Saturday Feb 13, 2016

Kevin Smith, Greg Grunberg tapped for AMC talk show

Filmmaker Kevin Smith and movie star Greg Grunberg are to host "Geeking Out," premiering July 2016.Kevin Smith wowed Cannes, critics, and the cult film circuit with "Clerks" in 1994, with follow-ups -- "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma" in particular -- cementing his reputation as a writer and...
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TV

Kevin Smith, Greg Grunberg tapped for AMC talk show
Saturday Feb 13, 2016
Kevin Smith, Greg Grunberg tapped for AMC talk show

Filmmaker Kevin Smith and movie star Greg Grunberg are to host "Geeking Out," premiering July 2016.Kevin Smith wowed Cannes, critics, and the cult film circuit with "Clerks" in 1994, with follow-ups -- "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma" in particular -- cementing his reputation as a writer and director with something to say. Greg Grunberg, meanwhile, made a name for himself as Matt Parkman, the unassuming police officer psychic of 2006's TV series "Heroes." He segued from J. J. Abrams' 2009 franchise reboot "Star Trek" to J. J. Abrams' 2015 effective franchise reboot "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," on top of appearances in "Masters of Sex," "Alias," "Lost" and "Love Bites." Now the two have been tapped to front AMC's new talk show "Geeked Out," which is eyeing a mid-year premiere, capitalizing upon the San Diego Comic-Con which runs July 21-24. An eight-episode run has been greenlit by AMC, whose TV network programming includes "The Walking Dead," and "Breaking Bad" spin-off "Better Call Saul," as well as Silicon Prairie drama "Halt and Catch Fire," whose third season starts mid-2016, and "Humans," whose second season is likewise expected to arrive around the same time. Smith, already a prodigious producer of media via his stable of podcasts and shows -- "Smodcast," "Fatman on Batman," "Edumacation" and "Hollywood Babble-On" -- already has a regular place on AMC via reality TV series "Comic Book Men." That series, now in its third season, focuses on Smith's New Jersey comics shop. At first, it was broadcast after "The Walking Dead" and then after its companion chat show "Talking Dead," so there's some speculation that Smith and Grunberg's "Geeking Out," already flagged as a late-night property, could enjoy similar placement within AMC's schedule."Geeking Out" has been set for a nine-episode run, each timed at a 30-minute duration. Talk, clips, celebrity interviews and out-of-studio segments are to combine in an examination of "pop culture through a fanboy lens," according to AMC's announcement. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Conan's biggest regret at Harvard? Skipping economics
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Conan's biggest regret at Harvard? Skipping economics

BOSTON (AP) — Conan O'Brien was a prankster during his Harvard years, but he also credits his success to hard work in the classroom. The late-night TV host spoke to an audience of Harvard University students on Friday about the value of a liberal-arts education and about his time at the Ivy League school. Harvard President Drew Faust hosted the discussion with O'Brien, who graduated from Harvard in 1985 with a concentration in history and literature. O'Brien sharpened his comedy chops while working for the Harvard Lampoon, the school's storied humor magazine. Among his college pranks, O'Brien says he stole the outfit worn by Robin in the '60s TV show "Batman" when it was displayed on campus. But he also fondly recalled classes on city planning and U.S. history. "College is when you should actually get about as lost as you can get, in terms of expanding what you know," he told the audience. He's still an avid reader of history books, he said, with an interest in figures like Winston Churchill and Andrew Jackson. O'Brien encouraged students to try new pursuits without worrying about mistakes. But he warned students that, even after gaining success, insecurities don't go away. "It's an illusion that people in my situation have figured something out. It is a constant struggle," he said. The conversation ranged from his Harvard thesis to the status of women in comedy, who he says are "dominating." He joked with Faust, once saying that his studies did "absolutely nothing" for his career, and added a quip about the high cost of tuition at Harvard (he joked that it's $26,000 a year; it's actually $45,000). Asked about his biggest regrets, O'Brien said he still kicks himself for shying away from an economics class because it intimidated him. "That was knowledge that I don't have, and I've always regretted it," he said. "I wish I had taken that course." Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Collin Binkley from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Watch the first trailer for Cameron Crowe's ‘Roadies'
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Watch the first trailer for Cameron Crowe's ‘Roadies'

