Singer/songwriter Gary Wright is set to open up about his relationship with late Beatles star George Harrison in a new memoir. The Dream Weaver and Really Wanna Know You hitmaker will publish Dream Weaver: Music, Meditation, and My Friendship with George Harrison in October (14).
A press release announcing the new book reads: "Dream Weaver is ultimately a story of a spiritual journey and Gary's lifelong friendship with George Harrison. At 33, Gary Wright was at the highest point in his career. His album, The Dream Weaver, had been on top of the charts for months with two hit singles - Dream Weaver and Love is Alive - and during the summer of '76, he was part of a massive arena tour with Peter Frampton and Yes.
"Earlier, while still living in England, he recorded music with legendary musicians Eric Clapton, B.B King, and George Harrison, who would later become one of his best friends.
"In Dream Weaver: Music, Meditation, and My Friendship with George Harrison, Wright illuminates key moments in his journey and offers an insider’s look at a tumultuous and revolutionary time in both the music and spiritual realms. Wright details how he formed the legendary rock group Spooky Tooth, and how his close friendship with 'The Quiet Beatle' began and developed over the years as they wrote songs together, pondered philosophical issues, and journeyed to India."
Actors Eric Idle, Chris O'dowd, Russell Brand and David Walliams are among the stars who have paid tribute to beloved British funnyman Rik Mayall, who died on Monday (09Jun14) at the age of 56. The shocking death has rocked the U.K. entertainment industry and tributes have since flooded in for Mayall, who established himself as a stand-up star in comedy troupe The Comic Strip, a group which also featured his college pal and future professional partner Adrian 'Ade' Edmondson and Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
He rose to national fame as one of four students sharing a house in hit sitcom The Young Ones in 1982 and went on to enjoy a slew of iconic roles, including as a mean-spirited politician in The New Statesman and an arrogant military officer in Rowan Atkinson's comedy Blackadder. He also re-teamed with Edmondson to play a pair of hopeless single men in slapstick show Bottom.
Fellow funnyman Walliams was among the first to take to Twitter.com to express his sadness at Mayall's loss, sharing a video clip of his role in Blackadder and writing, "I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up Rik Mayall has died. He made me want to be a comedian."
Simon Pegg simply posted YouTube footage of Mayall in The Young Ones with fans, while Brand tweets, "And all the grown-ups will say, 'But why are the kids crying?' And the kids will say, 'Haven't you heard? Rick (sic) is dead' RIP".
Irish actor O'Dowd adds, "Very sad to hear about Rik Mayall's passing. 'Bottom' was a huge part of my youth", and director Edgar Wright posts, "Shocked and saddened that a comedy hero is gone; for those who grew up on The Young Ones, Rik Mayall was one of funniest performers ever."
Monty Python veteran Idle tweets, "Very sad to hear of the passing of Rik Mayall. Far too young. A very funny and talented man", and Blackadder producer and writer John Lloyd tells the BBC, "It's really a dreadful piece of news. He was the most extraordinarily good actor as well as being an amazing stand-up comics. Apart from being great company, he was a great professional."
Meanwhile, his close friend Edmondson has also issued a statement about the years they spent working together, declaring, "They were some of the most carefree, stupid days I ever had and I feel privileged to have shared them with him."
Mayall's cause of death has yet to be determined, but a spokesman for Scotland Yard police reveals paramedics were called to the comedian's house in Barnes, south-west London at 1.20pm local time, when "a man, aged in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene". His passing is not believed to be suspicious.
His death comes 16 years after the comedian was left in a coma for several days in 1998 following a quad bike accident near his home in south-west England. He survived the scare but suffered memory problems as a result of the crash.
In recent years, Mayall had concentrated mainly on voiceover work and TV shorts.
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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Veteran guitarist Jackie Lomax has died during a trip to a family wedding in the U.K. The musician, 69, who worked with The Beatles and Eric Clapton during his 50-year career, reportedly passed away on Sunday (15Sep13).
He had returned to his native England for the wedding of one of his children, but no further details of the tragedy were available as WENN went to press.
Lomax, who was married to the mother of famed photographer Terry Richardson, began his career in the early 1960s playing with several groups based in The Beatles' hometown of Liverpool and he released four singles with The Undertakers.
He later signed to the Fab Four's Apple Records as a solo artist and released the Harrison-penned single Sour Milk Sea, but the track flopped.
In the 1970s, he split his time between Britain and the U.S. and worked in several bands, including The Lomax Alliance, before relocating permanently to America in 1978 and continuing to work as a 'gun-for-hire' guitarist. He also played bass on tour with groups including The Drifters and The Coasters.
One of Lomax's most recent appearances was at a concert last year (12) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famed Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany, where The Beatles cut their teeth.
