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December 08, 2016 00:13:29

Time magazine has named US President-elect Donald Trump its Person of the Year.

Time’s managing editor Nancy Gibbs said on NBC’s Today show that the choice of Mr Trump this year was “straightforward”.

Gibbs said Democrat Hillary Clinton was the second finalist.

“It’s a great honour. It means a lot,” Mr Trump said in a telephone interview on the show.

The Manhattan real estate magnate went from fiery underdog in the race for the GOP presidential nomination to President-elect when he defeated Mrs Clinton in the November 8 election.

Mr Trump won 306 electoral votes and has begun the process of preparing for his presidency and filling Cabinet posts.











December 07, 2016 23:47:00

Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci has clarified details about the infamous butter rape scene in the film Last Tango in Paris.

Bertolucci said the only novelty sprung on actress Maria Schneider was the butter — not the simulated rape, which he said was written into the script.

“Some people thought, and think, that Maria wasn’t informed about the rape,” said a Bertolucci statement quoted by Italy’s ANSA news agency.

“False! Maria knew everything because she had read it in the script, where it was described.

“The only novelty was the idea of the butter.”

The controversial film made headlines in recent days after a 2013 interview surfaced in which Bertolucci said neither he nor Marlon Brando had told Schneider of their plans to use the stick of butter during the scene.

He said he and Brando came up with the idea on the morning of the shoot and decided not to tell Schneider because he wanted her to react “as a girl, not as an actress”.

Bertolucci wanted her, he said, to feel “the rage and the humiliation”.

Schneider, who died in 2011, spoke often about the scene between her, then aged 19, and Marlon Brando, then 48, even saying in a 2007 Daily Mail interview that she “felt a little raped” by her co-star and director.

In the statement, Bertolucci said the controversy was “ridiculous”. He criticised commentators for being so “naive” as to think that what they see on screen actually happens.

“Those who don’t know that in film, sex is (almost) always simulated, probably also think that every time John Wayne fires, someone actually dies.”







December 07, 2016 20:59:54

Mel Gibson has won Best Direction for his World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge, which swept the big prizes at the AACTA Awards.

In an emotional speech, Gibson said he needed to thank Australia for making Hacksaw Ridge, shot in New South Wales, which also picked up best film, best screenplay and two actor awards.

“All the way up and down it’s a homegrown film,” Gibson told the audience at the ceremony in Sydney.

Andrew Garfield won the award for best lead actor, while Hacksaw Ridge cast-mate Hugo Weaving won best supporting actor.

Gibson said the cast and crew were of such a high calibre that he was not the only director who wanted to make films here, name checking Alien director Ridley Scott as another.

“I’m really honoured and choked up I can’t even talk,” he said.

The film, nominated for 13 awards, picked up five on the night, bringing its AACTA tally to nine after its previous industry wins.

But the film’s lead actress Teresa Palmer missed out on the gong which went to 18-year-old star of The Daughter, Odessa Young, who admitted it was her first awards ceremony.

Paul Hogan was earlier awarded one of the night’s highest honours — the Longford Lyell Award — for outstanding contribution to the Australian screen.

The Crocodile Dundee star told the media on Tuesday that he felt it was “mystifying” to receive the honour and was awe-struck to be introduced by Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush.

“He’s (Rush) an actor. I only play one character. I’m a huge one-hit wonder,” Hogan told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

“Crocodile Dundee started out as a sketch it was going to be Hoges in New York and it just sort of grew from there, a fluke.

“I think it (Crocodile Dundee) went number one in every country, I’m not sure about Nicaragua but it went number one everywhere else and it was the first independent movie to ever go number one right around the world.

“I was Mr Australia there for a while.”

Cate Blanchett was last year’s recipient of the award, and previous winners include Geoffrey Rush, Jack Thompson and director Peter Weir.

Australian actress Isla Fisher, known for roles in Wedding Crashers and Now You See Me, collected the Trailblazer Award first presented in 2014.

“It’s such an honour. I feel like not that long ago I was holding a hamburger phone to my ear in the Summer Bay diner and now I’m here on the red carpet beside such accomplished actors as Geoffrey Rush and Paul Hogan so it’s phenomenal,” she said.

