John Avildsen, Oscar-winning director of Rocky, dies aged 81

John Avildsen, Oscar-winning director of Rocky, dies aged 81

John G. Avildsen, the Oscar-winning director of Rocky and The Karate Kid, has died at the age of 81. Avildsen’s son Anthony told US media the filmmaker had died of pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Rocky – starring Sylvester Stallone as a rags-to-riches boxer – became the highest grossing film of 1976, despite having a relatively low budget. It won an Oscar for best picture, as well one for Avildsen as…

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Wonder Woman's female director conquers box office

Wonder Woman's female director conquers box office

Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman took $ 100.5m (£78.09m) at the US/Canada box office this weekend – the biggest domestic debut for a female director. Jenkins beat the previous record set by Sam Taylor-Johnson for Fifty Shades of Grey, which opened with $ 85.1m in 2015. Wonder Woman, starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot, has received largely positive reviews from film critics. Hollywood is known for its reluctance to hire female directors, especially for blockbuster superhero movies….

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Jonathan Demme, director of The Silence of the Lambs, dies at 73

Jonathan Demme, director of The Silence of the Lambs, dies at 73

Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of The Silence of the Lambs, has died in New York at the age of 73. His publicist confirmed he died from complications from oesophageal cancer. Born in 1944, Demme’s other features included Philadelphia, Something Wild and the Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense. Tom Hanks, who won an Oscar for his performance in Philadelphia, told the Press Association Demme was “the grandest of men”. He said: “Jonathan taught us…

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Anne Hathaway admits 'not trusting' female director

Anne Hathaway admits 'not trusting' female director

Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway has admitted to not trusting female directors in the past due to “internalised misogyny”. In an ABC interview, the star said she didn’t give her all to director Lone Scherfig in 2011 film One Day. “I really regret not trusting her more easily,” she said. “And I am to this day scared that the reason I didn’t trust her the way I trust some of the other directors I work with…

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Maria Balshaw: Manchester gallery boss to be Tate's first female director

Maria Balshaw: Manchester gallery boss to be Tate's first female director

Maria Balshaw, the head of Manchester’s acclaimed Whitworth Art Gallery, has been chosen to run the Tate art empire. Dr Balshaw will become the first female director in the Tate’s 120-year history and will replace Sir Nicholas Serota, who has been at the helm since 1988. She will take charge of the Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London as well as offshoots in Liverpool and St Ives. Under her stewardship, the Whitworth had an…

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ITV director calls for more 'happy' dramas

ITV director calls for more 'happy' dramas

ITV’s director of TV, Kevin Lygo, has called for “more fun and lightness” in TV drama, saying he’s “a bit tired of endless murders” on the small screen. Speaking at a Bafta event on Monday, Lygo said he wants more “happy, life-affirming” dramas like The Durrells and The Good Karma Hospital. “I bet you well over half our drama output will always have in some way crime at its heart,” he added. But he said…

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Polish film director Andrzej Wajda dies

Polish film director Andrzej Wajda dies

Oscar-winning Polish film director Andrzej Wajda has died aged 90, the Polish Filmmakers’ Association has confirmed. He made more than 40 feature films in a career spanning 60 years. Many of his films – including Kanal, Man of Marble, Man of Iron and Katyn – were inspired by Poland’s turbulent wartime and communist history. In 2000, Wajda was awarded an honorary Oscar for his contribution to world cinema. ‘Be alert to everything’ Wajda had been…

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