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- 06/16/13--15:45: _Why we are watching...
- 06/16/13--15:55: _Lauren Conrad survi...
- 06/16/13--16:01: _Another Teen Wolf Q...
- 06/16/13--16:11: _First Pic Of Channi...
- 06/16/13--16:21: _True Blood Live Eve...
- 06/16/13--16:21: _Iain Banks' final i...
- 06/16/13--16:22: _Baby Daddy Derek Th...
- 06/17/13--12:42: _Neil Patrick Harris...
- 06/17/13--12:43: _Kanye's former dj d...
- 06/17/13--12:43: _Britney Spears is b...
- 06/17/13--12:55: _Melissa Etheridge s...
- 06/17/13--12:59: _Lil Wayne Tramples ...
- 06/17/13--13:35: _The Most Unanticipa...
- 06/17/13--13:35: _Beyoncé Congratulat...
- 06/17/13--13:44: _The White Queen 1x0...
- 06/17/13--13:44: _Drake Announces 41-...
- 06/17/13--13:44: _'Hunger Games,''Thr...
- 06/17/13--13:48: _HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITI...
- 06/17/13--14:02: _Your New Summer Jam...
- 06/17/13--14:13: _KERRY WASHINGTON AN...
- 06/16/13--15:45: Why we are watching… Nico Mirallegro
- 06/16/13--15:55: Lauren Conrad survives her first week with bangs
- 06/16/13--16:01: Another Teen Wolf Q&A With Jeff Davis.
- 06/16/13--16:11: First Pic Of Channing Tatum with his new daughter Everly
- 06/16/13--16:21: True Blood Live Event Pictures
- 06/16/13--16:21: Iain Banks' final interview
- 06/16/13--16:22: Baby Daddy Derek Theler and Jean-Luc Bilodeau Interview
- 06/17/13--12:43: Kanye's former dj disses Jay-zus
- 06/17/13--12:43: Britney Spears is better than anyone else in this video
- 06/17/13--12:55: Melissa Etheridge says Angelina Jolie wasn't brave
- 06/17/13--12:59: Lil Wayne Tramples American Flag
- 06/17/13--13:35: The Most Unanticipated Music Video of the Summer
- 06/17/13--13:35: Beyoncé Congratulates Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
- 06/17/13--13:44: The White Queen 1x02 Stills
- 06/17/13--13:44: Drake Announces 41-City North American Tour With Miguel & Future
- 06/17/13--13:44: 'Hunger Games,''Thrones' stars set for Tampa Bay Comic Con
- 06/17/13--13:48: HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES ROCKING AFRICAN Ankara PRINTS
- 06/17/13--14:02: Your New Summer Jam? Avicii Releases New Single
- 06/17/13--14:13: KERRY WASHINGTON AND VIOLA DAVIS ON THE BIG SCREEN TOGETHER?
The 22-year-old actor on The Village, working with Jimmy McGovern and pretending to be Eminem
Swoon. This is the beautiful new face of men's fashion? Enough. Mirallegro is an actor who just happens to wear a coat very well.
He does have an expressive face.His dad's Sicilian. "He says a lot with his eyes," according to Mirallegro.
Hold on. Was he in – Hollyoaks? Yes, but he's since sizzled on screen in The Village and Rae Earl's brilliant teen drama My Mad Fat Diary. And he's about to appear in the film Spike Island, about the legendary 1990 Stone Roses gig.
Bet he wasn't even born then. True, although being brought up in Manchester by his mum, he knew about the scene. He prefers rap, anyway. "When I was six I entered a talent contest. I dyed my hair blond, had a chainsaw and pretended I was Eminem. The old folk weren't expecting that."
So he's always been a performer… Actually, he "fell into" acting after following his younger sister Claudia to improvisation classes. "I was so scared I had to get one of the other lads to say my lines."
He says:"I saw Jimmy McGovern at an awards do four years ago and I said to myself, I am definitely working for you."
We say: And now he's shooting a McGovern drama for the BBC. God bless his little sister.
Spike Island is in cinemas from 21 June
When most women get bangs they instantly come down with Zooey Deschanel Syndrome. Their hair instantly freezes into That One Hairstyle with Bangs and they lose all recollection of any previous variety they might have had when styling their Pre-Bangs hair. Hair trends will come and go but they will steadfastly hang on to That One Hairstyle with Bangs thinking it makes them look like Zooey or Alexa Chung when in reality they look like Punky Brewster or Dora the Explorer. Will Lauren suffer the same fate?
Lauren spent the week promoting Infamous the final book in her Fame Game series. No signs of ZDS— but it’s still early.
At LAX June 5th 2013
At Young Hollywood Studios June 10th 2013
Infamous book signing at The Grove in LA June 11th 2013
Kohl’s Cares Event in Milwaukee June 12th 2014.
Back at LAX 06-14-13
Lauren racked up her fourth magazine cover of the year with the July Marie Claire. Most starlets are lucky to score one major cover in their careers. Lauren not only graces major covers but usually does so multiple times. She’s the lone reality star (sorry Kim K) amid a sea of A-listers who are proven to have best-selling covers. She was third behind Jennifer Anniston and Sarah Jessica Parker as the best-selling cover stars for the past 5 years.
