In the week following A$AP Rocky’s arrest and pending assault case in Sweden, celebrities have brought their activism to the forefront of their social media accounts or to television to plead for the release of Rocky and three other A$AP Mob members who also remain in jail. A$AP Ferg, another member of the group, visited […]
variety.com | 7/13/19
Two hundred and forty-three years ago tomorrow, America seceded from Great Britain. Last night, the U.S. succeeded over England in the Women’s World Cup. (Yes, we’re pretty proud of ourselves for that one.)
Unfortunately for the Brits, a ton of them had to watch this latest loss on television. A 2019 record 11.7 million U.K. viewers tuned in to the match, which was on BBC One, according to the BBC Press Office. It just didn’t work out in their favor.
Team USA beat Team England 2-1 on Tuesday to advance to the 2019 Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday, when it will face the winner of tonight’s Netherlands vs. Sweden game.
Christen Press and Alex Morgan scored the goals last night for the United States, while Ellen White put in the lone goal for England. Team USA goalie Alyssa Naeher came up huge with a save on a penalty kick tried by England captain Steph Houghton.
If it’s any consolation, Team England will have its third-place consolation game on Saturday.
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www.thewrap.com | 7/3/19
This weekend, a European phenomenon is back — though Americans may have to hunt for clips on YouTube or seek out a VPN and watch via another country’s home broadcaster.
The Eurovision Song Contest, a cross between “The X Factor” and the Miss Universe pageant that offers Yanks a glimpse of what it’s like to be in a culture that doesn’t have jazz and blues as the foundation of its pop music.
For those who’ve never seen — or even heard of Eurovision — before, here’s a quick primer to get you caught up.
What exactly is this contest?
That sounds like a pretty noble goal.
Then there are the artists themselves. As Eurovision has evolved, more and more ridiculous acts have come out of the woodwork. Finnish monster-rock bands, Russian grandmas and Latvian pirates are among the acts that have performed for a TV audience of hundreds of millions in recent Eurovisions. And that Finnish monster rock band actually won.
Jeez! So is this just some musical freak show?
There’s also a small handful of top stars on the winners’ list you might recognize. ABBA used Eurovision as a launch pad to stardom in 1974 with their song “Waterloo,” and French-Canadian Celine Dion’s win in 1988 was her biggest claim to fame before “Titanic” came out. Quality — or at least creativity — does tend to win out at Eurovision.
OK, so how does this contest work?
Then the show transitions to a long procession of national “ambassadors” reading out who each country gave their votes to. The top 10 performers in each country’s vote get points, with 12 points going to the top vote-getter, followed by 10 and then eight down to one for the rest of the order. The same goes with the juries, but with 10 points going to the performer in first place.
And what does the performer with the most points win?
What? No prize money? No contract? No vague promises of superstardom?
Even now, a good chunk of the acts are homogenous power ballads that can blur together when performed in succession. Still, Eurovision is worth watching just for the spectacle of it all. The Disneyland-esque sweetness of the proceedings is charming, and the lack of stakes for the performers keeps it feeling light and fun rather than a battle for wealth, glory, and continental supremacy.
It has also made headlines in recent years that have allowed it to take steps beyond the realm of annual oddities like the Running of the Bulls. The winner in 2014 was gay Austrian singer Thomas Neuwirth, who performed as drag queen superstar Conchita Wurst. The victory transformed Conchita into an LGBT icon in Europe, even as Russian conservatives raged in fury and used the singer as an example of why Russia shouldn’t be a part of the EU. For all of Eurovision’s platitudes about tolerance and peace, this was a moment where those ideals were actually acted upon, even if it meant breaking the general tone of inoffensiveness.
If it’s supposed to be European, why is Australia a competitor?
So…if all these countries that aren’t strictly European are competing, does this mean we may be seeing the USA compete in Eurovision soon?
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www.thewrap.com | 5/18/19
Swedish actress Bibi Andersson, known for her roles in “The Seventh Seal” and “Persona,” died on Sunday, according to Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet. She was 83.
