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Gina Gershon and other members of the cast of Woody Allen’s new film defended working with the director, calling the opportunity “a dream come true.”

“It’s a beautiful script; a dream come true,” Gershon said in a press conference Tuesday. “These are crazy times; one has to analyze the situation and decide how you feel; I’m delighted to be part of this team.”

Filming on Allen’s film, under the working title of “Rifkin’s Festival,” begins Wednesday and is scheduled to wrap by Aug. 20. The project stars the previously announced Christoph Waltz, Wallace Shawn, Elena Anaya, Louis Garrel, Gershon and Sergi López.

Woody Allen is set to begin production on his 51st film in San Sebastian, Spain.

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Allen was also on hand for the press conference, and he described “Rifkin’s Festival” as “a romantic comedy about some folks from the United States who arrive at the San Sebastian Film Festival, and what happens has a comical resonance to what takes place here.” He added that the city in the Gipuzkoa region of Spain is like a character in the film.

Allen was asked at the press conference whether he would one day consider retiring.

“I’ve always focused on my work and that absorbs my brain,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what’s happened to my wife, my children and politics. I’ll probably drop dead in the middle of setting up a sequence.”

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Like Gershon, Anaya similarly referred to the script as “the most beautiful story” she had ever read and praised working with Allen.

“It’s a day-dream, because Woody is a genius, he’s endearing and a legend; It has been a huge pleasure to be directed by him,” Anaya said.

“He discovered me and there’s a special magic about filming with him once again,” Wallace Shawn, who has collaborated with Allen in the past, said of working with the director. “It’s something very beautiful; because it’s his dream and we walk through that dream.”

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Allen describes “Rifkin’s Festival” as a “tribute to cinema” and follows a couple during the San Sebastian film festival in which the woman has an affair with a brilliant French director and the man falls in love with a Spanish woman living in the city.

The MediaPro Studio, an offshoot of the MediaPro Group, will co-produce the film. They previously collaborated with Allen on his globe trotting films “Midnight in Paris,” “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

Allen’s 50th film “A Rainy Day in New York,” starring Elle Fanning and Timotheé Chalamet, is reportedly being released in several international territories despite being caught in distribution limbo in the U.S. after Amazon nixed its distribution deal with Allen.

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Italy’s Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival, which is dedicated to cinematic treasures of the past, last week wrapped its 33rd edition with a record-breaking turnout. Long a summer fixture for vintage film geeks and distributors it also draws prominent contemporary cinema personalities. This year these included Academy president John Bailey, Francis Ford Coppola, Nicolas Winding Refn, Jane […] | 7/3/19

Keanu Reeves was among the 19 Hollywood actors and filmmakers who signed their names to a statement condemning an attack by fascists on the Italian cinema group Piccolo America.

According to Italian media reports, the attack occurred in the Rome neighborhood of Trastevere during a June 16 outdoor screening of Paul Schrader’s film “First Reformed.” Four members of the group were attacked for wearing the film collective’s shirts, which the attackers were reported as believing  were “anti-fascist.” Five men have been detained in connection to the assault, with at least one of them being connected to the youth wing of Italy’s neo-fascist political party CasaPound.

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In response, Piccolo America posted a statement on their Facebook page signed by Reeves, Schrader and recent Oscar winners Spike Lee, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron, among others.

“It is unacceptable that there is still someone that thinks they can impose their view through the use of violence,” read the statement in Italian. “We can’t accept a wound of this kind, inflicted not only to the world of art and cinema but to the whole world.”

“We express our solidarity to the youth attacked in Rome, as well as the experience of the Cinema America and all young people who create a dialogue between the world of art and people.”

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The group’s founder, Valerio Carocci, also condemned the attack in an interview with IndieWire.

“We are under attack because we can talk to the vast majority of people in a very bipartisan way,” Carocci said. “It is pretty clear that all over the world right now, there is some message going on that the use of private violence is OK.”

Piccolo America is continuing its outdoor screenings throughout the summer, including a presentation of the “Star Wars” film “The Empire Strikes Back” on Sunday night.

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For decades, Italy’s box office has suffered the summertime blues due to a scarcity of blockbusters from the Hollywood studios, which noted that Italian audiences were more interested in going to the beach than a movie theater. However, that is changing. The Filming Italy Sardegna Festival, which runs June 13-16 and is Italy’s single start […] | 6/13/19

Quentin Tarantino has loomed over this year’s Cannes Film Festival ever since the lineup was announced on April 18 and he wasn’t on it. At the press conference to reveal this year’s slate, Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux went out of his way to say that Tarantino’s film, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” was missing from the lineup simply because it wasn’t finished, and that he hoped Tarantino would complete the editing in time to bring it to Cannes.

He did finish and he did bring it. Boy, did he bring it.

Tuesday turned into Tarantino Day on the Croisette, with hordes of passholders clamoring, pushing and shoving to get into the first press screening and tickets at a premium for the official premiere. (It was also the only competition film to be excluded from the early morning press screenings restricted to a limited number of outlets.)

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Tarantino has begged the press not to include any spoilers in reviews, and he had a Cannes official do the same on stage before the press screening began. (The announcement drew a few boos.) But it’s no spoiler (and probably no surprise, either) to say that “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” is big, brash, ridiculous, too long, and in the end, invigorating. It’s a grand playground for the director to further fetishize old pop culture, to break things and hurt people, and to bring a wide-eyed glee and a robust sense of perversity to the whole craft of moviemaking.

But it also, curiously, shares a kinship with Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory,” a delicate memory piece that is one of the most moving films in the Cannes competition. Almodovar’s film is the work of a lion in winter, a director in a moment of crisis and reflection looking back on his life and career with regret and longing. Tarantino’s film could scarcely be more dissimilar stylistically, but you can see it as the work of a 56-year-old artist wondering about his place in a changing industry.

At least, that’s what his main character is doing. Rick Dalton is a hugely successful TV actor in the 1950s and early ’60s who wants to be more than that – but the industry is changing, and he’s not sure how he fits. (His options, basically, seem to be playing guest villains on TV series or heading to Italy to make sub-Leone spaghetti Westerns.)

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Rick’s stunt double, aide de camp and best friend, Cliff Booth, has no such fears; he knows exactly who he is and what he can do, and even a slumping career (since his fate is inextricably tied to Rick’s) doesn’t seem to faze the guy.

The roles are as juicy as they come, and Leonardo DiCaprio (Rick) and Brad Pitt (Cliff) know exactly what to do with them. The spectacular talkiness of previous Tarantino films is in shorter supply in “Once Upon a Time” – but whether it’s Rick describing the plot of a Western novel to an 8-year-old co-star or Cliff facing off against a blowhard Bruce Lee, there are enough gems scattered throughout the film to make this worthy of the DiCaprio’s and Pitt’s first onscreen time together.

The film covers six months in 1969, but it’s filled with homages to (or outright re-creations of) old TV shows, old movies, old advertising jingles: Tarantino indulges in his obsessions as he gets to direct all the stuff he loved as a kid. He also gets to recreate the Hollywood of 1969 by tracking down just about every neon sign that still exists from that era, and re-dressing stretches of Hollywood Boulevard to look like the street of his memories.

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(Back when the film was being shot, plenty of people were nitpicking about how Tarantino was using marquees and stores that aren’t actually 1969-appropriate – but if you think the guy has any interest in being a stickler for history, you haven’t been watching his previous movies.)

The Tarantino jukebox gets the kind of workout it hasn’t since “Pulp Fiction” (Roy Head! Paul Revere and the Raiders! Neil Diamond! Vanilla Fudge!), and for almost two hours and 40 minutes, Rick and Cliff wrestle with career and personal problems and, yes, cross paths both with Sharon Tate (Rick’s next door neighbor, played by Margot Robbie) and the Manson family (who host a memorable visit from Cliff).

The film takes its time, to the point where at times it starts to feel sluggish – but even the slower moments have delicious touches or wonderful cameos (ladies and gentlemen, Bruce Freakin’ Dern!) And slowly but surely, this bravura homage builds up to … something.

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And that’s where the film becomes difficult to write about. Tarantino doesn’t want reviewers revealing “anything that would prevent later audiences from experiencing this film in the same way” that we did, and it’s probably inevitable that I’ve already done that. But I’m not going to say anymore, because he’s right that the film needs to be experienced with fresh eyes, and its spectacular conclusion shouldn’t be foreshadowed.

Suffice it to say that “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” (those ellipses are important, people) is Quentin Tarantino’s most contemplative movie until it isn’t.

Happy Tarantino Day, Cannes.

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This weekend, a European phenomenon is back — though Americans may have to hunt for clips on YouTube or seek out a VPN and watch via another country’s home broadcaster.

The Eurovision Song Contest, a cross between “The X Factor” and the Miss Universe pageant that offers Yanks a glimpse of what it’s like to be in a culture that doesn’t have jazz and blues as the foundation of its pop music.

For those who’ve never seen — or even heard of Eurovision — before, here’s a quick primer to get you caught up.

