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'The Boondocks' back for final 'offensive' season

Written By pemburu PR on Jumat, 18 April 2014 | 20.51

NEW YORK (AP) — The brash animated series "The Boondocks" returns Monday to Adult Swim for its fourth and final season without Aaron McGruder, the man who spawned it, but with its brashness intact.

The season premiere is a spoof of "Breaking Bad." The first of 10 weekly episodes, it airs at 10:30 p.m. EDT.

Adapted by McGruder in 2005 from his comic strip of the same name, "The Boondocks" quickly distinguished itself for its pull-no-punches exploration of the black experience in the U.S., where living, making a living and just growing up can pose special challenges for African-Americans.

With its beautiful anime style but tough subjects and rough language, the series ruffled feathers while winning acclaim, including an NAACP Image Award.

It also won the prestigious Peabody Award in 2007 for an episode that found Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. awakening from a decades-long "coma" into a modern world that both disturbed and disappointed him for its lack of social progress.

The series "throws edgy, irreverent comment at some of the thorniest issues of our time," the Peabody committee said in its citation. "Race relations, racial identity, juvenile delinquency — there are no sacred topics here."

"The Boondocks" centers on cranky, self-involved Robert "Granddad" Freeman, the legal (but highly irresponsible) guardian of two grandsons who has moved them from Chicago's inner city to what he fancies to be the trouble-free "boondocks" of a comfortable suburb. In those sedate surroundings, Granddad hopes he can shirk his child-raising burdens in favor of full-time sloth and partying.

Needless to say, his grandkids disrupt those plans. Riley is a rambunctious 8-year-old product of rap culture. His 10-year-old brother, Huey, is a budding revolutionary, a dead-serious left-wing radical who serves as the series' conscience. (Regina King of "Southland" and "Ray" voices the brothers, while John Witherspoon of "Friday After Next" is Granddad.)

"It was important to offend, but equally important to offend for the right reasons," McGruder explained on Facebook last month, speaking of the series' first three seasons, when "I personally navigated this show through the minefields of controversy."

McGruder has since departed after "a mutually agreeable production schedule could not be determined," according to Adult Swim.

But he's preparing something new for the network as he puts "a life of controversy and troublemaking behind me," he said — surely with tongue in cheek — in his Facebook statement. His new project: a live-action scripted comedy called "Black Jesus," with Jesus living in modern-day Compton, Calif., as he attempts to spread love and kindness through this troubled neighborhood. It is scheduled to premiere later this year.

Meanwhile, even in McGruder's absence, "The Boondocks" isn't playing it safe or just for laughs.

In the debut episode, Granddad learns he's broke.

"I'd say you have six months before you and your grandkids are homeless and starving," his financial planner informs him, then, pondering what funds Granddad might generate, inquires, "How many kidneys do you have?"

Huey's chemistry project (which in fact is an effort to make an explosive material for building bombs) turns out to be the goldmine Granddad has dreamed of: This pink goop turns out to be the world's best hair-wave cream. It doesn't just straighten existing hair, it's mega-Rogaine, growing beautifully lustrous straight hair overnight.

There's just one hitch, as Huey is quick to warn Granddad: With a single spark, the stuff explodes on your head.

Will this stop Granddad from cashing in on his miracle product — or getting tangled up in the dangerous black market of the hair-care industry?

It's a clever parable with a lot to say about human vanity (the risk of death pales beside the promise of great hair), and about the readiness of consumer products to exploit that vanity.

And it's told as an homage to the crystal-meth underworld explored by "Breaking Bad," including some shot-for-shot sequences borrowed from that AMC drama's famous pilot episode, here with Granddad (not Walter White) as a would-be drug lord in his tighty-whities, cooking contraband wave cream (not "blue sky" meth) in the desert in his motor home.

As ever on "The Boondocks," the sparks will fly.

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EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier

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Online:

http://www.adultswim.com

  • Television
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Adult Swim
  • Aaron McGruder

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Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Maroon 5 frontman-turned designer Adam Levine says his lack of fashion training is not a problem.

