Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Muggles beware! Pottermania is back

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Muggles take note. A new and possibly unprecedented wave of Pottermania is about to hit movie goers, newspaper readers, Internet visitors and other innocent bystanders as Warner Bros gears up for the release of the eighth and final instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2″ is released in theatres on July 15th, and brings to and end one of cinema’s most successful series. For the first time it’s in 3D and there will, there absolutely has to be, resolution of the question — Harry or Voldemort? — by the end.

For those of sturdy constitution, Warner is putting on the whole series again in select British cinemas, starting with “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” on Friday, July 8th and then running through the week until the launch of Deathly Hallows – Part 2 the folloing Friday. We can expect many more such announcements and celebrations in the coming weeks.

Of course, most of the world knows the answer to the key question posed above, as it was in the seventh and final book of the series created by J.K. Rowling. But the lack of a surprise ending is unlikely to dent the box office too badly, with experts predicting another ticket sale bonanza to bid farewell to the fictional boy wizard and his pals at Hogwarts.

Cannes – let the guessing game commence

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Phew. Eleven days gone and the end is in sight at the Cannes film festival.

No, this is not a bad a assignment to have as a journalist, and no, we aren’t complaining, but yes, the end of the busiest festival  many of us can remember is a relief.

2011 has had it all — good movies (I can’t tell you my personal choices — this is Reuters!), big stars, great parties, huge interest from the outside world and a big dose of controversy.

Does director Malick exist?

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Admittedly with tongue firmly in cheek, French reporters in Cannes for the film festival are pondering the unthinkable — does U.S. director Terrence Malick actually exist?

Most film makers are only too happy to share the limelight with their cast at the world’s biggest showcase, bathed in sunshine so far this year and the scene of an endless circus of screenings, press conferences and parties frequented by the beautiful people.

Think your family’s bad? Cannes films beg to differ

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This blog was written by Nick Vinocur in Cannes:

With jealous dads, sadistic sons and abandoned children in their key roles, many films in competition for the top prize at the Cannes film festival this year are taking on the very darkest sides of family life.

Two of the movies, Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and Israeli film “Footnote”, ask what happens when jealousy or hatred take the place of love and affection in a parent-child relationship.

Woody back on form in Cannes. Phew!

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I, along with just about every other reporter and critic in Cannes for the film festival this year, was a little nervous about Woody Allen being chosen to open the event with his romantic comedy “Midnight In Paris”. Many cinephiles feel the 75-year-old Oscar winner has failed to live up to his famously high standards in recent outings. In Britain, at least, “Match Point” was not much loved while “Cassandra’s Dream” was broadly unpopular.

But Midnight In Paris quickly won over the notoriously picky Cannes crowd at a press screening today, with laughter (in all the right places) and warm applause as the credits rolled on what he has described as his “love letter to Paris”. The surreal tale follows Hollywood scriptwriter Gil, played by Owen Wilson, who is in Paris and travels back in time each night to the 1920s, where he meets his heroes including Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald. As he grows closer to Picasso’s lover Adriana, played by Marion Cotillard, he moves ever further from his present-day fiancee, played by Rachel McAdams.

Chilean miner rescue hits big screen in Berlin

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Chile2.jpgEmblazoned on the cover of movie industry magazine Variety’s Berlin film festival daily publication today is a full-page advertisement for “Atacama’s 33″, a retelling of the incredible story of survival in Chile’s northern Atacama desert which ended in such dramatic fashion in October.

Boy, that was quick! It seems like yesterday that the 33 miners, trapped deep underground for two months, were hauled to safety in scenes watched by hundreds of millions of well-wishers around the world.

New Dads Elton John, David Furnish plan more movies

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JohnFurnishNow that they have baby Zachary to look after, Elton John and David Furnish may follow up their animated movie “Gnomeo and Juliet” with more kids’ films. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born on Christmas Day at a Los Angeles hospital to a surrogate mother.

The celebrity couple produced the feel-good, gnome-infested take on William Shakespeare’s bleak tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”, and the film hits theatres in Britain and the United States on Feb. 11. At the London premiere this weekend, the couple walked the red carpet along with some of the stars who provided voices, including Emily Blunt, Stephen Merchant and Matt Lucas.

Critics curse Cage and “Season of the Witch”

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CageNicolas Cage has a reputation for dividing the critics. Some love him, others loathe him, and many love and loathe him in the same breath. No such confusion over his latest movie, however, with “Season of the Witch“, out Friday, winning almost universal scorn among critics.

The Oscar-winning actor plays a war-weary, disillusioned 14th century crusader charged with transporting a young girl to a remote monastery on the orders of the church, which believes she is a witch responsible for a devastating plague sweeping Europe. Cage is not so sure, and promises her a fair hearing when they get to their destination. Accompanied by his comrade-in-arms, played by Ron Perlman, Cage’s character Behmen faces collapsing bridges and fierce, diabolical wolves on his way through the forest, only to come up against even greater forces of evil at the abbey.

Perez Hilton — does he deserve a second chance?

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perezhiltonCelebrity blogger Perez Hilton turned from snarky observer of celebrities into a news topic in his own right on Wednesday when he appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres” show (and spoke with Reuters) to declare he was ending his bullying of celebrities — gay and straight — after being labeled a hypocrite  by the gay community.

Hilton, 32,  said his change of heart was motivated primarily by his conflicting efforts to speak out against the rash of gay teen bullying, while enjoying a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most vicious gossips, and the man who helped “out” celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris and singer Lance Bass.

from Environment Forum:

Surprise ending to director’s oil sands visit

James Cameron did not meet expectations with his high-profile visit to Alberta's oil sands, and that's probably to the Canadian-born filmmaker's credit.

An earlier contention by the director of "Titanic" and "Avatar" that development of the massive energy resource was a black eye for Canada had industry supporters in a tizzy.

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