Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Black and White / Amy Adams

Amy Adams 

Amy Adams / The Adams Chronicle

Amy Adams

The Adams Chronicle

December 31, 2013

Amy Adams can, and does, play anything, with a depth and range epitomized by her roles in two new movies: her sultry, foulmouthed con artist in American Hustle and her kindhearted documentary-film maker in Her. If there’s a throughline to her life, on-screen and off, it’s musical theater. In Santa Monica, Nell Scovell gets Adams talking, and singing, about her mustached co-stars, the many identities she’s assumed, and who she really wants to be.

“When things are out of control, I’ll sing the ‘Golden Helmet’ song, from Man of La Mancha,” she revealed during a recent interview in Santa Monica. “I’ll just go … [singsI can hear the cuckoo singing in the cuckooberry tree … And everyone in my life knows that means the situation is spiraling.”
Amy Adams, photographed at the Chateau Marmont, in West Hollywood

She still feels empowered by Wicked (who doesn’t?). She starts sobbing at “The Wizard and I” and keeps it going through “Defying Gravity.” The opening of Act II gets her, too. “You know that song … [singsThere’s a couple of things get lost / There are bridges you cross / You didn’t know you crossed / Until you crossssssssed … ” She catches herself. “I love that line. And I’m singing it for you, so now you know I’m a full nerd.”

Amy Adams / A Redhead to Adore

Amy Adams
Poster by T.A.


JULY 16, 2013
By Kim Wacker

Born in 1974 in Italy, actress Amy Adams has come a long way in her career.  What many people don’t know is that Adams was raised in a Mormon family with six siblings.
Fame didn’t come overnight for Amy; she always dreamed of becoming a ballerina, but ironically, a pulled muscle led her to her first film audition.  Would you believe that before this actress made the big time, she worked as a Sales Associate at Gap and as a Waitress at Hooters?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Amber Heard is pictured smiling hours after Depp's 'iPhone attack'

Pictured is Heard (left) at her friend Amanda de Cadenet's (centre) birthday party with Amber Valletta on Sunday - the day after she was allegedly attacked. Her hair covers the areas which appeared to be bruised the day before. The picture was posted on Instagram and has since been deleted

Amber Heard is pictured smiling 
hours after Depp's 'iPhone attack'

Amber Heard is pictured smiling hours after Depp's 'iPhone attack': Actress claims 'cocaine and booze binges turned Johnny into an abusive monster who left her fearing for her life' - but why was this image deleted before court appearance?

Amber Heard granted restraining order against husband Johnny Depp

Photographs submitted to the court show Amber Heard with a large bruise on her face, as well as broken bottles, picture frames and shattered glass on the floor. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/EPA

Amber Heard granted restraining order against husband Johnny Depp

A judge ordered Depp to stay away from his estranged wife, who filed for divorceon Monday and accused the actor of repeatedly physically assaulting her

Nicky Woolf in Los Angeles
Saturday 28 May 2016 10.31 BST

A Los Angeles judge has granted a restraining order against Johnny Depp from his estranged wife Amber Heard, who has accused him of domestic violence, court documents show.

Amber Heard files for divorce from Johnny Depp

Amber Heard

Amber Heard files for divorce from Johnny Depp

The actor cites ‘irreconcilable differences’ in court papers a little more than a year after they were married

Nicky Woolf and Agencies
Thursday 26 May 2016 01.09 BST

Johnny Depp’s wife has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences after just over a year of marriage.
Court records show that Amber Heard filed for divorce on Monday and is seeking spousal support from the Oscar-nominated actor. The split also comes hard on the heels of the death on 20 May of Depp’s mother, Betty Sue Palmer, after a long illness.

 Amber Heard and Johnny Depp are to divorce, court papers said.
Photograph by Jordan Strauss

Depp and Heard recently hit the headlines for a bizarre spat with Australian deputy prime minister and minister for agriculture Barnaby Joyce, after Heard fell foul of biosecurity rules for unlawfully bringing the pair’s dogs into the country. Joyce threatened to have the dogs euthanised unless they “buggered off” back to the United States.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The 100 best nonficition books / No 2 / The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005)

The 100 best nonfiction books

No 2 

The Year of Magical Thinking 

by Joan Didion 


This steely and devastating examination of the author’s grief following the sudden death of her husband changed the nature of writing about bereavement

