x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Holly to Bolly: Good Morning, Vietnam director tribute to the film’s star Robin Williams

Bollywood activist starts filming movie about domestic violence; Joan Rivers on life support; actress-turned director DIvya Khosla Kumar receives award for her film Yaariyaan; and Spanish fashion designer Manuel Pertegaz dies.

Robin Williams in a scene from the film Good Morning, Vietnam, 1987. Buena Vista / Getty Images
Robin Williams in a scene from the film Good Morning, Vietnam, 1987. Buena Vista / Getty Images

Good Morning, Vietnam director pays tribute to star Robin Williams

The filmmaker Barry Levinson, who directed Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam yesterday described the late comedian as an extraordinary performer. The 1987 film about a fast-talking army-radio DJ during the Vietnam War gave Williams credibility as a dramatic actor and won him an Academy Award nomination. “He was brilliant and sensitive in ways that were extraordinary,” said Levinson, who is at the Venice Film Festival for a screening of his movie The Humbling. The director recalled how Williams had improvised scenes with Vietnamese performers on the set of the movie, “and his interest in the people was so fascinating that he was able to pull out their behaviour and how they thought and functioned”. Williams committed suicide last month at the age of 63. – AP

Veteran Bollywood activist shooting film about domestic violence

The veteran actress and social activist Shabana Azmi, who often speaks out on gender issues, started work on a short film about domestic violence at the weekend. “First day of filming for Nasheed Faruqis short film OUTSIDE on domestic violence. Looking 4ward 2 b directed by a girl I’ve seen as a child,” she posted on her Twitter page on Saturday. The actress and her godchild, Namrata Goyal, run the non-profit Mijwan Welfare Society, which aims to empower rural India with a focus on the girls and women. She has also been outspoken about crimes against women. Outside, about how a young girl is affected by a brutal act she witnesses, is being produced in association with domestic-violence charities in the United States, Britain and India. – IANS

Joan Rivers on life support as condition worsens

Joan Rivers was on a life support machine in hospital yesterday as hopes that she might recover continued to fade. The controversial actress and comedian has been in critical condition since Thursday, when she was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York after she stopped breathing during a routine throat procedure at a doctor’s office. She was initially placed in a medically induced coma but as her condition worsened over the weekend, she was put on life support. The 81-year-old-star’s daughter Melissa now faces the prospect of having to turn off the machines that are keeping her alive, but no decision is expected to be made for several days. Celebrities took to Twitter to post messages of hope and support. Kelly Osbourne, a co-host with Rivers on the TV show Fashion Police, wrote: “4 the first time in years I got down on my knees & prayed tonight! I encourage U 2 do the same 4 Joan Rivers my grandma!” Charlie Sheen wrote: “Joan Rivers please come back to us young lady. Your inimitable genius and compassion keeps a world you set in motion, a lot better every day. Love and peace.” The Girls creator and star Lena Dunham said: “We can’t lose her” and the comedy actor Seth Rogen wrote: “I really need Joan Rivers to be OK.”– AP

Excellence award for Yaariyaan director

The actress-turned-director Divya Khosla Kumar has received the Rajiv Gandhi Award for excellence for her film Yaariyaan. Released this year, the film is a coming-of-age romance adventure starring Himansh Kohli, Rakul Preet Singh and Nicole Faria. “It’s a great honour and definitely my journey and growth as a creative person doesn’t stop here. I am proud to be a woman and making my foray in a field absolutely dominated by men. Cheers to Indian women managing their families,” Divya said. She could not be in Delhi to receive the award, so her parents accepted it on her behalf. – IANS

Spanish fashion designer to the stars dies at 96

Manuel Pertegaz, one of Spain’s most admired fashion designers, who dressed stars and celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy and Ava Gardner, died on Saturday in Barcelona at the age of 96. Jose Ignacio Wert, Spain’s education and culture minister, said that to think of the designer was “to think of elegance”. He said that Pertegaz had “dressed queens, princesses, actresses and countless celebrities” during a long career that took off after he opened his first shop in Barcelona when he was only 25 years old. In 1953, he travelled to the United States and presented his collection. Spain’s Queen Letizia chose a Pertegaz wedding dress for her marriage in 2004 to the then Prince Felipe. – AP