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1-20 of 46 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


San Diego Film Festival Sets Its Aim for a Global Reach

28 September 2016 5:43 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Now in its 15th year, the San Diego Intl. Film Festival has established itself as a major showcase for outstanding U.S. and international independent filmmaking. Produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, the event will once again showcase more than 100 films as it celebrates the year’s best indie cinema from emerging and established filmmakers around the world.

This year, the fest’s global outlook theme reflects an ambitious strategy that promises “an even bigger and better festival experience,” says Tonya Mantooth, the exec VP of the festival.

But the impact is also local. “One of the main things we’re excited about is the footprint of the festival downtown,” Mantooth says. “We’re building out a very walkable festival in the heart of San Diego, and a lot of our screenings will be held in the renovated historic Balboa Theater, a beautiful setting that seats 1,200. So there’s »

- Iain Blair

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Charlize Theron and Elton John Insist It's Our Generation That Can Stop AIDS: ''We Won't See the End Unless We're All Fighting''

9 September 2016 3:49 PM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Every day, thousands of people will die of AIDS and close to 6,000 will become infected with HIV.  GenEndit, a coalition dedicated to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, invites us all to help win this battle. The coalition, made up of Charlize Theron, Elton John, Nelson Mandela's grandson Kweku Mandela Amuah, Elizabeth Taylor's grandson Quinn Tivey and other committed activists, strongly believes that ours is the generation that will, indeed, end the scourge. Theron exclusively tells E! News, "We won't see the end of the epidemic unless we are all fighting, especially youth. Young people have always been strong drivers of social change. Ending AIDS requires speaking out and »

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten White People Doing The Right Thing

30 August 2016 3:11 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

I think everyone in this country should be aware by now that our race relations are at an all time low.  It seems every time we hear the news another black citizen has been shot by the police or police have been shot by someone angry about these shootings.  It cannot continue.  We as a nation cannot keep going down this road.

I have always sympathized with Black Americans.  In fact as a Scot and Irish American I have always sympathized with anyone who ever got pushed around, starting with Native Americans, Asians, Jewish immigrants, women of any ethnic group, Hispanics from any country.

I also sympathize with the people who are tasked with law enforcement.  It’s a tough job.  I had some training in that area.  A couple of years ago I was hired by a Security company and was trained in unarmed, and armed, uniformed security.   I »

- Sam Moffitt

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Batman Returns, The Ring, and phantom movie scenes

28 August 2016 6:42 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Padraig Cotter Sep 9, 2016

From Jaws 2 to Die Hard and Star Wars, the movie scenes that some swear exist - but were never shot...

This article contains a spoiler for the ending of Big.

I can still see it clear as day. The year was 1992 and I was watching Batman Returns on the big screen, when I was possibly a little too young for it. During the climax the Penguin’s base has been destroyed, Catwoman has gained revenge on Max Shreck and Batman watches a chorus of sad penguins drag their fallen master to the water.

One particular image always stuck with me - the Penguin’s lifeless body floating in the water looking up at the camera, and as it passes out of frame Batman’s torn mask can be seen at the bottom of the water. The only problem with this poetic image is it doesn’t exist. »

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Why Margaret Thatcher loved her yes-man, Antony Jay | Letters

25 August 2016 11:11 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

I am reminded, reading Antony Jay’s obituary (24 August) of the popularity of Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister outside the UK. In 1996, I had the great pleasure of meeting Eric Molobi. He was a South African businessman, who was brought up in a township, and who, in his youth was a political prisoner on Robben Island at the same time as Nelson Mandela. During our conversations, he mentioned that his favourite television of all time was Yes Minister. Upon my return to the UK I sent him the full sets, which were then on tapes, and they gave him many hours of enjoyment.

Given Margaret Thatcher’s sanctions policy, it is interesting that the machinations of our civil service and the wonderful Sir Humphrey were appreciated by two such different political personalities.

David Shannon

Woore, Shropshire

Continue reading »

- Letters

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‘Greenleaf’ Season 2 Adds Kathleen McGhee-Anderson as Executive Producer

15 August 2016 11:30 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Lincoln Heights” and “Soul Food” executive producer Kathleen McGhee-Anderson will join Own Network’s “Greenleaf” as an Ep for Season 2, the cabler announced Monday.

McGhee-Anderson will work alongside “Greenleaf” executive producers Craig Wright, Oprah Winfrey and Clement Virgo for the sophomore season, which will begin production in the fall.

