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‘Exactly what cinema should be’: readers on their films of 2021 so far

From the joyous escapism of In the Heights and Cruella to the powerful storytelling of The Mauritanian, our readers reveal their movie highlights of the last six months• See our critics’ picks of the best films of 2021‘Exactly what cinema should be’: arthurpoppy Continue reading...
Tags: Musicals, Film, Culture, World cinema, Billie Piper, Cruella, Drama films, Comedy films


AI helps return Rembrandt’s The Night Watch to original size

Rijksmuseum reproduces Dutch master’s work in all its glory, 300 years after it was cut to fit between doorsThe Night Watch by Rembrandt has enraptured millions visiting Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and its previous homes over the centuries, dazzling with its scale and fine detail.But it is only from today, thanks to the use of artificial intelligence to recapture some of the Dutch master’s genius, including the sweep of his brush strokes and perspective of his eye, that it can for the first time in ...
Tags: Art, Europe, Painting, World news, Culture, Art and design, Netherlands, Amsterdam, Rembrandt


Hear me out: why Confessions of a Shopaholic isn’t a bad movie

The latest in our series of writers defending maligned films is a reconsideration of a critically loathed 2009 comedyWhen Confessions of a Shopaholic, directed by PJ Hogan, of Muriel’s Wedding acclaim, was released in 2009 – a year that brought us the high-octane, male-dominated likes of The Hangover, Sherlock Holmes and Inglorious Basterds – it was the tail end of the romcom’s golden age. And, just like its genre-mates released that year – Bride Wars, He’s Just Not That Into You, Ghosts of Girl...
Tags: Comedy, Film, Culture, Sherlock Holmes, Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Muriel, Ishtar, Romance films, Comedy films, PJ Hogan


Sweat review – the loneliness of the social media influencer

Magnus von Horn’s contrived Polish drama about a fitness guru promises more in shock and character than it deliversIn theory, it should be possible to create a drama about a social media influencer and motivational fitness celebrity that isn’t all about the hidden loneliness and shame of her shallow existence. It should be possible to show such a person being a huge hit in public and perfectly content in private. But this movie from Polish director Magnus von Horn pretty much goes for route one,...
Tags: Europe, Technology, Media, Instagram, Film, Social Media, World news, Culture, Digital Media, Poland, Thrillers, World cinema, Jackson, Magnus Von Horn, Drama films, Sylwia Magdalena Koleśnik


Police investigate Chris Brown over alleged battery of woman in LA

Los Angeles police were called to San Fernando Valley residence where a woman alleges the R&B star hit herR&B singer Chris Brown is being investigated for the alleged battery of a woman in Los Angeles.A police spokesperson told NBC News that Brown is accused of hitting the unnamed woman during an argument. Officers had been called to a residence in the city’s San Fernando Valley area on Friday 18 June. Continue reading...
Tags: Music, La, Los Angeles, US news, Culture, Pop and rock, Chris Brown, R&B, Brown, San Fernando Valley


Beyoncé’s 4 at 10: the album that set the stage for her cultural domination

Her first album since she split from her manager father, 4 marked the beginning of Beyoncé’s artistic freedom, creative control and business empireIn February 2010, Beyoncé performed in Trinidad, insisted on making an appearance at one of the hottest clubs in Port of Spain (much to the obvious dismay of her bodyguards), and flew home. It was the final stop on her I Am … World Tour. A few months earlier, she had cancelled two subsequent dates without explanation. If she regretted it, it didn’t sh...
Tags: Music, Beyonce, Pregnancy, Jay-z, Culture, Pop and rock, Trinidad, Port of Spain


The Man Standing Next review – a thrilling scramble for political power in 70s South Korea

Based on a real 1979 military coup, this year’s Oscars submission from South Korea captivates with alliances, betrayals – and a climax worth waiting forThis is a suspenseful but fiendishly complex political thriller from South Korea, which was the country’s submission for best international film for the most recent Oscars, though it didn’t make the final five shortlist. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a solid film, but viewers whose introduction to Korean cinema was director Bong Joon-ho’...
Tags: South Korea, Film, US, World news, Park, Culture, Asia Pacific, Washington Dc, Thrillers, World cinema, Cia, Seoul, Bong Joon, Lee Sung, Period and historical films, Kim Gyu pyeong Lee Byung


The 15 greatest video games of the 1990s – ranked!

