Dhaka, June 22 (UNB) - The brains behind some of science fiction's most popular invented languages are gathering for a convention to showcase their skills.
The San Diego-based Language Creation Society has brought together "conlangers" - or people who "construct" languages - in Cambridge.
Among the languges represented is Dothraki, as used in Game of Thrones.
UK organiser Oliver Mayeux said the convention would enhance the network of a "rather eccentric tribe".
The society - which has 185 members in 27 countries - was created in 2007 to "promote the art, craft and science of language creation".
It came to recent prominence after the producers of Game of Thrones got in touch to find a language creator to develop Dothraki, from the few words and phrases in the original books by George RR Martin.
Linguist David J Peterson, a member of the society, was then chosen to devise an entire language for the series.
Conference host Bettina Beinhoff, of the Anglia Ruskin centre for Intercultural and Multilingual Studies, said most conlangers derived inspiration from Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien, who developed languages for much of his work.
"For many language creators, Tolkien was the starting point, many want to recreate his sense of aesthetics," Dr Beinhoff said.
"I hope the conference will inspire conlangers to learn from each other, as well as get ideas and solutions to any dilemmas they face."
Other constructed languages, such as Klingon, from Star Trek, have developed their own cultural appeal.
Esperanto, invented in the late 19th Century as a "universal second language to foster peace and international understanding", is spoken by about two million speakers worldwide, according to language database Ethnologue.
Society president Joseph Windsor, said: "When you hear Klingons speaking Klingon, or the Dothraki speaking Dothraki, it adds a sense of believability to a fictional world.
"I've heard from different conlangers who engage with the craft as catharsis after a stressful day, or who use their languages to be able to keep a completely private journal.
"You can't Google Translate a conlang that no-one else knows."
Dr Mayeux, who has a PhD in linguistics from Cambridge University, said building a language from scratch is an "incredibly personal thing".
"It's like poetry or painting - people who do it have a natural expressiveness and admiration for language," he said.
"We don't do it for fame or notoriety, we're a rather eccentric tribe of language nerds, coming together to discuss their creations."
The convention takes place at Anglia Ruskin University's Cambridge campus from 22 to 23 June.
New York, Jun 21 (AP/UNB) — The Irish actress Jessie Buckley grew up in County Kerry and lives in London but she's lately been traveling so much that she gives her present address as Heathrow Airport and New York's JFK. But regardless of her physical location, her mental state is much the same.
"I live in a lot of disbelief at the moment," says Buckley, chuckling.
The 29-year-old, Killarney-born, bright red-haired actress has quickly found herself among the prominent rising stars in film and television thanks to a string of performances that have culminated in a breakthrough. In "Wild Rose," Buckley stars as a fiery, working-class Glasgow single mother, just out of prison, who dreams of becoming a country music star. The character, Rose-Lynn, and Buckley, have the pipes to back it up.
"Honestly, I can't believe it," Buckley said in an interview on her most recent trans-Atlantic trip, to tape an appearance on "The Colbert Report." "I never in a million years thought I would make a movie. That didn't belong to a girl in Kerry. That was something else."
"Wild Rose," which opens in select theaters Friday, is a star-making film about wanting to be a star that both dovetails and diverts from Buckley's own story. Rose-Lynn is coarse and hardscrabble but when she sings — the soundtrack is littered with renditions of Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and John Prine — it's transcendent. After overhearing her singing while vacuuming, her employer (Sophie Okonedo) wants to help her get to Nashville. But "Wild Rose" has its own twists on the "A Star Is Born" myth; it's about balancing a dream with the responsibilities of life and family.
In her quest for fame, Rose-Lynn derides trying out for a talent show ("That's for folk who have a curry on a Saturday night," she says), yet one played a major role in Buckley's life. In 2008, at age 18, Buckley walked into an audition for the BBC's "I'd Do Anything," right after she had been rejected by a drama school. The winner would get a role in a West End production of "Oliver!" Buckley didn't win, but her performances captivated the judges. Andrew Lloyd Webber said she possessed "the sacred flame of star quality."
"I look back on the girl who did that," Buckley recalls. "I was so ignorant and innocent and just completely raw in that experience. I was just so excited and hungry to be part of a world that I thought would take at least, like, 30 years of hard auditions and people telling you 'You're not good enough' or 'You're hair's too curly' or 'You look like Hagrid's love child.'"
