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Rip it up and start again: what's next for film criticism on the BBC?

After the long, slow death of the Beeb’s flagship Film show, a radical rethink is needed if the public broadcaster’s claims it takes movies seriously are to be believed

BBC to replace long-running Film review show

For the Film programme, it’s been a long goodbye. The BBC’s flagship film show for TV has been on its deathbed for a long time now. Running for only a few months a year, with a rotating and sometimes rather desultory-looking list of presenters, it has had a variable and very late time slot. Indeed, its own producers were sometimes left in the dark by BBC executives about what exactly was the plan for a programme that still had a devoted following.

Its glory days, by common consent, were in the 70s, 80s and 90s when it was hosted by the avuncular, rumpled, lovable – and extremely knowledgable – Barry Norman, who
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Billy Connolly announces retirement from live performance

Comedian also rejects suggestions that Parkinson’s disease has ‘dulled’ his brain

Billy Connolly has announced that after a half-century career in standup, music, film and television he is retiring from live performing.

The news came in an interview where the comedian also revealed he had tried medicinal cannabis to treat his Parkinson’s disease, likened Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, and rebutted Michael Parkinson’s claim that his illness had “dulled” his brain.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Nureyev review – a meticulous, heartbreaking tour de force

Documentary with wonderful footage of the Russian ballet dancer and defector deftly captures the times he lived through

Co-directors (and siblings) Jacqui and David Morris’s immaculate documentary about Rudolf Nureyev is more than just essential viewing for anyone interested ballet and dance. Like any great biography, it casts a light through its prismatic subject, whose unique story refracts out colourful strands touching on art, politics, history, identity and so much more. It helps that Nureyev, the title subject and one of the last century’s greatest dancers and performers, was such an extraordinarily magnetic figure, likened several times by interviewees here to a panther, all savage beauty and muscular grace.

It’s lucky he just so happened to have come of age in a time when he could be filmed so much, not just performing on stage, but also talking to TV interviewers such as Dick Cavett and Michael Parkinson,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Critics, judge me for my work in Derry Girls and on the stage, not on my body | Nicola Coughlan

After weeks preparing for my role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie a reviewer called me an ‘overweight little girl’. What about my acting?

As an actor, your body is a gift. I can use mine to play neurotic Clare Devlin in Channel 4’s Derry Girls, or a tough-edged courtesan in 18th-century London in Harlots, or the tragic, misunderstood Joyce Emily Hammond, who I’m currently playing every night at the Donmar. I’m very lucky to get to use my body to become all these fascinating women. But the prism through which my body is viewed is inescapable.

I remember watching an episode of 30 Rock while I was at drama school. One of the characters had gained weight over the summer break while starring in a pizza-themed musical. When she came back on set, Alec Baldwin’s studio exec, Jack Donaghy, said: “She needs to lose
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Alex Salmond to host talkshow for Russian broadcaster Rt

Scotland’s former first minister promises ‘a relaxed, informal style’ in weekly programme covering politics, showbiz and sport

Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland, is to present a political talkshow on Russian-state owned broadcaster Rt.

The announcement was condemned by Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who described it as an “unedifying spectacle” and said Salmond was “a former first minister who fancies himself as the Michael Parkinson of [Vladimir] Putin’s propaganda channel”.

Related: Alex Salmond’s new job with Rt tells us one thing: he’s desperate for attention | David Torrance

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Toby Kebbell to play twin brothers in sci-fi 'Extrasensory'

  • ScreenDaily
Toby Kebbell to play twin brothers in sci-fi 'Extrasensory'
Drama written, directed by team behind controversial BBC documentary Ghostwatch.

Toby Kebbell has been cast as twin brothers in sci-fi film Extrasensory from Genesius Pictures.

Lesley Manning directs from an original screenplay by Bafta-winning writer Stephen Volk.

The duo worked together on Ghostwatch, the infamous drama-mockumentary presented by Michael Parkinson that received over 30,000 complaints when it aired on BBC1 in 1992.

Kebbell plays twin brothers who are recruited for a top-secret experiment by Soviet Russia to test the power of telepathic communication.

Harry Gregson Williams (The Martian, Prometheus) will write the score. Produced by Debbie Gray (Northern Soul) and Myf Hopkins, former head of production at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, Extrasensory has been developed with and is supported by Film Cymru Wales.

Shooting will commence in late October 2017.

