Hybrid documentary – Ghosts Of Abu Ghraib http://ghostsofabughraib.org/ Wed, 25 May 2022 16:59:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/icon-120x120.jpg Hybrid documentary – Ghosts Of Abu Ghraib http://ghostsofabughraib.org/ 32 32 Pre-action discovery orders for defamation; or, how a cosmetic surgeon is causing deep lines of concern in the Australian news industry https://ghostsofabughraib.org/pre-action-discovery-orders-for-defamation-or-how-a-cosmetic-surgeon-is-causing-deep-lines-of-concern-in-the-australian-news-industry/ Wed, 25 May 2022 15:04:55 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/pre-action-discovery-orders-for-defamation-or-how-a-cosmetic-surgeon-is-causing-deep-lines-of-concern-in-the-australian-news-industry/ Last weekend, a cosmetic surgeon named Joseph Ajaka went to court over advertisements he had seen for upcoming news stories that would criticize the cosmetic surgery industry. The court ordered the news editors to turn over the articles so he could take a look and decide whether to sue. The press is naturally outraged. This […]]]>

Last weekend, a cosmetic surgeon named Joseph Ajaka went to court over advertisements he had seen for upcoming news stories that would criticize the cosmetic surgery industry. The court ordered the news editors to turn over the articles so he could take a look and decide whether to sue.

The press is naturally outraged. This type of order reflects a blatant incursion into freedom of expression. In effect, it gives the subject of a journalist’s investigation editorial control of a story. It should only be done in the rarest and most serious circumstances. Based on what’s in the judgment, it’s hard to see the rationale in this case.

To illustrate this, let’s go back to another time when this type of order was placed. In 2015, Gina Rinehart obtained court orders for her to receive an episode of the docudrama “House of Hancock” before it aired, so she could decide whether to seek a defamation injunction.

House of Hancock was not marketed as an investigative journal, but as entertainment. It was described as a dramatization, a “Dallas” type drama and being “straight out of Dynasty”. A producer said of the show “you’re not doing a documentary, you’re going to have to, you know, do hybrid characters”. You’re going to have to create scenes that may never have happened, and in doing so, there’s no doubt you’re going to hurt people along the way.”

Of Rinehart, he said she should go out to dinner rather than watch the episode, as it would make her look like “an obsessed, vindictive shrew” and it would “change people’s opinions of her”. From all of this, the judge drew the conclusion that there was a real possibility that the show was saying false and defamatory things about him.

Ok, now back to Ajaka. The court, relying on details of a complaint it largely suppressed, decided it could infer that the stories in question would identify Ajaka and criticize the cosmetic surgery industry.

Most blatantly, the Ajaka judgment fails to address the likelihood of falsity, which was at the heart of the Rinehart case and is clear from the evidence. We are talking about reports investigated by reputable journalists and not a docudrama. An inference of falsity must logically be much more difficult to find. There should also be a very high probability that the story is indefensibly defamatory; these types of orders have been refused in cases where it is simply suspected that the content might be defamatory.

Overall, the Ajaka case is very concerning. He is on appeal and the full court’s view will have massive implications for the entire news industry. So stay tuned, more to come after this commercial break.


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SF DocFest 21 Queer Winners You Can’t Miss https://ghostsofabughraib.org/sf-docfest-21-queer-winners-you-cant-miss/ Tue, 24 May 2022 14:47:39 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/sf-docfest-21-queer-winners-you-cant-miss/ The 21st San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) returns June 1-12 and will feature a hybrid presentation of virtual screenings and live presentations, presented at the Roxie Theater. Most of these will also include in-person Q&A sessions. DocFest has always screened a number of queer films. This year, there is one feature film and […]]]>

The 21st San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest) returns June 1-12 and will feature a hybrid presentation of virtual screenings and live presentations, presented at the Roxie Theater. Most of these will also include in-person Q&A sessions.

DocFest has always screened a number of queer films. This year, there is one feature film and seven short films. The feature is the documentary “Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way”. It’s a great movie to treasure. Even if you’ve never watched MTV’s “The Real World” (one of the earliest examples of reality TV) set in San Francisco in 1994, the show that made Pedro a household name, this documentary will will help to understand why he deserves to be remembered and cherished.

Diagnosed HIV-positive at the age of 17, the charismatic and eloquent movie star-like Zamora became an expert AIDS educator who had a knack for reaching gay youth and POCs in Miami, where he lived after his family escaped from Cuba. in the 1980 Mariel boat lift.

“Keep the Cameras Rolling” uses archival footage of Pedro and his “Real World” days as well as contemporary interviews with family, friends and castmates. Former President Clinton and Dr. Anthony Fauci extrapolate on Pedro’s continued importance.

Pedro became the first PVA known to many viewers, teaching the world how to live with HIV. Victims were still often viewed with fear and suspicion, but Pedro’s message was that they were just as normal as anyone else. Pedro was one of the few openly gay people on television at that time.

It’s amazing because ‘Real World’ roommate Judd Winick recalls that just months before this series debuted, there was huge controversy when on Fox TV it was announced that his show ‘Melrose Place” would feature a kiss shown between two Men. The Melrose producers relented and turned the camera away when the guys really kissed.

‘Real World’ not only filmed Pedro kissing boyfriend Sean Sasser, but for the first time televised their wedding in a commitment ceremony, a gay wedding decades before he even be legal. Pedro has also testified about HIV before Congress, which Clinton praises.

The reflections of Winick and his roommate Pam Ling are particularly poignant, as they not only married years after the show ended, but dedicated their lives to HIV activism and the preservation of the Pedro’s legacy. The film asserts that Pedro was the right guy at the right time. Sympathetic, vulnerable, heartfelt and courageous, he lived his own mission to accept people for who they are, changing the conversation in America about HIV, but also about being gay.

As a signal, Pedro died at age 22, hours after the last episode of “Real World” aired. This documentary was created with a team of 20 students from the University of Missouri’s Murray Center for Documentary Journalism.

Nearly three decades after Pedro’s death, this documentary brings him back to life, and in another era of pandemic and bitter division, it feels more relevant than ever. “Keep the Cameras Rolling” is a fitting remembrance tribute for a unique and enduring role model, dwelling less on loss and more on celebration. This documentary will also air on Frameline.


