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The president’s attempt to use the shooting to make a political point about the Russia inquiries drew swift criticism
Donald Trump has criticized the FBI for missing the “many signals” about the Florida school shooter, saying the agency was spending “too much time” trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
The US president’s attempt to use the shooting to make a political point about the FBI’s Russia inquiries into the Trump campaign drew swift criticism, including from John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, who told CNN it was an “absurd statement”.Continue reading...
Survivors of the Florida attack have grown up in a world where school shootings are the norm, and they want a different future
Unsure whether he would be a victim or survivor of the mass shooting taking place outside his Florida classroom, 14-year-old Aidan Minoff sent an eight-word tweet.
“I am in a school shooting right now ... ” Aidan said, before the world knew the day would end with 17 students and teachers dead.Continue reading...
Democrats and former intelligence officials argue Trump had done nothing to protect future elections from Russian interference
Donald Trump faced mounting calls on Sunday to act against Russia after special counsel Robert Mueller unveiled indictments on Friday accusing 13 Russians and three companies of interfering in the 2016 presidential election to help Republicans.Continue reading...
Clinton’s extramarital affair led to his impeachment, yet Trump seems immune to similar allegations. A panel of experts gets to the bottom of the double standard
The claim this week by a lawyer for Donald Trump that $130,000 transferred to a pornographic actor on the eve of the 2016 election was not taken from campaign funds set off a rollicking debate over who then, exactly, paid the porn star.
What it did not set off was a rollicking debate over what that payment, and the alleged illicit sex behind it, might mean in terms of the fitness for office of the sitting US president.Continue reading...
The movie had the fifth-biggest opening weekend ever in North America, suggesting it will set a record for films directed by a black filmmaker
Already a much-celebrated pop-culture milestone, Black Panther is now a record-setting smash at the box office, too.
The Marvel superhero film blew past expectations, with $192m in ticket sales in North America over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That makes Black Panther the fifth-biggest opening weekend ever, not accounting for inflation.Continue reading...
Those buying flats in Trump Tower project near Delhi invited to dine with US president’s son
Prospective investors in a Trump Tower project near Delhi are being offered a conversation and dinner with Donald Trump Jras part of a marketing campaign that has drawn criticism from corruption watchdogs.
Full-page advertisements reading “Trump is here. Are you invited?”featured on the front page of three Indian national newspapers at the weekend ahead of a visit by the US president’s son to India this week.Continue reading...
PM steps up populist rhetoric in annual state of the nation speech ahead of April elections
The prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, has ramped up his populist rhetoric ahead of April elections to claim that “dark clouds are gathering” and that his country is a last bastion in the fight against the “Islamisation” of Europe.
In his annual state of the nation speech, Orbán, who already appears set to win a third consecutive four-year term, made what are now familiar claims about his success in beating back threats to Hungary’s way of life from “Brussels, Berlin and Paris politicians”.Continue reading...
Aseman Airlines plane crashed en route from Tehran to Yasuj in severe weather conditions, according to state media reports
All passengers and crew onboard an Iranian commercial flight died after the plane crashed amid severe weather conditions in a mountainous region in the south of the country, state television reported on Sunday.
Aseman Airlines flight 3705, en route from Tehran to the southern city of Yasuj, the capital of the impoverished province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, went off radar 50 minutes into its journey, not far from its destination.Continue reading...
The British-born American freestyle skier failed to add to his silver from Sochi, but a historic kiss with his boyfriend on primetime network TV may have made an even bigger impact back home
When the American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy shared a kiss with boyfriend Matthew Wilkas at the bottom of the hill before Sunday morning’s ski slopestyle qualifying, neither was immediately aware the moment was captured by NBC’s cameras.
But the significance of an openly gay male athlete kissing another man on primetime network television during one of the world’s biggest collective experiences was not lost on the Saturday night audience back home in the United States where it quickly went viral and was feted by LGBT activists as a marker of progress amid the broadcaster’s much-criticized handling of gay athletes.Continue reading...
The Norwegian men’s curling team have become notorious for appearing in outlandish trouser designs. We look at some of the highlights
Since the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, the Norwegian men’s curling team have made a name for themselves by wearing a series of extraordinarily elaborate trouser designs. And since the Olympics is about nothing if its not about competition, here are 12 of their outfits – ranked.Continue reading...