The film director and former music journalist has turned his attention to the small screen and to his past life for his first TV series, set to premiere in June"Roadies" is about a group of music technicians and much of what is expected to unfold on screen is going to have more than a hint of reality about it. Many of the stories and the characters that will occupy the "Roadies" world are drawn from rock n roll legend or from Crowe's own experiences as an up-and-coming music writer in the 70s. The show is written and directed by Crowe and stars Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino and Imogen Poots. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Flipagram to offer extra privacy for Valentine's Day
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Flipagram to offer extra privacy for Valentine's Day

Popular app for video storytelling, Flipagram is adding a direct messaging feature.The app started out as a video-editing tool and grew organically into a social network for visual storytelling so it seems only fitting that some stories need to be captured but only shared with a select few. "While public sharing and social media continue to be powerful uses for Flipagram, increasingly we find people sharing more personal Flips with hand-selected audiences through private sharing options such as messenger, SMS or email," said Farhad Mohit co-founder and CEO of Flipagram. "By building Direct Messaging into Flipagram we've made it much simpler for private Flips to be shared with just the right audience, while keeping the conversations around these Flips on Flipagram where they are most immersively experienced." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Britain's Independent daily drops print edition: owner
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Britain's Independent daily drops print edition: owner

British newspaper The Independent will become digital only, and its last print edition will come out on March 26, owners ESI Media said in a statement on Friday.ESI Media said it was also selling off the "i" -- a cut-price sister title -- to fund the website of The Independent. "The newspaper industry is changing and that change is being driven by readers. They're showing us that the future is digital," said Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian-born British owner of The Independent, which was established in 1986. "This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high-quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers on our online platforms," he said. Like many newspapers, The Independent has struggled with falling readership numbers. It has a total circulation of around 60,000, according to the latest figures, making it Britain's least-read national paper. ESI Media, which also owns TV station London Live and the British capital's Evening Standard daily, said it would be "the first national newspaper to embrace a global, digital-only future". The company said it would launch a subscription mobile app and open new bureaux in Europe, the Middle East and Asia as well as expanding in the United States. "The Independent's last paper edition is expected to be on Saturday March 26 and the last Independent on Sunday is expected to be on March 20," it said. It added that "i" would be sold to publishers Johnston Press, subject to shareholder approval. "A significant number of employees are expected to move across to Johnston Press," it said, warning that there would be "some redundancies". Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

'Spotlight,' 'Big Short' win Writers Guild of America awards
Sunday Feb 14, 2016
'Spotlight,' 'Big Short' win Writers Guild of America awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oscar contenders "Spotlight" and "The Big Short" won the top awards for screenwriting from the Writers Guild of America at a ceremony Saturday that was held in Los Angeles and New York. "Spotlight," about the Boston Globe's effort to uncover a priest sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, won for best original screenplay. The writers are Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy. "The Big Short," about the 2008 financial crisis, won for best adapted screenplay. Writers Charles Randolph and Adam McKay wrote a screenplay adapted from the book of the same title by Michael Lewis. In the television categories, the now-concluded AMC series "Mad Men" about the advertising business in the 1960s and 1970s, won for drama. The writers honored are by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jonathan Igla, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Tom Smuts, Robert Towne, Matthew Weiner and Carly Wray. The HBO series "Veep," about the exploits of politician Selina Meyer, won for comedy. The writers honored are Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Kevin Cecil, Roger Drew, Peter Fellows, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, Sean Gray, Callie Hersheway, Armando Iannucci, Sean Love, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Andy Riley, Tony Roche and Will Smith. Other winners included: — NEW SERIES: "Mr. Robot," on the USA network, written by Kyle Bradstreet, Kate Erickson, Sam Esmail, David Iserson, Randolph Leon, Adam Penn and Matt Pyken. — ORIGINAL LONG FORM SERIES: "Saints & Strangers," on the National Geographic Channel, written by Seth Fisher, Walon Green, Chip Johannessen and Eric Overmyer. — ADAPTED LONG FORM SERIES: "Fargo,"on the FX network, written by Steve Blackman, Bob DeLaurentis, Noah Hawley, Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert. — EPISODIC DRAMA: "Uno" from the "Better Call Saul" series, on the AMC network, written by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. — EPISODIC COMEDY: "Sand Hill Shuffle" from the "Silicon Valley" series, on the HBO network, written by Clay Tarver. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Ambitious refugee documentary cheered at Berlin film fest
Saturday Feb 13, 2016
Ambitious refugee documentary cheered at Berlin film fest

