Monthly Archives: January 2014

Kristin Scott Thomas: ‘I cannot cope with another film’

She’s the go-to actor for elegant despair – but after 20 years, Kristin Scott Thomas is done with movies. She talks shambolic film sets, French mistresses and the joys of saying non Continue reading…
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iPhone 3GS battery swells to absurd size [Update]

We’ve heard plenty of stories of exploding smartphone batteries, but this might be the first time we’ve seen a battery right on the brink of actually blowing up. A writer over at the Czech website Letem Svetem Applem recently noticed his iPho… Continue reading

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iPhone 3GS battery swells to absurd size [Update]

We’ve heard plenty of stories of exploding smartphone batteries, but this might be the first time we’ve seen a battery right on the brink of actually blowing up. A writer over at the Czech website Letem Svetem Applem recently noticed his iPhone 3GS… Continue reading

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Woody Harrelson, everything you need to know – infographic

Born in 1961, Woodrow Tracy Harrelson is an American actor and activist whose breakthrough role came in the TV sitcom Cheers in 1985 Continue reading… Continue reading

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Woody Harrelson: five best moments

Our pick of the star’s five greatest performances to date. What would be top of your list?

Formerly the nice-but-dim bartender in Cheers, Woody Harrelson is now firmly ensconced in the Hollywood A-list, and can now be seen starring in Out of the Furnace, in which he plays deeply unpleasant thug Harlan DeGroat.

We asked @GuardianFilm Twitter followers to nominate Harrelson’s best performances to date. Here’s our pick from the suggestions – with thanks to @redmenace80, @Mikey9Toes, @gromitski, @Naomi_101 and @DanielM1190.

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Are you an Apple tech or consultant?

Do you support others? If so, our friends over at MacTech have an event just for you. MacTech BootCamp III is the third incarnation of MacTech’s successful event series, and it’s specifically designed for techs and consultants that support cli… Continue reading

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Are you an Apple tech or consultant?

Do you support others? If so, our friends over at MacTech have an event just for you. MacTech BootCamp III is the third incarnation of MacTech’s successful event series, and it’s specifically designed for techs and consultants that support clients, … Continue reading

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Equip your virtual soldier with TUAW gear in The Collectables

The upcoming team-based shooter from Crytek and DeNA called The Collectables promises lots of guns, big explosions and plenty of mayhem. The game will be free-to-play when it launches a little later this year, but you can already begin your … Continue reading

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Equip your virtual soldier with TUAW gear in The Collectables

The upcoming team-based shooter from Crytek and DeNA called The Collectables promises lots of guns, big explosions and plenty of mayhem. The game will be free-to-play when it launches a little later this year, but you can already begin your accoun… Continue reading

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Scarlett Johansson steps down from Oxfam ambassador role

Avengers star attracts wrath of activists after appearing in ad for company with West Bank settlement factory

• Oxfam under pressure to cut ties with Scarlett Johansson over SodaStream ad

Scarlett Johansson has quit her ambassador role with Oxfam following criticism over her decision to star in an advertising campaign for SodaStream, the fizzy drinks company which owns a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

In a statement, Johansson said she was ending her relationship with the humanitarian group over “a fundamental difference of opinion”.

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Star Wars desert set – in pictures

Tunisia’s desert dunes lure amateur astronomers and Star Wars aficionados alike. A source of coveted meteorites and the location of Darth Vader’s home Tatooine, the Sahara draws many films fans Continue reading… Continue reading

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Joanna Scanlan: ‘Depression was like turning around a liner across the ocean’

She was comically brilliant in The Thick of It and Getting On and is heartbreaking in her role as Charles Dickens’s wife in The Invisible Woman. But a nervous breakdown almost stalled her career Continue reading… Continue reading

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Ewan McGregor: five best moments

Our pick of the August: Osage County star’s greatest performances to date. What would be top of your list?

Ewan McGregor has “segued smoothly from a rebel hero of new British cinema” into a “suave leading man.” So said Damon Wise when he interviewed the star ahead of the release of The Impossible in 2012. 

