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‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ fact check: How accurate is the new Queen biopic?

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Queen on tour — and not on the edge of splitting up — in 1984, the year before Live Aid.

Image: Express Newspapers/Getty Images

“Bohemian Rhapsody now rules the roost as the top movie in America, as every true Queen fan could have told you it would. (Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen it.)

And while that’s great for the band’s legacy — proof once again that its music has universal appeal — it also means that a surprising amount of untruths are now enshrined as the biography best known to the moviegoing public.

Before you dismiss that as a necessary evil of storytelling, consider this: When you dig into the band’s actual history, the true version of their tale is, in almost every instance, far more dramatically interesting. Queen was larger than life, and certainly larger than the standard-issue music biopic cliches that populate Bohemian Rhapsody.

Case in point: the band’s origin story.

As It Began

Brian May, Roger Taylor on a post box, Freddie Mercury and John Deacon in 1973.

Image: rb/Redferns

In the movie, a shy young Farrokh Bulsara (calling himself Freddie, but not yet Mercury) introduces himself to Brian May and Roger Taylor, guitarist and drummer of a band called Smile.

Smile’s lead singer Tim Staffell has quit to join another group called Humpy Bong (fact check: true). Brian and Roger are suspicious of this newcomer with the big teeth until he sings a few bars of May and Staffell’s song “Doin’ Alright.”

In real life, however, Freddie and Tim were good friends who went to the same art college. Freddie got to know Brian and Roger through Tim, and started running a flea market stall in Kensington with Roger in 1969.

Their friendship went through a year-long comedy of errors, in which Freddie became lead singer of a Liverpool-based band called Ibex, traipsing up and down England while he and the two other future members of Queen actually moved in together back in London.

Freddie quit Ibex. Tim quit Smile. And still these three lunkheads didn’t figure out for weeks that history wanted them to be in a band together.

Tell me that isn’t a perfect Hollywood meet-cute montage sequence.

The first gig

The movie shows bass player John “Deaky” Deacon joining the lineup immediately; in fact, the band would go through three bass players in quick succession before finding him.

It also features an iconic moment where Freddie gets frustrated and rips off the top half of the mic stand for more on-stage mobility; this did in fact happen, but while he was singing with Ibex……………………………………………….”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/bohemian-rhapsody-truth-lies/

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Emily Blunt on the pressure of playing Mary Poppins

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Mary Poppins is a woman with a talent for putting things back together again.

“Which is why it’s rather apt that after 50 years, she’s returning to our screens at a time when the world is arguably most in need of being put back together.

And, Emily Blunt — who plays Mary Poppins in the upcoming sequel Mary Poppins Returns — is well aware of the impact her character has already had on the lives of those who watched the 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews.

Standing in full Edwardian get-up inside Shepperton Studios, Blunt told Mashable that she has fond memories of watching the film as a child. “The film, for me, and I think for most people, is one of those films that is seared into people’s memory, an emblem of their nostalgia in many ways,” says Blunt…………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/emily-blunt-interview-mary-poppins-returns/

 

 

Director Rob Marshall and Emily Blunt on the set of Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’.

Image: Jay Maidment

 

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How Willem Dafoe Learned to Paint like Van Gogh

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Midway through artist-director Julian Schnabel’s new film At Eternity’s Gate, we see Vincent van Gogh, portrayed by actor Willem Dafoe, entirely consumed by the compulsion to paint. In the scene, the Dutch artist opens the door to his yellow-walled apartment in Arles, France, to find his friend, fellow artist Paul Guguin, sketching Madame Ginoux, a local café owner. Instantly compelled by what he sees, Van Gogh lunges into action, assembling his easel and grasping several paintbrushes in his left hand, while using his right to commit bold, feverish brushstrokes to canvas. His passion is enthralling—so much so, we forget that Dafoe is not a real painter at all.

At Eternity’s Gate envisions the final years of Van Gogh’s life, through a series of vignettes that straddle truth and fiction (much, though not all, is based on the trove of letters the artist left behind). We see his plight as an artist in Paris, his infatuation with the light and landscapes of Arles, and his declining mental health—including when he famously cut off his ear. But it’s not a straightforward account. “This isn’t a biopic, it doesn’t explain his life,” Dafoe recently explained at the New York Film Festival. “It’s really about painting.” Indeed, it is, first and foremost, the story of a painter as told by a painter: Schnabel, who is known for an idiosyncratic painting practice ranging from canvases covered in shattered plates to inkjet prints painted with purple-hued goats…………………………….”

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-willem-dafoe-learned-paint-van-gogh

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‘Love Actually’ turns 15: Fun facts about the movie

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