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A New Netflix Docuseries Heads Inside Bill Gates’ Brain, But It Keeps Getting Sidetracked.

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Software magnate Bill Gates is one of the most famous people in the world, but the public barely knows him. Gates has been a household name for decades for two reasons: he was the face of Microsoft during an era when the company’s products became ubiquitous, and, perhaps more notably, he’s very, very rich. Yet, he’s never been the kind of celebrity whose personal life and political opinions are splashed across the tabloids and social media. And unlike the late Steve Jobs — his contemporary and occasional rival — Gates is rarely discussed in terms of some ineffable mystique.

The title of Davis Guggenheim’s three-part Netflix documentary Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates (which debuts on Friday, September 20th) speaks to its subject’s opacity. What makes one of the world’s wealthiest people tick? What formed him? How did he come to dominate a fiercely competitive industry so thoroughly that the US government sued Microsoft under antitrust statutes?

Guggenheim gets into all that… sort of. Over the course of nearly three hours, Inside Bill’s Brain covers the basics of Gates’ life: his childhood, education, Microsoft stewardship, marriage to his wife Melinda, and the charitable foundation they co-manage.

At times, though, it seems like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is this doc’s real subject. Each episode of Inside Bill’s Brain focuses on one of the foundation’s major initiatives: improving sewage conditions in developing countries, eradicating polio, and developing a cleaner, safer form of nuclear power. Each of the three parts shifts rapidly between interviews, biographical material, and fly-on-the-wall footage of the Gates team’s philanthropic missions. Guggenheim eschews traditional transitions, and instead jumps from subject to subject, even when there’s no clear connection between them.

The point, apparently, is to replicate Bill Gates’ thought processes. Having spent most of his adult life (and even some of his teenage years) juggling multiple complicated projects, Gates doesn’t have the kind of mind that functions in neat, straight lines. At one point, Melinda even laughs at this series’s title, saying that her husband’s brain is as cluttered and chaotic as the cheap apartment he once shared with Paul Allen when the two were building Microsoft.

Guggenheim’s approach is frequently frustrating. The director has multiple worthwhile stories to tell here, which may explain why Inside Bill’s Brain is being released as a series rather than as a feature film. (Another reason: Netflix seems to favor the multipart format over a single movie.) But whenever one of those stories starts to build some narrative momentum, the doc skips to another, and then to another, and then back again. Inside Bill’s Brain often feels more superficial than it actually is because it switches topics so freely.

Given what the series’s title promises, viewers may also be disappointed that so much of Inside Bill’s Brain is about his charity work, not about his life, personality, or beliefs. But that really shouldn’t be surprising to anyone familiar with Guggenheim’s other documentaries. He won an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, his film about former Vice President Al Gore’s efforts to educate the world about climate change. He also made Waiting for “Superman” about the flaws in the American public school system, and He Named Me Malala about Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel-winning Pakistani advocate for women’s rights. Guggenheim has a history of using his work as a form of social advocacy.

He isn’t turned off by wonky details, either. Inside Bill’s Brain risks losing its audience with its first episode, which keeps the Gates biography to a minimum, and instead dedicates a lot of its run time to various designs for better public toilets that are meant to improve the water supply in poorer villages and neighborhoods. The episode demands some fascination with plumbing and a high tolerance for images of fecal matter — both in graphic video footage and in the animated illustrations Guggenheim uses throughout the series.

If Netflix subscribers only have time to watch one Inside Bill’s Brain episode, they should pick the second, which comes closest to doing some “decoding.” The scenes dealing with Gates’ philanthropy largely take a back seat to reflections on the most significant decade of his life. In the 1970s, he and his high school classmate Paul Allen began making money with their programming skills and started talking about plans to develop software for the burgeoning personal computer market. Gates dropped out of Harvard in 1975, worried that if he waited until after he graduated to launch Microsoft, he’d arrive too late.

