“The best way to describe it would come from Martin Scorsese’s essay for Harper’s Magazine, where he mentioned what Gore Vidal told Fellini after watching '8 ½': ‘Federico, next time, more story, less dreams.’ The films that have more dreams are being marginalized.”
Variety speaks to artistic director Orwa Nyrabia about this year's edition. Amsterdam's documentary festival IDFA’s 34th edition wrapped on Sunday as an in-person event, having weathered the partial lockdown in the Netherlands.
While the Audience Award went to “Writing with Fire,” “The Velvet Queen” also came close, says Nyrabia.
We want them to think that IDFA is a good place to premiere their films and it’s a massive undertaking to show them they are right. “It’s easy to fall into this abusive relationship where a festival treats people badly and they still want to come. That’s how I understand the job, basically.”
Nyrabia also commented on “the supermarket aspect” of streamers (“Their objective is that you binge. Here, you commit, instead of switching to something else after 10 minutes”), pointing out that he would like to see the industry embrace more experimentation.
Nyrabia, who took over from IDFA’s founder Ally Derks in 2018, intends to keep putting filmmakers first, he says.
While he notices a tendency toward escapism in documentaries, or the growing pressure to offer the viewers some hope, he blames industry players rather than the ongoing pandemic.
“Do you know this song, ‘Man in Black’? After all, these films depict the world that’s in pain. It’s a good exercise to organize a festival that celebrates them, that’s chic but not too chic to make everyone uncomfortable. That’s what this community feels like. We are curious about what she does.” It was wonderful to show Andrea Arnold that by making ‘Cow’ she came to the place where she is not being asked about what she’s wearing.
2019 was our biggest IDFA ever, we worked toward a comeback based on 50% of that. It’s a waste of a historical opportunity because now, after these two years, we have a chance to restart. “It’s a film that does all the wrong things, but it works! When we announced the program, we were very loud in saying: ‘We are shifting to the arthouse.’ And yet we had more audience than we expected. It makes me sad that the market is not willing to take similar risks. We are ending at 67, 68%.”
“It’s a nature film that’s not really a nature film, philosophical and contemplative. That’s the most rewarding thing: witnessing people connect over something like this and not just ‘uplifting films’ or another ‘David and Goliath’ story. You are watching two men sitting on top of the mountain, reading poetry and waiting to see this rare leopard. Everyone hates him, but maybe he was just bullied?”” /> It’s time to focus on Goliath instead.
I watch every blockbuster and before the festival, I watched ‘Cruella.’ But this blockbuster understanding of what a film should be can be dangerous. It’s spreading a very unhealthy way of interpreting the world. “It keeps pushing this narrative of going from ‘rags to riches’ and suggests that if you haven’t made it, it’s on you. I am not against selling, but this greed is causing harm to society.”
These people are beautiful, they are kind, accessible and down to earth," adding that they make him think of Johnny Cash. He says of documentary filmmakers: “I prefer to spend my life with this bunch.
“It’s not useful – maybe just to the buyers. I was very happy when the Envision jury said they never knew what to expect,” he adds, mentioning the section’s “One Take Grace,” ultimately awarded for outstanding artistic contribution. I think of IDFA as a living creature, it’s a continuous work in progress.
“This ‘seriousness shaming’ is very common these days. Buyers, exhibitors want to make sure they are not taking something too gloomy and filmmakers feel compelled to prove there is always this ‘ray of hope.’ I do believe in hope, but I find this to be narrow-minded,” he adds, also mentioning ‘superhuman’ documentaries about famous artists or scientists.
It’s that kind of thinking that has led him to introduce new festival sections, refusing to arrange films by their duration or any other technical aspect.

But it was in selecting the performers who graced some of the most popular plays and musicals of the 1970s, '80s and '90s that Johnson forged his most enduring legacy. Along with his business partner Vincent Liff, he created the casting agency Johnson-Liff, which worked on some of the longest running Broadway shows in history, including "Cats," "Les Miserables," and "The Phantom of the Opera."  Other projects included "The Producers," "The Wiz," "The Elephant Man," "Dreamgirls," "Miss Saigon" and "Kiss of the Spiderwoman."
"I don't think I was the best actor…but I do know, and this may sound very conceited, I really have good taste." "I used a lot of the stuff I used in my acting classes when I was trying to find the right actor to show to the director," Johnson said as part of an oral history project conducted by the Primary Stages.
representative until the playwright's death in 1973. Johnson became a close friend of Coward, serving as his U.S. It was Coward who gave Johnson an early break, selecting him to be a stage manager for the Broadway production of "Sail Away," a 1961 musical that was a key stepping stone in the career of another theater luminary, Elaine Stritch. In a career that spanned decades, Johnson worked with Broadway legends such as Hal Prince, Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Merrick and Noël Coward.
Geoffrey Johnson, the casting director for "Cats" and "Les Miserables," died Friday in New York City at the age of 91, Variety has confirmed. The cause was respiratory failure.
In 2003, Johnson and Liff were awarded a Tony Award for excellence in theatre as well as the Hoyt Bowers Award and several Artios Awards from the Casting Society of America. Liff died in 2003 of brain cancer.
His mother, Agatha Gennette Johnson Hagelston, was a high school teacher and his father, Dr. That early experience on stage later helped Johnson assess acting talent as a casting director. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the Yale School of Drama. Alfred Ashton Johnson, was an obstetrician. Johnson was born in New York City on June 23, 1930 and raised in Larchmont, New York. Before moving into other production work, Johnson also worked as an actor, appearing in "Saint Joan" on Broadway in 1956.
"You give them the chance to audition. They have to do it themselves." They have to have the talent. Johnson summed up his casting philosophy in a 2003 interview with Playbill. "I don't believe you discover actors," he said.
and cousins and many friends in the U.S. Johnson was pre-deceased by his brother Alfred Ashton Johnson, sister Patricia Johnson Friedman, nephew Craig Johnson and longtime life partner Jerry Hogan.” /> He is survived by his niece Valerie Cortalano (Bruce) in Garrison, NY; nephew Bruce Johnson in Wilton Manors, Flor.; great nephews Charles Cortalano (Elizabeth) in White Plains, NY; Geoffrey Cortalano (Christine) in Cold Spring, NY; Nicholas Cortalano in Garrison, NY; Ryan Johnson in Palm Coast, Flor. and England.

But it begins in 1979 Russia when anthrax was released from a Soviet military research facility, killing more than 60 people, only for the government to attempt a cover-up, blaming tainted meat. Autopsies proved the real cause of death, which allowed many scientists to learn that this weapon was out in the world. This new story centers on a team of FBI agents led by Matthew Ryker (Daniel Dae Kim) who are trying to get to the bottom of the anthrax cases in the United States in 2001.
It's something that it's hard to get your head around — that at a time when the country was under crisis somebody thought it was a good idea to send a letter pretending to be anthrax or whatever direct in the mail. This case, when it first appeared, was a needle in the haystack," Peterson says. "There were hundreds of thousands of hoaxes. It's just so disturbing that it was happening at this massive, massive level.
Ryker has a background in microbiology, which uniquely positions him to quickly and correctly identify the agent when the first victim falls ill.
"National Geographic really wanted to focus on the science [and] being a scientist in the FBI was something that we just thought was really cool," says Peterson. "I don't know how often you really get to see that. And what a great underdog, given a lot of the FBI that you see on TV, that is just not the archetype usually."
Peterson adds that it was important to fictionalize the lead agent because they needed to present a character who would follow the investigation all the way through, and in reality many people came and went. Ryker is not based on any real FBI agent in particular but instead was created to represent someone who has a "personal stake" in the case, Souders says.
The FBI files on the case are so heavily redacted that Peterson and Souders relied on many of Ivins' own files, including documentation of what he said he told the FBI, as pieces of research for the show. Many news reports at the time of his death speculated that he would have been charged with the mailings that resulted in multiple deaths, though a few years later reports emerged that evidence may have been circumstantial. Ivins died by suicide in July 2008, well after he had become a person of interest in the anthrax investigation. This coupled with "stacks of books" and "many articles" allowed the production team to put together "a 100-page, single-spaced" research document for the project.
Similarly, it was important for Peterson and Souders to depict Bruce Ivins as he was, rather than fictionalize or create a brand-new character to act as the man who became the suspected perpetrator of these attacks.
We have the FBI's opinion, and we stay really close [to that]." "With Bruce, we tried to approach it not with an opinion of our own. "Not one book covered everything, so we literally wrote a book for the most part, just to use internally," says Souders.
"When you're dealing with something like anthrax, [it's] is not such a daily occurrence that the average person is going to go, 'Oh I know if you inhale it, this can happen, you could die.' So we needed something to tell people right up front that the stakes of this are extremely high," co-showrunner Kelly Souders says.
And I think nobody really thought that anybody would ever actually unleash that, but through history it's been unleashed, sometimes multiple times."” /> Adds Souders: "We were a much more innocent country at that time.
28 at 9 p.m. Brian Peterson, co-showrunner of "Hot Zone: Anthrax," notes that Ebola was a contagion story, so it was about "keeping panic in" and therefore "very claustrophobic." Now, the second season is "blown out." "The Hot Zone: Anthrax," which premieres Nov. on the linear cabler, follows 2019's freshman season of the anthology series that centered on the 1989 Ebola crisis.
"Using the Cold War biological arms race, we thought really helped inform Ryker and the conclusions he comes to and the conclusions that the greater government comes to as far as decisions that are made later in the series," Peterson adds.
Mailing envelopes full of anthrax spores to individuals is certainly an intimate and personal attack, but because of the ability of anthrax to infect anyone in the area who inhales it once it is in the air, it is also a widespread act of terrorism. The second season of National Geographic's "Hot Zone" anthology, aptly subtitled "Anthrax," balances both elements while covering a seven-year period in the FBI's case to uncover who was responsible for the 2001 attacks.
In diving deeply into the FBI's experience during this time, Peterson and Souders had to depict field work, such as sending agents out to postal facilities and hospitals, as well as struggling with time- and resource-sapping issues such as hoaxes and the way the media covered the cases. The latter, Peterson notes, is treated collectively as one character in order to explain to audience members who may not have personal memories of the time what the mindset was for the public and why.
The lack of diversity and inclusion in that workplace was something Souders says they wanted to "embrace and not rewrite." He also has important perspective being one of few people of color working in the bureau.
So, what was very different was actually addressing the panic and addressing what happens when disaster strikes in the media, when disaster strikes on Capitol Hill, when disaster strikes in a retirement community in Florida," he explains. "We go to Florida, we go to D.C., we go to New York, we cut out a piece in the Southwest.

Anderson is one of today's rare marquee directors, meaning his name alone can sell tickets, and "Licorice Pizza" is the filmmaker's first movie in four years. His most recent feature was 2017's "Phantom Thread," an Oscar favorite that generated $21 million at the domestic box office and $47 million worldwide.
Anderson, whose greatest hits include "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia" and "The Master," may find himself back in the awards conversation with "Licorice Pizza," a comedic drama set in the 1970s San Fernando Valley. The film stars Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper and Benny Safdie.
"Licorice Pizza" was surprisingly popular with younger audiences. Among opening weekend ticket buyers, 72% were between the ages of 18 and 34, while 66% were male. MGM and United Artists Releasing, which backed the $40 million-budgeted "Licorice Pizza," plans to expand the movie nationwide on Christmas Day.
“‘Licorice Pizza’ delivers a piping-hot, jumbo slice-of-life look at how it felt to grow up on the fringes of the film industry circa 1973, as seen through the eyes of an ambitious former child actor plotting how to follow up his early screen career,” Debruge wrote.” />
In other words, PTA has landed the best PTA among arthouse titles since the onset of COVID-19. From only four theaters in the country — two in New York and two in Los Angeles — "Licorice Pizza" brought in $335,000 in total and $83,852 per location, more than any other specialty film in nearly two years. With speciality offerings like "Licorice Pizza," the key metric is per-theater-average rather than overall box office tally since its playing in very few locations.
Prior to that, indie darling Wes Anderson set the pandemic-era arthouse benchmark with "The French Dispatch," which grossed $1.3 million from 52 theaters — averaging $25,000 per location. In its first three days of release, "Licorice Pizza" surpassed A24's black-and-white drama "C'mon C'mon," which previously held the record for best platform launch after generating $135,447 on five screens — averaging to $26,889 per location.
Paul Thomas Anderson's "Licorice Pizza" has secured the best pandemic-era debut at the independent box office.
While not indie releases, other 2021 movies that secured robust theater averages include Sony’s comic book adventure “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” (averaging $21,300 per theater) and Disney’s superhero adaptation “Black Widow” (averaging $19,400 per theater).
Variety’s chief film critic Peter Debruge praised acting newcomers Haim, one-third of the band Haim, and Hoffman, the son of Philip Seymour Hoffman, in what he refers to as “a pair of terrific first-time performances.”

