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Judge refuses to dismiss media charges in Pell trial

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A Supreme Court judge in Australia’s Victoria state on Friday dismissed submissions from news media organizations and journalists that there is no case to answer on charges they breached a gag order on reporting about Cardinal George Pell’s sex abuse convictions in 2018.

More charges were tossed out in the case against Australian media outlets prosecuted over reporting of Pell’s abuse convictions. But the judge refused to throw out the bulk of the 87 charges of contempt of court for stories published after the cardinal’s guilty verdict.

His child sexual abuse convictions were overturned by Australia’s High Court earlier this year and the cardinal is back in Rome.

More than two dozen media organizations, reporters and editors were charged with breaching of suppression orders and other reporting rules in the days following the guilty verdicts.

In a mid-trial ruling on Friday, Justice John Dixon dismissed eight

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‘Nomadland’ review: Director Chloe Zhao deserves every award imaginable for this artful film

Did you know that in the Academy’s 93-year history, only one woman (Katherine Bigelow of 2009’s “The Hurt Locker”) has ever broken through the glass ceiling to win the Oscar for best director? I’m betting that’s about to change. That’s because Chloe Zhao, the Chinese-born director of a wondrous work of art called “Nomadland,” fully deserves every award on the books for the scope of her virtuosity and the depth of her feeling. In only her third film, after 2015’s “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” and 2018’s “The Rider, Zhao joins the ranks of the giants.

PHOTO: Frances McDormand stars in the 2020 film, "Nomadland."

“Nomadland,” out this week from Searchlight, is based on Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.” The bestseller tracks the wanderlust of Americans traveling the country in vans searching for jobs and snatches of human connection. The film follows the lead

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Radio Disney To Halt Operations In Early 2021, Capping 25-Year Hitmaking Run

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Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country will cease operations in the first quarter of 2021 as the company’s top-to-bottom realignment continues.

The move is related to the effort to have Disney Branded Television focus more on upping production of kids’ and family content for Disney+ and Disney Channels.

Radio Disney launched in 1996 as a terrestrial network and had expanded over the years to satellite radio and other platforms. By 2005, it reached 97% of the U.S. and played a key role in putting Disney stars like the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and many more on the broader pop-culture map.

Artists on major labels like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, N’Sync, One Direction and many more hugely benefited from Radio Disney exposure. As streaming fundamentally altered the music business in the 2010s, laying waste to radio assets and

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Oscar-tipped film ‘Mank’ is bathed in Old Hollywood glamour

When director David Fincher enlisted his frequent collaborator, costume designer Trish Summerville, for his new movie “Mank”– a biopic on the screenwriter behind the iconic 1941 film “Citizen Kane” — she knew it was going to be her most challenging assignment for him to date.



a man wearing a suit and tie standing next to a woman: Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman travel back to the Golden Age of cinema for "Mank."


© Netflix
Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman travel back to the Golden Age of cinema for “Mank.”

Summerville, who previously worked with Fincher on the crime thrillers “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” from 2011 and “Gone Girl” from 2014, was tasked with recreating the glamor of 1930s Hollywood, from its backlot meetings to its lavish soirees, without using a drop of color.

Fincher and cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt strove for authenticity of the era by closely replicating the look and feel of Old Hollywood talking pictures — right down to shooting “Mank” entirely in black and white, or “Fincher-vision,” as Summerville described it over the

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Movie Theaters, Live Venues Would Get Billions in Aid From Stimulus Package

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About 60% of the movie theaters in the country — though not the major chains — would be in line for several billion dollars in grants if Congress can agree on a coronavirus stimulus package.

Negotiations on a bill were jumpstarted on Tuesday, when a bipartisan group of senators offered a $908 billion plan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell circulated his own framework that would provide about $500 billion.

Both proposals include $15 billion for live event venues and movie theaters, aides on both sides of the aisle confirmed to Variety. So while the sides remain apart on several other issues, there is broad agreement about bailing out theaters, restaurants and music venues.

McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on Thursday, as hopes rose that a deal could be achieved.