“The Black Veil”

Screening too
“Act of Coming Out” (11 minutes) is powerful and moving. A group of queer and trans actors in Los Angeles audition for the role of coming out to someone. Re-enacting these scenes, they draw inspiration from their own experience, but the audience does not know if what they are seeing is reality or performance.

An actor made a convincing exit in tears to his mother, but then revealed on camera that he didn’t do it in real life. What was particularly poignant was that each actor then had to play the person they had just dated, expressing what they hoped that person would have said to them if it happened in real time.

Despite all the progress made in LGBTQ equality and reassurances of how simple and practical it is today, this short film argues that coming out can still be a stressful, anxious and emotionally draining experience for many people. queer. The film was made as part of Stanford University’s Documentary MFA program.

“Black Veil” (27 minutes) explores again the courage it takes to declare oneself non-binary, neither male nor female, an identity that is not fully recognized by our society at large. Bradley has struggled with her own gender identity for years. Bradley faces two significant events in their lives. Bradley recently joined the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and completed the required charitable work before being officially ordained a nun and receiving the black veil.

The second turning point is Bradley’s marriage to his longtime partner Emma. Will these two milestones give Bradley the confidence to confidently declare an authentic version of themselves? The film deftly tackles the challenge of being non-binary, which is more than just adopting new pronouns, but living and embodying a message of inclusivity.

“The Last Call for Alcohol” (27 minutes), covers the story of a San Francisco bar in Church and Market called Lucky 13, which lasted 27 years until it was sold in 2018 for seven million dollars, presumably to build condos. Built right after the 1906 earthquake, the bar has had many incarnations, including western-themed gay bars like The Mind Shaft, Alfie’s and the High Chapparal.


“It’s just me”

As Lucky 13, it encompassed a tight-knit community of working-class straight and LGBTQ patrons in what was once called a dive bar. The film interviews several longtime customers and bartenders, devastated by his loss.

However, this short is also an effective indictment of a city bent on making money at the expense of providing sustainable housing, driving businesses and residents out of town. The film argues convincingly that by abandoning community spaces like Lucky 13, San Francisco also loses its unique soul. This short film will leave you both sad and angry about how the city repeatedly allows these cultural casualties to happen to its detriment.

Other promising shorts not available to press include “Distance Between,” a conversation between a cisgender person and a trans person, each trying to learn what it means to be queer and trans.

“It’s Just Me,” is about black transgender woman Allie Cole in Austin, Texas, who negotiates the demands of sex work, activism, a complex relationship with her parents while overcoming childhood trauma and finding love.

“(Trans)Feminity” centers on Giovanna, Maeva and Alyx, three transgender women, teaching us the need to deconstruct the concept of binary gender, which has cultivated feminine/masculine stereotypes for centuries.

“Queering Yoga” tells the story of six Queer/Trans/QTPOC yoga teachers and their personal stories of healing/transformation as they journey through their yoga practice helping them explore identity and community.

SF DocFest runs June 1-12 at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., and streaming online. sfdocfest2022.eventive.org www.roxie.com

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Roger Ross William’s One Story Up lets BIPOC talent flourish – Deadline https://ghostsofabughraib.org/roger-ross-williams-one-story-up-lets-bipoc-talent-flourish-deadline/ Sat, 21 May 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/roger-ross-williams-one-story-up-lets-bipoc-talent-flourish-deadline/ A few years ago, when filmmaker Roger Ross Williams was considering starting his own production company, he experienced a field of dreams kind of vision: “If you build it, they will come. The revelation took place far from the Iowa cornfields of the film. “I was actually walking past this big empty office space in […]]]>

A few years ago, when filmmaker Roger Ross Williams was considering starting his own production company, he experienced a field of dreams kind of vision: “If you build it, they will come.

The revelation took place far from the Iowa cornfields of the film. “I was actually walking past this big empty office space in Brooklyn,” Williams recalls, “and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a great office space. I should rent it to start my business. I thought renting the office space would force me to fill it. He filled it, first with editing bays, then with staff. One Story Up has become a thriving business and one of the few African-American-owned production companies. The business name does not refer to a physical location, but to an idea.

“I loved the word ‘story’ in the name and elevating ‘up.’ The two things: elevating filmmakers of color and telling stories,” Williams says. as a vehicle to help other artists like me who have felt marginalized and not had a seat at the table, so to speak.”

Not even winning an Oscar, apparently, allowed Williams to sit at this table. In 2010, he became the first African-American director to win an Oscar, for his short documentary Prudence Music. But he says that realization hasn’t sparked a flurry of offers.

“The phone wasn’t ringing, no one was calling me,” he said. “I wasn’t getting any jobs.”

He persevered, however, making several other projects, including a pair of feature documentaries: God loves Uganda in 2013 and Life, Animewhich earned an Oscar nomination in 2017. The following year, Williams teamed up with longtime friend, producer Geoff Martz, to launch One Story Up.

“I trusted him, and he had the experience.” Williams says of Martz. “The first thing we did was the series The Records of Innocence for Netflix. I directed the first three episodes of this, and this was the first use of this office space.

Williams says One Story Up currently has “about 14” projects in various stages of completion, including movies and series. When we spoke he was on the set of Stamped from the starta scripted hybrid documentary for Netflix based on the best-selling book by Ibram X. Kendi.

“I’m in the studio shooting on a green-screen stage, testing with actors,” he says, explaining that it’s part of a busy production schedule. “At the end of next year, basically, I’m releasing three feature films, and it happened like that because the pandemic delayed things. It will be a scripted feature, a documentary feature and a hybrid Covering all the ground there.

The Records of Innocence

“The Files of Innocence” on Netflix.
netflix

His independent scripted feature film, Cassandra, stars Gael García Bernal in the real-life story of Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso, Texas, who struggled with flirting as the character of El Exotico. “I shot this last summer in the middle of the pandemic in Mexico City,” Williams says. “It’s such a colorful and fascinating world. It’s a very inspiring film, and Gael is fantastic.

Williams is working on a documentary about late singer Donna Summer, co-directed with Summer’s daughter, Brooklyn Sudano. Among other projects, he produces The Ebony Empirea documentary directed by Lisa Cortés about the pioneering black media company Johnson Publishing, which founded Ebony and Jet magazines. And he’s embarking on a documentary series for Hulu that’s sure to garner huge attention: The 1619 Projectbased on the Pulitzer Prize-winning opus by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones for The New York Times.