Best Production Design
"Test Pattern" (Kino Lorber) – Shatara Michelle Ford, director; Shatara Michelle Ford, Pin-Chun Liu, Yu-Hao Su, producers
For this new category, we're taking a stab in the dark by predicting that voters may want to award the veteran Steve James and his project "City So Real," a stirring portrait of Chicago during its recent mayoral election. But maybe they'll want to select something more unconventional, and John Wilson's "How To with John Wilson" definitely fits that bill.
Best Actor
Alternate: Ruth Negga
"Squid Game" (Netflix) – Kim Ji-yeon, Hwang Dong-hyu, executive producers
Michael Greyeyes, "Wild Indian" (Vertical Entertainment)
Best Film Editing
"Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)" (Searchlight Pictures) – Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, director; Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent, David Dinerstein, producers
Best International Feature
Emilia Jones, "CODA" (Apple Original Films)
Alternate: Maggie Gyllenhaal
"What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?" (MUBI) – Alexandre Koberidze, director; Mariam Shatberashvili, producers
I don't think we have that outcome in our midst this year with "The Lost Daughter" looking very competitive in adapted screenplay, along with its Netflix counterpart "Passing." Original screenplay is a lot more difficult to crack this season, which is why films like "The Card Counter" and "Red Rocket" may face an uphill battle. Two others have found their way to a nomination, "First Reformed" (2018) and "Marriage Story" (2019). The Gothams introduced this category in 2015. Of the six winners, three have won a screenplay Oscar (in either original or adapted) – "Spotlight" (2015), "Moonlight" (2016) and "Get Out" (2017). With this being Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch's first noms after being passed over for "Tangerine" and "The Florida Project," they could be an upset pick. Only last year's tied winners, "The Forty-Year-Old Version" and "Fourteen," failed to garner enough Academy votes.
Rebecca Hall, "Passing" (Netflix)
Joaquin Phoenix, "C'mon C'mon" (A24)
Best Documentary Feature
"The Green Knight" (A24) – David Lowery, director; Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, David Lowery, Tim Headington, Theresa Steele Page, producers
Michael Greyeyes, "Rutherford Falls" (Peacock)
Taylour Paige, "Zola" (A24)
Alternate: Emilia Jones
"Small Axe" (Amazon Prime Video) – Steve McQueen, creator; Tracey Scoffield, David Tanner, Steve McQueen, executive producers
On the film side, two Netflix features lead the tally, both from debut women filmmakers — Rebecca Hall's "Passing" and Maggie Gyllenhaal's "The Lost Daughter." There isn't always an obvious blueprint to predicting this group. After Monday's first critics and guild screening of Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" and Wednesday's unveiling of Guillermo del Toro's "Nightmare Alley," Thursday brings us the National Board of Review selections before the New York Film Critics Circle weighs in on Friday. As we saw with last year's two tied categories (please, God, no more ties), things could get interesting at Cipriani Wall Street. The Gotham are just the start of a busy week that has a great influence on the Oscar race.
"Faya Dayi" (Janus Films) – Jessica Beshir, director and producer
Gaby Hoffmann, "C'mon C'mon" (A24)
Prediction: Tessa Thompson
Hopefully, it'll lead to some very deserved Academy attention in best actress. She's also a former winner for breakthrough performer for "Dear White People" (2014). With its first year going gender-neutral and expanding to ten nominees, it really is anyone's game, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Tessa Thompson's beautiful performance in Hall's debut period drama could be a triumphant moment for many to stand up and cheer. This assortment of journalists and voters tend to go with their hearts in this category, unafraid to go with the "purity" choice. Colman, Isaac and Rex are also strong possibilities. The Gothams have been known to set the tone of a coronation year, as with Julianne Moore ("Still Alice") but we don't seem to be in that type of season (for the moment). For example, Toni Collette ("Hereditary") over Glenn Close ("The Wife"), Isabelle Huppert ("Elle") over Natalie Portman ("Jackie") and Bel Powley ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl") over Cate Blanchett ("Carol") or Brie Larson ("Room").
"Philly D.A." (PBS) – Ted Passon, Yoni Brook, Nicole Salazar, creators; Dawn Porter, Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen, Ryan Chanatry, Gena Konstantinakos, Jeff Seelbach, Patty Quillin, executive producers
Lili Taylor, "Paper Spiders" (Entertainment Squad)
Prediction: "The Lost Daughter"
Best Costume Design
"Pride" (FX) – Christine Vachon, Sydney Foos, Danny Gabai, Kama Kaina, Stacy Scripter, Alex Stapleton
Suzanna Son, "Red Rocket" (A24)
"President" (Greenwich Entertainment) – Camilla Nielsson, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joslyn Barnes, producers
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
"The Souvenir Part II" (A24) – Joanna Hogg, director; Ed Guiney, Emma Norton, Andrew Low, Joanna Hogg, Luke Schiller, producers
Troy Kotsur, "CODA" (Apple Original Films)
Otherwise, Barry Jenkins' profound "The Underground Railroad" could pull it off, but the addictive "The White Lotus" might be undeniable. This seems to be "Squid Game's" big moment, and the timing feels right for a breakthrough. Robot." "Squid Game" feels like the next step in that evolution. The Gothams have been all about recognizing breakthrough storytelling in this category, including "Watchmen," "When They See Us," "Killing Eve," "Atlanta," "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Mr.
"Run the World" (Starz) – Leigh Davenport, creator; Yvette Lee Bowser, Leigh Davenport, Nastaran Dibai, executive producers
The group has a solid track record of their top pick moving onto Oscar's attention with past winners like "Birdman" (2014), "Spotlight" (2015), "Moonlight" (2016) and "Nomadland" (2020). We don't know if any of these will end up in this year's final ten, but at the moment, Gyllenhaal's directorial debut with Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson and Jessie Buckley seem like the most likely of the field. Netflix pulled off a victory here in 2019 with Noah Baumbach's "Marriage Story" (2019) winning over "The Farewell" and "Uncut Gems," demonstrating its sway with this group.
Prediction: "The Lost Daughter"
Best Original Screenplay
"Red Rocket" – Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch (A24)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Actress
Simon Rex, "Red Rocket" (A24)
"The Green Knight" – David Lowery (A24)
And as a backup, perhaps they couldn't resist being the very first awards show to recognize the brilliance of Jennifer Coolidge in "The White Lotus." This is a brand-new category for the Gothams, so there's no hint to how voters might lean. Perhaps they'll stick with the always deserving superstar on this list, Emmy winner Jean Smart. Or maybe Ethan Hawke will finally get the attention he deserves for his incredible work on "The Good Lord Bird." But we're going to stick with the possibility that voters may have gotten swept up in "Squid Game" mania and selected Lee Jung-jae.
Breakthrough Performer
Best Sound
"The Card Counter" – Paul Schrader (Focus Features)
Colman Domingo, "Zola" (A24)
Best Screenplay
"The Underground Railroad" (Amazon Prime Video) – Barry Jenkins, Colson Whitehead, creators; Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Hoyt, executive producers
Jordan ("Fruitvale Station"), Anya Taylor-Joy ("The Witch") and Timothée Chalamet ("Call Me by Your Name") have shown them to correctly predict who is someone to keep an eye on in Hollywood. Will voters take into account that Natalie Morales also directed another film, "Plan B," further adding to her successful year? Wonderful selections like Michael B. This is another category that history has shown the Gothams to "get it right" most of the time. Emilia Jones is already shooting her next project for Netflix and Suzanna Son's musical talent should be celebrated for the next few years. This line-up is daunting. Or are they smitten by Rachel Sennott's comedic timing in "Shiva Baby?" Shot in the dark, Son edges out Jones.
Prediction: Troy Kotsur
"Titane" (Neon) – Julia Ducournau, director; Jean-Christophe Reymond, producer
With the category only in its second year, last year's winner "Identifying Features" over "Bacurau" and "Beanpole" was a bit of a headscratcher considering how much the latter two were beloved. 10, then this would be it. If there's a group that's going to go to bat for the feature, just ahead of shortlisting voting that begins on Dec. However, the coming-of-age comedy from Joachim Trier has gained considerable traction on the circuit and could be the easiest and most accessible international film for all awards groups. None of the nominees translated to Oscar but this year, there are three heavy-hitters in the mix — Japan's "Drive My Car," France's "Titane" and Norway's "The Worst Person in the World." There are vocal admirers for Ryusuke Hamaguchi's Japanese three-hour entry that won three prizes at the Cannes Film Festival.
After the Gothams switched their TV categories in 2019 to focus on more commercially available series, the two winners in this category both centered on unique female characters at a crossroads, including "Pen15" (2019) and "I May Destroy You" (2020). However, if voters want to be the first to recognize the ground breaking "Reservation Dogs," that could be the winner. The success of "Hacks" may give it the upper hand here, but "We Are Lady Parts" could surprise as well.
Anya Taylor-Joy, "The Queen’s Gambit" (Netflix)
Prediction: "Hacks"
"Azor" (MUBI) – Andreas Fontana, director; Eugenia Mumenthaler, David Epiney, producers
Amalia Ulman, "El Planeta" (Utopia)
Prediction: "Flee"
"Blindspotting" (Starz) – Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, creators; Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder, Ken Lee, Tim Palen, Emily Gerson Saines, Seith Mann, executive producers
Alternate: Olivia Colman
"It's A Sin" (HBO Max) – Russell T Davies, creator; Russell T Davies, Peter Hoar, Nicola Shindler, executive producers
Natalie Morales, "Language Lessons" (Shout! Studios)
"El Planeta" – Amalia Ulman (Utopia Distribution)
"Ascension" (MTV Documentary Films) – Jessica Kingdon, director; Kira Simon-Kennedy, Nathan Truesdell, Jessica Kingdon, producers
Ruth Negga, "Passing" (Netflix)
Breakthrough Nonfiction Series
Jennifer Coolidge, "The White Lotus" (HBO)
Best Feature
Prediction: Suzanna Son
Ethan Hawke, "The Good Lord Bird" (Showtime)
"Passing" – Rebecca Hall (Netflix)
"The Worst Person in the World" (Neon) – Joachim Trier, director; Thomas Robsham, Andrea Berentsen Ottmar, Dyveke Bjørkly Graver, producers
Devery Jacobs, "Reservation Dogs" (FX)
Best Adapted Screenplay
"Passing" (Netflix) – Rebecca Hall, director; Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Margot Hand, Rebecca Hall, producers
Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)
Prediction: Lee Jung-jae, "Squid Game"
"Pig" (Neon) – Michael Sarnoski, director; Nicolas Cage, Steve Tisch, David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, Dori Roth, Joseph Restiano, Dimitra Tsingou, Thomas Benski, Ben Giladi, Vanessa Block, producers
Check out the winner predictions down below.
Hall, "Test Pattern" (Kino Lorber) Brittany S.
Thuso Mbedu, "The Underground Railroad" (Prime Video)
Best Animated Feature
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "The Lost Daughter" (Netflix)
Other programs with multiple noms include three in the short form race: “Hacks,” “Reservation Dogs” and “We Are Lady Parts.” The show has nominations in breakthrough longform series and performance in a new series for Jennifer Coolidge. “The White Lotus,” which aired this summer, will get its feet wet ahead of the 2022 awards season. For “Squid Game,” Netflix is aiming to make history this winter awards season, as the South Korean thriller could potentially be the first non-English language series to break into the kudos game. The show is up for breakthrough longform series and performance in a new series, for Le Jung-jae. Looking for an awards redemption after being mostly snubbed at the Emmys is Showtime’s stellar “The Good Lord Bird,” nominated in longform and performance in a new series (Ethan Hawke), and Amazon Prime Video’s “The Underground Railroad” (longform and Thuso Mbedu). As for the television side, the Gothams will offer up a first glimpse at how potent new contenders, including Netflix’s “Squid Game” and HBO’s “The White Lotus,” might be in future awards competitions.
"We Are Lady Parts" (Peacock) – Nida Manzoor, creator, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Surian Fletcher-Jones, Mark Freeland, executive producers
Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)
Emma Seligman, "Shiva Baby" (Utopia Distribution)
Selecting Gyllenhaal's entry could be far too easy to check off, which makes me lean towards Ford, whose "Test Pattern" is nominated for best feature. This will be my Hail Mary pass in the prediction game. This trophy can go to any of the five nominees. More times than not, the Gothams don't make the "obvious" choices such as their last two winners, Andrew Patterson ("The Vast of Night") over Radha Blank ("The Forty-Year-Old Version") and Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre ("The Mustang") over Olivia Wilde ("Booksmart").
The Gotham Awards will be the first awards body on the independent circuit to choose its winners for the year on Monday.
Shatara Michelle Ford, "Test Pattern" (Kino Lorber)
Best Director
Alternate: "The White Lotus"
Alternate: "Reservation Dogs"
Frankie Faison, "The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain" (Gravitas Ventures)
Best International Feature” />
"Reservation Dogs" (FX) – Sterlin Harjo, Taika Waititi, creators; Taika Waititi, Sterlin Harjo, Garrett Basch, executive producers
"How To with John Wilson" (HBO) – John Wilson, creator; Nathan Fielder, John Wilson, Michael Koman, Clark Reinking, executive producers
Outstanding Performance in a New Series
Best Original Score
"Hacks" (HBO Max) Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, Michael Schur, David Miner, Morgan Sackett, executive producers Downs, Jen Statsky, creators; Jen Statsky, Paul W.
Anjana Vasan, "We Are Lady Parts" (Peacock)
"The Lost Daughter" – Maggie Gyllenhaal (Netflix)
Alternate: "Passing"
"Drive My Car" (Janus Films/Sideshow) – Ryusuke Hamaguchi, director; Teruhisa Yamamoto, producer
"Flee" (Neon) – Jonas Poher Rasmussen, director; Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Charlotte De La Gournerie, producers
Oscar Isaac, "The Card Counter" (Focus Features)
"City So Real" (National Geographic) – Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Alex Kotlowitz, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg, Jolene Pinder, executive producers
Assessing the buzz of the actors over the past few weeks, I've boiled this down to either Kotsur's infectiously lovable deaf father and husband from "CODA," Domingo's criminally underappreciated pimp in "Zola" and Negga's thoughtfully assembled white-passing socialite in "Passing." Mindful of being inclusive, how wonderful would it be to see Kotsur walk on stage, perhaps starting a precursor lovefest ahead of National Board of Review and New York Film Critics, which could see him emulate last year's critical darling, Paul Raci ("Sound of Metal")? With three "Mass" actors out of the fold here, it's hard to see Birney pulling off an upset in this field of nominees.
Best Documentary Feature
Tessa Thompson, "Passing" (Netflix)
"The Lost Daughter" (Netflix) – Maggie Gyllenhaal, director; Osnat Handelsman Keren, Talia Kleinhendler, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Charles Dorfman, producers
Outstanding Supporting Performance
"The White Lotus" (HBO) – Mike White, creator; Mike White, David Bernad, Nick Hall, executive producers
Olivia Colman, "The Lost Daughter" (Netflix)
Prediction: "City So Real"
Alternate: "The Worst Person in the World"
"The Good Lord Bird" (Showtime) – Ethan Hawke, Mark Richard, creators; James McBride, Brian Taylor, Ryan Hawke, Ethan Hawke, Jason Blum, Albert Hughes, Mark Richard, Marshall Persinger, David Schiff, executive producers
2022 Academy Awards Predictions
Prediction: "Squid Game"
Outstanding Lead Performance
Prediction: "Drive My Car"
Alternate: "How To with John Wilson"
Alternate: Jennifer Coolidge, "The White Lotus"
Best Picture
Jean Smart, "Hacks" (HBO Max)
Rachel Sennott, "Shiva Baby" (Utopia)
Best Cinematography
Edson Oda, "Nine Days" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Marlee Matlin, "CODA" (Apple Original Films)
Reed Birney, "Mass" (Bleecker Street)
Best Supporting Actor
Omar Sy, "Lupin" (Netflix)
Alternate: "Red Rocket"
"Exterminate All the Brutes" (HBO) – Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety, executive producers
Best Visual Effects
Prediction: Shatara Michelle Ford
Lee Jung-jae, "Squid Game" (Netflix)
Alternate: "Summer of Soul"
Let's hope they don't go with another tie like last year's between "A Thousand Cuts" and the Oscar-nominated "Time." That also includes upset choices like "Hale County This Morning, This Evening" (2018) over what would become the shockingly snubbed Mr. There's no rhyme or reason why one film does well with this group over another but looking through the history of this category, you have to go back to "Better This World" (2011) for a Gotham choice that did not translate to at minimum, an Oscar nomination. Rogers doc, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" This looks like a clear race between Neon's animated-international doc "Flee," and Searchlight's peek into a 1969 Harlem Music festival with "Summer of Soul." Looking at how they tend to veer away from more populist choices (i.e., "Life Itself" and "Apollo 11"), "Flee" may just edge it out completely.
Best Original Song
Jessie Buckley, "The Lost Daughter" (Netflix)
Best Supporting Actress

