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Recent Posts

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Guardian Article

Ready? Here goes then: Line of Duty (now BBC1), volume four. And a woman is hit by a car, then bundled in. Kidnapped. Already the heart rate’s up. She needs help, quickly. The police – led by DCI Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton, about whom more later) – are on it, and they have already decided it’s the same balaclava-wearing abductor of two other women.

The car is traced to an estate. The trail leads to a house. Boom, there’s an explosion, but the suspect has escaped out the back. (Why didn’t Roz the rozzer send someone round there?) Wait, there’s a shout from inside the house, which is now on fire; a woman – the kidnapped one, Hana – is chained to the radiator. Bolt cutters! Quick!

Phew, she’s out, just in time. And one of the registered residents of the property is a young man called Michael, described as a loner and on the sex offenders register. Bingo! He has just started his night shift, quick, pick him up. Gotcha!
Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio: ‘

We’re less than 10 minutes in, and I’m a wreck. He likes to start a series using jump leads and a defibrillator, does LoD creator (he is now directing as well as writing) Jed Mercurio.
Piffle, Whimsy and Games / Re: My neighbor
« Last post by genie on Today at 03:52:13 PM »
Yowza!!!  That is one enormous gator!  So it just hangs out in the park and eats other gators and pets and any animal that comes within striking distance?

I would say that is an accurate assessment.

Piffle, Whimsy and Games / Re: Yo Oso
« Last post by Oso on Today at 02:26:35 PM »
I see a bit of grandma in that beautiful little face!!
Piffle, Whimsy and Games / Re: My neighbor
« Last post by Oso on Today at 02:24:59 PM »
Yowza!!!  That is one enormous gator!  So it just hangs out in the park and eats other gators and pets and any animal that comes within striking distance? 
Interesting.  I wonder if Nath has any comments?!
YES!!!!!   :fav302:
Social Media is going to ring in a new Russia, I think. Link

Russia’s protests show that a new generation is finding its voice
By Yevgenia Albats March 28 at 8:07 PM

Police officers detain an opposition supporter during a rally in Vladivostok, Russia, on Sunday. (Yuri Maltsev/Reuters)

Yevgenia Albats is editor-in-chief of the Moscow-based independent political weekly the New Times. She is the author of “The State Within a State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia — Past, Present, and Future.”

On Sunday, more than 60,000 protesters took to the streets across the Russia, proving that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s much-vaunted “stability” is actually fragile. Many international commentators were surprised by this open expression of discontent. They shouldn’t have been. Putin’s romance with the nation is coming to an end.

In 82 locations around the country, from Vladivostok in the far east to Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains, Russians came out to demonstrate against corruption, responding to a call by opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The country hasn’t seen anything like this since the end of the 1980s, when the Soviet Union was collapsing. (Though Russia did experience large anti-Putin protests in 2011 and 2012, they were concentrated in a few big cities, above all Moscow and St. Petersburg.)

Opinions illuminating the challenges facing democracy around the world

It’s telling that, for most of the day, state-run broadcasters (and even some privately owned information agencies) ignored what was going on across the country.

Most of the demonstrations were unsanctioned. “Unsanctioned” is something of a euphemism, since freedom of assembly is guaranteed by Article 31 of the Russian Constitution. The authorities must give to their approval to protest venues, and as a rule they refuse to allow demonstrations wherever it has been the custom to hold them over the past 30 years — such as Tverskaya Street in the center of Moscow, for example. Those who take part in unsanctioned meetings know that they are likely to be beaten, arrested, carted off in special police buses and taken to police stations. Some will get off with a fine, and others will receive a prison sentence of seven to 15 days, or even longer. Following the demonstrations of May 6, 2012, several dozen people ended up with sentences of three to four years in prison camps, losing their jobs and any hope of future careers.

This time, more than 1,030 people were arrested in Moscow alone. Unlike their counterparts in some countries, they didn’t throw smoke bombs and they didn’t set off flares. They simply gathered peacefully and walked. Many of them, such as my colleagues, fellow reporters Timofei Dzyadko and Alexander Plyushchev, weren’t even holding placards. (And it’s not at all clear why authorities decided to detain Guardian reporter Alec Luhn.) Navalny himself was arrested. A court sentenced him to 15 days in jail (not his first sojourn in prison by any means) and a fine.

At some point, in the very center of Moscow, the police simply began to arrest people, packing them into buses with metal grilles over the windows, beating some of them quite badly. None of the protesters had been blocking traffic or causing any sort of disruption to public life.

This random brutality, however, wasn’t the key thing about an event that is unprecedented in Putin’s Russia. For the first time, a generation that was born after the fall of the Soviet Union — a generation that has no personal experience of totalitarian rule — came out to demonstrate.