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What exactly is this contest?
Eurovision began as an idea back in the mid-1950s as a way for Europe to come together after World War II had ripped it apart. It was a pretty revolutionary effort for its time. Television was still the Wild West of communications and the Olympics hadn’t yet become an international broadcasting event. Eurovision was one of the first major attempts to hold an event that people from a wide range of countries could watch. With that in mind, the organizers wanted each country to showcase a song that was indicative of their culture.

That sounds like a pretty noble goal.
Yes … but it was also very out of touch with what was happening with music at the time. Rock ‘n’ roll was beginning to take root and The Beatles would take the world by storm just a few years after Eurovision’s inception. This meant that Eurovision’s lineup of ballads and cultural pieces quickly felt antiquated compared to the rock revolution that was going on in the charts. And that was six decades ago … the entries would only get weirder from there.

How weird?
For starters, there was once a rule implemented on and off over the years stating that participants could only enter songs that were in their country’s main language. When that rule was in effect, some countries found a loophole: give the song a hook that involves complete gibberish. Songs with titles like “Boom Boom” and “Diggi-loo Diggi-ley” poured out while the home-language rule was in effect.

Then there are the artists themselves. As Eurovision has evolved, more and more ridiculous acts have come out of the woodwork. Finnish monster-rock bands, Russian grandmas and Latvian pirates are among the acts that have performed for a TV audience of hundreds of millions in recent Eurovisions. And that Finnish monster rock band actually won.

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Jeez! So is this just some musical freak show?
Well … let’s be fair. While there’s always been some silly novelty acts, there’s also some solid bits of Europop on hand every year from genuinely talented folks. Sweden won in 2012 with “Euphoria,” a soaring dance track by “Idol” contestant Loreen that went multi-platinum in her country after her victory.

There’s also a small handful of top stars on the winners’ list you might recognize. ABBA used Eurovision as a launch pad to stardom in 1974 with their song “Waterloo,” and French-Canadian Celine Dion’s win in 1988 was her biggest claim to fame before “Titanic” came out. Quality — or at least creativity — does tend to win out at Eurovision.

OK, so how does this contest work?
First, all the countries have a national contest where they vote on which song will represent at Eurovision. The participants are divided up into two semifinals, with the exception of the host nation and the “Big Five” countries — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. — who automatically qualify for the final.  They are joined by the 10 countries that get the most votes in each semifinal. In the final, all 26 countries get three minutes to make a good impression, and then the whole continent votes “Idol”-style (not for their home country, of course), as do professional juries for each country.

Then the show transitions to a long procession of national “ambassadors” reading out who each country gave their votes to. The top 10 performers in each country’s vote get points, with 12 points going to the top vote-getter, followed by 10 and then eight down to one for the rest of the order. The same goes with the juries, but with 10 points going to the performer in first place.

And what does the performer with the most points win?
This trophy. Oh, and their country gets to host the competition next year.

What? No prize money? No contract? No vague promises of superstardom?
Nope. The winners do get their 15 minutes of fame and some success on the charts, but beyond ABBA and Celine, Eurovision winners almost never have long-term success. Again, Eurovision long ago moved away from the sort of music that leaves a lasting cultural impact.

Even now, a good chunk of the acts are homogenous power ballads that can blur together when performed in succession. Still, Eurovision is worth watching just for the spectacle of it all. The Disneyland-esque sweetness of the proceedings is charming, and the lack of stakes for the performers keeps it feeling light and fun rather than a battle for wealth, glory, and continental supremacy.

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It has also made headlines in recent years that have allowed it to take steps beyond the realm of annual oddities like the Running of the Bulls. The winner in 2014 was gay Austrian singer Thomas Neuwirth, who performed as drag queen superstar Conchita Wurst. The victory transformed Conchita into an LGBT icon in Europe, even as Russian conservatives raged in fury and used the singer as an example of why Russia shouldn’t be a part of the EU. For all of Eurovision’s platitudes about tolerance and peace, this was a moment where those ideals were actually acted upon, even if it meant breaking the general tone of inoffensiveness.

If it’s supposed to be European, why is Australia a competitor?
It turns out that Eurovision has a major cult following in Australia, and they were invited to compete several years ago as a thanks for all the support down under. The expansion of the European Union means countries like Azerbaijan and Israel get to compete too.

So…if all these countries that aren’t strictly European are competing, does this mean we may be seeing the USA compete in Eurovision soon?
Eh…don’t count on it.

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“Pasolini” is not a biopic of the late Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (played here by Willem Dafoe). The complicated director of “The Gospel According to St. Matthew,” “Teorema” and “Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom” (a scene involving its editing opens the film) was more personality than a 90-minute movie could handle. Any filmed biography presuming to grapple with the whole of his life would beg to be, at least, a limited TV series.

This is, perhaps, one reason why director Abel Ferrara (“Bad Lieutenant”) has scripted (with Maurizio Braucci, “Gomorrah”) a 24-hour ticking clock that mostly ignores chronology and backstory. It’s the final day of Pasolini’s life, presented as part historical detail and part imagined glimpse into the man’s mind, and it culminates, as it must, in his brutal murder at age 53.

Fittingly, to touch on the life of a man who was a writer, a filmmaker, a philosopher, a Communist, an atheist, and openly gay in a time when it was still quite unsafe to be so, Ferrara has constructed a kaleidoscope, a fragmented collection of moments that don’t explain Pasolini’s life as much as they quietly live in seemingly haphazard juxtaposition and admiration for the artist’s intellectual rigor.

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Pasolini works on “Salo,” he types, he sits for an interview, he interacts with “Teorema” actor Ninetto Davoli (Riccardo Scamarcio, “John Wick: Chapter 2”), he plays soccer, he cruises for sex, he eats dinner with his mother (Adriana Asti, “The Best of Youth”) and his friend, the actor Laura Betti (who appeared in “Teorema,” and eventually directed a documentary about Pasolini, and who is played here by Maria de Medeiros).

He imagines scenes from a novel he’s writing, as well as scenes from a film he wants to make — in a sly casting move, one that features a character played by the real Ninetto Davoli — and then, late at night, he takes the wrong young man to the beach for sex.

These fragments of activity, the intentional absence of traditional narrative continuity, the disinterest in easy biography or reasons why the man was who he was, even the choice to present occasional scenes without English subtitles, are not why “Pasolini” is frustrating. Ferrara makes sure that his hero gets to speak to the ugly authoritarian times in which he lived, reminding viewers that Pasolini’s tough-minded philosophical stances — summed up in the interview scene with Dafoe delivering ominous warnings about humanity’s desire to possess, control and destroy — are as relevant now as they were 45 years ago.

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It’s a daring structural gamble, one that works on its own terms, and one that will also thoroughly confuse anyone unfamiliar with Pasolini’s life and work. But with this determination to eschew simple explanations, to avoid being reductive about the cause and effect of an artist’s work and life, and to remain true to the cloudy circumstances surrounding Pasolini’s murder, comes a troubling directorial decision to turn the man’s death into a symbol — of what is unclear.

It’s a gay-bashing, conducted by a group of men on a beach; whether or not it was, as some believe, a politically motivated assassination, or simply the fallout of a cultural politic that works to dehumanize all queer people, the camera sees fit to linger. It sticks around for the beating, the crushing of the skull, and then for the body being run over by a car. It’s almost as fetishistic as the death Dafoe endured in “The Last Temptation of Christ,” and it serves to upstage everything that comes before it.

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It’s a muddled final punishment that wants to evoke the grueling tortures of “Salo,” and to amplify an earlier line in the script spoken by Dafoe: “There’s nothing that isn’t political.” But with only Dafoe’s calmly defiant line readings to set the stage — he’s reserved throughout in a confident performance that deserves a movie with much more narrative and contextual meat on its bones — the agonizing scene plays as an invitation to pity rather than to rage.

A history of cruelty and obliteration of those who would dissent and work against religion-based authoritarianism, a history embodied by the destruction of a man whose life was marked by this very dissent and refusal, becomes, in “Pasolini,” part of another troubling cinematic history, one that kills gay characters in the last act.

Yes, it really happened, but whether based on true stories or not — and so many of them are not — “Pasolini” reluctantly takes its place in a cinema of admonition that turns human lives lived against oppressive opposition into simplistic warnings against having sex on the beach. The man deserves better.

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The internet started to take on momentum in the 1990s. At that time many analysts, myself included, marveled at the opportunity of creating a platform that would boost grassroot democracy. There was no need for a middleman and there were few barriers to ordinary people becoming involved. This included organizing groups, discussions and events, sharing knowledge, insights and information, publishing opinions — just some of the potential attached to the internet. And for the first two decades, this basically was what happened, in a very positive and constructive way. It did disrupt several business, social and political models but that that was seen as 'a new broom sweeping clean.'

All of that is still happening — and as a matter of fact, it has only increased. However, at the same time, the ugly side of humanity has moved into this area as well. They all jumped on the bandwagon — cheats, plain criminals, misogynists, racists and bullies. This was very unfortunate, but it became serious when more organized misuse of the internet began to take place. This is undermining democracy and democratic processes; many people began to say enough is enough.

