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Updated: 11 hours 3 min ago

Prolific Padukone rises to top of Bollywood A-list

Sat, 12/28/2013 - 2:27am

If any Bollywood star can claim 2013 as their year, it is Deepika Padukone. With four hit films, the former model has risen to the top of the A-list -- and now has Hollywood in her sights. Padukone has catapulted to Bollywood's big league after just six years in the movie industry, but her entry into films was hardly conventional. Her acting debut came in 2007 in "Om Shanti Om", opposite Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

Chilean miracle miners back in spotlight -- on film

Sat, 12/28/2013 - 2:17am

At the bottom of a dank salt mine in Colombia, a 200-strong film crew featuring Spanish actor Antonio Banderas is reconstructing the incredible tale of 33 miners buried alive for 69 days in Chile in 2010. "It's not just about the physical ordeal these 33 men went through -- it's about the emotional one, of wondering if they would live or die, or if they would go crazy waiting to find out," Gregg Brilliant, a spokesman for the American film production, told AFP.

Sex, drugs and beards: an afternoon in a Pakistani porn cinema

Sat, 12/28/2013 - 2:17am

Three times a day dozens of men pack the auditorium, the air heavy with hashish smoke, to watch graphic sex movies: welcome to the Shama -- a pornographic cinema in Pakistan's Taliban heartland. For more than 30 years it has supplied erotic fantasies in Peshawar, the main city of northwestern Pakistan which borders the tribal districts that are a haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants. Terrified of being recognised, the Shama's customers hide their faces as they make their way to the cinema between a goat market and a bus station.

Miley Cyrus says after Disney, it was time to be herself

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 6:19pm

It is sex, drugs and pop music - and Miley Cyrus is fine with it that way now that the provocative singer has shed her innocent Disney star image along with most of her clothes. Cyrus, 21, who has grabbed headlines in the past year for her admitted drug use, sexually suggestive dancing and wearing as little as boots in a music video, said she was surprised by the scrutiny her new persona has attracted. I don't really dress as a teddy bear and, like, twerk on Robin Thicke, you know?" Cyrus, who rose to prominence as a teen star of the Disney musical TV series "Hannah Montana," has become a bad girl of pop music since her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in September when she "twerked" (a sexually suggestive dance) during a performance of Thicke's hit "Blurred Lines." "I don't have a bunch of celeb friends, because I feel like some of them are a little scared of the association," Cyrus said of her new persona. I'm like, 'Walk out with me right now and get this picture, and this will be the best thing that happens to you, because just you associating with me makes you a little less sweet.'" Cyrus, whose newest music video "Adore You" shows her writhing between bed sheets in her underwear, sucking her thumb and rubbing her body, said she feels more free to be herself now that she is no longer under a Disney contract.

Hollywood poised for best-ever box-office year

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 5:13pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite a string of summertime flops, Hollywood is expected to have a banner year at the domestic box office, coming in just shy of $11 billion, the largest annual take ever. But because of higher ticket prices, actual attendance at North American theaters remained flat after a decade of decline.

Action star Jet Li treated for overactive thyroid

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 3:20pm

HONG KONG (AP) — Jet Li says he's being treated for an overactive thyroid, but he's determined to fight the condition head-on.

First photo: Benedict Cumberbatch stars in 'The Imitation Game'

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 12:00pm

The first image of Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing was released this week by Black Bear Pictures. This historical drama will release in time for the 2015 Academy Awards season. Norwegian Morten Tyldum directed the British star in this feature focusing on the key part that Alan Turing played in deciphering Nazi secret codes during World War II. Along with Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as this war hero who ended up being prosecuted for his homosexuality.

Balloting begins! Oscar nominations voting starts

Fri, 12/27/2013 - 9:23am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oscar voters, start your ballots.