Tom Cruise says Top Gun 2 in the works

SYDNEY – Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise revealed Wednesday he plans a sequel to the cult action film Top Gun, with filming set to begin next year.

Rumours have swirled for years that he would revisit the 1986 movie that made him a household name, and Cruise finally spoke out while in Australia to promote his latest flick “The Mummy”.

Asked by a Channel Seven breakfast TV host about whether a second instalment of the action drama was on the cards, he replied: “Yes, it’s true.”

“I’m going to start filming it probably in the next year.

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“It’s happening, it’s definitely happening.”

The original Top Gun, which also starred Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis and Tim Robbins, received mixed reviews but was a huge commercial hit.

Directed by Tony Scott, Cruise played hotshot US Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who has a dangerous and reckless flying style.

He struggles to balance life, responsibility and a love affair while competing at the Navy’s fighter-weapons school.

Source – TheNation

Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the biggest star of all

Actors come and go, radio presenters live or die by their ratings and musicians top the charts only to be dropped, hostages to the vagaries of fickle public opinion.

But some stars are destined to be remembered forever, their successes immortalized in terrazzo and brass on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — a draw for visitors from across the world that has more staying power than any individual celebrity. 

Launched in 1958, the walk has built up more than 2,600 stars, each a tribute to the contribution of a public figure in the fields of motion picture, television, recording, radio or, latterly, live theater. 

“The criteria for getting a star are longevity in the field of entertainment — of five years or more — awards nominations, and very important to us is that they do philanthropic work,” said Ana Martinez, who arranges the ceremonies.

The ceremonies often coincide with the release of a movie as it is the celebrity who chooses the date, and a $40,000 fee is paid by the honoree’s entourage — $15,000 to cover the event and the rest for maintenance.

Read also: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell get Hollywood stars

– Millions of tourists –

Nearly 50 years after its launch, the 2.5-mile (four-kilometer) stretch smack in the middle of Hollywood now attracts an estimated 10 million tourists a year, who come to soak up the glamour. 

“It’s very special to be here, to be here in person to see the stars of the singers I love and I listen to often, and of the actors that I grew up with,” Brazilian tourist Daniela Oliveira told AFP.

Not all the honorees are actors and musicians, of course — the late film critic Roger Ebert has one, as do hockey announcer Bob Miller, LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Winnie the Pooh. 

Other stars often go to groups — fictional or otherwise — such as the munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Muppets” and “The Simpsons,” while Kermit the Frog, Mickey Mouse and Godzilla have their own. 

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– Selection controversy –

E.M. Stuart, erstwhile president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, is credited with coming up with the idea in 1953 for an attraction that would “maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour.”

The walk’s initial costs came to $1.25 million and the first stars honored the likes of Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Burt Lancaster and Joanne Woodward. 

The selection process for honorees sparked controversy, however, when it emerged that Charlie Chaplin had been turned down for a star and his son sued unsuccessfully for damages amounting to $400,000. 

Chaplin finally got his star in 1972, five years before his death.

The walk was designed to accommodate 2,518 stars, and by the 1990s most of the space had gone, prompting the dedication of a second row.

Now there are hundreds of blank stars — leaving hope for newcomers to the entertainment industry pining after the Hollywood dream. 

Read also: Real places that inspired scenes in Oscar-nominated films

Source – TheJakartaPost

#Ukraine – Kiev puts finishing touches to Eurovision as song contest gets political.

With the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest set to kick off in a few days, host city Kiev puts final touches on preparations.

With the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest set to kick off in just a few days, host city Kiev is rushing to complete the final touches on preparations for the international competition.

Kiev has started welcoming Eurovision fans and set up food stalls, performance stages and big screens in the centre of the town which will broadcast the semi-finals and final next week. But as Ukraine prepares to host the final stages of the Eurovision competition next week, a dispute remains over its decision to bar Russia’s entrant to the contest – because she had performed in Crimea after it was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Russia has vowed to boycott the competition, saying Ukraine’s move had tarnished the event. Ukraine hit back by saying that Moscow had deliberately tried to provoke Ukraine.

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Relations between Ukraine and Russia soured following the annexation and the outbreak of a war between Kiev and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,000 people. Hostilities spilled over into the glitzy Eurovision show after Ukrainian contestant Jamala unexpectedly won the contest last year with an entry that Russia called politicized.

Russia’s proposed entry, Yulia Samoylova, is due to perform in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Tuesday, May 9, coinciding with the first semi-final of Eurovision.

Ukraine expects about 12,000-14,000 spectators to attend the competition next week with millions more watching on television. It will be the second time that Kiev hosts the event.

Source

#Indonesian Student Association holds cultural festival in #Manchester

The Indonesian Student Association (PPI) in Greater Manchester held an annual art and culture festival called the Indonesian Cultural Festival (ICF) on Friday at Manchester University, England.

