Arts - The Huffington Post
Jordana Brewster Gets Misty-Eyed Discussing Paul Walker And The 'Fast & Furious' Franchise
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM





For the past 16 years, Jordana Brewster has been a part of the “Fast & Furious” franchise. But next month, she won’t be reprising her role as Mia Toretto in the eighth installment, “The Fate of the Furious.”


Although fans may be disappointed, Brewster hinted that it just didn’t make sense for her to be in the movie due to Paul Walker’s absence. The actor tragically died in a November 2013 car crash at the age of 40.


In “Furious 7,” Brian (Walker) apparently leaves the crew to be with Mia and their children. So it appears screenwriter Chris Morgan thought it would be best to leave Mia out of the current storyline, which sees Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) enter a world of crime and betray those closest to him, all thanks to a new villain, Cipher (Charlize Theron).


“This one’s loaded because it’s the first one that Paul’s not in, so it’s very sad in a way,” a misty-eyed Brewster told The Huffington Post during a Build Series interview Wednesday. “But I think the franchise has evolved throughout the years and each one transitions into something new. I think the addition of Charlize is amazing, the addition of Helen Mirren is amazing. [But] it’s strange not to be a part of it, because it’s been a part of my life for so many years.”



Brewster is especially intrigued by the synopsis, since she can’t imagine Dom turning on his family so easily. 


“When I saw that twist, it made me want to watch it. ‘Cause I was like, ‘How? What happens?’ They can’t possibly end on that note, so ... we’ll see,” she said.


Still, family is family, and Brewster is and will always be close with the “Fast and Furious” cast.


“I’m friends with Vin, I’m very close with his sister, as well, and I love Michelle [Rodriguez] to death, and I love Luda, so I feel like I see them regardless. But again, there’s a huge missing element,” she added, of Walker. 


Moving forward, the actress hopes to explore more dynamic roles while using her experience with the franchise to her advantage. 


“With something as big as ‘Fast and Furious’ ... it gives you liberty to play in your career, because now I get to go off and find material that might be really fun,” she explained. “It’s fun getting to be a little bit older because I find that the roles are little more eclectic, a little more rich. I’m not always playing the ingénue. It just gives me creative license in a way.” 


Watch the full Build Series interview with Jordana Brewster, where she discusses her current partnership with Zyrtec, below. 







Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Mahershala Ali, Amy Poehler and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31 on Facebook Live


You can support the ACLU right away. Text POWER to 20222 to give $10 to the ACLU. The ACLU will call you to explain other actions you can take to help. Visit www.hmgf.org/t for terms. #StandForRights2017

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Female Smurf Character Edited Out Of Film Posters In Israeli City
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM

Smurfette is the star of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s upcoming movie “Smurfs: The Lost Village.” The female cartoon character’s smarts and sense of adventure are what spur the plot into motion.


But in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak, Smurfette’s centrality to the plot apparently doesn’t matter as much as her perceived gender. 


The character ― the only female Smurf ― has reportedly been edited out of billboards for the movie appearing in the city, which is home to many ultra-Orthodox Jews. Instead, the ads show just three male Smurfs.






Mirka’im-Hutzot Zahav, the PR company promoting the movie in Israel, told the Associated Press that the decision to cut Smurfette was made to avoid offending the city’s religious residents. Smurfette does appear in ads for the movie in other parts of Israel.


Bnei Brak reportedly has an ordinance prohibiting the display of posters of women that “might incite the feelings of the city’s residents.” 


Smurfette isn’t the first lady to get this treatment. Several ultra-Orthodox Jewish publications have refused to publish photos of women because of concerns over modesty. 


In the past, Tinkerbell and Jennifer Lawrence have also been edited out of advertising campaigns in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, the Times of Israel reports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also edited out of pictures from a march in 2015.


In 2011, a Brooklyn-based Hasidic newspaper airbrushed Hillary Clinton and a female counterterrorism director out of a photo taken inside the White House’s situation room during Osama bin Laden’s assassination. 


