Wednesday Jun 8, 2016

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and...
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TV

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and died Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley, who called the actress a "warm, caring person who always put others' needs before her own. Saldana co-starred in the 1991-96 drama "The Commish" as the supportive wife of Michael Chiklis' police commissioner. Her most notable big-screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull," Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro. "I have such good memories of working with her on 'Raging Bull,' and I always admired the way that she handled the horrifying attack by a stalker — the good that she made of it," Scorsese said. "She was a wonderful actress and a fine human being." In 1982, Saldana was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a then-water deliveryman, Jeff Fenn, who held the man for police. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to Great Britain to face charges in a case there. Saldana, who endured a prolonged hospitalization, was both physically and mentally scarred and received treatment for both problems. She went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims for Victims, and played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." She also wrote "Beyond Survival," a memoir. In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Saldana said her recovery was long in coming but complete. "It's been a decade and it's over now, finally," she said. "If someone brings it up I remember, but I don't think about it all the time. It's certainly not a formidable part of my life anymore. I'm happy and excited. I'm doing really well." She and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on "The Commish" as police Sgt. William Frawley, married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna. Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and was adopted at five days by an Italian-Puerto Rican family. Her first film appearances came in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Nunzio." Other movie credits included "Defiance," ''The Evil That Men Do" and "Gang Warz." Her TV credits included "T.J. Hooker" and "Matlock" in the early and mid-1980s, "Diagnosis Murder" in the '90s and "The Bernie Mac Show" in 2003. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Watch: 'Marco Polo' Season 2 trailer
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Watch: 'Marco Polo' Season 2 trailer

Lorenzo Richelmy returns as the title character and explorer of the Mongolian Empire in a first trailer for July 2016's second season of "Marco Polo" on Netflix.The two-minute reel sets expectations for a 10-episode season due to drop July 1, with Marco Polo conscripted into the order of the Mongol Knights as the Empire's violent growth faces new challenges. Benedict Wong of "The Martian" and "Prometheus" returns as Kublai Khan in a cast that includes Olivia Cheng, Jean Chen, Zhy Zhu, Mahesh Jadu, Michelle Yeoh, Rick Yune and Uli Latukefu. Marco Polo Season 2 trailer: youtu.be/OXfgvcJ5T8E, facebook.com/MarcoPoloMP/videos/1044389592295431 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report

PriceWaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020" study estimates that online video consumed 82.1% of data traffic in the USA for 2015.Film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, and video games will change in the most impactful way over the period 2016 to 2020, said PwC. Event cinema, video game adaptations, local-language content will impact film, while China will become the world's top movie market in 2017; in TV, online delivery is "the new normal," with online home video already bigger than the box office. Live music experiences will continue to increase in importance, with digital streaming the predominant form of consumption and subscription services accounting for 80% of industry revenue. Virtual reality was identified as an "exciting area of growth" within video games, and competitive gaming, known as eSports, will benefit from increased local awareness in the US. For advertisers, mobile is of the most interest, with paid search and online video internet advertising to grow rapidly, as long as the challenges of transparency, ad fraud and privacy can be adequately dealt with. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