Robert McCrum
Monday 8 February 2016 05.45 GMT

1 in this series considered the possibility of humanity’s imminent doom from the broadest global perspective. With No 2, the focus shifts into a narrower frame that’s cooler, more intimate and deeply personal. In December 2003, as an acute, lifelong reporter of her inner states, Joan Didion was presented with a unique opportunity to examine the experience of bereavement.
Love and death are the themes of the great novels, but the emotion that links love and death – grief – is more often the stuff of memoir than fiction. Still, you have to be a very special kind of writer to find the detachment to examine a devastating personal loss, especially if you are going to write about it inside out. In The Year of Magical Thinking this is precisely what Didion does.
The result is a classic of mourning that’s also the apotheosis of baby-boomer reportage, a muted celebration of the enthralling self. “Misery memoirs” are commonplace today – Joyce Carol Oates’s A Widow’s Story (2011) is a typical example – but Didion’s contribution to the genre raised it to the status of literature, a point acknowledged by the playwright David Hare, who directed the author’s own version in a stage adaptation starring Vanessa Redgrave in 2007.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The 100 best nonfiction books of all time by Robert MaCrum

Umberto Eco, who writes that ‘the list is the origin of the culture’.

The 100 best nonfiction books of all time

Robert McCrum launches the Observer’s definitive 100 works of nonfiction – key texts in English that have shaped our literary culture and made us who we are

Robert McCrum
Monday 25 January 2016 05.44 GMT

nother book list? Yes and no. When we completed our 100 best novels in the English language last August, you did not have to be one of its fiercest critics – there were a few of those – to recognise it was still a job half done. Plainly, the English literary tradition is rich in great works of poetry and prose that are not novels. The King James Bible of 1611, for instance, is every bit as influential as the greatest novelists of the past 300 years, from Austen to Waugh. Indeed, as the 100 best novels series drew to a close, we began to wonder what a complementary list of 100 great English-language nonfiction titles might look like.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kristen Stewart / 'I'd love to work with Lars von Trier'

Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart: 

'I'd love to work with Lars von Trier'

The Twilight actor, who has two films playing at Cannes, would next most like to collaborate with the controversial Danish auteur

Nigel M Smith in Cannes
Wednesday 18 May 2016 11.30 BST

Kristen Stewart has said that she would “kill” to work with Lars von Trier. Stewart confessed to her love for von Trier to the Guardian while discussing Allen’s Cannes-opener, Café Society.
Speaking at a press event for Cafe Society, Stewart was asked which film-makers she was keen to work with and said: “I love Lars von Trier. It’s hard for me to think of those things and I’m reluctant to say [who] because they follow you around. Seems horse before the cart. But I would kill to work for Lars von Trier.”

Kristen Stewart / 'Sometimes I do feel a bit like I have my limbs cut off'

Kristen Stewart
Photo by Mario Testino
Kristen Stewart: 
'Sometimes I do feel a bit like I have my limbs cut off'
The star of Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper, in which she plays an assistant to an immensely famous model, says she sometimes feels debilitated by fame and shares her thoughts on the supernatural

Henry Barnes
Tuesday 17 May 2016 14.41 BST

The lack of freedom afforded to you by being famous feels a bit like “having your limbs cut off”, Kristen Stewart told press at the Cannes film festival.
The actor was speaking at the press conference for Olivier Assayas’s supernatural drama, Personal Shopper. The second film at Cannes in which she stars (the other is Woody Allen’s Café Society, which opened the festival last week), Personal Shopper sees her play Maureen, a psychic medium who, during daylight hours, assists a famous fashion model with her clothing choices.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Isabelle Huppert / Elle is not about a woman 'accepting her rapist'

Isabelle Huppert
Cannes 2016

Isabelle Huppert: Elle is not about a woman 'accepting her rapist'

At the Cannes film festival, the actor said that her controversial dark comedy, about a woman dealing with sexual assault in an unconventional manner, should be taken as a ‘fantasy’

Benjamin Lee
Saturday 21 May 2016 13.02 BST

The fantasy is within yourself but it’s not necessarily something that you want to happen’ ...
Isabelle Huppert on her character in Elle. Photograph: Valery Hache

Isabelle Huppert has spoken about her provocative new film Elle, claiming “it’s not a statement about a woman being raped”.

The controversial black comedy was greeted with shocked laughter and enthusiastic applause as it screened at the Cannes film festival earlier today. In the film, directed by Paul Verhoeven, Huppert plays a woman who is brutally raped but deals with the fallout in a perverse and often darkly comical way.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro accused of being 'as mad as a goat'

Nicolás Maduro

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro accused of being 'as mad as a goat'

  • Uruguay’s former leader José Mujica says ‘they are all crazy in ‘Venezuela’
  • Maduro has called another official a CIA agent and a ‘traitor’

Venezuela’s embattled president Nicolás Maduro is “mad as a goat”, according to Uruguay’s former leader José “Pepe” Mujica.
Mujica’s comments came after Maduro accused the head of the Organization of American States (OAS) of being a “traitor” and CIA agent.
They’re all crazy in Venezuela,” Mujica said. “I have great respect for Maduro, but that doesn’t mean I can’t say ‘You’re crazy, you’re as mad as a goat.’”

