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The Oscar nominee that says a lot just with its title

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The Oscar nominee that says a lot just with its title

Long before a bemused Riz Ahmed read its name on Oscar nominations morning, the title of Pamela Ribon’s short film has tended to have an effect on those who hear it. Like when Ribon went to pick up her festival credential at SXSW in Austin, Texas, shortly before premiering her movie there.

Guy at the desk: “What’s it called?”

Ribon: “My Year of Dicks.”

Guy at the desk, not missing a beat: “Hard same.”

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There is, to be sure, no Oscar nominee this year quite like “My Year of Dicks” — and not just because of a title that, as Ribon notes, “is tough on a spam filter.”

The film, written and created by Ribon and directed by Sara Gunnarsdóttir, is one of the more hysterical, painful and sweet portraits of adolescence in all its awkwardness. It’s nominated for best animated short film at next month’s Academy Awards. Phil Lord (“Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse,” “The Lego Movie”) has called the 26-minute movie “one of the best films of the year of any length.”

It’s based on Ribon’s 2014 memoir, “Notes to Boys (and Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public)” — particularly a chapter that documents 15-year-old Ribon’s resolution to lose her virginity in 1991 while growing up on the outskirts of Houston. It proceeds as five cringe-inducing chapters of intimate encounters with not-so-great guys, though — as damning as that title is — “My Year of Dicks” is less about judgment for Ribon’s far-from-ideal romantic partners than it is about recounting, and illuminating, the bumbling first steps of sex.

“It’s cheeky but it isn’t mean,” Ribon said in a recent interview by Zoom from her home in Los Angeles. “It really was an inclusive feeling of: ‘We all got through that somehow, didn’t we?’”

When they were starting out, Gunnarsdóttir, an Icelandic animator who crafted the vivid animations of “Diary of a Teenage Girl, ” wondered if “Notes to Boys” would be a better, less troublesome title. But Ribon sensed something relatable — nay, something universal — about “My Year of Dicks.”

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“Not everybody has sent a note to a boy but everybody’s had a year of dicks — academically or in business or dating. It has a lot of layers,” Ribon says. “So it has been a way to bring everyone in, unfortunately. Everyone’s like ‘Hard same.’”

“My Year of Dicks,” which is streaming on Vimeo, has emerged, against the odds, as one of the most talked-about films at this year’s Oscars. Not only will much be riding on whether Ribon and Gunnarsdóttir can win on March 12, but perhaps even more eagerly awaited will be seeing which presenter, at the most dignified of awards shows, gets to utter the film’s name for an audience of millions, on live television.

“Do you think they’ll bleep it?” anxiously wonders Ribon.

For Ribon, 47, “My Year of Dicks” is an oddly appropriate culmination. Though her best known credits as a screenwriter are for more kid-friendly cartoons (“Moana,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet”), Ribon has, as an essayist, blogger and podcaster, long been an uncommonly open book. Her 2012 essay, “How I Might Have Just Become the Newest Urban Legend,” described a less than, um, sanitary trip to the masseuse parlor while she was many months pregnant.

“People were like: ‘It just would never occur to me to share that story with people,’” Ribon says. “And I was like, ‘What would you do?’ They were like, ‘Never tell anyone ever for the rest of life my life what just happened to me.’ I was like, ‘Oh!’”

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“I do sometimes feel like a walking cautionary tale,” says Ribon.

Even as a teen, Ribon was deeply aware of the tragicomedy of her coming of age. She didn’t keep a diary but she prodigiously wrote, either by typewriter or by hand, about her life. Holding up a thick green notebook, Ribon flips through the short stories, notes to boys and ticket stubs she accrued through those years.

“I liked to have an audience from the beginning when I was processing my thoughts,” says Ribon. “I’m still that way. I much prefer writing an email about my day than keeping it to myself. It feels weird to talk to me.”

“My Year of Dicks” began as a television project for FX Networks, but the filmmakers ultimately decided to try their luck on the festival circuit. Since the Walt Disney Co. owns FX, “My Year of Dicks” technically counts, ironically enough, as one of Disney’s Oscar nods, alongside the likes of “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Turning Red.”

As time went on, “My Year of Dicks” began to appear different, and more distant to Ribon. The overturning of Roe v. Wade made such sexual exploration far more perilous for young women. Texas law bans abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy and makes no exceptions for rape or incest. Ribon’s film, increasingly, looked like a time capsule of a bygone era.

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“In modern day Texas, this is the most dangerous thing a girl can do with her future. These people should not be responsible for lifelong decisions because of a party,” says Ribon. “At least I felt free to find out. Now, I would have been too scared to learn about myself. I’m grateful for the mistakes I was able to make. I didn’t have sex in any of those situations but it could have happened. And it could have happened with just one person being more a dick than here. It’s so much scarier to think about.”

