A widely praised conceptual artist-turned-filmmaker who had been called "a born provocateur" and "a reluctant subversive," Steve McQueen's features were captivating in their simplicity and minimalism....
Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Matthew Mcconaughey and Pharrell Williams have been named among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.
The Crazy in Love superstar graces the main cover of the publication's annual Time 100 edition, while other portraits feature Robert Redford and Brooklyn Nets star Jason Collins, the NBA's first openly-gay professional basketball player.
Praising Beyonce for juggling her hugely successful career with motherhood and her other business ventures, Facebook.com chief operating officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg writes in the magazine, "She's the boss. Beyonce doesn't just sit at the table. She builds a better one... "Her secret: hard work, honesty and authenticity. And her answer to the question, 'What would you do if you weren't afraid?' appears to be 'Watch me. I'm about to do it.' Then she adds, 'You can, too.'" The singer is one of a record 41 women featured on the 2014 list, which also includes 21-year-old Cyrus, actresses Kerry Washington, Amy Adams and Robin Wright and country star Carrie Underwood.
Other celebrities to make the cut include Benedict Cumberbatch, Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, while Pope Francis, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin have also been listed.
Oscar-winning director Steve Mcqueen is stepping back into the art world by opening a new exhibition of his work in London. The Brit has enjoyed a stellar year thanks to the success of 12 Years A Slave, which won a raft of trophies throughout 2014's awards season, including three Oscars.
He has now returned to his roots to put his latest artwork on display at London's Thomas Dane Gallery, where his first ever exhibit opened in 2004.
The show will run from 14 October (14).
McQueen studied art and went on to win the revered Turner Prize in 1999. He moved into directing feature films in 2008 with Hunger.
British moviemaker Steve Mcqueen has backed calls for the U.K.'s human trafficking laws to be tightened up. The 12 Years A Slave director has thrown his support behind plans to bring in new anti-slavery legislation, and he has backed a report published by a committee of U.K. Members of Parliament (MPs) who believe the current draft of the Modern Slavery Bill needs to be re-written.
McQueen says in a statement, "The authors of this report... have grasped the complexity of contemporary trafficking and forced labour in the United Kingdom and have set forth clearly the fundamentals of what is necessary to tackle it effectively.
"I warmly commend this report and pay tribute to the members of the committee who have produced it. Their work has honoured Parliament and the country."
The bill, which has yet to be approved and brought into law, aims to bring more perpetrators of human trafficking to justice and offer more protection and support to victims.
The British filmmaker is an ambassador for Anti-Slavery International, a U.K.-based organisation which lobbies against slavery.
The recent Academy Awards highlighted the fact that 2013 was a big year for black cinema. And many of the year's best films were inspired by written works, like the memoirs of Solomon Northup (12 Years a Slave) and A Butler Well Served by This Election by Wil Haygood (Lee Daniels' The Butler). In hopes of more powerful stories about the black experience making their way to theaters, here are three works of literature we'd love to see on the big screen.
Toni Morrison's novel about two girls, Sula and Nel — one slightly stranger than the other (although according to some interpretations, the characters are one in the same) — Sula would need little tampering with to be an exciting cinematic production. Powerful descriptions of death by fires and floods, affairs, and friendships all make this one unforgettable story. Plus, Sula's unique character (this bizarre and beautiful woman suffering and/or thriving from a severe lack of ego) is the sort we don't usually see onscreen. It'd be brilliant to seen an actress like Lupita Nyong'o take on such a roll, or perhaps Yaya Alafia, who recently gave a great performance in The Butler.
For many of us, James Baldwin's second novel is, quite simply, one of the greatest literary achievements of all time. And for that reason, this tragic story of an American man in Paris, experiencing his first homosexual relationship while his girlfriend is off in Spain, is too perfect to be brought to film. But with the right director (Terrence Malick would offer an interesting interpretation, Martin Scorsese might bring it alive in an exciting way, and Steve McQueen could surely do something brilliant with it), it could easily become (another) unforgettable work of art.
Thomas and Beulah
Rita Dove's collection of poetry tells a beautiful, often haunting story based on the lives of the poet's grandparents. The collection won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the images of these two characters — as a couple in courtship, then as husband and wife, and Beulah as a housewife who "dreams the baby's so small she keeps/misplacing it," as a woman who fights wolves — are unforgettable. Although it's another work that many literature lovers would probably resent seeing as an adaptation, those of us who love the literary world as much as the cinematic can envision Thomas and Beulah as a great period piece or a small, indie production.
