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Gene Kelly’s wife reveals another side to the Hollywood icon

<p><span>When she first met him in 1985, she had no idea who he was – but Patricia Ward Kelly was soon to develop a special insight into Hollywood legend Gene Kelly both as an artist and a person.</span></p> <p><span>Patricia, then 26, was working on a documentary about the Smithsonian museum when she was introduced to the then-73-year-old Gene, who was tapped as the television special’s host. After she was made aware of his fame, Patricia took out videos from the store and carried out a marathon viewing. What she watched – from <em>Singin’ in the Rain </em>to <em>Brigadoon </em>– left her mouth “agape”.</span></p> <p><span>The two soon became closer and bonded over the poetry of William Butler Yeats. Before long, Gene invited her to California to become his biographer, and their working relationship turned into a romance.</span></p> <p><span>Gene and Patricia tied the knot in 1990. Throughout the decade they spent together, Patricia documented her partner’s words – be it in writing or tape recording – nearly every day, and in the process, grew a greater appreciation of the seemingly “two-dimensional” man that the audience knew and loved.</span></p> <p><span>“People have no idea of the magnitude of him,” she told <em>Over60</em>. “He looks great up on-screen dancing, [but] many people don’t realise he created what you’re seeing, that he directed and choreographed it, and that’s really what he wanted to be known for … for being behind the camera, and for changing the look of dance on film.”</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x7CIgWZTdgw"></iframe></div> <p><span>Gene, she said, had some personal favourites from his impressive filmography. The first and most widely known was the 1949 musical <em>On the Town</em>, which Gene took part in co-directing and choreographing. </span></p> <p><span>“He would often say that because it broke new ground by shooting the opening number on location,” she said. “That just had not been done in that way, and that really influenced the French New Wave filmmakers like François Truffaut.”</span></p> <p><span>However, Gene also had a lesser-known pick – a work that grew out of his childhood interests. According to Patricia, Gene revealed in private that he really enjoyed <em>The Three Musketeers</em> because swordplay and acrobatics were some of “what he loved as a little boy growing up”.</span></p> <p><span>Gene died in 1996 at the age of 83 following a series of strokes – but Patricia has been determined to keep his legacy and memory alive. In 2012, Patricia launched <em>Gene Kelly: The Legacy</em> and has since toured with it around the world. </span></p> <p><span>Patricia said a “show” is not quite the right word to describe the program. “I often refer to it as a kind of an experience. It begins the minute the door is open,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>In the “one-woman presentation”, set to tour Australia next year, Patricia is set to share some stories, film clips, previously unreleased recordings, personal memorabilia, and insights culled from hours of interviews and conversations with her husband.</span></p> <p>“It’s like we’re sitting in the living room having a chat, and I’m bringing these things out,” she said. “Even though it’s a very large venue, people [will] just feel like we’re in this very intimate setting.”</p> <p><em>Gene Kelly: The Legacy is coming to Australia in February 2020.</em></p>

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James Dean to star in new movie 64 years after his death

<p><span>James Dean is set to star in an upcoming Vietnam War film, 64 years after his death.</span></p> <p><span>Last week, Magic City Films announced that they will be casting the late Hollywood icon for their upcoming movie <em>Finding Jack </em>through computer-generated imagery (CGI).</span></p> <p><span>Directors Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh told <em><a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/afm-james-dean-reborn-cgi-vietnam-war-action-drama-1252703">The Hollywood Reporter</a></em> they obtained the rights to use Dean’s image from the actor’s family. Dean will play a secondary lead character named Rogan.</span></p> <p><span>The announcement sparked backlash from fans and industry figures.</span></p> <p><span>Actor Chris Evans called the decision “awful”, saying, “Maybe we can get a computer to paint us a new Picasso. Or write a couple new John Lennon tunes. The complete lack of understanding here is shameful.”</span></p> <p><span>Actress Zelda Williams, whose late Robin Williams restricted exploitation of his image for 25 years following his death, expressed her concern on Twitter. “I have talked to friends about this for YEARS and no one ever believed me that the industry would stoop this low once tech got better,” she wrote.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">I have talked to friends about this for YEARS and no one ever believed me that the industry would stoop this low once tech got better. Publicity stunt or not, this is puppeteering the dead for their ‘clout’ alone and it sets such an awful precedent for the future of performance. <a href="https://t.co/elS1BrbDGv">https://t.co/elS1BrbDGv</a></p> — Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) <a href="https://twitter.com/zeldawilliams/status/1192141551171854338?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 6, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>“Publicity stunt or not, this is puppeteering the dead for their ‘clout’ alone and it sets such an awful precedent for the future of performance.”</span></p> <p><span>Ernst said Dean’s estate has been “supportive” of the film. “I think they would have wanted their family member’s legacy to live on,” Ernst told <em><a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/director-new-james-dean-movie-speaks-backlash-stars-casting-1253232">The Hollywood Reporter</a></em>. “That’s what we’ve done here as well. We’ve brought a whole new generation of filmgoers to be aware of James Dean.”</span></p> <p><span>Ernst said he was “saddened” and “confused” by the negative reaction to the news. “We never intended for this to be a marketing gimmick.”</span></p> <p><span>Visual effects companies Imagine Engine and MOI Worldwide will be working on a full-body CGI of Dean based on archival footage and photographs, while another actor will voice Dean’s character.</span></p> <p><span>The movie is expected to be released in November 2020.</span></p>

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The most chilling psychopaths in history

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These killers performed murders you’d think could only happen in horror movies.</span></p> <p><strong>Ed Gein </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Norman Bates (from Psycho), Leatherface (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Buffalo Bill (from Silence of the Lambs) are three of the most iconic fictional horror characters of all time – and they’re all loosely based on one man: Ed Gein. Also known as the Butcher of Plainfield, Gein collected women’s bodies through grave-robbing and murder from around 1945 to 1957, when he was finally caught. He used the women’s remains to decorate his isolated Wisconsin farm and to make various items of clothing. Gein passed away in 1984 in a mental institution.</span></p> <p><strong>Charles Manson</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the most infamous ringleaders in history, Charles Manson used psychopathic manipulation to gain his cult followers in the 1960s. Not only did he murder people on his own, but he convinced his deepest admirers to commit the same brutal acts he did, resulting in some of the most notorious murders of celebrities and entertainment industry heads, including director Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, as well as coffee heiress Abigail Folger. Manson and his cronies were sentenced to death, but California abolished the death penalty afterward; they’ve spent their lives in prison instead.</span></p> <p><strong>Ted Bundy</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ted Bundy is one of those names that is practically synonymous with “serial killer” and “psychopath.” He was known to be very sly and charming, which was the shiny veneer he used to lure his many victims. He killed at least 30 people across the United States, but it took years for the authorities to catch him, because no one was able to believe such an “upstanding” young man could do such horrible things. He is most famous for his necrophiliac tendencies, and his own lawyer described him as a “heartless evil.”</span></p> <p><strong>Ivan Milat, AKA the backpack killer</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Known as one of Australia’s most cold-blooded killers, on 27 July 1996, Ivan Milat was convicted of the ‘backpacker murders’, the serial killings of seven young people that took place in New South Wales between 1989 and 1993. The bodies of the victims – five of whom were foreign backpackers, the other two Australian travellers from Melbourne – were discovered partially buried in the Belanglo State Forest, 15 kilometres south-west of the New South Wales town of Berrima. Police believe Milat may have been involved in more attacks or murders than those for which he was convicted. Now terminally ill with pancreatic cancer, Milat is expected to soon die in prison where he is currently serving seven consecutive life sentences.</span></p> <p><strong>Richard Ramirez</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to thoughtcatalog.com, Ramirez’s victims ranged in age from nine to eighty-three, and he did not have a particular preference for gender. He ravaged Los Angeles in the ’80s with his brutal, Satanic killings, simply because he was fascinated by it. That’s not to say it had nothing to do with his upbringing, however. When he was just 11-years-old, he witnessed his cousin murder his wife – and was asked to participate in the clean-up afterward.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Taylor Markarian and Zoe Meunier. Republished with permission of</span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/the-most-chilling-psychopaths-in-history.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Angelina Jolie opens up in bold new interview about Brad Pitt