Williams will direct the first and final episodes of this series, he says, with One Story Up producing alongside Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, The New York Times and Lionsgate Television. The series takes an unflinching look at the history and legacy of slavery in America and the persistence of systemic racism in public and private institutions.

“It was really important for Nikole Hannah-Jones that The 1619 Project was in the hands of African American creators who continue to experience this The 1619 Project is on point,” Williams says. “And it was important for Ibram X. Kendi, whose book How to be an anti-racist was #1 on the New York Times list of bestsellers throughout the racial reckoning after George Floyd – that it was a production company majority owned by African Americans and a black creator to whom he would entrust his work.

Conservatives attacked The 1619 Project as well as the work of Kendi; Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas checked their name during Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s recent U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

“Ted Cruz holds Kendi’s book anti-racist baby [during the hearing] and I was like, ‘Well, I have to do something right,’ Williams jokes. “Yes [works from] two people I revere—Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Nikole Hannah-Jones are One Story Up I’m Doing Something Good projects. It was a sad time for America [to see Sen. Cruz denigrate them], but a proud moment for me in that I can tell these really important stories. And I don’t take it lightly. I don’t take that for granted for a second.

He adds: “This country, in my opinion, is in crisis… We have to discuss and agree to certain things concerning race and certainly slavery. And I hope people will sit and watch The 1619 Project with an open mind and the ability to learn and assimilate facts, because they are facts. There is no fiction, just facts 1619. And there are a lot of great people on this show. And the same with Stamped from the start. These are historical facts. People will want to call this fiction for their own convenience, but it is historical fact.

Opening doors for others made Williams a disruptor in the business. He does not fear the term. Far from there. “Yeah, I’m a disrupter for sure,” he says. “Proudly, proudly.

This applies to his time on the Board of Governors of the Motion Picture Academy. He was elected for the first of two consecutive terms in 2016, representing the Documentary Department.

“I walked into this room the first time and I remember it very clearly,” Williams said of his first Board of Governors meeting. “The only other person of color was (then President of the Academy) Cheryl Boone Isaacs. I remember seeing Tom Hanks sitting at the table and Steven Spielberg. There were a few women, sure, but mostly white men. And I thought, How did I get into this room? I just couldn’t believe it. I thought, OK, well, you can sit there or you can disrupt the Academy. And the way which I could do is within my own branch.

master of light

Artist George Anthony Mason, the subject of ‘Master of Light’.
Courtesy of SXSW

In 2016, under the leadership of Boone Isaacs, the Academy launched its A2020 initiative, “to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities and dramatically increase its international membership by 2020”. Williams took that goal and ran with it.

“I decided to bring in a lot of people of color. You could count one hand the number of Latino members when I joined; two hands, maybe, the number of African American members, and a very small international [contingent],” he says. “And now the documentary branch is a third international. We are the first branch to move from gender non-parity to gender parity. And we have an incredible number of BIPOC members. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are the most diverse branch of the Academy. The Academy recognizes that. They said we were the gold standard, the doc branch, and I am very proud of this job for the past six years. I’m very proud that we’re setting an example for the other branches. And that’s what I mean by being a disrupter. That’s what I want to do. That’s my goal.

His goal with One Story Up is to continue to provide space for BIPOC talent to flourish. Concrete example, master of light, a documentary directed by Rosa Boesten about the extraordinary artist George Anthony Morton. In March, the film won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW.

George Miller/Deadline

Read Deadline’s Cannes/Disruptors magazine digital edition for 2022 here.

“Everyone who has worked on this project, Rosa, first-time queer filmmaker, to Ephraim Kirkwood, first-time Black editor, to Francesca Sharper, who is the associate editor, her feature debut, Jurgen Lisse, the DP from Suriname… All these people of color for the first time, and their film wins the Grand Jury Prize,” Williams said. “What does that tell you? That if you give opportunities to people of color, to BIPOC filmmakers, they’ll shine, they’ll win, they’ll create great content and tell great, positive stories about uplifting, positive characters like George. This victory was like a seal of approval for what Geoff and I created at One Story Up.

Another recent stamp of approval came with the Peabody Award nomination for the Netflix docuseries of One Story Up. High on the Hog: How African-American cuisine transformed Americadirected by Williams, Jonathan Clasberry and Yoruba Richen.

In just a few years, the company has gone from start-up to force majeure, supplying content to Netflix, HBO, Hulu and A&E, among others. “One Story Up just exploded, cultivating all this new talent,” Williams says. “We’ve grown so big in the last three years, [we have] a hundred people working for us.

And with that expansion comes a challenge. “We outgrew our location,” Williams says. “So now I’m looking for a new office space.”

This much-quoted maxim from the movie may come in handy once again: “If you build it, they’ll come.”


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Mercedes has an onslaught of new AMG and Maybach cars coming https://ghostsofabughraib.org/mercedes-has-an-onslaught-of-new-amg-and-maybach-cars-coming/ Fri, 20 May 2022 15:34:12 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/mercedes-has-an-onslaught-of-new-amg-and-maybach-cars-coming/ Mercedes-Benz AG – Communications & Marketing In most automakers, officially selling the most expensive car in the world would make headlines. But Mercedes-Benz was never most car manufacturers. The company has previewed its plans to go all-electric and upscale this decade. And there will be exciting, groundbreaking and downright opulent vehicles with a three-pointed star […]]]>

Mercedes-Benz AG – Communications & Marketing

In most automakers, officially selling the most expensive car in the world would make headlines. But Mercedes-Benz was never most car manufacturers. The company has previewed its plans to go all-electric and upscale this decade. And there will be exciting, groundbreaking and downright opulent vehicles with a three-pointed star very soon – in addition to vehicles like the electric G-Class hitting the road.

Here’s what we know about them.

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1

AMG has teased an electric performance sedan

Mercedes-AMG unveiled a Vision AMG concept. It’s a four-door coupe that foreshadows the exterior design language of a future electric AMG range. And it runs an AMG.EA dedicated EV platform. Mercedes announces that the first AMG electric vehicle in the new range will be launched in 2025.

2

Mercedes will create a new high-end Mythos series

Mercedes has announced the creation of a Mythos Series range of ultra-exclusive, limited-run collector cars that will only be sold to Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts and collectors. The teaser shows the first model, which will be a Speedster.