Most of the misuse is aimed at generating fake traffic that leads to extra advertising income or click income on YouTube for instance. In proportion to overall internet activity the other, serious political misuse is significantly less. It has, however, far deeper negative consequences. It is using manipulation to set people against each other. It interferes with democratic processes such as elections and undermines democratic institutions.

This criminal internet activity happens more or less in parallel with broader traditional forms of manipulations and is not limited to the internet. The fake news activities and the undermining of democratic institutions are for example carried out by President Trump without the internet. The same is happening in countries such as Britain, Turkey, Hungary, Poland and Italy, to name just a few.

There is no doubt that the internet has become an important tool to create division, hatred and conflict. This has more to do with human behaviour than with technology. Addressing only the technology element of this problem will not solve the much more serious underlying issues.

Division, lies, hatred, fake news, racism and conflict are being used by our leaders in public. It is then not difficult to understand that people perceive this as a license to do the same, with or without technology.

It is important to state that it is not the internet that is causing all of this. So far the internet has created far more positive than negative outcomes, and we need to preserve what's best about it. Most importantly, this includes the freedom for people to express themselves. Equally important is that entrepreneurs can innovate and build new business models. At the same time, we need to ensure that we protect society from broader harm.

We can look at what we have done with other tools that we use — tools like guns, cars, chemicals and drugs. All these products and services can have negatives associated with them. What we have done over the years to address this is to build elements into these products and services to limit the risk and increase safety.

This has been done through the hard work of everyone involved: the government and industry, as well as the users/consumers. As an example, look at cars in the 1970s. They killed 3 to 4 times more people than they do now, and our population has nearly doubled over that period. How did this change happen? Partly through regulation, partly through better products, and partly through human behaviour.

Have we, as a result, eliminated all the harmful elements of motor cars? No, of course not. But the risks have been reduced considerably over those years. This to such a level that the negative (e.g., death by car accidents) seems to be acceptable to most of us. Is that enough? No, it isn't. And so we are still trying to improve, through the combined efforts of government, industry and us, the people.

We will also have to begin to develop similar processes in relation to the internet. However, before we know what we need to do, we will first have to drill down to where the problems are and work out who can do what in addressing the issues.

Starting with the government, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned the need for a more active role for governments and regulators. He suggested the need for an update of the rules for the internet. In particularly in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.

In relation to the industry, he recommends starting with data manipulation aimed at defrauding the internet companies. Here the social media companies have a vested interest in tackling that problem themselves as fraud cost them money. The tools that they develop to minimize this can also be used to address other data manipulation issues — for example, interferences in elections and fake news. As Zuckerburg indicated, the government will also have to play a key role in setting up the rules for this. This will also need to be done at international levels.

It will remain a cat and mouse situation. New — more sophisticated — technologies to combat this will be developed, and they will be circumvented by criminals, and this process will continue. In the end, criminal interferences will be greatly reduced. The reason being that it simply becomes too costly for many of the groups to come up with their own tools to crack the ones developed by industry. The best hope here is for a managed situation, similar to those that have been created to manage other potentially dangerous tools, as in the motor car example.

A challenging issue here is the fact that what is harmful to one society, culture or religion is not necessarily the same for another group. A real threat — or even perhaps a reality — is that this would lead to a further regionalization of the internet. Countries such as China, Iran and North Korea have already created their own walls around the internet, and Russia is also trying to build its wall.

Another issue in relation to the industry is whether some of these companies are becoming too dominant and are showing monopolistic tendencies. A very human reaction to this is that we don't tolerate monopolies. We, therefore, need to start looking at industry legislation, be it anti-trust remedies, breaking up companies or other solutions.

Lastly, we also need to drill down on the people's side. We need to identify and address what causes the problematic behaviour of those misusing the internet before we can address these issues. Education and information at schools and elsewhere will be important. They will deliver longer-term positive outcomes.

Full-blown criminal behavior, racism, hate speech and the like are already punishable under existing laws. Our enforcement agencies, however, are still not well-equipped to address Internet-based crimes as effectively as they address similar crimes conducted in more traditional ways.

I am sometimes alerted by people who read my analyses to information or activities that are of an illegal or criminal nature. I report them to the appropriate authorities, but I have never received an answer from them. And if one goes to a police station to report internet abuse that will still too often elicit a blank look from the officer at the desk.

In order to get the people on board here, they need to be supported by well-functioning institutions. They should be able to take effective action against individuals that are crossing the line online. At the moment there is a feeling among the public that they are losing control over some of the central mechanisms of their lives. In the case of the internet, the lives of most people have been improved, and it has created lots of new economic activity. At the same time, it is also clear that the negatives of technology are such that people are not comfortable with the risks and safety issues. Comparing this with the example of motor cars, it is obvious that more work is needed. And whether we like it or not, people want action now.

So far this is resulting in some countries introducing broad and vague sweeping laws. Laws which are not implemented effectively, because it is impossible to do so while they are still being written. We clearly need to improve on that.

This will become increasingly apparent as time goes on. My colleagues in America say that the problems with the hastily introduced social media legislation will soon become evident in Australia. Other countries will learn from these mistakes and will adopt more realistic legislation to safeguard innovation, economic growth and freedom of speech. These core democratic elements seem to become the casualties of bad legislation. With a lack of effective self-regulation from the digital media giants, there is however no doubt that major changes to these negative elements in the use of the of the Internet will increasingly be regulated and legislated.

Written by Paul Budde, Managing Director of Paul Budde Communication | 4/24/19
"This is madness! Total madness." Kino Lorber has debuted the trailer for the documentary Walking on Water, about legendary maverick artist Christo. With uncensored access to Christo and his team, the doc film is a "cinema vérité look at the celebrated artist and his process, from inception to completion of 2016’s most visited art event—The Floating Piers, a stretched 2-mile dahlia-yellow walkway that allowed over 1.2 million visitors to safely walk across stretches of Italy’s Lake Iseo to experience the sensation of floating and walking on water." You may have seen photos of this remarkable large-scale work of art, but there's also a remarkable story about how it came together - and almost fell apart. "The film takes the viewer on a journey into Christo's world, unmediated by interviews, voice-overs or reenactments, drawing a portrait of an artist who deliberately places visceral experience over demagogy." It's also described as an intimate look at "a man chasing (and eventually realizing) a ...

Spyglass Media Group has made its first big creative hire, bringing in Lauren Whitney as president of television. She will begin April 1.

Spyglass Media Group is the joint venture between Gary Barber’s Spyglass and Lantern Entertainment. In July 2018, Lantern acquired the assets of The Weinstein Company out of bankruptcy for $289 million. It walked away with three unreleased films after haggling with filmmakers and producers over the rights to several of the projects, and a library of content.

In this role, Whitney is charged with overseeing television development and production for broadcast, cable and OTT services, and invigorating the company’s IP and library titles. She was most recently in the same role at Miramax. Prior to that, Whitney was the president of Scripted Television at Legendary Entertainment and was a TV agent at WME before that.

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Through the new venture, Spyglass will own and control all of Lantern Entertainment’s current assets, including a wealth of development projects and more than 250 film library titles, as well as scripted and unscripted television series. One such series, “Project Runway,” which will return home to Bravo for its 17th season when it premieres March 14.

“There is extraordinary opportunity for a well-capitalized, independent premium content company that controls IP, and can be agile and aggressive in its deal-making,” Whitney said. “Gary has an exceptional track record and an ambitious plan for the future of Spyglass. I am thrilled to be joining his team.”

The partnership, which includes Italy’s largest indie distributor Eagle Pictures and Cineworld Group — one of the world’s largest cinema chains — as strategic investors, creates an independent premium content company that comes with a majority investment from Lantern.

Also Read: Lantern Entertainment Partners With Gary Barber to Launch Spyglass Media Group

Headquartered in Century City, the company will be led by Barber, who will serve as chairman and CEO and oversee all operations.

“Lauren has discerning taste, stellar industry relationships, and has overseen production on a variety of compelling series across all platforms,” Barber added. “We are fortunate to have Lauren’s talents and creative leadership as we build on our television business.”

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Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” has been named the best European film of 2018 at the European Film Awards, which were handed out on Saturday in Seville, Spain.

The decade-spanning drama, which was inspired by the stormy relationship between Pawlikowski’s parents, also won awards for its director, screenplay, lead actress (Joanna Kulig) and editor.

Marcello Fonte won the best-actor award for “Dogman,” which also took awards for its costume design and hair and makeup.

Also Read: 'Cold War' Film Review: Romance in Postwar Europe Is Ravishing and Haunted

Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of Stalin” was named the best European comedy, while “Bergman – A Year in a Life” won for documentary, and “Another Day of Life” won for animated film.

Four of the Best European Film Award nominees — “Border,” “Cold War,” “Dogman” and “Girl” — are the foreign-language Oscar entries from Sweden, Poland, Italy and Belgium, respectively. The fifth, “Happy as Lazzaro,” played in Cannes but was bypassed as Italy’s Oscar selection in favor of “Dogman.”

