1. Cineworld talks with landlords and studios to weather coronavirus

    World’s second-largest cinema chain hopes for deals with banks after closing venues

    Cineworld, the world’s second-largest cinema chain, is in talks with landlords and film studios as it tries to save cash after it was forced to close all of its cinemas worldwide.

    The company, which has 787 cinemas in 10 countries, said it was talking to its banks about its “ongoing liquidity requirements” and suspended dividends to shareholders as it tries to weather the coronavirus crisis.

    Related:Film crew and cinema staff still face crisis after coronavirus shutdown

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  2. Honor Blackman, James Bond's Pussy Galore, dies aged 94

    Actor also known for role in Avengers praised as ‘hugely prolific creative talent’ by family

    Peter Bradshaw on Honor Blackman: an elegant and witty star who never took herself too seriously
    Honor Blackman: a life in pictures

    Honor Blackman, the actor best known for playing the Bond girl Pussy Galore, has died aged 94.

    Blackman, who became a household name in the 1960s as Cathy Gale in The Avengers and had a career spanning eight decades, died of natural causes unrelated to coronavirus.

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  3. Emmerdale and Aliens actor Jay Benedict dies of coronavirus

    American-born actor also appeared in Foyle’s War and The Dark Knight Rises

    See all our coronavirus coverage

    Former Emmerdale and Foyle’s War star Jay Benedict has died at the age of 68. The American born actor’s agency announced that Benedict died on 4 April as a result of contracting Covid-19.

    Benedict was born in Burbank, California, but moved to Europe in the 1960s and spent most of his working life in the UK. He appeared as Newt’s father in James Cameron’s Aliens and as “rich twit” in the final film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. He is perhaps best known in the UK for playing Doug Hamilton in Emmerdale and John Kieffer in Foyle’s War.

    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family ❤️

    Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed. Married to my lovely friend Phoebe Scholfield #AlloAllo My heart goes out to her and her family at this sad time #PhoebeScholfield @FreddieBenedict #LeoBenedict #SyncorSwim #COVID19

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  4. Larry David comes out in support of Woody Allen after reading memoir

    The Curb Your Enthusiasm star praises Allen’s book, Apropos of Nothing, after protests greeted the first attempt to publish it

    Larry David has expressed his support for Woody Allen after reading the latter’s newly published autobiography, Apropos of Nothing, saying: “It’s hard to [think] that this guy did anything wrong.”

    In an interview published in the New York Times, the Curb Your Enthusiasm star and Seinfeld co-creator said : “Yeah, it’s pretty great, it’s a fantastic book, so funny … You feel like you’re in the room with him … and it’s hard to walk away after reading that book thinking that this guy did anything wrong.”

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  5. Coronavirus and culture – a list of major cancellations

    Covid-19’s impact on the arts world has led to countless films and concerts being scrapped or postponed and theatres and galleries closed. Here’s an updating list of what’s affected so far


    Womad festivalcancelled.
    Dartington Music Summer School & festival cancelled
    All of the five Edinburgh festivals(throughout August), including the Fringe, cancelled.
    Bayreuth festival cancelled
    Aldeburgh festivalcancelled.
    All Academy and Live Nation venues postpone events up to 20 April.
    Cambridge Folk festival (30 July-2 Aug) cancelled.
    Lovebox festival cancelled.
    Parklife festival cancelled.
    All Points East festival cancelled.
    Henley festival cancelled.
    Download, the UK’s biggest rock music festival, cancelled.
    Isle of Wight festival cancelled.

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  6. Film and TV shoots resume in China as corona restrictions ease

    Zhang Yimou spy drama and popular TV series among projects reportedly given go-ahead, under strict health guidelines

    Signs of life are re-emerging in China’s film and TV industry, as studios across the country reopen and suspended film shoots are restarted, it has been reported.

    According to China Global Television Network, a branch of the state-owned TV network China Central Television, studios have reopened in Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao and Xi’an, and TV series such as Legend of Fei and Like a Flowing River have resumed production. High-profile film shoots, including Zhang Yimou’s Impasse, are also reported to have begun filming again.

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  7. Coronavirus support loophole leaves many UK film and TV staff without pay, say MPs

    Fears for up to 50,000 production workers currently ineligible for financial aid

    Tens of thousands of film and TV production staff left jobless by the coronavirus shutdown must be included in the chancellor’s coronavirus support package, an influential group of MPs has argued.

    The cross-party digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee has written to the Treasury urging a rethink on Rishi Sunak’s measures so that more self-employed people are eligible for income support.

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  8. Tiger King's Joe Exotic suggests Brad Pitt or David Spade should play him on screen

    Star of the Netflix true-crime documentary shares his casting preferences, though the only actor so far attached to a project is Kate McKinnon

    • Warning: this story contains spoilers for Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

    Joe Exotic, the central figure in the hit Netflix true-crime series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, has named Brad Pitt or David Spade as his preferred actors to play him in any future film adaptation.

    Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, one of the series’ directors, Rebecca Chaiklin, said that Exotic (AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage), who is currently serving a 22-year sentence in a Texas prison for attempting murder for hire, suggested the pair – though he referred to Spade as “Joe Dirt”, his character from the 2001 comedy described by the late critic Roger Ebert as a “low-rent Forrest Gump”.

    Related:Murder, madness and tigers: behind the year's wildest Netflix series

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  9. Little Women scene stolen by water bottles spotted in background

    Greta Gerwig remake of 19th century novel features not one, but two, very modern items

    Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1868 novel Little Women is known for being forward thinking – but not so forward thinking that it predicted the invention of plastic water bottles or Hydro Flasks.

    Both were spied in the background of a scene in Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film adaptation of the classic American coming-of-age tale, in echoes of an incident earlier last year in which a takeaway coffee cup was spotted in the background of a shot in the final season of fantasy epic Game of Thrones.



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  10. Film crew and cinema staff still face crisis after coronavirus shutdown

    Freelance and self-employed workers are in ‘precarious financial position’ as many fear they are falling through the cracks

    Production crew and cinema staff still fear losing their jobs and income despite UK government plans to address loss of income and jobs after the coronavirus pandemic brought the film industry virtually to a standstill.

    After a national cinema closure came into effect on 17 March, the actions of the UK’s biggest chains, including Cineworld and the Cineworld-owned Picturehouse, sparked widespread protest. Both chains, as well as Odeon and Empire Cinemas, have now said they will furlough employees along the lines of the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which offers to cover 80% of employees’ wages.

    Related:Chancellor's coronavirus bailout ignores many self-employed

    The government encouraged small businesses to set up and operate. Now when we need something back, we are told we don’t qualify. There are a lot of us drowning right now

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