Today

Quick bowler Stuart Broad bowls just one over for Nottinghamshire with England’s first Test against South Africa two weeks away.

Scotland hooker Ross Ford will earn his 110th cap on Saturday as the Scots conclude their summer tour against Fiji.

Kevin Spacey lauds British director Edgar Wright for his unique use of music during the film-making process in their latest movie.

With its potent Southern gothic imagery, its psychosexual tension, and Colin Farrell’s bellowing about “vengeful bitches,” Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled has been riling up viewers since its trailer dropped. Based on a novel (also titled The Painted Devil) by Thomas P. Cullinan and a remake of a 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood, the film tells the tale of young women in a Southern boarding school who take in an injured enemy soldier. His presence in the repressive house results in a violent overflow of jealousy and sexual tension. Coppola’s remake of the 1971 film takes the subject matter and flips it on its head, eliminating the male gaze and telling the tale from the viewpoint of the women confined within the stifling atmosphere of the house. The film appears rife with the tenets of the gothic thriller — a genre that in both literature and film probes anxieties over female sexuality and the interplay of passion and repression. A subset of the genre, known as the Southern gothic, places these themes and moods in the American South. As with the genre’s most famous entry, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Gothic tales typically center on female protagonists and investigate the female psyche, particularly as it relates to desire, repression, and unbridled emotion. Coppola seems to up the ante on this with her focus on the female point-of-view, and it’s fitting that it was this film that made her only the second woman to win Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival last month. Before you dive into the secrets and tensions of The Beguiled when it arrives in theaters this Friday, take a look at one (or more) of these seven classic gothic films. Wuthering Heights (1939) As with its sister text, Jane Eyre, there have been numerous attempts to adapt Emily Bronte’s tale of forbidden love on the moors. Though this adaptation only makes use of 16 of the novel’s 34 chapters, it is perhaps the most indelible for its Oscar-winning black-and-white cinematography that brings the ghostly, haunting moors to vivid life (despite being filmed in sunny Los Angeles). It favors romance over the novel’s intended towering feminine rage that extends from the afterlife, but for better or worse, the film’s take on the central relationship between Cathy (Merle Oberon) and Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier) has shaped notions of the story for more than half a century. Olivier disliked his costar because he had wanted to star opposite his real-life love interest Vivien Leigh (who was off making Gone with the Wind at this time). However, he did make an interesting contribution to the subconscious terror inherent to the gothic – fresh off playing Hamlet on the British stage, he employed Freudian techniques of psychoanalysis to make Heathcliff a smoldering Byronic hero in lieu of the more traditional romantic lover. Available on: Filmstruck, Amazon, iTunes Rebecca (1940) Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again…so begins this gothic romance based on a 1938 Daphne Du Maurier novel that was a contemporary answer to Jane Eyre. Du Maurier is arguably the queen of source material for gothic adaptations (the recent release My Cousin Rachelis based on one of her novels). Alfred Hitchcock made his U.S. directing debut with this film (the only one of his oeuvre to win Best Picture). A timid and shy new wife returns home with her husband, Max de Winter (Laurence Olivier), only to find that his estate is haunted by the memory of his first wife, a mysterious and threatening presence. Our heroine, played by newcomer Joan Fontaine, is known only as “I” or the second Mrs. De Winter, as the story is told entirely through her subjective point of view. Her terror and torment are enhanced by the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), a cold and calculating woman who is obsessed with her former mistress (and said mistress’ underwear drawer). The conclusion of the novel had to be altered slightly to meet Production Code requirements, but the film does a remarkable job of maintaining its sense of dread while interrogating anxiety over female promiscuity. The virgin-whore complex at the center of the plot, which drives the tension between our narrator and Rebecca’s memory, fuels many a gothic narrative. Available on: DVD/Blu-ray Dragonwyck (1946) Madness, poison, a governess from humble beginnings, a house with a delightfully medieval name, and Vincent Price – what more could you want from a gothic drama? Set in 19th-century New England and based on a novel, the film blends the conventions of the gothic romance with the historical reality of Dutch-style tenant farming that dominated the Hudson River Valley in this era. The film stars screen siren Gene Tierney as Miranda, a beautiful governess with farm-girl origins. It helped to launch Vincent Prince as a villainous figure onscreen — he had previously languished in matinee idol type roles — but this film helped put him on the trajectory to his definitive persona as a maniacal villain. The film leans heavily on its