<p>Actress Angelina Jolie has given a revealing interview about her third husband Brad Pitt in a new interview for<span> </span>Harper’s Bazaar.</p> <p>The actress appears on the cover sporting a veil and talks about regaining her footing after splitting from husband Brad Pitt in 2016.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4fJKm8JSs1/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4fJKm8JSs1/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">#AngelinaJolie on our December 2019/ January 2020 subscriber cover. See the full cover story at our link in bio. Photography by @solvesundsbostudio Styling by @patrickmackieinsta Hair by #malcomedwards Makeup by @thevalgarland Manicure by @chisatochee</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/harpersbazaarus/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Harper's BAZAAR</a> (@harpersbazaarus) on Nov 5, 2019 at 6:10am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Jolie is clever during the interview, as she technically never utters Pitt’s name once and refers to him as her children’s “father”.</p> <p>She also made a dig about how she would love to travel but is currently unable to do so due to their custody agreement.</p> <p>“I would love to live abroad and will do so as soon as my children are 18,” Jolie said. “Right now I’m having to base where their father chooses to live.”</p> <p>Jolie also speaks about the “visible and invisible scars” that the last four years have left on her body.</p> <p>"My body has been through a lot over the past decade, particularly the past four years, and I have both the visible and invisible scars to show for it," she explained.</p> <p>She continued: "The invisible ones are harder to wrestle with. Life takes many turns. Sometimes you get hurt, you see those you love in pain, and you can’t be as free and open as your spirit desires."</p> <p>However, Jolie credits her children as they know her “true self”.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0_oK14gcEQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B0_oK14gcEQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Family ♡ Can we talk about Zahara’s glow 🌙✨✨ - - [#ZaharaJoliePitt #AngelinaJolie #BradPitt #BlackgirlMagic]</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/zaharajp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt</a> (@zaharajp) on Aug 10, 2019 at 11:51am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"My children know my true self, and they have helped me to find it again and to embrace it," she said. "They have been through a lot. I learn from their strength."</p>

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Richard Gere expecting second baby with wife Alejandra Silva at the age of 70

<p>Richard Gere is expecting his second child with wife Alejandra Silva.</p> <p>The 70-year-old actor and the 36-year-old publicist recently welcomed their first firstborn Alexander in February.</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hellomagazine.com/healthandbeauty/mother-and-baby/2019110480098/richard-gere-wife-alejandra-second-baby/" target="_blank"><em>HOLA!</em></a>, Silva is currently three months into her pregnancy, with the baby expected to arrive next spring.</p> <p>The couple has yet to comment on the report.</p> <p>The actor is also a father to Homer James Jigme, whom he shares with former wife Carey Lowell, while Silva is a mother to Albert Friedland, whom she shares with ex-husband Govind Friedland.</p> <p>Gere and Silva tied the knot at the actor’s ranch outside New York City in April 2018.</p> <p>Silva confirmed her first pregnancy in September last year with an Instagram photo showing the Dalai Lama blessing her bump a month after reports emerged she was expecting.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BnzfqiCl-0D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BnzfqiCl-0D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Despierta America (@despiertamerica)</a> on Sep 16, 2018 at 3:58pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Getting blessings for our precious to come… We couldn’t announce it before telling HH Dalai Lama,” she wrote on the caption.</p>

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15 reasons we will always love Lauren Bacall

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lauren Bacall was a superstar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Born Betty Joan Perske in New York on 16 September 1924. She is impossible to forget for her distinctive husky voice, sultry stare, and epic love affair with Humphrey Bogart. She passed away at the age of 89 on 12th August 2014 but we will always remember her style, talent and beauty.</span></p> <p><strong>To Have and Have Not, 1944</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lauren Bacall’s breakthrough performance in the 1944 Warner Bros picture, To Have and Have Not, is still acknowledged as one of the best film debuts in cinema history. The 19-year-old Bronx native was scouted by Warner bigwigs on the lookout for the next big female star. More specifically, they needed an actress who could match the magnetism – and insolence – of Humphrey Bogart. Bacall was perfect in her performance and left Bogart astounded and smitten.</span></p> <p><strong>The ‘Look’</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Seduction personified, Bacall coined ‘The Look’ during screen tests for To Have and Have Not. The alluring stare was achieved as the result of a shy tendency to press her chin to her chest. With almond-shaped eyes peeking through long lashes, she made an immediate impact.</span></p> <p><strong>Humphrey Bogart</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The romance between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall lasted a little over a decade, yet it remains as enduring as the films they starred in together. The Hollywood love story began while the pair filmed To Have and Have Not. At the time 45-year-old Bogart was married. Within two years he was divorced and had married Bacall, who was 25 years his junior. They had two children together and remained wed until his death in 1957. “I fairly often have thought how lucky I was. I knew everybody because I was married to Bogie, and that 25-year difference was the most fantastic thing for me to have in my life,” Lauren Bacall told Vanity Fair in 2011.</span></p> <p><strong>Enduring Icon</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 1995 Lauren Bacall was named Empire magazine’s sixth sexiest star in film history. Two years later People listed Bacall among their 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. This wasn't the first time her beauty was awarded. In 1942, she was named ‘Miss Greenwich Village’ and ‘Prettiest Usher’ of the 1942 theatre season.</span></p> <p><strong>Rat Pack Royalty</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bacall was one of the founding members of the Hollywood Rat Pack. She even coined the term ‘rat pack’ and was referred to as ‘den mother’ by fellow members Frank Sinatra, Swifty Lazar and, of course, her husband Humphrey Bogart.</span></p> <p><strong>An alluring muse</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lauren Bacall was one of four Hollywood starlets (along with Veronica Lee, Rita Hayworth and Julie London) who inspired the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit.</span></p> <p><strong>Thoughts on Ageing</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bacall opted to age gracefully, and her musings on maturing are heart-warming: "I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.” - Lauren Bacall</span></p> <p><strong>Fearless Negotiator</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Forcing Bacall’s hand was like forcing a concrete slab across the beach. Indeed, her refusal to star in the film Storm Chase saw her suspended an astounding seven times. An article from the Reading Eagle, published in 1949, stated, "Lauren Bacall has become a storm center at Warner Brothers studio because she refuses to appear in a picture by that name.” In response to her suspension she said, “This makes the fifth or sixth time Mr. Warner has suspended me. I told him he had a fine picture (in ‘Storm Center’), but I didn’t think the part was for me. I thought he understood me at that time. I guess he didn’t.”</span></p> <p><strong>Risqué roles</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When many actresses are cast aside or relegated to grannie roles, Bacall relaunched her career when she featured in a number of provocative roles. She starred in Lars Von Trier’s cult classic Dogville (2003), followed by the 2005 thriller Birth.</span></p> <p><strong>Self Deprecating yet Stylish</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Never afraid to laugh at herself, Bacall lent her voice to the hit animation series Family Guy. Additionally, the down-to-earth beauty played herself in a 2006 episode of The Sopranos, where she was mugged and stripped of her awards show goodie bag.</span></p> <p><strong>Stylish Dame</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lauren Bacall knew how to wear a tailored suit. Always elegant and seductive, her ‘come-hither’ gaze was just as mesmerising as both the masculine style suits and figure-hugging gowns she favoured.</span></p> <p><strong>Key Largo, 1948</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The usually seductive Bacall assumed a more demure, dutiful part in the steamy Florida thriller Key Largo. Sporting long skirts cinched at the waist with tight belts, it was the last on-screen collaboration between Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll through the gallery above to see Lauren Bacall through the ages. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/15-reasons-we-will-always-love-lauren-bacall.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Can cinema survive in a golden age of serial TV?

