There is still a systemic problem of representation when it comes to female film directors: even though the film industry appears to have embraced diversity of actors, there still needs to be more diversity of voices behind the camera. The female directors who are able to make their movies are changing the film landscape, from using their films as activist vehicles (Ava DuVernay) to making us rethink the superhero genre (Patty Jenkins). Here are some of our favourite female directors to have on your radar.
The funeral for Oscar-nominated director John Singleton will be held in Los Angeles on Monday, his representative has said.Singleton, best known for making 1991 drama Boyz N The Hood, died on April 29 almost two weeks after suffering a stroke.The 51-year-old will be laid to rest in his home city of Los Angeles in a ceremony for family and close friends, his spokeswoman said.The funeral will be a “very small, intimate goodbye” to the filmmaker, a representative said, and will not be open to the press or public.However, his family is planning a larger memorial “in a few weeks” to celebrate his life.Singleton, a father of seven, died after being taken off life support. He suffered a stroke almost two weeks earlier.Barack Obama was among those to pay tribute, saying he “opened doors for filmmakers of colour to tell powerful stories that have been too often ignored”.Boyz N The Hood was based on Singleton’s upbringing and shot in his old neighbourhood.It starred Cuba Gooding Jr as a rebellious teen whose single mother sends him to live with his father in South Central Los Angeles.Singleton became the first black director to receive an Academy Award nomination, and the youngest to do so, and also received a screenplay nomination.His other films included Poetic Justice, Rosewood and Shaft.Additional reporting by agencies
Avengers: Endgame is officially in theatres, which means fans of the superhero movies are finally finding out whether their favourite characters live or die. At three hours and 58 seconds, Endgame is the longest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), meaning moviegoers will likely have to take a quick break or two.
This year, the biggest event in cinema will be a CGI smackdown starring Josh Brolin as a huge purple head and one-time Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr as an annoying billionaire bunged inside a flying tin suit. It would be that a serious box office contender had anything to do with Marvel Comics. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most potent brand in cinema, the $18bn jewel in Disney’s mouse-eared tiara.
Avengers: Endgame has vastly outsold its predecessor Infinity War during its first week of online presales in the US. Fandango, one of the main American platforms selling tickets online, announced on Wednesday that the forthcoming Marvel film has sold five times as many tickets as Infinity War did in the same period. According to Fandango, “thousands” of Endgame showings have already sold out across the US, 16 days ahead of the blockbuster’s release.
On 7 April 1939, Samuel Goldwyn’s production of Emily Bronte’s famous novel Wuthering Heights was released, just one of 365 films produced in Hollywood alone in the year that many film scholars consider the greatest ever for cinema. It was certainly the peak for Hollywood’s Golden Age and the much maligned studio system ruled over by autocrats such as Louis B Mayer and Samuel Goldwyn. Perhaps it was just serendipity that so many classics were released in 1939 or just the inevitable culmination of great art.
Liam Neeson has issued a lengthy apology to his fans for his "hurtful and divisive" comments, weeks after describing how he had attempted to indiscriminately kill a black man in revenge for the rape of someone close to him. Neeson claimed his actions would have been the same regardless of race, he would have felt the same towards "a Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian".
Gwyneth Paltrow shared a photo on Instagram of daughter Apple Martin without her daughter’s consent. Photograph: Suzanne Cordeiro/REX/ShutterstockGwyneth Paltrow’s teenage daughter has criticised her mother for posting a picture of her online without her consent, a reaction one expert says will become more common as a generation that has been snapped since their birth grows up.Paltrow posted a photo to Instagram earlier in the week of herself with Apple Martin, her 14-year-old daughter with Coldplay singer Chris Martin, at a ski field. Apple’s face is largely covered by ski goggles.Apple commented on the post: “Mom we have discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent.”Paltrow replied: “You can’t even see your face!”Apple’s comment, which was later deleted, sparking debate about how much parents should share about their children’s lives on social media.Some criticised the teenager for publicly calling out her mother, others backed her up, saying the teenager had a right not to have her image shared with her mother’s 5.3 million followers.This is a discussion we will be hearing more often in the coming years, said Joanne Orlando, researcher in technology and learning at the Western Sydney University, as children who have had their entire childhoods documented online by their parents reach an age where they can articulate their preferences for how much they want to share.“I think we will see a pushback,” said Orlando, who called Apple’s reaction to her mother’s post: “not unusual and not uncalled for”. “For these kids, often the first time they hit social media is the ultrasound photo and then from day one when they’re born.“So they don’t have any control over what their parents are putting up, or what comments their parents are adding to photos or videos, but we all know our digital lives are increasingly important. So they want to gain control over it when they’re able to.”Orlando said while she had not yet seen cases of children taking legal action against their parents for what is posted online, this could come in the future, and noted the example of France, which introduced strict laws that could see parents face fines and even a jail sentence if they post photos online that are deemed to violate the child’s privacy.
A film “trailer” for The Wind In The Willows calling for action to help nature has been unveiled by environmental campaigners. Sir David Attenborough and Stephen Fry are among the talents featured in the film, which shows the animal characters facing 21st century threats such as road building and plastic pollution. It marks the launch of a new celebrity-backed campaign by the Wildlife Trusts for a “wilder future”, which is calling on people to help UK wildlife recover from current declines.
