Published by : ProdusB

Nothing says Halloween like a visit to a pumpkin patch where selections range from cute to specimens so gigantic, they arrive by truck. Titi Tran has this report from Orange County, California.

Camera:    Titi Mary Tran

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The niece of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Princess Mako, married a commoner Tuesday, relinquishing her royal status following a heavily scrutinized, controversial four-year engagement.

The Japanese Imperial Household Agency issued a statement announcing the marriage of Mako to Kei Komuro, both 30 years old.

The couple broke with tradition by foregoing the usual rituals and ceremonies of royal weddings, including a reception, while Mako also refused the one-off payment of about $1.3 million typically made to royal women who leave the imperial family to marry.

The couple had been classmates at Tokyo’s International Christian University when they announced their engagement in 2017, saying they intended to marry the next year.

But shortly after the announcement, a dispute involving money Komuro’s mother, a widow, had received from a former suiter surfaced and the wedding was postponed. Komuro wrote a lengthy statement explaining the situation, and but it is still unclear if the dispute has been fully resolved.

Komuro spent the last three years at law school in New York City, where The New York Times reports tabloid newspapers documented everything from his hairstyle to the food trucks where he bought his lunch.

At a news conference, the former princess addressed the controversies, gossip and mixed public opinion about the relationship, saying, “I am very sorry to the people who had trouble (with our marriage). Also, I feel gratitude towards people who cared and quietly worried about me, or people who were not misled by the non-factual information and still continued to support me and Kei.”

The couple expressed their love for one another, and Mako said, “As we go on with our lives, I think there will be different difficulties. But as we have in the past, we will work together and continue to move on together.”  

The couple plans to live in New York City.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse

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Production of the movie that Alec Baldwin was making when he shot and killed a cinematographer last week has been officially halted, but producers of the Western described the move as “a pause rather than an end.” 

In an email to crew members, the movie’s production team confirmed that work on “Rust” has been suspended at least until the investigation is complete. The team said it is working with law enforcement and is conducting its own internal safety review. The production company is also offering grief counseling. 

The sheriff’s investigation continued Monday. The team said that it could not respond to comments made in news reports or on social media. The email suggested that production could resume at some point. 

“Although our hearts are broken, and it is hard to see beyond the horizon, this is, at the moment, a pause rather than an end,” the email read. 

‘Cold gun’

Moments before the shooting, Baldwin was explaining how he was going to draw the revolver from his holster and where his arm would be positioned, court records show. 

The actor had been told that the gun was safe to use for the rehearsal of a scene in which he was supposed to pull out the weapon while sitting in a church pew and point it at the camera, the records said. 

Cameraman Reid Russell told a detective that he was unsure whether the weapon was checked before it was handed to Baldwin, and he did not know why the gun was fired. 

The camera was not rolling when the gun went off and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Russell told authorities, according a search warrant affidavit released Sunday. 

Authorities said Friday that the assistant director, Dave Halls, had handed the weapon to Baldwin and announced “cold gun,” indicating it was safe. 

When asked about how Baldwin treated firearms on the set, Russell said the actor was safe, citing a previous instance when Baldwin made sure a child actor was not near him when a gun was being discharged. 

Statements by director 

The affidavit released Sunday also included statements by director Joel Souza, who was standing behind Hutchins and was wounded. 

It detailed the moments before the shooting and showed that there was turmoil on the set the day of the shooting. Several members of the camera crew walked off the production in a dispute over payment and lodging, Russell said, and he was left with a lot of work to do. Only one camera was available to shoot, and it had to be moved because the light had shifted and there was a shadow. 

Souza said he was focused on how the scene would appear on camera. He said he recalled hearing the phrase “cold gun” before the shooting, the affidavit said. 

He said the scene did not call for the use of live rounds. After a lunch break, Souza said he was not sure if the firearm had been checked again. Souza was looking over Hutchins’ shoulder when he heard the gunshot, according to the affidavit. 

Previous concerns

On Sunday, a crew member who worked with Halls on another project said she had raised safety concerns about him in 2019. 

Maggie Goll, a prop maker and licensed pyrotechnician, said in a statement that she filed an internal complaint with the executive producers of Hulu’s “Into the Dark” series in 2019 over concerns about Halls’ behavior on set. Goll said in a phone interview Sunday that Halls disregarded safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics and tried to continue filming after the supervising pyrotechnician lost consciousness on set. 

Halls has not returned phone calls and email messages seeking comment. 

