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August 09 2012

October 14 2011

Shame: world exclusive trailer - video

Watch the trailer for sex addiction drama Shame - Steve McQueen's second collaboration with Michael Fassbender

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August 17 2011

Steve McQueen to direct 12 Years a Slave

British film-maker casts Chiwetel Ejiofor in true story of mixed-race man abducted and forced into bondage in Louisiana

British artist turned film-maker Steve McQueen has cast Chiwetel Ejiofor in the drama 12 Years a Slave, the true-life story of a mixed-race New Yorker who spent more than a decade on a Louisiana cotton plantation after being kidnapped, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Ejiofor will portray Solomon Northup, who in 1841 was lured to Washington (then a southern slave state) with the promise of a well-paid job playing his fiddle in a circus. Northup was then drugged and awoke to find himself in a slave pen – he was not rescued until 1853, after a man he befriended managed to get word to his family – and lived under a number of owners, suffering great hardship. Northup's wife, whom he had left behind in New York, had to go to court to free him.

Northup detailed his experiences in a book, also titled Twelve Years a Slave, which helped historians build a picture of the slave experience at the time. Following his rescue, he became involved in the abolitionist movement and lectured on slavery in the north-east US. The practice was abolished throughout the country in 1865, following the 13th amendment to the US constitution.

McQueen made a splash with his debut film, Hunger, about the Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands. He's reunited with the star of that film, Michael Fassbender, on sex-addiction drama Shame, which is due to premiere at the Venice film festival next month. Ejiofor, the British star of Dirty Pretty Things and Kinky Boots, also portrays a slave in the forthcoming Annette Haywood-Carter drama Savannah.

12 Years a Slave is being produced by Brad Pitt through his Plan B production company. John Ridley, writer of Undercover Brother, has co-written the screenplay with McQueen. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

February 13 2011

The big picture: Julie Christie and Dirk Bogarde film Darling, 1964

As the Baftas approach, we look back to a past winner. British comedy-drama Darling earned its stars best actor and best actress awards in 1966

Photographs are time capsules, histories that compress information about more than the single moment when the shutter blinked. This one ranges across two centuries before settling on one charmed decade.

The water fountain, propped on a pedestal and topped by an officious obelisk, is a relic of Victorian philanthropy, catering to the thirst of the itinerant poor. The passing matrons could be Edwardian, wearing a genteel uniform – funereal hat and oppressively long coat, gloved hands and festoons of pearls round the neck – for a promenade to the shops. The young couple holding hands belong in a later, more relaxed era. She, idly dangling her bag from her hand rather than holding it protectively in front of her, wears a dress that could be by Mary Quant with a collar that makes her look like a sunflower. The old women are dressed for wintry old age; this sprightly pair – both with sunglasses, he with no tie and carrying a jacket he doesn't need – bask in the springtime of the body.

Time, like this north London thoroughfare, is a one-way street. The sun is behind all these people, and the shadows cast by bodies, slanting trees and the upright lamp-post are long. But the figure sitting down on the pavement, with a suppliant crouching beside her, is exempt from the flow; she has parked herself in a deckchair as if she were at the beach, not in a harried place of transit. For her it will always be 1965, and she will always – thanks to John Schlesinger's film – be beautiful.

The character played by Julie Christie in Darling is a go-getting model and sexual careerist; Dirk Bogarde is the television journalist who tracks her social rise. Almost 50 years later, the fable about vacuous, ephemeral celebrity remains tartly relevant. The photograph, however, is not satirical. Despite the Op Art glasses and the winklepicker shoes, Christie transcends fashion. Wearing a schoolboy's cap at a rakish angle while exhibiting – if you look very closely – a stocking top that marks the border beyond which the eye can't trespass, she also bestraddles the sexes. She bites her lip to signal a delicious, teasing indecision; Bogarde's bristling quiff alerts us to the urgency of his whispered appeal.

