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Readers Respond: What is your favourite scene from The Sound of Music?

<p dir="ltr"><em>The hills are alive, with the sound of music</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Admit it, you sang that line because <em>The Sound of Music</em> is obviously one of your favourite movies.</p> <p dir="ltr">We asked the OverSixty audience what their favourite scene is from the classic and for those of you who didn’t answer “all of it”, you are wrong. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. (Just kidding!)</p> <p dir="ltr">Read your responses below:</p> <p dir="ltr">Lorraine Briggs Lane - The kiss in the gazebo.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chris Howie - The dance in the garden where Maria and the Captain dance a beautiful Austrian folk dance. So romantic.</p> <p dir="ltr">Merle Davis - I loved everything but the wedding was beautiful.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jill Harker - When they declare their love! One of my favourite movies!</p> <p dir="ltr">Lorraine Peters - When he signs you are 16 going on 17.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sandra Wilkins - The first 174 minutes. </p> <p dir="ltr">Leonie Cortez - Love it from beginning to end.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sonia Freeth - The kids saying goodnight and heading off to bed. </p> <p dir="ltr">Rita Sammut - The greatest movie. Love every scene.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ellen Taylor - The Captain singing Edelweiss.</p> <p dir="ltr">Share your favourite scene/s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/oversixtys/posts/pfbid0cjtGdMtKhn57hiBbAnwz4mXGw4WkDsjNRWGxNxTsmprbWJ9BBnMrXctDUVHT7tgol" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Why Netflix and TikTok are turning to gaming to secure their future

<p>The <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/29/netflix-and-rivals-enter-pivotal-second-act-of-streaming-wars-saga.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">streaming wars</a> are heating up. In March, Disney delayed the release date of <a href="https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/obi-wan-kenobi-release-date-fridays-1235219887/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Obi-Wan Kenobi</a> to May 27 to coincide with the launch of Netflix’s <a href="https://top10.netflix.com/tv" target="_blank" rel="noopener">top show</a>, Stranger Things. This on the back of Google’s announcement YouTube Shorts had <a href="https://mashable.com/article/youtube-shorts-1-5-billion-monthly-users" target="_blank" rel="noopener">matched TikTok’s 1.5 billion subscribers</a> in the short-form video market.</p> <p>Facing increased competition, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/apr/20/netflix-shares-fall-losing-subscribers" target="_blank" rel="noopener">falling subscriber numbers</a> and loss of content, Netflix and TikTok are having to diversify. And for this they’re turning to games. With more than three billion players worldwide, and an estimated market share of US$200 billion, the gaming industry is both <a href="https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/games-market-revenues-will-pass-200-billion-for-the-first-time-in-2022-as-the-u-s-overtakes-china#:%7E:text=Yearly%20mobile%20game%20revenues%20will,driven%20growth%20of%20prior%20years." target="_blank" rel="noopener">popular and lucrative</a>.</p> <p>Netflix <a href="https://about.netflix.com/en/news/let-the-games-begin-a-new-way-to-experience-entertainment-on-mobile" target="_blank" rel="noopener">introduced</a> mobile gaming last year for all its subscribers. This included two notable Stranger Things tie-ins. Meanwhile, TikTok has offered games to select users since 2019 and seems very likely to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-tiktok-plans-big-push-into-gaming-conducting-tests-vietnam-sources-2022-05-19/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">expand these offerings</a>.</p> <h2>Retaining existing subscribers</h2> <p>Both Netflix and TikTok have transformed the entertainment business.</p> <p>They appear <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqac020" target="_blank" rel="noopener">diametrically opposed on the surface</a>. The former gets revenue from subscriptions, and spends millions of dollars on licensing or creating content. The latter makes money by linking viewers to advertisers, with the help of streaming “influencers” who have mastered the art of short-form video.</p> <p>However, the two platforms share some key characteristics. They both:</p> <ol> <li>deliver video content via the internet</li> <li>aim to constantly grow their user base</li> <li>benefit from unique and original content</li> <li>collect user data and use it to improve their services, and</li> <li>face considerable and rising competition from other companies and entertainment media.</li> </ol> <p>Many well-loved films and television series are <a href="https://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/best-movies-leaving-netflix/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">departing Netflix</a> for competitor platforms. At the same time, TikTok is also losing short-form video influencers to other <a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/digital/tiktok-creators-youtube-shorts-amid-insane-subscriber-growth-1235002615/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">platforms</a>. Both platforms are seeking new strategies for subscriber retention, growth, and original content.</p> <p>This is where gaming comes in. According to one consumer insights report, 79% of the world’s online population <a href="https://newzoo.com/insights/trend-reports/how-consumers-are-engaging-with-games-in-2022" target="_blank" rel="noopener">engages with games</a> in some form. And millennials rate gaming as either the most popular, or second-most popular entertainment activity – behind watching other people play games on video platforms.</p> <h2>Why is gaming an attractive space?</h2> <p>Games typically afford longer engagement periods than series or movies. This is due to the psychological <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01731" target="_blank" rel="noopener">principles of motivation</a> that underpin most gameplay.</p> <p>People invested in games will often seek out additional narrative (or “lore”) in the form of shows and movies. Alternatively, audiences invested in shows may also look to video games to provide alternative narratives and opportunities for world-building. So shows lead customers to games, and games keep them engaged between season releases.</p> <p>This technique of telling a story across multiple platforms and formats is known as “<a href="https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780191800986.001.0001/acref-9780191800986-e-3472" target="_blank" rel="noopener">transmedia storytelling</a>” and has been used with <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/joeescobedo/2017/07/01/meet-the-man-behind-hollywood-and-fortune-500-firms-transmedia-success/?sh=3766654233da" target="_blank" rel="noopener">great success</a> by broadcast, social media and gaming companies. This is what platforms are banking on to keep audiences locked into their entertainment ecosystems.</p> <p>Content creation has <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2021/11/18/four-reasons-why-the-creator-economy-is-booming/?sh=7534840b53de" target="_blank" rel="noopener">boomed since the pandemic</a>, and younger audiences are spending more time than ever watching user-generated content online. They have been particularly tuned into games such as <a href="https://store.steampowered.com/app/1782210/Crab_Game/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Crab Game</a> (a fan-made version of the popular Netflix show Squid Game) – which also has <a href="https://sullygnome.com/game/Crab_Game" target="_blank" rel="noopener">millions of view hours</a> on the streaming service Twitch.</p> <p>The rise of Minecraft as a popular <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattgardner1/2022/04/07/game-modding-offers-huge-financial-opportunities-for-studios-in-2022/?sh=1f40a3cb590d" target="_blank" rel="noopener">“modding” game</a> (in which players can collectively transform the game space through their own modifications) has also helped video streaming and subscription services. Minecraft-related videos have been streamed more than <a href="https://www.youtube.com/trends/articles/minecraft-trillion/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">one trillion times on YouTube</a>.</p> <p>Transmedia success provides additional avenues for companies looking to leverage their licensed or original copyrighted content.</p> <h2>Intellectual property and data analytics</h2> <p>We know games promote attention, motivation, emotion and socialising among players.</p> <p>Companies such as the game-hosting platform Steam have demonstrated <a href="https://store.steampowered.com/oldnews/2488" target="_blank" rel="noopener">user data can influence</a> the creation of new content by game developers. In fact, this is a market advantage that Netflix and TikTok have over rivals.</p> <p>For example, one could easily imagine that a character who is popular in a game, as revealed through gaming data, would also be more likely to feature in an upcoming show based on that game.</p> <h2>Netflix and TikTok can lose big</h2> <p>When we speak of the streaming wars and greater competition, it’s not a level playing field. There are crucial differences between Netflix and TikTok, and other players such as Disney+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and YouTube.</p> <p>Netflix is in the streaming business, and TikTok in the video-hosting industry. On the other hand, based on revenue Disney is in the theme park and toy business, Amazon the online sales industry, Apple the computing and phone industry, and Google in the search and advertising industry.</p> <p>For these companies, streaming and video hosting is a small side business that provides useful data to feed a greater machine. So in the “streaming wars” they don’t have as much to lose, as they can run these side businesses at a loss.</p> <p>Netflix and TikTok aren’t so lucky. By turning to games, they’re grabbing onto a lifeline they really need.</p> <p><em><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/levelling-up-why-netflix-and-tiktok-are-turning-to-gaming-to-secure-their-future-183990" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Elvis at the movies

