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Category: Oscars

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Football’s first fa’afafine: trans rights trailblazer Jaiyah Saelua on stardom and sisterhood

Fa’afafine athlete and advocate Jaiyah Saelua, and Kaimana, the fa’afafine actor who will play her in Taika Waititi’s latest film, find shared celebration in a uniquely Polynesian storyJaiyah Saelua is a footballer first.The first openly transgender wo…

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‘It’s sort of the extreme’: Free Solo’s Alex Honnold on rock-climbing without ropes

He is the only person to have scaled El Capitan without protective equipment, and the film about his feat has just won an Oscar. What drives someone to take the ultimate risk?The greatest rock climber in the world is climbing the greatest rock in the w…

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‘It’s sort of the extreme’: Free Solo’s Alex Honnold on rock-climbing without ropes

He is the only person to have scaled El Capitan without protective equipment, and the film about his feat has just won an Oscar. What drives someone to take the ultimate risk?The greatest rock climber in the world is climbing the greatest rock in the w…

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Cheers for Kobe Bryant’s Oscar win were a jarring twist in the MeToo era

James Franco was missing from the Oscars ceremony after allegations of sexual misconduct. So why did a basketball star accused of rape win plaudits?A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in a Time’s Up discussion with women from var…

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Kobe Bryant’s Dear Basketball wins best animated short film at Oscars 2018

Former NBA star wins Academy award for short he wrote and narrated, despite controversy over historic sexual assault allegationFormer NBA star Kobe Bryant has become an unlikely Oscar winner after Dear Basketball, which he wrote and narrated, won the A…

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Hoop Dreams: where are the main figures now?

Twenty years after the landmark documentary was cruelly snubbed at the Oscars, we take a look at where the principals are today

In 1986, filmmakers Steve James, Frederick Marx and Peter Gilbert set out to film a 30-minute PBS documentary on playground basketball as a window into Chicago’s street culture. Some 300 hours of footage and three years of editing later, Hoop Dreams emerged overnight as a landmark documentary. Roger Ebert labeled it the best film of the 1990s (ahead of Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas and Fargo), and its exclusion from the Best Documentary category at the 1995 Academy Awards led to a restructuring of how the category was evaluated.

The parallel narratives of Arthur Agee and William Gates, two promising teenage players mired in the urban blight of inner-city Chicago, represented the common American dream of underprivileged youth seeking an escape through basketball. Both began as freshmen at the upscale St Joseph’s in Westchester, Illinois, the former high school of NBA Hall of Famer and Chicago folk hero Isiah Thomas. Because of an inability to meet tuition demands (and coach Gene Pingatore’s skepticism about his size), Agee would transfer to the public Marshall High School while Gates remained at St Joe’s all four years. Neither would win a state title or play in the NBA, but their legacies live on through what’s become the essential document on grassroots sports in America.

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Have any players been part of World Cup-winning and Oscar-winning teams?

Plus: Great thrashing turnarounds (2); How many times can two teams play each other in a season? (2); and the youngest player to retire from international football. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or get in touch via Twitter: @TheKnowledge_GU

“Watching the successful Oscar-bait pic The Theory Of Everything,” writes James Tong last week, hopefully after having left the cinema. “I was surprised to see World Cup winning defender Frank Leboeuf make a short cameo. As the film received a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards, could he be the first footballer to have been part of World Cup winning and Oscar winning teams? Have any other footballers been part of Oscar winning films?”

Eddie Redmayne has received the bulk of the praise for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything but it’s a shame that Leboeuf’s role as “Swiss Doctor” has been so overshadowed. The former Chelsea defender even features in the trailer:

Related: All aboard the League Liner – football’s disco train | The Knowledge

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Viral Video Chart: House of Cards, Sherlock and American Hustle

Kevin Spacey is back, Benedict Cumberbatch meets his match – and a secret behind a 10-times Oscar nominated hit movie

Know your enemy! Kevin Spacey returns as Francis Underwood in the sequel to the Netflix blockbuster House of Cards and, as our preview reveals, the web of political intrigue is tightening around the new US vice president and his wife, played by Robin Wright. While Underwood battles against friends and foes, over on the BBC Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), comes into conflict with Charles Augustus Magnussen in a case involving missing letters.

Magnussen’s first appearance came at the end of the first episode, The Empty Hearse, when he watched a recording of Holmes rescuing John Watson (Martin Freeman) from a bonfire on Guy Fawkes night. The newspaper proprietor, who urinates in Sherlock’s fireplace, is played by The Killing’s Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen. Sherlock says: “I’ve dealt with murderers, psychopaths. None of them can turn my stomach like Charles Augustus Magnussen.”

For a little light relief, check out how watching television with Sherlock can ruin your viewing – although look out for spoilers for Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Gossip Girl.

Staying with blockbusters, Louis C.K. reveals the missing ending to his ‘American Hustle’ ice-fishing story and we’ve got an unexpected, weak ending to a presentation by Transformer’s director Michael Bay, who also directed Armageddon and Pearl Harbor. During a scripted talk about Samsung’s new curved high definition TV sets, a jammed autocue was all it took to defeat him. Brand ambassador Bay walked off stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, saying he felt uncomfortable with “winging it” during a conversation with Samsung’s vice president Joe Stinziano.

When all else failed, maybe Bay should just have danced his way across the stage. We’ve got two great dance clips this week – a hilarious romp through contemporary dance, and a mash-up of Hollywood movie stars dancing. Put on those dancing shoes – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Guardian Viral Video Chart. Compiled by Unruly Media and mashed up by Janette

1. House of Cards – Season 2 – Official Trailer – Netflix [HD]
White House whitewash?

2. Sherlock Spoils Everything
Elementary stuff

3. Sherlock Series 3: Episode 3 Trailer – BBC One
Get clued up

4. Louis C.K. reveals the missing ending to his ‘American Hustle’ ice-fishing story
A story with a catch

5. Contemporary Dance How-To
Strike a pose

6. We Can Neutron Dance: Hollywood Movie Dance Tribute – Part 2
Star-studded lineup

7. Day 1 [ 3 years – lip sync everyday ]
Boy’s three years of lip-synching

8. Michael Bay quits Samsung’s press conference
Bay-watch

9. P&G Thank You, Mom | Pick Them Back Up | Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
Melting moments

10. Muppets Most Wanted – Across The Internet
Twitter spoof

Source: Viral Video Chart. Compiled from data gathered at 14:00 on 9 January 2014. The Viral Video Chart is currently based on a count of the embedded videos and links on approximately 2m blogs, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

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