This year’s Oscars show will go on, with a host

The Oscars will have a host for the first time since 2018, broadcaster ABC said on Tuesday after television ratings for film’s biggest night have plummeted in recent years. (AFP)
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Updated 11 January 2022

This year’s Oscars show will go on, with a host

  • Walt Disney Co’s ABC said plans remain in place to hold the Oscars on March 27 in Los Angeles
  • This year’s ceremony will have a host, ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich said at a Television Critics Association event

LOS ANGELES: The Academy Awards will have a host for the first time since 2018 and return to their longtime home at the Dolby Theatre, broadcaster ABC said on Tuesday.
While other awards shows have been postponed because of a surge in COVID-19 cases, Walt Disney Co’s ABC said plans remain in place to hold the Oscars, the highest film honors, on March 27 in Los Angeles.
This year’s ceremony will have a host, ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich said at a Television Critics Association event. He provided no details. “It might be me,” he joked.
The Oscars were handed out by celebrity presenters but had no host in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Ratings for the telecast have fallen in recent years, dropping to a record low of 10.4 million people in the United States in 2021. Viewership of other awards shows also has declined.
Fans of British actor Tom Holland have suggested he should host this year’s Oscars after the smash success of his movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” possibly with his co-star Zendaya.
Holland told The Hollywood Reporter in December that he would “love” to host the awards. “If they ask me to, I would, and it would be very fun,” he said.
Previous hosts have included late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and comedians Chris Rock and Ellen DeGeneres.
ABC said in a statement that the 2022 Oscars will take place again at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Last year, the awards moved to the historic Union Station train station in downtown Los Angeles with a small crowd of nominees and guests to protect against COVID.
Nominations for the Oscars will be announced on Feb. 8.

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Johnny Depp lawyer urges jury to give him his ‘life back’

Updated 27 May 2022

Johnny Depp lawyer urges jury to give him his ‘life back’

  • "What is at stake in this trial is a man's good name," Camille Vasquez, an attorney for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star said
  • Lawyers for the two sides are making their closing arguments following six weeks of blistering mutual accusations of domestic violence

FAIRFAX, United States: A lawyer for actor Johnny Depp urged a jury on Friday to find his ex-wife Amber Heard guilty of defamation over domestic abuse allegations and give him his “life back.”
“What is at stake in this trial is a man’s good name,” Camille Vasquez, an attorney for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, said in closing arguments in Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capital.
“We ask you to give Mr.Depp his life back, to tell the world that Mr.Depp is not the abuser Miss Heard said he is and to hold Miss Heard accountable for her lies,” Vasquez said.
“The evidence shown in this trial has shown that Miss Heard is the abuser,” she added. “She was violent, she was abusive and she was cruel.”
Lawyers for the two sides are making their closing arguments following six weeks of blistering mutual accusations of domestic violence between the couple.
Judge Penney Azcarate will give the case over to the seven-person jury Friday afternoon. The panel will be off over the weekend and on Monday, a public holiday, and resume deliberations on Tuesday.
The 58-year-old Depp filed a defamation suit against Heard in Virginia over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
The Texas-born Heard, who had a starring role in “Aquaman,” did not name Depp in the piece, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.
The 36-year-old Heard countersued for $100 million, claiming that she suffered “rampant physical violence and abuse” at his hands.
Dozens of witnesses testified during the trial, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry experts, psychiatrists, doctors, friends and relatives.
Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand during the televised trial which attracted hundreds of fans of the “Pirates” star daily.
Video and audio recordings of heated, profanity-laced arguments between the couple were played for the jury, which was also shown photographs of injuries allegedly suffered by Heard during their volatile relationship.
Hours of testimony featuring medical experts was devoted to a finger injury that Depp suffered while filming an installment of “Pirates” in Australia in March 2015.
Depp claimed the tip of the middle finger on his right hand was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. Heard said she did not know how the injury occurred.
Both agreed that Depp went on to scrawl messages on walls, lampshades and mirrors using the bloody digit.
Heard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive “monster” during alcohol- and drug-fueled binges and resisted her repeated efforts to curb his drinking and drug use.
Heard said Depp had promised to bring her “global humiliation” if she left him, and she has been the target of a vast #JusticeForJohnnyDepp social media campaign.
Depp testified that it has been “brutal” to listen to his ex-wife’s “outlandish” accusations of domestic abuse.
“No human being is perfect, certainly not, none of us, but I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse,” he said.
Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, obtained a restraining order against him in May 2016, citing domestic violence.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a libel suit in London against the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.” He lost that case in November 2020.
Both sides have claimed damage to their Hollywood careers.
Heard’s legal team presented an entertainment industry expert who estimated that the actress has suffered $45-50 million in lost film and TV roles and endorsements.
An industry expert hired by Depp’s side said the actor has lost millions because of the abuse accusations, including a potential $22.5 million payday for a sixth installment of “Pirates.”


Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son cleared of drug charges

Updated 27 May 2022

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son cleared of drug charges

  • Aryan Khan, 24, an aspiring actor and director, was arrested in October during a raid on the cruise ship off Mumbai
  • Evidence from an eight-month investigation didn't implicate Khan

NEW DELHI: Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s son was cleared on Friday in a drug case involving a party on a luxury cruise ship, with no evidence showing he possessed banned drugs or was involved in trafficking, India’s narcotics agency said.
Aryan Khan, 24, an aspiring actor and director, was arrested in October during a raid on the cruise ship off Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital. He was released on bail after three weeks.
India’s Narcotics Control Bureau said in a statement Friday that evidence from an eight-month investigation didn’t implicate Khan. However, it pressed charges against 14 other people.
After the raid on the ship, the narcotics agency had said it had evidence in the form of WhatsApp messages showing that Khan was involved in illicit drug dealing.
Mukul Rohatgi, Khan’s lawyer, told reporters Friday that the arrest was “arbitrary” and the agency did not conduct a medical examination to show his client had consumed drugs.
The case was widely covered in India, with fans of Aryan Khan insisting on his innocence while others called for a boycott of his father’s films.
Shah Rukh Khan, 56, is known as the king of Bollywood and is India’s most loved actor. He has starred in more than 105 movies over nearly three decades.
In September last year, the narcotics agency questioned some of Bollywood’s most prominent stars in connection with the death of famous actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Rajput died by suicide and doctors and police ruled out drugs.


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Two Essays on Analytical Psychology’

Updated 27 May 2022

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Two Essays on Analytical Psychology’

“Two Essays on Analytical Psychology” is a behavioral science book written in 1966 by award-winning Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung.

Volume seven of “The Collected Works” of Jung, the book is considered to contain two of his most influential essays.

It comprises two chapters or essays, “The Psychology of the Unconscious,” and “The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious.

In “The Psychology of the Unconscious” Jung discusses going beyond merely addressing symptoms, drawing on his studies of the psyche through observing and analyzing the subconscious aspect of patterns and dreams.

“The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious” section of the book is divided into two subchapters in which he focuses on his Jungian methodology to actively engage with psychic and cognitive phenomena, while suggesting that “collective consciousness” is a byproduct of nature rather than nurture.

Jung is widely revered as the psychiatrist that introduced analytical psychology, and his ideas influenced a spectrum of fields of anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and religion.

He was influenced by great minds such as those of Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, and German philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Immanuel Kant, and was a research scientist under Bleuler at the Burgholzli psychiatric hospital in Zurich.

Throughout his career and contributions, Jung received honorary doctorates from universities all around the world including Clark University in 1909, Harvard University in 1936, the University of Benares in 1937, the University of Oxford in 1938, the University of Geneva in 1945, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1955.