After the show, the theater producer Cameron Mackintosh invited Buckley to a Shakespeare workshop. She continued studying classical acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Words came to the fore; music receded.
"I kind of lost my nerve with singing quite a lot while I was there," says Buckley, whose mother is a harpist and singer. "I didn't really know what singing was to me until this film came my way."
Several of Buckley's first big roles came on the stage: "The Tempest" at the Globe; Kenneth Branaugh's "The Winter's Tale"; opposite Jude Law in "Henry V"; "A Little Night Music" in the West End. She co-starred in the 2016 BBC series "War and Peace," which Tom Harper directed. When Harper later came across Nicole Taylor's script for "Wild Rose," he sent it straight to Buckley.
The actress immediately responded to it, envisioning Rose-Lynn's battle as a kind of prison break film.
"She was just so enigmatic and tenacious and foibled and feckless and passionate and terrified of herself and terrified of the power of what she was feeling," she says. "It was like this tornado inside of her and the only place she knew where to put it was in song."
Taylor was channeling some of herself in the film. The screenwriter had been a country music fan in Glasgow (which boasts its own, boozier Grand Ole Opry) since she, at 13, was bowled over by a CMA performance by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Yet finding someone who could sing country and do a believable Scottish accent could have proved impossible. But when Taylor first met Buckley, she says she was "radiating something."
"The first line I ever wrote about this character is that 'She's thrilling alive, more alive than you.' When I sat down in this cafe, I was like, 'Wow, that's her.' She just has this electricity humming through her," Taylor said by phone from London.
For someone legitimately shape-shifting, Buckley is remarkably herself in person. She speaks liltingly and eloquently out of the side of her mouth and is rarely more than a minute away from a hearty guffaw, often at her own expense. The star quality Webber recognized a decade ago is abundantly evident, but such stars rarely come so down-to-earth and natural.
"What you see is what you get," said Taylor. "As unbelievably talented as she is, there's nothing intimidating about her because she's so real and such a laugh."
Filmmakers have noticed. Buckley, who last year starred in the acclaimed psychological thriller "Beast," co-stars opposite Renee Zellweger in the upcoming Judy Garland drama "Judy"; she's part of Stephen Gaghan's "The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle," with Robert Downey Jr.; in the spy thriller "Ironark," she co-stars with Benedict Cumberbatch; and she recently finished shooting Charlie Kaufman's "I'm Thinking About Ending Things."
"Someone's going to find me out one of these days and send me on my merry way," she says.
Buckley is also in HBO's "Chernobyl," playing Lyudmilla Ignatenko, the wife of a firefighter exposed to radiation. The success of the show — like that of her own — has caught Buckley off guard. "In a world where we live in sensationalism and Marvel-land and escapist film, it's amazing that people will also respond to a tragic, realistic drama," she says.
"Wild Rose" has had its own second life. Even though Buckley was previously no country listener ("I thought it was a bit hick, to be honest," she says), she's become an ardent fan. She and musicians from the film have off-and-on been touring the film's music, including a song co-written by Mary Steenburgen: "Glasgow (No Place Like Home)." She's opened for Kris Kristofferson; next week, she's performing at the Glastonbury Festival.
Like Buckley, Rose-Lynn has found an audience.
"She learns to fall in love with who she is and falls in love with the people in her life and, in turn, the love for her passion for her music and for her storytelling in song becomes bigger and more powerful," says Buckley. "Maybe you need to pierce the size of yourself in order to figure that out."
Shanghai, June 20 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Alan Taylor, director of "Game of Thrones," announced Tuesday at the ongoing Shanghai International Film Festival that his new film "Gold Mountain" would dig into American history and depict a piece of the story of early Chinese immigrants moving to America during the late 1850s Gold Rush.
The new film is part of a gigantic film incubation project with Starlight Culture, a Hong Kong-listed Chinese film company. The film shooting is scheduled to start and finish in 2020.
"History is my real interest," Taylor told Xinhua, explaining how he found this "Chinese story." His wife is a Chinese-American and has always wanted to tell the story of the early Chinese immigrants' integration into the United States.
The film "Gold Mountain" will tell the story of a shrewd widow who helped smuggle an unruly Chinese girl into the U.S. to enter into a fiercely violent world dominated by male chauvinism. Facing their life battle together, the two women finally establish a profound relationship.