Venezuela needs Nicolás Maduro’s allies to make him see reason

Venezuela needs Nicolás Maduro’s allies to make him see reason

Since succeeding Hugo Chávez three years ago, Maduro has plunged the country into ever-worsening chaos. Action needs to be taken if a humanitarian crisis is to be averted

Thursday 19 May 2016 

Venezuela, newborn babies are dying at obscene rates. In the first three months of 2016, more than 200 died in hospitals in Caracas, Cumaná and San Cristóbal. Doctors and parents blame power outages, damaged incubators and shortages of medicines. Many Venezuelans, myself included, also blame the government of Nicolás Maduro.

In the last three years, the “heir” of Hugo Chávez has led the country into a maelstrom of anarchy and annihilation that one would expect only of a nation devastated by war. Statistics for homicides, impunity, repression, political persecution, censorship, inflation, devaluation, business closures and expropriations, unemployment and migration – already terrifying during the Chávez era – have gone through the roof.

Amy Winehouse / Amy / Posters

Amy Winehouse

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump / 'Almost a death knell for the human species'

‘I’m not sure he knows what he thinks

Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump: 'Almost a death knell for the human species'

As he appears in new documentary The Divide, the great intellectual explains why Brexit is unimportant, why Trump’s climate change denial is catastrophic – and why revolution is easier than you think

Leo Benedictus
Friday 20 May 2016 15.14 BST

Have you seen The Divide, the British documentary you took part in? 
The Divide? I haven’t seen it, no.
Perhaps it’s been a while since you filmed it? 
Well, I’m interviewed all the time.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Venezuela believes happiness should be in national interes

Maduro shows the so-call "Blue Book" which contains Chávez thought. / AFP

Venezuela believes happiness should be in national interest

President Maduro creates new office to supervise social programs coming out of Havana

For the Venezuelan government, happiness should be in the national interest. So President Nicolás Maduro announced on Thursday that he was appointing a new deputy minister responsible for people’s social happiness.
Among the duties of the new deputy minister will be to supervise the social missions between Caracas and its major ally Havana, which were created under late President Hugo Chávez.
The office will be dedicated to Chávez and 19th-century liberator Simón Bolívar and will help with the needs of the most impoverished citizens and deal with their complaints, said Maduro, who explained that the new ministry was the brainchild of his wife, Cilia Flores.
Ruling party deputy Rafael Ríos will be in charge of the new office and will be assisted by Chávez’s former doctor, Julio César Alviarez, who helped treat the former president before he died from cancer on March 5.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dying Infants and No Medicine / Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals

Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals

MAY 15, 2016

Mueren recién nacidos y faltan las medicinas / El colapso del sistema de salud en Venezuela

BARCELONA, Venezuela — By morning, three newborns were already dead.
The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, shutting down the respirators in the maternity ward.
Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Flóra Borsi's Real Life Models - in pictures

Gelber Narrenhut by Rudolf Hausner

Flóra Borsi's Real Life Models 

- in pictures

Twenty-year-old Hungarian photo-manipulation artist Flóra Borsi uses graphics software to bring the impossible to life. Her Real Life Models series highlights the elongated necks and accentuated eyes of figures in classic artworks by imagining how the muses of painters such as Picasso and Modigliani might have looked if they'd stepped out of the paintings. 'I observed the little details, clothes, accessories that made the paintings recognisable,' explains Borsi, who posed for each reconstruction and then digitally retouched her own image and reproduced 'the most prevalent parts of the original painting', to create real-life replicas and slightly uncanny self-portraits

Leah Harper
Sunday 18 May 2014 00.05 BST

Woman with Green Hat by Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Isaac Babel / brief survey of the short story

