Plastics are in the air. Not only literally. Everyone's talking about plastic pollution and the need to take action.
You don’t need to be conducting a scientific research to see that plastic waste is invading our environment, specially our oceans. With up to 12 million tons of plastic entering the oceans every year it is not surprising that we find plastic everywhere, not only polluting the water and severely impacting marine species, but also accumulating in the food chain.
Plastic-Spitting Dragon Protests at Our Oceans Conference in Malta. 5 Oct. 2017.
And so people all over the world are building up a movement to transition to a society free of single-use plastic and the throw-away culture it entails. Whether it be by individual action and changing everyday habits, by signing petitions or by creating change in their communities and local businesses.
The movement to #BreakFreeFromPlastic is on the rise and there’s no stopping it!
But where are we on policy? This week, the European Commission has released the European Plastics Strategy. A document that reflects the vision and the objectives of the Commission on this issue and that will be translated into measures and actions.
The European Union (together with countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement) is the second largest producer of plastic after China.
We need to change these numbers. It seems like this new EU strategy echoes this urgency and is certainly something worth praising. But once we get to the details, it seems to go down the usual path.
There’s certainly some good ideas, like treating microplastic ingredients (including cosmetic microbeads) as toxic pollution using the EU chemical regulation.
And it sets a target that by 2030, 100% of plastic packaging in the EU market will be reusable or recyclable, with a first legislative proposal in 2018 to tackle some single use items. Promising!
But again we find a text too focused on recycling. It’s all over the place. While reduction and reuse is hardly mentioned. Their target won’t be achieved without reducing the production and consumption of plastic packaging and single-use items, much of which are unnecessary in the first place and have already existing alternatives waiting to be scaled up.
Deposit return schemes are increasingly being implemented. Bulk stores are blooming in many places, water fountains are coming back to cities and public places, and reusable items are coming into fashion. But alternatives need to be backed up by bold and ambitious political measures.
So if you are a European citizen, watch out for changes in our legislations and be ready to ask your national government to ensure single-use plastic item bans are fast tracked as the crisis is urgent and the EU process can take years. It’s a real opportunity for change and we mustn’t let it slip!
And even if you’re not in Europe, we still need your support. In a globalised world, whatever happens in the European region will have impact in other regions, through companies headquartered in the EU, trade or by simply, and most importantly, setting an example for others to follow that ambitious measures can be taken to phase-out single-use plastic.
While we wait for the next political move, you can still do your part. Whether it be refusing straws, bags, using refillable bottles or taking community action. Every step counts, no matter how big or small. Pick yours and start today to join the movement! We can all #BreakFreeFromPlastic!
Elvira Jiménez is EU Plastics Project leader with Greenpeace Spain
feedproxy.google.com | 3/29/19
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.
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.
The 2018 European Film Award winners:
Best European Film: “Cold War”
European Screenwriter: Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
European Cinematographer: Martin Otterbeck “U-July 22”
EFA People’s Choice Award: “Call Me by Your Name”
Related stories from TheWrap:
www.thewrap.com | 12/15/18
Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker […]
variety.com | 12/15/18
This week in El Espace: tension at the Mexican border, why Latino Jews are moving to Spain and more.
www.nytimes.com | 11/29/18
MADRID — Making good on the largely overlooked achievement of debut feature “The Demons,” Québécois Philippe Lesage’s “Genesis” swept the 63rd Valladolid Intl. Film Festival, winning its top Golden Spike, director and actor on Saturday. One of Spain’s top three or four festivals, and a bastion of auteur cinema, Valladolid closed its official section Friday […]
variety.com | 10/28/18
There are film festivals and then there are genre film festivals. They both show great films from all over the world, and they both highlight cinema as one of the finest forms of modern art. What makes the Sitges Film Festival stand out in particular is the audience. Celebrating its 51st year, Sitges has been around for a while. It has a strong reputation and its known around Europe as the top genre festival. Horror fans from Spain and other nearby countries travel in to catch the latest, greatest offerings from talented directors, and catch up over drinks and pintxos (and tapas). This year was my second year back to Sitges, and I decided to stay the entire time to relax and catch a bunch of films over the full 10 days it runs. After my unforgettable experience last year (attending for my first time), I had to return, I couldn't stay away. And as usual, I'm very glad I ...
www.firstshowing.net | 10/19/18
"Isn't art always, to a certain extent, therapy for the artist?" Oscilloscope Labs has debuted an official US trailer for the cinema documentary Searching for Ingmar Bergman, which first premiered as a Cannes Classic at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The documentary celebrates Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman's 100th birthday, by taking an extensive and fascinating look at his life and creative inspiration. The doc presents key scenes and recurring themes in his films and his life, and journeys to the places at the center of Bergman's creative achievement and the focal points of his life such as the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, locations and landscapes from his masterpieces, and his stations in Sweden, Germany, Spain, and France. This looks like a profound, entrancing, wonderful look at the life of a true master filmmaker. US trailer (+ posters) for Margarethe von Trotta's doc Searching for Ingmar Bergman, from YouTube: On the 100th anniversary of his birth, internationally renowned director Margarethe ...
www.firstshowing.net | 10/11/18
One of the most-coveted awards in German literature has gone to the author of Archipel. The novel tells the story of three families on the Canary Island of Tenerife from different social classes in Franco-era Spain.
www.dw.com | 10/8/18
Who was at the meeting, who wasn't at the meeting and who else should the Cubans meet with?
While Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel was in New York to address the United Nations, he met with members of Congress and executives from the agriculture, travel and information and communication technology (ICT) industries. The ICT meeting was at Google's New York office and ten other companies attended. In addition to Díaz-Canel the Cuban ministers of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Communications were at the meeting.
The following is a list of the companies at the meeting with a little speculation.
Google: Perhaps they talked about their latest, rumored, unspecified deal to expand Internet access in Cuba. Another possibility would be bringing their African broadband infrastructure company CSquared (begun as Google Project Link) to Cuba.
VaynerMedia: I'd not heard of them, but they seem to be an Internet-savvy PR agency that has done work for many companies, including Google. Perhaps they would like to promote Cuban tourism, ICT or biotech companies or Cuban offshore development services. Or, they might be interested in a Cuban production facility. (Google has production spaces in ten cities — how about Havana)?
Connectify: They are already in Cuba — their software is widely used by Cubans who share connections at WiFi hotspots.
Mapbox: I bet this map of Cuba uses their geographic information system tools. Perhaps they will develop something for the Cuban tourism industry?
McKinsey and Company: They might be looking for a strategic ICT planning engagement. (Others will work for less — see below).
Virgin Group: This is a capital investment company with experience in travel, telecommunication, media and other areas where Cuba has both needs and assets — might they invest in Cuba, S. A.?
AirBnB: They are already doing a robust business in Cuba by providing a good deal for both Cuban renters and tourists. (I wonder whether Trump's clamp-down on tourism has hurt them).
Revolution: I assume this is Revolution Ventures. If so, they may be interested in investing in Cuban startups.
Twitter: Cubans already use Twitter — what more can they be thinking of?
Microsoft: Pirated Microsoft software is common in Cuba — might they be talking about some sort of licensing or royalty agreement in return for support? (I recall long ago visiting a government-run storefront where you could bring floppy disks and order copies of all major US software, including Microsoft's). Microsoft might also be looking for tech employees, offshoring or opening a Cuban development center.
Bloomberg: Did they attend as financially-oriented journalists?
Cresta AI: might they be looking for developers or to build intelligent applications?
Those were the attendees. Who not there?
I was relieved to notice that none of the large US wireless or wireline ISPs were at the meeting. I would not want to wish my experience with Verizon and Spectrum on Cubans.
