Victoria and Abdul, a film about the Queen and her Indian servant

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A new film starring Judi Dench details the inspiring true story of the Queen of England and her unique friendship with a servant from India. Watch the trailer here now…

Universal Pictures has released the first official trailer for its new biographical film, Victoria and Abdul. Directed by Stephen Frears, the movie is based on the real life events of Queen Victoria (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) and puts the focus on her unexpected friendship with Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a servant from India.

How dare you look down on Abdul, I am the Queen of England, Empress of India. Abdul has risen on his own merit. He too was a servant. Now, he’s my friend.

When Abdul Karim, a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.

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Queen Victoria at her desk, assisted by her servant Abdul Karim, the ‘Munshi’. Date: c. 1885

The must-watch trailer shows glimpses of a deep bond between the pair despite the disapproval of her close confidants.

Victoria and Abdul, which also stars Michael Gambon and Eddie Izzard, is scheduled for release on September 22, and you can probably bank on some kind of fall festival appearance. Watch the trailer below:

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Matthew Weiner’s Amazon Series Revealed: Russian Royals

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Nearly two years after America said goodbye to Don, Peggy, Roger, and the rest of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce crew, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is finally ready to reveal his next project: The Romanoffs, an anthology series centered around people who believe themselves to be the modern-day descendants of the Romanov family.

Every single episode—and there will be eight—has a different cast, a different story and a different location. The thing that holds them together is that all of the stories involve people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Romanov [family].

Matt Weiner

Of course, the Romanov family was the last dynasty to rule Russia from 1613 until the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917. In July of 1918, Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children and remaining loyal servants were executed, a slaughter that has, over the years, inspired conspiracy theories, including the myth that Nicholas and Alexandra’s daughter Anastasia survived the attack. Weiner’s unconventional of the Russian surname reportedly reflects both the pronunciation and how it was spelled up until recently.

We’re at a place in our history where people are looking for a close connection to their roots, and for some kind of revelation about who they are. There’s great debate about who is a Romanoff and what happened to the Romanoffs. The story for me is that we’re all questioning who we are and who we say we are.

Matt Weiner

There’s no date set for the show, but Weiner hopes that the it will debut on Amazon in the spring of 2018. And as for whether we’ll see Weiner teaming up ‘Mad Men’ stars like Jon Hamm or Elizabeth Moss once again, he said, “I definitely would not rule that out”.

Natalie Portman’s Piaget silver screen moment in Jackie

 

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Natalie Portman’s role in the film ‘Jackie’ comes complete with costume details created exclusively by Piaget.

Four historic days in the life of Jackie Kennedy, the most elegant First Lady of the USA, is the theme of ‘Jackie’, a new biopic by Pablo Larraín starring Academy Award nominee Natalie Portman, in cinemas now. And no portrait of Jackie Kennedy would be complete without faithfully reproducing her iconic, top-to-toe style, including her watch and jewels, which are key to replicating her polished look.

Piaget is the watch and jewellery brand most closely associated with the 1960s, so it is not surprise that Jackie Kennedy was often seen wearing her gold and diamond Piaget watch with a jade dial, below. Now in Piaget’s private museum collection, this very same watch was loaned to Natalie Portman to wear in the film.

Today, Piaget has recreated the timepieces, following the same oval-shaped dial of the iconic gold Piaget watch, the new creations are crafted in white and pink gold, with a dial that comes in malachite, lapis, turquoise or cornelian.

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Jackie Kennedy’s iconic Piaget watch with a jade dial, as worn by Natalie Portman in the film Jackie.

Natalie Portman also wears contemporary Piaget jewels that evoke the former First Lady’s style. A Limelight strand of pink freshwater pearls and diamonds, below, captures the simple chic style of Jackie, while pink gold diamond tassel earrings, top of article, add a touch of restrained glamour.

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To mark Piaget’s moment in the limelight, the Swiss watch manufacturer has created two new versions of this watch. Both feature the instantly recognisable gold strap, so finely articulated that it drapes around the wrist like a bracelet.

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In celebration of the biopic, Piaget have released two new versions of Jacky Kennedy’s famed watch. This version is in yellow 18k gold and has a red cornelian dial  ($51.000)

The gold is hand-decorated to create the ‘Palace’ pattern that is a key design element of this watch, little changed since the 1960s. One version is in rose gold with a red cornelian dial, above, also surrounded by diamonds. The second is in white gold with a turquoise dial and diamonds around the dial, below.

 

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The second new interpretation of Jackie Kennedy’s famed watch comes in white gold with a turquoise dial (£56,500).