"You will be surprised when you open the history books of the United States. The history of those early Chinese immigrants in the Gold Rush who helped build the Pacific Railway is almost completely wiped out," said Taylor. "But even for me, the subject is too heavy to handle. It was not until I found these two women, so subtle and so real, that I convinced myself to do this movie."
He said the film is both "very American" and "very Chinese." It depicts the typical American West, with early Chinese immigrants as the leading characters. In addition, Chinese Malaysian Hollywood movie star Michelle Yeoh will join this film as co-producer.
"History is grand. But fundamentally my film is only about human nature. It is not painful nor agonizing, but very uplifting when you see how people turn from 'tough' to 'soft' and make deep connections with their souls and hearts," he said.
As a television and film director, Taylor is known for work in TV shows such as "Game of Thrones." He has also directed films including "Thor: The Dark World" and "Terminator: Genisys."
Starlight also announced Tuesday in Shanghai a package of Sino-U.S. film incubation plans, which includes Roland Emmerich's "Rebirth," "Empress Wu" of Robert Zemeckis, "Bad Boys" of Sylvester Stallone.
Starlight has developed its business in Hollywood in recent years. It has signed up with Hollywood directors including Roland Emmerich, Alan Taylor, Robert Zemeckis, Gary Gary and Jonathan Liebesman, according to Peter Luo, CEO of Starlight.
Lately, the company has jointly invested in and produced Hollywood mainstream productions such as "Crazy Rich Asians."
New Delhi, June 18 (Xinhua/UNB) -- India's Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued an advisory to all private satellite TV channels to avoid showing children in "indecent, suggestive and inappropriate manner" in dance reality shows or other such programmes.
In its advisory issued on Tuesday, the ministry said that it had noticed that several dance-based reality TV shows portray young children performing dance moves originally done by adults in movies and other popular modes of entertainment.
"These moves are often suggestive and age-inappropriate. Such acts may also have distressing impact on children, impacting them at a young and impressionable age," the advisory stated.
All the TV channels are expected to abide by the provisions contained in Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and rules framed, it said.
As per the rules, no programme should be carried on TV which denigrates children, and further that programmes meant for children should not contain any bad language or explicit scenes of violence, it said.
It further added that the channels have been advised to exercise maximum restraint, sensitivity and caution while showing such reality shows and programmes.
New York, May 16 (AP/UNB) - Priyanka Chopra Jonas recently reflected on times during her adolescence in which she was bullied for her appearance, particularly for the color of her skin.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the actress said, "I was treated differently because I'm brown."
"I had, you know, really racist behavior when I was in high school in 10th grade," Chopra Jonas, 36, said. "I was called 'Brownie,' 'Curry,' 'go back on the elephant you came on,' and that really affected me when I was a kid and affected my self-esteem."
She said that experiencing this abuse motivated her to help others.
"I'm not going to allow anyone to feel like that anymore," she said. "But it took that innate sense of self, which was, I think, created in me through my parents. It took my upbringing and my environment to create that."
She believes that the bullying she experienced is an effect of learned behavior.
"The way we treat people differently comes from cultural, subliminal messaging that has happened over eons," she told AP. "The more we can talk about it and open other people's eyes and say, 'It doesn't have to be that way,' and give them more examples, I guess society will change."
Chopra Jonas previously opened up about using skin lightening cream to Vogue India in 2017 while discussing beauty expectations and ideals she encountered growing up.
"A lot of girls with a darker skin hear things like, 'Oh, poor thing, she’s dark,'" she explained to the outlet. "In India, they advertise skin-lightening creams: 'Your skin’s gonna get lighter in a week.' I used it [when I was very young]."
"When I was an actor, around my early 20s, I did a commercial for a skin-lightening cream," she continued. "I was playing that girl with insecurities. And when I saw it, I was like, 'Oh s---. What did I do?' I started talking about being proud of the way I looked. I actually like my skin tone."
The actress now champions embracing one's identity and appearance. She recently partnered with Obagi Medical for a global awareness initiative called "SKINCLUSION," which is "dedicated to elevating the global dialogue about diversity and how we can all make conscious choices to see the beauty in all of our differences."
"I do want to create a world for my future kids where they don't have to think about diversity, where they're not talking about it because it's normal," she told AP.