3

A Mercedes-Maybach SL arrives

4

The Mercedes-AMG One finally arrives

The Mercedes-AMG One hypercar – first revealed in 2017 – has finally arrived. It’s a 1,000+ horsepower hybrid with a road-modified version of the Mercedes F1 car’s 1.6-litre V6 engine. It will supposedly accelerate from 0-124mph in 6.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 218mph.

According to Coach, the Mercedes-AMG One is expected to be unveiled in a few weeks and will be delivered to 275 customers this year. The release of the car will be accompanied by a “very honest” documentary about the construction of the car.

5

And there should be more to come from Mercedes

6

The 34 electric cars we’re most looking forward to driving in the future

The next few years will be filled with new electric vehicles. These are the ones that jazzed us up the most.

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Jeen-Yuhs directors on the set of Kanye West’s decades-long documentary – The Hollywood Reporter https://ghostsofabughraib.org/jeen-yuhs-directors-on-the-set-of-kanye-wests-decades-long-documentary-the-hollywood-reporter/ Thu, 19 May 2022 13:00:37 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/jeen-yuhs-directors-on-the-set-of-kanye-wests-decades-long-documentary-the-hollywood-reporter/ In 2019, filmmakers Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, better known as Coodie and Chike, walked into the downtown Manhattan offices of Time Studios and dumped two duffel bags and shoeboxes full of mini DV cassettes on the conference table. The mountain of footage was the product of more than 20 years during which Simmons […]]]>

In 2019, filmmakers Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, better known as Coodie and Chike, walked into the downtown Manhattan offices of Time Studios and dumped two duffel bags and shoeboxes full of mini DV cassettes on the conference table. The mountain of footage was the product of more than 20 years during which Simmons had filmed his friend Kanye West, beginning in 1998 in Chicago, where West was then an up-and-coming hip-hop producer and Simmons a stand-up comedian. who hosted a cable access show called String zero. On this day in 2019, Simmons and Ozah hoped to find support to edit the tapes into a narrative that would encompass West’s journey from a fresh-faced wannabe to the mercurial, globally recognized figure he is today. After hours of watching the footage with the duo, Time Studios president Ian Orefice was stunned. “He was like, ‘Yo, we’re into it,'” Simmons says.

For Orefice, who heads the film and television production division of publishing company Time, the tape was raw and revealing, with extraordinary access to one of pop culture’s most controversial figures. “Coodie saw a genius in Kanye that only Kanye has seen,” Orefice says. “They captured some of the most unique footage on one of the most compelling stories. Everyone in the world has an opinion on Kanye West, and even the most diehard fans didn’t know the story.

Time provided finishing funds and legal support, and the result was an intimate documentary series, Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogywhich sold Netflix for $30 million in 2021. When it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Jeen-yuhs turned out to resonate far more deeply than a standard musical biopic, framed as it was on West and Simmons’ friendship and their intertwined but ultimately disparate paths. “Pictures don’t lie,” Simmons says. “We had to tell a true and authentic story. We couldn’t hide behind anything.

If you can become an overnight sensation after working on a project for 20 years, then that’s what Simmons and Ozah are now. This spring, they signed with UTA and took on new directing gigs, including an as-yet-unannounced scripted feature and high school basketball documentary, The All Americans: Games that Changed the Game. They also produce the work of other filmmakers, including the Time and HBO-backed documentary Katrina Babiesdirected by New Orleans filmmaker Edward Buckles Jr., which will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June.

“These guys have a real sense of what an audience cares about, what’s important about a subject, and a brilliant way to present it,” says UTA ​​literary and talent partner Rich Klubeck, part of of the team that now represents Simmons and Ozah. “They are very genuine, down-to-earth guys who are in touch with the culture, the politics that we live in. They are very observant. They are attentive and they are natural storytellers.

Simmons, 51, and Ozah, 44, met in the early 2000s at MTV, where Ozah produced motion graphics, and they teamed up to direct and produce West’s first music video, “Through the Wire.” , in 2003. “I’m more of a visual standpoint, more of the art direction aspect of things,” says Ozah, who earned his BFA in fine art at Savannah College of Art and Design. a background in comedy and having to perform on stage, he’s impeccable with timing and knows when we need to hit certain beats. We have a perfect hybrid, because he can really focus on the story and I’m lucky to imposing visuals and putting together the right team for us for sound design and that kind of stuff. After “Through the Wire” the duo went on to do other music videos for West, as well as Pitbull, Mos Def, Erykah Badu and Lupe Fiasco In 2007, they formed their production company based in Ne w York, Creative Control; in 2012 they ran an ESPN 30 for 30 film, benji, about the tragic death of a high school basketball player; and in 2015 they made a documentary about Muhammad Ali for BET. “We joke around with people who bother us, you know what I mean? Ozah said. “We work with everyone who believes in us and who we believe in.” Before the pandemic, they ran Creative Control from a WeWork space. Now they’re directing it from home, with Simmons in Harlem and Ozah in Jersey City, unless they’re in an editing room together.

A young Kanye West in Jeen-yuhs“He finally said thank you,” Simmons says.
Courtesy of Netflix

On Jeen-yuhs, they had to make difficult storytelling choices and navigate their relationship with a highly unpredictable subject matter. A key creative decision was to include Simmons on the show, onscreen, and in a personal voiceover where he reflects on his souring relationship with the rapper. When West and Simmons first teamed up, West was eager to be the subject of a documentary, and over the years the two had discussed the final release of the project, but West was reluctant. Two days before the Sundance premiere, West took to Instagram to demand the final cut of the documentary. The producers at Time had a saying whenever the project encountered this kind of speed bump, Orefice says, “In Coodie we trust.” In the end, Simmons and Ozah retained their creative control, and West settled in, attending the premiere and giving the project his blessing. “He finally said ‘thank you,'” Simmons said. “It was amazing.” Of their relationship now, Simmons says, “I check it out. I pray for Kanye everyday.

The next steps for Simmons and Ozah are to guide young talent, in the hope that they will face fewer obstacles than before, and to advance their scripted careers, which was the goal from the start. “We stumbled upon the documents to prove that we can tell long stories,” says Ozah. “Even though we were successful in music videos, nobody tried to trust us with a feature film. We had to become students. We really weren’t ready at that time anyway. But after 20 years , “we see ourselves as having an impact in the same way as the Coen brothers, Spike Lee or Martin Scorsese,” says Ozah. “This whole journey is preparing us to be able to perform at this level.”

This story first appeared in the May 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.


