Oprah Winfrey says ‘definitely not’ running for US president

Oprah Winfrey was emphatic in her response to host Kimmel’s question about whether she would run. — Reuters picOprah Winfrey was emphatic in her response to host Kimmel’s question about whether she would run. — Reuters picLOS ANGELES, Feb 24 — Oprah Winfrey put to rest any lingering questions about a potential 2020 bid for the presidency, declaring on a late-night talk show on Thursday that she was “definitely not running.”

The media mogul, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, was emphatic in her response to host Kimmel’s question about whether she would run.

“Where do I look into the camera? I am definitely not running for president,” Winfrey said over cries of “no” from the studio audience.

Last month, Winfrey fans lit up Twitter with calls for her to run for president in 2020 against US President Donald Trump after she gave an inspiring speech at the Golden Globe awards show in support of those who have exposed sexual misconduct.

“You now, you give a speech and then you sit down and you have surprisingly started to run for president,” Winfrey told Kimmel, calling it “a humbling thing to have people think that you can run the country.”

She acknowledged, though, having thought about it.

“I am the kind of person who tries to listen to signs. I think, well am I supposed to run the country? I don’t think so.”

Known by millions on first-name basis, Winfrey first rose to fame as the host of a television talk show, using it to build a media empire that spans magazine publishing, movie and television production, cable TV and satellite radio. Born into poverty, she is now one of the world’s wealthiest women and been nominated for two Academy Awards. She has long been associated with Democratic Party causes and fundraising.

Trump has several times said he hoped he would face Winfrey as an opponent in the 2020 presidential race.

On Sunday night, he blasted her over a segment on CBS’ 60 Minutes programme in which she led a panel of 14 Republican, Democrat and Independent voters from Grand Rapids, Michigan in a wide ranging discussion about Trump’s first year in office.

Trump tweeted: “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”

Asked by Kimmel whether she had thought about responding to the tweet, Winfrey replied: “Not a second.”

She added: “You don’t win by meeting any kind of negativity head on.” — Reuters

Deeply indebted Lisa Marie Presley and manager in duelling lawsuits

Singer Lisa Marie Presley poses at the premiere of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' in Hollywood, California May 7, 2015. — Reuters picSinger Lisa Marie Presley poses at the premiere of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ in Hollywood, California May 7, 2015. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, Feb 24 — Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of Elvis Presley, says she is facing financial ruin and has filed a US$100 million (RM391.8 million) lawsuit accusing her former business manager of negligence and mismanaging her finances.

Her ex-manager has filed his own lawsuit, accusing Presley, 50, of squandering her famous father’s inheritance because of her lavish lifestyle. The lawsuit seeks US$800,000 in unpaid bills.

The duelling lawsuits, filed earlier this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, follow the collapse in 2016 of Presley’s fourth marriage and her announcement that she was US$16 million in debt.

Presley was just 9 years old when Elvis died in 1977, leaving her his sole heir. Her affairs have been managed by Barry Siegel since 1993, when she came into her inheritance through a trust.

Her lawsuit said Presley’s “11-year odyssey to financial ruin” began in 2005 and alleged that as result of Siegel’s actions, “Lisa has been damaged in an amount that has not yet been fully ascertained, but is believed to be in excess of US$100 million.”

The 2005 deal she was referring to involved income from Elvis’ former home Graceland and his intellectual property rights.

The lawsuit said that by 2016, the trust was left with US$14,000 in cash and over US$500,000 in credit card debt.

Siegel’s lawsuit said Lisa Marie has “twice squandered” her inheritance and she had been repeatedly told to curb “her spendthrift ways.”

Siegel’s attorney, Leon Gladstone, said in a statement yesterday that the 2005 deal Presley was complaining about “cleared up over US$20 million in debts Lisa had incurred and netted her over US$40 million cash and a multi-million dollar income stream, most of which she managed to squander in the ensuing years.”

“It’s clear Lisa Marie is going through a difficult time in her life and looking to blame others instead of taking responsibility for her actions,” Gladstone said.

Presley launched her own career as a singer in 2003 and has released three albums to mixed success. She is better known for her two-year marriage to singer Michael Jackson and her 108-day marriage to actor Nicholas Cage. — Reuters

Ed Sheeran searches for new lines in movie ‘Songwriter’ (VIDEO)

Director, screenwriter, editor and producer Murray Cummings and Ed Sheeran pose during a photocall to promote the movie ‘Songwriter’ at the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 23, 2018. — Reuters picDirector, screenwriter, editor and producer Murray Cummings and Ed Sheeran pose during a photocall to promote the movie ‘Songwriter’ at the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 23, 2018. — Reuters pic

BERLIN, Feb 24 — British singer Ed Sheeran said on Friday that the hardest part of songwriting was coming up with lines that had never been written before as a new documentary detailing his creative process premiered at Berlin’s international film festival.

