Investigative sports journalist Hajo Seppelt will be granted a Russian visa to attend the 2018 World Cup. Earlier, the country had refused his request despite Seppelt holding FIFA accreditation. German television company ARD launched an investigation after Seppelt was refused a visa and declared persona non grata by Russia on Saturday, despite being accredited to attend matches. The country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, announced on Twitter: “Intermediate success: Russian side has just told us that Hajo Seppelt can at least go to the World Cup. We continue to follow the development of events.” Seppelt became famous for being instrumental in breaking the story about alleged state-sponsored doping in Russian sport. Public broadcaster ARD had asked to include him in their team for covering the upcoming tournament, but their request had been refused. Russia’s Investigative Committee announced that upon arrival in Russia, Seppelt will be questioned in … [Read more...] about Controversial journalist Seppelt granted Russia 2018 visa, faces interrogation on arrival
Controversial foreign films
The Cannes film festival began last week shadowed by controversy: organisers refused to show Netflix films in competition because they weren’t getting theatrical releases. The streaming service responded by boycotting Cannes, not even showing movies out of competition. The two organisations may resolve their differences (Netflix sounded more conciliatory this month), but moviegoers understandably want to know: what’s the big deal? Ben Kenigsberg, who regularly reviews films for The New York Times, and Jason Bailey, who writes about streaming movies for The Times’ Watching service, discuss the question: does it matter if you see a film in a theatre or at home? Ben Kenigsberg: Absolutely, seeing a movie in a theatre makes a difference, and not just for the obvious reasons (picture quality, sound, the absence of the distractions of home viewing). ‘Dunkirk’ is a film that demanded to be seen in cinemas (Rex) I challenge anyone to explain how the … [Read more...] about Does it matter if you see a film in a cinema or at home?
Israel will boycott the Israeli Film Festival in Paris over its screening of Foxtrot – an Israeli film in which Israel Defence Force (IDF) soldiers kill and bury four Arab youths.Israel's ambassador to France, Aliza Bin Noun, will not attend the opening of the festival on 13 March, after the organisers refused her request that they choose a less controversial film.Foxtrot tells the story of a young Israeli man serving in the IDF, and his experience manning a military checkpoint over a six-month period.It was the winner of Israel's highest film prize – the Ophir – in 2017, and was nominated to represent the country in the Oscars' foreign-language category, though it did not make the final cut. The film also won the Grand Jury Prize Silver Lion at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival.In a statement explaining Bin Noun's boycott, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that while "the embassy does not intervene in the artistic considerations of the festival's … [Read more...] about Israeli ambassador will boycott Israeli Film Festival over Israeli anti-IDF movie
It seems not so long ago that some of the year's best movies were justly celebrated at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. That time has passed. In 2008, the Academy had its best and most fierce competition to date, with The Coen Brothers' modern classic No Country For Old Men running against Paul Thomas Anderson's masterful There Will Be Blood.The year before, it was The Departed and Little Miss Sunshine. Two years ago, we had Spotlight, The Revenant and Mad Max. Last year Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea and Hell Or High Water.Whether or not you agree with the outcome, whether or not you feel one brilliant cinematic gem has been snubbed - like The Assassination Of Jesse James in 2007 -, the truth is the Oscars was a ceremony that people watched because of the movies.There was always the complaint that the decisions were "so political", but that just meant the game was rigged or the jury was biased.What it means now, in the year 2018, is that a movie will be chosen not for its … [Read more...] about In this year’s Oscars race, only one film stands out
TOBY Young is an outspoken journalist and columnist who has become one of the most vocal advocates of the free schools movement.The writer faced a backlash after being appointed to a role with a new university watchdog – here's what you need to know about him.Toby Young was born in Buckinghamshire on October 17, 1963, the son of Labour peer Michael and radio producer Sasha Moorsom.Despite re-taking his O-Levels he gained a place to study PPE at Brasenose College, Oxford, and graduated with a First Class degree.In 1991, he co-founded the Modern Review magazine, whose motto was "low culture for highbrows", but closed it down in 1995 with the publication close to financial collapse.Young moved to New York to work for Vanity Fair, a tumultuous five-year period which inspired his memoir, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, published in 2001.The book was later turned into a one-man play, which the author performed in himself, and later a feature film starring Simon Pegg, Kirsten … [Read more...] about Who is Toby Young? Journalist and free schools campaigner whose appointment to university watchdog role sparked controversy