CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Zhang Ru
Black Coal, Thin Ice won the Golden Bear Award [photo:baidu.com]
Welcome everybody, it is Sunday the 23rd day of February, 2014.
I'm Chris Leavitt and you're listening to Entertainment Weekly.
If you're looking to catch up on what's new in showbiz with a weekly digest of only the biggest stories from the world of entertainment, then this is the show to listen to, every Sunday, where I'll be breaking it all down for you.
On this episode of Entertainment Weekly
I'll fill you in on the winners from The British Academy of Film and Television Awards, otherwise known as BAFTA.
Plus I'll tell you about an upcoming film based on the true story from 2010 of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped 700m below the earth's surface for 69 days.
The 34th Brit Awards were announced in London's O2 arena this week, So I'll be telling you all about that.
Plus, English rock band Black Submarine have just released their debut album "New Shores" after a long wait.
From the world of celebrities….
Queen Elizabeth welcomed acting royalty to a Royal red-carpet Reception this week.
Plus, Cee Lo Green has said he will not returning to the US version of the Voice
There's all that and much more coming up on today's show. So stick around.
You're Listening to Entertainment Weekly on CRI's News Plus Radio.
First up, from film
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, better known as BAFTA were handed out this week.
The prize for Best Film went to 12 years a slave, a biopic based on the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 19th century America.
What will surprise some is that Gravity by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron won the award for Outstanding British film. Cuaron also picked up the trophy for Best Director.
The best actor prize went to Chiwetel Ejiofor who plays the lead in 12 years a slave and Best Actress went to Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.
Congratulations to all the winners.
In 2010, 33 Chilean miners were trapped in a mine 700 meters below the earth's surface. After 69 days, all of them were pulled to safety successfully. The accident has captured world-wide attention and been called a grand miracle in rescue history.
This year, a drama about this true-life tale is going to be filmed.
He Fei has the details.
Featured by famed Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and French actress Juliette Binoche, "The 33", a story about 33 trapped miners in Chile, is going to hit Hollywood this year.
In 2010, a gold and copper mine collapsed in Chile's Atacama Desert. Thirty-three miners working in the mine were trapped deep underground. Surviving for a record 69 days before being rescued, the buried men actively saved themselves by any means possible. Eventually, each miner entered a cage and was hauled up to safety one-by-one through 2,000 feet of rock. The unwavering determination of miners and the televised rescue mesmerized millions of people worldwide.
Based on the true story, the film will reveal some previously unknown details of these miners' underground experiences, including how they stretched a meager 48-hour store of emergency food for 17 days to survive in entrapment longer than anyone else before.
Academy Award nominated producer Mike Medavoy introduced the structure of the film.
"There were three main story plots in this film: the first was about the miners and where they were living; the second, was the families they had and the reason they were down there; and the third, was the rescuers and what happened there."
Before filming, in order to deliver the sense of reality, director Patricia Riggen spent two years interviewing miners, their families and rescuers, government officials and journalists.
The miners have already approved everything being portrayed on screen.
Riggen explains that it is not an easy task to produce such a movie.
"The biggest challenge is that we are making a movie with real characters that exist, and we have to respect them a lot while making a good movie. Those two things, marrying those two things, it is very difficult."
In the film, Banderas will play Mario Sepulveda, nicknamed "Super Mario," who became the public face of the miners.
Meanwhile, Binoche is going to play the sister of a trapped miner who became well known for her outgoing personality.
The movie is being shot in English and is expected to be released next year.
Actress Kate del Castillo believes the film will not be a disappointment.
"It's amazing—it's a story that you know; but the moment in which we are, in the scenes we are seeing, and also all the geography of this place assembled for the film, it's all so extraordinary".
Thank you He Fei.
Filming for "Avengers: Age of Ultron" will be based at London's Pinewood Studios but will also include stops at Johannesburg in South Africa, Aosta Valley in Italy and now Soeul, with additional locations to be announced.
In the latest installment of the blockbuster franchise the team of superheroes will gather once more to fight Ultron, an insane, sentient robot who tries to destroy his creator, Dr, Henry Pym, the original Ant-Man.