<p>‘The movies’ have always been part of Elvis’s story. The drama and beauty of the golden age of American cinema shaped young Elvis’s creative talent and sense of style, Hollywood became the focus of his own stellar career for a decade, and since his early death in 1977, Elvis has been brought to life on screen many times, most spectacularly this year with the release of Baz Luhrmann’s much anticipated biopic <em>Elvis</em>.</p> <p>Elvis was born in the wake of the Great Depression, on 8 January 1935, to adoring parents Vernon and Gladys. Growing up in rural Mississippi, in a railroad town named Tupelo, Elvis didn’t have much money to play with – but he and best friend Sam Bell made their own fun by sneaking into the movies at Tupelo’s Lyric Theatre. Bell has described the Lyric in the days of segregation laws, when the balcony seating was partitioned into Black and white sections. Elvis and Sam would sneak through the separate entrances and once inside, Elvis would “climb on over” so the boys could sit together and share their “ten cent popcorn”, sitting in the aisle watching Westerns. (Sam Bell interviewed in 2016.)</p> <p>One of Elvis’s earliest teenage jobs was ushering in Loew’s State Theatre, in 1950 and again in 1951, in Memphis. The little Presley family made the move to Memphis, a cosmopolitan Southern city bustling with post-war industry and a vibrant cultural scene, when Elvis was 13 years old. Elvis studied the faces and expressions of 1950s screen idols such as Tony Curtis and Marlon Brando, observing not only their methods of conveying emotion and connecting with audience, but also their distinctive fashion and 1950s brand of masculine beauty.</p> <p>Fresh out of high school, in mid-1954 Elvis had his first hit single with ‘That’s All Right’ on the innovative Memphis label Sun Records. He soon caught the attention of a canny talent manager known as ‘the Colonel’ Tom Parker. Parker moved swiftly to take control of Elvis’s blossoming career and brokered the sale of his contract to major label RCA Victor in November 1955. By March 1956, Parker had Elvis in Hollywood screen-testing for powerhouse Paramount producer Hal B. Wallis. Elvis had already appeared on The Dorsey Brother’s (television) <em>Stage Show</em> six times by this stage (he would go on to do a further five appearances in 1956 alone, on shows hosted by Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and Ed Sullivan). As Wallis’s Paramount colleague Allan Weiss put it: “We had all seen him on television, the swivelling hips below the bottom of the screen, unseen. But it wasn’t just sex; it was an indefinable energy that transcended that. The question was, would it show on film?”</p> <p>Elvis had been sent a script for <em>The Rainmaker</em>, in production at Paramount with Burt Lancaster and Katherine Hepburn. He performed two short scenes, and also lip-synched a performance of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ for the screentest. Weiss got the answer to his question: “We knew instantly that we were in the presence of a phenomenon; electricity bounced off the walls of the sound stage.” Elvis was “absolute dynamite”.</p> <p>Paramount signed Elvis for a multi-picture deal immediately, despite not yet having a script ready. Parker had negotiated in the contract that Elvis do one film a year with another studio – this clause was utilised straight away to enable Elvis to get started on a film with 20th Century Fox while Paramount prepared a script.</p> <p><em>Love Me Tender </em>was released just eight months after those first Hollywood meetings. The film was a civil war era drama, in which Elvis plays honourable and guileless Clint Reno, caught in a complicated love triangle with his young bride (played by Debra Paget) and his older brother Vance (played by Richard Egan). At the end of the film, Clint is killed in a dramatic shootout. This ending, however, was so displeasing to young audiences in test screenings that the studio was forced to ‘bring back’ Elvis, awkwardly superimposing him singing the title song over the final scene. In a private screening held the day before the film’s public release, at Elvis’s former place of employment, Loew’s State Theatre in Memphis, Gladys cried at her son’s death scene.</p> <p>Elvis aspired to become a serious dramatic actor, he is said to have known all the dialogue from the generation-defining hit film <em>Rebel Without a Cause (1955)</em>. From the very beginning though, music was deemed essential to any production designed around the young superstar.</p> <p>Even despite a substantial period of pause during his Army service (approximately March 1958 – March 1960), Elvis pumped out an astonishing 31 features between 1956 and 1969. Certain early films stand out for their relatively high quality. <em>King Creole (1958)</em> for example is one of his most critically admired films, directed by legendary Hungarian-American auteur Michael Curtiz of <em>Casablanca (1942)</em> fame. The film is set in the nightclubs and back alleys of New Orleans, as Elvis’s hot-headed Danny Fisher grapples with the temptations of organised crime and a droll temptress played by Carolyn Jones. The excellent soundtrack features skilled song-writing duo Leiber and Stoller, including an evocative title song and a sultry number titled ‘Trouble’, reprised by Elvis for his ground-breaking 1968 NBC television special.</p> <p>Throughout the 1960s, Elvis became disillusioned with his career in Hollywood. Always the professional, he fulfilled relentless contracts and was described as a good worker on set, but privately he was embarrassed by the increasingly flimsy and formulaic quality of his films, and the hastily produced soundtrack albums. In a rare candid interview during filming for the 1972 documentary <em>Elvis On Tour</em>, he explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>“Hollywood’s image of me was wrong and I knew it. And I couldn’t say anything about it, couldn’t do anything about it. I’d be right into production, I’d be doing a lot of pictures close together – and the pictures got very similar… you know, if something was successful, they’d try to recreate it the next time around. So I’d read the first four or five pages and I knew that it was just a different name, with 12 new songs in it. The songs were mediocre in most cases… But I was never indifferent, I was so concerned…. It worried me sick.”</p> </blockquote> <p>In 1968, his smash hit television special today known as the ’68 Comeback Special reignited his passion for live music performance and gave him a pathway out of Hollywood and onto the stages of Las Vegas.  In 1970 and 1972, two innovative music documentaries captured the re-energised Elvis in this second phase of his career as a stage musician: <em>That’s the Way It Is (1970)</em> and <em>Elvis On Tour (1972)</em>.  These films still sparkle today as dynamic examples of music documentary making, and the glamour and excitement of 1970s Las Vegas.</p> <p>In recent decades, many actors have attempted to emulate ‘The King’ on screen, including Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, and a fan favourite, Kurt Russell. (Fun fact: a 12-year-old Russell appears in the 1963 romance <em>It Happened at the World’s Fair </em>– he kicks Elvis in the shin in his scene!) Almost half a century on from Elvis’s death, fans around the world nervously await their chance to watch Austin Butler’s portrayal of Elvis, which has already been given a glowing review by the people who knew Elvis best, his former wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie, who tweeted: “Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart & soul beautifully”.</p> <p>For more information on the Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery (19 March – 17 July 2022), <a href="https://www.bendigoregion.com.au/bendigo-art-gallery/exhibitions/elvis-direct-from-graceland" target="_blank" rel="noopener">click here</a>.</p> <p><em><strong>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with the <a href="https://www.bendigoregion.com.au/bendigo-art-gallery/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bendigo Art Gallery</a>.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/elvis-at-the-movies" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Images: Bendigo Art Gallery</em></p>