<p>There are many reasons you might think cinema is going the way of the dinosaurs. With the popularity of long-play TV series booming, are films “too short” now to allow the kind of plot and character development that we have become used to? In our changing world of media, does the distinction between “TV series” and “film” even make sense?</p> <p>In a recent class, when I asked my film studies students who had watched the set film for the week only a few hands went up – and my heart sank. Searching for an explanation, I asked who had watched the latest episode of the popular Netflix show <a href="https://theconversation.com/stranger-things-inventiveness-in-the-age-of-the-netflix-original-84340"><em>Stranger Things</em></a>. Nearly every hand went up.</p> <p>What does this anecdote reveal about changing viewing habits? Does the fact that even film students prefer the latest streaming series to the classic films set as coursework serve to illustrate the point that cinema is dying?</p> <p>There is no doubt of the enormous appeal of the many long-form series readily available to subscribers of streamed content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HULU, iTunes, Google Play, and NowTV. Viewers can binge-watch or pace their way through their favourite show before algorithms point them to their next favourite show, in an endless addictive cycle of entertainment and sleep deprivation.</p> <p><strong>Screen companions and virtual friends</strong></p> <p>There are many reasons for the global popularity of streamed series. For one, their characters are often more diverse and interesting than many of those in mainstream Hollywood filmic fare. This is exemplified so well by shows such as <a href="http://theconversation.com/how-orange-is-the-new-black-raised-the-bar-behind-bars-78702"><em>Orange is the New Black</em></a>, with a nearly all-female cast playing characters with diverse sexual orientations and ethnic and class backgrounds.</p> <p>Over the many hours of screen time, spanning many years in some cases, audiences become emotionally invested in characters’ stories. They become our screen companions and virtual friends. This has seen global fan bases emerge. These fans find kinship and a new kind of collective mourning when providers cancel their favourite show as seen with the devotees of the <a href="https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/ustv/a28618013/the-oa-fan-petition-season-3-axe/"><em>The OA</em></a>. The size and influence of these groups has helped the success of campaigns like that of Sense8 fans, who fought for and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jun/30/your-love-has-brought-sense8-back-to-life-cancelled-netflix-show-wins-two-hour-finale">won a finale</a> of their cancelled show. Similarly, <a href="https://themuse.jezebel.com/fans-saved-one-day-at-a-time-1835924491">the fans of <em>One Day at a Time</em></a> helped it find its new home at cable network “Pop”.</p> <p>The ultra long-play format of streamed series also allows time for extreme character development. The best known character evolution is perhaps that of Breaking Bad’s Walter White who makes a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdDfhe-0JS0">dramatic moral transformation</a> from school teacher to conflicted drug kingpin over the show’s 62-hour run-time.</p> <p><strong>Hollywood cinema refuses to die</strong></p> <p>But traditional Hollywood cinema refuses to die – as evidenced by the boom in <a href="https://theconversation.com/avengers-endgame-and-the-relentless-march-of-hollywood-franchise-movies-119130">franchise event cinema</a>. <a href="https://www.mpaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/MPAA-THEME-Report-2018.pdf">A recent report</a> from the Motion Picture Association of America reveals rising worldwide cinema ticket sales. The total takings at the box office topped US$41 billion – and the number of cinema screens worldwide increased by 7% (to 190,000 screens). The report states that “there is no question that in this ever complex world of media, theatres are vital to overall entertainment industry success”.</p> <p>But cinema still has its place. It allows a fantasy-filled retreat for family and friend entertainment – an immersive experience without the distraction of mobile phones, knocks on the door or family members talking over important bits. Cinemas, film societies, or open-air screenings become spaces where we can put our political divisions aside and cheer collectively for heroes overcoming odds to save screen worlds.</p> <p>Blockbuster films may be thriving, but poetic art cinema has a more precarious place in the market and needs nurturing by cinephiles. Film director <a href="https://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719097591/">Alejandro G. Iñárritu</a> (of <em>The Revenant</em>,<em> Birdman</em>, and<em> Babel</em> fame) recently <a href="https://variety.com/2019/film/global/alejandro-g-inarritu-on-the-need-to-preserve-poetry-in-cinema-1203305924/">spoke to Variety</a> about how our worlds are being closed in by streaming services managed by “algorithms designed to keep feeding people what they like”. He added: “the problem is that the algorithms are very smart but they are not creative, and they don’t know what people don’t know they like.”</p> <p>We are in a golden age of streaming content and at-the-cinema-film. We just need to be guided by more than algorithms to see the treasures hiding away in this new era of excess and neglect.</p> <p><strong>TV or film – what’s the difference?</strong></p> <p>To complicate the arguments about the relative merits of TV series and film, distinctions between film and television are less clear than they ever have been. Many films (particularly those involving <a href="https://theconversation.com/will-the-superhero-films-ever-end-the-business-of-blockbuster-movie-franchises-78834">superheroes</a>) are no longer stand alone, but form part of a serial cinematic “Universe”.</p> <p>Many TV series now consist of feature-length episodes. With a run-time of 151 minutes, we could ask whether the Sense8 finale was actually a Netflix film, rather than a single episode. And, does it even matter to viewers what we call it?</p> <p>In a world where visual media is being increasingly viewed on tablets, mobile phones and laptops rather than in actual cinemas or on television sets perhaps the terms “cinema” and “television” no longer even make sense. This is an argument my co-editors and I <a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/25785273.2019.1660067">make in a recent editorial</a> for the journal Transnational Screens.</p> <p>A key point is that streaming platforms such as Amazon and Netflix do not stand in opposition to cinema. Instead they have consumed cinema, repackaged it and made it available to global audiences. Powerful voices <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/mar/04/netflix-steven-spielberg-streaming-films-versus-cinema">rail against the power</a> of such platforms, but they do enhance screen culture and make cinema more available to global audiences.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/122234/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Deborah Shaw, Professor of Film and Screen Studies, University of Portsmouth</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/can-cinema-survive-in-a-golden-age-of-serial-tv-122234" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Dame Helen Mirren gets candid about filming sex scenes in her latest role

<p>While some actors and actresses have a tough time filming sex scenes in front of entire film crews, Dame Helen Mirren has admitted she isn’t bothered by it in the slightest. </p> <p>The 74-year-old Oscar winner admitted she “loved every minute of it,” to Foxtel Magazine while discussing her new show<span> </span><em>Catherine The Great. </em></p> <p>The HBO four-part series will be available for viewing on Sunday and features a particularly steamy session with not one, but two men. </p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2_a1nJjgAn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2_a1nJjgAn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Helen Mirren (@helenmirren)</a> on Sep 29, 2019 at 2:58am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The show will delve into the lavish life of the famous Russian empress, who lived throughout the 18th century. </p> <p>“Catherine was a serial monogamist and one of her lines was, ‘I’m in love with love’,” Mirren explained.</p> <p>“She was a woman who always wanted to have a man, but she didn’t want to relinquish power. She loved sex and she loves a sexual relationship, but when she wanted to get rid of them after, she’d give them palaces or something.</p> <p>“She even gave one guy a country, making him King of Poland (Stanislaw August Poniatowski).</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4PKH7toTWQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4PKH7toTWQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Fillm &amp; Serie TV (@filmandserietv)</a> on Oct 30, 2019 at 2:11am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>There is a particular rumour Mirren cannot stand, which alleges Catherine the Great - whose death was in 1796 - passed away while having sex with a horse.</p> <p>“I hate that in history men can sleep with anyone they want but women are punished for their sexuality. There was always the intimation that Catherine was some sort of debauched, mad, sexual creature, but those rumours absolutely weren’t true,” she said. </p> <p>German-born Catherine became ruler of Russia after deposing her husband, Emperor Peter III - a violent, drunken bully.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4PPuXCjo-R/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4PPuXCjo-R/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sky Atlantic Italia (@skyatlanticit)</a> on Oct 30, 2019 at 3:00am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite having a successful ruling, Catherine’s sex life was at the forefront of public and media gossip, which historians believe was a method used to detract from her powerful and influential leadership. </p> <p>Legend says Catherine the Great’s libido was so powerful that she was enticed to sleep with a horse and died while a leather harness holding the horse above her snapped and Catherine was crushed to death. </p> <p>While it is a widely debated myth, many assume it is whispers of misogynists attempting to tarnish the extraordinary achievements of the ruler. </p> <p>“It’s appalling the way history treats successful, powerful women. It has to pull them down. Her unbelievable achievements were very successful, obfuscated by history,” Mirren told<span> </span><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/">The Sun.</a></p> <p>“I have feminist friends who say, ‘Oh, what are you going to do about the horse?’, which of course is a complete lie, a classic way of belittling her.”</p>

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Hugh Jackman receives hilarious 50th birthday message from actor Ryan Reynolds

<p>Ryan Reynolds has delivered a very special message to Australian actor Hugh Jackman </p> <p>The<span> </span>Deadpool<span> </span>star and the<span> </span>Wolverine<span> </span>actor have been at a playful head for years now, but for Jackman’s birthday Reynolds has pulled out all guns so the former Marvel movie star can return to his character and appear next to Reynolds for a film. </p> <p>Reynolds kept the trolling going with a 50th birthday message for Jackman during his<span> </span><em>The Man. The Music. The Show. </em>concert at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.</p> <p>In a surprise video posted to social media, Jackman shared a hilarious Reynolds wearing a birthday party hat starting off a sweet message to his friend. </p> <p>“Hello Hugh. I was just going to wish you a happy birthday,” the Deadpool star said. </p> <p>“Then I saw what you said. In a word, ‘hurtful.’ Enjoy the show, Hugh Jackman.”</p> <p>Reynolds then belted out the “Happy Birthday” song for the Aussie star — but ended it with his own expletive-filled message.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3kABhRlKUS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3kABhRlKUS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Man The Music The Show 🎩 (@themanthemusictheshow)</a> on Oct 13, 2019 at 7:56am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“And I’m not even f—ing professionally trained Jackman you piece of s—,” Reynolds yelled at the camera as he gave the middle finger, which was censored, at the very end of the video.</p> <p>In his tweet featuring the birthday message video, Jackman wrote, “At first I thought – Ugh, now I actually have to apologize. But then … @VancityReynolds.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the duo’s hilarious years together. </p>

