Reliance, Disney announce giant India media merger

MUMBAI, Feb 29, 2024 (AFP) – India’s Reliance Industries and Walt Disney have agreed to merge their Indian media businesses, creating a $8.5 billion entertainment giant in the world’s most populous nation. India’s entertainment market is already one of the world’s biggest, with the merger expected to further shake up the multi-billion-dollar industry. The two companies had signed “binding definitive agreements” to form a joint venture that will combine the businesses of Reliance-backed Viacom18 and […]

Shock as Warner Bros Discovery shutters major N.Zealand news outlet

WELLINGTON, Feb 28, 2024 (AFP) – US entertainment giant Warner Bros Discovery announced plans to shutter major New Zealand news outlet Newshub Wednesday, in what the deputy prime minister called a “disaster for this country’s democracy”. Citing cratering advertising revenues, the US firm said it was closing “all Newshub’s multi-platform news operations” in June, with a reported loss of about 300 jobs. The announcement effectively spreads the impact of massive recent US media cost-cutting beyond […]

Gamers party like it’s 1997 as Final Fantasy VII ‘reborn’

By Charlotte DURAND PARIS, Feb 28, 2024 (AFP) – Gamers are anxiously awaiting the release on Thursday of “Final Fantasy VII Rebirth”, a title based on a 1997 classic that is blurring the boundaries between remakes and reboots. While makers of other blockbusters like Resident Evil, Zelda and Pokemon have tweaked and updated older versions of their games, Japanese publisher Square Enix had something more radical in mind for Final Fantasy VII. The firm has […]

For each best picture Oscar hopeful, film editors are key

By Romain FONSEGRIVES, with François BECKER in Paris Whether they are snipping an actor’s lengthy stare, obliging the viewer to process rapid-fire images or creating tension with a pause, film editors who work in sync with directors play a vital role in giving life to a movie — and its Oscar chances. “You can’t have a good movie with bad editing,” Kevin Tent, who is nominated for an Academy Award for his work with director […]

Love and Alzheimer’s collide in Oscar-nominated ‘Eternal Memory’

By Paula RAMON As a journalist, Augusto Gongora fought to chronicle Chile’s violent military dictatorship. But it was his battle to hold onto his own memories that made him the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary. “The Eternal Memory” charts the progression of Alzheimer’s disease through the lens of a couple who had to work every day to keep alive the memory of their love, just as their country strives not to forget its own violent […]

Pop star’s dad in assault claim: Photographer alleges attack after Swift concert

Australian police are investigating claims Taylor Swift’s dad assaulted a photographer when the star and her entourage were disembarking a superyacht in the early hours of Tuesday morning. “Police have been told a 71-year-old man allegedly assaulted a 51-year-old man at Neutral Bay Wharf about 2:30 am, before leaving the location,” police spokeswoman Alicia McCumstie told AFP. “The younger man reported the incident and inquiries are now under way by officers attached to North Shore […]

Baldwin blamed for “Rust” shooting in defense of armorer on trial

By Andrew MARSZAL SANTA FE, United States, Feb 23, 2024 (AFP) – Lawyers blamed Alec Baldwin for the fatal shooting on the set of Western film “Rust” in opening statements Thursday, as they defended the movie’s armorer from prosecutors’ allegations she was “unprofessional and sloppy.” Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died from her injuries after being hit by a live round fired from a gun Baldwin was holding during a rehearsal in New Mexico in 2021. Baldwin, […]

Elton John items fetch $8 million at New York auction

NEW YORK, Feb 22, 2024 (AFP) – Nearly $100,000 for Elton John’s monogrammed silver boots and around $2 million for a triptych by street artist Banksy from his collection: the music icon’s personal items brought in almost $8 million at auction Wednesday in New York. Christie’s auction house is running a series of eight sales, both in person and online, through February 28 for the collection of the 76-year-old’s belongings, including an ivory and gold […]

BAFTA: “Oppenheimer” dominates with seven wins, including Best Film & Director

By Clara LALANNE, James PHEBY LONDON, Feb 18, 2024 (AFP) – “Oppenheimer”, Christopher Nolan’s epic movie about the creation of the atomic bomb, swept the board at Sunday’s BAFTA film awards in London, delivering a serious statement ahead of next month’s Oscars. The movie earned seven awards in total, including best film, best director for Nolan, best actor for Cillian Murphy and best supporting actor for Robert Downey Jr. Im the film, Murphy plays J. […]

Four Xbox exclusives heading to rivals in big shift

By Glenn CHAPMAN Microsoft on Thursday shook up the video game world with word it is making some once-exclusive Xbox video games available for play on rival consoles. Xbox head Phil Spencer did not specify which titles were expanding beyond the Xbox, but the Verge, citing unnamed sources, said they will be “Hi-Fi Rush”, “Pentiment”, “Sea of Thieves” and “Grounded.” “Over the next five or 10 years, games that are exclusive to one piece of […]

You need to calm down’: Swift-mania hits Australia

By Mack Heard, with Lili Tisch-Bostock in Sydney Die-hard Taylor Swift fans flocked to a Melbourne stadium early Friday, snapping up merchandise hours before the first Australian date of her money-raking, two-year-long “Eras” tour. The 34-year-old megastar kicks off seven Australia shows in Melbourne on Friday, the first of three stadium gigs in the city, before heading to Sydney for four more sell-out dates. “The Eras Tour”, which takes fans through the Swift discography, is […]

BLACKPINK singer Lisa to star as ‘White Lotus’ hits Thailand

Singer Lisa of megastar K-pop girl group BLACKPINK will join the cast of “The White Lotus”, HBO said Tuesday, as the third season of the hit TV series moves to her homeland Thailand. Filming for the latest round of the award-winning dark comedy is set to begin this month in Bangkok as well as the holiday islands of Phuket and Ko Samui. Lisa, full name Lalisa Manobal, will feature in the show alongside veteran Hollywood […]