Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Obituaries / Emma Tennant

Emma Tennant
 Emma Tennant described herself as ‘a ventriloquist’ and ‘a feminist – among other things’: her books often featured the bifurcated lives of women. Photograph: Antonio Olmos for the Observer

Emma Tennant obituary

Satirical novelist who depicted Britain in a state of decay
Frances Wilson
Tue 31 Jan 2017
Emma Tennant, who has died aged 79, was the author of a remarkable procession of novels, which appeared at the rate of more or less one a year between 1973 and 2016. Tennant’s voice – satanic, subversive, sly, unclouded – was unique in British fiction: a satirist in the Swiftian vein, she depicted a Janus-faced nation in a state of decay. In The Beautiful Child (2012), her spin on The Turn of the Screw, Tennant described the ouija board used by Henry James’s secretary as “the Outernet, the great web beyond the stars where the dead can communicate with the living”. The Outernet was also Tennant’s terrain, as a ghostwriter of sorts. Her first novel, The Colour of Rain (1964), was written under the pseudonym Catherine Aydy, a name chosen by the manipulations of a ouija board, and her subsequent novels called up the spirits of Jane Austen, Robert Louis Stevenson, James HoggEmily Brontë and Henry James himself.

Amour star Emmanuelle Riva / Cinematic icon in two different eras

Emmanuelle Riva

Amour star Emmanuelle Riva: cinematic icon in two different eras

Modern audiences know the formidable Riva as the stroke victim in the heartwrenching Amour, but she made her name in the French new wave with powerfully sexual performances
Peter Bradshaw
Saturday 28 January 2017 11.34 GMT

In her 80s, Emmanuelle Riva became an icon for world cinema all over again in the 21st century, playing the retired music teacher Anne in Michael Haneke’s Amour, a devastating study of old age. In a terrifying early scene, Anna appears to suffer a moment of catatonic paralysis, a kind of intensified transient ischemic attack: the chilling forerunner to a stroke.

Monday, January 30, 2017

John Hurt / 10 key performances from Alien to Doctor Who

John Hurt

John Hurt: 10 key performances from Alien to Doctor Who

John Hur was a brilliant and versatile actor who made memorable film appearances over five decades. Here we look at ten of the best

Andrew Pulver
Saturday 28 January 2017 10.06 GMT

10 Rillington Place

Hurt’s first major film role was as the hapless Timothy Evans, executed for murders committed by his neighbour John Christie. Richard Attenborough, as Christie, set a world standard for creepiness, but Hurt excelled as the pathetic, wronged Evans.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Drew Barrymore / 'I don't pretend to be perfect'

Drew Barrymore 

'I don't pretend to be perfect'

Drew Barrymore is back on our screens, this time as a flesh-eating estate agent. She tells Rebecca Nicholson about the endless ups and downs of her life – from child star to teen rebel, and savvy producer to business woman – and explains why she’ll ‘fight to the death to be happy’

Rebecca Nicholson
Sunday 29 January 2017 07.00 GMT

Drew Barrymore
 ‘I stopped working to have my kids,
and so I was nervous about working again’:
Drew Barrymore on her return to acting
Photograph: Danielle Levitt
Drew Barrymore walks into the hotel room in Berlin flanked by assistants, caked in heavy TV make-up and wrapped in a brown fluffy jacket that makes her look like a very glamorous teddy bear. Within seconds, the entourage has disappeared, she’s wiped every last scrap of foundation from her face and she’s rummaging around underneath her dress, a kind of earth mother hippy smock, regretting her decision to wear tights on this sub-freezing day. “Why does anyone wear pantyhose?” she exclaims, barefaced, faux-exasperated, shifting in her armchair, trying to get comfortable. “They’re so fucking sadistic! They’re not even control pants,” she says, conspiratorially, “but I’m forcing them to be.”

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Elizabeth Spencer / Remembering Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty

Remembering Eudora Welty

A Chapel Hill author travels to Mississippi to say goodbye to an old friend

By Elizabeth Spencer
August 15, 2001

So Eudora has finally left us. As we all knew, she had been departing gradually for some years. First unable to go upstairs, then unable to go out at all. She took her place daily by the front window, able at least to look out at the world she knew so wonderfully how to observe, then give it back to us in her stories, full of what we had seen too, though we didn't really know it until we read her words.

