Oscar-nominated costume designer Patricia Norris has died, aged 83. Norris, who frequently worked with directors David Lynch and Mel Brooks, passed away on 20 February (15).
She earned six Academy Award nominations for Best Costume Design throughout her storied career, including nods for films Sunset, 2010, Victor, Victoria, Lynch's The Elephant Man, Days of Heaven, and last year's (14) 12 Years a Slave.
Under Lynch, Norris served as both a production and costume designer, on films including Wild At Heart and Lost Highway. She also earned an Outstanding Costume Design Emmy award for the pilot of Lynch's cult TV drama, Twin Peaks.
Norris collaborated with veteran entertainer Brooks on three of his films, including Silent Movie, High Anxiety and History of the World: Part I.
Her other credits include Scarface, The Candidate, Killing Them Softly, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and The Singing Detective.
Norris was feted with a lifetime achievement award from the Costume Designers Guild in 2007 and the Art Directors Guild in 2011, making her the only person to receive the top honour from both organisations.
Actor James Marsden showed off his singing skills by leading a rendition of Garth Brooks' classic Friends in Low Places during a visit to U.S. disc jockey Ryan Seacrest's morning radio show on Wednesday (08Oct14). The Hairspray star was backed by country music trio Lady Antebellum, who joined in on vocals and guitar.
Actor James Marsden showed off his singing skills during a radio interview with Los Angeles-based DJ Ryan Seacrest on Wednesday (08Oct14) when he joined country trio Lady Antebellum for a rendition of Garth Brooks' Friends in Low Places. The band has two tracks on the soundtrack of Marsden's new film Best of Me.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar's hit album good kid, m.A.A.d city has inspired a college course at a Georgia university. Professor Adam Diehl, the instructor of the Good Kid, Mad Cities English Composition class at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, chose Lamar's debut album as the primary source material for the course, which will examine other works of literature that involve young people growing up in their respective cities, in order to help students become better writers and appreciate the language of hip-hop.
Compton, California native Lamar's award-winning record will be studied alongside authors James Joyce, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and filmmaker John Singleton's 1991 drama Boyz N The Hood.
Diehl tells HipHopDX.com that he specifically chose Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city, because he believes the rapper is "the James Joyce of hip-hop", adding, "The lasting historical influence of good kid, m.A.A.d city has yet to be determined, but the album surely has brought new listeners to the genre because of the curiosity surrounding its instant acclaim.
"The narrative complexity, the structure, the allusions, the subject matter, the characters, and most of all the message make good kid, m.A.A.d city worthy of university status."
good kid, m.A.A.d city was one of the most acclaimed albums of 2012 and was nominated for Album of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards and BET Hip Hop Awards. It also earned Lamar five Grammy nominations, including Album of The Year.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
The Fault In Our Stars and TV series Orange Is The New Black were the big winners at the 2014 Young Hollywood Awards on Sunday (27Jul14), scooping three honours each.
The teen romance film picked up the Favourite Flick accolade at the annual prizegiving, which celebrates the achievements of the entertainment industry's young stars. The movie's main star, Ansel Elgort, won Fan Favourite - Male and was also awarded Best On-Screen Couple with co-star Shailene Woodley.
The prison-based TV series was crowned the most Bingeworthy TV Show while Danielle Brooks, who plays Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson in the show, won Breakthrough Actress and Pablo Schrieber won the We Love to Hate You trophy for his evil character George 'Pornstache' Mendez.
Troubled pop star Justin Bieber also took to the stage in Los Angeles to be honoured with the Champ of Charity Award, for his humanitarian work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Other winners included Ed Sheeran, Chloe Grace Moretz and British singer Sam Smith. The ceremony, hosted by Kelly Osbourne, will be televised in the U.S. on Monday (28Jul14).
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A host of stars including Lena Dunham, Mel Brooks and Sandra Bernhard have spoken out to pay their respects to director Paul Mazursky following his death on Monday (30Jun14).
The five-times Oscar nominated director passed away after suffering a pulmonary cardiac arrest. He was 84. Following his death, famous fans and friends took to Twitter.com to share their respect for the Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice filmmaker.
Girls creator Dunham heaped praise on Mazursky for his attitude to women in his films, writing, "Paul Mazursky created the most complex female characters and the most human cinematic moments. He will be missed, he will be emulated."
Blazing Saddles director Brooks shared his fond memories of his peer, adding, "Paul Mazursky- one of the most talented writer/dir.'s to ever make movies- died today. He was our American (Italian director Federico) Fellini. I will miss him dearly."
Comic Bernhard wrote, "The great director #paulmazursky sent me this note "your smart beautiful & talented, what more can a girl ask for. a role in a #paulmazursky film? we'll miss him."
Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter James Gunn mused, "RIP Paul Mazursky. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is one of my top 10 favorite films. An amazing underrated talent."
It wasn't just Hollywood insiders who mourned Mazursky's passing - record producer Quincy Jones, who penned the score to Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, tweeted, "Rest In Peace to a great director and writer, my friend and collaborator Paul Mazursky. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Love."