Jessica Mauboy opened the awards ceremony with a doo-wop version of Soft Cell’s Tainted Love and British pop legends Culture Club performed a medley of hits.

But it was Dami Im’s piano duet with a scene from the 20-year-old movie Shine that stole the show.

The Eurovision star did not sing and instead played Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee behind a sheet of rain, in a duet with scenes of actor Geoffrey Rush playing the same piece in the film.

In TV, Wentworth took home the award for Best Television Drama Series while Best Telefeature or Mini Series went to The Kettering Incident.










December 07, 2016 20:00:54

Protesters have stormed the AACTA Awards red carpet dressed as sausages, chanting “end the sausage party”.

The group, at the 6th annual awards ceremony honouring the country’s TV and film industry in Sydney, were protesting against gender inequality in the business.

Protesters who spoke to the media said they were from Women in Film and Television NSW (WIFT).

“We’re actually here, dressed appropriately for Australia’s biggest sausage party,” they told the media.

“We’re really calling on AACTA to serve up some more transparency in their really poor gender performance.”

The group streamed their protest live on Facebook and posted a statement on their website, saying they “staged a public protest to highlight the disproportionately low amount of nominations and pre-selected films directed and driven by female creatives.”

“Of 28 narrative feature films pre-selected for AACTAs Screening Tour, just two were directed by women, nullifying a call for quotas in award juries.”

They were removed by security, before being confronted by police.

Before the protesters, the only star to give paws to the waiting media was a cattle dog by the name of Phoenix, the star of upcoming film Red Dog: True Blue.

Mel Gibson, whose directorial return Hacksaw Ridge is expected to sweep the board at the event, with a total of 13 nominations, posed for photos but did not stop to talk to waiting media.

Isla Fisher was happy to stop and talk as she was accompanied by her husband, Ali G star Sacha Baron Cohen.

Fisher has come home for the event to be honoured with the Trailblazer Award.

“It’s such an honour,” she said.

“I feel like not that long ago I was holding a hamburger phone to my ear in the Summer Bay diner and now I’m here on the red carpet beside such accomplished actors as Geoffrey Rush and Paul Hogan so it’s phenomenal.”

Boy George will perform with ’80s pop band Culture Club, while singers Jessica Mauboy and Dami Im happily sashayed in to the event.

Im revealed it would be a particularly special performance for her, as she would not be singing — but instead playing the piano, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of film Shine.

Paul Hogan has already been named as the recipient of the highest Australian screen honour, the Longford Lyell Award, which he will accept at the ceremony.









First posted

December 07, 2016 19:28:47


December 07, 2016 13:10:24

Some of the nation’s most artistically significant homes have gone on show in a new multimedia exhibition at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra.

Iconic Australian Houses was originally commissioned as a book by Sydney Living Museums and the Architecture Foundation of Australia.

But the collection later became a travelling public exhibition, which first went on show at the Museum of Sydney.

The exhibition has since travelled to regional centres including Dubbo, Port Macquarie, Newcastle and Wagga Wagga.

It includes still photos of residences, 2D and 3D plans, architectural models and video interviews with architects and home owners.

Curator Karen McCartney said there was only one apartment, located in Surry Hills, among the collection of mostly stand-alone houses from every jurisdiction except South Australia and the Northern Territory.

“The word iconic has become very overplayed,” Ms McCartney said.

“Everything is iconic these days, but I did have a very strict criteria for houses to live up to that term.”

Ms McCartney said that criteria included the home exterior and interior being intact.

“We live in a world of renovation,” Ms McCartney said.

“It is hard to find things that haven’t been altered and where interiors match the exterior.

“They had to reflect the original intent of the architect.”

Designs also must have broken new ground architecturally at the time and be conceptually interesting.

“Many are modest houses, particularly post-war, where architects showed ingenuity and responded to the landscape,” Ms McCartney said.

“They are not necessarily showy houses.”

90yo architect laments contemporary housing design

Properties appearing in the exhibition must also have been designed by significant architects, like Enrico Taglietti who designed Dingle House in the Canberra suburb of Hughes.

The Dingle House takes its name from the surname of the home’s first owner in the mid 1960s.

It is the only ACT residence to feature in the book and exhibition.

