Cinema

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Just shut up!

First Sharon Stone makes offensive remarks about the Chinese earthquake, now Rupert Everett calls British soldiers wimps (and apologises). I blame the media. Why do we seek, and then publish, celebrities' views on matters they clearly know nothing about? If celebs want to air their ignorance, they should get blogs!

The top 100 films

The Times has named its top 100 films of all time. I won't give you the whole list, but I will give you the top 10, which includes some controversial choices: Casablanca, There Will Be Blood, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Chinatown, The Shining, Vertigo, Kes, Sunset Boulevard, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Godfather. Metropolis was No. 16, Gone with the Wind 28, La Dolce Vita 52, and Rashomon 61. Orson Welles' Touch of Evil was at 89 but Citizen Kane - usually near the top of such lists -"didn't cut the mustard", according to the compilers. Surprise high entries include Annie Hall at 17, Picnic at Hanging Rock 25, The Life of Brian 40, Terminator 2: Judgment Day 42, This is Spinal Tap 71, and Blazing Saddles 76.

Boldly going on and on

The new J.J. Abrams take on Star Trek won't be in cinemas until next year - but there's a teaser trailer here. As I believe in providing equal opportunities to geeks of all kinds, there's one for the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars here.

Gunn's big one

I was surprised to discover, via imdb.com, that today is the 41st birthday of the prolific actor/ director Tommy Gunn. I was surprised largely because I'd never heard of him, despite the fact that he has already starred in an incredible 477 films at such a relatively young age. Then I checked out the titles of the films, and realised he operates in an oeuvre with which I am, honestly, unfamiliar. Also celebrating birthdays today are Dennis Rodman (47), Stevie Wonder (58), writer Marv Wolfman (62), Harvey Keitel (69, incredibly), former Golden Girl Bea Arthur (85), and Daphne Du Maurier (101, had she not died in 1989).

The film of the game

The gaming industry is, by some estimates, bigger than the movies. But that doesn't stop them wanting to make movies from games. The latest one if Bioshock - a game I admit I'd never heard of - which will be directed by Pirates of the Caribbean's Gore Verbinski.

Son shines

Congratulations to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh's son, Joe, who has won a spot to study in Mumbai, home of Bollywood, as part of his film and television degree. Of course, with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and other initiatives, the state government has been very supportive of cinema - and that's a good thing. I just wish Ms Bligh could find some money in the coffers, and/or some steely political will, to help save and restore the historic Regent Theatre as a state-of-the-art live performance venue.

Something to Shout! about

It's not quite the real thing, but perhaps the closest you'll get to seeing the current production of Shout!, the stage musical about Australian rock icon Johnny O'Keefe, is to see the high-definition digital, surround-sound video version on the big screen at Brisbane's Cineplex cinemas. Reorded at Sydney's Lyric Theatre, it will play at the Balmoral, Victoria Point and South Bank complexes between May 15 and 21. Details are here. While I wish the exhibitors every success, I hope this sort of thing encourages people to love theatre so much that they want to see real, live actors perform at - say - a restored Regent Theatre.

What's sex go to do with it?

British actor Alan Cumming is complaining that media attitudes towards homosexuality are keeping many gays in the closet. "There is a lot of homophobia in the world - but in Hollywood definitely," says the X-Men 2 star (pictured as Glitch in the TV minseries Tin Man, a new take on The Wizard of Oz). Derek Munn from the Stonewall advocacy group adds: "The pitifully low number of openly lesbian or gay actors suggests that there is a problem. The film industry needs to think about why it is that gay actors choose not to come out." As far as I'm concerned a person's sexuality is irrelevant - unless it involves predatory or exploitative behaviour, or children or animals - and the decision to or not to declare it is ultimately that person's alone. The exception I would make - and I'll let you fill in the dots here - is when a prominent person contributes to a climate of hatred towards minority groups yet fails to declare their own sexuality (or ethnicity or religion for that matter) and defend others like them. That's hypocrisy and cowardice.

Tom and Katie: AOK

It must be true, it was on Oprah. Tom Cruise has told Oprah Winfrey that suggestions his relationship with Katie Holmes is "not real" are "laughable". Well that settles it, since Cruise obviously has such a great grip on reality. I guess it'll be at least two weeks before the women's magazines recommence quoting unnamed "friends" as saying the marriage is in trouble.

Kidman as Springfield? Yikes!

Please tell me this report is untrue. It says Nicole Kidman is tipped to play Dusty Springfield in a film. When will the movie world wake up to the fact that Ms Kidman is what used to be known as a "leading lady" rather than an actual actor? (Let's face it, the Oscar for The Hours was actually for the prosthetic nose). I say to the producers: Give the role to somebody ballsy who can really belt out a tune - it'll cost you less and you might just have a chance at a smash hit.
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