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In the new Disney Pixar movie Lightyear, time gets bendy

<p><em>Spoiler alert: this article explains a key plot point, but we don’t give away anything you won’t see in trailers. Thanks to reader Florence, 7, for her questions.</em></p> <p>At the beginning of the new Disney Pixar film, Lightyear, Buzz Lightyear gets stranded on a dangerous faraway planet with his commanding officer and crew.</p> <p>Their only hope of getting off the planet is to test a special fuel. To do that, Buzz has to fly into space and repeatedly try to jump to hyper-speed. But each attempt he makes comes with a terrible cost.</p> <p>Every time Buzz takes off for a four-minute test flight into space, he lands back on the planet to find many years have passed. The people Buzz cares most about fall in love, have kids and even grandkids. Time becomes his biggest enemy.</p> <p>What’s going on? Is this just science fiction, or could what happened to Buzz actually happen?</p> <h2>Time is relative: Einstein’s big idea</h2> <p>Buzz is experiencing a real phenomenon known as time dilation. Time dilation is a prediction of one of the most famous scientific theories ever developed: Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.</p> <p>Prior to relativity, the best theory of motion we had was Isaac Newton’s mechanics.</p> <p>Newton’s theory was incredibly powerful, providing stunning predictions of the motion of the planets in our solar system.</p> <p>In Newton’s theory, time is like a single giant clock that ticks away the seconds in the same way for everyone. No matter where you are in the universe, the master clock will display the same time.</p> <p>Einstein’s theory of relativity shattered the master clock into many clocks – one for each person and object in motion. In Einstein’s picture of the universe, everyone carries their own clock with them.</p> <p>One consequence of this is there is no guarantee the clocks will tick at the same rate. In fact, many clocks will tick at different rates.</p> <p>Even worse, the faster you travel relative to someone else, the slower your clock will tick compared to theirs.</p> <p>This means if you travel very fast in a spaceship – as Buzz does – a few minutes might pass for you, but years might pass for someone on the planet you left behind.</p> <h2>Time travelling forwards – but not backwards</h2> <p>In a sense, time dilation can be thought of as a kind of time travel. It provides a way to jump into someone else’s future.</p> <p>This is what Buzz does: he jumps into the future of his friends left on the planet below.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is no way to use time dilation to travel backwards in time, into the past (as one important character talks about later in the film).</p> <p>It’s also not possible to use time dilation to travel into your own future.</p> <p>That means there’s no known way for you to travel into the future and meet your older self, simply by going really fast.</p> <h2>Time travellers above Earth right now</h2> <p>Time dilation might seem like science fiction, but in fact it is a measurable phenomenon. Indeed, scientists have conducted a number of experiments to confirm that clocks tick at different rates, depending on how they are moving.</p> <p>For example, astronauts on the <a href="https://nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">International Space Station</a> are travelling at <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/feature/facts-and-figures" target="_blank" rel="noopener">very high speeds</a> compared with their friends and family on Earth. (You can watch the space station pass overhead if you know <a href="https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">when to look up</a>.)</p> <p>This means those astronauts are ageing at a <a href="https://www.wired.com/2014/11/time-dilation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">slightly slower rate</a>. Indeed, US astronaut Buzz Aldrin, from whom Buzz in Lightyear gets his name, would have experienced a tiny bit of time dilation during his trip to the Moon in the 1960s.</p> <p>Don’t worry, though, the astronauts on the International Space Station <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20041117121920/https://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/crew/exp7/luletters/lu_letter13.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">won’t feel or notice</a> any time dilation. It’s nothing like the extreme time jumps seen in Lightyear.</p> <p>Aldrin was able to return safely to his family, and the astronauts up in space now will too.</p> <h2>To infinity – and beyond</h2> <p>Clearly, time dilation could have a serious cost. But it’s not all bad news. Time dilation could one day help us travel to the stars.</p> <p>The universe is a massive place. The nearest star is <a href="https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/features/cosmic/nearest_star_info.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">40,208,000,000,000 km away</a>. Getting there is like travelling around the world one billion times. Travelling at an ordinary speed, no one would ever survive long enough to make the trip.</p> <p>Time dilation, however, is also accompanied by another phenomenon: length contraction. When one travels very fast toward an object, the distance between your spaceship and that object will appear to be contracted.</p> <p>Very roughly, at high speeds, everything is closer together. This means that for someone travelling at a high speed, they could make it to the nearest star in a matter of days.</p> <p>But time dilation would still be in effect. Your clock would slow relative to the clock of someone on Earth. So, you could make a round trip to the nearest star in a few days, but by the time you arrived home everyone you know would be gone.</p> <p>That is both the promise, and the tragedy, of interstellar travel.</p> <p><em><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/in-the-new-disney-pixar-movie-lightyear-time-gets-bendy-is-time-travel-real-or-just-science-fiction-185137" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: YouTube</em></p>