A searing Italian documentary on Europe's refugee influx drew cheers Saturday at the Berlin film festival, which has rolled out the red carpet for pictures offering unique takes on the crisis."Fire at Sea" by award-winning director Gianfranco Rosi, set on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, emerged as an early favourite among 18 contenders for the festival's Golden Bear top prize, to be awarded by jury president Meryl Streep on February 20. The film provides an unflinching look at the thousands of desperate people who arrive on the island each year trying to enter the European Union, and the thousands more who have died trying. But Rosi, who spent several months on Lampedusa making the documentary, also offers a tender portrait of the rhythms of daily life in Lampedusa's ancient fishing villages and efforts of local people to help those in need. "It bears witness to a tragedy that is happening right before our eyes," Rosi told reporters following a enthusiastically received press preview. "I think we are all responsible for that tragedy and perhaps after the Holocaust, it is the greatest tragedy we have ever seen in Europe." The picture is told through the eyes of a 12-year-old local boy, Samuele Pucillo, and a doctor, Pietro Bartolo, who has been tending to the often dehydrated, malnourished and traumatised new arrivals for a quarter-century. Rosi, who clinched the Venice film festival's 2013 Golden Lion for his film "Sacro GRA", also accompanied coastguard rescue missions answering the terrified SOS calls of people on overcrowded boats, most of them arriving from Libya. They are taken to a reception centre for medical examinations and processing while awaiting transfer to other sites in Italy. Rosi captures the migrants' overwhelming relief to be on dry land, the shock that gives way to mourning for their dead, and the crushing boredom they break up with rough-and-tumble football games. - 'Nightmares haunt me' - In one powerful scene, a Nigerian man recounts the perilous journey to Italy in a call-and-response chant with other African migrants, describing what was for many a deadly trek through the scorching Sahara, and the suffering endured at the hands of Islamic State jihadists and prison guards in Libya. Bartolo, the doctor, said that he hoped the film would open more Europeans' eyes to the plight visible in Lampedusa every day, as the political debate grows more entrenched. "I've seen so many terrible things, so many dead children, so many dead women, so many raped women. These things leave you with a great big empty hole in your stomach," he said. "These are nightmares that haunt me very often." Tim Robey of London's Daily Telegraph called the film "pertinent, humane" and "shattering" on Twitter, while Kate Muir of the Times pronounced it "brilliant". Festival director Dieter Kosslick said ahead of the festival that a single theme ran through much of the selection this year: "the right to happiness -- the right to a home, to love, to self-determination, to life and to survival". Hollywood star George Clooney and his wife Amal, a Lebanese-born human rights lawyer, used the occasion of the festival to offer their backing and assistance to Chancellor Angela Merkel in a meeting at her office Friday, after Germany let in 1.1 million asylum seekers last year. The 11-day cinema showcase is also featuring around a dozen films shining a light on the crisis in various ways. German documentary "Havarie" traces the fate of a small rickety refugee boat in the Mediterranean, spotted by a tourist who made a mobile phone video from a cruise ship. Danish film "Those Who Jump" hands the camera to a Malian migrant trapped in the high-security border facility between the EU and Africa as he and hundreds of other would-be asylum seekers plot their next move. And Syrian-Iraqi production "Life of the Border" allowed eight children in a refugee camp in the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobane to film their own stories. The festival runs until February 21. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Kevin Smith, Greg Grunberg tapped for AMC talk show
Saturday Feb 13, 2016
Kevin Smith, Greg Grunberg tapped for AMC talk show