The festival featured a food bazaar, an exhibition of Indonesian tourist destinations and traditional Indonesian games. Some 250 visitors from England, Italy, China, Korea and Indonesia enjoyed the festivities.

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“There were eight food stalls selling over 50 Indonesian dishes such as nasi rendang, sate padang, martabak and even es cendol,” said Alif Kurnia Rahman, the event’s coordinator.

The main events of the 2017 ICF consisted of a traditional fashion show, a choir performance, an angklung recital and the performance of traditional dances, namely the Saman, Rentak Bulian and Piring dances from Sumatra, the Empat Etnis dance from Sulawesi, the Bambu Gila dance from Maluku, the Kecak dance from Bali and the Sajojo dance from Papua.

Source – TheJakartaPost

 

Rock n’ Roll legend Chuck Berry dead at 90

NEW YORK – Chuck Berry, one of the creators of rock ‘n’ roll who helped shape modern youth culture with his dance-ready rhythms but who struggled to overcome institutional racism, died Saturday. He was 90.

Police in the St. Louis area, where Berry was born and lived most of his life, said that first responders found the guitar legend unresponsive when they answered an emergency call at his home.

“The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry,” it said on Facebook.

Berry became a sensation in the years after World War II as the baby boom generation came of age in an increasingly prosperous America. The middle-class son of a carpenter and a high school principal, Berry grew up under segregation but instinctively sensed how to bridge the racial divide.

 Berry had played blues guitar but found that his white audience was more interested in country. He merged the styles with an electric energy and consummate stage showmanship, although he hesitated to say that he created rock ‘n’ roll.

“It used to be called boogie-woogie, it used to be called blues, used to be called rhythm and blues,” he later said. “It’s called rock now.”

Whatever the music was named, Bruce Springsteen, one of many artists heavily influenced by Berry, said the man was indispensable.

“Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived,” Springsteen wrote on Twitter.

His 1958 hit “Johnny B. Goode” was so influential and recognizable that the US space program chose it to represent rock music for potential extraterrestrial listeners on the Voyager spacecraft.

Struggles with racism 

“Roll Over Beethoven” from 1956 was almost a manifesto of rock ‘n’ roll as the charismatic Berry urged the DJ to switch off the classical records and turn to the new genre of the youth.

Other hits included “Maybellene,” one of the pioneering rock songs that gave a guitar edge to a popular fiddle tune, and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” in which Berry hailed rock ‘n’ roll’s sweep across the United States.

Berry was one of the first African Americans to find a widespread white audience, with his gentle demeanor and the usually innocuous subject matter of his songs initially insulating him in a country where many black people lived under Jim Crow institutionalized racism.

But that changed as his fame grew. After a packed performance in 1959 in Meridian Mississippi, a white crowd set upon Berry and forced him to leave through a side entrance after accusing him of kissing a white girl among his fans.

“One of the girls threw her arms around me and hung a soul-searching kiss that I let hang a second too long,” Berry later explained. He was arrested for disturbing the peace and left the city after paying a fine.

His career soon was interrupted when he was arrested in 1959 under an obscure law for taking a 14-year-old girl across state lines for “immoral purposes.”

Berry defended himself against allegations that he had slept with the young waitress. But he was convicted by an all-white jury and served a year and a half in prison. In a bitter irony, he was incarcerated just as the United States was swept by white rockers influenced by him, including the British invasion led by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Mick Jagger hailed Berry on Saturday as an inspiration, saying: “He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers.”

Final album due 

After his prison time, friends described the laid-back and fun-loving Berry as a changed man, and the conviction has long been viewed in the African American community as a warning sign for artists on the rise.

Berry mostly avoided the media limelight as he resurrected his career. In a rare 1987 interview with NBC television, Berry declined to describe himself as the father of rock ‘n’ roll, listing others including his contemporary Elvis Presley as well as Fats Domino and Little Richard.

“We’re all I think just a cog in the wheel. We all got the ball rolling,” he said.

Berry initially found success after record executive Leonard Chess sensed his crossover potential and signed him after an introduction from Muddy Waters. Berry late in his life stayed low-profile in St. Louis where he played two decades worth of shows at the Blueberry Club, with his son Charles Berry Jr. in his backup band.

In a surprise, Berry last year celebrated his 90th birthday by announcing that he had recorded his first album in 38 years.

Entitled simply “Chuck,” the album is slated to be released sometime this year.

In a statement as he announced the album, Berry dedicated it to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry.

“My darlin’, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

Headlines over Amal Clooney ‘baby bump’ earn backlash

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who represents victims of rape and kidnappings by members of the Islamic State group, urged a United Nations meeting to step up the pressure on the extremists, so why did her yellow dress and her “baby bump” also make headlines?