The overdressed frumps still plod through the dowdy, monochrome 1950s. But for me, Christie's shock of hair is as golden as the afternoon sun, her blazer dazzlingly candy-striped: in a black and white world, she radiates colour. Obelisks represent solar rays that were symbolically petrified, and the one at the kerb should be pointing its chiselled tip at her. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

October 19 2010

Tonight's TV highlights: Hostage In The Jungle | Wonderland | Grand Designs | Young Voters' Question Time | Mad Men | The Office: An American Workplace

Hostage In The Jungle | Wonderland | Grand Designs | Young Voters' Question Time | Mad Men | The Office: An American Workplace

Hostage In The Jungle
7pm, BBC2

Terrific documentary recalling the bizarre tale of Ingrid Betancourt. In 2002, Betancourt was running for the presidency of Colombia when she was kidnapped by the narco militia that trades as FARC. She was eventually held for a little over six years before a dashing rescue by Colombian commandos in 2008. This film allows Betancourt to tell her story, which is variously buttressed and disputed by some of her fellow hostages, including her now estranged campaign manager Clara Rojas, who had a child with one of her captors. An astonishing study of extremity. AM

9pm, BBC2

Country Life magazine's "girls in pearls" are the focus of tonight's film. Five former high society brides, photographed for the posh tome at the time of their engagements, tell the stories of what happened afterwards. Arabella, Camilla and a Sackville-West sit in their capacious drawing rooms, talking of thwarted expectation and hellish upkeep on the family pile. But with the subtlety and skill you'd expect from Wonderland, this is more than just a flick through a dog-eared glossy rag. They always seem to find the interviewees you want to listen to.


Grand Designs
9pm, Channel 4

Never mind the downturn – Grand Designs is recession-proof, a property programme that's about more than the bottom line. This is a show that deals in passion and backstory as much as bricks and mortar and so far this season there have been some admirable, even some tearjerking moments – unfamiliar territory for Kevin McCloud and his permanently-raised eyebrow. Tonight's episode features Kathryn Tyler, who has plans for a Scandinavian-style eco house in Falmouth. JR

Young Voters' Question Time
8pm, BBC3

Richard Bacon hosts a live debate on the day that Chancellor George Osborne unveils the government's Spending Review. Voters under the age of 25 will have the opportunity to quiz a panel of politicians and "famous faces", and air their views on what they think of the £83 billion worth of cuts. Billed by the government as a financial necessity and by the Labour opposition as more dangerous than Margaret Thatcher's gutting of public services nearly 30 years ago, the young 'uns aren't going to be short of points to debate. MS

Mad Men
10pm, BBC4

Serial downloaders of Mad Men have been breathlessly banging on for weeks about how fantastic episode seven of this series is. The standards are obviously already sky high but this 45 minutes of TV is as good as anything you'll see this decade. Set against the backdrop of the Clay-Liston heavyweight rematch in May 1965, there's little here but Don and Peggy as they live out a dark night of the soul working on a Samsonite ad. Here Don is just about hanging on to himself as he avoids making a phonecall that he knows will break his heart. WD

The Office: An American Workplace
10pm, Comedy Central

What with 30 Rock, Community and the (not yet aired in the UK) Parks And Recreation, US channel NBC is on something of a comedy roll. The Office is something of a godfather to them all and still going strong, despite the announcement that star Steve Carell is to leave at the end of the seventh series currently airing in the US. The start of series five here begins with Michael Scott and the team taking part in a corporate weight-loss challenge aided by a pre-diet glutton fest including, mmm, a cheese fountain. Brilliant. WD © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

March 21 2010

Play fullscreen
Dove sei, King Bertaridos recitative and aria
from the opera Rodelinda by George Frideric Handel.

Russell Oberlin, male alto /counter tenor.
rec ~ late 1950ies

HD youtube permalink

(text from the yt sidebar - account: sfkcbf )

Pompe vane di morte!
Menzogne di dolor, che riserbate
il mio volto e 'l mio nome, ed adulate
del vincitor superbo il genio altiero!
Voi dite, ch'io son morto;
ma risponde il mio duol, che non è vero.
(legge l'iscrizione:)
"Bertarido fu Re; da Grimoaldo
vinto fuggì, presso degli Unni giace.
Abbia l'alma riposo, e 'l cener pace."
Pace al cener mio? Astri tiranni!
Dunque fin ch'avrò vita,
guerra avrò con gli stenti, e con gli affanni.

Dove sei, amato bene?
Vieni, l'alma a consolar.

Sono oppresso da' tormenti
ed i crudeli miei lamenti
sol con te posso bear.

The hollow splendour of death!
This sham of grief preserves
my name and likeness, and yet flatters
the pride of the haughty victor!
You say that I am dead,
but my grief replies that it is not so.
(reading the inscription from the tomb)
Bertarido was king. Defeated by Grimoaldo,
he fled and now lies near the Huns.
May his soul find rest and his ashes peace.
Peace for my ashes? The tyranny of fortune!
So long as I live
I shall be fighting hardship and distress.

Where are you, my beloved?
Come and comfort my heart.

I am stricken with anguish
and only by your side
can my cruel sorrow be lightened
Reposted bySigalon0202mysoup-aa
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