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‘To truly forget life for a while – a reprieve and a reward’: why Australians love going to the cinema

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ruari-elkington-105955">Ruari Elkington</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>Australians have had plenty of time in the last 100 years to work out what they value about cinema-going and why it matters. Head to any cinema and catch the Val Morgan advertising in the pre-show. Take a closer look at the date the company was founded. Not 1984, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val_Morgan">but 1894</a>. That’s more than 125 years of “Making Messages Memorable” on Australian screens.</p> <p>We have a deep and abiding love for cinema in this country. Over the last century, the experience of going to the movies has both shifted significantly (<a href="https://villageroadshow.com.au/-/media/VRL-Corporate-Media-Library/Documents/Press-Releases/2017/5-December-Gold-Class-Celebrates-20-Years.pdf">we invented Gold Class, you know</a>) and somehow remained resolutely enduring in terms of appeal.</p> <p>My colleague Tess Van Hemert and I have spent the last two years <a href="https://research.qut.edu.au/dmrc/projects/resilient-screens-investigating-the-value-of-australian-cinema-exhibition/">researching</a> the cultures and practices of cinema-going and how cinema sites shape that experience.</p> <p>A typical response in our research was: "I love the cinema experience. It’s a bonding experience, if it’s good it’s an emotional and cathartic experience."</p> <h2>‘A reprieve and a reward’</h2> <p>Cinemas <a href="https://www.bfi.org.uk/industry-data-insights/reports/measuring-economic-value-cinema-venues">are a catalyst</a> for social, cultural and economic activity wherever they operate, from single-screen regional sites to major multiplexes in suburban shopping malls. Cinema, our participants said, is the “ideal” way to watch a movie: "I like to sit as close as I can to the screen so that the ‘real’ world is completely blocked out. I am immersed in &amp; in awe of the film only. To truly forget life for a while – a reprieve &amp; a reward."</p> <p>Cinemas also mirror communities back to themselves. We may go in alone, as a couple or with family and friends, but in the cinema we form a community.</p> <p>When reflecting on returning to the cinema between COVID lockdowns, one person spoke of seeing American Utopia "There were only about 10 people in the cinema. We didn’t know each other but we all started spontaneously dancing, first in our seats, and then everyone ran down to the floor in front of the screen to dance together. It was like a mini music festival when live music was banned."</p> <p>Despite the cost, despite the hassle, despite the need to leave the couch, Australians turn up time and time again to cinemas. In 2023, the Australian box office generated nearly <a href="https://if.com.au/australian-box-office-neared-1b-in-2023/">A$1 billion</a> (although this is down on <a href="https://variety.com/2020/film/asia/australia-annual-box-office-drops-1203476275/">pre-COVID figures</a>). Four of the top ten highest grossing films of all time in Australia have been released <a href="https://www.valmorgan.com.au/2022-at-the-movies">since the pandemic began</a>. Australian census data tells us cinema-going remains Australia’s <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/people-and-communities#:%7E:text=44%25%20of%20people%20attended%20the,popular%20cultural%20venue%20or%20event">most popular</a> cultural activity.</p> <h2>‘Being able to switch off’</h2> <p>When cinemas face closure – or shut temporarily, as they did during the pandemic – the outpouring of community support can galvanise a community and remind them of all the times and ways in which they valued that access to that experience.</p> <p>One participant spoke of seeing their first film in the cinema after the pandemic: "It made me appreciate the whole cinema experience more. Getting out and being able to switch off was a welcome change."</p> <p>In our research, we observed how cinemas began to <a href="https://www.palacecinemas.com.au/blog/the-cinema-why-we-love-it/">articulate</a> their value to community through the pandemic period of forced closures.</p> <p>In the <a href="https://eprints.qut.edu.au/243758/">large-scale national audience research</a> we conducted in partnership with Palace Cinemas the value audiences derive from cinema-going was as diverse as the programming.</p> <p>They remembered specific films, such as watching the opening credits of Force Awakens with a crowd of avid fans, or feeling like they were “experiencing summer in Italy” while watching Call Me By Your Name.</p> <p>They focused on memories of the people they were with, such as feeling “all grown up” while seeing arthouse films with their dad when they were a kid.</p> <h2>‘Float in the memory’</h2> <p>They spoke about the feelings they had before during and after the screening and the experience overall. One respondent wrote of loving the end of a film: "the quiet few minutes as the credits roll and you float in the memory of the film. This only happens for me when I see it in the cinema."</p> <p>Another participant spoke about leaving the cinema and: "doing a walk around the block thinking about the movie, still thinking about the movie driving home."</p> <p>One participant said they love “being able to have respectful (unbothered) alone time publicly”.</p> <p>Clear in this data is that memorability – and the experience of cinema – is far more nuanced than the simple appeal of watching a big film in a big room on a big screen. Cinemas continue to serve Australian communities in far more complex way than simply movies and popcorn.</p> <p>Cinema has always battled headwinds. Since radio, cinema has constantly faced in-home entertainment technology that was supposed to knock it over completely – TV, colour TV, cable, satellite, VHS, DVDs and now streaming. Each time, the desire for people to come together in a space and watch something unique in a way they can’t find anywhere else, with a level of engagement they can’t find anywhere else, has prevailed. We all have a kitchen at home, but we still love going out to restaurants.</p> <p>Disney, Warner Bros and Australia’s own Birch Carrol and Coyle all celebrated 100 years of operation in 2023. To sustain another century, more research is needed to better understand how cinema-going must continue to evolve to meet shifting audience expectations.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222597/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ruari-elkington-105955">Ruari Elkington</a>, Senior Lecturer in Creative Industries &amp; Chief Investigator at QUT Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/to-truly-forget-life-for-a-while-a-reprieve-and-a-reward-why-australians-love-going-to-the-cinema-222597">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"Offer is on the table": New James Bond actor revealed

