Afghan television executives are taking innovative strides to prompt a change of heart about gender equality, particularly among the nation's youngsters.
Say hello to Zeerak, a goofy-grinned, bespectacled marionette donning a traditional shalwar kameez and a waistcoat embroidered with Afghanistan's national colors.
Zeerak is the most recent addition to the cast of "Baghch-e-Simsim" — Afghanistan's hugely successful, localized version of "Sesame Street" — and only the second Afghan muppet to join the ranks of internationally beloved favorites such as Big Bird and Elmo.
The music industry continues to move headlong into a streaming future, according to Nielsen Music's annual midyear report of listening habits.
The report, which was published Wednesday, shows that music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and others delivered a total of 184.3 billion on-demand audio streams, up from 113.5 billion during the same period a year ago, for an increase of 62%.
Buoyed by the success of superstars such as Drake, Future, Ed Sheeran and the return of Taylor Swift's back catalog to major streaming platforms, the services surpassed a milestone in March, when more than 7 billion songs were accessed.
The Ruderman Family Foundation, a leading organization advocating on behalf of disabled people, has come out against the forthcoming film “Blind.” The group accuses the movie of “crip-face” — akin to blackface — in its casting of the able-bodied Alec Baldwin as the blind lead.
“Alec Baldwin in ‘Blind’ is just the latest example of treating disability as a costume,” Jay Ruderman, the foundation’s president, said in a statement. “We no longer find it acceptable for white actors to portray black characters. Disability as a costume needs to also become universally unacceptable.”
“Blind,” which Vertical Entertainment will release July 14, stars Baldwin as a novelist who lost his wife and his sight in a car crash. Years later, he comes into contact with a married socialite, played by Demi Moore, who is forced to read to him as part of a plea bargain. The two begin a love affair forcing Moore’s character to choose between the novelist and her husband.
The trailer for the film "Blind," starring Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore and Dylan McDermott.
Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening has been named the president of the jury for the 74th Venice Film Festival.
The "American Beauty" actress, whose other credits include "The Kids Are All Right," "20th Century Women" and "Bugsy," is among the few women to serve as chair for the Italian festival — and the first in more than a decade.
"It was time to break with a long list of male presidents and invite a brilliant talented and inspiring woman to chair our international competition jury," said festival director Alberto Barbera, who recommended Bening for the post to the board of directors.
Every time I make a new album, I get better and better. I make the sounds more audible. The weird sounds in the background -- before, they used to be foggy, but now they're much clearer. I may do all programmed beats for about a month straight. Then I might do purely sampled tracks for a while. Then you'll catch me in the studio with nothing but live instruments.
In case you forgot to mark your calendar, Monday was World UFO Day – and to celebrate, Sony Pictures dropped a little treat for film buffs and flying-saucer buffs alike.
The studio uploaded a video entitled “This Means Something” to its YouTube page, interspersing imagery from Steven Spielberg's 1977 classic "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" with audio from an early scene in which air traffic controllers track a plane that suddenly vanishes. The video included a link to a website, www.WeAreStillNotAlone.com, with a sign-up form for "updates on UFO sightings."
What to watch this Fourth of July? There are, of course, those obvious holiday-title perennials, “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Independence Day” (the misbegotten “Independence Day: Resurgence,” not so much).
The five films I’m recommending here offer tougher, more conflicted visions, and some are patriotic precisely because they subject the very notion of patriotism to critical scrutiny.
“25th Hour.” A hilariously profane diatribe attacking every class and color in America’s melting pot is the scalding, ultimately bracing centerpiece of this wrenching New York elegy. It’s the most cathartic of post-9/11 movies, and an “Hour” that may well be Spike Lee’s finest.
Now my yardstick is: 'Would I be proud for my grandchildren to see this?' I'm serious. I guess I want to go down with respect. I don't have to make every dollar in the world. I don't have to live like a very rich person. I have all the things I need, starting with my beautiful family and my grandchildren.