•, CINEMA BLEND, Posted May 2nd 2023 It was announced a short while ago that after 14 seasons, “NCIS: Los Angeles” will come to an end on CBS. Many of the stars have since reacted to “NCIS: LA’s” big news, and the impending conclusion of the long-running series feels all the more real with each passing day. All the while, the cast has seemingly been reflective when it comes to their time on the show. With that, Sam Hanna himself, LL Cool J, is now opening up about the biggest lesson he’s learned as a result of starring on the procedural for over a decade. LL Cool J has portrayed NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna since the show debuted in 2009, so it’s not surprising to hear that he’s taken in a few lessons while being a part of it. While speaking to ET, the rapper revealed that the “NCIS” spinoff has exposed him to different kinds of people, and it sounds like that’s helped to enhance his view of the world.

Movie Weekly Countdown

  • Posted May 29th 2023 Halle Bailey you go girl ‘The Little Mermaid’ dived into the #1 position with a whopping $95.5 million this weekend. ‘Fast X’ takes the #2 spot with total sales of  $108 million while ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 slips to the #3 spot grossing $299.4 million at  the box office this past weekend! THE LITTLE MERMAID FAST X GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 3 THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE THE MACHINE VIDEOS ON DEMAND DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES EVIL DEAD RISE SCREAM VI JESUS REVOLUTION PLANE A MAN CALLED OTTO MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE THE WHALE ONE RANGER THE TUTOR

MXO Lifestyle

  • Associated Press, By Boris Heger and Arnd Wiegmann, Posted May 29th 2023 In her adoptive country, Tina Turner was more than just a swivel-hipped rock, R&B and pop superstar. She unapologetically moved to Switzerland for its discretion and calm, carrying her very public persona into a very private country. She relished her life as a Swiss citizen — and the feeling was mutual. It seems love’s got to do with it, too: In her 2018 memoir, “My Love Story,” Turner shared her emotion for longtime boyfriend-turned-husband Erwin Bach — a German record producer who had set up in Switzerland. She moved to join him in the mid-1990s, nearly a decade after they first met. TINA TURNER AND HUSBAND ERWIN BACH Mourners laid flowers and candles Thursday outside the gate of the couple’s lakeside villa rental, “Chateau Algonquin,” in the upscale town of Kuesnacht, southeast of Zurich, where they settled, got married in 2013, and lived for decades until her death on Wednesday at age 83. It was an understated tribute — reflective of the Swiss discretion that had drawn her to the rich Alpine country in the first place. Neighbors didn’t gawk, hound her for autographs or snap photos. Many Swiss felt a sense of pride that she could retreat here from the pressures of the media spotlight. It afforded her the semblance of a normal life after a turbulent one in her native United States, including at the hands of her late former husband Ike who discovered her, married her and — according to her memoirs — violently beat her. Celebrities of the past including Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury, as well as living stars like Sophia Loren and Shania Twain, have been drawn to Switzerland — often for its reputed respect for private lives. Roman Polanski holed up in an Alpine chalet briefly to skirt U.S. justice, and some of the world’s financial magnates and business gurus have been attracted by the country’s relatively low taxes and secrecy about money matters. Turner, who moved in the mid-1990s and took Swiss citizenship in 2013 — dispensing with her U.S passport — was arguably the most famous resident in recent years. Swiss President Alain Berset tweeted a tribute to Turner, calling her an icon and saying his “thoughts are with the relatives of this impressive woman, who found a second homeland in Switzerland.” IKE AND TINA TURNER REVUE 1960 Markus Ernst, the mayor of Kuesnacht, a bucolic town on the shores of Lake Zurich, said Turner was engaged in the community — regularly lighting the annual Christmas tree and once inaugurating a municipal rescue boat that has been christened “Tina” — but locals went out of their way to help an overwhelmingly public figure enjoy a private life, too. “One of the reasons she came to Switzerland was to have a completely normal life,” he said by phone. “She could go to restaurants without being photographed all the time … in the street, people didn’t stare at her or ask for her autograph.” TINA TURNER KEY LARGO LIVE IN PARIS 1982 Dropping by to pay her respects, art dealer Renate Fetscherin, who has lived in the town for decades, said people in Switzerland “would never bother anybody, you know?” and the couple could rest easy: “They don’t worry about paparazzi because we don’t have them!” “Kuesnacht was very proud of having such a famous person here,” Fetscherin said. She recalled how Turner and Bach — clearly ensconced in Switzerland for good — had reportedly bought a villa last year just down the lake from the town. At his upscale eatery just a couple hundred meters from the villa, restaurateur Rico Zandonella recalled Turner as “very dear friend” and a frequent guest who once celebrated a birthday there with colleagues “who sang for her: It was a really great celebration.” “Tina Turner is a very big personality when she enters a room. She has a really great aura — a personality that explodes like a bomb, like she is on stage.” A statement from her longtime manager, Bernard Doherty, said a private funeral ceremony among close family and friends was planned, adding: “Please respect the privacy of her.” Years ago, Turner narrated milestones of her life and her affection and affinity for Switzerland in a glitzy TV ad for communications company Swisscom, featuring young actors who portrayed her in both early life and in highlight moments of her career. It alluded to stereotypes about Switzerland such as the home of William Tell or a hub of ice-skating prowess; she sat in a rocking rowboat in a lake ringed by majestic mountains, mobile phone in hand. Turner recounted how her friends had to adapt to her Swiss tastes, as one actor portraying her carried out a pot of cheese fondue to quizzical looks from fictionalized guests. Another actor waved off fans as flash bulbs popped while she clambered into the backseat of a limousine next to the real Turner, and the superstar quipped: “As time went by, I learned more and more about Switzerland, like that security and discretion are people’s top priority — just like they are for me.” “And when I finally moved to Switzerland, it felt like home right away,” she mused. “People respect each other’s privacy here, take care of each other.” Jamey Keaten contributed to this report.

