Rolling Stone magazine boss Jann Wenner is among the 2014 recipients of the LennonOno Grant For Peace awards. Wenner, who founded the influential rock bible in the 1960s, will be handed the honour at the annual ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland on 9 October (14), what would have been Lennon's 74th birthday.
The other recipients of the 2014 awards are Jeremy Gilley, founder of the Peace One Day organisation, bosses of New York art promoters the Art Production Fund, and Jon Gnarr, former Mayor of Reykjavik.
Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, who will present the honours, says, "In the '60s Jann made rock 'n' roll a household name single-handedly promoting it within the press. Jeremy Gilley, with Peace One Day, made it easy for all people to join the Peace movement.
"Art Production Fund is an ambitious public arts project created by Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force Villareal, whilst Jon Gnarr showed the world that governmental politics are for the people and by the people.
"I am very happy to honour each of these four recipients this year with the award that, for me, symbolises much of the work that John Lennon and I tried to do together and which I now continue to do."
The Lennon Ono Grant For Peace awards are handed out annually to key figures in the battle for world harmony. Previous recipients include Doctors Without Borders, The Centre for Constitutional Rights, and Russian protest band Pussy Riot.
Actor James Caan and Barbra Streisand led tributes to their late pal Lauren Bacall following the actress' death on Tuesday (12Aug14). The 89-year-old movie legend died after suffering a stroke at her home in Manhattan, New York.
Caan, who worked with Bacall in 1990's Misery, shared his sorrow in a statement to Entertainment Weekly which reads, "She was a great, uplifting lady who was full of talent and fun. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her. I will miss her dearly."
Barbra Streisand, who directed Bacall in The Mirror Has Two Faces, says to Billboard.com, "What a terrible loss for us all... It was my privilege to have known her, to have acted with her, and to have directed her... And, most of all, to have had her as a wise and loving friend. She was an original. Even with all those great films we can visit again and again, she will be missed."
Alec Baldwin writes on Twitter.com, "The great Betty Bacall (her birth name) is gone. Read her first autobiography, BY MYSELF. I love that book," while KISS rocker Gene Simmons adds, "Lauren Bacall - sad. R.I.P. She was a class act. She will be missed."
Alan Cumming uploaded a picture of himself with the late actress and writes, "You are a sensation and a killer! (First thing BB ever said to me) RIP Betty you sensational killer," and Richard E. Grant adds, "Worked with Lauren 'Betty' Bacall who called herself a 'Broad'.Took no prisoners, but if she liked you, you were friends for life. Unique."
Other stars have sent their condolences via social media, including John Cusack, Stephen Merchant, Belinda Carlisle, Boy George, Dita Von Teese and Lynda Carter.
Reformed 1980s band Culture Club are swapping pop for classical music by teaming up with the BBC Philharmonic orchestra for a reimagining of their classic album Colour By Numbers. The Karma Chameleon hitmakers are among the musicians taking part in the upcoming BBC Philharmonic Presents... series of concerts aimed at broadening the appeal of orchestral music.
They will take part in a classical rendition of their chart-topping 1983 album at the concert next month (Sep14), and the performance will be broadcast on BBC radio.
The corporation's director of music Bob Shennan says the new season will showcase a wide range of music, adding, "There will be something for everyone."
Other stars taking part in the 2014 BBC Philharmonic Presents... event include U.S. musician John Grant and British band Clean Bandit.
Legendary comedy troupe Monty Python sealed their live comeback in front of 16,000 fans in London on Tuesday night (01Jul14). John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin kicked off their Monty Python Live (mostly) residency at the O2 Arena in front of a sellout crowd, marking their first public performance together since 1980.
They tackled classic sketches including the famous Dead Parrot gag, their I'm A Lumberjack song, and a rousing rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
The show also featured a live cameo from Stephen Fry, while TV star Professor Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking appeared in a taped segment, which included the revered physicist being pushed into a river.
However, the first gig sparked lacklustre reviews from critics, with many suggesting the act relied too much on old jokes and video sequences.
Peter Bradshaw of Britain's The Guardian writes, "Monty Python Live (mostly) isn't bad: it gives the crowd exactly what they want but relies pretty heavily on the fan love and makes a hefty withdrawal from the reputation bank... This live show won't make any converts. But it sends the faithful away happy."
