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Ethan Hawke Explains Why His Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward Doc Became a Six-Hour Affair

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Until quite late in the process of crafting “The Last Movie Stars” — a six-hour deep dive into the on- and off-screen lives of Hollywood golden couple Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, now streaming on HBO Max — director Ethan Hawke resisted the notion that he was making a TV series.

“I don’t like episodic. I don’t like the nature of false cliffhangers. My brain is allergic to that,” admits Hawke, who unveiled an hour of the project at the South by Southwest film festival in March, then two more segments at the Cannes Film Festival in May. “When I started, I really wanted it to be short enough that you could watch it in one sitting. I wanted to lasso it into the size of ‘No Direction Home’ or something like that.”

But the more he dug, the bigger it grew, expanding beyond the couple’s career successes — which include 14 Academy Award nominations between them, a best actor Oscar, a best actress Oscar and four Emmys — to their philanthropy, political activism and unusually private (for such a high-profile pair) personal lives. The final episode, which begins with the couple’s deaths and runs slightly more than 90 minutes, is like a film unto itself.

“If I had to make one feature-length documentary about Paul and Joanne, that’s what it would be,” Hawke says. That said, “I didn’t want to make the movie about their death. I wanted to make it about their life.” That’s why the last chapter buries them up front, then works backward through the most complex portion of their lives. (Hawke likens the undertaking to Doris Goodwin Kearns’ nearly-800-page FDR biography “No Ordinary Time.”)

It all started with a phone call from the couple’s youngest daughter, Clea Newman. Years earlier, “Rebel Without a Cause” screenwriter Stewart Stern had conducted a series of interviews with practically all the key parties for a biography about their father. But at a certain point, Paul had changed his mind and destroyed the tapes.

Fortunately, a stack of transcripts survived, including candid insights from so many of the key players in the couple’s life, from former roommate Gore Vidal and director Elia Kazan (who auditioned Newman for James Dean’s role in “East of Eden” and favored him over Marlon Brando for “On the Waterfront”) to Newman’s first wife, Jacqueline Witte.

“I knew enough to know what a huge undertaking it would be. And I desperately wanted to say no, because I understood that if I said yes, it would hijack a couple years of my life,” Hawke says. What he couldn’t know, however, was that a different, totally unforeseen force would hijack everybody’s lives, making the project an ideal distraction from the pandemic.

In any case, the more Hawke thought about it, the more impressed and intrigued he was with the couple, who met each other early in their career and left an incredible legacy as activists, parents and first-class movie stars — two of the last surviving members of the Lee Strasberg-trained generation that propelled acting into the modern era.

“We’re talking about two white people in America who were born with a lot and did a hell of a lot with it. They gave back, making meaningful substantive art for 50 years; they gave hundreds of millions of dollars away. They gave away a hell of a lot more money than they had,” Hawke says. “I was curious how to sustain that level of excellence for 50 years. Like, how does a person do that?”

Because Hawke had been approached by the couple’s children, he had their support to examine all aspects of their parents’ story, including the damage caused by the divorce and the impacts of Newman’s alcoholism. “They understand journalistic integrity, and they understand art, in that you have to have a point of view. Anytime somebody does something nonfiction, it’s not the truth; it’s the truth with a point of view,” Hawke says.

“They spent their life listening to people hyperbolize their father, and felt that the world diminished the most amazing person in their life, their mother. And if it were entirely up to them, they would have this whole thing be about their mom, but you can’t tell Joanne’s story and not include Paul. Their lives were inextricably entwined together.”

To bring the transcripts to life, Hawke had the idea of enlisting fellow actors to perform the interviews and other archival segments in character: George Clooney agreed to play Paul, Laura Linney (who’d acted opposite Woodward early in her career) read Joanne’s words, with more than a dozen others playing close friends and collaborators. He did the sessions on Zoom, never intending to include that footage in the film.

“We started using them only as placeholders,” he said. “I hate Zoom. If I never see Zoom again as long as I live, it’s too much. But then I started realizing there’s a vérité quality to Zoom that’s very dynamic when juxtaposed with these Technicolor Hollywood movies. It’s almost like we were pulling back the curtain and seeing behind stage.”

Plus, it brought another key dimension to the film: one in which actors could share their insights into the couple’s craft. In an early Zoom clip, Vincent D’Onofrio demonstrates Method acting. Several episodes later, Sally Field recalls how Woodward was instrumental in her being cast in the career-making miniseries “Sybil.”

