Alec and Hilaria Baldwin Are Expecting their 7th Child

Hilaria Baldwin announced that she’s expecting her seventh child with husband Alec. (AP)
Hilaria Baldwin announced that she’s expecting her seventh child with husband Alec. (AP)
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Alec and Hilaria Baldwin Are Expecting their 7th Child

Hilaria Baldwin announced that she’s expecting her seventh child with husband Alec. (AP)
Hilaria Baldwin announced that she’s expecting her seventh child with husband Alec. (AP)

After a nearly monthlong social media break, Hilaria Baldwin announced Tuesday on Instagram that she’s expecting her seventh child with husband Alec.

Hilaria said she’s due this fall, posting a video of the couple breaking the news to their brood. Alec Baldwin quickly reposted her reveal.

“After many ups and downs over the past few years, we have an exciting up and a huge surprise: another Baldwinito is coming this fall,” she wrote, adding a yellow heart emoji. “We were pretty sure our family was complete, and we’re beyond happy with this surprise.”

Alec is also the father of a 25-year-old daughter, Ireland Baldwin, with his first wife, Kim Basinger.

On Oct. 21 last year, Alec Baldwin was involved in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the Western film “Rust.” Her family is suing him and the movie’s other producers, alleging their “callous” disregard in the face of safety complaints on the set led directly to her death.

At least four other lawsuits have been filed over the shooting. Baldwin, who was to star in the film, was pointing a gun at Hutchins inside a small church during setup for the filming of a scene when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding the director, Joel Souza.

Hilaria Baldwin’s post did not mention the tragedy.

She called her pregnancy, “A blessing and a gift during such uncertain times.”



Kevin Costner Jokes about Blocking Cannes Yachts to Finance ‘Horizon’ Films

US director Kevin Costner attends the press conference for "Horizon: An American Saga" during the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 20 May 2024. (Getty Images)
US director Kevin Costner attends the press conference for "Horizon: An American Saga" during the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 20 May 2024. (Getty Images)
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Kevin Costner Jokes about Blocking Cannes Yachts to Finance ‘Horizon’ Films

US director Kevin Costner attends the press conference for "Horizon: An American Saga" during the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 20 May 2024. (Getty Images)
US director Kevin Costner attends the press conference for "Horizon: An American Saga" during the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 20 May 2024. (Getty Images)

Kevin Costner joked at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday that he was ready to blockade rich people on their yachts unless they gave him money to finance his planned four-part Western series "Horizon: An American Saga."

The Hollywood star has already taken out a mortgage on 10 acres of his waterfront property in California to help fund the film project, which tells of the challenges faced by settlers expanding the American West in the late 1800s. Now, he needs more financial backing for the project.

"If we all went out together into this harbor and we stood in front of one boat. And didn't let those rich people off, and we can tell them, 'Look, you can dress up, you can walk on the red carpet,' you know..." Costner told a packed news conference.

"I have knocked on every boat in Cannes to help me. They say 'Ooh, come have a picture', I say 'No, come get your chequebook out. I want to see. Let's talk money," he added.

The first two parts are complete, with the 181-minute initial chapter premiering out of competition at the festival on Sunday. It will be released in North America and select European locations on June 28, followed by part two on Aug. 16.

Filming on the third chapter began before Costner set out for Cannes.

"This has been so hard. And it's not over yet," he told Reuters in an interview at the festival.

MIXED REVIEWS

Costner will star in, direct, produce and co-write the film series, which covers a 15-year period before and after the 1861-1865 Civil War when white settlers expanded westward in the United States, taking land from American Indians.

Costner's previous credits in Westerns include his Oscar-winning "Dances With Wolves" in 1990 and more recently as the star of the successful five-season TV series "Yellowstone."

"I can't fill every box every time I try to make a movie, but I'm absolutely conscious of what's at stake, and trying to represent people," Costner said at the news conference.

"Horizon," with Sienna Miller, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee and Dale Dickey among the cast, is also heavily oriented towards women, added Costner.

Reviews trended towards the negative, with Britain's The Guardian newspaper calling it "a big vain slog up familiar old west alleys," while another British newspaper, The Telegraph, said it would please those who pine for old-fashioned Westerns.

"Costner may have just invented granddad cinema," read The Telegraph headline.


The Unstoppable Duo of Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos

Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. - The AP
Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. - The AP
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The Unstoppable Duo of Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos

Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. - The AP
Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. - The AP

Before a journalist has even lobbed a question, Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos spit out a string of overlapping answers.

“We have a great relationship,” begins Lanthimos. ‘“We just love working together,” adds Stone. “It was cool to do a modern-day piece.” “Going back to some of the early stuff,” says Lanthimos. “A throwback,” says Stone. “Our relationship has evolved over time,” Lanthimos adds.

“Totally,” says Stone.

Stone and Lanthimos have by now honed their patter. They're just barely removed from the Oscar campaign for “Poor Things,” which culminated in four Academy Awards, including best actress for Stone. Just two months later, they’re back together at the Cannes Film Festival with “Kinds of Kindness,” their third feature together and fourth film, counting the 2022 short “Bleat.”