This next installment in the Avengers series will definitinely be something not to miss for all the super hero fans out there.
Moving on, from China,
The big story last weekend was that the Chinese film, Black Coal, Thin Ice, otherwise known as "Bai Ri Yan Huo" in Chinese, won the Golden Bear award which is the top jury prize at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.
Chi Huiguang has more.
The winner of the prestigious Golden Bear is a thriller by director Diao Yinan. It is about a former detective pursuing a serial killer who disposes of his victims' bodies in a gruesome fashion.
Liao Fan, who played the detective, won the "Best Actor" prize for his role in the film. He piled on 20 kg for the part and took to drinking more, but he says it was all worth it and he'd be happy to do it all again.
"The script and the movie moved me to push myself. That is why I worked so hard to do the roll justice. I'm sure I'll work with the director again, given our success here. I will continue to work hard and do my best. I also think the words are very helpful."
He also expresses his happiness over winning the award for "Best Actor".
"Being in the film itself was a gift. I was not really considering what prize I might be awarded. However, the director helped me achieve my goal today. It was a joyful day yesterday, and today has come as an unexpected surprise."
At a news briefing after the award ceremony, the film's director, Diao Yinan, said this,
"Chinese films are getting more and more popular, that's just a fact. We had an idea of that when coming to this festival, but seeing the foreign audience's enthusiasm for Chinese films is like nothing we imagined. Film is a universal language and everyone here cares about you like they are your family. It goes beyond national boundaries and races. If you make a good film, people will support you."
As a 1992 graduate from China's Central Academy of Drama, Diao has directed two previous films: "Uniform" in 2003 and "Night Train" in 2007, which both premiered at the Cannes. He said he ignored the notion that "cold films don't sell." He wanted to portray the honesty of emotions that lie deep within us and help viewers "feel less alone with our dark side".
" Making this film was very important to me because 'film noir' didn't exist in China. It's very important to pursue this style of expression as the film world moves more and more towards commercialization. I am happy I found my own way to express my feelings as a director and create something that departs from the world that typical films depict."
The Berlin festival, officially called the Berlinale, is one of the oldest and most prestigious film showcases in the world.
"Bai Ri Yan Huo" first premiered at the Berlin festival, one of the oldest and most prestigious film showcases in the world.
China snagged another accolade as well in Berlin, with the Silver Bear cinematography award going to Chinese cameraman Zeng Jian for his work in "Blind Massage".
Thank you Chi Huiguang. And congratulations to the film, Black Coal, thin ice.
Also last weekend, the Chinese film "the Old Cinderella" made its premiere in Beijing.
The drama tells the story of Xu Ke, a woman whose life changes dramatically after she divorces her husband. Her best friends desert her and she meets a series of people who have very extreme characters very different from her own, and most of all she is cautious about setting up with someone else after her recent heartbreak.
The film was supervised by "Nanjing Nanjing" director Lu Chuan, who said he was attracted to the project because it is a story that could relate to anyone.
Wu Bai directed the film and it stars actresses Zhang Ingchu, Ban Jaijai and Zhu Zhu and the actor Wu Kequn who were all at the premiere yesterday to promote the film.
Zhu Zhu spoke to CRI about her character Mao Rongrong who is always there for her friends although she's a very straight talker.
"She's not a sweet talker. Sometimes she says things that could be really offensive. But actually she meant well. So she is a cool girl. A little bit like a boy. Her style is really sexy and attractive."
The film "the Old Cinderella" is to hit screens all across China on March 7th.
Now, it's time to shift gears to the world of music, because this week
The 34th Brit Awards were announced in London's O2 arena.
Liu Kun has the details.
The Arctic Monkeys kicked off the proceedings with the song "R U Mine?"
The group claimed this year's prize for best British Group for a third time following previous wins in 2007 and 2008.
The group also took home MasterCard British Album of the Year with their album "AM," which came out in September 2013.
David Bowie has been named best British Male Solo Artist. His victory came against his much younger rivals Jake Bugg, Tom Odell, John Newman and James Blake.
At 67, Bowie is the oldest ever winner of the category and it comes 18 years since his last prize at the ceremony.