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First look at completely transformed Ryan Gosling

<p>Ryan Gosling has had a major make-over, making him the perfect Ken Doll for Warner Bro’s latest, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, staring Margot Robbie.</p> <p>The studio has debuted a striking photo of Gosling's Ken sporting six-pack abs, bleach blonde hair and a spray tan.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BARBIE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BARBIE</a><br />July 21, 2023<br />Only in theaters. <a href="https://t.co/DAemOyv5H8">pic.twitter.com/DAemOyv5H8</a></p> <p>— Warner Bros. Pictures (@wbpictures) <a href="https://twitter.com/wbpictures/status/1537102719525081089?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 15, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p>Gerwig co-wrote the Barbie script with her partner, Noah Baumbach. Production on the film is currently underway.</p> <p>The supporting cast includes America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Issa Rae, Michael Cera and many more. While no plot details from Barbie have been confirmed, it's rumoured that several Barbie and Ken characters factor into the story.</p> <p>Liu described Barbie earlier this year as "wild" and "incredibly unique," adding, "I wish I could just show you what we do day-to-day because it's crazy."</p> <p>The film is not a musical, but Liu said he's been in dance rehearsals aplenty for the movie. The actor also teased what it's like working on a Greta Gerwig set.</p> <p>"When you're doing a scene and it's working, you hear, 'HAHAHAHA!' It's the best feeling in the world," Liu said. "If you're an a--hole on a Greta Gerwig set, there's no hope for you."</p> <p>Warner Bros.' Barbie will open in Australian theatres on July 20, 2023.</p> <p><em>Images: Twitter</em></p>

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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at 40 – a deep meditation on loneliness, and Spielberg’s most exhilarating film

<p>40 years ago this month saw the release of Steven Spielberg’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083866/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial</a> – a film about a stranded alien, the boy called Elliott who discovers it and a bond of friendship that remains as magical and heartbreaking as it did back in 1982.</p> <p>We think of Spielberg movies today as thrilling roller-coaster rides, full of sharks, dinosaurs and swashbuckling archaeologists. Yet for me, E.T. remains Spielberg’s most exhilarating work: a deep meditation on loneliness, friendship and growing up in small-town America.</p> <p>Aided by John Williams’s Oscar-winning score and Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore’s touching performances, E.T. feels both of its time and for all time. As Spielberg <a href="https://www.contactmusic.com/pages/et2x21x03x02" target="_blank" rel="noopener">once said</a>:</p> <p>I think that E.T. is for the people we are, the people we have been and the people we want to be again.</p> <h2>A child in need of a friend</h2> <p>After the breathless trio of Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Spielberg wanted to make a more intimate film about his isolated childhood in suburban Arizona <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/steven-spielberg-et-divorce-parents-anniversary-b2063879.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">as he came to terms</a> with the divorce of his parents.</p> <p>At the same time, he had commissioned a script about a suburban family terrorised by a group of aliens with one befriending the family’s son. The DNA of both stories would make their way into this film.</p> <p>Like Spielberg, Elliott is a loner. He’s not playing sport, or going out with girls or getting into trouble. He is introverted and thoughtful. And in need of company.</p> <p>One of Spielberg’s great underrated talents is his direction of children. Many of his films feature young children at their centre – think The BFG (2016), A.I. (2001) and War Horse (2011).</p> <p>In E.T., Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore as brother and sister Elliott and Gertie bring credibility and pathos to their roles, fitting seamlessly into the southern Californian ‘burb culture recreated so fondly by the director.</p> <p>Spielberg’s grasp of childlike wonder is everywhere: notice how he shoots from the children’s eye level and shows adults only from the waist down.</p> <p>For the first time in his career, Spielberg rejected storyboards and <a href="https://ascmag.com/articles/spielberg-et-the-extraterrestrial" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shot scenes chronologically</a>, allowing Thomas and Barrymore time and space to improvise. The domestic and school scenes (hiding E.T. from the mother, tempting it into the house with Reese’s Pieces, freeing frogs destined for dissection) all feel more real because of this.</p> <h2>And what of our alien?</h2> <p>Before E.T., Hollywood saw aliens as hostile critters intent on planetary carnage. The recent extra-terrestrials in Alien (1979) and The Thing (1982) had caused havoc and trauma.</p> <p>E.T. is different: partly modelled on the facial features of Albert Einstein, it is inquisitive, thoughtful, funny. In the delightful Halloween scene, Elliott throws a white sheet over it as a disguise, and E.T. suddenly spots a child dressed up as Yoda, excitedly repeating “Home! Home!”.</p> <p>From this moment, Hollywood realised the marketing potential of “cute aliens”; whether Ewoks, Grogu or Toy Story’s “Little Green Men”. It is small wonder that Variety <a href="https://variety.com/1982/film/reviews/e-t-the-extra-terrestrial-1200425287/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">praised</a> E.T. as the “best Disney film Disney never made”.</p> <p>The alien plays another role too: it fills the void of the absent father.</p> <p>Paternal lack and the strains it places on families is a familiar trope in Spielberg’s films, from Jurassic Park (1993) to Catch Me If You Can (2002) to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).</p> <p>All we know is that Elliott’s father is “in Mexico, with Sally”: left behind is a stressed mother and bickering siblings.</p> <p>Some contend that E.T. is a <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/4239568?seq=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">modern-day fairy tale</a> or <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1982/08/15/movies/l-film-mailbag-is-et-a-religious-parable-073792.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a Christian parable</a>. For others, it is an illustration of “<a href="https://edoc.hu-berlin.de/bitstream/handle/18452/23096/9783631837801%20%E2%80%93%20Echoes%20of%20Reaganism%20in%20Hollywood%20Blockbuster%20Movies%20from%20the%201980s%20to%20the%202010s.pdf?sequence=1&amp;isAllowed=y" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reaganite entertainment</a>”, upholding the sanctity of the nuclear family but distrustful of bureaucratic interference and governmental surveillance.</p> <h2>Spielberg at his best</h2> <p>E.T. earned US$800 million at the box office. Adjusted for inflation, four decades on, that is still the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films_in_the_United_States_and_Canada#Adjusted_for_ticket-price_inflation" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fourth highest grossing</a> movie ever.</p> <p>For some naysayers, its success was further evidence of the special effects-laden, high-concept spectacle film that was beginning to reign in mainstream film culture. But I think E.T. is much more than that: it is a movie with a heart. The special effects are minimal. What counts is the story, and the boy and his friend.</p> <p>Spielberg’s films are to this day <a href="https://www.indiewire.com/2011/12/critics-notebook-putting-steven-spielberg-on-trial-50244/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">criticised</a> as mawkish and overly sentimental, deliberately engineered to cynically manipulate our emotions. Not so in E.T.: the pleasure is genuine and the tears are earned.</p> <p>E.T. became a pop culture phenomenon. The shot of Elliott and E.T. on a bike, flying across the moon, remains an iconic image. “Phone home” has become part of our lexicon. Its message of peaceful coexistence between creatures from different worlds today seems more appropriate than ever.</p> <p>Aliens stranded on earth are a staple of contemporary cinema, from Under the Skin (2013) to The Iron Giant (1999). And Netflix’s current global hit Stranger Things contains a treasure trove of E.T.’s visual references.</p> <p>Spielberg may have made bigger, louder films, and more historically profound ones, but E.T. endures as his best.</p> <p><em><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/e-t-the-extra-terrestrial-at-40-a-deep-meditation-on-loneliness-and-spielbergs-most-exhilarating-film-183985" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Curious detail about flag in Top Gun: Maverick