gothic elements, with its suggestion of a haunted house and a romance between a brooding gentleman and a naïve governess (further complicated by the presence of a first wife and her mysterious death). However, it also brings in strands of class consciousness and social commentary with its focus on the conflict between Price’s landowner Nicolas Van Ryn and his dissatisfied tenants. Available on: DVD in the Fox Horror Classics Collection, Vol. 2 Sunset Boulevard (1950) You may be surprised to find this classic on the list. After all, it’s a scathing indictment of Hollywood and fame – hardly the typical themes of a gothic tale. But Sunset Boulevard has all the trappings of the gothic genre – an oversized and spooky house rotting from the inside out; a female character who has watched her sexuality (and her sexual appetite) fade from an asset to a symbol of desperation and excess; and a core mystery knit up with themes of desire, repression, madness, and more. Billy Wilder’s tale of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) flips the gothic genre on its head by switching the gender roles – making William Holden’s Joe Gillis the naïve and inexperienced figure who finds himself trapped by a a tinseltown brand of madness. Norma Desmond also inhabits a less oft explored aspect of the gothic style – the grotesque. The film’s pervading gloom and dread, along with its inherent sense of voyeurism that asks you to fear, pity, and ultimately, understand Norma Desmond’s delusions and psychological underpinnings, makes it a gothic thriller of the highest order. Ready for our close-up, indeed. Available on: Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu The Night of the Hunter (1955) In this pitch black Southern gothic, Robert Mitchum stars as a serial killer masquerading as a preacher. His conman in sheep’s clothing has the words “Love” and “Hate” tattooed on his hands, which he uses as symbols in his sermons — an iconic look that has reappeared in everything from The Blues Brothersto Do the Right Thing. Mitchum’s Harry Powell marries gullible widow, Willa Harper (Shelley Winters), and terrorizes her and her children in an attempt to located $10,000 of robbery money hidden by her first husband. Based on a 1953 novel, its West Virginia setting combined with its gothic sensibilities place it solidly in the sub-genre of the Southern gothic alongside The Beguiled. From its grotesque cast of characters to its sense of dread and mystery to its fixation on a serial killer as its protagonist, the film drips with gothic tendencies. Director Charles Laughton was heavily influenced by German Expressionism, which relied on strong shadows, surreal sets, distorted images, and bizarre camera angles — all visual elements key to expressing the interior and psychological trappings of the gothic. Available on: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu The Innocents (1961) Based on the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw, this supernatural gothic horror film is yet another tale of a Victorian governess who finds herself in a house that goes bump in the night. Flora Giddens, played by Deborah Kerr, begins to see ghosts and believes that her two young charges are possessed by evil spirits. Things spiral out of control as she tries to convince the children and other residents of the house that they are being haunted. The entire proceedings possess an undeniable Freudian subtext with the plot’s obsession with unhinged outpourings of vulgarity, whispers of sexual perversion, and Deborah Kerr’s repressed eroticism. All of this is enhanced by heavily atmospheric artistic choices. The film employs deep focus and heavy shadows, most particularly in scenes where Kerr wanders the house alone at night in a severe white nightgown using only a candelabra for light. The film also pioneered use of synthesized electronic sound to create eerie sounds and hint at supernatural happenings. Though its a gothic thriller that relies more heavily on psychological thrills than actual shocks, Martin Scorsese placed it on his list of the “11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time.” Available on: DVD/Blu-ray The Haunting (1963) You can’t get much more gothic than a haunted house tale that uses supernormal happenings as a metaphor for anxiety over lesbianism and the specter of “aberrant” female sexuality. Based on a 1959 novel by Southern gothic author Shirley Jackson, The Haunting follows a group of individuals who hole up in the notorious Hill House to study its paranormal activity under the direction of Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson). Among them is Luke (Russ Tamblyn), the heir to the estate; Theo (Claire Bloom), a thinly-veiled lesbian psychic; and Eleanor Lance (Julie Harris), a fragile young woman. Eleanor, who purportedly experienced a paranormal encounter as a child and long lived under the thumb of her ill mother, is racked with guilt and a host of anxieties, including terror over her own feelings of desire. During the study, Eleanor begins to unravel, feeling herself haunted and possessed by the house in a metaphorical representation of her mental breakdown. The film uses a host of tricks and techniques from forced perspectives to a anamorphic wide angle lens to strange tracking and panning shots to amplify its sense of claustrophobia and horror. Steven Spielberg purportedly once called it “the scariest film ever made.” Available on: Amazon This article was originally published on EW.com

A quarter-century ago, Tim Burton and Michael Keaton reunited to bring forth "Batman Returns," a sequel to their 1989 masterpiece that remains one of the most unsettling Batman tales ever put to screen. That is thanks in large part to Michelle Pfeiffer's stunning performance as Selina Kyle, who is twisted by tragedy into the dangerous, seductive Catwoman. To celebrate the film's anniversary, here's some facts you might not have known about this iconic role. Pfeiffer almost didn't appear in "Batman Returns." She had been attached to star in George Miller's "Lorenzo's Oil" that year and was replaced by Susan Sarandon, who ironically had been interested in playing Catwoman. Sarandon went on to earn her third Oscar nomination for her work in that film. Pfeiffer was also a backup to Annette Bening, who had to drop out of "Batman Returns" after she became pregnant. Costume designer Mary Vogt explained in 2012 to AnOther how the iconic catsuit–which Pfeiffer notably sews together while wreaking havoc on her apartment–got those stitches. Vogt said that the stitches were director Tim Burton's idea. "He had this vision of the calico cat – with its stitches starting to come apart," she said. "So we sculpted stitches in cast and glued them on. It looked terrible!" To make it look better, Vogt and her team brushed her in a thick silicon liquid. To make the suit, Vogt explained that to get the ultra-skin-tight look they wanted for the movie, they had to make a body cast of Pfeiffer. "We made a body cast of her, and the costume was made on the body cast. We were afraid that it would rip, because she had these cat claws, and because it's latex, once it ripped it's over, you can't repair it. So we had to make about 40 cat-suits, but actually it never ripped, it was very strong," she said. With a costume that tight, and made of latex, no less, the costume team had to douse Pfeiffer in baby powder in order to get the costume on. "Because you can see everything – and the latex makes it look very fluid, and Michelle just has a beautiful, fluid way of working – she's very athletic, so she gave it a modern look. It was difficult to wear – we had to cover Michelle with baby powder before she got into the suit," said Vogt. Selina's pet cat, Miss Kitty, has had many names over the years. In the 1966 Batman film, she was known as Hecate. In "Batman: The Animated Series," she was called Isis, and in Halle Berry's "Catwoman," she was called Midnight. Pfeiffer did all of Catwoman's whip stunts herself, including the mannequin scene, which was filmed in one take. Trainer Anthony De Longis said he was impressed with how quickly Pfeiffer got used to the whip. But Pfeiffer admits that there were some very painful early struggles during her month of whip training. In an A&E interview, she revealed that during one of her early practice sessions with the whip, she accidentally whipped De Longis in the face. De Longis simply shrugged off the accident. 12 years after making the movie, Pfeiffer said she rediscovered the whip in her house while getting ready to move. Feeling nostalgic, she went out to the backyard to practice with the whip again, but admitted she was "a bit rusty." The final shot of the film, in which Catwoman is shown to have survived her fight with The Penguin and Max Schreck and gazes at the Bat-Signal, was done without Pfeiffer. The shot cost $250,000 and was done weeks before the film's release to tease a sequel or spin-off featuring Catwoman. In the Rolling Stone interview, Pfeiffer said she also had to undergo several months of yoga, gymnastics, and kickboxing training to prepare for all the stunts in the film. Indeed, Burton began coming up with ideas for a third Batman film in which Catwoman would return to help Batman fight the Riddler and Two-Face, but Warner Bros., who wanted a different tone, put Joel Schumacher in charge of the threequel that would become "Batman Forever." Burton was attached as a producer on that film, but had no creative input. Burton also started developing a Catwoman spin-off film featuring Pfeiffer, which is why Catwoman did not appear in Schumacher's "Batman Forever." But again, Burton's plans fell by the wayside as the film got stuck in development. The spin-off eventually left Burton's hands and became the 2004 "Catwoman" film with Halle Berry, which was universally panned. Posters featuring Catwoman became so popular that Warner Bros. had to send out additional posters to cities where they had been stolen from bus stops. Looking back on his films, director Tim Burton said that Pfeiffer's performance in "Batman Returns" might be his favorite role. "I don't really go back and look at the movies but her performance in that was one of my favorite performances of anything by anyone in any movie that I've worked on," he said. "It was just the best. Really, I'll never forget her in that."