In the end, “it did hijack my brain, and there were many times when I thought I was in way over my head,” Hawke admits. But the six-part format allowed him to go deep on various aspects of their career that he found important — like how Woodward was the bigger, more respected star when they married (landing mammoth roles in films such as “The Three Faces of Eve” and “The Fugitive Kind”), and how Newman’s success eclipsed hers.

Among Woodward’s greatest regrets was an adaptation of William Inge’s play “A Loss of Roses” that the studio reportedly overhauled and renamed “The Stripper.”

“She says Darryl Zanuck ruined it. Did he? Was it really so much better? I don’t know. The cut doesn’t exist, so we can’t know,” Hawke says. “We know that the play is a lot better, and I can tell by watching it scene by scene, that Joanne is amazing in the movie. Warren Beatty played the part originally on Broadway. If they got him, it might have been more looked after. But for our movie, it sure became the perfect metaphor.”

“The Last Movie Stars” positions the project as one that might have been her “On the Waterfront.” It could’ve made her a contender — even more than she already was. Instead, Hawke explains, “You see Joanne being strong-armed into a lane as soon as she has children.” At the end of the second episode, he quotes Woodward as saying, “If I had to do it all over again, I might not have had children. Actors don’t make good parents.”

They’re startling words, but not so much a disavowal of her life choices as a candid acknowledgement that Woodward didn’t understand what she was going to be asked to give up, Hawke explains. “We don’t like hearing it, but that’s one of the hard things that the female experience provides, which is they’re not allowed to have nuanced feelings about parenting,” he says. “Paul didn’t have to give up his career when he became a dad.”

Which is part of the reason Newman became a director, “The Last Movie Stars” explains: He decided to direct “Rachel, Rachel” so Woodward could play the lead role, knowing the project would showcase her incredible range. They made 15 films together in all.

“You know, something I wasn’t able to include that I found really interesting is that, although she said that [about being a parent], at the end of their life, he really regretted missing the time with the kids, and she didn’t regret anything.”



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Marvel’s Spider-Man Screenshot Shows The Horror Of Peter Without His Suit

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While playing Marvel’s Spider-Man, one Reddit user managed to screenshot an unmasked Peter Parker when he was in a rather uncomfortable position.


A disturbing image from Marvel’s Spider-Man shows that Peter Parker is better off with the Spidey suit on. One of the achievements of Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man adventure was the beautifully accurate animations of the Webhead’s heroic motions. Sadly, under the right circumstances, even the most polished aspects of the game, like the remastered Marvel’s Spider-Man‘s web-swinging gameplay for PC, can become terrifying to behold.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

One of the advantages of translating Spider-Man into a video game is that the Webslinger is one of the more animated characters amidst the cavalcade of comic book heroes. Spider-Man’s fast, graceful movements command a powerful presence during fight scenes, whether on paper or the big screen. Developer Insomniac Games realized these fast-paced motions could also make Spider-Man incredibly intuitive to control and prioritized these animations in Marvel’s Spider-Man. Thanks to Insomniac’s attention to detail, watching the Webhead unerringly zip and fight across an open-world New York City became a key selling point, and one that helped make Marvel’s Spider-Man one of the best Marvel games to date.

However, Reddit user youkno_jayy, discovered that despite such care into the visuals, all it takes is one poorly timed screenshot to show its cracks. The disturbing image shared by youkno_jayy features Peter Parker in Marvel’s Spider-Man with his neck inhumanly elongated as he looks down upon the city. Youkno_jayy stated that this screenshot was taken from one of Marvel’s Spider-Man‘s DLC missions, during a section where Peter Parker must go unmasked. Seeing his body contort in ways that would usually be hidden by the suit is something of a pain in the neck, and one that was better left to the imagination.


Peter Parker’s Neck Is Helpless Without Spider-Man’s Suit

While Peter’s neck injury here was an unfortunate case of the game’s camera getting too close for its own good, many other strange body contortions are the result of mods. Some mods fail to account for unforeseen moments like these, but others, like the playable Wolverine mod for Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, play to the animations’ strengths for a more seamless experience. Of course, sometimes it’s fun to load up mods to intentionally cause weird scenarios like youkno_jayy’s chiropractic incident, but this method often breaks more than a neck.