No film that has won the European Film Award for best film has ever won the Best Picture Oscar, though three (“The Full Monty,” “Life Is Beautiful” and “Amour”) have been nominated. Six EFA winners — “Life Is Beautiful,” “All About My Mother,” “The Lives of Others,” “Amour,” “The Great Beauty” and “Ida” — have won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Also Read: 'The Favourite' Dominates the British Independent Film Awards

The 2018 European Film Award winners:

Best European Film: “Cold War”
European Director: Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
European Comedy: “The Death of Stalin”
European Actor: Marcello Fonte, “Dogman”
European Actress: Joanna Kulig, “Cold War”

European Screenwriter: Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
European Documentary: “Bergman –A Year in a Life”
European Animated Film: “Another Day of Life”
European Short Film: “The Years”
European Discovery/Prix Fipresci: “Girl”

European Cinematographer: Martin Otterbeck “U-July 22”
European Editor: Jaroslaw Kaminski, “Cold War”
European Production Designer: Andrey Ponkratov, “The Summer”
European Costume Designer: Massimo Cantini Parrini, “Dogman”
European Hair and Make-Up Artist: Dalia Colli, Lorenzo Tamburini & Daniela Tartari, “Dogman”
European Composer
: Christoph M. Kaiser and Julian Maas, “3 Days in Quiberon”
European Sound Designer: Andre Bendocci-Alves and Martin Steyer, “The Captain”
European Visual Effects Supervisor: Peter Hjorth, “Border”

EFA People’s Choice Award: “Call Me by Your Name”
European Achievement in World Cinema: Ralph Fiennes
EFA Lifetime Achievement Award: Carmen Maura
Honorary Award: Costa-Gavras

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Martin Scorsese says that Bernardo Bertolucci, the Italian director who passed away Monday, both “inspired” and “opened many doors” for him as a director.

In the wake of Bertolucci’s death, Scorsese said in a statement that he first saw Bertolucci’s 1964 film “Before the Revolution” in Italy and came out of the theater “in a daze, speechless.”

“I was truly stunned and moved by the level of sheer artistry and talent up there on the screen, I was shocked by the freedom of the picture, I was somewhat mystified by so many of the cultural references and cross-references, and, as someone who wanted to make films, I was inspired,” Scorsese said.

Also Read: Hollywood Remembers Bernardo Bertolucci as a 'Giant of Italian Filmmaking'

He also applauded Bertolucci’s “The Conformist,” “Last Tango in Paris,” “The Last Emperor” and “The Sheltering Sky” as films that had a profound influence on Hollywood filmmaking and even reinvented historical epics.

Scorsese also noted that it saddened him to see Bertolucci in a wheelchair in the late stages of his life, presuming that the late director desired to make many more films.

“When I think of him, I will always see an eternally young man,” Scorsese added.

In 2010, the two directors attended a Gucci dinner for the restoration of Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” as seen in the photo above.

Also Read: 'Last Tango in Paris' Director Calls Rape Outcry 'Ridiculous Misunderstanding'

Read Scorsese’s full statement below:

“In 1964, I went up to Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the 2nd New York Film Festival to see a new film from Italy. It was called ‘Before the Revolution’ and it was by a young director named Bernardo Bertolucci. I came out of the theater in a daze, speechless. I was truly stunned and moved by the level of sheer artistry and talent up there on the screen, I was shocked by the freedom of the picture, I was somewhat mystified by so many of the cultural references and cross-references, and, as someone who wanted to make films, I was inspired. ‘Before the Revolution’ opened many doors for me, and for many other young filmmakers as well. And Bertolucci kept on opening doors–with ‘The Conformist,’ which had a profound influence on Hollywood moviemaking; with ‘Last Tango in Paris,’ an explosive cultural event; with ‘The Last Emperor’ and ‘The Sheltering Sky,’ which reinvented the historical epic.

When I think of Bertolucci–the man, the artist–the word that comes to mind is refinement. Yes, he was flamboyant and provocative, but it was the mellifluousness and the grace with which he expressed himself, and his deep understanding of his own history and culture, that made his filmmaking and his presence so special, so magical.

Bernardo was in a wheelchair for the last years of his life, and it was extremely difficult for him to get around. It saddened all of us who knew him, because he had so much more that he wanted to do, and probably so many more films to make. When I think of him, I will always see an eternally young man.”

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Hollywood is paying their respects to Bernardo Bertolucci, the famed Italian art-house director who died Monday at age of 77 after battling cancer.

Filmmakers and critics celebrated his life’s work, which included films “Last Tango in Paris,” “The Last Emperor” and “The Conformist,” in tributes on Monday morning.

“Farewell to Bernardo Bertolucci, Honorary Palme at #Cannes2011 for his entire career after chairing the Jury in 1990,” the official account of the Cannes Film Festival tweeted. “A giant of Italian filmmaking, he will remain forever a leading light in world cinema.”

Also Read: Bernardo Bertolucci, 'Last Tango in Paris' Director, Dies at 77

Director Guillermo Del Toro took the time to rank his top three Bertolucci films, starting with “The Conformist,” followed by “1900” and “The Last Emperor.”

Bertolucci won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for “The Last Emperor” and was also nominated in that category for “Last Tango in Paris.” Thomas Schlamme, president of the DGA, said this in a statement following Bertolucci’s passing:

“Bernardo turned mainstream cinema on its ear more than once during his long and inspiring career.  His films were provocative, meticulous and courageous.  In ‘The Last Emperor,’ for which he won the DGA Award, Bertolucci majestically captured turn-of-the-century China during a time of political and cultural transition–the result was epic filmmaking at its most masterful. Upon accepting the award, Bertolucci shared a quote about cinema that continues to inspire so many directors: ‘Maybe I’m an idealist, but I still think of the movie theater as a cathedral where we all go together to dream the dream together.’ He will forever stand as inspiration for many generations of filmmakers to come.”

Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris,” starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, was banned in his native Italy and re-cut in several other countries — including the United States — due to its sexual violence. But it also garnered renewed attention when a series of headlines misconstrued a quote by Bertolucci saying that the film’s rape scene was nonconsensual. At the time Bertolucci called the accusations a “ridiculous misunderstanding,” but it sparked a debate about the appropriate way to film such scenes.

Below, see some of the outpouring of support from critics and filmmakers including Alex Gibney, Carl Weathers and more.

Also Read: Bernardo Bertolucci Scorns Ridley Scott for Replacing Kevin Spacey in 'All the Money in the World'

Farewell to Bernardo Bertolucci, Honorary Palme at #Cannes2011 for his entire career after chairing the Jury in 1990. Before the Revolution, The Conformist, 1900, Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man… A giant of Italian filmmaking, he will remain forever a leading light in world cinema.

— Festival de Cannes (@Festival_Cannes) November 26, 2018

"I accept all interpretations of my films. The only reality is before the camera." R.I.P. Bernardo Bertolucci (1941-2018)

— Film Society of Lincoln Center (@FilmLinc) November 26, 2018

RIP Bernardo Bertolucci. I've seen 1900 a few times and each time I've been blown away by its ambition & energy. As Pauline Kael said, it made other films look like "something you hold up at the end of a toothpick." What a run he had in the '70s, with The Conformist & Last Tango.

— Philip Concannon (@Phil_on_Film) November 26, 2018

RIP Bernardo Bertolucci. In addition to his great works as a director, he wrote the screenplay for a "Marxist western," "Once Upon a Time in the West," one of my favorite films.

— Alex Gibney (@alexgibneyfilm) November 26, 2018

My top 3 Bertolucci:

1- The Conformist
2- 1900
3- The Last Emperor

— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) November 26, 2018

"The Conformist" by Bertolucci, one of the Coen Brothers' favorite films.

— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) November 26, 2018

RIP Bertolucci. THE CONFORMIST and THE LAST EMPEROR are classics imprinted on my soul, but his biggest impact on me was in 2001 when I was an intern for his producer Jeremy Thomas. Bertolucci was doing rehearsals for THE DREAMERS…

— Keith Calder (@keithcalder) November 26, 2018

RIP, Maestro, Bernardo Bertolucci. From The Conformist to Last Tango to The Last Emperor, your brilliance resonates with yours truly. #BePeace

— Carl Weathers (@TheCarlWeathers) November 26, 2018

A moment of beauty from THE LAST EMPEROR in honour of Italian director and screenwriter Bernardo Bertolucci, who passed away today (1941–2018).

— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) November 26, 2018

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“If Beale Street Could Talk,” “You Were Never Really Here,” “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed” and “Leave No Trace” have been nominated as the best independent films of 2018 by the Film Independent Spirit Awards, which announced its nominees on Friday morning in Los Angeles.

In one of the most evenly spread Spirit Awards fields ever, “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed,” “You Were Never Really Here” and “We the Animals” each received four nominations, while “Beale Street,” “Leave No Trace,” “Private Life” and “The Tale” each received three.

