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China billionaire eyes bigger chunk of global movie market

A $2.6 billion acquisition of U.S. movie theater chain AMC seems to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the expansion of China's Dalian Wanda Group, controlled by the country's second richest man.

How Hitler helped make Hollywood

  BERLIN — Two months after Adolf Hitler’s appointment as German chancellor in 1933, Jews working in Germany’s groundbreaking film industry were warned there would be no place for them under the new Nazi regime. Of the some 2,000 movie professionals who left Germany in the 1930s, most ended up in California, where the techniques they pioneered back home would have a lasting impact on Hollywood. This week, the Berlin International Film Festival is honoring them in a retrospective.

Sylvia Kristel dead: 'Emmanuelle' actress dies aged 60

Sylvia Kristel, the Dutch star of '70s erotic movie 'Emmanuelle,' died Wednesday night in her sleep.
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Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel in 1978, four years after she found fame in it movie 'Emmanuelle.' (AFP/Getty Images)

Sylvia Kristel, the actress who played a bored and sexually adventurous housewife in the French movie Emmanuelle, has died. She was 60.

"She died during the night during her sleep," her agent, Marieke Verharen, told Agence France-Presse on Thursday. 

The Dutch-born actress had been battling cancer for 10 years and in July she had a stroke that put her in hospital, Verharen said.

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'The Dictator,' Sacha Baron Cohen spoof, banned in Tajikistan (VIDEO)

Tajik cinemagoers are forbidden from seeing the comedian's latest offering, a spoof about a fictional tyrant.
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Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Admiral General Omar Aladeen, at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in France. (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

The Dictator, which stars Sacha Baron Cohen as extravagant autocrat Admiral General Omar Aladeen, has been refused a license for distribution because it doesn't fit with the Central Asian country's "mentality."

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Idris Elba to play Nelson Mandela in biopic because South African actors 'too short'

South Africans angry that yet another foreign actor has been cast as Mandela, their national icon, in a major film.
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Actor Idris Elba will play Nelson Mandela in the upcoming biopic Long Walk To Freedom. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG — British actor Idris Elba has been cast as Nelson Mandela in a new biopic, a film version of Mandela's autobiography Long Walk to Freedom — and South Africans are wondering why, yet again, a foreigner is playing their national icon.

Elba (Stringer Bell in legendary HBO series The Wire) is the latest big-name actor from abroad to play Mandela, following in the footsteps of Morgan Freeman, Sidney Poitier, Danny Glover and Terrence Howard.

In response to criticism from South Africans angry that homegrown actors are passed up in favor of Hollywood stars, the casting director claimed the reason for choosing Elba was not because of a lack of local talent.

“I was free to cast a South African and I auditioned some extraordinary local actors,” Moonyeenn Lee told South Africa's City Press newspaper. “But the main problem is the height. Mandela is a particularly tall man. On average, South African actors are not 1.9m.”  

(Elba, at 6-foot-2, is still shorter than 6-foot-4 Mandela.)

More from GlobalPost: Nelson Mandela TV miniseries, "Madiba," in the works

Mabutho Kid Sithole, president of the Creative Workers Union of South Africa — which in 2009 protested the casting of Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in the film Winnie — isn't buying Lee's explanation.

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Greek filmmaker Theodoros Angelopoulos dies in road accident

He won the prestigious Palme d'Or top prize at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival for his film Eternity and a Day.

FBI to investigate after Scarlett Johansson nude photos leaked online

One leaked photo appears to show Johansson, 26, topless on a bed while another apparently shows her wearing a towel while revealing her naked backside in a mirror.

Hollyworld: Toronto Film Fest opens

TORONTO — Clooney, Brad Pitt and the Material Girl are all vying for the top prize.

First Hitchcock film found in New Zealand archive

Hitchcock cut his teeth on what is described as a "wild, atmospheric melodrama"

Nicole Kidman's hubby attacks paparazzo's car outside U.S. restaurant

Nicole Kidman's husband, country singer Keith Urban, has been accused of attacking a paparazzo's car outside a U.S. restaurant

Nicole Kidman's husband, country singer Keith Urban, has been accused of attacking a paparazzo's car as he was leaving a restaurant with her in Tennessee.

Celebrity photographer Willem Pieterson told police Urban punched and kicked his car after he took pictures of him and Kidman walking to their car on July 27, Radar Online reports.

Pieterson claimed Urban drove up to his vehicle in the wrong lane before getting out and yelling at him, according to the reports.

He alleged the singer banged on the car window, hit the car with his fist and kicked the rear passenger door.

A spokesman for Metro Nashville Police Department, Don Aaron, said police could not see any damage on the paparazzo's car door and the incident had been classed as "intimidation".

Police are still investigating the incident.

Kidman, now 43, announced earlier this year that she had a second daughter, this time born to a surrogate. She has adopted two children with former husband, Tom Cruise, Isabella and Connor, who live with their father by their choice.

Kidman and Urban - who married in the Sydney suburb of Manly in 2006 - named their second baby Faith Margaret Kidman Urban. She was born on December 28 at the Centennial Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee, where the couple had booked out the entire top floor of the hospital.

After Kidman gave birth to Sunday Rose in July 2008, the couple tried to conceive again naturally, but failed.

They tried again through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), but were not successful. The couple were then advised by doctors to use a surrogate instead.

Kidman credited her first daughter's unexpected appearance to her swimming in the waters of a small Australian outback town during the filming of Australia.

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