The Independent's John Walsh writes, "I was a fan of the Monty Ps from the start, and it pains me to criticise them. But this is desperately lazy production, resting on its laurels, uninterested in showcasing new material, relying on TV footage and the whooping adulation of an audience who know all the words," but adds, "Elderly, much-loved and much-seen sketches are revivified in their mid-70s glory."
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts writes, "Once they were the sharpest thing in satire. Last night, quite often, they looked and sounded like a dodgy tribute band."
Hugh Grant, Christoph Waltz, David Walliams, and Emma Thompson were among the celebrity guests who caught the show, which runs through until 20 July (14).
Actress Jill Whelan has filed for divorce to end her 10-year marriage. The Airplane! star, 47, has cited irreconcilable differences for the split from Michael Chaykowsky.
She is seeking spousal support and full legal and physical custody of their son Grant, who turns eight on 1 July (14), reports TMZ.com.
Whelan has another son, named Harrison, from her first marriage to Brad St. John.
Nicole Kidman is to be honoured with an outstanding contribution award at the Shanghai International Film Festival in China. Hugh Grant and John Woo will present the Australian actress with her latest accolade at the opening ceremony on Saturday (14Jun14), while artist Qin Yi will honour Jiang Wen with the Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Film Award.
Kidman will be hoping this film festival will be a better experience than her visit to Cannes last month (May14), when her new film Grace of Monaco was savaged by critics.
Kirsten Dunst, John Cusack, Hayden Christensen, Jackie Chan, Tony Leung, Li Bingbing and Korean superstar Rain are expected to attend the opening gala, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film festival will open with a restored version of 1964 movie Two Stage Sisters and close with Transformers: Age of Extinction. A jury led by actress Gong Li will decide the winner of the Golden Goblet from the 15 films in competition.
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There is a misconception about young adult books that says they can only appeal to "young adults" — that is, teenagers. However, a recent article in Cosmopolitan from YA author, John Green (the man behind The Fault in Our Stars) argues that it’s impossible to grow too old for novels that fall into the young adult categorization.
Green contends that the themes of these YA books — love, loss, life, identity, coming to grips with adulthood — can be relatable to everyone, no matter what age, who have had similar experiences. While that is all very true, it also extends to any other type of media targeted toward teens, including television and movies.
For those of us that read young adult novels, watch much (or all) of The CW’s programming, as well as go to the midnight premiere showings of The Hunger Games and Divergent films, know that there is something about all of these stories with which we can identify. It’s because, no matter how old we get, we still remember our first love, our first heartbreak, and our first glimpse of death and the mortality of those around us.
Sure, we’ll grant you that TV shows and movies directed at teens are more likely to fall prey to clichés and stereotypes or jump on the supernatural bandwagon (though all of those things can be found within young adult literature as well) due to a lack of depth or development. But television shows like Reign, The 100, and Teen Wolf as well as movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Fault in our Stars are raising the bar for all other teen series and films.
What it comes down to with the YA/teen label is a stigma of immaturity. The misconception about those who read young adult novels and watch teen-geared TV or movies is that they’re suffering from Peter Pan syndrome and don’t want to grow up. However, those novels, TV shows, and movies often deal with more serious issues in a much more impactful way than “adult” programming.
So, we need to shirk the stigma and remember that just because something is geared toward teens, that doesn’t mean it is of a lower quality. (We’re sure Green would agree with us on this.)
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
There are certain songs that transport you back to movie scenes as soon as you hear them. Sometimes that makes you feel warm inside, sometimes it inspires you, and other times it gives you the willies. We're taking a look at the songs that we can't help but associate with the big screen, toucing on the greatest inspirational songs in films and the creepiest uses of pop songs in movies. Here, though, we take a look at the songs in movie scenes that touched our romantic hearts.
"Unchained Melody" in Ghost
"Oh, my love... My darling… I've hungered for your touch..." The song was a hit for The Righteous Brothers long before the movie was made, but ever since that opening line and Bobby Hatfield's falsetto can only mean one thing… Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and a pottery wheel.
