This video beautifully documents the first meeting between these two future best friends and everything after. Enjoy!
This video beautifully documents the first meeting between these two future best friends and everything after. Enjoy!
Ecuador's interior minister resigned Friday in the wake of simultaneous riots in four prisons that left 79 people dead.
A U.S. agency investigating Facebook Inc for racial bias in hiring and promotions has designated the probe as "systemic," attorneys for three job applicants and a manager who claim the company discriminated against them told Reuters on Friday. The EEOC typically resolves disputes through mediation or allowing complainants to sue employers. Facebook operations program manager Oscar Veneszee Jr. and two applicants denied jobs brought a charge last July to the EEOC, and a third rejected applicant joined the case in December.
A version of this story about “Earwig and the Witch” first appeared in the Oscar Nominations Preview issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine. The Japanese company Studio Ghibli is legendary for its hand-drawn animation, including the classics “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away.” All of those films were directed by the studio’s co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki — but it’s his son, Goro Miyazaki, who has now given Studio Ghibli its first-ever 3DCG animated feature, “Earwig and the Witch.” The idea for the film, Goro Miyazaki said, came when his father gave him the novel by English writer Diana Wynne Jones and suggested it might make a good movie. Goro, who initially worked as a landscape architect to avoid the long shadow of his father before joining the family business to direct “Tales From Earthsea” and “From Up on Poppy Hill,” took to the story of a young, headstrong girl who is adopted by a cranky witch. “I liked the fact that the protagonist wasn’t your typical good girl who always says the right thing and is very polite and modest,” he said. “She doesn’t whine or complain, she just tries to solve whatever problems are in front of her. And also, I liked it was a very simple story. She’s basically confined in this house with a witch who gives her all those chores that she doesn’t like. This was going to be Studio Ghibli’s first full 3DCG film, and we didn’t want to take on a film that had multiple locations and multiple stories at the same time.” Also Read: Oscars Animated Feature Race Gets a Big, Late Boost From International Contenders The move to 3DCG, he added, was not part of some grand artistic plan. “Probably none of us — me or Hayao Miyazaki or (co-founder) Toshio Suzuki — ever really thought about whether a 3DCG film or a hand-drawn film is better from a technical point of view,” he said. “We’ve been famous for doing hand-drawn animation for a long time as a studio, but are we going to continue just doing it in the future? We wanted to try something new.” The move also made sense for the very practical reason that Hayao Miyazaki, who won an Oscar for “Spirited Away” and also won an Honorary Academy Award for his entire career, had first dibs on the studio’s talent pool and had come out of retirement to make the upcoming “How Do You Live?” “All the great hand-drawn animators in the studio were involved in that project,” he said. “Even if I wanted to do a hand-drawn animation, the studio wouldn’t have had the capacity to do it.” He opted to stay away from a CG style that would look hand-drawn, and also away from one that would be too photo-realistic. Instead, he drew inspiration from the stop-motion animation of companies like Laika and Aardman, because he found that approach had echoes of the Japanese manga style. Also Read: Netflix Picks Up International Streaming Rights to 21 Studio Ghibli Films Getting Studio Ghibli geared up to do 3DCG, he said, was the biggest challenge he faced on “Earwig.” We didn’t have the system or the manpower to do a full 3DCG film in-house,” he said. “We had to find people, hire people, create a team and create a whole infrastructure from scratch.” But the new format also took some of the pressure off the team. “In reality, because we were making this in full 3DCG, a lot of the older members of the studio didn’t understand what I was doing,” he said. “I was able to do things in a free way.” “If a young director tries to work on hand-drawn animation at Studio Ghibli, you’re basically trying to follow in the footsteps of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. That causes immense pressure, and it doesn’t really bring out the best in people. This time, I would say that it was mentally more relaxing for me.” So did it feel like a big step to bring Studio Ghibli into the world of 3DCG? “I don’t know if it’s a big step or a small step,” he said with a laugh. “This might be our last 3D CG film.” Read more from the Oscar Nominations Preview issue here. Read original story How ‘Earwig and the Witch’ Dragged Studio Ghibli Into the World of CG Animation At TheWrap
Ireland's Foreign Minister Simon Coveney is to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Sunday in his role as a U.N. Security Council facilitator of the nuclear deal agreed in 2015 between Iran and major world powers. Iran has so far refused to take part in a meeting brokered by the European Union between world powers and the United States on reviving its 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal.
Veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo slammed the brakes on Sri Lanka with two wickets and a run-out as the West Indies restricted the tourists to 160-6 in the 2nd Twenty20 International at Coolidge Cricket Ground on Friday.