Criticism was swift Thursday for some news and entertainment outlets from outraged social media users, including some on Twitter who responded to the Time Inc. tweet: “Amal Clooney shows off her baby bump at the United Nations.”

The tweet linked to a story that ran on Time’s Motto website, which is focused on younger women. The story’s headline also referenced a “baby bump” but was changed, a spokeswoman for Time confirmed Friday. She declined further comment.

The Mirror in London went with: “Amal Clooney is a vision in yellow as she shows off hint of baby bump in chic dress,” while E! News ran: “Amal Clooney Shows Baby Bump in What Could Be the Ultimate International Women’s Day Poster,” all according to a story in the Washington Post questioning the approach in context to her speech.

Read also: Amal Clooney shares her own family’s refugee story

Among the critics was Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who has slammed media in the past for focusing on her “childless” status. In response to the Clooney bump tweet, Sturgeon wrote: “I’m pretty certain that this wasn’t the purpose of this impressive human rights lawyer’s appearance at the UN.”

Clooney became an international celebrity after her union with Oscar-winner George Clooney. They married in 2014 and are now expecting twins.

At the U.N., she urged Iraq and the world not to let the Islamic State “get away with genocide.” She expressed frustration that nothing has happened since she came to the U.N. six months ago seeking accountability for IS victims.

Amal Clooney represents Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman captured by IS in Iraq in 2014. Murad has spoken out since her release about being raped and sold as a sex slave and is now a U.N. goodwill ambassador. Murad accompanied her to the U.N. and told the meeting that victims have been waiting more than a year for an investigation of IS to start.

Source – TheJakartaPost

Adele confirms marriage during Australian concert after years of speculation

New York – Adele, who has become a global pop sensation with her songs of heartbreak, has confirmed years of speculation that she is married.

The English singer has been in a long-term relationship with Simon Konecki, a former financier who founded drop4drop, a charity that presses for global access to clean drinking water.

The couple have a four-year-old son, Angelo, but Adele has been coy about whether they are married as she tries to maintain her privacy.

But she confirmed their status at a concert in Brisbane, Australia on Sunday (March 5, 2017) as she introduced Someone Like You, her breakthrough 2011 hit written about the lingering pain of a breakup with a previous boyfriend.

“That feeling when you first fall for someone is the best feeling on earth,” she said, according to a fan’s video posted online.

“And I am addicted to that feeling. Obviously, I can’t go through with those feelings because I’m married now,” she added, to a smattering of cheers.

Attentive fans at last month’s Grammy Awards also heard Adele thanking “my husband and my son – you’re the only reason I do it.” Her representative declined at the time to say whether she had been confirming her marriage to Konecki.

Adele, 28, has been one of the most successful artists of the 21st century with her ballads of nostalgia and heartache.

With the latest Grammys, she became the first artist to win all three most-coveted awards – for album, record and song – in two different years.//AFP

Source: TheNation

Cambodia – Angelina Jolie unveils new film First They Killed My Father in Siem Reap

King Norodom Sihamoni gives flowers to Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie at the premiere of Jolie’s new film First They Killed My Father on Saturday in Siem Reap. STR/AFP

After the ministers, dignitaries and survivors of the Khmer Rouge had filed in Saturday evening, and Angelina Jolie had greeted the arrival of King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath, the lights in the ruins of the ancient city of Angkor Thom finally dimmed for the world premiere of First They Killed My Father.

For a brief moment, the rustling of insects was the only sound before the audience of more than 1,000 was transported back to April 12, 1975.

An adaptation of Loung Ung’s autobiographical book recounting her and her family’s suffering under the Khmer Rouge, the Jolie-directed film depicts in vivid detail the forced evacuations from Phnom Penh, the journey to the brutal labour camps in the country’s northwest, and, for Ung, the conscription of children as soldiers into the ranks of the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea. Ung, who is portrayed in a highly emotional performance by child actress Sareum Srey Moch, was five years old when her family was ordered out of the capital.

For some fellow survivors in attendance at the world premiere, the depiction on the big screen was a harrowing trip back to the country’s darkest chapter.

Say Vorphorn, a 45-year-old doctor in attendance, said that while his experience as a child-survivor of the Khmer Rouge could not be compared to Ung’s, the loss of his own father resonated strongly.

“I was 3 years old during that time, but I didn’t suffer as much because my mother was a cook … [but] I feel this deeply inside my heart because my father was killed during that time,” he said.

Ma Rynet, the star of The Last Reel, who played an extra in a scene in which a captured Khmer Rouge soldier is beaten by angry villagers, said that seeing the final product brought her to tears.

“I hope the world will know Cambodia through this film,” she added.