Mark Ronson wrote, "Paul Mazursky & I once had a nice exchange right here on Twitter. He also directed Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, one of my favourite films ever."
Mazursky's other films include An Unmarried Woman, Blume in Love, and Harry and Tonto.
Publishing tycoon Rupert Murdoch is wanted for questioning by British police as part of an inquiry into alleged criminal activity at his newspapers. The news comes after Murdoch's former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was found guilty on a charge of conspiracy to intercept communications at the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday (24Jun14).
Rebekah Brooks, the ex-News International chief executive and former editor of Murdoch's British newspapers The Sun and the News of the World, was cleared of all charges relating to the sensational phone-hacking trial.
According to reports, Murdoch was contacted by officers at Scotland Yard last year (13) but they agreed to his lawyer's request to wait until the trial was over to quiz the media mogul.
He is expected to be questioned "under caution" as part of their probe into alleged criminal activities at his British newspapers, and his son James, who was executive chairman of News International in the U.K., may also be interviewed.
In 2011, Murdoch and his son attended a British Parliament inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal, during which the tycoon was attacked by an interloper wielding a cream pie.
Stars including Hugh Grant, Jude Law, Sienna Miller and Steve Coogan were among the high-profile victims of the News of the World's hacking scandal. The publication was closed by Murdoch in 2011.
A jury is still deliberating further charges against Coulson, who denies allegations of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.
Actor Tony Danza is officially heading back to Broadway for the first time in 13 years with a musical adaptation of 1992 movie Honeymoon In Vegas. The Taxi star will take on the role of gambler Tommy Korman, the character made famous by James Caan in the film, about a man who falls for a young woman while she is in Las Vegas to wed her boyfriend.
Actress Brynn O'Malley will play the bride-to-be, depicted by Sarah Jessica Parker on the big screen, while Rob McClure will take on the role Nicolas Cage played in the early 1990s.
Gary Griffin will direct the show, which will begin previews on 18 November (14) at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, ahead of its official opening on 15 January (15).
Danza last appeared on the Great White Way in a 2001 production of The Producers, while he previously featured in The Iceman Cometh in 1999 and A View From the Bridge in 1997.
Rumours about Danza's Broadway return first surfaced in 2011, before producers decided to give the Honeymoon in Vegas musical a trial run at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse last year (13).
Warner Bros Everett Collection
Just how different are modern cinema and that of the '70s and '80s? Are there great movie scenes that wouldn't get made today because the audience wouldn't tolerate them? Conversely, are there scenes that were shocking back in the day that wouldn't cause anyone to think twice now?
It's a given that audiences' tastes change over time… the same as social norms do in America. Oddly, though, where audiences sometimes become more relaxed about what they will accept — for instance, with profanity, since George Carlin's "7 Dirty Words" has been reduced to two — they sometimes become more conservative about other things. Below is our look at a group of scenes from movies that probably wouldn't make it on screen for a studio release now, and some others that were shocking when they were released that wouldn't cause anyone to lift an eyebrow today.
Oh No, They Didn't!
The Last Temptation of Christ / Life of Brian
Martin Scorsese's adaption of Nikos Kazantzakis' 1953 novel, with the scene of Jesus dreaming of a sexual encounter with Mary Magdalene, was controversial in 1988 and caused an outcry from various Christian groups. In today's media environment, and with the advent of social media, that controversy would be 1,000-fold and wouldn't go away easily. Even Scorsese wouldn't be able to get that into a film now… we'll accept the debauchery and debasement of his The Wolf of Wall Street but depicting Christ as having sexual urges wouldn't fly. In the same vein, imagine trying to convince a studio to okay Monty Python's famous "Always Look on the Bright Side" finale to Brian with the singing crucifixion victims. It met with criticism when it was released in 1979, but it would cause Bill O'Reilly's head to explode now.
Quentin Tarantino gets heat from all sides for his use of the N-word in his stylized action-violence fantasies like Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction… which represent a far different aura than a studio comedy would. Many white audiences would shift uncomfortably in their seats now at Mel Brooks' comedic use of the word during the scene where Cleavon Little's Sheriff Bart first arrives at Rock Ridge. (As well as the various other ethnic jokes throughout the film; Brooks' was an equal opportunity offender.)
Airplane! / Heathers
On a similar token, as funny as Airplane! remains in our memories, in the wake of 9-11 many audiences would be squeamish about laughing at a plane crashing through a terminal, just as the reveal of Christian Slater's plot to blow up the school in Heathers would play much differently now.
What's the Big Deal?
The Exorcist / Rosemary's Baby /The Blair Witch Project
Horror movies have to really work hard now if they want to be controversial. William Friedkin's The Exorcist is still plenty scary 40 years later and the scene where Linda Blair's Regan finds an inappropriate use for a crucifix would still get attention… but it would be minor and chalked up to the now standard shock tactics employed by the genre. Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby is so non-threatening at this point that it's being done as a network TV series. Similarly, Blair Witch's up-the-nose shots would be seen as cute after the rise of films like Paranormal Activity that, in fairness, it helped spawn.