• OAR confirm ‘possible violation of anti-doping rules’
• IOC banned Russia from Pyeongchang over doping at Sochi
A Russian athlete who won bronze in the mixed curling at the Winter Olympics has failed a preliminary drug test, putting his medal into jeopardy and throwing the spotlight on the decision to welcome 168 Russian athletes to Pyeongchang after the country was nominally banned for state-sponsored doping in Sochi four years ago.
The athlete has not been officially named but sources have confirmed reports in Russia that it is Alexander Krushelnytsky, who was found to have meldonium in his urine after playing in the mixed-curling tournament as a member of the Olympic Athletes from Russia team alongside his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.Continue reading...
Follow all the latest from Pyeongchang with our live and updating medal tableContinue reading...
Selma Blair kept asking herself why she didn’t just hit James Toback and run out of the room. A leading voice in exposing Hollywood talks single parenthood, stray dogs and how speaking out helped her
Halfway through our interview, Selma Blair’s one-eyed dog Buster climbs on to the restaurant table at the Chateau Marmont in LA and happily devours an entire plate of leafy greens. Strangers are staring. I’m staring. “Are you disgusted that I’m letting my dog do this?” Selma asks, her face serious, her tone as drily hilarious as it has been for the past hour, even when discussing the state of Hollywood for women and her fears that she’ll never work again. In fact, I’m just amazed that, here in Hollywood, even rescue mutts with part of their face missing seem to enjoy rocket salad with a blue cheese dressing. “I wonder if it’s possible to overdose on arugula?” she thinks aloud. “We’ll see when the dog dies tonight.”
Blair made her name with Cruel Intentions, a 1999 mean-teen remake of Dangerous Liaisons, and has since acted in Legally Blonde, the Hellboy films directed by Guillermo del Toro and in the US remake of Kath & Kim, where she played the hysterically funny and spoiled daughter. More recently she played Kris Jenner in an episode of American Crime Story. Now she’s in a comedy-ish horror film called Mom and Dad, which isn’t going down too well in America, what with its theme of parents overtaken by the urge to murder their own children, though Blair’s performance has been praised by the Hollywood Reporter, which describes her as a “chronically underused talent”. Nicolas Cage plays her husband, and they spend half the movie trying to end their two kids with an assortment of homemade weaponry.Continue reading...
Against Our Will brought rape out of the shadows in 1975. As the world reels from the #MeToo allegations, Brownmiller talks about pornography, power and 70s radical feminism
In the more than 40 years since its publication, Susan Brownmiller’s controversial, groundbreaking book about rape, Against Our Will, has never been out of print. It has, though, often been out of people’s minds – until now, that is. Thanks to the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and all that has followed in their wake, Brownmiller’s work is suddenly crisp again, its prescience and enduring relevance noted anew by anyone old enough, or well read enough, to be familiar with it. In a piece for the New Yorker last November, the magazine’s editor, David Remnick, used the adjective “startling” to describe it. Its author, he reminded his readers, got there first when it came to illustrating that sexual coercion is less a matter of lust than of power; and she made it her business to bust the myth that women “cry rape with ease and glee”. If that fallacy still prevails, this only shows how right she was to confront it in the first place.
After the article appeared, Brownmiller, who is now 82, expected a gentle upswing in her emails, perhaps the odd visit from a journalist. But, no. There followed a period of radio silence. “Turns out my details online were wrong, or something,” she says, with a cackle, lighting yet another cigarette. In her luxuriantly carpeted penthouse flat high at the top of a tower in Greenwich Village, New York, she was left alone to watch as #MeToo rolled like a huge boulder through the national conversation. What does she make of it so far? “Oh, I think it is a wonderful rise on the part of women,” she says, unhesitatingly. “People like me thought it [harassment] was all settled, and it was astonishing to find out that it wasn’t. The need to talk out, I find promising. It’s cathartic. It’s also very sad, of course. Sexual harassment was quantified by the law long ago. It’s been hard coming to terms with the fact that a lot of what we accomplished seems somehow just to have been erased.”Continue reading...
In the country’s heroin-producing heartland, Bishop Salvador Rangel Mendoza is attempting a radical solution to drug violence
The bishop Salvador Rangel Mendoza ministers to one of the toughest dioceses in Mexico: Chilpancingo-Chilapa lies in the country’s heroin-producing heartland, the setting for fierce battles between rival crime groups and security forces.
