Disney, who own Marvel and also distribute their franchise – and with plenty of superhero movie under their belt, it would not be a big jump for the royal to explore for her career.</p> <p>“She knows she can't carry a film as an actress,” a source told the<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8060475/Its-Meghan-Marvel-Duchess-Sussex-tells-agent-role-Hollywood-superhero.html" target="_blank">British</a><span> </span>tabloid.  </p> <p>“People won't be able to get past the fact she's Meghan Markle. But she's determined to act again and she thinks a big, ensemble film is the way to go… something that pays big but which doesn't put her front and centre.”</p>

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Australia’s most famous bank robbery

<p>Bank robberies and dramatic ‘hold-ups’ make for gripping movie plots – but to what extent does this mirror real life?</p> <p>Just last week, a <a href="http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/02/12/14/08/commonwealth-bank-attempted-robbery-market-street-sydney">botched bank robbery took place in Sydney’s CBD, right in front of visiting celebrity Kelly Osborne</a>, who found herself caught up in the drama.</p> <p>The unidentified man entered the Commonwealth Bank on the corner of Market and Castlereagh Streets last Friday.</p> <p>Armed with a knife, the man lunged at terrified customers and staff, demanding cash, but ended-up fleeing empty-handed towards Hyde Park. Kelly Osborne was being interviewed in the area at the time.</p> <p>The assailant is still on the run.</p> <p>Modern banks have sophisticated surveillance and security systems, and hold-ups have become relatively rare; with robbers focusing on other businesses and the internet to make their money. And while the would-be robber in the above case left empty handed, many have gotten away with a whole lot of loot.</p> <p>Let’s look at what was perhaps the most publicised bank robbery in recent Australian history – the <a href="http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/copshooting-bandit-hakki-atahan-meets-a-bloody-end-on-a-1984-dog-day-afternoon/story-fni0ffnk-1226814784658">1984 bank robbery and hostage crisis</a>.</p> <p>Australia’s Most Famous Bank Robbery</p> <p>The man behind the robbery, Hakki Atahan, wanted to get rich quickly, and, like many before him, decided that targeting a bank was the solution to his financial predicament.</p> <p>Between March 1983 and January 1984, Mr Atahan committed not just one, but an estimated 17 robberies, pocketing large sums of cash in the process. He spent the money on luxury apartments, expensive jewellery, fancy holidays and gambling.</p> <p>But his spate of robberies was ended on 31 January 1984 when he brazenly attempted to rob three banks in a single day. The first and second went off without a hitch, but by the time he got to the third bank, police were hot on his heels.</p> <p>Before Atahan demanded the cash, one of the bank employees managed to set off the alarm, with police arriving just as Atahan was stuffing the notes into his suitcase.</p> <p>Police swarmed on the bank, but couldn’t get in. When Atahan was ready to make his escape, he surrounded himself with five hostages and made his way to the getaway car. The bank manager was forced to walk in front, with a gun held to his head, while the others were so close that police could not get a clear shot.</p> <p>Five people, including Atahan, got into the car and the bank manager was ordered to drive. They travelled to Atahan’s home, where they picked up his girlfriend and set one hostage free.</p> <p>They attempted to set off again, but police cars had blockaded the area, and a helicopter hovered above. Atahad directed the bank manager to smash through the blockade. He then shot at police, hitting one officer in the face.</p> <p>Although injured, the officer was fortunate enough to survive.</p> <p>Other officers started shooting at Atahad, who was hit several times and died. All of the hostages survived, although one suffered a wound to the leg and others were cut by shattered glass.</p> <p>Atahad was a keen habitual gambler, and had just $467 to his name at the time of his death.</p> <p>Penalties for Robbery</p> <p>There is no specific offence in NSW for ‘robbing a bank’, but the offence of ‘<a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/robbery/">robbery</a>’ – or stealing from a person using threats or actual violence – is covered by <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s94.html">section 94 of the Crimes Act 1900</a>. It comes with a maximum penalty of fourteen years’ imprisonment.</p> <p>If aggravating factors are present, such as being in company (with another) when committing the offence or being armed with an offensive weapon (such as a knife), the maximum penalty jumps to 20 years.</p> <p>And if another person is wounded or seriously injured, the maximum penalty rises to 25 years.</p> <p>As the maximum penalties suggest, the offence of robbery is taken very seriously by the courts – so much so that a ‘<a href="https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/549f9d993004262463b218be">guideline judgement</a>’ has been handed-down by the courts for ‘<a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/crimes-act/robbery-in-company/">robbery in company</a>’ to ensure that sentences are consistent and harsh.</p> <p>‘<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrIAGrRpcBM">Standard non parole periods</a>’ may also apply; which are guideposts or reference points for the sentencing Judge when determining the appropriate ‘non parole period’; ie the time which must be spent in prison before an offender is eligible to apply for release.</p> <p>It is therefore crucial to take any allegations of robbery very seriously – whether you are innocent or guilty of the charges. A <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/about/">good criminal defence lawyer</a> with a <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/recent-cases/criminal/no-prison-for-4x-robbery-in-company-and-detain-for-advantage/">proven track record in robbery cases</a> will be able to draw on a wealth of experience and expertise to obtain the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/recent-cases/criminal/no-prison-for-3-armed-robberies/">best possible result</a> in your case.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australias-most-famous-bank-robbery/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p>

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