<p dir="ltr">Moviegoers in Taiwan applauded an advanced screening of <em>Top Gun: Maverick</em> when Tom Cruise’s character came on screen wearing a jacket showing their flag.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Hollywood actor hits the screen in his bomber jacket which features patches of the flags from Taiwan, Japan and the United States, along with a United Nations symbol.</p> <p dir="ltr">When the trailer was released back in 2019, Cruise’s character Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was wearing a jacket but this time the Taiwan flag appeared to be missing.</p> <p dir="ltr">The glaring omission of the Taiwanese flag sparked criticism that Hollywood was appeasing China. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Taiwanese flag has long been a political eyesore for Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the island and considers it to be Chinese territory under the “one China principle”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taiwan however has continued to fight against being considered Chinese territory and to be recognised as independent. </p> <p dir="ltr">There are now rumours swirling that <em>Top Gun: Maverick</em> won’t be shown in China due to the representation of the Taiwan flag.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Hollywood is now pushing back,” Chris Fenton, a former movie executive who wrote a book about Hollywood and Chinese censors, told Bloomberg. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The market is simply not worth the aggravation anymore in attempting to please Chinese censors.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Twitter</em></p>

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Dark Waters is a scary movie. Here’s Why…

<p>Many people have said <em>Dark Waters</em> is more terrifying than any horror movie. That’s because the most frightening thing about<em> Dark Waters</em> is the fact it actually happened. A US corporation – Dupont – put money before human lives and jeopardised the health of every person on this planet by dumping toxic PFOA waste in waterways in West Virginia for years.</p> <p>This makes<span> </span><em>Dark Waters</em><span> </span>one of the scariest movies you’ll see but don’t let this put you off. We all need to see this movie because it’s about how corporations think they can get away with polluting our planet in shocking ways, as long as they keep it hidden. Yes, it’s a bit like<span> </span><em>Erin Brockovich</em><span> </span>but even a bit more sinister.</p> <p>Why is it sinister? Because in Australia, we can usually watch a film like this and thank God we live on a remote island in the South Pacific. But that argument doesn’t hold any more. There’s a scene in<span> </span><em>Dark Waters</em><span> </span>where Mark Ruffalo (playing lawyer Robert Bilott) asks what’s a safe level of the pollutant – PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) and the answer is – one drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool!</p> <p>You see Ruffalo’s face as he mentally adds up the amount of this chemical he’s seen flowing in streams near Parkersburg in West Virginia, and you know from his expression, pretty much the world’s water supply has been wiped out. Dupont has illegally dumped so much of this chemical that by now, it would have worked its way into the underground water system and there’s no saying how far it’s travelled.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RvAOuhyunhY?controls=0" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h4 id="h-what-s-the-story-behind-dark-waters"><strong>What’s the story behind<em><span> </span>Dark Waters</em>?</strong></h4> <p><em>Dark Waters</em><span> </span>is based on real-life events to do with the lawyer, Robert Bilott. Back in 1998, Bilott was working as a lawyer in Cincinnati when a cattle farmer called Wilbur Tennant (played by Bill Camp) visits him at work saying his cows are dying and he’s convinced the DuPont Chemical plant in town has something to do with it.</p> <p>At first Bilott isn’t interested – he tells the farmer he’s a defence lawyer and he “defends chemical companies.” But, as a favour to his grandmother, who knows the farmer, Bilott later drives to the farm to check it out. Once he gets there, he sees the property is a graveyard and the farmer tells him 190 of his cows have recently died.</p> <p>Bilott agrees to do some research and to find the environmental report DuPont, and the Environmental Protection Agency, wouldn’t share with the farmer.</p> <p>But what Bilott finds is far more deadly. He discovers a cover-up involving DuPont’s plant in the town of Parkersburg. He finds a synthetic chemical known as PFOA, which was created to coat army tanks in the war but was later used as a coating for cooking utensils – commonly known as Teflon – has been dumped in the area’s waterways for years.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.54574132492115px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843832/dark-waters-3-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4fbfa27af6ae46b5b367a4550e95fbe6" /></p> <p>From his research, Bilott finds DuPont has known about the dangers of PFOA and the fact it’s linked with deformities in babies and cancer in people. Even worse, he learns these synthetic chemicals are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because our bodies can’t break them down – so they stay in our systems forever. Bilott is hooked and knows he has to chase this case down to the very end and show Dupont they can’t do this sort of thing.</p> <p><strong>As Bilott says later in the movie: “The system is rigged. They want us to think it will protect us. We protect us. We do.”</strong></p> <p><strong>Just how serious is this PFOA toxic waste?</strong></p> <p>PFOA is one of a class of PFAS toxins or Perfluoroalkyl substances. They are are all man-made toxins and it’s estimated the majority of living creatures on earth now have PFASs in their bloodstream.</p> <p><em>Dark Waters</em><span> </span>is the first movie to document this story about PFASs and the film has had a major impact. When it was first released late in 2020 in the US, DuPont suffered a stock price fall.</p> <p>The full cinema release of the movie was delayed because of COVID-19 earlier this year but now you can watch the film on Binge, Apple TV and Prime Video.</p> <p><strong>Does<span> </span><em>Dark Waters</em><span> </span>get its message across?</strong></p> <p><em>Dark Waters</em><span> </span>is two hours long and a lot of it is fairly harrowing, documentary-style viewing. But to make sure we understand the fully story, this is the most realistic and compelling way.</p> <p>Some reviewers have said the subject matter deserved more but the low key, intense nature of how the film is made – produced by Todd Haynes – is far more persuasive than any other style. The understatement wins you over to the seriousness of what’s unfolding.</p> <p>We see the effect this harrowing, drawn-out legal battle has on Bilott’s family life with his wife, Sarah, (played by Anne Hathaway) and their sons. Ruffalo gives a strong, intense performance as Bilott and we can feel his commitment to the situation. Tim Robbins delivers a great performance as Bilott’s boss at his company, allowing him to keep working on this case even though it ends up taking 13 years to resolve.</p> <p><strong>What’s the story behind PFOA and PFAs?</strong></p> <p><em>Dark Waters</em><span> </span>highlights the dire reality of pollution from this class of harmful chemicals called PFAS. PFOA is just one of these and it’s found in Teflon, carpets, waterproof clothing, grease-proof paper and some packaging.</p> <p>Most people have heard of the dangers of PFOA and many frying pans now have packaging promoting they are ‘PFOA free.’</p> <p><strong>At a time like this with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting most of the world’s population, it’s even scarier to know that the health issues linked with PFAS contamination include a reduced response to vaccines</strong>.</p> <p>The threat of PFAS contamination is not limited to the US. There have been major contaminations in Europe and unfortunately, here in Australia, we’re not exempt either.</p> <p>A story in the<em><span> </span><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/toxic-secrets-where-the-sites-with-pfas-contamination-are-near-you-20180616-p4zlxc.html" target="_blank" aria-label="undefined (opens in a new tab)">Sydney Morning Herald,</a></em><span> </span>written by Carrie Fellner and Patrick Begley in June 2018, reports at least 90 sites across Australia are now under investigation for elevated levels of PFAS chemicals.</p> <p><strong>You can limit your exposure to PFAS</strong></p> <p>The<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/pfos.aspx" target="_blank" aria-label="undefined (opens in a new tab)"><span> </span>NSW Health Department’s website</a><span> </span>has lots of information about PFAS and what you can do to limit your exposure. Our Defence Department has manufactured these chemicals as well and so did an American company called 3M which operated within Australia.</p> <p>You can see the 90 sites where PFAS have contaminated the area on the map<span> </span><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/toxic-secrets-where-the-sites-with-pfas-contamination-are-near-you-20180616-p4zlxc.html" target="_blank">below.</a><span> </span>(This map is republished from a story in the<span> </span><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/toxic-secrets-where-the-sites-with-pfas-contamination-are-near-you-20180616-p4zlxc.html" target="_blank" aria-label="undefined (opens in a new tab)"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>,<span> </span></a>written by Carrie Fellner and Patrick Begley in June 2018.)</p> <p><img class="wp-image-118038" src="https://womenlovetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Dark-Waters-Map.jpg" alt="Dark Waters map" /></p> <p>The<span> </span><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/pfos.aspx" target="_blank" aria-label="undefined (opens in a new tab)">NSW Health Department website<span> </span></a>has some tips of what you can do to minimise your exposure to PFAS if you live in a PFAS affected area. This list includes being careful not to use groundwater, bore water or surface water for drinking or cooking. They say, using town water from the taps is OK but to be even safer, filtering your tap water would be a good idea.</p> <p><em>Images: Dark Waters</em></p> <p> </p>