I was surprised that Cisco did not participate. Cisco supplied Cuban networking infrastructure in the early days of the Internet, but Huawei has replaced them today. Still, Cisco is the only US ICT company I can think of besides Google that has made the effort to build relationships in today's Cuba, enabling them to begin offering their Cisco Networking Academy training at the Universidad de Ciencias Informáticas. Cisco-trained students may be willing to purchase their equipment once in the workforce.
I was also surprised that no one from ETECSA was there, although there may have been ETECSA representatives seated in the periphery of the room behind the conference table as is often the case in such meetings.
Finally, who was not there that I would advise Díaz-Canel and Cuban ICT decision makers meet with?
I would urge the Cubans to consider a broad set of advisers and collaborators as they plan the future of their Internet, for example:
Don't get me wrong — I think meeting and establishing relationships with companies from the US and other nations is a positive step for the Cubans, but I hope they broaden their contacts and meet with an eclectic group of people and organizations thinking about long-range planning for leapfrogging to future technologies as well as stopgap interim measures like WiFi hotspots, home DSL and 3 and 4G mobile connectivity. One can imagine a most interesting Cuban Internet-advisory committee.
Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University
www.circleid.com | 10/5/18
The world’s top female athletes, leaders in sports media and industry influencers gathered this week not only to talk about their love of the game, but also issues central to the current cultural environment.
The ninth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit held at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, California, and hosted by “SportsCenter” co-anchor Sage Steele featured keynote speakers including Danica Patrick, Candace Parker, Michael Ian Black and the gold medal-winning U.S. national ice hockey team.
With the #MeToo movement having launched shortly after the 2017 Summit and the Kavanaugh hearing still dominating headlines — gender equality, sexual assault, workplace harassment and female empowerment steered the discussion more than ever.
Despite tackling serious issues impacting all women, ESPN talent such as Sarah Spain, Julie Foudy, Hannah Storm, Cari Champion and Mina Kimes also added some light-hearted fun into the mix when they took to the stage.
From an intimate performance of Andra Day’s empowerment anthem “Rise Up” and the brave stories of sexual assault survivors, to LeBron James’ manager/best friend Maverick Carter telling everyone to “be selfish” and ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro dropping “Top Gun 2” casting news, here are some of the top thought-provoking and conversation-sparking quotes:
Maverick Carter with Cari Champion
Maverick Carter, CEO of SpringHill Entertainment and “UNINTERRUPTED” with co-creator LeBron James
“The key to making any deal is to be very clear on what you want — that is the easy part — but also understanding what the other side actually needs. Everyone has to leave the room feeling good and not like they’ve been taken advantage of. The fact of the matter is people are very selfish, but there’s nothing wrong with that and selfish gets a bad rap.”[On if LeBron will ever run for president: “Right now, he is focused on being a great basketball player … I don’t see him focusing on it [politics] right now. But who knows what’s in the future. He’ll be 34 in December, so who knows how much longer he’s going to play basketball. You never know what’s next with that guy.”
Danica Patrick and Hannah Storm/ Dan Stark for ESPN
Danica Patrick, former IndyCar and NASCAR driver
Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Kendall Coyne Schofield/Robby Klein for ESPN
U.S. national ice hockey team gold medalists Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Kendall Coyne Schofield
“We’re trying to change a culture. We’re trying to change behaviors that have been around for many years. There’s accountability on both sides. For us, it’s continuing to push the envelope, and for them, it’s being receptive to what we’re trying to accomplish together moving forward.”
“Stand up for what is right and what you know. Stick together and create the change.”
Sarah Klein, Jordyn Wieber and Mina Kime/Rob Klein for ESPN
Sarah Klein and Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber, survivors of sexual abuse from Dr. Larry Nassar
“Everybody protected him and that makes me so angry — my motivation is to make sure no one goes through this again. That culture has to change. Coaches need to care about kids more and not about winning. The point of sports is not just to win.”[Klein on testifying against Nassar]: “He was my loved one, my friend, my trusted advisor. I was 38 when the Indy Star article came out, and it took me time to realize … he had told me it was OK, that was all I ever knew. The article was the ‘aha moment’ of all aha moments. One in four women are sexually abused, most of us don’t get the chance to look at our abusers in the eye. I had to walk my eight-year-old self to that podium in court. It was a redefining moment for my identity … I was able to walk away as a woman.”
Jimmy Pitaro, Sage Steele and Rachel Epstein/ Dan Stark for ESPN
Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN president
“One of the things that I love about ESPN is it’s heart. So much that we do is about heart … telling those stories that get you emotional and gives you goosebumps. Sports is the great unifier. You forget about all the nonsense and the divisiveness that is out there right now.”[On his wife, actress Jean Louisa Kelly’s career success]: “My wife is doing ‘Top Gun 2.'”
Related stories from TheWrap:
www.thewrap.com | 10/4/18
SAN SEBASTIAN — Spain’s San Sebastian Festival signed a pledge on gender parity Sunday, following in the footsteps of other major festivals in Europe such as Cannes, Locarno, Sarajevo and Venice. San Sebastian Festival director José Luis Rebordinos made the commitment in the presence of Spanish deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo; the minister of culture […]
variety.com | 9/24/18
MADRID — Following on from the festivals of Cannes, Locarno, Sarajevo and Venice, of European events, Spain’s San Sebastian Festival will sign a pledge on gender parity Sunday. Signing the Charter for Parity and Inclusion of Women in Cinema, San Sebastián Festival director José Luis Rebordinos will be accompanied by Spain’s deputy prime minister Carmen […]
variety.com | 9/18/18
MADRID — Spain’s biggest national box office hit of the year, “Campeones” (Champions), has been selected by the Spain’s Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as the country’s submission for a foreign-language Academy Award. Grossing €18.5 million ($$21.4 million) in Spain for Universal Pictures Intl. Spain, “Campeones” beat out two other contenders in a […]
variety.com | 9/6/18
With his Vidal-Buckley documentary “Best of Enemies” and this year’s smash hit about Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” filmmaker Morgan Neville has proven himself a keenly sensitive, artful showman when surveying a career through archival footage and fresh interviews. He knows how to re-light the flame of a life, and that’s quickly apparent in his deeply entertaining and illuminating Orson Welles documentary “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead.”
With impish respect, it chronicles the tortuous journey of Welles’ most notoriously unfinished-in-his-lifetime last movie, “The Other Side of the Wind.”
For cinephiles, it’s a high-calorie, clip-and-interview-laden feast of biography, insight, and gossip. Add to that the bonus that — unlike the dashed promise felt after absorbing “Jorodorwsky’s Dune” that the cinema gods were robbed — in this case there’s a finally completed “Wind,” assembled in recent years, also going out through Netflix. to go with Neville’s exhaustive behind-the-scenes appreciation. (Having watched “They’ll Love Me” prior to “Wind,” it’s safe to say they can be enjoyed in either order, since repeat viewings are likely for movie lovers, anyway.)
Using an elegantly shot (in black-and-white) Alan Cumming at a reel-stacked edit bay as a Wellesian narrating device, Neville wastes no time setting the scene: how by the late 1960s, strapped for funding, still living in the shadow of “Citizen Kane,” and ready to be embraced by the younger, edgier Hollywood after years in European exile, Welles in 1970 launched headlong into filming an idea that had been percolating for years, even though he had no complete script, no full cast, and no outside funding.
The autobiographical (though Welles rarely admitted it) concept involved a mythic, exiled filmmaker’s 70th birthday, around which the faithful and sycophantic would gather, while the fate of the director’s attempted comeback project lay in the balance. Naturally, this also described the shooting of “The Other Side of the Wind” as it carried on piecemeal for six years with a cast that included John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, and Welles’s lover-collaborator Oja Kodar.
Using a skeleton crew led by a young new cinematographer named Gary Graver, who cold-called Welles himself and whose own story as a dedicated worker bee shadows the film’s, Welles directed lush, vibrant scenes aping European art movies with Kodar (the film-within-the-film sequences). Alternatively, at a house in Arizona, one address over from the spread Antonioni blew up in “Zabriskie Point,” he shot the party sequences in a jagged documentary style.
