Margot Kidder, "Lois Lane," RIP

Margot Kidder, best known for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent/Superman in a series of movies starting with "Superman" in 1978 has died at age 69. From CNN:

Kidder... thought the film would be a flop.

"Nothing prepares anyone for that sudden thing of being world famous, it was such a shock," she said. "It wasn't something I really liked or something I was very good at. I didn't realize how good the movie was until I seen it at the premier in Washington."

She also starred in "The Amityville Horror" in 1979 and worked steadily in television and on stage. After three marriages and thousands of dollars in medical bills, Kidder found herself homeless in 1996 as she struggled with bipolar disorder.

Her story grabbed the hearts of fans and Hollywood with many reaching out to help Kidder, who eventually got back on her feet and went on to become a mental health advocate.

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Benedict Cumberbatch says he will only work on films in which female co-stars are paid as much as he is

That's right, wizard, detective, and occasional actor Benedict Cumberbatch isn't cool with bullshit pay gaps that Hollywood production companies have been laying on his female colleagues since pretty much forever.

During an interview with the Radio Times, the actor, best known for his come-hither and do-my-bidding eyes, proclaimed that he refuses to have anything to do with a project where his female co-star isn't being paid the same amount of cash as he is. In an interview with Radio Times Magazine, Cumberbatch espouses the fact that “Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism." He goes on, compelling other men to look at what they're paid and, if they see that a women they work with is being paid less, refuse to do it until amends are made.

More than this, with his production, SunnyMarch, Cumberbatch is putting his personal fortunes where is mouth is.

From Radio Times Magazine

“I’m proud that [partner] Adam [Ackland] and I are the only men in our production company; our next project is a female story with a female lens about motherhood, in a time of environmental disaster. If it’s centered around my name, to get investors, then we can use that attention for a raft of female projects. Half the audience is female!”

Granted, it's far easier for a fella that's already made his millions to suggest that others refuse the ability to pay their bills in the name of equality. But if enough people were to do it, often enough, it wouldn't be long until shoring up a pay gap would prove less costly to companies than the lost hours their protesting employees are costing them. Read the rest

Watch these newly discovered film clips from the glamorous birth of Technicolor

The British Film Institute discovered bits of very rare Technicolor film fragments from 1920s Hollywood. The fragments, attached to the beginning and end of other film reels, include Louise Brooks doing what may be a costume test for her first credited movie, The American Venus (1926), thought to lost. From Film News:

As Bryony Dixon, BFI’s Curator of Silent Film explains, “Everybody loves Technicolor but so much film from glamorous 1920s Hollywood is lost; when it turns up, however fragmentary it’s exciting. What to do with tiny clips that are only a few seconds long? Imagine an Egyptian vase shattered into pieces and the shards scattered across museums all over the world. You can imagine that one day you might be able to see it whole again. It’s like that with films; only an international effort by film archives like the BFI can bring the pieces of the jigsaw together. For now we have the shards but we can dream of seeing Louise Brooks’s first film or a lost Hedda Hopper in colour”.

James Layton, MOMA’s Film Department Preservation Manager adds, “Only a few Technicolor musicals from the dawn of sound survive complete and entirely in colour, whilst some only exist in poor quality black and white copies. It is always a cause for celebration whenever previously lost colour footage turns up. These excerpts provide fascinating glimpses at these films’ pioneering use of colour, which we could only guess at before.”

"BFI uncovers rare Technicolor footage of Louise Brooks in living colour" (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Check out this amazing James Bond "Moonraker" prop and model collection

As a youngster, my favorite Bond film was Moonraker. In fact, it still is. A wristwatch dart gun! A space battle! JAWS! What's not to love!

In this video, Tested's Norman Chan visits with Alan Stephenson who has a huge collection of Bond movie memorabilia, models, and props, much of which comes from Moonraker.