A version of this story about “The Croods: A New Age” first appeared in the Oscar Nominations Preview issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine. The original “Croods” movie came out in 2013, made almost $600 million worldwide and was nominated for an Oscar, so it’s no surprise that DreamWorks Animation announced a sequel that same year. What is unusual is that it took the company seven years to complete “The Croods: A New Age,” since the company’s history has been to space its sequels at intervals of three or occasionally four years. But with delays in production and then DWA’s move from 20th Century Fox to Universal, the project stalled until first-time director Joel Crawford and producer Mark Swift came on board in 2017, inheriting the core idea of the Croods family of prehistoric cave-dwellers meeting another, more advanced family with a different worldview. “The themes of following the light and searching for tomorrow, and the idea of this family having to stick together in an unknown and uncertain world — I wanted to carry those over from the first movie, but not just repeat them,” Crawford said. Also Read: 'The Croods: A New Age' Film Review: The Laughs Keep Evolving in Animated Sequel The voice cast of the first film returned: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener and the late Cloris Leachman reprised their roles. Newcomers Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann and Kelly Marie Tran joined as the Bettermans, a family so technologically advanced that they live in a split-level treehouse with indoor plumbing and windows looking out on a verdant jungle paradise. And that meant that part of the job for Crawford and team wasn’t just to come up with a story, but to design the whole world in which the Bettermans lived, a dramatically different one than the Croods’ usual domain. Art director Peter Zaslov’s concept art of the Bettermans’ treehouse “That was definitely a big undertaking,” Crawford said. “We treat the Bettermans’ world as the equivalent of the modern world. The sky’s the limit when you’re creating a world and the story is reflected in the world. And what I mean by that is the theme of this story is basically two very different families meeting and judging the book by its cover, and then on further inspection realizing there’s so much more than meets the eye. “The guidance I gave to the production designer and the art team was as we create these worlds, even the Bettermans’ world shouldn’t appear as just one thing. It looks like they have everything perfect, only to find out it’s a gilded cage.” Also Read: 'Croods 2' Hits No. 1 Again 13 Weeks After Release, Reaches $50 Million at U.S. Box Office For Crawford, the challenges of the film included those that any first-time director faces, along with a fresh hurdle specific to 2020. “At first, there was that feeling of trying to get it all right — trying to hold the whole story in your head and to know the locations and the characters, and then realizing that I can rely on some of the best specialists in the world in every single department,” he said. “But then the biggest thing we encountered, like everybody else, was the pandemic. At that point we had about half the movie finished, and we had to finish the rest from home.” The adjustments, he said, took a while. “It really took the wind out of us for a beat. We had great momentum and great in-person chemistry, and then it was like, Wait — we’re going to have to do all of this separately, in our own homes? How are we going to do this – not only technically, but on a human connection level? “But what was really cool was just to see the creativity of everybody being able to work around it. We really proved we could do this from home.” Read more from the Oscar Nominations Preview issue here. Read original story ‘The Croods: A New Age’s’ Big Challenge: Creating a New World During a Global Pandemic At TheWrap
Canada's Corey Conners eagled the par-5 16th for the second consecutive day to seize a one-stroke lead after Friday's second round of the US PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Corey Conners spent more time grinding out pars than chasing birdies, and that proved to be the right recipe Friday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as Bay Hill began to bake under a warm sun. Conners surged into the lead with a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th hole — his second eagle on that hole in two days — for a 3-under 69 and a one-shot advantage over former Bay Hill winner Martin Laird (67). Rory McIlroy was poised to at least join Conners in the afternoon until he hit a couple of loose drives that cost him one shot when he could only pitch back to the fairway, leading to bogeys.
Today we look at two highly-ranked stocks trading for under $25 a share that, for the most part, shrugged off the recent selling to trade near their 52-week highs...
China’s top law-making body will consider this week a popular proposition to ban actors who have used drugs from entertainment industry for life at its annual weeklong meeting, which kicked off Friday. The National People’s Congress, the country’s rubber stamp parliament, counts some 3,000 professionals from across the country as delegates, including directors Jia Zhangke, […]
China on Friday said it would revamp Hong Kong’s electoral system to tighten its grip on the city, a strong move against the region’s democratic governance and freedoms that has incited backlash from critics abroad. Beijing’s rubberstamp parliament, known as the National People’s Congress (NPC), convened for the first day of its annual week-long meetings […]
Stefanos Tsitsipas, a semi-finalist at last month's Australian Open, reached the final four of the ATP Rotterdam tournament on Friday with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Karen Khachanov.
California on Friday paved the way for Disneyland, other theme parks and outdoor stadiums to welcome guests sooner than expected as it relaxed reopening criteria following a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases and pressure from operators.