The family drama is currently airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. and has become the summer’s top-rated new cable series among women and total viewers, delivering record ratings for Own. The most recent episode was Own’s most watched Wednesday telecast in network history with 2.3 million viewers.

“We are incredibly proud of the success of ‘Greenleaf’ and excited to bring Kathleen’s talents to the show,” said Erik Logan, President, Own. “Her vast experience and passion for storytelling will be a great complement to an already fantastic team.”

“We’re proud to partner with Own on this critically-acclaimed breakout series and delighted to add a talent of Kathleen »

- Laura Prudom

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Robert De Niro opens Sarajevo Film Festival

12 August 2016 3:23 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The actor received the festival’s first ever Honorary Heart of Sarajevo for Lifetime Achievement

The 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival opened on Friday night [12] at its two flagship locations. The special guest of the festival Robert De Niro first officially opened the festival at the National Theatre, and then moved on together with festival director Miro Purivatra to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo for Lifetime Achievement at the 3,000-seat Open Air cinema.

The ceremony in the theatre started with the host, Bosnian actress Alena Džebo, welcoming the guests and giving impressive figures of the 22nd edition’s film programme. Across 18 sections, the festival will screen 223 films from 61 countries, out of which 53 feature, documentary and short films will world premiere in Sarajevo.

Džebo then announced Elma Tataragić, the selector of feature and short film competition sections. Tataragić said: “In the feature, short and documentary competition programme, Sarajevo Film Festival will this year screen 42 films. In other programmes »

- vladan.petkovic@gmail.com (Vladan Petkovic)

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Cmg Toronto-bound with 'An Act Of Defiance'

12 August 2016 8:58 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Edward Noeltner’s Beverly Hills-based international sales company is partnering with Richard Claus & Co and South Africa’s Spier Films on the Rivonia Trial drama.

Production on An Act Of Defiance is scheduled to begin on Saturday in South Africa and is scheduled for delivery in spring.

Cinema Management Group president Noeltner and vice-president of sales and operations Dené Anderberg will launch sales in Toronto on world rights excluding South Africa and Flemish-speaking Benelux.

Jean van de Velde directs from his adapted screenplay based on Joel Joffe’s book The State Vs. Nelson Mandela.

The film takes place during Apartheid era South Africa in 1963 as Nelson Mandela and nine others stand trial on charges of committing sabotage and violent acts against the government.

Represented by tenacious lawyer Bram Fisher, Mandela delivers his “I Am Prepared to Die” speech, in which he justifies the existence of the African National Congress and its anti-repression activities.

Peter Paul Muller, [link »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Is ‘Ben-Hur’ a Dark Horse in the Chariot Race for Global Audiences?

10 August 2016 9:45 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

At the edge of Cinecittà Studios in Italy, a faux Roman statue raises its torch above all who enter. The 30-foot figure is a relic from one of the most famous scenes in cinema history — the

Charlton Heston chariot race from director William Wyler’s 1959 epic “Ben-Hur,” which boasted the biggest budget and largest sets of any production of its time.

Nearly 60 years later, the MGM classic is being reincarnated, both on the famous Italian studio’s soundstages, and across town in an empty field behind the Cinecittà World theme park. There, Russian director Timur Bekmambetov has erected a full-scale version of the Circus Maximus, only this time those monumental statues overlooking the Roman arena’s central spina will be inserted digitally.

It’s a sunburn-hot day in April, and onscreen rivals Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell have locked the wheels of their chariots, fighting each other with whips and »

- Peter Debruge

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Charlize Theron Says Not Enough is Being Done to Quell AIDS Epidemic: 'It's Time We Face the Truth'

18 July 2016 4:00 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Speaking out in an impassioned opening ceremony speech at the 2016 International AIDs Conference, Monday, actress Charlize Theron charged that not enough is being done to end the ongoing epidemic affecting Africa's population. Theron, an AIDS activist and founder of the the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, said during her speech at the 21st annual conference's Durban, Africa, opening ceremony, "I think it is time that we acknowledge that something is terribly wrong." "It's time to face the truth about the unjust world we live in, the truth is we have every tool we need to prevent the spread of HIV »

- Lindsay Kimble, @lekimble

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Charlize Theron Says Not Enough is Being Done to Quell AIDS Epidemic: 'It's Time We Face the Truth'

18 July 2016 4:00 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Speaking out in an impassioned opening ceremony speech at the 2016 International AIDs Conference, Monday, actress Charlize Theron charged that not enough is being done to end the ongoing epidemic affecting Africa's population. Theron, an AIDS activist and founder of the the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, said during her speech at the 21st annual conference's Durban, Africa, opening ceremony, "I think it is time that we acknowledge that something is terribly wrong." "It's time to face the truth about the unjust world we live in, the truth is we have every tool we need to prevent the spread of HIV »