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Amazon recently premiered a batch of new pilot episodes and Transparent was one of their most talked-about shows — with good reason. Creator Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight, Six Feet Under, and United States of Tara) very possibly has another hit on her hands, and we can't wait to see more. The first episode was excellent, as we got to meet a very unique family with a very unique set of issues... that were also, simultaneously, oddly familiar. And now, we get a little spoilery here.
First of all, the cast is perfect. A hilariously dysfunctional trio of siblings is played by Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, and Amy Landecker. Jeffrey Tambor plays Mort, the well-to-do father of the three adult children. He has yet to tell them that (spoiler alert) he is transitioning into a transgender lifestyle. So the show is full of good stuff, and there were very interesting sexual and sensual moments involving each of the children who have their own issues.
However, what stood out like a sore thumb was the fact there seemed to be a heightened focus on the female form over the male. That is to say, we saw every woman on the show nude or partially nude at some point, while the men's bodies were presented with this odd sense of modesty. Now, none of this female nudity was gratuitous — it was all very well done and very natural (i.e., one character bends over the sink while brushing her teeth, and when her shirt lifts up, we see that she is sans panties and, thus, get a little booty shot, which seems appropriate). But it was interesting that the men were not shown in the same light, despite plenty of opportunities. For example, the husband in that same scene was also in the bathroom alongside his wife — no booty shot ensued.
Duplass' character (Josh) shows a little backside at some point, but this moment was insanely tame compared to what we saw of the women (Ali went full-frontal nude, for example). In fact, Duplass' character really help to highlight this issue since he has sex scenes with multiple women and we saw so much skin from all of them, and so little from him!
It's difficult to say what all this means exactly. But in a show clearly attempting to take an atypical approach to sexuality and the discourse surrounding it, we expect more! Transparent does a great job of deconstructing the notion of female nudity as automatically sexy or as an implication of arousal. That is to say, many of the times when the women on the pilot episode were naked, it wasn't especially sexy. Some might call it the Lena Dunham/Girls approach, where the purpose of a nude scene or shot is not to arouse the male viewer. This in and of itself is still an exciting concept (at least, for us Americans it is). But when it only plays out with the female characters on a show, it still continues to emphasize female nudity over everything else. In this way it feels like it's defeating its own purpose, if the idea is to take a unique approach to typical narratives of sexuality for men and women. As of right now, Transparent — which, again, has the potential for greatness — is still feeding into the mass appeal of a naked woman, even if the presentation of that naked woman is different. The only way to balance this out would be to try to show more non-gratuitous, natural scenes or shots featuring the naked man. Director Steve McQueen did a great job of this in Shame with Michael Fassbender — the public backlash was actually more gratuitous than the scenes in the movie, which points to the fact that we as a cultural need male nudity to become more normalized so we don't lose our minds every time an actor drops trou on screen.
It must be said that even this critique is really a form of praise for the must-watch pilot. Here's hoping the series does get picked up for a full season, so we can learn more about these truly fascinating characters. And, yes, so we can also see some of the guys nude.
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Two pieces of artwork by Oscar-winning British director Steve Mcqueen are to be put on display at a museum in Holland. The pieces, a short film of a dead horse in a meadow and a light box featuring a photo of a boy on a beach, have been acquired by bosses at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
The gallery's visual arts curator Bart Rutten says, "We are extremely proud of this dual acquisition. The museum maintains a fruitful, long-established relationship with Steve McQueen."
The Brit studied art, focusing on short films, and went on to win revered British art honour the Turner Prize in 1999. He moved into directing feature films in 2008 with Hunger, and his third movie, 12 Years A Slave, won the Best Motion Picture Oscar on Sunday (02Mar14).
The pieces, created in the early 2000s, will go on display from 13 December (14).
Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave screenwriter John Ridley has brushed off rumours of a feud with Steve Mcqueen after he appeared to snub the movie's director during his acceptance speech. The two men were sitting rows apart at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday (02Mar14) when Ridley claimed the prize for Adapted Screenplay for his script from the memoir of free man-turned-slave Solomon Northup.
However, the co-workers did not interact as Ridley made his way to the stage to collect the honour, and he failed to mention the filmmaker's name during his acceptance speech.
