The Guardian - Contemporary Culture
Fallout 76: what you need to know about one of the biggest games of the year
Bethesda's Todd Howard explains why the post-apocalypse simulator Fallout is becoming an online multiplayer, and why he is just as scared of it as the players While billionaires buy up property in New Zealand and pay technologists huge sums of money for advice on how to keep their staff in check after the event - that is, whatever it is that wipes out enough of the planet to justify living in bunkers - the rest of us are left to deal with the looming threat of catastrophe by playing video games. Bethesda Game Studios' Fallout series offers a very American take on the post-apocalypse: humans, ghouls and mutants protect their respective corners of the wasteland with big guns and power armour, in a retro future with sci-fi technology and a 1950s aesthetic. The games present a ravaged, irradiated all-American picket-fence fantasy with classic cars, suburban homes and US landmarks devastated by nuclear bombs.
Jul 17 6:00AM Guardian-Culture

Always go slightly too far': what makes ambush TV work?
Sacha Baron Cohen's Who Is America? follows a long line of TV troublemakers who fooled guests into self-sabotage, but his scattergun approach risks missing the mark If you're going to pull TV pranks, it helps if you're punching up. And you can't set your sights much higher than the president of the US. Furthermore, if you're going to prank any US administration, it may as well be the leadership grouping centred around the uniquely unstable cocktail of ego, malevolence, incompetence and absurdity that is Donald Trump.
Jul 17 5:00AM Guardian-Culture

VMAs 2018: Cardi B, Beyonc and Jay-Z lead nominees
In the gender-neutral categories, the breakout rapper has scored 10 nominations with 'The Carters' and Childish Gambino following Cardi B, Beyonc and Jay-Z have come out on top with the announcement of this year's MTV VMA nominees. Related: Cardi B and Offset announce birth of baby girl Continue reading..
Jul 16 7:06PM Guardian-Culture

Most expensive Chinese film ever pulled from cinemas after it bombs
Dismal first-weekend takings and suggestions of organised trolling responsible for film's withdrawal by producers The massively hyped Chinese fantasy epic Asura has been pulled from cinemas after a disastrous opening weekend. With a production budget reported at 750m yuan (85m), Asura - with its complex special effects, big-name stars and huge crew - was hailed as China's most expensive film ever made. However, its opening weekend takings totalled 49m yuan (5.
Jul 16 4:57PM Guardian-Culture

The rise of Tierra Whack: 'One day I'll make a rap song, the next a pop song
The musician, who's been drawing praise from Solange Knowles and Flying Lotus, talks about refusing to be hemmed in by definitions Crack kills, if it don't get ya Whack will! Tierra Whack was leading an outdoor crowd in a chant, and despite her quick-paced rapping and the hot temperatures on a summer Saturday evening, people were keeping up. The Philadelphia artist and musician was playing a set midway through Warm Up - an ongoing weekend concert series at MoMA PS1, the Queens offshoot of the New York art museum - with an unfalteringly high level of energy. Whack urged the crowd to keep repeating the refrain before, during and after her song - which has the same chorus - remarking approvingly at the end: I really like that song.
Jul 16 9:00AM Guardian-Culture

The Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds - in pictures
The Hyde Park Picture House, the world's only surviving gas-lit cinema, opened in 1914. The owners of the Grade II-listed building have now been granted planning permission for redevelopment, to improve accessibility, restore the gas lights and ornate plasterwork and incorporate a second screen in the basement Continue reading..
Jul 16 6:00AM Guardian-Culture

I punched him so hard he cried': inside the Street Fighter movie
In 1993, writer/director Steven de Souza battled a military coup, an ever-growing cast list and a self-destructing Jean-Claude Van Damme - and came out with a profitable picture It was the early 1990s and every teenager in the world knew about Street Fighter II. Originally released in the arcades and then on the SNES and Mega Drive consoles, the game featured a cast of weird, semi-magical combatants with names like Ryu, Chun-Li and Guile battling it out for victory in the World Fighting Championship. It was colourful, competitive and ridiculous.
Jul 16 6:00AM Guardian-Culture

'I broke the contract': how Hannah Gadsby's trauma transformed comedy
In her show Nanette, the Australian standup speaks out about homophobic and sexual violence - the set is now a Netflix sensation. She opens up about shame, rage, her autism diagnosis and the meaning of Louis CK During the live run of Hannah Gadsby's standup show, Nanette, she found herself sleeping 15 hours a night, then taking naps during the day. I got bronchitis in London, she says.
Jul 16 5:00AM Guardian-Culture

The Handmaid's Tale recap: season 2, episode 9 - the lady's not for turning
The incongruity of Gilead was set against the real world when the Waterfords visited Canada, but Serena's resolve remained unbroken Spoiler alert: this recap is for people watching The Handmaid's Tale, series two, on Channel 4 in the UK. Please do not add spoilers from later episodes. How exciting to see the incongruity of Gilead set against the real world.
Jul 15 9:15PM Guardian-Culture