We sang and raised our voices and came together in community.” “This felt like church,” Bareilles told Variety after the performance on Sunday. “In his remembrance, we did what theater does best.
On the steps, Broadway, and its collected actors, directors, crew members and composers, wept in mourning. After his remarks, Miranda stepped down from the director’s podium to join the chorus as they sang “Sunday” for a second and final time.
In “Sunday in the Park with George,” a masterpiece about the personal toll of dedicating oneself to art, “Sunday” assembles a tableau vivant of Georges Seurat’s famous pointillist masterpiece, a moment of artistic genius that is both fleeting and forever. At his passing, the song offered a bittersweet tribute to the lasting artistic contributions and uncompromising devotion of Broadway’s greatest composer. In the Broadway canon, Sondheim’s “Sunday” is as close to religious communion as anything.
To mourn his passing is a crushing blow.” “And whatever part of the entertainment industry we’re in, everybody is here because we were first influenced by Sondheim’s music. “Everybody who’s here has a touchstone for why Sondheim’s music has brought them to this place,” Groban told Variety after the performance.
On Sunday in New York City, the Broadway community gathered to honor, mourn and celebrate the late composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who passed away at the age of 91 on Friday.
“Let us pass,” the chorus sang, “through our perfect park.”
"It’s a song about gratitude, about making sure to hold each other close.”  “‘Sunday,’ is about capturing moments and holding on to them while we have them, even the ones that might seem ordinary," Groban said.
On the red stairs above TKTS in Times Square, as the first flurries of the winter season drifted down on the city, members of every Broadway company — joined by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban, Kathryn Gallagher and Lauren Patton — gathered in a chorus to sing “Sunday,” the heartrending act one finale to Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George,” which earned the eight-time Tony-winning composer and lyricist a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1985.
“In [‘Sunday in the Park with George’], it was the word ‘forever’ in ‘Sunday,’” Miranda continued, beginning to choke up. “I was suddenly moved by the contemplation of what these people would have thought if they’d know they were being immortalized.” “Once during the writing of each show, I cry at a notion, a word, a chord, a melodic idea, an accompaniment figure,” Miranda read from Sondheim’s words.
Foregoing a speech, he opened Sondheim’s “Look I Made A Hat,” an annotated anthology of the composer’s lyrics, and read from a few passages before the crowd. During the celebration, Miranda offered a sermon of sorts.
The event, produced by Erich Bergen, was co-presented by the Broadway League, the Times Square Alliance and Playbill. The participants were conducted by Michael J. Moritz.” />

Virgil Abloh, founder of the fashion company Off-White and menswear artistic director at Louis Vuitton, died on Sunday following a two-year private battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a "rare, aggressive form of cancer." He was 41.
According to the statement, Abloh elected to keep his cancer private after being diagnosed in 2019, undergoing treatments while continuing to work as one of the fashion industry's leading voices.


"My muse has always been what people actually wear, and I am really excited to make a luxury version of that." “The first thing I am going to do is define new codes," Abloh told The New York Times following his appointment in 2018.
"We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother and friend," reads a statement on Abloh's official Instagram.
The storied fashion house signed Abloh to serve as its menswear artistic director in 2018, a role he fulfilled through the remainder of his life. Abloh founded the fashion house Off-White in 2012, serving as CEO until his death. Off-White launched Abloh to an even more prominent position on the global stage, attracting the attention of Louis Vuitton. Abloh is the first African-American to head the house's menswear line. His radical approach to clothing is highly responsible for the bridge between the worlds of street wear and luxury fashion that has emerged over the past decade.
In 2011, West named Abloh creative director of his creative agency DONDA. Following his education, Abloh met rapper Kanye West, who would become one of his first major collaborators in the creative world. During his tenure, he worked as artistic director on some of the most popular album art of the 21st century, including West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," "Yeezus" and the rapper's Jay-Z collaboration "Watch the Throne."
Abloh's death was first confirmed by his labels over social media.
Born on Sept. 30, 1980 in Rockford, Ill. He went on to earn a master's degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2006. to Ghanaian immigrant parents, Abloh studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving a bachelor's degree in 2002.
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Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton bought a majority stake in Off-White last year. In July, Abloh took on a position at LVMH that allowed him to work across the group's 75 brands, becoming the most powerful Black executive in the history of the premiere luxury group.
Beyond fashion, Abloh was also well-known for his work as a DJ and furniture designer. He is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe and Grey,  his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh and numerous friends and colleagues around the world.” />
He often said, 'Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,' believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations." "Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design.
"The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend." Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom," wrote LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault. "We are all shocked after this terrible news.

In “Order in Chaos,” which was launched last week at IDFA, Andersen offers readers a look into the principles and methods behind his creative process through case studies of eight films that he edited, including Oppenheimer’s two Academy Award-nominated features, Jennifer Fox’s “Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman,” and Ai Weiwei’s migration doc “Human Flow.”
After a battle with alcohol addiction that almost cost him his career, the Dane found a “second life” editing documentary films, discovering a community “who wanted to tell the world something and also had a deep interest in the world.” The newfound success marked a dramatic shift for someone who until that point had been a “young nobody,” as Andersen describes himself at the time.
“I became much more conscience of what I was doing as an editor, and therefore I was also able to develop myself as an editor. Though he learned his craft in the editing room, Andersen now teaches at the Norwegian Film School, something that he credits with bringing a fresh perspective to his work. I was learning by teaching.” “That was very important to me, because suddenly I had to develop a language of what I was doing,” he says.
Appearing in conversation last week with IDFA artistic director Orwa Nyrabia, Andersen pointed to some of the high points of his career and described his work as a “learning process” that continues to shape him both personally and creatively.
“The artistic vision is the director’s responsibility. But with the [editing] process, there I feel it’s also my responsibility that we get the best out of the two of us,” Andersen tells Variety. “If you can have the creative dialogue, then you create something that is bigger than the individual.”
The e-book version includes exclusive clips from each of the movies, as well as conversations with the directors, offering a rare behind-the-scenes look at the creative process behind some of the most significant documentary films of recent memory.
One of the key takeaways from those collaborations, which he explores in his new book “Order in Chaos: Storytelling and Editing in Documentary Film,” is the importance of the creative synergy that forms between an editor and a filmmaker.
Andersen brings his own curiosity to the table with each new documentary he edits. “Every documentary film develops its own language while we are editing…[and] what is so important for me is that I take in the material and see what is the uniqueness of that material.” “When I start on a film, [I treat it as if] this is the first film that I ever edited,” he says.
“That film became a huge success,” says Andersen. “It opened so many doors.” The leap of faith paid off when the movie earned an Academy Award nomination for best foreign-language feature.
His breakthrough came with an offer to work on “Pathfinder,” from Norwegian director Nils Gaup, the first feature-length film to be shot in the indigenous Sami language. The Dane boarded a flight to Norway without so much as reading the script. Andersen got his start in the 1970s under the tutelage of Christian Hartkopp, one of the leading Danish editors at the time.
Over the course of a celebrated 40-year career, veteran Danish editor Niels Pagh Andersen has worked on critically acclaimed films including Pirjo Honkasalo’s “The 3 Rooms of Melancholia” and Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar-nominated “The Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence.”
“I have been so privileged that I met at the right moment Pirjo Honkasalo and her project ‘3 Rooms of Melancholia,’” he said. I was lucky to find the right project which pushed me somewhere else. And I can say about myself that I’m curious and I’m not afraid.”” /> “That’s where a new thing started for me, and later, of course, ‘The Act of Killing’ was something I had never tried before, on all levels.