<p>In a world where the only constant is change, one thing remains certain: James Bond will always be suave, sophisticated, and British.</p> <p>The search for the next 007 has been a rollercoaster of speculation, rumours and hopes dashed faster than a villain's escape plan. But now the wait appears to be over. The man most likely in line to be the next James Bond has been revealed, and his name is Taylor-Johnson ... Aaron Taylor-Johnson. </p> <p>According to a report from <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/26774029/aaron-taylor-johnson-offered-role-james-bond/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a> on Tuesday, Eon Productions, the brilliant minds behind the iconic spy franchise, appear to have finally settled on their man. According to sources as reliable as Bond's impeccable taste in martinis, Taylor-Johnson is set to don the tuxedo and wield the Walther PPK in the next instalment of the series. Well, at least if he accepts the offer.</p> <p>“Bond is Aaron’s job, should he wish to accept it," <em>The Sun </em>reported. "The formal offer is on the table and they are waiting to hear back.</p> <p>“As far as Eon is concerned, Aaron is going to sign his contract in the coming days and they can start preparing for the big announcement.”</p> <p>Now, some of you might be scratching your heads, wondering, "Aaron who?"</p> <p>Aaron Taylor-Johnson is an English actor, which automatically makes him qualified for the role. Plus, he's been in action films like <em>Tenet</em>, <em>Bullet Train</em> and <em>Avengers: Age of Ultron</em>. So, he's no stranger to high-stakes thrills and spills. Also, did we mention he's British? Because that's kind of a prerequisite.</p> <p>At 33 years of age, Taylor-Johnson would be the youngest actor to step into Bond's impeccably polished shoes since George Lazenby back in 1969. Talk about big shoes to fill. But if anyone can handle the pressure, it's our man Aaron. </p> <p>Now, some purists might be clutching their martini glasses in horror, lamenting the departure of Daniel Craig, who graced our screens for five thrilling films. But fear not, for change is the spice of life, and if there's one thing Bond knows how to handle, it's change. Besides, who wouldn't want to see what Taylor-Johnson brings to the table? Maybe he'll introduce a new signature drink or a quirky catchphrase. The possibilities are as endless as Bond's list of conquests.</p> <p>The response to <em>The Sun</em>'s announcement has caused a few reactions across the globe, with 9News reporting that "A source with knowledge of the situation tells CNN that Johnson has not been cast as Bond. And, BBC News reports that a 'production insider' said there is no truth to the rumours about Taylor-Johnson's casting."</p> <p>So, as we eagerly await the official announcement from Eon Productions, let us raise our glasses to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the next suave superspy set to save the world, one shaken, not stirred, adventure at a time. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Twitter (X)</em></p>

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Paul Hogan calls Margot Robbie's Oscars snub a "dull tradition"

<p>Paul Hogan has called out The Academy for their "dull tradition” after Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were snubbed for an Oscar nomination in February. </p> <p>Despite being the only film directed by a woman to earn more than $1 billion at the box office, Robbie and Gerwig were both <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/margot-robbie-snubbed-as-oscar-nominations-announced" target="_blank" rel="noopener">snubbed </a>in their respective categories of leading actress and best director during the 96th Academy Awards, which sparked outrage online. </p> <p>Speaking to <em>Sunrise</em> on Friday, the <em>Crocodile Dunde</em>e actor revealed his thoughts on why he thinks both the Aussie actor and <em>Barbie</em> director missed out on a nomination. </p> <p>“To see them not nominated, that’s a sort of like ... a dull tradition of ‘if it’s not about pain and suffering, it can’t be very good’. It’s not fair,” Hogan said.</p> <p>He then praised Robbie, saying: “She’s great — not only is she beautiful and smart, she’s a nice kid, too.”</p> <p>During the interview on <em>Sunrise</em>, Hogan also reflected on the time he hosted the Oscars in 1987, and said that it was good fun. </p> <p>“It was fabulous because I was probably the first person ever allowed on live television to do the Oscars without presenting a script or having anything written on the auto-cue,” he said.</p> <p>“They were very nervous but Samuel Goldwyn, who was the producer, said, ‘I’ve seen him on television. He’s Hoges … let’s just let him go and it’ll be fun for all of us’.”</p> <p>The actor added that while he rarely felt "intimidated", there were a few times in his career where he was starstruck  — most notably when he met the Queen, Princess Diana, and Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor.</p> <p>Hogan's first public appearance was in 1971 at Nine's amateur talent programme <em>New Faces</em>. </p> <p>He rose to international fame after his role as Mick "Crocodile" Dundee in the 1986 film <em>Crocodile Dundee, </em>which won him the 1987 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and a few other nominations at the BAFTAs. </p> <p><em>Images: Seven/ Getty</em></p>

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Why Mary Poppins has received a new rating 60 years on

<p dir="ltr">Almost 60 years after <em>Mary Poppins</em> was first released, the classic film has been given a new rating by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). </p> <p dir="ltr">The BBFC, which regulates films and video content in the country, changed the rating of the 1964 Disney musical last week from U (Universal) to PG (Parental Guidance) because it features a racial slur once used by white Europeans to refer to the native peoples of southern Africa.</p> <p dir="ltr">"<em>Mary Poppins</em> (1964) includes two uses of the discriminatory term 'hottentots'," a BBFC spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.</p> <p dir="ltr">"While <em>Mary Poppins</em> has a historical context, the use of discriminatory language is not condemned, and ultimately exceeds our guidelines for acceptable language at U."</p> <p dir="ltr">The approaching 60th anniversary of the film is what prompted the BBFC to reexamine the film, as it is set to return to UK cinemas in celebration of the milestone. </p> <p dir="ltr">Even as <em>Mary Poppins</em> remains a treasured part of UK culture, the film has long been criticised for the use of blackface. It's partly in this context that the discriminatory language referenced by BBFC appears in the film.</p> <p dir="ltr">In one scene, the eccentric Admiral Boom asks one of the Banks children if he is going on an adventure to "defeat hottentots." </p> <p dir="ltr">Later in the film, as Admiral Boom sees chimney sweeps with soot-blackened faces dancing in the distance, he shouts, "We're being attacked by hottentots!" and orders a cannon to be fired in their direction.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Hottentot" is a derogatory term used by European settlers to refer to Khoikhoi peoples of South Africa and Namibia, according to the Oxford Dictionary reference.</p> <p dir="ltr">Per the new film rating, children of any age can still watch without an adult present, but parents should consider whether the content might upset younger or more sensitive children, a BBFC spokesperson said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Disney</em></p>

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Russell Crowe unveils new look not seen in over 20 years

<p>Russell Crowe, the man of many faces – literally, his beard has its own postcode – is making headlines again. Not for his stellar performances or his knack for embodying iconic characters, but for something far more groundbreaking: he shaved.</p> <p>Yes, you read that right. Russell Crowe has gone from grizzly lumberjack chic to smooth operator in what can only be described as a follicular metamorphosis of epic proportions.</p> <p>In a tweet that shook the internet harder than a magnitude 9 earthquake, Crowe proudly announced, "The actor prepares #20. First shave since 2019".</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The actor prepares #20.<br />First shave since 2019. <a href="https://t.co/e48ctxh9GY">pic.twitter.com/e48ctxh9GY</a></p> <p>— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) <a href="https://twitter.com/russellcrowe/status/1759500781642780929?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 19, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Now, to put this into perspective, in 2019 we were all living in a blissful ignorance of the chaos that awaited us in the years to come. So, the fact that Russell Crowe has finally decided to bid farewell to his facial foliage is nothing short of a miracle.</p> <p>In the accompanying photo, Crowe stares into the camera with the seriousness of a man who has just discovered a rare species of moth living in his beard. His face, now liberated from the tangled web of hair, appears decades younger, causing fans to collectively question if time travel is, in fact, possible.</p> <p>But let's not forget, this isn't Crowe's first rodeo with a clean-shaven face. Even though he cites "2019" in his caption, the last time he showcased such ephemeral smoothness was back in 2012 while promoting <em>Les Miserables –</em> a time when the world was still recovering from the shock of "Gangnam Style" and debating the colour of a certain pinstriped dress. So, it's safe to say, Crowe's clean-shaven look is rarer than a blue moon on a leap year.</p> <p>Of course, fans couldn't contain their excitement. One Twitter user exclaimed, "20 years younger instantly!" Another fan, probably needing a moment to catch their breath after witnessing the transformation, simply stated, "oh THERE you are". And let's not overlook the fan who eloquently remarked, "Looks good! It’s nice to change it up and shave. You have a nice face it was hiding behind all that hair." Ah, poetry in the age of social media.</p> <p>But what prompted this seismic shift in Crowe's appearance? Well, he didn't spill the beans on which movie role necessitated the razor, but we can only imagine the possibilities. Perhaps he's playing a time-travelling barber who inadvertently alters the course of history with each stroke of his razor. Or maybe he's set to star in a reboot of <em>The Santa Clause</em> as the titular character who decides to trade in his bushy beard for a more aerodynamic look. The possibilities are as endless as the hairs on Crowe's chin once were.</p> <p>Whatever the reason, one thing's for sure: Crowe's fresh shave has left an indelible mark on the internet. And as he gears up for roles in everything from historical dramas (he’s pegged to play Hermann Göring in the film <em>Nuremberg) </em>to MMA action flicks (such as <em>The Beast In Me</em>, which traces the life of a commercial fisherman who avenges his brother's death by fighting in a cage match)<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">, we can only hope that his newfound smoothness becomes a permanent fixture. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">After all, in a world of chaos and uncertainty, sometimes all it takes is a clean shave to restore our faith in humanity.</span></p> <p><em>Images: Poker Face / Twitter (X) </em></p>