The fatal shooting and previous experiences point to larger safety issues that need to be addressed, Goll said, adding that crew member safety and well-being were top issues in recent contract negotiations between a union that represents film and TV workers and a major producers’ group. 

“This situation is not about Dave Halls. … It’s in no way one person’s fault,” she said. “It’s a bigger conversation about safety on set and what we are trying to achieve with that culture.” 

The film’s chief electrician, Serge Svetnoy, blamed producers for Hutchins’ death in an emotional Facebook post on Sunday. Svetnoy said he had worked with Hutchins on multiple films and faulted “negligence and unprofessionalism” among those handling weapons on the set. He said producers hired an inexperienced armorer. 

Safety measures

Since the shooting, other production crews have stepped up safety measures. 

Jeffrey Wright, who has worked on projects including the James Bond franchise and the upcoming movie “The Batman,” was acting with a weapon on the set of “Westworld” when he learned of the shooting Thursday at a New Mexico ranch. 

“We were all pretty shocked. And it informed what we did from that moment on,” he said in an interview Sunday at the Newport Beach Film Festival. 

“I don’t recall ever being handed a weapon that was not cleared in front of me — meaning chamber open, barrel shown to me, light flashed inside the barrel to make sure that it’s cleared,” Wright said. “Clearly that was a mismanaged set.” 

Actor Ray Liotta agreed with Wright that the checks on firearms are usually extensive. 

“They always — that I know of — they check it so you can see,” Liotta said. “They give it to the person you’re pointing the gun at. They do it to the producer. They show whoever is there that it doesn’t work.” 

Baldwin, who is known for his roles in “30 Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October” and his impression of former President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” has described the killing as a “tragic accident.” 

 

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In a decision with potential ramifications across European museums, France is displaying 26 looted colonial-era artifacts for one last time before returning them home to Benin. 

The wooden anthropomorphic statues, royal thrones and sacred altars were pilfered by the French army in the 19th century from Western Africa. 

President Emmanuel Macron suggested that France now needed to right the wrongs of the past, making a landmark speech in 2017 in which he said he can no longer accept “that a large part of many African countries’ cultural heritage lies in France.” It laid down a roadmap for the controversial return of the royal treasures taken during the era of empire and colony. The French will have a final glimpse of the objects in the Musée du quai Branly–Jacques Chirac from 26-31 October.

French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot tried to assuage jitters among European museums, emphasizing that this initiative “will not create a legal precedent.” 

A French law was passed last year to allow the restitution of the statues to the Republic of Benin, as well as a storied sword to the Army Museum in Senegal.

But she said that the French government’s law was intentionally specific in applying solely to the 27 artifacts. “[It] does not establish any general right to restitution” and “in no way calls into question” the right of French museums to hold on to their heritage. 

Yet critics of such moves — including London’s British Museum that is in a decades-long tug-of-war with the Greek government over a restitution of the Elgin Marbles — argue that it will open the floodgates to emptying Western museums of their collections. Many are made up of objects acquired, or stolen, during colonial times. French museums alone hold at least 90,000 artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa. 

The story of the “Abomey Treasures” is as dramatic as their sculpted forms. In November 1892, Colonel Alfred Dodds led a pilfering French expeditionary force into the Kingdom of Danhomè located in the south of present-day Benin. The colonizing troops broke into the Abomey Palace, home of King Behanzin, seizing as they did many royal objects including the 26 artifacts that Dodds donated to the Musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris in the 1890s. Since 2003, the objects have been housed at the Musée du quai Branly–Jacques Chirac. 

One hundred and twenty-nine years later, their far-flung journey abroad will finally end.

Benin’s Culture Minister Jean-Michel Abimbola called the return of the works, a “historic milestone,” and the beginning of further cooperation between the two countries, during a news conference last week. The country is founding a museum in Abomey to house the treasures that will be partly funded by the French government. The French Development Agency will give some 35 million euros toward the “Museum of the Saga of the Amazonians and the Danhome Kings” under a pledge signed this year.

The official transfer of the 26 pieces is expected to be signed in Paris on Nov. 9 in the presence of Macron and the art is expected to be in Benin a few days later, Abimbola said. 

While locals say the decision is overdue, what’s important is that the art will be returned.

“It was a vacuum created among Benin’s historical treasures, which is gradually being reconstituted,” said Fortune Sossa, President of the African Cultural Journalists Network. 

 

 

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“Belfast”, a film drama by acclaimed actor and director Kenneth Branagh, chronicles the beginnings, in 1969, of the thirty-year political and sectarian violence in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles. Penelope Poulou reports.