The newspaper, Di Tzeitung, later apologized for altering the photo, which the White House has asked news outlets not to do. In a statement, the paper argued that their policy of not publishing photos of women “in no way relegates them to a lower status.”


“We regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention.” 


Watch a trailer for “Smurfs: The Lost Village” below.





It’s also worth noting that the Smurf franchise isn’t exactly feminist. Smurfette was introduced into the series in 1966 as an evil seductress to cause jealously among the male Smurfs. Papa Smurf later transformed her into a real Smurf. (Her dark hair becomes blond in the process). She only became a permanent part of the Smurf community in the 1980s. 


The new movie attempts to introduce a more feminist angle and more female Smurfs, with Smurfette at the center of the action.


“Smurfs: The Lost Village” opens in Israel on Thursday. 

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Puking Statue Will Make You Feel Sick -- But You Need To Look
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM





Ah, a day at the beach. Blue skies. A balmy breeze. Sand between your toes. And a seagull puking its brains out because it’s ingested far too many plastic bits.



Famed marine sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor created this figure as part of a larger installation meant to convey a sense of urgency about the amount of plastic debris in the world’s oceans. 


Taylor partnered with the nonprofit Greenpeace to erect his disturbing installation in central London this week.


The full work, called “Plasticide,” sits outside of the Royal National Theater. In addition to the vomiting seagull, the installation depicts a family of four enjoying a regular day at the beach. There are several other birds in the piece, and several other colorful piles of plastic ― presumably the other birds have already puked and moved on to find more garbage.


Each year, 8 million tons of plastic wind up in the ocean. By 2050, we’ll have more plastic than fish in our waters. This will lead to a number of deleterious consequences, including birds mistaking plastic for edible food. Studies have found that 90 percent of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.



Among the pieces of debris one of the “Plasticide” seagulls has vomited is a cap from a Coke bottle. Beverage companies are a huge contributor to the current marine crisis, a Greenpeace UK report released earlier this month concluded.


While the major soft drink companies have committed to producing bottles that are recyclable, that’s not actually a sustainable solution. Just because something’s recyclable, doesn’t mean the user is going to deposit it in the appropriate bin.



One solution the environmental group has proposed is for beverage companies to manufacture bottles made entirely from recycled plastic. This will help reduce the amount of wasted materials entering the oceans, and cut down on the amount of entirely new bottles being produced.


“The build-up of a man-made material like plastic in the vast expanse of our seemly untouched oceans is a visceral reminder of humankind’s devastating impact on our environment,” deCaires Taylor said in a statement.


“I want to bring this message back to home: our oceans, and the marine life which inhabits them, literally can’t stomach any more plastic,” he added.


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Amber Heard Wants Every Closeted Gay Man In Hollywood To Come Out
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM





Amber Heard has no time for closeted gay celebrities. 


Speaking at the The Economist’s Pride and Prejudice Summit March 23, the “Magic Mike XXL” and “The Danish Girl” star recalled the media firestorm that she faced after coming out as bisexual in 2010. In the end, the 30-year-old actress said that opening up about her sexuality was worth it ― and she encouraged other LGBTQ stars and public figures to follow her lead. 


“Even though everyone around me strongly advised me against it, it was just wrong. I would’ve rather go down for being who I am than to have risen for being something I’m not,” Heard told The Economist’s Deputy Editor Tom Standage.


She finally confirmed her sexuality, she said, when an After Ellen reporter asked her about the status of her relationship with then-girlfriend Tasya van Ree at the 2010 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. “I refused to not bring my partner at the time, but no one ever asked me about it,” Heard said. “An outlet specifically asked me who I was there with that night and who that person was to me and I just answered honestly.”




It didn’t take long for Heard to, as she put it, “realize the gravity” of what coming out would do. She acknowledged having some initial setbacks, including Hollywood execs who suddenly doubted her credibility as a romantic leading lady. Still, she noted, “While my private life is valuable to me, I knew that, being in Hollywood, I had a particular responsibility... I saw myself as being in this unique position with this unique gift. Any unique gift comes with unique responsibility.” 