“We do have a bit of a double act going on,” shrugs Stone, The AP reported.

Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. Minutes before they sat down for an interview in Cannes, a press release went out with the news that Lanthimos and Stone will soon begin shooting another movie together, titled “Bugonia.”

Opposite as they may seem — one a 35-year-old star from Arizona, the other a 50-year-old arthouse filmmaker from Athens — they’ve rapidly formed one of the movies’ strongest director-actor partnerships, a collaboration based on a shared sense of absurdity and a willingness to go, full-tilt, to some very strange places.

For Stone, the connection she feels with Lanthimos isn’t so different than the one she does with Nathan Fielder, the darkly deadpan comedian of “The Curse.”

“I don’t say this lightly even though I know it’s easy to use this word flippantly: They’re both geniuses," says Stone. “They are. I think it’s just an innate thing. It can’t really be taught or described. It’s just a way of seeing society and people. You’re actually both drawn to themes of: Why is this social structure like this? Why do we have these rules? How are we supposed to function within them?”

You can grasp a similar attitude in Lanthimos and Stone’s opening volley of answers to unasked questions, disarming the regular rhythms of an interview. Or in how Stone, every bit the movie star, constantly undercuts herself with self-deprecating sarcasm.

But you can most see it in their movies together. The aggressive period farce of “The Favourite." Bella Baxter’s childlike experience of social mores in “Poor Things.” In “Kinds of Kindness,” a triptych of extreme tales of controlling relationships, Lanthimos, working again with screenwriter Efthimis Filippou, continues his idiosyncratic examinations of social conformity.

“I got inspired by reading ‘Caligula’ by Camus,” Lanthimos says. “I just started thinking about one man’s control over other people’s lives. Then I thought it would be interesting to explore on a more personal level how that would feel, having someone be in total control over your life, even in the most minute detail.”

“Kinds of Kindness,” which Searchlight Pictures will release June 21 in theaters, was an opportunity for Stone (aside from “Bleat”) to work with Lanthimos in the style of his earlier films (“The Lobster," “The Killing of a Sacred Deer" ) with Filippou.

“It was the chance to finally be in that version of Yorgos’ mind,” Stone says. “Before I met him, obviously, those were the only ones I had seen.”

The two had discussed making “Kinds of Kindness” before “Poor Things,” but shot it in the aftermath of their Oscar-winner during its lengthy post-production process due to the film’s large amount of special effects.

“Do you remember we made this as fast as we could because we were like, ‘I don’t know what the hell is going to happen on “Poor Things?’” Stone reminds Lanthimos.

“Everyday after work, we’d talk about it. How was it? Did you watch the rushes? What do you think?” continues Stone. “And he’s like: ‘This is a disaster.’ Every single day. And I'd go, ‘OK, that’s what I thought.’”

Alternatively, “Kinds of Kindness,” Stone says “was free and happy and everyone’s going to love this.”

That might be surprising for anyone's who's seen the three-hour “Kinds of Kindness,” which uses largely the same company of actors across all three stories. (Among them: Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley.) The three parts take stories of work-life balance, spousal suspicion and sexual abuse to severe, surreal lengths.

For Stone, “Kinds of Kindness” extends a run of daringly unconventional projects, including “The Curse” and Jane Schoenbrun's “I Saw the TV Glow,” which she produced, at a time when Stone could, by herself, help greenlight nearly anything.

“The common denominator of the things I’ve been a part of are that they’re things I want to watch,” Stone says. “That’s the only gauge that I have. If it’s not something that I would be like, ‘I gotta go see this the day it comes out,’ then it’s probably not a good fit for me.”

But she and Lanthimos may be shifting the bar for what constitutes “mainstream.” The brutal extremes of “Kinds of Kindness” have led to some, in comparing it to “Poor Things,” referencing their last one — an unabashedly profane coming-of-age tale about a dead woman reanimated with a child’s brain — like it was some kind of all-audiences crowd pleaser.

“It’s so funny to hear people talk about ‘Poor Things’ like the conventional film that we made,” says Lanthimos, smiling. “I get a little bit irritated but then I go, no wait, it’s great that people consider ‘Poor Things,’ like, a normal thing. We couldn’t get it made for 12 years.”

Yet at this point, Stone and Lanthimos’ collaboration is so continuous that the projects can bleed into each other. Take Stone’s already viral dance in “Kinds of Kindness,” a moment splashed through the film’s trailers. That was initially just something Stone was doing in between scenes on “Poor Things.”

“She would put on a song and dance like crazy,” says Lanthimos. “I was like, ‘I want you to do this in ‘Kinds of Kindness.’”