The movie Songwriter was directed by Sheeran’s cousin, Murray Cummings, and follows the Grammy winner as he travels around the United States and England writing songs on his laptop, jamming in a garden and recording in the studio.

The intimate portrait of Sheeran, who was the most-streamed artist on music service Spotify globally in 2017, includes footage of him belting out songs while crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2, returning to high school to see his music teacher and talking to his father about his songs.

“I think the most difficult thing to do with writing a song is finding a phrase that you haven’t heard before because there’s always a song that’s going to be like: ‘I love you baby like crazy, I miss you maybe’,” Sheeran told a news conference.

He said he had learned not to push himself if he was struggling to write and did not believe writer’s block existed.

“What I do when I can’t write a song is I just put the guitar down and go and do something else for about a couple of weeks and then come back and then I’ll be able to write a song,” the 27-year-old said.

“So the way that my mind is now is, I will be able to write songs forever — they probably will start being about pretty mundane things because my life is getting more and more calm.”

Sheeran said he liked the documentary because it showed a song being written from start to finish, rather than just an album being recorded.

“I like that Murray found a niche that hasn’t really been done before. It’s quite difficult to find something that hasn’t been done in a music movie,” Sheeran said.

Sheeran, who said he planned to make a film next year in which he would play something other than himself, listed Goodfellas, Cool Runnings and Love Actually as his favourite movies.

Cummings told Reuters the documentary would give fans an insight into Sheeran off-stage.

“When he’s on his own he’s kind of very like relaxed and chilled and stuff. So I think they’re going to see that’s what he’s like because this film just kind of shows what I see every day,” Cummings said. — Reuters

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Dalam kesibukkan beliau dan keluarga membuat persiapan majlis resepsi perkahwinan, pelakon popular Fattah Amin dan keluarga berkesempatan menganjurkan majlis sederhana bersama anak-anak syurga dari Tahfiz Az-Zahra serta wakil anak-anak yatim dari Pusat Jagaan Cahaya Kasih Bestari bertempat di ESpace @stalkerscafe semalam.

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Majlis ringkas yang dimulakan dengan solat maghrib, solat hajat berjemaah, bacaan yasin dan doa selamat itu kemudian diakhiri dengan solat isyak berjemaah serta majlis penyampaian sumbangan hadiah perkahwinan peminat-peminat #fattzura @fattahaminz @missfazura kepada kedua-dua rumah tersebut.
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10 female-directed films to watch at the upcoming Malaysia International Film Festival

A scene from Singaporean-Thai independent film, Pop Aye, directed by Kirsten Tan. A scene from Singaporean-Thai independent film, Pop Aye, directed by Kirsten Tan. KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — The second Malaysia International Film Festival (Miffest) begins tomorrow with a selection of over 20 independent films from around the region.

More impressive is the huge emphasis on female directors, making up almost half the films selected for the festival.

“This year has so many good films by female directors and we are immensely proud to have a female-focused festival,” said Miffest chairman Joanne Goh.

“If you’re a film lover, this is one of the rare moments to watch these acclaimed independent films.”

There will also be a Female Film-makers in Focus talk where directors Shin Su-won, Roya Sadat, Tan Chui Mui and Kamila Andini will discuss the challenges of being a film-maker in Asia — a rather timely notion following Hollywood’s #MeToo and #TimesUp movements to end sexual misconduct in the industry and include more diversity.

“There aren’t enough female directors in Asia for sure but also, we have to consider the fact that there are more limitations and restrictions for women in the industry compared to men and inequality needs to be addressed,” Goh chipped in.

Reflective of this year’s women-oriented festival, the lifetime achievement award at the second Malaysia Golden Global Awards which runs alongside Miffest will be awarded to veteran Hong Kong director Ann Hui.

The 71-year-old film director is known as one of the leading figures of Hong Kong’s New Wave film movement. She is known for her films The Secret and Boat People.

Here are 10 films to catch by female directors at the upcoming festival.

1. Love Education by Sylvia Chang

This year’s opening film by actress-turned-director Chang is a multi-generational Chinese-Taiwanese drama about the relationship of a mother, daughter and step-grandmother who are caught in a conflict over relocating the family patriarch’s grave.

2. Year Without Summer by Tan Chui Mui

Tan’s second feature film tells the story of rock singer Azman who returns to his village to become a fisherman. The Malaysian movie is a meditative tale about memory, the sea and friendship.

3.By the Time It Gets Dark by Anocha Suwichakornpong

This 2016 Thai drama by the Columbia University-educated Suwichakornpong weaves together the stories of a film director, her muse, a job-hopping waitress, an actor and actress whose lives are interconnected.