Prince made an appearance to present the award for best British Female Solo Artist to Ellie Goulding, who seemed rather surprised at receiving the prize.
"Uh? Prince? Thank you son much, I genuinely am actually in shock, I'm not very good at this at all but I would like to say thank you my lovely amazing management and my amazing label Polydore."
Bruno Mars grabbed the best International Male Solo Artist and performed the song "Treasure" at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, New Zealand singer Lorde took home best International Female Solo Artist and performed her hits "Royals" and "White Noise" with electronic bands Disclosure and Aluna George.
This year's Best International Group award went to French dance-duo Daft Punk.
Prince was among a number of international stars at the event, including Beyonce, Katy Perry, Preeya Kalidas, Lana Del Rey and James Corden, who hosted this year's ceremony.
For Studio Plus, this is Liu Kun.
Congratulations to all the winners. It's nice to see that David Bowie is still at the top of his game after so many decades in the music industry.
Black Submarine release new album
The English rock band Black Submarine have just released their debut album "New Shores" after a long wait.
The band is something of a dream-team of 90's Britpop comprising of two former Verve members Nick McCabe and Simon Jones and the Portishead drummer Mig Schillace.
Joining them are Coldplay & Goldfrapp collaborator Davide Rossi and the singer Amelia Tucker.
The band, formerly known as the Black Ships, formed back in 2008 but given their already established styles it took them a long time to find their sound they said.
Nick McCabe says creating a new collaboration involved being very sensitive to everybody's needs.
"It's a new personality how those five people interact and you've got to kind of tend to that, "You've got to sympathize and be empathetic to what the need of that new character is really. So, all along the way, we've sort of nurtured something that's, it's not really five people - it's a new entity. So it's, you know, that word 'organic' is really overused, but that is the crux of what's happened."
Black Submarine will be bringing "New Shores" to live audiences with UK tour dates starting later this month.
Veteran Taiwan rock star, Frankie Kao Lingfeng sadly passed away this week at the age of 63.
He Fei has the details.
The veteran Taiwan-born rock star, Gao Lingfeng, or also known as Frankie Kao, has died at the age of 63.
The singer had been suffering from leukemia and succumbed to the cancer at a hospital in New Taipei City. His son Baodi announced the grievous news to the media last night.
"My father, Gao Lingfeng passed away peacefully at 7:50 in the evening, Feb. 17th at Xindian Tzu Chi Hospital. Thanks for everyone's support. Thank you all."
His life-long close friends also showed up at the hospital to show their condolences. Veteran singer Yu Tian wasn't able to accept the sad news.
"He still had a concert on March. 8th to perform. But he can't make it anymore. We can't stop worrying about him. I can't believe he has left us. How could this happen?"
Gao Lingfeng was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012. After a few rounds of chemotherapy treatments, Gao left the hospital and continued working. Recently, he had been busy preparing his concert on Mar. 8th to commemorate his 40-year anniversary in the show business. Gao believed that his love for the stage would help him battle the disease.
Gao's friend Zhang Di, who is also a well-known singer in Taiwan said Gao's last words to him were about this important milestone in his life.
"He asked us to help him selling his concert tickets. He said he'd love to see all the seats sold out. This was his last wish. He told me when we met last Thursday."
Born in 1950, Gao had been through ups and downs in the entertainment circle. In 1974, he released his first album "Girl Friend".
At the height of his fame in the 70s and 80s, the flamboyant star was known for his unusual dancing and singing style which generated a string of hits including "A Fire in Winter" and "Girl's Dimples".
Then he entered the silver screen industry and became a TV host. However, he had always been a controversial figure, barred from the local Taiwan media for several years. Yet, no one can deny his talent in the show business. He amazed the world with his charm and humor on stage when he was giving out a Golden Bell Award with Teresa Teng. In the 21 century, the veteran singer reached another peak of his career as a TV host.
The stage has been Gao Lingfeng's life-long pursuit. Not being able to see him one last time on stage will always be a regret for the people who love and care about him. It is unclear whether the scheduled concert will be canceled or changed into a memorial for Gao Lingfeng.
Thank you He fei. May Frankie Kao Lingfeng rest in peace.