Trump Biopic Hits Cannes Film Festival

Kevin Costner and Sienna Miller premiered their Western "Horizon: An American Saga" at the festival. Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP
Kevin Costner and Sienna Miller premiered their Western "Horizon: An American Saga" at the festival. Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP
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Trump Biopic Hits Cannes Film Festival

Kevin Costner and Sienna Miller premiered their Western "Horizon: An American Saga" at the festival. Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP
Kevin Costner and Sienna Miller premiered their Western "Horizon: An American Saga" at the festival. Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP

A Donald Trump biopic and the latest dark creation by David Cronenberg premiere in Cannes on Monday as the world-famous film festival reaches its midway point.
"Emilia Perez", a musical about a narco boss having a sex change, is the audacious frontrunner so far, after 11 of the 22 entries for the top prize Palme d'Or have been seen, said AFP.
The festival -- considered the film industry's foremost get-together -- concludes with its award ceremony on Saturday, with "Barbie" director Greta Gerwig heading the jury.
But two more buzzy entries arrive on Monday.
"The Apprentice" is a biopic of Trump's formative years from Iranian-born director Ali Abbasi -- bound to stir up controversy in an election year for the United States.
It stars Sebastian Stan, best-known for playing the Winter Soldier in Marvel films, though he also won best actor at this year's Berlin Film Festival and widespread acclaim for his part as rocker Tommy Lee in series "Pam and Tommy".
Later, Cronenberg -- director of many body-horror classics like "The Fly", "Crash" and "Videodrome" -- returns to the Cote d'Azur festival with "The Shrouds".
Billed as his most personal film yet, it tells the story of a widowed businessman (Vincent Cassell) who invents a machine to monitor the dead in their graves.
It was partly inspired by the death in 2017 of Cronenberg's wife of 43 years.
"I don't really think of art as therapy," the Canadian director told Variety. "Grief is forever, as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't go away. You can have some distance from it, but I didn't experience any catharsis making the movie."
Among entries to score well with critics during the first week was "Bird", a gritty but sweet and fantastical tale about a young girl in working-class England from director Andrea Arnold.
"Kinds of Kindness", the latest bizarro team-up between Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos, featured some ultra-dark comedy moments, including a thumb-and-cauliflower dinner.
"Megalopolis", the decades-in-the-making epic from Francis Ford Coppola, has perhaps been the most divisive entry, with some reviewers finding it a profound end-of-life work of philosophy, and others a barely comprehensible mess.
But the one to beat so far is "Emilia Perez", which has won a lot of acclaim for stars Zoe Saldana, Selena Gomez and trans actor Karla Sofia Gascon in the title role, as well as its risk-taking French director, Jacques Audiard, who already has a Palme d'Or under his belt.
Sagas
The festival has also seen glitzy out-of-competition launches for two Hollywood blockbusters that fancy themselves as "sagas".
The action-packed "Furiosa: a Mad Max Saga" received largely strong reviews, while Kevin Costner returned to his favorite Western genre with the three-hour "Horizon: An American Saga", just the first of four mooted chapters.
Like Coppola, Costner put millions of his own fortune into the decades-long passion project.
"At a certain moment I just said OK, I'm going to do this myself. And so I mortgaged property, I raised the money," he told AFP at the festival.
The early reviews were decidedly mixed, with The Hollywood Reporter deriding it as a "clumsy slog".
But Costner says he is unconcerned about losing his money.
"If they take it away from me, I still have my movie. I still have my integrity. I still listened to my heart," he said.


Report: Film Director Mohammad Rasoulof Fled Iran on Foot

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof poses on May 19, 2017 during a photocall for the film “Lerd” (A Man of Integrity) at the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (AFP)
Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof poses on May 19, 2017 during a photocall for the film “Lerd” (A Man of Integrity) at the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (AFP)
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Report: Film Director Mohammad Rasoulof Fled Iran on Foot

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof poses on May 19, 2017 during a photocall for the film “Lerd” (A Man of Integrity) at the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (AFP)
Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof poses on May 19, 2017 during a photocall for the film “Lerd” (A Man of Integrity) at the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (AFP)

Film director Mohammad Rasoulof made an "exhausting and extremely dangerous" walk across a mountainous borderland in order to avoid being jailed in Iran on national security charges, he told the Guardian newspaper.

Rasoulof said Monday he had fled Iran after a court sentenced him to eight years in jail, of which five were due to be served, over his new film "The Seed of the Sacred Fig".

The leading Iranian film-maker, often a target of the country's authorities, told the Guardian in an interview published Friday that he had found shelter in Germany and was hopeful he could attend the film's Cannes premiere next week.

The film tells the story of a judge's struggles amid political unrest in Tehran.

Rasoulof told the UK newspaper that he had "no choice" but to leave, although he expects to return home "quite soon".

"My mission is to be able to convey the narratives of what is going on in Iran and the situation in which we are stuck as Iranians," said Rasoulof.

"This is something that I cannot do in prison.

"I have in mind the idea that I'll be back quite soon, but I think that's the case of all the Iranians who have left the country," he added.

Rasoulof has already served two terms in Iranian jails over previous films and had his passport withdrawn in 2017.

Having decided to leave, Rasoulof told the newspaper he cut all communications via mobile phones and computers and made his way by foot on a secret route to a border crossing.

"It was a several-hour long, exhausting and extremely dangerous walk that I had to do with a guide," he said.

After staying in a safe house, he contacted German authorities who provided him with papers that enabled him to travel to Europe.