It was the decade Sonic the Hedgehog, the original PlayStation, the Nintendo 64 and so much more entered the world – here are the 15 best games of this golden age of gamingOf all LucasArts’ memorable, quip-fuelled point and click adventures – from dark afterlife comedy Grim Fandango to the surrealist Day of the Tentacle – it’s Monkey Island 2 that gets the most love nowadays, and justifiably so. The puzzles were just on the right side of deliberately obscure, the characters were strange and colo...
Tags: Games, Culture, Nintendo, Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario, LucasArts, Resident Evil


Michael B Jordan renames rum after accusations of cultural appropriation

The Creed and Black Panther actor has agreed to scrap the brand name J’Ouvert after criticism from Nicki Minaj and the government of Trinidad and TobagoMichael B Jordan has issued an apology, in the fallout from his announcement over the weekend that he was launching a line of rums called J’Ouvert.The term signals the start of carnival in the Caribbean and is a cornerstone of tradition in Trinidad and Tobago; Jordan’s use of the word was felt by many to be cultural appropriation. Continue readin...
Tags: Film, Nicki Minaj, Americas, World news, Culture, Jordan, Caribbean, Trinidad And Tobago, Trinidad, Michael B Jordan


Radiohead, New Order and more artists call for overhaul of post-Brexit touring rules

More than 200 UK acts including the Chemical Brothers, Kano and Wolf Alice back Let the Music Move initiative, calling for financial help and cutting red tape for EU toursBritish music acts including Radiohead, the Chemical Brothers, Biffy Clyro and Annie Lennox are calling on the UK government to offer financial support to help artists tour the EU post-Brexit.The terms of the Brexit agreement mean that performing artists of all kinds must now have work permits to earn money from gigs in EU coun...
Tags: Europe, Music, Politics, UK, Eu, European Union, UK News, Music Industry, Radiohead, Culture, Pop and rock, Kano, New Order, Brexit, Mark Knopfler, Annie Lennox


The Broken House by Horst Krüger review – growing up under Hitler

A German former soldier recalls his childhood in a 1966 memoir that has a chilling lesson for our own eraHorst Krüger (1919-1999), a German journalist and writer, originally wrote this evocative memoir in 1966 after attending the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, where 22 former SS camp guards and lower officials were brought to justice for their part in the deaths of more than a million people.Looking round the courtroom, Krüger saw only ordinary men who had built a solid and respectable existence fo...
Tags: Books, Culture, Autobiography and memoir, Hitler, Kruger, Fritz Bauer, History books, Broken House, Horst Krüger, Frankfurt Auschwitz, Wilhelm Boger, Dlugiszewski


Britney Spears speaks at last: will her day in court upend all we thought we knew?

The singer will today make a bid to take back control of her life. After a glut of speculative documentaries and conspiracy theories, her own voice can finally be heardBritney Spears never used to be an enigma. In the early years of her career, she did interviews for print, TV and radio. She held press conferences and endured day-long junkets. She shot behind the scenes videos, documentaries, TV specials. Britney was candid and trusting. “I’m from the south,” she told the Observer in 2001, “so I...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Las Vegas, Britney Spears, Britney, Sam Asghari


Britney Spears will directly address Los Angeles court on conservatorship

Singer will offer rare testimony on controversial arrangement that has given Spears’s father control over much of her life for 13 yearsBritney Spears will directly address a Los Angeles courtroom on Wednesday, offering rare testimony in the case of the controversial conservatorship that has governed the pop star’s life for 13 years.The hearing has drawn interest from fans across the globe, who have for years organized a campaign under the hashtag #FreeBritney to protest the unusual legal arrange...
Tags: Music, Los Angeles, US news, Culture, Britney Spears, Spears, Jamie Spears


Russian euphemisms about death

A lot of фразеологизмы (idioms) about ‘death’ in Russian rely on verbs of motion that depict a person leaving this life and world. The 5 euphemisms below all mean ‘to die’ but I will write the literal translation in parenthesis to make them easier to remember. My goal, though, is to not just help you remember these euphemisms but also to talk about the similarities between the phrases Russian speakers choose to talk about death. Photo by Dương Nhân from Pexels Euphemisms for “to die” (with li...
Tags: Culture, Language, Linguistics, Idioms, Vocabulary, Russian life, Russian Vocabulary, Thematic Vocabulary, Miriam Espacio, Dương Nhân, useful Russian phrases, Russian idioms, death in Russian, Russian euphemisms, Liza Summer


Not understanding is not your problem

When your project manager tosses a bunch of vague suggestions your way, “ok this deck is easy, we start with the vision, then show the strategic buckets and mirror these against our core competencies”, and you don’t get it, it is not your problem.Asking for explanations of everything might annoy her. Instead, ask for a quick example. “Which bucket for example?”, and “and can you mirror it against 1 core competence for me”?This is like a small “Rosetta Stone” for you, you have decoded this partic...
Tags: England, Culture, Rosetta, Speaking, Richard Porson, Archaeologia


