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Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who was the face of the opposition against his country's apartheid and an inspiration to Hollywood, died today at 95 in Johannesburg. He had been hospitalized off and on for several months due to a lung infection.
The revolutionary and global icon served 27 years as a political prisoner for rebelling against his country's oppressive regime, eventually winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994. His words continually struck the hearts of citizens and leaders throughout the world, most notably his 1964 speech titled "I Am Prepared to Die":
"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people," he said. "I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
And to Hollywood, Mandela has been much more than just a leader; he's been the basis for countless films, biopics, and television specials throughout the decades. He has been portrayed by Sidney Poitier in Mandela and de Klerk, Dennis Haysbert in Goodbye Bafana, Morgan Freeman in Invictus, David Harewood in Mrs. Mandela, Terrence Howard in Winnie, and most recently by Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which was released this past November. Through these films, his life, his struggles, and his wisdom have been forever immortalized.
A state funeral will be held in honor of Mandela.
Watching the Doctor Who 50th anniversary extravaganza reminded us that we want to live in a world where the Doctor exists. Not just because the Doctor is a fantastic person and the protector of Earth from all things bad and alien, but also because then a lot of the cool technologies featured on the show would exist as well. Since we’ve seen a lot of neat gadgets in Doctor Who over the past half-century, it was hard to decide which ones we’d want the most, but some were definitely guaranteed to make the list.
Although it might look like a simple pocket watch, the fob watch used in Doctor Who has the power to create whole new alternate universes. For instance, a world made of shrimp, if you like that sort of thing.
Used by Jack Harkness to travel around in time, it’s a handy-dandy device that any would-be space traveler needs to own.
A Time Lord’s best friend, K-9 is a robotic canine (get it??) that makes for a good companion and a useful member of the team. We wonder if the K-9 comes in French bulldog.
This simple-looking device has changed as often as the Doctor has regenerated, but it’s still one of the most important tools in the Time Lord’s arsenal. It can unlock almost any door, check alien readings, and it even has a wood setting.
It’s bigger on the inside! (Or smaller on the outside.) The TARDIS, which stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space, is not only the Doctor’s way of traversing the universe; it’s also his oldest friend. Kind of like a cowboy and his horse (but don’t tell the TARDIS we said that, she probably wouldn’t like the analogy.)
British singer-turned-designer Victoria Beckham has fulfilled a fashion fantasy by guest-editing the Christmas edition of style bible Vogue Paris. The Spice Girls star, who now runs a successful self-titled clothing and accessories line, was given control of the French title for a special edition, which features the singer and her soccer star husband David on the cover.
The magazine's editor-in-chief, Emmanuelle Alt, was full of praise for the fashion-focused star, writing in the title, "We handed over the running of this issue to a woman who, throughout our working together, has proved to be the exact opposite of her public image. Spontaneous, with a great sense of humour. Modest yet driven by healthy ambition. A perfectionist."
Beckham adds, "Being asked to be the guest editor of the Christmas issue of Vogue Paris this year was an incredible honour. Working with Emmanuelle Alt and her team was both exciting and inspiring and I am so proud of what we have created."
French dance star David Guetta has joined forces with United Nations officials to encourage fans to use Twitter.com to boost donations to the typhoon recovery effort in the Philippines. The DJ has offered up a new song, titled One Voice, as the soundtrack for The World Needs More... campaign, which aims to raise awareness and funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the island nation earlier this month (Nov13), leaving over 5,200 people dead and thousands more homeless.
Guetta is calling on devotees to complete the phrase "The World Needs More" by adding just one word to the end of the sentence and tweet it out using triggers like #worldneedsmore to unlock $1 (£0.67) donations from major sponsors each time they spread the word of the campaign.
The star himself is backing the word "love" and will donate the fee each time fans tweet, "#theworldneedsmore# #love". They can also make personal donations of just $1 by sending a text to 90999.
Guetta says, "I wanted to find a way for people to help using the power of social media and my network. Life has to continue for everyone, even when a catastrophe happens, but there is a way to help and to better prepare for the next one.
"When I play, people are as one on the dance floor. I want the same for the world. No matter how busy you are or where you are, we all share this planet and help each other. We should be as one."
The Who's That Chick? hitmaker will unveil his video for One Voice with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday night (22Nov13), when the promo will be projected onto the side of the U.N. headquarters in New York.
DC Comics / Splash News
Ben Affleck is sure having a love affair with the comic books these days. After taking the role as the caped crusader in the upcoming Batman/Superman film, the actor/director is teaming up with his old buddy Matt Damon to bring another comic series to the big screen. The dynamic duo is producing a film version of Ed Brubraker’s comic book Sleeper. A couple of television writers, Shawn Ryan and David Wiener (from The Shield and The Killing respectively) will pen the screenplay.
Sleeper follows a secret operative who losses his sense of pain and gains a Wolverine-esque healing factor from an alien artifact that allows him to bounce back after otherwise grave injuries. He can also pass his powers on to other people.