Eminem review - the rap god struggles to generate energy
Twickenham stadium, LondonThrobbing with deviant vitality, the music is as electric as ever but Marshall Mathers' onstage persona is a long way from his chainsaw-wielding days It's no secret that Eminem has had a crisis of confidence in recent years. He detailed his insecurities on last year's album Revival, using opener Walk on Water to bemoan critical snobbery and his own failure to recapture the magic of his early work. On stage this evening - the first of two nights at Twickenham stadium - his low self-esteem initially seems writ large.
Jul 15 12:21PM Guardian-Culture

Matt Cain on Madonna: 'She opened up gay culture to the mainstream'
The author and former editor-in-chief of Attitude magazine on how Madonna changed his life Madonna at 60 by Barbara Ellen: 'Popular culture still reeks of her influence' Madonna was a radical, brilliant pop icon who changed so many people's lives. Mine included. I grew up in Bolton in the 1980s, at a time when no one wanted to say anything positive about gay people.
Jul 15 7:00AM Guardian-Culture

Sarah Churchwell on Madonna: 'She remains the hero of her own story'
As Madonna Ciccone approaches her 60th birthday, the author hails Madonna's feminist legacy Matt Cain on Madonna: 'She opened up gay culture to the mainstream'. For me, it was Lucky Star, in 1983. That video is burned into my brain.
Jul 15 7:00AM Guardian-Culture

Barbara Ellen on Madonna: 'Popular culture still reeks of her influence'
As the singer's 60th birthday approaches, the Observer columnist celebrates pop's greatest survivor Thurston Moore on Madonna: 'She was really ahead of the game'. Madonna Louise Ciccone is about to turn 60, a big birthday by anybody's reckoning. I remember her at the time of her breakthrough 1983 single, Holiday, a mischievous mess of bangles and swinging crucifixes, boasting that she was so hot that you could fry an egg on her belly button.
Jul 15 7:00AM Guardian-Culture

Dancer Carlton Wilborn on Madonna: 'Rehearsal truly was like boot camp'
Madonna's former backup dancer on performing in the Blond Ambition and Girlie Show tours, as well as the video for Vogue Sophie on Madonna: 'Her work is so vast - there's a reference for any situation'. I was 26 and living in Los Angeles when Madonna had a huge open-call audition for the Blond Ambition tour - there were maybe a thousand men there. By the time I got home I had a message: Come meet me at the club tonight.
Jul 15 7:00AM Guardian-Culture

Tainted love: how Drake started pop's erotic comedown
In music, the joy of sex has been supplanted by nihilism and melancholy. Has the digital age made pop lose its loving feeling? Towards the end of his double album Scorpion, Drake confirms the sting in his tale; something that has defined him as the pop star of his age. Midway through the song Final Fantasy, in which he has imagined the luckless ways in which a hookup might turn out for him, he opines: I hope that the apocalypse is the only thing that doesn't come.
Jul 15 7:00AM Guardian-Culture

Matt Haig: 'As a young man, I wanted everything loud and intense'
The writer talks about combatting his fear of the future, anxiety and appreciating life on low-volume I go out for a run most days, for the getting outside as much as the running. You feel connected to the world a little bit. So many symptoms of panic are the symptoms of running - racing heart, breathlessness.
Jul 15 5:00AM Guardian-Culture

Anne Tyler: 'Wuthering Heights strikes me as silly'
The American author on dreams of escape, her favourite new writers and why she doesn't share the love for Elena Ferrante. Anne Tyler is a Pulitzer prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. She has written 22 novels, the best known of which are Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Breathing Lessons and The Accidental Tourist.
Jul 14 5:00PM Guardian-Culture

Kiefer Sutherland: 'My greatest fear is of being humiliated'
The actor and singer-songwriter, 51, on being a twin, playing his first gig and growing up in a political family Breaking your little toe really hurts. I've broken my ankle, my wrist, my elbow, ribs, collarbone, my kneecaps, most of those filming 24 - but the most painful was my pinkie toe. There was a bomb sequence where things were exploding all around me and I was a bit slow getting to my mark and I got hit.
Jul 14 12:59PM Guardian-Culture

Gemma Arterton: '?Everyone in the industry knows I'm a pain'
A decade after playing a Bond Girl, she has finally made a film she is proud of. The actor talks about breaking the mould and the joy of being difficult A protest march is one of Gemma Arterton's favourite things. Oh, I love going on marches, she beams.
Jul 14 9:00AM Guardian-Culture

Let's rock! Why Dwayne Johnson is the new Schwarzenegger
The action hero dominates the box office, with his new film Skyscraper set to soar. From his apolitical attitude to his everyman heritage, we explore the magic behind the muscleModern Toss on The Rock. On 24 June , Dwayne The Rock Johnson posted the following to his 109 million Instagram followers: Starting off my Sat by reviewing new TV spots for SKYSCRAPER.
Jul 14 5:59AM Guardian-Culture