Violence in this part of the rugged state of Guerrero has reached such levels that entire villages have fled en masse and local morgues have run out of space to take more dead bodies.Continue reading...
If you have your DNA sequenced, someone somewhere will be making money from the data. A new start-up aims to make sure that you get your share
• A share in the future of DNA: Prof George Church Q&A
If you unlock the secrets of your DNA by paying a company to read your genes, behind the scenes it is probably making money by selling on your data for research. Companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA charge consumers under £150 to learn about their health and/or origins, while others do whole genome sequencing for a little over £1,000 (although in the US it is cheaper at just under $1,000). The model works like this: send in a saliva sample, receive the results and provided you consent, which most people do because they want to help research efforts, the company retains control of the data. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies hoping to develop new drugs become their customers – off the back of your genetic information.
Nebula Genomics, a US based startup, wants to upend this exploitation. It will offer whole genome sequencing, but allow customers to keep custodianship of their data, which they can then rent to the drug companies they choose, potentially making a profit in the process.Continue reading...
Vegas Tenold, author of Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America, tells of his reporting on the far right
The Norwegian journalist Vegas Tenold started reporting on neo-Nazi and KKK rallies in 2011, six years before the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, that made the resurgence of white supremacist groups into an international news story.
Tenold’s new book, Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America, excerpted here, chronicles the experience of those six years.Continue reading...
Everything you need to know about the inquiry into Russian hacking, alleged collusion and Donald Trump, plus the latest newsContinue reading...
What else would you call a group that ensures I need to have a conversation with my daughter about how to survive a school shooting?
I try so hard not to let tragedies like the one that happened at a Florida high school this week feel like just another shooting. This happens so often, it’s easy to fall into frozen despair. If child after child is killed, and still our politicians do nothing – how can we expect anything to change?
The truth is that we have to stop voting for Republicans; we have to stop voting for people who take money from the NRA. At this point, I consider them nothing less than a terrorist organization – what else would you call a group that ensures I have to have a conversation with my seven-year-old about playing dead should she be unable to run away from a shooter.Continue reading...
The simple act of crossing the partisan divide will not resolve our crisis. But it could help us begin to slowly rebuild our nation
Ever since Donald Trump captured the imagination of enough American voters to win, liberals I’ve spoken with have felt in a quandary. Trump seems to be kicking at the foundation of democracy itself, and the Democratic party has yet to reinvent itself into a powerful, coherent alternative.
Some progressives have become highly anxious or depressed, and quit reading the newspapers in an effort to escape such feelings. Others have plunged into work with coalition-oriented groups – such as Indivisible or MoveOn.Org – or have joined single-issue groups such as Black Lives Matter.Continue reading...
From scorning immigrants to accepting the president’s profanity, evangelicals are proving just how flexible their values can be
The religious right’s wholesale embrace of the Republican party and of Donald J Trump, both as candidate and as president, has necessitated a rewriting of evangelical ethics. Here’s a summary, with annotations.Continue reading...
Whether or not the world really is getting worse, the nature of news will make us think that it is
Every day the news is filled with stories about war, terrorism, crime, pollution, inequality, drug abuse and oppression. And it’s not just the headlines we’re talking about; it’s the op-eds and long-form stories as well. Magazine covers warn us of coming anarchies, plagues, epidemics, collapses, and so many “crises” (farm, health, retirement, welfare, energy, deficit) that copywriters have had to escalate to the redundant “serious crisis.”
Whether or not the world really is getting worse, the nature of news will interact with the nature of cognition to make us think that it is.Continue reading...
The film star has announced her separation from Justin Theroux. The response to her perfectly normal relationship trajectory is entirely predictable
The marriage of Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux has ended “lovingly”. How does that even work? “Get out of my life! (I love you).” “I never want to see your miserable face again (You lit up my world).” “Don’t pack my coffee maker – you thief! (We will always have Paris).” However, Aniston and Theroux are managing it and good luck to them. I wish them well in what may be their last shared quest not to end up becoming as annoying and smug as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, the celebrity couple who inadvertently proved that there can be such a thing as an over-civilised divorce.
In particular, good luck to Aniston, who, though she’s done a bit of acting, must now return to her proper day job of being described as “unlucky in love” in eight out of 10 articles written about her, the ninth usually written about her getting back with Brad Pitt (after approximately 13 years apart) and the tenth rudely insinuating that she is too old for bikinis.Continue reading...