But Ribon believes animation offers “a tool to talk to someone’s unfiltered heart” — that even in an a very adult animated film, it’s possible to connect back to, as she says, “that part where we set out with the best intentions for ourselves.”

“We’re thrown back into Saturday morning cartoon feelings,” she says.

So, yes, “My Year of Dicks” might be the most giggle-inducing Oscar nominee this year. But it also may be the most nakedly heartfelt.

“Maybe that’s my job in life, to help people know that you’re not alone and it could be worse. There is something very satisfying about knowing I officially have the worst sex talk of all time. It’s not just something that I say,” Ribon says, pausing to smile. “The academy has spoken.”

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Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

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Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

The Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards (DPIFF) 2024 took place in Mumbai on Feb 20. 

On the red carpet, exes Kareena Kapoor Khan and Shahid Kapoor had an awkward encounter, which is now going viral on social media.

It looks like Kareena ‘royally’ ignored Shahid and went on to pose for the paparazzi.

The viral video, which is now doing the rounds, shows Shahid Kapoor holding a trophy in his hands and posing with director duo Raj and DK.

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As the photo session was underway, Kareena Kapoor arrived and greeted the directors as she moved past them to pose for the paparazzi.

Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s past relationship has always made headlines.

The two worked in superhit films like ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Udta Punjab’. In several interviews, they have spoken about sharing a cordial relationship after they moved on with their respective lives.

But, the recent video seems to indicate otherwise.

Work-wise, Kareena Kapoor Khan will be seen next in ‘The Crew’ and ‘Singham Again’. Shahid Kapoor’s upcoming release is ‘Deva’, which is currently under production.

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Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

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Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

Faryal Makhdoom has threatened to expose ITV after she was dropped from Celebrity Big Brother, just days before the show airs.

The wife of Amir Khan was reportedly signed up for the show.

However, Faryal later said Celebrity Big Brother axed her over her pro-Palestine views on social media.

On Instagram, Faryal said: “As many of you know, I was offered to do a show for which the producers had offered me a few years ago and I had previously refused.

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“This time, they made a very lucrative offer and after a lot of convincing, I finally agreed to sign for the show.

“I also wanted to do this show to make it more inclusive for the Muslim community.

“But it seems from my social media activity and being pro-Palestine is not appropriate for ITV and its sponsors.

“Mind you, ITV and this particular show has had many controversial people on it before, but for some reason, I was singled out.

“I was told to step down 10 days before going in.

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“I have never in my life been treated like this. It’s a violation of free speech.

“This is why cowards with a huge following (especially Muslims) refuse to speak on this issue because they deprive you of opportunities and so you have no choice but to support them and stand them.

“Bear in mind, I was offered substantial money not to speak on this issue but I rejected it.

“For me, no amount of money will ever stop me from speaking on the injustice happening in Palestine.”

ITV responded and denied Faryal’s claims, with a spokesperson saying: “We meet numerous prospective housemates when casting for Celebrity Big Brother, however the final lineup is not confirmed until closer to transmission.

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“As per our welfare protocols, we are unable to comment on the casting process for individual prospective Housemates, other than to say that suitability to participate is determined by a number of factors.”

Faryal hit back, sharing what appeared to be a screenshot of her contract between herself and Celebrity Big Brother producer Banijay.

She wrote: “Attempting to downplay a situation when I have my contract right here.”

In another post, she said: “Do better with the lies ITV.

“I had gone through all of the relevant and necessary assessments, including a mental health assessment.

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George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

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George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

Late British singer-songwriter George Michael is being honoured with a personalised collectible coin.

Britain’s Royal Mint said on Monday the new coin, which depicts Michael wearing his trademark sunglasses, pays tribute to the music star’s 1987 hit solo single “Faith”.

Officially approved by Michael’s estate, it was designed by artist and sculptor Sandra Deiana.

“From his debut with WHAM! to becoming one of the bestselling solo musicians of all time, George Michael is a global superstar whose work has inspired and influenced generations with his music and his unique style,” said Rebecca Morgan, director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint.

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“Loved by millions of fans worldwide, we are delighted to be introducing an official UK coin celebrating his life and legacy,” she said in a statement.

Michael, who rose to stardom in the 1980s with Wham! before embarking on a successful solo career, died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.

Wham!’s enduring 1984 festive song “Last Christmas” finally secured the “Christmas Number 1” spot for the first time on the UK music charts in December, 39 years after its release.

The new coin is the latest addition to the Royal Mint’s “Music Legends” series, which has previously honoured David Bowie, Elton John and Queen with coins, and will be available to purchase from Monday.

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