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Top 9 Christmas movies

<p>Get into the holiday spirit and revisit some of the best Christmas movies of the season. From classics and family favourites to more recent hits, here are the top 10 Christmas movies for your viewing pleasure. So put your feet up, make some eggnog or mulled wine and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>1. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)</strong> <br />A young girl befriends the department store Santa Claus. On finding out he is the real Santa, we see her transform the lives of the people she loves and ultimately save Christmas. This beloved Christmas classic will warm your heart. </p> <p><strong>2. Love Actually (2003)</strong><br />Following the story of eight couples in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we see characters fall in love on a movie set, in the Prime minister’s office and even in the school yard. With an all-star cast including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson and Keira Knightley, this film is a genuine Xmas feel-good movie. </p> <p><strong>3. Home Alone (1990) </strong><br />Macaulay Culkin stars in this hit as Kevin McCallister who misses out on holidaying with the family and is left home alone! The lengths he goes to trying to prevent bandits from entering his home will have you in fits of laughter.</p> <p><strong>4. Elf (2003)</strong><br />Buddy the Elf has always lived on the North Pole, but now he must visit the real world in search of his father. During the journey he teaches everyone about the spirit of Christmas and finds true love.</p> <p><strong>5. The Nativity Story (2006)</strong><br />Return to the classic Christmas Story with this beautiful and poignant nativity depiction starring Keisha Castle- Hughes. </p> <p><br /><strong>6. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1998)</strong> <br />Jonathan Taylor Thomas stars in this Disney movie about a young man finding his way home, and ultimately himself, in time for Christmas Day. Funny and suitable for the whole family, this is a 90s favourite. </p> <p><strong>7. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989)</strong><br />The adventures of the Griswold family never go out of season, especially as we see them prepare to have the best Christmas ever. Enjoy a belly laugh as you watch Chevy Chase’s shenanigans. </p> <p><strong>8. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)</strong><br />This enchanting classic will remind you of the true meaning of the holidays as an angel shows James Stewart, a self-obsessed business man, what the world would be like if he did not exist.</p> <p><strong>9. The Holiday (2006)</strong> <br />A romantic comedy suited to the warmth of the season, this flick starring, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet tells the unlikely story of two women who swap houses (and countries) over the holidays in a bid to start again. </p> <p><strong>10. The Santa Clause (1994)</strong><br />Watching Tim Allen become Santa Clause in this classic is a staple for many families, so revisit the North Pole with this fun hit.</p> <p>Whether you are looking for a hilarious comedy the whole family will love, or want to sit back and enjoy a romance, there is the perfect Christmas movie for you this holiday season. Let us know about some of your favourites below!</p> <p><em>Written by Jessica Morris. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/top-10-christmas-movies.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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5 of the most romantic movies ever made

<p>Keep a box of tissues handy and reunite with old friends from 15 of the greatest romantic movies ever made.</p> <p><strong><em>1. An Affair to Remember, 1957</em></strong></p> <p>Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant are the lovers we couldn’ t take our eyes off in the 1957 remake of Love Affair(1939). Director Leo McCarey is responsible for both films, but An Affair to Remember is more widely cited as a romantic classic. Though both Nickie (Grant) and Terry (Kerr) are betrothed to others at the beginning of the film, a chance meeting between the pair leads to a promise to rendezvous at the top of the Empire State Building in six months time. You’ ll be asking ... will they? Won’t they? Where are the tissues? </p> <p><strong><em>2. The Notebook, 2004</em></strong></p> <p>The Notebook is undoubtedly the most popular romantic film of the 21st century. The film was responsible for creating an instant heartthrob out of Ryan Gosling (Noah) and a highly sought-after actress in Rachel McAdams (Allie). The film adaptation of Nicolas Sparks’ novel has it all: star-crossed lovers, jealousy, kissing in the rain, rowboat rides and steamy passion. The story is told from the protagonist’ s point of view as he regales his wife – who is suffering Alzheimer's disease – with their epic romance that blossomed in the 1940s and endured through decades of marriage and raising children. Keep the tissues handy!</p> <p><strong><em>3. Dirty Dancing, 1988</em></strong></p> <p>Following the ugly-ducking-turned-beautiful-swan plotline, Dirty Dancing is a musical romantic comedy that bought us stellar lines such as, “I carried a watermelon” and “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Taking place at the exclusive Kellerman’ s Resort in the Catskill Mountains (Lake Lure) during the summer of 1963, the music and choreography is superb. Patrick Swayze is the main man Johnny, who works as a very popular dance instructor at the resort. Baby is vacationing with her wealthy family and is instantly taken with the dreamy dancer. In between practicing lifts in the lake, Baby and Johnny dance their way to love, and the rest is history.</p> <p><strong><em>4. Harold and Maude, 1971</em></strong></p> <p>This film is poignant and surprising. The black comedy is absurd and focuses on a well-to-do 20 year old who drives a hearse for kicks and harbours a deep fascination with death. Meanwhile Maude is a vivacious 80-year-old Holocaust survivor who attends funerals with alarming frequency. The two strike up a very unlikely friendship that will mark a turning point in each of their lives. Unconventional but profound and romantic in its own unique way.</p> <p><strong><em>5. Pretty Woman, 1990</em></strong></p> <p>More than twenty-five years after Julia Robert played Vivian, the most loveable prostitute in the profession’s long history, Pretty Woman is still a trusted go-to movie night option. Her chemistry with leading man and business tycoon Edward (Richard Gere) was Cinderella-esque and so electric the movie holds the title as one of the highest grossing films in the romance genre.</p> <p><em>Written by Louise Smithers. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/top-15-countdown-to-the-most-romantic-movie-ever-made/page/1">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Trick or treat? The psychology of fright and Halloween horrors

<p>Halloween is upon us. The spirits of the departed return to haunt the living and demons roam the land.</p> <p>Predictably, scary movies flood television screens and packs of costumed, sugar-crazed children wander the streets.</p> <p>In many ways, trick or treating and watching horror movies are puzzling activities. What possesses people to help their children become ghouls, monsters and supernatural villains for one enchanted evening?</p> <p>Why do we seek out experiences that we know will expose us to dread, disgust and terror?</p> <p>Not everyone is drawn to these experiences, of course. As a rule, humans seek pleasure and avoid pain. But some seem to welcome emotional pain and even luxuriate in it.</p> <p><strong>The ‘Dark’ factor</strong></p> <p>Researchers have explored what influences enjoyment of horror movies in the hope of understanding the paradox that lies at its heart.</p> <p>Liking horror movies is associated with an underlying dimension of <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964424/">entertainment preferences</a>, dubbed “the Dark factor”.</p> <p>People who find horror particularly appealing tend to enjoy heavy metal or punk music, cult films and erotica. They tend to be young and male. Those with Dark tastes value intensity, edginess and rebellion. Their personalities lean towards risk taking, antagonism, imagination and tough mindedness.</p> <p>Some of these attributes reflect the personality trait of sensation seeking. High sensation seekers crave intense, novel, and risky experiences and are especially fond of frightening movies.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19585588">One study</a> used fMRI to scan brains of people while they watched a horror film. Those who scored high on a sensation-seeking measure showed activation in brain regions associated with arousal and visual processing during threatening scenes. This activation was stronger than when they were exposed to neutral scenes.</p> <p>Intriguingly, high sensation seekers’ neural response to scary scenes wasn’t higher than their low sensation seeker peers. Instead, high sensation seekers reacted less intensely to neutral scenes.</p> <p>By implication, sensation seekers are bored and understimulated by the everyday. They show a magnified response to thrilling departures from normality. In essence, they enjoy horror because it is arousing.</p> <p><strong>The pleasure paradox</strong></p> <p>Empathy is also related to our differing fondness for frightening movies. More empathic people are likely to put themselves in the shoes of horrors movies’ sliced and mangled victims and to find the vicarious experience unpleasant.</p> <p><a href="http://crx.sagepub.com/content/17/5/616">One study</a> showed people who scored higher on an empathy test made more effort to distract themselves during horror scenes and found them less appealing. They also showed a greater drop in skin temperature, indicating unpleasant arousal.</p> <p>Arguably, having less empathy enables people to interpret frightening scenes as “just a movie” and detach their emotional response. Of course, there is a world of difference between coming face to face with a knife-wielding man in a hockey mask and seeing him on a screen. That difference may just be smaller for more empathic people.</p> <p>Another factor that influences the enjoyment of fright is “meta-emotion”. This concept refers to how people feel and think about their emotions. Some derive enjoyment from negative emotional states, as when enjoying a “good cry”, for instance.</p> <p>Indeed, <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15506878jobem4402_8">a study</a> found that people who like sad films enjoy a scene relative to how much sadness it elicits. The stronger the sadness, the higher the enjoyment.</p> <p>The idea of meta-emotion resolves the hedonic paradox (the pursuit of negative experience for pleasure) by recognising that we can put a positive frame around a negative experience, and vice versa.</p> <p>In one study, <a href="http://crx.sagepub.com/content/37/2/167.abstract">German researchers found</a> people who generally avoided strong emotions felt negatively about their emotional response to a horror film. Those drawn to strong emotions enjoyed the movie experience more.</p> <p>Enjoying horror films may be like enjoying chilli pepper or skydiving. The apparent benign masochism is driven by a desire for intense experiences, even when they are painful, unpleasant and contrary to our animal instincts.</p> <p><strong>Trick or treat!</strong></p> <p>Trick or treating has also interested psychologists. During this <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/eth.2005.33.2.180/abstract">inversion of social norms</a> children dress as powerful, wicked or monstrous beings and taboos around death and evil are relaxed. Researchers have used this ritualised suspension of normal expectations as a creative way to study rule-breaking.</p> <p>Several studies have examined whether being costumed or masked affects childrens’ tendency to take more treats than allowed. Such effects might reveal the dangers of deindividuation (where individuals lose social restraints in groups).</p> <p>Sure enough, costumed children who are <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1976-20842-001">anonymous</a>, by wearing masks for instance, are more likely to take extra candies.</p> <p>Halloween also seems to bring out excesses in adults. Costumed Halloween celebrators tend to have <a href="http://eab.sagepub.com/content/39/3/352.short">higher blood alcohol</a> readings than people in plain clothes. There are also substantially increased levels of vandalism and property destruction.</p> <p>One form of crime that <a href="http://sax.sagepub.com/content/21/3/363.abstract">does not spike at Halloween</a> though, is sexual abuse of children by strangers – despite some panic in the United States. But children on the day are at substantially increased risk of pedestrian motor vehicle accidents.</p> <p>So look left, look right, and be careful on the roads. And don’t forget to look out for other dangers lurking under the bed, in the closet, beneath the stairs, behind the curtains, inside the vacant house on the corner ….<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/49800/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Nick Haslam, Professor of Psychology, University of Melbourne</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/trick-or-treat-the-psychology-of-fright-and-halloween-horrors-49800" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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A life in pictures: Judy Garland and her tragic downfall