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"They lost it": Margot Robbie's surprise encounter with Barbie fans

<p>Margot Robbie has recalled a sweet story about when she overheard a group of men talking about the <em>Barbie</em> movie, before giving them the surprise of their life. </p> <p>At a screening of the <em>Barbie</em> movie in Los Angeles, the Aussie actress told the audience of the heartwarming moment she encountered in Scotland, shortly after the film's release last July. </p> <p>At the SAG-AFTRA screening of the blockbuster movie, Robbie began, “I had this brilliant experience.”</p> <p>“I was in a pub in the middle of nowhere in Scotland and I listened for about 30 minutes to a group of guys on a bachelor party discussing the <em>Barbie</em> movie, not knowing that I was sitting two or three feet away from them.”</p> <p>Robbie continued, “It was just truly fascinating. There were people at the table who refused to see the <em>Barbie</em> movie."</p> <p>“One guy was like, ‘Dude, it is a cultural moment, don’t you want to be a part of culture?’ And the other guy was like, ‘I’ll never see it,’ and by the end he did want to see it. It was a whole thing."</p> <p>“I wasn’t going to go up to them, but then I did.”</p> <p>Before leaving the pub, Robbie casually waltzed up to the group of men who “lost it” when they discovered Barbie herself had overheard their conversation.</p> <p>“At the last minute as I was walking out I went to their table and I went ‘Thank you for seeing the <em>Barbie</em> movie’,” she added.</p> <p>“It was very funny, they lost it. It took a full minute for them to realise and I was practically out the door and they went ‘Ohhhh’.</p> <p>“People’s reactions to the movie have been the biggest reward of this entire experience.”</p> <p>The heartwarming story comes fresh on the heels of Margot being <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/margot-robbie-snubbed-as-oscar-nominations-announced" target="_blank" rel="noopener">snubbed</a> for a Best Actress nomination at this year's Oscars for the <em>Barbie</em> movie, which caused an uproar on social media. </p> <p>Margot addressed the snub at the LA screening, saying there's “no way to feel sad when you’re this blessed.”</p> <p>“Obviously, I think Greta should be nominated as a director,” she added.</p> <p>“What she did is a once-in-a-career, once-in-a-lifetime thing. What she pulled off, it really is."</p> <p>“We set out to do something that would shift culture, affect culture, just make some sort of impact. And it’s already done that and some, way more than we ever dreamt it would. And that is truly the biggest reward that could come out of all of this.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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The funny reason Robert Irwin wants to hand over his citizenship

<p dir="ltr">Robert irwin has joined in the global outrage of Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig being <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/movies/margot-robbie-snubbed-as-oscar-nominations-announced">snubbed</a> from the Oscar nominations. </p> <p dir="ltr">The wildlife warrior joined the panel of <em>The Project</em> on Wednesday night as a co-host of the show, where the conversation turned to the Aussie actress being snubbed by the Academy Awards. </p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday morning, it was revealed that Margot Robbie didn’t receive a Best Actress nomination for her role in <em>Barbie</em>, and nor did Greta Gerwig for Best Director, despite the movie breaking records when it was released in July. </p> <p dir="ltr">Around the world, <em>Barbie</em> fans shared their disgust in the snub, with Robert Irwin echoing their statements. </p> <p dir="ltr">“That's ridiculous. Come on,” he began.</p> <p dir="ltr">“[Director] Greta [Gerwig] and Margot made that movie. That's the reason why we have the Barbie movie, it's ridiculous.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Co-host Waleed Aly then asked if Robert would be renouncing his American citizenship over the injustice and was shocked by his response.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think it only makes sense,” Robert said. </p> <p dir="ltr">News of the snub went viral on Wednesday, with fans flocking to social media to share their thoughts. </p> <p dir="ltr">One particular tweet went viral, with over 109 thousand likes. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Ken getting nominated and not Barbie is honestly so fitting for a film about a man discovering the power of patriarchy in the Real World," the tweet read.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ryan Gosling, who received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Ken in the film, also shared a statement about the lack of recognition for the women he shared the screen with. </p> <p dir="ltr">In a lengthy statement, he said, “I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m also incredibly honoured and proud that [the award] is for portraying a plastic doll named Ken.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“But there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no <em>Barbie</em> movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally celebrated film. No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-12395ffc-7fff-c7ac-e4b2-d185f404a16d"></span><em>Image credits: The Project</em></p>

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Margot Robbie snubbed as Oscar nominations announced

<p>The nominations for the 96th academy awards has been announced, and despite <em>Barbie</em> being nominated for eight awards, there were a few notable snubs that fans aren't happy about. </p> <p>The film’s star, Margot Robbie, was not nominated for best actress, despite co-star Ryan Gosling receiving a nomination for best supporting actor for his role as Ken. </p> <p>The film's director Greta Gerwig, was also snubbed as she was not nominated for best director. </p> <p>Fans took to social media to express their thoughts, with many of them unhappy with the academy's choice. </p> <p>"So Ryan Gosling’s nominated for playing ken but Margot Robbie isn’t nominated for playing barbie… in barbie," one person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">So Ryan Gosling’s nominated for playing ken but Margot Robbie isn’t nominated for playing barbie… in barbie <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oscars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Oscars</a> </p> <p><a href="https://t.co/uceB20BB8H">pic.twitter.com/uceB20BB8H</a></p> <p>— poppy ☾ (@scddevereaux) <a href="https://twitter.com/scddevereaux/status/1749792570840907879?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 23, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"No nomination for Margot Robbie or Greta Gerwig for the #Oscars but Ryan Gosling gets one. Literally the whole point of the Barbie film," another wrote. </p> <p>"Greta Gerwig made a film that was critically acclaimed, culturally impactful, hilarious, unique, visually exceptional, perfectly cast and acted, left people laughing, crying and thinking AND made a billion dollars at the box office. But no Best Director nom?!" another tweeted. </p> <p>One particular tweet went viral, with over 109 thousand likes. </p> <p>"Ken getting nominated and not Barbie is honestly so fitting for a film about a man discovering the power of patriarchy in the Real World," the tweet read. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Ken getting nominated and not Barbie is honestly so fitting for a film about a man discovering the power of patriarchy in the Real World.</p> <p>— Michael. (@yosoymichael) <a href="https://twitter.com/yosoymichael/status/1749794592076034203?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 23, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>In a more positive light, America Ferrara, who played Gloria in <em>Barbie</em>, was nominated for best supporting actress with many saying that her character's passionate speech on feminism had sealed the deal. </p> <p>The film was also nominated for Best Picture, and two nods for best song including Gosling's popular solo <em>I'm Just Ken, </em>and Billie Eilish's <em>What Was I Made For</em>.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