“I feel like the grandfather of it,” Mr Taglietti said.

“The house was designed as a one-off for the owner. The number of bedrooms didn’t matter.”

Mr Taglietti has designed around 50 Canberra properties, including a library, four schools, four embassies, the Old Sunset Cinema, storage for the Australian War Memorial and one church.

Mr Taglietti, now aged 90, continues to design but said he lamented the state of contemporary design in the ACT.

“Canberra now has too many rules and design is being totally driven by profit rather than dreams,” he said.

Mr Taglietti originally left Milan in Italy and arrived in Australia in 1955 to curate an exhibition in Sydney.

He was only expecting to visit for six weeks but he ended up making a life in Canberra after falling in love with the location.

“The silence, natural light and the blank slate,” Mr Taglietti said.

“It was a time when everyone was hoping that Canberra would become the most liveable city in the world.

“There was a much bolder vision for Canberra then.”

Mr Taglietti said that bold vision related to Canberra being controlled at the time by the Federal Government, before the territory was established.









First posted

December 07, 2016 13:00:26


December 07, 2016 09:06:51

Australian electronic music producer Flume has been nominated for his first Grammy Awards, making the shortlist in two categories of the music industry’s highest honour.

The Sydney DJ is in the running for the best dance recording gong for his single Never Be Like You, which features Kai, and best dance/electronic album for Skin.

Adelaide-born singer Sia is also nominated for three awards including best pop vocal album, best pop duo and best song written for visual media.

Country singer Keith Urban is nominated for best country album, best country song and best country solo performance.

Flume cleaned up at the ARIA Awards last month, winning five gongs including best album.

The most-nominated artist was Beyonce who received nine Grammy nominations, followed by Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West with eight nods each.

Beyonce’s haul included album, song and record of the year, the top three Grammy accolades, for her hit song Formation and visual album Lemonade, a collection of songs about race, feminism and empowerment.

The R&B singer will compete head-on with Britain’s Adele, the only other artist to be nominated for all three top awards and who returns to the Grammys after scoring six statuettes in 2012 for her album 21.

Justin Bieber’s album Purpose, Canadian hip hop star Drake’s Views and country musician Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth rounded out the contenders for album of the year.

Among the major snubs were West’s The Life of Pablo album, which was shut out of the album, record and song of the year categories this year, as well as David Bowie’s final album Blackstar, which was released two days before his death in January.

However, Blackstar was nominated for four Grammys in other categories, including best alternative album.

The Grammy Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on February 12, are chosen by members of the music industry and in the past have often been dominated by rock and country music.

But in recent years, more R&B and hip hop artists have been recognised in line with the commercial success of the music form.

Music industry publication Billboard said on Tuesday that Grammy voters had “recognized with their nominees this year what the rest of the music-listening world has long accepted: that both its commercial and critical centre lies with pop, hip hop and R&B”.

Chance The Rapper landed seven nominations including the best new artist category.











First posted

December 07, 2016 08:54:58


December 07, 2016 08:51:13

Veteran British character actor Peter Vaughan, who played the enigmatic Maester Aemon in the television series Game of Thrones, has died aged 93.

Vaughan’s agent Sally Long-Innes said he died on Tuesday, surrounded by family.

Vaughan’s face — if not his name — was familiar to generations of television viewers in Britain and around the world.

One of his best-known roles was criminal Harry Grout in 1970s prison sitcom Porridge.

His film appearances included The Naked Runner, opposite Frank Sinatra, and The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Like many British actors, he gained wider fame through HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, where Vaughan played a blind scholar.

Born Peter Ohm in the central England county of Shropshire, Vaughan was married first to the late actress Billie Whitelaw, and then to Lillias Walker, who survives him.








December 06, 2016 23:24:13

Matt Damon has defended his casting in new China-Hollywood co-production The Great Wall amid criticism his role should have gone to an Asian actor.

Some critics have said Damon’s casting as the lead character amounted to whitewashing, in which Caucasians are chosen for roles that actors of other ethnicities should play.

The American actor said he thought of the term whitewashing as applying to Caucasian actors putting on makeup to appear to be of another race, as was common in the early days of film and television.