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Calls were growing Sunday to ban the use of firearms in movie-making, as Hollywood struggled to come to terms with Alec Baldwin’s fatal on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

A memorial service will be held Sunday for 42-year-old Hutchins, who was struck in the chest when Baldwin fired a prop gun during the filming of the low-budget Western “Rust.” She died shortly after the incident Thursday in New Mexico.

Director Joel Souza, 48, who was crouching behind her as they lined up a shot, was wounded and hospitalized, then released.

 

Police are still investigating the shooting, which sparked intense speculation on social media about how such an accident could have occurred despite detailed and long-established gun safety protocols for film sets.

A petition on the website change.org calling for a ban on live firearms on film sets and better working conditions for crews had gathered more than 18,000 signatures by Sunday afternoon.

“There is no excuse for something like this to happen in the 21st century,” says the text of the petition launched by Bandar Albuliwi, a screenwriter and director.

Dave Cortese, a Democrat elected to the California Senate, put out a statement on Saturday saying, “There is an urgent need to address alarming work abuses and safety violations occurring on the set of theatrical productions, including unnecessary high-risk conditions such as the use of live firearms.”

He said he intends to push a bill banning live ammunition on movie sets in California.

The hit Los Angeles police drama “The Rookie” decided the day after the shooting to ban all live ammunition from its set, effective immediately, according to industry publication The Hollywood Reporter.

But some industry professionals said the use of weapons on film was not the problem.

Movie armorer SL Huang, writing on Twitter, said she had worked on hundreds of film sets without incident, thanks to the stringent safety protocols and the built-in redundancies.

“A tragedy happening in this particular way defies everything I know about how we treat guns on film sets,” she wrote. “My colleagues and I have been trying to figure out how this could happen when following our basic safety procedures and we keep ending at a loss.

“Which implies… that very basic, very standard safety procedures may not have been followed. And that nobody shut the production down when they weren’t,” Huang wrote.

Baldwin, who has spoken of his heartbreak after the killing, is cooperating with the police investigation.

The probe has focused on the specialist in charge of the weapon and the assistant director who handed it to Baldwin, according to an affidavit seen by AFP.

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The South Korean television show, Squid Game, has become Netflix’s biggest series launch ever, topping 111 million viewers globally. Karina Bafradzhian examines the phenomenon of the Squid Game.

Camera: David Gogokhia

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Led by an unlikely hero, the Atlanta Braves are heading back to a place that used to be so familiar to them.

The World Series.

Eddie Rosario capped a remarkable National League Championship Series with a three-run homer, sending the Braves to the biggest stage of all with a 4-2 victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.

The Braves won the best-of-seven playoff four games to two, exorcising the demons of last year’s NLCS — when Atlanta squandered 2-0 and 3-1 leads against the Dodgers — and advancing to face the AL champion Astros. 

Game 1 is Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

“It’s a great moment in my life,” Rosario, from Puerto Rico, said through an interpreter. “But I want more. I want to win the World Series.”

The Braves were Series regulars in the 1990s, winning it all in ’95. That remains their only title in Atlanta. The Braves lost the Series four other times during that decade, a run of postseason disappointment that marred a momentous streak that grew to 14 straight division titles.

After getting swept in the 1999 World Series by the Yankees, the Braves couldn’t even get that far in the postseason.

Twenty-two years of frustration, 12 playoff appearances that fell short of a pennant.

Finally, it’s over.

“We actually did it,” said longtime first baseman Freddie Freeman, sounding a bit bewildered.

Rosario set an Atlanta record and became only the fifth player in baseball history to get 14 hits in a postseason series. He was an easy choice as MVP of the series.

Rosario’s final hit was certainly the biggest of the 30-year-old’s career. 

Rosario got into an extended duel with pitcher Walker Buehler, who stepped up to start on three days’ rest after ace Max Scherzer wasn’t able to go because of a tired arm.

Rosario swung and missed the first two pitches. Then he fouled one off. Then he took a ball. Then he fouled off two more pitches.

Finally, he got one he liked and hit a 105 mph rocket down the right-field line, higher and higher, straight as an arrow until it landed well back into the seats below the Chop House restaurant.

Rosario delivered the 361-foot finishing shot to a highly paid team that won 106 games during the regular season — 18 more than the NL East-winning Braves — but came up short in its bid to become baseball’s first repeat champion since the 2000 New York Yankees won their third straight title.