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"Shut the f**k up": Alec Baldwin confronted by protesters

<p>Alec Baldwin has been caught in the middle of a fiery protest in New York City, which ended in him yelling profanities to aggressive protesters. </p> <p>The Hollywood actor was on his way to teach an acting class when he was surrounded by pro-Palestine protesters. </p> <p>The protesters bombarded him with questions, demanding that he make known his stance on the war in Israel, and who he supports in the conflict. </p> <p>Baldwin was being escorted by police, but found it difficult to ignore the calls of the protesters. </p> <p>“I support peace for Gaza,” he told them.</p> <p>Baldwin’s response only made the protesters more angry. They started to bellow profanities at him, and attempted to inch closer.</p> <p>“Shut your f**king mouth, you have no f**king shame,” one person shouted at the actor, with another adding, “Go f**k yourself,” to which Baldwin said, "That's a stupid question..."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"That's a stupid question..."</p> <p>Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin refuses to condemn Israel and squares up to pro-Palestinian protestors in New York. <a href="https://t.co/82Y3viJbdV">pic.twitter.com/82Y3viJbdV</a></p> <p>— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) <a href="https://twitter.com/Lowkey0nline/status/1736897259088843047?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 18, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>A source told <span id="U8321101731880dF">HuffPost that Baldwin had no intention of getting involved in the protest, and did what he could to avoid any conflict. </span></p> <p>“He had no intention of going to the protest and was not involved in any way,” the insider explained.</p> <p>“He was approached aggressively and repeatedly. The police stepped in to avoid further confrontation so he could make his way to the class safely.”</p> <p>In another video from the clash, protesters continued to ask his stance on the war, to which the actor responded, “Because I’m in Hollywood?” </p> <p>“You ask stupid questions. Ask me a smart question.”</p> <p>As he continued to be escorted out the crowd, the actor yelled, “Shut the f**k up.”</p> <p>In response, another member of the public yelled back: “You did kill someone though, right? You’re a murderer!” in reference to the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.</p> <p><em>Image credits: X</em></p>

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Liam Neeson filming new movie in tiny Aussie town

<p>The quaint, gorgeous historic Victorian town of Walhalla is gearing up for its moment in the cinematic spotlight as it gets set to become the backdrop for Liam Neeson's upcoming blockbuster sequel, <em>Ice Road 2: Road To The Sky</em>.</p> <p>Yes, apparently, the road to the sky involves a detour through rural Australia. </p> <p>Residents of Walhalla received a letter announcing the impending movie magic, and it's safe to say they're experiencing a mixture of excitement and confusion akin to trying to follow the plot of a Christopher Nolan epic.</p> <p>According to reports, the filmmakers are turning Walhalla into a bona fide Nepalese village. The town's Star Hotel and surrounding areas are getting a makeover to mimic Kodari, Nepal. Now, if you're wondering where Walhalla is on the map, don't worry, you're not alone. Even the residents seem a bit perplexed, with one local commenting online, "Interesting that this is going ahead at the height of our tourist season." Because, naturally, when you think tourist hotspots, you think Walhalla.</p> <p>But fear not, dear residents, for the filmmakers have assured everyone that after their Himalayan escapade, Walhalla will return to its original heritage colours. It's like the town is getting a cinematic spa day, complete with a paint job.</p> <p>Filming is set to take place at two main locations: the intersection of Main Rd and Right Hand Branch Rd and the top of Churchill Rd above the Fire Station Museum. And oh boy, get ready for some action, because the letter states, "During the filming period, there will be stunts involving large vehicles, special effects and prop gun use."</p> <p>Walhalla, known for its scenic beauty and historic charm, is about to witness the fusion of Hollywood glitz and Nepalese grit.</p> <p>Of course, not everyone is on board with this Hollywood invasion. One local expressed concern about the impact on other businesses in town, suggesting, "This would have been much better slotted into the quiet time in August." Clearly, they're not buying into the idea that summer is the best time for a Nepalese makeover.</p> <p>But fear not, skeptics! Another resident pointed out that the influx of up to 200 crew members per day will be a boon for local shops. "What a great thing for the area," they declared. And who can argue with that logic? Imagine the crew swarming the pub, devouring schnitties and downing pints of Carlton lager. This could be the most Aussie-Nepalese fusion experience since Vegemite momos.</p> <p>As the charming town of Walhalla braces itself for the coming storm of movie magic, we can't help but wonder: Will Liam Neeson's next iconic line be, "I will find you, even if I have to navigate the treacherous roads of rural Australia"? Buckle up, Walhalla, because the road to the sky might just be a detour through down under.</p> <p><em>Images: Visit Victoria / Netflix</em></p>

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Readers respond: What is your go-to movie when you need a good cry?

<p>There's an abundance of movies out there, but not many that can bring you to tears. </p> <p>While <em>The Notebook </em>and <em>Beaches </em>are clearly the fan favourites for our readers, here are a few other recommendations that you can watch this holiday season. </p> <p>Get those tissues ready! </p> <p><strong>Carol Wardley </strong>- Its a wonderful life</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLR3gZrU2Xo" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>, and stream the movie on Stan.</p> <p><strong>Denyse Galle</strong> - Me Before You and A Walk to Remember </p> <p>Watch the trailer for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh993__rOxA" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Me Before you</a> and stream it on YouTube, Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video.</p> <p>Watch the trailer for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3B2XBcp7vA" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Walk to Remember</a> and stream it  on Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video</p> <p><strong>Kerrie Anne</strong> - The Remains of the Day</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jALmEb72beg" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Netflix</em>.</p> <p><strong>Ken Smyth </strong>- Dancer in the Dark. That ending...</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53vr9EiOH7g" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Apple TV</em>.</p> <p><strong>Michael Kopp</strong> - Bambi</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDGv4GIR7A4" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on <em>Disney+.</em></p> <p><strong>Anne Connolly Finnegan</strong> - The Bridges of Madison county </p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up-oN4NtvbM" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on YouTube.</p> <p><strong>Leone Mitchell </strong>- Love Story with Ryan O’Neal and Allie MacGraw beautiful</p> <p>Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYhS8q66L38" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on Foxtel Go,  Binge or YouTube</p> <p><strong>Julie B</strong> - The Colour Purple</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Watch the trailer <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFMCW5-jdqM" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a> and stream it on Netflix. </span></p> <p>Are there any other movies that make you cry? Let us know. </p> <p><em><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Image: Getty </span></em></p> <p> </p>