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REVIEW: Top Gun: Maverick

<p dir="ltr">Too-cool-for-school test pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) is brought back from the fold to train a batch of talented and cocky recruits for a life-and-death mission.</p> <p dir="ltr">They’re the best of the best in their class, lone wolves who are fueled by massive egos and a determination to outshine and outfly their peers.</p> <p dir="ltr">If Maverick can’t get these hot-heads to cool down and learn to work as a team, they might just not make it out of the mission alive.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s a well-accepted fact that sequels are nowhere near as good as the original. Take for example, <em>The Matrix, Fast and Furious</em> and <em>Lethal Weapon</em>. The list goes on.</p> <p dir="ltr">Occasionally, there are pleasant surprises. <em>Top Gun: Maverick</em> is one of them.</p> <p dir="ltr">Director Joseph Kosinski takes everything great from the first film and repackages it into a sequel that feels new and faithful to the original at the same time.</p> <p dir="ltr">There’s the high-octane dogfights, shirtless game of sport on the beach and cheesy romance between Maverick and Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly).</p> <p dir="ltr">The opening sequence is nearly shot-for-shot the same as the one used in Top Gun - a reassuring indication that Kosinski is here to build on the first film and not pull it apart.</p> <p dir="ltr">Some 36 years have passed since the release of Top Gun in 1986.</p> <p dir="ltr">The sequel was first scheduled for release in 2019, but delayed until 2020 so producers could fine-tune the flight sequences.</p> <p dir="ltr">Its release was pushed back by another two years because of the Covid pandemic.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Top Gun: Maverick</em> may have been a long time in the making, and the wait time might have felt slow, but the film launches straight into the action, flying through the 2 hour and 17 minute long run time at Mach 10 - or 10 times the speed of sound.</p> <p dir="ltr">Maverick may be three decades older, but he certainly still has the ‘need for speed’ as much as he did when he was a young pilot.</p> <p dir="ltr">He’s still got the rebellious streak and disrespect for authority that frequently lands him in the office of his superiors - this time it’s Admiral Beau Simpson (Jon Hamm) breathing down his neck.</p> <p dir="ltr">Now Maverick is the teacher and he’s dealing with a bunch of cocky pilots. There’s Hangman (Glen Powell), Phoenix (Monica Barbaro), Payback (Jay Ellis) and Rooster (Miles Teller).</p> <p dir="ltr">Rooster is the son of ‘Goose’ - Maverick’s late friend who died after trying to eject himself from a falling F-14 in the first film.</p> <p dir="ltr">Maverick is still troubled by the death and it’s no help that Rooster is a spitting image of his father and as much an avid flier.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tensions rise, egos clash and old wounds are reopened. Maverick has beaten just about every challenge as a pilot in the sky but this may be the one that sends him shooting down in flames.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cruise was insistent on one condition on the release of the film: that it be shown in cinemas and not on streaming platforms like Netflix.</p> <p dir="ltr">He wanted audiences to be immersed in the adrenaline, to watch the fighter jets blast through the sky on the big screen and hear the deafening throttle of the engines on surround sound.</p> <p dir="ltr">Blood-pumping cinematic experiences like these ones are few and far to come by and, not unlike Cruise, may be on their way out.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s like rear admiral Chester ‘Hammer’ Cain (Ed Harris) tells Maverick, “Your kind is headed for extinction.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Cruise turns as he is about to leave the office and looks defiantly at him. “Maybe so, sir. But not today,” he says.</p> <p dir="ltr">Strap in and prepare for take off. It’s going to be one hell of a last ride.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em><strong>Written by Aidan Wondracz</strong></em></p>

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Elvis actor reveals his shock condition after filming