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‘Goodfellas’ actor Ray Liotta dead

Updated 26 May 2022

‘Goodfellas’ actor Ray Liotta dead

  • Ray Liotta’s publicist in Los Angeles confirmed his death, saying the actor died in his sleep and that there were no suspicious circumstances
  • Liotta, whose turn as mobster Henry Hill in Scorsese’s crime masterpiece, ‘Goodfellas,’ won universal admiration, was shooting a film in the Dominican Republic when he died

LOS ANGELES: Actor Ray Liotta, who starred in Martin Scorsese’s gangster classic “Goodfellas,” has died in the Dominican Republic, the country’s cinema authority said Thursday. He was 67.
Liotta, whose blistering turn as real-life mobster Henry Hill in Scorsese’s crime masterpiece won universal admiration, was shooting a new film in the country when he died, a spokeswoman for the Dominican Republic’s General Direction of Cinema said.
“We understand that he was accompanied by his (fiancee) and that the (fiancee) asks that you please respect her grief,” the spokeswoman told AFP.
Liotta’s publicist in Los Angeles confirmed his death, saying the actor died in his sleep and that there were no suspicious circumstances.
He was working on a movie called “Dangerous Waters” at the time of his death.
Liotta’s breakout came in 1990 when he was cast alongside Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in what is widely considered one of the greatest films of the 20th century.
“Goodfellas” won one Oscar, and was nominated for five others, and scenes from the movie continue to resonate as cultural touchstones more than three decades later.
A year before “Goodfellas,” Liotta had played baseball star “Shoeless Joe” Jackson in beloved sports movie “Field of Dreams,” opposite Kevin Costner.
The film was nominated for three Oscars, including best picture.
Tributes began to be paid soon after news of Liotta’s death broke, with “Goodfellas” co-star Lorraine Bracco, who played his on-screen wife, Karen, saying she was “utterly shattered to hear this terrible news.”
“I can be anywhere in the world & people will come up & tell me their favorite movie is Goodfellas,” she tweeted.
“Then they always ask what was the best part of making that movie. My response has always been the same... Ray Liotta.”
Despite branching out to show his breadth as an actor, Liotta had recently returned to the world of mob films, with roles in Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move” and “The Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark.”
Liotta was born in Newark, on the US East Coast, in December 1954.
Variety reported he was left at an orphanage at birth and adopted when he was six months old.
At the University of Miami he performed in musicals, and after graduating landed a role in a soap opera that would provide him with three years’ work to 1981.
His first movie came in 1983, but it wasn’t until 1986’s “Something Wild” opposite Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels that he came to wider attention.
The comedy-action-romance was screened at Cannes and scored Liotta a Golden Globe nomination for supporting actor.

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Saudi deputy culture minister assures Kingdom’s film industry of ‘brilliant future’ as he visits pavilion at Cannes

Updated 26 May 2022

Saudi deputy culture minister assures Kingdom’s film industry of ‘brilliant future’ as he visits pavilion at Cannes

  • Hollywood director Brett Ratner reveals plans to visit Saudi Arabia to scout for shoot locations

CANNES: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Culture Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez visited the Kingdom’s pavilion during the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, to show his support for the burgeoning Saudi film industry.

“Our role is to support the sector with everyone in it. God willing, we will see success soon. Thank you everyone and I wish you a happy opportunity,” he said to a crowd of Saudi and international actors as well as filmmakers who had gathered at the pavilion.

The Saudi pavillion at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. (Arab News)

The deputy minister was accompanied by Red Sea Film Festival Foundation CEO Mohammed Al-Turki, Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf and US director Brett Ratner, the face behind such hits as the “Rush Hour” film series and “X-Men: The Last Stand.” Ratner also produced the “Horrible Bosses” film series, “The Revenant” and “War Dogs.”

The deputy minister praised the work being done by Saudi creatives in the Kingdom and their contribution to the expanding industry, before touring the pavilion and meeting with select industry professionals.

 

 

Following his tour, Fayez addressed the press and Saudi creatives directly, saying: “You will have a brilliant future and we are ready, present and supportive of you.

“With regional programs that will come together, there will be great opportunities for filmmakers, actors, actors and actresses,” he added.

For his part, Ratner teased a big announcement, before saying that the details were being kept under wraps.

However, he did reveal plans to visit Saudi Arabia in order to scout for shoot locations.

“I am very excited to come to your beautiful country to film. I am going to come next week with his royal highness and friends and I am going to scout the whole country,” the producer said.

“The film is going to be unbelievable. We will be able to create a big buzz,” he added.