Headlines 

Oxford professor accused of selling ancient Bible fragments

Dirk Obbink allegedly sold artefacts to US chain Hobby Lobby without permission An Oxford University professor has been accused of selling ancient Bible fragments to a controversial US company that has been involved in several high-profile scandals related to its aggressive purchases of biblical artefacts. Dirk Obbink, one of the worlds most celebrated classics professors, has been named after an investigation by staff associated with Oxfords project. He is accused of selling without permission a number of ancient fragments to the US arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby. Its owners,…

Read More
Headlines 

El Camino: is the Breaking Bad movie worth the wait? Discuss with spoilers

The long-awaited return of Jesse Pinkman has landed on Netflix, along with some other surprise characters The past weekend saw the much-anticipated release of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie on Netflix. As we knew from strong reviews, one talking point that keeps popping up is the notion that since it doesnt throw any big twists our way, or even really expand on what we probably surmised at the end of the original series re Jesses fate, the film is somehow unnecessary. Even without diving into a larger discussion about…

Read More
Headlines 

Gemini Man review Will Smith out-performs his younger self

All the digital de-ageing technology in the world cant make this silly sci-fi thriller about a cloned hitman convincing Will Smith is a 51-year-old contract killer named Henry Brogan who wants out of the game. His bosses arent having it and send in Junior, an assassin tailor-made to kill him. But, on removing his sunglasses and backwards baseball cap, Junior is revealed to be a younger clone of Henry. Never mind the silly science or that Smiths face is shoddily de-aged with digital technology to enable him to play Junior:…

Read More
Headlines 

Robert Forster: a coolly charismatic character actor with an intensely sympathetic air

Forster was a performer whose all-American looks could convey a deeper, more complex personality, something Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch picked up on If ever an actor grew into his looks, it was Robert Forster, whose cleancut mainstream handsomeness evolved and cragged up over the forty-odd years of his career in film and TV into something that fascinated audiences and directors alike. He started out looking like Alain Delons roughed-up elder brother; later he came to be a coolly charismatic and distinctive American character actor who lent style and weight…

Read More
Headlines 

A new India is emerging, and it is a country ruled by fear | Amit Chaudhuri

Modis vision for the country is one that stifles dissent and difference, says the author and academic Amit Chaudhuri Four months have passed since Narendra Modi and the BJP came back to power in India, and more seems to have happened there than in the last 40 years. The sense of suspension of civil liberties in the emergency of 1975 to 1977 and the political traumas that followed. This is because without the matter being explicitly articulated citizen has been set against citizen: not just Muslim against Hindu or, say,…

Read More
Headlines 

Face It by Debbie Harry review rock ‘n’ roll stories to burn

Taking heroin, being flashed by David Bowie, and punk-pop brilliance but in this long-awaited memoir the Blondie singer remains mysterious to the last When Blondies singer, Roger Vadim film, though her biggest influence was Marilyn Monroe, who she recognised was playing a character, the proverbial dumb blonde with the little-girl voice and the big-girl body a woman playing a mans idea of a woman. As the only woman in an all-male band, Harry knew she had to make her mark. With her peroxide hair, thrift-store clothes and expression that sat…

Read More
Headlines 

US cinemas ban masks and costumes at Joker screenings

Following concerns about the potential for violence, several chains will not allow face coverings or clothing that would make other guests feel uncomfortable Major cinema chains in the US have announced that they will enforce bans of masks, costumes and toy weapons at screenings of Joker, the new film starring says on its website that no masks, painted faces or costumes will be permitted into our theatres. AMC Theatres, the USs largest cinema chain with more than 600 venues, 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado, at a midnight screening of The…

Read More
Headlines 

The blockbuster that wasn’t: inside an alleged $14m scam to make the next Netflix hit