Lauren’s impressive cover resume includes: 1 each Elle and Marie Claire; 2 each Lucky, Allure and Glamour; 3 Cosmos, 3, Teen Vogues, 4 Seventeens and a partridge in a pear tree.
A. I think you’re referring to someone saying there would be very little Stiles and Derek interaction this season. I actually don’t remember ever saying that.
Give it a rest already.
Q. could blue eyes mean that you were dead before? since peter and jackson both have blue eyes
So much for that theory.
Q. Will we see any Scott/Cora interaction?
A. Yes indeed.
I ship Scora, tbh.
Q. Hi Jeff! So we have seen Stiles being worried for Lydia many times :) Will we see Lydia this season being worried for him?? :)
A. Quite worried.
Q. Hey, Jeff! I just want you to know that I support you with every decision you make, even if it involves killing off characters *sniff* Anyways, my question: Does Dr. Deaton have anything to do anything with Derek's past?
A. He does indeed. He was especially important to Derek’s family.
If you want Jeff to answer you, just kiss his ass.
Q. When will Derek and Ms. Blake meet? Also, how many episodes were incorporated into the season three trailer? Loving it so far! It's awesome!!!!
A. Tomorrow night’s episode!
Q. Hi Jeff, Do u have any comments about the poltergeist Hale family theory being the ones terrorizing beacon hills?
A. Poltergeists? The movie scared me as a kid but that’s all I can say for now.
What even are these theories?
Q. when derek accused lydia of using him to bring peter back to life, was derek aware that lydia was being controlled and didn't actually have any agency?
A. Yes. He’s just a sourwolf.
Q. Hi Jeff, I was wondering if the special handshake/high-five at the beginning of Chaos Rising was a Scott and Stiles thing or a Tyler and Dylan thing? thanks!
A. That was a Tyler/Dylan thing! A pretty fun improv. “No look me” says Dylan.
Here for this bromance.
Q. Thank you so much for your skills, and sharing them with us! XD Just curious, was the mark on Allison and Lydia's arm just for the bank, or was it also something else?
A. It’s more important than just a bank symbol.
Q. Was the blonde female in the storage room with Allison Erica or Heather? I've heard it could be either.
A. That was Erica. Underneath all of that makeup was the lovely Gage Golightly.
She dead, y'all. :(
Q. We saw Dany in hospital in the trailer and you said he'll date Ethan I HOPE YOU DID NOT HURT HIM TOO MUCH!!
A. I wouldn’t hurt Danny! But I might kill him :)
Yay, let's kill one of the only gay characters.
Q. If Scott had to choose between saving Stiles and Allison, who do you think he would choose?
A. He would find a way to save both.
Of course, he's an angel.
Q. Ciao Jeff, Where is the Camaro?
A. Derek has new wheels this season.
Of course he'd copy the superior werewolf, Scott McCall.
UHM, so about Derek knowing Lydia was manipulated by his creepy uncle and still blaming her... WTF, victim blaming much?
You can read the rest at the source!
All together now: Aww.
Channing Tatum decided to make his fans a part of his holiday as a dad.
PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive — who, along with wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum, welcomed daughter Everly into the world with wife on May 31 – debuted their 2-week-old baby girl on their Facebook accounts Sunday night.
“First Father’s Day with my girls,” the White House Down star, 33, wrote, sharing a photo of himself holding his newborn with his wife by his side.
Dewan-Tatum, who referred to Everly as “our lil angel” in her own post, is feeling the fan support as well.
“Thank you everyone for all the loving messages! Chan, myself and Everly are happy as can be and appreciate them all,” the actress and new mom, 32, Tweeted on June 6.
I'll update as more are posted.
"You know, this might be my last public statement", Iain Banks said to me on the phone when I was setting up this interview, and at the time that simply didn't seem likely: he was too full of ideas and opinions and schemes. He emailed me a fortnight ago, saying that he was hoping to be out walking around the village again by the end of the week. In fact, he died on 9 June. Nevertheless, the plans and hopes he had capture his quicksilver, optimistic personality, regardless of what transpired. To be robbed of 30 years he thought he might have had is one thing: to lose the few months he was cautiously anticipating seems especially cruel.
Iain Banks on his life, works and death
I was dreading the end of the interview, when I would say goodbye to him in the full sense of the word. Banks – 59 years old, the author of 29 books, someone I'd chaired at a Scottish book festival six months previously and across the country for years, and whose work I'd long admired – was dying. He would remind the reader that we all are: likewise, after his announcement, in April this year, that he had inoperable cancer of the gallbladder, he knew he had a radically foreshortened perspective on that inevitability. His public statement of the fact was a model of decorum, tempered by his distinctive wit. Beginning "I am Officially Very Poorly", he mentioned he had asked his partner, the Dead by Dawn film festival director Adele Hartley, to "do me the honour of becoming my widow". It came about sooner than anyone imagined.
