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HomeArts & CultureHolly to Bolly: Swift and Malik debut new duet, Dutch director Paul Verhoeven joins Berlin panel, and more

Holly to Bolly: Swift and Malik debut new duet, Dutch director Paul Verhoeven joins Berlin panel, and more


Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik debut new duet on film soundtrack

American pop star Taylor Swift and former One Direction member Zayn Malik released a surprise duet on Friday, December 9 after joining forces for the upcoming Fifty Shades Darker movie soundtrack.

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever will feature in the sequel to the Fifty Shades of Grey film, based on the hugely successful trilogy by E L James.

Grammy Award-winning Swift told her fans of the collaboration on Instagram, posting a picture of what appeared to be the single cover and a message reading “Z T 50”. She also added a video snippet of the song.


Dutch director Paul Verhoeven joins Berlin panel

Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, best known for films such as Basic Instinct and RoboCop, will head the jury of the Berlin International Film Festival in February. The 67th edition of the Berlinale will be held in the German capital from February 9 to 19.

“With Paul Verhoeven as jury president, we have a filmmaker who has worked in a variety of genres in Europe and Hollywood,” Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said on Friday, December 9.

“His creative, multifaceted boldness and his willingness to experiment are reflected in the spectrum of his works.”

Verhoeven, also a screenwriter, has worked on action and sci-fi films such as Total Recall and Starship Troopers. He directed Basic Instinct starring Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas as well as 2006’s Black Book about a Second World War Dutch resistance fighter.

His latest film Elle stars French actress Isabelle Huppert as a businesswoman trying to find the unknown assailant who attacked her at home. — AP


Fans can bid on piece of history from Walt Disney

Walt Disney fans can buy a piece of history when the late animation entrepreneur’s signed will and other Disney memorabilia go up for auction on Friday, December 16.

The “Animation and Disneyana Auction”, held at Profiles in History in Los Angeles, will offer 600 lots of animation art and Disney-related items.

The list includes animation frames from memorable films such as Cinderella and the holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. A prop pistol from the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Walt Disney World will also go under the hammer.

Disney’s last will and testament is expected to fetch between US$40,000 (Dh147,000) and $60,000, said Brian Chanes, head of acquisitions at Profiles in History.

Disney cofounded an animation studio in 1923, which eventually grew into a feature-film production studio with films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi and Cinderella. He died in 1966 aged 65. — AP


Madonna admits parental challenges

Madonna was presented on Friday, December 9 with Billboard magazine’s Woman of the Year award, but the seven-time Grammy Award-winner said one of her biggest challenges was being a good mother.

“The biggest accomplishment I think was finishing my tour, doing my shows every night. And dealing with the challenges of being a mother. That’s always the challenge for me. Being a good mother, being an artist, getting through it all,” the Material Girl singer told reporters on the New York red carpet.

Madonna, 58, who has four children, in March completed her 82-show Rebel Heart world tour while embroiled in a legal battle over the custody of her 16 year-old son Rocco with ex-husband Guy Ritchie. — Reuters


Donald Trump to stay on as producer for Celebrity Apprentice

President-elect Donald Trump won’t be firing himself from Celebrity Apprentice. The Republican businessman plans to remain an executive producer on the show that made him a television star, a source confirmed to Reuters.

Trump, who famously barked the catchphrase “You’re fired!” as he dismissed competitors on the Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice programmes, stepped down from the programme last year when he entered the 2016 Republican presidential race.

Celebrity Apprentice returns to the air with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger as host on January 2, 18 days before Trump is sworn in as president.

Variety, which first reported Trump’s decision to remain as executive producer, said his name will air in the credits before that of Schwarzenegger, star of the Terminator movies and a two-term governor of California. The show is broadcast by NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp.

Variety said he was likely to be due a payment in the low five-figures per episode.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway did not confirm that Trump would retain the executive producer credit and said she did not know whether he would accept potential payments for the programme.

“Presidents have a right to do things in their spare time or their leisure time,” she told CNN. “Nobody objects to that.

“I can tell you that work is his work and work is his hobby.”


Kirk Douglas turns 100

The legendary actor turned 100 on Friday, December 9. Douglas is probably best known for playing the title role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 film, Spartacus. He was nominated for a best actor Oscar three times in the 1950s and received an honorary Academy Award in 1996.

His son, actor Michael Douglas, paid an early birthday tribute to his father at an October event for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, calling him an icon, a legend and “a true movie star from an era when movie stars were looked upon as our version of royalty”.

Kirk Douglas was also presented with a cake and a rendition of Happy Birthday at the event.

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