Category Archives: ENTERTAINMENT

Zombies will once again kick off Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival will open on its 75th anniversary next month with the screening of a film about zombies, Z (Comme Z) by Michel Hazanavicius, director of the award-winning film The Artist.

“It’s a zombie comedy that evokes passion for cinema,” festival director Thierry Fremaux told a news conference on Thursday, recalling that the 2019 event had kicked off with a film from Jim Jarmusch on the same theme.

The festival runs from May 17-28 and will feature heavy-hitters including Tom Cruise’s Top Gun sequel and an Elvis biopic by Baz Luhrmann starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks.

Organizers have said the competition will include James Gray’s Armageddon Time, a drama with Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, and Anthony Hopkins, and a screening of Three Thousand Years of Longing by George Miller, with a cast including Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.

The festival, which announced in March it would ban official Russian delegations from the event unless the conflict in Ukraine ends, will feature Tchaikovski’s Wife by exiled Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been outspoken about the war.

In the category of first-time projects, the festival will feature a debut film from Maksim Nakonechnyi, shot recently in Ukraine. Entitled Butterfly Vision, it traces the story of a young Ukrainian woman who returns to her country after being captured then released in a prisoner swap.

Fremaux signaled an openness to platforms like Netflix while acknowledging he still had to try to convince those who disagreed with him.

“It’s clear we have to acknowledge the existence of these new types of distribution and production, I think we need to maintain a dialogue with them,” he said.

Fremaux drew criticism from the French movie theatre industry in 2017 by allowing Netflix films — seen as a threat to the industry because they are streamed to subscribers rather than shown in cinemas — into the Cannes competition.

Meanwhile, movie theatres around the world continue to face the challenge of bringing back audiences.

“I hope the Cannes Film Festival will serve as a spark for the return of audiences to the movies, but for the moment there is not a big return and some countries are suffering from a loss of interest,” he said.

Gilbert Gottfried, actor and comic’s comic, dies at 67

Gilbert Gottfried, the actor and legendary standup comic known for his raw, scorched voice and crude jokes, has died. He was 67.

Gottfried died from a rare genetic muscle disease that can trigger a dangerously abnormal heartbeat, his publicist and longtime friend Glenn Schwartz said in a statement.

“In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend, and father to his two young children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor,” his family said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Gottfried was a fiercely independent and intentionally bizarre comedian’s comedian, as likely to clear a room with anti-comedy as he was to kill it with his jokes.

“The first comedian I saw who would go on and all the other comics would go in the room to watch,” standup comic Colin Quinn said on Twitter.

He first came to national attention with frequent appearances on MTV in its early days and with a brief stint on the cast of Saturday Night Live in the 1980s.

Gottfried also did frequent voice work for children’s television and movies, most famously playing the parrot Iago in Disney’s Aladdin.

“Look at me, I’m so ticked off that I’m molting,” a scratchy-voiced Gottfried said early in the film as his character shed feathers.

To a younger generation, he’s known as the voice of Digit the bird on PBS Kids’ Cyberchase.

Gottfried was particularly fond of doing obscure and dated impressions for as long as he could milk them, including Groucho Marx, Bela Lugosi and Andrew “Dice” Clay. He would often do those voices as a guest on the Howard Stern show, prompting listeners by the dozens to call in and beg Stern to throw him off.

In his early days at the club the Comedy Store in Hollywood, the managers would have him do his impression of then-little-known Jerry Seinfeld at the end of the night to get rid of lingering patrons.

Gottfried was especially beloved by his fellow comedians and performers.

Jon Stewart said that getting to open for Gottfried was one of the great thrills of his early standup career.

“He could leave you gasping for breath,” Stewart tweeted, “just indescribably unusually hilarious.”

“I am so sad to read about the passing of Gilbert Gottfried,” actor Marlee Matlin said on Twitter. “Funny, politically incorrect but a softie on the inside. We met many times — he even pranked me on a plane, replacing my interpreter.” (Gottfried bore a close resemblance to Matlin’s American Sign Language interpreter Jack Jason.)

Gottfried was interviewed by The Associated Press last month following Will Smith’s Oscar night slap of Chris Rock. While he took the attack seriously, saying it might imperil other comedians, he couldn’t resist wisecracks.