<p dir="ltr"><em>Elvis </em>star Austin Butler has revealed the toll that portraying the King of Rock and Roll took on him after he spent three years immersing himself in the life of Elvis Presley.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a new interview with <em><a href="https://www.gq.com/story/gq-hype-austin-butler" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GQ</a></em>, the actor explained that the morning after shooting for the film had officially wrapped, he woke up in “excruciating” pain.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I woke up at four in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to hospital,” he told the publication.</p> <p dir="ltr">Butler had contracted a virus which stimulated appendicitis, leaving him bedridden for a whole week.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Along with the preparation and method-acting, the film’s prolonged production certainly wouldn’t have helped Butler’s case.</p> <p dir="ltr">Having been originally cast in 2019, production and filming were delayed when the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to <em>GQ</em>, producers offered to send Butler home to have a break from production during the early stages of the pandemic, but he chose to stay and continue embedding himself into the role.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 30-year-old ended up turning his entire apartment into a sort of “detective scene”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Just images of Elvis everywhere, from every time period,” Butler explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think the film would have been very different if we had started shooting at that point, and I’m grateful I had the time to let myself marinate.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Buter also spoke about meeting Priscilla Presley and her and Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie, who were both involved in production. He recalled walking away from a meeting with them with “tears” in his eyes.</p> <p dir="ltr">Both <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/so-filled-with-pride-lisa-marie-presley-shares-thoughts-on-new-elvis-movie" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Lisa Marie</a> and <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/wow-priscilla-presley-s-first-impressions-of-new-elvis-movie" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Priscilla</a> have shared high praise for Butler and <em>Elvis</em>, which is set to be released in cinemas on June 23.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-9e3f3cb0-7fff-f288-8e2f-9945f7c646d4"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @austinbutler (Instagram)</em></p>

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Composer of Chariots on Fire dies

<p dir="ltr">The award-winning composer of the popular <em>Chariots on Fire</em> has died at the age of 79. </p> <p dir="ltr">Vangelis, born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, was being treated for Covid-19 at a French hospital when he died on May 17.</p> <p dir="ltr">Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called Vangelis "a pioneer of the electronic sound."</p> <p dir="ltr">"He began his long journey on the Chariots of Fire," Mitsotakis wrote on Twitter. </p> <p dir="ltr">"From there he will always send us his notes."</p> <p dir="ltr">His record label Decca also issued a statement remembering his music that will live on forever.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Vangelis created music of extraordinary originality and power, and provided the soundtrack to so many of our lives,” the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">“His music will live on forever.”</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8a-HfNE3EIo" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">Vangelis is best known for his opening music in the 1981 film <em>Chariots of Fire</em> which saw him win an Academy Award for Best Musical Score.</p> <p dir="ltr">The film was at the top of the Billboard 200 for four weeks and Vangelis’s song was nominated for Record of the Year Grammy. </p> <p dir="ltr">Vangelis also worked on making the soundtrack for Ridley Scott’s 1982 <em>Blade Runner</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">His other work was included in the film <em>1492: Conquest of Paradise</em> (1992), <em>Missing</em> (1982), <em>Antarctica</em> (1983), <em>Bitter Moon</em> (1992) and <em>Alexander</em> (2004).</p> <p dir="ltr">He also created music for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2021 FIFA World Cup in Japan.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Eldest daughter of Georg and Maria Von Trapp dies

<p dir="ltr">Rosmarie Trapp, the last surviving daughter of Georg and Maria Von Trapp, whose family inspired <em>The Sound of Music</em>, has died aged 93.</p> <p dir="ltr">The eldest daughter of Georg and Maria, Rosmarie died on May 20 at a nursing home in Morrisville, Vermont.</p> <p dir="ltr">The family released a statement saying Rosmarie was “in the presence of loved ones all day long”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She traveled and performed with the Trapp Family Singers for many years, and worked at the Trapp Family Lodge in its infancy when the family first began hosting guests in their home,” the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Her kindness, generosity, and colorful spirit were legendary, and she had a positive impact on countless lives. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Please respect our family’s privacy as we take time to process this loss, and prepare to celebrate the life of an amazing woman. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We believe the best way to recognize Rosmarie is to demonstrate the same selfless kindness and generosity that she exemplified daily.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Respectfully, Johannes, Lynne, Kristina, and Sam von Trapp.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdiqd_vOch5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdiqd_vOch5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Trapp Family Lodge (@trappfamilylodge)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Rosmarie was born on February 8th 1929, just outside Salzburg in Austria. </p> <p dir="ltr">She was the first daughter of Captain Georg von Trapp and Maria von Trapp, with her family inspiring the play and film. </p> <p dir="ltr">The family escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and performed singing tours throughout Europe and America before eventually settling in Vermont in the early 1940s.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple’s children have previously indicated that <em>The Sound of Music</em> wasn’t entirely based on fact.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, them fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria was real which saw the family sing and perform around the US. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 1965 American musical drama remains a favourite starring the beloved Julie Andrews and the late Christopher Plummer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Click <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/fun-facts-about-the-sound-of-music" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> to read about five fun facts about the movie. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty/Instagram</em></p>

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Natalie Portman's buff transformation stuns fans

<p>Newly-released photos of Natalie Portman in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder film have left fans stunned at the superstar’s body transformation.</p> <p>The 40-year-old mum is shown sporting ripped arms that could give co-star Chris Hemsworth a run for his money in the latest publicity stills released for Marvel’s next big screen outing.</p> <p>Co-star Tessa Thompson is shown alongside the actress, looking equally buff, but it’s Portman’s transformation that’s caught every bodies attention.</p> <p>She looks a world away from the actress best known for her roles in Jackie Kennedy or the doomed ballerina Nina in Black Swan.</p> <p>Not everyone’s a fan, though: in an op-ed writer Fran Hoepfner lamented the fact that Portman was one of many acclaimed actors swept up in the Marvel universe.</p> <p>“It’s impossible to believe that what people want from Portman … is for her to get jacked,” she wrote.</p> <p>“Enough time has passed under the tedious reign of Disney’s superhero movies that we know legitimately great and versatile actors are wasted, smoothed out and plumped up, for less than ten minutes of screen time.”</p> <p>Portman is one of many big screen stars to unveil their Marvel-facilitated superhero body transformations in recent years, among them Kumail Nanjiani and Chris Pratt.</p> <p>Portman has previously opened up about the extreme measures needed to get superhero-buff for Thor, telling Jimmy Fallon it had been quite a shock after the inactivity of lockdowns.</p> <p><em>Images: Twitter & Getty</em></p>