Real-life details undergirded Welles’s narrative, in intensely psychological ways, never more so than that the director, through Huston’s character, played out onscreen his power-shifting relationship with acolyte and friend Bogdanovich, who wasn’t spared Welles’ ridicule. (Originally casting impersonator Rich Little in the role — an imitator as an imitator — was one such jab.)
Bogdanovich always helped his pal, though – his remembrances especially are tinged with the melancholy of loving a complex person. But at the point when money woes strained, Welles once more found himself the ever-loved cinema master — perpetual talk show guest, AFI honoree — but never to the tune of cash needed to realize a vision.
As Neville breezily relates an odyssey of chaos, inspiration, and impasses, he also makes expertly amusing, thematically-edited use of all manner of Welles footage (from movies, outtakes, television shows) so that the man himself becomes a chorus in his own story. The interviewee list of witnesses and collaborators is numerous, from the well-known to the unseen, their recollections and analyses sometimes differing, but nearly always intuitive.
The prime takeaway is of an irascibly charming, wounded and forceful genius both having the time of his life and sensing the gathering dusk. As the story eases into Welles’ final year, the most tantalizing question posed is whether he even wanted to finish catch-as-catch-can projects like “Wind”; was directing always about the exploration, the quest for “happy accidents,” and rarely the completion?
Eventually, Neville carries off his own winking director’s trick, with the help of Welles himself. Returning to footage used earlier, filmed by the Maysles brothers in Spain in the ’60s, of an energized Welles regaling a captive audience in a hotel lobby with his vision for what sounds like what eventually became “Wind,” the pitch turns enchantingly meta — that the future movie just might have to include them, in that moment, talking about it.
After the rollercoaster journey “They’ll Love Me” details, it’s enough to make one contemplate: Could Neville’s documentary be, in a sense, what Welles wanted “The Other Side of the Wind” to be all along? Someone else’s movie about Orson Welles’s movie about a fictional director’s movie which is inside another movie that’s ultimately about all movies?
Cheekily, Neville reveals he knows you’re thinking this, and it’s the perfect capper for his engaging hat-tip to a legend for whom the movies were always worth imagining, celebrating, and forever trying to get made.
Related stories from TheWrap:
www.thewrap.com | 9/1/18
Mixed martial arts league Combate Americas is launching its own TV studio, TheWrap has learned exclusively, making it the first MMA organization to start a production company. Veteran foreign film producer Stan Jakubowicz will run La Jaula Studios, which will create content for both linear television and digital platforms.
“Our mission with La Jaula Studios is to tell the bold, untold and unfiltered stories of the real-life heroism behind Combate’s fighters and their communities,” the Hispanic fight league and media company’s president, Jacqueline Hernandez, told TheWrap. “Stan’s proven creative expertise and uncontainable passion for this sport make him a perfect fit to lead La Jaula.”
La Jaula Studios, which will be based in New York, plans to target its content toward Hispanic millennials and Generation Z. Shows and other short-form content will be produced in Spanish, English and Portuguese, which production taking place in Latin America, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and the U.S., among other regions.
La Jaula Studios will offer a variety of programming, including lifestyle-documentary to scripted series, feature films, short-form digital, social and mobile content – and customized, sponsor-branded interstitials that will air during highly-watched Combate Americas live Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) television and digital events. This content will offer brands and advertisers a unique opportunity to connect with Combate Americas’ audience.
Jakubowicz’s film credits include “La Mujer de Mi Hermano,” “The German Doctor,” “Visitantes” and “El Inca.”
He has been Emmy-nominated as a television producer.
Here are La Jaula’s initial projects, with descriptions in the company’s own words:
“Rootas “(working title, pictured above): A docuseries chronicling the lives of six Combate Americas fighters on their journey told first-hand through their eyes. The first episode will feature Mexican MMA superstar Erik “Goyito” Perez, as he heads to an unfamiliar world — Thailand — to train under legendary Muay Thai champion Buakaw Banchamek, a fighter whose unmatched speed and devastating knockout power in the ring has transformed him to one of the most sought-after commodities in the fight world.
“The Real Deal” A major motion picture and docuseries chronicling the life and career of Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano, the only female fighter and only Puerto Rican fighter in history to win five world boxing championships in five different weight divisions, as she sets her sights on achieving another unprecedented feat — becoming the first fighter in history to win a major MMA world championship while simultaneously retaining a world boxing title.
Related stories from TheWrap:
www.thewrap.com | 8/21/18
Virgin Hyperloop One to build a research facility in Spain originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 08 Aug 2018 09:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
www.autoblog.com | 8/8/18
The 52 Places Traveler: The 52 Places Traveler: In Spain, Wine, Tapas and a Surprising Sense of Comfort
In the charming city of Seville and the wine region of Ribera del Duero, our columnist finds a culture perfectly suited to her natural rhythms.
www.nytimes.com | 8/7/18
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
www.pravdareport.com | 7/26/18
By Mahboob A Khawaja, PhD.Global politics is fraught with man-made catastrophic tragedies. The human beings are supposed to be the most intelligent social animal on the planet. Yet, our proactive plans and actions continue to dehumanize the fellow human beings and engineer conflicts and wars that destroy the existence of mankind. The driving impulse is war economies, individualistic interest and militarization. We come to realize that politics is a game of pretension and always remains problematic. Politicians need problems to get public attention and to argue being the deliverers. Often, they are not except being treacherous, cynical and deceitful to their ideas and ideals and to the public interests they claim to serve.Amongst all the creations on Planet Earth, humans are the only one to claim morality as an attribute of life and value. This reality emphasizes and differentiates us from the other creations of God. If we propel uncertainty in our thoughts and behavior, nothing can stop us from surpassing the limit of immorality and insanity. With knowledge-based 21st century human communications improving global collaboration, we are not moving in the right direction that human logic and truth spell out for our conduct in peaceful relationships. The impulse and actions for cruelty and sadistic behavior are increasingly sending alarming trends for the present and future generations to be informed of our implicit wickedness and resulting failure in global affairs. As humans, we are not thinking or moving for the unity of mankind to be at peace and harmony being the chief creation of God. Unless, we are overwhelmed philosophically to imagine that we are something else than humans populating the Earth by chance. Global Institutions are a Menace to Human Change and Progress The global warlords are waging wars in the name of peace and harmony. Humanity is being crushed and its compound interest undermined by the few for economic greed and militarization. The UNO originated from the belief and commitment to avert futuristic wars by men of new ideas pursuing peaceful means, diplomacy and accountability to the global mankind. How sad and cynical it looks to view the succeeding generations entrapped again into the same mindset of warmongering and power politics as were the sadistic leaders before the Two WW. Like the past, once again few egoistic nations and leaders have manipulated the time and opportunities to dictate and undermine the interests of the mankind. The global humanity is the net object of their planned cruelty but without any meaningful role to challenge the few global warlords. America, Russia and few Europeans find freehand to go anywhere and bomb the humanity at will. This is what exactly happening in the broader Arab Middle East war theatre managed by global warlords. The UNO and its Secretary General need to free themselves from captivity and enlarge their role and initiatives for conflict management and peace-making outside the New York established box. Words and Charter's core thoughts are repeated but actions are missing. The UN Security Council could finally visit the Rohinga refugee camps but failed to demand equal treatment from the Myanmar Government. Strange, why the same UN Security Council cannot travel to defuse tensions and bring much needed humanitarian peace between Palestine and Israel. Could it shrink its inherent responsibility for the mismanagement of the Middle East conflict? Humanity in Search of Proactive Leaders The 21st century global politics have not produced any new leaders of vision and moral integrity to imagine the universal phenomenon of peaceful change and futuristic developments. There are no global organizations managed by people of moral and intellectual vision and courage to serve the interests of the global community. Man is a moral and intellectual being articulating happiness and progress horizontally in peace-time, but when fear of the unknown, hatred and animosity attempt to govern the human consciousness, degeneration replaces human progress. America and some Europeans used to be the leaders of change and new strategies to envisage global friendship, co-existence and harmony of the mankind. If political greed and egoistic interest are the supreme force, how could they serve the interest and priorities of the global mankind for peace and harmony? At best, many world leaders could best be defined as "hangmen" of the 21st century. It is a frightening trend for the present and future generations to imagine our time and role in human history. The Middle East - the Ancient Hub of Humanity - the Land of Abrahim, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad is being ScorchedThe continuing wars in the Middle East are fabricated and gone out of proportion challenging the human conscience and civilized values that once highlighted the human behavior in conflicts. Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine and Libya are destroyed by political design. Do you remember the paradoxes of history? Do you recall what Sultan Salahudeen Ayoubi did to free Jerusalem and drive out the Crusaders from the ancient lands? Do you remember how Sultan Salahudeen treated his enemies - King Richard and others even in the battlefield? Do you know that for ages the European feared Salahudeen - the Conqueror of Jerusalem? The contemporary Arab world is devoid of moral and intellectual leadership of any kind. They operate on a dead-ended scale without any role in global affairs. Jerusalem was not US property to be transferred top Israel; it belongs equally to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Under the UNO Plan, Jerusalem is an international city to be shared by all the believers. Yet, the puppet Arab leaders showed no moral courage to question President Trump for moving the Embassy to Jerusalem. One wonders why the Saudi King signed 250 billion worth of military contracts and gave 100 million to Ivanka Kushner when Trump visited the region last August. It could well be witnessed by the raging sectarian wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere. There is no coming of Salahudeen to rescue the entrenched Palestinians. After 70 years of Nakba, they still have No thinking plan, no leadership, no movement for change and freedom except reactionary emotional outbursts. When Jews lived with the Arabs in Spain (Al-Andulsia) for centuries, they were part of the Arab culture and advancements for the best of humanity. European mistreated Jews but Muslims gave them the best for their protection and participation in Islamic civilization. Look, what is happening now between Palestine and Israel. Gideon Levy ("60 Killed In Gaza And The End Of Israeli Conscience", Haaretz and Information Clearing house: 5/21/2018), spells out the present reality for Israelis to think critically:On the night of the Palestinians' slaughter, Zion exulted an embassy and a Eurovision. It's difficult to think of a more atrocious moral eclipse....The truth is that Israel is well prepared to massacre hundreds and thousands, and to expel tens of thousands. Nothing will stop it. This is the end of conscience, the show of morality is over. The last few days' events have proved it decisively. The tracks have been laid, the infrastructure for the horror has been cast. Dozens of years of brainwashing, demonization and dehumanization have borne fruit. The alliance between the politicians and the media to suppress reality and deny it has succeeded. Israel is set to commit horrors. Nobody will stand in its way any longer. Not from within or from without....If 60 stray dogs were shot to death in one day by IDF soldiers, the whole country would raise an outcry. The dog slaughterers would be put on trial, the nation of Israel would have devoted prayers to the victims, a Yizkor service would be said for the dogs slaughtered by Israel....The Israeli brain has been washed irrevocably, the heart sealed for good. The life of a Palestinian is no longer deemed to be worth anything.Towards Thinking of Future-MakingWe live in one Planet Earth. What happens across the globe or in the remote jungles of Botswana and or in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan or the bloody streets of Kabul, Damascus and Baghdad, it is vital to global interests and cannot be ignored because European or American television networks do not portray it. According to the Divine revelations, the Earth keeps record of all the human activities. The Earth is a living entity, not dead. There were many powerful and unchallenging empires and nations in history. What happened to their self-perpetuated glory and triumphs except being part of the archeological record? To all concerned, their artifacts and deadly remains do tell the real story. Most were destroyed by natural causes but the Earth remains in-tact, not by the legislative power of any States of the UN membership but certainly by the Will of God. It operates and maintains balanced life for all regardless of ethnicity, color, creed, religions and nationalism. Should we not care how we live, utilize and draw lifelong gains from the Earth? We the humans urgently need rethinking to reflect on our plans and behaviors how do we relate to Earth? It is an indivisible comprehensive relationship. The answer should help us to balance our life. When could this historic change come into being? If we realize to be One Humanity living on One Planet Earth, its imagination could affect and balance our thoughts and behavior. We must respect equal human rights and dignity of all on Earth. Do the Super Powers (powerful nations) have a sense of indifference and biased toward the colored and economically less advanced nations? In its 2014 Global Thinkers statistics, Foreign Policy ("A World Disrupted: The global Thinkers of 2014") pinpoints that "something big requires a team rather than an individual...." To enhance global peace and to undo the continuing bogus war on terrorism, there is an urgent need for teamwork by all concerned across the globe. The teamwork if undertaken with unbiased mind and without pre-conceived notions could usher sustainable change and a new beginning between those who claim to be at peace and somewhat superior than the ordinary folks and those who are fighting reactionary wars of freedom against insanity and catastrophic devastation of the human habitats. Under 'Advocates', the Foreign Policy notes:"The global thinkers herald causes often wrongly considered inconsequential or verboten. They support forgotten victims of sexual violence, protect civilian targeted in internecine violence, count casualties in the fog of war, and demand legal protection for world's most vulnerable migrants. Often these men and women, scholars, activists and religious leader among them- do this work on their own peril and pay the price landing in court or in prison in some of the world's most repressive countries. For all of them, however, the risk is worth the possible rewards."
www.pravdareport.com | 7/10/18
If “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” left you craving more Jeff Goldblum, fear not — the original films in the franchise will be coming to Netflix at the start of July.
“Jurassic Park,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic Park III” will fill out the streamer’s movie lineup, along with other action-packed epics “Troy” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” On the other end of the spectrum, indie romances “Blue Valentine” and “Her” will come July 5 and July 29, respectively.
In the realm of television, the sixth season of “Orange is the New Black” drops July 27 and the eighth season of “Shameless” arrives July 28.
See below for the complete list of titles coming to Netflix in July.
Arriving in July (Date Not Announced)
El Chapo: Season 3
Avail. July 1
Blue Bloods: Season 8
Bo Burnham: what.
Hawaii Five-O: Season 8
Interview with the Vampire
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jurassic Park III
Madam Secretary: Season 4
Menace II Society
NCIS: Season 15
Queens of Comedy: Season 2
Rica, Famosa, Latina: Seasons 1-4
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
The Boondock Saints
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
The Princess Diaries
We Own the Night
We the Marines
What We Started
Avail. July 2
Dance Academy: The Comeback
Good Witch: Season 4
King of Peking
The Sinner: Season 1
Avail. July 3
The Comedy Lineup– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
A diverse group of up-and-coming comedians perform 15-minute sets in this stand-up comedy showcase series.
Avail. July 5
Avail. July 6
Anne with an E: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Anne’s beloved world of Green Gables becomes a much bigger place, with new faces and heartfelt lessons about love, loss and growing up.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: New 2018: Freshly Brewed– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In a new set of episodes for 2018, Jerry Seinfeld takes a ride with 12 comedy heavyweights, including Jerry Lewis, Ellen DeGeneres and Dave Chappelle.
First Team: Juventus: Part B– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In the second half of the season, Juve hope to hold off stiff challenges to winning another league title while moving forward in the Champions League.
Free Rein: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
As Zoe and the Bright Fields team prepare for Junior Nationals, they must overcome the loss of a team member, a mysterious fire and other obstacles.
Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Raphael Rowe, who spent 12 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, investigates some of the world’s toughest prisons from the inside.
Sacred Games– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Set amid the chaos of Mumbai, this epic series explores the corrupt underworld lurking beneath India’s economic renaissance. Based on the novel.
