1149 posts categorized "Arts-Entertainment"

February 12, 2016

Rijksmuseum flashmob

The most stunning flash mob I've ever seen: The Rijksmuseum stages a recreation of Rembrandt's "Night Watch" (the nation's artistic pride, the culmination of the museum tour right after the Vermeers) at a shopping mall in Breda. This was done in 2013 to promote the museum's reopening after a ten-year renovation.

February 08, 2016

Beyoncé gets political with "Formation"

Lots of buzz about this one. Vox story below.

Lady Gaga sings national anthem at Super Bowl 50

The latest entry in an annual ritual.

February 07, 2016

"Lost in the Stars" comes to Washington National Opera

On Sunday evening I watched the tech rehearsal of the first act of Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson's "Lost in the Stars," based on Alan Paton's "Cry, the Beloved Country." The opera was presented at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2012. As then, the Washington National Opera production features Eric Owens as Stephen Kumalo, and the same creative team.

This opera only runs from Feb. 12 through Feb. 20. The singing and staging of this powerful work about South Africa under Apartheid are first rate.

February 03, 2016

The Crisis Mag says listen to Susan Sarandon because she won an Oscar

Actress Susan Sarandon slammed Hillary's record on gay rights. She overlooked her launch of a global LGBT initiative in December 2011 as Secretary of State in Geneva:

More on Hillary's accomplishments.

February 02, 2016

Nick Jonas denies gay-baiting: 'I have nothing to prove'

Work it while you've got it, honey.

January 31, 2016

Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to a science emergency

Dr. Tyson gets into a smackdown with rapper B.o.B, who thinks the earth is flat. Very amusing.

January 28, 2016

Seed of the Glittering Republic: exclusion in the movie industry

My latest column looks at the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. Links to several movie trailers and other related articles embedded.

January 27, 2016

Neil deGrasse Tyson gets into a rap battle over whether the earth is flat

This is fun.

Be afraid -- very afraid! There's now a gay Donald Trump erotic novel

Read at your own risk.

Gay artist makes portrait of Donald Trump out of GOP candidate's own bigoted comments

Nominees announced for GLAAD Media Awards 2016

January 25, 2016

Ian McKellen on Oscars: Industry is also discriminating against gay people

January 19, 2016

Carol sweeps Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Awards

January 17, 2016

Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry, Sam Smith and others pay tribute to Alan Rickman

January 14, 2016

#OscarsSoWhite, but here are 7 great 2015 performances by black actors

#OscarsSoWhite - there's more diversity at tonight's #GOPDebate

‪#‎OscarsSoWhite 2016: Black actors and directors snubbed

Once again, ‪#‎OscarsSoWhite‬. Here is a list of actors whose Oscar-caliber performances were overlooked: Michael B. Jordan, Samuel L. Jackson, Idris Elba, and Will Smith. Among directors: F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) and Ryan Coogler (Creed). Stallone's Supporting Actor nomination for Creed, as he himself would acknowledge, is primarily thanks to the masterful writing and direction of Coogler, and also to the chemistry between himself and the charismatic Jordan. So once again top-rank filmmakers and actors who are black are treated like the help. As with last year, I will find something else to do that night.

January 13, 2016

Who's Doing the Planting


My Blade column this week looks at the struggle to connect amid turmoil. Here's an excerpt:

Public discussions these days seem to dredge up the nastiest extrusions of our national psyche in a destructive competition. Withdrawing from the melee would only make matters worse by conceding the field to mischief-makers. So how do we gracefully stand our ground in a contentious environment?

We cannot spend all our time with the like-minded. At some point we have to leave our echo chambers and uphold our positions. There is no perfectly safe way to be true to ourselves.

Twitter is a place of fluid boundaries, so I was not surprised that one source of light on gun control is actor Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America, Boardwalk Empire, The Hunger Games). He posted a meme on January 7 quoting former Chief Justice Warren Burger: "The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires."

One of Wright's trolls replied, "Fuck you, Buckwheat, & this clueless, liberal judge legislating from the bench!" Wright calmly noted that he was quoting a Republican appointee, and added, "I associate more with Stymie," another black Little Rascals character. With wit and poise, he kept the upper hand. It might have been time-wasting had it been a private message, but he shared the exchange with his 80,000 followers. There is a point of diminishing returns, of course, for which the "block" button is handy.

Each of us strikes a different balance between comfort from comrades and abuse from adversaries. Some of us enjoy arguing more than others. The key consideration for the reality-based is persuasion. Mere insults appeal only to those already persuaded.

Read the whole thing here.

MAL is this weekend

CBS Entertainment prez mentions he's gay

January 11, 2016

Teen Wolf and The Leftovers star Charlie Carver comes out as gay

Another sign of changed expectations.

Space Oddity: Rest in peace, Starman

This was first published on May 12, 2013. Commander Hadfield wrote:

A revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

He now appends, "Rest in peace, Starman." He says more here.

About that "El Chapo" interview

The whole story of Sean Penn interviewing a drug cartel boss who was on the lam is a big WTF moment.

Sam Smith wins Golden Globe for Spectre theme

Congrats to Sam Smith.

R.I.P. David Bowie

Legendary rocker David Bowie had died of cancer at age 69. May he rest in peace. Here is one of his memorable songs.