When Standage noted that many of the best-known LGBTQ celebrities to come out in recent years were women, Heard agreed. “Women are almost entirely doing this on our own,” she said. “While it is apparently harder for men, I would argue, also, that is harder because there are no men challenging that. If women can do it and we can change the way that this conversation is had in a large scale, then men should be able to do it.”


Heard, who said she’d like to play an LGBTQ character in a movie moving forward, then added, “If every gay man that I know personally came out in Hollywood tomorrow... then this would be a non-issue in a month. We’d be hard-pressed to point the finger at anyone.” 


Watch Standage’s full interview with Heard below. 





For the latest in LGBTQ entertainment, check out the Queer Voices newsletter.


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Can We Please Stop Giving Rachel Dolezal A Platform?
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM

It has been nearly two years since Rachel Dolezal was outed by her parents for being a white woman who claimed to be black. Unfortunately, she is still a national news sensation.


On Tuesday, nearly half a million people tuned in to a Facebook Live video hosted by The New York Times that featured Dolezal (and only Dolezal), who shamelessly plugged her new autobiography, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World. Thousands more also likely tuned in to her appearance on the “Today” show that same morning to watch Dolezal recount her unusual life experiences, much of which we’ve all heard before.


People should have found a more productive way to spend their time because, frankly, Dolezal doesn’t deserve it. Dolezal is a master manipulator and people, time and again, have consumed her bizarre story as if it is one that carries enough magnitude or depth to explore race in America in an authentic and accurate way. It doesn’t.



This public infatuation with Dolezal is just a dark, twisted cycle fed by media consumers who drive interest and content creators who provide coverage ― but it is all crafted in a way that benefits Dolezal most. With the release and promotion of her new book, Dolezal is still able to profit from selling her story of being a white woman privileged enough to claim and convince members of the public that she is black, taking up space otherwise occupied by people who don’t have the luxury of crafting their own racial identity. 


I was among the many journalists who covered Dolezal’s alarming story when she was first exposed in June 2015. However, later in that same week, Dylann Roof murdered nine black people in Charleston, South Carolina, in a racially motivated act of terrorism. In the immediate aftermath of that tragedy, I wrote a piece in which I made a personal vow never to report on Dolezal again because I had firmly concluded that dissecting her story was meaningless when compared to the trauma and terror actual black people face every day:



In the last few days, I have seen former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal’s white face, terribly tanned and masked as “black,” plastered across TV screens, her name dominating my Twitter timeline and her life dissected through discussions I’ve both overheard and participated in. I no longer care to see, hear or say her name.



I have remained committed to that promise, until today. In the last 48 hours, Dolezal’s face has painfully popped up on social media feeds and widely respected national news platforms, each time with a new weave, the same spray tan and mention of her new autobiography leading headlines. This is deeply upsetting because it immediately triggers disappointment in how easily society can succumb to sensationalized stories like Dolezal’s self-calculated spectacle. It does not, and likely will never, serve as a useful catalyst for understanding this country’s racial dilemmas.


We could instead turn our attention to the hate crimes being carried out across the country and the tragic killing of Timothy Caughman, a black man, by a white terrorist. We could focus on the horrendous death of Darren Rainey, who was burned “like a boiled lobster” in a Florida jail. We can help find black and Latinx girls who have gone missing in Washington, D.C. ― the case has alarmed the city’s black residents, but seemingly not nearly as many whites. We could dedicate our energy to defending prominent black women like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) and journalist April Ryan from shameful attacks made against them by white male public figures. We could explore the experiences black women face in the workplace, dig deeper into the ongoing police brutality against black boys and girls, amplify the experiences of black Muslims living in fear and/or discover stories that prioritize mental health care in black America.


These stories deserve as much, if not more, attention than Dolezal, and this is precisely where my personal journalistic priorities lay.