But back then, Banks answers the door, and looks thinner, less jaundiced than I'd expected ("At least I don't look like Grandpa Simpson any more", he says later), just as fizzing with energy. As we walk through the house, into his study, he laments that bookshelves never keep up with the amount of books. "That pile there" – he gestures towards a neat 20-by-four stack on top of a shelf – "are all unread. And, sadly, likely to remain so!" We go through his music studio ("It's a good acoustic space; no standing waves, apparently, and the books make for wonderful noise insulation") and, as I scan the shelves I see a tatty proof, of his first novel, The Wasp Factory. He lunges towards it to show how often he's repaired the pages with sticky tape. "Much restored," he has written inside.
He has already addressed the unspoken topic. As we sit over tea and biscuits, I prepare to ask the first formal question (is "So how are you?" just dumbly insensitive? Is "Tell me about the new novel" too much as if this were just a standard, publicity circuit chat?). But Banks is off already, talking 19 to the dozen, brandishing a handkerchief with a Cyberman on it (a present) and saying, "You know, I've fallen out of love with Doctor Who, at least in its present incarnation. I just can't get along with it. People have suggested I should write for the programme, but, ach, I just couldn't. I might have been hopelessly naive but I hadn't realised there are just so many rules when you write a Doctor Who story, like the monster has to go back in the box at the end."
I suggest that what most readers thrill at in Banks's science fiction is exactly that sense of risk.
"Well," he says,"if you are going to write what a friend of a friend once called 'Made up space shit', then if it's going to have any ring of truth that means sometimes some of the horrible characters get to live, and for there to be any sense of jeopardy, especially in future novels, the good people have to die. Sometimes."
Banks freely admits that he enjoys writing his SF novels more than his "literary" novels, and the Culture novels more than his other SF. The hedonistic, anarchistic, post-scarcity series is "a hoot. It's my train set. I adore the freedom and the size of the canvas," even though writing them "requires a greater degree of concentration. And there's so much baggage with the Culture now that I have to get each new novel aligned with earlier Culture history. I don't have the same leeway to make things up compared with when I started."
He has no desire to "tie everything up with the Culture"?
"No. And it's a self-conscious decision; just like the Culture itself is determined to keep on going, refusing to sublimate or disappear off stage, so I think it would be too easy for me to lob in a series-ender. To that extent, 'destroying the whole universe' – an always tempting scenario when you realise in SF you can do anything – just seems too easy."
That sense of stretching and twisting conventions and confuting the expectations of the reader applies just as much to Banks's "literary" novels, from the macabre fantasia of The Wasp Factory to the gothic profusion of The Crow Road to the baroque bildungsroman of Stonemouth. Again, though, narrative drive has to be balanced with plausibility:"It's a writerly truism – probably best illustrated by William Goldman in Adventures in the Screen Trade – that only real life can get away with the really outrageous stuff. The trouble with writing fiction is that it has to make sense, whereas real life doesn't. It's incredibly annoying for us scribblers. A lot of the time you're simply deciding how far down the path of unlikeliness you can go while still retaining the willing suspension of disbelief in the reader. You can't go too far – 'With one mighty bound he was free!' – because it just becomes ridiculous. Readers will start to feel that it's all too coincidental, too easy, too contrived and convenient for the writer's purposes. You're trying to decide how much you can get away with."
Of his new book, The Quarry, the publication of which has been brought forward, he says:"Quite realist. It's a fairly simple book as well; not many characters, there's only really one location and it doesn't muck around with flashbacks or narrative order." He adds:"If I'd known it was going to be my last book, I'd have been quite disappointed that I'm going out with a relatively minor piece; whereas something like Transition, a wild splurge of fantasy, sci-fi and mad reality frothed up together … now that would have been the kind of book to go out on. I'm still very proud of The Quarry but … let's face it; in the end the real best way to sign off would have been with a great big rollicking Culture novel."
The Quarry is narrated by Kit, a typically precocious and alienated Banksian teenager, who finds people stupidly predictable and yet infuriatingly random. He lives with his father, Guy, in a dilapidated house on the edge of a quarry, and exists really in an online game called HeroSpace. Kit describes himself as on "a spectrum that stretches from 'highly gifted' at one end to 'nutter' at the other, both of which I am comfortable with". Guy's student-day friends – film critic Hol, prospective MP Paul, dot.com power couple Alison and Rob, and former couple Pris and Haze, a care services manager and general drifter – all descend on the house, with the covert aim of finding a video of a film they made together at university that could compromise several careers. But the ostensible reason is that Guy is dying of terminal cancer.
Eerily, the book doesn't derive from Banks's current experiences but predates them.
"God, I'd nearly finished the book when I found out. It was bizarre," he says with bewildered candour."Guy was always going to be dying of cancer; the book was always going to be predicated on that, and nothing really changed because of my own bad news. The initial story came about really quickly. Some books take a lot of teasing out and the coming together of previous ideas, but this one jumped in there fully formed in the course of a couple of days back in October 2012; so much so that once I'd had the idea I just left it for the best part of two months because it was ready to go at that point. It's purely experience that lets you know when a novel's ready to go. You know when not to overwork it before you start."