“That whole idea of whitewashing, I take that very seriously,” Damon said, using the example of the Irish-American actor Chuck Connors, who played the lead character in the 1962 film Geronimo, about the famed Apache chief.

Damon, 46, plays an English mercenary in the upcoming $150-million adventure fantasy about a Chinese army battling monsters, helmed by acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou.

The movie’s trailer sparked criticism in the US that a white man had been chosen to play the lead in a film set in China and meant to showcase Chinese culture.

The furore came amid other accusations of a lack of diversity and opportunities for Asian actors in Hollywood.

‘It wasn’t altered because of me in any way’

Damon questioned whether the critical stories on online news sites based on “a 30-second teaser trailer” would have existed before the era of so-called fake news and headlines designed to make people click on them.

“It suddenly becomes a story because people click on it, versus the traditional ways that a story would get vetted before it would get to that point,” said the star of the Bourne franchise.

Damon said people fell for outrageous headlines, but “eventually you stop clicking on some of those more outrageous things because you just realise there is nothing to the story when you get to it”.

The Great Wall is the first movie made by Legendary East, the Chinese venture of Legendary Entertainment, a Hollywood studio now owned by Chinese real estate and theatre chain developer Wanda Group.

Damon and Zhang said that because of the demands of the story, Damon’s role — a mercenary who comes to China to steal gunpowder — was always intended to be European.

Damon said he thought the criticism over his casting would subside “once people see that it’s a monster movie and it’s a historical fantasy and I didn’t take a role away from a Chinese actor … it wasn’t altered because of me in any way”.










December 06, 2016 16:16:48

Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the Moon, is being cared for by Dr David Bowie in a New Zealand hospital after being evacuated from the South Pole.

In a remarkable coincidence, Mr Aldrin’s doctor shares the name of the late British singer whose greatest hits included songs such as Starman and others about space travel, which could easily have been penned for the great American astronaut.

The strange circumstance certainly tickled Mr Aldrin’s manager, Christina Korp, who posted a photo on Twitter of Mr Aldrin and Dr Bowie together in a Christchurch hospital.

“Thank heaven @TheRealBuzz’s doctor is David Bowie,” Ms Korp said on Twitter.

“You can’t make this stuff up.”

Bowie, the singer and actor, released his smash hit Space Oddity about a fictional astronaut who loses communication with ground control in 1969, just days before Neil Armstrong and Mr Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon.

Their moonwalk, part of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, was watched by a then-record television audience of 600 million people worldwide.

Bowie, who also adopted the alter ego of Ziggy Stardust, followed the success of Space Oddity with the release of Starman in 1972.

Mr Aldrin, 86, was evacuated from the South Pole on the weekend after falling ill and was flown to Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, where he remains in quarantine.

He has been advised by doctors to remain until fluid in his lungs clears.

Bowie, who won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, died earlier this year.









December 06, 2016 16:05:02

Lady Gaga has revealed her battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during a visit to a New York drop-in centre for homeless LGBT youth.

The US singer called in to the Ali Forney Centre in Harlem last month, sharing a photo on her Facebook account. The visit was filmed for a recently aired segment on morning news show Today.

During her time at the centre, Lady Gaga led some of the residents in a group meditation and told them she had PTSD.

“I have a mental illness and I struggle with that mental illness every day, so I need my mantra to help keep me relaxed,” she told the meditation circle.

Lady Gaga said it was the first time she had publicly shared her diagnosis.

“I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before,” she told Today.

“But the kindness that’s been shown to me by doctors as well as my family and my friends — it’s really saved my life.”

The multiple-Grammy-Award-winner revealed two years ago that she had been raped at the age of 19.

She subsequently recorded the Oscar-nominated song Til It Happens To You to accompany The Hunting Ground — a documentary on campus rape in the US.

“I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself and I’ve found that kindness is the best way,” Lady Gaga, 30, told Today.

“What’s really important to remind kids that are suffering from a traumatic experience or from abandonment [is] … that they’re not alone.”

Lady Gaga posted on Twitter after the interview aired, thanking the Ali Forney Centre residents for sharing their stories.

“Your kindness is contagious,” she wrote.

Other social media users applauded Gaga for her frank admission.






First posted

December 06, 2016 15:56:45

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