Culture Headlines

  • Science fiction triggers 'poorer reading', study finds

    US academics find words such as ‘airlock’ and ‘antigravity’ are cues for test subjects to assume a story isn’t worth a careful read It might feature such thought-stretching concepts as time travel and warp drives, but reading science fiction actually makes you read more “stupidly”, according to new research. In a paper published in the journal Scientific Study of Literature, Washington and Lee University professors Chris Gavaler and Dan Johnson set out to measure how identifying a text as...

    the Guardian
  • PVRIS: the arena rockers fighting for gay rights in Trump's America

    These high-school friends from Massachusetts are doing their growing up in public, with Lynn Gunn becoming the kind of frank frontperson fans can relate to Evening has fallen in Wantagh, Long Island, and the Jones Beach amphitheatre is filling up with people who have turned out early for a Muse concert. But perhaps the draw is also the opening band. With their ethereal electronic pop-rock alongside a vociferous support of LGBTQ rights, PVRIS have spent the past three years quietly making their...

    the Guardian
  • James Franco: ‘I was certainly taking myself too seriously before. But who doesn’t?’

    His riotous new film, The Disaster Artist, is one of the best in a fascinating but patchy career. So how did this notorious workaholic with a fear of failure learn to laugh at himself? James Franco, the stoner’s comedian inside a workaholic arthouse auteur trapped in a Hollywood leading man’s body, is a bewildering enough prospect as an actor, but that’s nothing compared with what he is as an interviewee. As I walk into his hotel room in San Sebastián, Spain, where he is at the film festival...

    the Guardian
  • Jada Pinkett Smith: ‘Who’s the best at music in my family? Everyone plays in their own sandbox’

    Fresh from weeing over a crowd of people in Girls Trip, the actor offers her thoughts on the various skill sets of her family Hi, Jada! Was there a moment of hesitation when you read the Girls Trip script and saw that you had to wee yourself over a crowd of people (1)? No! People always ask me that. That was actually one of the moments that made me think: “Oh, wow, this is going to be a lot of fun.” It’s completely unexpected and completely outrageous. And, you know, it’s a movie. Continue...

    the Guardian
  • The Secret Theatre, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, review

    If you were one of those who found Gunpowder (the BBC’s complaints-prompting drama about Guy Fawkes) stomach-churning, but in a good way, then a grisly treat awaits you at Bankside.

    The Telegraph
  • George Avakian, jazz producer of Miles Davis and more, dies at 98

    Russian-born industry titan helped popularise albums and liner notesJazz career began in 1930s, working with Louis Armstrong George Avakian, a Russian-born jazz scholar and architect of the American music industry who produced essential recordings by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and other stars has died. He was 98. Avakian’s daughter, Anahid Avakian Gregg, confirmed that her father died on Wednesday morning at his home in Manhattan. No further details were immediate available. Continue...

    the Guardian
  • She's Gotta Have It review: Spike Lee atones for his biggest regret in forceful, feminist new drama

    As the director behind some of the most provocative and ambitious films of the past 30 years, Spike Lee isn’t a man of many regrets.

    The Telegraph
  • Finland baker launches bread made from crushed crickets

    HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish bakery and food service company Fazer launched on Thursday what it said was the world's first insect-based bread to be offered to consumers in stores.

    in.reuters.com
  • Finland baker launches bread made from crushed crickets

    HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish bakery and food service company Fazer launched on Thursday what it said was the world's first insect-based bread to be offered to consumers in stores.

    in.reuters.com
  • Björk: Utopia review – romance, angst and troublingly thin tunes

    The musician’s self-professed ‘Tinder album’ spins from ecstasy to frustration by focusing more on soundscapes than melody At this stage in her career, no one expects Björk’s latest record to sound much like her last one. And yet it’s hard to avoid heaving a thankful sigh when Arisen My Senses, the opening track of her ninth studio album, Utopia, crashes into life: birdsong giving way to bright splashes of electronics, beatific-sounding harp chords and cascading beats not unlike the oft-sampled...

    the Guardian
  • Why is Oscar-buzzed romance Call Me by Your Name so coy about gay sex?

    The much-lauded 80s-set drama is a triumph on many levels but its conservative attitude towards showing men having sex remains problematic There was a time, not all that long ago, when Luca Guadagnino’s new film Call Me By Your Name would have been something of a fringe item. A florid gay love story, set in the rarefied playground of wealthy white academics who use “summer” as a verb, awash in Euro-art flourishes inspired by the likes of Bertolucci and Antonioni, and based on an André Aciman...

    the Guardian
  • Against all odds, Phil Collins carries the crowd

    A stooped bald man in baggy black clothes shuffles centre stage, a walking stick helping him along.