Though youkno_jayy’s experience was authentic to the base game, a mod that allows fans to control Peter Parker without his suit for the entire game might be a fun thing to experience. With Marvel’s Spider-Man available on PC, there will likely be more ridiculous modding scenarios in the Webslinger’s future. For the time being, however, Parker should rarely go crime fighting without his suit to avoid future complications.

Source: youkno_jayy/Reddit

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Hillary Clinton on Kim Kardashian’s Criminal Justice Efforts: ‘Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen’ (Exclusive)

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Hillary Clinton is singing the praises of Kim Kardashian. The former Secretary of State and host of the docuseries Gutsy has nothing but appreciation for the reality star’s criminal justice reform efforts.

Hillary and daughter Chelsea Clinton spoke with ET’s Deidre Behar at Variety’s Power of Women gala in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and the pair opened up on which of the many celebs they interviewed — as part of their Apple TV+ docuseries — impressed and impacted them the most.

“Kim Kardashian was unlike anything you’ve ever seen,” Hillary said in awe. “Because she is serious about trying to help people have been been incarcerated unfairly, for too long.”

Kim’s appearance on Gutsy made headline in August when a preview clip revealed that the reality star and law student actually bested Hillary in a legal pop quiz show-down.

Another guest who wowed the famous mother and daughter was Megan Thee Stallion.

“[She] was so calm and impressive as we were painting with her,” Hillary recalled.

“And she also had a lot more talented than we did, which surprised no one,” Chelsea added with a laugh.

While the Clintons have been working together on Gutsy, it seems that Chelsea isn’t planning on following in her mother’s footsteps when it comes to potential political ambitions.

“I think all of us right now are political, especially if you’re a woman in America, when we have politicians deciding what’s best for our bodies instead of we knowing what’s best for ourselves,” She shared. “So I think we all are political.”

“I have no plans to run for public office, but I care deeply about being an engaged citizen and deeply about insuring that my children have even more rights than I’ve had,” she added.

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s inspiring 8-episode docuseries, Gutsy, is streaming now on Apple TV+.

 

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ABC, Vice Lead 2022 News Emmy Award Winners

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ABC and Vice tied with the most wins, at 8 each, on night one as the news portion of the 43rd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards were handed out at the Palladium Times Square in New York City.

Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour” was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award was presented by Robert MacNeil, co-creator and former co-anchor of the NewsHour.

“Tonight’s Emmy winners exemplify broadcast journalism at its best, reporting that values fact over fiction, accountability over advocacy, and that champions the advance of truth in the interest of the communities we all serve”, said Terry O’Reilly, Chairman, NATAS. “America has never needed its journalists more than today. We congratulate tonight’s honorees and thank them for the indispensable service they provide to our nation.”

Here’s a rundown of Night 1 winners:

OUTSTANDING LIVE NEWS PROGRAM

“CBS Mornings / CBS This Morning” (CBS)

OUTSTANDING RECORDED NEWS PROGRAM

“60 Minutes” (CBS)

OUTSTANDING EMERGING JOURNALIST

Rachel Scott (ABC)

OUTSTANDING LIVE BREAKING NEWS COVERAGE

NBC News Specials: January 6 Attack on the Capitol (NBC)

OUTSTANDING EDITED BREAKING NEWS COVERAGE

“Vice News Tonight” (Vice)

OUTSTANDING CONTINUING NEWS COVERAGE: SHORT FORM

ABC World News Tonight with David Muir: “The Climate Crisis” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING CONTINUING NEWS COVERAGE: LONG FORM

Vice News Tonight: “Yemen: The Forgotten War” (Vice)

OUTSTANDING SOFT FEATURE STORY: SHORT FORM

ABC News Soul of a Nation: “Miss Lucille” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING SOFT FEATURE STORY: LONG FORM

20/20: “The Babies of 9/11: Twenty Years Later” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING HARD NEWS FEATURE STORY: SHORT FORM

The Lead with Jake Tapper; “9-Year-Old Afghan Sold into Marriage” (CNN)

OUTSTANDING HARD NEWS FEATURE STORY: LONG FORM

Vice News Tonight: “A Christian Summer Camp’s History of Abuse” (Vice)

OUTSTANDING INVESTIGATIVE NEWS COVERAGE: SHORT FORM

“How a U.S. Drone Strike Killed the Wrong Person” (The New York Times)

OUTSTANDING INVESTIGATIVE NEWS COVERAGE: LONG FORM

Frontline and BBC Arabic: “Yemen’s COVID Cover-Up” (PBS)