Samantha!– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
A child star in the ’80s, Samantha clings to the fringes of celebrity with hilarious harebrained schemes to launch herself back into the spotlight.
Somebody Feed Phil: The Second Course– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Phil Rosenthal continues his culinary journey of the world, making stops in Dublin, Venice, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Cape Town and New York City.
The Fosters: Season 5 New Episodes
The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter– NETFLIX FILM
All he wants out of this trip is a chance to bond with his son. And for his son to kill a deer. And to get it all on video.
The Skin of The Wolf– NETFLIX FILM
An animal trapper living in an abandoned mountain town in northern Spain seeks to resolve his loneliness by securing a wife.
White Fang– NETFLIX FILM
A loyal wolfdog’s curiosity leads him on the adventure of a lifetime in this animated update of a Jack London classic set in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
Avail. July 7
Avail. July 9
Lockup: Extended Stay: Collection 1
Avail. July 10
Drug Lords: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Drug lords El Chapo, Jemeker Thompson, Christopher Coke and Klaas Bruinsma use fear and violence to make money and avoid authorities.
Avail. July 12
Gone Baby Gone
Avail. July 13
How It Ends– NETFLIX FILM
As a mysterious apocalypse causes the spread of misinformation and violence, a man and his estranged father-in-law race across a chaotic and fractured country to save his pregnant wife.
Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Jim Jefferies returns to Netflix with his third Netflix Original stand-up special, Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now. Performing at the Eventim Apollo in London, the comedian and host of The Jim Jefferies Show unapologetically keeps it real when he opens up about the challenges of being a single father, reflects on the time someone tried to unsuccessfully extort him for money with a sex tape, and the weirdest gig he’s ever played.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
Sugar Rush– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Time’s the most important ingredient as competitive teams race against the clock to bake up the best-tasting sweets.
The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Facing one misadventure after another, two rascally 4th-grade pals turn their ornery principal into Captain Underpants, a superhero to save the day.
Avail. July 15
Bonusfamiljen: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
As Lisa and Patrik take their relationship to the next level, mishaps, money troubles and a startling revelation leave the whole family reeling.
Going for Gold
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale: Part 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Trending news, pop culture, social media, original videos and more come together in host Joel McHale’s weekly comedy commentary show.
Avail. July 20
Amazing Interiors– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
They might look ordinary on the outside. But inside, these stunning homes have some jaw-dropping secrets to reveal.
Dark Tourist– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
From a nuclear lake to a haunted forest, journalist David Farrier visits unusual — and often macabre — tourism spots around the world.
Deep Undercover: Collection 3
Duck Duck Goose– NETFLIX FILM
A carefree goose takes a pair of lost baby ducklings under his wing after he’s grounded with an injury. Together, they go on a wild adventure.
Father of the Year– NETFLIX FILM
Two college grads return to their hometown, where a hypothetical question — whose dad would win in a fight? — leads to mass mayhem.
Fix It and Finish It: Collection 3
Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh: Season 4– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Fun-loving Tip and her goofy Boovian BFF take on the world in a new season packed with awesome adventures and cool tunes.
Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In the 1980s, a simple-minded fool named Hideaki meets comedy legend Sanma, changes his name to Jimmy and becomes a comic superstar.
Last Chance U: EMCC & Life After– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
With “Last Chance U” in their rearview mirrors, EMCC players, coaches and staff members reveal how life has gone for them since the show.
Last Chance U: INDY: Part 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The acclaimed series shifts to Independence Community College in Kansas, where a tough-as-nails coach attempts to rebuild a struggling program.
Luna Petunia: Return to Amazia: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
She’s back with the power to make the impossible possible! Join Luna and her friends for more magical adventures in Amazia and beyond.
Avail. July 22
Avail. July 24
The Warning– NETFLIX FILM
After the loss of his friend, a mathematical genius figures out a pattern of deaths at a gas station and sets out to warn the next young victim.
Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Avail. July 27
Cupcake & Dino – General Services– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In this outrageous animated series, an ambitious cupcake and his friendly dinosaur brother try to rule the general services industry in the big city.
Extinction– NETFLIX FILM
Plagued by dreams of an alien invasion, a family man faces his worst nightmare when an extraterrestrial force begins exterminating Earth’s inhabitants.
Orange Is the New Black: Season 6– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In the wake of the riot, the women are taken to maximum security prison and face serious charges.
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood: Master of Rome– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Julius Caesar rises to establish one of history’s greatest dynasties but quickly discovers that unchecked power comes with a price.
The Bleeding Edge– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
This groundbreaking documentary explores how America’s profit-driven multibillion-dollar medical device industry puts patients at risk daily.
The Worst Witch: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
A second year at Cackle’s Academy means double the magic and mischief for accident-prone witch in training Mildred Hubble and her friends.
Welcome to the Family– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
When a broke single mom’s estranged father dies, she and his girlfriend try to cover up his death after learning they’ve been written out of his will.
Avail. July 28
Shameless: Season 8
The Company Men
Avail. July 29
Sofia the First: Season 4
Avail. July 30
A Very Secret Service: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Amid rising Cold War tensions, the clueless agents trigger a series of international crises, and André goes rogue on a mission of his own.
Avail. July 31
Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 3– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
A new female member joins Terrace House, driving the male members to distraction. And with Valentine’s Day approaching, confessions are in the air.
Leaving July 1
Along Came Polly
An Honest Liar
Bring It On
Bring It On Again
Bring It On: All or Nothing
Bring It On: Fight to the Finish
Bring It On: In It to Win It
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Lethal Weapon 2
Lethal Weapon 3
Lethal Weapon 4
Midnight in Paris
More Than a Game
Piglet’s Big Movie
Rugrats Go Wild
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The Art of War
V for Vendetta
Leaving July 2
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Leaving July 8
Alpha & Omega: Journey to Bear Kingdom
Real Husbands of Hollywood: Seasons 1-5
Leaving July 9
Ratchet and Clank
Leaving July 11
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Leaving July 14
Leaving July 15
Lockup: State Prisons: Collection 1
Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary
Leaving July 16
Leaving July 29
Leaving July 30
A Cinderella Story
Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot
Related stories from TheWrap:
www.thewrap.com | 6/22/18
Spain's minister of culture says he's resigning after just under a week in office over media revelations that he was fined for evading thousands of euros (dollars) in taxes.
www.foxnews.com | 6/13/18
Franchises find a way. With three weeks to go until the release of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” the sequel to the 2015 dinosaur megahit is looking at an opening weekend of $130-$150 million.
“Jurassic World” became one of the biggest box office hits of all-time three years ago, standing as one of only six films to ever post an opening weekend of more than $200 million with its $208 million launch. It’s also one of only seven films to gross $1 billion outside the U.S. And with a global total of $1.67 billion, it held the record for the highest grossing summer release ever until “Avengers: Infinity War” passed it earlier this month.
However, as today’s tracking shows, “Fallen Kingdom” isn’t expected to match the results of its predecessor. Similar to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Jurassic World” had the anticipation that comes with being the first installment in its franchise in more than a decade.
“Fallen Kingdom” won’t have that advantage, though there will still be hopes for the film to reach $1 billion worldwide. Domestically, an opening weekend 30 percent down from “Jurassic World”‘s opening — in other worlds, in the $140 million range — would be a strong result for the sequel. “Fallen Kingdom” is on course to hit that target based on this first round of tracking, though current estimates could change substantially as the release date nears.
To get to $1 billion, Universal will start rolling out the film overseas this coming Wednesday in 48 countries, two weeks before the film’s U.S. release. Among those countries are France, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, U.K., and UAE.
This early release is being done to give the film a week in theaters before the start of the FIFA World Cup, which traditionally weighs down overseas releases as audiences eschew the cinema in favor of watching the tournament. China, which contributed $228 million to the overseas totals for “Jurassic World,” will get “Fallen Kingdom” on June 15; while the U.S. will open day-and-date with Australia, Mexico, and South American markets.