- Mona Chalabi’s new podcast on the numbers that shape our lives
- Listen to the episode in an experimental player built by the Guardian mobile innovation lab
Today the Guardian US mobile innovation lab is launching a web-based audio player that offers a new way to experience podcasts.Continue reading...
- Fans shouted ‘basketball, basketball, basketball’ at player
- Canadian has spoken of loneliness of being a hockey player
Devante Smith-Pelly was taunted by four fans shouting “basketball, basketball, basketball” on Saturday night during the Chicago Blackhawks’ game against the Washington Capitals.
Washington’s Smith-Pelly, who is black, was serving a major penalty for fighting Chicago’s Connor Murphy when the fans taunted him in the penalty box. An off-ice official sitting next to him notified building security, and the fans were ejected. Smith-Pelly was visibly upset by the taunting, at one point tapping the glass separating him from the fans.Continue reading...
- Minute-by-minute updates from the 7.45pm GMT kick-off
- Valverde’s Barcelona balancing act turns crisis talk to treble talk
- You can email Will or tweet @Will_Unwin to get in touch
GOAL! Real Madrid work the ball into the box where Ronaldo picks it up and smashes a shot towards goal which Adan can only parry straight into the danger zone where Asensio is waiting to head the ball beyond a helpless goalkeeper.
Asensio heads home!Continue reading...
Scorer of the fastest World Cup goal had Turkey’s president as a wedding guest but now lives in enforced exile in the US
There is a photograph, famous in Turkey, taken at the wedding of one of the nation’s greatest footballers, a Uefa Cup winner who played in a World Cup semi-final. In the picture, Hakan Sukur is next to two witnesses, the nation’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the cleric Fethullah Gulen. A wedding is supposed to be one of the highlights in a man’s life but it did not work out like that for Sukur.
The woman he married that day is dead, Sukur’s father has been imprisoned and the player capped 112 times by Turkey finds himself in exile. Should he ever return to his native land he would face charges of insulting the president and rebelling against the government. Life imprisonment would be certain and he could even face the death penalty. He will never see his father again, all the adulation he once had is lost. Sukur has lost his country.Continue reading...
• Four-times Tour de France winner finishes 10th in Ruta del Sol
• Race was Froome’s first since news of failed drug test broke
Chris Froome admitted feeling below par as he finished the Ruta del Sol in 10th place overall but Team Sky were happy with his performance given the backdrop of a continuing battle to rescue his reputation.
Froome was surprisingly slow on the 14.2km time-trial which began and concluded in Barbate on Spain’s Costa de la Luz, the finale of a five‑stage race which was his first since a failed drug test last year became public knowledge. The four-times Tour de France winner finished 27 seconds behind his team-mate David De La Cruz, who recorded his first stage victory for Team Sky.Continue reading...
One last punt, one last chance for Rochdale to rescue the Wembley dream that had so cruelly been taken away when Harry Kane converted an 88th minute penalty for Tottenham. In it went, Spotland held its breath and the substitute Steve Davies held his nerve to drill a 93rd minute equaliser into the bottom corner and sent the team who are somehow bottom of League One to a date beneath the arch. Mauricio Pochettino patted the grizzly beard of Rochdale counterpart Keith Hill and exited down the tunnel. A fairytale ending, and thoroughly deserved.
This was the FA Cup in all its majesty. One of the most financially-stretched clubs in England stretched a team who had competed in the Champions League in midweek to the limit. A replay seemed to have been ripped from them when Harrison McGahey tripped Dele Alli late on and Kane, a fellow Tottenham substitute, converted the spot-kick on the ground where he made his professional debut. But Rochdale would not be denied. They had performed with spirit and no little quality throughout and when the ball broke for Davies inside a crowded penalty area in stoppage time only the most hard-hearted of Spurs supporters could have begrudged a precise finish into the bottom corner.Continue reading...
- Laura Ingraham attacked NBA star for criticism of Donald Trump
- Many saw hosts comments as filled with racist undertones
LeBron James has responded to what many perceived as racist comments from Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
After the NBA star had said Donald Trump doesn’t “give a fuck about the people” in an interview on his Uninterrupted social media channel Ingraham said athletes should stay out of politics and “shut up and dribble”. She then took James to task for his “ungrammatical” and “unintelligible” language.Continue reading...
