Daphne Du Maurier's real life Jamaica Inn has been saved after it was snapped up in a multi-million dollar deal. The pub in Cornwall, England inspired the writer's 1936 book of the same name, and was later immortalised on the big screen by Alfred Hitchcock in his 1939 film starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara.
Jamaica Inn was put up for sale earlier this year (14) after its owners decided to retire, sparking fears the building, which was once a notorious smugglers' haunt, would be redeveloped.
It has now been snapped up for more than $3.2 million (£2 million) by English businessman Allen Jackson, who has vowed to preserve Jamaica Inn. He also noted the timing of the sale comes just weeks before a new TV adaptation starring Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay is due to air in the U.K.
He says, "With the BBC adaption airing around Easter, I believe it is a very timely acquisition. I am delighted to have acquired Jamaica Inn and intend to breathe new life into this fantastic and historic location."
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Rock legend Lou Reed has died at the age of 71, five months after receiving a liver transplant. The exact cause of death was not available as WENN went to press, but reports suggest the former Velvet Underground frontman passed away on Sunday (27Oct13).
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942, he formed the Primitives and the Warlocks with Welsh musician John Cale. The duo teamed up again to create the Velvet Underground with Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, and the group became a staple of the late 1960s New York City music and art scene, attracting artist Andy Warhol as a mentor and producer.
The band's 1967 debut The Velvet Underground & Nico is considered one of the most important albums of the 20th century.
Reed, real name Lewis Allan Reed, enjoyed a solo career after splitting with the group in 1970, recording another landmark album - 1972's Transformer, with David Bowie as his producer.
The late rocker also recorded groundbreaking albums Lou Reed, Berlin, Sally Can't Dance and Coney Island Baby, as well as the hits Walk On the Wild Side, Perfect Day and Satellite of Love.
He reunited with Cale in 1991 for the acclaimed Warhol tribute album Songs For Drella and regrouped the Velvet Underground in 1992 for a series of European gigs, including a set at the Glastonbury festival in England.
In the past decade, Reed, a famous student of martial art T'ai Chi, released the double album The Raven, which was based on the work of horror writer Edgar Allen Poe, and, in 2010, he teamed up with heavy rockers Metallica to record 2011's critically-savaged Lulu album.
Famous for his moody, often disagreeable nature, Reed will go down in music history as one of rock's most influential artists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Velvet Underground in 1996.
He leaves behind his wife, performance artist and songwriter Laurie Anderson.
To brand someone with the moniker “Yoko” has, for many years now, meant to assign him or her the blame for a group’s undoing — many a social clique has fallen victim to the influence of an interloping Yoko, a figure that disrupted the status quo with its “new ideas” on how things should operate. Well, if the namesake of this unflattering designation, Yoko Ono, is to be believed in her recently publicized revelations about the breakup of The Beatles, you might begin to put into retirement the Yoko stamp and instead start wielding a new title for said offenders: Paul. Although, really, this would probably get a little confusing, since the odds have it that you actually know a few people who are named Paul.
In a newly released 1987 interview with the iconic rock and roll reporter Joe Smith, courtesy of The Huffington Post, Ono disclosed her perspective on the downfall of the Fab Four, which she places on the shoulders not of herself, nor of the late John Lennon, but of Paul McCartney and his influence on the other band members. “The Beatles were getting very independent," Ono said. "Each one of them [was] getting independent. John, in fact, was not the first who wanted to leave the Beatles.”
Ono explains that one by one, each of the musicians expressed desire to leave the group behind: “[We saw] Ringo [Starr] one night with Maureen [Starkey Tigrett], and he came to John and me and said he wanted to leave. George [Harrison] was next, and then John.”
The avant-garde artist told Smith, “Paul [McCartney] was the only one trying to hold the Beatles together. But the other three thought Paul would hold the Beatles together as his band. They were getting to be like Paul's band, which they didn't like."
Recent years have already worked to mend Ono's reputation as the guilty party behind the Beatles' breakup. McCartney has gone on record to absolve Ono of this fault, most recently in an October interview with David Frost, when he pegged the blame to the Beatles' agent Allen Klein in the wake of their manager Brian Epstein's death. This latest perspective is yet another nail in the coffin of the stigma against the Yokos of the world. I guess the Barenaked Ladies were right.
[Photo Credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images]
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