Gordon Willis, the cinematographer behind The Godfather trilogy, has died aged 82. Willis passed away on Sunday (18May14).
No further details of his death have been released. In a career spanning 50 years, Willis worked on films including End of the Road and Klute, but is best known for his long-running collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen.
He oversaw the cinematography on Coppola's classic Godfather films, and worked with Allen on movies including Annie Hall, Manhattan and Zelig. He received two Oscar nominations for Zelig and The Godfather: Part III, and was given an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 2010.
Paying tribute, American Society of Cinematographers President Richard Crudo says, "This is a momentous loss. He was one of the giants who absolutely changed the way movies looked."
Actor Malcolm Mcdowell will be feted with the Life Career prize at the upcoming Saturn Awards in June (14). The British star is set to receive the lifetime achievement honour from officials at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in recognition of his storied five-decade career.
Best known for his starring role in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, McDowell has also appeared in classic films including Caligula, if.... and Halloween.
The nominees for the 40th annual awards were announced in February (14), with Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug leading the pack with eight nominations apiece.
Prizes will be given out during a ceremony in Los Angeles, California on 26 June (14).
Outspoken moviemaker Spike Lee has blasted embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling again, insisting the sports boss has to be ousted from the National Basketball Association immediately. The Malcolm X director waded into the racism drama swirling around businessman Sterling at the end of last month (Apr14), insisting recorded remarks he made about African-Americans to an ex-girlfriend were "tainting the league and tainting America".
Sterling hit headlines on 27 April (14) when audio of him rebuking his ex for posting a photo of herself with basketball legend Magic Johnson on Instagram went viral.
The ill-advised remarks prompted an immediate backlash, with celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne and Clippers fan Queen Latifah calling for a boycott of Sterling's team.
Basketball superfan Lee added his thoughts to the mix, telling CNN that Sterling's remarks make the Clippers boss look like a slave owner.
He says, "I don't know the bylaws of the league but he (Sterling) has to go... because he's tainting all the other 29 partners, he's tainting the league, and he's tainting America.
"When you hear something like that, that is the mentality of a slave master. He sees his players as slaves."
And he has repeated his concerns during an interview with Anderson Cooper, whose chat with a remorseful Sterling aired on Sunday (11May14).
Addressing Sterling's claims that all his players love him, despite what he said, Lee raged, "That sounds like a (slavery) plantation owner: 'My darkies love me!'"
He added, "This thing is getting volatile now."
Sterling has been handed a lifetime ban from the NBA and league officials are working on a plan to strip him of ownership of the Clippers.
Former 'N Sync star Lance Bass will be inviting fans to celebrate with him as he ties the knot with fiance Michael Turchin as part of a televised special. The singer-turned-TV and radio personality and his actor/model beau have yet to set a date for their nuptials, but Bass has revealed that they will get married before the end of the year (14).
He tells website GayStarNews.com, "We're filming it for an (U.S. network) E! wedding special. It will probably air around Valentine's Day (14Feb15), so it has to be before Valentine's Day I know that." Bass admits that he is eager to watch his big day on TV, because when he was growing up as a closeted gay man in conservative Mississippi, he never imagined same sex marriages would exist, let alone be played out on TV.
He explains, "Growing up in the South, all you think about is family and who you were going to marry. At that time, of course, I was kidding myself that I was going to marry a girl and I always dreamed of that wedding and starting a family. Never in my lifetime did I think that I'd be able to get married legally. "It's just amazing how fast everything is going right now and I'm just honoured to be able to share my wedding with the world. As a little gay kid growing up in Mississippi, I would have loved to have turned on the television and see that happen and say, 'Oh my gosh, there's nothing wrong with me and I can have that'."
Kanye West gave an aspiring rapper the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform for him on the streets of New York City. The Stronger hitmaker was walking home with his fiancee Kim Kardashian in Manhattan's SoHo neighbourhood, when a young man approached him to ask if he could demonstrate his hip-hop skills.