The sequel sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return as the survivors of the Jurassic World massacre, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing. The dinosaurs have been living alone on Isla Nublar for three years, but when Claire discovers that a volcano eruption will soon kill them all, she persuades Owen to help her rescue them. Unfortunately, the pair are blindsided by an organization who plans to capture the dinosaurs for their own evil ends.
James Cromwell also stars in the film, with original “Jurassic Park” stars B.D. Wong and Jeff Goldblum returning as scientists Henry Wu and Ian Malcolm in cameo roles. J.A. Bayona (“A Monster Calls”) directed the film, with Colin Trevorrow returning as executive producer and writer for the film, sharing script credit with writing partner Derek Connolly. Steven Spielberg is also attached as executive producer.
Related stories from TheWrap:
www.thewrap.com | 5/31/18
(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we whip out our passport and go looking for Spanish terrors deserving of more eyeballs.) Spain is a beautiful nation filled with rich culture, wonderful people, and the abomination that […]
www.slashfilm.com | 5/30/18
Terry Gilliam has tried to make his film “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” for two decades, and it finally screened on the closing night of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
It’s the quintessential production from hell, complete with on-set injuries, lost funding, natural disasters and outsize ambitions worthy of the hero of Cervantes’ classic novel. Even after it wrapped, a lawsuit threatened to derail the film from screening at Cannes, and Amazon Studios pulled out of a deal to distribute the film in the U.S.
So the irony isn’t lost on anyone that Gilliam’s quest to make a movie about Don Quixote has been nothing if not quixotic. Here’s a not-so-brief timeline of every step on the road to Gilliam getting his film made.
Gilliam started thinking about an adaptation of Cervantes’ 1615 novel “Don Quixote” in the early ’90s, and in a 1997 interview with Neon Magazine, he revealed “Don Quixote” as one of the “10 movies they wouldn’t let me make.”
“The years I wasted on this one,” he lamented, hardly realizing how quaint that now sounds. He originally asked for $20 million in funding from Europe and found that still wasn’t enough for his vision.
Gilliam also revealed that the studio wanted Sean Connery for the title role, but the actor left the project to make “The Defective Detective” (another movie that never came to pass). The director was replaced by Fred Schepesi, with John Cleese and Robin Williams in the lead roles, though that version never panned out either. “That really hurts, that I let a project I’m convinced I’m the best director on the planet to do, slip by,” Gilliam said.
After the U.K. premiere of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” in 1998, Gilliam said that “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” would be his next film. He had secured a $32 million budget and planned to begin production in Spain in September 2000.
In this version, Quixote would be played by French actor Jean Rochefort, who had learned English for the role, with the director’s “Fear and Loathing” star Johnny Depp as the Sancho Panza figure.
The script he wrote with Tony Grisoni was about a 21st-century ad executive (Depp) who travels back in time to the 17th century and gets mistaken for Sancho Panza. The story also drew inspiration from Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” another of the 10 movies Gilliam said he hoped to adapt for the screen in that Neon interview.
The production appeared cursed from day one. As documented in the 2002 documentary “Lost in La Mancha,” production began north of Madrid near a Spanish military base and fighter planes flying overhead drowned out the sound recording.
On the second day of shooting, a flood washed through the area, causing the crew to lose equipment and for the landscape to be changed so drastically that it affected continuity. And after feeling pain from riding a horse, Rochefort was then sent to a doctor in Paris and was found to have a back issue.
He would not return, and production was canceled altogether in November. Nicola Pecorini, the film’s director of photography, said in the documentary, “Never in 22 years of being in this business have I seen such a sum of bad luck.”
Gilliam’s interest in “Don Quixote” perked up again in 2005, when “Tideland” producer Jeremy Thomas came on board the project and Gilliam hinted that he wanted Gerard Depardieu to play the lead role.
Johnny Depp breathed new life into the project when he told Ain’t It Cool News that he loved Gilliam and was still on board — though he hedged about whether he would be available given his commitment to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.
“I’d hate to put him in a position — or ask to be in a position — where he’d have to wait for me. That would be wrong,” Depp said. “But also… I feel like we went there and tried something, and, whatever it was — the elements and all the things that got up underneath us – -were there and happened and were documented well in that film ‘Lost in La Mancha.’ So I don’t know if it’s right for me to go back there. I don’t know if it’s right for Terry to, but if he wants to…”
Collider reported that Gilliam wanted Robert Duvall for the lead role of Don Quixote, but only “if they get the money,” Duvall said.
With Depp tied up, Gilliam turned to Ewan McGregor to play the Sancho Panza role opposite Duvall. He also said that he slashed the budget to a mere $20 million.
Funding falls apart again for Gilliam’s film, despite having Robert Duvall and Ewan McGregor attached. “I shouldn’t be here. The plan was to be shooting ‘Quixote’ right now,” Gilliam told Variety.
Shortly after releasing his sci-fi “The Zero Theorem,” Gilliam confirmed to ComingSoon.net that he had begun preproduction on a seventh version of on “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.”
“Lucky seven, maybe,” he said. “We’ll see if it happens. This is kind of my default position, going back to that. I actually just want to make it and get rid of it. Get it out of my life.”
Gilliam told TheWrap that he secured funding for “Don Quixote” and planned to shoot it in early 2015 — with the film now set in the present day and revolving around a movie being made about Quixote. “I keep incorporating my own life into it and shifting it,” Gilliam said. “I’ve done it so many times — or not done it so many times — I’ll believe it when I see it.”
After another casting “hiccup” that Gilliam described to Rolling Stone as a “Sisyphean rock,” John Hurt was confirmed to play the role of Don Quixote, with Jack O’Connell as Sancho Panza. He even sparked a renewed excitement by releasing concept art for the film on his Facebook page.
Another major setback suspended production when star Hurt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He eventually passed away in 2017, a sad reality Gilliam knew all too well after Heath Ledger passed away during production of “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.”
Teaming with Portuguese producer Paulo Branco, Gilliam got “Don Quixote” back on track yet again with a new cast that this time includes Gilliam’s “Monty Python” co-hort Michael Palin, Adam Driver and Olga Kurylenko as the female lead.
Branco failed to get together funds that he promised, stalling its planned production date in October. Branco clashed with Gilliam, demanded creative control over the film, slashed the budget, dramatically reduced the fee for Palin and even threatened legal action over the film.
“I was moving with caution,” Branco said in Le Monde. “In most of Gilliam’s films, budgets had exploded. But I quickly realized that he had a deep hatred towards producers. I started to have doubts even though I had a lot of funding.”
But Gilliam persevered, telling BBC Radio 2, “We are still marching forward. It is not dead. I will be dead before the film is.”
Production finally wrapped on “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” — this time with Jonathan Pryce as Quixote and Driver as Toby, a modern ad executive mistaken for Sancho Panza. The cast also included Stellan Skarsgard, Kurylenko, Joana Ribeiro, Jordi Molla, Sergi Lopez and Rossy de Palma.
At long last, a trailer is released for “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” The film tells the story of a 21st-century marketing executive named Toby (Driver) who time jumps between modern times and 17th-century Spain, where Don Quixote (Pryce) mistakes him for his trusted squire, Sancho Panza.
Then the film landed the closing-night slot at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, with a gala screening on May 19.
Within days, though, former producer Branco filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent Cannes from screening the film and claiming that Gilliam needs Branco’s permission to screen the film. Cannes organizers stood by Gilliam and defends the right to screen it, even taking a swipe at Branco.
A Paris court dismissed Branco’s lawsuit, allowing the film to screen at Cannes’ closing night as planned.
But the troubles didn’t end. Gilliam suffered a minor stroke just days before the court ruling and Amazon Studios pulled out of its deal to release “Don Quixote” in North America, telling TheWrap they pulled out because producers failed to deliver it.