A Golden Globes worth missing

I was working and missed the Golden Globes, and the news this morning doesn't make me regret it. The heavily censored monologue by Ricky Gervais included transphobic jokes. The homophobic, racist, and misogynistic Mel Gibson as a presenter. Lady Gaga won an acting award and a side eye from Leo DiCaprio. Stallone was at least embarrassed to realize he forgot to thank Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, and ran back to correct the omission, though it didn't make it on-air. Quentin Tarantino was drunk. Bring back Tina and Amy!

January 03, 2016

32 new books to consider in 2016

December 30, 2015

Aretha raises the roof at Kennedy Center Honors

Whatever else is going wrong, we still got Aretha. Fabulous.

When ya just gotta dance

This is a delight. Odell Beckham Jr. ignores the haters.

December 29, 2015

2015: Year of the Arsonist

Reichstag fire, 1933 (Photo public domain; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

My year-in-review column went online today at the Blade. My summary blurb is "Historic progress met the usual backlash." Here's an excerpt:

"Set the motherfucker on fire!" That recent call by a Donald Trump rally goer concerning a black protester, with another attendee yelling "Sieg heil," illustrates the viciousness fueling Trump's presidential campaign. If you take this lightly, Google "lynching." It is not just that what happened in Europe in the last century could happen here; what happened here could happen again. Trump's incitements, and those of his rivals, do not just pander to intolerance, they spray gasoline on the fire.

Hate-spewing demagogues were not the year's only newsmakers, but they produced its most dangerous legacy. The demons they unleashed cannot easily be tamed. But the haters cannot win the general election unless the rest of us allow it. Before we head back into battle, let us review some positive developments of 2015, though with cautionary notes.

The landmark victory for nationwide marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, which President Obama celebrated by lighting the White House north front in rainbow colors, inspired opponents to switch tactics by pushing "religious freedom" laws (better dubbed "religious supremacy") to continue their anti-gay attacks. The Equality Act represented a new approach to LGBT anti-discrimination legislation, but stood no chance in a Republican-controlled Congress. Openly gay Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and several colleagues launched the smart, well-designed Campaign Zero policy website.

Read the whole thing here.

December 28, 2015

Respecting other people's holidays

(Photo by Craig Herndon/The Washington Post)

The lovely Jonathan Capehart reposted this item from last year and mentioned that he was enraged for hours once when a well-meaning white friend sent him a Kwanzaa card. Really? Someone this morning wished me a happy Boxing Day, a British occasion that's irrelevant to me, and I reacted with amusement and moved on. There are lots of things like that in life. I stopped being Christian in 1970, but I enjoy Christmas music, and I sang "Christmas is coming, goose is getting fat" which I learned fifty years ago from Harry Belafonte's Christmas album. Jonathan disdains Kwanzaa as a "made-up black holiday," but every holiday was made up by somebody. Thanksgiving was made up, but is celebrated by millions. I should note that Capehart only brought up the subject to criticize a Republican bomb-thrower who portrayed Kwanzaa as a big leftist conspiracy.

Granted, Kwanzaa is full of Marxist claptrap (imho), but most black people don't celebrate it according to surveys (maybe they are just spent from Christmas), and it's probably promoted more by white people trying to be inclusive. So if you don't have a kinara, don't remember the Nguzo Saba, and don't have cool African clothes to wear, then have some eggnog and Christmas cookies and relax.

Nonetheless, I learned from Maulana Karenga years ago that tonight's principal is Ujima, or collective work and responsibility. Swahili is a lovely language, about a third of its words from Arabic. Our own word "seven" is from the Arabic "Saba," which derives from Akkadian, a reminder that all cultures are influenced by others. In many cases, blood was shed, treasure and people were stolen, and missionaries covered it by converting people to the conqueror's religion. None of us has clean hands. But regardless of Christmas boycotts and different cultural observances, we are all bound up in the same economy. Whatever we call it and however we got here, most of us can agree that helping our neighbors is a good thing. Most of us, I suspect, also agree that Ann Coulter, who is far nastier than sweet Jonathan could ever be, can shove it up her ouya. Pardon my vulgarity, and happy whatever it is you are celebrating.

December 23, 2015

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Merry Christmas from Steve Grand and Trevor LaPaglia.

December 21, 2015

Is this a dagger I see before me?

Betcha never saw this: Paul Lynde and Elizabeth Montgomery as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, from 1966.

It doesn't matter, they're all winners!

I dislike Steve Harvey. He's a misogynist and homophobe, and when he acts like an expert on "the ladies" I want to find women he has bedded to get their testimony. When "The Original Kings of Comedy" came out, I liked all the others better than him. I watched his sitcom because Cedric was on it, and I always crack up just looking at him. But it's amazing how much material flows from one goof at a beauty pageant. So I am grateful to Mr. Harvey for his mistake, because his look was priceless, and there is nothing stupider or more deserving of subversion than these pageants.

Twitter was brutal. Poor Leo DeCaprio was hit by a ricochet.

December 14, 2015

Laith Ashley, trans man, model and activist

Dick Van Dyke's 90th Birthday Flash Mob

Delightful. CNN reports.

December 09, 2015

The Daily Show: Trump is the White ISIS

December 07, 2015

Holly Woodlawn, transgender actress and Warhol 'superstar,' dies at 69

December 01, 2015

The Divine Miss M turns 70

Happy birthday, Bette!