While Dolezal didn’t expect to have her story revealed to the world, she did have control of deciding whether to share the truth herself sooner. She chose against it, ultimately finding comfort in masking her identity for decades and pushed to the verge of misery when it was all uncovered. She has since been fired from her position as the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, been removed from her job as a professor of African studies, and legally changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo (which means “gift from the gods”). And, yes, she still identifies as black. But the struggles Dolezal currently faces is a situation for which she can only blame herself ― and one that may not have escalated as quickly had she been honest from the beginning.


Dolezal has every right to tell her story, write a book and talk about her life experiences, but it does not mean the media or its consumers should amplify her voice or promote her mission to spout what most of us already know, and what many of us no longer care to read or watch. Almost immediately after Dolezal appeared on the NYT on Tuesday, #ActualBlackWomen began trending on Twitter as a way to deliberately overshadow her 30-minute feature by highlighting the books real black women have written.






We’ve probably all been guilty of sharing Dolezal’s story, or at least parts of it, at some point ― but we must recognize that it is distracting, counterproductive and unnecessary. Let’s return our focus to more pressing matters affecting marginalized, overlooked and misrepresented communities of color.


Surely, the stories of these black people deserve your attention, too.

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People Are Deeply Disturbed By This Hideous Statue Of Cristiano Ronaldo
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM





By most accounts, Portuguese soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo is handsome.


But you might not know that judging by the bust of him that was unveiled at the renaming of the Madeira airport in his honor Wednesday.


Visitors at Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo are now greeted by a sculpture of his “face” in front of the terminal. And well, Twitter had a field day.


















































H/T For The Win


Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Mahershala Ali, Amy Poehler and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live


You can support the ACLU right away. Text POWER to 20222 to give $10 to the ACLU. The ACLU will call you to explain other actions you can take to help. Visit www.hmgf.org/t for terms. #StandForRights2017

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Zosia Mamet Has One Question When Offered Roles: 'How Are They Depicting Women?’
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM





In the wake of November’s surprising presidential election, Zosia Mamet is “absolutely” thinking more critically about how her on-screen roles depict women. 


“I’m a big believer that, in times of struggle, movies and television and art in general that makes a statement is incredibly important, but I think people need a place to escape, as well,” Mamet told The Huffington Post by phone Tuesday. “I don’t discount pure entertainment whatsoever, but I think it just added to a sense of — particularly as a woman — ‘What are these roles saying? How are they depicting women?’ There’s still a really big gap in terms of well-rounded roles for women in our industry. A lot of the time, I find a female role will kind of just be part of the furniture in many ways. She serves as exposition and that’s it. Even though that was always something I factored into my decision-making for jobs in the past, I think now more than ever it’s something that’s non-negotiable to me.”


Mamet is part of a celebrity assembly that has teamed up for a star-studded event for the American Civil Liberties Union. Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU will air March 31 at 7 p.m. ET on Facebook Live. Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, Steve Buscemi, Tracy Morgan, Ellie Kemper, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, Jon Hamm, Amy Poehler, Michael Moore, Mahershala Ali and more are slated to participate, as will Funny or Die.


Mamet got involved with Friday’s benefit through her husband, actor Evan Jonigkeit, who developed a “bromance” with Fey’s producing partner, Eric Gurian, on the set of last year’s “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” Mamet will help to raise awareness for the ACLU’s causes, which include immigration, LGBTQ equality and women’s reproductive rights.



Mamet was filming the thriller “Under the Silver Lake” in Los Angeles on the day of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory. Left with downtime in her trailer and feeling stuck in her movie-set bubble, the “Girls” actress wondered what she could do to help the people and organizations Trump had spoken out against during his campaign. Mamet contacted her designer pals and, within a week, organized a holiday pop-up in Brooklyn. Twenty percent of the proceeds ― about $5,000, she said ― went to Planned Parenthood. 


It was a small thing in the grand scale, but it helped me and everyone involved feel like we were doing whatever we could in that moment to move the dial forward,” Mamet said. “Even though we didn’t change the world that day, we all did something, and it was something positive that was successful. I think that makes everybody feel like, ‘OK, I can go back out and fight tomorrow.’”


