United Nations, Aug 20 (AP/UNB) — Spanish actor and environmental activist Javier Bardem said Monday "we are all villains" for playing "deaf and blind" and not caring about the world's oceans, which are under more pressure than at any time in history.
The Oscar winner came to the United Nations to press delegates who are drafting an international treaty to protect oceans to support a strong document "that can actually create safe havens for marine life to recover."
"Our oceans are on the verge of collapse, and we have all played a huge role in this," Bardem said. "Now we must all play our part, especially you in this room."
He was speaking on a lunchtime panel in the conference room where delegates from the world's nations will meet over the next two weeks for the third of four treaty drafting sessions. But he started his remarks saying, "I see too many empty chairs here which worries me a lot," because an effective treaty is crucial for future generations and the future of the planet.
Bardem said the biggest mistake delegates can make "is not to care" and take seriously the threat of a possible catastrophe.
He cited the ills that have made the oceans unhealthy: plastic pollution, over-fishing, mining, drilling, ocean acidification "and of course, climate breakdown."
The drafting committee is expected to produce a draft treaty in 2020, with the aim of having it adopted as a legally binding document under The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It will govern the conservation and use of plants and animals in the 64% of the world's ocean waters that do not come under national jurisdictions.
Bardem was asked what message he would have for President Donald Trump, who announced two years ago that the U.S. was withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate agreement aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
"You cannot withdraw from the Paris climate convention by any means," the actor said he would tell Trump. "This is serious. This is happening. This is now. You cannot live in denial. There is nothing to deny. It is a fact."
He said Trump and others who deny climate change should "pay attention to how nature is speaking to us constantly," including heat waves in Europe this summer and plastic on beaches everywhere.
"There is not one person in the world who will not be benefited by a climate convention and an ocean treaty," Bardem said.
He spoke about walking around Madrid, where it's very hot, and going to the seaside, which is polluted, and said he is "truly, deeply, honestly worried" about the future of his two children, aged 8 and 6. Bardem is married to actress Penélope Cruz.
When asked who the villain is, he said he's just played three villains on screen, "but I guess we are all villains because we have our part — we have played deaf and blind many times and we don't care."
Now, Bardem said, the experts are saying it's time to act before it's too late, so "from now on anyone who speaks blithely or lightly about the matter is a villain, because it's obvious that it is a serious matter."
Dhaka, Aug 19 (UNB) - During the pre-liberation era, there was a god-gifted genius in this suppressed land called Bangladesh, which was then known as East Pakistan. He fought with his pen, camera and cinematic vision for the freedom of the motherland- and through this courageous journey he successfully revealed the true color of the Pakistani rulers.
If he was still alive, the films of Bangladesh would certainly get the highest possible recognition to the worldwide audiences, than it gets now. Today was the 84th birth anniversary of country’s legendary filmmaker and writer, Zahir Raihan.
Born as Mohammad Zahirullah on 19th August, 1935 in the village Majupur of Feni district- Zahir had studied in Calcutta Alia Madrasah, where his father was a professor. It was Partition in 1947 which moved his family back to his ancestral village. From Amirabad High School, Zahir successfully passed the Matriculation examination in 1950.
Even at that young age, he already had started his literary works covering variant topics. That year, he started working as a journalist in Juger Alo. Although he joined medical college and eventually got himself dropped out after completing his ISSC Examination from Dhaka College in 1953, he later obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Hon) degree in Bangla from the University of Dhaka in 1958.
During this timeline, Zahir was attracted and later became very much involved in Communist movement against the Pakistani rulers. There was an incident happened regarding his involvement in Communism, which gave him the identity through which he became aesthetically immortal. At that time, Communist Party was banned in Pakistan and the leaders of the party went underground, so as a young comrade he worked as a courier to carry letters and messages for them from one place to another. Because of his trustworthy service, he was given the name Raihan from underground leaders and thus his original name Mohammad Zahirullah was changed to Zahir Raihan.
The Language Movement of 1952 was the first major event that shook the whole unified Pakistan at its core, and Zahir became wholeheartedly active with it. He was one of the first ten students to break the 144 regulation and marched a procession on 21st February, 1952- and was also present at the historical meeting of Amtala on February 21, 1952. He later metaphorically portrayed the incidents of this movement in his monumental film, Jeebon Theke Neya (Taken from events of life). He was a lifelong patriot, and never compromised portraying the truth and beauty of patriotism in his creations.