    The Telegraph
  • #Starvecrow review – first ever selfie movie needs an upgrade

    Shot mostly on camera phones, this British drama about a group of insufferable twentysomethings has little going for it besides zeitgeist bragging rights After found footage and phone footage films, here, with the inevitability of a man in belted jeans launching a new iPhone model to a crowd of saucer-eyed disciples, is the first ever selfie movie – a naive and self-indulgent piece with very little going for it other than zeitgeist bragging rights. Shot mostly on camera phones by the actors,...

    the Guardian
  • The Epson panoramic photography awards 2017 – in pictures

    The Epson International Pano awards showcase the work of the best panoramic photographers from around the world. Thousands of entries were submitted to the eighth annual competition. Here is a selection of the best, including the winning entry of a river in China Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Jon Hendricks, vocal jazz pioneer and vocalese master, dies aged 96

    The early Art Tatum collaborator went on to win a Grammy with his trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross Jon Hendricks, the American jazz singer who pioneered the evocative vocalese style, has died aged 96. His daughter Aria Hendricks confirmed the news. Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Is all forgiven? The strange, troubling resurgence of Mel Gibson

    The actor-director seemed unemployable after a string of antisemitic and racist outbursts. But steady work since and a new comedy vehicle suggest his time in the wilderness is up The long, complicated saga known as the Never-Ending Rehabilitation of Mel Gibson unspools another chapter. Gibson is playing his most prominent on-screen role, in Daddy’s Home 2, since his obscenity-filled antisemitic meltdown on the shoulder of the Pacific Coast Highway on a hot July night in Malibu more than a decade...

    the Guardian
  • So long, Dennis Reynolds – you might just be TV's greatest monster

    If it’s true that Glenn Howerton’s character in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is off, we’ll be deprived of some chilling onscreen psychopathy. Perhaps his morally bankrupt worldview was just a little too close to reality Dennis Reynolds exited the last series of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on an uncharacteristically tender note. Having discovered that he had fathered a child, Dennis (played by Glenn Howerton) said goodbye to his awful friends and left the city in a newfound quest for...

    the Guardian
  • Alt-America and English Uprising review – Trump, Brexit and the far right

    Both David Neiwert’s book on the US radical right and Paul Stocker’s on Brexit argue that economic factors take second place in explaining populism Donald Trump is US president because just under 80,000 people in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin flipped those states his way. Many of his extra voters were working-class white men who had voted for Obama in 2012 and switched because of Trump’s pledge to bring jobs back to the rust belt. They may not have liked Obama’s liberal policies on gay...

    the Guardian
  • The forgotten women of the 1980s indie boom – in pictures

    A new book, Untypical Girls, documents the women who refused to be cowed in the male-dominated indie scene that flourished in the 1980s – from riot grrrls to shoegazersUntypical Girls by Sam Knee is out now, published by Cicada Books Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Sex workers as you've never seen them before: why The Girlfriend Experience gets prostitution right

    “We’re the sort of people who are usually just plot devices,” British sex worker and campaigner Cat Stephens told The Independent earlier this year.

    The Telegraph
  • ‘He bought diamonds as an ordinary man buys cigarettes’: The story of Britain's most eccentric aristocrat

    Most people haven’t heard of Henry Cyril Paget, which is hardly surprising;

    The Telegraph
  • Bad Roads review – love, sex and terror in violent vignettes from Ukraine

    Royal Court, LondonThere are echoes of Sarah Kane in Natal’ya Vorozhbit’s powerful play exploring the collateral damage suffered by women during Ukraine’s conflict Theatre can sometimes jolt the memory. At a time when Ukraine has fallen off the media radar, this play by Natal’ya Vorozhbit, translated by Sasha Dugdale, provides a powerful reminder of the bitterness of the war that led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. In particular, it makes the point that women attracted by the dubious...

    the Guardian
  • Margaret Forster: Exclusive extract from her teenage diaries

    My wife, Margaret Forster, novelist and biographer, wife and mother, died on 8 February 2016.

    The Telegraph
  • Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter denies 2002 rape allegation

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter on Wednesday denied an allegation that he raped a teen pop singer 15 years ago, saying he was "shocked and saddened" by the accusation.

    in.reuters.com