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.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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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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Producers at U.S. cable network A&E are developing a TV drama based on the French movie Les Revenants. Les Revenants was first released in 2004 as a feature film and adapted into a TV series in France and Belgium in 2012.
The movie and show take place in a small mountain town where a group of people, long presumed dead, return to their homes and try to integrate themselves back into their lives.
The American version will be called The Returned.
A&E General Manager, David McKillop, says, "The Returned takes an incredibly unique approach, filled with suspense and twists and turns, to the subject of the living dead."
The A&E remake has yet to receive an air date, but it will face some competition - the eight-part French series has been acquired by executives at America's Sundance Channel and will premiere in October (13).