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New outdoor cinema with Queen-size beds opening

<p>Do you ever find yourself torn between wanting to catch a flick and the irresistible allure of your comfy bed? Well, brace yourself, because Sydney's movie scene is about to get a serious dose of comfort with the grand opening of Mov'in Bed in Barangaroo.</p> <p>Yes, you read that right – a cinema where you can literally Netflix and chill on a queen-size bed!</p> <p>Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Barangaroo skyline, Mov'in Bed promises a cinema experience that'll make you question why you ever settled for uncomfortable theatre seats in the first place.</p> <p>Picture this: a giant 15-metre 4K screen, plush queen-size cloud-like beds, and a total transformation of Barangaroo's Harbour Park into a sandy tropical paradise. It's like combining a day at the beach with a movie night – talk about the best of both worlds.</p> <p>The grand opening on January 12 marks the return of Mov'in Bed after an extended intermission courtesy of the pandemic. If you've been waiting for the perfect excuse to combine your passion for cinema with your love of lounging, this is it. The lineup promises a mix of new-release blockbusters and timeless classics, with films like <em>Trolls</em> and <em>Barbie</em> making their debut on the giant Mov'in Bed screen.</p> <p>For those who like to take their movie nights up a notch, Mov'in Bed offers VIP packages that include unlimited popcorn, bubbly on arrival and even a personal butler. Because why settle for a regular cinema experience when you can have someone cater to your every cinematic whim?</p> <p>But what about the practicalities, you ask? Fear not, for Mov'in Bed has thought of everything. Each bed comes with comfy blankets, LED-lit bedside tables for those all-important snacks – and, of course, comfy pillows for all your cinematic napping needs. And to ensure you don't miss a single dialogue or explosion, noise-cancelling headphones are provided – because the only explosions you want to hear are on the screen, not your neighbour's popcorn bag.</p> <p>And let's not forget the halftime experience; a nostalgic nod to classic drive-in nights where you can replenish your snacks or hit the bathroom during those longer films. Scorcese's epic <em>Killers of the Flower Moon</em> with its 3-hour-and-26-minute runtime? No worries, you've got time for a quick snack break without missing any plot twists.</p> <p>Mov'in Bed isn't just a cinema; it's a full-blown cinematic event. Partnering with local restaurants, you can savour delicious dinners while catching the latest blockbuster. It's the perfect excuse for a summer evening date night or a laid-back hangout with friends.</p> <p>So, mark your calendars, Sydney-siders! Mov'in Bed Barangaroo is here to redefine your summer nights from January 12 to April 14, 2024. Whether you're a film buff, a beach lover, or just someone who appreciates the genius of combining the two, <a href="https://movinbed.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mov'in Bed</a> is the place to be.</p> <p>Because why settle for a regular movie night when you can have a cinema experience that's fun, chill, laid-back and upbeat – all while lying in the lap of luxury? Get ready to sink into cinematic bliss under the glistening Sydney moon!</p> <p><em>Images: Mov'in Bed.</em></p>

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"Kevin Kline and I killed a man in Denmark": John Cleese's startling admission

<p>John Cleese has made a startling admission on his new video series, <em>The Dinosaur Hour</em>, where he hosts intimate chats from a twelfth-century castle.</p> <p>The <em>Monty Python</em> actor claimed that he inadvertently killed someone at a screening of his 1988 comedy film <em>A Fish Called Wanda, </em>which co-starred Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis. </p> <p>“We killed a man … Kevin Kline and I killed a man in Denmark,” Cleese said, according to the <em>Daily Mail</em>. </p> <p>“He was a dentist, he had a huge laugh. A famous laugh. Very popular. It was in Aarhus, not a big town, but everybody knew him," he added. </p> <p>“And he went to see Wanda and he started laughing about two minutes in and never stopped.</p> <p>“They carried him out dead, he’d had a heart attack.”</p> <p>Cleese is known for his shock factor during TV appearances and interviews. </p> <p>In July, the <em>The Fawlty Towers </em>actor <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/i-don-t-want-to-talk-about-it-john-cleese-shuts-down-waleed-aly" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shut down </a>Waleed Aly's question about the iconic sitcom before poking fun at the <em>The Project</em> star's name. </p> <p>“We can’t let you go without talking about Fawlty Towers – at least I can’t, because I think it’s one of the greatest shows …” the broadcaster began, before Cleese shut him down. </p> <p>“I don’t want to talk about Fawlty Towers,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Meg Ryan is back after a "giant break"

<p>Meg Ryan is back and she has spilled it all, ahead of her first rom-com release in nearly 15 years. </p> <p>In an interview with <em>People Magazine,</em> the <em>When Harry Met Sally </em>star revealed the reason why she took a step back from her career. </p> <p>"I took a giant break because I felt like there's just so many other parts of my experience as a human being I wanted to develop," she told the outlet. </p> <p>"It's nice to think of it as a job and not a lifestyle. And that is a great way of navigating it for me."</p> <p>The 61-year-old also shared the inspiration behind her first rom-com <em>What Happens Later, </em>which she directed, wrote and starred in. </p> <p>"It came to me during lockdown," she gushed. </p> <p>"The essence of it is these two people who are stuck together. I just love that idea that we're held in a space, even if it feels conflicted, maybe for reasons that heal them."</p> <p>This is the first rom-com that she has acted in for over a decade, with her last film in that genre being <em>Serious Moonlight</em> back in 2009.</p> <p>In another another conversation with <em>Interview</em> <em>magazine's</em> Carol Burnett, she opened up about the process of making her film. </p> <p>"Truly, the easiest part was acting in it," she told the publication. </p> <p>"I want to direct again just so I can sit in the chair, because I’m sure there’s a lot of things I missed."</p> <p>"I hadn’t done a role in a really long time, but it was fun with David," she added, referring to co-star David Duchovny, known for his role as Fox Mulder in <em>The X Files</em>.</p> <p>"A lot of it was done in two shots. I’m proud of that. I set up everything beforehand so that once we were there, it was just David and I trying to tell the truth."</p> <p>She revealed that the film was assembled together with a very "deliberate" process and a budget of only $3 million. </p> <p>"We had to do it really quickly. A lot of those extras weren’t even ours, they were real people," she said. </p> <p>"We went back in post and made everybody the same palette. There’s a lot of stuff you can do digitally now, thank god." </p> <p>The actress first shot to fame in 1980 for her girl-next-door image, after playing the love interest in iconic films like the original <em>Top Gun </em>and <em>When Harry Met Sally. </em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty Images/ Edward Berthelot/WireImage</em></p>

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Oprah reveals measly salary from The Color Purple