War lives in you. It gets into your skin and burrows its way down, deep. It festers and lives on long after graves are dug and treaties are inked. In the new trailer for The Railway Man, Colin Firth brings war home, and when the chance for revenge becomes apparent, he takes it back to the pacific.
In the film, Eric (Firth) and his wife Patti (Nicole Kidman) are by all accounts, a happy couple, but under the veneer of marriage, Eric hides a dark and secret pain that begins to fester within him. Eric is revealed to be a former POW imprisoned by the Japanese after allied forces surrender their troops in Singapore. As a prisoner, he is tortured and tormented, but only survives for the promise that he might one day get his chance for vengeance. When that day comes, he goes to pay his tormentor back for all the wrongs he suffered. But will killing the man bring him solace.
The Railway Man premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and looks to be a sprawling war story spanning different continents and time periods, from damp England, to the sweltering Asian jungle. Beyond all of that, it looks like a film about releasing your demons and finally letting the stain of vengeance wash away.
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Writer Eddie Braben, famed for his work with British comedy duo Morecambe And Wise, has died at the age of 82. Braben passed away on Tuesday morning (21May13) after a short illness, his manager Norma Farnes confirms to the BBC.
He began working with legendary comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise in 1969 and was credited with writing light-hearted moments from their real-life friendship into their act.
Braben was behind several projects as the pair's long-term writer, including The Morecambe & Wise Show and The Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise Show.
During his career, he also collaborated with other British comedians including Ronnie Corbett and Ken Dodd.
Braben is survived by his wife Dee and three children.
Little Britain star David Walliams has paid tribute to the funnyman in a post on his Twitter.com page, writing, "Thank you so much for the immense joy you brought us all Eddie Braben."
The writer's death comes just two days after late stars Morecambe and Wise, who died in 1984 and 1999 respectively, were honoured with a special blue plaque at Teddington Studios in Middlesex, England, where they filmed several of their popular sketches.
Legendary British comedy duo Morecambe & Wise has been honoured with a special tribute in London. Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise recorded the majority of their popular sketches at Teddington Studios in Middlesex, England and a blue plaque has now been erected at the venue by officials at The Heritage Foundation to mark its significance in U.K. TV history.
Morecambe's widow Joan unveiled the dedication with her daughter Gail on Sunday (19May13) and she hopes the plaque will keep their memory alive for years to come.
She tells Sky News, "The shows still come across as being funny. They're still entertaining, even for new audiences and people who weren't around in the days of Eric and Ernie.
"People are very nostalgic about their shows; they hone into long-term memories because they worked in television for years and years."
Morecambe died in 1984, while Wise passed away in 1999.
Music legend Eric Clapton is set to be a grandfather for the first time - his daughter Ruth is expecting her first child, according to a U.K. report. The Layla hitmaker's eldest child is due later this month (May13) and the rocker is looking forward to his new role.
A source tells Britain's Daily Mail, "The baby is due any day and Eric is ecstatic."
Clapton was married to his first wife Pattie Boyd when he embarked on an affair with Ruth's mother, Yvonne Kelly. Ruth was born in 1985 but was not publicly revealed as his daughter until 1991.
She tied the knot with her architect partner Dean Bartlett in 2011 and her father performed at their wedding, which was held at his Surrey, England mansion.
Sunday night marked the 2013 Academy Awards, when the best and the brightest in Hollywood gathered to celebrate the best and the brightest filmmaking of the year. And the ceremony came complete with a few surprises. Not only did Life of Pi walk away with the most wins of the evening — four Oscars — but the film's Ang Lee eked out David O. Russell and Steven Spielberg for Best Director. But there were some expected finishes as well: Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress, Daniel Day-Lewis took Best Actor, and Adele even scored Best Original Song for "Skyfall."
But who else picked up awards? Check out the full list of winners below!