"I don't know how to read music, but I can still play. So I don't really give a (expletive) about formal training or going to school," said Levine in an interview Thursday at an event for his latest Kmart collection. "You don't have to be trained in everything to be good at it."

"The Voice" coach said skepticism of some celebrity designers is warranted, but insisted his collection is not "your average, celebrity-hawked fashion line."

"I didn't want it to just be something that I phoned in," Levine said. "So I was really involved in the process."

The collection, which retails for $30 or less, includes colorful, casual printed T-shirts, mini crop tops, twill and jean shorts and patterned maxi dresses. Levine's menswear line for Kmart launched last fall.

"I kind of know what I like for both men and women. I think that it's a little more difficult and challenging when you're not, it's not something you can conceptualize, or it's not something you can conceive of wearing," he said of designing for the opposite sex. "So I needed to get a little bit of help."

Levine's Victoria's Secret model fiancee Behati Prinsloo (bay-AHT'-ee PRINS'-lo) lent him a hand. He looked through Prinsloo's closet for inspiration and the couple collaborated on a few pieces.

The clothes are "ideally what you want to see, I guess selfishly, on a lady," he said.

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Follow Nicole Evatt at http://twitter.com/NicoleEvatt

  • Arts & Entertainment
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez crafted intoxicating fiction from the fatalism, fantasy, cruelty and heroics of the world that set his mind churning as a child growing up on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

One of the most revered and influential writers of his generation, he brought Latin America's charm and maddening contradictions to life in the minds of millions and became the best-known practitioner of "magical realism," a blending of fantastic elements into portrayals of daily life that made the extraordinary seem almost routine.

In his works, clouds of yellow butterflies precede a forbidden lover's arrival. A heroic liberator of nations dies alone, destitute and far from home. "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings," as one of his short stories is called, is spotted in a muddy courtyard.

Garcia Marquez's own epic story ended Thursday, at age 87, with his death at his home in southern Mexico City, according to two people close to the family who spoke on condition of anonymity out of respect for the family's privacy.

Known to millions simply as "Gabo," Garcia Marquez was widely seen as the Spanish language's most popular writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century. His extraordinary literary celebrity spawned comparisons with Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.

"A thousand years of solitude and sadness because of the death of the greatest Colombian of all time!" Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter. "Such giants never die."

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ALTERNATIVE CROP OF XLAT301 - FILE - This undated file …

ALTERNATIVE CROP OF XLAT301 - FILE - This undated file photo of Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Gar …

His flamboyant and melancholy works — among them "Chronicle of a Death Foretold," ''Love in the Time of Cholera" and "The Autumn of the Patriarch" — outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible. The epic 1967 novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" sold more than 50 million copies in more than 25 languages.

The first sentence of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" has become one of the most famous opening lines of all time: "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

With writers including Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe, Garcia Marquez was also an early practitioner of the literary nonfiction that would become known as New Journalism. He became an elder statesman of Latin American journalism, with magisterial works of narrative non-fiction that included the "Story of A Shipwrecked Sailor," the tale of a seaman lost on a life raft for 10 days. He was also a scion of the region's left.

Shorter pieces dealt with subjects including Venezuela's larger-than-life president, Hugo Chavez, while the book "News of a Kidnapping" vividly portrayed how cocaine traffickers led by Pablo Escobar had shred the social and moral fabric of his native Colombia, kidnapping members of its elite. In 1994, Garcia Marquez founded the Iberoamerican Foundation for New Journalism, which offers training and competitions to raise the standard of narrative and investigative journalism across Latin America.

But for so many inside and outside the region, it was his novels that became synonymous with Latin America itself.

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FILE - In this May 30, 2007 file photo, Colombia's …

FILE - In this May 30, 2007 file photo, Colombia's Literature Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia  …

"The world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers — and one of my favorites from the time I was young," President Barack Obama said.

When he accepted the Nobel prize in 1982, Garcia Marquez described the region as a "source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune. Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable."

