Browsing: Culture

German director Wolfgang Petersen passed away at 81

German film director Wolfgang Petersen has succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 81, his representative revealed on Tuesday. The renowned filmmaker passed away at his home in California.

Having studied theater in Hamburg, Petersen moved to Berlin, where he for the first time tried his luck as a director, working on several episodes of the German crime series ‘Tatort’ and directing several feature films.

However, it was in 1982 that Petersen rose to international fame with his WWII drama ‘Das Boot’, telling the story of a Nazi German submarine during the Battle of the Atlantic. The movie went on to garner six Oscar nominations, including best director and best adapted screenplay. In 1984, he Petersen The NeverEnding Story’, a fantasy movie which became his first English-language work.

By 1989, the director relocated to the US, where he went on to release a whole host of commercially successful action films. Among his Hollyw..

Ukrainian activists successfully lobbied the national university to purge Mikhail Bulgakov

A memorial plaque to novelist and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov, put up in 2017, has been taken down from the Taras Shevchenko National University in Kiev. Ukrainian activists who campaigned against the Kiev-born author celebrated Monday’s move as a triumph over Russian “occupation.”

“Bulgakov is a symbol of Russian culture, and had nothing to do with the Ukrainian one – quite the contrary, in his works he denigrated everything Ukrainian,” said Tatiana Shvydchenko, an activist from the Expert Corps NGO, which petitioned for the plaque’s removal.

On her Facebook page, Shvydchenko called Bulgakov a “Ukrainophobe and praiser of the Russian world,” adding that the memorial to him was one of the “atavisms of the occupation period, which we urgently need to get rid of.”

Bulgakov (1891-1940) was born in Kiev and attended high school in the building currently housing the Shevchenko University – which..

Iraqi law enforcement claimed that a painting worth untold millions of dollars turned up in a narcotics bust

Iraqi police got more than they bargained for in a drug raid over the weekend in Diyala province, recovering what they claim is a stolen painting produced by the legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.

The artwork was seized on Saturday after being found in the possession of three people targeted in a narcotics raid, the state-run Iraqi News Agency reported, citing a statement by the country’s Interior Ministry. Authorities offered no additional details on the painting, except to say that it’s worth “millions of dollars.”

“The drug trade is linked to many crimes, including murder, theft, kidnapping, rape, gang formation, corruption and family disintegration, until it reaches the antiquities trade,” said Colonel Bilal Sobhi, director of the ministry’s anti-narcotics media office.

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What lies beneath: ‘Lost’ Picasso revealed 100 years after artist hid it (PHOTOS)

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‘Six Days, Seven Nights’ star Anne Heche has died at 53 after crashing into a Los Angeles house earlier this month

Anne Heche, who starred in the films ‘Six Days, Seven Nights’, ‘Donnie Brasco’ and ‘Wag the Dog’, has been taken off of life support following a fiery car crash earlier this month. She was 53.

“Anne Heche has been peacefully taken off life support,” a representative for her family told the media on Sunday, confirming her passing.

Heche crashed her car into a house in Los Angeles on August 5. According to a statement given by the actress’s family and friends to CNN, the car she was driving caught fire and she experienced a “severe anoxic brain injury,” which deprived her brain of oxygen. After the crash she was left on a ventilator with her heart beating so she could be evaluated for organ donation.

The actress was declared brain dead on Friday, when Heche’s family and friends released a joint statement with the words: “We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyf..

The actor’s revolver, which killed a cinematographer, could not have discharged any other way, the agency stated

Alec Baldwin must have pulled the trigger of a loaded prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of ‘Rust’, an FBI forensic investigation found. Baldwin previously denied pulling the trigger.

Hutchins was killed on the set of ‘Rust’ in New Mexico last October, when a gun that Baldwin was seen brandishing discharged. Baldwin apparently believed that he was handling a ‘cold’, or unloaded gun, and a homicide investigation by the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.

The FBI report was obtained by ABC News and excerpts published on Saturday. According to the document, the gun in question, a .45 caliber Pietta single-action revolver, “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger” if its hammer was locked in the quarter- or half-cock positions.