- Lindsay Kimble, @lekimble

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Idris Elba Will Make His Directorial Debut With Yardie

6 July 2016 4:02 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

You might say that Idris Elba currently has the wind at his back, in terms of career fortunes within the filmmaking industry. But, the truth is, he is an exceptional talent, who works very hard to improve and excel. Anyone that has been watching his onscreen output over the years – from his early guest spots in UK drama The Bill, to his performance as Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom – has seen a young actor gradually honing his skills and achieving his potential. This development now continues, with confirmation that Elba will be making his directorial debut with the drama, Yardie.

The project was recently mentioned by the UK CEO of Studiocanal, Danny Perkins, in conversation with Screen Daily. It is a film adaptation of the 1992 debut novel of author Victor Headley, which weaves a tale of organized crime and drug trafficking in 1980s London.

“D, a courier »

- Sarah Myles

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‘Justice League’ Casts ‘Invictus’ Actor Julian Lewis Jones

5 July 2016 4:02 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Welsh actor Julian Lewis Jones has joined “Justice League,” which will bring together Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash.

Jones appeared in Clint Eastwood’s 2009 drama “Invictus,” playing the chief of Nelson Mandela’s bodyguards, opposite Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. He also had roles on U.K. shows such as “Stella,”  “Where the Heart Is” and “Caerdydd.”

He revealed the “Justice League” news in an interview with Wales Online. Warner Bros. had no comment.

“I’m not allowed to say yet what part I play, but let’s just say I’ve a role in what will likely be the most expensive film ever made,” Jones said.

“It was filmed at Warner Bros. studio at Leavesden as well as at various locations around the U.K. and Iceland,” he added. “Directed by Zack Snyder, it stars Ben Affleck, Jeremy Irons and host of A-list actors. I »

- Dave McNary

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Paul Rudd Learns The Fundamentals of Caring

30 June 2016 6:22 AM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

"How would you wipe my ass?" is not a question asked at every job interview, but it is in the Netflix adaptation of Jonathan Evison's enthusiastically praised 2012 novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caring.

The Boston Globe critic, in fact, raved that the book reminded him of "Little Miss Sunshine meets Rain Man." The New York Times insisted the work was "infused with a sad rage that makes good comedy great," and the La Weekly added that here was "a literary version of a good grunge song."

Rob Burnett, who served as the executive producer of Late Night with David Letterman for two decades, wrote and directed this celluloid reworking of the tome, apparently a project dear to his heart. The result is a highly engaging yet rather familiar road movie. Two self-involved souls with rather enormous personal problems jump into a van to visit the biggest manmade hole in America, »

- Brandon Judell

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Is This Why the Original Ghostbusters Don't Exist in the Reboot?

25 June 2016 10:30 AM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

A new TV spot for the Ghostbusters reboot debuted last week that had certain corners of the fan community raising their eyebrow. And it's very strange that it is included in the marketing materials at all. But it's been cause for alarm for some people. And it's calling into question various aspects of this franchise restarter from director Paul Feig and Sony Pictures. The footage has Melissa McCarthy's Abby Yates cracking wise to Toby Huss' Officer Stevenson about the 1990 movie Ghost. Now, some fans are clinging to a new theory that this may prove the original Ghostbusters still exist in this rebooted world, and that it all ties into a phenomenon known as 'The Mandela Effect'.

'The Mandela Effect' is a very real thing, in so much as certain individuals truly believe that the conspiracy exists. And yes, it's what some might consider a wackadoo conspiracy theory. Whether »

- MovieWeb

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‘Journeymen’ Opens Durban Festival on Positive, and Crowdpleasing, Note

16 June 2016 5:05 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The 37th Durban Intl. Film Festival (Diff) kicked off June 16 with a youthful and energetic doc that was warmly received on what’s celebrated across the country as Youth Day.

As South Africa commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, a series of student protests that were an emotional high-water mark of the anti-apartheid struggle, the festival opened with “The Journeymen,” a crowdpleaser by newcomer Sean Metelerkamp, who hit the road for seven months along with fellow photographers Wikus de Wet and Sipho Mpongo to shoot the documentary.

Filmed on three chest-mounted GoPros that chronicled their epic, 15,000-mile road trip across the country in 2014, “The Journeymen” offered a candid snapshot of a nation at a crossroads, with South Africans from a diverse range of backgrounds looking back on two decades of post-apartheid democratic rule.