“She has been sick for many years, but it is sad. I found out that Bibi passed away lunchtime today,” director and friend Christina Olofsson told Aftonbladet.
According to Aftonbladet, Andersson had a stroke in 2009 while living in France with her husband Gabriel Mora Baeza. She returned to Sweden a few days later for hospital care. Shortly thereafter, she moved to a nursing home in Stockholm.
Andersson, who starred in several of writer and director Ingmar Bergman’s classic films, became well-known in the 1950’s, appearing in “The Seventh Seal” and “Wild Strawberries,” among countless other films.
She would go on to work constantly throughout the ’60s, ’70s and subsequent decades and as recently as 2007, with roles in more than 50 films such as “Persona,” “The Touch” and “Scenes From a Marriage.”
In 1968 Anderson was nominated for best foreign actress at the BAFTAs for her roles in two films: “Persona” and “Syskonbädd 1782,” or “My Sister My Love.” At the 13th Berlin International Film Festival in 1963, Andersson won the Silver Bear for best actress for her role in Vilgot Sjöman’s film “The Mistress.”
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www.thewrap.com | 4/14/19
Ever wonder where the phrase Stockholm syndrome came from? The answer can more or less be found in Robert Budreau’s bank-heist biopic “Stockholm.” The film announces its intentions from the start, boldly declaring itself “Based on an absurd but true story.” Neither claim — the absurdity, nor the truth — is entirely accurate, leading to a movie that is both intermittently compelling and consistently uneven.
Budreau certainly has enough to work with, having adapted a lengthy 1974 New Yorker story about a still-infamous robbery in Sweden. Though the names and, as it turns out, some crucial details have been changed, the script hews fairly close to the basic event. An impish Hawke blasts things off as Lars Nystrom, the Swedish-born, American-raised troublemaker who announces his arrival at Stockholm’s biggest bank by blaring Bob Dylan on the radio while simultaneously brandishing a machine gun.
The first person to notice his softer side is bank clerk Bianca (Rapace), who joins colleagues Klara (Bea Santos, “True Detective”) and Elov (Mark Rendall, “Versailles”) as Lars’s hostages. Lars and his eventual accomplice, Gunnar (Mark Strong), do their best to keep the cops off-balance by threatening and even committing violence. But behind the scenes, they don’t act like we think criminals should, and as a result, their hostages don’t respond the way we’d expect.
Budreau also seems to have some difficulty reconciling his feelings. In actuality, there was nothing “absurd” about the original story: it was a traumatic experience that occurred under intense psychological and physical threat. But that’s a heavy subject, and Budreau seems to want to make a popcorn lark. So Lars becomes an eccentric, somewhat dim-witted sweetheart who serves as a fine contrast to Bianca’s dully literal husband Christopher (Thorbjørn Harr, “22 July”).
As both writer and director, Budreau follows this path to its natural Hollywood conclusion: a romantic connection between lonely souls Lars and Bianca. Unfortunately, he’s ostentatiously staked his claim on the movie’s basis in truth. And in reality, the only sexual experience between captor and hostage was the result of one victim’s fear of assault. Which exposes the biggest problem of all: Budreau sees Stockholm syndrome less as a serious reaction to extraordinarily extreme circumstances and more as a potential kickoff for a catchy elevator pitch. His hostages don’t connect with their captors as a survival mechanism, but because Lars is a total charmer and the authorities (Christopher Heyerdahl, Shanti Roney) are uptight jerks.
The entire production suffers, too, from the ghost of a similar, and iconically more successful, venture hanging over its head. That “Stockholm” is no “Dog Day Afternoon” should go without saying. But if you’re willing to take the movie for what it really is — a fairly generic caper inspired by, rather than based on, actual events — you’ll find just enough to appreciate.