4. Pop Aye by Kirsten Tan

Elephant lovers, you wouldn’t want to miss this heart-warming Singaporean-Thai film about a disillusioned architect who meets his long-lost childhood companion elephant, Pop Aye, while in Bangkok. He then takes Pop Aye back to the village where they grew up. Tan’s film made it to Sundance’s official selection last year.

5. Angels Wear White by Vivian Qu

When two young girls are sexually assaulted in a seedy motel by a high-ranking district commissioner, issues of class, social injustice and victim blaming are brought to light in this modern noir.

6. Glass Garden by Shin Su-won

One of the most prominent South Korean female film-makers, Shin’s whimsical film opened at last year’s Busan International Film Festival. The film is centred around PhD student Jae-yeon who has the rare gift of communicating with Nature.

7. The White Girl by Jenny Suen

Set in Hong Kong’s last fishing village, Suen worked with renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle (co-director and co-writer) on the story of a photosensitive girl who is branded as a ghost and her overbearing father who shields her from the truth about her mother.

8. The Seen and Unseen by Kamila Andini

Indonesian film-maker Kamila Andini is best known for her debut film The Mirror Never Lies. Set in Bali, The Seen and Unseen is about a 10-year-old girl whose twin brother falls ill and starts losing his senses one by one. To cope with her impending loss, she seeks solace in a fantasy world of dance.

9. A Letter to the President by Roya Sadat

When Soraya is imprisoned after killing her abusive husband by accident, she writes a strong letter to the president for help and in the process, provides viewers a glimpse into state-sanctioned misogyny. A Letter to the President was selected as the Afghan entry for the 90th Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language and Sadat is Afghanistan’s first female film-maker to emerge in the post-Taliban era.

10. Radiance by Naomi Kawase

The winner of Cannes’ Prize of the Ecumenical Jury is a sunlit film about a blind photographer who falls in love with an audio description film writer for the visually impaired.

Miffest runs from tomorrow until March 2. The films will be screened at TGV Suria KLCC, tickets are priced at RM16. Visit ticketcharge.com.my or call 03-9222 8811 to purchase.

The Female Film-makers in Focus session takes place on March 2, 11am at TGV Suria KLCC Hall 11. Contact Penny at 012-525 2212 or Carmen at 012-629 4018 for details.

British actor Stephen Fry reveals battle with prostate cancer

Actor Stephen Fry arrives for a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Lord Snowdon at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain April 7, 2017. ― Reuters picActor Stephen Fry arrives for a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Lord Snowdon at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain April 7, 2017. ― Reuters picLONDON, Feb 23 ― British actor Stephen Fry said today he has had surgery to remove his prostate after battling cancer for two months, adding in a video also posted today that the operation appears to have been successful.

The 60-year-old actor was part of the comic double act Fry and Laurie with actor Hugh Laurie, whom he knew from university, and has appeared in films such as V for Vendetta, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Blackadder’s Christmas Carol.

Fry said he had gone to his doctor just before Christmas to get a flu jab when signs of the cancer were first noticed.

He added that his whole prostate had been removed in an operation in early January, and that the cancer did not seem to have spread.

“As far as we know, it’s all been got… I generally felt that my life was saved by this early intervention,” Fry said in the video on his website.

“For the moment, I’m fit and well and happy.”

Last month, Fry stepped down as host of Britain’s Bafta film awards, having presented the ceremony 12 times. He is also known for presenting the BBC2 TV comedy quiz show QI.

He has spoken frankly about his health previously, and his struggles with anxiety and depression. In 1995, he fled a London theatre production just days after its opening in what he later called “emotional turmoil”.

He won an Emmy in 2007 for his documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. ― Reuters

Jason Bateman premieres ‘Game Night’ in Hollywood (VIDEO)

LOS ANGELES, Feb 23 ― Hollywood star Jason Bateman turned out in Los Angeles on Wednesday night for the world premiere of his new movie Game Night, an action-comedy about a murder mystery party that turns out to be not quite what it seems.

The film, which has an ensemble cast that includes Oscar-nominee Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler and Jeffery Wright among others, was made by the team behind Horrible Bosses, which also starred Bateman.

Actors Chandler and Wright, who are not usually seen in comedies, said they learned a lot from their fellow cast members on Game Night.

Game Night is out in North America today. ― Reuters

Cast member Jason Bateman and his wife Amanda Anka pose at the premiere of ‘Game Night’ in Los Angeles, California February 21, 2018. ― Reuters picCast member Jason Bateman and his wife Amanda Anka pose at the premiere of ‘Game Night’ in Los Angeles, California February 21, 2018. ― Reuters pic