14 Stephen King quotes all aspiring writers badly need to read

Stephen King is a veritable writing machine .
Image: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/ AFP/ Getty Images

The first Stephen King book I ever read was The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon . I was still in my teens, and my gran — a huge King fan herself — thought it was the one I’d have the best opportunity of reading without getting too scared.

She was wrong about that( I scare pretty easily ), but she was right to introduce me to King. He’s been my favourite writer ever since.

It’s not just his tales that retain me coming back here, either. He’s likewise a brilliant writer. From his gloriously grisly descriptions to his on level talk and character portraits, I’ve always guessed the horror master doesn’t get anywhere near enough credit as he should for his impressive command of language.

Well, the very best news is King has never been shy about talking about the letter process. In his excellent book On Writing , in interviews and in the forewords that accompanied his volumes, he regularly offers insights and advice into the behavior he works.

Here are some of his quotes about writing that have stuck in my thinker over the years…

1. On his early days as a writer.

Image: Getty Images/ Aurora Creative/ mashable composite/ quote via rolling stone

2. On rejection.

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3. On his writing setup.

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4. This crucial piece of advice.

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5. On his method for sifting through ideas.

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6. On the best interests of get rid of pretensions.

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7. On his daily working routine.

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8. This very clear rule.

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9. On the place minds come from.

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10. On the need to not be too rigid when it is necessary to planning.

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11. On the fiction hierarchy.

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12. This sweet quote about family and friends.

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13. On the place you go to write.

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14. Ultimately, this memorable part of advice.

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Read more: https :// mashable.com/ 2018/02/ 23/ stephen-king-best-writing-quotes /

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Chevy Chase gets into roadside fight with young drivers who had to look up who he was

A Long Island man said he kicked Chevy Chase in self-defense on an upstate highway when the unhinged performer lunged at him and advised, “I am going to ruin their own lives! ”

Michael Landrio, 22, a UPS worker from East Patchogue, told The Post that he and his girlfriend and another pair were headed north to get-up-and-go snowmobiling Feb. 9 when a blue Mercedes flashed its lights at them and drew next to them at the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

“We were in the right lane and as we came up to the bridge we went to the middle lane, ” he said in his parents’ home in Suffolk County. “It was an old guy screaming- something we couldn’t hear- super pissed-off . … We simply tried to get the heck away from him. He followed us the whole duration of the bridge, driving crazy.”

Landrio said the seeking driver weaved in and out of traffic until they pulled over in South Nyack in Rockland County after traversing the span.

“My friend opened his window and just said,’ I apologize, we were just trying to go upstate, ’” he said, adding that the Mercedes blocked their vehicle.

“You know who the f– I am? ” Landrio said Chase called. “Then he started cursing at me for no reason and said,’ I am going to ruin your lives! ’ I said,’ F– you! ’

Then he yanks open their car entrance and wails,’ I’m going to punch you in the nose’ and he came after me and had his hands in my face, ” he continued. “I said,’ Get the f– away from me! ’”

Landrio said Chase — who at this point was inside Landrio’s car attacking him — threw a punch that missed. Landrio said he then kicked the out-of-control Chase, mailing him winging out of the car, into his Mercedes and onto the ground.

“I closed my auto entrance and locked it but he was still trying to get into at me when a nurse and an off-duty policeman escorted him away, ” Landrio said.

“I didn’t know who he was — I was just trying to defend myself. He was physically trying to harm me, ” he said, adding that the cop told him his attacker was none other than Chevy Chase of “Saturday Night Live” and “Caddyshack” fame.

“I appeared him up on Google and I still didn’t was well known that he was, ” he said. “He didn’t look like he appeared when he made his movies.”

Landrio, who wants to pursue a job in law enforcement , noted that Chase stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 240 pounds, while he is just 5-foot-11 and weighs 155 pounds.

The suspect was slapped with a counting of second-degree harassment.

This article originally appeared in Page Six .

Read more: http :// www.foxnews.com/ entertainment/ 2018/02/ 22/ chevy-chase-gets-into-roadside-fight-with-young-drivers-who-had-to-look-up-who-was.html

Moviegoers are praising this breakout character of ‘Black Panther’ for an amazing reason.

Meet Shuri.

