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The Wizard of Oz at 80: how the world fell under its dark spell

The 1939 classic has inspired everyone from David Lynch to Salman Rushdie. Novelist and super-fan Luiza Sauma explores why the films message about home still holds such power Eighty years ago, in the summer of 1939, 16-year-old Judy Garland appeared on cinema screens as the orphan Dorothy Gale, dreaming of escape from bleak, monochrome Kansas. Find yourself a place where you wont get into any trouble, her aunt beseeches, too busy for poor old Dorothy, who soon breaks into song: Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue / And the…

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Taron Egerton speaks out against Rocketman scene cuts in Russia

Actor who stars in Elton John biopic says he is crestfallen at removal of gay scenes Taron Egerton, the star of the Elton John biopic, Rocketman,has said he is dismayed that gay scenes have been cut from the film in Russia. Egerton, who has won praise for his portrayal of John in the film, Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jun/01/taron-egerton-speaks-out-against-rocketman-gay-scene-cuts-in-russia

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Michael Sheen: Anything I do, I commit to

Michael Sheens many roles, from Caligula to Blair, have always been full-blooded. But now its social injustice that really gets him going, says Tim Lewis One of the things the actor David Lynch, Sheens all-time favourite director, was one: Oh God, as a David Lynch fan, he was everything you could possibly want. Laurie Anderson, avant garde artist, composer and partner of Lou Reed. Now, says Sheen, when I was 11 or 12 one of the first singles I ever bought was O Superman. Ive played it all my life…

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Lesley Manville: I want to go dancing and drink too much and Im over 60

The Bafta nominee has been discovered by Hollywood after 47 years as an actor. She talks about ageism, losing her anonymity and spa trips with her Mum co-stars Simon Amstell spotted her and came up for a chat. He wanted to know what she was doing there. Manville affects bewilderment. I said: Well, why? Im going to get the bus. He said: I dont imagine you getting the bus. He could see her on a bus, but not actually waiting for it, perhaps because she seems both grounded and grand.…

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Whole lotta rock: first official Led Zeppelin documentary announced

Bernard MacMahon, director of roots music series American Epic, will helm film exploring bands explosive early years The first ever official documentary film about Led Zeppelin has been announced, to celebrate the bands 50th anniversary. Announcing the project, bassist Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said in a statement, with frontman entire history of the group, MacMahon will focus on their development and rise to fame, as the three members each left session work and existing bands to come together in 1968, along with late drummer John Bonham. The film will…

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Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew dies aged 74

Family of Star Wars star says he died at Texas home on Tuesday The family of Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars franchise, announced his death on Twitter on Thursday. He was 74. Mayhew died in his North Texas home surrounded by his family, the statement on Twitter said. He is survived by his wife, Angie Mayhew, and their three children. Peter Mayhew in costume as Chewbacca, left. Photograph: Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock Following roles in the original Star Wars trilogy and episode three of the prequels, Mayhew fought…

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‘God of War: Raising Kratos’ doc looks at how the biggest game of 2018 got made

Sony Santa Monica’s critically and commercially acclaimed 2018 hit God of War is going to be the subject of a “making of” documentary. It’s a Sony production, so it’s reasonable to expect the rosiest possible picture. But this trailer for Raising Kratos hypes a feature-length documentary look at the intricate development process that fuels a modern-day video game blockbuster. Best of all: it’s a no-cost deep dive into that process. There isn’t a release date, but Sony promises a PlayStation YouTube channel debut for Raising Kratos “soon.” Read more: https://mashable.com/video/god-of-war-raising-kratos-documentary-trailer/

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Cast of Cats film to be size of actual cats

Stars including Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift will be shrunk via CGI and made hirsute using digital fur technology Ever since Tom Hoopers movie adaptation of Cats the long-running Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on the puss prose of TS Eliot was Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift, be donning Lycra, heavy makeup and fluffy wigs in the style of the stage show? How method might they be going with their performances? How many parts on top of playing the traditionally male Deuteronomy would be gender-flipped? Some…

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Odds and Ends 

Blindfolded Bird Box Challenger crashes car

Remember, way back on January 2 when Netflix issued a warning to its customers over the viral Bird Box challenge meme to “PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE?” That warning wasn’t heard or followed by at least one 17-year-old in Utah who decided to give the challenge — which involves a blindfold — a whirl while driving. The result was what one might expect. There was a crash (hat tip CNN, which spotted the tweet from Layton Police).

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‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ trailer: Watch the first look here

[incoherent screaming] The first Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer is here! We’ve all been on the edge of our seats since April 2018, when Peter Parker first mentioned he wasn’t feeling so well in the waning moments of Avengers: Infinity War. What happened? Where did Peter and all his friends go? Will they ever come back? SEE ALSO: New ‘Spider-Man’ trailer is great evidence for a popular ‘Avengers: Endgame’ theory All of those questions will be answered when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters in April. Far From Home is coming later,…

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‘Aquaman’ foreign box office already putting ‘Justice League’ to shame

Image: Jasin Boland / Warner Bros. Aquaman commands more than just the denizens of Earth’s oceans. He’s also got a vise-like hold on the box office, at least outside the United States. The latest entry in the DC Extended Universe opened in U.S. theaters on Friday with an impressive $332.1 million already banked. That’s after almost three weeks in theaters in a number of overseas markets — including the historically Hollywood-friendly China. SEE ALSO: Mixed reviews reveal critics can’t quite agree on ‘Aquaman’ That’s where Aquaman has made the biggest…

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James Gunn’s post-‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ mystery movie is finally revealed

Before James Gunn brought into the world his entertaining vision of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — and was unceremoniously dumped by Disney following a bad faith character assassination — he made horror movies. Good, messed up horror movies like Slither. In the time since his Disney separation, noisy speculation has been building around Brightburn, a Sony Pictures release that reunites Gunn with Slither star Elizabeth Banks. But what is it? Many have guessed that Brightburn is just a codename, and Gunn has been working on a video game adaptation.…

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There’s a Pokmon movie coming to theaters for only four days

Pokémon: The Power of Us — a sequel to 2017’s Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! — is making a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in U.S. theaters right around Thanksgiving. Here’s a new trailer to get you in the mood. The movie will screen Nov. 24, Nov. 26, Nov. 28, and Dec. 1 in a limited number of theaters, with theater locations and tickets available through the Fathom Events website. Read more: https://mashable.com/video/pokemon-power-of-us-trailer/

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‘The horse knew me’: Liam Neeson and Russell Crowe on working with animal stars

He whinnied when he saw me, says Neeson as other actors claim horses theyve worked with recognised them from previous film sets In show business, the adage goes, never work with children or animals. But if you do have work with horses, apparently, theres a chance theyll remember you. Liam Neeson this week bemused audiences in New York and rallied other actors like Russell Crowe with his claim that a horse on the set of his latest movie recognised him because they had previously worked together. Neeson plays a travelling…

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Hollywood producers draw up a moral code – archive,18 September 1928

18 September 1928 Twenty-four producers have drawn up a list of things which will be excluded from the pictures for which they are responsible When things get going at Hollywood they always go with a rush even morals. Morals now seem to be rallying very strongly in the film trade, and twenty-four Hollywood producers have drawn up a list of things which they vow that they will henceforward exclude from all the pictures for which they are responsible. One of them is pointed profanity by title or lip, and another…

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