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Russian Authors Face Long Odds for Nobel

Отправлено 11 окт. 2013 г., 10:18 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 11 окт. 2013 г., 10:20 ]

Russian literature is a serious business. The books are heavy, the beards are long and the descriptions of women's upper lip hair are detailed. Russian authors from the 18th century onwards are read in classrooms from Tokyo to Buenos Aires and have been lauded the world over.
Writers of more contemporary times, however, may not have been quite as lucky as their 19th- or 20th-century forefathers, however. The Nobel Prize for literature, traditionally awarded in the month of October, is expected to be announced Thursday. While the academy is known for its secrecy, it is very unlikely that the annals of Russian literature will welcome another Nobel laureate this year.
The Swedish Academy, which has been criticized for not awarding talents like James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov, is almost impossible to read. The Nobel committee does not release the shortlist until 50 years after the prize is awarded and literary critics have been wrong far more than they have been right in predicting the winner each year.
One outlet that has been surprisingly successful at choosing the future laureate is an unlikely source of literary expertise. Ladbrokes, a British sports betting website, did not accurately predict Chinese writer Mo Yan's victory last year but has become an oft-cited authority on the prize, as the author with the lowest odds on the site has won 50 percent of the time since the company opened up its book on the award in 2005. The site does not analyze each author's oeuvre as works of literature, but rather uses a combination of mentions of possible winners from prominent literary figures and the number of bets on each writer to set the odds.
According to the odds for this year, Russian authors have little shot at the prize. The post-modernist writer Viktor Pelevin was listed as a 50-to-1 possibility in 2011, though the prize ultimately went to Swede Tomas TranstrЪmer.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the dissident Soviet writer and poet, is perhaps the closest this year, though his odds at winning the award, 100 to 1, are still twice as long as the seemingly ludicrous idea of giving the award to folk legend Bob Dylan.
Alexander Donohue, who runs the Nobel Prize for literature bets at Ladbroke's, told The Moscow Times that at the end of last week, no money had yet been placed on the Russian writer who came to prominence during the Khrushchev thaw. The lack of interest from gamblers, despite the fact that the pot is one of the site's most international, compounds the minimal English-language chatter about Yevtushenko. By comparison, Donohue said thousands of British pounds have been placed on the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami and the American novelist Joyce Carol Oates, at 3 to 1 and 6 to 1, respectively.
A Russian writer has not won the award since 1987, when the exiled Joseph Brodsky won the prize for his work in both English and his native tongue. Yevtushenko, who now splits his time between Russia and teaching at the University of Tulsa, also had brushes with Communist Party authorities that put him in the company of a considerable group of literary heavyweights. Before Brodsky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn won in 1970, state-sanctioned poet Mikhail Sholokov was awarded the prize in 1965 and Boris Pasternak won in 1958 for "Doctor Zhivago," which was smuggled out of Russia and published in Italy.
It is up for debate whether Russian literature's luster has faded when no longer butting up against Soviet censorship or whether the academy is simply looking in new places to recognize talent.
Meanwhile, Russia still has hope that its first post-Soviet author will receive the world's highest literary recognition. But you probably should not bet on it.


Emmys 2013 Recap: Who Won Awards, Who Won Our Hearts

Отправлено 23 сент. 2013 г., 13:34 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 23 сент. 2013 г., 13:38 ]

Everyone knows the Emmy Awards are meant to honor the best television of the year … which they did. But more on that later. The Emmy Awards broadcast also provided plenty of opportunities for winning (and losing) performances during the presentation itself.

SHORTEST/BEST SPEECH EVER: Merritt Wever: “Thank you so much. I gotta go. Bye.” (Watch here!)

LEAST PRESENT WINNERS: Laura Linney and David Fincher, who were honored with awards (for best actress in a miniseries or TV movie, and drama-series director, respectively) but were too busy to come accept them.

MOST HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT: Gail Mancuso, a Modern Family director, was called out as only the second-ever woman to win in the comedy-directing category. Also noteworthy: though Kerry Washington didn’t win her race, she got to take the stage with Diahann Carroll, who was the first African American ever nominated for an Emmy.

MOST META IDEA: Even from the opening bit — in which show host Neil Patrick Harris was supposed to have binge-watched every episode of every show this season — the Emmys didn’t shy away from acknowledging the main media narrative about the Emmys: TV is sort of being replaced by online stuff. That said, when it came to the actual awards, Netflix’s House of Cards didn’t exactly win big — David Fincher took home a prize, but the actors didn’t.

MOST MOVING REMEMBRANCE: A tie, as it’s pretty hard to judge people saying nice things about their friends who died. Robin Williams on Jonathan WintersEdie Falco on James Gandolfini — how do you choose? The surprise entrants to the category — Henry Bromell’s widow accepting the award for best writing for a drama series and Stephen Colbert’s shout-out to his mother — were equally moving.