A summer bounty of TV drama, comedies and even a 'Hamilton'
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
A summer bounty of TV drama, comedies and even a 'Hamilton'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Summer travel packing list: swimsuit, sunblock, television. In this portable TV era, there's no reason to leave small-screen entertainment at home when cable channels, streaming services and networks are eager to keep you connected online with top-notch fare from, among others, Oscar-owning filmmakers. So hit the road with your smartphone, laptop or tablet — or, heck, stay put in front of an actual TV set — and check out this steamy-weather menu of hot picks (all times EDT). — "BrainDead," CBS, 10 p.m. Monday, June 13. A different political show from "The Good Wife" creators Robert and Michelle King, with Washington beset by brain-eating bugs and a bipartisan coalition out to stop them. Tony Shalhoub and Broadway and TV "Grease" heartthrob Aaron Tveit are among the comic thriller's stars. — "Animal Kingdom," TNT, 9 p.m. Monday, June 14. A teenager (Finn Cole) loses his mother to a heroin overdose and gains a violent family that includes a tough matriarch (Ellen Barkin) and her offspring in the drama series based on the Australian movie of the same name. — "Raised by Wolves," Acorn TV streaming service, Monday, June 20. A bluntly funny take on the lives of an unconventional single mother and her six home-schooled kids from writers Caitlin and Caroline Moran, sisters who lived a version of the comedy series. — "Queen of the South," USA, 10 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Drawn from the best-selling novel "La Reina Del Sur," which already spawned a hit telenovela, the drama stars Alice Braga ("I Am Legend") as a woman on the run in the U.S. from a drug trafficking ring after her boyfriend's murder. —"Dancing On the Edge," PBS, 8 p.m. Sunday, June 26. An eight-part drama about a black jazz band that finds success and tragedy in 1930s London. Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years A Slave") and Matthew Goode (aka Lady Mary's squeeze in "Downton Abbey") are part of the cast. — "Alexander Hamilton," History Channel, 9 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Finding tickets to the Broadway hit musical "Hamilton" too pricey? This two-hour documentary detailing his national legacy may leave you singing the founding father's praises. — "Roadies," Showtime, 10 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Rock stars ruled in filmmaker Cameron Crowe's Oscar-winning "Almost Famous," but it's the crew members who shine in the comedy series written and directed by Crowe. Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino and Keisha Castle-Hughes are part of the ensemble cast. — "Hello World!" Discovery Channel, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9. The family friendly series enlists the narration and tunes of Christina Aguilera, Usher, Joan Jett and others to educate us about wild animals and their habitats. — "The Night Of," HBO, 9 p.m. Sunday, July 10. A start-to-finish murder case as created by one Oscar-winning writer, Steven Zaillian ("Schindler's List") and one Oscar-nominated one, Richard Price ("The Color of Money"), with an assist from Peter Moffat, whose original U.K. series it's adapted from. John Turturro, Riz Ahmed star. — "The A Word," SundanceTV, 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. Both autism and adultery figure in this series, described as both thoughtful and humorous, about a 5-year-old boy and his extended family. — "The Get Down," Netflix, Friday, Aug. 12. New York circa 1970s is the setting for this music-saturated drama about South Bronx teenagers in a harsh and changing world. Extravagant filmmaker Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge!") directed and produced the series with young actors (Justice Smith, Shameik Moore) and veterans (Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito). ___ Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lawsuit: Ellen DeGeneres mocked woman's name for breast joke
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Lawsuit: Ellen DeGeneres mocked woman's name for breast joke

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia real estate agent is suing the producer of the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," claiming the comedian mispronounced her name to make a joke about breasts. Titi (TEE'-tee) Pierce alleges in the lawsuit filed against Warner Bros. last week that DeGeneres displayed one of Pierce's real estate signs during the Feb. 22 show that was rerun April 15. It says DeGeneres led into the joke about Pierce's name after showing a sign for the unrelated Nipple Convalescent Home. The suit also says the sign included Pierce's cellphone number and she was subjected to "ridiculing and harassing" phone calls. The suit claims invasion of privacy, defamation and emotional distress. It seeks unspecified monetary damages. Warner Bros. declined to comment on the suit. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and died Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley, who called the actress a "warm, caring person who always put others' needs before her own. Saldana co-starred in the 1991-96 drama "The Commish" as the supportive wife of Michael Chiklis' police commissioner. Her most notable big-screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull," Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro. "I have such good memories of working with her on 'Raging Bull,' and I always admired the way that she handled the horrifying attack by a stalker — the good that she made of it," Scorsese said. "She was a wonderful actress and a fine human being." In 1982, Saldana was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a then-water deliveryman, Jeff Fenn, who held the man for police. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to Great Britain to face charges in a case there. Saldana, who endured a prolonged hospitalization, was both physically and mentally scarred and received treatment for both problems. She went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims for Victims, and played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." She also wrote "Beyond Survival," a memoir. In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Saldana said her recovery was long in coming but complete. "It's been a decade and it's over now, finally," she said. "If someone brings it up I remember, but I don't think about it all the time. It's certainly not a formidable part of my life anymore. I'm happy and excited. I'm doing really well." She and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on "The Commish" as police Sgt. William Frawley, married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna. Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and was adopted at five days by an Italian-Puerto Rican family. Her first film appearances came in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Nunzio." Other movie credits included "Defiance," ''The Evil That Men Do" and "Gang Warz." Her TV credits included "T.J. Hooker" and "Matlock" in the early and mid-1980s, "Diagnosis Murder" in the '90s and "The Bernie Mac Show" in 2003. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report

PriceWaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020" study estimates that online video consumed 82.1% of data traffic in the USA for 2015.Film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, and video games will change in the most impactful way over the period 2016 to 2020, said PwC. Event cinema, video game adaptations, local-language content will impact film, while China will become the world's top movie market in 2017; in TV, online delivery is "the new normal," with online home video already bigger than the box office. Live music experiences will continue to increase in importance, with digital streaming the predominant form of consumption and subscription services accounting for 80% of industry revenue. Virtual reality was identified as an "exciting area of growth" within video games, and competitive gaming, known as eSports, will benefit from increased local awareness in the US. For advertisers, mobile is of the most interest, with paid search and online video internet advertising to grow rapidly, as long as the challenges of transparency, ad fraud and privacy can be adequately dealt with. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Suicide Squad' hits PG-13 target
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Suicide Squad' hits PG-13 target

August anti-hero movie "Suicide Squad" has nailed its anticipated PG-13 rating for US cinemas, even after February's "Deadpool" became a blockbuster with its rare R-rating.The Warner Bros movie has a host of DC Comics super villains recruited by a secret government agency; they'll be set free should they manage to somehow complete and survive their suicide mission. Jared Leto is the newest incarnation of The Joker, with cast members also including Will Smith (Deadshot), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) and Cara Delevingne (Enchantress); Ben Affleck is also set to appear as Batman, and Viola Davis as the crew's agency boss. While "Deadpool" romped to a $772m box office on the back of a rare superhero movie R-rating -- 2008's "Punisher: War Zone" developed a noteworthy following only after its time in theaters had drawn to a close -- and "Batman v. Superman" being prepared for an R-rated Ultimate Edition on DVD from June 28, there was some speculation that "Suicide Squad" might go the same route. But the PG-13 rating enables Warner's August tentpole to reach as wide an audience as possible, establishing a stronger platform for more movies further down the line. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Harry Potter play gets rave reviews
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Harry Potter play gets rave reviews

Harry Potter's stage debut got a standing ovation from a packed theatre audience in a new London play that imagines the fictional boy wizard as a grown-up father of three, British media reported on Wednesday."Judging by the whooping and cheering, nobody was disappointed," Clare Fitzimons wrote in The Mirror after the first showing of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" at the Palace Theatre. "It was phenomenal, it really was. It lived up to all the hype," said one fan interviewed by the BBC, while another in a Potter-style cape said: "This completely blew me away. J. K. Rowling did an amazing job." Potter creator Rowling made a special request for fans to keep the plot secret and the 1,500 audience members were handed badges reading "#KeepTheSecrets". "The storyline, a hymn to friendship and teenage misfits, contains enough twists to please the most knowledgeable of fans," Hannah Furness wrote in The Daily Telegraph. "Any fears that the world of Hogwarts on stage would struggle to compete with the multimillion-dollar special effects of film were quickly kicked into touch". "Has Rowling done it again? The audience was in no doubt," she wrote. The plot for the play reads: "While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. "As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places," it said. The show officially opens on July 30 and is set to be published as a book on July 31, which is Rowling's and Harry Potter's birthday. Rowling's books have sold more than 450 million copies since 1997 and been adapted into eight films. The show is written by English screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne, based on an original story co-written with Rowling and the play's director John Tiffany. Given the millions of fans around the world, the decision to move the characters on two decades was seen as risky. Like many of his fans, Potter has now grown up in the play and has three children with his wife Ginny Weasley, the sister of his friend Ron. He is working at the Ministry of Magic. He still has his trademark round-rimmed glasses and the scar on his head, a permanent reminder of his nemesis Lord Voldemort, but must now help his youngest son Albus confront the family's dark past. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Jason Bourne' movie issues explosive TV spot
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Jason Bourne' movie issues explosive TV spot

A 30-second clip for July's fifth entry to the Bourne franchise promises an all-action movie whose plot calls rogue agent Jason Bourne out of the shadows one more time.Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne, with Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons who, having been his agency handler at one point, lets him know that the secretive training programs he sought to dismantle have returned with a vengeance. Fortunately for fans of the franchise, so has Bourne himself, and this time he's got an advantage -- "I know everything," says the former amnesiac. Some viewers feel that they too now know too much, identifying what could be a potential spoiler halfway through the clip. Also involved in the film are Tommy Lee Jones ("Captain America: Civil War"), Alicia Vikander ("Ex Machina"), Ato Essandoh ("Django Unchained"), Riz Ahmed ("Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"), and Vincent Cassel ("Black Swan.") "Jason Bourne" starts its international rollout the week of July 29, 2016, including territories such as the USA, Canada, the UK and Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Singapore. Japanese showings commence from October 7. Jason Bourne TV spot: youtu.be/ApNnmNNvW8o, twitter.com/jasonbourne/status/740236183569997824, facebook.com/TheBourneSeries/videos/1219039824802806 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Bill Cunningham, NY Times fashion photographer, dies at 87
Saturday Jun 25, 2016
Bill Cunningham, NY Times fashion photographer, dies at 87