Genesius has also announced that Elbow front man Guy Garvey and I Am Kloot’s Peter Jobson have written the score for upcoming comedy drama The More You Ignore Me, starring
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Banned BBC Horror Mockumentary ‘Ghostwatch’ Revived for Us Audiences

  • The Wrap
Banned BBC Horror Mockumentary ‘Ghostwatch’ Revived for Us Audiences
Many TV shows have cause nightmares, but BBC mockumentary “Ghostwatch” sparked several cases of post-traumatic stress and reportedly led one viewer to commit suicide. Now the terrifying TV special that was banned in the U.K. is being streamed for U.S. viewers via Shudder, Yahoo News reported. The 90-minute drama originally aired under the guise of a real-life investigation and featured well-known TV personalities including Michael Parkinson (above, middle). Also Read: Etan Patz's Killer Pedro Hernandez Sentenced to 25 Years-to-Life The predecessor to horror hits such as “Blair Witch Project” supposedly investigated a haunted house as the TV crew aimed
See full article at The Wrap »

Helen Mirren Speaks Out Against Misogyny and ‘Dinosaurs’ Like Donald Trump

Helen Mirren Speaks Out Against Misogyny and ‘Dinosaurs’ Like Donald Trump
It’s hard to imagine a film more timely than Gavin Hood’s “Eye in the Sky,” which follows a high-ranking British military officer — Helen Mirren as the conflicted Colonel Katherine Powell — who is tasked with directing a top-secret drone operation. The tension-filled film sees Powell and her subordinates often struggling with the decisions they have to make while in pursuit of a band of terrorists in Kenya, a mission that is made all the more complicated when they are asked to target a kill zone that includes various innocent bystanders, including a young girl.

And, Mirren, as ever, is more than happy to discuss the kind of topical questions the film raises — and so much more — when asked about them. At a luncheon held in the film’s honor today at Manhattan’s Le Bernardin restaurant, Mirren and director Gavin Hood participated in a twenty minute chat moderated by
See full article at Indiewire »

Helen Mirren asked about how her 'equipment' gets in the way of being "a serious actress' in 1975

  • Hitfix
Helen Mirren asked about how her 'equipment' gets in the way of being
Women the world over have to deal with sexism but women in Hollywood tend to have to deal with it in a much more public way. Dame Helen Mirren has never been quiet when it comes to issues of sexism and equality but a 1975 interview proves it. Mirren is a treasure who will soon be seen in Fast 8 and the Winchester Mystery House film. She has a long acting history but I can't say I've ever seen footage of her doing interviews at a younger age until now. YouTuber Caesonia's channel posted the videos from the British talk show Parkinson, with host Michael Parkinson, back in 2008 and somehow Entertainment Weekly just discovered them. When referencing her time with the Royal Shakespeare Company (one of the most serious and illustrious acting institutions), Parkinson noted she was "once described as the 'sex queen' of that company," adding "the critics spend as
See full article at Hitfix »

Watch Helen Mirren Shut Down a Sexist Interviewer Back in 1975

Watch Helen Mirren Shut Down a Sexist Interviewer Back in 1975
Helen Mirren is no stranger to the sexism of the film industry, having worked in film and television since the mid-’60s. Now that an uncomfortable 1975 interview between a young Mirren and host Michael Parkinson has resurfaced, there’s video evidence showing just how long she’s been combating it. The video features Parkinson asking Mirren a barrage of sexist questions and her firmly taking him to task. Watch the full interview below.

Read More: Helen Mirren Stands Up For a Future Full of Women Directors

In the interview, Parkinson first introduces the actress as a “sex queen” and then quotes a number of theater critics who focus on her sensuality and “sluttish eroticism.” He then brings her onstage and asks her almost immediately if her “equipment” (read: breasts) hinders her in the pursuit of being a serious actress. “Because serious actresses can’t have big bosoms, is that what you mean?
See full article at Indiewire »

Helen Mirren Shuts Down Sexist Host In Unearthed 1975 Interview

A video of Helen Mirren outwitting a sexist interviewer in 1975 has recently gone viral. Helen Mirren Deals With Sexism In 1975 Mirren, who was 30-years-old in 1975, sat down with British talk show host Michael Parkinson to discuss her acting. However, Parkinson, straight from introduction, steered the conversation towards her sexuality and what he […]

The post Helen Mirren Shuts Down Sexist Host In Unearthed 1975 Interview appeared first on uInterview.
See full article at Uinterview »

Watch Helen Mirren Shut Down Sexist Interviewer in 1975 (Video)

  • The Wrap
Watch Helen Mirren Shut Down Sexist Interviewer in 1975 (Video)
In case there was any doubt that Helen Mirren was cooler than you, all you need to do is watch a recently unearthed interview with the actress from 1975. In the interview (below), Mirren is speaking with host Michael Parkinson, who asks Mirren oh-so subtly about her — ahem — body of work as an actress. “Do you find that in fact, what could best be described as your equipment hinders you in the pursuit of being a successful actress?” Parkinson asks. Also Read: That Time Gretchen Carlson Walked Off 'Fox & Friends' Over Sexism Mirren proceeds to get quite a kick out of.
See full article at The Wrap »

Helen Mirren Shuts Down Sexist 1975 Interview

Dame Helen Mirren’s first talk show interview is a marvel to watch for at least a dozen different reasons. Host Michael Parkinson’s flagrant sexism in the 1975 interview was a paltry turnout as it stood, but it was rendered pitiful considering how Mirren handled herself in the face of it—with all the grace of the royalty she’s played both onscreen and onstage. “You are, in quotes, a series actress,” Parkinson said early on in the interview after introducing her with a theater critic’s quote that called her “especially telling in sluttish eroticism.” “In quotes? What do you mean in quotes? How dare you,” Mirren replied. Parkinson went even further, asking about whether her “equipment” hinders her in her career or detracts from her performance. Mirren pressed him to explain what he meant by the term until he finally said “figure.” She challenged his suggestion that a
See full article at Backstage »