Filmmaker Kevin Smith and movie star Greg Grunberg are to host "Geeking Out," premiering July 2016.Kevin Smith wowed Cannes, critics, and the cult film circuit with "Clerks" in 1994, with follow-ups -- "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma" in particular -- cementing his reputation as a writer and director with something to say. Greg Grunberg, meanwhile, made a name for himself as Matt Parkman, the unassuming police officer psychic of 2006's TV series "Heroes." He segued from J. J. Abrams' 2009 franchise reboot "Star Trek" to J. J. Abrams' 2015 effective franchise reboot "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," on top of appearances in "Masters of Sex," "Alias," "Lost" and "Love Bites." Now the two have been tapped to front AMC's new talk show "Geeked Out," which is eyeing a mid-year premiere, capitalizing upon the San Diego Comic-Con which runs July 21-24. An eight-episode run has been greenlit by AMC, whose TV network programming includes "The Walking Dead," and "Breaking Bad" spin-off "Better Call Saul," as well as Silicon Prairie drama "Halt and Catch Fire," whose third season starts mid-2016, and "Humans," whose second season is likewise expected to arrive around the same time. Smith, already a prodigious producer of media via his stable of podcasts and shows -- "Smodcast," "Fatman on Batman," "Edumacation" and "Hollywood Babble-On" -- already has a regular place on AMC via reality TV series "Comic Book Men." That series, now in its third season, focuses on Smith's New Jersey comics shop. At first, it was broadcast after "The Walking Dead" and then after its companion chat show "Talking Dead," so there's some speculation that Smith and Grunberg's "Geeking Out," already flagged as a late-night property, could enjoy similar placement within AMC's schedule."Geeking Out" has been set for a nine-episode run, each timed at a 30-minute duration. Talk, clips, celebrity interviews and out-of-studio segments are to combine in an examination of "pop culture through a fanboy lens," according to AMC's announcement. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Next 'Star Wars' to be filmed in Croatia's Dubrovnik
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Next 'Star Wars' to be filmed in Croatia's Dubrovnik

The next "Star Wars" movie will follow in the footsteps of "Game of Thrones" with some scenes due to be filmed in Croatia's Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik next month, city officials said Friday.Shooting will take place in the medieval town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from March 9 to 16, a statement said, adding that the choice of the city would create a huge "marketing potential". The statement came as Dubrovnik mayor Andro Vlahusic visited Lucasfilm, the film production company that created the Star Wars franchise, in San Francisco on Thursday. From 2011, three seasons of the series "Game of Thrones" were filmed in Dubrovnik -- dubbed the "Pearl of Adriatic". The seventh Star Wars episode -- "The Force Awakens" -- quickly surpassed the $760.5 million (675.5 euros) record set in 2009 by "Avatar" to become the top-grossing film ever in the North American market. In mid-January the film had grossed more than $2.19 billion worldwide. The eighth instalment is to premiere in December 2017, according to Disney and Lucasfilm. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Autopsy reports found from 1929 Valentine's Day massacre
Friday Feb 12, 2016
Autopsy reports found from 1929 Valentine's Day massacre