OUTSTANDING LIVE NEWS SPECIAL

“The 15th Annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute” (CNN)

OUTSTANDING RECORDED NEWS SPECIAL

60 Minutes: “9/11: The FDNY” (CBS)

OUTSTANDING NEWS DISCUSSION & ANALYSIS

Meet the Press: “Schools, America & Race” (NBC)

OUTSTANDING NEWS ANALYSIS: EDITORIAL AND OPINION

The New York Times Opinion Video: “Blue States, You’re the Problem” (The New York Times)

AND

The New York Times Opinion Video: “Humanity Has Not Yet Failed (Featuring Greta Thunberg)” (The New York Times)

OUTSTANDING LIVE INTERVIEW

The New York Times DealBook Summit: “One-on-One with Adam Neumann” (The New York Times)

OUTSTANDING EDITED INTERVIEW

20/20: “Escape from a House of Horror” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY OR ENVIRONMENTAL COVERAGE

CNN Special Report: “Eating Planet Earth: The Future of Your Food” (CNN)

AND

“Unlivable Oasis” (ProPublica, TIME, Truly CA, Univision Noticias)

AND

World News Tonight: “Madagascar: The Children of Climate Change” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING HEALTH OR MEDICAL COVERAGE

Vice News Tonight: “Aging, Inc.” (Vice)

OUTSTANDING ARTS, CULTURE OR ENTERTAINMENT COVERAGE

The New York Times Presents: “Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson” (FX)

OUTSTANDING BUSINESS, CONSUMER OR ECONOMIC COVERAGE

Frontline and The New York Times: “Boeing’s Fatal Flaw” (PBS)

OUTSTANDING CRIME AND JUSTICE COVERAGE

“Get Away from the Target – Rescuing Migrants from the Libyan Coast Guard” (The Outlaw Ocean Project and The Guardian)

BEST NEWS COVERAGE: SHORT FORM

“How a U.S. Drone Strike Killed the Wrong Person” (The New York Times)

BEST NEWS COVERAGE: LONG FORM

“Return of the Taliban: A Vice News Special Report” (Showtime)

OUTSTANDING NEWS PROGRAM IN SPANISH

“Noticiero Univision” (Univision)

OUTSTANDING JOURNALIST IN SPANISH LANGUAGE MEDIA

Vanessa Hauc (Telemundo)

OUTSTANDING COVERAGE OF A BREAKING NEWS STORY IN SPANISH

Noticiero Telemundo: “Enero 6 – Asalto a la Democracia” (Telemundo)

OUTSTANDING INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM IN SPANISH

Aquí y Ahora/Univision Investiga: “La oscura luz del mundo” (Univision)

OUTSTANDING FEATURE STORY IN SPANISH

Vice News Tonight: “Después de la tormenta” (Vice)

OUTSTANDING WRITING: NEWS

20/20: “Escape from a House of Horror” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING RESEARCH: NEWS

“Ethiopia: Exposing the Hallmarks of a Genocide” (CNN)

AND

Vice News: “The Shockwave” (Vice)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION: NEWS

“ABC News Soul of a Nation” (ABC)

OUTSTANDING VIDEO JOURNALISM: NEWS

“Return of the Taliban: A Vice News Special Report” (Showtime)

AND

Vice News Tonight: “Inside the Battle for Jerusalem” (Vice)

OUTSTANDING GRAPHIC DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION: NEWS

CNN Digital (CNN)

OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT

Today: “Jenna Skydives Live with U.S. Army” (NBC)

OUTSTANDING REGIONAL NEWS STORY: SPOT OR BREAKING NEWS

“Battleground Salt Lake” (KSL 5, Salt Lake City)

OUTSTANDING REGIONAL NEWS STORY: INVESTIGATIVE REPORT

“My Name Is Anjanette Young” (WBBM 2, Chicago)

43rd News & Documentary Emmy® Awards Nominations

Breakdown by Network, Show, Program or Segment

ABC 8

Vice 8

CNN 5

The New York Times 5

CBS 3

NBC 3

PBS 2

Showtime 2

Telemundo 2

Univision 2

FX 1

The Outlaw Ocean Project and The Guardian 1

ProPublica, TIME, Truly CA, Univision Noticias 1

KSL-TV (Salt Lake City, UT) 1

WBBM-TV (Chicago, IL) 1



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