Is Steven Spielberg’s new Netflix deal a surprise? It’s surprising it took so long

Despite comments he made in the past, the director’s production company Amblin has signed a multi-picture deal with the streaming giant. Should cinephiles be worried?Did another citadel just fall? Has another general just presented his sword in surrender? Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin has signed a deal to produce multiple features a year for the streaming behemoth Netflix – which is precisely that small-screen player that Spielberg seemed to be rebuking two years ago when he procl...
Tags: Business, Television, Media, Film, Film Industry, Netflix, Culture, Television & radio, Spielberg, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Amblin


‘My parents’ trauma is my trauma’ – Veronica Ryan on making first Windrush monument

She used to worry about ‘not making enough to pay the rent’. But with a solo show, a commission to make UK’s first Windrush monument and an OBE, the artist has stepped out of the shadowsVeronica Ryan’s handbag is always heavy. The British sculptor has been a collector since childhood, and her bag is her toolbox, her magpie’s nest, her anchor for a life lived in many places. It’s also fertile ground. Ryan’s mother once caught a glimpse of a date stone she was attempting to germinate in there. “Yo...
Tags: Art, UK, Culture, Britain, Art and design, Sculpture, Bristol, Ryan, Windrush, Windrush scandal, Veronica Ryan, Ryan And


Endangered Species review – bizarrely perky safari thriller deserves a mauling

The serious anti-poaching message of this savanna-set family drama gets lost in the comic register of a US sitcomThe days of Africa-set films featuring white protagonists using glowing savannas as set dressing for first-world problems seemed to be numbered, but hold on: here is a fist-bitingly self-regarding family drama with Philip Winchester and X-Men’s Rebecca Romijn as Jack and Lauren Halsey, a seemingly dream couple off on a dream safari with son Noah and daughter Zoe, and her pothead boyfr...
Tags: Film, Africa, US, World news, Noah, Culture, Thrillers, Jack, Rebecca Romijn, Billy, Cessna, Lauren, Zoe, Philip Winchester, Lauren Halsey, Drama films


Mischa Barton on success, paparazzi and survival: ‘I’m not broken’

As party girl Marissa in The OC, Barton found fame at a time when young female stars were being hounded by the press. She talks about strength, resilience and her battle against revenge pornFor some actors, the roles they have played stick to them like shadows, long after they should have been left behind. Just ask Mischa Barton. It is 15 years since she starred as Marissa Cooper in the teen drama The OC, and yet still she can’t shake her off. When Barton appeared in the reality show The Hills i...
Tags: Television, Drama, Women, World news, US news, Culture, Television & radio, Young People, Marissa, Sexual Harassment, Cooper, Mischa Barton, Barton, Marissa Cooper, MeToo Movement


Unknown treasures: the forgotten women of Manchester’s Factory Records

A new exhibition shines a light on the female creatives and managers who helped turn the home of Joy Division and New Order into a three decade-long powerhouseFrom its figurehead Tony Wilson through to the male-dominated bands that found fame on the label, Factory Records is sometimes seen as the epitome of a muso lad fest. But a new exhibition at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is having a go at changing all that, casting welcome light on the women who were integral not only to Factory...
Tags: Art, Music, Culture, Art and design, Factory, New Order, Tony Wilson, Manchester 's Factory Records, Manchester 's Science and Industry Museum


‘I am appalled’: Billie Eilish apologises for mouthing apparent racist slur in resurfaced five-year-old clip

Singer says she was unaware of the meaning of the offensive word at the time, did not mean to cause offence, and the prospect of causing people hurt ‘absolutely breaks my heart’Billie Eilish has apologised after a video surfaced appearing to show her mouthing a racist slur.The Grammy-winning pop star, 19, shared a lengthy statement to Instagram Stories, writing that she was “appalled and embarrassed” by the clip. Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Billie Eilish, Instagram Stories


Joni Mitchell’s Blue: my favourite song – by James Taylor, Carole King, Graham Nash, David Crosby and more

As the legendary album turns 50, the musicians it inspired – and those who inspired it – tell us which track means the most to them and why Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Folk Music, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor Carole King Graham Nash David Crosby


Venice may be put on endangered list if cruise ships not banned, says Unesco

The UN heritage agency says the historic centre is in danger if ships are not diverted to another portThe UN art heritage agency has said it would examine a proposal to put Venice on its endangered list if the lagoon city does not issue a permanent ban on cruise ships docking there, according to the Italian news agency Ansa.Unesco said on Monday it will discuss the issue at its plenary session on July 16-31. If approved, the agency could demand urgent action by the Italian government by next Feb...
Tags: Europe, World news, Culture, Unesco, Heritage, Italy, United Nations, Un, Venice, Shipping Industry, Ansa Unesco