A California man was charged with fraud after securing millions in funding and using most of the money on himself, prosecutors say On paper, Legends looked like a box-office hit. Adam Joiner billed his movie as an anachronistic mash-up of legendary 19th-century American figures, a steampunk Avengers tailor-made to satiate the ever-expanding appetite for big-ticket, fantasy-action pictures. With Endgame, the latest Avengers installment, Game of Thrones or the recently Disney-fied Star Wars universe have inspired an undeniable gold rush for premium content so much so that the genre has, in…

Read More
Headlines 

All hail Tina Fey: the funniest comic of the 21st century

From skewering Sarah Palin to handing us Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, here are 10 of the SNL legends most hilarious moments A nice girl with an anarchic bent and a tongue as sharp as a boning knife, Saturday Night Live), network comedy (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), while writing Jimmy Fallon, the goofy little brother to her sardonic big sister, then with The 2004 movie, which Fey blithely adapted into Alec Baldwins Jack Donaghy. For Fey at her neurotic, lemon-scented best, try the second-season episode Sandwich Day, which shows her…

Read More
Headlines 

Id ask my mum: why do you drink? Andie MacDowell on childhood and Hollywood

She learned responsibility young, caring for her mother then became a stunningly successful model and screen star. The actor talks about ageing on screen, why she eschews drugs, and her pride in her daughters acting careers Andie MacDowells career as a successful model, who went on to become a successful actor, almost ended before it began. It was 1979, in the middle of the Studio 54 era, when she moved to New York. She was 21 years old, had just been signed by the Elite model agency and appeared to…

Read More
Headlines 

After Caroline Calloway: should ghostwriters speak out against their subjects?

Natalie Beachs tell-all about the controversial influencer wasnt the first case of a ghost exposing their subject, following Julian Assange and Donald Trump Thirty years after ghostwriting Donald Trumps The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz described the experience as like putting lipstick on a pig. He felt a deep sense of remorse at helping bring the man who would become president gain wider attention. Andrew OHagan famously detailed the extraordinary essay in influencer Caroline Calloway: from Instagram captions to the aborted book that once attracted a $375,000 (300,000) publishing…

Read More
Headlines 

Sontag: Her Life by Benjamin Moser review heavyweight study of a critical colossus

Susan Sontags rise from gawky swot to opinion leader is incisively charted Art, Susan Sontag declared in 1965, is the supreme game which the will plays with itself. Sontag, supremely wilful, played the game with herself: she began as a critic of art, but turned into what she called an art object endowed with this quality of assurance, authority that she viewed as the barbed, bristling armature of style. At first, what mattered was the sparky contents of Sontags head; by the end she was best known for the way…

Read More
Headlines 

Queen Olivia Colman, an epic budget and a cast of thousands: a year behind the scenes on The Crown

With its 50m budget, army of experts and Oscar-winning Queen, The Crown is gearing up for another blockbuster season Watching a days filming for the new season of The Crown, I had the dizzying impression that organising a shoot of Winston Churchills state funeral must have been only marginally less complex than organising Winston Churchills state funeral. On a sunny September day last year there was a cast of 300, many of them in full military costume, and a crew of 250. The congregation was issued with perfect facsimiles of…

Read More
Headlines 

Depth of Field: The Movie Poster Brexit Deserves

Photographs, Susan Sontag once famously wrote, “fiddle with the scale of the world.” They tell us only a distortion. They are incomplete, even as they strive to render the frame whole and exact. That does not make them false. Exactly the opposite. Photographs invite meaning, possibility. The best photos, thick with narrative, sweat. It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. It is also true that a picture is worth a thousand more pictures. One image gives way to another. What are photographs but gateways into parallel…

Read More
Headlines 

Ariana Grande returns to Manchester to play poignant Pride show

Star performed in city for the first time since a benefit gig for those killed at her concert in 2017 The last time Ariana Grande performed in Manchester, in the harrowing days after the blast that killed 22 people and injured hundreds more at one of her concerts there, her tribute show began with a minutes silence and the words: Lets not be afraid, Manchester. She returned to the city in sparkling style on Sunday night, dazzling through a party playlist as she pledged her undying love to a place…

Read More