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What do astronauts watch in space? You don't want to know

From a sci-fi horror masterpiece to an intergalactic disaster flick, movies shown to astronauts on the International Space Station may surprise youIn space, no one can hear you scream. Unless, that is, they are your fellow astronauts on the International Space Station and you’re all sitting through a screening of Alien. Related: Reds, nukes, waste ... how space films reveal our earthly fears Continue reading...

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The Legend of Tarzan: 'It's an adventure movie, it's not there to educate' – video

The Legend of Tarzan is the latest reboot of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Greystoke yarn, with Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan, Margot Robbie as his wife Jane, Djimon Hounsou as a local tribal chief, and Christoph Waltz as a bloodthirsty Belgian soldier intent on recovering a hoard of valuable diamonds. It’s directed by Harry Potter’s David Yates, and is on release now in the UK, US and Australia Continue reading...

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Celluloid is strictly for nostalgists. Digital technology saved a dying medium

Those who mourn the passing of 35mm forget what a closed club film-making was, and overlook how vital and creative digital cinema has becomeIn the late 1990s, I interviewed the director Harmony Korine over the phone. Back then a conversation with Korine could go several ways at once, sometimes in mid-sentence. And yet suddenly he talked with calm and clarity about the future of digital video. Digital cameras were still irrelevant to movies then: unloved things sold in Dixons that produced scuzzy images of wedding receptions and children’s parties. But soon, Korine said, that was going to change. In fact, digital cameras were going to change cinema. “Everyone who would never have got to make a film before, now they will. And they’ll make them a different way.”Recently, I dug out the cassette the interview was recorded on. It had been coming back to me a lot. I’ve been putting together a series of videos about film in the 21st century – and that, by its nature, is also the story of digital. Which is a source of regret for many film lovers. For them, digital is the cold soulless hand that snuffed out the arcane magic of celluloid. Actual physical film, the fabled 35mm, is still mourned. A celebratory season, Check the Gate, begins at London’s Prince Charles cinema on 9 July, among its programmers a couple of personal friends and others whose taste I hugely admire. Continue reading...

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Ghostbusters’ Leslie Jones: ‘The US is the most depressed nation in the world and I blame comedians’

She’s a 6ft ball of energy who slogged away on the comedy circuit for 25 years before landing Saturday Night Live and then Ghostbusters. She talks about wanting to be the new Eddie Murphy and why ‘crazy-wild-big’ laughs matterLeslie Jones is sick of smart comics. She can’t bear the sort of standups who tell stories rather than jokes, the kind who make audiences think rather than belly laugh. “They fucking suck. If I wanna learn, I’ll go to school. Don’t teach me, make me fucking laugh. I’m tired of clapping and saying: ‘Ha ha, that’s so clever.’”Jones, 49 years old and 6ft tall, is immovable. Her big break didn’t come from the club circuit she faithfully plugged away on for 25 years, but from US comedy institution Saturday Night Live. She was originally hired as a writer by SNL creator Lorne Michaels in 2014 and promoted to cast member within a year, with the words: “You’re everything we weren’t looking for.” Continue reading...

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I'm Still Here | Film review

Spare a thought for Joaquin Phoenix, a pampered Hollywood prince who lives to rap and raps to live. Oh sure, Phoenix may look like he has it all. But the movie roles are chafing and the Golden Globe he won for impersonating Johnny Cash in Walk the Line is like a lead weight dragging him down. Nothing else for it. He promptly announces his retirement at the Paul Newman memorial gig and then sets off to follow his dream of becoming a freestyle Jay-Z with a Unabomber beard.I'm Still Here, which premiered tonight in Venice, is a supposedly access-all-areas documentary charting the 12-month lost weekend that followed. It is directed by Casey Affleck, Phoenix's brother-in-law, who clearly had no qualms in showing the actor vomiting copiously into a toilet bowl or snorting coke off a groupie's breasts, or being defecated upon by his vengeful personal assistant. I'm not sure I buy any of it, but the film is certainly compelling. Like a pair of po-faced co-conspirators, Affleck and Phoenix have cooked up an audacious little distraction; a stage-managed Hollywood Babylon that's at once gaudily entertaining and wilfully self-indulgent. Continue reading...

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Now You See Me 2 reviewed and Panama Papers film plotted – the Dailies film podcast

The film team’s round-up of Thursday’s movie newsYour daily update of the latest news and reviews from the Guardian film team. Now showing:We review Now You See Me 2, the less than magic follow-up to the surprise hit 2013 magician crime caper. Continue reading...

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Steven Soderbergh in frame to direct Panama Papers film

Film-maker will bring Jake Bernstein’s forthcoming book, Secrecy World, about the biggest data leak in history, to cinemasSteven Soderbergh has taken on the previously reported Panama Papers movie. The film-maker, who recently unretired from directing feature films, is producing, and may direct, a film about the biggest data leak in history, according to Deadline. Soderbergh’s film will be based on Secrecy World, a book by the Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein. He was one of the journalists at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) who helped bring the story to light. Bernstein’s book, which he is currently writing, will likely be adapted by Scott Z Burns, who made Contagion, Side Effects and The Informant! with Soderbergh. Continue reading...

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Will Smith: when you look at Margot Robbie and me you don't think love story - video

The Australian actress Margot Robbie and American actor Will Smith talk about their latest film, Focus, and their unlikely on-screen chemistry. Both actors say they were sceptical at first about whether they would be a believable pairing Continue reading...

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Margot Robbie: Richard Curtis (and Martin Scorsese's) new leading lady – interview

Australian actor Margot Robbie is about to hit the big time, starring in the new Richard Curtis romcom. But it's her next role, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, that seems to have really got her excitedMargot Robbie is the most nearly-famous almost-star you've never heard of. At only 23 years old, the Australian actor has already been directed by Martin Scorsese and Richard Curtis and starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio; a call from Woody Allen can't be far off. Next month she begins filming the caper comedy Focus, in which she'll star as a pickpocket who falls for a con artist played by Will Smith. Consequently, she has a lot to be excited about. So once she starts talking about the thrill of getting this callback while she was doing that read-through, or interrupting a backpacking holiday in Croatia with her brother to travel for 50 hours by plane, train and catamaran to an audition in New York, it's best to just to let her finish; it's also highly refreshing to find that she has not yet had the ebullience ground out of her by promotional duties.Near the end of our interview, the studio PR pops her head round the door to wrap things up, and I have to confess sheepishly that I will need a little longer. We've been talking for 45 minutes and we haven't even got round to discussing the film that Robbie has been flown here at great expense to promote: Curtis's time-travel romcom About Time. It's not that I didn't try. When Robbie mentions her habit of people-watching, I ask how this came in useful in About Time. When she tells me that it's unwise to finalise a character's backstory in your mind – "The director might say, 'We're gonna make it that she had an abortion two years ago,' and you'd be, like, 'Really? I had her down as a virgin'" – I ask whether she and Curtis differed at all over her About Time character. Continue reading...

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Margot Robbie profile in Vanity Fair calls Australians 'throwback people'

Rich Cohen writes that actor ‘can be sexy and composed even while naked’ and grew up where ‘a dingo really will eat your baby’Vanity Fair has published a cover story that says the actor Margot Robbie grew up in a place where “a dingo really will eat your baby” and refers to Australians as “throwback people”.In the August profile, written by Rich Cohen, Australia is described as being America 50 years ago (apparently the Beatles are touring, Australia is at war with Vietnam and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde has just been released). Continue reading...

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