<p>In 1954, singer and actress Judy Garland appeared in what was going to be her last iconic role as Esther Blodgett (aka Vicki Lester) in<span> </span><em>A Star is Born.</em></p> <p>At only 32 years old, Garland had already spent most of her life on stage and on screen, with a career that greatly impacted her mental health.</p> <p>"I’m the queen of the comeback,” <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.biography.com/news/judy-garland-personal-life-struggles-husbands%EF%BB%BF%EF%BB%BF" target="_blank">Garland said</a> during an interview in 1968. “I’m getting tired of coming back. I really am. I can’t even go to… the powder room without making a comeback.”</p> <p>It would only be a year later that Garland would pass away under tragic circumstances.</p> <p>In 1969, Garland’s new husband Mickey Dean would break down the door to the locked bathroom and find Garland dead at the age of 47 years old.</p> <p>The coroner, Gavin Thurston, <a rel="noopener" href="https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&amp;d=DS19690626.2.98&amp;e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1" target="_blank">announced to the press</a> following the autopsy, “This is quite clearly an accidental circumstance to a person who was accustomed to taking barbiturates over a very long time. She took more barbiturates than she could tolerate.”</p> <p>Barbiturates were a then-common sleep aid, but Garland had a history of depression and alcoholism. She had attempted suicide several times, with her third husband<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1969/06/23/89002088.pdf" target="_blank">Sid Luft</a><span> </span>alleging that she tried to take her own life on at least 20 different occasions.</p> <p>However, addiction was in Garland’s history, with her mother giving her pills to keep her energy up and bring her down and sleep at the young age of ten. This is according to the biography<em> <a rel="noopener" href="https://aax-us-east.amazon-adsystem.com/x/c/Qp3DrXv8BwRGrf9nTihmGmMAAAFthZVmLQEAAAFKAW2eFyI/https:/assoc-redirect.amazon.com/g/r/https:/www.amazon.com/Get-Happy-Life-Judy-Garland/dp/0385335156?creativeASIN=0385335156&amp;linkCode=w61&amp;imprToken=PjiEgE51E5pnhGrC4RlEXA&amp;slotNum=0&amp;tag=townandcountry_auto-append-20&amp;ascsubtag=%5bartid%7C10067.a.29254579%5bsrc%7C%5bch%7C%5blt%7C" target="_blank">Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland</a>.</em></p> <p>The problem only worsened when Garland was signed onto MGM, as she was expected to work at a breakneck pace.</p> <p>"They had us working days and nights on end. They’d give us pills to keep us on our feet long after we were exhausted. Then they’d take us to the studio hospital and knock us out with sleeping pills­–[co-star Mickey Rooney] sprawled out on one bed and me on another," Garland said, according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Garland-Paul-Donnelley/dp/1904950817?tag=townandcountry_auto-append-20&amp;ascsubtag=%5bartid%7C10067.a.29254579%5bsrc%7C%5bch%7C%5blt%7C" target="_blank">Paul Donnelley's biography</a> of the actress. "Then after four hours they’d wake us up and give us the pep pills again so we could work 72 hours in a row. Half of the time we were hanging from the ceiling, but it was a way of life for us."</p> <p>Garland didn’t have much success in her personal life, as she went onto marry five different people. She was 19 when she married bandleader David Rose and following their divorce in 1944 went onto marry Vicente Minnelli.</p> <p>Garland married Sid Luft in 1952, Mark Herro in 1965 and finally Mickey Deans in 1969, which was just three months before her death.</p> <p>Towards the end of her life, debt was slowly taking over and Garland played solo concerts to pay off thousands in taxes she owed to the IRS.</p> <p>"It took drugs ... to get her back to a level place where you could have a conversation with her, where you could get her to sign checks, sign contracts, talk about business," Garland's manager Stevie Phillips <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.insideedition.com/judy-garlands-manager-remembers-stars-spiraling-drug-addiction-56276" target="_blank">told <em>Inside Edition</em></a> of the star's later years.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Garland throughout the years.</p>

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Why are so many musicals adapted from movies?

<p>In a 2004 original musical about creating an original musical – cheekily titled [<a href="http://www.guidetomusicaltheatre.com/shows_t/titleofshow.html"><em>title of show</em></a>] – one writer asks, “So movies make good musicals?” His writing partner responds: “Well, they make musicals.”</p> <p>This year, Australian theatre audiences have seen stage adaptations of the films <em>School of Rock, Billy Elliot, Saturday Night Fever</em> and <em>Muriel’s Wedding</em>. Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s adaptation of <em>Bring It On</em>, based on the <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0204946/">2000 cheerleading movie</a>, has already played in Melbourne and Perth and opened in Sydney.</p> <p>In 2020, productions of <em>Frozen</em>,<em> Waitress</em>, <em>Moulin Rouge</em> and <em>Shrek</em> will be performed across Australia.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AtRgTLrcYdE?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption"><em>Bring It On</em> brings good cheer and audiences to the theatre.</span></p> <p>Some original imports like <em>Come From Away</em> and <em>The Book of Mormon</em> are being seen on Australian stages and <em>Hamilton</em> will open here next year, but the emphasis on movie adaptation seems to have a limiting effect on original Australian creation.</p> <p>Recent announcements by the <a href="https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/queensland-theatre-announces-its-2020-season/">Queensland Theatre Company</a>, <a href="https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/mtc-announces-its-2020-season/">Melbourne Theatre Company</a> and <a href="https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/belvoir-st-theatre-announces-its-2020-season/">Belvoir St Theatre</a> do not include plans to premiere new Australian musicals in 2020.</p> <p><strong>From novel to screen to stage</strong></p> <p>Musical theatre has always been a genre that favours adaptation. In 1927, <em>Show Boat</em> was an adaptation of Edna Ferber’s novel. Oklahoma was based on the play <em>Green Grow The Lilacs</em> by Lynn Riggs. Musicals were adapted from novels, plays, short stories (<em>South Pacific, Guys and Dolls</em>), comics (<em>Annie, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown</em>) and even the Bible (<em>Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar</em>).</p> <p>When Oscar Hammerstein II mentored Stephen Sondheim as a composer and lyricist, he set him the task to write four musicals, including three adaptations.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/U_O8DN1CY_E?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>As cinema increased in popularity, musicals were increasingly based on movies. These ranged from arthouse films such as Fellini’s <em>8 ½</em> (adapted as Maury Yeston’s <em>Nine</em>) and Ingmar Bergman’s <em>Smiles of A Summer Night</em> (Stephen Sondheim’s inspiration for <em>A Little Night Music</em>) to blockbusters such as Sister Act.</p> <p>Of course, this process can also be reversed with movie musicals like the upcoming <em>Cats</em> starting life onstage. The cycle completes itself when a production like Hairspray goes from screen to stage and is then filmed as a movie musical.</p> <p>Adapting popular films for the stage became common practice in the 21st century as producers sought to draw new audiences into theatres to see shows with familiar titles. The most recent Broadway season included adaptations of <em>Pretty Woman, Tootsie</em> and <em>Beetlejuice</em>.</p> <p><strong>Many ways to stage</strong></p> <p>The most straightforward adaptation approach is to use songs from the soundtrack of an original movie to create a jukebox-style experience. <em>Moulin Rouge</em> is an example of this style of adaptation, along with Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Although the music rarely propels the plot, the songs provide spectacular entertainment.</p> <p>Other adaptations, such as <em>School of Rock, Kinky Boots and Pretty Woman</em> take an existing plot and insert original songs, usually by one composer (Andrew Lloyd Webber for School of Rock, Cyndi Lauper for Kinky Boots and Bryan Adams for Pretty Woman). Songs are used to create memorable production numbers, but also take the place of dialogue or provide a reflective solo number.</p> <p>One difficulty with this style of adaptation, though, is that audiences are not familiar with the new songs and often expect to hear music from the original movie. The Roy Orbison song <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PLq0_7k1jk">Oh Pretty Woman</a></em> was not originally included in the Broadway production of <em>Pretty Woman</em> but was <a href="http://www.playbill.com/article/pretty-woman-musical-to-incorporate-roy-orbison-hit">later added</a> to the finale for this reason.</p> <p>Disney’s stage adaptations (<em>Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King</em>) tend to be a hybrid of these two approaches, incorporating the well-loved songs from the movie and adding new songs by the same composer.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DKKVwBSy0TU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">Disney favourite <em>Frozen</em> has been adapted on Broadway.</span></p> <p><strong>Bring on originality</strong></p> <p>Some of the most successful film adaptations bring new elements to create a stage version with enough familiarity to appeal to the audience while also updating the setting or altering the plot to spark new moments of engagement.</p> <p>Muriel’s Wedding still tells the familiar story of awkward Muriel Heslop but contemporises the original film by incorporating the pressures of social media in the song <em>Shared, Viral, Linked, Liked</em>.</p> <p>Bring It On maintains the thrilling cheerleading elements of the movie, but incorporates issues of self-esteem, socio-economics and the LGBTQ community.</p> <p>Australian musicals such as <em>Hot Shoe Shuffle</em> (1992), <em>The Boy From Oz</em> (1998) and <em>Keating! The Musical</em> (2005) have proved successful in the past. Since <a href="https://theconversation.com/where-are-the-new-australian-musicals-waiting-in-the-wings-79831">2017</a>, <em>Muriel’s Wedding</em> has toured nationally and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-16/helpmann-awards-hannah-gadsby-new-comedy-wins/11310632"><em>Barbara and the Camp Dogs</em> trimphed at the Helpmann Awards</a>.</p> <p>But other than a revival of <a href="https://opera.org.au/on-tour/bran-nue-dae"><em>Bran Nu Dae</em></a> our stages will be bereft of original Australian musicals next year. This may reflect an influx of international productions and low risk scheduling.</p> <p>Adaptation is an important element of musical theatre, which can harness the power of a well-known property for the stage and draw new audiences to the theatre. While film adaptations are sometimes critiqued as shameless attempts to play on nostalgia to chase dollars, they can also produce satisfying theatrical pieces that develop the artform.</p> <p>Hopefully, those new audiences will eventually encourage Australian producers to develop original works as well.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/122329/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Trevor Jones, Lecturer in Musical Theatre, Griffith University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/hollywood-onstage-why-are-so-many-musicals-adapted-from-movies-122329" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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The children who've lived before

