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Contemporary Culture (The Guardian)
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The Last Week Tonight host discussed the practice of shaming someone and spoke to Monica Lewinsky about her experiences John Oliver has discussed the issue of public shaming, taking aim at Jay Leno and speaking to Monica Lewinsky about her experiences. Related: John Oliver takes on robocalls: 'It should not be up to us to deal with this bullshit' Continue reading..
In 1873, the Fisk Jubilee Singers embarked on a gruelling international tour that changed the course of history. Their remarkable story is told in a new oratorio In 1873, a choir of African American students - all but two of them former slaves - set off for London on a fund-raising tour. Recommended by Mark Twain, who wrote I would walk seven miles to hear them sing again .
Initially the writing was sparky, but the mockumentary soon started to meander - to the extent of drafting in the Coldplay warbler As with any family, modern or otherwise, it is amazing how quickly the novelty of spending time with them wears thin. When the US sitcom Modern Family arrived in 2009 - scooping a handful of Emmys and millions of viewers - it felt, if not completely fresh, then at least a novel twist on a tested idea. In the wake of the success of The Office (both the UK and US versions), Modern Family was built around the idea of the mockumentary, with the constantly bickering but ultimately loving family - headed up by patriarch Jay Pritchett and his adult children, Mitchell and Claire, alongside their various partners, kids, stepkids, adopted kids and Jay's dog Stella - originally supposedly documented by a Dutch film-maker exchange student.
An antidote to self-serious antihero dramas, this zippy saga about filthy-rich white guys offers up some of the most thoughtful trash around Billions, the labyrinthine drama about a shady hedge-fund investor and the shady district attorney on his tail, is by far and away the smartest dumb show on TV. On the one hand it's by-the-book Prestige Television, a glossy study of self-destructive antiheroes, moral grey areas and the soul-blackening effects of power. On the other, it offers everything the golden-era box sets didn't.
Martin Scorsese's The Irishman and The Laundromat, starring Meryl Streep, among releases unlikely to get festival screenings The loss of Netflix titles was perceived by many to be a heavy blow for last year's Cannes film festival. After artistic director Thierry Frmaux ruled that titles from the streaming giant were ineligible to compete for the Palme d'Or, Netflix head Ted Sarandos duly pulled their full roster from the Croisette. Films such as Roma, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and many more duly played at rival festivals, before progressing to considerable acclaim.
Five Feet Apart is the latest film about doomed young heartthrobs - a trope rife in popular culture since Romeo and Juliet Teenage terminal illness: it's so romantic, isn't it? Apart from the dying bit. And the physical deterioration, the pain, and the medical intervention that often precedes it. But as a movie genre, it ticks so many boxes: despair, alienation, suffering, seize-the-day recklessness, inbuilt tragedy.
Raise Hell, a new documentary about the great Texas columnist, sends an urgent message from the Bush years to a nation under Trump with sharp humour After Pat Buchanan delivered an infamous speech at the 1992 Republican convention, couching the struggle with Democrats in terms of a cultural war, columnist Molly Ivins wrote that it probably sounded better in the original German. She did not live to cover a Trump rally. Had she, she might have reached for Mussolini's Italian.
The fascinating story of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal is frustratingly underexplored in Alex Gibney's disappointing new film There's a commonly held belief that the US is a place where a person of humble means can make their way to the highest echelons of power through sheer grit. This myth remains stable, despite being repeatedly punctured by events like the Fyre Festival, Trump's presidency and this week's college admission scandal. In Alex Gibney's newest documentary, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, it receives another dent thanks to the incredible story of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal.
While his music featured most famously in Pulp Fiction, echoes of Dale's sound can be heard across the rock spectrum Dick Dale, godfather of surf music, dies aged 81. In theory at least, Dick Dale should have been a long-forgotten figure. He was the self-proclaimed King of the Surf Guitar, and surf music - particularly in its instrumental, twangy-guitar-led variety - was a brief fad: one of the passing fancies with which American pop occupied itself between the waning of the first wave of rock'n'roll and the arrival of the Beatles.
The comic's new Netflix hour brings in some of her greatest themes: sex, bodies and the flouting of gendered taboos A new Amy Schumer special offers more than just a standup set. It's a status update from an oversharing friend; a dispatch from the frontline (or thereabouts) of fourth-wave feminism. That is the vibe around Growing (from Tue, Netflix), which finds Schumer not only married (to chef Chris Fischer, in February last year), but expecting her first child, a gift to this performer in more ways than one.