Foremost is Hawke’s spirited turn as the luckless Lars, a guy who usually wants to do the right thing but always goes about it in the wrong way. Hawke, so excellent in Budreau’s 2016 Chet Baker biopic “Born to Be Blue,” doesn’t merely rise to a challenge, but also compulsively expands and explores it. Rapace proves a perfect foil, bringing crucial gravitas to a movie that can’t settle on its own tone. Both actors ride the wave from comic misunderstandings to tear-jerking drama to unlikely romance without ever losing their footing.
The same can’t be said for a muted Strong, who has the thankless task of playing straight man to Hawke. The effort of keeping his dignity in the face of a preposterous ’70s wig and unfortunate denim-on-denim combo ultimately seems to overwhelm him.
But Budreau and editor Richard Comeau (“War Witch”) keep the pace moving swiftly, and cinematographer Brendan Steacy (“Titans”) deftly evokes each shifting mood. It’s awfully easy to relate to the hapless Lars as he struggles to adapt, whether in the dim and suffocating bank vault or an increasingly chaotic, blindingly-bright outside world.
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www.thewrap.com | 4/10/19
The NHL Network is allowing fans to get up close and personal with players in a way they never have before with a new four-part, all-access series “Behind the Glass: New Jersey Devils Training Camp.”
Following the franchise through the tribulations of training camp leading up to the 2018 season opener against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 6, the reality TV-style docuseries has been compared to the HBO’s hit “Hard Knocks” for its drama and authenticity as players struggle to make the final team roster.
While “Behind the Glass” is not the NHL’s first venture into all-access TV — they capture teams during the season on “Road to the Winter Classic” and “All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup” — it is the first time they’ve drawn back the curtain to reveal the inner workings of training camp and preseason.
“When we look at evolutions and the next steps, we always end up coming back to training camp when the foundation for the entire year starts to be discussed,” Steve Mayer EVP, Chief Content Officer at the NHL told TheWrap.
As to why the spotlight was aimed on the Devils out of the 31 teams in the league for Season 1, “New Jersey has always been a team that wanted to do more all-access programming, they like their players to get more exposure and had always been asking us as a league to do more,” Mayer said.
“This team has really opened up their doors, and there are a lot of compelling personalities to uncover,” he explained. “They have got the reigning Hart Memorial Trophy for most valuable player in Taylor Hall (pictured above), they have the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy recipient Brian Boyle coming back from battling leukemia. Then they’ve got a lot of young dynamic players who are passionate in the program.”
Just as the head coach is a driving force once the players hit the ice, he also has to be the star of the show in any behind-the-scenes series — and, fortunately, John Hynes is up for the role. “He is one of those characters you want the guy at the helm to be — big, boisterous and have a huge personality,” Mayer said. “You could see from day one that it was all about him establishing and showing the Devils culture to the world. Not all coaches and not all teams are as open to doing these types of shows as he is.
A television veteran who was an executive producer at IMG for 23 years before joining the NHL, Mayer is no stranger to reality TV and what it takes for a series to work.
“There is an art to these shows … it has got to be real and feel real,” he explained. “I don’t care if you’re doing a reality show on Bravo like ‘Real Housewives’ or you’re doing an all-access program like ours on NHL Network. Your camera crew and producers have to build a rapport with the cast so much that they don’t even notice the cameras are around so that people can be themselves and they aren’t conscious of being filmed.
“That is what New Jersey has done really early in the process, and that makes for a better television show for sure,” he added.
“We are flies on the wall, there to capture the reality of what goes on every day and be in places where our audiences can’t normally go — whether it’s the coaches’ room for meetings or walking the streets of Hoboken with Taylor Hall to get a feel for who he is.”
Like with “Hard Knocks,” which followed NFL underdogs the Cleveland Browns this summer, the climax of “Behind the Glass” is who makes the final roster for when the season begins.
“We will have roster spots that are decided on the very last episode and it is unbelievably compelling for the audience to be dragged into that decision,” Mayer said. “You learn and start to appreciate these personalities as they are all vying for the same thing. It is a great way to raise the awareness and brand of one of our teams. People are really going to like the Devils by the time this series is over,” he predicted.