Image via Marvel Entertainment.

Shuri is the wildly brilliant 16 -year-old sister of T’Challa, who is ruler of Wakanda and the Black Panther.

In “Black Panther, ” we determine the alluring hero take to the crazy streets to capture rascals, utilizing vibranium — Wakanda’s invaluable and sought after metal — to keep Wakanda moving forward, mastering technologically advanced vehicles to chase rogues and having the super suit and shoes to match.

Guess who created all of those cool superhero tools ?

That’s right — young, brilliant Shuri.

T’Challa is dependent on Shuri’s creative, unique inventions and runnings. Without her work, T’Challa couldn’t succeed, and she plays a leading role in the fight for the survival of Wakanda.

Basically Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, is a total badass genius. Oh, and she’s fairly brave and hilarious while doing it.

Moviegoers are singing kudoes for the nature and the amazing possibility she represents.

Shuri is lifted up as a black woman running the game in science, technology, engineering, and math( STEM fields, as they’re called ). It’s a portrayal of black females that audiences rarely determine, and that representation is making waves.

Shuri is resulting the most technologically advanced society in the dreaming African world of Wakanda. It’s an incredible statement of how black wives can and should be presidents in STEM fields.

Shuri isn’t there to be the romantic lead. She’s not flighty, swooning, or presented as a prop of sexual desire. She doesn’t need to be saved. She has her own tale . Action movies haven’t historically represented women well and especially not women who are interested in science and tech. “Black Panther” has flipped that narrative on its head.

Shuri’s brilliance is vital to keeping the vibrant culture afloat and for protecting it. She shows that girls can successfully do whatever they crave and believe, and society will greatly benefit from that.

Unfortunately, this fact has been largely discounted in movie, and in real life history. Scientists and technological wizards in cinema are oftens portrayed by white boys, likely because of how the STEM industry looks like in the real world.

The discrepancies between men and women in STEM is staggering .

The numbers don’t lie.

Women make up only 24% of the country’s STEM employees, and the numbers are even smaller for black women . In 2012, black women took a total of 684 STEM degrees, in comparison to 6,777 for white men and 8,478 for white wives.

Despite these statistics, Shuri’s character depicts just how awesome and creative the STEM field can be when we amplify opportunities for black women and make spaces for them to lead.

And Wright understands the gravity and importance of her character.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/ Getty Images for Disney.

“[ Shuri] shows that when you have people coming together to just take time to make characters well-rounded, well-thought-out , not one lane, amazing things like that happen, ” Wright told HuffPost. “Having a character arc and pilgrimage is refreshing, so it’s good letter … Now there’s a breakthrough of[ audiences] insuring people[ they] be attributed to and that’s refreshing.”

Despite being dismissed in STEM, disrespected by male equivalents, and left out of opportunities, women of coloring have made historic STEM contributions.

And these same accomplished black girls are paving the route for future people of color to break through.

Organizations like Black Girls Code, The National Girls Collaborative Project, and the STEM Society for Women of Color, are working to make sure that daughters of coloring are aware of the opportunities available to them and that they have the support needed to succeed.

Shuri in “Black Panther” is showing black daughters — inferno, all black children — just how essential their intelligence can be.

Let’s make sure that national societies continues to make this story a reality in real life, too.

Image via Marvel Entertainment.

Read more: http :// www.upworthy.com/ moviegoers-are-praising-this-breakout-character-of-black-panther-for-an-amazing-reason

Why I, Tonya is a gamechanger in the world of female sports movies

The Tonya Harding biopic is not the first cinema about women and sport. But, refreshingly, its one that isnt about female athletes trying to break into a male-dominated world

If Tonya Harding had been no more than the first female ice skater to land two triple axels in competition, most of us would have forgotten her by now. But in 1994, an associate of her ex-husband attempted to break the leg of her contender, Nancy Kerrigan. In the subsequent media craze, Kerrigan was cast as America’s sweetheart, with Harding as a soap opera villain. The incident turned “Trashy Tonya” into a cult figure, theme of TV movies, pop anthems, play-acts and musicals, and now a movie.