By February, she’d designed a pro-immigration Lady Liberty T-shirt for Y7, a New York yoga studio she frequents. All of the profits went to the ACLU.


”Honestly, I have found that being active in any way that I can is what helps me the most,” Mamet said.





Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Mahershala Ali, Amy Poehler and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live


You can support the ACLU right away. Text POWER to 20222 to give $10 to the ACLU. The ACLU will call you to explain other actions you can take to help. Visit www.hmgf.org/t for terms. #StandForRights2017


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Anti-Trump Book Listed As Coloring Book On Amazon By Reported Russian Hackers
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM

Not long after Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, publishers rushed an anti-totalitarian handbook by Yale historian Timothy Snyder to print. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century was published by Vintage this month in the U.K., its arrival heralded by an eye-grabbing poster campaign.


This week, the book’s Amazon U.K. page was hacked, probably by Russian hackers, according to The Guardian. The miscreants replaced On Tyranny’s cover image and description text with that of... an adult coloring book?


That’s right, drink ‘n’ draw lovers: It seems like even hackers have hopped on the coloring trend. The fake description of a fictional coloring book by “Timothy Strauss” urges customers to “color these images and read these lessons to Make World Great Again.”


The fake coloring book that took over the page appears to marry Snyder’s name with that of Leo Strauss, a political philosopher whose 1963 discourse On Tyranny explored the possible paths to tyranny and philosophy’s role under such a regime.


The cover art of the adult coloring book, appropriately, was taken from an American World War II poster advertising the sale of government bonds to fund the war. “Triumph Over Tyranny!” urges the original poster.



According to The Guardian, Snyder is convinced that Russian hackers were behind the tweaks to his book’s Amazon listing. “The idea of making the world great again, the slogan left by the hacker, appears, to my knowledge, only in Russian on pro-Trump posters in the Russian Federation,” he said.


A preeminent historian of Central and Eastern Europe, Snyder has previously found himself in conflict with the Russian government. His previous books Bloodlands and Black Earth drew rancor from Russian partisans thanks to his critical analysis of Josef Stalin, and On Tyranny not only critiques Russia’s past and present government, but also its alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election in aid of Trump.


Now, he believes, Russian hackers are interfering with his book in order to protect Trump, who has enjoyed a particularly bad couple of weeks thanks to the embarrassing implosion of his health care bill and the ongoing fiasco of the Congressional hearings on Russian election interference. “Russia has shown a tendency to jump in to help him at such times,” Snyder told The Guardian.



Vintage apprised Amazon of the breach by Wednesday morning; after remaining up long enough to utterly ruin our desire to relax through the art of adult coloring, the listing for the instant bestseller has been reverted to the correct image and text. As of this post’s publication, Snyder’s publisher had not responded to a request for comment.


H/T The Guardian


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Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Powerful Photos Reveal The Complex Truth About An Island Ruled By Cats
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM

Animal photographer Andrew Marttila says when he first heard about Japan’s “cat islands,” he knew he had to go.


He’s best known for his portraits of felines and his partner, Hannah Shaw, founded the cat rescue group Kitten Lady, so it made sense for them to plan a trip.


“Cat islands” — places where populations of free-roaming kitties boom in the absence of predators — have drawn growing numbers of international feline-loving tourists for several years. Photos of huge groups of cats ― like these images from an island called Aoshima ― periodically go viral and fueling interest in visiting the region.


Japan has 11 cat islands in all, typically the result of fishermen bringing cats to shore to control rodent populations.



In November, Marttila and Shaw traveled to Ainoshima, an island off the town of Fukuoka that measures a little more than a half a square mile, inhabited by around 500 people and hundreds of outdoor cats. The place is known as “Cat Heaven.”


But what the couple found was a little more complicated.


“For us cat lovers, there’s something pretty special about an area littered with dozens of cats,” Marttila told The Huffington Post in an email. “What you’re not seeing, however, are all the cats and kittens suffering from very treatable illnesses.”