Parise emphasized that the streamer’s growth highlights the need for co-productions with Europe. Having released 30 original productions in 2021, Globoplay is planning 40 new series for 2022.
“We are experts in making telenovelas,” affirms Tierno. “Through our original content for OPTO we can diversify our offer to include higher-end series where we can be more experimental.”
Portugal’s two main private broadcasters, SIC and TVI, have implemented their own streaming platforms – OPTO and TVI Player.
“If you look at the success of series such as Netflix’s ‘Sex/Life,’ audiences are responding well to sexy stories. “Hidden Truths responds to what the market was asking for,” says Parise. We aim to offer relevant stories that meet market demand.”” />
Leading private broadcaster SIC launched paid streaming platform OPTO in November 2020. According to Francisco Pedro Balsemão, CEO of the Impresa Group, the move has built a new revenue stream with an international reach, that appeals in particular to younger audiences.
TVI, part of the Media Capital group, is launching an ambitious expansion strategy in the wake of the group’s recent acquisition by a group of shareholders from the north of Portugal, led by empresario Mário Ferreira.
We are here to seize the day.” “This is the dawn of new golden age of production of fiction in Portuguese,” suggests Balsemão. “ONSeries is all about this.
RTP took a minority stake in Netflix’s first Portuguese original series “Gloria,” launched on Netflix with a massive street advertising campaign. According to SPi, the show’s producers, it has achieved excellent results in Portugal and has performed well in Brazil as well as in Luxembourg and France, where there are large Portuguese emigrant communities.
Plural is Portugal’s biggest producer of telenovelas, producing 600 hours of fiction per year, with seven nominations and two wins in the International Emmy awards, including a 2021 nomination for telenovela “Destiny.”
The first edition of ONSeries Lisboa (Nov. 25-26) brought streaming platforms, international broadcasters and co-producers to Lisbon for a two-day event that showcased Portugal’s new TV series aimed at the international market.
Fragoso explains that these series, filmed in Spanish and Portuguese, have enjoyed solid domestic ratings, slightly below Portuguese language series, but with a major upside in terms of viewing on the free streaming platform RTP Play and in terms of international circulation.
Portuguese broadcasters and producers are teaming up with co-producers, streaming platforms and foreign broadcasters, especially with their Iberian neighbor Spain, to build international circulation and profile.
Margarida Vitória Pereira, TVI’s director of international acquisitions, says that the main obstacle to producing series is financial, since the ratings for telenovelas, which cost €45,000 -€52,000 ($51,000-$59,000) per hour, justify the investment, but it is very difficult to recoup investments on series.
TVI nonetheless recently co-produced six-part priest temptation series “The Sin” with independent producer Maria & Mayer, whose funding included around €500,000 ($566,000) from the cash rebate scheme.
Key steps that have increased investment in series include the reorientation of pubcaster RTP in 2015 to produce series rather than telenovelas, reinforcement of subsidy support for audiovisual production, launch of a cash rebate scheme in 2018 and transposition of the E.U.’s Audiovisual and Media Services Directive in 2021, placing investment obligations on streaming platforms operating in Portugal.
To date, OPTO has 20,000 subscribers, 5,000 outside Portugal and 200,000 registered free users. Balsemão is confident that the subscriber base will expand substantially over the coming months, based on the existing catalogue of over 5,000 hours and 10 original fiction series, which include racy thriller “The Club,” now in its third season, and upcoming documentary series “Futre,” about Portuguese soccer star Paulo Futre.
For every €1 ($1.1) spent on audiovisual productions, €4 ($4.5) is generated for the domestic economy, he stated. Nuno Artur Silva, Portugal’s secretary of state for cinema, audiovisual and the media emphasized the economic potential of the country’s audiovisual sector and cited Spain’s public policy to create an audiovisual hub as an example to follow.
Brazil’s Globo, Latin America’s biggest media company, began to roll out its paid streaming platform, Globoplay, in late October in Portugal and over 20 other European countries, and is increasingly developing content aimed at the international market.
22, whose cast includes Portuguese actress Maria de Medeiros. Globoplay’s flagship series for 2021 is “Hidden Truths II,” released exclusively on the streamer on Oct.
“The current situation in Portugal is very exciting,” says Inside Content’s Géraldine Gonard, producer of OnSeries Lisboa and of Conecta Fiction in Spain. “It reminds me of Spain just over five years ago, when Spanish series were beginning to catch the interest of international audiences and suddenly exploded.”
Vanessa Tierno, director of acquisitions & format management at SIC, explains that OPTO offers two key advantages – greater access to younger viewers and a new direct-to-consumer platform for international viewers.
Media Capital has just announced that it will concentrate all its divisions, including telenovela powerhouse Plural Entertainment, in a new media city to be built on the outskirts of Lisbon. Last week it relaunched and rebranded its news cable TV channel as CNN Portugal and has an aggressive growth strategy.
Parise stated that the European launch of Globoplay has already generated strong subscriptions, above all from Brazilians living in Europe.
“Gloria” upped the international visibility of Portuguese production and of RTP, but its deal structure, which gives Netflix’s exclusive rights for the first 12 months after which RTP can broadcast the series free-to-air in Portugal, is not a model that pubcaster wants to pursue, according to RTP’s programming director, José Fragoso.
ONSeries included a presentation of Globoplay by its head of marketing, Marcela Parise.
The country’s greater commitment to TV series is a direct result of public policy that aims to complement the country’s prowess in auteur cinema and telenovelas.
As of January 2022, streamers will be taxed 1% of their profits and will have to invest 4% in original Portuguese productions.
These include Seasons 1 and 2 of “Dry Water,” “Drought,” and the upcoming “Silent Cargo.” RTP has backed several minority co-productions with Spain, primarily noir thrillers, with narrative and main characters linked to both countries.
Parise highlighted the strengths of Globo’s catalogue including films, kids programming and 20,000 hours of telenovelas.

“Whenever I could remove my question, I opted for intertitles instead. I hope not.” He is a miracle,” he says about his protagonist, now 89 years old. As for the rest, well, it was important to ask about the tragedy in Vilnius on January 13, 1991. Maybe next time I’ll do the entire voiceover, explaining everything, and people will say that Loznitsa has finally made a ‘normal’ documentary. “I decided to do it because of him.
Later, Algirdas Brazauskas, who used to be the leader of Lithuania’s Communist Party, came into power. The latter’s popularity suffered because of the Soviet economic blockade of Lithuania.
To many, this made up slogan still applies.” “If you ask Lithuanian people, part of them will say that ‘Landsbergis destroyed kolkhoz’ [a collective farm in the Soviet Union], that he was a bad politician.
Landsbergis” marks the first time Loznitsa’s voice can be heard in his films, although he never appears in them and still doesn’t intend to. “Mr.
“I already combined black and white and color footage in ‘State Funeral’ [chronicling the days leading up to the funeral of Joseph Stalin] and it worked very well. When you use different materials, or when you see someone in one shot and then again in a material coming from a different camera, it feels like a game.”
This story is one of the most important of that time.” That’s when I enrolled in film school and I could feel that something was changing. In Lithuania, they announced their independence and moved towards achieving it. “I was born in the Soviet Union. My life also changed after 1991 – in ‘The Event,’ I already reflected on that. I am not telling this story from a colonial point of view, I have it in my blood.
Such a wealth of material proved illuminating, also when it comes to known historical figures, from Lithuanian dissident Antanas Terleckas (“Many finally realize he was a serious politician, not some court jester”) to the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.
“After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some forces made sure to destroy the reputations of the politicians they deemed dangerous. Some directors were quoted saying that when you film one person sitting in a garden, you should get less money, they criticized me and professor Landsbergis.” When the Lithuanian Film Centre decided to grant us support, a very negative article came out.
It was a long fight. These people, they did what they could.”” /> “We will see how it develops, but that’s up to the new generation that doesn’t seem to realize their freedom and all these opportunities didn’t just fall from the sky.
But a foreigner can sometimes say things the locals cannot, he observes, also because they haven’t noticed them. Recalling his 2015 film “The Event” on the 1991 August Coup in Moscow, Loznitsa argues that he doesn’t feel like “a foreigner” in Lithuania, the first country that took serious steps to destroy the Soviet Union.
Still, when addressing the United Nations in the film, Landsbergis himself observes that “oppression and lies exist, but they are temporary.”
Context,” awarded IDFA’s special mention for best creative use of the archive – decided to use archive footage again, including materials shot by complete amateurs, excited to document what was happening. Apart from the lengthy interview with the politician, one that took two weeks to shoot, the Ukrainian helmer – also behind “Babi Yar.
“My impression of Gorbachev has changed completely. I used to think: ‘Oh, Gorbachev, such a brave leader who enabled democracy.’ Now, when I was listening to what he was saying… It’s ridiculous. What a demagogue,” says Loznitsa, who had to deal with prejudice himself when the project was first announced.
Landsbergis" was crowned as best film at IDFA, with Danielius Kokanauskis awarded for editing. "Mr. “I started this project with a simple question: ‘Why nobody in Lithuania filmed him before?’ He is such a great man, great storyteller,” says the helmer.
Detailing Lithuania’s attempts to break away from the Soviet Union, from protests in 1989 to Vilnius’ Bloody Sunday in 1991, when Soviet troops attempted to stage a coup, Sergei Loznitsa became interested in the man in the midst of it all: Vytautas Landsbergis, the first Head of Parliament of Lithuania after its independence declaration.
“As a politician, he delivered exactly what he promised. In that sense, we could say there is a happy ending to this story,” says Loznitsa, voicing a concern that certain characteristics of that time seem to be coming back. It doesn’t happen that often.


Sondheim, look, I made a hat where there never was a hat! Lin-Manuel Miranda thanked Sondheim during his 2008 Tony Award speech and said, "Mr. It's a Latin hat at that!" Sondheim also re-wrote the voicemail recording that is heard at the end of Miranda's directorial debut, "Tick, Tick, …Boom!" Miranda said, "Steve was real & he was here & he laughed SO loud at shows & we loved him."


Anna Kendrick who starred as Cinderella in Rob Marshall's adaptation of "Into The Woods," called Sondheim's death "a devastating loss."
10) features lyrics by the composer, shared a statement saying, "Stephen Sondheim was a gigantic figure in American culture — one of our country's greatest songwriters, a lyricist and composer of real genius, and a creator of some of the most glorious musical dramas ever written. Steve and I became friends only recently, but we became good friends and I was surprised to discover that he knew more about movies than almost anyone I'd ever met." He continued, "When we spoke, I couldn't wait to listen, awestruck by the originality of his perceptions of art, politics and people — all delivered brilliantly by his mischievous wit and dazzling words. I will miss him very much, but he left a body of work that has taught us, and will keep teaching us, how hard and how absolutely necessary it is to love." Director Steven Spielberg whose "West Side Story" (out Dec.
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Tony-winner Idina Menzel shared that sentiment: "We will spend our lives trying to make you proud."


"Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics," Streisand wrote on Twitter.
 
 
Sondheim was remembered for his musically challenging works, for his inventive storytelling and his unique approach to crafting stage musicals.
Fellow composer Benjamin Scheuer offered an example of Sondheim's famous generosity to up-and-coming tunesmiths. He tweeted a photo of a short type-written letter from Sondheim complimenting Scheuer on his 2015 production "The Lion."
Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story," Gad wrote. "Thank you Mr.


Barbra Streisand was quick to comment on social media of her appreciation for the composer behind such Broadway landmarks as "Company," "Sweeney Todd," "Follies," "A Little Night Music," "Sunday in the Park With George," "Merrily We Roll Along," "Into the Wood" and "Assassins."
 
 
Stephen Sondheim was hailed as one of the most influential and innovative voices in history of American musical theater by friends and fans following the composer's death Friday at the age of 91.
Antonio Banderas who is in Spain producing a version of "Company," shared that he had just finished performing the finale, "Being Alive."
Elaine Paige, who worked on Broadway with Sondheim in "Follies" and "Sweeney Todd," called him a "dear man" and "one of the most important musical theater giants of his generation."


https://twitter.com/antoniobanderas/status/1464371340148887557?s=20″ />


I only ever got a few musical notes from him which were about diction but immediately incorporated and cherished every word." First , playing the Witch on Broadway in the 2002 “Into the Woods” , then singing at the Sondheim Hollywood Bowl tribute in 2005 and then again performing in the show stopping production of “Sondheim on Sondheim” on Broadway in 2010. Vanessa Williams who played the Wicked Witch on Broadway in the 1994 revival of "Into the Woods," wrote, "What a privilege to have soaked up the incredible aura of legendary Stephen Sondheim in person many times in my life.
"Never did I expect this letter, which arrived in my dressing room the next day," Scheuer wrote.
Lea Salonga, the Broadway veteran who took part in a 90th birthday tribute to Sondheim last year, said simply: "We shall be singing your songs forever."
 
"As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more," Jackman wrote.
Josh Gad, star of "The Book of Mormon," echoed the acclaim of his fellow Broadway stars.
And Bernadette Peters who frequently appeared in Sondheim's productions including "Sunday in the Park with George," "Into The Woods" and "A Little Night Music," wrote, "I am so so sad to lose my friend Steve Sondheim He gave me so much to sing about."


Versatile stage and screen actor Hugh Jackman hailed Sondheim as someone whose talent and body of work was strong enough to "fundamentally shift(s) an art form."


 

Honorable Mentions: “Ladies Who Lunch,” “Rose’s Turn,” “A Little Priest,” “The Ballad of Booth,” “Maria,” “Finishing the Hat.”
 

