Berlin, July 8 (AP/UNB) — Artur Brauner, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who became one of post-World War II Germany's most prominent film producers, died Sunday at age 100.
Brauner's family said he died in Berlin, the German news agency dpa reported.
Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said Germany has lost one of the most important film producers of the post-war years, saying it was "a great gift for our country" that Brauner chose to make movies in Germany and support its democratic rebuilding. She also paid tribute to his efforts over the decades to ensure that the victims of the Holocaust were not forgotten.
Brauner produced hundreds of films. They included several 1960s revivals of the "Dr. Mabuse" crime movies and other hits such as "Girls in Uniform," starring Romy Schneider.
Several of the films he produced had Holocaust theme, including Agnieszka Holland's Golden Globe-winning "Europa Europa" about a boy in Nazi Germany joining the Hitler Youth to try to conceal the fact he is Jewish.
His "Babi Yar" in 2003 centered on the 1941 Nazi massacre of Jews in Ukraine, in which several of Brauner's relatives were killed. Brauner was disappointed by the lack of box-office success for the film in Germany, saying the test of "whether the German cinema public has become politically more mature" had "clearly negative" results.
He also had a share in producing "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis," set in Benito Mussolini's Italy, which won the Oscar for best foreign-language movie in 1972.
Brauner described "Morituri," a 1948 movie about a group of concentration camp inmates helped to escape by a Polish doctor near the end of the war, as his most important film. It received a negative reception at the time but Brauner called it "practically the first film that dealt with the issue of Nazi victims."
Brauner believed his lighter post-war films matched the public's taste.
"People wanted to be entertained after the terrible war, and I had a feeling for the needs of the audience," he told the Funke newspaper group in 2018.
His persistence helped. He recalled driving 36 times through communist East Germany from Berlin to Munich in his rickety Volkswagen to persuade the actress Maria Schell to play the part of a penniless pregnant woman in the 1955 drama "The Rats," one of his favorite films.
Brauner said there was no one in the movie business he would never work with again, though there were plenty he would like another chance to work with — among them the late director Fritz Lang, "if he would keep to my budget targets."
In recent years, Brauner was worried by the rise of right-wing populism in Europe.
"I can only recommend to young people that they don't fall into the clutches of populists around the world and stand up with all their might to nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia — now and not when it is already too late," he the dpa news agency in 2018.
The son of a Jewish wood merchant, he was born as Abraham Brauner on Aug. 1, 1918, in the Polish city of Lodz. Brauner discovered his love for the cinema at an early age and often went straight from school to a screening. After finishing school in 1936, he joined an expedition of young documentary filmmakers to the Middle East, then studied in Lodz until Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939.
Brauner, his parents and four siblings fled east and survived the war.
His parents later emigrated to Israel. Brauner himself considered emigrating to the United States, but her briefly returned to Lodz, then moved to Berlin with his brother, Wolf.
In West Berlin, Brauner co-founded the Central Cinema Co., which went on to become one of Europe's most important production firms, increasingly expanding into television in the 1960s.
Even as he turned 100, he was discussing scripts almost daily with his daughter Alice. "As soon as I am no longer around, I can give up working," he said.
Brauner's wife, Maria, whom he married in 1947, died in 2017. He is survived by their four children, Fela, Alice, Sammy and Henry.
London, Jul 7 (AP/UNB) — Stevie Wonder surprised concertgoers in London Saturday night by announcing that he will take a break from performing so that he can receive a kidney transplant this fall.
The 69-year-old music legend made the announcement after performing "Superstition" at the end of a packed British Summer Time concert in London's Hyde Park.
He said he was speaking out to quell rumors and sought to reassure fans that he would be okay.
"I'm going to be doing three shows then taking a break," he said. "I'm having surgery. I'm going to have a kidney transplant at the end of September this year."
He said a donor has been found and that he would be fine, drawing cheers from a devoted crowd of tens of thousands that stretched out from the stage as far as the eye could see.
"I came here to give you my love and to thank you for yours," he said. "You ain't gonna hear no rumors about us. I'm good."
He did not provide additional information about his kidney illness. There had been a recent report that Wonder was facing a serious health issue.
A representative for Wonder didn't immediately respond to a request Saturday for details about his health. He has kept an active schedule, including performing recently at a Los Angeles memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.
Wonder, who has received more than two-dozen Grammy Awards, has produced a string of hits over a long career that began when he was a youngster who performed as Little Stevie Wonder. His classic hits include "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and "Living for the City."
Wonder seemed in top form throughout the concert, performing a series of his hits and paying tribute to musical heroes including Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and John Lennon. He performed stirring rendition of the latter's "Imagine" near the end of the show.
He fans reveled in the warm summer night — though a light drizzle fell near the end — and the career-spanning retrospective that evoked Wonder's early days as a young Motown star.
He did seem less ebullient than in the past and made his health announcement in a somber tone with a severe look on his face. But he was smiling as he left the stage with the band playing the memorable conclusion of "Superstition" one final time.
Rio De Janeiro, Jul 7 (AP/UNB) — Joao Gilberto, a Brazilian singer, guitarist and songwriter considered one of the fathers of the bossa nova genre that gained global popularity in the 1960s and became an iconic sound of the South American nation, died on Saturday, his son said. He was 88.