NEW YORK (AP) — Bill Cunningham, a longtime fashion photographer for The New York Times known for taking pictures of everyday people on the streets of New York, has died. He was 87. Cunningham died Saturday in New York City, according to Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the newspaper. He had been hospitalized recently after suffering a stroke. "To see a Bill Cunningham street spread was to see all of New York," New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet said in a tweet posted to the newspaper's Twitter account Saturday afternoon. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Cunningham would be remembered for his trademark blue jacket and traveling by bicycle with a small camera bag strapped to his waist, "but most of all we will remember the vivid, vivacious New York he captured in his photos." Cunningham began publishing a regular series of photographs in the Times in 1978 after a chance photograph of Greta Garbo got the attention of the storied paper. After dropping out of Harvard University in 1948, the Boston-born Cunningham moved to New York where he worked as a hat maker and in advertising before being drafted into the U.S. Army. After a stint in the Army, Cunningham returned to New York where he wrote fashion pieces for the Chicago Tribune. He soon segued into photography and started taking photographs of people on the streets before joining the Times. In a 2002 interview with the paper, Cunningham said he always tried to be as discreet as possible because "you get more natural pictures that way." "I suppose, in a funny way, I'm a record keeper. More than a collector," he said. "I'm very aware of things not of value but of historical knowledge." Cunningham was the subject of a 2010 documentary, "Bill Cunningham New York." In 2014, the New-York Historical Society featured a series of photographs Cunningham took long before his images of street fashion became a regular newspaper feature. Taken between 1968 and 1976, he worked on a whimsical photo essay of models in period costumes posing against historic sites of the same vintage. Astride his bike, he searched secondhand shops for antique clothing and looked for architectural sites across the city to create the perfect tableaux, many of which featured his muse and fellow photographer, Editta Sherman. The result was "Facades," a book published in 1978. Cunningham donated nearly all of the 88 gelatin silver prints from the series to the New-York Historical Society. He was awarded the Officier de l'ordre des arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2008 and received the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence in 2012. __ Associated Press writer Ula Ilnytzky contributed to this report. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Michael Balsamo from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Indian stars gather in Madrid for 'Bollywood Oscars'
Saturday Jun 25, 2016
Indian stars gather in Madrid for 'Bollywood Oscars'

Indian celebrities gathered in Madrid Saturday for the "Bollywood Oscars", a star-studded award show being held in Spain for the first time that will be watched by up to 800 million people worldwide.The award show, which celebrates the Hindi language film industry known as Bollywood, takes place in a different city outside of India every year in the hope of luring new audiences to the genre. Indian historical epic "Bajirao Mastani" got the ball rolling on Friday at a glittering concert and fashion show, scooping nine out of 14 awards given out ahead of Saturday's shindig. Set in the 18th century, the film -- featuring an all-star cast including actresses Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, with Ranveer Singh in the main role -- picked up the awards for choreography and best cinematography among others. "Slumdog Millionaire" star Freida Pinto, dressed in a striking blue sleeveless dress, also collected a special award for outstanding achievement by an Indian actor in international cinema, receiving her honour from co-star Anil Kapoor. "It is great to see so many Indians out here, it is so amazing," she said. Shilpa Shetty, the Bollywood star who shot to fame as the winner of British reality TV show "Celebrity Big Brother", also took part, leading a yoga "masterclass". Shetty made headlines in 2007 after a fellow Big Brother contestant mocked her name and Indian origin. - 'Open our arms' - The audience was made up largely of Indians who live in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. The crowd cheered loudly when celebrity co-host Karan Johar arm wrestled one of Bollywood's biggest stars Salman Khan, who has played a bad boy with a heart of gold in dozens of Indian blockbusters. Khan, 50, is up for best male actor on Saturday for his role in "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", the biggest-grossing Bollywood film of 2015. Tickets for the awards ceremony at the 5,000-seat congress centre went on sale in May at a cost of 50-225 euros ($57-255), selling out in just three weeks. Madrid city hall was illuminated with the colours of the Indian flag on Friday night ahead of the awards, which are expected to bring 15,000 extra visitors to the Spanish capital and generate 15 million euros ($16.7 million) in revenue. "We are very pleased to open our arms to such a deep and attractive culture as is Indian culture," Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena said at the award ceremony held earlier this week. The broadcast of the awards attracts approximately 800 million viewers worldwide. Launched in 2000 at the Millennium Dome in London, other cities to have hosted the glitzy event include Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore and Toronto. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Michael Sheen to direct and star in his feature debut: 'Green River Killer'
Friday Jun 24, 2016
Michael Sheen to direct and star in his feature debut: 'Green River Killer'