"Must've Been Love" in Pretty Woman
Roxette's hit from the Julia Roberts film still calls to mind a tangle of red curls looking hopefully out of the back window of a limousine and a sadly dapper Richard Gere looking forlornly from his balcony.
"You Make My Dreams" in (500) Days of Summer
It wasn't the first time that Hall & Oates song was used in a movie, but just try playing it now without thinking about Joseph Gordon-Levitt happily dancing down the street after his hook-up with Zooey Deschanel.
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" in The Lion King
Yes, it's a Disney movie, but it's also Elton John. The song is so linked to the image of lions falling in love that Sir Elton frequently plays the animated clip on screen when he sings it in concert.
"Falling Slowly" in Once
Even if it hadn't subsequently become the centerpiece of the Tony-winning Broadway musical version, the duet by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in John Carney's movie would still be just as sweet.
"Iris" in City of Angels
The movie about Nicolas Cage's angel who falls in love with Meg Ryan's mortal would probably have faded from memory entirely if not for John Rzeznik's plaintive voice on The Goo Goo Dolls hit.
"When You Say Nothing at All" in Notting Hill
Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts climb over a fence to wander in an English garden. As they share a moment, Ronan Keating's version of the country song plays and suddenly they're the only two people in the world.
"(I've Had) The Time of My Life" in Dirty Dancing
When Jennifer Warren sang with Joe Cocker for An Officer and a Gentleman, only the instrumental version of their "Up Where We Belong" played over the climactic scene (similar to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic). In Dirty Dancing, however, Warren's duet with Bill Medley is front and center as Swayze pulls Jennifer Grey's Baby out of the corner.
"I Will Always Love You" in The Bodyguard
Regardless of what you think of her acting, Whitney Houston could sing. We're not sure that we would stop a plane to go kiss Kevin Costner, but we'll watch it all day if we can hear the song and Houston's amazing voice again.
"In Your Eyes" in Say Anything…
According to both parties, John Cusack lobbied director Cameron Crowe to have a Fishbone song playing as his lovesick Lloyd Dobler held his boombox aloft to get Ione Skye's attention. Thankfully, Crowe opted to keep the Peter Gabriel classic.
MCA via Everett Collection
To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar was ahead of its time. Audiences can easily take for granted the immense importance of this film. It’s a high profile film in the 1990s that features three high profile actors, Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo, and Wesley Snipes playing gay men. Granted, they spend 99 percent of the movie in drag, but the film is monumental for the community. There’s wider acceptance of the gay community, appreciation for the art form of drag due to RuPaul’s Drag Race, and education about the clear distinctions between drag performers and trans women. But in 1995 this wasn’t the case. Sadly, this film is considered more of a cult classic than a major motion picture. All the same, the film is hilarious, quotable, and politically responsible. Here are some fun facts about the film:
Wesley Snipes and Jennifer Garner got to second base with the same man.Before he found success on Alias, Garner’s ex Michael Vartan had a major role in this film. In one scene, he antagonizes the ladies and Snipes grabs his privates and drags him by his member for an extended period of time.
Queen of 30 Rock You might think that Tracy Morgan and Snipes look equally bad in drag, but the real connection is Kathy Geiss. The nonverbal, unicorn loving CEO of GE was played by Marceline Hugot. She plays Katina one of the town’s residents in the film.
One Degree from Mindy Kaling As great as it would be to imagine Kaling playing a character named Noxema Jackson, the real connection is Beth Grant who plays The Mindy Project’s irate nurse Beverly also played irate townsperson Loretta.
Catwoman Connection Not only did the three leads all star with notable Catwoman Newmar in this film, all three have also starred with the most infamous Catwoman Halle Berry. Leguizamo in Executive Decision, Swayze in Father Hood, and Snipes in Jungle Fever. Snipes even dated Berry.
Start Your Engines, May the Best Woman Live Leguizamo has not been shy about his major friction with the late Swayze on set. Swayze was method and Leguizamo was improvising and making jokes to get more screen time. He says the two physically got into a fight until it was broken up by production. ChiChi, you in danger, girl!
A Cavalcade of Drag Stars This film was one of the first major motion pictures about drag. It gave early acting credits to RuPaul, Lady Bunny, Coco Peru, Laritza Dumount, and Flotilla DeBarge. It also was a major credit for the first transwoman on television Candis Cayne. Talk about helping to define the stars of tomorrow.
