Zohra Sehgal, 102, Indian Actress On Three Continents


Western film and TV viewers knew her as the go-to actress for feisty Indian old lady roles (Bend It Like Beckham, Bhaji on the Beach, Masala, Jewel in the Crown, Dr Who). Yet she had a seven-decade stage and movie career in the subcontinent: she toured as a young dancer with Uday Shankar, and worked in Bollywood well into her 90s.

Despite All Ukraine’s Troubles (And A Near-Cancellation), The “Cannes Of The East” Goes Ahead

odessa film fest

The Odessa International Film Festival “almost didn’t happen [this year], after the annexation of Crimea in March, and the events of 2 May, when 43 pro-Russian activists died in Odessa in a fire started in unclear circumstances. The festival was, however, eventually given the go-ahead, albeit on a drastically reduced budget, and helped by a crowdfunding campaign.”

Wallace Shawn Shows Just How Much Ibsen Changed Everything


“I was listening this morning to a Norwegian doctor who’s been in Gaza and working in a hospital in Gaza, risking his neck and going through a kind of unimaginable hell. And I was thinking, well, he’s there because of Ibsen. He wouldn’t be there if that man had not influenced his society in such an extraordinary way.”

Saving Canada’s Most Iconic Record-Store Sign

sam the record man

“Since selling its final CD in 2007, Torontonians have been waiting to find out what would happen to the flashing neon discs that used to lure them into Sam the Record Man’s flagship store for nearly 40 years. … City officials were able to finally secure the storefront’s fate earlier this month – on top of a mid-rise tower one block away.”

Spain’s Prado Museum Missing 885 Artworks


“A spokesperson for the museum downplayed the situation, telling the paper that many works had been lost over the years to fires and even armed conflict, but without proof of destruction or loss the records for these works remain.”

The Next Big Musical Tool – Your Phone


“Your phone is now a recording studio, a music school, and a Guitar Center. Thousands of music apps enable you to do everything from autotune your voicemail greeting to compose a symphony.”

Why Don’t We Have Alternative “Director’s Cut” Versions Of Books?


“While the film industry eventually embraced the notion of a director’s cut and ran with it – ran, in fact, with the idea of releasing multiple versions of films, each definitive in its own, idiosyncratic way –publishing did not. Despite a few exceptions, there seems to be very little enthusiasm today for multiple editions of the same contemporary book.”

Boycott An Israeli Theatre Company Over Politics? Where’s The Logic?


“The demands for censorship speak to the illiberal tendencies of much of the art world and their self-important overestimation of the impact of cultural boycotts. They are the kind of artists who call for artistic freedom for themselves, and for those whose opinions they approve of, but deny it to those who they disapprove of, or, in this case, those whose countries they disapprove of.”

Rome’s Cinecittà Opens A Theme Park


“In its nearly 80-year history, the Cinecittà film studio lured the world’s greatest directors and biggest movie stars to this Italian capital, earning it the title of Hollywood on the Tiber. Now the studio, its fortunes in decline and its edges fraying, is hoping to attract some less famous visitors when Cinecittà World, a new theme park dedicated to its golden era, opens on Thursday.”

In Defense Of The Jukebox Musical


“Done well, jukebox musicals, which are by nature about popular music, can have great music and dramatic insight, too. I propose that we stop being embarrassed by them, and I hope that producers and librettists continue to make the genre better. Great pop music can be celebrated well and enjoyably.” Sarah Lawson explains how, with examples.

The Strangest Temple In Thailand

oddest temple in Thailand a

“Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple, is one of over 33,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand. But it’s the only one that features a mural depicting a plane hitting the Twin Towers as Spiderman and an Angry Bird look on.”

The Stradivarius Investment Company


“The way we look at this violin, from an investment point of view, is that this is a store of value,” Allain said. “We are big investors in gold. That’s a store of value, to the extent that someone is saying it’s worth something, just as we think bitcoin is worth something. This Stradivarius—it’s a finite supply. It’s musical gold.”

The Man Who Created Bugs Bunny


“Charles M. Jones (1912-2002) was, in fact, easily one of the greatest comedy directors in the history of motion pictures, indisputably on a par with Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, Mel Brooks or Woody Allen.”

Netflix Profits Double


“The company said revenue from its streaming content service rose nearly 50% to $1.2bn, compared to $837m a year earlier. Netflix said it added 1.69 million users during the period from March to June. The streaming video firm now has 50 million users in over 40 countries.”

Novelist Thomas Berger, 89

thomas berger

“The reclusive and bitingly satirical novelist … explored the myths of the American West in Little Big Man and the mores of 20th-century middle-class society in a shelf of other well-received books.”