IN THE NEWS

Mel Brooks on losing the loves of his life: ‘People know how good Carl Reiner was, but not how great’

Hadley Freeman, © The Guardian
December 4, 2021

In February 2020, I joined Mel Brooks at the Beverly Hills home of his best friend, the director and writer Carl Reiner, for their nightly tradition of eating dinner together and watching the gameshow Jeopardy!. It was one of the most emotional nights of my life. Brooks, more than anyone, shaped my idea of Jewish-American humour, emphasising its joyfulness, cleverness and in-jokiness. Compared with his stellar 60s and 70s, when he was one of the most successful movie directors in the world, with The Producers and Blazing Saddles, and later his glittering 2000s, when his musical adaptation of The Producers dominated Broadway and the West End, his 80s and 90s are considered relatively fallow years. But his 1987 Star Wars spoof, Spaceballs, was the first Brooks movie I saw, and nothing was funnier to this then nine-year-old than that nonstop gag-a-thon (forget Yoda and the Force; in Spaceballs, Mel Brooks is Yoghurt and he wields the greatest power of all, the Schwartz).

Marlon Brando – Interview

June 12, 1973

In 1973, one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors Marlon Brando sat with talk show host Dick Cavett to discuss his new found insight on America’s relationship with the Indian, and how that relationship is falsely promoted in schools and in Hollywood films.

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I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.

-Jonathan Swift

Jarman award winner Jasmina Cibic: ‘Europe is collapsing in front of our eyes’

Emine Saner
November 23, 2021

There is a seam of dark humour whenever the Slovenian artist Jasmina Cibic is preparing to show her work in certain European countries. “They’re firing so many museum directors,” she says, with a brittle smile, “so we had this joke, that my show was going to be the last one for that director’s career.”

Cibic points to what has been happening in Hungary and Poland, where rightwing governments have attacked the arts, sacking museum and theatre directors, silencing writers and putting pressure on galleries. Even in Britain, which may be far less authoritarian but is prone to populist nationalism, Cibic has met obstacles. After Brexit, she says, “I lost [some exhibitions] in English museums, and I was told that they will reprogramme to suit local and national interests.” She smiles. “With the nature of my work, it couldn’t be more bizarre.”

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Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart.

-Marguerite Gardiner

Son los medios, ¡estúpido!

PAU MARÍ-KLOSE, © El País
November 28, 2021

De un tiempo a esta parte se ha extendido la idea de que la crispación y la polarización política que vive nuestro país es culpa de “los políticos”. Parece imposible negar que los políticos ponen en práctica estilos polarizadores, en lugar de optar por estilos centrados, serenos y constructivos….

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Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.

-Jonathan Swift

Sleepwalking into a Nuclear Nightmare

By Caitlin Johnstone, © Consortiumnews
November 29, 2021

Every day there’s more propaganda banging the drums of war between nuclear-armed nations a little louder. Western media are churning out reports about Russia preparing to invade Ukraine any minute now and China preparing to invade Taiwan any minute now, saying the response to each is obviously to move a lot of high-powered weaponry to both of those locations. None of them are questioning whether these allegations are true or whether those responses are wise.

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