Work it Out! David Barton the founder of the popular New York City gym franchise has an early role as a muscle boy.
Drag is Leguizamo’s Bread and Butta’ By the time he did To Wong Foo, Leguizamo had already becoming accustomed to acting in drag. He played female roles in his one-man shows Mambo Mouth, Spic-O-Rama, and on his Fox series House of Buggin’.
Robin Williams: The Drag Years Although uncredited with his hilarious cameo, this film is sandwiched between Williams other two drag movies. In 1993, he gave old lady realness in Mrs. Doubtfire. In 1996, he played husband to a drag performer in The Birdcage.
Thanks for Everything, Carol Lynley! Before the producers secured the rights to Newmar’s name their alternate actress for the iconic photo that inspired the queens was Fantasy Island star Lynley. It doesn’t have the same ring to it, and she isn’t quite as statuesque.
It all goes back to Chinese Food. The name of the film was taken from a photo at a Times Square Chinese Restaurant that was later seen in the film where the ladies find the photo.
Curse of Wong Foo? Both Mel Gibson and Gary Oldman were in talks to potentially play drag queens in the film.
Is that a corn cob in your pocket, ma’am? Swayze surprised Chris Penn during the scene where he discovers Vida Boheme is a man. He hid a corn cob in his dress. Way to commit.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Jonah Hill is the most unlikely movie star. He isn't particularly "handsome" like those who came before him, such as Rudolph Valentino, Cary Grant, or even George Clooney. Hollywood producers don't develop movies for him, and he is rarely given the leading role. In another time, Hill might have been a consistently reliable character actor like Harry Dean Stanton whose presence elevates certain films but whose name is largely unrecognized by the general moviegoing audience. Today, however, Hill is a household name, and his appearance in more films signifies a change in both industry and audience practices.
Unlike most character actors who express their versatility in diverse supporting roles, Hill presents a star persona that is specific to his skills as a performer. In his scene-stealing cameo in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, for example, Hill creates humor out of an awkward encounter. Hill's deadpan delivery forces the audience to laugh at his character's cringeworthy interactions. The character is painful to watch, and the audience is embarrassed for him, but Hill's ability to own the absurdity of the situation turns the scene into comedy gold.
The same can be said about Hill's supporting turn in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Hill plays a different character in the film and is given more screen time, but he similarly finds humor in awkwardness. He approaches the scene as a serious actor would, but the combination of his intention (to promote his music) and the situation (intruding upon an intimate conversation between two characters) creates an embarrassing moment that is so absurd the audience can't help but laugh.
Hill would push this persona to the extreme in Cyrus, a hilarious comedy in which he plays a young man who still lives with his mother Molly (Marisa Tomei). John C. Reilly's character begins dating Molly and must deal with Hill's abnormalities. In the scene below, Hill threatens Reilly to back off, and as usual, he turns an awkward situation into comedy. Hill plays the scene intensely as if it were a drama, but the absurd premise of the film and Hill's association with it triggers the audience to laugh.
Hill would continue to develop and expand this persona in other films, including his Oscar nominated turns in both Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street. In the former, Hill is as subdued as he's ever been, but there's always an element of humor in even the simplest line readings. By contrast, his work in the latter is over-the-top, and although he shows a side of himself moviegoers have never seen, he still manages to sneak in his awkward screen persona. Consider, for instance, the scene below in which Hill explains to Leonardo DiCaprio's character his abnormal relationship with his cousin. The combination of Hill's physical appearance (those teeth!) and his earnest delivery once again force the audience to laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
This is not to say that Hill lacks talent, because I personally think that he's one of cinema's most exciting performers. However, with each film appearance, Hill cultivates a unique star persona that is unlike anything we've seen before. He lacks the traditional handsomeness of other male movie stars and he isn't expected or required to play the leading role. Yet his signature is always stamped on each film he's in, and all of his performances adhere to his persona while simultaneously expanding it. Like some of Hill's more famous co-stars such as Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, Hill has become a beloved household name. Unlike them, Hill is carving a new path for movie stars of a different kind, and it will be exciting to see where he goes next.