“We had a tremendous season,” Roberts said. “We were two wins away from going to the World Series. I want the guys to be proud of that.”

Kill the narrative

The Braves will be looking to bury their city’s reputation for postseason misery across a wide range of sports. 

From four World Series losses in the 1990s to the NFL Falcons blowing a 28-3 lead in the 2017 Super Bowl, Atlanta again finds itself on the cusp of an extremely rare feat.

The ‘95 Braves remain the city’s lone team in the four major sports — baseball, football, basketball and hockey — to capture a title. Freeman said after a Game 5 loss that the city’s history would remain an issue “until we kill that narrative.”

They’re four wins from doing just that.

Snit Vs. Snit

Braves manager Brian Snitker will see a familiar face in the opposite dugout during the World Series.

His son.

Troy Snitker is the hitting coach for the Astros.

“The Snitker family is going to have a World Series trophy in our house,” Brian Snitker said. “I don’t know who’s going to have it, but we’re going to have one.”

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Eleven Picasso paintings and other works that helped turn Las Vegas into an unlikely destination for art were sold at auction on Saturday for more than $100 million.

The Sotheby’s auction was held at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, where the works had been on display for years, and took place two days before the 140th birthday of the Spanish artist on Oct. 25.

Five of the paintings had hung on the walls of the Bellagio’s fine dining restaurant, Picasso. The restaurant will continue to display 12 other Picasso works.

The highest price was fetched by the 1938 painting “Femme au beret rouge-orange” of Picasso’s lover and muse Marie-Therese Walter, which sold for $40.5 million, some $10 million over the high pre-sale estimate.

The large-scale portraits “Homme et Enfant” and “Buste d’homme” sold for $24.4 million and $9.5 million respectively, while smaller works on ceramic, like “Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe” which sold for $2.1 million, went for three or four times their pre-sale estimate.

The buyers’ names were not disclosed.

Saturday’s sale was part of a bid by casino and hotel group MGM Resorts to further diversify its vast collection to include more art from women, people of color and emerging nations as well as from LGBTQ artists and artists with disabilities.

American museums and art galleries have been working to broaden their collections in the wake of the widespread cultural reckoning in 2020 over racism at all levels of U.S. society.

A 2019 Public Library of Science study of 18 leading U.S. museums found that 85% of the artists on display are white and 87% are men.

The MGM Resorts Fine Arts Collection boasts about 900 works by 200 artists, including modern pieces by Bob Dylan and David Hockney. It was started more than 20 years ago by Steve Wynn, former owner of the Bellagio and former chief executive of Wynn Resorts.

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Somali filmmaker Khadar Ahmed won the top prize at the FESPACO film festival in Burkina Faso on Saturday for “The Gravedigger’s Wife,” which he wrote and directed. 

The 40-year-old was not at the ceremony to receive the Golden Stallion award, but his work bested 16 other African films for the top prize. The films in competition were made by directors from 15 African countries. 

This year’s international jury was led by Mauritanian producer Abderrahmane Sissako, who won France’s coveted Cesar in 2015 for “Timbuktu.” 

The Golden Stallion, said Sissako, was “for any African filmmaker, the best prize you can have, a source of great pride.” 

The festival, first staged in 1969, is held every two years in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. 

The event is closely followed by the U.S. and European movie industries, which scout the event for new films, talent and ideas. 

Its top prize is named after the Golden Stallion of Yennenga, a mythical beast in Burkinabe mythology. 

The event was originally set for February 27-March 6 but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

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Alec Baldwin was handed what was described as a safe “cold gun” on the set of his movie “Rust,” but the prop gun contained live rounds when it was fired, according to details of the police investigation into the fatal shooting released on Friday.

The shot hit cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest, and director Joel Souza who was behind her, in the shoulder, according to a county sheriff’s affidavit filed in Santa Fe magistrates court.

 

Hutchins died of her wounds and Souza was injured but has since been released from a local hospital.

The assistant director who handed Baldwin the prop gun did not know it contained live rounds, the affidavit by Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department Detective Joel Cano said.

Baldwin said on Friday he was in shock over the accidental shooting as reports emerged of walk-outs on the “Rust” set earlier in the week over unsafe conditions.

The star of “30 Rock” and “The Hunt for Red October” said he was “fully cooperating” with authorities to determine how the incident occurred on Thursday.

Production on the movie was immediately shut down. The sheriff’s department said no charges had been filed and the investigation remained open. Baldwin voluntarily gave a statement about the shooting, the sheriff’s department said.