“Madeline’s Madeline,” “Hereditary,” “Sorry to Bother You” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” each received two nominations.

Also Read: CMA Awards 2018: The Complete Winners List

Acting noms went to several presumed Oscar contenders, including Glenn Close for “The Wife,” Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Richard E. Grant for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Adam Driver for “BlacKkKlansman,” along with Thomasin Harcourt Mckenzie for “Leave No Trace,” Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton for “Eighth Grade,” Daveed Diggs for “Blindspotting” and Carey Mulligan for “Wildlife.”

In the Best First Feature category, the nominees were “Hereditary,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “The Tale,” “We the Animals” and “Wildlife.”

To qualify for the Spirit Awards, a film must meet a variety of criteria, including having a budget of less than $20 million. It must also contain “significant American content,”  a requirement that can be fulfilled by having the film set and shot in the U.S. or by having U.S. citizens or permanent residents in two of the three creative positions of director, writer and producer.

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This year, major Oscar contenders “Roma” and “The Favourite” didn’t meet the American-content requirement and were eligible only in the Best International Film category. They were both nominated in the category, along with “Burning,” “Happy as Lazzaro” and “Shoplifters.”

The Oscar-contending films that did not qualify for the Spirit Awards because of budgetary reasons include “Black Panther,” “Vice,” “Beautiful Boy,” “Widows,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Mary Queen of Scots.”

Spirit Award nominations are made by a variety of nominating committees rather than a vote of the entire membership. The final voting is open to all the members of Film Independent, which is a mixture of film professionals and movie fans who pay an annual fee.

Also Read: E's People Choice Awards 2018: Complete Winners List

Last year, three of the Spirit Awards’ five Best Feature nominees went on to receive Oscar nominations for Best Picture, while nine of the 20 acting nominees were also singled out by the Academy, including winners Frances McDormand, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell.

Since the Oscars expanded to more than five Best Picture nominees in 2009, there has never been a year in which at least one of the Spirits Awards nominees did not also receive an Oscar nom in the top category. The high was four films nominated for both awards, which happened in 2010 and again in 2014.

In the first 26 years of the Spirit Awards’ existence, its Best Feature winner only went on to win the Best Picture Oscar once, when “Platoon” did it in 1986. But beginning in 2012, the two awards agreed five times in six years, including four in a row from 2014 through 2017. That streak came to an end last year, when “Get Out” won the Spirit Award but lost to “The Shape of Water” at the Oscars.

Also Read: 'Minding the Gap' Leads All Films in Nominations for Cinema Eye Honors

This year’s nominations were announced at a press conference by Molly Shannon and Gemma Chan.

The 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23 and will be broadcast live on IFC.

The nominees:

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Debra Granik, LEAVE NO TRACE
Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE


Christian Malheiros, SOCRATES

Glenn Close, THE WIFE
Toni Collette, HEREDITARY
Elsie Fisher, EIGHTH GRADE
Carey Mulligan, WILDLIFE

Raúl Castillo, WE THE ANIMALS
Josh Hamilton, EIGHTH GRADE
John David Washington, MONSTERS AND MEN

Kayli Carter, PRIVATE LIFE
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE
J. Smith-Cameron, NANCY


ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (given to one film’s director, casting directors and ensemble cast)


BURNING (South Korea)
THE FAVOURITE (United Kingdom)
ROMA (Mexico)

Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates & Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS
Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill & Julian Hart, AMERICAN ANIMALS
Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Levy, THE TALE
Nick Houy, MID90S

Diego Garcia, WILDLIFE
Benjamin Loeb, MANDY
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, SUSPIRIA
Zak Mulligan, WE THE ANIMALS

Christina Choe, NANCY
Jennifer Fox, THE TALE
Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By) and Laurie Shephard (Story By), BLAME

Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland, COLETTE
Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE

Truer Than Fiction Award
Alexandria Bombach, ON HER SHOULDERS

Someone to Watch Award
Alex Moratto, SOCRATES
Ioana Uricaru, LEMONADE
Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS

Producers Award
Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams
Gabrielle Nadig
Shrihari Sathe

Bonnie Award
Debra Granik
Tamara Jenkins
Karyn Kusama | 11/16/18
Italy is set to regulate its theatrical windows by law, following an uproar over the simultaneous release on Netflix and in theaters of local police-brutality drama “On My Skin.” New rules announced by Italian Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli will enshrine in law the current gentleman’s agreement among the country’s distributors to wait 105 days after […] | 11/15/18

In the category of culture-driven documentaries that focus on film history, a particularly enjoyable subset of that subset is the kind made by noteworthy artists themselves. There’s Martin Scorsese waxing luxuriously on Italian cinema (“My Voyage to Italy”), Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow fanboy-interviewing Brian DePalma for “DePalma,” and now, German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta (“Hannah Arendt”) taking us on a personal tour of her lifelong admiration for Sweden’s hallowed grandmaster in the playfully inquisitive “Searching for Ingmar Bergman.”

Von Trotta’s connection to Bergman started when she was a young, New Wave-enamored film lover who responded deeply to his 1957 chess-with-Death masterpiece “The Seventh Seal”; she even opens her valentine of a documentary visiting its famed rocky beach setting, narrating the impact of its establishing shots.

When she blossomed as an artist herself as part of West Germany’s own exciting crush of post-war filmmaking talent alongside Rainer Werner Fassbinder (for whom she acted) and then-husband Volker Schlöndorff (they made “The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum” together), von Trotta found herself personally acquainted with Bergman after he decamped to Munich in the mid-’70s following a tax evasion charge.

Bergman even became a fan of her work, including her 1981 feature “Marianne and Juliane” in a list of his favorite movies commissioned by a film festival, the program book for which von Trotta thumbs through for the camera like a kid still in awe of being recognized by so key an influence. (Hey, you would, too, if your movie kept company in a film legend’s consciousness with “Rashomon” and “The Passion of Joan of Arc.”)

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It’s von Trotta’s onscreen enthusiasm, too, as she interviews key Bergman collaborators (notable leading ladies Liv Ullmann, Gunnel Lindblom), family (sons Daniel and Ingmar, Jr.), contemporaries (Carlos Saura, Jean-Claude Carrière), and next-generation admirers (Olivier Assayas, Ruben Ostlund, Mia Hansen-Løve), that gives “Searching” its gently thrumming cineaste heart.

Between the excerpts and analyses, the remembrances, and the honesty that swings from brutal to touching but that is nearly always illuminating, you’ll surely be dipping into the gloom-meister’s oeuvre afterward. (Or maybe shelling out for Criterion’s 39-film Bergman box set, available starting November 20 if you’re likely to be in mourning over the streaming service FilmStruck going away.)

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Bergman’s abiding gift over a career that spanned sixty years — and included successes from “Wild Strawberries” and “Winter Light” through “Scenes from a Marriage” and “Fanny & Alexander” — was a penetrative inventory of the soul as it’s plagued by doubt, loneliness, the existence of God, the vicissitudes of love, and the facing of mortality.

But to hear those closest to him tell it, Bergman was at heart a wide-eyed child in thrall to the creative process, consumed by the innocence of curiosity and experimentation that keeps all artists in a state of turmoil and evolution. It’s what Ullmann says could turn his being introduced to her, alongside actress/former flame Bibi Andersson on a beach, into the likeness-driven experimental hallmark “Persona,” a life-defining work.

But at the same time, that ever-nurtured connection to his inner child made Bergman view his own offspring (nine in all, with six women, including Ullmann) as competitors to his creativity. Daniel Bergman, who would direct his father’s screenplay “Sunday’s Children,” jovially notes how dad preferred his own childhood to his own children. In the presence of his kids, we learn, he would openly miss the company of his actors.

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Elsewhere, his longstanding script supervisor-turned-producer Katinka Farago describes the Bergman who worried he was never good enough, while Assayas succinctly captures how he was a game-changer regarding the psychological, subconscious, and female-centric.

The most amusing anecdote comes from Bergman’s grandson, who recounts a movie night of “Pearl Harbor” in the home theater in which granddad insisted the projectionist skip anything that wasn’t an action scene. It’s like backhanded proof that with any kind of film, whether an existential drama or slick Hollywood package, Bergman preferred intensity over everything else.

That von Trotta’s documentary isn’t simply hagiographic keeps it refreshing, although the emphasis on Bergman’s later years, whether lesser works like “The Serpent’s Egg” or his stage directing, also prevents it from potentially satisfying any need to see most of his undisputed classics gone over in detail.

But with so many documentaries on Bergman already in existence, that von Trotta has made her own uniquely inviting tour of his triumphs, anguishes, and longstanding themes — in essence a roomy portrait of the artist as an engaged, fallible searcher — is its own gift of sorts, from one acolyte of cinema to another.

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Ducati MIG-RR e-MTB unveiled in Italy, available this coming spring.

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Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” may prove to be one of the most confusing, if not polarizing movies of the year. The bloody mind-bender features multiple “secret” performances from Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson and a challenging, elliptical score from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to boot.