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Watch the back-story of the Han Solo back-story

Director Ron Howard and the stars of Solo: A Star Wars Story tease us with more context and scenes from the forthcoming film out on May 25.

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You can own the actual furniture from Mad Men

Screenbid is holding an online auction for furniture, props, and other items seen on Mad Men. The high ticket items are Don's 1964 Chrysler Imperial (asking bid $40,000), Don's box of secrets from Adam Whitman (asking bid $2100), and the SCDP office sign (asking bid $1,900.) Don's office TV is pretty sharp though but apparently doesn't actually work.

Mad Men 2018 Auction

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What's inside the Oscars gift bag, valued at $120K apiece

Even if you don't win an Oscar (the golden statuette itself is only worth $1), if you're an Academy Award nominee you walk away with a gift bag filled with some seriously lavish schwag.

Town & Country reports that each one is stuffed with promotional gifts valued at $120K:

...the swag bag includes a variety of luxury items, from spa-grade cosmetics, to the advanced Quip electric toothbrush, a year-supply of fresh California oranges, an experience with a personal trainer, and 6-12-day travel packages to Tanzania, Greece, and Hawaii.

For the past 16 years, marketing agency Distinctive Assets has made the "'Everyone Wins' Nominee Gift Bag." Interestingly, the bag is unofficial and not presented at the awards ceremony itself.

The Washington Post reports:

Each bag is big enough to fit a number of human bodies and heavy enough to risk back injury if you tried to lift it with poor form...

It’s difficult to behold the collection of gifts without contemplating class war. This year’s offerings include a slate of skin-care, weight-loss and anti-aging products designed to fend off the inevitable progression of human life, as well as something called “Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation.” The bag features fancy chocolates from Chocolatines in flavors unknown to the proletariat such as “Champagne Diamond” and “Ginger Sake Pearl.” We sampled the “Pomegranate Balsamic Ruby” but couldn’t taste the ruby.

This year’s most expensive offering is a $40,000 luxury trip to Tanzania from International Expeditions...

Some of the bag’s gifts make strange bedfellows.

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Sphinx head discovered in California desert

Archaeologists digging in the sand dunes of Santa Barbara County, California discovered a 300-pound sphinx head. Notably, the artifact does not date back to ancient times but is only 95-years-old. The sphinx is actually a prop from pioneering filmmaker Cecile DeMille's 1923 movie The Ten Commandments. It was part of the so-called "Lost City of DeMille," a massive Egyptian set made for the movie. From the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center:

Legend has it that after filming, it was too expensive to move and too valuable to leave for rival filmmakers to poach—so DeMille had it buried.

In the 1980s, director Peter Brosnan and a group of young filmmakers set out to find the ruins. Over 30 years later, excavations began, and have since turned up a trove of historical artifacts including an entire sphinx broken into pieces. Everyday relics—prohibition liquor bottles, makeup, and tobacco tins—have also been found, shedding light on what life was like for the cast and crew in 1923.

There's also a recent documentary on the subject, titled "The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille." (Hollywood Reporter)

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Corey Feldman names one of his childhood molesters

On The Dr. Oz Show Thursday Nov. 2, former child actor Corey Feldman publicly outed Jon Grissom as molesting him in the 1980s. During the show, he called LAPD to turn in his abusers.

In the interview, he stated, "This guy -- on his ­MySpace page and his Facebook page -- has got pictures of me and Corey Haim. He still taunts it, and flaunts it.”

Grissom appeared in two films that Feldman starred in, License to Drive (1988) and Dream a Little Dream (1989).

Feldman is currently crowdfunding a film that would tell the story of his life:

People have long awaited a response from Corey as to what exactly happened in his childhood. In his book, Coreyography, Corey describes what happened but it isn't clear who exactly the predators are. The best way, he feels, in order to tell the whole story, is for Corey to come forward in the form of a film about his life. We are embarking on a dangerous and exciting journey to get to the bottom of the truth. However in doing so there are great security risks.