CHICAGO (AP) — Written by hand, the autopsies on the seven bullet-riddled bodies vividly describe why the Valentine's Day massacre of 1929 is still considered Chicago's most infamous gangland killing. The reports were recently unearthed with inquest transcripts from a warehouse after eight decades, and the Cook County medical examiner's office is now considering how best to preserve and display them. Executive officer James Sledge, a local history fan and a Chicago native, said he felt a chill down his back when he first read the documents outlining the attack at a Lincoln Park garage that left seven men dead and more than 160 machine gun casings littering the scene. The attack, carried out by men dressed as city police officers, is widely believed to have been ordered by famed Prohibition-era gangster Al Capone. The crime was never solved. Shortly after Sledge joined the medical examiner's office in 2014, he asked for permission to look at the autopsy records. His staff took multiple trips to a Cook County government warehouse to find the reports, which were tucked away in a metal file cabinet. Sledge is weighing where the documents should be stored and how accessible they should be, he told the Chicago Sun-Times (http://bit.ly/1XnGk5E ) in a story published Thursday. "On the one hand, we want to have them readily available," Sledge said. "But we don't want them so accessible that we in some way anger some part of the population who feel we are not paying proper respect to the deceased." The victims of the Feb. 14, 1929 massacre were five men who were known gangsters working for Capone rival George "Bugs" Moran, an optometrist who was friends with Moran's crew and a mechanic at the garage that served as Moran's headquarters. They were gunned down by four men, two of whom were wearing police uniforms. Since there was no evidence of a struggle, it's believed that Moran's men thought it was a police raid. The documents that are now in Sledge's possession offer insight into the 87-year-old investigation of the unsolved crime. "The reports are very graphic about what happened," Sledge said. "You read about history, you talk about it, but to have something in your hands — it gives you an odd feeling." Those documents include an inquest interview with the optometrist's mother in which the coroner prepares her for the grisly state of her son's body. Other documents also outline the difficulties investigators faced while attempting to solve the crime, including witnesses who were too afraid to testify, the limits of forensic science and photographers who were eager to document the event. Sledge wasn't immediately available for comment Friday. Becky Schlikerman, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office, said the office is still considering what to do with the documents. The documents have to remain the property of the Medical Examiner's office because they are autopsy reports, she said. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

'Spotlight,' 'Big Short' win Writers Guild of America awards
Sunday Feb 14, 2016
'Spotlight,' 'Big Short' win Writers Guild of America awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oscar contenders "Spotlight" and "The Big Short" won the top awards for screenwriting from the Writers Guild of America at a ceremony Saturday that was held in Los Angeles and New York. "Spotlight," about the Boston Globe's effort to uncover a priest sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, won for best original screenplay. The writers are Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy. "The Big Short," about the 2008 financial crisis, won for best adapted screenplay. Writers Charles Randolph and Adam McKay wrote a screenplay adapted from the book of the same title by Michael Lewis. In the television categories, the now-concluded AMC series "Mad Men" about the advertising business in the 1960s and 1970s, won for drama. The writers honored are by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jonathan Igla, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Tom Smuts, Robert Towne, Matthew Weiner and Carly Wray. The HBO series "Veep," about the exploits of politician Selina Meyer, won for comedy. The writers honored are Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Kevin Cecil, Roger Drew, Peter Fellows, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, Sean Gray, Callie Hersheway, Armando Iannucci, Sean Love, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Andy Riley, Tony Roche and Will Smith. Other winners included: — NEW SERIES: "Mr. Robot," on the USA network, written by Kyle Bradstreet, Kate Erickson, Sam Esmail, David Iserson, Randolph Leon, Adam Penn and Matt Pyken. — ORIGINAL LONG FORM SERIES: "Saints & Strangers," on the National Geographic Channel, written by Seth Fisher, Walon Green, Chip Johannessen and Eric Overmyer. — ADAPTED LONG FORM SERIES: "Fargo,"on the FX network, written by Steve Blackman, Bob DeLaurentis, Noah Hawley, Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert. — EPISODIC DRAMA: "Uno" from the "Better Call Saul" series, on the AMC network, written by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. — EPISODIC COMEDY: "Sand Hill Shuffle" from the "Silicon Valley" series, on the HBO network, written by Clay Tarver. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Munn, Segel help film academy honor inventors, engineers
Sunday Feb 14, 2016
Munn, Segel help film academy honor inventors, engineers