Lolita / The Last Tango in Paris
When Reese Witherspoon had sex with her teacher in Election, it barely registered as being inappropriate. Vladimir Nabokov's book and the subsequent 1962 Kubrick film were hugely controversial (pick any scene of James Mason and Peter Sellers leering at Sue Lyon). When the film was remade in 1997 with Jeremy Irons playing the tortured Humbert Humbert, obsessed with a young girl, audiences could've cared less. When Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango was released in 1972 with Marlon Brando as a widower in an illicit affair with a young French woman it earned an X-rating for its sexual content, particularly for a scene involving butter being used for something far removed from toast. When Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty came out in 1996 with Liv Tyler as an American teenager experiencing a sexual awakening amongst a group of artists in Italy, most people's reaction was, "Hey, is that Steven Tyler's daughter?"
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Once upon a time, the phrases "Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata" were not a part of the American lexicon. That was before Disney's The Lion King exploded onto movie screens during the summer of 1994. The tale of the young lion Simba — voiced in the movie by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick — who grows up to overthrow the reign of his evil uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) became a global phenomenon, augmented by the songs of Elton John and Tim Rice. Even if you know that the film was nominated for four Academy Awards, here are some fun facts about the movie that you might not know.
1. The movie was the first Disney feature-length animated film to be created from an original script idea. All of the company's other animated movies had been based either on books or long established fairy tales.
2. The original script was titled King of the Jungle and centered on a battle between lions and baboons. In that version, Scar was the leader of the baboons. At some point during development, the animation team realized that lions don't actually live in the jungle.
3. At one point in the production, animators considered having the song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" sung entirely by Pumbaa and Timon, much to the horror of John and Rice. A version of the song using Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, the voices of the warthog and meerkat, was recorded but not used. Similarly, the song was almost cut from the movie entirely until John lobbied to have it kept in.
4. Many of Disney's top animators at the time didn't work on The Lion King because they were working on the animated film being produced concurrently, Pocahontas. Most people at Disney thought that the historically-based film would be the more prestigious of the two.
5. It was the second Disney animated film, after Beauty and the Beast, to win the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy.
6. When Irons' Scar delivers the line, "You have no idea," it is a direct nod to one of the actor's most famous roles as Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune. In that film, Irons' character delivers the line in answer to his lawyer calling him a "very strange man." In The Lion King, he says it after Simba accuses him of being "so weird."
7. Timon's famous line, "What do you want me to do, dress in drag and dance the hula?" was improvised by Lane.
8. When Irons strained his voice while recording "Be Prepared," actor Jim Cummings, who voices the hyena Ed, stepped in and imitated Irons to get the song finished.
9. Originally, the intention was to pair Cheech Marin with his longtime comedy partner Tommy Chong to voice the hyenas Shenzi and Bonzai. They could never get in touch with Chong to reach an agreement, so Whoopi Goldberg was tapped instead.
10. James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair, who voice Simba's parents, also play a royal husband and wife in Coming to America, where they reign as the king and queen of a small African country and parents to Eddie Murphy.
11. Scar makes an appearance in a later Disney animated movie. He's seen as a rug during a sequence in Hercules.
12. There was a controversy over the formation of dust during a scene when Simba flops on the ground. Activist Donald Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, asserted that the dust gathered to form the word "SEX" if you looked at a freeze frame of the scene and was an intentional subliminal message aimed at promoting sexual promiscuity. The producers said that really it was meant to be "SFX," as a reference to the special effects team that was working on the movie. In the films rerelease, some additional dust was added to the scene to blur any letters.
13. There was additional controversy over similarities between the film and a Japanese animated TV series entitled "Kimba the White Lion" that was produced in the 1960s. Disney has maintained that any similarities are coincidental, but Broderick has admitted that he thought that they were adapting "Kimba" when he first saw the script.
14. Three of the songs from the film — "Hakuna Matata," "The Circle of Life," and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" — were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" ultimately won the Oscar, and John's version of the song went to No. 4 on the singles chart in the U.S.
15. Rice, who had provided the lyrics for Disney's Aladdin and started his career as the partner of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita), was made a knight by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994. John was knighted in 1998. The duo reteamed for the Broadway musical Aida in 2000.
16. Before playing Timon and Pumbaa, Lane and Sabella had previously worked together in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls. After The Lion King, they were paired again on Broadway in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. At first, Lane and Sabella were cast to be two of the hyenas, but their chemistry was so good that they were switched to voicing Simba's pals.
17. Lane and Broderick went on to star as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in the Broadway musical version of Mel Brooks' The Producers, and reprised the same roles in the film version. Reportedly, the duo saw each other only once during their voice work for The Lion King… passing each other in a hallway.
18. The stage version of The Lion King, which has been running since 1997, is the highest-grossing Broadway show in history.
19. The Lion King was the second highest grossing movie of 1994, behind Forrest Gump, in the United States, but it easily outdistanced Tom Hanks' movie worldwide and grossed over $768 million during its initial theatrical release.
20. The Lion King remains the highest grossing hand-drawn (or hand-drawn/computer animation combination) film of all time. It's the second highest grossing film in the history of Walt Disney Animation Studios behind only Frozen.