Sneaker community startup SoleSavy raises $12.5 million Series A to build an end-to-end sneakersphere

Collectibles boomed during the pandemic and while NFT outfits like NBA Top Shot exploded as consumers flirted with newer efforts, the sneaker world grew even more mature with enthusiasts digging deeper into communities dedicated to the hobby/passion/obsession/alternative asset class. Vancouver’s SoleSavy, a sneaker community dedicated to giving fans a curated place to navigate the world of shoes, with all of its drops, news and rumors, has raised a $12.5 million Series A just months after wrappi...
Tags: TC, Europe, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Tech, Software, Culture, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Nba, Vancouver, National Basketball Association, EC


Clamping koala: how a new sex guide prompted complaints – and delight

Whether you are pregnant, have back pain or bad knees, Norway’s public broadcaster has advice on the best position to try. But not everyone is happyName: Clamping koala.Age: Newly coined. Continue reading...
Tags: Television, Sex, World news, Culture, Television & radio, Norway, The news on TV


John Oliver rips into US clean-energy loans: ‘This business model is fundamentally flawed’

The Last Week Tonight host digs into a government program whose lack of oversight has left many risking their homesJohn Oliver turned his attention this week to a public lending program called Pace, whose state-supported clean energy loans have stranded many vulnerable homeowners in overwhelming debt or at risk of losing their homes. The program, which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, “is a cautionary tale about how good intentions when not paired with careful, smart design, can end in...
Tags: Comedy, Television, John Oliver, US, US news, Culture, Television & radio, Oliver, Property Assessed Clean Energy, TV Comedy, Late-night TV roundup


‘I made it as if this was the end of my life’: Scorsese on Raging Bull at 40

At a Tribeca film festival event, the director and his star Robert De Niro discussed the legacy of the greatest boxing movie ever madeIn Martin Scorsese’s 1980 magnum opus, Raging Bull, the self-destructive boxer Jake LaMotta goes from the greatest to a washed-up parody of himself, clinging to his memories of the good ol’ days. For the director and star Robert De Niro, looking back on the film from the present day could have been tempting fate, a couple of ageing men reminiscing about their youn...
Tags: Film, Culture, Festivals, Leonardo Dicaprio, Robert De Niro, Scorsese, Raging Bull, Tribeca, Martin Scorsese, Marty, Tribeca Film Festival, De Niro, Jake LaMotta


‘I’m working through 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’: readers’ WFH playlists

Some of you went classic rock; others Iranian ambient. And yet others took on epic challenges that will take years to complete … here’s what you’ve been listening to while working under lockdownIf I need to concentrate on something really thorny, I go for Bach every time. It seems to allow my brain to work at a high level and I do almost all my best work to Bach. András Schiff or Angela Hewitt playing keyboard works, and Hilary Hahn on violin. Beethoven’s late quartets and Schubert lieder are g...
Tags: Music, Metal, Life and style, Culture, Pop and rock, Classical Music, Beethoven, Jazz, Bach, Schubert, Cheltenham Continue, Angela Hewitt, Hilary Hahn, Bach András Schiff, Edward Collier


Donations flood in to restore Gaza bookshop destroyed by Israeli airstrikes

Appeal has so far raised more than $200,000, after the two-storey Samir Mansour bookshop, containing tens of thousands of books, was bombed in MayDonations of money and books from around the world have flooded in to help rebuild one of Gaza’s largest booksellers, the two-storey Samir Mansour bookshop, which was destroyed by Israeli air strikes in May.Founded 21 years ago by Palestinian Mansour, the shop was a much-loved part of the local community and contained tens of thousands of books in vari...
Tags: Books, Israel, World news, Culture, Middle East and North Africa, Palestinian territories, Gaza, Libraries, Booksellers, Mansour, Samir Mansour


Undead on arrival: should zombies run or lurch?

From 28 Days Later to Army of the Dead, fast zombies are everywhere – but aren’t they supposed to be slow and unsteady?In the Guide’s weekly Solved! column, we look into a crucial pop-culture question you’ve been burning to know the answer to – and settle itYou used to know where you were with zombies. Normally it was 10ft ahead of them, watching them lurch pathetically towards you. This afforded plenty of time to find a baseball bat, something sharp, maybe even a chainsaw. If The Walking Dead, ...
Tags: Film, Zombies, Culture, Horror Films