He said that before on stage, he “just had to worry about wearing a mask. Now I have to worry about wearing a football helmet.” He later added, “If Will Smith is reading this, dear God, please don’t come to my shows.”

The year has already seen the loss of several beloved comedians, including Louie Anderson and Bob Saget.

In January Gottfried tweeted a picture of the three men together with the text, “This photo is very sad now. RIP Bob Saget and RIP Louie Anderson. Both good friends that will be missed.”

Gottfried was born in Brooklyn, the son of a hardware store owner and a stay-at-home mom. He began doing amateur standup at age 15.

He thought he was getting his big break when he landed a spot on Saturday Night Live alongside Eddie Murphy in 1980. But he was given little to do on the show.

He later said a low point was playing the body in a sketch about a funeral. He would last only 12 episodes.

But he would find his own way, doing bits on MTV and as both beloved and hated guest on talk shows.

He had roles in Beverly Hills Cop II and the Problem Child films and presented bad movies as host of USA Up All Night from 1989 to 1998.

And he had recurring voice roles on Ren and Stimpy, The Fairly OddParents, and several spin-offs of Aladdin.

Gottfried’s schtick wasn’t always popular. In 2011, Aflac Inc. fired him as the voice of the duck in its commercials over a tasteless tweet the comic sent about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Less than a month after the attacks of Sept 11, 2001, at the Friars Club Roast of Hugh Hefner, Gottfried made jokes about planes making stops at skyscrapers and was met with boos and shouts of “Too soon!” He responded with an especially foul version of the comedians’ inside joke “The Aristocrats,” which many in the audience took as a message that he believed it was the comic’s job to remain crude at all costs.

“To me, funny is funny,” he told the AP last month. “I’ll regret a bit I do that just doesn’t get a laugh, because it’s not funny or an ad lib that doesn’t work. But if it gets a laugh, I feel like, I’m the comedian and that’s my job.”

He made many notorious contributions to televised roasts, his harshness and love of old-timey standup style making him a perfect contributor. He took famously cruel and relentless jabs at roastees including Matlin, George Takei and Roseanne.

“Like most monsters she goes by one name,” he said at the Roseanne roast in his signature style, leaning into the microphone, hands spread apart, shouting himself hoarse. “And that name is Rozilla.”

“I shall miss you, my friend, my sometimes foil, my always pain in my side, usually from the belly laughs,” Takei said on Twitter Tuesday. “The heavens are a great deal louder with you out there now, I’m sure. Keep ’em shaking their heads and smiling, Gilbert.”

Gottfried is survived by his wife Dara, sister Karen, 14-year-old daughter Lily and 12-year-old son Max.

Actor James Franco admits to sleeping with students, says he had a sex addiction

Oscar-nominated actor James Franco has acknowledged sleeping with students of an acting school he previously ran, saying he struggled with sex addiction and has been working to improve his behavior in recent years.

In excerpts from The Jess Cagle Podcast made public on Wednesday, Franco, 43, said that while teaching, he “did sleep with students, and that was wrong.” He said he did not start the school to lure women for sexual purposes.

“I suppose at the time, my thinking was if it’s consensual, okay,” he added in the SiriusXM podcast. “At the time I was not clearheaded.”

The remarks were Franco’s first extended comments about accusations levelled against him nearly four years ago when the Los Angeles Times reported that five women had accused Franco of conduct they considered inappropriate.

Later, in October 2019, two women filed a civil suit against the Pineapple Express star, accusing him of exploiting aspiring actors at his now-defunct school and duping young women into shooting explicit sex scenes.

Franco said he developed a sex addiction after he became sober from an alcohol addiction he developed at a young age.”It’s such a powerful drug,” he said. “I got hooked on it for 20 more years. The insidious part of that is that I stayed sober from alcohol all that time.”

Franco co-hosted the Oscars ceremony in 2011 and was a nominee at the 2012 awards for his performance in 127 Hours.

The actor agreed this year to pay $2.2 million to settle the 2019 civil lawsuit, according to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

In the podcast interview, Franco also said he has been in recovery from sex addiction since 2016 and has “been doing a lot of work” after the allegations against him “and changing who I was.”

“I didn’t want to hurt people,” he said.

Sex and the City star Chris Noth accused of sexual assaults, actor denies claims

American actor Chris Noth has been accused of sexually assaulting two women in separate encounters that took place in 2004 and 2015, according to a report on Thursday.