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Elton John’s Documentary ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ Lands at Disney – Deadline https://ghostsofabughraib.org/elton-johns-documentary-goodbye-yellow-brick-road-lands-at-disney-deadline/ Wed, 18 May 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/elton-johns-documentary-goodbye-yellow-brick-road-lands-at-disney-deadline/ EXCLUSIVE: Disney Original Documentary and Disney+ have won the rights to a major documentary package, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Elton John’s Last Performances and the Years That Made His Legend. No one would like to comment, but we hear the docu, from Oscar nominee RJ Cutler as well as filmmaker (and longtime Elton John partner) […]]]>

EXCLUSIVE: Disney Original Documentary and Disney+ have won the rights to a major documentary package, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Elton John’s Last Performances and the Years That Made His Legend. No one would like to comment, but we hear the docu, from Oscar nominee RJ Cutler as well as filmmaker (and longtime Elton John partner) David Furnish, has sold for around $30 million.

Designed to serve as an official feature on Elton John, goodbye yellow brick road is made up of never-before-seen concert footage of him over the past 50 years, handwritten diaries, and current footage of him and his family. The plan for the project is to get a festival and limited theatrical release and be available exclusively on Disney+.

At the heart of the documentary is Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour,” as the film will capture Elton John’s final months on the road, culminating with his November performance at Dodger Stadium during his final North American show. . We hear the package includes the live streaming rights to that final concert, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest send-offs in rock and roll history.

goodbye yellow brick road will also come back to unprecedented John’s first five years of career when, between 1970 and 1975, he released 10 hit albums, seven of which went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and became a worldwide phenomenon.

“There are no more superlatives to describe Elton John and his impact on music and culture – he is simply second to none,” said Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Like a good Disney story, Elton’s music has both universal appeal and the ability to connect with audiences on a deeply personal level. He has been part of the Disney family since 1994 when he was part of the realization The Lion King an instant classic, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to collaborate with him on this new documentary.

Featuring exclusive new interviews and performance clips from Madison Square Garden, London and other venues, the film will be the definitive portrait of one of the world’s most successful musical artists of all time, who has inspired several generations of audiences and musicians. In addition to directing, RJ Cutler will also produce the film under his direction, This Machine Filmworks, a Sony Pictures television company, as will Furnish, which will produce under his and Elton John’s direction, Rocket Entertainment. Trevor Smith will also serve as producer. John Battsek, Jane Cha Cutler and Elise Pearlstein are joining as executive producers.

“Working with RJ Cutler and David Furnish on what will undoubtedly become the defining film about the iconic Elton John is a great honor,” said Ayo Davis, President of Disney Branded Television. “Their incredible insight and intimate access to exclusive, never-before-seen anecdotes and images will provide the deepest and most captivating insight yet into one of the world’s most beloved and prolific artists.”

For Cutler, goodbye yellow brick road follows another highly publicized musical documentary, Billie Eilish: The world is a bit blurry, which also sold in a big deal – estimated at around $25 million – to Apple TV+

“What a pleasure and what an honor it is that David Furnish and I can create this intimate and unique look at one of the world’s most celebrated artists,” Cutler said. “As with so many others, the music of Elton John has held deep meaning for me for decades, and this opportunity is nothing short of a career highlight and privilege.”

Said Furnish, “Elton and I couldn’t think of a better collaborator than RJ Cutler for a film that represents more than Elton’s career – it’s his life. From Troubadour to Dodger Stadium, we knew RJ would help guide Elton’s story and its many layers in an authentic and evocative way. We are thrilled to work together.

Cutler is the director, producer and screenwriter of a four-time Emmy-nominated and Oscar-nominated feature-length documentary. Billie Eilish: The world is a bit blurry. Her additional documentary credits include Critics’ Choice Award Belushi, Oscar nominee the war room, Emmy nominated A perfect candidate Sundance award winner The September issue Peabody Prize winner and Oscar nominee Listen to me Marlon, Grierson Prize winner Slim and The World According to Dick Cheney.

Submarine’s Josh Braun brokered the deal with Disney. Danny Passman of Gang, Tyre, Ramen, Brown & Passman replaced Rocket Pictures. Marisa Fermin and Sarah Santos replaced This Machine Filmworks. Jeanne Newman of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman replaced Cutler.


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Mario Alejandro Arias, Gabriela Alonso and Nicolás Martín • Directors of To Have Time https://ghostsofabughraib.org/mario-alejandro-arias-gabriela-alonso-and-nicolas-martin-directors-of-to-have-time/ Tue, 17 May 2022 14:33:56 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/mario-alejandro-arias-gabriela-alonso-and-nicolas-martin-directors-of-to-have-time/ 05/17/2022 – With their first feature film, of a hybrid genre and the final project of their studies at ECAM, they were selected at the Malaga Film Festival and at the Auteur Film Festival in Barcelona We met Nicolas Martin Ruiz (21) from Madrid, Gabriela Alonso Martinez (21) from the Canary Islands and Mario Alejandro […]]]>

– With their first feature film, of a hybrid genre and the final project of their studies at ECAM, they were selected at the Malaga Film Festival and at the Auteur Film Festival in Barcelona

We met Nicolas Martin Ruiz (21) from Madrid, Gabriela Alonso Martinez (21) from the Canary Islands and Mario Alejandro Arias (23) Ecuador in the Plaza de la Paja in Madrid, one of the many places that feature in To have time [+see also:
interview: Mario Alejandro Arias, Gabr…
film profile
]
, which the three of them edited and directed as a graduation project at ECAM – Superior School of Cinematography and Audiovisual of the Community of Madrid. The feature film has just been screened in the Un impulso colectivo section of the D’A Film Festival in Barcelona after its premiere last March in the Documentary section of the 25th Malaga Film Festival.

(The article continues below – Commercial information)

Cineuropa: Was there an idea or a script when shooting (and editing) your film?
Gabriela Alonso:
There was no script, we got to know the characters well, we made a schedule with the locations and we filmed there, seeing what was happening.

It was your graduation project… What did you learn at ECAM? How have you changed since you started there?
Nicholas Martin Ruiz:
We were lucky enough to take the Documentary Diploma course, which is the most free of all and has the most demanding teachers, as they are the leaders of Spanish non-fiction cinema. We discovered many types of directors and films there. And in terms of making the film, we started with no references, we went it alone, and the film was a lesson in itself because, although we love Richard Linklater, we only worked with the reality and the act of filming itself.