Students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school have given emotive speeches condemning gun laws in the US. Hundreds of people protested at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale on SaturdayContinue reading...
Ground-breaking robotics engineering and design company Boston Dynamics have released footage of the SpotMini, a dog-like robot that can open doors in the most unsettling manner possible. The four-legged robot uses a mechanical arm with a pincer on the end to grasp and turn the handle and then hold open the door.Continue reading...
Ahmad and Mati served the US military as interpreters during the war in Afghanistan, but like many others who did so they haven’t been granted visas to emigrate to the US. With their lives threatened by the Taliban, they joined migrants heading for western Europe only to find themselves trapped in Serbia on the wrong side of impenetrable borders
This film was originally published in February 2017. It has been re-edited to conceal the identity of our lead character, whose name has been changed for his protectionContinue reading...
Luther star Idris Elba went down on one knee at a screening of his new film Yardie, at the Rio cinema in east London. Elba has reportedly been dating girlfriend Sabrina Dhowre since early 2017. The audience shared the couple's excitement with applause and cheers.Continue reading...
The commission of a lifetime for Amy Sherald has kickstarted a conversation about art, politics and culture
She is a Baltimore-based artist who only paints African-American subjects and always uses a muted palette. But last week, Amy Sherald became the art world’s latest sensation as her portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama was unveiled in Washington.
Sherald, 44, almost didn’t get to paint Obama. She put away her brushes for three years to care for her family in Georgia. Then, in 2012, she collapsed and underwent a heart transplant that meant she needed another year to recuperate.Continue reading...
DoJ indictment alleges Russian operatives ‘communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign’
Thirteen Russians have been criminally charged for interfering in the 2016 US election to help Donald Trump, the office of Robert Mueller, the special counsel, announced on Friday.Continue reading...
The 2012 presidential candidate has condemned Trump – but a former spokesman says Romney will side with the president 80% of the time
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his candidacy for a US Senate seat in Utah, marking a return to politics for one of the president’s fiercest conservative critics.
“I have decided to run for United States Senate because I believe I can help bring Utah’s values and Utah’s lessons to Washington,” Romney said in a video released online Friday.Continue reading...
Nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz says world has been lucky to avoid accidental weapon launch – and risk is growing
The world has been lucky so far to escape the launch of nuclear weapons through miscalculation, but the odds of such a catastrophic accident are increasing, according to the former US energy secretary Ernest Moniz.
Moniz, a nuclear physicist who played a central role in securing a landmark non-proliferation agreement with Iran in 2015, said the margin for error in avoiding disaster was getting thinner because of the introduction of new, smaller weapons, the broadening of circumstances in which their use is being contemplated, and a lack of high-level communications between major nuclear weapons powers.Continue reading...
Harry Harris, the next US ambassador to Australia, says Beijing intends to control South China Sea
The navy admiral nominated to be the next US ambassador to Australia has told Congress America must prepare for the possibility of war with China, and said it would rely on Australia to help uphold the international rules-based system in the Asia-Pacific.
In an excoriating assessment of China’s increasingly muscular posture in the region, Harry Harris said Beijing’s “intent is crystal clear” to dominate the South China Sea and that its military might could soon rival American power “across almost every domain”.Continue reading...
Supporters of deported former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili demand impeachment of Petro Poroshenko
Thousands of supporters of the deported former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili have marched through the streets of Kiev, demanding the impeachment of the Ukrainian president.
Journalists said an estimated 10,000 people took part in the rally on Sunday, though the ministry of internal affairs put the number at about 3,000.Continue reading...
Authorities said some suspected of links with militants had been held without trial since 2010
A Nigerian court has released 475 people allegedly affiliated with Boko Haram for rehabilitation, the justice ministry said, as the country’s biggest legal investigation of the militant Islamist insurgency continued.
The first person convicted for the kidnapping in 2014 of Chibok schoolgirls, sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment last week, was also handed an additional 15-year sentence, to run back-to-back, the ministry said in a statement.Continue reading...
Hundreds of nationalists take to the streets of the capital in honour of pro-Nazi general
Bulgaria’s foreign ministry has condemned a march by hundreds of far-right supporters in honour of a Bulgarian general who led a pro-Nazi organisation in the 1930s and 40s.