Golden Globe nominee and BAFTA Award winner Michael Sheen is set to make his directorial feature debut with a film titled "Green River Killer," according to Deadline.The "Masters of Sex" series star, who has also previously featured in films including "Frost/Nixon" and Woody Allen's "Midnight In Paris," will play the lead role in "Green River Killer," as serial killer Gary Ridgway, who was convicted of 49 murders in the Seattle area in the 1980s and 1990s.  QC Entertainment has signed on to produce and finance the project, which is based on Dark Horse Entertainment's graphic novel "Green River Killer: A True Detective Story" by Jensen's son Jeff Jensen and artist Jonathan Case. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

US bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley dies at 89
Friday Jun 24, 2016
US bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley dies at 89

American bluegrass pioneer Ralph Stanley has died at the age of 89, according to his grandson, who said the singer and banjo player had been battling skin cancer.Part of the first generation of bluegrass musicians, Stanley came to mainstream attention through the 2000 Coen brothers movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," for which he provided a Grammy Award-winning a cappella rendition of traditional folk song "O Death." "He went peacefully in his sleep due to a long, horrible battle with skin cancer," musician Nathan Stanley announced on his website on Thursday. Stanley was born and raised in southwest Virginia, where he and his brother Carter were taught clawhammer style banjo by their mother, according to a biography released by his publicist Kurt Webster. The Stanley Brothers popularized "Man of Constant Sorrow," which was later recorded by Bob Dylan, and toured the country playing folk and bluegrass festivals during the 1960s. Ralph continued to tour after his brother's death in 1966, drawing from his Appalachian roots to adopt the a cappella singing style of the Baptist church choir from home. He teamed up with Ray Cline, Larry Sparks and Melvin Goins to reform an early band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, and went on to record an early Stanley Brothers song with Dylan in 1997. He performed at the inaugurations of presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and was awarded a "Living Legends" medal from the Library of Congress and a National Medal of Arts presented by George W. Bush. He was 73 when he was introduced to a new generation of fans through the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," which became a runaway hit, topping the Billboard 200 chart. Despite health problems, he continued to record and tour into his 80s, often performing with his son Ralph Stanley II on guitar and his grandson Nathan on mandolin. He is survived by his wife Jimmie Stanley, three children, seven grandchildren and a great grandchild. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Greek foundation unveils new Athens opera, national library
Friday Jun 24, 2016
Greek foundation unveils new Athens opera, national library

A leading Greek foundation on Friday unveiled a sprawling new park, opera and national library in southern Athens designed to "give hope" to a country brought low by a six-year economic crisis.The 1,400-seat opera, library and adjoining park designed by famed Italian architect Renzo Piano cost nearly 600 million euros ($680 million) and took eight years to design and build. "We thought it was very important to give hope," Andreas Dracopoulos, co-president of the Stavros Niarchos foundation that funded the project, told a news conference. Piano, an honorary Italian senator who famously co-designed the Pompidou Centre in Paris in the 1970s, said he wanted to evoke "the poetry of the Mediterranean" in the project with both buildings open to abundant sunshine and a sea canal close by. "Cities need these institutions...beauty is something everybody needs, especially in difficult moments," the 78-year-old award-winning architect said. The new Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, expected to fully open in mid-2017, occupies 20 hectares (50 acres) overall near the coast of Faliro in southern Athens. The centre opened late Thursday for a brief four-day series of events but will close again for a process to transfer ownership and operations to the state. "It should be governed by the state for the people...we know nothing about libraries or opera," Dracopoulos said. The new national library can easily accommodate the 700,000 volumes that currently make up Greece's state depository, with eventual space for up to two million books, organisers said. The opera has an adjoining 450-seat stage, numerous rehearsal facilities and a recording studio. There are already concerns that the Greek state will not be able to run a project of this magnitude given its poor showing in other public areas. The city's contemporary art museum took 16 years to open, several venues built for the 2004 Olympics were allowed to fall into disrepair, and vandalism and theft of outdoor art is rife in the city. "The state should fulfil its obligation and run it properly. And the people should show that they respect it," Dracopoulos said. "If you can't run those things as a state, as a country, let's lock up everything and jump in the Mediterranean," he added. Founded in 1996 by one of Greece's leading shipowning families, the Niarchos foundation has also donated some 300 million euros to Greek non-government organisations fighting poverty during the country's six-year economic crisis. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.