Jul 28
2020

As I have been wondering if “The Duke”, a new film with Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent, has been finished in time before being put on hold due to the novel coronavirus (it started filming in November 2019), the Venice Film Festival has answered this question today, as “The Duke” will be screened out of competition at this year’s festival. In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60 year old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. He sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly. What happened next became the stuff of legend. An uplifting true story about a good man who set out to change the world and managed to save his marriage. It is the latest in a long line of films and TV shows recorded in the Bradford district over the last couple of years including the Downton Abbey movie, the latest series of Peaky Blinders and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. The Venice Film Festival runs from September 2 to September 12, the full line-up can be found here. “The Duke” is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on 6 November 2020.

Jul 26
2020

Helen Mirren turns 75 today (congratulations :-)) and The Guardian‘s Michael Billington has written a fantastic and most in-depth article to celebrate not only her birthday but her legacy: Who is Helen Mirren? Looking back over her career, as she hits 75, it is tempting to see her as two separate people. First, there was the outspoken young classical actor who fiercely resisted objectification, whether from newspapers (“Stratford’s very own sex queen” was a notorious Sunday Times headline) or TV chatshow hosts. Then came the mature Mirren with a gift for playing monarchs (Elizabeth I on TV, Elizabeth II on screen and stage), for picking up every award going, and for being a great dame associated with excellent causes. Among many, she is an ambassador for Women International. Yet I see no great gulf between the two Mirrens. Having followed her career for 50 years, several things strike me. One is that she has always been a dedicated, highly skilled actor. Another is that she is a perennial mix of the nomadic and the majestic: you don’t get to play Cleopatra, as she did for the National Youth Theatre when she was 20, without some inbuilt imperiousness. Indeed, one of my few brief encounters with her took place around that time, when I went to a party hosted by one of her Youth Theatre contemporaries. My abiding memory is of a self-possessed young woman who made many of the men at the party feel like boys (and I, for one, was five years older). Where does that confidence come from? You could argue that it is partly genetic. It is well-known that she was born Helen Mironoff and that her paternal grandfather was a Russian aristocrat who fought in the tsar’s army and who was negotiating an arms deal in Britain when he and his family were stranded by the 1917 revolution. The complete article can be read here.

Jul 19
2020

Something I completely forgot to cover for the site, probably because public appearances have become so rare these days. On July 05, Helen Mirren was honored at the 47th Flaiano International Awards in Abruzzo, Italy. “It is a great honor for me to receive this award, in the name of a giant of the Italian Cinena, Ennio Flaiano. I can’t say how important this award is to me. It was an Italian film, “The Adventure” with Monica Vitti that made me passionate about cinema. I was 16 and worked as a maid in my aunt’s small bed and breakfast, I saw the film in an old English cinema near the sea, on a rainy day. The beauty of the Italian language and the landscape have been formative for me, the mystery and magic have captured my imagination. I fell in love with cinema and the Italian language. I am attracted to the power of Italian directors such as Fellini, Visconti, Sergio Leone, Tinto Brass and Paolo Virzì with whom I have worked. My greatest muse is Anna Magnani, the Italian spirit has captured my artist’s heart, as years later I was captured by the landscapes of Salento, where I am a farmer and I greet all my neighbors in Tiggiano”. A couple of pictures from the press conference, ceremony and photoshoot have been added to the photo gallery.


Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2020 – 47th Flaiano International Awards – Press Conference
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2020 – 47th Flaiano International Awards – Ceremony
Photo Gallery – Editorial Photography – 2020 – Session 05

Jul 13
2020

According to BroadwayWorld.com, Oscar winner and Greenwich Theatre patron Dame Helen Mirren is set to support the venue’s debut online production – a new version of Steven Berkoff’s The Secret Love Life of Ophelia – with a special guest appearance. Written as an exchange of letters between the young Shakespearean lovers Hamlet and Ophelia, Berkoff’s play parallels the events of Shakespeare’s play but gives a new insight into the way that their relationship develops, from first meeting to tragic end. Originally conceived as a piece for two actors on stage, Greenwich Theatre has secured Berkoff’s endorsement to reimagine the letters as video messages for this contemporary production, and director James Haddrell has brought together a cast of 39 young, emerging or marginalised actors to each perform one of the letters. Concluding the piece, it has now been confirmed that Helen Mirren will make a special appearance as Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. The Secret Love Life Of Ophelia is the latest event in Greenwich Connects, Greenwich Theatre’s ambitious online programme launched within days of the COVID-19 UK theatre closures. Supported by Arts Council England and the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the programme has included streamed shows from the theatre archives, weekly industry advice sessions, writer and actor challenges and the online version of the Greenwich Children’s Theatre Festival. The Secret Love Life Of Ophelia will premiere on Greenwich Theatre’s YouTube channel on Friday 31 July at 7.30pm, and will remain available to watch for free until Friday 14 August.

Jul 09
2020

Disney+ dropped a trailer for the upcoming film “The One and Only Ivan.” The movie is based on the award-winning book by Katherine Applegate and tells the story of Ivan, a silverback gorilla. The gorilla learns that life isn’t defined by place and circumstance but by the power of friendship and the courage to make change happen. You’ll be able to stream the movie on Disney+ on August 14th. “The One and Only Ivan” is directed by Thea Sharrock from a screenplay by Mike White, and is produced by the late Allison Shearmur, Angelina Jolie, and Brigham Taylor. Sue Baden-Powell and Thea Sharrock served as executive producers on the project. You can find Katherine Applegate’s bestselling book, which won numerous awards upon its publication in 2013, including the Newbery Medal, right here on Amazon. The Disney+ release features a hybrid of live-action and CGI, and stars Sam Rockwell as the voice of Ivan; Angelina Jolie as the voice of Stella; Danny DeVito as the voice of Bob the dog; Helen Mirren as the voice of Snickers the poodle; Brooklynn Prince as the voice of Ruby; Ramon Rodriquez as the mall employee George; Ariana Greenblatt as George’s daughter Julia; and Chaka Khan as the voice of Henrietta the chicken. The voice cast also includes Mike White as the voice of Frankie the seal; Ron Funches as the voice of Murphy the rabbit; Phillipa Soo as the voice of Thelma the parrot; and Bryan Cranston as Mack, the mall’s owner.

Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan” is an unforgettable tale about the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization and the significance of the place one calls home. Ivan is a 400-pound silverback gorilla who shares a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant, Bob the dog, and various other animals. He has few memories of the jungle where he was captured, but when a baby elephant named Ruby arrives, it touches something deep within him. Ruby is recently separated from her family in the wild, which causes him to question his life, where he comes from and where he ultimately wants to be.