But amid all the deliciously vexing things about the film, one of the words you may have heard thrown around in reference to it is the word “giallo.” As in, “Suspiria” is a remake of Dario Argento’s giallo horror classic.

So what the heck is “giallo” and what does it have to do with “Suspiria?”

Also Read: 'Suspiria' Film Review: Luca Guadagnino's Misguided Horror Remake Falls Flat

In short, a “giallo” film (plural is “gialli”) is essentially an Italian exploitation film. They’re hyper-stylized crime movies that often include gory murders, erotic themes and masked killers with black leather gloves. As is true of another Italian sub-genre inspired by American cinema, the Spaghetti Western, composer Ennio Morricone often makes an appearance.

Not only that, giallo films are similar to American slasher and exploitation films in the sense that they’re often lush, colorful and even trashy movies that make for howlingly good midnight cinema. Filmmakers such as Brian de Palma, Nicolas Winding Refn, Eli Roth and now Luca Guadagnino, have borrowed from the genre in their own films and cited some of its directors as inspirations.

The name “giallo,” which translates to “yellow” in Italian, refers to pulpy, cheap, paperback crime novels that were identifiable thanks to their bright yellow book colors. While they were first published in the late 1920s as translations of British detective stories, they didn’t gain popularity until post-war Italy thanks to a ban from Mussolini.

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So while the term “giallo” itself was originally applied to a wide swath of stories from even American or British origins, it’s come to be associated specifically with Italian crime movies that developed in the ’60s and continued in popularity through the ’70s and early ’80s. Films like Lucio Fulti’s “A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin” (1971), Mario Bava’s “Blood and Black Lace” (1964) and Dario Argento’s “The Bird With the Crystal Plumage” (1970) set the tone for this particularly lurid genre.

As for “Suspiria,” while Argento’s film is widely considered a classic, there’s a healthy debate as to whether the 1977 film can even be called a “giallo.” Argento is certainly a father of the genre. But “Suspiria” leans on horror elements and paranormal thrills in a way that’s atypical of other gialli. Search for the term on Google, and it’s easily the first result. And that hasn’t stopped critics reviewing Guadagnino’s remake from labeling it as such. But even lists of essential gialli films will omit it in favor of other Argento favorites, like “The Cat o’ Nine Tails” and “Four Flies on Grey Velvet.”

Just add it to the list of things making “Suspiria” so polarizing. Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” is in theaters now in New York and Los Angeles and opens wide on Nov. 2. You can also stream the original “Suspiria” on TubiTV.

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Karim is the solo electro pop project of singer, songwriter and producer Karim Afas. Born in Florence, Italy in 1997, Karim was raised among his family’s catholic values and the study of ancient languages and theatre. After his move to the UK, Karim’s adolescent love of literature, drama and visual arts soon blossomed into the […]

The post Karim – Dance appeared first on Impose Magazine.

Four female Italian bandits known as “Le Drude” are the protagonists of “My Body Will Bury You” a Sicily-set revenge drama/Western set in 1860 that is among standout titles presented to prospective buyers and sales agents during the Rome MIA market’s What’s Next Italy showcase. This second feature by Alessandro La Parola, whose bittersweet comedy […] | 10/21/18
Though Italy’s box office for the first eight months of 2018 is down, Italian movies account for a quarter of grosses, up from 17% a year ago, a clear sign of local production vibrancy amid alarming theatrical erosion. Outside the country, Italian cinema is steadily gaining more international traction after the four Oscar nominations (and […] | 9/14/18

Oscar season just had a delicious appetizer. Now comes the all-you-can-eat buffet.

That’s the role that the Toronto International Film Festival plays in awards season: It’s an abundance of riches, an 11-day blowout in which just about every Oscar contender that isn’t still in the editing room will unveil itself in front of the international press and a bunch of movie fans.

As always, Toronto opens on the Thursday after Labor Day, just a few days after the conclusion of the Telluride Film Festival and a week after the opening of the Venice Film Festival. Those two fests have already showcased a good number of awards movies — and this year, they’ve given fans of quality cinema an unexpectedly rich array of films, to judge from the reactions coming from the canals of Italy and the hills of Colorado.

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Now it’s up to TIFF to show most of the Telluride and Venice hits to a new, bigger audience, to build on (or, occasionally, tamp down) the early awards buzz and to add a whole new batch of contenders and pretenders to the mix.

A handful of heavyweights will be anointed, most of them in the first five days of TIFF, from opening night on Thursday (when David McKenzie’s “Outlaw King” and Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” are the main attractions) through the Monday, September 10 Toronto premieres of Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” David Lowery’s “The Old Man & the Gun” and Xavier Dolan’s “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan,” among others.

Of course, “Roma” was already declared a Best Picture contender in Venice, where Cuaron’s black-and-white, highly personal drama premiered. It was one of a few films that have gotten the awards season off to a roaring start, along with Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong film “First Man” and Bradley Cooper’s remake of “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga.

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Those three films are already front runners, if any movies can be said to truly have that status at this early stage.

The festival will also be the moment of truth for a number of awards hopefuls that have skipped the smaller Venice and Telluride festivals and are premiering at TIFF.

“Beautiful Boy,” starring Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell and adapted by “The Broken Circle Breakdown” director Felix van Groeningen from the memoirs by David Sheff and his son Nic, is one of the films that comes in with the highest hopes.

So do “Ben Is Back” (Peter Hedges directs his son Lucas and Julia Roberts), “Life Itself” (“This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman puts a multi-generational family saga on film rather than TV), “Widows” (“12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen makes a heist movie with Viola Davis), “If Beale Street Could Talk” (“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins adapts a James Baldwin novel), “Green Book” (“There’s Something About Mary” director Peter Farrelly gets serious with Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali) and “Mid90s” (Jonah Hill makes his directorial debut with a skateboarding movie).

Also Read: 'Roma' Film Review: Alfonso Cuarón's Intimate Epic Proves Less Is More

Meanwhile, a batch of smaller films will try to seize some attention at a festival where that isn’t always easy. Those include “Hotel Mumbai,” orphaned by the Weinstein Company and picked up by Bleecker Street; “Gloria Bell,” with Julianne Moore starring in Sebastian Lelio’s English-language remake of his marvelous “Gloria”; “Teen Spirit,” with Elle Fanning as an aspiring singer in the directorial debut of actor Max Minghella; and “Hold the Dark,” another tense film from Jeremy Saulnier, whose previous work includes “Green Room” and “Blue Ruin.”

TIFF’s documentary slate, too, is typically robust, with not only the new Michael Moore film but also new work from Frederick Wiseman (“Monrovia, Illinois”), Errol Morris (“American Dharma,” about Steve Bannon), Werner Herzog (“Meeting Gorbachev”) and Rithy Panh (“Graves Without a Name”).

Plus, most of the actors who came out of Telluride and Toronto as presumed nominees — Robert Redford for his final acting role, “The Old Man & the Sea,” Lady Gaga for “A Star Is Born,” Melissa McCarthy for her serious turn in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” — will be in Toronto looking for confirmation that they are indeed the bee’s knees.

Also Read: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' Film Review: Melissa McCarthy Gets Serious in a Big Telluride Hit

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, with 255 features and 88 shorts from 83 different countries screening in Toronto before it comes to an end with Justin Kelly’s “Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy,” starring Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart in the story of a celebrated literary hoax.

So cineastes and awards-watchers had better belly up to the buffet, and bring a very big appetite.

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Oscar Season Kicks Off as 'First Man,' 'Roma,' 'A Star Is Born' Launch at Fall Festivals | 9/5/18
Tuscany’s hilltop towns steal the headlines. But stay on the coast and you can have the best of both worlds, dipping in and out of the sea and in and out of the culture.

TheWrap is pleased to announce the 12 finalists in the seventh annual ShortList Film Festival, launching today online.

The finalists, hand-picked from the world’s top film festivals over the last year, will stream on the site starting today through August 22, 2018 — allowing visitors to vote on their favorites.

The Audience Prize and The Industry Prize winners will each receive a $5,000 cash prize during a ceremony to take place at the AMC Century City in Los Angeles on Thursday, August 23.

The films in the main competition are a mix of foreign language, drama, comedy and animation created by filmmakers from around the globe.

Also Read: MEET: The 2018 ShortList Film Festival Jurors!

In addition, eight student films from top colleges and universities included in TheWrap’s ranking of film schools have been named finalists in a sidebar competition.

The contenders come from filmmakers who studied at USC, UCLA, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the American Film Institute, Loyola Marymount University, the University of Texas, Northwestern University and Savannah College of Art and Design.

You can watch, vote and share your favorite festival short film using #Shortlist2018 for your chance to win two tickets to the ShortList Film Festival award ceremony. The ShortList Film Festival is supported by Topic and AMC Theatres.

Also Read: ShortList 2017: How Making a Short Can Kickstart a Young Filmmaker's Career Video)

Here are the official finalists in the 2018 ShortList Film Festival:

“Agua Viva”
Directed by: Alexa Lim Haas
USA, 7 minutes
A Chinese manicurist in Miami attempts to describe feelings she doesn’t have the words for.