Gerald Martin, Garcia Marquez's semi-official biographer, told The Associated Press that "One Hundred Years of Solitude" was "the first novel in which Latin Americans recognized themselves, that defined them, celebrated their passion, their intensity, their spirituality and superstition, their grand propensity for failure."

The Spanish Royal Academy, the arbiter of the language, celebrated the novel's 40th anniversary with a special edition. It had only done so for just one other book, Cervantes' "Don Quijote."

Like many Latin American writers, Garcia Marquez transcended the world of letters. He became a hero to the Latin American left as an early ally of Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and a critic of Washington's interventions from Vietnam to Chile. His affable visage, set off by a white mustache and bushy grey eyebrows, was instantly recognizable. Unable to receive a U.S. visa for years due to his politics, he was nonetheless courted by presidents and kings. He counted Bill Clinton and Francois Mitterrand among his presidential friends.

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FILE - In this March 6, 2014 file photo, Colombian …

FILE - In this March 6, 2014 file photo, Colombian Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez  …

"From the time I read 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' more than 40 years ago, I was always amazed by his unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty," Clinton said Thursday. "I was honored to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years."

Garcia Marquez was born in Aracataca, a small Colombian town near the Caribbean coast on March 6, 1927. He was the eldest of the 11 children of Luisa Santiaga Marquez and Gabriel Elijio Garcia, a telegraphist and a wandering homeopathic pharmacist who fathered at least four children outside of his marriage.

Just after their first son was born, his parents left him with his maternal grandparents and moved to Barranquilla, where Garcia Marquez's father opened the first of a series of homeopathic pharmacies that would invariably fail, leaving them barely able to make ends meet.

Garcia Marquez was raised for 10 years by his grandmother and his grandfather, a retired colonel who fought in the devastating 1,000-Day War that hastened Colombia's loss of the Panamanian isthmus.

His grandparents' tales would provide grist for Garcia Marquez's fiction and Aracataca became the model for Macondo, the village surrounded by banana plantations at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains where "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is set.

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FILE - In this Dec. 8, 1982 file photo, Gabriel Garcia …

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 1982 file photo, Gabriel Garcia Marquez receives the literature award from Ki …

"I have often been told by the family that I started recounting things, stories and so on, almost since I was born," Garcia Marquez once told an interviewer. "Ever since I could speak."

Garcia Marquez's parents continued to have children, and barely made ends meet. Their first-born son was sent to a state-run boarding school just outside Bogota where he became a star student and voracious reader, favoring Hemingway, Faulkner, Dostoevsky and Kafka.

Garcia Marquez published his first piece of fiction as a student in 1947, mailing a short story to the newspaper El Espectador after its literary editor wrote that "Colombia's younger generation has nothing to offer in the way of good literature anymore."

His father insisted he study law but he dropped out, bored, and dedicated himself to journalism. The pay was atrocious and Garcia Marquez recalled his mother visiting him in Bogota and commenting in horror at his bedraggled appearance that: "I thought you were a beggar."

Garcia Marquez wrote in 1955 about a sailor, washed off the deck of a Colombian warship during a storm, who reappeared weeks later at the village church where his family was offering a Mass for his soul.

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FILE - In this Dec. 8, 1982 file photo, Nobel laureate …

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 1982 file photo, Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez shows his Nobel Prize  …

"The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor" uncovered that the destroyer was carrying cargo, the cargo was contraband, and the vessel was overloaded. The authorities didn't like it," Garcia Marquez recalled.

Several months later, while he was in Europe, dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla's government closed El Espectador.

In exile, he toured the Soviet-controlled east, he moved to Rome in 1955 to study cinema, a lifelong love. Then he moved to Paris, where he lived among intellectuals and artists exiled from the many Latin American dictatorships of the day.

Garcia Marquez returned to Colombia in 1958 to marry Mercedes Barcha, a neighbor from childhood days. They had two sons, Rodrigo, a film director, and Gonzalo, a graphic designer.

Garcia Marquez's writing was constantly informed by his leftist political views, themselves forged in large part by a 1928 military massacre near Aracataca of banana workers striking against the United Fruit Company, which later became Chiquita. He was also greatly influenced by the assassination two decades later of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, a galvanizing leftist presidential candidate.