Discover the exclusive Piaget Kennedy-inspired timepieces here, which feature in the trailer for ‘Jackie’….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Éden

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And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

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In this story, João (Nuno Pardal) and Pedro (Pedro Sousa Loureiro) live in this garden. What João wants the most is for Pedro to be happy and the only way he found to make that happen is to support him in his escape with Sara (Sara Barros Leitão). On the other hand, Pedro learned how to love João and does not want to leave the garden. But one of them ate the forbidden fruit.

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Director Fábio Freitas
Portugal 2014
12 mins

Fábio Freitas was born in Vila Franca de Xira in 1987. Graduated in Audiovisuals and Multimedia at Escola Superior de Comunicação Social, Lisbon (2010), works for seven years as Continuity Assistant at NBP/Plural (2007-2013). He has been working since 2013 in the production of Bem-vindo a Beirais, a successful series for the Portuguese Public Broadcasting System – RTP, and in several entertainment programs for the production company Shine Iberia. His first work in cinema was in 2012 as scriptwriter and producer of the short film Sara (2012), directed by Miguel Antunes. On the following year he directs his first short film Leaving (2013), exhibited in several international film festivals.

Come into the world of Éden

 

 

 

Steve McQueen’s dunebuggy in The Thomas Crown Affair

In 1967, Steve McQueen wasn’t as synonymous with cars and motorcycles as we remember now. Aside from his motorcycle scenes in The Great Escape, there wasn’t anything that really connected him to car and motorcycle culture in any of his dozens of movie appearances. That all changed in 1967, though. Beginning with The Thomas Crown Affair, he wouldn’t star in a movie until 1973’s Papillon that didn’t have cars as some part of the story. But Norman Jewison’s 1968 film put McQueen in one cool car after another.

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1968: Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway co-starred in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’. The movie is about a millionaire businessman who pulls off the perfect high-class robbery. (Pierce Brosnan reprised the role in 1999.) McQueen did his own stunts in the film, including playing polo and driving this Meyers Manx dune buggy dune buggy across the Massachusetts coastline (Click photo to enlarge).

The original script for The Thomas Crown Affair called for the star to run Faye Dunaway around Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts in a Jeep. Probably a fair choice to not get stuck in the sand, but can you imagine how dull that scene would’ve been without the spinouts, jumps and raw, unmuffled exhaust note of the dune buggy?

McQueen wanted more, and what’s more than that, he’d do the driving. He contracted with Con-Ferr Manufacturing in Burbank, California. For years, Con-Ferr built all kinds of accessories for the growing four-wheel drive market, fitting racks and brush guards on Jeeps, IH Scouts, Broncos and even early Suzuki Samurais.

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They also built a handful of their own off-road vehicles, so McQueen contracted them to produce the ‘Queen Manx’, which the company completed in just eight weeks. It started life as a standard Manx, but it included:

A 4-barrel 140 HP Corvair engine. McQueen wanted a Porsche engine, but ran out of budget. He claims it had 240hp in the behind-the-scenes video below
Con-Ferr used an engine adaptor made by Ted Trevor, the guy who developed the Corv-8 conversion for Crown Manufacturing, to mate the swing-axle VW transaxle with its flipped ring & pinion to the Corvair engine
Special extra-wide rear wheels cast by American Racing that were produced to accommodate the Firestone racing tires from Andy Granatelli’s STP Special (#40) turbine car (which almost won the 1967 Indy 500)
Unique headlamp scoops to accommodated the smaller 5¾” DOT approved 12-volt headlamps
A marine-style, super-short windshield and rails
Custom waffle stitched Naugahyde seats and interior trim, crafted at Tony Nancy’s Sherman Oaks, California upholstery shop, using Datsun Fairlady seat frames
Elongated side panels to eliminate the need for side pods; According to HunterDunebuggy.com, Bruce Meyers never incorporated this feature, because it prevented the fiberglass bodies from being stackable
A Con-Ferr nameplate on the hood replacing the Meyers Manx badge

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Steve McQueen Manx interior (Click photo to enlarge).

After the movie, Bruce Meyers started building Corvair-specific Manx Buggies in conjunction with Con-Ferr called the “Manx-Vair.” If you find a Meyers Manx with a serial number beginning in “CC,” it was Corvair-powered. “CV” serial numbers refer to buggies powered by Volkswagen engines.

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Manx Vair ad. (Click photo to enlarge).

Con-Ferr also produced Corvair powered replicas of the Queen Manx, with marketing materials that referred to the movie. Consider, for a moment, what it would cost a company today to market a product using the name of a film with an Oscar under its belt, even if that Academy Award was for “Best Song.” Con-Ferr’s kits paired a modified  Meyers Manx body with a custom-fabricated chassis, rather than using VW floorpans.

Dolce Rosa Excelsa, the movie

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Sicily, Bagheria. A mother and her five handsome sons return to their ancient family home, a beautiful yet visibly eroded Sicilian Villa, which they restore to its former glory….