<p dir="ltr">Oprah Winfrey has shared the shockingly low salary she received for starring in the 1985 film <em>The Color Purple</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">Ahead of the release of the reimagined movie musical, Oprah opened up about the experience making the original film, and the measly salary she received for her role. </p> <p dir="ltr">She revealed that “they were only offering $35,000 (A$55,500) to be in this film,” but she deemed it “the best $35,000 [she] ever earned.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It changed everything and taught me so much,” she said. “It is God moving through my life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The film was a global sensation, grossing nearly $100 million in 1985 dollars (the equivalent of $286 million when adjusted for inflation) and earning 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Winfrey. </p> <p dir="ltr">In an interview with <em>Essence</em> conducted between Winfrey, who is an executive producer on the upcoming film adaptation, and some members of the new cast before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Winfrey said that she couldn’t “even begin to tell [them] what it means to [her]” that they chose to take on this project.</p> <p dir="ltr">“A person who wanted nothing more in my life than to be in <em>The Color Purple</em>,” she continued. </p> <p dir="ltr">“God taught me to surrender — that was the big lesson for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">During the interview, Danielle Brooks, who is taking on Winfrey’s iconic role of Sofia in the adaptation, thanked Winfrey for “laying the blueprint for Sofia.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Because I know that she’s changed your life, and I can feel that mine is about to shift, too,” she added. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Thank you for leaving space for me but also being there, to hold my hand and answer that phone call when I needed you. You have been such a light, such a beautiful soul.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Martin Scorsese exposes Leo DiCaprio’s irritating on-set habit

<p dir="ltr">Martin Scorsese has exposed Leo DiCaprio’s irritating on-set habit that came to light while the pair were filming the new movie <em>Killers of the Flower Moon</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The award-winning director called out the A-list actor in a conversation with the <em><a href="https://www.wsj.com/style/martin-scorsese-killers-flower-moon-b4989f0c" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wall Street Journal</a></em>, saying that the <em>Titanic</em> star tends to flesh details out and improv while filming, describing his technique as “endless, endless, endless!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Although Scorsese and DiCaprio have worked together on six other films, there was one more actor on the set of the new film that could not stand the ad libbing: Robert de Niro.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Then Bob didn’t want to talk,” Scorsese explained. “Every now and then, Bob and I would look at each other and roll our eyes a little bit. And we’d tell him, ‘You don’t need that dialogue.’”</p> <p dir="ltr">While de Niro wasn’t able to deal with DiCaprio’s improv, director Quentin Tarantino said the actor’s famous freakout scene as Rick Dalton in <em>Once Upon a Time in Hollywood </em>“wasn’t in the script,” but was brought to the table by DiCaprio himself, and took the film to another level. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the “endless” technique of DiCaprio’s acting, Scorsese said the actor was instrumental in the film’s success, after he helped determine that the film needed a rewrite in order to avoid being a “movie about all the white guys.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It just didn’t get to the heart of the Osage,” DiCaprio told <em><a href="https://deadline.com/2023/05/martin-scorsese-interview-killers-of-the-flower-moon-leonardo-dicaprio-robert-de-niro-1235359006/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Deadline</a></em> in May, with reference to the original script. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It felt too much like an investigation into detective work, rather than understanding from a forensic perspective the culture and the dynamics of this very tumultuous, dangerous time in Oklahoma.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Killers of the Flower Moon</em> is in cinemas now. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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How to make a perfect romcom – an expert explains the recipe for romance

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christina-wilkins-1454385">Christina Wilkins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-birmingham-1138">University of Birmingham</a></em></p> <p>Picture the scene: it’s a dreary weeknight evening, you’re tired from work, and you want to watch something that will pick you up. My guess is that some of you – perhaps more than would admit it – would pick a romantic comedy.</p> <p>Over the years the romcom has been designated as “chick flick”, dismissed at awards ceremonies (the best picture Oscar primarily goes to <a href="https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/movie-genres-perform-best-oscars-2179/">drama films</a>) and frequently panned by critics. Yet, critics are not the only ones buying cinema tickets or watching streaming services.</p> <p>A 2013 <a href="https://archive.nytimes.com/economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/reviewing-the-movies-audiences-vs-critics/">article</a> from the New York Times found that the romcom was one of the genres most likely to divide audience and critical opinion. Like many other things that are classified as “women’s things”, the romcom is often spoken of as a “guilty pleasure”.</p> <p>Researchers such as Claire Mortimer, who <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Romantic-Comedy/Mortimer/p/book/9780415548632">writes about comedy</a> and women, argue that the dismissal is not just down to the genre’s <a href="https://stjohnslis.libguides.com/c.php?g=1277106&amp;p=9378728">status as “women’s films”</a> but also because romcoms are genre films. Such films are often seen as repetitive – they rely on a number of tropes to be wheeled out again and again and we come to expect certain styles, stories and characters. Some films become key examples of a genre, a kind of “best of”, and form a template which the others either imitate or diverge from.</p> <p>That’s not to say that all romcoms are the same. But there’s a dominant form that we think of as being definitive, called the “neo-traditional romcom”. Tamar McDonald, a professor in film, <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9Bk-mkvdPYcC&amp;printsec=copyright&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">argues that</a> this is the main form of the genre now – one that “has no use for realism”.</p> <p>This can be seen in characters running through airports, the absurd lack of communication between love interests and the convenient mishaps. Without these elements though, the resolution wouldn’t be as sweet.</p> <h2>The perfect romcom</h2> <p>So what are the ingredients for a perfect romcom? Looking at the lists of the <a href="https://www.timeout.com/film/the-70-best-romcoms-of-all-time">best romcoms of all time</a> – which the internet <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/08/best-romantic-comedies-list">isn’t short of</a> – we see similar tropes popping up repeatedly. One popular favourite, <a href="https://www.timeout.com/film/the-70-best-romcoms-of-all-time">When Harry Met Sally</a> (1989), features the “friends to lovers” storyline. This reoccurs in more recent films like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHBcWHY9lN4">Always Be My Maybe</a> (2019).</p> <p>Within a romcom, there typically has to be miscommunication – and lots of it. Although a relationship can blossom steadily, often unknown to the characters themselves, romcoms usually feature a pivotal moment where one character is not understood by the person they want.</p> <p>This miscommunication is also underpinned by conflict. Leger Grindon, an expert <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Hollywood_Romantic_Comedy/okkZPTEnYqMC?hl=en&amp;gbpv=1&amp;dq=Leger+Grindon+rom+coms&amp;printsec=frontcover%22%22">in romantic comedies</a>, breaks these kinds of conflict into three major fields: between parents and children, the two characters who are dating, or when someone has to choose between personal development and sacrifice.</p> <p>We’ve seen examples of all of three over the years. Children defying their parents’ wishes to be with someone they love is a common theme in the queer love story, like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h58HkQV1gHY">Happiest Season</a> (2020), but is also present in other films, like My <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2mecmDFE-Q">Big Fat Greek Wedding</a> (2002).</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O2mecmDFE-Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=19" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">My Big Fat Greek Wedding hinges on conflict between family and love.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Conflict between the needs of the love interests can be seen in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZKAA5DRF4A">What Women Want</a> (2000). And the conflict between personal development and sacrifice has been a common theme of many recent Netflix romcoms such as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX6wAGuIMCg">Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between</a> (2022) or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km7gv28_uX0">The Holiday Calendar</a> (2019). In Hallmark Christmas films (their own sub-genre of the romcom) like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWKYnKGN8OA">Just In Time for Christmas</a> (2015), women often have to choose between their career and their relationship, a common recurrence for the Christmas sub-genre especially.</p> <p>Romcoms can provide escapism, but at their heart the glue of the genre is finding connection through love and laughter. How realistic this is may be shifting, with more recent examples in film and television providing more cultural critique (see comedian Rose Matafeo’s brilliant <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtHC1VmrNXM">Starstruck</a> series, streaming on BBC Three for example).</p> <p>The parameters for the characters of these stories are also changing. Once predominantly white and straight, the genre is opening up to a range of different stories. Recent examples like <a href="https://theconversation.com/red-white-and-royal-blue-review-this-queer-romcom-puts-a-new-spin-on-the-us-and-uks-special-relationship-211533">Red, White, and Royal Blue</a> (2023) and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9731598/">Bros</a> (2022) put gay male romance front and centre, while <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15893750/">Rye Lane</a> (2023) and <a href="https://theconversation.com/crazy-rich-asians-a-movie-and-a-movement-101568">Crazy Rich Asians</a> (2018) foreground non-white protagonists.</p> <p>Perhaps this is because – as <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Romantic-Comedy/Mortimer/p/book/9780415548632">Mortimer</a> argues – the genre is concerned with “perennial themes” of love and identity. In a moment where definitions and understandings of identity are shifting, the romcom provides an ideal place to think through these issues in a comforting way. Or perhaps we just need the optimism we associate with the genre at a time of war and economic crisis.</p> <p>Although there may be classics and new challengers emerging for the title of the best, the perfect romcom is one that shows that, despite all the challenges life may throw at us, there is sometimes a happy ending.</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christina-wilkins-1454385">Christina Wilkins</a>, Lecturer in Film and Creative Writing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-birmingham-1138">University of Birmingham</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom-an-expert-explains-the-recipe-for-romance-212487">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"His worst moment as a person": Sean Penn unleashes on Will Smith's Oscar's slap