There was still a casting, right?
Mario Alejandro Arias:
We wanted to make a film that is close to us. We picked a lineup close to our age and announced a casting call on Instagram. We wanted to tell the story of freestyle and this world; with this filter, it spread on social networks. After meeting several people, we saw Pedro, the protagonist: we liked him a lot because he was charismatic, good at talkativeness and quite photogenic. He introduced us to his friends, and they were all relaxed on camera, funny and interesting.

Because the three protagonists are musicians.
NMR:
That was the main thing, letting them play freely with the words and the music, and applying the same process to the film. That’s why the script disappeared during filming, and we worked with them randomly. We let ourselves be guided by their impulses and those of the entire team: more by intuition. There was a fun atmosphere. The filming was very fun and we tried to relieve each other, with a very friendly atmosphere.

You had a great time then…
MAG:
The shooting was fun with the protagonists, because we laughed a lot about what happened. Editing not so much: we spent a month editing 30 hours of material and there was a deadline… but it was also a learning experience.

What was the division of labor of this artistic trio?
MAA
: There were always two cameras, we took turns between the three of us and whoever was free had the clapperboard. The three of us rode and we had a two-to-one rule, so if there was any doubt in a scene, the majority always won. And I did the production. It was terrible; I was surprised, but I learned a lot because we met very nice people, who let us shoot for free in great places.

MAG: I would also point out that there was a horizontal approach to filming, both with the team and with the characters. We were all creating the film together, from the sound engineers to the natural actors themselves. Everyone brought an idea, and it became a reality.

MAA: The beauty of working with non-professional actors is to adapt to them, without the pressure of anything scripted.

But was there any point in portraying your generation? Do you see yourself reflected in the film?
NMR
: We entered the film innocently. We wanted to represent them, and we did not intend to create a generational portrait. But, little by little, in pre-production, as we got to know them, we saw ourselves reflected more and more in them and in the shooting, even more. And during the editing we realized what we were talking about. But it’s done out of empathy for them: it was a very invigorating time, with the elections and almost no masks.

MAG: We have been asked a lot if To have time is a generational portrait, but it was not intentional, we decided to film children who have things to say. And then we identified with them, but it was completely involuntary.

(The article continues below – Commercial information)

(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)


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‘Lux Æterna’ explores ideas of gender, power and spectatorship on a witchy midnight movie set | Movies | Detroit https://ghostsofabughraib.org/lux-aeterna-explores-ideas-of-gender-power-and-spectatorship-on-a-witchy-midnight-movie-set-movies-detroit/ Mon, 16 May 2022 17:14:00 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/lux-aeterna-explores-ideas-of-gender-power-and-spectatorship-on-a-witchy-midnight-movie-set-movies-detroit/ Click to enlarge There is a lot at stake at Gaspar Noé Lux Aeternabut the provocateur largely resigns himself. The witches provide the common thread of Lux Aeterna, a 51-minute French-language experimental work by Gaspar Noé that debuts at Cinema Detroit this weekend. (Produced in 2019, it appears to have scored a US release in […]]]>
Click to enlarge

There is a lot at stake at Gaspar Noé Lux Aeternabut the provocateur largely resigns himself.

The witches provide the common thread of Lux Aeterna, a 51-minute French-language experimental work by Gaspar Noé that debuts at Cinema Detroit this weekend. (Produced in 2019, it appears to have scored a US release in conjunction with his more recent feature, the dementia-centric Vortexcurrently playing in a brief series at the historic Howell Theater, but nowhere nearer at the moment.)

For a director best known for his efforts to bring primal and psychedelic sensory experiences together, Noé’s works carry a strong penchant for Brechtian interruption, frequently punctuating their action to step out of themselves and address their viewers. In Lux, it’s becoming more than a trend; getting close to the experience of an on-screen character is largely irrelevant. Here, instead, Noah’s attentions are directed towards an almost direct address to the viewer and his own experience throughout, making the metatext – focused primarily on the experience of producing and viewing works like Lux – the film‘s main raison d’être.

That might be for the best, as Noah has never exhibited great naturalism, often struggling to deliver dialogue and characters that feel believable as more than devices, even when taken on their own terms. . (In Luxscattered sub-plots, this weak point is more evident than ever). He has long been more comfortable with the evocation of more totalizing experiences: sensations like dissociation (Step into the void), ecstasy (Climax), or abjection (Irreversible), each effort being marked by a taste for the extreme stemming from what seems, at least for this writer, to come from a sincere place. Here, in what the filmmaker calls an “essay,” the focus is entirely on the more abstract, experiential process of creating and consuming art. The normally liberating pretense of fiction is largely dropped by the end of the film’s opening scene.

After an intertitle quoting Fiodor Dostoyevsky (on the “supreme happiness experienced by an epileptic in the moments preceding a seizure”), a warning about the film’s flashing lights, and a few nods to Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, who occupied both witches and female martyrs, we meet two performers on the stage who give Lux its setting. Finding Béatrice Dalle and Charlotte Gainsbourg lying in front of a fireplace as actresses (essentially themselves) on the set of a midnight film retreading Dreyer’s themes, the film oscillates between split-screen and single-screen framings that highlight each woman separately or the fire is in front of them, carving up the physical space of the film in what might look like a multi-camera shot setup: a way of “revealing” the production of the scene. When Dalle asks at the start of the film “Have you been burned at the stake?”, the fire that creates an intimate conversation space for them becomes a sort of omen, mixing the film’s own narrative material with the actresses’ own accounts (often paralleled via neighboring executives) of their experiences as women in the industry. Though launched languidly, the scene brings a good-humoured address to the exploitation, embarrassment, and more surprising rewards of on-set labor, achieving a sparkling air of candor. Rare with Noé, it allows each actress to breathe, to laugh, to gesture freely with a dialogue that appears at least semi-improvised; it probably is Luxthe best part of the movie.

From this lowly summit, Lux Aeterna launches into more familiar territory, chronicling the increasingly chaotic behind-the-scenes of a film set: a setting populated by cheerful misogynists, creative egomaniacs, clockwork technicians and desperate industrial climbers. For viewers of cinemas of the last century, such an erased satire will not be too familiar, trampled as it is by works ranging from 1952 The wicked and the beautiful to 1996 Irma Vep, albeit with varying degrees of sharpness. Still, cinematographer (and regular Noé collaborator) Benoît Debie makes the most of the film’s oscillating visual scheme, forcing the shots laid out side by side to clash or harmonize, as the sound mixing forces them to do the same. Moving between locker rooms, hallways and alternate sets, most bathed in low-intensity neon lights, Lux Aeterna plays with ways to address his audience as his pace and pulse steadily quickens throughout.