The affidavit was filed on Friday in support of a search warrant for “old Western style clothing” worn by Baldwin that appeared to have blood stains, along with firearms, documentation, ammunition and cameras from the scene. 

The search warrant was approved by a Santa Fe judge.

Cano said the incident took place at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, south of Santa Fe, during a rehearsal and it was not clear whether it had been filmed.

He said the prop gun was one of three on a cart outside a building. One of them was taken by the assistant director on the movie who went inside and handed it to Baldwin.

“As the assistant director handed the gun to the actor Alec Baldwin, (he) yelled ‘cold gun’, indicating the prop gun did not have any live rounds,” the affidavit said.

As the investigation proceeded, questions were raised about working conditions on the set of “Rust,” a small budget Western movie of which Baldwin was both star and a co-producer.

The Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood cited several members of the crew and others close to the production as saying six or seven camera operators had walked off the “Rust” set hours before the tragedy.

Both outlets also reported that there had been at least one previous misfire with the prop gun.

“We cited everything from lack of payment for three weeks, taking our hotels away despite asking for them in our deals, lack of Covid safety, and on top of that, poor gun safety! Poor on-set safety period!” one camera crew member wrote on a private Facebook page, according to Deadline.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the accounts. Rust Movie Productions did not respond to a request for comment on Friday but said in a statement it was investigating.

“Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down,” the company said in its statement.

Baldwin, 63, on Friday expressed his “shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident” that killed Hutchins. In a message on his social media accounts, he said his “heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) said in a statement that it was devastated to learn of the death of Hutchins, who was a member of the union.

Hutchins’ representatives in a statement said they “hope this tragedy will reveal new lessons for how to better ensure safety for every crew member on set.”

Hutchins, 42, who was originally from Ukraine, was named one of American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars of 2019. Her last social media post, two days ago, shows her grinning under a wide-brimmed hat as she rides a horse. “One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off:” she captioned the video.

Known for his impersonations of former U.S. President Donald Trump on sketch show “Saturday Night Live,” Baldwin has appeared in more than 100 TV and film comedies and dramas, and won Emmy awards for his role as an egotistical TV network executive in the satire “30 Rock.”

The accident renewed about whether certain types of prop guns should be banned on TV and movie sets.

Brandon Lee, son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died at age 28 after being fatally wounded in 1993 by a prop gun in an on-set accident while filming “The Crow.”

“I don’t understand why we would still use blank rounds in a day when you could simulate them,” indie film director and producer Ben Rock told Reuters on Friday.

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Hollywood star Alec Baldwin said Friday, “My heart is broken” after a cinematographer died when he fired a prop gun on a New Mexico movie set, adding that he was cooperating with a police investigation to determine how the incident occurred. 

“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin wrote in a statement on Twitter. 

“I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.” 

The incident occurred Thursday afternoon on the set of “Rust” at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location south of Santa Fe, according to the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department. Hutchins was transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

Baldwin, 63, is a co-producer of “Rust,” a Western movie set in 1880s Kansas, and also plays the eponymous character who is an outlaw grandfather of a 13-year-old boy convicted of an accidental killing. 

The sheriff’s office said late Thursday that no charges had been filed and the investigation remained “open and active.” Baldwin voluntarily gave a statement about the shooting at the sheriff’s office, the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported. 

The film’s director, Joel Souza, was wounded and taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Actress Frances Fisher, who is co-starring in the movie, said on Twitter: “Souza texted me that he’s out of hospital.” 

Baldwin was seen “distraught and in tears” outside the sheriff’s department on Thursday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. 

Known for his impersonations of former U.S. President Donald Trump on NBC’s comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live,” Baldwin is a versatile actor who has starred in both comedies and dramas over a long career in film and television. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in 1993’s “The Cooler” and has won multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. 

Production of “Rust” has been halted for an “undetermined period,” several news outlets quoted the film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, as saying. An email to an address for the film production went unanswered. 

The road leading to the set location was closed Friday morning, with security guards turning people away. 

Another on-set shooting 

The shooting evoked memories of an on-set accident in 1993 when U.S. actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died at age 28 after being fatally wounded by a prop gun while filming “The Crow.” 

“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust’. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period,” said a tweet from Lee’s account, which is handled by his sister. 

The accident renewed debate about whether certain types of prop guns should be banned. 

“This suggestion doesn’t help any of them, but it’s time to stop being macho about blanks and end the practice,” Ben Rockula, a director, said on Twitter. 