<p>Sean Penn has become visibly angry as he recalled the infamous moment at the 2022 Oscars ceremony when Will Smith stormed the stage to slap Chris Rock. </p> <p>Penn recalled the award ceremony moment as he reflected on the Academy's decision to not let Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speak at the ceremony. </p> <p>The actor has been a strong advocate for the people of Ukraine in their ongoing war against Russia, and even traveling to the war-torn region to help in their fight. </p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://variety.com/2023/film/features/sean-penn-slams-will-smith-slap-ai-oscars-1235720417/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Variety</em></a>, Penn shared how frustrated he was that Zelenskyy was silenced, while Smith's actions were the real problem. </p> <p>“The Oscars producer thought, ‘Oh, he’s [Zelenskyy] not lighthearted enough.’ Well, guess what you got instead? Will Smith.”</p> <p><em>Variety</em> noted that the actor was visibly infuriated speaking on the subject, even turning red during the interview.</p> <p>“I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once,” Penn said. “He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so f***ing good in <em>King Richard</em>.”</p> <p>“So why the f**k did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid f***ing thing? Why did I go to f***ing jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?” the 63-year-old said, referencing his 1987 arrest and jail stint for punching a film extra in the face.</p> <p>“This f***ing bulls**t wouldn’t have happened with Zelenskyy,” Penn added. “Will Smith would never have left that chair to be part of stupid violence. It never would have happened.”</p> <p>Penn was so shocked and infuriated by the moment that he chose to destroy his two Oscars. </p> <p>"I thought, ‘Well, f**k, you know? I’ll give them to Ukraine. They can be melted down to bullets they can shoot at the Russians,’” he said.</p> <p>When visiting Zelenskyy in Ukraine last fall, Penn showed his support by giving the leader one of his Oscars.</p> <p>At the 2022 Oscar's ceremony, Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. </p> <p>After returning to his seat, Smith shouted out, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Priscilla Presley's reaction to movie based on her life