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Dolce & Gabbana has united 3 of the most eminent figures in Italian cinema in a film which recounts the inspiration behind the Dolce Rosa Excelsa scent, and celebrates the launch of Dolce Rosa Excelsa with a short film that brings together three of the biggest stars in Italian cinema: director Giuseppe Tornatore, composer Ennio Morricone and actress Sophia Loren.

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It was an honour to work with these three masters of Italian cinema who bring our creative vision to life. Sophia Loren embodies Italian beauty across the world. We love Giuseppe’s sensibility, his perception of Sicily is the same as ours, so working with him feels very natural. Ennio Morricone’s music has always been a part of our culture, so it gives the story a celebratory, Italian feel.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Following the first act, entitled ‘Rinascita’ (‘rebirth’) are acts II and III, called ‘Festa’ (‘party’) and ‘Meravigliosa’ (‘wonderful’) respectively

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Rich in symbolism, suggestion and emotions, the new film sees three Oscar winners bring the story of the new female fragrance to life. The Dolce Rosa Excelsa film opens with a determined Sophia Loren, a mother of five sons advancing towards the screen.

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Sophia Loren takes the role of the strong female matriarch, leading the restoration of a large Sicilian estate, Villa Valguarnera di Bagheria near Palermo. She is the driving force behind the family and the restoration of their ancestral home, and typically of Loren’s film persona, she proves not to be averse to getting her hands dirty.

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Her character is juxtaposed to that of Rosa, played by Dolce & Gabbana testimonial Kate King, who comes into view in the second part of the film, once the restoration is completed. Rosa’s beauty strikes one of Loren’s sons who in a bid to capture her heart, picks the most beautiful rose from the garden and offers it to her.

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What comes next is at the base of the inspiration of the fragrance: Rosa being gifted with a rose by the young man is secondary, it is her offering the rose to Loren which bares the most significance. It is a meeting between two women from two different generations. A meeting filled with symbolism, beauty and tradition. A highly-charged cascade of spirit and elegance, the encounter is as timeless as the Rose itself.

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Sophia Loren, the 81 year old muse and an icon of womanhood and timelessness, recently had already lent her unforgettable features to Dolce & Gabbana for the campaign of Sophia Loren No.1 Lipstick and continues to inspire the designers and cements her rapport with them with her performance in this film.

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The Dolce Rosa Excelsa film opens with a determined Sophia Loren advancing towards the screen. As the mother of five sons she takes the role of the strong female matriarch, leading the restoration of a large Sicilian estate.

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The house is restored to its former splendour and the whole town is invited to a party to celebrate. The striking Rosa, played by Kate King, catches the eye of Sophia’s youngest son. Stricken by her beauty. Sophia Loren then joins the others in the garden for the party. Kate approaches and offers her the rose.

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It is an encounter between two women from two different generations. A meeting filled with symbolism, beauty and tradition as timeless as the rose itself.

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The Dolce Rosa Excelsa film features creative themes and symbolism synonymous with Dolce & Gabbana’s creative vision. This begins with the most fascinating and unique of all flowers, the Rose; a recurrent motif seen throughout Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s runway collections and the inspiration for this new scent. Finally, there is the inescapable fusion of tradition and modernity that has always characterised Dolce & Gabbana. The innocence of youth and the wisdom of everlasting values are echoed in the meeting between Kate and Sophia, which brings the film to a close.

Rich in symbolism, suggestion and emotions, the new film sees three Academy Award winners bring the story of the new female fragrance to life: director Giuseppe Tornatore, composer Ennio Morricone, actress Sophia Loren.

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Dolce Rosa Excelsa marks the fifth collaboration and on-going relationship between the Designers and Giuseppe Tornatore. While the Oscar winner and 2016 Oscar nominated Ennio Morricone soundtrack ties together the direction, protagonists and inspiration of the film with his signature notes.

 

 

Where Are You Going, Habibi?

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Ibrahim, a young German of Turkish descent, leads a double life, living with his tradition-bound family and spending his days looking for a respectable job. But outside his parent’s aparatment, Ibo (as he’s called by his family and friends) is a confident gay man who works in a sex shop and is on the hunt for Mr. Right.

One fateful day, the charismatic and self-described straight ‘Al’ appears at his door and Ibo is instantly obsessed with the wrestler and petty criminal, secretly following him around the city. What begins as a one-sided infatuation quickly evolves into a flirtatious yet meaningful friendship. A series of unexpected events in their lives draws Ibo and Ali closer together but also threatens to tear them apart.

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Writer and director Tor Iben has crafted an utterly charming story about an unlikely friendship and the universal search for love, with the subtle yet powerful theme of racial and cultural acceptance at its core.

With Cem Alkan, Martin Walde, Neil Malik Abdullah, Özay Fecht, İlknur Boyraz, Alexander Becht u.a.

Cinema start: 10.03.2016

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