Directed by: Julio O. Ramos
Peru/USA, 14 minutes
After a disastrous event on his construction site, Armando acts quickly to save his crew, but instead stumbles upon an unspeakable truth.

“Devi (Goddess)”
Directed by: Karishma Dev Dube
India, 13 minutes
Set in New Delhi, a closeted lesbian risks family and social boundaries as she pursues her household maid, Devi.

“The Driver Is Red”
Directed by: Randall Christopher
USA, 14 minutes
Set in Argentina 1960, this true crime documentary follows the story of secret agent Zvi Aharoni as he hunted down one of the highest ranking Nazi war criminals on the run.

Also Read: 'The Silence,' 'American Paradise' Take Top Prizes at TheWrap's Shortlist Film Festival 2017

“Fish Story”
Directed by: Charlie Lyne
UK, 13 minutes
Sometime in the 1980s, Caspar Salmon’s grandmother was invited to a gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey, attended exclusively by people with fish surnames. Or so he says. Thirty years later, filmmaker Charlie Lyne attempts to sort myth from reality as he searches for the truth behind this fishy tale.

“Little Potato”
Directed by: Wes Hurley & Nathan M. MIller
USA, 14 minutes
An autobiographical documentary short about a gay boy growing up in the Soviet Union, his mail-order-bride mom and their adventurous escape to America.

“Magic Alps”
Directed by: Andrea Brusa and Marco Scotuzzi
Italy, 14 minutes
An Afghan refugee arriving in Italy to seek asylum brings the immigration system to a grinding halt when he includes his beloved goat in the application. Based on a true story.

“My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes”
Directed by: Charlie Tyrell
Canada, 13 minutes
In My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes director Charlie Tyrell attempts to uncover a deeper understanding of his deceased father by examining his posthumous possessions.

Narrated by David Wain (director of “Wet Hot American Summer”), Tyrell presents a unique lens on family relationships and their challenges.

Directed by: Emily Ann Hoffman
USA, 12 minutes
A young couple’s romantic weekend getaway is interrupted by a birth control mishap in this stop-motion animated comedy.

Also Read: ShortList 2017: Filmmakers Share Obstacles, Trump-Era Reinterpretation, Money Issues (Video)

“Night Shift”
Directed by: Marshall Tyler
USA, 16 minutes
A day in the life of a bathroom attendant in a Los Angeles nightclub.

Directed by: Benjamin Cleary and TJ O’Grady Peyton
Ireland, 10 minutes
Gaspar Rubicon wakes from a coma speaking a fully formed but unrecognizable language, baffling linguistic experts from around the globe. Cleary won an Oscar two years ago for his last short, “Stutterer.”

Directed by: Trevor Jimenez
USA, 15 minutes
“Weekends” is the story of a young boy shuffling between the homes of his recently divorced parents. Surreal, dream-like moments mix with the domestic realities of a broken up family in this hand-animated film set in 1980’s Toronto.

Also Read: The Scene at ShortList 2017: TheWrap's 6th Annual Short Film Festival (Photos)

The finalists in the Student category:

“A Place to Stay” (American Film Institute)
Directed by: Charlie Polinger
USA, 17 minutes
Kansas City, 1959. When Andy’s boyfriend leaves him, he drives across the state to confront him and discovers his lover’s double life.

“The Goodnight Show” (University of Texas)
Directed by: Charlie Schwan
USA, 16 minutes
The year is 1978 and an unstoppable asteroid is soaring directly for earth. As a family eats their last meal, a news program playing in the background confirms their inevitable and impending doom. For most, there isn’t much to do except sit and wait for the end. In paltry hero Samuel’s case, however, this is his last chance to prove to himself — and everyone else — that he’s not a loser.

“Labor” (University of California, Los Angeles)
Directed by: Cecilia Albertini
USA/Italy, 12 minutes
Two mothers. One baby. A harrowing decision.

“Oglesby Park” (Northwestern University)
Directed by: Troy Lewis
USA, 9 minutes
After a confusing encounter at the park, a young boy struggles to reconcile the ache of empathy with the desire to push the pain away, leading to devastating results.

“One Small Step” (University of Southern California)
Directed by:  Aqsa Altaf
USA, 13 minutes
Dasani is a motivated 9-year-old student who dreams of becoming an astronaut. After finding out that her class is going on a field trip to the Science Museum to see the Endeavor Space Shuttle, Dasani starts counting down days to that trip. After her mother doesn’t return from a rally one day, Dasani is forced to choose between going on that field trip or being with her siblings.

“The Peak” (Savannah College of Art and Design)
Directed by: Mark Alex Vogt
USA & Hong Kong, 14 minutes
In this love story, set against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s Hungry Ghost Festival, a young man leads his girlfriend on an elaborate scavenger hunt as they prepare to say goodbye to the city where they first met.

“Supernova” (University of North Carolina School of the Arts)
Directed by: Gavin Lankford and Alexsandre C. Kosinski
USA, 9 minutes
When a little boy’s late-night viewing of his favorite space adventure is cut short by a scolding from his mom, he channels the heroism of his sci-fi fantasy hero and makes it his mission to get it back.

“Z-MAN” (Loyola Marymount University)
Directed by: David Fortune
USA, 12 minutes
Z -MAN follows the journey of a 7-year-old boy pretending to be a superhero in South Central LA. After witnessing a crime in his neighborhood, he goes on a mission to find the man responsible and ensure the safety of his community.

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'The Silence,' 'American Paradise' Take Top Prizes at TheWrap's Shortlist Film Festival 2017 | 8/8/18

Serena Williams’ is raising her 11-month-old daughter Olympia to be bilingual.

The 36-year-old tennis star shared a video of herself speaking French to her baby girl on Instagram Wednesday.

In the clip, Williams can be heard saying “wash your hands,” to Olympia who hilariously is doing so in the dog’s water bowl.

The tennis ace continues in French, telling the little girl not to use the dog water and jokingly exclaiming, “Oh là là!”

“Now I have to give her a bath,” Williams wrote over the story.

This isn’t the first time little Olympia got a taste of a European culture. Last month, Williams, her husband Alexis Ohanian, 35, and Olympia jetted off to Venezia, Italy all because Williams was hungry.

“She wanted Italian for dinner, so…” Ohanian captioned an Instagram of himself with Williams, whose sipping on a glass of wine.

Ohanian, who in addition to being Williams’ husband and Olympia’s dad is the co-founder of Reddit, also shared a shot from a gondola ride he and Williams took while in Italy and photo of Williams exploring the city at night.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

Their trip to Italy came just a few weeks after Williams’ return to Wimbledon.

Although she lost the ladies’ singles final to Angelique Kerber, Williams’ post-match interview proved she’ll always be a winner.

RELATED ARTICLE: Serena Williams Has Not Spent a Single Day Apart From Daughter Olympia Since Her Birth

“It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really hoping to get this far,” Williams told reporters. “It’s obviously disappointing, but I can’t be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to. I’m literally just getting started.”

“To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today and I tried,” Williams added. | 8/2/18
Italy’s exhibitors are up in arms over the day-and-date release, on Netflix and in Italian theaters, of at least one movie slated to launch at the Venice Film Festival. The country’s two exhibitors’ organizations, ANEC (National Assn. of Cinema Exhibitors) and ANEM (National Assn. of Multiplex Exhibitors), have issued a joint statement lashing out against […] | 7/30/18
On Thursday, July 26, many Russians could see the phantom of the good old iron curtain falling between Russia and the West. The news came from the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, Irina Tyurina. Last week, United Russia MPs proposed amending the federal law about the procedure to leave and enter the territory of the Russian Federation. In accordance with these amendments, the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs should hold mandatory accreditation of all companies rendering intermediary visa registration services to Russian citizens. In order to obtain accreditation, a visa issuance company is supposed to have representative offices in at least 20 regions of the Russian Federation, whereas the share of foreign participation in the authorized capital of the company should not exceed 20 percent. In addition, applicants should have certified technical means to process confidential information (including biometric personal data). The amendments also require at least three years of experience in collecting and processing documents for obtaining visas on behalf of diplomatic missions and consular missions.According to the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, Irina Tyurina, none of  existing operators can meet the criteria proposed in the draft law. For example, it is unclear how they should comply with the requirement of foreign participation. Presently, there are six companies that run visa service centers in Russia: VFS Global, GVCW - Greece, VMS - Italy, BLS - Spain, India, TLS - Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium and Pony Express. The information on each of these companies is available to the public in the state register of legal entities.It is unlikely that these companies can be replaced with Russian ones: even if they meet all other requirements, Russian companies will not have three years of experience in rendering visa services. Needless to say that the adoption of amendments will trigger a mirror response from other countries. In this case, big plans to attract foreign tourists to Russia, especially after the World Cup, may not materialize.To make matters worse, residents of Russians regions will have to come to Moscow to get a visa to a foreign country. They will also have to spend many hours standing in long lines to visa departments of foreign embassies, as it was practiced during the 2000s. In a nutshell, all this is nothing but bad news that, if it becomes real, will complicate the lives of all Russian travelers. The news triggered countless "iron curtain" discussions in social media in Russia. The "iron curtain" has many holes in it as Russia has visa-free regime with many countries. Yet, the curtain would be very strong when it comes to a trip to Europe or to the States. Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, Sergei Krivonosov, (United Russia) said that the Russian authorities, on the contrary, seek to minimize visa restrictions."At the initiative of the president, we are currently preparing proposals to simplify visa procedures. There are a number of countries that have already simplified the procedure to issue visas for Russian citizens. I haven't heard of the initiative that you're talking about. The State Duma's Subcommittee on Tourism (Sergei Krivonosov heads it - ed.) works to simplify visa procedures," the MP told Pravda.Ru. "We do want to make the procedure simpler, because we've had problems with bankruptcies of tour operators. We believe that an electronic visa can help. I am sure that there is no iron curtain of any type involved," Sergei Krivonosov added. Oleg ArtyukovPravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru

Zachary Quinto continues to follow in Leonard Nimoy‘s footsteps as he takes on hosting duties of the new revival of In Search Of.