‘The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd,’ 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street'
So many icons have played iconic role of Rose from Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters to Bette Midler, but we really love this rendition from Patti Lupone. With soaring vocals and powerful lyrics conveying Rose’s unrelenting drive, it’s no wonder the number was an instant Broadway classic (and a signature song for Ethel Merman). The ultimate optimist’s anthem, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” closes out Act 1 of “Gypsy,” when Rose promises to make her daughter Louise a big star.
Imelda Staunton performed this "Follies" song proving that even if you don't like the musical itself, you have to love this song. Did it mean as much to him as it did to her, and still does? Fading showgirl Sally laments the stream of never-ending thoughts about her former lover which haunt her at all times: “The sun comes up, I think about you / The coffee cup, I think about you.” The achingly beautiful melody underscores the question at the heart of Sally’s pain and confusion–was it love?
The beauty of this duet is almost powerful enough to convince the audience that maybe things will turn out alright for Tony and Maria. As the battle between the Jets and the Sharks rages on, the simplicity of the young lovers’ dream is placed center stage: “Peace and quiet and open air.” We challenge you to watch the 1961 film adaptation of "Somewhere" starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer (and sung by Jimmy Bryant and Marni Nixon) and not get overwhelmed by the emotions of young love, passion and anxiety.
In his 91-year life, prolific composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim crafted some of Broadway’s most iconic tunes. Thank you for all the gifts you gave the world Steve.” I loved him dearly and will miss him so much. The Broadway community paid tribute to Sondheim on Friday, with longtime collaborator Bernadette Peters writing, “He gave me so much to sing about. From “West Side Story” to “Into the Woods,” his music has stood the test of time and cemented him as a theater legend.
‘No One Is Alone,’ 'Into the Woods'

/ Everything's coming up sunshine and Santa Claus! Best line: "Honey, everything's coming up roses and daffodils! / Everything's gonna be bright lights and lollipops!”
‘Being Alive,’ 'Company'
Best line: “Sometimes people leave you / halfway through the wood / Others may deceive you / You decide what’s good”
‘Losing My Mind,’ 'Follies'
The unnerving piano melody and staccato performance from the ensemble immediately makes it clear: this is no fairy tale. Sondheim found the perfect way to let his audience know exactly what they were in for in the opening number of "Sweeney Todd." True, it’s a challenge to refrain from putting every single song from “Sweeney Todd” on this list, but the opening number sets the stage for the gruesome fable to come. Now this is how you open a show. We highly recommend experiencing this intro with the cast from 1982 (above), but it has also been recreated so many times including on film, in NBC's "The Office" and it even received a loving tribute (and total re-write) from the cast of "Hamilton" for charity.
 

 
‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses,’ 'Gypsy'


Best line: “Somebody crowd me with love / Somebody force me to care / Somebody let come through / I'll always be there / As frightened as you / To help us survive / Being alive”” />
‘Send in the Clowns,’ 'A Little Night Music'
My heart is so shattered. Meanwhile, Rachel Zegler, who plays Maria in the upcoming Steven Spielberg adaptation of “West Side Story,” recalled Sondheim’s profound impact on her love for musical theater. 5 years old, dancing around to 'A Little Priest' without knowing what it was about. “Sweeney Todd was the first musical I ever comprehended. What a life.”
After rejecting her true love, Fredrick, actress Desirée finally realizes after years that a life with him is what she wants. However, when he turns the tables and rejects her, Desirée is forced to come to terms with the consequences of her stubbornness from years ago, feeling foolish and summoning “the clowns.” Especially now this version from long-time Sondheim collaborator Bernadette Peters will make you cry. Additional honorable mentions include the iconic Barbra Streisand track, which she put on her Broadway album and we also recommend checking out Dame Judi Dench's version.
Best line: "There's a place for us / A time and place for us / Hold my hand and we're halfway there / Hold my hand and I'll take you there”
Best line: “You said you loved me, or were you just being kind? / Or am I losing my mind?”
Best line: “Swing your razor wide, Sweeney / Hold it to the skies / Freely flows the blood of those who moralize”
 

With 19 major musicals and hundreds of songs, it’s nearly impossible to narrow down his impressive repertoire into a brief list, but we’ve made our best effort below, along with videos of our favorite renditions. Sondheim racked up seven Tony awards over his career, plus an honorary Tony celebrating his lifetime achievements in 2008.
But we bow low for 2008 revival starring Raul Esparza, a show where the cast didn't just sing and act, but played instruments throughout the performance. In “Being Alive,” the emotional climax of “Company,” bachelor Bobby finally realizes his desire to find someone to share the simplest moments with–even life’s annoyances: “Someone to sit in your chair / and ruin your sleep.” “Marriage Story” proves that this song doesn’t just pack a punch within the musical’s context—Adam Driver’s emotional rendition is one of the film’s high points. Has any song ever captured the longing for love as perfectly as this?
In all cases of "Into the Woods" we have to go with the original Broadway cast, with only one exception, Tituss Burgess' version of "Stay With Me." “No One Is Alone” bookends the second act of “Into the Woods,” as the remaining lead characters must reckon with the consequences of their wishes from the far-more-lighthearted first act. As Cinderella and the Baker teach this lesson to Jack and Little Red, they reveal that nobody can leave the woods with their innocence intact—and maybe that’s okay. In case Sondheim hadn’t made it crystal-clear already, this moment hammers home the message that fairy tale lessons are far more applicable to real life than they may seem: we must all learn to make it on our own, even when we don’t feel ready.
‘Somewhere,’ 'West Side Story'
 
/ My fault, I fear / I thought that you'd want what I want / Sorry my dear” Best line: “Don't you love a farce?

 

Picl co-founder Anke van Diejen rounded out the panel by explaining her company’s method. The VOD service shares revenues with exhibitor partners, making selected titles available during a limited window, intended to fill in the gaps for customers still invested in the theatrical experience.
The American exec offered three different case studies from her company’s recent lineup, citing “Pig,” “Titane” and “In the Earth” as examples of genre and younger-skewing fare that benefited from 17-days of theatrical exclusivity before hitting PVOD services, the IDFA-programed “Flee” as a title that would need a longer theatrical window, and the upcoming roadshow release of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria” – which will only play in one theater in one city at a time, “like a band touring” – as a kind of extreme of the theatrical model.
How to access it? “Last year we were all trying to figure out the technology,” said Modern Films CEO Eve Gabereau. Right now we need to talk about marketing, and giving it a real value.” What are their benefits? “[Then,] it seems everyone had a platform. Now we need to start standardizing it, [and asking different questions:] Who is it for?
Indeed, the stark difference between the distribution landscape of 2020 and that of 2021 was nowhere more apparent than at a recent IDFA VOD panel that brought back the same participants from a similar focused panel last year, short of one big difference – this time all but one was there in person.
“These two models can co-exist,” said van Diejen. [We need to start] comparing our partners’ physical data to our online date, to see if there’s something like a hybrid consumer.” “Maybe they can even become collaborative.
Citing those examples and others, Gabereau stressed the value of partnerships with cultural organizations or thematically linked companies and brands when positioning upcoming releases.
For her part, Neon distribution chief Elissa Federoff argued for greater “fluidity and flexibility” when considering theatrical windows. “There are different audiences who want to see films different ways, and there are different ways of capitalizing our films.” “No film is one-size-fits-all,” said Federoff.
As theatrical markets find surer footing after nearly 18 months of stops and starts – with the threat of further lockdowns still present – industry pros now face a set of concerns quite different from those of last year: How best to build on the the recent gains in VOD models while incorporating them into more traditional frameworks?
“But can be recognized as a really good addition to what we’ve been doing before.”” /> “My dream is that next year hybrid or online releases aren’t second best,” van Diejen added.
Since March 2020, the London-based production and distribution outfit has released more than 75 films through its PVOD model, while forging 100 virtual cinema partnerships. The film exec noted that her company’s four music docs found particular success in the online market thanks to exclusive, targeted partnerships with brand-name festivals like Glastonbury and Isle of Wight, success it could then build on for the titles’ subsequent theatrical rollouts.
“This movie is not an online experience, and we have not made it available online,” said Federoff. “We’ve really missed cinemas for the right kind of film.”

Is there any sort of local, societal commentary being made here? “Hellbound” is such an interesting meditation on good and evil. What was the personal resonance to you?
The former live-action film — starring Gong Yoo as a father shepherding his daughter to safety amid a zombie apocalypse — was preceded by animated prequel “Seoul Station” released the same year. “Hellbound” creator Yeon Sang-ho is perhaps best known internationally to date for acclaimed zombie thrillers “Train to Busan” (2016) and “Peninsula" (2020).
Also there's that entertainment factor of drawing from childhood games as well. I think that both shows have their own entertainment elements. I personally enjoyed "Squid Game" very much as well. And as for where those points lie within the show, it's all different. I think that's where both of their entertainment factors comes from. I think with "Hellbound" as well, these are pieces that lead to a lot of active conversation among the audiences. I think that "Squid Game" was able to really resonate with a lot of people. And I feel like the vision that it had within it, being a genre drama, was very relatable and there were a lot of points within the show that I was able to relate to as well.
Netflix’s latest genre offering from Korea, dark sci-fi thriller “Hellbound,” doesn’t waste any time in getting straight to the action. In the first minutes of the pilot, giant, billowing demons — think The Hulk meets an evil Michelin Man — erupt into the heart of Seoul to torture and scorch to death one of the damned members of the public.
What do you make of the comparisons to “Squid Game,” however misguided they may be? Both shows came out within months of each other and, I suppose loosely, touch on morality in an interesting way.
But these days I'm thinking that maybe I need to come up with a system in order to really bring all of my creative visions to life. Up until now I have been someone who's been an individual creator. I believe that the zombie genre is very traditional but at the same time, depending on what you bring to that, it can be completely new. However, because there are a lot of productions that I'm working on currently, I'm thinking that I have to sort of organize the ideas and work on what I have to work on. Personally, I do have some ideas in terms of further development of what happens after “Peninsula.” But as for whether I will create that into a film, it’s something that I do want to do.
So this would be specifically "Train to Busan" or a film within the "Train to Busan" and "Peninsula" universe?
Do you have any plans for a third live-action zombie installment to make it a trilogy? “Peninsula” was a hit last year in Korea and in international markets.
The short animation was in 2002, and then the webtoon actually began about two years ago on Naver, with co-creator and cartoon artist Choi Kyu-Seok. However, the webtoons started to [stream] on the platform when I was actually shooting the film “Peninsula.” Before that, we had just been talking about [a live-action series], but after [the webtoon] began on the platform, Netflix and I began to discuss creating it into a live series. During the process of planning and creating the cartoon for “Hellbound,” we did talk about wanting to create a live-action series.
Similarly, “Hellbound” began life as a two-part animated film before being extended into a webtoon for Korean digital platform Naver. The latter provided a handy proof of concept for a live-action series that was ultimately commissioned by Netflix. The show is currently the streamer’s top non-English language series globally, just ahead of that other Korean TV sensation “Squid Game” in third place.
In an interview with Variety, working with a translator provided by Netflix, Yeon discusses the origins of “Hellbound,” plans for season 2 and teases a potential third installment in his zombie trilogy that falls somewhere between "Train to Busan" and "Peninsula."
There are a number of protagonists in the show, and halfway through there is a significant jump in time as well, where we then follow a different protagonist. What was your rationale for this?
There was also a lot of love within Korea for Japanese animation as well. When I was younger, in Asia, Hong Kong films were all the rage with genres like noir and some of the more kitschy ones. As a child, I was heavily influenced by all of those great creative works that came from outside Korea and I believe that that was what led me to be the creator that I am today. Culture is always developed by influencing one another. As for the way that Korean content is so well received and loved by global audiences, I think it's just that the level of trust that Korean content has gained in the past has accumulated one by one and layer by layer and it has hit a certain point where it's now become an explosive impetus. I feel like we are very much in that wave.
What do you think is the impetus behind this drive towards genre programming? We have seen some high-level genre TV projects out of Korea really hitting a nerve internationally in the last year.
What about a TV adaptation for something like “Train to Busan”? Is that in the cards at all?
We kind of just brainstormed all the ideas that we could think of, and then tried to pick from those, thinking, "What can we bring together to create into a single storyline?" The characters that you see in “Hellbound” are very grounded. It was almost comparable to a simulation game. They're people you see in the real world. And I would say that those two methods were used as a tool for us to create a world that was very believable and convincing. So [there are] demonstrations and the prophecies, and then we thought about the kinds of things that would happen in this supernatural or created universe. When my partner Kyu-Seok and I were planning and thinking of the story, and creating the process, we thought of a universe that had very supernatural things happening. But at the same time, we wanted to make sure that none of the things that happened in this universe would remind you of anything that happened in our real world.
"Peninsula" was a post-apocalyptic film that focused on the car chases. I would say that — in terms of that universe — they'll all become related together. So in terms of the genre, you could say that it's between "Train to Busan" and "Peninsula."” /> That's something that I have in mind currently. The story that I'm thinking about after that would be closer to "Train to Busan," where the story will be carried out in a small and restricted space.
There are a lot of ideas I've been tossing around but I personally think that for "Train to Busan," I would like to continue that as a film series. So I think taking into consideration all of those conditions, a film series would be the most feasible. the distributor that we started on the original film as well. In Korea, the circumstances are not very favorable to create a series in the Korean language with visuals that are comparable to "Train to Busan" the film and also, you know, I have to work with …
That is, literally damned. When the time comes, demons barrel onto Earth to mete out a grisly death sentence. The show is set in an alternate reality in which angels appear before individuals who have committed some wrongdoing to tell them of their impending demise. In their orbit is The New Truth, a cult-like group of individuals that supports the supernatural arbiters of justice, led by insidious grandmaster Jeong Jin-soo.
Because "Hellbound" is based on the original webtoons, my partner Choi Kyu-Seok and I have decided that the story afterwards will be told first through the webtoon and, as for whether we would want to turn that into another live-action series, that's something that we will need further discussion on. They very much agreed to and related to my creative vision, but they also created an environment where I didn't have to think about anything else aside from focusing on my creativity in terms of distribution or when or how to release the series. So I would say this is something we need further discussion on. As you know, we have only just released "Hellbound" Season 1 and so we didn't have any time to discuss that issue with Netflix. I will say that it's true, the process of working with Netflix was very enjoyable on my end.
In order to do that, it meant that we needed to have multiple characters who had multiple convictions. When we were working on this story, we were set on creating a world that was comparable to hell, and created by people who are unable to tolerate uncertainty and we wanted to show what the society would look like when convictions are in conflict with one another. That's how I came about having a number of protagonists.
Tell me a bit about the process of adapting the animated film and webtoon into the live-action show.
You’ve talked about wanting to expand your storytelling into a “Yeoniverse”-type world. Could that be with Netflix in the future? What are your plans for season 2 of "Hellbound"?