The women’s identities were withheld by The Hollywood Reporter in order to protect their privacy, said the trade publication, which used pseudonyms for them instead.

Noth, 67, who starred in Sex and the City and appears briefly in its newly released sequel And Just Like That… said in a statement to the Reporter that the encounters were consensual.

“The accusations against me made by individuals I met years, even decades, ago are categorically false. These stories could’ve been from 30 years ago or 30 days ago — no always means no — that is a line I did not cross,” Noth said in a statement to the Reporter.

“It’s difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out. I don’t know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women,” he said.

Noth’s publicist did not respond to a request for further comment. A call to an attorney listed as representing him was not immediately returned.

The two women reached out independently and months apart to the Hollywood Reporter, the publication said. One, with the pseudonym Zoe, said the revival of Noth’s Sex and the City character, a man-about-town nicknamed Mr Big, “set something off in me” and prompted her to go public with “who he is,” she told the Reporter.

She asked her name be withheld because she works in the entertainment industry and feared repercussions if she were identified.

Noth’s character dies in the opening episode of And Just Like That… after suffering a heart attack following an intense workout on a Peloton bike. The bike-maker poked fun at the attention the episode generated with an ad featuring Noth, but the spot was pulled on Thursday after the Reporter’s story was posted.

At media requests, the Los Angeles Police Department checked into whether there was an open investigation involving Noth and found none, police sergeant Hector Guzman said. The special victims bureau of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department also has no open investigation, sheriff’s Captain Richard Ruiz said.

Zoe, now 40, alleges she was assaulted in Noth’s Los Angeles apartment in 2004, when she was 22. She’d met Noth because he did business with the firm where she was employed, the paper said.

A friend told the Reporter that she took Zoe to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where she told staff she’d been assaulted and was treated for an injury. The friend, who’s not identified in the story, said police were called but Zoe declined to name her assailant to them.

Her then-boss, who was not identified, said that Zoe told her of the attack later that day but asked to keep it private, according to the story. In January 2006, Zoe sought counseling at a rape crisis center, which the centre confirmed to the Reporter while keeping details private.

The other woman, called Lily, now 31 and a journalist, said she met Noth in 2015 when she was 25 and working as a server in the VIP section of a now-closed New York nightclub. She recounted crying and feeling “violated” when Noth abruptly initiated sex.

According to a friend, identified by the Reporter as Alex, a distraught Lily called her and said that Noth has “pretty forcibly” had sex with her in his apartment. Alex said she declined her advice to call police.

Lily told the publication she didn’t remember the call.

In texts said to have been exchanged by Noth and Lily and reviewed by the Reporter, Noth allegedly referred to “our night last week,” calling it “a lot of fun” and adding, “I wasn’t quite sure how you felt.”

In her reply, according to the paper, Lily said she “certainly enjoyed” his company but “I did feel slightly used.” She said she put off his further attempts to meet.

The allegations prompted a blunt online post from actor Zoe Lister-Jones, who worked with Noth when he starred on a Law & Order series and she was a guest star.

“Last week, my friend asked me how I felt about Mr. Big’s death on And Just Like That, and I said, honestly, I felt relieved,” she wrote. “He asked why and I told him it was because I couldn’t separate the actor from the man, and the man is a sexual predator.”

Lister-Jones recalled how, during one take, he leaned in to sniff her neck and said, ”‘You smell good.’”

Harry Styles was the fashion inspo behind Miley Cyrus’s iconic Super Bowl look

Even the most iconic fashion icons have taken inspiration from British singer Harry Styles’s sartorial choices.

The latest is Miley Cyrus who took a cue from the former One Direction member with her look for TikTok’s Tailgate Super Bowl pregame live stream with Billy Idol.

The Wrecking Ball hit maker flaunted her many stunning looks for the event which also included a black and pink cheerleading uniform and a matching jersey with football-esque pants.

However, the one look that became the talk of town was the one from before the show during rehearsal that reminded us of the glory of Harry Styles.

Wearing a Kermit green football jersey with denim cutoffs by Gucci’s Ouverture collection, Cyrus reminded fans of Styles as he wore the same but in pink during seven-part miniseries, Guccifest.

Check out their looks below: