‘Star Wars’ producer Kennedy wants new movie voices ‘to bring world to its senses’

Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall accept the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from Steven Spielberg onstage during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 10th annual Governors Awards. (AFP)
Updated 19 November 2018
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‘Star Wars’ producer Kennedy wants new movie voices ‘to bring world to its senses’

  • Kennedy was the first woman to receive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Irving. G. Thalberg award
  • Kennedy said recent efforts to improve diversity in Hollywood and give women better roles in front of and behind the camera must be embraced

LOS ANGELES: “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy on Sunday accepted a lifetime achievement award from the organizers of the Oscars and said she hoped it would open the door for new voices in the movie industry who “might bring the world back to its senses.”
Honored with her producer husband Frank Marshall, Kennedy was the first woman to receive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Irving. G. Thalberg award.
In 2012, Kennedy became president of LucasFilm, reviving the sci-fi saga and producing multi-billion dollar movies “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” that have made her one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood.
“I am very proud to be the first woman to accept this award. But I am also not the first to deserve it and I am 100 percent sure I am not the last,” Kennedy said to wild applause at a gala dinner attended by studio executives and many of Hollywood’s biggest actors and directors.
Kennedy and Marshall co-founded Amblin Entertainment with director Steven Spielberg in 1981 and produced of blockbusters including “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jurassic Park” and “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.”
Kennedy said recent efforts to improve diversity in Hollywood and give women better roles in front of and behind the camera must be embraced.
“It is my hope that with the inclusion of these powerful new voices, we might just bring the world back to its senses and maybe, just maybe, shatter a few glass ceilings along the way,” Kennedy said.
Veteran actress Cicely Tyson, who turns 94 in December, was presented with an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, along with Argentinian musician Lalo Schifrin, the composer of scores for “Dirty Harry” and “Mission: Impossible,” and publicist Marvin Levy, who has worked with Spielberg for more than 40 years.
New York-born Tyson, who has appeared in numerous films, television shows and stage plays, was praised by record producer Quincy Jones for her “grace, dignity and class” and for focusing on roles that highlight the struggles of African-Americans.
Filmmaker Tyler Perry noted that Tyson began her career in 1950 “when black people weren’t allowed to come in through front doors.”
She became known for playing strong black women in TV series such as “Roots” in the 1970s, the 1972 movie “Sounder” and more recently “The Help.” “She is a queen to us,” Perry said.


Personality on the morning commute: Australia’s emoji license plates

Updated 58 min ago
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Personality on the morning commute: Australia’s emoji license plates

  • Queensland's largest automotive organization and some residents welcomed the digital addition
  • But some think it is costly and could attract unwanted attention
BRISBANE, Australia: Motorists in northeastern Australia can soon have their personality permanently stamped on their vehicles with the option of an emoji added to their license plates.
It will be positive vibes only on the morning commute after a Queensland firm announced that from March drivers can add the smiling, winking, laughing out loud, heart-eyed and sunglasses emoji to their plates.
The state’s largest automotive organization has welcomed the digital addition.
“For quite some time we’ve seen you can support your favorite team or town with a symbol on your number plate and using an emoji is no different,” Royal Automobile Club of Queensland spokesperson Rebecca Michaels told AFP.
Queensland resident Laura McKee has already put her order in for the new look plates.
“It’s a bit of fun, if this brightens up someone’s day while their stuck in traffic, then so be it,” she told AFP.
With a cost of between Aus$100 ($70) and $500 per plate, Queensland local Aroha Liebhart isn’t a fan, and thinks the emojis could attract unwanted attention.
“The cost pushes them out of reach for so many people, no one I know will be purchasing them when they’re so expensive,” she told AFP.
“I live in a high crime area, I do believe this will entice people to target the cars who do have them.”
But resident Mark Edwards wants to see more options for drivers, to better express a driver’s changing moods.
“They should be interchangeable so when you’re tired you can warn drivers, or when you’re a little angry you can swap them over,” he told AFP.