Paranoia, repetition, bathrooms - fans believe the hit black comedy mirrors star Natasha Lyonne's own battles with addictionModern Toss on Netflix's Russian Doll. By now, you have probably worked out that Netflix's Russian Doll is much more than just an entertaining comedy-drama about a wise-cracking denizen of NYC's East Village who keeps dying and coming back to life. The clues are there for the curious: co-creator and star Natasha Lyonne is a recovering addict whose real-life backstory overlaps with that of her character Nadia; many of the artists referenced in the show (musician Harry Nilsson, writer Lucy Maud Montgomery, film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky) either themselves died of drug overdoses or were deeply affected by the death-by-overdoses of loved ones; one significant character is nicknamed Horse (a street name for heroin), and then there is the fact that everyone spends far too much time in the bathroom.
Writer-director, 51, had been removed from the Marvel film after offensive tweets were discovered last year James Gunn has been reinstated as writer-director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 after being fired by Disney last year. The 51-year-old film-maker, who had been behind both previous instalments of the Marvel franchise, came under fire when old tweets resurfaced that made light of 9/11, rape and paedophilia. The Walt Disney Studios chairman, Alan Horn, called Gunn's behaviour indefensible and severed ties with him.
Sandra Bullock film re-edited to remove clips of 2013 Qubec train explosion Four months after it first appeared on Netflix, footage of a real-life rail disaster will be removed from the movie Bird Box, the post-apocalyptic thriller starring Sandra Bullock. The stock footage used concerns a 2013 tragedy in the Qubec town of Lac-Mgantic when an unattended train carrying crude oil rolled down an incline, came off the tracks and exploded, killing 47 people. Continue reading.
Robson Wade and James Safechuck, who in HBO documentary accuse Jackson of child sex abuse, face legal action in France Three Michael Jackson fan groups are suing his alleged victims in France for sullying his memory by taking part in the Leaving Neverland documentary, the fans' lawyer told Agence France-Presse on Friday. The Michael Jackson Community - which claims to be the official fan club forum - and the MJ Street and On The Line groups accuse Robson Wade and James Safechuck of lynching Jackson. Continue reading.
Late-night hosts dig into the Texas Democrat's long campaign rollout and the Senate's rebuke of Trump's national emergency Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, who narrowly lost to Ted Cruz in last year's Senate race, is running for president. And it's about time he made it official, because he's been teasing us for months, said Trevor Noah on Thursday's Daily Show. O'Rourke has had a painfully slow rollout to the campaign, but whenever we asked him if he was running, he'd answer like a coy southern belle: 'I might, but a lady never tells', Noah joked.
Avi Lerner is said to have dropped the director because he was unable to secure a domestic distributor Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer has reportedly been fired from a proposed remake of 80s action film Red Sonja, in the wake of multiple allegations of underage sex. Red Sonja producer Avi Lerner had signed Singer in September 2018 to direct a new version of the 1985 sword-and-sorcery yarn that starred Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger, with a rumoured $10m (7.5m) fee for Singer - even though he had been fired from the Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody in December 2017.
The band are set to become the My Dad Wrote a Porno of the alt-rock world In 2014, Dave Grohl made a glossy eight-part HBO series to accompany Foo Fighters' eighth album. In Sonic Highways, Grohl became a kind of rock'n'roll Judith Chalmers, travelling across the US, chatting to local musicians and recording a song that wasn't as good as Everlong for each show's finale. And anything Dave Grohl can do, Frank Black can do, too - albeit in a somewhat milder, less showy fashion.
The whole last series seems to have been Frankensteined together from offcuts by a cast who didn't want to be there. What a heartbreaking send-off Could you ever have imagined it ending like this? All through the dark years - the long, agonising stretch where it felt like we were teased weekly with promises of a revival - the thought of Arrested Development sputtering out seemed unthinkable. But here we are.
The Peaky Blinders star is appearing in Enda Walsh's staging of Grief Is the Thing With Feathers at the Barbican, London. Here's a look back at his theatre roles Continue reading..
In teen weepie Five Feet Apart, a lazy new trend continues with characters relying on video confessionals to reveal information The tragic romance Five Feet Apart gets in on the teen weepie fad that was set in motion by The Fault in Our Stars, afflicting Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson with cystic fibrosis that prevents the young lovers from making skin contact. But before the film gets into all the hankie-dampening, it falls in line with a different and decidedly more sinister trend. Related: Badgers, coke and Zac Efron: why Hollywood gets club culture wrong Continue reading.