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In this March 6, 2014, photo, Colombian Nobel Literature …

In this March 6, 2014, photo, Colombian Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez greets fans …

The killing would set off the "Bogotazo," a weeklong riot that destroyed the center of Colombia's capital and which Castro, a visiting student activist, also lived through.

Garcia Marquez would sign on to the young Cuban revolution as a journalist, working in Bogota and Havana for its news agency Prensa Latina, then later as the agency's correspondent in New York.

Garcia Marquez wrote the epic "One Hundred Years of Solitude" in 18 months, living first off loans from friends and then by having his wife pawn their things, starting with the car and furniture.

By the time he finished writing in September 1966, their belongings had dwindled to an electric heater, a blender and a hairdryer. His wife then pawned those remaining items so that he could mail the manuscript to a publisher in Argentina.

When Garcia Marquez came home from the post office, his wife looked around and said, "We have no furniture left, we have nothing. We owe $5,000."

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FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2006 file photo, boys play soccer …

 In this Jan. 4, 2006 file photo, boys play soccer in front a mural of Colombian Nobel laureate …

She need not have worried; all 8,000 copies of the first run sold out in a week.

President Clinton himself recalled in an AP interview in 2007 reading "One Hundred Years of Solitude" while in law school and not being able to put it down, not even during classes.

"I realized this man had imagined something that seemed like a fantasy but was profoundly true and profoundly wise," he said.

Garcia Marquez remained loyal to Castro even as other intellectuals lost patience with the Cuban leader's intolerance for dissent. The U.S. writer Susan Sontag accused Garcia Marquez in 2005 of complicity by association in Cuban human rights violations. But others defended him, saying Garcia Marquez had persuaded Castro to help secure freedom for political prisoners.

Garcia Marquez's politics caused the United States to deny him entry visas for years. After a 1981 run-in with Colombia's government in which he was accused of sympathizing with M-19 rebels and sending money to a Venezuelan guerrilla group, he moved to Mexico City, where he lived most of the time for the rest of this life.

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FILE - In this March 1, 2011 file photo, Mexican telecom …

FILE - In this March 1, 2011 file photo, Mexican telecom tycoon and world's richest man Carlos S …

Garcia Marquez famously feuded with Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, who punched Garcia Marquez in a 1976 fight outside a Mexico City movie theater. Neither man ever publicly discussed the reason for the fight.

"A great man has died, one whose works gave the literature of our language great reach and prestige," Vargas Llosa said Thursday.

His voice shaking, face hidden behind sunglasses and a baseball cap, Vargas Llosa said Garcia Marquez's "novels will survive him and keep gaining readers around the world."

A bon vivant with an impish personality, Garcia Marquez was a gracious host who would animatedly recount long stories to guests, and occasionally unleash a quick temper when he felt slighted or misrepresented by the press.

Martin, the biographer, said the writer's penchant for embellishment often extended to his recounting of stories from his own life.

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FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2002 file photo, Cuba's …

FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2002 file photo, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro, right, and Colombian Nobel  …

From childhood on, wrote Martin, "Garcia Marquez would have trouble with other people's questioning of his veracity."

Garcia Marquez turned down offers of diplomatic posts and spurned attempts to draft him to run for Colombia's presidency, though he did get involved in behind-the-scenes peace mediation efforts between Colombia's government and leftist rebels.

In 1998, already in his 70s, Garcia Marquez fulfilled a lifelong dream, buying a majority interest in the Colombian newsmagazine Cambio with money from his Nobel award.

"I'm a journalist. I've always been a journalist," he told the AP at the time. "My books couldn't have been written if I weren't a journalist because all the material was taken from reality."

Before falling ill with lymphatic cancer in June 1999, the author contributed prodigiously to the magazine, including one article that denounced what he considered the unfair political persecution of Clinton for sexual adventures.

Garcia Marquez's memory began to fail as he entered his 80s, friends said. His last book, "Memories of My Melancholy Whores," was published in 2004.