Part two of Guggenheim’s documentary gets into Gates’ preternatural drive to succeed, which, in the early years of Microsoft, had him memorizing license plate numbers in the company’s parking lot to track who was staying late. (A veteran of those days recalls the running joke that Microsoft jobs were “part-time” because employees could choose which 12 hours of the day they wanted to work.) Gates’ obsessive work habits eventually drove a wedge between him and Allen, and the obvious regret he has about how that friendship ending provides some of Inside Bill’s Brain’s more emotional moments.

The third episode could’ve used some of that emotion. The more biographical moments in part three deal with how Bill and Melinda met and married and how Gates handled accusations that he’d turned Microsoft into a monopoly. The billionaire is much more guarded in this set of interviews. He comes to life more in the episode’s other scenes, which have to do with potentially revolutionary ways of generating cheap energy.

In the end, Guggenheim fails to reconcile his competing agendas: to take an up-close and personal look one of this era’s most important cultural figures and to tally all the ways Gates is trying to leave a lasting, positive legacy. It doesn’t help that the director puts so much of himself into the doc, making his conversations with Gates seem like two amiable acquaintances shooting the breeze, rather than like a journalist pushing hard for meaningful answers.

Inside Bill’s Brain does have some fleeting insights into who Gates is and what he’s accomplished — again, mostly in episode two. But there’s a moment in the series where Guggenheim and Gates talk about the latter’s periodic “think weeks” where he goes off the grid with a stack of books and tries to open himself up to new ideas, largely unrelated to his daily work. A more focused version of this docuseries, with the same title and intentions, might’ve started here. Left alone with his thoughts, who is Bill Gates? Maybe someday, a better documentary will answer that question.

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Titanic Superstar, Leonardo DiCaprio Fights To Protect Ghana’s Atewa Forest.

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Oscar award-winning actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, has added his voice to calls for the protection of the Atewa Forest as Ghana prepares to commence the first phase of the Sinohydro deal.

The deal will see Ghana’s bauxite reserves in the Atewa Forest mined and traded in a ‘barter’ deal for $2 billion from China, meant to be invested in various developmental projects across the country, particularly roads.

DiCaprio, who is a staunch environmentalist believes that mining in the Forest would put the millions of people and hundreds of “wildlife species” who depend on it “at risk of extinction”

“Ghana’s #Atewa Forest Reserve provides drinking water to 5 million+ people & harbors 100+ wildlife species at risk of extinction. We must prioritize the protection of these irreplaceable places for a healthy planet,” he said in a tweet on Tuesday.

https://twitter.com/LeoDiCaprio/status/1194300339442241536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1194300339442241536&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymailgh.com%2Famerican-actor-leonardo-dicaprio-fights-to-protect-ghanas-atewa-forest%2F

Having founded an environmental organization – Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation – which has been in existence since 1998, it is not surprising that the multiple award-winning actor would take a keen interest in the developments with the Atewa Forest, which has been a raging issue since the deal with China was first announced.

This week, Ghana received the first instalment of the $2 billion deal, initially agreed in 2018 for the country’s bauxite deposits to be leveraged in exchange for the funds.

With the commercial mining of the bauxite set to commence next year, there has been rising agitation from within the country and externally as well, especially from environmental and wildlife conservation groups over the fate of the Atewa Forest, where about 165 million tonnes of bauxite is located.

Back in June, a group of mainly environmental activists marched through the streets of the Ghanaian capital, Accra, eventually presenting a petition to Parliament asking that the deal to mine in the forest be called off.

While the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources at the time, Kweku Asomah Cheremeh promised to “look at the issues they have raised in their petition”, the government still made moves towards implementing the deal as a private firm had been contracted to undertake the confirmatory drilling in the forest.

Several other bodies including A ROCHA Ghana, who have been fierce critics of the Sinohydro deal, the Christian Council of Ghana and the US Forest Service who provided some technical advice have urged the government to consider the potential ramifications of mining in the forest, one of most detrimental being the destruction of the sources of water for about five million people.

The US report stated that: “given the scale, duration, and potential significant and permanent impact of Ghana’s Integrated Bauxite Plan on the Atewa Forest Reserve and water supply of over 5 million people, it is critical to evaluate a range of development and management options (including … alternatives to mining) to protect drinking water and other ecosystem services.”

