Entertainment

Japan’s capsule toys play big – Cheap and Instagram-worthy

TOKYO, Dec 13, (AFP): A tiny replica of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and a plastic cat squatting on sushi: just two of the weird-and-wonderful capsule toys that have become a multi-million-dollar craze in cute-obsessed Japan. The industry is now worth an estimated 30 billion yen ($265 million), with the fastidious …

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‘First-timers’ break thru with Golden Globe nods – Newcomers work rewarded

LOS ANGELES, Dec 12, (RTRS): Every awards group has their trademark quirks, and the HFPA loves nothing more than anointing the wunderkinds. And this year didn’t disappoint: On the TV side, voters embraced Showtime’s “SMILF” and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; in film, breakouts included Margot Robbie, Daniel Kaluuya, and …

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Good year for strong female roles – Female directors snubbed at Golden Globe noms

LOS ANGELES, Dec 12, (RTRS): Looking across the Golden Globe film and TV nominations, it’s a banner year for movies driven by some of the most unlikely female characters to get the big-screen treatment. In “The Shape of Water,” Sallie Hawkins plays a mute cleaning woman in 1962 Baltimore who …

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‘Shape’ leads Golden Globe noms – ‘The Post’, ‘Three Billboards’ bag 6 nods each

LOS ANGELES, Dec 11, (RTRS): Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled on Monday. “Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic …

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‘Own Country’ wins big at BIFAs – ‘Lady Macbeth’ another multiple prize-winner

LOS ANGELES, Dec 11, (RTRS): “… Own Country” was the big winner at the British Indepdendent Film Awards (BIFAs) on Sunday, winning best British independent film, best actor for Josh O’Connor, and best debut screenwiter for Francis Lee, who also directed the England-set gay romance. “Lady Macbeth” was another multiple …

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Saudi to OK cinemas after decades of ban – ‘Syrians’ wins DFC prize

RIYADH, Dec 11, (Agencies): Saudi Arabia on Monday lifted a decades-long ban on cinemas, part of a series of social reforms by the powerful crown prince that are shaking up the ultra-conservative kingdom. The government said it would begin licensing cinemas immediately and the first movie theatres are expected to …

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‘Last Jedi’ earns early praise – Star Wars film premieres with tribute to late Fisher

LOS ANGELES, Dec 10, (Agencies): An elaborate premiere featuring a massive assault vehicle and a procession of Stormtroopers and droids preceded the first showing of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and initial reactions praised the latest installment of the beloved space opera franchise. Formal reviews won’t be out for a …

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Stars sleep rough to help homeless – Inequality in UK

EDINBURGH, Dec 10, (Agencies): Celebrities joined, and entertained, thousands of fundraisers for the homeless sleeping rough in a Scottish park in frigid conditions overnight Saturday, in what organisers described as the biggest event of its kind globally. Around 8,000 people gathered in Princes Street Gardens in central Edinburgh to hear …

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Minority languages on the ‘rise’ in Singapore – Teng bong!

SINGAPORE, Dec 10, (AFP): Kevin Martens Wong reels off sentences in Kristang, which is among several minority languages in Singapore enjoying a new lease of life after a decades-long drive to encourage the use of English and Mandarin. “Teng bong, ozi nus prendeh sorti-sorti di tempu,” the linguist told his …

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Lebanese singer dazzles Riyadh in first women-only concert

Applause and shrieks of joy erupted as Lebanese singer Hiba Tawaji dazzled Riyadh in its first female-only music concert, as Saudi Arabia seeks to ease social restrictions on women. Tawaji performed to a packed audience at the cavernous King Fahd Cultural Centre late Wednesday, the latest in a series of …

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