Marvel superheroes return to Chinese cinemas after nearly four years

by Vivian LIN Agence France-Presse SHANGHAI, China (AFP) — Marvel’s superheroes began their return to China’s massive movie market after an apparent ban of nearly four years on Tuesday, with fans streaming into cinemas to watch “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”. The Disney-owned studio’s hugely popular franchises have been absent from Chinese screens since 2019, with no explanation. Marvel blockbusters have raked in billions globally, and their return to one of the world’s biggest movie markets […]

‘Assassin’s Creed’ composer wins first ever video game music Grammy

Los Angeles, United States (AFP) — “Assassin’s Creed” composer Stephanie Economou won the first ever Grammy honoring video game scores at Sunday’s gala in Los Angeles. Industry players had lobbied for years for a prize celebrating the work behind video game soundtracks, an acknowledgment of the major impact gaming and its music have on pop culture. In her acceptance speech, Economou — who composed the music for “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn Of Ragnarok” — praised […]

Shah Rukh Khan: Indian heartthrob and King of Bollywood

by Udita JHUNJHUNWALA Agence France-Presse Mumbai, India (AFP) — Shah Rukh Khan is Bollywood’s most popular star and at 57 still its biggest hunk, whose silver-screen repertoire of dance, romance and shoot-em-up heroics made him the cinematic avatar of a changing India. “King Khan” — whose moniker reflects decades of box office dominance — is a rare unifying figure across India’s multiple geographic, linguistic and religious faultlines. His latest film “Pathaan” was an event akin […]

Casanova’s ‘La Pieta’ drama wins French horror accolade

STRASBOURG, France (AFP) – Spanish director Eduardo Casanova on Sunday saw his “La Pieta” drama about a toxic mother-son relationship take top prize at France’s Gerardmer international horror and science fiction film festival. The film, set in 2011, depicts the bond between the mother, Libertad, and her son Mateo as an analogy for the relationship between the people of North Korea and its government. The odd couple’s story is upended when Mateo is diagnosed with brain […]

Paris Hilton announces birth of first child

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) – Media personality and hotel heiress Paris Hilton announced Tuesday that she and husband Carter Reum had welcomed their first child. Hilton posted a photo on Instagram of what appeared to be her newborn baby grasping her thumb. “You are already loved beyond words,” Hilton wrote with a blue heart emoji. US entertainment media reported that the baby boy had been born via surrogate. The former reality TV star, 41, had […]

‘The 1619 Project’ comes to TV with Oprah-produced docuseries

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) – “The 1619 Project,” which began as a New York Times essay series about the impact of slavery on United States history and became a lightning rod for intense political divisions, will launch a new television docuseries produced by Oprah Winfrey this Thursday. The Hulu six-part series is fronted by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work producing the original project — written mainly by Black scholars — […]

Microsoft quarterly results saved by cloud computing

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) – Microsoft on Tuesday said sales slowed and profits slumped in the last quarter of 2022 as a darkening economic outlook pushed it to lay off 10,000 workers. The Washington state-based tech giant — owner of LinkedIn, Xbox and Windows — said overall sales rose just two percent in the October-to-December period, to $52.7 billion, the slowest rise in six years. Net profit landed at $16.4 billion for the quarter, down […]

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ tops Oscar noms with 11

Los Angeles, United States | AFP | Tuesday 1/24/2023 by Andrew MARSZAL Surreal sci-fi “Everything Everywhere All At Once” topped the Oscar nominations Tuesday with 11, as Hollywood formally kicked off the race to the all-important Academy Awards. It was followed by German anti-war movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” and Irish black comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin,” which each received nine nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As expected, […]

‘Top Gun’ among blockbuster sequels targeting Oscar noms

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) – The Oscar nominations for a year in which the big-screen box office finally bounced back from the pandemic will be unveiled Tuesday, with Academy voters expected to reward blockbusters such as “Top Gun: Maverick” for helping to save movie theaters. Tom Cruise’s long-awaited sequel to his huge 1986 hit is the most likely crowd-pleaser to make the cut for best picture — Hollywood’s most coveted prize — but other popular […]

Rosalia, women designers, stark contrasts: Paris menswear highlights

PARIS, France (AFP) – One of the buzziest menswear weeks in recent memory wrapped in Paris on Sunday. Here are some of the highlights: – Dior vs Louis Vuitton – Two very different approaches from two of the biggest houses, who built giant rival hangars on either end of the Tuileries Gardens that run through central Paris. While Vuitton created an entire apartment full of primary colors and brought along Rosalia for a thumping performance on […]

Netflix soars to 230 mn subscribers, co-founder steps down

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — US streaming giant Netflix on Thursday said it ended last year with more than 230 million global subscribers, beating analysts’ expectations as hits such as “Wednesday” and “Harry & Meghan” enticed new viewers. “2022 was a tough year, with a bumpy start but a brighter finish,” the company said in a letter announcing bumper fourth quarter earnings. Netflix also announced that co-founder Reed Hastings was standing down as CEO, […]

URGENT: Italian film legend Gina Lollobrigida dies: minister

Rome, Italy (AFP) Italian actor Gina Lollobrigida, one of the last icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood, has died aged 95, culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said on Twitter Monday. “Farewell to a diva of the silver screen, protagonist of more than half a century of Italian cinema history. Her charm will remain eternal,” Sangiuliano wrote after Italy’s ANSA news agency reported her death. Lollobrigida, famed when younger for her biting wit and sensual beauty, underwent […]