Month: September 2020

50 years on, ‘Trial of Chicago 7’ feels all about today

It may be set in the late 1960s but “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” with its themes of protest, civil rights and police brutality, has much to say about America today.

FILE PHOTO: Aaron Sorkin poses with the award for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture for “Steve Jobs” backstage at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Already creating Oscar buzz, the movie lands in a nation polarized by the upcoming November elections and riven by months of street protests over systemic racism.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, dramatizes Vietnam War protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that led to violent clashes with police, and the subsequent trial of the protest leaders.

“The movie has always been about today even though it’s set in 1968, 1969,” said Jeremy Strong, one of a cast that includes Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella and Mark Rylance.

“I think the movie is a celebration of protest. I think it’s an exhortation to go out into the streets and to fight for the values that we need to fight for that are endangered,” added Strong, who plays protest leader Jerry Rubin.

The organizers of the protest were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and their raucous trial began in 1969. Their convictions were reversed on appeal.

The movie melds the drama of the trial, behind the scenes politics, and ideological debates among the protagonists.

FILE PHOTO: 77th Golden Globe Awards – Photo Room – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 5, 2020 – Isla Fisher and Sasha Baron Cohen. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Sorkin, known for White House TV series “The West Wing,” first started writing the screenplay in 2007, but filming did not begin until late 2019.

Rylance suggested the timing was uncanny, finally coming to fruition at the height of Black Lives Matter protests.

“I imagine their hands were shaking when they were editing it,” he said.

The movie, out now in limited movie theaters and on Netflix on Oct. 16, has won warm reviews. The Hollywood Reporter said it has “major Oscar awards potential,” while Variety called it a “knockout.”

The New York Times was less effusive, but said its timeliness made it “not a movie that can be easily shaken off.”

(Reporting by Rollo Ross; Writing by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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Designer Bora Aksu presents pandemic-inspired collection at London Fashion Week

Turkish designer Bora Aksu said the coronavirus pandemic inspired his latest collection, which looks back over one hundred years to the Spanish flu pandemic and the end of World War One.

COVID-19 meant that Aksu’s fashion show on Friday was one of only four taking place at London Fashion Week, according to the British Fashion Council, compared with the 46 shows that took place at the event last September.

A model displays a creation during the Bora Aksu show at London Fashion Week, in London, Britain February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

The designer said that after such an isolating period earlier in the year due to the pandemic, he felt that not having a traditional show would have been “cutting off that human touch, I really couldn’t do it.”

He said of the pandemic: “It has so kind of affected all our lives and the way we operate and work that I could not take myself out of it.”

It made him think of the 1918 flu pandemic and the accompanying time of mourning at the end of the war, and the much more optimistic period that followed.

A model is being prepared on the backstage of the Bora Aksu catwalk show at London Fashion Week 2020, in London, Britain, September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The floaty white dresses with long socks and white boots reflected the minimal dressing of the nurses who treated the war wounded and those suffering from flu, he said.

Parading in London’s autumn sunshine, models, wearing sheer face veils, also showed off tiered dresses in pastel shades of pink and blue, and dark purples, with prints and lace.

“The collections and the fashion actually should reflect the times that we be going through,” Aksu told Reuters.

Models present creations during the Bora Aksu show at London Fashion Week, London, Britain February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

He said he wanted to send a message of hope by reminding people that after World War One and the Spanish flu pandemic, good times followed for many in the early 1920s.

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Filming resumes on ‘The Batman’ movie after coronavirus shutdown

Filming has resumed in Britain on the movie “The Batman,” Warner Bros. said on Thursday, after a two-week shutdown caused by a member of the production – reported to be actor Robert Pattinson – who tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Following a hiatus for COVID 19 quarantine precautions, filming has now resumed on The Batman in the U.K,” a Warner Bros. representative said in a statement. 

Pattinson, the star of the superhero movie, was widely reported to be the person who tested positive in early September. The movie studio never confirmed or denied this.

The shutdown underscored the challenges that Hollywood is facing in getting back to work after months of pandemic-induced shutdowns, and the stringent safety measures they must now undertake.

Filming of “The Batman” had resumed north of London only three days prior to the positive test after being shuttered in mid-March, along with dozens of other movies and TV shows around the world due to the coronavirus.

It was not clear to what extent Pattinson, 34, best known for his breakout role in the vampire movie series “Twilight,” had suffered any COVID-19 symptoms.