Earlier on Thursday, Baldwin had posted a picture of himself on Instagram from the set dressed in cowboy-style attire, with what appeared to be a fake blood stain on his shirt and jacket. The post was deleted Thursday night. 

Halyna Hutchins 

Hutchins, 42, who was originally from Ukraine and grew up on a Russian military base in the Arctic Circle, once worked as an investigative reporter in Europe, her website said. 

She graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015 and was selected as one of American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars of 2019, her website said. She described herself as a “Restless Dreamer” and an “Adrenaline junkie” on her Instagram page. 

April Wright, a writer, director and producer, paid tribute to her on Facebook. “I’m in disbelief,” wrote Wright. “So young, vibrant, and talented. Such a wonderful soul. My heart goes out to her son and family.” 

Representatives for Hutchins did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

“I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set,” director Adam Egypt Mortimer, who worked with Hutchins on the 2020 movie “Archenemy,” wrote on Twitter. “She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.” 

Souza, 48, directed, wrote and produced “Crown Vic,” a 2019 action film also co-produced by Baldwin. 

The New Mexico Film Office, which promotes the state as a location for movies and television, declined to comment. The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which represents 160,000 actors and other media professionals, said it would investigate the incident “to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again.” 

 

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There has been controversy leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics scheduled to begin in China in February. The latest protest is in Greece. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee has the details.

Camera: Laurent Laughlin Produced by: Elizabeth Lee

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US actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed a cinematographer and wounded the director on a film set in New Mexico, US law enforcement officers said Thursday.

The incident happened on the set of “Rust” in the southwestern US state, where Baldwin is playing the lead in a 19th-century western.

Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin,” the sheriff in Santa Fe said in a statement.

Hutchins, 42, was transported to hospital by helicopter but died of her wounds, while Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance and is receiving treatment.

No charges have been filed over the incident, which is being investigated, with witness interviews ongoing.

 

A spokesperson from the production told The Hollywood Reporter the “accident” involved the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.

A sheriff’s spokesman told the publication that the director was in “critical condition.”

The incident took place at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location near Santa Fe which is popular with Hollywood filmmakers.

Movie sets usually have stringent rules over the use of prop weapons, but accidents have happened.

Most famously, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died during filming of “The Crow” after being shot by a gun that was supposed to fire blanks.

Baldwin co-produces the film and stars as Harland Rust, an outlaw whose grandson is convicted of murder, and who goes on the run with him when the boy is sentenced to hang for the crime.

The 63-year-old posted a photograph earlier Thursday on Instagram showing him apparently on set, dressed in a period costume and with fake blood on his shirt.

“Back to in-person at the office. Blimey… it’s exhausting,” he captioned the picture, which went online several hours before the incident.

Baldwin has been on television and in films since the 1980s.

Having starred in a number of high profile movies, including in “The Hunt for Red October” and two iterations of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, Baldwin has voiced animated characters in hits like “The Boss Baby”.

He garnered new fans with his long-running portrayal of Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”, a character that irritated the former president, but won Baldwin a Primetime Emmy.

“Rust” also stars Jensen Ackles (“Supernaturals”) and Travis Fimmel, best known for playing Ragnar Lothbrok in “Vikings”.

The Bonanza Creek Ranch where Thursday’s incident took place has hosted productions including “Hostiles,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “Appaloosa” and “Longmire.”

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The largest triceratops skeleton ever found was sold for $7.74 million Thursday at an auction in Paris to a private American collector. 

In a statement on its website, the Drouot auction house said the fossilized remains of “Big John,” as the skeleton is known, was expected to go for between $1.4 and $1.7 million. But they said the prehistoric remains aroused the enthusiasm of bidders onsite at the auction house, on the phone and online. 

An anonymous U.S. collector finally won the bidding battle. A representative for the buyer told reporters “the individual is absolutely thrilled with the idea of being able to bring a piece like this to his personal use.” 

Triceratops, which means “three-horned face” in Latin, was a large plant-eating dinosaur that lived between 66 million and 84 million years ago. It was distinctive for the two large horns on its forehead and a third on its nose. Big John is named after the owner of the parcel of land where the bones were discovered in 2014 in the upper midwestern U.S. state of South Dakota.

Experts say Big John is unique and rare among dinosaur fossils because more than 60% of its skeleton and 75% of its skull are complete. 

Last year, a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton was sold in New York for a record-breaking $31.8 million. Paleontologists say enthusiasm for dinosaur bones by private collectors is pricing them out of reach of the world’s museums. 

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. 

 

 

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