MOST NEIL PATRICK HARRIS NEIL PATRICK HARRIS: Neil Patrick Harris! The host is known for his triple-threat-ness, but fans were probably disappointed by his nonsinging, nondancing show opener. The “Number in the Middle of the Show” number was a nod to the traditional awards-show medley, but the song was more tongue-in-cheek than it was song-in-head. The better (but also weirder) use of Harris’ dance cred came with the fact that, for the first time, the broadcast included the award for best choreography — and an intricate routine created by the nominees.

BEST TIE-IN AD AIRED DURING THE SHOW: CBS capitalized on its Neil Patrick Harris doubleheader (the actor also stars on How I Met Your Mother, the season premiere of which airs tomorrow) with an extra-long commercial/fake public-service announcement raising awareness for “excessive hosting disorder.” The problem affects millions of people, er, “just Neil.” Extra points for using the HIMYM “intervention” trope, the TV PSA format and the invention of the Ryan Seacrest Center for Excessive Hosting in Malibu.

MOST EFFECTIVE PSA: The Emmys raised some hackles when it was announced that Cory Monteith would receive an extended tribute during the broadcast, as TV stalwarts like Larry Hagman and Roger Ebert were consigned to the group-remembrance section. But Jane Lynch, in remembering her Glee co-star, put the time to good use. “His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on by addiction,” she said.

BEST BROMANCE: Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Though Douglas won in the category for which they were both nominated (for Behind the Candelabra) their friendship won in the acceptance speech, with the play on words about things that take two hands also ranking as the closest the awards broadcast came to a dirty joke, despite Sarah Silverman’s “look at me!” use of the word vagina in a song. (Also noteworthy in Douglas’ speech: his very open and personal mention of his troubled son Cameron.)

SPARKLIEST OUTFIT: Elton John’s epic blue jacket while performing a song in honor of Liberace and Behind the Candelabra.

(VIDEO: Emmys 2013: The Rising Success of Netflix)

And now — in order of presentation, so skip ahead for the biggies — the actual winners:

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES: Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie (Showtime)

WRITING, COMEDY SERIES: Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock, “Last Lunch” (NBC)


ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)

DIRECTING, COMEDY SERIES: Gail Mancuso, Modern Family, “Arrested” (ABC)

ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE: Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter (Showtime)

WRITING, DRAMA SERIES: Henry Bromell, Homeland, “Q&A” (Showtime)



SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

ACTOR IN A DRAMA: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (HBO)

ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime)

DIRECTING, DRAMA SERIES: David Fincher, House of Cards (Netflix)

WRITING, VARIETY SERIES: The Colbert Report (Comedy Central); head writer: Opus Moreschi; writers: Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Rich Dahm, Barry Julien, Michael Brumm, Rob Dubbin, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Glenn Eichler, Meredith Scardino, Max Werner, Eric Drysdale, Dan Guterman, Paul Dinello, Nate Charny and Bobby Mort

DIRECTING, VARIETY SERIES: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

CHOREOGRAPHY: Derek Hough, Dancing With the Stars, Routines: Hey Pachuco / Para Los Rumberos / Walking on Air (ABC)

VARIETY SERIES: The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE: James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)

DIRECTING, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE: Steven Soderbergh, Behind the Candelabra (HBO)


ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE: Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra (HBO)

MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE: Behind the Candelabra (HBO)

COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family (ABC)

DRAMA SERIES: Breaking Bad (AMC)

Muzeon Park to present British short films

Отправлено 11 сент. 2013 г., 08:56 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 11 сент. 2013 г., 08:58 ]

Check out the best of British shorts at Muzeon Park’s new screen from September 6 to 22. The shorts have all been noted by the British Academy of Film and Television Awards and include animation, science fiction and much more. One short to look out for in particular is “The Voorman Problem,” which stars Martin Freeman (from The Hobbit).

Russia Deploys Military Helicopters to Flood-Hit Far East

Отправлено 4 сент. 2013 г., 09:09 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 4 сент. 2013 г., 09:14 ]

Two Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopters have been redeployed from the Central Military District to Russia’s flood-hit Far East region, a military district official said Wednesday.
The helicopters will help evacuate people, transport cargo, and deliver much-needed food and medicine as part of ongoing rescue efforts. The Mi-26 can carry up to 20 tons, including trucks and other heavy and outside equipment.
Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev on Tuesday said that a further 36,000 people will need to be evacuated from the area as floodwaters continue to rise.
Trutnev was appointed deputy prime minister and presidential envoy to the Far East by President Vladimir Putin on Saturday. Speaking Tuesday, he said that almost 16,000 people have already been evacuated and 98,800 people have been affected by the ongoing flooding on the Amur River. In total there are about 45,000 people taking part in rescue work in flood-hit areas, he added.