He is survived by his wife, his two sons, Rodrigo, a film director, and Gonzalo, a graphic designer, seven brothers and sisters and one half-sister. His family said late Thursday that his remains will be cremated and a private ceremony held.

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Associated Press writer Frank Bajak reported from Lima, Peru. Paul Haven and Michael Weissenstein in Mexico City contributed.

  • Arts & Entertainment
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  • Colombia

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World reacts to death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Reaction to death of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

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A couple takes a photo of a portrait of Colombian Nobel …

A couple takes a photo of a portrait of Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez in front of  …

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A man looks at a timeline of the life of the late Colombian …

A man looks at a timeline of the life of the late Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez on a wall  …

"A thousand years of loneliness and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time!" — Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos.

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"With the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers - and one of my favorites from the time I was young ... I offer my thoughts to his family and friends, whom I hope take solace in the fact that Gabo's work will live on for generations to come." — U.S. President Barack Obama.

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"A great man has died, one whose works gave the literature of our language great reach and prestige," Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, who had once famously feuded with Garcia Marquez.

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"I owe him the impulse and the freedom to plunge into literature. In his books I found my own family, my country, the people I have known all my life, the color, the rhythm, and the abundance of my continent." — Chilean writer Isabel Allende

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"A great artist is gone, but his grand art remains with us. Most authors are only shadows, but Gabriel Garcia Marquez belonged to those who cast a shadow, and he will continue to do so long after his death." Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Nobel Prize-awarding Swedish Academy.

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"One would really have to go back to Dickens to find a writer of the highest literary quality who commanded such extraordinary power over whole populations." — British novelist Ian McEwan, to the BBC.

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"On behalf of Mexico, I express my sadness for the death of one the greatest writers of our time: Gabriel Garcia Marquez." — Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

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A woman touches photos on a timeline of the life of …

A woman touches photos on a timeline of the life of Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez  …

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"From the time I read 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' more than 40 years ago, I was always amazed by his unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty ... I was honored to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years." — former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

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"With Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a writing giant who gave worldwide reach to the imagination of an entire continent has passed. ... His committed articles as a journalist and his tireless struggle against imperialism made him one of the most influential South American intellectuals of our time." — French President Francois Hollande.

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"His unique characters and exuberant Latin America will remain marked in the hearts and memories of his millions of readers." — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

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"He is like the Mandela of literature because of the impact that he has had on readers all over the world. His influence is universal, and that is a very rare thing." — Cristobal Pera, editorial director of Penguin Random House in Mexico.

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"Gabo's death is a loss for Colombia and for the entire world. His work will safeguard his memory." — Colombia's largest rebel group, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, said in a tweet.

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"He had the capacity to see stories that many of us have in front of us and don't even notice. He was unique in that." — Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez Mercado.

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"In recent times it wasn't easy to communicate with him, although he understood and continued the conversation. He was always loving and generous and extraordinarily clever." — Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, director of Mexico's National Council for Culture and the Arts.

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"Gabo has left us and we will have years of solitude. But his works and his love for the motherland remain. Farewell until the victory, dear Gabo." — Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.

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"If you've read him, you know that he's not really gone. He is in an afterlife of his own creation, his own Macondo." — Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American author.

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"Cuba suffers from this death, as do all readers of a writer who is an icon." — Miguel Barnet, Cuban author and essayist.

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Death & Funeral
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • President Barack Obama

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Bill Clinton jokes with Spacey at benefit concert

NEW YORK (AP) — Near the end of the first half of Thursday's 25th Anniversary Rain Forest benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, chairwoman Trudie Styler introduced a man who recently learned he was going to be a grandfather, and out came former President Bill Clinton.

After Clinton praised the Rain Forest Foundation, he thanked Sting, Styler and others for their efforts for the organization. Then he acknowledged Kevin Spacey.

"I know Kevin Spacey made fun of me earlier," he told the crowd.

Clinton was referring to Spacey doing an imitation of him praising his Netflix series, "House of Cards," where the actor plays the president of the United States.

Spacey walked out onstage and greeted Clinton.