Previously: Barbara Walters tells Corey Feldman "you're damaging an entire industry" when he warns of Hollywood abuse Read the rest

Six women accuse director Brett Ratner of misconduct

Another day, another Hollywood "missing stair" exposed: this time Brett Ratner, in the LA Times.

Olivia Munn said that while visiting the set of the 2004 Ratner-directed “After the Sunset” when she was still an aspiring actress, he masturbated in front of her in his trailer when she went to deliver a meal. Munn wrote about the incident in her 2010 collection of essays without naming Ratner. On a television show a year later, Ratner identified himself as the director, and claimed that he had “banged” her, something he later said was not true. The same year her book was published, Munn ran into Ratner at a party thrown by Creative Artists Agency and he boasted of ejaculating on magazine covers featuring her image, she told The Times.

She said that persistent false rumors that they had been intimate have infuriated her, prompting her to talk to The Times in support of other women who are “brave enough to speak up.”

Note the contrast. Even recently, a blithe and jocular contempt, boasting of what they get up to. Now? Terrified denials made through lawyers. The age of Trump is dissolving American manners, but manners also shield the worst among us.

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Accused of assaulting 14-year-old boy, Kevin Spacey would like everyone to know he's gay

Actor Anthony Rapp described how, when he was aged 14, Kevin Spacey climbed on top of him at a party and made sexual advances. Spacey admits it and apologizes, but cast the incident as a consequence of being a closeted gay man.

You wonder how all the other closeted gay men manage to get through life without trying to fuck children, but then you remember where you stand. This effort to engender sympathy, at the cost of casting gay men as confused predators on the margins on pedophilia, is the old-school at its worst. Read the rest

Barbara Walters tells Corey Feldman "you're damaging an entire industry" when he warns of Hollywood abuse

There's knowing about it, and there's knowing where your bread is buttered, and then there's this. Read the rest

Gwyneth Paltrow on Harvey Weinstein in 1998: "He will coerce you"

In plain sight, for decades! Though Weinstein's targets were women rather than children, the way power and silence worked for him reminds me of UK entertainer Jimmy Savile, who occupied a similarly dark-yet-obvious position in the firmament of leering celebrity sociopaths. The way everyone knew. The way people would blurt it out in inferences, uncomfortable jokes, and off-kilter quips. The way Letterman fawns ("Thank God for Harvey") when he realizes he just got too close ("I'm fed up with Harvey's behavior"). These interactions now make Paltrow and Letterman, like Seth McFarlane, targets for criticism. But I'm not sure it's fair because it's not as if anyone else was saying anything, and fear was presumably why they didn't say more. Read the rest

Watch Seth MacFarlane "joke" about Harvey Weinstein's harassment during a 2013 Oscars presentation

During the 2013 presentation of Oscar nominations, Seth MacFarlane joked about the open secret of Harvey Weinstein's vile harassment of actresses. "It's 'funny' 'cause it's true." (TMZ)

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This is the trailer you are looking for... Star Wars: The Last Jedi

"I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now."

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Jared Leto to play Hugh Hefner in new biopic, Playboy After Dark to be rebooted

Jared Leto will star as Hugh Hefner in a new biopic about the Playboy publisher. The film will be directed by Brett Ratner who produced The Revenant, directed X-Men: The Last Stand, and has helmed many other big movies. More interesting to me though is that, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Ratner "also plans to reboot the Hefner-hosted, late-1960s talk show Playboy After Dark." Check out a few classic musical performances from that excellent program below including a clip of the visit from the Grateful Dead during which they famously dosed the on-set coffee pot.

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Vomit on the red carpet at the Emmy Awards

If Michael Ramirez can win two Pulitzers for labeling alarming things with the word "DEBT", I think Alan McAtee should win one for this photograph of vomit on the red carpet at the Emmy Awards.

Previously: Celebrities have a gas with Sean Spicer at the Emmy awards. Read the rest

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