I, Tonya takes its stylistic cue from Martin Scorsese, presenting her narrative as freewheeling mockumentary stuffed with larger-than-life characters, indecent dialogue and unreliable narrators. It is played for scabrous black comedy, but is a not unsympathetic character analyze of an foreigner from an abusive background striving to make it in a discipline that expects its skaters to conform to public expectations of sweetness and femininity.

One thing I, Tonya is not about were women invading masculine turf. In movies, as in life, athletic prowess has long been a boys’ fraternity. Games involving hitting, hurling, violent body contact or sweat-inducing try have always been viewed as unfeminine. A woman’s role in these macho narrations is to be banished to the sidelines as a Wag, furnishing eye candy between boxing rounds, or as a cheerleader, egging on the male players.

And so most female-centric athletics movies revolve around the struggle against misogyny. In Heart Like a Wheel( 1983 ), Bonnie Bedelia overcomes male opposition to make it as a drag racer. In Bend It Like Beckham( 2002 ), a west-London teen overcomes the opposition of her Punjabi family to make it as a footballer. In Girlfight( 2000 ), Michelle Rodriguez is told:” No daughter has what it takes to be a boxer .” For women, attaining it in a male athletic is invariably the story.

The very title of Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own( 1992) is the verbal equivalent of a paternal pat on the head. Inspired by the formation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was set up while male musicians were fighting in the second world war, the movie is a critique of patronising stances while simultaneously trivialising its girl players’ tries almost as much as the male characters, with tutor Tom Hanks complaining:” I haven’t got ballplayers. I’ve got girls. Girls are what you sleep with after video games , not what you tutor during the game .”

Elizabeth
Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet. Photograph: Everett Collection/ Rex Features

Sometimes, the male world is so exclusive that the sportswoman has to masquerade herself as a humankind to compete, hence we have Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet( 1944 ), chopping off her hair to win the Grand National. Or Amanda Bynes in She’s the Man( 2006 ), a high-school deviation on Twelfth Night, in which she stuffs her long whisker under a pudding-bowl wig so she can enrol at a boys’ school to carry on playing football.

Occasionally, movie sportswomen do transgress the mould. Outliers include Robert Aldrich’s final film, The California Dolls( 1981 ), which follows the fates of a female tag-wrestling team( Vicki Frederick and Laurene Landon) and their director( Peter Falk) as they travel through the midwest towards a grudge match in Reno. It’s a street movie as much as a precursor to the Netflix series GLOW, but the climactic bout is a corker.

Fresher territory is also mined in Personal Best( 1982 ), in which Mariel Hemingway teaches to qualify for the 1980 US Olympic track and realm team. It’s perhaps best summed up by Ross in Friends:” Two ladies … stretching … they take a vapor bath together, things get a little playful …” In reality, the lesbian relationship between Hemingway and fellow pentathlete Patrice Donnelly gives style to more conventional heterosexual entanglements, but not since Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia had there been so much athletic nakedness on display.

In cinema, as in life, sports seen as traditionally feminine are as much about show as performance. Gymnastics hasn’t stimulated much of a mark in the cinema but Stick It( 2006) features a rebellious heroine who sneers at the girly gymnastic routines and fights for the right to demonstrate her bra straps without having degrees docked by stuffy magistrates. And let us not overlook Drew Barrymore’s directing debut, Whip It !( 2009 ), in which Ellen Page rejects small-town charm pageantries in favour of a women’s roller derby team.

Drew
Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page& Kristen Wiig in Whip It!

The ” feminine ” sport par excellence, of course, is ice-skating. Norwegian spinmeister Sonja Henie, who greeted Hitler with a Nazi honour at the 1936 Olympics, became the first skating hotshot( believe Ginger Rogers on ice) and one of Hollywood’s top box office describe. More lately, ice-skating movies have formed something of a niche subgenre: romance, rivalry and sparkly attires. In Ice Castles( 1978 ), the heroine gets too big for her skates, loses her sight in an accident, but disguises her blindness to win the championship! In The Cutting Edge( 1992 ), a spoiled little-rich-girl skater teams up with a blue-collar ice-hockey player and they fall in love at the Winter Olympics! In Ice Princess( 2005 ), a science geek takes to the ice for a physics programme, falls for a hunky Zamboni driver and ends up torn between Harvard and figure skating!