Ben Affleck is Batman: Argo director to appear in Man of Steel sequel

Отправлено 23 авг. 2013 г., 10:32 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 23 авг. 2013 г., 10:40 ]

Ben Affleck will play Batman in the new Superman v Batman film.
Warner Bros made the announcement on Friday.
Deadline quoted Warner Bros’ Greg Silverman as saying: “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular superheroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and [director] Zack [Snyder] will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.”
Warner Bros announced last month that the sequel to the Superman film Man of Steel would see Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) facing off against Bruce Wayne.
There was speculation that Christian Bale, who played Batman to critical and fan acclaim in the Dark Knight films, might be persuaded to get back in the cape.
But today’s announcement puts an end to those rumours.
The role of the caped crusader is a risk for Affleck, who last played a superhero in Daredevil during a troubled spell for the actor. Lately he has successfully breathed new life into his career by turning to directing, with his film Argo winning best picture at the Oscars earlier this year.
But Affleck won plaudits for his role as Superman actor George Reeves in Hollywoodland in 2006.
Deadline quoted Snyder as saying: “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”
Production on the new film is expected to begin next year, with a release date of 17 July 2015 planned, according to the Associated Press.

Wentworth Miller Comes Out In Letter To Russia

Отправлено 22 авг. 2013 г., 10:26 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 22 авг. 2013 г., 10:30 ]

US actor Wentworth Miller, best known for his role in Prison Break, has come out as gay in a letter declining an invitation to attend a Russian film festival because of Moscow's new anti-gay laws.

Miller, 41, turned down the offer to attend the St Petersburg International Film Festival as a "guest of honour" after posting the letter on the website for GLAAD - a group which monitors media representation of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people and issues.

"Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline," Miller wrote to festival director Maria Averbakh.

Miller added he was "deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government," and did not want attend an event in a country where "people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly".

Russia's parliament banned the spread of gay "propaganda" among minors in a law passed in June which has been condemned worldwide.

It also includes fines for people who stage gay pride rallies.

Miller, who played incarcerated structural engineer Michael Scofield in Prison Break from 2005 to 2009, has recently turned his hand to screenwriting, penning the script for this year's dark thriller Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman.

Lady Gaga and Perez Hilton Are in Such a Fight

Отправлено 19 авг. 2013 г., 11:42 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 19 авг. 2013 г., 11:47 ]

Lady Gaga has definitely had it with blogger and former BFF Perez Hilton, allegedly for favoring Katy Perry’s new single “Roar” over her own “Applause.” The already ugly situation — one reportedly involving Perez sending a picture to Gaga of “a wheelchair with the words KARMA written across + Madonna pointing a gun at [Mother Monster.]” (huh?) — turned much worse when Hilton was spotted in the lobby of Gaga’s NYC building over the weekend.
The pop star did not take kindly to what she called stalking, lashing out via Twitter (with a message that has since been removed): “STAY AWAY FROM ME + MY FAMILY YOU ARE SICK TRYING TO RENT AN APARTMENT IN MY BUILDING TO STALK ME. LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” Meanwhile, Hilton took to The Hollywood Reporter to say: “I am a critic and not a stalker," further pleading with Gaga’s Little Monsters to stop sending death threats to him and his young son. On her end, Gaga proved that not all is lost — she also asked her fans to back down: “I can fight my own battles monsters, please stop sending negativity on my behalf it's not what I stand for. I can handle myself.” For the time being, all seems quiet on the Twitter front, but who knows what tiffs these two will get into when the sun comes up.


World Championships - Isinbayeva wins fairytale third world pole vault gold

Отправлено 14 авг. 2013 г., 11:06 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 14 авг. 2013 г., 11:09 ]

Without a global title since 2008, struggling for form and due to retire after this event, the 31-year-old fed off the energy produced by a finally near-full and raucous Luzhniki Stadium to triumph with a leap of 4.89 metres.

Ever the show-woman, Isinbayeva ended the night with an assault on her own world record, set in her pomp when she won the second of her Olympic titles in Beijing.

With chants of "Yelena" ringing in her ears, she fell short, but there was no trace of disappointment from her, the crowd or the organisers who finally got the memorable night they had craved.

There was plenty of drama elsewhere as LaShawn Merritt won the 400 metres as defending world and Olympic champion Kirani James hit the wall on the home straight.

The hundreds of yellow and blue-clad Ukraine fans, who had done their best to bring atmosphere to the stadium during the first few days, also got their reward when Ganna Melnichenko triumphed in the heptathlon.

Russia's Elena Lashmanova won the 20km walk but only just, after she stopped with a lap of the track to go thinking the race was over.

