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Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
History alive and kicking at 2013 Oscars
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - History is alive and kicking at this year's Oscars in an unusually rich year for movies that plumb the distant and recent American past and have resonated with both audiences and voters. Four of the nine Best Picture nominees at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony - Iran hostage drama "Argo," Osama bin Laden thriller "Zero Dark Thirty," slavery revenge fantasy "Django Unchained" and U.S. presidential drama "Lincoln" - are the most discussed films of the awards season, with their very different takes on historical events.
"Amour" director's take on death could have a Hollywood ending
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Austrian director Michael Haneke will arrive at the Academy Awards ceremony with his stark drama "Amour" vying for a surprising five Oscars including Best Picture, despite its distinctly non-Hollywood ending. The French-language film that tackles death and aging is up against Best Picture favorites "Lincoln" and "Argo" on February 24, as well as competing for Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress.
Tom Ford to unveil womenswear line in London catwalk debut
LONDON (Reuters) - American designer Tom Ford will unveil his womenswear line to the world on Monday in a London debut that will help seal the city's credentials as a major international fashion hub. Industry bloggers and buyers have flocked to London this season drawn by the big names on show, including Burberry, Erdem, Vivienne Westwood and Ford.
At 80, Yoko Ono sees a world full of new activism
BERLIN (Reuters) - Half a life-time ago, artist Yoko Ono lay in an Amsterdam hotel bed with husband John Lennon, staging a week-long "bed-in" for peace and feeling they were very alone in their activism. Today, Ono, whose own energy for campaigning has never tired, sees a world full of activists, maintaining her energy and faith in humanity.
Lichtenstein show in UK goes beyond cartoon classics
LONDON (Reuters) - For Roy Lichtenstein, it was better that the public was over-familiar with his work than not familiar at all, a point never lost on the American artist best known for his giant cartoon strip adaptations. A major retrospective of the artist at London's Tate Modern puts famous images like "Whaam!" and "Drowning Girl" center stage, but also seeks to explain how Lichtenstein got there and where he went next.
Veteran British actor Richard Briers dies aged 79
LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Richard Briers, best known for the 1970s TV sit-com "The Good Life" but also for his Shakespearean roles, has died at the age of 79, prompting a flood of tributes for "a national treasure". The actor, who spent a lifetime on the stage, had recently spoken publicly of battling a serious lung condition for years, saying that "the ciggies got me" after a lifetime smoking habit.
Troubled singer Mindy McCready dead in apparent suicide
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) - Troubled country music star Mindy McCready, whose platinum singing career was shadowed by substance abuse and suicide attempts, was found dead on Sunday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, an Arkansas sheriff said. She was 37. McCready's body was found on the porch of a house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, on Sunday afternoon. She was pronounced dead at the scene "from what appears to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound," the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
"Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo" win top Writers Guild Awards
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. film and television writers gave their top two movie awards on Sunday to "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo" in the final Hollywood guild awards show before next week's Oscars. Writer Mark Boal won the Writers Guild of America award for Best Original Screenplay for "Zero Dark Thirty," which chronicles the intense U.S. manhunt and daring raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Romanian cinema triumphs again with top Berlin award
BERLIN (Reuters) - Romania claimed another major scalp on the European film festival circuit this weekend when "Child's Pose" won the Golden Bear in Berlin, underlining the country's emergence as a powerhouse of hard-hitting cinema in the post-Communist era. The film, directed by Calin Peter Netzer, tells the story of Cornelia, an obsessive mother who uses every trick in the book to prevent her son from going to jail after he kills a boy in a car accident.