Introducing the movie, acting festival director Peter Machen said, “It shows us how far we’ve come, »

- Christopher Vourlias

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Durban: Satire ‘Wonder Boy’ Tweaks South African Politics

16 June 2016 6:37 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

It’s been a troubling time for South African president Jacob Zuma, who’s been mired in a series of embarrassing political scandals as his country stumbles through a protracted economic downturn.

But for helmer John Barker and funnyman Kagiso Lediga, bad politics is fodder for good comedy, as the duo prepare for the world premiere of their mockumentary “Wonder Boy for President,” June 17 in Durban.

“As a filmmaker, I wanted to make a political satire focusing on the current political landscape,” says Barker. “I feel that it is a very rich time for satirists, comedians and filmmakers.”

The movie, about a South African Everyman’s unlikely run at the highest office in the land, was inspired by the real-life disillusionment Barker felt with the current president, who has shown an uncanny ability to survive a string of scandals that have dented the country’s reputation abroad.

Two years after the death of the nation’s greatest liberation hero and first black president, Barker wondered if it was possible for South Africans to elect someone like “a young Nelson Mandela. Can we find someone like Wonder Boy—somebody who has the support of the people, [who is] charismatic, authoritative and an inspirational leader?”

In a country whose satirists have often found themselves in the government’s crosshairs, and where Zuma still enjoys support from many party loyalists, Barker says he struggled to raise funds for “Wonder Boy.” In the end, it took five years – and contributions from countless friends – to make the movie a reality.

Yet “Wonder Boy” arrives at an auspicious time for comedy in South Africa. Along with the TV success of comics like Trevor Noah, who made headlines when he took over U.S. series “The Daily Show” last year, and Loyiso Gola, who earned an International Emmy nomination for “Late Nite News,” big-screen laughers continue to draw big numbers at the box office.

Comedian Leon Schuster, who’s made some of the highest-grossing South African films of all time, remains a steady draw in theaters. And in recent years, local romantic comedies like “Material,” “Tell Me Sweet Something,” and “Happiness Is a Four-Letter Word” have all found B.O. success.

Still, Barker himself acknowledges that “something gets lost in translation” when South African comedy travels overseas.

“Language and culture play a major role in comedy that it is difficult to translate,” he says. “Our comedy films are very colloquial and work well here, but won’t make much sense outside of S.A.”

Barker remains optimistic that “Wonder Boy” will follow in the footsteps of his 2006 laugher, “Bunny Chow,” which preemed in Toronto with Lediga in a leading role. And Lediga is currently working on romantic comedy “Feelings,” that the duo hopes will tap into a growing desire for South African audiences to, as Barker puts it, “laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had a tough time of it lately,” he adds, “and laughter is needed.”

»

- Christopher Vourlias

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Durban: Fest Opener ‘Journeyman’ Explores Authentic South Africa

16 June 2016 6:29 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Three young photographers and 15,000 miles of open road. It’s a straightforward premise that yields unexpected results for the makers of “The Journeymen,” the South African documentary selected to open the 37th Durban Intl. Film Festival.

Two years ago, photographers Wikus de Wet, Sipho Mpongo, and Sean Metelerkamp hit the road to chronicle South African life on the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid — what Metelerkamp, who also directed the pic, describes as “three guys from different cultural and racial backgrounds, united simply by a duty to set out and discover truly authentic South African stories.”

With the help of a Kickstarter campaign and a host of generous donations — including GoPro cameras and the van that logs thousands of dusty miles onscreen – the trio embarked on an exhaustive journey across the “rainbow nation.” They chose a pivotal time in the country’s history, as the so-called “born free” generation prepared to vote for the first time, and South Africans reflected on the life and legacy of their first black president, Nelson Mandela, who died in December 2014.

But what was meant to be a photo project evolved as the trio pored over 12 terabytes’ worth of material from their epic, cross-country trip. After seven months of shooting, GoPros strapped to their chests, they realized that their day-to-day interactions with a diverse range of South Africans offered a startlingly candid snapshot of a nation at a crossroads.

It was, says Metelerkamp, footage that “needed to be seen by South Africans.”

With distribution and exhibition woes plaguing the South African film biz, though, bringing that footage to local audiences would be a challenge, says executive producer Dylan Voogt, forcing the film’s producers to think outside the box.

“The goal is to disrupt the traditional cinema model – one that only serves urban centers in the country – and take the film to the people on a national roadshow,” says Voogt. Along with a book and a traveling exhibition of the group’s photography, there are plans for “The Journeymen” to screen “in town halls, schools and villages,” he says.

