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Will Smith’s take on issues over men in Hollywood: the dark time

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Will Smith's take on issues over men in Hollywood: the dark time
Will Smith's take on issues over men in Hollywood: the dark time. IANS
  • Will Smith talks on the issue of men taking place in Hollywood
  • Smith came to India to promote his forthcoming Netflix movie “Bright”
  • David Ayer, the director, talks about the Netflix movie “Bright”

Mumbai, Dec 19, 2017: Be it gender pay gap debate or diversity wave or a string of sexual misconduct cases coming out of Hollywood, showbiz is going through its moment of reckoning. Hollywood actor Will Smith calls it a “cleansing” process, and says the “dark time” will make way for better future with “transition into a new age”.

“I think that we are moving into the digital era. It is demanding a certain amount of authenticity. I think it will push us closer to the truth in very interesting ways,” Smith told IANS here when questioned about the relevance of discussions around the topics.

“I am not sure how it is going to land, but I see this time in the world sort of cleansing,” he added.

At the moment, there are debates around women’s safety in showbiz as some well-known men in power have been accused of using their position to harass people.

From Harvey Weinstein, Ben Affleck, Brett Ratner, Charlie Sheen, Dustin Hoffman, James Toback to Kevin Spacey, several men from Hollywood have been accused of sexual assault and harassment. The controversy has raised several questions.

Smith, who was in India to promote his forthcoming Netflix movie “Bright”, feels “people are clinging to old ways that are gone”.

“There are ways of being that will never exist anymore. You have seen what is happening in the America’s political system, what is happening in British,” the actor added without naming any political personality or party.

“We are going to see a real cleansing. This is a bit of dark time before the transition into the new age.”

Smith walked into the music industry back in 1980s, and soon made his way into acting and got his major break through “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in 1990. He carved a special place for himself in Hollywood supported with varied projects like “l “Made in America”, “Six Degrees of Separation”, “Bad Boys”, “Independence Day”, “Men in Black”, “Ali”, “Hitch”, “The Pursuit of Happyness”, “Hancock”, “The Karate Kid” and “Collateral Beauty”.

Apart from showbiz, Smith is also known for voicing his political opinions openly.

Asked if he aspires to enter the political world, Smith laughed, and said: “No, there are no political ambitions.”

The Oscar-nominated and Grammy Award winning star came to India along with the team of “Bright” comprising of Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace and director David Ayer on Monday. The film will release on Friday on Netflix.

“Bright” opens a tale of a fantastical world where humans co-exist with mystical creatures likes elves, fairies and orcs. It narrates story of two police officers — human essayed by Smith and an orc played by Edgerton, who get stuck with each other. The film throws light on how they work on their differences using racial undertones and puts spotlight on diversity and class debate.

Talking about the genre, the 49-year-old said: “The hard part about science fiction movie is that half the conversation that you have is difficult. It is sometimes about bizarre nature of things that are going on to just let it be 100 per cent normal and 100 per cent natural.”

Smith also shared that they rode with police in Los Angeles for a few days to get to the character, and learnt some truths about the police world.

“In America, the police are ‘of the people’, so sometimes the police are working in neighbourhoods in which they live,” said Smith, adding that he thinks it is dark right now.

“Technology changed how policing is done in America. I do think it is dark right now but mostly based on change, mostly on the amount of shift that human beings are having made in how we interact one another,” said Smith, who is married to actress Jada Pinkett Smith. (IANS)

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Oscar Nominees Furious Over Exclusion From Telecast

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild's industry siblings

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Hollywood filmmakers like Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro and leading craftspeople have condemned a decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to hand out four awards during commercial breaks in the hope of trimming the shows (Oscars) run time.

Nominees and their colleagues from the commercial-banished categories of cinematography, make-up and hairstyling, film editing, and live action shorts slammed the decision in interviews and via heated posts on social media, reports variety.com.

“I find it depressing that they are doing this. Hopefully it won’t be like the part of the show where they play clips from the Sci-Tech awards dinner. That always feels a bit sad, like they didn’t get invited to the real party,” said cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, a nominee this year for “Never Look Away”.

Deschanel is referencing the Academy’s annual Scientific and Technical Awards, held two weeks before the Oscars and typically hosted by a celebrity, which honours technical achievement in film.

Deschanel has been nominated six times stretching back to 1983’s “The Right Stuff”, but has yet to win.

Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, a multiple-nominee for producing, directing, writing and cinematography for “Roma”, criticised the Academy’s decision.

“In the history of cinema, masterpieces have existed without sound, without colour, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without cinematography and without editing,” wrote Cuaron.

Three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki called it “an unfortunate decision”.

Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro said he “would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but cinematography and editing are at the very heart of our craft”.

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An Oscar Award.

“They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition. They are cinema itself,” del Toro said.

Drake Doremus, indie director behind the late Anton Yelchin’s “Like Crazy”, even called for a “boycott”.

In a memo outlining the changes, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey said representatives from categories that were shunted off to the commercial breaks volunteered to have their award presented off-camera.

However, the board members who represent those crafts don’t speak for the unions or guild membership.

The show’s director, Glenn Weiss, will determine what emotionally resonant moments from the four speeches make it to air later in the broadcast, according to an individual close to the production.

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The show will cut any comment from presenters, as well as any recitation of the nominees, said the insider. While Bailey said the speeches will air in their entirety, that may not be the case on the big night as broadcasters reserve the right to cut them, the source said.

“This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimising our fundamental creative contributions,” said Kees van Oostrum, President of American Society of Cinematographers, in a statement on Tuesday.

“To find out so close to the actual awards that you’ll be in the commercial break, it’s disappointing,” Lee Smith, last year’s film editing winner for “Dunkirk”, said.

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild’s industry siblings. (IANS)