Banks followed his usual schedule of writing in the early months of the year. He went to the doctor thinking his sore back was most likely due to having been sitting at a desk writing The Quarry. "On the morning of 4th March" – after he had been sent for a CT scan –"I thought everything was hunky dory except I had a sore back and my skin looked a bit funny. By the evening of the 4th I'd been told I had only a few months to live. By that time I'd written 90% of the novel; 87,000 words out of 97,000. Luckily, even though I'd done my words for the day, I'd taken a laptop into the hospital in Kirkcaldy, and once I'd been given the prognosis, I wrote the bit where Guy says, 'I shall not be disappointed to leave all you bastards behind.' It was an exaggeration of what I was feeling, but it was me thinking: 'How can I use this to positive effect?' Because I was feeling a bit kicked in the guts at this point. So I thought, 'OK, I'll just give Guy a good old rant.' Like I say; that's reality for you, it can get away with anything."
Banks revealed his illness a month later, and the book world was stunned by his lack of bitterness, the dignity of the statement."Yes!" he explodes with laughter. "I know; it's not like me, is it?" Guy isn't the therapeutic residue, the lees of unexpressed anger. "I'm not Guy – for example, he deeply resents that life will go on without him. I think that's a stupid point of view. Apart from anything else, I mean, what did you expect?" The Quarry, nevertheless, is full of unsentimental, furiously exact unpickings of the cliches surrounding terminal illness. Guy skewers sloppy thinking, describing nostrums and alternative cancer treatments as like"running into a burning building and trying to put the fire out by means of interpretative dance". Banks agrees that "it would have been therapeutic, if most of the ideas hadn't already occurred to me".
So how does he account for the peculiar synchronicity of The Quarry and his life?"Chance. I was just imagining what it would be like. As a writer – it must be the same for actors – you're used to dealing with the idea of death and all the big questions. Unless you're writing purely for five-year-olds, about bunnies, you're going to have to think about death. Your characters will die and people will live on afterwards who cared about them. You need to be able to empathise with them. Of course, we all go through it; we all have people close to us die. But as a writer you really have to think it through properly, or it'll all ring false. It's almost one of the perks of the trade that you're forced to think about that stuff fairly deeply. So maybe when it comes along in real life, you're slightly better prepared to deal with it." He breaks off, laughs uproariously again and confesses: "No, I'm not sure about this. I'm just flying a kite here. I could be completely wrong, but it's got to be true for some writers."
Banks may have displayed a lack of anger at his diagnosis, but that does not mean that his righteous ire is extinguished. As we chat, he frequently loops off into hilarious denunciations."I can understand that people want to feel special and important and so on, but that self-obsession seems a bit pathetic somehow. Not being able to accept that you're just this collection of cells, intelligent to whatever degree, capable of feeling emotion to whatever degree, for a limited amount of time and so on, on this tiny little rock orbiting this not particularly important sun in one of just 400m galaxies, and whatever other levels of reality there might be via something like brane-theory [of multiple dimensions] … really, it's not about you. It's what religion does with this drive for acknowledgement of self-importance that really gets up my nose. 'Yeah, yeah, your individual consciousness is so important to the universe that it must be preserved at all costs' – oh, please. Do try to get a grip of something other than your self-obsession. How Californian. The idea that at all costs, no matter what, it always has to be all about you. Well, I think not."
His political zeal burns equally ardently. He confesses that "for half a second", as he and Adele travelled across the Alps from Venice to Paris on honeymoon, he was "elated" when he heard that Thatcher had died. "Then I realised I was celebrating the death of a human being, no matter how vile she was. And there was nothing symbolic about her death, because her baleful influence on British politics remains undiminished. Squeeze practically any Tory, any Blairite and any Lib Dem of the Orange Book persuasion, and it's the same poisonous Thatcherite pus that comes oozing out of all of them." He didn't watch the funeral on TV – "It was just like a royal wedding."
We reminisce about other significant turning points. Blair entering Downing Street: "Watching the helicopter shots of his car journeying from Islington to Buck House was like witnessing the liberation of a city … yet almost immediately he was having tea with Thatcher. My injured self-respect can at least fall back on the fact that I never voted for New Labour – Labour yes, and nothing but Labour for as long as it existed and I could vote, but not for a party that embraced privatisation and refused to scrap nuclear weapons; not for a party slightly to the right of Ted Heath's government." As for the war on terror, there is palpable fury when he discusses"the great lie that our boys are fighting, killing and dying in Afghanistan to keep us safe. It's 180 degrees off the truth. They're dying worse than needlessly; they're dying to save political face, and for every grieving or just aggrieved Afghan family we create the conditions for further atrocities to be visited on us."