The Arts Unplugged

  • CHRIST SPEAKING TO THE SAMARITAN WOMAN AT THE WELL FRO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN Associated Press, By Mark Pratt, Posted May 26th 2023 A nearly 150-year-old stained-glass church window that depicts a dark-skinned Jesus Christ interacting with women in New Testament scenes has stirred up questions about race, Rhode Island’s role in the slave trade and the place of women in 19th century New England society. The window installed at the long-closed St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Warren in 1878 is the oldest known public example of stained glass on which Christ is depicted as a person of color that one expert has seen. VIRGINIA RAQUIN PROFESSOR OF HUMANITIES EMERITA COLLEGE OF HOLY CROSE WORCESTER MASSACHUSETTS “This window is unique and highly unusual,” said Virginia Raguin, a professor of humanities emerita at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an expert on the history of stained-glass art. “I have never seen this iconography for that time.” The 12-foot tall, 5-foot wide (3.7 meters by 1.5 meters) window depicts two biblical passages in which women, also painted with dark skin, appear as equals to Christ. One shows Christ in conversation with Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, from the Gospel of Luke. The other shows Christ speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well from the Gospel of John. The window made by the Henry E. Sharp studio in New York had largely been forgotten until a few years ago when Hadley Arnold and her family bought the 4,000-square-foot (371-square-meter) Greek Revival church building, which opened in 1830 and closed in 2010, to convert into their home. When four stained-glass windows were removed in 2020 to be replaced with clear glass, Arnold took a closer look. It was a cold winter’s day with the sunlight shining at just the right angle and she was stunned by what she saw in one of them: The human figures had dark skin. “The skin tones were nothing like the white Christ you usually see,” said Arnold, who teaches architectural design in California after growing up in Rhode Island and earning an art history degree from Harvard University. The window has now been scrutinized by scholars, historians and experts trying to determine the motivations of the artist, the church and the woman who commissioned the window in memory of her two aunts, both of whom married into families that had been involved in the slave trade. CHRIST IN CONVERSATION WITH MARTHA AND MARY THE SISTERS OF LAZARUS “Is this repudiation? Is this congratulations? Is this a secret sign?” said Arnold. Raguin and other experts confirmed that the skin tones — in black and brown paint on milky white glass that was fired in an oven to set the image — were original and deliberate. The piece shows some signs of aging but remains in very good condition, she said. But does it depict a Black Jesus? Arnold doesn’t feel comfortable using that term, preferring to say it depicts Christ as a person of color, probably Middle Eastern, which she says would make sense, given where the Galilean Jewish preacher was from. LINDA A’VANT-DEISHINNI FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RHODE ISLAND BLACK HERITAGE SOCIETY Others think it’s open to interpretation. “To me, being of African American and Native American heritage, I think that it could represent both people,” said Linda A’Vant-Deishinni, the former executive director of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. She now runs the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence’s St. Martin de Porres Center, which provides services to older residents. “The first time I saw it, it just kind of just blew me away,” A’Vant-Deishinni said. Victoria Johnson, a retired educator who was the first Black woman named principal of a Rhode Island high school, thinks the figures in the glass are most certainly Black. “When I see it, I see Black,” she said. “It was created in an era when at a white church in the North, the only people of color they knew were Black.” Warren’s economy had been based on the building and outfitting of ships, some used in the slave trade, according to the town history. And although there are records of enslaved people in town before the Civil War, the racial makeup of St. Mark’s was likely mostly if not all white. The window was commissioned by a Mary P. Carr in honor of two women, apparently her late aunts, whose names appear on the glass, Arnold said. Mrs. H. Gibbs and Mrs. R. B. DeWolf were sisters, and both married into families involved in the slave trade. The DeWolf family made a fortune as one of the nation’s leading slave-trading families; Gibbs married a sea captain who worked for the DeWolfs. Both women had been listed as donors to the American Colonization Society, founded to support the migration of freed slaves to Liberia in Africa. The controversial effort was overwhelmingly rejected by Black people in America, leading many former supporters to become abolitionists instead. DeWolf also left money in her will to found another church in accord with egalitarian principles, according to the research. Another clue is the timing, Arnold said. The window was commissioned at a critical juncture of U.S. history when supporters of Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and their Southern Democrat opponents agreed to settle the 1876 presidential election with what is known as the Compromise of 1877, which essentially ended Reconstruction-era efforts to grant and protect the legal rights of formerly enslaved Black people. AFRICAN JESUS What was Carr trying to say about Gibbs’ and DeWolf’s links to slavery? “We don’t know, but it would appear that she is honoring people of conscience however imperfect their actions or their effectiveness may have been,” Arnold said. “I don’t think it would be there otherwise.” The window also is remarkable because it shows Christ interacting with woman as equals, Raguin said: “Both stories were selected to profile equality.” For now, the window remains propped upright in a wooden frame where pews once stood. College read more…