The film is projected to earn $1.29 million over the five-day weekend. On the prestige scene, Focus Features expanded Kenneth Branagh's drama "Belfast," roughly doubling its theater count to 1,128. While "Belfast" is seen as a major force in this year's Oscar race, positive buzz isn't necessarily translating to impressive box office numbers. Other prospective awards players like Neon's "Spencer" have been met with a similar fate.
It's become holiday tradition for the studio to drop an animated movie in November to leg it out over the five-day weekend, releasing films like "Frozen II" ($130 million) "Ralph Breaks the Internet" ($84 million) and "Coco" ($72 million). While "Encanto" isn't putting up numbers like that, its current performance is still quite remarkable, as family films have largely underperformed at the box office during the pandemic era. That's a far smaller total than recent Thanksgiving windows for Disney. With little animated competition on the immediate horizon, "Encanto" should continue to perform well in the weeks to come.
Disney's "Encanto" had been projected to lead the box office heading into the holiday weekend. The animated adventure took in $11 million on Black Friday from 3,980 locations and is headed towards a $43.3 million five-day total.
"House of Gucci" took in $5.73 million on Friday from 3,477 locations. The sprawling crime drama is projected to earn $21.8 million over the five-day holiday weekend. Meanwhile, the latest from Ridley Scott earned far more than diddly-squat.
Marvel's "Eternals" will take fourth with a projected five-day total of $11 million. The superhero film's domestic gross could surpass the $150 million mark by Monday.
In other news regarding directors named Anderson, MGM and United Artists Releasing began their roll-out of "Licorice Pizza." The San Fernando Valley-set comedy earned $141,000 on Friday from a mere four locations. In only one day, the release has shattered the previous record for the pandemic era's best per-theater average, last established by another Anderson with the opening weekend of Searchlight Pictures' "The French Dispatch" ($25,000). That works out to a spectacular $35,000 per-theater average for Paul Thomas Anderson's latest.
Disney's "Encanto" will top the domestic box office for the weekend, while MGM's "House of Gucci" has become one of the first adult dramas to draw a substantial theatrical audience during the pandemic era. While the Thanksgiving box office will wind up totaling far less than previous years' holidays, there were still plenty of viewers to go around between the weekend's offerings.
Similarly, A24's expansion of "C'mon C'mon" from five to 100 locations is returning similarly muted numbers. The Joaquin Phoenix-starring drama is projected to earn $252,000 over the three-day weekend, roughly doubling its debut gross.” />
As some pandemic restrictions have been lifted, the ticket buyers eager to return to movie theaters have trended younger. Releases aimed at older viewers have struggled during this recent period of box office regrowth. However, the same story can't be said of "House of Gucci," as the MGM release's performance cements the box office appeal of Lady Gaga, three years after the resounding success of her 2018 vehicle "A Star Is Born."
The comedy revival topped the domestic box office in its debut last weekend, earning $44 million. The film will expand its domestic cume to about $88.5 million after Sunday, well on its way to surpassing the $100 million mark. "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" took the runner-up slot, with Sony projecting a five-day total between $35 and $38 million. Sony's strategy of opening "Afterlife" slightly before Thanksgiving to stir up solid word-of-mouth ahead of the holiday seems to have proven fruitful.
Screen Gems and Constantin Film's new reboot "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City" will round out the five-day weekend's top five with a projected $8.7 million. The video game adaptation possesses a modest budget of $25 million, so there were no expectations for the film to dice up its competition. Additionally, Paul W.S. Anderson's original "Resident Evil" series found most of its relevance with international audiences — the final 2017 entry did more than 90% of its business overseas — so the success of "Welcome to Raccoon City" will likely be written outside the domestic box office.
Starring Gaga and Adam Driver as Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci, "House of Gucci" chronicles the years leading up to Reggiani's assassination plot against the Gucci heir. Though the film has received mixed reviews, Variety's Owen Gleiberman called it "an icepick docudrama that has a great deal of fun with its grand roster of ambitious scoundrels" and "never less than a straight-faced and nimbly accomplished movie."
Each member possesses special powers, except for Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). But when Mirabel discovers that their town may be in danger of losing all magic, it's up to her to save her loved ones. With original music from "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Encanto" focuses on a family living in the mountains of Colombia.

The content then travels widely across the Sky group and then the rest of the world through international sales outfit NBCUniversal Intl. Similarly, Sky first focuses on producing originals for its subscribers in the U.K., Germany and Italy. Television Distribution.
domestic market, and then global sales follow. However, the intention isn’t necessarily global domination. BBC programs usually adhere to the mantra “Local — out,” meaning that programs must first target the U.K.
“You snuggle and enjoy them,” says the executive, who notes that holidays “ideally represent some form of nostalgia and security.”
The executive points to niche outlets like BritBox, Acorn TV and PBS Masterpiece as go-to destinations for British programming in the U.S. Despite the increasing audience fragmentation caused by individual media devices, Habbershaw is a firm believer in the communal experience of watching a seasonal TV event with family, a version of which is common among most households.
“The appetite across our genres cuts through all routes to market,” McNab says.
As the days grow shorter and families hunker down cozily in front of the TV, British holiday programming has grown into a dependable export around the world, thanks to the success of Christmas specials for shows like “The Office” and “Gavin & Stacey.”
Other highlights from the 2021 slate include “Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After” and the movie “A Boy Called Christmas.” Simms says that Sky’s holiday-focused content, which this year includes Mark Gatiss-starring ghost story “The Amazing Mr Blunden,” tends to perform well in English-speaking countries, particularly Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but also sells widely internationally.
Meanwhile, in “Superhoe,” millennials and Gen Zers will find the portrayal of life on social media and the world of influencers somewhat familiar, McNab says.
“Demand for British content is higher than ever across the board,” says Louise McNab, director of content sales at BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the U.K. “International audiences appreciate the ambition and creativity of British shows, as well as the level of authorship.” public broadcaster.
Jason Simms, director of international scripted at Comcast-backed pay TV operator Sky, notes that while British comedy might have been a challenging sell in the past, the success of writers and performers like “Ted Lasso” star Nick Mohammed, “Catastrophe” creator Sharon Horgan, Aisling Bea of “This Way Up” and “Fleabag” powerhouse Phoebe Waller-Bridge, among others, has blazed a trail for the genre on the international stage.
Adds the BBC executive: “The strength of writing, characterization and production values are what audiences come to our scripted shows for, and we find that a strong sense of place helps shows travel.”” />
While “This Is Going to Hurt” is culturally specific, following the travails of a junior doctor in the U.K.’s beleaguered National Health Service, global audiences have become used to seeing images of medical services pushed to the limit during the pandemic, explaining the demand for the show, which will bow on co-production partner AMC Plus in the U.S.
Sally Habbershaw, executive VP for the Americas at All3Media, likens holiday specials for top offerings like “All Creatures Great and Small” and “The Larkins” to “a cup of warm tea and a blanket.”
Although the U.K. public service broadcasters’ full holiday slates will be revealed later this month, the BBC is already seeing strong demand for upcoming titles, including the Ben Whishaw-led “This Is Going to Hurt,” adapted by Adam Kay from his international bestselling memoir; and “Superhoe,” based on Nicôle Lecky’s solo stage play.

Set in 1973 and named for a beloved SoCal record chain, “Licorice Pizza” brings writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson nearly full circle back to the neighborhoods where he grew up — back to the disco-colored Wonderland where “Boogie Nights” took place and the decade when the indie auteur was born.
So read on for Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge’s personal ranking of Anderson’s oeuvre. You might be surprised by the one he holds head and shoulders above the rest.” /> Not all the movies are masterpieces (impressive though it may be, “The Master” has more than its share of flaws, for example), and good luck finding two people who agree on their favorite. Altman’s influence can be felt in nearly all Anderson’s films, though the younger helmer brings to that equation a technical virtuosity and near-Kubrickian discipline that set his work apart, rewarding multiple viewings and all but demanding debate when the lights come up.
Fans of Anderson’s filmography shouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised to see him once again finding colorful characters in the outer folds of Los Angeles’ satellite suburbs: He did it before with “Punch-Drunk Love” (giving Adam Sandler his juiciest role to date) and “Magnolia” (where the same went for Tom Cruise), always returning to the question of “What Do Kids Know?” — as the imaginary quiz show in that film was called.
“Licorice Pizza” is one of the rare Anderson movies to be missing a father figure — the director’s own was an Ohio TV host who went on to become the voice of ABC once he relocated to California, and dads (or parental proxies) have played an important role in every one of his movies till now. With every film, Anderson elevates prodigal sons and monster patriarchs to mythic status, whether it’s an endearingly naive porn performer like Dirk Diggler (“Boogie Nights”) or a self-made oil tycoon such as Daniel Plainview (“There Will Be Blood”). And every time, he surrounds them with surrogate families, lifting from his idol Robert Altman the idea that no character in an ensemble is minor, no matter how brief the appearance.

The Prime Minister also said that plans for the booster jab for vaccines, for those who are double vaccinated, will be stepped up.
"If you're boosted, your response is likely to be stronger so it's more vital than ever that people get their jabs and we get those boosters into arms as fast as possible."
Addressing a nationally televised press conference on Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that face coverings will become mandatory again in shops and on public transport across England.
at Nottingham and Brentwood. The new variant, with the scientific name B.1.1.529, was first detected in South Africa and has been found in the U.K.
While England had relaxed mask requirements in July, they remain mandatory on public transport and most indoor areas across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which have devolved administrations separate from England.
As two cases of the new Omricon variant of the COVID-19 virus have been detected in the U.K., England has mandated a return to mask wearing and PCR tests.
South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia are on the U.K.'s travel red list, meaning that arrivals must quarantine for 10 days and undergo PCR tests.
The variant has also been detected in Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong, Italy and Germany.” />
health department is due to clarify that imminently. It is not immediately clear if masks are required in cultural venues like cinemas and theaters, but the U.K.
In addition, inbound international travellers to the U.K. Those who test positive must quarantine for ten days regardless of their vaccination status. are required to get a PCR test by the second day of their arrival and must self-isolate until the results arrive.
“On face coverings, what we’re looking at is retail and transport, and just getting back to a position where you have to wear them in in retail settings or on our public transport," Johnson said.
The U.K.'s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is looking at administering boosters to a wider age group and reducing the gap between the second dose and booster, which is currently six months. There are plans for six million jabs in the next three weeks.
"We don't yet exactly know how effective our vaccines will be against Omicron but we have good reasons for believing they will provide at least some measure of protection," Johnson said.
to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after their arrival and to self-isolate until they have a negative result," Johnson said. “We’re not going to stop people travelling, I want to stress that, we’re not going to stop people travelling, but we will require anyone who enters the U.K. “We need to slow down the spread of this variant here in the U.K., because measures at the border can only ever minimise and delay the arrival of a new variant rather than stop it all together.

“I could hear his laughter now,” she said. He really knew about giving joy to the world and giving joy to the audience and I really hope tonight will be a celebration of his joy.” Elliott recalled Sondheim attending the production’s first preview performance. “He was so generous and so giving to us.
The show must go on.
The tribute ended with star Patti LuPone choking back tears. She said, “All of us on the stage — cast, musicians and crew — dedicate tonight and, going forward, our entire run to Stephen Sondheim.”” />
Elliott recalled meeting with Sondheim to suggest changes for her production of "Company," including switching the central character from a man to a woman.
Sondheim, she said, is the reason why many people “went into theater, the reason why we went into acting and the reason why some of us went into singing… He’s just so so amazing and we truly feel doing a Sondheim on Broadway doesn’t get any better than this.”
“We all feel extremely honored to have worked with him so closely.” “He was the most artistic and collaborative person ever,” Elliott continued.
Elliott called musicals “the hardest of all theater because it involves even more people… The structure of it is so important and the way that it’s crafted is so important and he truly was a genius of all of that."
That’s what Broadway’s latest production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” did Friday night at the Bernard B. “Obviously, everybody is very shocked because everybody on this production knew him very well.” “He was truly the greatest artist that we in our lifetime possibly will ever know in this art form,” she said to applause, before the curtain was raised to show the cast standing together on stage. Jacobs Theater, but not before director Marianne Elliott paid tribute to the late composer, who passed away just hours before at the age of 91.
He was hugely involved with this particular production and very proud of it, I’m so happy to say.” “He didn’t need to do that but he became the greatest enthusiast for it. Every single line of George Furth’s and every single lyric we talked about it, we debated, we argued, we chatted, we laughed.