‘Triangle of Sadness’ Director Launches Stuck-on-a-Plane Dark Comedy at Cannes

 Director Ruben Ostlund and cast members Kirsten Dunst and Daniel Bruhl pose during a photocall for the film "The Entertainment System Is Down" at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 18, 2024. (Reuters)
Director Ruben Ostlund and cast members Kirsten Dunst and Daniel Bruhl pose during a photocall for the film "The Entertainment System Is Down" at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 18, 2024. (Reuters)
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‘Triangle of Sadness’ Director Launches Stuck-on-a-Plane Dark Comedy at Cannes

 Director Ruben Ostlund and cast members Kirsten Dunst and Daniel Bruhl pose during a photocall for the film "The Entertainment System Is Down" at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 18, 2024. (Reuters)
Director Ruben Ostlund and cast members Kirsten Dunst and Daniel Bruhl pose during a photocall for the film "The Entertainment System Is Down" at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 18, 2024. (Reuters)

Ruben Ostlund, two-time winner of the Cannes Film Festival's top prize and last year's jury president, returned to the festival in southern France to launch his next project on Saturday, a dark comedy about being stuck on a plane with no distractions.

"The Entertainment System Is Down" will star Kirsten Dunst and Daniel Bruehl as a couple whose relationship is put to the test on the 20-hour-plus plane ride from London to Sydney.

"When the iPhones and iPads are shutting out, they are doomed to deal with their own boredom," said Ostlund.

"And I'm going to look on this aspect, like taking away entertainment on a societal level, what happens then?"

Examining what happens when the rails come off of polite society has been a particular fixation of Ostlund's films, which include "Triangle of Sadness," "Force Majeure" and "The Square."

"I always want to work with people that, you know, push the boundaries of cinema," Dunst said at the launch. "That's always my dream to be a part of working with those type of filmmakers."

For filming, which is due to begin soon, the team has bought a Boeing 747, where 99% of the film will be set, said Ostlund.

"We have an airplane, a whole airplane, to not only build a section, but that you can walk from the cockpit all the way to the back so you can do longer tracking shots and really create a feeling of being in the space," said the Swedish director.


Richard Gere Drew on Father's Death for Role in Cannes Entry 'Oh, Canada'

Cast member Richard Gere interacts with fans following the screening of the film "Oh Canada" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 17, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
Cast member Richard Gere interacts with fans following the screening of the film "Oh Canada" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 17, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
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Richard Gere Drew on Father's Death for Role in Cannes Entry 'Oh, Canada'

Cast member Richard Gere interacts with fans following the screening of the film "Oh Canada" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 17, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier
Cast member Richard Gere interacts with fans following the screening of the film "Oh Canada" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 17, 2024. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Richard Gere, once a Hollywood leading man, said he drew on his feelings following his father's death to bring emotional depth to his role in "Oh, Canada," for which he returned, after decades, to the Cannes Film Festival red carpet on Friday.
"It so resonated with my own emotional voyage with my dad, who was almost 101 when he passed away," Gere told Reuters.
"Paul (Schrader, the director,) wrote such a terrific script, moving script, filled with wonderful character stuff that it was very easy for me to say 'yes,'" he added.
Gere, 74, is almost unrecognizable as Leonard Fife, a man at the end of his life, intent on sharing the secrets of his youth with his wife of 30 years, played by Uma Thurman, on camera, using a technique he perfected as a celebrated documentary maker.
The film, which is competing for the film festival's top Palme d'Or prize, is told through flashbacks, with Jacob Elordi of "Euphoria" fame playing the younger version of Leonard.
Critics were lukewarm after the film's premiere, with The Guardian calling it "muddled, anticlimactic and often diffidently performed," while giving it two out of five stars.
"Oh, Canada" brings Gere back together with Schrader some four decades after the 1980 crime drama "American Gigolo."
"We're like old dogs now, you know? It's like, I was going to say old hookers, but I can't say that," Gere said.
"But there's a shorthand there. I mean, we didn't talk much during this, we just kind of figured out," he added.
The film is based on the novel "Foregone" by Russell Banks, a friend of Schrader's after he adapted "Affliction," with Nick Nolte, into the 1997 Oscar-nominated film of the same title.
The reason Schrader did "Oh, Canada"?
"Russell got sick. That simple," said Schrader, who recalled how hard-hit he was after Banks asked him not to visit because he was feeling bad due to cancer. Banks died last year.
"I knew he had written a book about dying when he was healthy, so I better read that book," said Schrader, 77. "And I read that book and I thought 'yep, that's what I should do'."
The director said he also had to confront his own mortality after a few hospital visits for long COVID and a broken bone.
"I was thinking, you know, maybe, maybe this is it," he said. "At that point, you start thinking about, well, if I've got one more film left, what should it be about?" he said.
"And, fortunately, my health has improved," Schrader said, adding that he still might have a few films in him yet.


