Rome, Nov 26 (AP/UNB) — Filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, who won Oscars with "The Last Emperor" and whose erotic drama "Last Tango in Paris" enthralled and shocked the world, has died. He was 77.
Bertolucci's press office, Punto e Virgola, confirmed the death Monday in an email to The Associated Press. Italy's state-run RAI said Bertolucci died at his home in Rome, surrounded by family.
Bertolucci's movies often explored the sexual relations among characters stuck in a psychological crisis, as in "Last Tango." The self-professed Marxist also did not shy away from politics and ideology, as in "The Conformist," which some critics consider Bertolucci's masterpiece.
Despite working with A-list American and international stars, Bertolucci always defended his own filmmaking style against what he said was the pressure of the U.S. film industry.
New York, Nov 25 (AP/UNB) — Placido Domingo's eyes watered and his voice quavered. After portraying dozens of characters over a half-century on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, he got emotional being himself.
"For us, the opera singers, it is just like Frank Sinatra said: New York, New York, if you made it, you made it everywhere," the 77-year-old singer from Spain said Friday night when he was honored on stage for the 50th anniversary of his Met debut.
Domingo's career with the Met started a few days ahead of schedule on Sept. 28, 1968, when he replaced an indisposed Franco Corelli as Maurizio in Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur" with Renata Tebaldi in the title role and Fausto Cleva conducting. Domingo's performance Friday in the title role of "Gianni Schicchi," the third opera of Puccini's "Il Trittico," was his 52nd role and 695th appearance at the Met as a singer and conductor.
During a ceremony after the opening opera, "Il Tabarro," Met general manager Peter Gelb gave Domingo a pair of gifts.
"Since you have owned this stage for your entire career, we thought we'd give you a piece of it. So this was removed from the stage earlier this week," Gelb said before bestowing a chunk of flooring.
Then he presented Domingo his leather jacket from a 1990s performance of Verdi's "Otello," which had been dipped in gold to mark the golden anniversary.
"This puts you and Elvis in the same class," Gelb said.
Domingo's wife Marta, son Alvaro and two grandchildren looked on as a montage of Domingo's career was shown, including a scene from "Sesame Street" with Miss Piggy.
"The generations go, go, go. I'm very happy to be surviving," Domingo said.
A few bouquets of flowers were thrown from the audience.
"There are some of you that you were at my debut," he said. "You are the judges. You are the ones that make an artist. So thanks to you I have been coming for a half-century."
A tenor for most of his life, Domingo switched to baritone parts about a decade ago. He has sung 150 roles, by his count.
"The last 20 years, it seems to me like that they are five," he said after the ceremony, "Time passes so quickly. One wishes that the time, maybe we can do it in a slow motion now the next years."
Domingo received a standing ovation of about 2 minutes when introduced. Four famous colleagues were recognized from the audience: Martina Arroyo, Sherrill Milnes, Teresa Stratas and James Morris.
"I think Placido's a miracle, and one of the most amazing parts of it is Marta," Stratas said.
Milnes first worked with Domingo in Guadalajara, Mexico, during Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" and Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville).
"I knew there was a special musicality because he was a tenor who could count. So if you said let's hold it two beats or four beats or three beats or whatever — boom! You got it," Milnes said. "No other tenor did that. And just multiply that a thousand times. It's crescendi, the decrescendi, all the lovely musical things. He's just sharp that way, probably the best."
Domingo is known for indefatigable energy. Morris remembered making his Iago role debut at the Met opposite Domingo's Otello in 1995.
"If he had two days off or three days off, he was going here, going down to Acapulco or whatever," Morris said. "I said, Placi, you're like a shark, if you stop swimming, you'll drown."
Providence, Nov 23 (AP/UNB) — After more than 125 performances in "The Nutcracker" in Rhode Island, a 19-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Archie is leaving the stage.
Festival Ballet Providence announced this week that its beloved "Nutcracker" dog is retiring.
The ballet says Archie achieved stardom in his annual romp across the Providence Performing Arts Center stage and is ready for the next chapter.
Misha Djuric (JUHR'-itch), the ballet's artistic director and Archie's owner, says Archie is "settling down to a life of luxury and long naps on pillows."
The ballet is holding auditions for the next "Nutcracker" dog. Auditions will take place at the Festival Ballet Providence studios on Hope Street in Providence on Dec. 2.
The ballet says it's looking for a pup with an elegant prance, regal coat of fur and charming smile.
Los Angeles, Nov 22 (AP/UNB) — "Spider-Man" star Tom Holland has tasted pumpkin seeds, but never actual pumpkin.
However, all that changed for the British actor during a recent Thanksgiving cooking lesson with "Avengers" co-director Joe Russo and chef Jessica Largey who introduced him to kabocha squash, a delicacy known as Japanese pumpkin.
The exclusive cooking lesson was held at Russo's new restaurant called Simone in the arts district of downtown Los Angeles.
"It's hard that I'm starting with probably the best pumpkin I'll ever have," Holland joked with The Associated Press.
Russo is a co-owner of the restaurant with Largey, a James Beard winner. She whipped up the dish with ingredients involving pumpkin, chanterelle mushrooms, passionfruit and some kale.
"That's so good, the passionfruit as well," Holland said before scooping up another spoonful. "And the kale is crunchy so there's a nice like textural thing."
After the taste test, the 22-year-old Holland told the chef "That was delicious. So, I'll come back tomorrow." The actor said he typically spends Thanksgivings in his native United Kingdom.
Largey gave Holland a few tips on how to make macaroni and cheese, one of the actor's favorite foods. She also said the pumpkin dish is one of Russo's favorite on the restaurant's menu.
Holland said he recently learned about a clever recipe on Instagram that calls for cheese to be placed at the bottom of a mug, then basil, tomato sauce and rigatoni are added, before another layer of cheese.
"You put a plate on, flip it that way and bake it. Then you take it off and you have a pasta pie — it's really good and it's super easy to do and it looks way more impressive than it actually is. That's my go-to."
Holland's "Spider-Man: Far From Home" is scheduled for release in July. Russo's next Avengers film is to be released in May.
New York, Nov 19 (AP/UNB) — Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are confirming their long rumored marriage. On Instagram, at least.
The 24-year-old Canadian singer posted a picture on Instagram earlier this week of him holding hands with the 21-year-old model with the caption: "My wife is awesome."
Baldwin followed up by changing her Instagram username to "Hailey Bieber."
The young couple got engaged this summer in the Bahamas after about a month of dating. Bieber also confirmed that via Instagram. He posted a photo of Baldwin kissing him and called her the love of his life.
Baldwin is the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin. Bieber released his last album, "Purpose," in 2015.
Bieber's manager didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.