In video footage acquired by TMZ.com, the aspiring rapper told West that he had actually performed for him in the past, but the Grammy winner brushed him off and was not impressed with his impromptu set. The rejection only fueled the MC to work harder and perfect his rhymes.
West allowed the young hopeful to rap while they were walking to their apartment, and when they reached the doors, West decided to stay behind to listen to the man finish his verse.
When he was done, West smiled and said, "It sounded good man. But I'm gonna get some sleep."
The two shook hands and West joined his fiancee inside.
Hip-hop artist Dj E-Z Rock is set to be honoured at the Hip Hop Hall of Fame ceremony later this month (May14). The rapper, real name Rodney Bryce, died after suffering a diabetic seizure last month (Apr14), and he'll be remembered on 19 May (14) by stars like Talib Kweli, Brand Nubian, Slick Rick, MC Busy Bee, Nine and Rakim, who will perform a tribute to him at the ceremony in New York.
Wonder Mike and Master Gee of The Sugarhill Gang, Spoonie G & The Treacherous Three and Busy Bee Starski will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the event, and Ralph McDaniels, the founder of TV show Video Music Box, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The show will be hosted by Roxanne Shante and DJ Mell Starr.
Legendary music producer Quincy Jones will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Seattle International Film Festival organisers. Jones will receive the accolade during the premiere of jazz documentary Keep on Keepin' On on 4 June (14).
The founder and leader of Cuba's Los Van Van band Juan Formell has died at the age of 71. The acclaimed bassist, composer, and arranger passed away in Havana, Cuba on Thursday (01May14).
The news of his death was announced on Cuban state television, and a presenter said he died "suddenly" but did not detail the cause of death.
Formell's groundbreaking career spanned more than four decades. He formed Los Van Van in 1969 and they went on to becoming one of the most influential tropical dance bands in Cuba.
Formell was praised for his take on the evolution of the Cuban lifestyle over the years, with his music "likened to Havana's newspaper for lyrics", according to Billboard.com.
In 1999, he won a Grammy Award for Latin/Best Salsa Performance for his work on the album Llego Van Van (Van Van Is Here), and last year (13), he was honoured with a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
British director Ken Loach insists he has no intention of retiring from making fictional films after appearing to suggest earlier this year (14) that Jimmy's Hall will be his last. The acclaimed filmmaker seemed to suggest the movie would be his last narrative film when he was asked about his future projects at a press conference at the Berlin International Film Festival in February (14), where he received a lifetime achievement award.
However Loach, 77, has revealed he made the comments under stress following the pre-production process for Jimmy's Hall, which is due to be unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival later this month (May14), and insists he will make another film.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I kind of thought I wouldn't get through another one just as we were beginning Jimmy's Hall because it's a moment of maximum pressure when you haven't shot a thing but you're knackered from all the prep and you've been away from home for a long time and you still have to get through the shoot.
"It's quite a daunting prospect, the effort you've got to find from somewhere and the nervous and emotional energy and all that. But now having come out the other side, while I'm not sure we'll get another of that size away, we'll at least get a little film together of some sort (with writer Paul Laverty) more akin to a documentary scale."
Village People star Victor Willis has given the Los Angeles Clippers organisation permission to play his group's Y.M.C.A. anthem at basketball games again after initially banning executives from using the tune over the Donald Sterling racism scandal. National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver handed team owner Sterling a lifetime ban and urged him to sell the team after the businessman acknowledged that he had made ill-advised comments about African-American players in a heated exchange with a former girlfriend, which was caught on tape and obtained by TMZ.com.
Willis was one of the first celebrities to take aim at Sterling after the audio went viral over the weekend (26-27Apr14), and he called on Clippers bosses to cease playing Y.M.C.A. at games, but he changed his tune on Tuesday (29Apr14) after Sterling's punishment was announced.
He tweeted, "YMCA ban lifted! I'll get my people right on it. Feel like leading a celebratory YMCA dance tonight @LAClippers game. Go Adam!"
Sterling was also ordered to pay a maximum $2.5 million (GBP1.6 million) fine.