<p>Priscilla Presley has shared how "emotional" she became after watching the new movie based on her life with her late rock star husband. </p> <p>The 78-year-old attended the premiere of the new film <em>Priscilla</em>, which was based on her 1985 memoir <em>Elvis &amp; Me. </em></p> <p>Priscilla took to the red carpet at the Venice International Film Festival on September 4th alongside director Sofia Coppola and the cast.</p> <p>"It was very difficult to sit and watch a film about you, about your life, about your love," she explained at a media call following the premiere screening.</p> <p>"Sofia did an amazing job. She did her homework, we spoke a couple of times and I really put everything out for her that I could," she added.</p> <p>Priscilla went on to explain why she thought her love story was so intriguing to a public audience, as she spoke about the early days of her relationship with the late rock star. </p> <p>"It was very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and why, and I really do think [it was] because I was more of a listener," she said.</p> <p>"Elvis would pour his heart out to me in every way in Germany: his fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother which he never, ever got over. And I was the person who really, really sat there to listen and to comfort him. That was really our connection."</p> <p>She continued, "Even though I was 14, I was actually a little bit older in life, not in numbers. That was the attraction. People think, 'Oh, it was sex.' No, it wasn't. I never had sex with him. He was very kind, very soft, very loving, but he also respected the fact I was only 14 years old."</p> <p><em>Euphoria</em> star and Aussie actor Jacob Elordi plays Elvis in the new film, with Cailee Spaeny in the title role of Priscilla, which traces Priscilla's early years and relationship with the music icon.</p> <p>Elvis Presley estate officials reportedly slammed the movie, with <em><a title="TMZ" href="https://www.tmz.com/2023/06/22/elvis-presley-estate-officials-slam-priscilla-movie/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TMZ</a></em> claiming unnamed officials were displeased with news of the production, labelling it a "money grab."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <div style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Proxima Nova', system-ui, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Fira Sans', 'Droid Sans', 'Helvetica Neue'; font-size: 18px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; caret-color: #333333; color: #333333; letter-spacing: normal; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none;"> <div class="ob-smartfeed-wrapper feedIdx-0" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"> <div id="outbrain_widget_0" class="OUTBRAIN" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" data-src="//celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/priscilla-presley-gets-emotional-after-very-difficult-viewing-of-priscilla/d6fd2f98-d746-4664-ada4-e5662a435aea" data-widget-id="AR_8" data-external-id="3820c6a948ab8b24c8020cab9d348600" data-ob-mark="true" data-browser="safari" data-os="macintel" data-dynload="" data-idx="0"> <div class="ob-widget ob-feed-layout AR_8" style="box-sizing: content-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 3px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; position: relative; width: auto; min-width: 0px; clear: both;"> <div class="ob-widget-header" style="box-sizing: content-box; margin: 24px 0px 14px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 18px; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: bold; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #303030; direction: ltr; display: flex; justify-content: space-between; align-items: center;"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Beyond Barbie and Oppenheimer, how do cinemas make money? And do we pay too much for movie tickets?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>I’ve got two questions about blockbuster movies like Barbie and Oppenheimer.</p> <ol> <li> <p>Why aren’t the cinemas charging more for them, given they’re so popular?</p> </li> <li> <p>Why are they the same price, given Oppenheimer is an hour longer?</p> </li> </ol> <p>The opening weekend <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/how-australian-cinemas-and-audiences-handled-the-barbenheimer-juggernaut-20230724-p5dqso.html">for both films</a> saw an avalanche of Australians returning to the cinema. Extra staff had to be put on (although probably not enough) to manage queues, turn away pink-clad fans who couldn’t get in, and clean up mountains of popcorn trampled underfoot.</p> <p>An obvious solution to such a rush of demand is to push up prices. Airlines do it when they are getting low on seats. When more people want to get a ride share, Uber makes them pay with “<a href="https://www.uber.com/au/en/drive/driver-app/how-surge-works/">surge pricing</a>”.</p> <p>Even books are sold at different prices, depending on the demand, their length, their quality and how long they’ve been on the shelves.</p> <p>But not movie tickets, which are nearly always the same price, no matter the movie. Why? And how much has the cost of a trip to the movies risen over the past 20 years?</p> <h2>Why not charge more for blockbusters?</h2> <p>In suburban Melbourne, Hoyts is charging $24.50 for the two-hour Barbie – the same as it is charging for the three-hour Oppenheimer, even though it could fit in far fewer showings of Oppenheimer in a day. It’s also the same price as it is charging for much less popular movies, such as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.</p> <p>It’s also how things are in the United States, where James Surowiecki, author of <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/175380/the-wisdom-of-crowds-by-james-surowiecki/">The Wisdom of Crowds</a> blames convention and says "it costs you as much to see a total dog that’s limping its way through its last week of release as it does to see a hugely popular film on opening night."</p> <p>Australian economists Nicolas de Roos of The University of Sydney and Jordi McKenzie of Macquarie University quote Surowiecki in their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167718714000174">2014 study</a> of whether cinema operators could make more by cutting the price of older and less popular films and raising the price of blockbusters.</p> <p>By examining what happened to demand on <a href="https://www.eventcinemas.com.au/Promotions/HalfPriceTuesdays#cinemas=59">cheap Tuesdays</a>, and developing a model taking into account advertising, reviews and the weather, they discovered Australian cinemas could make a lot more by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167718714000174">varying their prices</a> by the movie shown. We turn out to be highly price sensitive. So why don’t cinemas do that?</p> <h2>‘There’s a queue, it must be good’</h2> <p>It’s the sort of thing that puzzled <a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/1992/becker/biographical/">Gary Becker</a>, an economic detective of sorts who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in the early 1990s. A few years earlier, he turned his attention to <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/2937660">restaurants</a> and why one particular seafood restaurant in Palo Alto, California, had long queues every night but didn’t raise its prices.</p> <p>Across the road was a restaurant that charged slightly more, sold food that was about as good, and was mostly empty.</p> <p>His conclusion, which he used a lot of maths to illustrate, was there are some goods for which a consumer’s demand depends on the demand of other consumers.</p> <p>Queues for restaurants (or in 2023, long queues and sold out sessions, as crowds were turned away from Barbie) are all signals other consumers want to get in.</p> <p>This would make queues especially valuable to the providers of such goods, even if the queues meant they didn’t get as much as they could from the customers who got in. The “buzz” such queues create produces a supply of future customers persuaded that what was on offer must be worth trying.</p> <p>Importantly, Becker’s maths showed that getting things right was fragile. It was much easier for a restaurant to go from being “in” to “out” than the other way around. Once a queue had created a buzz, it was wise not to mess with it.</p> <h2>Cashing in from the snack bar</h2> <p>There are other reasons for cinemas to charge a standard ticket price, rather than vary it movie by movie.</p> <p>One is that it is hard to tell ahead of time which movies are going to soar and which are going to bomb, even if you spend a fortune on advertising as the <a href="https://variety.com/2023/film/box-office/barbie-marketing-campaign-explained-warner-bros-1235677922/">makers of Barbie did</a>. In the words of an insider, “<a href="https://variety.com/2018/film/opinion/william-goldman-dies-appreciation-1203030781/">nobody knows anything</a>.”</p> <p>Another is the way cinemas make their money. They have to pay the distributor a share of what they get from ticket sales (typically <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167718714000174">35-40%</a>). But they don’t have to pay a share of what they make from high-margin snacks.</p> <p>This means it can make sense for some cinemas to charge less than what the market will bear – because they’ll sell more snacks – even if it means less money for the distributor.</p> <h2>Rising prices, despite some falling costs</h2> <p>But cinemas still charge a lot. From 2002 to 2022, Australian cinemas jacked up their average (not their highest) prices <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/box-office/ticket-prices">from $9.13 to $16.26</a> – an increase of 78%.</p> <p>In the same 20 year period, overall prices in Australia, as measured by the <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-in-the-cpi-and-what-does-it-actually-measure-165162">consumer price index</a>, climbed 65% – less than the rise in movie ticket prices.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="E2kxi" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/E2kxi/5/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>A 2015 study found Australian cinemas charge more <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306227560_Counting_the_cost_the_impact_of_cinema_ticket_prices_in_Australia">than cinemas in the US</a>.</p> <p>Yet some of the cinemas’ costs have gone down. They used to have to employ projectionists to lace up and change reels of film. Digital delivery means much less handling.</p> <p>A now-dated <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/publications/developments-in-the-cinema-distribution-exhibition-industry">1990s report</a> to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found the two majors, Hoyts and Greater Union/Village, charged near identical prices except where they were faced with competition from a nearby independent, in which case they discounted.</p> <p>Whether “<a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/The%20Cinema%20Industry.pdf">by design or circumstance</a>”, the two cinema chains rarely competed with each other, clustering their multiplexes in different geographical locations.</p> <h2>Longer films no longer displace shorter films</h2> <p>I think it might be the multiplex that answers my second question: why cinemas don’t charge more for movies that are longer (and movies are <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/bigger-than-ben-hur-why-movies-are-getting-longer-and-longer-20220322-p5a6ty.html">getting longer</a>).</p> <p>In the days of single screens, a cinema that showed a long movie might only fit in (say) four showings a day instead of six. So it would lose out unless it charged more.</p> <p>But these days, multiplexes show many, many films on many screens, some of them simultaneously, meaning long films needn’t displace short films.</p> <p>Although we have <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/screens-and-theatres">fewer cinema seats</a> than we had a decade ago (and at least until the advent of Barbie, we’ve been <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/screens-and-theatres">going less often</a>) we now have <a href="https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/screens-and-theatres">far more screens</a>.</p> <p>Long movies no longer stop the multiplexes from playing standard ones. And because cinemas like to keep things simple, you pay the same price, no matter which movie you chose. <!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211121/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/beyond-barbie-and-oppenheimer-how-do-cinemas-make-money-and-do-we-pay-too-much-for-movie-tickets-211121">original article</a>.</em></p>

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