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Joker Received An Eight-Minute Standing Ovation In Venice

One of TIFF 2019’s most anticipated films premiered at the Venice Film Festival over the weekend, and the audience not only ate it up, but gave the film an eight-minute standing ovation after it ended. 

The Joaquin Phoenix-led film tells the origin of the Batman villain, without Batman making an appearance. In fact several of the cast members, and the director himself, have repeatedly said that the film is not a comic book movie. It tells the story of a failed stand-up comedian named Arthur Fleck who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City after a series of events slows drives him to madness.

Critics have praised the film and its star, with many believing that Phoenix is in line for another Oscar nomination. The actor has previously been nominated for 2001’s Gladiator, 2006’s Walk the Line, and 2013’s The Master. So far though he hasn’t won a trophy.

The Joker character has been previously played on the big screen by Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, with Ledger winning a posthumous Oscar for the role. 

Joker will play at TIFF, then be released in October.

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Keifer Sutherland & Boyd Holbrook To Star In ‘The Fugitive’ Reboot

The classic TV Series “The Fugitive” is returning to the airwaves, but not in the way you think. This time it won’t be a man falsely accused of killing his wife hunting down a one-armed man, and it won’t be on cable TV either. The newly announced series will be airing on the upcoming streaming service Quibi, and it’s set to star Keifer Sutherland and Boyd Holbrook.

For the new series, Holbrook will play a father who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s on the Los Angeles subway during a bombing, and thanks to a social media campaign that points a finger at him as being the prime suspect, the police are investigating him. Throughout the show Holbrook’s character is desperate to united with his family who were also on board the train, but his efforts are thwarted by the manhunt efforts aimed at him by a legendary investigator played by Sutherland.   

The plot is very different from the original TV show, and even the 1993 movie of the same name, so other than the basic concept and title the comparisons should be kept to a minimum. What is also unique about the show is that Quibi is a streaming service that caters to the mobile-crowd, and creates short, broken up shows that can be watched quickly. They are planning on only airing the new series in 10 minute episodes that can be watched on lunch breaks and public transportation. 

At the moment there is no exact released date, but Quibi is expected to launch in 2020, and this series should be one of the few shows to help it take off. 

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Whitney Houston Hologram Tour To Launch In 2020

Whitney Houston may have passed away in 2012, but the late singer will be embarking on a new international tour starting in 2020 thanks to the help of holographic technology.

Having holograms take the stage in place of dead musicians is nothing new.  In 2012 Snoop Dogg took the stage with Tupac Shakur during Coachella, and since then people have been wondering when other musicians might make a return. BASE Hologram kicked off a “Roy Orbison Buddy Holly: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Dream Tour” earlier this year, and they also stated that Whitney Houston would eventually be following. Until now however, Whitney’s tour dates had yet to be announced. That changed yesterday, when they said the tour would kick off on January 23rd in Mexico, and wrap up in Minsk on April 3rd. More dates, including ones in the U.S. and Canada were to be announced later on, but are expected to be in the fall. 

“An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour” will have live dancers and a live band accompanying the Houston hologram. All of the singer’s famous hits are set to be featured, including “I Will Always Love You,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “The Greatest Love of All” and “Higher Love.” BASE Hologram Chairman and CEO Brian Becker told Rolling Stone Magazine that the show shouldn’t be looked at as a throw-back show. “This isn’t a journey through time, but more of a celebration of her best work,” he said. “The main goal in these types of shows is to preserve the legacy of one-of-a-kind musicians and using their actual master recordings, give fans the chance to see them perform — many for the first time.”

Whitney’s former manager and President of her estate Pat Houston said in a statement that “Whitney is not with us, but her music will live with us forever. We know we made the right decision partnering with BASE because they understand how important it is to produce a phenomenal hologram. They also know that engaging her fans with an authentic Whitney experience would resonate worldwide because of the iconic status that she created over three decades. Her fans deserve nothing less because she gave nothing less than her best.”

Whether the tour will be a success or not has yet to be seen, but it certainly paves the way for more performers in the future. 

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Jojo Rabbit Wins TIFF 2019’s People’s Choice Award

TIFF 2019’s People’s Choice award winner was difficult to call. On one hand several of the top films, including Joker, were dark and audience reactions were mixed at best. Then there were fan favourites like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which while good, seemed a little bit too conventional. In the end of though, it was director Taika Waititi’s dark Nazi Germany-set “anti-hate satire,” Jojo Rabbit that brought home the award, and will probably be one of the most talked about films from now until awards season.

Jojo Rabbit follows the story of a young German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) who has big dreams of being a good Nazi. In his quest he is aided by his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler (who Waititi portrays himself). His world is turned upside down however when he finds out that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a teenaged Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their home. 

After finding out that his film had won, Waititi said in a statement released by TIFF that “It’s a huge honour and this is a massive deal for me. The outpouring of love and emotion and support for the film from the audiences was just the first time I’d experienced that and it’s going to stay with me forever. And now this award, it’s incredible.”

Waitiki is best known for directing the superhero blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, as well as the vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows.

The winner of the TIFF People’s Choice awards typically goes on to win more awards and acclaim during awards season, including Oscars. In the past few years those films have included Green Room, La La Land, Room, 12 Years a Slave, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Slumdog Millionaire.

By: Roderick Thedorff

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