But I, Tonya violates new ice. Like last year’s Battle of the Sexes, based around Billie Jean King’s 1973 demonstrate match against Bobby Riggs, the female protagonist doesn’t “re going to have to” garbage her energy trying to play in a man’s world- she’s already a player, and her world is as female as they come. Like the best sports movies, the sport isn’t the narrative; it’s part of the character, and both cinemas have bigger thematic fish to fry.

I, Tonya is on general release now

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ movie/ 2018/ feb/ 23/ why-i-tonya-is-a-game-changer-in-the-world-of-female-sports-movies

‘I felt ill.’ Brendan Fraser describes sexual assault that nearly made him quit acting.

Remember Brendan Fraser? 10 years ago, he was one of Hollywood’s biggest starrings. Then, he abruptly disappeared.

If you were a kid in the late ‘9 0s and early ‘0 0s, possibilities are you find a Brendan Fraser movie. The comedy and activity superstar propelled to fame behind blockbusters like “The Mummy” franchise, “George of the Jungle, ” “Looney Tunes: Back in Action, ” and the Oscar-winning film “Crash.”

But after 2008, he largely vanished from major starring roles. His absence wasn’t due to drugs, a sex-scandal, or illness — despite memes and even reported articles speculating about his job arc, with many blaming it on poor career choices.

Fraser revealed in a recent interview that an incident of sexual harassment led him to withdraw from his high-profile lifestyle.

Lately, the actor has gradually returned to more high-profile roles, and in an interview with GQ, he has pointed out that the real reason he stepped back from the spotlight was because of being physically fondled by Philip Berk, a former chairman of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

In his own volume, Berk admitted to “pinching” Fraser in the buttocks after an event, but Fraser says the incident was much worse. “His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his thumbs touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.”

“I felt ill. I felt like a little kid, ” he told GQ. “I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I reckoned I was going to cry.”

He said it’s time to speak out, and other male victims of harassment are supporting him.

Berk has called the accusation a “total fabrication” but accepts he mailed Fraser an apology letter after the accident when the actor complained to the HFPA. Fraser said he tried to inter his feelings about the incident, but he was moved into action after find actresses and performers speaking up at this year’s Golden Globes.

“Am I still frightened? Perfectly. Do I feel like I need to say something? Perfectly. Have I wanted to many, many times? Perfectly. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely.”

Despite his reservations, people seem to believe, and is really moved by, Fraser’s claim. Once the target of jokes, Fraser has become a catalyst for moving kudo across social media.

He’s likewise earned some public support from performer Terry Crews, who has publicly discussed experiencing a similar incident years ago.

“Brendan is amazingly courageous in telling this, ” Crews wrote on Twitter. “His assault experience is exceedingly similar to mine — terminating with the assailant explaining away his actions. One man’s ‘horseplay’ is another man’s humiliation.”

Victims of sexual harassment and assault often face deep disgrace and dread in speaking out. Speaking out takes courage.

Speaking out after experiencing harassment or assault can be an incredible challenge, often full of personal and professional risk. Though the majority of assaults are against girls, humankinds face their own similar challenges in overcoming dishonor, uncertainty, and repercussions for coming forward and speaking out. When humen like Fraser and Crews speak out, they help clear the path for other boys to come forward with their own stories.

Read more: http :// www.upworthy.com/ i-felt-ill-brendan-fraser-describes-sexual-assault-that-nearly-made-him-quit-acting

Seen it all before? The Shape of Water and claims of movie plagiarism

Guillermo del Toros Oscar-nominee has been the subject of three the allegations of lifting notions. But in Hollywood, accusations of facsimile are nothing new

If Dorothy Parker is to be believed, the only “ism” that Hollywood comprises dear is infringement. And, these days, that seems truer than ever. Every period brings another lawsuit from an aggrieved screenwriter. Many are without virtue; some prove naggingly robust. This month has recognized two high-profile lawsuits. Screenwriter Gary L Goldman has filed two seconds suit against Disney, claiming the studio purloined his artwork, dialogue, characters and other elements for its animated slapstick Zootopia, released in the UK as Zootropolis.( Disney has described the allegations as” patently false “.) And the makers of Kingsman: The Secret Service are being sued by R Spencer Balentine for lifting elements from his unproduced screenplay The Keepers to augmented their modification of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’s graphic fiction.( Fox has yet to respond to the suit .) But it is Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water , nominated for 13 Oscars, that is currently the most difficult magnet for infringement claims.

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Nothing fishy going on: a poster for The Space Between Us

Few films have had to weather accusations from so many different directions. First there used to be students from the Netherlands Film Academy insisting that the premise was lifted from their short movie The Space Between Us, about a female cleaner who comes to the salvage of an amphibious humanoid in a lab. That dissent was dealt with swiftly: plans for Del Toro’s movie were under way by 2015, when that short was attained, and the NFA was indicated that no steal resulted. But representatives of the late playwright Paul Zindel have since filed a copyright infringement lawsuit, accusing The Shape of Water of reproduction components from the play-act Let Me Hear You Whisper, in which the beast concerned is a dolphin.( Fox Searchlight said in a statement:” Guillermo del Toro has never read nor considered Mr Zindel’s play in any form .”) Meanwhile administrator Jean-Pierre Jeunet has pointed out similarities between the edge-of-the-sofa soft-shoe shuffle in The Shape of Water and a scene in his cinema Delicatessen, in which a man and a woman apply squeaking bedsprings to create a musical rhythm.

Jonathan Bailey, editor of the website Plagiarism Today, says the wording of the law regarding plagiarism is moderately woolly.” In the US, it’s down to whether an ordinary commentator , not an expert in film-making, would recognise that A is based on B. That’s a very loose standard ,” he says. But he belief the proliferation of claims against The Shape of Water may work in its favour.” It’s become a back-burner issue, and part of that is because of the conflicting and vying allegations. The first one was debunked so easily that there’s a sense that the issue has already been dealt with. In a weird way, the first case may have weakened the subsequent ones, with news tirednes determining in .”

Jeremy
Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker. Photo: Everett Collection/ Rex Features

Del Toro might be comforted by the fact that asserts multiply during awards season, when the promise of prestige and fund fills the air. The makers of The Hurt Locker were sued unsuccessfully by US legion sergeant Jeffrey Sarver, who claimed he was the inspiration for the main character. Hans Zimmer was sued, also without success, over the score for 12 Times a Slave. And Kim Novak took issue with The Artist over its use of music from her most noted cinema, Vertigo.” I want to report a rape ,” she announced in a full-page ad in Variety, exhibiting that sense of proportion for which performers the world over are renowned.

” Every single movie that is a success has’ You stole it off me’ suits coming out of its ears ,” says screenwriter John Wrathall, who wrote the Viggo Mortensen drama Good and the Jack O’Connell/ Tim Roth thriller The Liability.” If you can prove it with a memo that says,’ You might want to borrow from this script’ or something like that, then you have a case. Otherwise it’s just sour grapes. Novice screenwriters are the only ones who expresses concern about infringement- except lawyers, I guess. But different people having the same suggestion isn’t so rare .” Wrathall himself considered taking action over similarities between his 1997 short film Magic Moments, about a woman at a Snappy Snaps-style shop who accumulates photographs of a client with whom she is obsessed, and the 2003 thriller One Hour Photo, featuring Robin Williams as an identically inclined stalker.” I followed it up at the time and spoke to a lawyer but, without proof, it was a bit of a nonstarter. Now I don’t see it as a problem, and it was only an try at self-promotion then ,” he admits.

Eddie
Eddie Murphy in Coming To America: the subject of a successful infringement suit in 1988. Photograph: Paramount/ Kobal/ Rex/ Shutterstock

There can’t be an infinite amount of plots, after all, which explains why the same basic narrative has been shared among a number of films- look at The Searchers, Taxi Driver, Star Wars, Paris, Texas and Mona Lisa to discover variations on the same notion- without this qualifying as plagiarism. Portion of the problem, Bailey says, is that accuses can be hard to prove.” There’s no Turnitin for movies ,” he explains, referring to the online plagiarism detection service. Occasionally there will be a clear-cut example, such as Shia LaBeouf’s 2012 short cinema HowardCantour.com, which was lifted directly from the 2007 comic Justin M Damiano by Daniel Clowes.( LaBeouf apologised, claiming to have” got lost in the creative process “.)” It’s unusual to have that level of clarity ,” Bailey says.” Film-making as an artwork sort is moderately new compared with publish or music, and we’re still developing a better understanding of the language of cinema, the core elements. Every trope was someone’s original mind at some level. And when a movie is successful, people who came up with something similar but not identical realise more of their work in that thing than there actually is; 99% of these go perfectly nowhere. Merely a handful have any momentum .”