A version of this story about “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” appears in the Oscar Nominations Preview issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine. Makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera’s relationship of trust with Viola Davis was cultivated over six seasons of “How to Get Away With Murder.” And therefore, in the early days of making “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — starring Davis as the real-life 1920s blues singer — the actress sensed a trace of hesitation in Lopez-Rivera’s hands. “At that first camera test, I was tweaking the makeup to make Viola look better,” he recalled. “And she said something to me I’ll never forget. She said, simply, ‘Bette Davis in ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?'” That reference to the 1962 thriller about a grotesque former child actress clicked instantly for Lopez-Rivera. Viola Davis’s Ma Rainey isn’t an unhinged antagonist like Bette Davis’s Baby Jane (who serves her sister, played by Joan Crawford, a dead rat for lunch), but the connection between them is hard to be miss once it has been pointed out. Also Read: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Cinematographer on Chadwick Boseman: 'I Cried as We Were Filming His Performance' “Ma Rainey was very sensual but she also liked making people uncomfortable with how she looked,” he said. “And (the reference to Baby Jane) was Viola saying to me, “I, Viola, am giving you permission to really go there.'” He continued, “I can’t think of another modern actor aside from Viola who would be so bold. It requires a certain willingness to really own her work. So many actors are afraid of pushing their own artistic boundaries. Viola isn’t.” Lopez-Rivera’s job incorporated five elements: Davis’s smooth skin was etched to add pigmentation; her eyebrows were drawn in a vaudevillian pencil line; gold teeth were fitted in her mouth; mascara and blush were precisely applied to appear sloppily applied; and various serums and gels gave the illusion of beading sweat on her face and upper chest. “Watching Viola become Ma was an architectural process,” Lopez-Rivera said. Also Read: Watch Chadwick Boseman Widow's Tearful Golden Globes Acceptance: 'He Would Say Something Beautiful' (Video) Ma Rainey’s gold teeth were manufactured by the same special effects department that did work on “How to Get Away With Murder,” especially the series finale in which several characters were aged. “They already had a mold of Viola’s teeth,” Lopez-Rivera said. “The first set we tried had a lot more gold in the bottom teeth, but it was so much gold that it was distracting, so we went with the slightly less heavy version.” The body padding and elaborate costumes by Oscar-winner Ann Roth were then topped with Ma Rainey’s on-stage wig, a pièce de résistance created by hair designer Mia Neal from a horse mane she found on Etsy. “It came covered in manure and lice eggs,” Neal said. “So I boiled it and set the wig on rollers, then boiled it again. But horsehair is very thick, so every time I pulled one hair through the lace, it would scrape off the manure. There was plastic sheeting everywhere to prevent contamination. It was a trip.” Also Read: How 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Screenwriter 'Touched the Sleeve of Greatness' in August Wilson's Classic Play (Video) Neal devoted 60 hours to the wig’s creation. “And that was 60 hours over three or four days,” she said. “We didn’t sleep much.” For the artist, a veteran of Broadway productions including 2018’s revival of “The Iceman Cometh” and 2020’s “West Side Story,” the hair was an essential part of understanding Ma Rainey’s psychology. “Horsehair wigs maintain their set. And we guessed that this wig was important to Ma to have while traveling, not knowing if she was going to be in a city where she could get service. And it was glamorous. This was a woman who wore fur coats in the summer, who had gold teeth, who was married and also had a girlfriend. She was from the rural South and had access to things she’d never had before. She was going to have everything that people tried to deny her.” Indeed, like Lopez-River, Neal stressed the importance of Davis’s commitment to tackling the role of Ma Rainey honestly. “During one of the early wig fittings,” Neal remembered, “Viola said to me, ‘In this time period, Black women weren’t often described as being beautiful. But in this particular case, everyone made a point of saying Ma was unattractive. So we have to listen to that.’ How often do you get permission to do that with an actress?” But Neal pointed out that Davis was not simply commenting about Ma Rainey’s appearance. The actress was making a more profound point about the character and how society still views women, especially Black women, who don’t confirm to accepted beauty standards. “Some people who watched the film have said to me, ‘Oh, she’s so oily and it’s hard to see Viola like that,'” Neal said. “But you’re getting the same experience that people watching Ma Rainey’s shows in the 1920s got. The sweat was flinging off of her and spraying into the crowd. That can be jarring, for sure. Ma was used to that. She probably made people uncomfortable even when she was small, being fierce and dark-skinned. She didn’t care and there’s beauty in that discomfort.” Read more from the Nominations Preview issue here. Read original story ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ Hair and Makeup: How Viola Davis Was Inspired by Bette Davis’s Classic ‘Baby Jane’ At TheWrap