The inspiration for the plot came from the multi-hyphenate’s own mother, as he realized that she had been unable to achieve her private aspirations. He says: “Having to be the perfect eldest sister, then a young wife living up to the social standards expected of her, then a mother to four boys, all that seemed to put her personal plans on hold.”
Finding the youngest daughter, Khitam, marked the last piece of the puzzle. I have the daughters of Abdul-Rahman.” After watching an audition from Mariam Basha, known for the Oscar-nominated Palestinian short “The Present,” Abu Hamdan knew, “Bingo!
Abu Hamdan says: “Three days later, Farah sent an email saying that Zainab is the role that will be her comeback. This email is printed on A3 paper above my desk.” After Hillo joined the cast, Abu Hamdan located Bseiso, but she had no plans to exit retirement. Nevertheless, she promised to read the script and send feedback. I was over the moon!
One of three Arabic-language films in the Cairo Film Festival international competition, the feminist dramedy “Daughters of Abdul-Rahman” shows how many Jordanian women put the traditional expectations of their patriarchal society ahead of their own desires and the resulting collateral damage. After world premiering in Egypt, the debut feature of director-writer-producer Zaid Abu Hamdan will segue to the Red Sea Festival in Saudi Arabia.
Casting the four semi-estranged sisters of the title took longer than Abu Hamdan imagined. He wanted them to be credible as relatives and display familial chemistry.
She took on roles as executive producer and as Amaal, the most conservative of the sisters. Saba has a beautiful figure and a very known face … she’s the sexy diva! After several discussions, something in my gut told me that her eyes alone are strong and expressive enough that she can give me that magic from behind the burqa, and so she did.” First to sign was Jordan-born international star Saba Mubarek. Abu Hamdan recalls: “It was a tricky decision as I wrote Amaal to be an overweight ‘typical’ housewife and her face is almost fully covered in many scenes of the film.
He says, “So many of the women fantasized about screaming their truth and shouting out their anger.” Eventually, Abu Hamdan sent out 300 surveys to Jordanian women of different religious, educational and socio-economic backgrounds. What came back was so unsettling that it caused him to re-evaluate the homeland he loved and took for granted.
As he was writing the script, Abu Hamdan kept thinking of Kuwait-born, Syria-trained actress Farah Bseiso as the eldest sibling Zainab. But as he geared up for production, he couldn’t locate her. He says, “She had a hippy vibe when I saw her audition tape, yet, she just had my character’s soul somewhere in there.” He says: “She had quit her long and successful career and took off to the US with her family.” In the meantime, he cast Palestinian citizen of Israel Hannan Hillo as the sexy sister Samah.
Abu Hamdan’s directing career includes short films, episodes of “Sesame Street,” sport shows and other forms of content, but he is content with his current niche. He says, “My latest work was MAC Cosmetic’s Ramadan miniseries “Qata’ef,” featured in Vogue Arabia, which starred five beautiful women. What I realized is that empowered female characters with a distinct point of view excite me, and working with actresses [is] a challenge that I adore.” His next feature film, now in development, also centers around a woman, but of a very different type.” />

Park Circus will be a true one-stop-shop when exhibition wish to screen some of the most iconic classics from cinema history thanks to the breadth and depth of films covered by this agreement.” Parc Circus CEO Mark Hirzberger-Taylor said: “We have been honored to work with Disney for the last fourteen years to bring their iconic catalogue back to the big screen at international cinemas and festivals, and so we’re incredibly proud to be continuing to work together to support our industry as it comes out of such a challenging period.
All-rights sales agency and distribution company Park Circus has renewed a licensing deal for thousands of titles from Disney and Fox.
As part of the new arrangement, Park Circus will continue to act as the repertory sales licensee for the Fox feature film library acquired by Disney in March 2019.

2023. The agreement is valid until Sept. The new distribution services agreement with The Walt Disney Company Limited allows Park Circus to grant exhibition licenses for screening of Disney’s repertory and library catalogue and other selected feature film releases in cinemas internationally.
The Park Circus group's distribution and sales divisions also represent major Hollywood and British studios including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, LAIKA, Film4 and ITV Studios as well as a several independent producers and rights holders.” />
It will authorize pre-approved screenings of Disney’s feature film content under its various studio brands in all territories outside of the U.S., Canada, Latin America and China. The new agreement extends a distribution relationship between the two companies that began in 2007.
Park Circus now represents a total of 1,376 titles from Disney and Fox, including "Fantasia," "The Lion King," "The Lady and the Tramp," "The Darjeeling Limited," the "Alien" and "Die Hard" franchises and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

At this point, Reggiani was ashen-faced. Tanno and Aspiras had to age Gaga’s Reggiani rather drastically for the courtroom trial. She also powered areas of her face to add wrinkles. “We had talked about prosthetics at one point,” says Tanno. She was shuffling into court in those shoes and she had the walk.” “I wanted her to look tired and like she had seen a ghost.”Aspiras adds, “I put on that big and fluffy backcombed hair, and she was 55 years old, and it scared me. “Instead, we opted to age her using makeup.” Tanno lightened Gaga’s skin tone and used taupe colors to bring out nasal folds.
Together with Gaga, Tanno and Aspiras took creative license to fill in the blanks, developing looks of what they thought she would look like. Tanno explains the key was that they "never wanted it to be distracting or overpowering.” Tanno noticed that almost no photos of Reggiani existed before her wedding.
Makeup artist Sarah Tanno and hair stylist Frederic Aspiras are the masterminds behind some of Lady Gaga’s most iconic looks.
“She said, ‘I don’t want to see Gaga on screen,’" remembers Aspiras. "It sounds easy, but it wasn’t. It was ultimately about the slightest nuances.”” />
For Tanno, diving into the script began with dissecting the time period and then understanding the character's evolution from Reggiani meeting Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) in the '70s to her trial in 1995 where she was convicted for his murder.
She dyed her platinum blonde hair to brown to fully adopt Reggiani. A lot of mousse and wet-setting spray was required for the 10 wigs and 50 looks he created. When Aspiras was fitting wigs, Gaga told him, she wanted them to feel like her hair. Method actress Gaga lived with the character for nine months, on and off set. "She was so in it, it was scary," Tanno says.
Aspiras and Tanno spent months building a bible to guide their looks that referenced every shade, color and hairstyle for every single scene of the movie. This meant that although Scott was shooting out of sequence, the duo could readily pull the exact makeup and hairstyle they needed. Aspiras had a forensics-type wall of real-life Reggiani looks that they would then copy.
“They were always overlined and she often wore frost,” Tanno says. By the ‘80s, Tanno was able to reference photos of Reggiani — the look was smudgy eyes and very pointed lips.
Says Tanno, who was finishing the development of the product and working on the final formula while testing it on and off the screen, "I created a collection of lipsticks inspired by Italian glamor. In addition to using the brand's existing line, the newly developed lipstick shades named after Italian icons of the time were used in the movie. In creating the perfect red lip sported by Regianni in the '80s, Tanno, the Global Artistry Director at Haus Labs (Gaga’s makeup line), developed a collection of lipsticks inspired by shades that were popular in Italy during that time. We developed a color called Stefania — named after Gaga. It's the perfect cherry red that we tested on all skin tones. It's perfectly bright, not too deep, not too blue. It's just a little bit sheerer than a typical lipstick."
The women were still using makeup trends from the ‘60s and the straight line elongated the eye. Tanno did a straight eyeliner look using just eyeshadow, which explains the messy look to the eye. Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida was the inspiration behind the up-do wig worn at Gaga’s wedding. Tanno says, “Italian makeup was still a bit behind America back then. Whereas usually, I'd do an up-wing on Gaga."
Tanno says, “Jana had a team of artists who would help me with that while I worked on her face and Freddy was doing the wig." For that, she had to work with department head Jana Carboni. Another challenge was hiding Gaga's 20-plus tattoos.
I wanted to keep her as young and as pure as possible. I would round her eyebrows because brows back then were not blocked." “I wanted to strip it down. That meant the littlest amount of makeup, a perfect amount so it doesn’t look like she was wearing any. For example, Tanno points out when audiences are first introduced to Reggiani, she is still naïve. As the actress worked with her acting coach in preparation for the role, Aspiras and Tanno observed how Gaga would emote and use her body language.
The other challenge was how to age the actress without using prosthetics or visual effects. “It was all about using makeup techniques,” Tanno explains.
Director Ridley Scott initially wanted just two wigs and one makeup look to carry the story of Reggiani and the Gucci family from the ‘70s to the ‘90s, but Aspiras fought for a range of wigs, including a tight '80s perm to help age Gaga. Aspiras says, “Ridley said, ‘Well if you can make it work…’” And they did.
But “House of Gucci,” in theaters now, provided them their biggest challenge yet — they needed to strip away the public persona of Gaga and have audiences only see Patrizia Reggiani. From the bubblegum pink “Rain on Me” wig and alienesque design to the “The Color of the Pomegranates”-inspired creations for Gaga's “911” music video, Tanno and Aspiras have been working in tandem at the Haus of Gaga (the name Gaga uses to describe her creative team) for years.

We need to allow these films to be seen in a way that gives them all a chance and gives audiences a chance to experience films. But at the end of the day there is also something that has to be done for the benefit of filmmakers. I understand there will always be competition for film premieres and for guests, and projects at co-production markets. Maybe this competitiveness will transition to something that is more in a spirit of collaboration.
There are changes happening. I don’t know how other Arab festivals are going to compete with that. The landscape is changing. Obviously there isn’t that much money available to support Arab cinema and [on the part of festivals with co-production markets] that comes with the condition of a premiere requirement, at least in the Arab world. In terms wanting to program the best Arab films.
What are your thoughts about how the Arab film festival landscape is shaping up with three big events: El Gouna, Cairo, and the nascent Red Sea fest almost back-to-back between October and December?
We are talking about Cairo, El Gouna, Red Sea, Marrakech, Carthage, and Amman. Right? Just to be clear.
Even an unofficial meeting could be helpful. I’m talking about the four or five festivals you just mentioned that compete for the regional premieres. At least about figuring out dates and regulations in a way that doesn’t hurt the other festivals. I’m open to be as inclusive as needs be. But something to get a conversation started. And more importantly doesn’t hurt the films.
Hefzy, who is also a prominent Egyptian producer, talked to Variety about how he's been rebooting Cairo while braving the pandemic and contending with changes in the Arab film festival landscape. Rahman, as well as Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux and Egyptian icon Nelly, who are being feted. producer Lawrence Bender, Emir Kusturica, who is this year's jury president, Oscar-winning composer A.R. Excerpts from the conversation. They have also recruited high-caliber talents and industry personalities such as U.S.
To do that we also had to establish better relations with sales agents and distributors. This, in turn, has also been an integral aspect of the industry component [Cairo Industry Days] we started. We’ve been giving the festival more international reach. We were able to start a successful industry sidebar and that's helped us connect more with the international industry.
And the quality of screenings has improved. Another thing that's helped us get more international attention and more international press is the fact that we have better programming. There have been all these challenges, but for me wooing the industry back was the biggest aspect of what we’ve been able to accomplish. The programming has really helped. Every year we’ve had a bunch of new films having their world premieres.
But it’s going to get more difficult in the coming years. I’m not saying that we can’t live without it. And we are going to continue to make plans and announce our dates, and life goes on. And you never know what other new festivals could pop up.” />
What are some of the key issues you'd like to thrash out?
I think this year we managed to avoid disaster. I’m used to doing that with other festival directors. In Cannes I suggested: 'why don’t we have a meeting with all the Arab festival directors to talk about the future?' To talk about dates, about ambitions, challenges, etc. But it’s on an individual level. We need to speak among each other more. I think we need more co-ordination. There is no initiative among Arab festivals to really sit down formally at a table and discuss relevant, pertinent subjects about the future of all of us. But I don’t see any effort to try to really co-ordinate. Honestly, some people were very interested in the idea, and some others were not. I think we need more of that.
For the upcoming 43rd edition of the Cairo Film Festival, which is the grande dame of Arab film events, fest chief Mohamed Hefzy and his team have assembled a rich mix of top notch Arab and international titles, including the world premiere of Tunisian star Dhafer L’Abidine’s directorial debut “Ghodwa” and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) premiere of "House of Gucci."
This is your fourth year heading Cairo. The journey got a bit bumpy these past couple of editions due to COVID-19 and the arrival on the scene of Saudi Arabia's Red Sea fest that moved into your calendar slot. How do you feel about your accomplishments at this point?