The most salutary lesson for any Hollywood studio hoping to disprove plagiarism accusations in courtroom is organized around Coming to America, the Eddie Murphy comedy about an African prince who decamps to New York. Art Buchwald and his rendering collaborator Alain Bernheim filed a$ 5m suit in 1988, underlining the fact that the picture was based on a therapy written by Buchwald and sold to Paramount five years earlier. They were awarded $900,000 in 1992, to curtail $825,000 after a further seven-year legal battle.

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Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. The film appreciated off a infringement allegation. Photograph: Allstar/ Cinetext/ Columbia

Some studios have fought accusations and won. The producers of Die Hard were sued by the actor-writer-director Alexis Kanner, who stated in a 352 -page suit that the movie represented the” wholesale cinematic Xeroxing” and” cinematic rape” of his 1981 thriller Kings and Desperate Men. He lost, and rightly so: the cinemas, both brilliant in their own lane, have nothing in common but hostages and explosives. Groundhog Day came under attack from Leon Arden, who belief the movie had ripped off his screenplay One Fine Day about a hour loop-the-loop that returns one man repeatedly to 15 April, the deadline for US tax returns. The magistrate differed, calling Groundhog Day” a creative, entertaining run that is substantially different from[ Arden’s] face of his idea” and arguably paving the way for that movie in turn to be rehashed as Source Code, 50 First Date, Edge of Tomorrow and Happy Death Day.

Most examples, nonetheless, are determined softly out of court to avoid adverse advertising and stratospheric legal fees. This was true of The Terminator, which owed a creative debt to an Outer Limits episode written by Harlan Ellison, who was added to the film’s credits, and Look Who’s Talking, which was accused of being too close to another baby-oriented script, Special Delivery.

But it isn’t only in the studio’s best interest to settle. Donna Douglas and Curt Wilson sued Disney, claiming that the Whoopi Goldberg comedy Sister Act was ripped off from their script, A Nun in the Closet. Disney offered a$ 1m settlement, which the writers rejected in favour of going to trial. The example was later hurled out. Compensation came there nun.

Litigation is now part of the landscape in Hollywood.” Go ahead and send your script to Universal, Paramount, all those guys ,” says Bailey.” They’ll only ship it back to you unopened. They can’t peril you saying they stole your work .” Even that belt-and-braces approach doesn’t preclude legal action. The nadir of movie litigation arguably occurred when a visual designing artist have been successful in delaying the US release of Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys after noticing that a chair similar to one “hes having” designed had been used in a scene without credit. On the whole, though, sanity prevails.” Most asserts are genuine but mistaken ,” Bailey says.

For his part, Wrathall has learned to take a sanguine approach.” My attitude is like that line in The Red Shoes:’ It is still much disheartening to have to steal than to be stolen from .'”

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Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ movie/ 2018/ feb/ 22/ seen-it-all-before-the-shape-of-water-and-claims-of-movie-plagiarism

The 10-a-game poker player who won $2.6m

Image caption John Hesp( Photo: Joe Giron)

John Hesp sells caravans in Yorkshire for a living and plays poker once a month at his local casino – so it was a huge shock when he went to Las Vegas and won a small luck. But perhaps it’s just as surprising that his life hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still selling caravans, playing poker with a PS10 ($ 14) bet, and going on holiday two hours’ drive from his house.

I’m at a poker festival in an east London casino and with more than 300 tournament musicians around 34 tables, the room is thrumming with the muttering of calls and elevates. There is a victory whoop here, a groan of overcome there, and the constant clacking of chips riffled by players contemplating their next move.

There are lots of dark sunglasses and hoodies, sported by those striving for the textbook inscrutable “pokerface”. There are scarves and snoods to disguise neck-vein humps when attempting a major bluff. With a PS440 buy-in and five-figure prizes up to PS43, 000 for the top five finishers, for many participates this is serious business.