It’s a campaign that works hand in hand with the movie’s guerrilla filmmaking style, according to producer Jolynn Minnaar, who along with the filmmakers wants to “start pushing the boundaries of the traditional documentary form.”

In a country whose movie industry is still experiencing growing pains, Minnaar says “access, funding and transformation remain a huge handbrake on independent filmmaking and authentic, creative storytelling.”

Addressing those challenges, she says, is necessary “to sustain a healthy, vibrant home for filmmaking” that provides “logistical, financial and training support for young, emerging filmmakers.”

In a country that’s celebrated for its diversity, such support is a vital stepping stone toward bringing more new voices to the screen.

For Metelerkamp, who’s making his feature debut, he hopes “The Journeymen” will spark “a spirit of possibility” in the next generation of South African helmers.

“The goal is to create a sustainable model whereby a new set of storytellers can venture out into the country every few years,” he says. “We are merely the portal this time around, and we look forward to what is to come in the future.”

»

- Christopher Vourlias

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‘American Gods’ Adds Orlando Jones to Cast

15 June 2016 11:43 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Orlando Jones has joined the cast of the upcoming Starz original series “American Gods.” Jones has been cast as Mr. Nancy, and African trickster god also known as Anansi. The character is a close confidante of Mr. Wednesday, set to be played by Ian McShane.

Jones is also set to be seen in the upcoming Bet miniseries “Madiba,” about Nelson Mandela. His most recent TV work was on the Fox drama “Sleepy Hollow.”

Also added to the “American Gods” cast is Demore Barnes as Mr. Ibis. Jones’ casting comes two weeks after Gillian Anderson joined the series as Medea, a god who feeds off the attention that people give to their screens.

Based on a novel by Neil Gaiman, “American Gods” tells the story of a brewing war between a set of old gods and new gods in a modern society.

Executive produced by Bryan Fuller, “American Gods” is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Fuller and Michael Green are writers and showrunners. David Slade is directing the pilot and additional episodes. Fmna’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade and Gaiman. Marta Fernandez and Ken Segna are the Starz executives in charge of “American Gods.”

 

 

»

- Daniel Holloway

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Muhammad Ali Funeral: Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal Honor ‘Universal Soldier’ for Humanity

10 June 2016 3:17 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal, Will Smith and a host of mourners gathered Friday in Louisville, Ky., to remember boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The three-time world heavyweight champion was honored in a public memorial service in his hometown.

Ali died on June 3 at the age of 74 in Phoenix, Ariz. Former President Clinton, Crystal and anchor Bryant Gumbel were chosen to deliver eulogies at the funeral, with Smith and Lennox Lewis serving as pallbearers. Other notable attendees including fellow boxing champions Evander Holyfield, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman, former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer and many more.

The service began with a reading from the Quran in recognition of Ali’s Muslim faith, followed by speeches from religious speakers of many different beliefs, inkeeping with Ali’s desire for an interfaith service.

The public service at the KFC Yum! Center was the last leg of a three-day memorial plan that Ali developed himself. The plans included a city festival Wednesday and a Muslim prayer service Thursday.

Clinton described Ali as a “universal soldier for our common humanity” when he took the podium.

“I think he decided very young to write his own life story,” Clinton said. “In the end … I will always think of Muhammad as a truly free man of faith.”

The former president said the first part of the athlete’s life was dominated by the triumph of his unique gifts.

“But the second part of his life was more important because he refused to be imprisoned by the disease that kept him hamstrung longer than Nelson Mandela was kept in prison in South Africa,” he said. “In the second half of his life he perfected gifts that we all have. Every single solitary one of us have gifts of mind and heart.”

Billy Crystal brought humor to the somber occasion, cracking joked and delivering an impression of Ali.

“We’re at the halfway point,” Crystal quipped as he opened his remarks, referring to the three-hour service. “I was clean shaven when this started.”

“35 years after he stopped fighting, he is still the champion of the world,” Crystal said before recalling how the legendary boxer refused to fight in Vietnam War (“It was Ali who stood up for us by standing up for himself”) and sharing a story about how Ali never ran at his favorite Country Club once Crystal told him that they didn’t allow Jewish people there.

“[He] taught us that life is best when you build bridges between people and not walls,” Crystal said, bringing the crowd to its feet.

Gumbel, who spoke after Crystal and before Clinton, said Ali “gave us levels of strength and courage we didn’t even know we had.”

»

- Variety Staff

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