Comedian Lucille Ball’s side-splitting facial expressions and pratfalls were so recognisable to audiences that scriptwriters for her three top-rating TV series (I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy) took to using shorthand to describe them. There was the “light bulb” for when her zany character came up with another madcap scheme; “credentials”, which indicated a “how dare you” gape when someone had the indignity to question her ability to pull something off; and “puddling up” when everything fell apart. Between 1951 and 1974, Ball was TV’s queen of comedy, a lovable redhead who was compared to Red Skelton, Eddie Cantor and the Marx Brothers for her gift for sophisticated slapstick (not surprising, given she worked with these comic legends in her early films).

Ball later became the first woman to run a major TV production studio, Desilu, which launched Star Trek in the 1960s. But the show that made Ball one of the most famous faces on the planet, the iconic I Love Lucy, which ran from 1951 to 1957, happened in large part because the then 40-year-old simply wanted a project that would enable her to keep an eye on her Cuban-born husband, Desi Arnaz, who was seven years her junior.

Ball and Arnaz had married in 1940, she a B-grade film actor and he a band leader who was constantly touring – and unfaithful. The legendary and tempestuous 20-year marriage of Ball and Arnaz – they divorced in 1960 – is now the subject of a new biopic, tentatively titled Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter. Penned by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, it will star Cate Blanchett as the comedian, with Ball’s real-life children Lucie Arnaz, 67, and Desi Arnaz jnr, 65, as producers. Amazon Studios has acquired the rights and it’s expected to begin filming next year.

Why the sudden interest in a comedian whom many under 30 would never have heard of? No doubt because of Baby Boomer and Generation X nostalgia – and the fact that, remarkably, Ball’s shows have been repeated on TV for nearly 70 years. Blanchett’s sons Dashiell, 16, Roman, 14, and Ignatius, 10, reportedly nudged her to take the role as they are fans of the early shows (she also has a three-year-old daughter, Edith). The best seal of approval was arguably from Ball’s own daughter, Lucie, who also wanted Blanchett to play the role. [Source]

Cate Blanchett attends the Louis Vuitton show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on October 2, 2018 in Paris. More new photos have been added.

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

‘Go on then: lock the doors and see what happens. Show me how much power you really have.’

This new play breaks through the surface of contemporary debate to explore the messy, often violent nature of desire and the fluid, complicated roles that men and women play.

Using Samuel Richardson’s novel, Pamela, as a provocation, six characters act out a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance.

The production reunites Martin Crimp (Attempts on her Life, In the Republic of Happiness) and director Katie Mitchell (Waves, Cleansed). Cate Blanchett makes her National Theatre debut alongside Stephen Dillane, who returns to the National Theatre for the first time since The Coast of Utopia in 2002.

For more info and tickets, please, visit this site.

I have added some photos of Cate arriving at the Louis Vuitton show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on October 2, 2018 in Paris. More photos are coming but you can take a look to the first ones.

A few photoshoots of Cate Blanchett have been added to the gallery.

Cate Blanchett attends the UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award in Geneva, Switzerland, 01 October 2018. First photos have been added and you can go to the gallery to take a look.

With its mix of magic and mystery, The House with a Clock in its Walls – the first in the series of books by John Bellairs – has been compared to another master of magic, Harry Potter. Is it all an illusion?

“Doing this film was the happiest I’ve ever been on set,” says Cate Blanchett, flashing her familiar cat-got-the-cream smile, as she animatedly chats about her bewitching role as Florence Zimmerman, in the kids’ fantasy The House With a Clock in Its Walls.

It’s a surprising admission, given Blanchett’s penchant for dramatic, weighty film roles, beguiling theatre performances and her triumphant, Oscar-winning portrayals in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine.

“I loved playing a witch and loved doing this film because magic makes me scream,” she reveals, her eyes widening with unbridled excitement. “I have a cousin, who’s ten years older than me, and he’s also obsessed with magic. When I was a kid, we used to go to his family’s farm and we’d lock him in a room and make him perform magic for us. It was just stupid things, like pretending to take your nose off or cutting a lemon and out comes the card that you’ve picked, but I adored it.

“So, I was thrilled by the prospect of working on a film full of magic, based on a book that I’d known – and loved – from my childhood,” continues Blanchett, passionately. “I found the whole experience enthralling.”

