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Romeo & Juliet stars sue Paramount Pictures for sexual abuse

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The stars of the Oscar-winning 1968 film Romeo and Juliet are suing Paramount Pictures for sexual abuse over a nude scene they appeared in.

Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were teenagers when they made the movie.

In a new legal case, the English actors, now in their 70s, claim director Franco Zeffirelli encouraged them to do nude scenes despite previous assurances that they would not have to.

Paramount has not yet publicly responded to the claim.

The two actors are seeking damages of more than $500m (£417m), based on suffering they say they have experienced and the revenue brought in by the film since its release.

They claim Zeffirelli, who died in 2019, initially told them they would wear flesh-coloured underwear in the bedroom scene.

But on the morning of the shoot, they allege the director told them they would wear only body make-up, while assuring them the camera would be positioned to not show nudity.

In the final film, Whiting’s bare buttocks and Hussey’s bare breasts were briefly shown during the scene.

Zeffirelli told them they must act in the nude “or the picture would fail” and their careers would be hurt, the pair claim in the lawsuit. The actors “believed they had no choice but to act in the nude in body makeup as demanded”.

Whiting was then aged 16 and is now 72, while Hussey was 15 when the film was shot and is now 71.

The pair are suing Paramount for sexual abuse, sexual harassment and fraud.

The lawsuit accuses the Hollywood studio of sexually exploiting the two young actors and distributing nude images of adolescent children.

The court filing says Whiting and Hussey have suffered emotional damage and mental anguish for decades as a result of the way they were treated.

The film was a huge success at the time, and has been shown to generations of students studying the Shakespeare play since.

It was nominated for four Oscars, including best director and best picture, and won two – for cinematography and costume design.

The lawsuit was filed on Friday in Santa Monica Superior Court under a California law that has temporarily suspended the statute of limitations – which means action cannot normally be taken once a certain time has elapsed – for child sex abuse.

The suspension has led to a host of new lawsuits and the revival of many others that were previously dismissed.

Entertainment

‘Rhythm of Harmony’ rocks Colombo

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A rock band concert ‘Rhythm of Harmony’ was held at the BMICH, Colombo yesterday (24) in the run upto 74th Republic Day of India, reflecting the close links between the two countries in the field of art and culture.

Organized by the Indian High Commission in Colombo, the concert featured the Indian band UDX from Nagaland, led by Inakhu A Ayeh and the Sri Lankan heavy metal band Stigmata, led by Suresh de Silva.  

In the next few days, UDX will travel around the Island and give performances at Jaffna, Kandy and Hambantota.

This is the first time that UDX, which blends multiple genres such as rock, blues and funk, performed in Sri Lanka.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe graced the event as Chief Guest while several Sri Lankan Ministers, Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, Indian diaspora and other dignitaries were also present at the occasion.

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Avatar 2 grosses over $2 bn.!

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After being in theaters for just over a month, Avatar: The Way of Water – the long-awaited sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 hit – has officially grossed over $2.024 billion.

It took over Spider-Man: No Way Home’s spot as the sixth highest-grossing movie of all time last week; to move up to the No. 5 spot, currently held by Avengers: Infinity War, it needs to make over $2.05 billion.

Now it has become the first ever pandemic-era movie to hit the $2 billion mark and Cameron’s third movie to gross that much in box office receipts. He’s the only director in history to have three movies gross over $2 billion.

After 13 years in the making, all eyes were on the Avatar sequel to see if it would make its budget back and turn a profit for Disney. (Disney spent a reported $460 million to create and promote the movie, according to Variety.) Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the box office has experienced major struggles, causing widespread concern and even bankruptcies in the theater industry. Then last year’s Top Gun: Maverick seemed to re-energize moviegoers, proving that the theater industry was far from dead. The Tom Cruise-led film grossed over $1.489 billion in 2022 and seemed to be the uncontested, almost sole reason for movie-going’s resurgence—that was, until Avatar: The Way of Water swept in to make $1.5 billion at the end of 2022 and take its spot as the highest grossing movie of last year.

Now, as the movie reaches yet another milestone, the question becomes: How much money can it make before it loses steam? Here’s a breakdown of how and where the movie made its money, where it falls in the all-time box office, and how it speaks, yet again, to Cameron’s ability to make a riveting sequel that gets people back in theaters.

(time.com)

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3D movie Gajaman in theatres now! (Pics)

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Gajaman, the first ever 3D animation movie in Sri Lanka made using motion capture technology was launched in theatres across the country on January 20.

This film is based on the popular cartoon character ‘Gajaman’ of the seventies created by Camillus Perera .

Suneth and Gaminda (Chooti Malli and Podi Malli), Yureni Noshika, Sunil Perera and Rashi Prabodha have contributed as voice actors in this movie.

Gajaman was directed by Chanaka Perera.

In a conversation with the Sri Lanka Mirror, producer Chamika Jinadasa said the movie is a childhood dream that came true.

He said movie director Chanaka Perera and John Fonseka were his childhood friends in the 80s and it was their dream to create a cartoon film.

Mr. Jinadasa also recalled the support and contribution made by Mr. Camillus Perera in the movie which began filming in 2011, and wished him a long life.

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