<p><strong> “When I was your age, I changed your diaper,”</strong> said the dark-haired boy to his father. Ron* (* names of boys and their family members were changed to protect privacy) looked down at his smiling son, who had not yet turned two. He thought it was a very strange thing to say, but he figured he had misheard him.</p> <p>But as baby Sam made similar remarks over the next few months, Ron and his wife Cathy gradually pieced together an odd story: Sam believed that he was his deceased grandfather, Ron’s late father, who had returned to his family. More intrigued than alarmed, Ron and Cathy asked Sam, “How did you come back?”</p> <p>“I just went whoosh and came out the portal,” he responded.</p> <p>Although Sam was a precocious child – he’d been speaking in full sentences from the age of 18 months – his parents were stunned to hear him use a word like portal, and they encouraged him to say more. They asked Sam if he’d had any siblings, and he replied that he’d had a sister who “turned into a fish”.</p> <p>“Who turned her into a fish?”</p> <p>“Some bad guys. She died.”</p> <p>Eerily enough, Sam’s grandfather had a sister who had been murdered 60 years earlier; her body was found floating in San Francisco Bay. Ron and Cathy then gently asked Sam, “Do you know how you died?”</p> <p>Sam jerked back and slapped the top of his head as if in pain. One year before Sam was born, his grandfather had died of a cerebral haemorrhage.</p> <p><strong>Is Reincarnation Real?</strong></p> <p>Today more than 75 million people in America – across all religions – believe in reincarnation, according to a Pew Forum on Religion &amp; Public Life poll; a separate survey reports that roughly one in ten people can recall his or her own past life. In October last year, the <em>Dr Oz Show</em> in the US covered the “reality of reincarnation”. There are other reality-TV series and documentaries on the topic such as <em>Ghost Inside My Child</em>, about children with past-life memories, and <em>Reincarnated: Past Lives</em>, in which people go under hypnosis to discover their earlier existences.</p> <p>Why this fascination? Part of reincarnation’s appeal has to do with its hopeful underlying promise: that we can do better in our next lives. “With reincarnation, there is always another opportunity,” explains Stafford Betty, a professor of religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield, and the author of <em>The Afterlife Unveiled</em>. “The universe takes on a merciful hue. It’s a great improvement over the doctrine of eternal hell.”</p> <p>Yet despite the popular interest, few scientists give reincarnation much credence. They regard it as a field filled with charlatans, scams and tall tales of having once been royalty.</p> <p>Reincarnation is “an intriguing psychological phenomenon,” says Christopher C. French, a professor of psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, who heads a unit that studies claims of paranormal experiences. “But I think it is far more likely that such apparent memories are, in fact, false memories rather than accurate memories of events that were experienced in a past life.”</p> <p>For more than 45 years, a team at the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia (UVA) has been collecting stories of people who can recall their past lives. And if the professors determine that there is some merit to these memories, their findings will call into question the idea that our humanity ends with our death.</p> <p><strong>“Mommy, I’m So Homesick”</strong></p> <p>Among the UVA case studies is the story of an Oklahoma boy named Ryan. A few years ago, the four-year-old woke up screaming at two in the morning. Over the preceding months, he’d been pleading with his bewildered mother, Cyndi, to take him to the house where he’d “lived before.” In tears, he’d beg her to return him to his glittering life in Hollywood – complete with a big house, a pool, and fast cars – that was so fabulous, he once said, “I can’t live in these conditions. My last home was much better.”</p> <p>When Cyndi went into her son’s room that night, Ryan kept repeating the same words – “Mommy, I’m so homesick” – as she tried to comfort him and rock him to sleep.</p> <p>“He was like a little old man who couldn’t remember all the details of his life. He was so frustrated and sad,” Cyndi says.</p> <p>The next morning, she went to the library, borrowed a pile of books about old Hollywood, and brought them home. With Ryan in her lap, Cyndi went through the volumes; she was hoping the pictures might soothe him. Instead, he became more and more excited as they looked at one particular book. When they came to a still of a scene from a 1932 movie called <em>Night After Night</em>, he stopped her.</p> <p>“Mama,” he shouted, pointing to one of the actors, who wasn’t identified. “That guy’s me! The old me!”</p> <p>“I was shocked,” Cyndi admits. “I never thought that we’d find the person he thought he was.” But she was equally relieved. “Ryan had talked about his other life and been so unhappy, and now we had something to go on.”</p> <p>Although neither Cyndi nor her husband believed in reincarnation, she went back to the library the next day and checked out a book about children who possessed memories of their past lives. At the end of it was a note from the author, Professor Jim Tucker, saying that he wanted to hear from the parents of kids with similar stories. Cyndi sat down to write him a letter.</p> <p><strong>The Ghost Hunters</strong></p> <p>Tucker was a child psychiatrist in private practice when he heard about the reincarnation research being conducted by Dr Ian Stevenson, founder and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at UVA. He was intrigued and began working with the division in 1996; six years later, when Stevenson retired, Tucker took over as the leader of the division’s past-life research. The UVA team has gathered more than 2500 documented cases of children from all over the world who have detailed memories of former lives, including that of a California toddler with a surprisingly good golf swing who said he had once been legendary athlete Bobby Jones; a Midwestern five-year-old who shared some of the same memories and physical traits – blindness in his left eye, a mark on his neck, a limp – as a long-deceased brother; and a girl in India who woke up one day and began speaking fluently in a dialect she’d never heard before. (Tucker describes these cases in his book <em>Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Their Past Lives</em>.)</p> <p>The children in the UVA collection typically began talking about their previous lives when they were two or three years old and stopped by the age of six or seven. “That is around the same time that we all lose our memories of early childhood,” Tucker says. When he first learns about a subject, he checks for fraud, deliberate or unconscious, by asking two questions: “Do the parents seem credible?” and “Could the child have picked up the memories through TV, overheard conversations, or other ordinary means?” If he can rule out fraud, he and his team interview the child and his or her family to get a detailed account about the previous life. Then the researchers try to find a deceased person whose life matches the memories. This last part is essential because otherwise the child’s story would be just a fantasy.</p> <p>Close to three-quarters of the cases investigated by the team are “solved”, meaning that a person from the past matching the child’s memories is identified. In addition, nearly 20% of the kids in the UVA cases have naturally occurring marks or impairments that match scars and injuries on the past person. One boy who recalled being shot possessed two birthmarks – a large, ragged one over his left eye and a small, round one on the back of his head – which lined up like a bullet’s entrance and exit wounds.</p> <p>In the case of Ryan, the boy longing for a Hollywood past, an archivist pored over books in a film library until she found a person who appeared to be the man he’d singled out: Hollywood agent Marty Martyn, who made an unbilled cameo in <em>Night After Night</em>. After Cyndi spoke with Tucker, he interviewed Ryan, and then the family contacted Martyn’s daughter. She met with Tucker, Ryan and Cyndi, and along with public records, she confirmed more than 50 details that Ryan had reported about her father’s life, from his work history to the location and contents of his home. Cyndi felt tremendous relief when she was told that her son’s story matched Martyn’s. She says, “He wasn’t crazy! There really was another family.”</p> <p><strong>Plane on Fire!</strong></p> <p>Tucker learned about the best-known recent reincarnation case study from TV producers. In 2002, he was contacted to work for and appear on a show about reincarnation (the programme never aired) and was told about James Leininger, a four-year-old Louisiana boy who believed that he was once a World War II pilot who had been shot down over Iwo Jima.</p> <p>Bruce and Andrea Leininger first realised that James had these memories when he was two and woke up from a nightmare, yelling, “Airplane crash! Plane on fire! Little man can’t get out!” He also knew details about WWII aircraft that would seem impossible for a toddler to know. For instance, when Andrea referred to an object on the bottom of a toy plane as a bomb, James corrected her by saying it was a drop tank. Another time, he and his parents were watching a History Channel documentary, and the narrator called a Japanese plane a Zero. James insisted that it was a Tony. In both cases, he was right.</p> <p>The boy said that he had also been named James in his previous life and that he’d flown off a ship named the <em>Natoma</em>. The Leiningers discovered a WWII aircraft carrier called the <em>USS Natoma Bay</em>. In its squadron was a pilot named James Huston, who had been killed in action over the Pacific.</p> <p>James talked incessantly about his plane crashing, and he was disturbed by nightmares a few times a week. His desperate mother contacted past-life therapist Carol Bowman for help. Bowman told Andrea not to dismiss what James was saying and to assure him that whatever happened had occurred in another life and body and he was safe now. Andrea followed her advice, and James’s dreams diminished. (His parents coauthored <em>Soul Survivor</em>, a 2009 book about their family’s story.)</p> <p>Professor French, who is familiar with Tucker’s work, says “the main problem with [his] investigating is that the research typically begins long after the child has been accepted as a genuine reincarnation by his or her family and friends.” About James Leininger, French says, “Although his parents insisted they never watched World War II documentaries or talked about military history, we do know that at 18 months of age, James was taken to a flight museum, where he was fascinated by the World War II planes. In all probability, the additional details were unintentionally implanted by his parents and by a counsellor who was a firm believer in reincarnation.”</p> <p>Tucker says that he has additional documentation for many of James Leininger’s statements, and they were made before anyone in the family had heard of James Huston or the <em>USS Natoma Bay</em>. French responds that “children’s utterances are often ambiguous and open to interpretation. For example, perhaps James said something that just sounded a bit like <em>Natoma</em>?”</p> <p>Bruce Leininger, James’s father, understands French’s disbelief. “I was the original sceptic,” he says. “But the information James gave us was so striking and unusual. If someone wants to look at the facts and challenge them, they’re welcome to examine everything we have.” Bruce laughs at the idea that he and his wife planted the memories, saying, “You try telling a two-year-old what to believe; you’re not going to be able to give them a script.”</p> <p><strong>Long Live Hope</strong></p> <p>Tucker, too, knows that for most scientists, reincarnation will always seem like a fantastical notion regardless of how much evidence is presented. For him, success doesn’t mean persuading the naysayers to accept the existence of reincarnation but rather encouraging people to consider the meaning of consciousness and how it might survive our deaths.</p> <p>“I believe in the possibility of reincarnation, which is different from saying that I believe in reincarnation,” he explains. “I do think these cases require an explanation that is out of the ordinary, although that certainly doesn’t mean we all reincarnate.”<br />Does Tucker believe that in the future, there will be a child who is able to recall his own memories? “Memories of past lives are not very common, so I don’t expect that,” he says. “But I do hope there’s some continuation after death for me and for all of us.”</p> <p><em>Written by Stacy Horn. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/the-children-who-have-lived-before"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> </em></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Royal twins? Meet Grace Kelly’s lookalike granddaughter Jazmin