“It was the same for me,” adds Jack Black, who co-stars with Blanchett as her madcap, mystical Warlock neighbour, Jonathan Barnavelt. “I like to do films that I have an opportunity to flex my muscles in, so getting the chance to play someone with magical powers and create an invisible energy ball, right in my hand, was a fun first. It was a great experience, one of the funniest films I’ve ever done.” Continue lendo »

Finally, I have added the HQ scans of Cate Blanchett from Vanity Fair Italy, October 03, 2018 issue. So, you can go to the gallery and enjoy the scans. Don’t forget to buy the magazine!

Cate Blanchett and Jack Black are trying to talk to me without moving their lips.

Except the word lips is actually really tricky to say in this manner, and they soon crack up laughing.

Some might think these two Hollywood stars – one (Black) known for more comic roles, the other more serious – are an odd pairing. But it’s clear from their joking around that they had fun filming together.

And they’re hilarious to watch as witch Florence and warlock Jonathan, in new fantasy adventure A House With A Clock In Its Walls. Particularly memorable are their one-liner insults to each other, some of which California-born Black, 49, says were improvised.

“‘Mush brush’ was my favourite,” Australian Blanchett, also 49, recalls with a grin. “It’s so easy to think up insults for men with facial hair.”

From Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin Entertainment, the film is based on John Bellairs’ 1973 novel, and starts with orphan Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) moving to live with his uncle in a creaky old house.

“What I love about Florence, and Jonathan as well, is that their magic is broken, because they’ve both had tragedies in their lives,” says Blanchett, an Oscar-winner whose memorable roles include The Aviator, Carol, and the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

“The strength, ingenuity and weirdness of this little boy that comes into their lives gives them courage to use their magic again.”

Lewis quickly realises his new home is far from ordinary, as Florence and Jonathan introduce him to a world full of spells, and a quest to discover the source of a mysterious tick tock noise coming from within the walls.

When the trio realise that, if the clock goes off inside the house, it’s going to send time backwards to before human beings even existed, it could well be down to Lewis to save them all. Continue lendo »

Cate Blanchett covers Vanity Fair Italy, on stands the next October 3, 2018. Don’t forget to buy the magazine. Below you can read a part of the interview. Will add the scans as soon as I get these.

Cate Blanchett: «Il futuro che vorrei costruire»

Si dichiara femminista, e sa che «c’è ancora tanto da fare». Ma, dice, non è necessario radere al suolo il passato. È più importante credere nell’inclusione. Di tutte le «minoranze»

Qui un estratto dell’intervista di copertina pubblicata sul numero 39 di «Vanity Fair», in edicola fino al 3 ottobre 2018.

Cate Blanchett si è rotta un dito del piede poco prima di posare per le foto che vedete in queste pagine e di rilasciare l’intervista che state per leggere.
Niente di grave, incerti del mestiere. Il dito se lo è rotto saltando con troppa forza nell’enfasi interpretativa di un episodio di Documentary Now!, una serie ideata dagli stessi produttori dello show comico Saturday Night Live. Cate è stata chiamata a fare la parodia di un’artista-performer stile Marina Abramović.
«Una parodia o un omaggio?», si domanda, sorridendo, la splendida Cate durante questo nostro incontro, in qualità di global ambassador di Giorgio Armani Beauty.
Negli ultimi mesi, sui tappeti rossi – da Cannes, dove era presidente della giuria, a Venezia – è apparsa ancora più splendida e carismatica del solito, come se avesse raggiunto lo zenit dello stato di grazia e consapevolezza, capace di maneggiare alla perfezione, unica della sua specie, i segreti del divismo e del talento, della popolarità di massa e dell’indiscusso rispetto di registi, artisti, colleghi.

Tema del giorno: l’industria del cinema che cambia, le polemiche pro e contro Netflix. Lei come la vede?
«Lo streaming è una novità dirompente che serve ad aprire a un nuovo pubblico e a generare nuove forme di consumo del cinema. Probabilmente era anche una evoluzione inevitabile e necessaria, perché ha messo in discussione un sistema che si stava avvitando su se stesso: stessi film, sequel e prequel, stessi cliché e stesse strategie di marketing. Ma non ha senso dire che il cinema in sala non esiste più, queste esperienze possono coesistere. I festival, per esempio, continuano ad avere un grande valore perché hanno quel sapore di “evento” che inevitabilmente si perde se guardi un film a letto, in pigiama, addentando una pizza. Ma le cose diventano irrilevanti solo quando… diventano irrilevanti. E il cinema non lo è ancora». Continue lendo »

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