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Subjects like rapid prototyping, 3-D texture painting and the intricacies of digital media review systems became comic material Saturday for Olivia Munn and Jason Segel, hosts of the film academy's Scientific and Technical Awards. Or at least they tried their best. With enthusiastic explanations laden with high-tech lingo, the two actors brought levity to the annual ceremony honoring the inventors, engineers and technicians behind advances in filmmaking technology. Segel called them "the magicians who can bring (creative) visions to life." Representing the "science" part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the work of the 11 groups recognized during the untelevised dinner celebration at the Beverly Wilshire hotel is highly specialized — mostly tools for viewing, sharing and manipulating digital media — but it has contributed to countless hit films. Here's a look at some of the films that benefited from the inventions recognized at the Sci-Tech Awards. — "The Avengers": The Marvel superhero smash is one of many action films to make use of the Aircover Inflatables Airwall, a giant, inflatable panel that becomes an instant green-screen for special effects. — "Guardians of the Galaxy": The many artists on this film used Sony Pictures Imageworks Itview, a media review system, to share working footage globally. — "Kung Fu Panda": Hit DreamWorks Animation franchises such as "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda" benefited from a proprietary media playback system recognized Saturday. — "Django Unchained": Quentin Tarantino's film relied on the Rhythm & Hues Global DRR System, another media-review platform. — "Saving Private Ryan": Shaky scenes in Steven Spielberg's 1998 film relied on the award-winning optical system called the Image Shaker. —"Avatar": The academy also recognized the design and engineering of the MARI 3-D texture painting system, a super high-resolution drawing and painting program developed for "Avatar." — "Star Wars: The Force Awakens": The Industrial Light and Magic Geometry Tracker, a tracking system that links an actor's performance with animation, was used to create Lupita Nyong'o's character, Maz Kanata. — "Anomalisa": This stop-motion film, nominated for best animated feature Oscar, makes use of Laika's rapid prototyping techniques, which use 3-D printers with color-uniform results to create interchangeable faces and expressions for the puppets used in stop-motion animation. Other honorees were Dolby Laboratories' PRM Series Reference Color Monitors and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, which received a special award in honor of its 100th anniversary. Portions of the Sci-Tech Awards will be included in the Feb. 28 Academy Awards telecast. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy . Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Sandy Cohen from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

New York Fashion Week: Siriano goes for knits
Saturday Feb 13, 2016
New York Fashion Week: Siriano goes for knits

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from the runway designs to the celebrity-filled front rows. Here are some recent highlights: ___ CHRISTIAN SIRIANO DOES BRIGHTS, KNITS Siriano brought the drama, as always, in go-big-or-go-home gowns that shared his runway with day looks in a fresh wide stripe, along with a touch of knit and a clever digital print that looked like woven yarn, but wasn't. He was inspired by the textile artist Sheila Hicks and an exhibition she once put on called "Art of the Yarn." "One of her pieces was this chartreuse woven, long tapestry and that jumped off the whole color palette. Then I started exploring other knit textiles and types of crochet. I love the ideas for the colors that they're yarn dyed, and they came out really citrusy and strong. I like that we have all this color for fall," Siriano explained backstage before the show. While honoring the artistry of Hicks in bright yellows and reds, he also paid homage in actual knits. Big cables were used on dresses and crochet lace was paired with fluttery sequins. A wide-stripe print on a background of light tan included a touch of sexy pinky purple as Siriano also showed off menswear-inspired tailoring in pantsuits and other looks. Slowly, Siriano has built a presence in luxury, also sticking with Payless for shoe lines. He's a busier man, red carpet wise, than he has ever been, dressing six clients for the Screen Actors Guild awards and six for the Golden Globes after nabbing Solange Knowles for the Oscars last year. He put her in bright red. Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift have all worn Siriano designs. —Leanne Italie Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Ambitious refugee documentary cheered at Berlin film fest
Saturday Feb 13, 2016
Ambitious refugee documentary cheered at Berlin film fest