Paul Schrader Felt Death Closing In, So He Made a Movie about It

 Director Paul Schrader poses for portrait photographs for the film "Oh, Canada", at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 17, 2024. (AP)
Director Paul Schrader poses for portrait photographs for the film "Oh, Canada", at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 17, 2024. (AP)
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Paul Schrader Felt Death Closing In, So He Made a Movie about It

 Director Paul Schrader poses for portrait photographs for the film "Oh, Canada", at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 17, 2024. (AP)
Director Paul Schrader poses for portrait photographs for the film "Oh, Canada", at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 17, 2024. (AP)

After a string of hospitalizations for long COVID, Paul Schrader had a realization.

“If I’m going to make a film about death,” Schrader told himself, “I’d better hurry up.”

The health of the 77-year-old filmmaker, whose films and scripts have covered half a century of American movies, from “Taxi Driver” to “First Reformed,” has since improved. But that sense of urgency only increased when Russell Banks, a friend of Schrader’s since he adapted Banks’ “Affliction” into the 1997 film, began ailing. Banks died in 2023.

Schrader resolved to turn Banks’ 2021 novel “Foregone” into a film. At the time, he imagined it would be his last. But Schrader, who’s been as prolific as ever in the past decade, has said that before.

In 2017, he surmised that “First Reformed” was his final cinematic statement. Then he made 2021’s “The Card Counter.” And, after that came 2022’s “Master Gardener.”

“The irony is every time you think, ‘Well, that’s about it,’ you have a new idea,” Schrader told The Associated Press in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival.

On Friday, Schrader was to premiere his Banks’ adaptation, now titled “Oh, Canada,” at Cannes. It’s his first time back in competition in 36 years. And, particularly given that he’s joined this year by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas — all of them central figures of the fabled New Hollywood — Schrader’s Cannes return comes with echoes of the heyday of ’70s American moviemaking. “Taxi Driver,” which Schrader wrote, won the Palme d’Or here in 1976.

Schrader, though, allows for only so much nostalgia.

“It’s gotten aggrandized in the collective memory. There were a lot of bad films. There were a lot of bad players,” Schrader says of the ’70s. “However, it was the birth of the self-starting movement in cinema. So people like George and Francis and I, all film-school graduates like Marty, we all started our careers in this environment. That was a kind of a golden moment, but that doesn’t mean all the films were golden.”

“Oh, Canada,” which is seeking a distributor, is a kind of bookend to one of the films from that era: the 1980 neo-noir “American Gigolo.” Schrader reteams with Richard Gere decades after “American Gigolo” made Gere a star. Until now, Schrader says, the two hadn’t much discussed reuniting.

“Richard had been developing some mannerisms that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with as a director, and roles I wasn’t comfortable with,” Schrader says. “I was thinking more in terms of Ethan (Hawke) and Oscar (Isaac).”

But the idea of “Oh, Canada” as a kind of spiritual sequel to “American Gigolo” appealed to him. In the film, Gere stars as a revered Canadian filmmaker named Leonard Fife who, nearly on his deathbed, grouchily sits for an interview with documentary filmmakers. His wife (Uma Thurman) watches on as Leonard tells his life story, seen in flashbacks with Jacob Elordi playing the younger Fife, in the 1960s. We have the impression that Fife, who fled to Canada during the Vietnam War, is speaking more honestly than ever before.

“I thought the dying Gigolo — that put some spin on it. People are going to be interested in that, even though it’s not the same character at all,” Schrader says. “I could see that he had come out of retirement. He needs this, therefore he’ll do it for nothing.”

Schrader approached Gere with a few stipulations.

“I said, ‘I’ll send it to you on three conditions: One, that you read it right away. Two, that I get an answer in two weeks. And, three, that you understand my financial parameters,’” Schrader says. “He agreed. I said the same thing to (Robert) De Niro. Bob said, ‘Well, I agree to the first two but not the third one.’”

“So I didn’t send the script to Bob,” Schrader says, laughing.

Since the 2013 film “The Canyons,” which he directed from a Bret Easton Ellis script, Schrader has found a way to make the economics of independent filmmaking work for him.

“People thought that was all a kind of desperate career failure, but it was a glimpse into a new world. It was a trial run of how you do a film yourself,” says Schrader. “After that, I knew that you could make a film and get final cut. You could say to an investor: ‘I’m not going to make you rich — get that dog out of your head. But I think I’m going to make you whole. And I’m going to give you a credit and I’m going to put you on a red carpet somewhere. You could put your money into toasters or tires, or you could put it into this film.’”

The significant caveat to that, Schrader says, is that he came up in the old system of Hollywood. He’s not sure the same strategy could work for someone less established in today’s digital landscape.

“I got my head above the crowd when there was only 400 people in the room,” he says. “Now there’s 40,000 people in the room.”

But few filmmakers remain as engaged with current cinema as Schrader. He goes at least once a week to the movies and often posts brief reviews on his Facebook page. Jane Schoenbrun of “I Saw the TV Glow,” he recently wrote, is “hands down the most original voice in film in the last decade.” He liked the tennis drama “Challengers” (“Zendaya is a star”) but wrote: “The studios would have never let this slight a story run so long — on the other hand, the studios aren’t making this movie anymore.”