Helen Mirren Has Been Shutting Down Sexists As Far Back As 1975

  • ET Canada
A more than four decade old interview with Helen Mirren has resurfaced online and proves she is a B-o-s-s. In the clip, a 30-year-old Mirren casually spars with British talk show host Michael Parkinson. Not only did he introduce the famed actress by quoting a number of sexist descriptions such as: “sex queen”. Related: Helen […]
See full article at ET Canada »

Kenny Baker, ‘Star Wars’ R2-D2 Actor, Dies at 81

Kenny Baker, ‘Star Wars’ R2-D2 Actor, Dies at 81
Kenny Baker, the British actor who portrayed the fan-favorite “Star Wars” character R2-D2, has died at the age of 81 after a long illness.

“It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless,” his niece Abigail Shield told The Guardian. “He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”

Baker wasn’t expected to survive puberty, Shield added: “Being a little person in those times, they didn’t have a very good life expectancy. He did extremely well in his life. He was very ill for the last few years so we had been expecting it. He had been looked after by one of his nephews, who found him on Saturday morning.”

Read More: Kenny Baker Death: Friends and ‘Star Wars’ Co-Stars Mourn

Baker,
See full article at Indiewire »

Three heavyweight encounters: when Ali met Parkinson

The unforgettable interviews the champion gave to the BBC talkshow are landmarks in the rise – and, ultimately, fall – of his career

Put most boxers on a TV talkshow – think of Mike Tyson, Frank Bruno, Joe Bugner – and it is soon evident that their fists are better at talking than they are. But sit Muhammad Ali in the leather chair on the shiny floor, and the guy who held the title – Parkinson, Carson, Frost – would have lost on points long before the floor manager started TV’s version of the referee’s count.

By the common consent of viewers of Michael Parkinson’s BBC TV programme, Ali, on his 1971 debut, was the greatest chatshow guest British television has ever seen. The host echoes this verdict in his memoirs, although noting that the boxer’s second and third appearances, in 1974 and 1981, showed Ali as first a more complex, and then ultimately a tragic,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Muhammad Ali’s 11 Most Memorable TV Appearances (Videos)

Muhammad Ali’s 11 Most Memorable TV Appearances (Videos)
Muhammad Ali appeared on British talk show host Michael Parkinson’s show four times. His first visit was in 1971, where he famously asked “Why is Jesus white?” Ali was one of the first black celebrities to openly speak about race. Ali visited “The Tonight Show” in 1972 to promote his match with Bob Foster. He ended up charming Johnny Carson, demonstrating his wit was as fast as his fists. Ali returned to Parkinson’s show in 1974, where he again articulated his thoughts on race and religion. Decades later, Parkinson would remember Ali his most “remarkable” guest. Ali surprised Sylvester Stallone during the.
See full article at The Wrap »

Why The Graham Norton Show is so special

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Why are movie publicists so keen to plonk their stars on Graham Norton's sofa? Because of this...

When it comes to the UK film junket circuit, publicists inevitably get limited time with the talent involved in a major movie. Thus, when Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice comes along later this month, the demands on Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in particular will not be small. They’ll be expected to attend the film’s premiere, do a press conference, and do interviews with selected outlets.

And then there’s a strong chance they’ll end up on Graham Norton’s sofa.

I’ve been following Graham Norton’s chat shows since his earlier work on Channel Four, and his manner with his guests has rarely left me ever less than entertained while watching his programme. But I do think that The Graham Norton Show is something special,
See full article at Den of Geek »

BBC considers using veteran stars to front over-75s licence fee campaign

Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Terry Wogan could be among names drafted in as corporation battles to offset £700m cost of deal imposed by the government

The BBC is considering signing up stars such as Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Terry Wogan and Sir Michael Parkinson and to persuade TV viewers aged over 75 to give up their free TV licences.

It is exploring ways to encourage elderly viewers and listeners to consider paying the annual £145.50 charge on a voluntary basis.

Related: BBC to ask over-75s to pay licence fee voluntarily to offset 10% budget cut

Related: BBC hires Gus O’Donnell firm to review £700m costs of over-75s' licence fees

I' happy to give up my free TV licence for the old provided the money goes to theBBC and not to the government.Austin M.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Star Wars: interesting 1977 interview with Alec Guinness

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Around the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, the late Sir Alec Guinness talked about working with George Lucas - and his 2.5%(ish).

The late Sir Alec Guinness infamously grew less tolerant of Star Wars and its fanbase towards the end of his life, and his excellent diaries are well worth a read to explore that more. But back in 1977, he gave the following interview to Michael Parkinson, on the latter's chat show, that we thought you might like to see.

In it, he talks about being won over to the project by George Lucas, having originally not been keen on the idea of doing a sci-fi film. Furthermore, he chats about his percentage of the takings, and his concerns with the dialogue he found within the original draft of the screenplay...

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