Thursday 18 June 1998
RETURN OF THE DOLLS: Brady Bunch director Betty Thomas looks intent on mining an entire career from a rich seam of 50s and 60s trash. Next up for Thomas is a re-make of Dr Dolittle with Eddy Murphy and this week comes news that she's on the verge of clinching a deal to helm another version of Jacqueline Susann's pulpy best-selling 1966 novel, Valley of the Dolls. Susann's vivid portrayal of the tribulations of three wannabe starlets battling to the top has sold over 19 million copies to date and underwent its first film adaptation a year after publication; an effort which Susann judged "a piece of shit". Susann got as good as she gave, however: Truman Capote once commented that she looked rather like "a truck driver in drag". Whether actress Bette Midler, who is due to star as the writer in a forthcoming biopic, will take Capote's bon mot as a cue for her characterisation remains for us all to see, however.
TEARS FOR PINOCCHIO: A tearful turn of events in Francis Ford Coppola's legal action against Warner Brothers provided a fascinating glimpse into the kind of schmaltz that attracts one of American cinema's greatest directors. Coppola is seeking over $23m in damages for what he believes is the studio's attempt to lay claim to a live-action, big screen adaptation of Pinocchio, which they had initially expressed interest in before backing off. Coppola told the court before breaking down: "I don't know why stories of kids are so moving to me. You need a concept that gives life to a [story], to give it a heart and soul, something unique." The director cried as he recounted his vision of the Pinocchio tale, which updates the story of the lying wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy to Nazi-occupied France.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview is finally released after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food