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WATCH Alec Baldwin brandishing revolver before fatal shooting

If the hammer was fully c..

Gina Lollobrigida will run for Senate as the face of a newly-formed Euroskeptic party

Italian cinema legend Gina Lollobrigida announced on Saturday that she will run in September’s general election as an independent candidate under the banner of the newly-formed Euroskeptic alliance ISP (Sovereign and Popular Italy). She will represent the district of Latina, which is located south of Rome.

ISP, which defines itself as “the only alternative to liberal warmongering and healthcare totalitarianism,” is backed by the Communist Party, Socialist Homeland, Civil Action, Ancora Italia and Riconquistare Italy. The group must net 3% of the votes in order to enter the parliament. Its platform opposes increased military spending, economic globalization, rampant privatization, and “health dictatorship,” and calls for a restoration of monetary sovereignty, denouncing the EU as “nothing more than a branch office on Wall Street.”

While Lollobrigida was connected with the newly-formed political pa..

Four-time Grammy Award winner Olivia Newton-John has passed away in California after multiple bouts of cancer

Olivia Newton-John, the British-born Australian pop star who played opposite John Travolta in the hit movie ‘Grease’, has died at 73 after multiple battles with cancer.

“Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” her husband, John Easterling, said on Monday in a Facebook post. “We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time.”

Newton-John was the daughter of a former MI5 agent, and her family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1954, when she was six. She emerged as a major recording star in the 1970s, singing radio hits such as ‘Have You Never Been Mellow’, ‘I Honestly Love You’ and ‘If You Love Me, Let Me Know’.

Her career reached new heights with her role as ‘Sandy Olsson’ in the 1978 film adaptation of the Broadway musical ‘Grease’. Th..

While the world-renowned film director is said to be “in good spirits,” his condition means he will give fewer interviews

Lars von Trier, the 66-year-old Danish film director who made a name for himself internationally with movies such as ‘Antichrist’, ‘Melancholia’, ‘Nymphomaniac Vols. I and II’, and ‘Dogville’, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Zentropa, a production company co-founded by the director, broke the news on Monday.

In its statement, Zentropa said that von Trier is “in good spirits and is being treated for his symptoms.” He is also said to be hopeful that he will be able to conclude Riget Exodus, the third season of his horror television series ‘Riget’, known in English-speaking countries as ‘The Kingdom’. The work is expected to debut on August 31 at the Venice Film Festival.

Von Trier’s condition will, however, affect his availability for interviews, which he will give only “to a limited extent until the premiere later in the year,” the press release read..

Activists rather than minorities are enforcing a sense of victimhood, Terry Gilliam says

Monty Python veteran and award-winning director Terry Gilliam lashed out against cancel culture in an interview with The Times published on Friday, blaming “activists” among theater staff for sinking his production of ‘Into the Woods’ for London’s Old Vic theater last year.

“They are totally closed-minded,” he complained, referring to the staff who lobbied the Old Vic’s management to cancel his take on the Stephen Sondheim musical over comments the director had made on transgender issues and the #MeToo movement.

“[They think] there is only one truth and one way of looking at the world. Well, ‘f*** you!’ is my answer to them,” he said.

Back in November, the Old Vic scrapped ‘Into the Woods’, offering no explanation amid what the Times called a “staff uprising.” The row was reportedly triggered after Gilliam urged his followers on Facebook to watch ‘The Closer’, a Netflix special by US comedi..

A Los Angeles court has upheld an arbitration ruling in favor of House of Cards producers after the company accused the actor of sexual misconduct

Kevin Spacey has lost his appeal to overturn a $31 million arbitration award to the producers of the House of Cards TV show after a judge ordered him to pay the full amount on Wednesday.

The actor was originally ordered to pay the sum in November following allegations of sexual misconduct involving several young crew members working on the TV show.

Spacey, who played Frank Underwood, was kicked off the series during its sixth season after he was accused of “systematically preying upon, sexually harassing, and groping young men that he had worked with throughout his career on film, television, and theatre projects,” as stated in the original court filings from MCR.

Following MRC’s investigation into the allegations, in October 2020 an arbitrator awarded the company $29.5 million in damages and $1.5 million in costs and fees, and this amo..