Lack of spaying and neutering, plus an abundance of food provided by tourists, contributes to a growing cat population. But with no veterinarians or real framework for their care, this leads to what Shaw, writing for Paw Culture, called “a constant cycle of birth, early death, and more birth.”



She wrote that while the cats that survived to adulthood seemed healthy, there was a high mortality risk for the younger felines.


“Roughly one-third of the cats were young kittens struggling with untreated upper respiratory infections,” Shaw wrote.


“Eyes and noses crusted, the kittens huddled together on the warm pavement.”



A 2014 Japan Times article gave a similar account, quoting Japanese cat scientist Akihiro Yamane as observing many of the cats die in kittenhood, and adult males suffer brutal injuries over fights for mates and territory on the crowded island. 


Marttila said that people on the island were resistant to the idea of veterinary care and were “more keen to allow nature run its course.”


And while he acknowledges that yes, it’s natural for animals outside to get sick and die, the island is teeming with cats in the first place only because of human activity. As Shaw wrote in her essay, “human intervention is already impacting the growth of the population, just not in a way that benefits anyone.”



Marttila also stressed that he did not mean to criticize Japan in particular, since the United States is rife with its own animal welfare problems. And not all Japanese cat islands are the same. On Tokonoshima Island, for instance, which is home to around 3,000 cats, the government is implementing a “trap-neuter-return” program. This involves humanely trapping the cats, neutering or spaying them and giving them necessary vet care and then returning them to their outdoor homes.


Spaying and neutering cats cuts down on overpopulation and curbs stressful behavior like fighting and mating. On Tokonoshima, officials started the program in part to protect an endangered species of rabbit threatened by the cats.


When it comes to cat islands, Marttila believes potential visitors should be aware of what they may be getting into.


“Just be prepared to see the full gamut of beautiful to utterly depressing,” he said. “Having a more realistic expectation of what occurs on Ainoshima would have better braced me for the experience.”


You can see some of Marttila’s photos from the island below, and view more of his work on his Instagram and website. 



Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Mahershala Ali, Amy Poehler and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31 on Facebook Live

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Meet Broadway's 10 Hottest Chorus Boys Of 2017
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM

The early months of spring in New York always bring a rush of new Broadway musicals, and each year we kick off the season with a peek at some of the sexiest dancers, singers and actors that Broadway has to offer.


Here is our seventh annual roundup of 20 talented and men and women who will be heating up stages in the months ahead.

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The First Teaser For 'It' Is Here And Will Definitely Give You Nightmares
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM



Your childhood fear of clowns has been validated thanks to the just-released trailer for “It,” based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. 


The clip kicks off with a young boy playing with a paper boat in the rain. While chasing it down the street, the boat gets caught up in the stream and winds up in a sewer grate. Of course, the boy looks down into the deep, dark sewer, and there appears ― you guessed it ― Pennywise, the most terrifying clown ever. (Seriously, the new iteration of this character makes Tim Curry’s Pennywise look lovable.)


Judging by the 2-minute clip, you can expect the movie to be full of moments that involve Pennywise appearing out of thin air, effectively scaring the living daylights out of you. If that’s your cup of tea, check out the trailer above. 


“It” hits theaters Sept. 8. 


Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017 

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

How To Buy Art And Resist Hate, Too
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM

Since President Donald Trump’s election, artists and curators have been showing up and putting in work to prove that the line between art and activism is tenuous at best. An upcoming exhibition called “No Borders” is the most recent example.


The one-day pop-up show features over 100 works by donated artists including Claes Oldenburg, Robert Longo and Victoria Burge, all of which are priced at $200 or less. All proceeds from the day’s sales will go toward the ACLU and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). 


Curator Kirsten Flaherty began organizing the event following the announcement of Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations in February. Along with Trump’s ban, Flaherty also sought to resist the racist rhetoric vocalized by the presidential administration’s supporters around the country, as well as the surge of hate crimes and xenophobic threats sweeping the nation. 



Two months prior, Flaherty coordinated an art fundraiser to benefit the Standing Rock Medic + Healer Council as well as the Civil Liberties Defense Center, in support of those protesting at Standing Rock. In a single day, the show raised over $5,000. 