Having both seen and chaired Banks at various events I already know the answers to some of the questions most frequently asked of him. He thinks his best book is The Bridge, his worst, probably Canal Dreams. He'd love there to be a film of Consider Phlebas. He doesn't do Facebook or Twitter. (Over the course of our chat, he launches into a riff on inventing a Scottish version of Google called Guddle.) But, I wonder, as he thinks back over his writing career, which novel does he harbour a secret affection for? Which one didn't get the public and critical reception he thought it deserved? After pausing, he jokes:"I suppose I thought that about The Bridge itself at the time! At that point I hadn't even committed the cardinal sin of writing science fiction, so my nose was still relatively clean. But I suppose … A Song of Stone. I think it's up there with The Bridge and Use of Weapons. As always when I mention Use of Weapons I have to mention Mr MacLeod here: Ken saved that novel and came up with the absolutely brilliant idea of the two time streams going in opposite directions. With A Song of Stone, there's an elegance to it, I'd claim. I think it's my most poetic use of language. I come back to Mr MacLeod; I can't remember where the hell it was, but there was him, me and someone else in a pub in London. We were talking about A Song of Stone and this other person said he hadn't read it. He asked Ken, 'What do you think of it?' and Ken sat and thought – you know the way he does; disconcertingly, he's almost the only person I know who sits and thinks before he says anything – well, he said 'you know that bit you get at the end of one of Banks's novels where the relatively clear prose falls away and you get a really intense part where he brings out all his adjectives and big guns? With A Song of Stone the whole novel's like that.'"
He mentions that A Song of Stone was originally a poem. I hadn't realised he even wrote poetry. "Ah yes," he beams, "and thereby hangs a tale. There are bits here and there – poems top and tail the story in Use of Weapons for example" (I check back at home, and there they are: there is something unheimlich about reading, from 23 years ago "The catchment of these cultured lives / Was not in flesh, / And what we only knew, / You felt, / With all the marrow of your twisted cells" and "The bomb lives only as it is falling".) "The poems are a part of the desperate urge to get things that were supposed to be long-term projects out the way. I'm going to see if I can get a book of poetry published before I kick the bucket. I've got about 50 I'm proud of. I've been trying to convince Ken MacLeod that he should come in with me on this as I've always loved Ken's poetry. That, and it gives me cover. It stops the book being what it really is, which is a bit of a vanity project. If Ken comes in it will look more respectable, but I don't think he's falling for it. We'll see if it happens; I just don't know. I think my poetry's great but then I would, wouldn't I? But whether any respectable publisher will think so, that's another matter. I'll self-publish if I have to; sometimes I have no shame."
So neither the "I Am Officially Very Poorly" letter nor The Quarry represents the Last Writing of Iain Banks. A writer as prolific and prestigious as Banks is well used to critical commentary and review coverage, but none of that prepared him for the response to his public announcement. "Overwhelming," he says, looking genuinely moved, "just overwhelming." Then the grin switches back on."The smartest thing we did was delaying putting anything out in public until we knew we'd be sitting in the transit lounge in Gatwick waiting to fly off to Venice. It meant the very worst of it would have been and gone. I kind of wanted to be old news by the time I got back. Plus, it was a quiet news day when my news came out – supposing Thatcher had died that same day, I'd have been nowhere near the front page. Nevertheless, yes, the response was astonishing."
Are there any other positives, I ask? "You know, I go and see my now very old Mum in her old folks' home, and I saw my Uncle Bob after getting my bloods done this morning and he's not in a good way," he says. "You look at the decrepitude of the very old and ill, and at least I'll be spared years of that. It'll be over fairly quickly. There's a wee bit of what Guy says in The Quarry about being well rid of some of the more ignoble aspects of the present day." Warming again to the theme, he continues: "I think there will be a political rebalancing and we'll stop swinging round to the right. In the unlikely event that I'm around for the referendum on Scottish independence I'm definitely voting 'yes'. I was saying last year that if we don't get it in 2014 we'll get it in my lifetime and now it turns out my lifetime might not extend as far as the first referendum and that just seems wrong – a Scotland still shackled to a rightwing England, especially with the rise of the bizarrely named Ukip (I think they'll find their acronym should be EIP actually) – I won't be sorry to be missing that. I won't miss waiting for the next financial disaster because we haven't dealt with the underlying causes of the last one. Nor will I be disappointed not to experience the results of the proto-fascism that's rearing its grisly head right now. It's the utter idiocy, the sheer wrong-headedness of the response that beggars belief. I mean, your society's broken, so who should we blame? Should we blame the rich, powerful people who caused it? No let's blame the people with no power and no money and these immigrants who don't even have the vote, yeah it must be their fucking fault. So I might escape having to witness even greater catastrophe.
"I think the referendum is going to be defeated, though I don't accept the argument that the whole question will just go away. It'll be back in five, 10 years again depending on the complexion of the next Westminster government. So, yes, I'm annoyed I won't get to vote in the referendum. I'm annoyed I won't get to ride an Edinburgh tram and I'm annoyed I won't get to go on the new Fife crossing.
"And," he sighs,"just not seeing so much of the near future. I'd love to see what's going to happen next, what's happening in the oceans of Jupiter's moon, Europa, and what else we'll find out just in our own solar system. And we're not far from being able to analyse the atmospheres of planets around other stars and maybe spotting the signs of life there. There's so much I would have loved to have seen. The positives? I've been lucky in that I've had such a good life. Simple as that. My first 30 years were pretty damn good and the last 30, since I got published, have been absolutely brilliant. I've so many good friends and been part of a wonderful extended family and I'll leave behind a substantial body of work."