Joao Marcelo said his father had been battling health issues though no official cause of his death in Rio de Janeiro was given. "His struggle was noble. He tried to maintain his dignity in the light of losing his independence," Marcelo posted on Facebook.
A fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova emerged in the late 1950s and gained a worldwide following in the 1960s, pioneered by Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim, who composed the iconic The Girl From Ipanema that was performed by Gilberto and others. His wife Astrud Gilberto made her vocal debut in the song.
Self-taught, Gilberto said he discovered music at age 14 when he held a guitar in his hands for the first time. With his unique playing style and modern jazz influences, he created the beat that defined bossa nova, helping launch the genre with his song "Bim-Bom."
By 1961, Gilberto had finished the albums that would make bossa nova known around the world: "Chega de Saudade," ''Love, A Smile and A Flower," and "Joao Gilberto." His 1964 album Getz/Gilberto with U.S. saxophonist Stan Getz sold millions of copies.
"It was Joao Gilberto, the greatest genius of Brazilian music, who was the definitive influence on my music," singer Gal Costa wrote on social media. "He will be missed but his legacy is very important to Brazil and to the world."
Born in Bahia in northeastern Brazil, Gilberto moved to Rio de Janeiro at a young age. He was influenced by U.S. jazz greats and recorded songs in the United States where he lived for much of the 1960s and 1970.
Over his career he won two Grammy awards and was nominated for six, and the U.S. jazz magazine DownBeat in 2009 named him one of the 75 great guitarists in history and one of the five top jazz singers.
An entire subsequent generation of Brazilian musicians, including Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso, are considered his disciples.
Journalist and bossa nova expert Ruy Castro called the death of Gilberto a "monumental" loss.
Castro wrote in his book "The Wave that Built in the Sea" that Gilberto loved soccer and was a fan of the Fluminense club, whose games he liked to watch with a guitar in his hands.
"He managed to create a mystique about him abroad, being who he was and not even speaking English," he told the Globo television station.
The musician had spent his final years wrapped in legal troubles, debts and disputes with his children. His last live performance was in 2008 and he canceled a commemorative show to mark his 80th year because of health problems.
With little interest in giving interviews, he'd become known as the "reclusive genius" in the streets of Leblón, the neighborhood in a southern part of Rio where he lived but was seldom seen.
His funeral is to be held on Monday. He is survived by three children.
Singer Daniela Mercury called Gilberto a "genius who revolutionized popular Brazilian music. He taught us how to sing in the most beautiful way in the world."
"Go in peace, maestro," she wrote.
Dhaka, Jul 6 (UNB)- Three outstanding personalities - playwright Kalyan Mitra, Professor Abdus Salim and actor Tareq Anam Khan were awarded the "Lok Natyadal Gold Medal of 2019" in recognition of their outstanding contribution to drama.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khaled distributed the award to the winners on Saturday on the occasion of 38th founding anniversary of Lok Natyadal.
The minister emphasized in his speech more variety and diversity in stage performances for the development of the stage drama.
Professor Abdus Salim and Tareq Anam Khan also addressed greetings from the awardees.
Liaquat Ali Lucky, Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy presided over the function while Professor Syed Manjurul Islam was the guest of honor.
Popular theatre troupe Loko Natyadal organised the two-day commemorative program at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy to mark their founding anniversary.
The celebration started with their much-acclaimed production Sonai Madhab yesterday at the Experimental Theatre Hall of BSA which was directed by Liaquat Ali Lucky.
The troupe has produced 29 plays so far including 20 plays, 8 street plays and 1 musical.
The award was introduced since 1991 for the purpose of paying tribute to honest, devoted and intelligent playwrights.
London, July 6 (AP/UNB) — British artist Leon Kossoff, who painted his home city of London in all its moody, rough-edged glory, has died. He was 92.
Annely Juda Fine Art, which represents Kossoff, said he died Thursday after a short illness. Another of the artist's galleries, LA Louver in Los Angeles, also confirmed his death.
Born in London in 1926 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Kossoff grew up in the city's tough East End and served in the army during World War II before studying at St. Martin's school of art.
He is considered a member of the "School of London" group of post-war artists — alongside Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach — who pursued careers in figurative painting regardless of changing artistic fashions.
Inspired by the Old Masters, Kossoff painted portraits of friends and family, but is best known for his urban landscapes of a gritty, war-scarred London. Streets, churches, swimming pools, subway stations and railway bridges were all rendered in dark-hued, thickly layered oil paint. Kossoff would often paint all day and then scrape off most of it in frustration, repeating the process day after day.
Annely Juda said in a statement that Kossoff "saw beauty in everything and everybody."
"His death robs us of one of Britain's greatest painters, but his work reminds us of the continuing potency of painting to comprehend the world in which we live," the gallery said.
Though never as famous as Bacon or Freud, Kossoff's works have sold for six and seven figures. A 1971 painting of London's Willesden Junction railway interchange fetched 1.39 million pounds ($1.74 million) at a Christie's auction last year.
Kossoff represented Britain at the 1995 Venice Biennale, and had a major show the following year at London's Tate gallery. His work has been shown around the world, including at London's National Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He was an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Funeral details were not immediately available.