Andrews signed on early; Jones jumped from co-writing “Soul” to “Luca.” The story is by Casarosa, Jesse Andrews and Simon Stephenson; Andrews and Mike Jones penned the screenplay.
I realized with animation, your drawing comes to life. “I loved it, but I never made the connection to ‘I want to be an animator.’ It led me to seeing Miyazaki’s movies. I started looking differently at animation, like Disney movies and then Miyazaki’s ‘Castle in the Sky.’ His movies are playful and so wonderful."
The movie defies conventional storytelling in another way (Spoiler Alert!): Luca finds a happy ending by enrolling in school.
Jones adds: “Luca goes off into the world. Yes, it’s about school but mostly it’s about curiosity.”
The coastal village is named Portorosso, an homage to Miyazaki’s 1992 “Porco Rosso.” It’s also filled with subtle Italian references: The town has a poster of Fellini’s “La Strada,” and Alberto’s Vespa has a photo of Marcello Mastroianni.
“Then I wanted to see films by Kurosawa, because he was a big influence on Miyazaki.” Casarosa soon discovered Italian and French classics, including works by Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Jacques Tati.
When you see Luca opens a book, the world opens up for him.” Andrews says, “We talked about that a lot. We discovered the importance of those imagination sequences.
Andrews adds, “The movie is about friendship. Enrico kept saying ‘No, this is a pre-romantic time in one’s life.’ There’s an innocence to this and I think the movie feels bigger because of that.”
There were also aesthetic reasons: The late 1950s and early ’60s had distinct style, from clothes to Vespas, and it was the Golden Age of Italian cinema, with films from Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica and Pietro Germi, among others.
Casarosa was born in Milan and raised there in the 1970s-80s. And since SCUBA diving wasn’t so popular, the existence of an undiscovered sea-monster community was more plausible.” But he set the film earlier, circa 1960, “because it becomes more timeless.
The two meet a girl, Giulia, who gives Luca the courage to enter a local race. Luca and Alberto are “sea monsters,” who have grown up underwater but are exploring life on dry land in human form.
As a screenwriter, that’s hard to find. At Pixar, it’s built in.”” /> “It’s wonderful that a place exists like the old Hollywood system, where you get a bunch of grumpy screenwriters under one roof; we complain about everything but we have each other’s backs.
Casarosa learned to love Italian films through Japanese filmmakers.
The two writers also praise Casarosa — and each other.
“When I was young,” he says, “I fell in love with cartoons on TV, especially Japanese animation.” There were some Italian-Japanese TV coproductions, including early Miyazaki works like the series “Sherlock Hound,” about a crime-solving dog.
“Luca” fulfills Pixar’s mandate of expanding its boundaries. It's a strong Oscar contender for best animated film. The animated film, directed by Enrico Casarosa, is set in Italy, but the storytelling is influenced by Japanese films, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki: subtle, beautiful and moving.
Luca leaving his home for Portorosso is a lot like me wanting to live in the U.S. Says Casarosa, “It’s about any way that you feel different, however you proudly fly your freak flag. It’s about his new discoveries.”
The director says the friendship of Luca (around the age of 11) and Antonio (a few years older) reflects a bond he created at that age. Those memories made me ask ‘Would I be the same person if I had not met him?’ That became the spark for the story.” My friend had a messy family situation so he was very free. “I was timid, sheltered.
With a theme of feeling alienated, people have described “Luca” as a metaphor for immigration, or homosexuality, or disabilities.
Casarosa says, “This is not an easy sell, to tell kids that school is the perfect ending. So when Giulia shows him the books, we wanted to show the excitement of learning, the discovery of new things.”
Jones says it was a true collaboration, formed out of mutual respect. “Writer relationships are often fraught in Hollywood. Mostly there’s no real partnership because you’re polishing somebody else’s work, and someone else will polish you.
We fought against suggestions that maybe Luca and Giulia become boyfriend-girlfriend. We can win this race!’ ” Giulia satisfies something more important to Luca: the ability to say ‘Yes, let’s go! Jones says, “When I came in, it was clear what the film should be about: the best summer in these two boys’ lives — and then they meet a third friend.
Andrews and Jones praise exec producer Kiri Hart, saying she understood that this movie was trying to do something Pixar hasn’t often done, in terms of tone and style.

He used to sell records. I also used some of the traditional Sufi chants that are specific to my hometown and the trance music of the local artisan craftsmen.”” /> Belabbes says: “The music is the music I grew up with, either in my house, in the films I watched in our movie theater or the music I listened to in my father’s store. The film also incorporates a wide range of diegetic music, performed live or played on cassette, which has a deep connection to the spirit of the space and the people.
He says: “Firstly, my stories originate in that space, so I don’t need to scout. And spaces have their own memory, their own soul. The middle son in a family of 11 children, Belabbes was born in Bejaad, where his father owned the only movie theater. Secondly, Bejaad feels like my own studio (my little Cinecittà), where I have access to pretty much anything I need for my production and the people are always welcoming to me.” His hometown has served as the main location of most of his films for two simple reasons.
He agreed and we ended up shooting the forest sequence, which, of course, was not in the script. Also unforgettable is the aging tailor Abdelkader Al Zaim, who plays Oum Kulthum’s songs to his caged birds so they can learn her melodies. So, I asked to tag along. We see an elderly gentleman with a lively, intelligent face loading trays into a deep oven. Belabbes recalls: “The day we shot with him, he refused to work past 5 p.m. He’s one of the few traditional bakers left in town. Some of the non-professionals represent the last artisans of their craft. The remaining time of the day he loved spending on quiet walks with his wife in our hometown forest. That was a gift.”
He says: “He would always make the point about the horrors people inflict on each other that we could witness if ‘those old walls were to collapse.’ That stuck with me for years.” The film’s title was inspired by late night walks and talks Belabbes shared with the cinema’s projectionist.
Belabbes says, “He was always going to tell you the colorful story he wanted to tell you. Perhaps the most entertaining episode, about a flying car, was inspired by a story from his adolescence told by a serial exaggerator who didn’t care that people knew he was lying. We all wished we had his capacity to imagine the things he did.” The 18 different stories that comprise the film all relate to the director’s childhood memories. They represent events he experienced, tales he heard, or situations he imagined.
He says: “A performance by a non-actor can crystalize the truth in a filmed moment, sometimes in the first take, when everyone is at their most vulnerable. As usual in Belabbes’ films, the cast is a mixture of professional actors and those who may never have stepped in front of a camera before. That can be a gift that strengthens the performances of everyone in a scene.”
Marking the apotheosis of the helmer’s lyrical, episodic style, the film plays like a mesmerizing take on “1001 Arabian Nights.” The unconventional drama premieres in the Horizons of Arab Cinema competition at the Cairo Film Festival. Moroccan auteur Hakim Belabbes’ haunting memory piece “Collapsed Walls” is formed of fragments from the cycle of life as experienced by the residents of his birth place.

NBC grabbed more than 25 million viewers on Thursday with its telecast of the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" (2.7 million total viewers) and "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (1.5 million) saw their highest total viewer tallies since Thanksgiving 2019. The boost of circulation during the day plus the traditional Thanksgiving "Football Night in America" primetime NFL showcase paid dividends for NBC all the way through late night.
Despite the dip, NBC noted that the 25.4 million live-same-day viewers ranks as the network's most-watched entertainment telecast since the 2020 Macy's parade. In adults 18-49, the parade packed more of a punch as a live telecast than this year's Grammy Awards (2.1 rating), Oscars (1.9) and Emmys (1.9).
The parade, with its signature blend of giant inflatable character balloons, floats, marching bands and performance segments, and has turned into a prime promotional showcase for family friendly entertainment fare. The parade began as a ballyhoo event for the famed retailer in Manhattan's Herald Square in 1924. NBC began covering the event in 1953. The telecast is a massive live production for NBC. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of television's oldest annual traditions.
(Pictured: Stars of Peacock comedy "Girls5eva" Paula Pell, Reneé Elise Goldsberry, Sara Bareilles and Busy Philipps take part in the 95th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade)” />
NBC followed the parade on its Thanksgiving Day lineup as usual with "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina." The two-hour special brought in 11.2 million viewers live and a 2.8 rating in adults 18-49.
repeat brought in a total of 25.4 million viewers and an impressive 6.4 rating in adults 18-49, according to early Nielsen fast nationals provided by NBC. That was slightly below the turnout of 25.9 million viewers for both telecasts in 2020, when the parade was produced only for TV because of COVID-19 pandemic. The three-hour special that aired 9 a.m.-noon in all time zones and the 2 p.m.-5 p.m.

As we move forward, we will continue to be guided by what the science and my medical team advises. For the world community: this news is a reminder that this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations. Update: President Biden has spoken out about the variant, taking to Twitter to write: "The @WHO has identified a new COVID variant which is spreading through Southern Africa. It is time for other countries to match our speed and generosity." has already donated more vaccines to other countries than every other country combined. As a precautionary measure until we have more information, I am ordering air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries. For now the best way to strengthen your protection if you’re already vaccinated is to get a booster shot, immediately. For those not yet fully vaccinated: get vaccinated today. The U.S.
The news was first reported by The New York Times.” />
"Minister Naledi Pandor said: 'Our immediate concern is the damage that this decision will cause to both the tourism industries and businesses of both countries.'" "Whilst South Africa respects the right of all countries to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their citizens, the UK’s decision to temporarily ban South Africans from entering the UK seems to have been rushed as even the World Health Organization is yet to advise on the next steps," the South Africa Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation wrote via a statement on their website.
"The variant has an unusually large number of mutations. Early indications show this variant may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and current vaccines may be less effective against it." "We are concerned that this new variant may pose a substantial risk to public health," he said. It’s the only variant with this designation, making it higher priority than Beta. Yesterday, the UK Health Security Agency classified B.1.1.529 as a new Variant Under Investigation and the Variant Technical Group has designated it as a Variant Under Investigation with Very High Priority. It shares many of the features of the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid gave a statement to Parliament today contextualizing what they know so far. Meanwhile, the U.K.
Stoked by fears of this mutating new variant that is thought to be more contagious than previous iterations, the DOW dropped by 900 points, or around 2.5%, when the markets opened on Friday, after being closed on Thanksgiving Day. Previously: A newly-identified COVID variant known as B.1.1.529 has quickly rocked the economy and disrupted international travel.
This also negatively impacted foreign financial markets. Meanwhile, several countries quickly closed down travel to South Africa, where the variant was first discovered, including Bahrain, Belgium, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore.
Despite the quick movement of countries like the U.K. to ban travel, South Africa asked for more time before "rushed" action is taken.
At this point, only a few dozen cases of B.1.1.529 have shown up in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel. Because it is so new, scientists aren't yet sure how vaccines will react against the variant. experts today to reveal what information they know about B.1.1.529. South African scientists are set to meet with W.H.O.

Aldrin was not charged. Dyer previously defended "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis, who had been charged with racketeering and child pornography, as well as astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who punched a conspiracy theorist who insisted the moon landing was fake.
Gaffer Serge Svetnoy also filed a claim stating that he was in close proximity to Baldwin when the shot was fired, causing him to suffer physical and emotional harm.
The L.A.-based Dyer will represent Baldwin, Rust Movie Productions and other production companies involved in the film. Dyer of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman for civil suits related to the "Rust" shooting, Variety has confirmed. Alec Baldwin has engaged the services of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron S.
The news was first reported in the Daily Journal.” />
21 near Santa Fe, N.M., after being told a prop gun was safe. The gun contained at least one live round, which killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. Baldwin, who was both starring in and serving as producer on the independent Western movie "Rust," fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Oct.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, names several crew members in addition to Baldwin and the film's producers. Two lawsuits have been filed so far — one by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who said she suffered "physical and emotional injuries" when Baldwin shot the film's cinematographer.
There has been no indication that Baldwin would face criminal charges for the shooting.
Her husband and son's attorney, Brian Panish of Panish, Shea, Boyle and Ravipudi, told the Daily Journal legal publication that the family was still in mourning and that the firm is conducting an "intensive investigation of the facts," including interviewing witnesses and meeting with the district attorney and law enforcement. Hutchins' family, however, has not yet filed a lawsuit.

The show started off with a minuscule six-episode order at NBC (not exactly a vote of confidence) and yada yada yada ended in 1998 with 76 million people tuning into the series finale.
Few shows have embedded themselves in the pop culture landscape more so than "Seinfeld," making things like "double dipper," "re-gifting," and "Festivus" household terms.
"Seinfeld" remains one of the definitive TV sitcoms of all time, forever altering the way comedy could be approached and what was acceptable behavior from characters you watched week in and week out.
While each of the show's 180 episodes is rife with hilarious jokes, here, Variety breaks down what we feel to be the best of the best.” />

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