There is a mordant clarity about Banks: his future is mapped out with military detail: "The only other thing I want to do is get as much of my music fettled as possible, and get a way to distribute that – a website where people could download it – as ever I don't know how good it is, and as ever I think it's brilliant. The music has to be brought to some level of respectability and not be embarrassing. That's the main thing, with the poetry, to be working on. It's going to be a really busy summer. Usually I'd be relaxing. But not this year, because it might be the last few months I have. I'm going to be unaccustomedly busy; death may come as a welcome release, just for the rest. Also, just in case there's some highly unlikely good news, I want to make sure I've got the next Culture novel ready to go if I can." I'm momentarily staggered. I don't know if it's the optimism or the Stakhanovite work ethic that is more impressive.
As we walk to the door, Banks pulls one final, left-field surprise. "Do you know that I know what caused the cancer?" I think I pull a face like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. "Cosmic ray," he says."I won't brook any contradiction; it was a high-energy particle. A star exploded hundreds or thousands of years ago and ever since there's been a cosmic ray – a bad-magic bullet with my name on it, to quote Ken – heading towards the moment where it hit one of my cells and mutated it. That's an SF author's way to bow out; none of this banal transcription error stuff." Then the moment comes that I was dreading … but he says "See you soon" instead.
On the train home, crossing back over the Firth of Forth, two things strike me. Firstly, the public is yet to decide if the Forth Replacement Crossing should be called Caledonia Bridge, Firth of Forth Crossing, Queensferry Crossing, Saltire Crossing or St Margaret's Crossing. Whichever uninspired choice is made, the old Forth Road Bridge should be immediately renamed the Iain (M) Banks Other The Bridge Bridge. Second, it wasn't that Iain was still Iain, despite an illness that was as unexpected as it was tragic. It's that in his last days he was more witty, more impassioned, more imaginative, more kindly, more caustic and even cleverer, as if concentrating and distilling the best of himself into the small time he had left. It was humbling to have been there.
I listened to the recording of our conversation after the inevitable became actual, and what struck me was that most of the time we were just laughing. That laughter is gone. But its echoes are headed to the edge of the known universe.
Neil Patrick Harris will star in the Broadway premiere of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's landmark 1998 musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch in spring 2014.
"I am simultaneously ecstatic and terrified to be stepping into Hedwig's heels," Harris said in a statement. "It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime role and I can't wait to begin the journey."
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a musical comedy about a fictional rock 'n' roll band fronted by a transgender singer. The production began Off Off-Broadway at Westbeth and then ran over two years at the Jane Street Theatre beginning in February 1998. The musical won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, and both John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask won Obies. Hedwig and the Angry Inch won a 1998 New York Magazine Award and Entertainment Weekly's "Soundtrack of the Year" Award.
John Cameron Mitchell, who wrote the book and starred in the original stage and film productions of Hedwig, said in a statement about Harris playing the title role, "Who better to pass the wig to but the finest entertainer of his generation?" Composer Stephen Trask said, "It's like you're putting together a fantasy rock band and Paul McCartney agrees to play bass."
Hedwig and the Angry Inch is produced on Broadway by David Binder and Jayne Baron Sherman. 101 Productions, Ltd are the executive producers.
Harris has performed on Broadway in Assassins and in the New York Philharmonic production of Company. He is a three-time Emmy Award winner for his guest-starring role on "Glee" and as host of the 63rd and 65th Annual Tony Awards. He also served as host and producer of the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as the 66th and 67th Annual Tony Awards. Harris will next host and produce the upcoming 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.
The remaining creative team members, additional casting and the theatre will be announced at a later date.
YOOOOO! Respect to DJ A-Trak. He used to DJ for Kanye and he seemed to confirm what some people speculated. That Jay-Z’s timing could not have been more odd with this new Samsung announcement. We all know that Jay-Z has a penchant for timing. Well, A-Trak didn’t mince words and in an epic tweet called the whole thing “corny.”After Jay-Z announced the release date and marketing strategy for his next album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, with a Samsung commercial on Sunday night (June 16), Fool's Gold Records founder/producer A-Trak hopped on Twitter to share his opinion, calling it "corny".
Now, I don’t agree. They bought a million copies of the new Jay-Z album so Jay is instantly platinum. What’s f**kin wrong with that?
A-Trak didn't seem to like it much. "That Samsung sh** is corny," he wrote (@ATrak).
And then he RT’d this:
Which lead to this:
calm down hun, Jay is just all about the business ain't nothing wrong with that
Angelina Jolie shocked the world when she chose to undergo a double mastectomy after confirming that she carried the BRCA-1 gene, which gave her an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer. Brad Pitt has raved of her bravery, calling her a “badass.”
But now, cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge has come forward to say that she’s anything but.
“I have to say, I feel a little differently,” the lesbian rocker told gay newspaper The Washington Blade. “I have that gene mutation too, and [a preventative double mastectomy is] not something I would believe in for myself.”
Melissa, who successfully underwent five rounds of chemo for breast cancer in 2005, said, “I wouldn’t call [having a preventative mastectomy] a brave choice. I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer.”
