The Hobbit and Dark Knight Rises preview at CinemaCon

Plus: two Indian films screen at Cannes; three more seasons for the Kardashians; Coke Studio fuses Arab and Italian music; Jack White to score Lone Ranger; Housefull 2 grosses Rs1 billion and Bieber parodies unknown Canadian singer.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Warner Bros / New Line Productions
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Peter Jackson previewed on Tuesday 10 minutes of his forthcoming Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, at CinemaCon, a Las Vegas conference for theatre owners.

Jackson said he filmed with 48 frames per second, producing a smoother image. "The movement feels more real," he said.

Indeed, the footage was vivid, with grass blades, facial lines and soaring mountains appearing luminous and pronounced. The actors looked almost touchable.

The movie could usher in a new era of filmmaking and require film houses across the globe to embrace digital technology.

Christopher Nolan also unveiled footage from his latest Batman flick The Dark Knight Rises, slated for a July 20 release.

The various scenes showed collapsing bridges, rolling army tanks and Christian Bale returning as an older, more weathered Batman.

Nolan said he wanted to finish his interpretation of the classic Batman story "in the biggest way possible".

"We've been working on this story for nine years," he said. "What defines cinema is spectacle."

Another film that previewed was The Campaign, a forthcoming comedy featuring Zach Galifianakis running to unseat Will Ferrell in the US congress. In the preview, Ferrell is seen punching a baby: he tries to attack Galifianakis before he can kiss the infant. When Galifianakis ducks, the baby gets it.

* AP

Two Indian films at Cannes

Two Indian films have been selected for screening at the Cannes Film Festival, scheduled from May 17 to 27.

Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur, which delves into the world of coal mafia in the Indian state of Jharkhand, will show at the Director's Fortnight, a non-competition section created by the French Director's Guild.

Peddlers, directed by Vasan Bala, has been selected for Critics' Week, created for debutante directors.

Earlier, Shivajee Chandrabhushan's The Untold Tale was selected among 15 projects chosen for L'Atelier, a Cannes festival initiative which helps filmmakers find international funding.

* Anjali A

Three more seasons for Kardashians

The E! Entertainment network said on Tuesday that it had reached a deal to make three more seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

The sixth season of the show averaged three million US viewers on Sunday nights, the cable network's top series. The 18-episode seventh season begins on May 20.

The network did not say whether the musician Kanye West would be included in the series. West and Kim Kardashian have been recently reported as dating.

* AP

Coke Studio fuses Arab and Italian music

The third episode of Coke Studio broadcast on MBC1 last night, featuring a fusion between Italian opera and Arabic music, performed by the vocalist Tino Favazza and the Lebanese singer Yara.

The episode chronicled how the two faced the challenge of collaborating, as they performed the Egyptian classic Salma Ya Salama, guided by the show's producer and pioneer of world music, Michel Elefteriades.

Coke Studio airs Wednesdays at 10.30pm on MBC1.

Jack White to score Lone Ranger

Walt Disney Pictures announced on Tuesday that the rocker Jack White will write, produce and perform the score for the director Gore Verbinski's forthcoming adaptation of The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer.

It will mark The White Stripes frontman's first time scoring a feature film. White's first solo album, Blunderbuss, was released on Tuesday.

* AP

Housefull 2 grosses Rs1 billion

Housefull 2, directed by Sajid Khan, has touched the magic figure of Rs1 billion (Dh67m) in box office collections in the third weekend since its release.

The movie, which ended Akshay Kumar's run of flops at the box office, has become one of the handful of Bollywood films to breach the Rs1bn figure. The film also became the highest grossing Hindi film in New Zealand, collecting US$253,346 (Dh930,500), said the trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

* Anjali A

Bieber parodies unknown Canadian singer

Carly Rae Jepsen says she was shocked when she saw Justin Bieber singing along to her song, Call Me Maybe. The 26-year-old Canadian singer was talking to her mother on the phone when his YouTube parody popped up online.

Jepsen initially thought it was just a bunch of fans lip-synching to her track.

She says: "I was like, 'That guy looks like Justin Bieber and that girl looks like Selena Gomez' and by the time Ashley Tisdale came on I was like 'Mom, I got to go' and I had a little freak-out."

The video has now clocked nearly 35 million views on YouTube.

Bieber's support has helped the song hit the iTunes top 5 and take the top spots in the UK, Canada and Australia.

* AP


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