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REVIEW: Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Warning! This article contains spoilers.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has returned with his flying cape sidekick to save earth - but this time there’s more than one that needs help.</p> <p dir="ltr">The unshakeable do-gooder, with his grey-winged hair, is pulled into a deadly game of cat- and-mouse.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) is a terrifying witch who chases America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) across different dimensions for her superpower - the ability to jump through the multiverse.</p> <p dir="ltr">Maximoff leaves a trail of destruction in her path and it falls to Dr Strange to put an end to her madness.</p> <p dir="ltr">If he fails, then you can wave goodbye to this earth and all the other earths floating out there in the infinite cosmos.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hollywood is pumping out superhero movies at such a fast rate, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the pace as a viewer.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>The Multiverse of Madness</em> assumes you have watched at least one <em>Avengers</em> film, part of the <em>Wanda Vision</em> series and the first <em>Dr Strange. </em></p> <p dir="ltr">Oh, and don’t forget <em>Shang-Chi</em> and the <em>Legend of the Ten Rings</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you haven’t seen any of them, good luck trying to understand who is who.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aWzlQ2N6qqg" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">There’s plenty of action and exploding heads to keep the unversed audience member entertained.</p> <p dir="ltr">Director Sam Raimi weaves in elements of horror along with a few jump scares.</p> <p dir="ltr">His personal touch falls short of making the superhero franchise feel new. At its best, it just adds a fresh twist to an overdone genre.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is only one annoying little detail in the film. It’s so teeny-tiny, but it hurts as much as a rose thorn stuck in your side.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s nothing to get worked up over. Right?</p> <p dir="ltr">Wrong.</p> <p dir="ltr">Most, if not all, superhero films are packed with undertones of American patriotism.</p> <p dir="ltr">Superman wears a red cape and a blue, tight-fitting onesie (the colours of the American flag); Iron Man is held captive in a cave in the Middle East before he blasts his way to freedom <em>(America, f*** yeah!)</em>; and Captain America needs no explanation (his name says it all).</p> <p dir="ltr">In most cases, at least, these references aren’t screaming in your face. They dwell in the background so you can continue to enjoy the film at its surface level.</p> <p dir="ltr">That’s not the case with Dr Strange.</p> <p dir="ltr">America Chavez is a central character who is not only named after the United States, but she is also dressed in a jacket with the stars and stripes printed onto the back of it.</p> <p dir="ltr">She is, literally, a walking flag of the country.</p> <p dir="ltr">Every time Dr Strange spoke about saving America, I couldn’t help but cringe as I had a sneaking suspicion he was not referring to the young girl.</p> <p dir="ltr">When the character needed a dialogue break, his monster-bashing sidekicks were filling in the blanks with their own toe-curling lines about America.</p> <p dir="ltr">She needs to be saved, her powers could be used for bad if they fall into the wrong hands, with great power comes great responsibility.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Blah, blah, blah. </em></p> <p dir="ltr">For all its shortcomings, Raimi manages to pull off an entertaining two hours and six minutes.</p> <p dir="ltr">The action is backed up by strong performances from Cumberbatch, Olsen and Gomez. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em><strong>Written by Aidan Wondracz.</strong></em></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: YouTube</em></p>

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“So filled with pride”: Lisa Marie Presley shares thoughts on new Elvis movie

<p dir="ltr">Lisa Marie Presley has praised the new film about her late father Elvis Presley, and reflected on how her children’s reactions moved her to tears.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 54-year-old shared her thoughts in a lengthy Instagram post where she opened up about the grief she feels for her late son, Benjamin Keough, who she thinks “would have absolutely loved” the movie too.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Navigating through this hideous grief that absolutely destroyed and shattered my heart and soul into almost nothing has swallowed me whole,” Presley wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It breaks my heart that my son isn’t here to see it. He would have absolutely loved it as well.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-8333be6d-7fff-8863-bd2f-d3c2dc9b719e"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Benjamin passed away in 2020 aged 27, leaving behind his sister, Riley Keough, and half-siblings, Harper and Finley Lockwood.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/By8tI88F-Eo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/By8tI88F-Eo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Lisa Marie Presley (@lisampresley)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Amidst the grief, Presley highly praised the “absolutely exquisite” film and its director, Baz Luhrmann, for the “pure love, care and respect for my father throughout”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You can feel and witness Baz’s pure love, care and respect for my father throughout this beautiful film, and it is finally something that myself and my children and their children can be proud of forever,” Presley wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-27e3359b-7fff-a6e7-9b39-c2eb6dfd5657"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“What moved me to tears as well was watching Riley and Harper, and Finley afterwards, all 3 visibly overwhelmed in the best possible way, and so filled with pride about their grandfather and his legacy in a way that I have not ever experienced.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdjV23APIrq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CdjV23APIrq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Lisa Marie Presley (@lisampresley)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The King of Rock and Roll’s daughter also had plenty to say about Austin Butler, who plays her father in the movie, and joked that she would “eat her own foot” if he didn’t win an Oscar for it.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Austin Butler channelled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully,” she wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully (sic).</p> <p dir="ltr">“If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot, haha,” she joked.</p> <p dir="ltr">Presley thanked everyone involved in the film who “poured their hearts and souls into it” and Luhrmann for creating the “beautiful” project.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Baz, your utter genius combined with your love and respect for my father and this project is just so beautiful and so inspiring,” she concluded.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know I’m being repetitive, but I don’t care.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thank you for setting the record straight in such a deeply profound and artistic way.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Love you ~LMP.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-a46a7548-7fff-bdaa-7208-926ea9671cd5"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Avatar sequel trailer released 13 years after first movie

<p dir="ltr">A teaser trailer for the sequel to <em>Avatar</em> has been released almost 13 years after the first movie broke box office records.</p> <p dir="ltr">In just one day since the <em>Avatar: The Way of Water</em> trailer came out, it has reached more than four million views (correct at time of publishing).</p> <p dir="ltr">Fans are given a glimpse of what to expect in the exciting sequel which is set to drop in cinemas later in December around the world.</p> <p dir="ltr">The sequel, which is also set more than a decade after the first movie, will follow the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids) and the trouble that keeps following them and how they fight to keep each other alive.</p> <p dir="ltr">Director and producer James Cameron had previously announced that he has plans for a total of six movies for the <em>Avatar</em> series and that he had already begun filming for the fourth film. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Anything that had to be done with a specific actor, we did all the scenes for 2 and 3 together – and a little bit of 4," he told Variety.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I had to shoot the kids out. They're allowed to age six years in the middle of the story on page 25 of movie 4. So I needed everything before then, and then everything after, we'll do later."</p> <p dir="ltr">Fans can expect to wait just one year after <em>Avatar: The Way of Water </em>to see the third installment with the fourth movie a year after that, and <em>Avatar 5</em> for December 2026 and the final film in 2028.</p> <p dir="ltr">Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZrX_ES93JA" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: 20th Century Studios</em></p>

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