What’s more, Melissa believes cancer is simply a matter of mind over matter. “My belief is that cancer comes from inside you, and so much of it has to do with the environment of your body,” she claims.
“It’s the stress that will turn that gene on or not. Plenty of people have the gene mutation and everything, but it never comes to cancer, so I would say to anybody faced with that, that choice is way down the line on the spectrum of what you can do and to really consider the advancements we’ve made in things like nutrition and stress levels.”
I’ve been cancer free for nine years now, “she says, “and looking back, I completely understand why I got cancer. There was so much acidity in everything. I really encourage people to go a lot longer and further before coming to that conclusion.”
Angelina, however, is more than happy with her choice, and is already back to “business as usual,” Brad said on Good Morning America Monday.
Next, she plans to have her ovaries removed within the next two years, as she also faces an elevated risk of ovarian cancer.
Lil Wayne trampled the American flag over the weekend ... and there's footage.
Weezy performed the stunt while shooting his new music video for "God Bless Amerika" in New Orleans.
During the shoot, Wayne begins rapping in front of a giant American flag ... which is released to the ground. After it's on the floor, Wayne continues to rap ... while stepping all over the stars and stripes.
The lyrics to Wayne's song are just as controversial ... "My country 'tis of thee / Sweet land of kill 'em all and let 'em die / God bless Amerika / This ole' godless Amerika."
Fans and critics have taken to social media outlets to express their opinion on LW’s actions. And while some may say it was an accident with Wayne being distracted by the camera’s, others beg to differ.
@KiddFuture: “Get Lil Wayne all the way the hell out of here….. stomping on the American flag??? Enough of this clown.”
@joeysavatgy176: “Lil Wayne standing on a American flag for a music video?… Really? That’s disrespectful to the extreme…”
@THESNEAKERADDICT: “alot of you are unreal, he is shooting a music video and looking at the camera not behind him or on the ground! stop making this something its not!”
From one mother to another!
Beyoncé took to her website today to send congratulations to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the birth of their first child, who was born June 15.
"Congratulations Kim & Kanye. Enjoy this beautiful moment together," Blue Ivy's mama wrote, sharing a precious photo of the new parents.
The E! star gave birth to a baby girl, who has dark hair and looks just like her mama, over the weekend with her rapper beau by her side.
Bey and Kim became fast friends thanks to their respective misters, and the new mom even attended her pal's Mrs. Carter Show about a month before giving birth.
But Queen B's not the only star to send some love—the couple has received an outpouring of support from their famous friends since the birth of their bundle of joy.
Kim's BFF Brittny Gastineau was spotted visiting her bestie at the hospital, while Demi Lovato, Russell Simmons and more have taken to social media to share well wishes.
Mama Kris Jenner also spoke with E! News over the weekend, gushing over the newest addition to the Kardashian clan, "We're happy, everybody's good and she's beautiful," she said.
No doubt. Congrats to the proud parents!
“Started From The Bottom” and now he’s here, and there, and in 41 cities across the continent. Drake is heading on a massive North American tour later this year to celebrate the release of his forthcoming album Nothing Was The Same. The 41-city “Would You Like A Tour?” arena trek will include Miguel in the opening spot on all dates, and Future will also join for select stops.
Miguel was on tour with Alicia Keys this spring, and as for Future, he’s also touring this summer with Lil Wayne and T.I., so both acts should be nice and warmed up by the time this tour kicks off on September 25 in Portland. Head below for the full list of dates.
Drake’s “Would You Like A Tour?” Dates
September 25 – Portland, OR (Rose Garden Arena)
September 26 – Tacoma, WA (Tacoma Dome)
September 27 – Vancouver, BC (Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena)
September 29 – Calgary, AB (Scotiabank Saddledome)
September 30 – Edmonton, AB (Rexall Place)
October 2 – Saskatoon, SK (Credit Union Centre)
October 3 – Winnipeg, MB (MTS Centre)
October 5 – Minneapolis, MN (Target Center)
October 6 – Kansas City, MO (Sprint Center)
October 8 – Saint Louis, MO (Scottrade Center)
October 9 – Chicago, IL (United Center)
October 11 – Indianapolis, IN (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
October 12 – Auburn Hills, MI (The Palace of Auburn Hills)
October 13 – Cleveland, OH (Quicken Loans Arena)
October 15 – Columbus, OH (Schottenstein Center)
October 16 – Buffalo, NY (First Niagara Center)
October 18 – Pittsburgh, PA (CONSOL Energy Center)
October 19 – Philadelphia, PA (Wells Fargo Center)
October 21 – Montreal, QC (Bell Centre)
October 22 – Ottawa, ON (Scotiabank Place)
October 26 – Hartford, CT (XL Center)
October 27 – Newark, NJ (Prudential Center)
October 28 – Brooklyn, NY (Barclays Center)
October 30 – Boston, MA (TD Garden)
October 31 – Washington, DC (Verizon Center)
November 2 – Charlotte, NC (Time Warner Cable Arena)
November 3 – Raleigh, NC (PNC Arena)
November 5 – Miami, FL (AmericanAirlines Arena)
November 6 – Tampa, FL (Tampa Bay Times Forum)
November 7 – Atlanta, GA (Philips Arena)
November 9 – New Orleans, LA (New Orleans Arena)
November 10 – Dallas, TX (American Airlines Center)
November 12 – San Antonio, TX (AT&T Center)
November 13 – Houston, TX (Toyota Center)
November 16 – Phoenix, AZ (US Airways Center)
November 18 – Sacramento, CA (Sleep Train Arena)
November 19 – Oakland, CA (Oracle Arena)
November 21 – Anaheim, CA (Honda Center)
November 22 – Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
November 24 – San Diego, CA (Viejas Arena)
November 25 – Los Angeles, CA (STAPLES Center)
Ummmmmm okay @ Drake not even bothering to come to Toronto. This Jimmy-faced bitch better release it with the next set of dates.