However, it seems that Affleck will too busy backing this picture and zip-lining through Gotham to make time for other things, including a remake of the critically-acclaimed French thriller Tell No One. Affleck dropped his directorial position on the remake all the way back in August, but that project has just now found a new helmer in the form of Warrior director Gavin O'Connor. Tell No One's dense and layered thrills would have benefited from Affleck's deft directoral hand; it's doubly a shame that Affleck couldn't find the time for the film since it would have reunited him with Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio. But hopefully Terrio and O'Connor can do the film's remake justice.
Teen singer Lorde has slammed DJ David Guetta, calling him "gross" following her manager's suggestion she collaborate with the popular music producer. The 16 year old took the music world by storm with her hit Royals, which soared to number one on multiple music charts around the world.
Following her quick rise to fame, the hitmaker is receiving offers from other successful artists to work together, but one person Lorde has absolutely no interest in teaming up with is the French house music maven Guetta.
During an interview with Australian music site FasterLouder, Lorde is approached by her manager who tells her that Guetta would like her to be on his next album.
She responds, "No. F**k no. He's so gross."
It isn't the first time the outspoken teen has been forthright with her opinions of other artists - in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Lorde revealed she was made "sick" by the way Selena Gomez portrays women in her track Come & Get It.
David Bowie's new Louis Vuitton commercial has debuted online a day after the rocker premiered his new $12.99 (£8.60) video at the Mercury Prize award ceremony in London. The rocker is featured in a new ad campaign promoting the French fashion brand Louis Vuitton, and he'll also star in a short film sponsored by LV, which will premiere on the company's website next month (07Nov13).
The film, titled L'Invitation Au Voyage, stars model Arizona Muse. It was directed by M.I.A.'s video director pal Romain Gavras.
Bowie used the Mercury Prize award ceremony on Wednesday (30Oct13) to showcase his cheap new music video. He previously revealed he created the promo over a weekend with just his assistant Jimmy King on camera, all for the price of $12.99.
A post on his website reads, "The result of this speedy production is a strangely moving gothic inflected storyline perfect for Halloween. And the cost? Just $12.99 for the thumb drive to download the finished video on."
Filmmaking siblings Joel and Ethan Coen have been awarded France's highest cultural honour in recognition of their film work. The No Country For Old Men directors were both made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) in a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday (16Oct13).
During the presentation, Joel joked that the award came as a shock, saying, "Sometimes life plays jokes on you - some of them are very unfortunate, some of them are very fortunate. This is one of the most fortunate jokes I think life has played on us."
French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti added, "We have extremely strong links between French cinema and American cinema so it's natural there's this recognition for two of the greatest directors in the U.S. today."
The pair join previous recipients of the medal including Sir Sean Connery, Ringo Starr, David Bowie, Bono and Bruce Willis.
French filmmaker Claire Denis is set to receive the Bronze Horse trophy at the 2013 Stockholm Film Festival in Sweden. Denis, who directed acclaimed movies Beau Travail and Chocolat, will be feted with the lifetime achievement accolade in November (13).
Members of the festival jury described Denis as a filmmaker who "refuses to close her eyes to the creative and destructive force unleashed by human weaknesses".
Previous recipients include Quentin Tarantino, David Cronenberg and Oliver Stone.
Reese Witherspoon made plenty of headlines this year, but it definitely wasn't for any outstanding performances...at least not the kind that will get you an Oscar. None of us will forget watching her catch a DUI case with her hubby and acting a total fool with the police officers. But the good news is that America's [former?] Sweetheart has a couple of projects lined up that we're legitimately excited about.
Cheryl Strayed's bestselling memoir Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail was a huge deal when it came out last year. Strayed reportedly reached out to Witherspoon personally, and the actress will both star in and produce the film. Not all fans of the memoir are on board with the idea of pretty-girl Witherspoon taking on the gritty role of a divorced woman, grieving her mother's death, recovering from drug abuse, and hiking 1,100 miles in the wild. However, we think it would be pretty exciting to watch the actress make such an intense transformation, and bring this powerful story to life.
Another project teams the Southern belle with French-Canadian director Philippe Falardeau, who made a name for himself with his brilliant, Oscar-nominated film Monsieur Lazhar. But the director has been around for some time, Congorama and It's Not Me, I Swear! being other films of note. He'll soon be crossing over with his first English-language production, and Witherspoon is set to star in the lead role. Based on true events, the story follows a Sudanese refugee who is taken in by a brash American woman (Witherspoon's character). This could be another big film from the director and Witherspoon will certainly get exposed to his particular style of directing; not a lot of bad there.
As if all this wasn't enough, the actress has three other films in the works (including a romantic comedy titled The Beard, according to The Hollywood Reporter), and she's even producing David Fincher's highly-anticipated adaptation Gone Girl. Yes, folks. It's officially time to start paying attention to Reese Witherspoon again.
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