“You usually go to the movies because it’s something you want to see in a crowd,” Schrader says. “Like, I went to see ‘Cocaine Bear’ because I knew it would be great to see with an audience.”

“It’s not a particularly good time for film,” Schrader concludes as the interview winds down. “It’s not a bad time. It’s very easy to get a film made. It’s very hard to make a living.”


Actor Dabney Coleman, Villainous Boss in ‘9 to 5,’ Dies at 92

Dabney Coleman appears on the set of "Courting Alex" at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, Calif., on Jan. 25, 2006. (AP)
Dabney Coleman appears on the set of "Courting Alex" at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, Calif., on Jan. 25, 2006. (AP)
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Actor Dabney Coleman, Villainous Boss in ‘9 to 5,’ Dies at 92

Dabney Coleman appears on the set of "Courting Alex" at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, Calif., on Jan. 25, 2006. (AP)
Dabney Coleman appears on the set of "Courting Alex" at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, Calif., on Jan. 25, 2006. (AP)

Dabney Coleman, a character actor who brought a glorious touch of smarm to the screen in playing comedic villains, mean-spirited bosses and outright jerks in films such as "9 to 5" and "Tootsie," has died at age 92.

Coleman "took his last earthly breath peacefully and exquisitely" in his Santa Monica, California home on Thursday, his daughter Quincy Coleman said in a statement on Friday on behalf of the family.

While best remembered for his arrogant, unctuous and uncaring characters, Coleman said it was all an act.

"It's me kidding around," Coleman once told the New York Times.

"That's just a guy that I'm playing, just to fool around, you know," he said.

Not all of Coleman's characters were cads. He won an Emmy playing a lawyer in the 1987 television movie "Sworn to Silence" and played Jane Fonda's decent dentist boyfriend in the 1981 film "On Golden Pond" and a federal security official in 1983's "War Games."

His final screen credit was playing John Dutton Sr. in the TV series "Yellowstone" in 2019.

Coleman was born on Jan. 3, 1932, in Austin, Texas. He studied law and served in the US Army before trying acting.

His early work in the 1960s and 1970s included one-off roles in a variety of television shows, as well as a semi-regular part as Marlo Thomas' neighbor in "That Girl."

His first movie job was 1965's "The Slender Thread," directed by his acting teacher and friend, Sydney Pollack, who would later hire him for "Tootsie."

Coleman's breakout role - and the one he said was his favorite - came in 1976 on producer Norman Lear's TV series "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." He played Merle Jeeter, the creepy mayor who has an affair with the title character, in that soap-opera spoof and in spinoffs "Fernwood Tonight" and "Forever Fernwood."

His first big movie role - and the one that established his acting persona - was in 1980 as Franklin Hart, the sexist, egotistical business executive who harasses underlings played by Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin until they take him hostage and boost corporate productivity in "9 to 5."

Coleman was no more likeable two years later in "Tootsie" as a soap opera director who runs afoul of Dustin Hoffman's dressed-in-drag title character.

In 1983, he took the comic villain role even further in his first starring television role. In the short-lived sitcom "Buffalo Bill," he played a radio talk show host whose idea of a tender marriage proposal was: "You're better than 90 percent of those bimbos out there."

"It is fun to play those characters because they are so well-defined," Coleman told People magazine in 1983.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he also starred in the sitcoms "The Slap Maxwell Story" as a sportswriter, "Drexell's Class" as a corporate raider turned teacher and "Madman of the People" as a magazine columnist working for his daughter. None of the shows lasted more than two seasons.

More recent roles included HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" in 2010-11 as the man who once controlled Atlantic City, New Jersey. His part had to be rewritten when Coleman was diagnosed with throat cancer, which left him unable to speak at times.

A devoted tennis player, Coleman was twice married and divorced. He had four children with his second wife, actress Jean Hale.

"My father crafted his time here on earth with a curious mind, a generous heart, and a soul on fire with passion, desire and humor that tickled the funny bone of humanity," the statement from his daughter said.


What to Stream This Weekend: ‘Bridgerton,’ Billie Eilish and Zayn Malik Albums, ‘American Fiction’

Photo released by Lionsgate - The AP
Photo released by Lionsgate - The AP
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What to Stream This Weekend: ‘Bridgerton,’ Billie Eilish and Zayn Malik Albums, ‘American Fiction’

Photo released by Lionsgate - The AP
Photo released by Lionsgate - The AP

Billie Eilish’s third studio album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft” and the return of “Bridgerton” are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you.

Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists: Zayn Malik releases a new album, the video game Homeworld returns after more than 20 years and Cord Jefferson’s Oscar-winning “American Fiction” lands on Prime Video .

NEW SHOWS TO STREAM — Seasons one and two of “Bridgerton” followed the first two novels in the series by Julia Quinn. Taking place in Regency-era London, each book is about the love story of one Bridgerton family member. Season three, however, skips to book No. 4 with the friends to lovers’ courtship of Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan.) Netflix has broken the season into two parts with the first batch of new episodes premiering Thursday.