<p>Grace Kelly is one of the most iconic  and prolific faces from the Old Hollywood era. </p> <p>She was not just admired for her charming onscreen appearance, stunning facial features and effortless style, she was beloved by the people of Monaco after she went on to marry the Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956. </p> <p>The royal’s very own granddaughter doesn’t fall too far from the tree and is an actress herself. </p> <p>27-year-old daughter of Prince Albert II of Monaco, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was raised in California by her mum who met the dashing royal while on holidays at Côte d'Azur, on the French Riviera, in 1991.</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ZodPjHaDi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ZodPjHaDi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">“ I would like to be remembered as a person who did her job well. An understanding, kind and decent human being.” #GraceKelly Truly the epitome of Elegance , Grace and Beauty. I’m proud to be her granddaughter!</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/jazmingrimaldi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> JazminGraceGrimaldi</a> (@jazmingrimaldi) on Sep 14, 2019 at 10:46am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Prince Albert finally confirmed his daughter’s paternity in 2006, when Jazmin was barely a teenager. </p> <p>"I was 14, getting ready to go to high school, when it hit the media that my father had a daughter, and it was me," Jazmin told<span> </span><a href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a11468/jazmin-grace-grimaldi-grace-kelly-granddaughter-0815/"><em>Harper's Bazaar in 2015</em></a>, in her first ever interview.</p> <p>"It's a difficult time for any young adult, and it was an adjustment to have that attention. But I knew it was going to come someday."</p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ZoGZvnHZD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2ZoGZvnHZD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Remembering my Beautiful, Smart and Talented Grandmother #Gracekelly on this day. It has been 37 years since the day she was taken from us way too soon. I was born exactly ten years later and wish I could’ve met her. Although, we were never able to have a physical relationship and she never knew of her many wonderful grandchildren I feel the warmth of her spirit and guidance around me often. I hope she is smiling down today. #gracekelly #icon #life #memory #remember #actress #grace #beauty #harpersbazaar #michaelavedon @harpersbazaarus shoot with @mavedon212 📸🙏🏻</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/jazmingrimaldi/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> JazminGraceGrimaldi</a> (@jazmingrimaldi) on Sep 14, 2019 at 10:42am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Jazmin said connecting with her family members for the first time at 11 was “great”. </p> <p>"Not having had that figure around, I missed that. It's wonderful that it happened when it did, and we've been enjoying a great relationship ever since."</p> <p>Interestingly enough, she bears a striking resemblance to her famous grandmother, who gave up her illustrious career to marry Prince Rainier III. </p> <p>While she never got the opportunity to meet Grace - as she died tragically from a stroke ten years before Jazmin was born - she found that they bonded through her films. </p> <p>"One of my first and fondest memories involving my grandmother was watching High Society," Jazmin said. </p> <p>"It was the first time I realised we had a connection. I'm passionate about acting, singing, and dancing. I saw that in her in this movie. It was a real goose-bumps moment for me."</p> <p>The 27-year-old regularly pays tribute to her “beautiful, smart and talented grandmother,” on social media. </p> <p>"I was born exactly ten years later and wish I could've met her. Although, we were never able to have a physical relationship and she never knew of her many wonderful grandchildren I feel the warmth of her spirit and guidance around me often. I hope she is smiling down today."</p> <p>In another post Jazmin wrote, "Her life, light and legacy lives on.</p> <p>"Truly the epitome of Elegance, Grace and Beauty.</p> <p>"I'm proud to be her granddaughter!"</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Grace Kelly’s look-alike granddaughter Jazmin.</p>

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21 movies that have hilarious titles in other countries