The film finally did screen and won affectionate reviews from critics, including TheWrap’s Ben Croll, who called it “an awful lot of fun”: “The director hasn’t lost an inch of his Monty Python irreverence, gleefully poking holes in the narrative by breaking the fourth wall and calling attention to all the artifice.”
Related stories from TheWrap:
www.thewrap.com | 5/20/18
With the caveat that “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” might be assessed on the most loaded grading curve in contemporary cinema memory, we’ve got to say that Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited adventure tale is an awful lot of fun.
Of course, the fun can be far from perfect. The film is also messy and hysterical in places, and by running an exhausting 132 minutes, it rather insistently overstays its welcome.
Somehow, knowledge of the years of calamity and incident that befell this seemingly perma-doomed production can’t help but turbo-charge our reactions to it. We’re so thrilled by the film’s improbable existence that we’re willing to go wherever Gilliam wants to take us, but respond with an extra degree of disappointment whenever he stumbles along the way.
Knowing full well that the myth of the film’s production is (at least at this point) inseparable from the work itself, Gilliam goes right in and addresses the matter at the start. We open with on a credit that reads “and now … after 25 years of making … and unmaking… a film by Terry Gilliam,” a move that doesn’t exactly deflate expectations but does address the elephant in the room.
What’s more surprising is how many times Gilliam bring it up again. More than anything else, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is fundamentally about its own creation and the obsessions that pushed the director to finally see it through.
Adam Driver plays Toby, a hotshot ad director shooting a Cervantes-themed insurance commercial in La Mancha, Spain. Toby has been this way before — he actually made his name with Quixote-themed student film a decade prior — but the text has seemingly lingered in his mind. At least Toby was able to tackle other projects before inevitably circling back; his thesis film’s leading man, Javier (Jonathan Pryce), has been stuck in the role ever since.
Soon enough, the two are back together, getting into hijinks at a breakneck pace and often shrill pitch. Gilliam’s madman orchestrations occasionally result in individual sequences where the action onscreen is hard enough to make sense of — let alone describe — but the broad sweep is crystal clear.
What begins in the real world (or as close to the real world as Gilliam can approximate) soon gives way to fantasy. When Toby initially sets off with the ersatz Don Quixote, the film sees things as he does. By the time they end up in an opulent Moorish castle owned by venal cabal of Russian vodka moguls, we’re firmly in fantasia.
But getting there is half the fun, and Gilliam plays to his considerable strengths with long sequences and short interjections that make us question what is real, what is a hallucination — and this world, what is the difference? The director hasn’t lost an inch of his Monty Python irreverence, gleefully poking holes in the narrative by breaking the fourth wall and calling attention to all the artifice.
Both leads visibly have a great time onscreen, though in their frenzied glee, sometimes at the expense of the audience. It’s no surprise that Jonathan Pryce, star of Gilliam’s wonderful “Brazil,” fits easily into the director’s manic play-to-the-rafters approach, while Adam Driver proves no less adept. With last year’s “Logan Lucky” and even in part of “BlacKkKlansman,” the usually moody screen presence has displayed a lighter touch, but he’s never let loose with as much abandon as he does here.
The scene where he mugs and whoops and dances a full Eddie Cantor routine in order to shock Javier out of a stupor just about sums up the project. It’s too much, it’s out of step with today and it’s oddly endearing.
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www.thewrap.com | 5/18/18
You can bet that every scheming lowlife who populates the kitsch landscape of “The World Is Yours” knows and recognizes that title’s allusion to Brian De Palma’s “Scarface.” And you can be be just as sure that not one of them has ever been able to sit still and concentrate long enough to make it through that — or any — three-hour film.
Music video director Romain Gavras’ breezy pop comedy, however, might be more their speed — but then, the film is designed to be everyone’s speed.
With his latest feature, the Kanye West, Jay-Z and M.I.A. collaborator has set out to conquer the world, or at least the French box office. With “The World Is Yours,” he delivered a crowd-pleasing caper that drew hurls of laughter and sustained applause at its world premiere as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight sidebar on Saturday.
As if the John Landis cameo didn’t give it away, the film tries to be a “Blues Brothers”-like jaunt for a generation raised on Adderall and French hip hop, but its sharp edge and endearing cast will have little difficulty winning over audiences unfamiliar with acts like MC Solaar, as well.
Doughy mama’s boy François (Karim Leklou) has one dream in life: to buy the North African distribution rights to the Mr. Freeze brand of ice pops and work his way out of the projects, one summery treat at a time. Things are going his way until his con-artist mom Danny (Isabelle Adjani) gambles away the entire nest egg, forcing the good-hearted if otherwise inept crook to accept an ill-conceived drug-buying mission in Spain.
Already saddled with a harebrained scheme, Francois certainly doesn’t help matters by assembling a motley band of knuckleheads, all of them more inept and significantly less trustworthy than he.
While Lamya (Oulaya Amamra, star of the 2016 Caméra d’Or winner “Divines”) takes the money and runs every chance she gets, Henry (Vincent Cassel, hilariously playing against type as a potbellied goon) is really only good for conspiracy theories and little else. Throw in a pair of dimwitted thugs and a louche Belgian snowbird and you have all the makings for disaster — which is exactly what happens when Francois’ drug supplier stiffs them and Danny sweeps in to kidnap the man’s daughter.
Gavras keeps these many plates spinning with admirable dexterity, relying on his polished commercial background to keep things moving at an appealingly propulsive clip. Many sequences play like full-on music videos, like a tense hotel room break-in set to the song “Atlas” by the group Battles, or a kitschtastic karaoke rendition of Toto’s “Africa” at a tense, pivotal moment.
The director and his crew have an absolute blast detailing the garish neon wonderland of the seaside resort town where most of the action takes place.
That the cast is predominantly Arab-French and of a not-particularly-affluent social class is neither the main focus of the film nor wholly elided. Instead, Gavras and co-screenwriters Karim Boukercha and Noé Debré treat their characters’ backgrounds as a simply fact of life, letting their anxieties and experiences affect the madcap action onscreen, but not guide it.
In that sense, the broad comedy treats class and culture with an impressive sophistication. Think of it as “Pain & Gain” meets “La Haine,” played for laughs and box office.
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www.thewrap.com | 5/12/18
This story about Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem and “Everybody Knows” appeared in TheWrap’s magazine’s Cannes issue.
On the day that Penélope Cruz ended up in an ambulance on the set of “Everybody Knows,” she found out just what kind of director Asghar Farhadi is.
In the film, the opening-night attraction at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Cruz plays a woman whose teenage daughter abruptly disappears under mysterious circumstances during a wedding celebration. She spends most of the film in a state of panic and desperation, enlisting the help of an old flame played by her real-life husband, Javier Bardem.
“All of my scenes were very intense,” Cruz told TheWrap. “In one scene I have a panic attack in the car, and I ended up in an ambulance myself. It was just from hyperventilation and from my blood sugar going very high from the stress of the scene. I remember getting out of the ambulance, and Asghar made sure I was OK.”
She paused. “And then he asked me for one more take.”
Cruz started laughing as she described a director so devoted to his film that he asked for another take from an actress who’d just required medical treatment. “I know he was worried about me, and that was the most important thing,” she insisted. “But after that, he wanted one more. And I never felt that he was crossing the line. He was always very respectful, but of course he went for the truth.”
Bardem added that Farhadi had an uncanny ability to ferret out that truth even though he shot his film in Spanish, a language he doesn’t speak. “He knows when you’re lying,” he said of the director, who used two translators on the set. “You can be in the middle of a very emotional scene, and he will show up and the translator will say, ‘Your eyes are lying. Please don’t act.’ And f—, he is right. He knows it, he feels it. Maybe it was a pause, maybe it was a word. He doesn’t know the language, but he knows that the words were not organically said.”