The show began as a trio of one-hour documentaries exploring various mysteries and was expanded into a series which ran from 1977 to 1982, hosted by the original Spock, who died in 2015 at age 83. Now, History has revived the series with several modern twists and the Spock of the modern Star Trek film series.

In a wide-ranging chat, Quinto admits to PEOPLE that the connection to Nimoy was part of the allure of taking the gig — although an interest in the subjects and the chance to travel the world certainly didn’t hurt either.

PEOPLE: This is such a different project than we’ve seen you do before. What was the draw?
ZACHARY QUINTO: When I was presented with the opportunity, I thought that there was a lot there, but I wanted to kind of take it in a new direction and expand the idea of the show. Whereas Leonard was in the studio and would welcome the audience and throw it to segments that were already produced, I felt really interested in the notion of traveling and being on the ground and conducting a lot of the interviews and journeys myself. It’s more of a firsthand experience for the audience, which I think is a little bit more dynamic…. Ultimately the format and the nature of the show is, to look at things from more than one angle and to entertain all the possibilities, even the ones that we don’t particularly have all the answers about.

Was part of the attraction to this continuing to remind people of Leonard Nimoy’s legacy and feel connected to him?
We became very close friends, I became really interested in his curiosity and his intellectual drive, even into his later years. I think anything that connects me to him is something that’s interesting to me. I loved him and I miss him, so I think, on some level, that has to play a part of it. But it was also about making it my own. It was also about carrying it in a new direction and putting my own stamp on it.

Was there any particular mystery you were most excited to look into?
The History Channel was really interested in honoring the origins of the show and continuing the legacy of some of the hallmark episodes, like aliens and monsters of the deep. And I was really interested in moving it forward a little bit, exploring the things that didn’t even necessarily exist 40 years ago, like artificial intelligence and mind control and life after death; well, that existed 40 years ago but I don’t think to the degree that we understand it today. So we’ve evolved a lot as a society, as a culture, and technology and science have evolved along with us.

Did you feel any sort of connection at all to the aliens or superhuman episodes?
I felt interested in the people I got to meet during those episodes. The aliens episode was really interesting to me because I went in there pretty skeptical, and while I didn’t come out with any concrete evidence or proof that alien encounters have actually happened to the people that we interviewed, I did feel like their stories were incredibly vivid and clear and that of the three people we interviewed, none of them knew each other or had any kind of connection or familiarity with each others’ stories, and yet, they all had incredible similarities. While it didn’t offer concrete evidence of the stories that they were telling, it certainly put me in the situation where I couldn’t deny that there were these hallmark similarities between them and that was unexpected.

Were there any other moments that really surprised you as you were filming?
I went into the episode we did on sinkholes with a lot of uncertainty as to how that would be interesting or why that would be dynamic, and that was the episode that probably surprised me the most, just in terms of how emotional it was. We encountered people who lost loved ones, who lost homes, and people in an entire neighborhood in Florida that was being compromised by sinkholes. That one, for me, was much more unexpected and moving than I ever thought it would be.

Talk a little about some of the travel involved. You were all over the place for this!
We really were. We were in Australia, we were in the U.K., we were in Italy, Greece, Morocco. It was an amazing experience from a travel standpoint. I was able to build some extra time in some places and see some things that I wouldn’t get to otherwise, so that was really exciting. I had a great time doing that.

What are your tricks for overcoming or avoiding jet lag?
I really try to get on the schedule of wherever I’m going before I get there…. But when you’re traveling this much, it’s just a part of the experience. There’s really no way around it. You just kind of have to embrace it at a certain point. And load up your iPad with whatever you want to watch when you can’t sleep at 3 in the morning.

What are your go-to shows for something like that?
I’ve been watching this design show lately called Grand Design, it’s a British format and it’s all about people who design daring, architectural projects and then execute them and what it is to go through the process of trying to complete them. That’s a good one for late at night.

You have just a few more weeks in Broadway’s Boys in the Band. What are you going to miss most about it when it closes in a few weeks?
I think my friends and the joy of showing up and doing it with them every night. It’s certainly going to be the hardest thing to say goodbye to.

What’s the plan after that ends?
I’m figuring it out right now. There’s a bunch of stuff in the hopper and I’m just kind of figuring out which step to take next and meeting and reading a lot right now.

What kinds of things are you looking for?
I’m kind of ready to be back on TV in a way. I haven’t done a TV show in quite some time, so I’m really opening myself up to the opportunities that are presenting themselves in the TV space.

In Search Of premieres Friday at 10 p.m. ET on HISTORY. | 7/20/18

“Call Me By Your Name” fans just can’t let go of that infamous peach scene.

Armie Hammer, who starred as Oliver in the Oscar-nominated movie last year, is currently starring in “Straight White Men” on Broadway, and he said that every night after the show, fans stop him to hand him a peach. It’s not a gift, though. It’s for Hammer to sign.

“The [“Call Me By Your Name” fans] who come, you can really spot them right away, and the biggest dead giveaway is, they will normally hand me a peach. Like, I get handed at least a peach or two every stage door,” the 31-year-old actor told Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” Monday night.

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“The first time someone handed me a peach, I was like, ‘oh, thanks!’ and they go, ‘no, no, no, that’s not for you. Will you sign it for me?'” Hammer continued, explaining that at first he was confused, hoping fans weren’t going to eat a peach now stained with Sharpie. “Then I was like, ‘so what are you gonna do with it?'”

“I mean, look, there’s obviously something they could do with it that would be more disturbing — but, the other side is like, they’re going to put that peach on a shelf because it has my signature, and in 10 days it’s going to putrefy and their entire place is going to be full of fruit flies.”

Colbert suggested the rotting fruit might be an “art installation,” and Hammer had quite the burn to describe that: “Watch it wither like Donald Trump’s presidency.” After cheers from the audience, Hammer added: “Sorry, Vlad.”

Also Read: What Is Stockholm Syndrome? The Answer Starts With a Bank Heist (Podcast)

And in case you don’t get the peach innuendo that references a scene in the Oscar-winning film, let Colbert spell it out for you: “Well, with Donald Trump’s presidency, much like that peach, we are f—ed.”

Watch the full clip above (the peach conversation begins around the 3:50 mark).

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From antiquity until the 16th century, Italy was at the centre of Western culture, fulcrum or origin of the Etruscan civilization, Ancient Rome, the Roman Catholic Church, Humanism and the Renaissance. During this time, Italy produced some of the most notable painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, mathematicians and architects in history. Italy continued its leading cultural role through the Baroque period and into the Romantic period, when its dominance in painting and sculpture diminished and it reestablished a strong presence in music. Italian artists have been quite influential in the 20th century. They were the primary exponents of Modernism in the 1920s. Following World War II, Italian neorealism became an important force in motion pictures, and by the 1960s, Italy had established itself as one of a handful of great film cultures. Italian design shaped the look of the post-war world, and today Italy is arguably the international leader in fashion and design. Both the internal and external facets of Western Civilization were born on the Italian peninsula, whether one looks at the history of the Christian faith, civil institutions (such as the Senate), philosophy, law, art, science, or social customs and culture. Italy did not exist as a political state until its unification in 1861. Due to this comparatively late unification, and the historical autonomy of the regions that comprise the Italian peninsula, many traditions and customs that are now recognized as distinctly Italian can be identified by their regions of origin. Despite the political and social isolation of these regions, Italy's contributions to the cultural and historical heritage of Europe remain immense. Famous elements of Italian culture are its opera and music, its iconic gastronomy and food, which are commonly regarded as amongst the most popular in the world, its cinema, its collections of priceless works of art and its fashion (Milan is regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world). Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (44) to date. The precepts of the Roman Catholic Church, the spirit of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, are factors which greatly shaped Italy's architecture, culture and art.

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