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US: LA LGBT Center Mourns Dr. Benjamin E. Teller

In response to the July 29 passing of Dr. Benjamin E. Teller, who was appointed as the Center’s first Medical Director, and subsequently served as a member of the Center’s Board of Directors from 1976–1980, Center CEO Lorri L. Jean issued the following statement:

“It hurts my heart that the wonderful Dr. Benjamin E. Teller died on July 29, after a battle with cancer. Ben and his partner, Benjamin Britt, have been longtime Center Sustaining Donors, and also made a generous gift to the Capital Campaign for the Anita May Rosenstein Campus. Plus, Ben was a member of the Center’s Senior Services program. In March, the Center’s blog highlighted Ben’s participation in a Senior Services workshop entitled Spirit of Survival: The Ancient Art of Mask-Making. Ben’s mask was based upon the Hindu goddess Kali, who was called upon to fight a demon. Ben described the mask he made to more than 40 guests at the Center unveiling: Continue Reading »

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Film Review & Trailer: Summerland

Review By Frances Winston

Directed by: Jessica Swale – Starring: Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lucas Bond, Dixie Egerickx, Siân Phillips, Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay

The title of this movie might sound cheery, but Summerland in fact refers to a pagan ‘heaven’.

However, the characters are far from living in any sort of heaven, given that we meet them in the midst of WWII, with rationing and blackouts in full flow. Continue Reading »

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Film Review: Unhinged

Review By Frances Winston

Directed by: Derrick Borte –  Starring: Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson, Austin P. McKenzie

Many movies are still choosing to release online rather than in cinemas at the moment, as the industry struggles to find its feet working within the current social distancing restrictions. However there are still one or two new releases for audiences to enjoy, including this offering, starring the Gladiator himself, Russell Crowe, although this is a far cry from his tights and toga glory days. He plays Tom, a boorish, overweight, bitter, unstable and, yes, unhinged, individual. Continue Reading »

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Family film ‘Pinocchio’ and thriller ‘Spree’ – Irish cinemas August


Wildcard Distribution and Vertigo Releasing are delighted to announce the Irish theatrical release for two titles in August – Matteo Garrone’s award-winning fantasy-film PINOCCHIO and the thriller SPREE starring Stranger Things actor Joe Keery.    Both films will open in Irish cinemas on Friday 14 August. 

PINOCCHIO tells the tale of an old woodcarver named Gepetto (Roberto Benigni) who creates a puppet, which then magically comes to life. Gepetto names him Pinocchio (Federico Ielapi) and brings him up as his son. Pinocchio however finds it hard to be good, and is easily led astray. He ends up stumbling from one misadventure to another – whether in the belly of a giant fish, in the Land of Toys, or in the Field of Miracles. It is up to his loyal friend, the Fairy (Marine Vacth) to help him see that his dream of becoming a real boy is only possible if he finally changes his ways.

Working with co-writer Massimo Ceccherini, Garrone offers a fresh perspective on the beloved classic, returning to the authentic roots of the Pinocchio story, to create something never seen before. The film was produced by Garrone, Academy Award winner Jeremy Thomas, Jean and Anne-Laure Labadie, and Paolo del Brocco, and stars Academy Award-winning actor, Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful) as Geppetto, Marine Vacth (L’Amant double) as the Fairy, and newcomer, Federico Ielapi, as Pinocchio.

Academy Award winner, Mark Coulier (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Iron Lady) brings the characters to life, through visionary character design and prosthetic make-up, and the beautiful visual effects were created by the team at One Of Us (Aladdin, The Revenant, The Crown).

The original score was written by Academy Award-winning composer, Dario Marianelli (Paddington 2, The Darkest Hour, Atonement).

PINOCCHIO screened at Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year to widespread acclaim.

Starring Joe Keery (Stranger Things) and Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live) with David Arquette and Mischa Barton, SPREE is a dark, social media inspired thriller, about a rideshare driver, so desperate for fame and attention that he’ll stop at nothing to go viral.

