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Watch: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5 First Trailer

2 hours ago

Downton Abbey” is heating up, according to the first trailer for the drama’s upcoming season five.

It teases some new mysteries, shows Jimmy Kent getting caught in bed with a mystery woman, dinner table arguments and even an actual fire that adds in some action. Lady Mary Crawley also seems to get a new love interest in the clip.

Additionally, the trailer gives a look at newcomer Richard E. Grant, who appeared in the most recent season of “Girls,” as Simon Bricker.

“Downton is catching up with the times we live in,” says Mrs. Hughes.

Season five of  “Downton Abbey” premieres in the U.S. Jan. 5, 2015 on PBS. In the U.K., it will premiere Sept. 21 on ITV.

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- Alex Stedman

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North Korea Condemns U.K. TV Series as ‘Despicable Burlesque’

9 hours ago

London — The government of North Korea has condemned a TV political thriller about the country that has been commissioned by U.K. public broadcaster Channel 4.

The series, “Opposite Number,” centers on a British nuclear scientist who is taken prisoner in North Korea. It has been penned by British playwright and screenwriter Matt Charman, who wrote the original script for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Cold War movie.

See Also: U.K.’s Channel 4 Detonates North Korean Thriller ‘Opposite Number’

In a statement, North Korea’s National Defense Commission spoke about the drama as “malignantly slandering” the country, and said it was “a conspiratorial charade painting a wrong picture” of the country.

It said the country’s nuclear weapons — referred to as the “treasured sword for self-defense” — were produced due to its “own efforts, technology and resources from A to Z.”

The statement said the TV series “is based on »


- Leo Barraclough

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Venice Film Review: ‘Olive Kitteridge’

11 hours ago

She’s “Ollie” to her husband and “Mrs. K” to the students in her middle-school mathematics class, and her daughter-in-law insists on calling her “Mom.” But audiences will forever know this unforgettable, irascible woman as “Olive Kitteridge,” thanks to the remarkably complex portrayal Frances McDormand delivers over the course of a four-hour HBO miniseries she optioned and developed herself, bringing aboard her “Laurel Canyon” helmer, Lisa Cholodenko, to direct. Even more so than 2011’s “Mildred Pierce,” .

Elizabeth Strout wrote “Olive Kitteridge” not as a traditional novel, but rather as a collection of 13 short stories — a portrait of small-town Crosby, Maine, with its minor crises and major hypocrisies, interlinked by the presence (sometimes peripheral) of Olive’s character. Such a format makes it all but impossible to reduce the Pulitzer-winning book’s nonlinear quarter-century span to an efficient two-hour narrative. Besides, the feature format is better suited to heroes with clearly »


- Peter Debruge

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TV Review: ‘The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic’

11 hours ago

What could easily play like another synergistic infomercial or glorified electronic press kit somehow trumps that with “The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic,” an ABC special touting its parent company’s valentine to warm the hearts of shareholders. Perhaps that’s because “Frozen” qualifies as a legitimate cultural phenomenon, plus the recollections of those involved – and how the film found its voice – are personal and enlightening enough to overcome the obvious fluff factor. Parents, in particular, should let their kids see the hard work underlying such an enterprise, since nothing here will spoil the magic.

For those unfamiliar with how labor-intensive the genre is, it’s stated right off the bat that the movie – now the highest-grossing animated film of all time – employed 600 people for 2 ½ years. More notable, though, are the contortions through which the story went before the signature song, “Let It Go,” “fundamentally changed the entire movie, »


- Brian Lowry

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Lars Von Trier Set To Direct English-Language TV Skein

14 hours ago

Twenty years after creating Danish hit mini-series “The Kingdom,” Lars von Trier (“Nymphomaniac”) will head back into TV with “The House That Jack Built,” an English language series.

The TV project was unveiled by Zentropa producer Louise Vesth during the press conference for “Nymphomaniac Volume 2 – Director’s Cut” (pictured above) at Venice.

Von Trier is expected to start writing the script this fall. The plot of the series and cast have yet to be unveiled.

Sold by TrustNordisk, the show will be produced by Vesth. Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Zentropa’s founder and von Trier’s longtime producer, will exec produce . The series will be developed in association with Denmarks Radio and executive producer Piv Bernth.

Aalbæk Jensen is looking to build anticipation for the series, claiming “it will be a TV series without precedent.”

Zentropa will be casting high-profile talent for “The House,” which is due to start lensing in 2016.

“The Kingdom, »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Yellow Bird Execs Launch Scandi Shingle Good Company Films

16 hours ago

Paris– As Scandinavia’s film and TV industry gets more competitive and continues to consolidate, four topnotch Scandi producers have joined forces to launch Copenhagen-based shingle, Good Company Films.

Led by Vibeke Windelov, Stinna Lassen, Anni Fernandez and Ole Sondberg, “Good Company Films” will deliver fiction TV and films for the Danish and international markets, developing talent and content for new distribution platforms.

The company’s first slate includes an adaptation of Lene Kaaberbol’s popular fantasy novels, a psychological thriller directed by up-and-comer Milad Alami and a political mini series based on real events.

“Scandinavian film has during the past years enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, and it is our mission to continue strengthening this position. For us this means working closely with creatives, investing in new talent and focusing on developing first class content for future distribution platforms,” said the producers in a joint statement.

Sondberg and »


- Elsa Keslassy

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