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The 2013 Academy Award Winners:
Best Picture:Beasts Of The Southern WildSilver Lingings PlaybookZero Dark ThirtyLincolnLes MiserablesLife Of PiDjango UnchainedWinner: ArgoAmour
Best Actor:Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis, LincolnDenzel Washington, FlightHugh Jackman, Les MiserablesBradley Cooper, Silver Linings PlaybookJoaquin Phoenix, The Master
Best Actress:Naomi Watts, The ImpossibleJessica Chastain, Zero Dark ThirtyWinner: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings PlaybookEmmanuelle Riva, AmourQuvenzhane Wallis, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
The 2013 Academy Award Winners:Best Director:David O. Russell, Silver Linings PlaybookWinner: Ang Lee, Life Of PiSteven Spielberg, LincolnMichael Haneke, AmourBenh Zeitlin,Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Best Writing, Original Screenplay:Flight, Written by John GatinsZero Dark Thirty, Written by Mark BoalWinner: Django Unchained, Written by Quentin TarantinoAmour, Written by Michael HanekeMoonrise Kingdom, Written by West Anderson and Roman Coppola
Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay:Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Screenplay by Lucy Alibar and Benh ZeitlinWinner: Argo, Written by Chris TerrioLincoln, Written by Tony KushnerSilver Linings Playbook, Written by David O. RussellLife Of Pi, Written by David Magee
Best Original Song:"Before My Time," Chasing Ice, Music and Lyric from J. Ralph"Pi Lullaby," Life Of Pi, Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri"Suddenly," Les Miserables, Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boubill"Everybody Needs a Best Friend," Ted, Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlaneWinner: "Skyfall," Skyfall, Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
Best Original Score:Anna Karenina, Dario MarianelliArgo, Alexandre DesplatWinner: Life Of Pi, Mychael DannaLincoln, John WilliamsSkyfall, Thomas Newman
Best Production Design:Anna Karenina, Sarah Greenwood (Production Design); Katie Spencer (Set Decoration)The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Dan Hennah (Production Design); Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (Set Decoration)Les Miserables, Eve Stewart (Production Design); Anna Lynch-Robinson (Set Design)Life Of Pi, David Gropman (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)Winner: Lincoln, Rick Carter (Production Design); Jim Erickson (Set Decoration)
Best Achievement in Film Editing:Winner: Argo, William GoldenbergLife Of Pi, Tim SquyresLincoln, Michael KahnSilver Linings Playbook, Jay Cassidy and Crispin StruthersZero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg
Best Supporting Actress:Sally Field, LincolnWinner: Anne Hathaway, Les MiserablesJacki Weaver, Silver Linings PlaybookHelen Hunt, The SessionsAmy Adams, The Master
Best Achievement in Sound Editing:Argo, Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der RynDjango Unchained, Wylie StatemanLife Of Pi, Eugene Gearty and Philip StocktonWinner: Skyfall, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker LandersWinner: Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing:Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, and Jose Antonio GarciaWinner: Les Miserables, Andy Nelson, Mark Peterson, and Simon HayesLife Of Pi, Rob Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew KuninLincoln, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, and Ronald JudkinsSkyfall, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, and Stuart Wilson
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Best Foreign Language Film of the Year:Winner: Amour, AustriaNo, ChileWar Witch, CanadaA Royal Affair, DenmarkKon-Tiki, Norway
Best Documentary Feature:5 Broken CamerasThe GatekeepersHow To Survive A PlagueThe Invisible WarWinner: Searching For Sugar Man
Best Documentary Short:Winner: Inocente, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix FineKings Point, Sari Gilman and Jedd WiderMondays At Racine, Cynthia Wade and Robin HonanOpen Heart, Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd SternRedemption, Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill
Best Live Action Short Film:Asad, Bryan Buckley and Mino JarjouraBuzkashi Boys, Sam French and Ariel NasrWinner: Curfew, Shawn ChristensenDeath Of A Shadow (Dood Van Een Schadow), Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De WaeleHenry, Yan England
Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling:Hitchcock, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna, and Martin SamuelThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater, and Tami LaneWinner: Les Miserables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell
Best Achievement in Costume Design:Winner: Anna Karenina, Jacqueline DurranLes Miserables, Paco DelgadoLincoln, Joanna JohnstonMirror Mirror, Eiko IshiokaSnow White And The Huntsman, Colleen Atwood
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Best Achievement in Visual Effects:The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, and R. Christopher WhiteWinner: Life Of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. ElliottMarvel's The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan SudickPrometheus, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin HillSnow White And The Huntsman, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson
Best Achievement in Cinematography:Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarveyDjango Unchained, Robert RichardsonWinner: Life Of Pi, Claudio MirandaLincoln, Janusz KaminskiSkyfall, Roger Deakins
Best Animated Feature:FrankenweenieThe Pirates! Band Of MisfitsWreck It RalphParaNormanWinner: Brave
Best Animated Short Film:Adam And Dog, Minkyu LeeFresh Guacamole, PESHead Over Heels, Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'ReillyMaggie Simpson In "The Longest Daycare," David SilvermanWinner: Paperman, John Kahrs
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Best Supporting Actor:Winner: Christoph Waltz, Django UnchainedPhilip Seymour Hoffman, The MasterRobert De Niro, Silver Linings PlaybookAlan Arkin, ArgoTommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: Joe Klamar/Getty Images]
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Legendary British comedy duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise are to be honoured by English Heritage in April (13). Teddington Studios in Middlesex, England, where the double act recorded most of its sketches, will be given a commemorative blue plaque, placed on buildings of cultural significance in the U.K.