Not for the reasons reeled off by some of 007’s most ardent fans – the kind of fans who felt affronted when Daniel Craig took over in 2005, because it meant the spy had turned blond. Certainly not because if we “give Bond breasts, we lose the magic behind the character”, as one particularly crude Telegraph op-ed put it. No – a woman shouldn’t play James Bond, because women deserve better.
Neo-noir is a term that is now so widely used to describe almost any stylish modern crime thriller that the lines that separate the genre from its’ film noir roots have become increasingly blurred. When for example, did film noir evolve into neo-noir, and what exactly constitutes neo-noir?
Netflix has changed the ending of popular romance film The Notebook, causing outrage among fans. The 2004 romance movie, which is based on the 1996 novel by Nicolas Sparks, stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as teenagers Noah Calhoun and Alison "Allie" Hamilton, who fall in love in the 1940s. On social media, people have criticised the streaming service for cutting out what is considered a crucial part of the film – and a key reason many people decide to watch The Notebook.
One of the many viewers of Sunday’s Oscars was the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - which spent the night live-tweeting about Black Panther. As the superhero film took home three awards, the CIA dedicated a Twitter thread to exploring the technology depicted in the film - and how fictional aspects of the film such as vibranium could be used in real life. The thread was part of the agency’s Reel vs Real series, which compares technology seen on film to technology “available to real-world intelligence officers today,” and began by asking the agency’s followers if they knew what vibranium was.
Olivia Colman has confirmed her status as national treasure thanks to her Oscar win for The Favourite – and endlessly endearing acceptance speech – but her journey to Hollywood deity began in an iconic AA advert almost 15 years ago. In the ad, Colman can be seen with her screen partner Kev – Mark Burdis from Grange Hill – pulling up in a pristine car alongside their former selves in an old banger. The pair stare at each other, calling out “Bev” and “Kev”, with the scruffier versions unable to believe their alter egos have been able to afford such an expensive vehicle (all thanks to AA insurance, new Bev and Kev explain).
Just last year, Chloé Zhao released her standout rodeo film The Rider, while in 2016, western heads had to contend with Antoine Fuqua's remake of The Magnificent Seven. John Sturges’ ever-popular original was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic, Seven Samurai. Below is a reminder of some of the greatest entries in the western canon.
Oscar nominated British actor Albert Finney – best known for his roles in Annie, Murder on the Orient Express and Scrooge – has died following a short illness at the age of 82, his family has announced. A statement from his family reads: “Albert Finney, aged 82, passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side. Finney, who was born in Salford in 1936, was one of Britain’s premiere Shakespearean actors and was nominated for five Oscars across almost four decades – for Tom Jones (1963), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), Under the Volcano (1984) and Erin Brockovich (2000).
When Anne Hathaway was first approached to host the Oscars in 2011, she turned the offer down, convinced that it was a “no-win situation”. It was James Franco, her eventual co-host, who changed her mind. “He didn’t give me anything,” Hathaway told People magazine recently.
A short film shot entirely from a pig’s point of view has been released to mark the start of the Chinese Year of the Pig.
On the surface, it seems like one of the most joyfully innocent moments in Oscar history: Tatum O’Neal became the youngest competitive winner in history, taking home the 1974 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 10 for the Depression-era comedy Paper Moon. Director Peter Bogdanovich had cast the girl, an acting novice, opposite her father, Ryan O’Neal, with whom he worked on 1972 farce What’s Up, Doc? At the time, O’Neal said he hoped the new movie would bring him closer to his restless daughter, who was estranged from her mother, actress Joanna Moore.
Salvador Dali, a pioneer of European Surrealism, was one of the best-known artists of his generation, a visionary who explored the depths of the subconscious mind. The 17-minute surrealist film was intended to shock so-called respectable European society with its overt sexual and graphic imagery, especially the startling opening scene.
A lock of Marilyn Monroe’s is selling for $16,500 (£12,800) - 60 years after it was cut from the actress’s head. The clipping of hair, estimated to be about 35 strands, comes from the collection of Monroe’s hair stylist, Kenneth Battelle, TMZ first reported. The set is complete with a dated piece of paper from Battelle, Monroe’s hair stylist from 1958 until her death.
Since the turn of the century, no fewer than 25 actors have been Oscar nominated for playing LGBT+ roles. Benedict Cumberbatch as computer programmer Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014), and Timothée Chalamet for the woozy, coming-of-age drama Call Me by Your Name (2017). Of those 25 actors, not a single one was openly queer.
Musical or Comedy at the 2019 Golden Globes, but it was his accent that stood out. While thanking Satan for the inspiration required for his role in Vice during his speech, Bale spoke with a British accent – to the surprise of many viewers who were not aware that the actor is originally from Haverfordwest, Wales. On Twitter, viewers expressed their shock over Bale's "real" voice and birth place, possibly because the actor's numerous past roles as American characters, including the award-winning Dick Cheney, and compared him to other notable British actors.