The “No Borders” exhibition provides a space for the creative community to come together, supporting one another as well as those most targeted by the current administration. “I believe,” Flaherty expressed in a statement, “as do many of the artists involved, that it is the responsibility of artists to use their visual talents in resistance to injustice and these exhibitions strive to raise vital funding while at the same time foster a sense of support among creative individuals in a difficult time.”


“No Borders” takes place Sunday, April 2, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Brooklyn’s Ground Floor Gallery. Art lovers will be hard-pressed to find an easier way to show some love to the organizations fighting to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees in this uncertain time. Also ― paying $200 for a Claes Oldenburg lithograph is just bananas, so you might want to get there early.   











Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017 






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Photographs Capture The Intimate, Ordinary Moments Of Queer Life In India
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM

What is it like to be queer in India today? A photography exhibition titled “Delhi: Communities of Belonging” by artists Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh offers a glimpse of 17 queer individuals and couples living in present day Delhi, India’s capital territory. 


The photos are intimate and, to an extent, ordinary. In one photo, a woman kisses her cat while typing on her laptop. In another, a reclining dad uses his knees to lift his young son into the air. Yet beneath the familiar exteriors is the centuries of discrimination and taboo that has prevented countless individuals from experiencing the joys of mundane daily life. 


Until 2009, anti-sodomy laws in place since British rule of India forbade people of the same sex from engaging in sexual intercourse. The law was briefly overturned in 2009, until the Supreme Court reversed that ruling in 2013. The intermediary phase of acceptance, however, roused many LGBTQ people to come out and organize ― people who are now left in a precarious sort of limbo.



“Even though people are more out today, there is that thing in the back of the mind saying this is still illegal in this country and tomorrow if they decide to crack down on it, we are too exposed already, so we would be in a lot of trouble,” a subject named Ranjan told Gupta and Sigh.


The two photographers met at an HIV conference in Delhi eight years ago, when they bonded over being members of India’s queer scene. Singh was working in a sector of public health catered toward working-class, queer men, while Gupta had been photographing the LGBTQ Indian community since 1980. In the decades since, Gupta observed substantial shifts in how queer Indians comported themselves and were perceived by others. 


“Today, many are still not out, but it’s hugely different in terms of documentary and photography,” Gupta told VICE.  “In 1980, nobody would turn their face to my camera and people certainly did not want to have their name on the picture, which they do in the book. The project now, which is portraits of real people with their names, with them facing the camera, is completely a reversal from how it was then.”



Through their photos and the conversations accompanying them, Singh and Gupta compile an intimate and animate portrait of contemporary life for queer Indians. What shape each life takes is different, depending on factors including generation, class and educational background. And the photographic subjects reflect a variety of occupations, including activists, sex workers and academics. Together, though, the photographs tell the story of an LGBTQ community whose origin story differs from that of the West, and whose members are still fighting for safety, equality, protection and love. 


Singh and Gupta published a photography book titled Delhi: Communities of Belonging in 2016, combining 150 images with original interviews and written testimonials from the subjects. The book is available on Amazon, while the photographs will be on view in an exhibition of the same name at sepia EYE in New York between March 31 and May 6.



Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31 on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017 

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What's Really Going On Inside Your Favorite Songs?
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM

What makes up a song?


There are the basic elements: notes, a rhythm, melody, perhaps vocals or instrumentation of some kind. Yet the heart of a song, the inscrutable way it reaches out to listeners, unites strangers, marks a personal or collective era, is a bit harder to get at. 


With his podcast “Song Exploder,” musician Hrishikesh Hirway — who also has a podcast devoted to “The West Wing” — helps to fill out the answer. Each episode since the show’s inception in 2014 takes one track from a musician or group’s catalog and allows an artist to break down the song in his or her own words. Who’s been on it? Some bigger names include Solange, Carly Rae Jepsen, U2, Metallica, DJ Shadow, Wilco and Iggy Pop, and the show’s indie-but-well-known roster could rival a Brooklyn resident’s most-played on Spotify: Grimes, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Phantogram and tUnE-yArDs.