At this point, he also started his professional career as a journalist. After working in the Juger Alo, he worked in newspapers namely Khapchhara, Jantrik, and Cinema. He also worked as the editor of Probaho in 1956. His first collection of short stories, titled Suryagrahan (Solar Eclipse), was published in 1955. He was one of the initiators in publishing the English Weekly Express in 1970- and was also associated with some other journals of literature.
However, within his short-spanned career as a writer, he was successful to write and tell some of the most prolific and true-to-life stories ever published in Bangladeshi literature through his books such as Shesh Bikeler Meye (A Girl in the Late-Afternoon), Arek Phalgun (Another Spring), Trishna (Thirst), Borof Gola Nodi (River that emerged of Melted Ice) and most notably, Hajar Bochhor Dhore (Since Thousand Years).
Although he became a journalist and writer, he always aspired to be a filmmaker. So he went back to Calcutta and got admitted into Pramatesh Burua Memorial Photography School in 1952 to learn photography. Zahir Raihan’s career in the movie started with Jago Huye Savera (Wake Up, it’s Time) in 1957, where he worked as an Assistant Director. As an AD, he also worked with Salahuddin in the film Je Nodi Morupothay (The River about to Get Drenched).
Prominent director Ehtesham then trusted Zahir as his wingman in his movie A Desh Tomar Amar (This is My Country as yours), as he was not only the Assistant Director but also wrote the title song of the movie. His first Directorial venture was Kokhono Asheni (Never Emerged) which was released in 1961. However, being an underprivileged filmmaker of a suppressed state, he made two revolutionary attempts as director- Sangam (Lovemaking), which was entire Pakistan’s first ever colored film- and completed his first cinemascope Urdu movie Bahana (Excuse), both in the year of 1964.
He was gradually becoming more and more successful during that timeline as a shining director with back to back hits such as Sonar Kajol (Golden Kajal- 1962, jointly directed with Kolim Sharafi), Kancher Deyal (Walls of Glasses- 1963), Behula (1966), Anowara (1966), Agun Niye Khela (Playing with Fire- 1967) etc. He launched several prominent artists through his movies, most notably Nayak Raj Razzak and Babita- and worked frequently with prominent actor-director Amzad Hossain and Khan Ataur Rahman.
By that time, the political situation of the nation was getting chaotic more than ever, and Zahir was continuously feeling the zeal to break every shackle imposed by the Pakistani Rulers. During the historical mass-movement of 1969, he felt the urgency of making a film based on the incidents of 1952’s Language Movement and 69’s Gono Ovvyutthan together, thus created his legendary film Jeebon Theke Neya in 1970.
Till date, the unique parallel storytelling technique of Jeebon Theke Neya mesmerizes everyone- as Zahir brilliantly portrayed the complete political scenario of that chaotic time by metaphorically portraying the everyday life of a classic middle-class joint family. So many things happened in this one particular film- the inclusion of Rabindranath Tagore’s song Amar Sonar Bangla which later became the National Anthem and that too used in a time when Tagore’s creations were strictly banned in Pakistan’s culture; the inclusion of Nazrul’s monumental song of rebel titled Karar Oi Louho Kopat; the traditional morning procession of 21st February which portrayed for the first time ever in celluloid through this film and most importantly, the National Flag of Bangladesh was first properly portrayed with utmost pride, patriotism and respect in this movie.
All these aspects eventually led so many people to believe that this one particular movie ignited the fire and patriotic zeal among people to step toe to toe against the Pakistani rulers, thus start the Liberation War which led to the independence of Bangladesh. Jeebon Theke Neya has been described as an example of ‘National Cinema’, using discrete local traditions to build a representation of the Bangladeshi national identity. It is considered a milestone for Bangladeshi cinema and a classic.
Zahir Raihan achieved massive critical acclaim for Jeeban Theke Neya, not only from the general people of both the Bengals but also from Bengali film maestros and legendary filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak- and donated all the money he earned from the movie’s screening to the aid of freedom fighters despite of being in financial crisis. He started making an English film titled Let There Be Light, which he could not finish because of the break out of the war of liberation.
After 25th March of 1971, he went to Calcutta and produced a documentary film Stop Genocide highlighting the massacre done by the Pakistani Army. This film created a sensation all over the world. A true lover of cinema by his soul, he eventually found both his wives from the Bengali world of cinema- actress Sumita Devi (married 1961) with whom he had two sons Bipul Raihan and Anol Raihan, two of the successful drama directors of the country- and another popular actress Suchanda (married 1968), with two other sons as well- Opu and Topu Raihan.