The show will end with their trip to Switzerland for a preseason game and then to Sweden for the opening game vs. the Oilers as part of the NHL Global Series. “That was another really big part of why the Devils made sense this year,” Mayer said. “Nico Hischier — one of their best players and the future of their franchise — is from Switzerland so we get to go home with him and travel around his country, and to have their first game oversees in a very unique setting is a pretty cool way to end the show.”
Produced by NHL Network in association with NHL Original Productions, “Behind the Glass” airs Mondays at 7:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network.
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www.thewrap.com | 10/1/18
“Power Rangers” star, Ludi Lin has joined the main cast of the Chinese-language adaptation of U.K. television series “Humans.” Production is now under way in Shanghai. The series is a partnership between Endemol Shine China and Chinese production house Croton Media, the U.K.’s Kudos and Sweden’s Matador Film. Set in 2035, when technology, in particular artificial intelligence has infiltrated and influenced every […]
variety.com | 8/24/18
Please give a warm welcome to celebrity blogger Louise Roe!
The English television star and style expert married Mackenzie Hunkin in October 2016, at Eton College Chapel in her native England.
Roe, 36, and Hunkin welcomed their first child, daughter Honor Florence Crosby, on Jan. 11, giving PEOPLE an exclusive peek at her baby girl’s English-inspired nursery shortly after her birth.
You can following along with the new mom’s adventures in all things style and parenting on her blog at louiseroe.com, and on Instagram and Twitter @louiseroe.
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
RELATED GALLERY: Inside New Mom Louise Roe’s English Country-Inspired L.A. Home
I’ve talked a bit about this subject on the blog before, but today I wanted to have an honest conversation with you guys about something that has become very personal to me in recent months: the idea of “maternity leave,” and defining what it means in 2018.
Before I go into what I went through myself, I did a little digging on the history of maternity leave. You might be shocked by the results. First off, less than 50 years ago, there was no such thing as maternity leave. And until the 1940s, women working in the civil service in the U.K. had to retire when they married. And even as more women entered the workforce, provisions for maternity leave (which protected them from being fired when they became pregnant) weren’t introduced until the ’70s in many European countries.
What’s worse, laws demanding a minimum of 12 weeks unpaid leave weren’t introduced in the U.S. until as late as 1993. 1993?! The point is — the act of balancing work and family life has been a large issue for working women over the last half century or so.
RELATED: Co-Workers Gifting New Moms PTO to Help Extend Short Maternity Leaves — and People Have Opinions
After having Honor, it really hit home that the notion of maternity leave isn’t the same for everyone — in fact, for many, it doesn’t exist at all. With my own story, it’s a bit of a toss-up. On the one hand, I am extremely lucky — Mackenzie and I mostly get to plan and arrange our own schedule, work from home a lot and therefore see a lot of Honor. But on the flip side, I was back shooting and writing just days after the birth, and I returned to filming an 11-hour day on my feet, when she was just 6 weeks old.
It was my first time back on the red carpet — the Oscars. No pressure there, then! There was a lot more prep and pressure than usual, trying to do research while my brain was still fuzzy and on very little sleep, finding a dress to flatter a newly postpartum middle, pumping enough for Honor in the bathroom just minutes before going out onto the carpet and praying that the boob pads inside my gown didn’t leak or fall out (which they nearly did!) during filming. And on top of that, I felt so guilty leaving her so soon.
RELATED VIDEO: Khloé Kardashian Admits She’s “Very Anxious” About Leaving Baby True to Return to Work
I had a similar experience leaving for a 48-hour work trip to Italy when she was 3 months. Even though my mother-in-law came to L.A. to help me and it was such a short trip, I felt incredibly guilty again and had to deal with crazy new experiences — like pumping regularly in the loo of an airplane and trying to sterilize 12 pieces of pumping equipment every three hours around the clock, in a 15th-century hotel room in Verona! Sounds more romantic than it was, trust me! This all made me realize that most of my friends in L.A. are self employed or freelance, and therefore have no traditional “maternity leave” either. So while we have more flexibility in our schedules, it’s often even harder to balance and juggle everything because work never stops.