— Sophie Rundle of “Peaky Blinders” stars in “After the Flood,” as a police officer in a UK town that is devastated by a flood. The six-episode series is both a thriller and a red flag about the consequences of climate change. The series premiered Monday on BritBox.

— Josh Brolin leads “Outer Range” on Prime Video, a Western about neighboring ranchers battling for land that quickly turns trippy with time-travel. Lili Taylor, Tom Pelphrey, Imogen Poots and Shaun Sipos also star. All seven episodes of season two dropped on Thursday.

— André Holland (“Moonlight”) plays Black Panther founder Huey P. Newton in the new series “The Big Cigar” for Apple TV+. It dives into the true story of how in 1974, Holland was being pursued by the FBI for murder and assault charges. He got help from a movie producer named Bert Schneider to escape to Cuba. The six-episode series debuts Friday.

— The popular food competition series “Ciao House” returns for its second season on Sunday, May 19 on Food Network. On the show, 12 chefs live together in a villa in Puglia, Italy, and compete in various culinary challenges. The contestants form alliances and rivalries. In the end, the winner gets to train under master Italian chefs. “Iron Chef” champion Alex Guarnaschelli and Gabe Bertaccini return as hosts.

— Alicia Rancilio

NEW MOVIES TO STREAM – Cord Jefferson’s Oscar-winning “American Fiction,” one of the most celebrated directorial debuts in recent years, is now on Prime Video . Jeffrey Wright stars at Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, a frustrated novelist who, in a drunken fit of rage, pens a satirical book parodying what’s popular, only it becomes a sensation. Sterling K. Brown, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Issa Rae and Leslie Uggams round out a terrific ensemble. In her review, AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr wrote that “American Fiction” “is immensely watchable, staged without flash or pretention, that relies on its sharp script and talented and charismatic actors to carry the audience through.”

– A trio of new films coming to Netflix covers a wide gamut. The animated “Thelma the Unicorn” (streaming Friday) is about a small pony painted to pose as a unicorn, voiced by the Grammy-winning singer-guitarist Brittany Howard. Yance Ford’s “Power” (streaming Friday) examines the roots of American policing and its evolution over time. And “Madame Web,” the much-maligned Marvel entry in Sony’s Spider-Man universe of films, landed Tuesday on Netflix. Dakota Johnson stars in what Bahr wrote in her review “feels like the stitched-together product of a bunch of people who weren’t actually collaborating.”

– The odds are more in the favor of “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” which began streaming on Starz after a successful theatrical run last November. It’s a prequel to the Hunger Games, themselves. The games are in their 10th year and ratings are flagging, but a few twists and turns will catapult them to Panem’s center stage. The origin story is also for the man who will become President Coriolanus Snow, played by Donald Sutherland in the first four films. Here, the young, ambitious Snow is played by Tom Blythe, whose performance lifts the movie. In my review, I wrote: “Just as in the ‘Hunger Games’ films led by Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen, the new one proves how much you can sacrifice in story when you’ve got a thrilling young performer commanding the screen.”

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

NEW MUSIC TO STREAM — What can listeners expect from Billie Eilish ’s third studio album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft”? It’s a mystery, and the pop star is keeping it that way for a reason. Last month, Eilish announced the album by sharing the artwork on Instagram. It depicts Eilish floating in a body of water after being ejected from a door. In the caption, she wrote that she will not drop singles in advance of the release. “I wanna give it to you all at once,” she captioned the image. “I truly could not be more proud of this album.” Here's what we do know: Eilish once again worked with her brother and longtime collaborator Finneas on “Hit Me Hard and Soft.” ( Read AP's review here.)

— Once known as a heartthrob with the best pipes in the British boy band One Direction, Zayn Malik was the first to courageously individuate and leave the group that kickstarted his career and launch an R&B pop career. That was a lifetime ago — now, on Friday, he will release his fourth solo studio album, “Room Under the Stairs,” dreamt up and written at his home in rural Pennsylvania. This time around he worked with the legendary country producer Dave Cobb (known for his work with Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, and Brandi Carlile, among others) for Malik's folkiest release to date. It’s part-R&B, part-soul, part-acoustic Americana — a new, matured Malik for a new era.

— For several years, SQÜRL, the musical moniker of duo filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan, have performed sonic compositions to partner the cinematic works of Dadaist Man Ray. On Friday, all of that work reaches its natural apex when they will release a new album, “Music for Man Ray,” on the 100th anniversary of Man Ray’s filmic pursuits. (For the film fans reading this, you may have sense this was coming when the recently restored Man Ray film “Return to Reason” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. ) Surrealist music for the senses.

— Alternative rock fans, there’s a new docu-reality series for you. “ Billy Corgan’s Adventures in Carnyland” is an eight-part unscripted series from The CW that follows the Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman as he navigates fatherhood, being in a band, and his other idiosyncratic pursuits as a wrestling promoter and owner of the National Wrestling Alliance. Stream it on the CW App and cwtv.com.