This generation doesn’t watch the Russian propaganda channels that tell of the great Putin and the horrible West. Its members live on social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Vkontakte and YouTube. It was on YouTube that they watched an investigative film by Navalny, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, about Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s sumptuous villas, located on the banks of the Volga River, in the holiday resort of Sochi and even in Italy. The film described vineyards owned by certain charitable funds run by Medvedev’s childhood friends. It showed us the incredible luxury of the prime minister’s homes, surrounded by impoverished Russian villages.

Needless to say, there have already been numerous investigations into corruption in Russia, which is ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world. Meanwhile, about 25 million people live below the poverty line.

Navalny, a talented politician, presented this investigation to the greatest possible effect. He has a very keen sense of the moment. Over the past two years, thanks to sanctions and collapsing oil prices, the real income of the population has fallen by 15 percent. At the same time food prices have gone up by 36 percent, utility fees by 28 percent.

At the same time, people see the authorities, from governors and national leaders down to mayors of cities and towns, wallowing in wealth.

What we are seeing now is that young people born after the end of the Soviet Union have reached an age when they want to influence politics in the country. They’re less concerned about prices than they are about the fact that in Russia there is a total absence of any opportunity for social mobility. If you don’t belong to the clan that has developed out of the KGB, then you have only the slimmest of chances of making a career for yourself or running your own business. It’s not just incredibly difficult, it’s also dangerous. The prisons and penal camps are packed with tens of thousands of businesspeople who have ended up behind bars simply because their businesses were successful and caught the eye of the secret police or some other state organization.

It was precisely this post-Soviet generation that came out into the streets all across the country on Sunday. And suddenly it became clear that Putin does not have 86 percent support, as the court pollsters would have us believe. A generation that never knew the brutal restrictions of the Soviet authorities is now declaring its right to take part in politics.

Yes, this remarkable development will probably be followed by a new wave of repression. And yet we suddenly have cause for hope. On March 26, the future of Russia showed itself on the streets of cities across the nation.
Piffle, Whimsy and Games / Re: My neighbor
« Last post by Luce on March 28, 2017, 07:57:41 AM »
OMG! Are you sure it's not a leftover dinosaure?
Piffle, Whimsy and Games / My neighbor
« Last post by genie on March 27, 2017, 03:29:44 PM »
Polk county is center of the state just a bit south of my county.

Coming Soon / Lady Macbeth July 14th US theaters
« Last post by genie on March 26, 2017, 05:33:26 PM »
19th Century

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* BBC Films

* The Guardian (Film)