“Compromise is within reach,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on

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10 Great Movie Santas, from Kurt Russell to Paul Giamatti (Photos)

Warner Bros./Netflix/Sony Pictures Entertainment

As the embodiment of kindness, generosity, and Yuletide beneficence, Santa Claus presents some mighty big black boots, much less a red suit, for any actor to fill. But jolly old Saint Nicholas has appeared in the movies for as long as the movies have existed, and here are some of our favorite actors who’ve steered the sleigh (not counting Billy Bob Thornton and anyone else who has played a guy who is pretending to be Santa):
Kurt Russell in 'The Christmas Chronicles'

Netflix

Kurt Russell in “The Christmas Chronicles” (2018) and “The Christmas Chronicles 2” (2020): There’s more than a little bit of Russell’s trucker character from “Big Trouble in Little China” in his take on Father Christmas, but that blue-collar bravado and dad-bod energy make this character, in the words of critic Nathan Rabin, “a Santa who f–ks.”

Jim Broadbent Arthur Christmas

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Jim Broadbent, “Arthur Christmas” (2011): In this delightful animated adventure

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ASCAP’s Xmas No. 1: Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’

In what may be a late-breaking contender for the least shocking news of 2020, this year’s most-played holiday song so far is, per ASCAP, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” the single that finally went to No. 1 on the pop charts last year after 25 years in wait. Carey recorded a video message in celebration of the ASCAP honor (see below).

If that seems like something that happens every year, though, think again: When ASCAP released its annual rankings last year at this time, “All I Want for Christmas” was all the way down at No. 3. Last year’s topper? “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” penned in 1951 by Meredith Willson, of “The Music Man” fame. (ASCAP’s lists are tallied by the song itself, not by performer, so multiple versions of the Willson chestnut would have figured into its ranking.)

This year, “It’s

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Africans are embracing digital media, but they’re wary of the downsides

Earlier this year, Ethiopians took to social media after the killing of singer Hachalu Hundessa. While many shared expressions of sadness, others spread speculation and rumors. Some asserted that government agents killed Hachalu as retaliation for his activism on behalf of displaced ethnic Oromo. Others blamed the government of Egypt, reasoning that the country was trying to sow chaos as Ethiopia proceeded with plans to construct a controversial dam on the Nile. Riots followed, leaving as many as 230 dead.

These examples highlight the promise and peril of social media in Africa. WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook are providing new platforms for social mobilization. But they are also making it easier to spread disinformation, rumors and hate speech, sometimes with deadly consequences.

New data from Afrobarometer show that the use of digital media (news from the Internet and social media) is growing fast across Africa. But access is uneven, and many

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Olivia Cooke and Riz Ahmed were ‘bonded by terror’ on Sound of Metal

Olivia Cooke and Riz Ahmed were “bonded by the sheer terror” of performing as a band in ‘Sound of Metal’.



Olivia Cooke holding a sign


© Bang Showbiz
Olivia Cooke

The pair lead the cast of the drama film as Lou and Ruben – members of the band Backgammon. The movie follows the fallout as Ruben begins losing his hearing but Olivia confessed that the duo were concerned about becoming hard rockers.

The 26-year-old actress said: “Riz and I were brought together to immerse these skills we just learned and to become a fully realised band.

“It was wonderful to have that experience, because we were then really bonded by the sheer terror of having to sometime soon perform and it made the relationship we had on screen that much more nuanced and deep.”

Olivia revealed that she “ripped off” her mentor for the project, Margaret Chardiet from the band Pharmakon.

The ‘Pixie’ star said:

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Walt Disney TV Group to Enact Significant Layoffs Amid Reorganization

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The Walt Disney Company’s television division is shrinking its staff amid the ongoing reorganization, Variety has learned. Though the scope of the layoffs is unclear, no further rounds are expected after Thursday through the end of the calendar year.

This comes after the announcement earlier this week that Disney Television entertainment chief Dana Walden would consolidate the group’s programming and studio operations, which in turn follows efforts by Disney’s general entertainment content chairman Peter Rice last month to establish a new structure following the company’s decision to split off the content creation team from distribution and commercialization activities.

Among those who are leaving Disney are Dan Kupetz, who had just joined 20th Century Fox Television, now 20th TV, as executive vice president of business affairs and operations in January after over 15 years at CBS Television Studios.

That all stems from the top

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