Make sure you read the book first!


Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly break down the Diamondbacks’ 16-5 victory over the Rockies.


David Peralta had four hits and Brandon Drury knocked in six runs.


Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano hit a towering solo home run into the second deck at Target Field.

 Chinese startup Tantan, which is probably most comparable to Tinder, has raised $70 million in new capital as it looks to monetize its business for the first time and explore overseas expansion options. Three-year-old Tantan claims 60 million ‘validated’ users — i.e. not fake accounts — of which six million are active on a daily basis. Of those active users, 75 percent… Read More

 Facebook is introducing a new feature to give users peace of mind around how their profile photo can be used and accessed by others.
The social network today announced a pilot program in India that is designed to protect users who are concerned about other people gaining access to their profile image. The new ‘photo guard’ feature has a range of safety measures that… Read More

Companies are trying to cut environmental damage caused by consumers’ use of products

Case studies including Ayzh, the Co-operative Group, the Crystal, Dragon LNG, and LSI

(Reuters) – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will run the 100 meters at the Herculis EBS meeting in Monaco on July 21, two weeks before his final world championships appearance in London, organizers said on Wednesday.

 Etsy has announced its second round of layoffs in as many months. In a statement today, it said it will cut 140 positions, or about 15 percent of its current workforce. When combined with an earlier downsizing announced in early May, this round brings total eliminated positions to about 230, or about 22 percent of what Etsy’s total workforce was at the end of 2016. Read More

The new gadget toy is selling like hotcakes, much though to the horror of concerned parents.

Slack's team chat can be extremely helpful for coordinating with your coworkers, but it can also be supremely distracting. Do you really need a constant stream of alerts and unrelated funny GIFs when you're trying to get work done… or avoiding wor…

Iraq’s PM condemns IS’s destruction of an ancient landmark as troops advance in Mosul’s Old City.

They’re really back. 

Seth Meyers was joined Wednesday by his old “Saturday Night Live” colleague Amy Poehler on “Late Night,” and the two wasted no time bringing back a classic. 

They did a new edition of “Really?!? With Seth And Amy,” a regular segment back when the duo anchored “Weekend Update.” 

It was the segment that launched a thousand GIFs, and Wednesday night they added one more: 

The two went after the conservative protesters who keep interrupting the production of “Julius Caesar” in Central Park, in which the Caesar character is played by someone who resembles President Donald Trump

So what did the protesters accomplish? You REALLY have to see this one to find out.

Check it out above.  

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(Reuters) – Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid was named the Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League on Wednesday after the 20-year-old’s points-scoring exploits helped carry his team into the post-season.

US promises ‘bold’ protectionist action in name of national security

The government will cut its debt issuance after tax reforms generate more revenue than expected

One year on, the mood is upbeat but further integration is on the backburner

Rates of teen sex have declined after being stable between 2002-2010, CDC study finds

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