We are not the only ones. Between 2008 and 2011, 80 percent of people entering self-employment were female, according to official figures. Not only are you bewildered and exhausted, as all new parents are, you feel extra guilty wondering if it’s too early to go back.
Unlike having traditional paid leave, as a freelancer, when you don’t work, you don’t get paid. But even for women who work at traditional companies, not all states are required to provide paid leave — so mothers are often faced with the decision of how much time to take off, balanced with their financial restrictions. Overall, it’s a lot of mixed emotions and hard decisions to make.
RELATED: Louise Roe Shows Off Daughter Honor’s “Elegant” Nursery Inspired by the English Countryside
It’s important that women know their local laws surrounding maternity leave, and even their individual company policies and benefits, so that they are able to properly communicate with their employers and know what to expect. In the U.S., there is a federal law mandating 12 weeks of unpaid leave, though not all companies provide paid leave at all. In other countries, women are entitled to much longer paid leave, ranging from 14 weeks to a year in some places like Denmark, Finland and Sweden. In England, you get six months paid leave and the option to extend to another six months unpaid, where they keep your job open.
While “maternity leave” may not mean the same thing for everyone, balancing going back to work with family life is always a juggle no matter where you work or what you do. There are practical things every mother can do to ease the transition back to work a little. Wear breast pads if you’re breastfeeding to keep from leaking, and speak to your boss about having a private place to pump (many big companies like Amazon and Facebook even have special lactation rooms for female employees, while places like airports are shockingly bad).
You may also need to communicate to them ahead of time that you will be needing certain breaks to pump throughout the day (the law requires that they allow these breaks to you, but many women — and even employers — may not be aware of these rights!). It’s also worth checking to see if your employer has childcare available. Large firms here in L.A. such as NBC Universal have nurseries for employees’ babies. See if you can negotiate a shorter week and do not be shy, embarrassed or feel guilty about making it known you will be leaving on time. There are so many company cultures in which employees feel that they can’t leave until the boss does, or feel competitive around “staying late.” This is nearly impossible as a mum and is not acceptable to be pressured into!
RELATED: Louise Roe and Husband Mackenzie Hunkin Welcome Daughter Honor Florence Crosby
Frequent traveler? With a doctor’s letter, you can freeze your air miles during pregnancy and some of your maternity leave, and you can even get a household account so that your baby can be added once they are ready to come along.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Expect to have the odd meltdown. It truly is impossible to do it all (if you need a good laugh about the idea of women “having it all” — literally, having all the responsibilities in the word — read this New Yorker article). Emotions (not to mention hormones) run high, and it’s easy to feel at times like you’re always letting someone down.
Ask for help (Granny?!), call your best friend to unload — even better if she’s a mum who has been through it), accept the fact you might have to spend a few weekends catching up on sleep instead of having fun and keep a bottle of wine open in the fridge at ALL TIMES. Use apps like Peanut or The Bump to get support from other mums, ask questions and share advice.
people.com | 8/23/18
Swedish media has a long tradition going back to the 1776 law enacting freedom of the press. The press is subsidized by the government and is owned by many actors, the dominant owner being Bonnier AB. Swedish TV and Radio was until the mid 1980s a government monopoly, which slowly has been eroded despite resistance, e.g. a call for prohibition of private ownership of satellite dish receivers. Public service media is financed by a special fee (tax) levied on all who own a TV or Radio receiver. Reporting ownership is voluntary, but TV sellers are obliged to report purchase to the government, and the government also has a special service of agents, with equipment capable of detecting tell-tale emissions from TV-receivers, who patrols residential areas in order to catch those who have not reported ownership of a receiver. Swedish media has mechanisms for self regulation, such as the Swedish Press Council.