McQueen seemed to do the same to Ridley at the end of Hollywood's biggest night, when he was feted for Best Picture, fuelling rumours of a fall out between the pair.
Reports suggest their relationship turned sour after Ridley rejected McQueen's request for a shared screenwriting credit on 12 Years A Slave, but the writer has played down the claims, insisting the omission of the director's name in his Oscars speech was simply an oversight.
Speaking at the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty, he told the New York Post's Page Six column, "I had less than two minutes to thank everybody, and I was so caught up in the emotion of the moment when I was onstage."
He added, "Listen, without Steve McQueen I wouldn't have this Oscar tonight. I owe a lot to the genius of Steve McQueen, and I am forever grateful to have had the chance to work with him...
"It was Steve's wife who found Solomon Northup's book (which inspired the film). It was a great honour (to work on the movie), but also a challenge because I wanted to be true to him, to turn Solomon's eloquent words into a screenplay."
Rapper Tinie Tempah was overcome with stage fright during his performance at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards after he spotted some of Hollywood's most famous stars in the audience. The British hip-hop sensation took to the stage at the annual prizegiving in London last month (Feb14) with singer Laura Mvula, and thrilled the star-studded audience by 'high-fiving' British royal Prince William, who was sat in the front row.
However, despite his confident appearance, the star admits the ceremony's glamorous guests were a major distraction.
He says, "I'm used to performing in front of screaming 16 to 18 year olds and then I had Leonardo DiCaprio and Steve McQueen that directed (sic) 12 Years A Slave, Prince William and the amazing Cate Blanchett.
"As soon as I walked out, Cate was the first person I saw and I was like, 'I'm going to mess up all my words.'"
Fox Searchlight Pictures via Everett Collection
Just as many of us had expected and most of us had hoped, 12 Years a Slave has won the Best Picture Oscar at the 86th Annual Academy Awards. It is a move that a select few can take great issue with (Armond White among them), as director Steve McQueen's American slavery epic is as technically masterful as it is emotionally harrowing. And while it might seem the obvious choice in hindsight, there was a period during which we weren't altogether sure that the top trophy would land in the deserving hands of 12 Years.
In the weeks leading up to the race, skeptics wondered if the top honor would in fact go to David O. Russell's American Hustle, a far lighter picture that grabs at the Academy's love for pizzazz and showmanship. But McQueen's far more dire but equally artful 12 Years did indeed earn the prize, and rightfully so.
Taking the stage to accept the award, producer Brad Pitt spoke briefly before handing the mic to director Steve McQueen. Visually affected by the win, McQueen rifled off his gratitudes at a rapid fire rate, articulated the efforts of his production team and staff, and ultimately dedicating the award toward the spread of knowledge about slavery of past and present.
Congratulations to 12 Years a Slave, a uniquely powerful film that more than deserved the Academy Award this year.
Awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's Birthday Honors List for his services to the Arts
Awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's New Years Honors List for his services to Visual Arts
Grew up in West London
Won the Turner Prize for his film installation work and exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, England
Directed second feature starring Michael Fassbender, playing a sex addict, in "Shame"; also co-wrote with Abi Morgan
Feature directorial debut with "Hunger," about a Northern Irish prison hunger strike; also co-wrote with Enda Walsh; film starred Michael Fassbender
Named the Official War Artist for Iraq in association with the Imperial War Museum
A widely praised conceptual artist-turned-filmmaker who had been called "a born provocateur" and "a reluctant subversive," Steve McQueen's features were captivating in their simplicity and minimalism. A devotee of the <i>nouvelle vague</i> style of the 1960s French New Wave, McQueen started his film career off with a series of experimental shorts exhibited in an unusual fashion, including screening without sound and/or on multiple art gallery walls rather than a conventional screen. Known for his meticulous sense of detail and guarded personality, McQueen maintained that his work was apolitical, though this was disputed, given its implied criticism of how the British government treated Irish Republican Army prisoners and displayed reluctance to suitably honor military personnel killed during the Iraq war. One of the few artists to garner instant acclaim upon transitioning to feature films, McQueen's "Hunger" (2008) and "Shame" (2011) - both starring Michael Fassbender - were heralded for their quiet, refined power and McQueen was cited as one of Britain's most promising and creative directors. This early promise was met in "12 Years a Slave" (2013), a harrowing period drama that won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for McQueen.