  • post First trailer for Stephen King's It: the child-devouring clown is back - 29 March
  • The first look at a new adaptation of the horror classic suggests a nightmarish update with a hint of Stranger ThingsThe first trailer for the latest version of Stephen King?s It has landed, suggesting that yet another generation of children will be haunted by visions of an evil, sewer-dwelling clown.It?s the first of a proposed two-part adaptation of the 1986 novel that was originally turned into a mini-series in 1990, starring Tim Curry as Pennywise, a clown that kidnaps and eats children. Continue reading...
  • post The 10 greatest second world war films you haven't seen - 29 March
  • Some lesser-known wartime stories, such as Japan?s The Burmese Harp and the German-made Generation War, rank alongside the classicsNo recent historical cataclysm has eclipsed the magnitude of the second world war. And thank God for that: the war was horrible! Its aftershocks are still felt in many current conflicts. The war touched every life differently, so it?s no wonder authors and film-makers keep returning to it, finding new stories to tell. Related: The Zookeeper's Wife review ? Jessica Chastain drama is wildly inconsistent Continue reading...
  • post Chris Addison to direct gender-swap Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake - 29 March
  • The Thick of It actor to make big-screen directorial debut with Nasty Women, which stars Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as con artistsThe Thick of It actor Chris Addison is to direct the film Nasty Women, the gender-swapped remake of the 1980s comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. According to Variety, Addison will make his big-screen directorial debut with the film, which stars Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as two con artists who plot to swindle a tech prodigy out of his fortune. TiMER director Jac Schaeffer will write the screenplay. Continue reading...
  • post Emma Thompson attacks 'evil' Hollywood pressure on women to be thin - 29 March
  • Thompson reveals she almost quit 2008 film Brideshead Revisited after a co-star was asked to lose weightEmma Thompson has criticised Hollywood for the pressure it puts on female actors to be thin, saying that she almost quit Brideshead Revisited because another actor was asked by the film?s producers to lose weight.Thompson made the comment during an interview on Swedish talk show Skavlan, after another guest brought up the subject of weight loss. Thompson didn?t reveal the name of the actor, but confirmed that she confronted producers of the film over the issue. Continue reading...
  • post Ghost in the Shell review ? Scarlett Johansson remake lacks mystery - 29 March
  • Johansson does cyberbattle in a westernised reimagining of the Japanese anime classic that proves watchable but doesn?t have the spirit of the originalIn all her un-nippled robotic nudity, Scarlett Johansson swoops down from a high building, ready to do cyberbattle with hackers, criminals, terrorists and the concept of human identity itself. Here is the top-dollar adaptation of the Masamune Shirow manga serial and the resulting 1995 anime gem by Mamoru Oshii.It has been standardised and westernised with hardly any actual Japanese characters left in it, and effectively reimagined as a superhero origin myth, with tropes derived from the existing templates laid down by Metropolis, Robocop, Blade Runner and Total Recall. The film incidentally makes some play with rudimentary Hawking-style robot voices. There are some stately cameos from Juliette Binoche and Takeshi Kitano.It?s a spectacular movie, watchable in its way, but one which ? quite apart from the ?whitewashing? debate ? sacrifices that aspect from the original which over 20 years has won it its hardcore of fans: the opaque cult mystery, which this film is determined to solve and to develop into a resolution, closed yet franchisable. As for Johansson, she carries off the deadpan cyber-eroticism of her role with that ghost-in-the-shell of a smile of hers: although none of the other cyber-creatures are required to get quasi-nude in the same saucy way. Her otherworldly creature from Jonathan Glazer?s classic horror Under the Skin was a thousand times more disturbing and the obvious superhero quality of the role here, sometimes makes her seem like a more solemn version of Black Widow, her character in the Avengers movies. Continue reading...
  • post Cristian Mungiu: ?We were called the sacrifice generation ? and so were our parents' - 29 March
  • He grew up in post-communist Romania and his films capture the fears of a society emerging from Soviet rule. Cristian Mungiu talks freedom, corruption and parenthoodSlight of stature and soft of voice, Cristian Mungiu is an unlikely leader of a cinematic revolution. But ever since his second film, the harrowing abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, won the Palme d?Or at Cannes film festival in 2007, Mungiu has become the best-known director, and de facto leader, of a group of film-makers who emerged a decade ago from post-communist eastern Europe ? and most particularly, the new wave that exploded from Romania, the country that experienced the toughest transition from Soviet domination in the late 1980s.Now, almost 30 years after the revolution that led to 1,100 deaths and ended with the overthrow of Nicolae Ceau?escu, Mungiu has a new film in cinemas, only his third since that breakthrough a decade ago. Called Bacalaureat, or Graduation, it?s a knotty fable, thick with disillusion and shabby compromise: a surgeon in Romania?s second city, Cluj, is desperate to get his daughter to university in Britain, but just before she takes her crucial exams, she is attacked and sexually assaulted. Fearful that, despite her hitherto excellent academic record, the trauma will mean she won?t get the required grades, he resorts to back-slapping, payoffs and favours to try to secure the right result. Continue reading...
  • post So many cinemas, yet so few films to see | Letters - 29 March
  • Philip Clapp (Letters, 28 March) writes that there were 900 titles released in 2016, but fails to advise where film fans can see even half of them. In Leeds city centre there is a multiplex and a multi-screen ?video lounge?; there are two single screen independent cinemas near the centre, and a second multiplex. Within reasonable travel by public transport , there are three more multiplexes and a Picturehouse. Yet in January and February they were dominated by the same films, honoured by the Academy, such as La La Land or Moonlight. The more varied titles like The Salesman were also award winners. For the excellent Japan Film Centre programme, one had to travel to Manchester or Sheffield. Distinctive titles such as The Olive Tree suffer that exasperating programming technique ? the single screening. Variety is the spice of life: film fans needs greater spice.
    Keith Withall
    Leeds? Join the debate ? email guardian.letters@theguardian.com Continue reading...
  • post An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power trailer: climate change has new villain ? video - 29 March
  • Former US vice president Al Gore has produced a follow-up to his award-winning 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Watch the first official trailer Continue reading...
  • post Darlene Cates dies aged 69: ?Best acting mom I ever had,? says Leonardo DiCaprio - 29 March
  • Oscar-winning actor pays tribute to ?endearing personality and incredible talent? of What?s Eating Gilbert Grape co-star Leonardo DiCaprio has paid tribute to Darlene Cates as ?the best acting mom I ever had? following her death at the age of 69.The Oscar-winning actor worked with Cates on the 1993 film, What?s Eating Gilbert Grape. Cates died in her sleep at her home in Forney, Texas, on Sunday, her family confirmed. Continue reading...
  • post Beauty and the Beast magic helps UK box office survive the spring sunshine - 28 March
  • Not even the weather could stop the family-friendly fairytale, but the outlook was less bright for CHiPs, The Lost City of Z and Jake Gyllenhaal sci-fi LifeA sunny weekend and a dearth of strong new releases should have created a tough environment at UK cinemas. But business remained sturdy almost entirely thanks to Beauty and the Beast. Declining a gentle 37% from the opening frame, the Disney musical delivered £12.33m, for an awesome 10-day total of £39.9m. The Jungle Book had reached £21.7m at the same stage of its run last April. Continue reading...

* CinemaBlend

* Guardian - Film

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