A bigger venue apparently means bigger celebs for the Tampa Bay Comic Con, which announced a star-studded lineup for its Aug. 23 to 25 convention at the Tampa Convention Center.
Maisie Williams and Rory McCann, best known for portraying Arya Stark and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane on HBO's “Game of Thrones” are set to be there, as is Willow Shields, who played Primrose Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” and the upcoming sequel.
Lauren Cohan, who portrays Maggie Greene on AMC's wildly popular zombie series, “The Walking Dead,” is scheduled to make her second appearance at the twice-yearly sci-fi, fantasy and comic book convention.
In April the convention announced it would move from its longtime home at the Westshore Doubletree hotel to a 25,000 square-foot space in the Tampa Convention Center.
That move came after a capacity crowd forced the fire marshal to halt ticket sales during the April convention and turn away hundreds of fans. Organizers said that crowd reached more than 5,000 people, the event's largest single-day attendance in its 13 years.
Other scheduled guests include artist George Perez, known for his work on “Avengers,” “Teen Titans” and “Infinity Gauntlet,” as well as a long list of other comic book writers and illustrators.
The convention will also feature its regular lineup of vendors, costume contests and panel discussions.
Single-day admission will cost $20 and a three-day pass is $45. Admission is free for children 12 and under.
It’s no news that the African print is globally accepted and is been use in so many creative ways by top Designers and Fashion House, And there is no limit to is usage and design even the top Hollywood diva has also caught the buzz and below is the many Hollywood stars that has embrace the African Ankara Prints Fabric.
What's your fave african print style?
Last week Friday, Film Independent announced the 22 filmmakers and 10 projects selected for its 11th annual Fast Track program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fast Track Welcome Luncheon, during the ongoing Los Angeles Film Festival.
The program is an intensive, three-day film-financing market, during which participants are connected with established financiers, production companies, agents, managers and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward.
I'll be highlighting those projects that will be of most interest to this blog, starting with this one: Third Girl from the Left - an adaptation of Martha Southgate's novel of the same name.
The project hails from exec producer Vincent Harris for Vantage Media Group, and producer Amy Hobby, for the Tangerine Entertainment production house.
Here's a lengthy description:
THIRD GIRL FROM THE LEFT is the story of the other side of Hollywood in the 1970’s, of what it means to be black, sexy, smart and full of dreams in a land where “blaxploitation” is as literal as it sounds. Yet this is not a ‘black’ story. This is a vivid and dynamic story about families, all families; and not just the ones we’re born into, but the ones we make for ourselves. It is a compelling saga of love, family secrets and the ambitions of mothers and daughters. It is also a story about the movies and the hold they can have on us, sometimes even despite our better judgment. Angela Edwards, is the shining center of the film, around which we deftly shift points of view, weaving the stories of her mother Mildred and daughter Tamara. Angela and Mildred clash in the way mothers and daughters often do, but manage to forge a bond during many afternoons spent together at the local cinema. Angela yearns to be onscreen herself and eventually leaves her stifling hometown of Tulsa for Hollywood in 1972. It does not live up to her imagination. She does not make it big. Instead, she lands bit parts in campy blaxploitation pictures. In a world where sexual favors to men in power are commonplace, even roles like these require young actresses to offer up more than talent in order to get the gig. Angela dutifully complies. Angela doesn't become a star, but the allure of movies has marked her for life, just as it did her mother, and just as it will her own daughter.
The project, which was also awarded the Millennium Entertainment Fellowship, a $10,000 production grant, currently lists Kerry Washington and Viola Davis as its stars. Although there's no word yet on who exactly each actress will play.
There's no director attached yet, although from what my research tells me, George C. Wolfe was once attached to direct the film. Whether he still is, I can't say. But I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.
Also, I recall Cauleen Smith was said to be adapting the novel about a year ago, although none of the materials I found today lists her name as screenwriter.
All of this will be cleared up eventually.
The project is certainly attracting the right kind of attention via initiatives like Film Independent's Fast Track, with a fall 2013 shoot hoped for, according to Vantage Media's website.
The story is certainly intriguing, especially if the above casting holds. I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the cast list will look like once it's complete.
Anyone read the novel? If so, your thoughts please
ps: Dear God of cinema make it happen!!