Such a progression from the mundane and everyday to the highly abstract will be familiar to Noah’s own viewers as well – especially those in 2018. Climax, which saw the film’s behind-the-scenes drama escalate into an intense whirlwind, aligned with the acid trip and an inevitable eventual meltdown. As gender tensions escalate between the film’s female performers and its predominantly male team leaders, Noé strives to make LuxThe statements of surround the medium of which it is a part, as well as the industrial dynamics dating back to its origins. Addressing various forms of voyeurism, exploitation, and creeping, layered forms of inequality, in part suggesting that they may well be eternal, the film’s flight into abstraction that ensues may well be interpreted as a sort of of aesthetic cowardice.

When a red-green-blue color palette bursts into the flow of filming, it evokes not only the three-stripe technicolor and tinted plates that once marked silent films, but also more contemporary processes of pixelated digital photography. In suggesting that the medium’s long-term power disparities may be as entrenched as these aesthetic processes spanning technology, however, LuxThe creator of is kind of having his cake and eating it too, offering a critique of the processes he’s a part of. There is also a kind of ego to it; by claiming to be part of a grandiose and often exploitative historical cycle alongside the filmmakers he invokes (masters of the form including Dreyer, Jean-Luc Godard or Luis Buñuel), Noé both flatters himself and asserts that he has no greater obligations to its cast and crew than its many predecessors.

However, such two-handed processes are somehow at the heart of the satire, and this pessimism somehow seems more welcome than the view of sap artists who suggest that history is a march of progress. In its best moments, LuxAwareness of the industry’s longstanding power dynamics seems to be giving it something. In the scenes where its actresses are framed in isolation, away from the men – whether together or on the phone – they are allowed to give the film its most compelling moments, overcoming the weaker elements of what surrounds them to the both in film production and on screen. In this way, Lux is part of an aesthetic tradition that it questions and claims at the same time: certainly very old. But as has fortunately often happened in this vein, the directorial ego at play here and the gender dynamics at play fail to absolve the work of Noé and his collaborators from its best and most touching parts. .

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Harry Styles, ‘Angelyne’ and ‘The Valet’ https://ghostsofabughraib.org/harry-styles-angelyne-and-the-valet/ Sun, 15 May 2022 11:07:51 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/harry-styles-angelyne-and-the-valet/ The Associated Press Here’s a curated collection from the Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s coming to TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES – The gripping documentary ‘Hold Your Fire’, directed by Stefan Forbes, chronicles a 1973 Brooklyn robbery that became a turning point in hostage negotiation and de-escalation tactics. The scene, […]]]>

The Associated Press

Here’s a curated collection from the Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s coming to TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.

MOVIES

– The gripping documentary ‘Hold Your Fire’, directed by Stefan Forbes, chronicles a 1973 Brooklyn robbery that became a turning point in hostage negotiation and de-escalation tactics. The scene, vividly depicted in archival and contemporary newsreel footage, captures a classic New York much like that found in Sidney Lumet’s “Dog Day Afternoon.” When four black men attempted to rob a sporting goods store, they were trapped by police and a 47-hour standoff, with hostages and a police officer killed, ensued. “Hold Your Fire,” which debuts Friday, May 20 in theaters and for digital rental, shows how a former traffic cop with a degree in psychology turned an often fatal script on its head and used communication, not violence. , to settle a crisis and reorganize the police.

– You could argue that the cartoon live-action reboot “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” is an unlikely project to bring together some of the best “Saturday Night Live” alums. Still, here’s a “Chip ‘n Dale” with John Mulaney voicing Chip, Andy Samberg as Dale, and Lonely Island author Akiva Schaffer directing the new Disney+ version, which airs Friday, May 20. In this “Chip ‘n Dale”, the title chipmunks live in modern Los Angeles and are long gone from the heyday of their television series. Chip has resorted to suburban domestic life, and Dale lives off his long-lost fame. With KiKi Layne, Will Arnett, Eric Bana and Keegan-Michael Key.

– Fans of Best Picture “CODA” might want to check out Hulu’s “The Valet,” starring Eugenio Derbez as a valet hired to act like he’s dating a movie star (Samara Weaving) to deal with rumors of an affair with a Los Angeles real estate mogul (Max Greenfield). The film, which airs Friday, May 20, is a romantic comedy platform for versatile Mexican star Derbez, who memorably played the music teacher in “CODA.”

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle MUSIC

“Harries, rejoice! Harry Styles’ third studio album, ‘Harry’s House’, is on the way. The collection, which is due out Friday, May 20, follows his excellent 2019 album “Fine Line.” Styles has just completed a two-weekend stint as a headliner at Coachella, where he was joined by Shania Twain and Lizzo. The new album’s lead single is “As It Was,” a melancholy low-pitched ’80s-based bass that spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in April. Styles told BBC Radio One that the song was about “embracing change, losing yourself, finding yourself, a change of perspective”. Some of the new song titles are “Music For a Sushi Restaurant”, “Late Night Talking”, “Grapejuice”, “Daydreaming”, “Keep Driving”, “Satellite”, “Boyfriends”, and “Love of My Life”.

– The Who icon Pete Townshend opens in a new Audible Original, taking listeners through the period between the 1978 death of band drummer Keith Moon and the 2002 loss of bassist John Entwistle. “Pete Townshend: Somebody Saved Me” mixes his memories and songs like “Let My Love Open the Door”, “Slit Skirts”, “You Better You Bet” and “Eminence Front”. Townshend joins other iconic musicians telling their stories on Audible, including Eddie Vedder, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tom Morello, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Yo-Yo Ma and Gary Clark Jr.