The former president told the actor that he always wanted to be in his line of work.

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Actor Kevin Spacey, left, performs with singers James …

Actor Kevin Spacey, left, performs with singers James Taylor and Sting, right, at the 25th Anniversa …

But then he quipped to hearty laughs: "Now, damn it, you're in mine."

Clinton continued poking fun at Spacey.

"I was always accused of getting away with murder, but Spacey actually does it in 15 minutes," Clinton said, referring to a scene in the first episode of the second season.

Earlier in the day, Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, announced that she and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are expecting their first child later this year.

As for the benefit concert, the exception often became the rule with performers leaving their comfort zone to entertain the audience.

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Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the 25th Anniversary …

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the 25th Anniversary Rainforest Fund benefit concert at Carn …

The show opened with Sting and Spacey sitting at a bar performing a duet of Cole Porter's "Well Did You Evah (What a Swell Party This Is)," backed by a huge orchestra. They eventually were joined by James Taylor, who entered the stage wearing a lampshade on his head.

At the end of the number, Sting welcomed everyone and introduced Spacey as President Underwood, his "House of Cards" character.

After opera singer Renee Fleming did her first selection early in the show, she requested a partner to accompany her on an excerpt from "Don Giovanni," and out came Sting. After accompanying her seamlessly in Italian, Spacey walked out with a giant daffodil in his mouth and joined in.

Actor Oscar Isaac of "Inside Llewyn Davis" performed a solo acoustic version of Rod Stewart's "Young Turks." And Sting's oldest son, Joe, covered Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Some stayed in their comfort zone.

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Musicians Sting, left, and Paul Simon perform the song …

Musicians Sting, left, and Paul Simon perform the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" togeth …

Taylor performed his signature hit, "Fire and Rain," and later covered the Holland-Dozier-Holland classic "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You.)"

Paul Simon did a couple of his own songs, including "Graceland" and "The Boxer," and Dionne Warwick covered some of the Burt Bacharach tunes she helped make famous, including "Walk on By." Stephen Stills brought the crowd to its feet several times with raucous versions of "For What It's Worth" and the finale for the nearly three-hour show, "Love the One You're With," where he was joined by all of the evening's performers.

The Rain Forest Foundation Fund is dedicated to preserving rain forests around the world by defending the rights of indigenous people living in and around them. It was founded in 1989 by Sting, Styler and Jean-Pierre Dutilleux.

In her speech, Styler spoke of the global importance of protecting rain forests around the world, and said that she and Sting no longer mind being described as "Tree-hugging tantric yogis."

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Online:

http://www.rainforestfund.org

___

Follow AP Entertainment's John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Kevin Spacey
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Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes

Written By pemburu PR on Kamis, 17 April 2014 | 20.51

PARIS (AP) — David Cronenberg deconstructs Hollywood, Tommy Lee Jones goes Western and reclusive New Wave legend Jean-Luc Godard returns in 3D in films competing at next month's Cannes Film Festival.

Organizers of the famed Riviera festival announced the much-heralded lineup Thursday for the May 14-25 event, including 18 films vying for the top prize — the Palme d'Or.

Also competing for the top prize are two women directors, Naomi Kawase of Japan and Alice Rohrwacher of Italy; "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius of France, Britain's Mike Leigh, Ken Loach of Ireland, and Belgium's Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who will be angling for their third Palme d'Or.

But Cannes is about far more than just the top award. Some 49 feature-length films from 28 nations — including 15 by women directors — will be shown at the 11-day cinema extravaganza.

"It is important for us that the Cannes selection is a voyage through cinema, and the world," Director-General Thierry Fremaux said.

Director Jane Campion, the only woman to win the Palme d'Or, is leading this year's jury festival, which opens with Nicole Kidman starring in the world premiere of director Olivier Dahan's out-of-competition biopic "Grace of Monaco."

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Cannes Film Festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux, …

Cannes Film Festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux, right, addresses reporters, as Festival Presi …

In the Palme d'Or chase, Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars" takes aim at today's media-crazed society, while Jones directs and acts in "The Homesman" alongside Hilary Swank and Godard presents his movie "Adieu Au Language" ("Goodbye to Language").