Robert Harting claimed his third successive discus gold, Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman won the 800 metres and Milcah Chemos Cheywa took the women's steeplechase but outside their own countries they will not get a look-in on Wednesday's sports pages.

Most big athletics events advertise themselves with an image of a sprinter but the posters around Moscow have a pole vaulter as their centrepiece - and now the world knows why.

Twice Olympic and world champion, four-times world indoor champion and multiple world record holder, Isinbayeva has been an icon of the sport.

But after finishing sixth in the last world championships and third at the 2012 Olympics it seemed as if the glory days were behind her.

American Jenn Suhr and Yarisley Silva of Cuba, who had the five best vaults of the year, came to Moscow as favourites.

The home fans had other ideas, however, having finally decided to attend in numbers after nights of embarrassingly low crowds.

Tuesday felt different - they even mustered their first Mexican wave - and Isinbayeva, who knows better than anyone how to work a crowd, surfed the wave of goodwill.

With four athletes left, the bar went to 4.82 - beyond her best of the season. She cleared it on the second attempt, only for Olympic champion Suhr to follow her over to regain the lead on countback.

The bar was hoisted to 4.89 and, writing a script the organisers could only have dreamed of, Isinbayeva soared over at the first attempt.

Suhr and Silva could not match her, taking silver and bronze respectively, and the Russian tore off to climb into the crowd and hug her coach.

After the sideshow of the world record attempts there came a joyous lap of honour, complete with spectacular cartwheels and backflips, and she was still talking to TV crews 90 minutes after her victory.

Jamaican Sprinter Bolt Still Capable of Record Pace – Coach

Отправлено 10 авг. 2013 г., 06:12 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 10 авг. 2013 г., 06:14 ]

Usain Bolt is yet to peak as a sprinter and is still capable of breaking his 100-meter and 200-meter world records, Jamaica's head athletics coach Michael Clarke said Thursday ahead of the world championships in Moscow.

Bolt has won three gold medals at each of the last two Olympics, but it has been four years since he last set a world record, prompting talk that the 26-year-old may have peaked.

"As for his peaking, he's still a young man and he appears to have a lot left in him," Clarke said. "I believe he'll do as well as he did in the past."

Clarke indicated that another world record was possible. "It's definitely very exciting," he said. "It would be good if he can have another world record, let's see what happens."

The athletic world championships will be held on August 10 to 18 at Moscow's Luzhniki arena, the track-and-field venue for the 1980 Olympics.

In the 100-meter in Moscow, Bolt will be without his three strongest rivals. Reigning world champion Yohan Blake is injured, while Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell have both failed doping tests. Taken together, they are the four fastest 100-meter runners in history.

But Bolt does not need his rivals to motivate himself, Clarke said.

"I think he is driven by his own inherent ambitions and with the athletes that he has around him," he said. "As to the absentees, I don't think that impacts him one way or the other.

Ria Novosti

View from Russia: Royal Baby buzz and the media

Отправлено 24 июл. 2013 г., 11:17 пользователем Работа КА   [ обновлено 24 июл. 2013 г., 11:17 ]

I am a fan of babies. They can be a little messy and a tad cumbersome - but generally babies are great. Having spent the last two years watching my own baby evolve into a toddler, I know how great they are firsthand.

In a perfect world, everyone everywhere would know that all babies are great. In the world that we are currently living in, we must deal with the fact that some babies are "more special" than others. The media circus surrounding the Royal Baby can attest to that.

First of all, let me say that I am very happy for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I wish them joy - and plenty of luck (even the parents of a Royal Baby need luck from time to time, I reason).

Second of all, let me say that I am currently glad to be in Russia, where no one is camping out to hear the news of any birth - royal or otherwise.

It's not because I deplore the idea of the British monarchy. I just deplore the idea of a media feeding frenzy surrounding the birth of a child. It makes me concerned for this child.

It can be argued that excessive media attention is what killed the Royal Baby's grandmother, Princess Diana. After all, if some paparazzi hadn't chased her car in Paris years ago, she probably would have still been here to welcome her grandchild. 

I don't begrudge anyone their Royal Baby celebrations, betting pools, commemorative mugs and so on. We could all use some good news, after all - and by that I mean the world, and not just Britain.

I do want people to think about how toxic celebrity cults can affect innocent people, however. I want to think about the pressure involved. Sometimes, even a very privileged lifestyle can't quite make up for it, in the end.

Russia's paparazzi culture is comparatively underdeveloped at the moment, and what is happening in London makes me think that this is probably a good thing. There is something unhealthy about the fact that in London, a celebrity sometimes can't step into a toilet in the restaurant without a photographer jumping out from a neighboring stall at them. It's one thing to be photographed during a public outing, as is the custom in Moscow, it's quite another to be photographed all of the time.


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