<p>When movies travel abroad, their titles can get a little lost in translation. Check out what your favourite films are called overseas!</p> <p><strong><em>The War of the Stars</em></strong></p> <p>That’s the French title for Star Wars; in Spanish, it was The War of the Galaxies. Makes sense! The title isn’t the only thing that got a major switch in translation. In Germany, the Millennium Falcon became the Speeding Falcon. In France, Han Solo was instead Yan Solo and his Wookie sidekick got the name “Chico.” And their ship? The “Millennium Condor.” The Force definitely wasn’t with those translators.</p> <p><strong><em>Knight of the Night</em></strong></p> <p>It kind of makes sense…? In Spain, that was the title of <em>The Dark Knight</em>. You may have thought that the Batman movie got its title from its brooding protagonist and gloomy cityscapes, but in Spain, they were much more literal – it’s because so many scenes take place at night!</p> <p><strong><em>Super Power Dare Die Team</em></strong></p> <p>You’re not going to be able to guess this one: <em>Super Power Dare Die Team</em> would have been the Chinese title for the <em>Ghostbusters</em> reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones – had it ever been released. Guidelines in China forbid movies that “promote cults or superstition,” though the country’s censors said the official reason was that it wouldn’t appeal to the Chinese audience.</p> <p><strong><em>A Very Powerful Whale Runs to Heaven</em></strong></p> <p>The beloved tearjerker <em>Free Willy</em> is known for its happy ending. The Chinese saw things differently, giving the movie the above title instead. Then again, Willy did jump (not run) to the metaphorical heaven of the open ocean.</p> <p><strong><em>He’s a Ghost!</em></strong></p> <p><em>The Sixth Sense</em> has one of the greatest twist endings of all time – unless you happen to live in China. Although most audiences were stunned by the movie’s revelation in the final minutes, Chinese viewers were already clued in by the title.</p> <p><strong><em>The Boy Drowned in the Chocolate Sauce</em></strong></p> <p>Denmark gave <em>Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory</em> quite the dark (but also kind of hilarious) spin! While greedy Augustus Gloop does take a harrowing swim in a chocolate river, his fate is not quite that grim. While many countries kept the original title of the Gene Wilder classic, and others tweaked it to <em>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</em> (the title of the Roald Dahl novel it’s based on), Portugal changed it to <em>Charlie’s Wonderful Story</em> and Spain picked <em>A Fantasy World</em>. But Denmark’s interpretation definitely takes the (chocolate) cake.</p> <p><strong><em>Die Hard: Mega Hard</em></strong></p> <p>Let’s face it: It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood co-opts this Danish title for <em>Die Hard with a Vengeance</em>. In Denmark, mega means huge, but it also signifies a million. Those Danes are intense. “Die Hard: A million times hard.”</p> <p><strong><em>I’m Drunk and You’re a Prostitute</em></strong></p> <p>The Japanese get points for brutal honesty with this title for <em>Leaving Las Vegas</em>. Nicolas Cage won the Best Actor Oscar for his devastating performance, and his co-star Elisabeth Shue was riveting in her role in the acclaimed drama. Nonetheless, he was portraying a drunk, and she did play a prostitute. (The title also happens to be a paraphrase of one of Cage’s lines from the movie.)</p> <p><strong><em>It’s Raining Falafel</em></strong></p> <p>Israel, where meatballs are not a popular dish, clearly wanted to make <em>Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs</em> more appealing to its audience. So the Hebrew title swapped out the meatballs for falafel, a more recognisable food. In the film itself, though, the animated meatballs were not altered.</p> <p><strong><em>Sexy Dance</em></strong></p> <p>In the first <em>Step Up</em> film, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan come from opposite sides of the tracks. But they’re able to bond through dance and it’s beautiful. Whoever titled the French version of the film simply cut to the chase and called it <em>Sexy Dance</em>. That pretty much nails it!</p> <p><strong><em>Vaseline</em></strong></p> <p>Yep: <em>Grease</em>. Everyone loves Olivia Newton-John as Sandy during her epic transformation in this iconic musical from 1978. John Travolta as Danny is the one that she wants, even though he’s a tough guy greaser. In 1950s slang, that means he slicks his hair back and has a bad reputation. But for the movie release in Argentina, the title was simply <em>Vaseline</em>. Talk about lost in translation…</p> <p><strong><em>A Twin Seldom Comes Alone</em></strong></p> <p>This German designation for the reboot of <em>The Parent Trap</em> is quite… literal. It was Lindsay Lohan’s first starring turn – the 1961 original starred Hayley Mills. The story is about twin sisters, raised apart by feuding parents, who decide to reunite the family; the twins are played by a single actress in both film versions. Maybe that’s why the German title-writer decided to get philosophical with this title.</p> <p><strong><em>My Boyfriend is a Psycho</em></strong></p> <p>The point of <em>Silver Linings Playbook</em> is that they’re both a little crazy, Russia! However, we can’t blame translators for changing this title. Since the English phrase “every cloud has a silver lining” doesn’t really have foreign equivalents, other countries had to seek an alternative name for the film. France called the comedy <em>Happiness Therapy</em>, and Lithuania went with <em>The Story of the Optimists</em>. And finally, since a “playbook” is an American football term, the United Kingdom dropped that part and just went with <em>Silver Linings</em>. Seems reasonable.</p> <p><strong><em>The Teeth of the Sea</em></strong></p> <p>The marketing of the blockbuster <em>Jaws</em> was brilliant for its minimalist simplicity. With one word, audiences got a taste of the horror to come. The visual of the iconic movie poster – a woman swimming above a massive open-mouthed shark – gave the single word “Jaws” its power and impact. In France, the effect was a bit muted: <em>The Teeth of the Sea</em> sounds much less scary and a lot more confusing.</p> <p><strong><em>Mum, I Missed the Plane</em></strong></p> <p>The French must have decided that every parent’s worst nightmare – leaving a child behind – is actually the child’s fault. That can be the only explanation for altering John Hughes’ <em>Home Alone</em> to the above title. That’s right: Kevin missed the plane, and he brought all this home alone burglar mayhem stuff on himself!</p> <p><strong><em>Dimwit Surges Forth</em></strong></p> <p>Adam Sandler comedies are not usually known for their inspirational, overcoming-the-odds tales of high stakes struggle and survival. So it’s not clear why <em>The Waterboy</em> was titled <em>Dimwit Surges Forth</em> in Thailand. However, the dimwit’s rinky-dink team does, ahem, surge forth in the end.</p> <p><strong><em>The Incredible Journey in a Crazy Plane</em></strong></p> <p>This was Germany’s interpretation of the madcap-comedy-slash-disaster-movie-spoof <em>Airplane!</em> Italy also went literal, calling it <em>The Craziest Plane in the World</em>. Several other countries, including Croatia, France and Peru, also lengthened the one-word title, calling it some variation of <em>Is There a Pilot on This Plane?</em> But the funniest title of all might be the working title used for the film during production: <em>Kentucky Fried Airplane</em>.</p> <p><strong><em>Big Liar</em></strong></p> <p>Anthony Hopkins gave an acclaimed performance as the disgraced president in the biopic <em>Nixon</em>, a drama that humanised the flawed American leader. Oliver Stone’s three-hour epic intended to depict the complexity of Nixon’s impact on history. In China, the film was released with the title <em>Big Liar</em>. Why mince words?</p> <p><strong><em>Fantastic Emotional Turmoil</em></strong></p> <p>The beloved Pixar film <em>Inside Out</em> told a complicated emotional tale to child and adult audiences alike. However, multiple countries struggled with a quick, clear title for this movie: In China, the movie was called <em>The Great Team Inside the Head</em>. Russia went with <em>Jigsaw</em>. Vietnam chose <em>The Puzzle Emotions</em>. But Thailand may have taken the day by dubbing it <em>Fantastic Emotional Turmoil</em>. That works!</p> <p><strong><em>Honey, Wait, I’m On My Way</em></strong></p> <p>To be fair to the Slovenian translators, that is an accurate summation of the road trip buddy comedy <em>Due Date</em>. Robert Downey Jr. must take a cross-country trip, with Zach Galifianakis as his wacky travel companion, to arrive home in time for the birth of his baby. Unlike Slovenia, some other countries took the original route, working the pregnancy into the title. In Portugal, the film was called <em>A Childbirth Trip</em>. Perhaps most hilarious of all, the movie’s Polish title translates to <em>Before the Water Goes</em>.</p> <p><strong><em>Grandpa Carl’s Flying House</em></strong></p> <p>Most countries kept the simplicity of the title of Pixar’s <em>Up</em>. Argentina chose <em>Up: An Adventure Up High</em> and the Czech Republic chose <em>To the Skies</em>. Japan, however? Not so much. They chose <em>Grandpa Carl’s Flying House</em>. While that might sound like a comically literal summation of the film, it’s actually somewhat inaccurate – a pivotal detail of <em>Up </em>is the fact that Carl is childless, and therefore not a grandpa. Though we suppose this is a more tactful title than <em>Grumpy Old Guy Carl’s Flying House</em>.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Molly Pennington, PhD</span>. This article first appeared in </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/entertainment/21-movies-that-have-hilarious-titles-in-other-countries" target="_blank"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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