Shot in the country between November 2015 and February 2016, the movie employed more than 3,500 background actors to recreate scenes showing the population transfers and forced collectivisation of the Khmer Rouge, as well as battle sequences from the eventual Vietnamese invasion that toppled the regime. The film is in Khmer, with occasional French and Vietnamese, and will be released later this year on Netflix.

In an interview with The Post, Jolie said that beyond highlighting the potential of Cambodia for filmmakers – foreign and domestic – she hopes the film will in some ways reintroduce the country to international audiences.

“I hope that people will not just look at this film as a history lesson but they will walk away with a new love and respect for the country,” she said. Attending the film with her six children – two of whom are Cambodian – Jolie has pledged to remain involved in supporting the local film industry.

After attending the premiere, Youk Chhang, the executive director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said the movie represented a new approach to portrayals of the trauma of the Pol Pot regime.

“I think that this film, for the first time, would train [a Cambodian audience] to look for a beauty in the darkness,” he said, noting that human scenes, in which Ung shares a cricket to eat with her sister, or is hit by her brother after stealing rice, “really capture the heart”.

Himself a child survivor, Chhang felt that it accurately captures the emotional complexities of a childhood experience of mass atrocity.

“Children don’t use physical resistance, they use emotion. It’s the only form of resistance to fight [with] … I think Angie [Jolie] captured the complexities of the emotion on the camera.”

Jolie, speaking to The Post after the film’s Saturday press conference at the Raffles Hotel, said that rendering a child’s point-of-view on-screen was a central challenge in orchestrating the camera-work with director of photography Anthony Dod Mantle.

A difficulty was not just having shots at Ung’s low height but deciding “what she will and will not look at”.

“That point of view grows. At a certain point she cannot look at blood, and when she’s older the POV matures and gets hardened and she starts to witness things she didn’t when she was younger,” she said.

Loung Ung, in an interview on Saturday, said that she hoped the film may break misconceptions about the emotional experience of surviving war and genocide.

“I think people will see that it takes more than anger, [and] it takes more than strength to survive. It takes love, it takes soul and we Cambodians have that in spades,” she said.

Another survivor, Sin Nou Visakha, 65, broke into tears as she spoke to The Post after the screening, calling “the image the same as reality”.

She hoped the film could educate Cambodia’s youth about the horrors of the past.

“I want the young children to watch this, more than old people, because we have been through it and some of them don’t believe that we suffered like that.”

First They Killed My Father will be screening in Phnom Penh at Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, February 21, at 6pm and in Battambang on February 23. It will be available on Netflix later this year.

Source: PhnomPenhPost / Author: Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

Another Nipplegate for Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey has once again created an affair. The singer was attentive spectator at the basketball game between the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers and had something there too tight clothes.

Mariah walked along with her alleged new boyfriend Bryan Tanaka hand-in-hand in the stadium. The 33-year-old backup dancer and diva could not stay away any time apart. During the moment of embarrassment, of the nipple-slip were the two equally detached from each other.

Mariah had earlier half year relationship with billionaire James Packer. Now they, after an engagement, apart Mariah wants his money seeing of the wealthy businessman. They would get fifty million dollars for every year she was the partner of Packer.

Photo’s:  @frits365 (Twitter)

Exploring the delights of the Eastern and Oriental Express

Exploring the delights of the Eastern and Oriental Express

Eastern and Oriental Express, the luxury tourist train, played host to a lavish evening cocktail party in Bangkok on Monday, February 13, giving the Thai media a short but very luxurious ride that started at Bangkok’s Hualampong Station.

The three-hour ride allowed guests to discover the services and hospitality of Eastern and Oriental Express. 

Cocktails, finger foods and music from DJs and the piano bar fuelled the cocktail reception, which was already in swing as the locomotive pulled out of Bangkok’s main station. 

The Eastern and Oriental Express is run by the British hotel and leisure firm Belmond, formerly known as Orient-Express Hotels.

The luxurious tourist train offers a travel opportunity of a lifetime through its classic routes – Bangkok to Singapore and vice versa. It journeys through the countryside of Malaysia and Thailand stopping off at some fascinating destinations. 

In Thailand the tourist train travels further to Kanchanaburi Province, where tourists can see the famous Bridge of the River Kwai spanning the river dividing Thailand and Myanmar.

Tuesday’s cocktail event allowed guests to have a sneak preview of the luxurious cabins (sleepers), which range from the Pullman Cabin made for the solo traveler to the State and President cabins for two sharing.

All rooms have ensuite facilities. The cabins feature wood and lacquered panels with floral motifs and wooden floors that reflect the exotic East. 

The party reached its highest point as guests gathered in the main bar where the resident pianist, saxophonist and vocalist entertained with cool jazz. –

Phoowadon Duangmee, TheNation