Korean boyband BIGBANG meet fans in Hong Kong
Korean boyband "BIGBANG" attended their first meet and greet event in Hong Kong last weekend..
Although it was held a day after the day they called the event "Be My Valentine", and their appearance drew deafening screams from the audience.
Since their debut 8 years ago, BIGBANG has established itself as one of the most dynamic, and fascinating boy bands in Korean pop music.
After a string of hits, they became one of top selling boybands in South Korea, and their popularity is extending outside of Korea. They have a strong fan base growing across Asia.
The band members have also embarked on solo careers of late, but this year on a new album which is expected some time in 2014.
Now, shifting gears again to the world of celebrity news,
Queen Elizabeth welcomes acting royalty to Royal red-carpet Reception
The United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II, along with Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, held a red carpet Reception for the Dramatic Arts at Buckingham Palace, inviting members of acting royalty.
Fresh from their BAFTA wins, "12 Years in Slave" director Steve McQueen was joined by newly crowned BAFTA Fellow Helen Mirren at the palace, along with an assortment of other British stars, including Helena Bonham Carter, Joan Collins, Ralph Fiennes, and Roger Moore.
Mirren was among the first to be introduced to the monarch, whom she has played twice; on the silver screen in 2006's "The Queen" for which she won an Oscar, and then last year on stage in the production of "The Audience."
Mirren said she was grateful for the experience, even though her first instinct was to apologise:
"I feel like saying "I'm so sorry Ma'am, and I promise you I will stop soon. It's my job and I'm asked to do it and both times I've done it it's been written by Peter Morgan and he's a wonderful writer. But I do, at the same time, feel it's a little bit intrusive and I feel slightly awkward about that."
Hollywood was also represented at the reception, with U.S. actress Uma Thurman and producer Harvey Weinstein in attendance.
Thurman said afterwards the quality of British acting talent was something her fellow States stars were acutely aware of
"I'm very envious of the training that exists in this country and the incredible talent that comes out of RADA and some of the the other schools here and the tradition. Us Americans, you know, we are all in awe of the British actors and the amount of talent and discipline and excellence they bring to the craft."
Around 250 guests attended the reception, held in honour of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), of which the Queen is patron.
Well, My invitation must have got lost in the mail.
Cee Lo Green not returning to the Voice US
Cee Lo Green has announced that he won't be returning to the big red chair for the next season of the Voice.
The 39-Year-old singer was speaking on the Ellen DeGeneres show and says he's done with the reality show and now wants to focus on his music, with Lionel Richie beside him saying he's making the right choice:
Ceelo: "I have so many other things I want to do, I haven't released an album in four years I'm almost done with an album."
Lionel Richie : "I totally understand, I missed 20 summers in a row, album tour, album tour, album tour. And so now to say I'm going to do another album, to put another album out three years from now that's a long time. And the attention span now for the artist is about six days."
The singer said he would be continuing his relationship with NBC working on other projects however.
Violinist Vanessa Mae competes in giant slalom at Olympics
There was an interesting story this week that came out of the women's giant slalom in Sochi, as the superstar violinist Vanessa Mae was also competing in the event.
Like the other skiers the 35-year-old pop-star got to live her Olympic dreams though a lot slower than everyone else.
She finished a distant last place of the 67 other competitors. Her time of 3 minutes, 26.97 seconds over two runs was more than 50 seconds slower than the new Olympic champion, Tina Maze of Slovenia.
But, in true Olympic spirit, she was just thrilled to have taken part.
"I feel elated you know, as I mentioned to you many times the chance to be at the Olympics, to ski with all these wonderful skiers is a privilege and I'm so new to ski racing that if this can be one learning experience it is, but it's also one of the most memorable learning experiences of my life."
Vanessa Mae was born in Singapore and raised in Britain, but competed on behalf of Thailand. She as Vanessa
Vanakorn, using the surname of her Thai father.
Though she may have finished last, you can bet your bottom dollar that she was far and away the best violinist competing in the Olympics this year. So congratulations to her for doing so.
And on that note, I'm out of time for this edition of Entertainment Weekly.
Be sure to tune next week for more fun facts and gab right here on CRI's News Plus Radio.
Take care everyone.
See you all next week.