Salman Rushdie at the New York premiere of historical comedy 'The Death of Stalin' sponsored by Polish Standard Wódka and held at AMC Lincoln Square. The film has been directed by Armando Iannucci and stars Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale and Jeffrey Tambor - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 8th March 2018
Celebrities from all corners of the showbiz world were seen arriving at the star-studded event that was the 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' New York premiere. Among them was Lee Pace, who stars as primary antagonist Ronan the Accuser in the new Marvel flick.
The writer calls the laws a "chokehold" on freedom.
Many musicians, actors, writers and comedians have used their considerable stature to publically denounce Russia’s anti-gay laws, putting the issue firmly at the center of peoples’ minds. The highly respected and well loved writer Salman Rushie is the latest to do so.
He has joined more than 200 leading authors - Nobel laureates Gunter Grass, Orhan Pamuk, Wole Soyinka, and Elfriede Jelinek - in condemning Russia's controversial stance on gay rights. Like many, his thoughts were expressed via an open letter to President Vladimir Putin.
Critics haven't been enamored by the adaptation of Midnight's Children.
The movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children, directed by Deepa Mehta, hit theaters in the U.S. on the back of largely average reviews. It is often joked that the Booker Prize winning novel is unfinishable, with film adaptations subsequently sidestepped because of the skill and vision involved in such a project. Until now.
Nevertheless, Mehta has given it a go though the critics are unconvinced that he has succeeded. David Denby at the New Yorker wrote, "Rushdie's characteristic antic humor animates the family scenes, but the movie gets bogged down in endless plot convolutions and whimsy (the material would have worked better as a TV miniseries)." Rachel Saltz at the New York Times said, "A movie that, if never exactly dull, feels drained of the mythic juice that powers the book, which won the Booker Prize in 1981."
Robert Abele at the Los Angeles Times praised the movie's visuals though ultimately fell short, "A pretty but staidly linear epic drained of the novel's larkish, metaphorical sweep, and a collection of multi-generational love stories lacking their originally eccentric, fizzy charm," he said. Claudia Puig of USA Today agreed, writing, "The film is beautifully shot, with vivid production design. But because of the tale's lack of cohesion, it doesn't carry enough emotional heft."
Continue reading: Does Mehta's 'Midnight's Children' Prove The Novel Is Unfilmmable?
With an over-written screenplay and far too much material for audiences to digest, this film proves the rule that authors shouldn't adapt their own books into movies. In transferring his prize-winning novel to the big screen, Rushdie leaves in far too much detail while constantly indulging in literary touches that distract us from the story. He also adds his own voice in the form of narration to try and help us through it all. While there are moments of real power and important themes, the film is simply too dense.
The story follows Saleem (Bhabha), who was born at the stroke of midnight when India gained independence in 1947. He was also swapped with another baby in the hospital, which put him in the hands of a wealthy Pakistani couple (Goswami and Roy) while their biological son Shiva (Siddharth) grew up in poverty with a single-father minstrel (Chakrabarti). Oblivious to all of this, these people cross paths with each other over the decades as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh grapple to form distinct nations. And Saleem also discovers that he has the supernatural ability to connect all children born at that same moment, including Parvati (Saran), who becomes inextricably entwined with both Saleem and Shiva.
With its sprawling narrative spanning the entire history of modern-day India, the film feels like a variation on Forrest Gump, as Saleem's life story echoes and intersects with key events. This turns the film into an epic fable, complete with magical touches, huge coincidences and a vast array of side characters that's frankly bewildering. There's also the sense that a very big novel has been crammed into a very long movie, so we are thrown from scene to scene without getting the chance to let the people or events properly sink in. As a result, it's very difficult to feel any sympathy for the characters or anything that happens.
Continue reading: Midnight's Children Review
The big news this week is that George Lucas has finally admitted that yes, he did indeed plot out Star Wars episodes VII, VIII and VIX more than 30 years ago. And now that he has sold his Lucasfilm empire to Disney (for $4 billion), the sequel trilogy is finally being made. Episode VII is expected in 2015, and rumour has it that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill might be back in their original roles.
Meanwhile, the James Bond team was spotted in Rome this week, as Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, director Sam Mendes and series producer Barbara Broccoli attended the Italian premiere of Skyfall, posing for the press at the elegant St Regis Grand Hotel. After last week's record-breaking opening weekend in Britain, the film opens around Europe, Asia and South America this weekend, then in North America on 9th November.
In New York just before Hurricane Sandy hit, a buff-looking Gerard Butler was out promoting his new film Chasing Mavericks, about surfers tackling monster waves. The paparazzi caught up with him in the streets between appearances on various TV shows. He slips through the crowd, but they catch up with him later.
Twenty-three years after the publication of Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie finds himself at the centre of controversy once more. At the time of its release, the publication of his novel forced Rushdie into hiding, as Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa against him, calling for his execution. Rushdie is about to publish his memoirs, entitled Joseph Anton. The timing of the publication comes at a tense time, as an anti-Islam movie entitled Innocence of Muslims has sparked outrage and violence across the Middle East.
In an interview with Matt Lauer, Rushdie explained that he has no sympathy for the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. "He's done something malicious, and that's a very different thing from writing a serious novel," he explained in an interview on The Today show. The author then said: "he's clearly set out to provoke, and he's obviously unleashed a much bigger reaction than he hoped for. One of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting."
In a separate interview, with the BBC, Rushdie revealed that he did not think that Satanic Verses would have found a willing publisher in 2012. "A book which was critical of Islam would be difficult to be published now," he said and explained that there is currently a climate of "fear and nervousness." Undeterred by the increased price that has allegedly been placed upon his head, the Salman Rushdie Twitter page continues to be updated with links to his interviews and media releases.
Salman Rushdie - the controversial author - now has a $500,000 price on his head, reports British paper, The Telegraph. The controversy has been reignited due to the Islamophobic film,
Ayatollah Hassan Sanei - head of a powerful state foundation providing relief to the poor - said the film would never have been made if the order to execute Rushdie had been carried out. "The aim [of the fatwa] has been to uproot the anti-Islamic conspiracy and now the necessity for taking this action is even more obvious than any other time," he said. "I'm adding another $500,000 to the reward and anyone who carries out this order will immediately receive the whole amount." The total bounty is now $3.3m (£2.1m). Ayatollah Khomeini first sanctioned the fatwa, sentencing the author to death in 1989, after he declared his novel, The Satanic Verses, "blasphemous". This was 23 years ago, but Rushdie is now subject to a hefty bounty amidst this latest controversy. "The film is clearly a malevolent piece of garbage," Rushdie told the Guardian in an interview.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports and take any threat to the life of a British National very seriously. Our diplomatic position has always been clear that threats to Mr Rushdie are completely unacceptable.”