American actor Ryan Gosling makes his directorial debut among the 19 films competing for the "Un Certain Regard" prize, presented a day before the Palme d'Or to honor up-and-coming or innovative filmmakers.

Gosling's "Lost River" stars Christina Hendricks and will be up against films from Italy's Asia Argento, France's Mathieu Amalric and "Paris, Texas" director Wim Wenders of Germany.

Adding to the international tilt, Chinese actress Gong Li returns to the Cannes red carpet in Zhang Yimou's "Coming Home," screening out of competition.

Cannes bosses took some flack two years ago after no film by any female director was in the competition. Fremaux said at the time that cinema needed to give "greater space" to women, and not just at Cannes.

This year's festival poster features a black-and-white photo of the late Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni — a conscious choice of a male following criticism that past posters featuring women had unfairly objectified them, Fremaux said.

Last year, in a first, the Palme d'Or was shared by two actresses for "Blue is the Warmest Color" along with its director.

  • Arts & Entertainment
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"X-Men" director accused of sex abuse in lawsuit

HONOLULU (AP) — A former child model and aspiring actor is accusing "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday says the prominent director of the forthcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past" forced Michael Egan III into sex during parties in California and Hawaii when he was 17 in the late 1990s.

Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement that the claims are absurd and defamatory.

"It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan's new movie is about to open in a few weeks," said Marty Singer, who said he is not related to the director.

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" is set for release May 23. It has an all-star cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. It's the fifth film in the blockbuster franchise.

Egan and his attorney, Jeff Herman, planned a news conference Thursday in Los Angeles.

The lawsuit claims Egan was lured into a sex ring with promises of auditions for acting, modeling and commercial jobs. He was paid as an actor for a digital entertainment company, but forced to have sex with adult men at parties notorious within Hollywood's entertainment industry, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit says that Bryan Singer attended several of the parties and forced Egan into sex, giving him drugs and threatening Egan when he resisted advances. It does not accuse the director of luring Egan into the ring.

"Hollywood has a problem with the sexual exploitation of children," Herman said in a statement Wednesday night.

The lawsuit does not specify a total dollar amount, but says Egan is seeking more than $75,000 on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.

The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse, but is naming Egan because the lawsuit was filed civilly, Egan's lawyer Herman identified him and said Egan planned to speak publicly.

The lawsuit is possible in Hawaii because of a state law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases.

Bryan Singer, 48, has had a lengthy career behind the camera, directing several movies including "The Usual Suspects," ''Superman Returns" and "Jack the Giant Slayer."

Herman has made a career of representing victims of sex abuse, filing lawsuits against organizations such as the Roman Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America. In 2011, Herman won a $100 million verdict against a Catholic priest who was accused of molesting dozens of boys.

Marty Singer represents many of Hollywood's elite, recently winning a case for actor Ryan O'Neal in which the Oscar-nominee was accused of improperly taking an Andy Warhol portrait of his longtime partner Farrah Fawcett without permission after her death. He also represented John Travolta in a series of lawsuits filed by masseurs who accused the actor of inappropriate conduct during massages.

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AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles. Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia

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Nas kicks off Tribeca with documentary, concert

NEW YORK (AP) — The raw New York lyricism of Nas kicked off the 13th annual Tribeca Film Festival with an exuberant hip-hop beat.

Tribeca opened Wednesday night with the premiere of "Time Is Illmatic," a documentary about the creation of Nas' landmark 1994 debut album, "Illmatic." The Queens native Nas followed the screening at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre with a performance of the nine-track album, widely considered a rap classic for its angry but earnest street poetry.

Tribeca co-founder Robert De Niro introduced the film as not just about the making of an album, but "about the making of an artist here in our hometown."

Whereas many films about an album have stuck largely to the song-writing process and track recording, "Time Is Illmatic," directed by the filmmaker One9, summons the Queensbridge housing projects upbringing of Nas and the forces — his parents, 1980s Queens, early hip-hop — that shaped his music.