“I wanted the show to demonstrate this idea that there’s so much going on within any song,” Hirway told The Huffington Post last month. “Normally, we hear music and it’s just the finished product. It’s just a little bit opaque; you don’t really know what’s going on or how it got there. But there are so many decisions that come from so many different places, whether it’s inspiration, or accident, or experimentation, and trial and error.”


Hirway starts each episode with a brief introduction before stepping back. You can detect the host’s hand in the well-crafted sound production — often, isolated musical elements from a given song will chime in as the artist is verbally deconstructing them. The effect is a bit like the director’s commentary on a DVD, in which you hear about the making of a project from the pros themselves. It’s accessible to both the casual listener and the ultrafan.


The idea behind this, Hirway said, was inspired in part by Benjamin Britten’s orchestral pieces designed for children. (If his name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, perhaps the score for “Moonrise Kingdom” will.)



“Benjamin Britten had those pieces for children where there were these records where they would explain what the orchestra did, what all the different sounds were, and what they were capable of,” he explained. “And there was something really nice about that. And it’s not condescending at all, it’s just like — OK, here’s what the trombone does.” By having a musician describe the decisions that led to the use of a certain instrument or lyrics, the finer points of a song take on more meaning.


The experience Hirway had while listening to Marc Maron’s podcast was another influence: “Those [comedians] he has on his show, I felt like I was immediately stepping in to like, an AP level course on something ... It was intermediate or advanced stories. You were expected to kind of catch up a little bit.”


“It felt more real, because they speak to each other like they have this shared vernacular,” he continued. Listening to an artist talk about their work expands our view of their song: it transforms from a whole into a puzzle of finely arranged parts. Instead of the finished product, you consider its influences, the choices made on the way to the finished product.


Hirway’s examination of the music allows for a kind of granular, studied appreciation that feels absent in a world where, thanks to digitization, hordes of albums are always available on demand.


“There’s something very disposable about music now, and maybe music always, but especially now, where you get five seconds of an mp3 of a track, and if it doesn’t catch your ear, you move onto the next one,” he said. “It’s the flipside of the blessing of having all the music on earth at your fingertips: How do you get through all of that?”


The answer, or an answer, seems to be allowing artists to talk about the thing they love. Though Hirway said most interviews are recorded remotely, he was able to sit down in-person with Solange for her episode, where she breaks down “Cranes in the Sky,” off of 2016’s “A Seat at the Table.”





“It was especially cool for me because she made my favorite record of last year,” he said. “But really, the best thing about that was how fantastic she was as an interviewee. She really had a really clear sense of her motivation and she had a very clear memory of how the song was made.”


He recalled his favorite moment from Solange’s episode, where he asked about a certain part in the song when she sings, “I tried to cry it away,” and the backing vocals — also performed by her — respond, “Don’t you cry, baby.”


“She told this story [explaining] how that’s her mom and her two aunties singing to her,” he said. “She had this story about how her mom always gave her and Beyoncé three days. Whatever it was that they were going through, they would get two days to be miserable, and then on the third day, they had to like, wipe the tears away and get back into it. So this little moment, this one line in the song, represented to her this sense of community and family and the idea of picking yourself back up.”


“That was so beautiful, and perfectly encapsulated the kind of story and the kind of feeling that I always want from music and that I especially want from artists on the podcast.”


Download “Song Exploder” from iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting platform.



Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017

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The 'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets' Trailer Includes A Rihanna Cabaret Show
March 29th, 2017, 10:47 PM





In “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne have 10 hours to save a universe. Meanwhile, Rihanna stages a galactic cabaret show and Clive Owen barks orders. 


It’s all in the name of one of summer’s big movie events. The latest from “The Fifth Element” and “Lucy” director Luc Besson, “Valerian” looks part “Star Wars,” part “Avatar,” part “Jupiter Ascending” and all bonkers.


Watch the trailer above. The movie opens July 21.


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Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.