Eudora Welty / Every Story

Eudora Welty

Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else... Fiction depends for its life on place. Place is the crossroads of circumstance, the proving ground of, What happened? Who's here? Who's coming?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Richard Ford / ‘Let Me Be Frank with You: A Frank Bascombe Book’

‘Let Me Be Frank with You: A Frank Bascombe Book’, by Richard Ford

Frank Bascombe resumes his negotiations with the ageing process in Richard Ford’s fine new story collection

OCTOBER 31, 2014 
Review by Peter Aspden

Men are a strange breed,” concludes Frank Bascombe, the laconic protagonist of Richard Ford’s new collection of short stories. And the older they get, he might have added, the stranger they become. Is there a shrewder analyst of the middle-aged male psyche than Ford, who has already devoted three novels to Frank’s complicated negotiations with the ageing process? The four stories of Let Me Be Frank With You, taking place in the Christmas aftermath of hurricane Sandy, form a delightful postscript to those justly acclaimed works. They are funny, touching and profound.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Richard Ford / The Diary

Richard Ford
Poster by T.A.

The Diary: Richard Ford

The American author talks about gun laws, culture wars, and plague spores

OCTOBER 12, 2012 
by: Richard Ford

Of all things spinning out of control in the US, packaging is clearly the most dire. It’s impossible now to get anything you buy in America open. A package of chewing gum. A vacuum-sealed, clear-plastic cardboard sleeve, inside of which is a shiny socket wrench. A bright Mylar packet containing 14 lightly salted peanuts and openable only with my teeth – like a chimp. I had to use a box cutter to stab my way through the tungsten-steel plastic encasing a padlock I’d bought to keep thieves from stealing my motorcycle. When I got through the first layer, I found I’d created numerous edges so sharp that I sliced deep into my finger “causing” me to lose my temper and throw the package across the room, breaking a lamp. Security, I suppose, is the theory. Not mysecurity, but the retailers’ – from, I guess, theft? Lawsuits? Designed difficulty in operating a childproof Mylanta bottle impedes its hasty use, thus protecting the lives of inadequately looked-after tots and fending off litigation. I’d gladly sign a waiver saying all injuries are my lookout, if I can just get into my Ibuprofen-PM bottle at 2am.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Richard Ford / "I think there is a mystery at the heart of every writer’s vocation"

Richard Ford
"I think there is a mystery at the heart of every writer’s vocation"

He never intended to be a writer, yet the Pulitzer prize-winning author is considered one of the American greats, ranked with William Faulkner and Raymond Carver. With his seventh novel now published, he explains to Ariel Leve how he ended up ‘doing this’

OCTOBER 19, 2012 
by: Ariel Leve

Before my trip to Mississippi, there was a phone call. Richard Ford is a man from the South, but whose Southern roots do not define him. We spoke for a while. His voice had a friendly, uncommon kindness. At the end of the call he offered to pick me up at the airport in Memphis, an hour-and-a-half drive from Oxford. “Well, if you’re going to come all the way down here,” he said, “it’s the least I can do.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pope Francis / “The danger is that in times of crisis we look for a savior”

Pope Francis
Poster by T.A.

Pope Francis: “The danger is that in times of crisis we look for a savior”

On Donald Trump, the Pontiff says: “Let’s see what he does, we can’t be prophets of doom”

Vatican City 22 ENE 2017 - 16:19 COT

Translation from Spanish by María Luisa Rodríguez Tapia, editing by Susana Urra.

Pope Francis during the interview with EL PAÍS on Friday. L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO
The hallmark of the Church is its proximity to people. We all are the Church
On Friday, just as Donald Trump was being sworn into office in Washington DC, Pope Francis was granting EL PAÍS a long interview at the Vatican, during which he called for prudence in the face of widespread alarm over the new US president. 
For an hour and 15 minutes, inside a modest room in Casa de Santa Marta, where he lives, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was born in Buenos Aires 80 years ago and is on his way to completing his fourth year as Pontiff, explained that “in the Church there are saints and sinners, decent men and corrupt men,” but that what worries him the most is “a Church that has been anesthetized by mundanity,” one that is far removed from the problems of the people.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Milton Glaser / Draws and Lectures

Poster by Milton Glaser
Draws and Lectures 
by Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser and Debbie Millman for Adobe Create Magazine

Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser and Debbie Millman
for Adobe Create Magazine 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Donald Trump / A man baby in the White House

Donald Trump 


He’s a 70-year-old man with the emotional maturity of, well, perhaps not a newborn, but certainly a spoiled elementary school brat

John Carlin 
20 January, 2017

When your average Spaniard suffers one of their usual attacks of indignation the first phrase that tends to come out of their mouth is: “¡No es normal!” (“This is not normal!”), followed with repetitive emphasis by a: “¡Esto no es normal, joder!” (“This is not bloody normal!”). The expression, odd given that it is based on a notion of unanimity around what constitutes normality, is not heard so much in other Spanish-speaking countries, nor, as far as I know, in other languages.