– Two essential American musicians met and met in the summer of 2011 when legendary singer Mavis Staples visited her good friend Levon Helm of The Band in Woodstock, New York. Staples and his band spent five or six days with Helm and his band, playing music and telling stories. It was the last time they would meet; Helm died in 2012. A recording of their last meeting together is finally released – “Carry Me Home”. The setlist blends vintage gospel and soul with timeless folk and blues, including Curtis Mayfield’s “This Is My Country” and Robbie Robertson’s “The Weight.” – Mark Kennedy, AP Entertainment Writer

TELEVISION

– “Lionel Richie: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song” honors the prolific pop star whose hits include “All Night Long”, “Endless Love” and “Lady”. Anthony Anderson hosts the ceremony which was taped in Washington and includes performances from Gloria Estefan, Boyz II Men, Luke Bryan, Andra Day, Yolanda Adams and Chris Stapleton. Estefan, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney are among the previous recipients of the award. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden called Richie an inspirational artist who helped “strengthen our global relationships.” The PBS special airs Tuesday.

– Angelyne didn’t have or need the internet to make her an LA celebrity – the billboards scattered around the city from the 1980s did the trick. Her alluring image has earned her surprisingly lasting fame — and now a show based, in a way, on her story. Peacock’s limited series “Angelyne,” starring Emmy Rossum and debuting Thursday, isn’t billed as a traditional biography but, as showrunner Allison Miller described it, a “magical story…about become the person you were meant to be” and about LA and the dreamers it attracts. Martin Freeman, Alex Karpovsky and Hamish Linklater are in the cast.

– Adam Conover, who used comedy to apply the power of critical thinking in “Adam Ruins Everything,” takes a similar approach to the workings of government in “The G Word With Adam Conover,” which debuts Thursday on Netflix. In what is described as a “comedy-documentary hybrid series”, Conover explores how crucial government is – both for good and for bad – in our lives, from weather to food to money and more. The show is based on Michael Lewis’s “The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy” (“The Big Short”) and includes a cameo from former President Barack Obama that cements its comedy chops.


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Ukraine says it has launched a new counter-offensive as Russian forces move away from Kharkiv https://ghostsofabughraib.org/ukraine-says-it-has-launched-a-new-counter-offensive-as-russian-forces-move-away-from-kharkiv/ Sat, 14 May 2022 18:48:00 +0000 https://ghostsofabughraib.org/ukraine-says-it-has-launched-a-new-counter-offensive-as-russian-forces-move-away-from-kharkiv/ The Ukrainian military launched a counteroffensive near the Russian-held eastern town of Izyum, as kyiv said Kremlin forces were withdrawing from areas near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in what appears to be the latest setback in Moscow’s military offensive. The Ukrainian General Staff said on May 14 that Russian forces appeared to be concentrating on […]]]>

The Ukrainian military launched a counteroffensive near the Russian-held eastern town of Izyum, as kyiv said Kremlin forces were withdrawing from areas near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in what appears to be the latest setback in Moscow’s military offensive.

The Ukrainian General Staff said on May 14 that Russian forces appeared to be concentrating on protecting supply routes and were launching mortars, artillery and airstrikes in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine, with the aim of “exhausting the Ukrainian forces and destroying the fortifications”.

Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said Ukraine was “entering a new long-term phase of the war”.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the major developments on the invasion of Russia, how kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians and the Western reaction. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell led a delegation of Republican senators on a surprise visit to kyiv in a show of support for Ukraine in its fight against the unprovoked Russian invasion.

The McConnell-led trip, which followed that of Democratic House of Representatives leaders on May 1, comes as the Senate tries to finalize a $40 billion military aid package for Ukraine.

Apart from Ukraine, the major industrialized countries of the Group of Seven (G7) reaffirmed their support for Ukraineclaiming that they were ready to provide assistance to kyiv for as long as needed in the fight against Russian forces.

“We underscore Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and right to self-defence under the UN Charter. This war of aggression has reaffirmed our resolve to reject outright attempts to redraw borders by force in violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said the G7, which includes the United States, Great -Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan.

Kharkiv had come under heavy shelling by Russian forces since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, but it never fell. The American Institute for the Study of War said in its latest assessment of the conflict on May 13 that Ukraine appears to have won the “Battle of Kharkiv”, noting that Ukrainian forces had prevented Russian troops from encircling, “not to mention grabbing,” the city.

Speaking during his nightly national address on May 13, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country’s forces were making progress in their efforts to counter the Russian offensive and had recaptured six towns and villages the day before.

However, neither side appears to be making any major breakthroughs, and although Zelenskiy said his army was doing everything it could to drive Russian forces out of Ukrainian territory, “no one today can predict how long this will last.” this war”.

Zelenskiy said the outcome will depend not only on the Ukrainian people, but on “our partners, European countries, the whole free world”.

Ukraine’s top military intelligence official, Major General Kyrlyo Budanov, gave a more optimistic assessment. Budanov told Sky News on May 14 that “the breaking point will be in the second half of August” and that “most active combat action will be over by the end of this year.”

“As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power over all our territories that we have lost, including Donbass and Crimea,” he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said it was impossible to determine how long the conflict would last, saying the West planned to wage an “all-out hybrid war” against Russia.

He added that attempts by Western nations to isolate Russia through a host of far-reaching sanctions were doomed to failure.

Russian forces have suffered numerous casualties since their invasion of Ukraine in late February, and their ongoing offensive in the east of the country has made minimal territorial gains and is widely seen as lagging behind.

But while Russia has failed both in its attempts to quickly take all of Ukraine and then encircle Ukrainian troops in besieged areas, kyiv now sees the war entering a “third phase” in which Russian forces will seek to defend the territory they have captured.

“It shows that they intend to make a long war out of it,” Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Viktor Andrusiv said in televised remarks on May 13. “Moscow seems to think that by prolonging the war in this way, they can force the West to negotiate table and get Ukraine to give in.”

Zelenskiy said “very difficult negotiations” with Moscow are continuing in a bid to evacuate Ukrainian forces from the southeastern port city of Mariupol, which was devastated by the Russian military as it attempts to open a land corridor to the seized territory of Crimea.

Dozens of seriously injured Ukrainian personnel remain trapped inside the city’s Azovstal metal factory, the last Ukrainian checkpoint in the city that has been the target of a seven-week siege by Russian forces.

On May 14, the British Ministry of Defense said that the civil administration in charge of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine by the Russian army would ask Moscow to include it in the Russian Federation.

Should the occupied region hold a referendum, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Twitter, the vote would almost certainly be manipulated to show that a clear majority of the region’s population want to leave Ukraine.

On May 11, the regional military administration in Zaporizhzhya, southeastern Ukraine, said Russia was not changing its war plans, which it said involved occupying Ukrainian territories and creating pseudo-republics in the southern regions.

With reports by AP, Reuters and dpa


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