“The Batman” has about three months of material left to shoot, according to Hollywood trade outlets. Its release was pushed back earlier this year to October 2021 from June 2021.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Franklin Paul and Jonathan Oatis)

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Curiosity high for TV’s anything-can-happen virtual Emmys

 California may be burning and the United States is in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but Hollywood is hoping that there might be some relief in a party – albeit at a distance – at Sunday’s Emmy awards.

FILE PHOTO: Catherine O’Hara wins the award for best actress in a comedy series for “Schitt’s Creek” during the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 11, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

The highest awards in television are going ahead as a live, virtual ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, but without a celebrity audience or a red carpet, after six months of lockdowns, no live concerts and a lost summer movie season.

“Television has really dominated and helped people in the last six months of pandemic. So there perhaps is a sense of wanting to see how these things we discovered during quarantine, or watched again, will fare on Sunday,” said Gerrad Hall, senior TV editor at Entertainment Weekly.

Emmy producers say they have thrown out the awards show playbook and are looking to do something fun and unexpected, while cognizant of massive wildfires, the pandemic and a divisive presidential election campaign.

“We are not tone deaf. We are trying to make this show in the backdrop of a lot of things going on in this country,” co-producer Ian Stewart told reporters.

Television proved an escape for millions during the lockdowns but many of the shows up for Emmys are far from frivolous in a line-up that is stronger than ever on diversity.

“Watchmen” based on a comic book but infused with themes of racial injustice, goes into Sunday’s ceremony with a leading 26 nods and is expected to end up one of the night’s biggest winners.

“It’s big in scope, and its message of institutional racism and diving deep into this country’s history of inequality couldn’t be more timely,” said Michael Schneider, senior editor at Variety.

Schneider called “Watchmen” a “dead cert” to win the Emmy for best limited series, with Regina King’s kick ass police detective seen as favorite for best actress.

FILE PHOTO: Television host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at a ceremony for recording artist Lionel Richie to place his handprints and footprints in cement in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The best drama series race appears to be a close contest between money laundering thriller “Ozark,” starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, and squabbling media family saga “Succession,” whose cunning patriarch is played by Brian Cox.

“It’s strange in this day and age to see people rooting and caring so much for rich white people, but there is also a thrill in watching them squirm,” said Hall, talking of “Succession.”

Both shows, which tied with 18 Emmy nods, “benefited from all the binge watching that people did during quarantine,” Hall added.

By contrast “Schitt’s Creek,” a leading contender for best comedy series honors, is a quirky feel good show about a rich family forced to live in a run-down motel. It also got nods for writing, directing and for its four main actors – Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy.

Previous Emmy champ “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is also in the running but sentiment appears to be with “Schitt’s Creek,” which went from obscurity to a fan favorite in its 6th and final season.

The Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, starting at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Grant McCool)

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TV’s ‘Ratched’ explores ‘One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest’ villain

 Nurse Mildred Ratched, the infamous villain from Milos Forman’s Oscar-winning 1975 film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” is returning to screens in the Netflix show “Ratched.”

    The eight-episode horror series, from producer Ryan Murphy and writer Ian Brennan, tells the origin story of the asylum nurse created by Ken Kesey in his 1962 novel.

    The TV show, set in 1947, follows Ratched as she arrives in Northern California to work at a psychiatric hospital where doctors have been conducting experiments on the human mind.

Sarah Paulson, the show’s lead, said she felt “nervous and a bit incapable” taking on the character, a role for which Louise Fletcher won a lead actress Oscar.

    “The only way I could try to approach it was to think about holding her performance as closely as I could in my mind, and then just try to remind myself that we were inventing her beginnings,” Paulson told Reuters.

“I had a little bit of latitude there to explore with some freedom, but knowing what the backbone of the character was because of Louise’s wonderful, wonderful performance. But it was scary,” she added.

Finn Wittrock, who plays mass murderer Edmund Tolleson, said the show explored how Nurse Ratched ended up becoming one of the great cinematic villains.

“She went head-to-head with the patriarchy in her own way and ultimately became the person that we later know as Nurse Ratched in the movie. But she wasn’t always that way,” said Wittrock.

The series also stars Sharon Stone as an eccentric millionaire and Cynthia Nixon, who plays Nurse Ratched’s love interest. “Ratched” will be available for streaming on Netflix starting on Friday.

(Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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AT&T sees increased demand in unlimited plans from entertainment push

The company logo for AT&T is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

AT&T Inc <T.N> said new entertainment services like its HBO Max streaming service have helped sustain demand in high-end unlimited wireless subscription plans.

The company also said it will continue to spend its cash on fiber and its 5G high speed wireless network, John Stankey, Chief Executive of AT&T, said on Tuesday at the annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia media and communications conference.

AT&T has spent more than $135 billion to stitch together a media company, satellite TV provider and advertising platform to grow its business. But it has faced skepticism from investors.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas and Kenneth Li in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Madonna to direct and co-write a movie about her life

Pop music superstar Madonna will direct and co-write a movie about her life for Comcast Corp’s <CMCSA.O> Universal Pictures, the studio said in a statement on Tuesday.

Madonna, 62, will team with Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody on the script, Universal said.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine)

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Burberry to livestream Spring/Summer 2021 fashion show on Twitch

Burberry said on Monday it would livestream its Spring/Summer 2021 fashion show this week in partnership with live video-streaming service Twitch, becoming the first luxury brand to do so.

The show will be completely remote, with no guests attending in person, the company said in a statement.

Fashion houses around the world have been experimenting with different formats as they seek to maintain the glamour and excitement of their catwalk shows in an era of face masks and social distancing.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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A new look for New York Fashion Week

The hottest accoutrements at the upcoming New York Fashion Week? Masks and hand sanitizer. Lisa Bernhard has a preview.

Fashion week in a pandemic means masks are a must, even if the models are wearing little else.

Following on the heels of Madrid, Kiev and other global cities, New York will strip down its typically packed, eye-popping Fashion Week by adhering to strict social distancing and other guidelines, says April Guidone of Fashion Week sponsor IMG.

“IMG worked very closely with the governor of New York’s office to understand what protocols need to be in place for health and safety.”

Held at Tribeca’s Spring Studios, New York Fashion Week will offer a runway on the roof with limited space for an audience, and rooms set aside for designers to shoot short films or social content as much of this year’s event has moved online to NYFW.com.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America has also created a new platform, Runway360.com, to stream digital content.

Highlights this season include designs from Jason Wu, Rebecca Minkoff and Christian Siriano, who will showcase his latest creations from his Connecticut home.

Top Brooklyn-based model Anok Yai has been working in London since March and says the few shows she’s done have definitely had a different look.

“It’s honestly been very strange. So, everything obviously is very spaced out. And so backstage there can be like at least 100 hundred people in one room for the hair and makeup. And now it’s like dwindling. Like, they’ll be, like, less than a dozen.”

And styles seem to have creatively incorporated masks – perhaps none more than this glamorous get-up from Ukraine.

Marie Claire editor in chief Aya Kanai hopes the challenging times bring what she describes as a much needed “course correction” to the fashion world.

“In the luxury fashion industry it is a moment to reassess what are the values that really matter to you as a brand. And really expressing them without being so overly influenced by what other brands are doing.”

New York Fashion Week kicks off Sunday – and this year is trimmed to five days instead of the usual seven.

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‘Wonder Woman’ movie sequel delayed two months to December

The Warner Bros movie studio on Friday postponed the debut of superhero sequel “Wonder Woman 1984” until Christmas Day as many theaters remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film starring Gal Gadot had been scheduled for release in cinemas on Oct. 2 but will now debut on Dec. 25. It was the next big-budget Hollywood movie slated for theaters.

“Because I know how important it is to bring this movie to you on a big screen when all of us can share the experience together, I’m hopeful you won’t mind waiting just a little bit longer,” director Patty Jenkins said in a statement.

Movie studios have been shuffling their schedules for months as the industry tries to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced theaters around the world to shut their doors in March.

Cinemas have slowly reopened with capacity limits, and moviegoing is rebounding in countries such as China, the world’s second-largest film market. But in the United States, theaters remain closed in major moviegoing hubs including Los Angeles and New York.

Warner Bros., owned by AT&T Inc, tested the market with the release of Christopher Nolan’s thriller “Tenet” in late August. The movie, which cost more than $200 million to produce, had generated global ticket sales of $146.2 million through last weekend.

The next upcoming Hollywood blockbuster is “Black Widow” from Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios. It is currently due to debut in theaters on Nov. 6.

James Bond movie “No Time to Die,” from Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures and MGM Studios, is scheduled for Nov. 20.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Chris Reese and Alistair Bell)

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