Although Bangladeshi patriots successfully snatched the freedom and independence from Pakistan in the war, the defeated party wanted to paralyze the country in the long run by killing of its intellectuals. Because of that cowardly move, several intellectuals went on missing within December-January of 71 and 72, respectively. That included eminent writer Shahidullah Kaiser, the elder brother of Zahir who went missing from his residence at the University of Dhaka.
Within days, on 30 December 1971, someone informed Zahir about an address, somewhere at Mirpur which was still heavily dominated by Pakistani and Bihari people, where he might find his brother. Accordingly, Zahir left home to get his brother back. He never returned though, and according to some witness- he was shot and killed in an encounter.
Zahir Raihan lived only 36 years, but he managed to achieve eternal glory for Bangladeshi cinema through his majestic creations. While this mourning cannot be overlooked that the country lost its most talented, iconic and genius filmmaker in exchange of its independence- Bangladesh got the opportunity to call Zahir Raihan of its own; and that is definitely a remarkable achievement for any nation.
Dhaka, Aug 19 (UNB) - Brad Pitt says he likes a good “underdog” story as it resonates with his own career graph in Hollywood, reports The Indian Express.
The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star recalled starting out as an extra in showbiz and slowly gaining his base in the movies.
“I think it’s easy to forget I came from Oklahoma and Missouri – places where the film industry is not on the vocational list, so I started as an extra and slowly learned about the industry. I still root for an underdog,” Pitt, 55, told Ok! magazine.
He said the fame he has achieved over the years, sometimes feels like a double-edged sword.
“It can be both, it’s a trade-off. It’s liberating in the opportunities it provides but, on the other hand, it can be very confining.
“I haven’t seen a hotel lobby in 15 years because I’ve got to go up the a** end of a hotel and out the same way. We get our moments, but it’s good and bad,” Pitt explained.
The actor will be next seen in James Gray’s space epic Ad Astra.
The film will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival later this month, before its worldwide release in September.
Macon, Aug 18 (AP/UNB) — Fans of Duane Allman in Macon, Georgia, say they didn't expect the late musician's old guitar to sell for $1.25 million at a recent auction.
The gold-topped guitar is the one Allman played in the hit song "Layla," where he performed with Eric Clapton, The Telegraph reported .
Until recently, the guitar affectionately called "Layla" had been on display at the Allman Brothers Band museum at The Big House in Macon.
"I don't think anybody expected that," Museum Director Richard Brent said of the amount. "The history of it is what sold it."
Brent said the man who bought the guitar at the auction is an out-of-town collector who wishes to remain anonymous.
The buyer has agreed to share the instrument with the museum during certain times. That means it will be coming back to the museum in late November, Brent said.
"It will be coming back to The Big House in late November," Brent said. "We couldn't ask for more than that."
Duane Allman played the guitar on the first two Allman Brothers records, and in "Loan Me a Dime" with Boz Scaggs, Brent said. The recording "Layla" with Derek and the Dominoes is among the last times Allman played that guitar.
Dhaka, Aug 18 (UNB) - Spider-Man: Far From Home has surpassed the worldwide collections of Skyfall to become the biggest global earner for Sony. The Marvel Cinematic Universe film has grossed 1.109 billion dollars so far, edging past Skyfall’s 1.108 billion dollars, reports The Indian Express.
Far From Home is the second film in MCU’s Spider-Man series. Since Sony owns the movie rights to the character, the film, like its prequel, is a collaboration between Marvel Studios and Sony.
The Tom Holland-led cast also features Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Earlier, Spider-Man: Far From Home became the most successful Spider-Man movie in India.
Far From Home is the first MCU film after the universe-altering events of Avengers: Endgame. It is a hit among critics as well. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 90 per cent and the consensus is: “A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.”
The Indian Express film critic Shalini Langer wrote in her 3.5 star review, “Director Watts, who also wrote and directed the 2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming, knows that he has a winner on his hands with the awkward Holland playing an even more awkward Peter-in-love, and with the charming Zendya as crusty MJ and the brilliant Batalon as his best friend Ned making a winsome threesome.”
“Ned gets his own parallel adorable love story, and while he may be the overweight sidekick and she the straight-A, good girl, their relationship is not played just for laughs. Far From Home’s best moments come when it sticks to Peter’s school group, including two hapless teachers and many teenagers with different interests (plus one hunk with a crush on MJ),” she added.