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Massive Fire Breaks Out in Byker, Newcastle Scrapyard

Early this afternoon, a fire broke out in Newcastle in the North East of England, and whilst early reports suggested it was at a Northumbria University building, it was quickly revealed that it started in a scrap yard in an area called Byker.  

Although the fire was not as big as first thought, it still took eight fire engines and over 40 firefighters to control the blaze, which they eventually did after hours of fighting it. The burning material in the scrap yard sent out huge plumes of thick, black smoke which could be seen from as far away as Durham.

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Cannes: Hollywood Glamour and Persian Drama

Angelina Jolie plays the Tigress’ voice in the soon to be released Kung Fu Panda 2 and she showed up on Friday to dazzle the fans and promote the movie. Her husband Brad Pitt will make the journey this evening as he plays a lead role in Terence Malick’s long awaited contemplative opus The Tree of Life. Saturday saw Penelope Cruz walked up the red carpet on Johnny Depp’s arm for Saturday night’s gala screening of Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Lady Gaga is expected any day now to tip the glam scale up a notch further.

The world’s entertainment industry knows how to add that special show biz sparkle to Cannes

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Jedward and Gnome Fairies: Eurovision 2011

Saturday saw the return of the annual festival of terrible music that is the Eurovision Song Contest. And it certainly didn’t disappoint.

In the closest contest for years, Azerbaijan came out on top, with their song ‘Running Scared’ by duet 'Ell/Nikki'. Despite the UK’s entry (boyband 'Blue') only ending up in 11th place, we can claim the small victory that one half of Azerbaijan’s entry- singer Nikki Jamal, lives in London.

However, Eurovision has never been about winning or losing, but is instead all about the acts themselves and just how bizarre their performances can be, and on this front there were a number of highlights.

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Cannes Femmes Cineastes

Film is often criticised for being a man’s game; women get a look-in as long as they are lookers to be looked at and objectified, adding texture and focus to the man's role and the director’s gaze. The Cannes 2011 poster (as seen here) seems to reinforce this cinematic archetype with the fabulous Faye Dunaway, in a photo from a bygone era, gracing the festival poster and three facades of the Palais. “Women’s legs are compasses that circle the globe, giving it its equilibrium and harmony” is the charmingly macho Francois Truffaut quote given in the press kit that underlines the "classical" thinking behind the elegance of the poster choice.

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Cannes 2011 Film Festival: Day 1

Séamas McSwiney is our guest film correspondent and is currently reporting for us directly from Cannes. He has decades of experience in film journalism, with work published in some top international publications.   


 

For two weeks in May, Cannes is the home of razzamataz and red-carpeted fantasies. It is also a global crossroads where culture, politics, art and business intersect. In Cannes, the global entertainment industry pays homage to cultural diversity because, during this French Riviera honeymoon, it is good business to do so. As jury president, Robert De Niro says, the Competition jury undertakes to choose “films that are represented in the world of film at its highest level, and these types of festivals help connect the international film community and have a lasting cultural impact”. This year, his fellow jury members include Jude Law and Uma Thurman from the UK and the US as well as Mahamat Saleh Haroun and Johnnie To, from Chad and China.

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