Isaac Babel

A brief survey of the short story part 38: Isaac Babel

A brief survey of the short story part 38: Isaac Babel

Somehow both flamboyant and spare, these stories hum with a sense of the new
Chris Power
theguardian.com, Friday 10 February 2012 10.22 GMT
Jump to comments (18)
Isaac Babel
Isaac Babel. Photograph: Evening Standard/Getty Images
On 15 May 1939, when Isaac Babel was arrested on false charges and taken to Moscow's Lubyanka prison, the NKVD also confiscated 15 manuscript folders, 11 notebooks and seven notepads. "They did not let me finish," he told his common-law wife, and it will never be known what their contents might have added to his relatively modest corpus of three story cycles, two plays, film scripts and assorted fragments: in 1988 the KGB officially announced having no record of these papers. That they issued the statement at all is testimony to the persisting impact of Babel's violent, beautiful, troubling short stories.
Born in 1894 into a bourgeois Odessan Jewish family, Babel grew up in a pre-revolutionary Russia where the term "Russian" excluded Jews, and pogroms were common. That Odessa was probably the most liberal city in the Empire is part of what Grace Paley described as Babel's "lucky composting". He published his first story in 1913, and was noticed by Gorky in 1916. According to Babel (not the most trustworthy source) Gorky told him to "go among the people" to better his writing - so he soldiered on the Romanian front, possibly worked as a translator for the Cheka, crewed on a food requisitioning barge, and in 1920 joined General Budyonny's Cavalry Army on the Polish front as a war correspondent. "Only in 1923," he writes, "did I learn how to express thoughts clearly and not at too great length. For this reason I date the beginning of my literary work from 1924".
The stories Babel wrote then were part of the Red Cavalry cycle (collected in 1926), based on his experiences of the Soviet-Polish War. They hum with a sense of the new: Babel's writing is a flamboyantly spare, jagged collage of eyewitness report and visionary poetry. Impossible at it was for either to have influenced the other, Babel and Hemingway are strikingly similar, but Babel possesses an added dimension of expressionist oddness. He also takes more obvious pleasure in the grotesque; he loved Maupassant, and Donald Rayfield notes that both writers "frankly relished squalor, corruption and violence."
Red Cavalry, spattered with all three, describes the course of the war alongside the narrator Lyutov's ("Ferocious", Babel's risible real-life nom de guerre) transition from innocence to experience. It is a complex journey filled with tensions: Lyutov is a Jewish intellectual amid antisemitic men of action; unable to help a wounded comrade who begs to be shot ("The Death of Dolgushov"), he later begs fate "for the simplest of abilities - the ability to kill a man" ("After the Battle"). While irony is everywhere in Babel's work, here it shifts as erratically as Lyutov's squadron, and the terrible end of "After the Battle" may be a sincerely Nietzschean appeal. An apparently comic but still troubling treatment of this theme is found in the best-known Red Cavalry story, "My First Goose".
Uncertainty swarms both within Babel's work and around his life, and as Red Cavalry launched him to nationwide fame he worked to deliberately conflate the two. His three story cycles - the Runyonesque Odessa Stories, Red Cavalry, and the supposedly autobiographical stories of childhood he intended to publish as The Story of My Dovecot - can be seen as sharing a single narrator, the eternal observer with "autumn in his heart and spectacles on his nose" ("How It Was Done in Odessa" (1923)). Babel's childhood stories have the quality of memoir, but are largely invented. For example, the writer never witnessed the pogrom described in two of his greatest stories, "The Story of My Dovecot" and "First Love" (both 1925), despite critics such as Frank O'Connor and Lionel Trilling declaring the event central to his art. In 1931 he sent his mother a packet of stories with the note, "All the stories are from the childhood years, with lies added, of course, and much that is altered."
As the relative artistic freedom and flux of the 1920s calcified into the era of Stalinist directives, Babel's production slowed. In 1934, responding to attacks on his productivity at the First Congress of Soviet Writers, he audaciously described himself as "master of the genre of silence". He wrote still, but his greatest work (excepting whatever the NKVD might have snatched) was behind him. It is enough, nevertheless, to consider him one of the great short story writers, whose influence has been particularly notable in America. His semi-autobiographical games continue in the novels of Philip Roth; Grace Paley's vivid stories of the Bronx pulse with the same energies as his Odessa; his habit of breaking up passages of concrete description with rapturous or lurid evocations of nature - the sun "rolling across the sky like a severed head" ("Crossing the Zbrucz"), or stars that "crept out of the night's cool belly" ("The Ivans") - can be seen at work in Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son, and its many progeny in turn.
The formalist critic Viktor Shklovsky wrote: "Babel's principle device is to speak in the same tone of voice about the stars above and gonorrhoea." It's a fine description, bettered only by Babel's own. In the story "Guy de Maupassant" (completed 1922, published 1932) Babel, or at least a narrator we are led to suppose is Babel, pronounces: "A phrase is born into the world good and bad at the same time. The secret rests in a barely perceptible turn. The lever must lie in one's hand and get warm. It must be turned once, and no more." To him words are an army, "an army in which all kinds of weapons are on the move. No iron can enter the human heart as chillingly as a full stop placed at the right time." This iron, an aggressive partner to Kafka's "axe for the frozen sea within us", is something Babel learned to wield with recurring, unerring accuracy.
Quotations are taken from David McDuff's translations of the stories.