— AP Music Writer Maria Sherman

NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY — Twenty-one years isn’t that much time on a cosmic scale, but for fans of the science fiction epic Homeworld — who have waited since 2003 since the last full-blown installment — it has been an eternity. As Gearbox Publishing’s Homeworld 3 begins, the galaxy has enjoyed an age of prosperity thanks to the discovery of a network of hyperspace gates. The good times may be running out, though, as some of the gates are mysteriously collapsing. Developer Blackbird Interactive, which includes some veterans of the original game, promises plenty of the 3D outer space combat that made it a hit, whether you want to fly solo or engage in free-for-alls against your friends. Liftoff on the PC.

— If you prefer your mysteries a little more earthbound, Annapurna Interactive’s Lorelei and the Laser Eyes has you covered. You have been invited to explore an old hotel somewhere in Europe, where you’ll soon find yourself “embroiled in a game of illusions.” The aesthetic is classic film noir, with eerie black-and-white settings accented with splashes of red. Swedish studio Simogo, known for mind-benders like Year Walk and Device 6, promises “an immense amount of handcrafted puzzles,” so if you’ve been craving a really big escape room, check in on Nintendo Switch and PC.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Costner, Gere, Demi Moore: Hollywood Icons on Cannes Comeback Trail 

Demi Moore. (Getty Images North America/AFP) 
Demi Moore. (Getty Images North America/AFP) 
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Costner, Gere, Demi Moore: Hollywood Icons on Cannes Comeback Trail 

Demi Moore. (Getty Images North America/AFP) 
Demi Moore. (Getty Images North America/AFP) 

This year's Cannes Film Festival hosts a trio of heartthrobs from the back end of the 20th century, making their comeback on the red carpet: Demi Moore, Kevin Costner and Richard Gere.

From "Ghost" to "Pretty Woman" to "Dances with Wolves", they are responsible for some of Generation X's favorite movie moments.

AFP looks at what they've been up to since.

- Demi Moore: ghost girl -

On the Croisette, 61-year-old Moore will be making her unexpected return in slasher-horror "The Substance", competing for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

It has been a long time since Moore came anywhere near a Cannes red carpet, having appeared mostly in small TV roles and forgettable films since the early 2000s.

In her heyday, Moore was a global star after the weepie "Ghost" co-starring the late Patrick Swayze as a murdered businessman who watches over his grieving ceramicist girlfriend from beyond the grave.

Her baggy, androgynous look in that movie -- the dungarees and boyish crop -- helped define 1990s style, and she had other era-defining hits with steamy dramas "Indecent Proposal" and "Disclosure".

An Annie Leibovitz photoshoot -- showing off her pregnant belly on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991 -- was a stunning move at the time, since copied by Beyonce, Rihanna and others.

She proved her acting chops in meatier 1990s movies such as blockbuster courtroom drama "A Few Good Men" opposite Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.

But since the turn of the century, Moore, who has a life-long passion for collecting dolls and bought an entire house to store her 2,000-strong collection, was in the headlines more for her tumultuous love life than her acting.

She formed two Hollywood power couples, first in the 1980s with "Die Hard" star Bruce Willis, father of her three daughters, and then with Ashton Kutcher, the latter union ending acrimoniously in 2013.

- Kevin Costner: forever West -

The soft-spoken 69-year-old is back in Cannes in his favorite genre, the Western, with the epic "Horizon: An American Saga".

Fans are hoping his fourth feature as director -- which is out of competition at Cannes -- will mark a return to form after a series of expensive duds in the 1990s trashed his Oscar-gilded career.

His directorial debut "Dances With Wolves", despite being a three-hour Western, was a global hit and in 1991 won the double Oscar whammy of best picture and director.

As an actor he captured hearts in smash hits "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991) and as Whitney Houston's protector in "The Bodyguard" (1992).

Teaming up with big-gun directors also proved a winning formula, from Oliver Stone's "JFK" (1991) to Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World" (1993).

But then a string of ultra-expensive and hubristic flops -- especially "Waterworld" (1995) and "The Postman" (1997) made him into something of a laughing stock.

He continued to work in smaller roles, but invested more in music with his nostalgic country band "Kevin Costner & Modern West".

There has been a late resurgence in his 60s, however, thanks to the long-running hit neo-Western series, "Yellowstone".

- Richard Gere: zen charm -

Gere was the world's sexiest man according to People Magazine in 1999, when he was 50.

By then he had charmed audiences with his quiet seduction in "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982) and, of course, "Pretty Woman" opposite Julia Roberts.

He and supermodel Cindy Crawford were also the ultimate It-couple.

But progressively he gave up glamour for meditation.

Gere had been a Buddhist since he was 25, and increasingly used his fame to speak out, in particular against China's control of Tibet.

He developed a close friendship with the Dalai Lama and gave a fiery speech against China at the 1993 Oscars that got him barred from future ceremonies.

It also cost him movie roles in the 2000s as Hollywood sought to tap the vast Chinese market.

For his Cannes comeback, the 74-year-old has reunited with Paul Schrader -- who directed him in dark cult favorite "American Gigolo" (1980) -- for "Oh, Canada", playing a Vietnam War draft-evader haunted by his past.