One player, though, is taking no such precautions. Clad in a loudly-coloured jacket and Panama hat, John Hesp, a 64 -year-old caravan seller and grandfather from Bridlington, seems more concerned with chatting to his neighbours and flashing smiles at the trader. Compared with his younger, stiffer tablemates, he’s conspicuously relaxed.

An unknown figure this time last year, having only ever played in low-key games at pubs and his local casino in Hull, Hesp built history in July by entering the game’s more prestigious tournament – the World Series of Poker( WSOP) in Las Vegas – finishing fourth out of 7,220 entrants, and winning $2.6 m( PS2m ).

The unorthodox Yorkshireman captivated the poker world with his colourful attire and jovial demeanour. Many of the game’s biggest names, having been pipped by the amateur to the final table, aimed up rooting for him to win.

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Media captionJohn Hesp: “I’ve been living the daydream, I’ve loved every minute of it”

“I’d never have dreamed in my wildest dreams that it could happen, ” Hesp says, during an interval at the 888 Poker Live London Festival.

“It’s just something that was on my bucket-list for ages. My aim was to finish in the top 1,000 and have some fun.

“I’m not a seasoned player playing four or five times a week – it was once a month at my local casino in Hull on a PS10 buy-in. So to progress to PS2m and international poker superstardom almost overnight has been a proper fairy tale.”

While many in his shoes would immediately have chucked in the day-job and jetted off to the Caribbean, John returned to his Bridlington caravan business where he continues to work four days a week. He did permit himself a short break, but not on a tropical island – at his static caravan in Pateley Bridge in the Yorkshire Dales.

Image copyright BBC Sport Image caption John Hesp and his wife Mandy enjoying traditional fish and chips( Photo: Robert Rathbone)

“I have to say I’m very boring, ” he says. “I don’t spend large sums on flashy clothes or Rolexes. I’ve gifted a big chunk of the money to family and invested in another business as a sleeping partner. But I’m still driving the same car.”

The car is a silver Land Rover Discovery, with 25,000 miles on the clock – though he likewise owns a classic DeLorean sports car, the type stimulated famous in the Back to the Future films.

More mystifyingly, for poker tournament organisers and the professionals he trounced in Vegas, John has returned to his local PS10 buy-in games, PS200 his biggest win since, and simply appeared at the 888 Poker event at the express invitation of the organisers, who belief his fun-loving image is good for the game.

It was that very carefree nature that unwittingly ran in John’s favour in Vegas, making him virtually unreadable to pros accustomed to the expressionless poker faces of the game’s younger competitors.

“Youngsters who’ve been growing with videogames and the internet often don’t have a social side to their play, ” he says. “They sit quietly with their tints and headphones, some looks a lot like they’ve never seen daylight. They should enjoy it more, and not be afraid to socialise at the table.”

Another difference between them is that John has never bothered with cyber-poker.

“Online poker has never became me on, ” he says. “It’s only not the same when you can’t see the colour of your opponents’ eyes, or feel the atmosphere in the room.”


Do ladies poker musicians have an advantage?

Image caption Cat Hulbert in one of her many costumes( Photo: Cat Hulbert)

I have this arrogant varnish to me. A frosting. And the male foe that sees no anxiety in a woman – that drives him crazy, his competitive desire to crush her is so high. One period, I had a $500 poker chip hurled at me as I sat down at the table – money to go away because one of the assembled humen “didn’t play with girls”. I sent it back with my own message: “And I don’t play with assholes – but I don’t have a option either.”

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At the London tournament, interestingly, John doesn’t perform nearly as well as he did in Vegas. Foes are eager to grab grinning selfies with him during the intervals, but back at the table John’s chipstack is steadily eroded until he’s clinging on for bare life. The mountainous stack he amassed at the WSOP final table is a distant memory.

In an uncanny replication of a late hand he lost to eventual winner Scott Blumstein( prize $8.15 m ), John runs “all in” with his remaining chips against an adversary fatefully comprising a pair of aces. With the gamble called and cards revealed, John is suddenly checking train times back to Bridlington a day earlier than anticipated.

“I was hanging on at the end but ran into hotshots again, ” he reports, immediately afterwards. “It seemed as though everyone’s trying to bust out John Hesp, which puts you under pressure – not sure if I like it.”

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John Hesp, Poker winner