A group, the Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape, has also threatened to take the matter up to The Hague, adding that turning the location into an “ecotourism attraction” could earn the country much more than the 2 billion being provided by China.

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Gerard Butler’s “Has Fallen” Series Could Get Three More Sequels.

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The Has Fallen Cinematic Universe is expanding. Yep, the producers of the Gerard Butler-starring franchise have revealed some grand plans for the future, including up to three (!) more feature films and a host of international TV spin-offs…

Against all odds, the film series – which kicked off with Antoine Fuqua's White House-set thriller Olympus Has Fallen back in 2013 – has amassed something of a cult following, with action lovers responding to the unashamedly overblown adventures of Butler's beleaguered secret service agent Mike Banning.

As Deadline reports, series producer Alan Siegel told the American Film Market’s finance conference that the filmmakers are looking at developing a fourth, fifth, and sixth instalment in the series. He also said that they are considering loaning out the franchise rights to international production companies, resulting in a bunch of global TV spin-offs that could feed into the main movie timeline.

“If we do it in India, the star of that could come intoHas Fallen 4," Siegel said. "It could be a symbiotic relationship."

Jeffrey Greenstein, president of Has Fallen production company Millennium Media, also discussed the franchise's move towards a more character-driven story with the franchise's third entry. “We looked at each other on the third one and we thought we couldn’t just blow up another city,” he said, with Siegel reportedly adding: “This time. Maybe next one we will."

The most recent film in the series, the Ric Roman Waugh-directed Angel Has Fallen, was deemed a modest success, taking in $133 million worldwide off a reported $40 million budget and opening at the top of the US box office on its release this summer. The franchise as a whole – including 2016's landmark-destroying London Has Fallen – has amassed over $500 million worldwide. Granted, we're not exactly talking modern blockbuster numbers, but it's still a decent achievement for a franchise of this size.

We'll keep you updated on the Has Fallen-verse as we hear more.

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World’s First Porn University Opens In Colombia.

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PORN actress Amaranta Hank has just opened the world's first University of Porn. The sex-school offers workshops and conferences which specialise in production, acting and sales of pornographic materials.

The X-rated star originally worked as a journalist, and rose to fame in her home country of Colombia after losing a bet in which she promised to strip naked for a shoot with SOHO magazine if her home football team, Deportivo Cucuta got promoted to the top division.

Following the success from her racy snaps, Hank opted to change careers and hasn't looked back since.

'LIVE PRACTICES'

Now she wants to help budding porn producers and actors to develop their careers with her Porn University.

Located in Medellin, Colombia, the first school of the pornographic industry offers 'live practices' with Amaranta professing the best way to learn how to do something is to do it yourself.

A seasoned professional, Amaranta reportedly films racy scenes with up to 12 people in a day and hopes to pass on practical tips in resilience and motivation in her x-rated lectures, as well as show them how to enjoy their work.

Amaranta was inspired after speaking to several people who weren't in the industry about their desire to get a taste of the sexier side of life.

She said, "the idea came after receiving several messages daily from people who confessed to me being tired of their work routine, and their desire to become porn stars or enter the business."

Having come from an established journalism career, Amaranta reportedly struggled with moving into porn originally due to societal pressures and prejudices against sex workers.

Now a champion of self confidence, the Latin actress hopes to instil the same confidence into her students.

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“I’ll Love To Feature In A Kumawood Movie. – Actor Yvonne Okoro

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Ghanaian Actor, Chinyere Yvonne Okoro has revealed her intentions of featuring in locally produced Ghanaian Akan movie, popularly know as the "Kumawood Movie".

According to 2010 Movie Awards Best Actress winner, though She is willing and ready to play a role in Kumawood movies, Yvonne Okoro wants to be given a good script and good money. She revealed that, no Kumawood producer has invited me to join them.

She also opined Ghanaian actors should be prepared to play roles in different fields and not just limit themselves to English-spoken movies. Kumawood movies are movies dominated by the local dialect and mostly shot in Kumasi.

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