A searing Italian documentary on Europe's refugee influx drew cheers Saturday at the Berlin film festival, which has rolled out the red carpet for pictures offering unique takes on the crisis."Fire at Sea" by award-winning director Gianfranco Rosi, set on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, emerged as an early favourite among 18 contenders for the festival's Golden Bear top prize, to be awarded by jury president Meryl Streep on February 20. The film provides an unflinching look at the thousands of desperate people who arrive on the island each year trying to enter the European Union, and the thousands more who have died trying. But Rosi, who spent several months on Lampedusa making the documentary, also offers a tender portrait of the rhythms of daily life in Lampedusa's ancient fishing villages and efforts of local people to help those in need. "It bears witness to a tragedy that is happening right before our eyes," Rosi told reporters following a enthusiastically received press preview. "I think we are all responsible for that tragedy and perhaps after the Holocaust, it is the greatest tragedy we have ever seen in Europe." The picture is told through the eyes of a 12-year-old local boy, Samuele Pucillo, and a doctor, Pietro Bartolo, who has been tending to the often dehydrated, malnourished and traumatised new arrivals for a quarter-century. Rosi, who clinched the Venice film festival's 2013 Golden Lion for his film "Sacro GRA", also accompanied coastguard rescue missions answering the terrified SOS calls of people on overcrowded boats, most of them arriving from Libya. They are taken to a reception centre for medical examinations and processing while awaiting transfer to other sites in Italy. Rosi captures the migrants' overwhelming relief to be on dry land, the shock that gives way to mourning for their dead, and the crushing boredom they break up with rough-and-tumble football games. - 'Nightmares haunt me' - In one powerful scene, a Nigerian man recounts the perilous journey to Italy in a call-and-response chant with other African migrants, describing what was for many a deadly trek through the scorching Sahara, and the suffering endured at the hands of Islamic State jihadists and prison guards in Libya. Bartolo, the doctor, said that he hoped the film would open more Europeans' eyes to the plight visible in Lampedusa every day, as the political debate grows more entrenched. "I've seen so many terrible things, so many dead children, so many dead women, so many raped women. These things leave you with a great big empty hole in your stomach," he said. "These are nightmares that haunt me very often." Tim Robey of London's Daily Telegraph called the film "pertinent, humane" and "shattering" on Twitter, while Kate Muir of the Times pronounced it "brilliant". Festival director Dieter Kosslick said ahead of the festival that a single theme ran through much of the selection this year: "the right to happiness -- the right to a home, to love, to self-determination, to life and to survival". Hollywood star George Clooney and his wife Amal, a Lebanese-born human rights lawyer, used the occasion of the festival to offer their backing and assistance to Chancellor Angela Merkel in a meeting at her office Friday, after Germany let in 1.1 million asylum seekers last year. The 11-day cinema showcase is also featuring around a dozen films shining a light on the crisis in various ways. German documentary "Havarie" traces the fate of a small rickety refugee boat in the Mediterranean, spotted by a tourist who made a mobile phone video from a cruise ship. Danish film "Those Who Jump" hands the camera to a Malian migrant trapped in the high-security border facility between the EU and Africa as he and hundreds of other would-be asylum seekers plot their next move. And Syrian-Iraqi production "Life of the Border" allowed eight children in a refugee camp in the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobane to film their own stories. The festival runs until February 21. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Documentary "Fire at Sea" opens at Berlin Film Festival
Saturday Feb 13, 2016
Documentary "Fire at Sea" opens at Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN (AP) — The director of "Fire at Sea" — a documentary about the Italian island of Lampedusa, where thousands of asylum-seekers have been arriving from lawless Libya — says he wanted "to show the tragedy that's playing out in front of our eyes ... We're all responsible." Director Gianfranco Rosi spoke after the film was screened Saturday at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it is one of two documentaries in competition for the prestigious Golden Bear award. The Italian director contrasts the native islanders' everyday life with the arrival of the many men, women and children making the dangerous trip from Africa across the Mediterranean Sea on decrepit smugglers' boats. Longing for freedom and prosperity, many of the migrants drown on the perilous passage to Europe, their dead bodies often pulled out of the water in Lampedusa. Rosi brings the viewer closer to the emotional world of some of the island's inhabitants, who are exposed to a permanent state of emergency. He also shows the dead bodies of those who did not survive the journey to Europe. "This may be one of the biggest tragedies after the Holocaust that we are currently witnessing," Rosi said. One of the film's protagonists, Pietro Bartolo, told the audience that he's been dealing with arriving refugees since they first started coming in the 1990s. "I've seen many dead children. I've seen many dead women, who had been raped ... and that always leaves a hole in my stomach," Bartolo said. "It's horrible to remember this and often I'm haunted by nightmares." He said he hoped that through the witness accounts in the documentary people with more power than him would do something to solve this "biggest contemporary problem of Europe." A seven-member jury led by first-time festival jury chief Meryl Streep will announce the winners of the festival's Golden Bear and various Silver Bear awards on Feb. 20. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Kirsten Grieshaber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.