In many ways, the notion of truth was what drew both Cruz and Bardem to Farhadi, the Iranian director whose last three films include two Oscar winners in the Best Foreign Language Film category: 2011’s “A Separation” and 2015’s “The Salesman,” both studies of families stretched to the breaking point by secrets and class and societal tensions.
“I saw ‘A Separation,’ and like millions of other people I was blown away by the quality of the film, and by how pure it is in every sense,” said Bardem. “When I saw it, and when I saw [2009’s] ‘About Elly’ before that, I was thoroughly moved by the truth and the human quality he brings to his movies.”
Cruz agreed. “‘A Separation’ is one of my favorite movies,” she said. “It’s like you’re watching life — you don’t see anybody acting, any tricks, any lies. It’s like a piece of life that he puts up there without judgment.”
On the heels of “A Separation,” Farhadi met with Bardem and said he was interested in making a film in Spain and would like Bardem to be part of it. Later, he separately went to Cruz and had the same conversation.
The couple, who had gotten married in 2010 and had the first of their two children in 2011, had made a few films together, including 1992’s “Jamón Jamón” — Bardem’s first starring role, in which a teenaged Cruz also appeared — and Woody Allen’s 2008 comedy “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” for which Cruz won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award a year after Bardem had won his own Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “No Country for Old Men.”
Despite those projects, though, they tended to work separately. It’s a coincidence, Cruz said, that this film appears only a year after they also acted together in “Loving Pablo,” in which he played drug lord Pablo Escobar and she was journalist Virginia Vallejo, Escobar’s lover.
“It’s delicate, putting ourselves in front of a camera together,” said Bardem. “We don’t want to be doing something that is not worth the time that we are going to be spending together on it. We get along great on screen and we work together very well, but we don’t want to do it just because. It has to be special.”
But they were both eager to work with Farhadi, so they jumped aboard the project that was subsequently postponed when the director decided that he didn’t want to follow his 2013 Paris-set movie “The Past” with another film made outside his native Iran.
“We knew that he wanted to do something else in Iran, and ‘The Salesman’ was a priority for him,” said Bardem. “But that gave him time for writing and changing and being more specific in ‘Everybody Knows.’
“You have to be careful when you are dealing with delicate material about relationships, characters, and also a culture that is foreign to you. As he learned more and comprehended the habitat, the way we speak and relate to each other, he started to add many details.”
The story that emerged featured Cruz as Laura, a mother who returns from her home in Argentina to her hometown in Spain for the wedding of her sister. Bardem plays Paco, a onetime farmhand with whom she had a lengthy relationship in her teens. He’s now a landowner who helped her out by buying some of her family’s property, though some relatives think he got an unfair break on the price.
The tangled history of the two characters, which emerges as they race to find her daughter, is laden with secrets. Some come to light over the course of the movie, and some are never really as secret as Laura and Paco think. But in creating the shared history of the characters, Bardem said, his own decade-long relationship with Cruz was in fact an impediment rather than an aid.
“You have to clear the slate,” he said. “You go through your day as the father and the mother of these beautiful kids you have, and then you have to undo all of that to get into the fiction. You have to embody that fictional character — the way he sees the world, the way he treats others. And the moment you do that, you start to see the other person differently.
“There are a couple of scenes that are very intense, one in particular where we talk about how we were in the past, and nothing of us is in there. It’s imagining, working, creating something that doesn’t exist, even though the emotions are real and the bodies are our bodies.”
The shoot had other challenges, not least of which was explaining to the famously workaholic Farhadi how they do things in Spain. “I think ‘The Salesman’ was shot for 60 days in a row without one day off,” Bardem said. “And when he got the idea that in Spain we have weekends off, and even if we work on Saturdays we only have a half day, it took him a while to adjust.
“He said, ‘Why do we have to take a break? It’s better to go with the flow.’ We were laughing, and we said, ‘We know you are capable of doing this, but in Spain we need to stop! We need a siesta, we need a good glass of wine!’ And by the end of the shoot he loved it.”
For a three-week rehearsal period, Bardem said the director put his actors in many different settings that were not in the script as a way of fleshing out the world and making sure that they knew exactly how the characters would respond to everything.
“By the time we get to the set, we have put the characters in every possible situation,” he said. “But he won’t ever ask you go to a place where you aren’t comfortable or you feel excruciating pain.”
Then again, excruciating pain might be an accurate description of the journey made by Cruz’s character. “The shooting was four months long, and we were lucky that Asghar is such an easy person to be around,” she said. “But it was a very demanding character — I think the most difficult I’ve ever had to do.
“My character is happy at the beginning of the movie, but in everything else, she is desperate and going through a very deep and terrifying kind of pain. I was there every day for months. And my engine, my strength, came from thinking about, feeling for all the mothers that have feared losing their children from illness or war or situations like the one in the movie.
“This was a personal homage to those women, and that gave me the strength every day to do it. I didn’t even talk to Asghar about that, but it was my secret nutrition for everyday survival.”
She also had to figure out how to bring new shades to Laura’s desperation. “She’s always in a state of pain and panic, but I tried to bring different kinds of energy, from panic to fear to the loss of hope to getting back some hope,” she said. “I tried to find different colors in each situation.
“I was playing somebody who had to take two very strong sleeping pills to even sleep for four hours without losing her mind. So what is her energy like the morning after, or when she’s been up for two days?”
For Farhadi’s actors, added Bardem, the key to pleasing the demanding director was figuring out how to transcend acting. “He doesn’t want you to play the scene,” he said. “He wants you to go through the experience of the scene. And once you do the scene, he helps you get back on track and leave that experience in the scene. There’s silence, and time to recover.”
When Cruz thought back on the experience that put her in a state of hysteria for months and in an ambulance at one point, she also lavished praise on the director who steered her into those dark places and made sure she found the truths in that darkness. But then she added a succinct note: “By the end,” she said, “I was ready to finish.”
But she and Bardem are also ready for Cannes, which they’ve both been to numerous times before. For Bardem, the pleasures of heading to the Croisette with “Everybody Knows” are numerous.
“What a great honor it is for any actor on Earth to open the greatest cinema festival in the world,” he said. “And to do it along with Asghar Farhadi and your wife, it doesn’t get any better than this.”
Read more of TheWrap’s magazine’s Cannes issue here.
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www.thewrap.com | 5/7/18
BARCELONA— Ibermedia, the multi-million dollar pan-regional fund which is a financial lifeline for many for films in Latin America, is finally getting serious about animation. As announced at Spain’s Málaga Film Festival, a showcase for Spanish-language cinema, the Ibero-American fund has allotted $200,000 for animation work development, as $30,000 per work. Amounts may look small: […]
variety.com | 5/1/18
The culture of Spain is a European culture based on a variety of influences. These include the pre-Roman cultures, mainly the celts and the Iberians cultures; but mainly in the period of Roman influences. In the areas of language and religion, the Ancient Romans left a lasting legacy. The subsequent course of Spanish history also added elements to the country's cultural development. The Visigothic Kingdom left a sense of a united Christian Hispania that was going to be welded in the Reconquista. Muslim influences were strong during the period of 711 AD to the 15th century, especially with loan words. The Spanish language, derives directly from Vulgar Latin, and has minor influences from pre-roman languages like barro -mud-, gothic guerra -war-, Arabic and basque Other minorities includes the Jewish population in some cities, but after the defeat of the Muslims during the Christian "Reconquista" (Reconquest) period between 1000 and 1492, Spain became an almost entirely Roman Catholic country. In addition, the history of the nation and its Mediterranean and Atlantic environment have played a significant role in shaping its culture. By the end of the 19th and 20th, the Spaniards made expressions of cultural diversity easier than it had been for the last seven centuries. This occurred at the same period that Spain became increasingly drawn into a diverse international culture. Spain has the second highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, with a total of 42.