(Major spoilers abound for “WandaVision” through the series finale) Well, that sure was a thing. After a lengthy buildup to the reveal that a witch named Agatha had some kind of nefarious designs on Wanda, everything came to a head in the “WandaVision” finale. And it was, well, kind of a big, wet fart of a climax to the hugely popular show. The fans deserved better than what they got with Agatha, as did Kathryn Hahn, the actress who played her. Agatha has no layers. No human element. She’s just a one-dimensional cartoon bad guy who we still know nothing about. And that is not how the MCU typically treats its villains. Also Read: 'WandaVision' Finale: How the Post-Credits Scene Sets Up 'Doctor Strange 2' Most of the MCU films to date have been painstaking in the way they humanize their baddies. I mean, this is the franchise that did a pretty in-depth exploration of the guy who deleted half of all life in the universe. This is a franchise that will present a genocidal maniac like Killmonger in “Black Panther” and make you think that, you know, maybe he’s got a point. And that’s a very good thing, having antagonists who are actually characters with motivations that are clearly on display. It helps with our emotional investment in the whole thing, and the heroes themselves are humanized by facing these complex foes. But Agatha is not complex. She revealed herself with a funny little cartoon song, and then stuck with that cackling, maniacal tone the rest of the way. We got just one piece of information about her past, thanks to a flashback in the penultimate episode, but even in that scene she was the same flatly evil caricature that she was in the present. Cackling as she turned her witch pals into dried up corpses. Also Read: 'WandaVision' Finale Mid-Credits Scene Explained I find this particularly annoying because “WandaVision” was supposed to be a meditation on grief. You’d have thought that maybe we’d learn that Agatha had some kind of tragic backstory that turned her into this monster, a la Zemo from “Captain America: Civil War.” Or that she would have, like Thanos, some kind of messed up purpose that she thought would ultimately serve the greater good. But no. The Agatha on “WandaVision” is just a bad lady with magic powers on a quest to get more magic powers. What did she even want to do with those powers? What’s her general deal? She’s been alive for hundreds of years — but why? What has she been doing this whole time? And why did Agatha only just pop up now? Wanda has been on the scene for years — and she would be super famous after the Sokovia Accords were enacted because of something she did. And Wanda has apparently been casting magic spells this whole time, so you’d think that would have gotten Agatha’s attention. Also Read: 'WandaVision': Marvel Really Pulled a Bait and Switch With Pietro The idea that makes the most sense to me as I reflect on “WandaVision” as a whole is that Agatha’s backstory was supposed to be tied in with multiverse stuff. Perhaps given that the MCU’s Phase 4 had to be reordered due to COVID closing movie theaters, they stripped out the multiverse story elements because they didn’t think it was the right place to introduce all that. And if Agatha’s history took place in an alternate universe, then they would have had to delete it, leaving us this absolute caricature. This is, for the record, me giving Marvel the benefit of the doubt on this. I’m operating under the assumption that they didn’t just fail to humanize Agatha, but that they were forced into presenting her character this way because of circumstances. Regardless of the reason, the way Agatha turned out on “WandaVision” is pretty maddening. The MCU fandom grew so attached to the franchise over the years in large part because they didn’t handle villains this way, and they know full well we expect our villains to have much more going on beneath the surface than Agatha ever did. Hopefully this isn’t the start of a trend. But at least we should be at least somewhat safe with “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” later this month since it’s bringing back Zemo and we already know all about him. Beyond that, though… We’ll see. Read original story ‘WandaVision': Agatha Is One of the Worst MCU Villains At TheWrap
Five investors have aped into the funds since Galaxy unveiled them in late January, SEC documents show.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing AT&T and three of its investor relations executives for telling Wall Street analysts about the telecom giant's sales data before it released quarterly results. The early warning helped AT&T avoid having its results fall short of Wall Street expectations, according to the SEC's complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. The U.S. financial regulator said Friday that in March 2016, AT&T was worried that a steeper-than-expected decline in smartphone sales would make it miss Wall Street estimates for its first quarter.
The voting rights group backed by basketball star LeBron James is kicking off a new campaign to fight Republican-led efforts to tighten voting requirements in Georgia and other states that could restrict access for Black voters and Democrats. The group, More Than A Vote, will start by running a 30-second advertisement narrated by James during the televised NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta on Sunday. "Look what we made happen," the Los Angeles Lakers star says in the ad, as images flash of demonstrations protesting the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor last year.
It’s a very different landscape this week than it was a year ago, just before the pandemic forced cinemas to close around the country. Still, with New York cinemas cautiously reopening this week and many other markets determined to bring moviegoing back, the studios and indie distributors alike are bringing many of their long-delayed releases […]
KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — It has been over a week since Malaysia started its National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme on February 24 with the prime minister being the first in the country to take the...