Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
American singer Andra Day says portraying legendary blues performer Billie Holiday has made her braver. The 36-year-old has been nominated for a best actress Oscar for her debut role in «The United States vs. Billie Holiday», which looks at the jazz singer’s part in the push for Black civil rights and the outcry caused by her singing the ballad «Strange Fruit» .
Oscar-nominated ‘Do Not Split’ now part of Hong Kong’s story of waning freedoms – director
The decision in Hong Kong not to air this year’s Oscars has only brought more global attention to its struggle for democracy, said the director of the «Do Not Split» documentary about the city’s 2019 protests, which has been short-listed for an award. Free-to-air broadcaster TVB, which has broadcast the Oscars every year since 1969, said it would not carry the ceremony this year for commercial reasons.
Human-octopus love story up for best documentary Oscar
Pets can easily bond with humans, but when a wild octopus befriends a diver and becomes his life coach, that true story scores a best documentary nomination for this Sunday’s Oscars. Ten years in the making, «My Octopus Teacher» began as a personal video project by South African filmmaker Craig Foster to rekindle his connection with nature by observing an inquisitive female mollusc while free-diving near Cape Town.
Survivors of the Srebrenica genocide hope that an Oscar-nominated Bosnian film about the massacre of mainly civilian 8,000 Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces will shed light on the atrocity and help counter denial that genocide occurred. The July 1995 killings of men and boys in the United Nations-protected eastern Bosnian town shocked the world and have stood out as Europe’s only atrocity since World War Two constituting genocide.
Oscars nominee ‘Sound of Metal’ puts rare spotlight on deaf culture
Paul Raci, nominated for an Oscar for playing a drug abuse counselor who has lost his hearing in «Sound of Metal,» said the most common response he receives from deaf people about the film is «how cool you show a bunch of deaf addicts.» «That sounds a little strange,» Raci said in an interview, «but they’re just happy that you’re showing them in a light that makes them normal, like you and I. They have the same struggles.»
Finish him! New Mortal Kombat movie brings fantasy violence to screens
The «Mortal Kombat» movie reboot from Warner Bros, which debuts Friday in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service, aims to better depict the extreme gore of the video game franchise than two toned-down cinematic spinoffs of the 1990s. The video game has pushed the limits of violence and gore since it arrived in arcades in 1992 and was a main factor behind the establishment of a rating system for violence in video games by the industry.
‘Who’s going to play me?’ Boy George launches casting search for biopic
British singer Boy George launched a casting search on Tuesday, looking for an actor to portray him in a music biopic set to start filming this summer. The Culture Club frontman, whose real name is George O’Dowd, took to social media to make the announcement. In a video he said «Line of Duty» actor Daniel Mays would play his father, and added teasingly «there’s rumours of Keanu Reeves popping in».
Dozens of U.S. and Brazilian celebrities, including film actor Leonardo DiCaprio, pop star Katy Perry and musician Gilberto Gil, released a letter on Tuesday urging U.S. President Joe Biden not to agree to any environmental deals with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. The United States has been holding talks with Brazil since February on a potential collaboration to stop surging destruction of the Amazon rainforest, although Brazil’s environment minister told Reuters no deal would be ready for this week’s U.S. Earth Day summit organized by Biden.
High heels! Real pants! ‘Teeny’ Oscars red carpet signals return to glamour
What’s an Oscars ceremony without a red carpet? After a year that saw the coronavirus pandemic shut down in-person events and replace them with actors on Zoom, sometimes at home in hoodies and pajamas, celebrity watchers are looking forward to seeing stars stepping out in show-stopping gowns on the movie industry’s biggest night on Sunday.
Michael Kors pays tribute to Broadway in 40th anniversary show
American designer Michael Kors paid tribute to Broadway in his 40th anniversary show on Tuesday, with a collection that celebrated a night out in the New York theatre district. Kors’ presentation began with the designer greeting fashionistas from Times Square, where as an avid theatre fan he spoke about the hit Broadway has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(With inputs from agencies.)