The two-hour torchlit procession went ahead in the capital, Sofia, on Saturday night despite calls from Bulgaria’s largest parties, the US embassy and several Jewish organisations for it to be scrapped.Continue reading...
Calls for Mexico’s cheesemakers to stop using the name are threatening a new trade deal between Latin American country and the EU
The producers of Spain’s renowned manchego cheese have accused their Mexican counterparts of “crude plagiarism” in a row that is holding back a new trade deal between the EU and Mexico.
“We have to defend our manchego tooth and nail,” says Francisco Tejado, walking through the factory of Spain’s biggest cheese producer, Garcia Baquero, located in the arid plains of La Mancha, the region famed for the cheese.Continue reading...
Military aircraft had interior minister and state governor on board when it crashed
A military helicopter carrying officials assessing the damage caused by a powerful earthquake has crashed in southern Mexico, killing 13 people and injuring 15.
The Oaxaca state prosecutor’s office said five women, four men and three children were killed at the crash site and another person died later at the hospital. All of the casualties were on the ground.Continue reading...
Bombers leave dozens wounded at crowded fish market in Konduga, just outside Maiduguri
Three suicide bombers have detonated their devices at a crowded fish market in northern Nigeria, killing at least 20 people.
Borno state police spokesman Joseph Kwaji said on Saturday that the attack happened on Friday night. Hospital officials said two patients later died from their injuries.Continue reading...
Concern over extent of damage to politically sensitive site as Chinese authorities play down blaze
A large fire has damaged one of the holiest and most politically sensitive sites in Tibet, the Jokhang temple, stirring an outpouring of grief and concern among Tibetans.
Judge dismisses former assistant’s challenge to lawsuit, which claims she knew of Weinstein’s predation and helped facilitate attacks
A Canadian judge has rejected a bid to dismiss an anonymous actor’s $4m sexual assault lawsuit against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, his former assistant and two entertainment companies.
In a ruling released on Friday, the Toronto judge Patrick Monohan dismissed a challenge to the actor’s lawsuit filed by Weinstein’s former assistant Barbara Schneeweiss which argued that theallegations concerning her had expired under Ontario statute of limitations laws.Continue reading...
The latest big-screen superhero story is a subversive and uproarious action-adventure, in which African stereotypes are upended and history is rewritten
Director Ryan Coogler and co-screenwriter Joe Robert Cole tackle the superheroes of colour question with this surreal and uproarious movie version of Marvel’s Black Panther legend, in which the sheer enjoyment of everyone involved pumps the movie with fun. It’s an action-adventure origin myth which plays less like a conventional superhero film and more like a radical Brigadoon or a delirious adventure by Jules Verne or Edgar Rice Burroughs. Those were the colonial-era mythmakers whose exoticism must surely have influenced Stan Lee and Jack Kirby when they devised the comic books in the 1960s, supplying the Afro- in the steely afrofuturism of Black Panther that generations of fans have treasured and reclaimed as an alternative to the pop culture of white America. But it’s the –futurism that gives Black Panther his distinctive power.
Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa, a prince with a sensitive, handsome, boyish face and something introspective, vulnerable and self-questioning in his style. After the death of his father (shown in Captain America: Civil War, from 2016), T’Challa succeeds to the throne of the fictional African state of Wakanda, which lies west of Lake Victoria, on territory that is occupied in the real world by Uganda, Rwanda and northern Tanzania.Continue reading...
Nick Park’s hilarious family animation pitches the stone age against the bronze age in a prehistoric football fantasy
Lovability, wit and fun – on regular form, Nick Park’s Aardman Animations will always provide these. At their best, they give you hope that our island has a future after all. His latest film is an outstanding family comedy, an underdog sports movie set in the prehistoric age, all about football, which is incidentally referred to throughout as “football” and thankfully not “soccer”, because it is not set in the United States. The setting is Manchester, unrecognisable in that desolate ancient landscape, although the fact that one character is called “Goona” might hint that north London culture is important as well.
Early Man is wonderfully written by Mark Burton, James Higginson and Nick Park with additional material by John O’Farrell. Their gags have a sublime innocence combined with a worldly toughness: they are what Christmas cracker jokes would be like if those were properly funny. Early Man has beguiling hints of Gladiator and Bend It Like Beckham; sometimes it feels like a script Paul Laverty might have written for Ken Loach. There is something easily and unassumingly good-natured about Early Man, an indication of what a very intelligent film-maker Park is.Continue reading...
Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev has produced another masterpiece in this apocalyptic study of a failed marriage and the subsequent disappearance of a child
Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Loveless is a stark, mysterious and terrifying story of spiritual catastrophe: a drama with the ostensible form of a procedural crime thriller. It has a hypnotic intensity and unbearable ambiguity which is maintained until the very end. This is a story of modern Russia whose people are at the mercy of implacable forces, a loveless world like a planet without the full means to support human life, a place where the ordinary need for survival has mutated or upgraded into an unending aspirational demand for status, money, freedom to find an advantageous second marriage which brings a nice apartment, sex, luxury and the social media prerogative of selfies and self-affirmation. But all of it is underpinned, or overseen, by intensely conservative social norms of Christianity, conformism and nationalism.
Loveless reminded me of the same director’s Elena - and it also has the unflinching moral seriousness of Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage. The story of a disappearance which betokens some larger, metaphysical dysfunction has something of Antonioni’s L’Avventura – a film whose importance and example continues unabated – and the single, static shot of a school about to let the pupils out may have taken something else from that other touchstone: Michael Haneke’s Hidden. The grim presence in this film of elderly mothers – secular Buddhas of reactionary cynicism who show every sign of inducing their children to become their duplicate – reminded me of Philip Larkin’s lines about man handing on misery to man and it deepening like a coastal shelf.Continue reading...
Despite a strong cast, including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Christopher Walken, Steve Coogan and Kate McKinnon, this tragic romance never manages to connect
Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy or girl gets ill. Boy or girl dies. We all cry, hopefully.
The beats of the terminal romance movie have grown so familiar that there’s almost something quite comforting about watching someone slowly die in front of their other half. The regurgitation of cliches can often result in a genuinely affecting tale of unconditional love but more often that not it feels a tad too recycled, the heartstring-pulling coming off as heartlessly mechanical, the tears failing to flow as directed.Continue reading...
Following her breakthrough role in Oscar-nominated Chilean film A Fantastic Woman, the actor talks about finding her voice, her diva grandmother, and winding up conservatives
You have to be one hell of a performer to take the title role in a film called A Fantastic Woman and convince the world that, yes, your character truly is a fantastic woman and you are too. And if you’re a largely unknown actor in only your second movie, it takes some quite remarkable self-assurance. But, a decade after transitioning as female, and a year after her breakthrough role dazzled the Berlin film festival, Chilean newcomer Daniela Vega is fully enjoying the rewards of being fantastic and on her own terms. She didn’t model her character in the film on any screen stars, she says, and the same goes for discovering her own identity as a woman. “Soy muy yo,” she says – “I’m very much me.”
Directed by Sebastián Lelio , A Fantastic Woman, the follow-up to his acclaimed female-centred drama Gloria, has been the toast of the festival circuit over the past year and is now heading for the Academy Awards, where it’s up for best foreign language film. It’s a magnificent work, stylish, playful and highly serious and, despite its protagonist’s sometimes harrowing ordeals, exuberantly uplifting. But what seals the film’s brilliance is Vega’s extraordinary portrayal of Marina, a young trans woman facing intense social hostility. It may be that, as Juliet Jacques suggested in a recent Guardian article, that in playing someone whose experience is in some ways close to hers, a trans actor such as Vega is able to bring a special bonus of “emotional memory” to her performance. But regardless of the viewer’s curiosity as to whether or not Vega essentially “is” Marina, there’s no denying that she brings a depth, sophistication and resilience to the role.Continue reading...
Actress will take role of Katharine Gun, who leaked an email to the Observer about US spying plans, in new film
Her story has been all but forgotten in the years since the 2003 Iraq war ended, overshadowed by more recent, flashier tales. Now a new film, starring Keira Knightley and Matt Smith, will put GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun back in the spotlight – and in doing so ask audiences the question: where do your true loyalties lie?
“I found Katharine’s story fascinating,” says director Gavin Hood, known for the Helen Mirren thriller Eye in the Sky and the acclaimed South African crime drama Tsotsi. He will begin filming Official Secrets in March, with a planned release date later this year.Continue reading...