23-year-old Kurt Kunkle plans to livestream a rampage, as a shortcut to infamy. Coining his evil scheme ‘#thelesson’ he installs a set of cameras in his car, and begins streaming his rides. Kurt picks up passengers, only to dispense with them for the pleasure of his viewers… oh wait, he doesn’t have any! Wildly miscalculating the presumed popularity that would come from his lethal scheme, Kurt desperately ups the stakes and tries to make sure his horrific non-event transforms into a viral sensation. In the middle of all this madness, Jessie Adams, a stand-up comedian with her own viral agenda, crosses Kurt’s path, and becomes our only hope to put a stop to his misguided carnage.

SPREE, directed by Eugene Kotlyarenko (Wobble Palace) had its world premiere at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

PINOCCHIO and SPREE open in cinemas only on August 14.

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El Salvador: Police sentenced in first trans murder conviction

Image: lonelyplanet.com

A court in El Salvador has sentenced three police officers to 20-year prison sentences, for the murder of a transgender woman, the nation’s first convictions in a homicide case involving a trans victim.

The verdict was a welcome development in the conservative Central American country, where gay and trans people face rampant discrimination and abuse, rights supporters said. Continue Reading »

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Film Review: 100% Wolf

Review By Frances Winston

100% Wolf

Directed by: Alexs Stadermann

Starring the voices of: Ilai Swindells, Magda Szubanski, Rhys Darby, Akmal Saleh

One thing many people have missed during lockdown is the family cinema outing. While LOs have been kept entertained by hours of appropriate content on streaming services, it’s just not quite the same as bringing them to a cinema, where you all eat too much popcorn and ice cream and enjoy the movie magic together. Continue Reading »

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Review: My First Holy CoVid

Image: First Holy Communion Day

Review by Frances Winston

My First Holy CoVid

Multiple free performances daily from July 28th – 31st in a selection of site specific top secret locations in Dublin City Centre

This production is taking place in various Dublin City Centre locations, but they are top secret until the day of the show. I had to wait for a text message with the exact location of the performance I was attending, which I received three hours beforehand. Although I knew the general area, they were forced to undertake such clandestine measures due to CoVid 19, and the fact that the performance spaces are all residential areas. This show is part of the new Story on Your Door initiative, which aims to re-imagine residential areas in the city, and bring theatre to new spaces in the face of the challenges posed by the Covid19 global pandemic. The entire performance was designed in alignment with the national guidelines for social distancing. Continue Reading »

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Droichead Arts Centre re-opens after 4 months

Droichead Launches ‘CONNECTION’ Featuring 27 Local Artists

SJ McArdle Reveals Solo@Home Video Podcast Series

Droichead Arts Centre is back open again after four months. Collette Farrell and her team have been busy working behind the scenes, and are opening the gallery in Stockwell Street initially, and then in September they’re hoping to host an intimate live gig, by local legends KERN, in their fully seated venue.    Continue Reading »

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Cork: The Everyman – cancellation of Panto 2020

The Everyman, and CADA Performing Arts Academy, are saddened to announce that this year’s pantomime, Aladdin, will not go ahead as planned, due to Covid-19 public safety measures.

Currently, indoor gatherings are permissible for up to 50 people, with the expectation that this will increase from August 10th. Even with an easing of restrictions, it is unrealistic to successfully programme a show as complex as the annual pantomime under the 2m social distancing measures, which would allow for a maximum of 85 people in the auditorium of The Everyman at one time, including the artists on stage. Continue Reading »

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Yemeni blogger jailed by Saudi court for supporting equal rights

Ha’er Prison in Saudi Arabia July 6, 2015 – Image: REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

(Reuters) – A Saudi court has sentenced a Yemeni blogger to 10 months in prison, a fine of 10,000 riyals (€2,274.42) and deportation, for a social media post supporting equal rights for people in same-sex relationships, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The group said Mohamad al-Bokari fled Yemen in June 2019, and was living as an undocumented migrant in Saudi Arabia when he was arrested on April 8, for a Twitter video that drew online condemnation from Saudis and calls for his arrest. Continue Reading »