To mark the release of his latest film, August: Osage County, here’s our pick of McGregor’s most memorable performances. Completely disagree with our list? Outraged by our omission of Blue Juice? Tell us your favourite Ewan McGregor moments in the thread below. 

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Thora Birch: how Hollywood’s darling disappeared

Once a rising star in films such as American Beauty and Ghost World, Thora Birch says she found herself discarded by the studios when she wouldn’t conform Continue reading… Continue reading

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Meryl Streep ‘shocked’ at Emma Thompson Oscar snub

Meryl Streep sent a heartfelt email to Thompson following her surprise Oscar nomination that edged out the British actor

• Meryl Streep attacks Walt Disney on antisemitism and sexism
• Video: Emma Thompson on Saving Mr Banks

Meryl Streep has revealed how she sent her friend Emma Thompson an email expressing her shock over Thompson’s exclusion from the Best Actress nominations at the Oscars.

Appearing on the Ellen talkshow in the US, Streep, whose nomination in the category for August: Osage County was relatively unexpected, said: “I was really shocked. And I wrote her a long, heartfelt email saying how bad I felt. And she wrote me back and said, ‘Good.'”

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The dark side of Carey Mulligan

She likes dark, difficult characters. She doesn’t like questions about her faith, her pop star husband, pet pigs, politics…

• The Coen brothers talk about the film
• Free audio download from the film
• Review: Inside Llewyn Davis Continue reading…
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Suchitra Sen, Indian actor and Bengali screen legend, dies

Actor was screen idol for a quarter of a century in Bengali-language films and wider Indian cinemaSuchitra Sen, the Indian actor legendary for memorable roles in Bengali language and Bollywood films, has died after a cardiac arrest, her daughter said F… Continue reading

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Inside Llewyn Davis: follow the cat

It’s a well-known cinema screenwriter’s tool: make your hero save a cat and audiences will identify with them. But are the Coen brothers playing by the rules or inventing their own?

It’s not clear whether the Coen brothers have read the works of Blake Snyder, but anyone who has done will appreciate Inside Llewyn Davis in a rarefied way, particularly its feline symbolism. Snyder, for the uninitiated, is best known for Save the Cat!, a screenwriting guide that, depending on your point of view, either lays bare the mechanics of movie storytelling, or reduces them to an idiot-proof template. The book, published in 2005 (Snyder died in 2009), has become almost a cheat sheet for screenwriters, instructing you what to put where on a minute-by-minute basis. You start with a strong opening image, state the story’s theme by page five, break into Act 2 on page 25, and so on. The fact that Snyder’s greatest success as a screenwriter was Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot! has in no way undermined his authority.

One essential ingredient of Snyder’s formula is, predictably, the “save the cat” moment. “It’s the scene where we meet the hero and the hero does something – like saving a cat – that defines who he is and makes us, the audience, like him,” he writes. It’s also been called the “pet the dog” trope), you’ll follow a movie character anywhere, even if they go on to steal, cheat, kill, or commit any atrocity short of harming an animal (if you see a character kicking a cat, chances are they won’t make it to the end credits). Call it a trick of the trade – one of the most common reasons for a script rewrite is to “make the character more sympathetic”, and the insertion of a save-the-cat scene is a quick fix. It’s by no means a new phenomenon. In his book Making Movies, Sydney Lumet recalls screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky moaning in the 1970s how “the studio always wants a ‘pet the dog’ scene so they can tell who the hero is”. They still do.

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Why Kelly + Victor is the one film you should watch this week – video review

Andrew Pulver recommends the haunting British romantic drama Kelly + Victor. The film, from first-time feature director Kieran Evans, follows the eponymous leads as they meet, become romantically involved and find darkness lurking in the bedroom. Pulver says the film is directed with real visual flair and played with ‘unforced naturalness’ by its two rising stars

Novelist Niall Griffiths meets the characters he created on set
• Kelly + Victor is out on DVD now Continue reading…
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Breaking: Apple agrees to FTC consent decree on in-app purchases (Updated)

Re/code reported earlier this morning that Apple has signed a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This agreement is intended to resolve complaints that the company didn’t go far enough in preventing kids from making in-ap… Continue reading

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