  •, By Nicholas McEntyre, Posted May 19th 2023 Hollywood’s new diversity rules are making one actor sick. Legendary actor Richard Dreyfuss condemned the inclusivity changes that will be implemented for next year’s Oscars, saying the new standards “make me vomit.” “This is an art form. It’s also a form of commerce, and it makes money. But it’s an art,” Dreyfuss said on PBS’ “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover.” “And no one should be telling me as an artist that I have to give in to the latest, most current idea of what morality is.” Dreyfuss, who famously played Matt Hooper in the 1975 horror film “Jaws,” claimed the standards were legislating people’s feelings. PRESIDENT OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCE JANET YANG “What are we risking? Are we really risking hurting people’s feelings? You can’t legislate that. And– you have to let life be life. And I’m sorry, I don’t think that there is a minority or a majority in the country that has to be catered to like that,” Dreyfuss added.  Starting in 2024, a film has to meet certain diversity and inclusion standards in four different categories set out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be considered for “Best Picture” at the Oscars. The categories, each pertaining to different aspects of a movie’s production, would require new diversity measures to be met through “On-screen Representation,” “Creative Leadership and Project Team,” “Industry Access and Opportunities,” and “Audience Advancement.” “On-screen Representation” is classified as at least one lead character from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, having at least 30 percent of secondary roles be from two underrepresented groups or the main storyline has to focus on an underrepresented group. According to the Academy, underrepresented groups include women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+ or people with disabilities, and the new standards are meant to encourage diversity on and off the screen. Dreyfuss, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1977 for his role in “The Goodbye Girl,” defended Laurence Olivier in Shakespeare’s Othello, a Moorish military commander, which he played in blackface. “(Olivier) did it in 1965. And he did it in blackface. And he played a black man brilliantly,” Dreyfuss said. “Am I being told that I will never have a chance to play a black man? Is someone else being told that if they’re not Jewish, they shouldn’t play the Merchant of Venice? Are we crazy? Do we not know that art is art? This is so patronizing. It’s so thoughtless, and treating people like children.” DO THE WAYANS BROTHERS AGREE WITH DREYFUSS (L-R) KEVIN COPELAND (SHAWN WAYANS) AND BROTHER MARCUS COPELAND (MARLON WAYANS IN THE 2004 COMEDY ‘WHITE CHICKS’ Dreyfuss suggested movies should remain focused on the reality of the story instead of manipulating it to meet a standard of who’s in it. “I once worked for a guy who was making a film about the gangsters of the thirties,” Dreyfuss recalled. “I said, ‘Why did you change this incident and that incident from the reality? Because the reality was so much more interesting than what you created. And by changing it you made it simple and smaller.” “I totally believe that you can make a great film or a great painting or a great opera out of the truth first. And try that first. And then if you can’t do it, then make up some nonsense. But don’t– don’t tell me you can’t do that, that history isn’t that interesting.