Under Trump, the US has endured three of the worst mass shootings in modern history. Yet as the grief and anger grows, inertia reigns
“Beginning on January 20 2017, safety will be restored,” Donald Trump vowed as he accepted the nomination as the Republican candidate for president.Continue reading...
Populations of all kinds of wildlife are declining at alarming speed. One radical solution is to make 50% of the planet a nature reserve
The orangutan is one of our planet’s most distinctive and intelligent creatures. It has been observed using primitive tools, such as the branch of a tree, to hunt food, and is capable of complex social behaviour. Orangutans also played a special role in humanity’s own intellectual history when, in the 19th century, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, co-developers of the theory of natural selection, used observations of them to hone their ideas about evolution.
But humanity has not repaid orangutans with kindness. The numbers of these distinctive, red-maned primates are now plummeting thanks to our destruction of their habitats and illegal hunting of the species. Last week, an international study revealed that its population in Borneo, the animal’s last main stronghold, now stands at between 70,000 and 100,000, less than half of what it was in 1995. “I expected to see a fairly steep decline, but I did not anticipate it would be this large,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University.Continue reading...
He entered office on a wave of energy but, as discontent grows over his attitude to abuse scandals, Francis faces opposition on all sides
Chatham House is one of the most important foreign affairs thinktanks in the UK. But on Wednesday its focus will not be a president, or an organisation like the World Bank, or the future of the EU after Brexit, but a religious leader: Pope Francis. And it will be the third time in recent weeks that Britain has turned its attention to the pope.
Two weeks ago, the Foreign Office-sponsored thinktank Wilton Park took delegates to the Vatican to meet the pope and discuss violent religious extremism, while last week the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, was in Rome to talk with Francis about modern slavery.Continue reading...
Neither country will benefit from a new Middle East conflict, but unless they cease military clashes, such as those inside Syria last weekend, hopes of peace remain fragile
Tensions between Israel and Iran have hit a new high following last weekend’s unprecedented military clashes inside Syria. The fighting has intensified fears that the Middle East is heading for all-out war. But such alarming predictions assume both protagonists standing toe-to-toe, actuallywant to fight. Is this reallytrue?
Iran is portrayed as a wanton aggressor, especially by the Trump administration and the Saudis. It has steadily expanded its military presence in Syria since supporting Bashar al-Assad after 2011, deploying Afghan and Pakistani Shia militias, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and its own Revolutionary Guards.Continue reading...
Poe, Updike, Roth, Mailer: many male authors have contributed to a culture in which the credibility of women is undermined. It’s time to put a stop to the gaslighting, writes Sarah Churchwell
In 1938 a play debuted at the Richmond theatre, which opens with a Victorian husband telling his wife that though she has been “very good lately”, she mustn’t “read meanings into everything” or “imagine things”. “Is it possible you’re beginning to see my point of view?” she asks. On the contrary: her husband is systematically working to extinguish her perspective, to convince her that she is mad. Every night as he searches their attic (for jewels he believes are there), his movements cause the gas lamps to flicker.
In Patrick Hamilton’s play, the flickering lamps verify the wife’s suspicions; in the Hollywood film of Gas Light, released six years later, they make her further doubt her own senses. “Gaslighting” soon came to denote psychological warfare, the deliberate undermining of another’s sanity. More recently, it has been resuscitated as a metaphor for the cultural sabotage of women’s perceptions, for trivialising their concerns as imaginary. Gaslighting is about women fighting to get men to see their point of view.Continue reading...
One of you makes the bed, the other’s a messy cook. Does it matter? Households from around the world share their dirty secrets
Stephen Driscoll, 45, a high school teacher, and Ai Driscoll, 38, who worksin sales, live in Chiba prefecture, Japan. They have a four-year-old son and a baby due in March, live in a three-bedroom house, and don’t have a cleaner: “It’s not really done in Japan.”Continue reading...
The lunar new year in China, demonstrations in Ramallah, the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalistsContinue reading...
Young gold-rush prospectors stare down the camera in these striking daguerreotypes and tintypes of the 1850s, from a time before California boomtowns became ghost towns
• Gold and Silver: Images and Illusions of the Gold Rush is at the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, until 2 April. Luce Lebart’s book is published by RVB BooksContinue reading...
The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world including the aftermath of the shooting in Florida and the women’s skeleton at the Winter OlympicsContinue reading...