Friday, January 20, 2017

How celebrities will protest around Trump's inauguration

Cher, Common, Katy Perry and Chelsea Handler are all planning to protest. Composite: Rex Features

How celebrities will protest around Trump's inauguration

Stars from Katy Perry to Cher will be involved in protests, telethons and concerts to show their lack of support for the new US president

Adam Gabbatt
Tuesday 17 January 2017 16.36 GMT

There won’t be many celebrities at Donald Trump’s inauguration on Thursday. But there will be plenty protesting against Trump on his second day in office.
Scarlett Johansson, Katy Perry and Trump’s longtime adversary Cher will be among those taking part in the Women’s March on Washington on 21 January, the day after the inauguration.

George Soros / Theresa May won't last and Donald Trump is 'would-be dictator'

George Soros said Theresa May would not last as prime minister and Donald Trump would hurt financial markets. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

George Soros: Theresa May won't last and Donald Trump is 'would-be dictator'

Billionaire investor delivers bleak Brexit forecast at World Economic Forum and says Donald Trump is ‘gearing up for trade war’ but will fail

Theresa May will not remain in power long as Brexit cripples her government, while Donald Trump is a “would-be dictator” who is “going to fail”, the billionaire investor George Soros has told the Davos world economic forum.

Natalie Portman / ‘JFK was a great proponent of civil rights. Trump is taking us backwards’

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman: ‘JFK was a great proponent of civil rights. Trump is taking us backwards’
The Oscar-tipped star of Jackie talks about playing the widowed first lady of the progressive president and why the new inauguration is an ‘upsetting moment’

Rory Carroll
Thursday 19 January 2017 15.24 GMT

Natalie Portman enters the screening room wearing black shoes, a black dress and a black cape. The effect is stylish, if sombre. She could be in mourning. Or maybe Darth Vader has lured her to the dark side after all.
Natalie Portman
Photo by mark abraham
The effect dissolves when she extends a hand, flashes a blinding smile and reveals a sizeable belly bump. She plonks down in the front row, taking the weight off her legs. Portman is seven months pregnant and taking the radiance business seriously. She looks great.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hans Christian Andersen / The naughty boy



A fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen

A long time ago, there lived an old poet, a thoroughly kind old poet. As he was sitting one evening in his room, a dreadful storm arose without, and the rain streamed down from heaven; but the old poet sat warm and comfortable in his chimney-comer, where the fire blazed and the roasting apple hissed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hans Christian Andersen / Thumbelina


A fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen

Andersen / Pulgarcita (Cuento en español)
Andersen / La Petite Poucette (Cuento en francés)
Andersen / A princesa Thumbelina (Cuento en portugués)
Andersen / Mignolina (Cuento en italiano)

There was once a woman who wished very much to have a little child, but she coul not obtain her wish. At last she went to a fairy, and said, "I should so very much like t have a little child; can you tell me where I can find one?

"Oh, that can be easily managed," said the fairy. "Here is a barleycorn of a different kind to those which grow in the farmer's fields, and which the chickens eat; put it into a flower-pot, and see what will happen."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hans Christian Andersen / Little Ida's flowers

Photo by Natalia Deprina


A fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen

Little Ida's flowers

"My poor flowers are quite dead," said little Ida, "they were so pretty yesterday evening, and now all the leaves are hanging down quite withered. What do they do that for," she asked, of the student who sat on the sofa; she liked him very much, he could tell the most amusing stories, and cut out the prettiest pictures; hearts, and ladies dancing, castles with doors that opened, as well as flowers; he was a delightful student. "Why do the flowers look so faded to-day?" she asked again, and pointed to her nosegay, which was quite withered.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Venturino Venturi / The Divine Comedy

Venturino Venturi

The Divine Comedy

29 september, 2016 — 26 february, 2017 

Villa Bardini, Firenze, Italy