The movie takes to heart a lyric of the rapper's: "Now let me take a trip down memory lane/ Comin' outta Queensbridge."

"I was trying to make you experience my life," Nas says of the album in the film. Later he adds, "It's still me."

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From left, director One9, recording artist Nas and …

From left, director One9, recording artist Nas and writer Erik Parker attend the world premiere of & …

Performing afterward with an assist from Alicia Keys on piano, Nas appeared to be inspired by the recollection of his roots. He rapped emotionally with a constant flow of gratitude for his family, friends and collaborators, calling them out in the front rows of the audience.

Nas pulled his brother, Jabari, also known as "Jungle," up on stage for one song, along with his young nephews. He joked that his brother, a wry and candid voice throughout the film, was "the star of the movie."

Nas also profusely thanked Tribeca (the Tribeca Film Institute helped produce the film) and remarked that De Niro — known for New York tough guys — "plays me in all his movies."

Tribeca has often turned to music to energize its festival, with recent opening nights featuring Elton John (Cameron Crowe's "The Union") and the National ("Mistaken For Strangers").

This year's slate is full of music-themed films, including documentaries on James Brown (Alex Gibney's untitled film), Bjork ("Bjork: Biophilia Live"), Alice Cooper ("Super Duper Alice Cooper"), the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir ("The Other One") and jazz trumpeter Clark Terry ("Keep on Keepin' On").

Tribeca, which runs through April 27, also closes with "Begin Again," a film about a music executive (Mark Ruffalo) and a young singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley) from director John Carney ("Once").

But Nas and "Time Is Illmatic" opened Tribeca on a distinctly New York note, one struck two decades ago by a kid from the projects, and still reverberating.

"Whoever you are," Nas told the audience, "you can be anything."

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Singer Chris Brown's bodyguard goes on trial in DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — Singer Chris Brown's bodyguard is going on trial on assault charges in Washington, a case that will be a preview for the musician's own trial.

Christopher Hollosy's trial begins Thursday in Superior Court.

Both men were arrested in October after a man accused them of punching him outside a Washington hotel. Hollosy told police he punched the man after he tried to get on Brown's tour bus. The man told police Brown and later Hollosy punched him after he tried to get in a photo Brown was taking with two women.

Court papers say the man's nose was fractured.

Hollosy's trial is expected to last one to two days. Brown's trial will follow. Brown has denied punching the man.

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4 Non Blondes to reunite for 1 night at LA event

NEW YORK (AP) — What's up with 4 Non Blondes? How about a one-night-only reunion?

The '90s rock band will perform May 10 at "An Evening With Women" to benefit the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. Linda Perry, the band's former lead singer and hit songwriter, has produced the event for years.

Perry said she tried to get other singers to perform, as she has done in the past, but "this year everybody's off the market, everybody's busy." That's when she decided to call her former band mates.

"The thought was kind of sweet. I was like, 'Oh, why don't I just for the night, just for this one event, one time only, call up the band and see if they want to be part of this?'" she said. "It's perfect, actually. It actually makes sense to do it now."

4 Non Blondes released "Bigger, Better, Faster, More!" in 1992, featuring the hit "What's Up?" The band split up while recording its sophomore album.

"I don't talk to them at all. I have no idea what Christa (Hillhouse) has been up to. I don't know what Dawn's (Richardson) been doing. Roger (Rocha) I've seen in the mix of things here and there," she said. "Not in a million years would I be thinking that this would be happening."

"An Evening With Women" events have raised $4.1 million. Past performers include Christina Aguilera, Heart, Courtney Love, Ozzy Osbourne and Sia.

Comedian Margaret Cho will host this year's event at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

Perry, who has written for Aguilera, Pink, Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani, said she's now writing for other artists.

She will launch "The Linda Perry Project," a reality show in which she searches for new acts for her record label, on VH1 in July.

Perry married former "Roseanne" actress and "The Talk" co-host Sara Gilbert last month.

"Sara was the one when I met her," Perry said.

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Follow Mesfin Fekadu at twitter.com/MusicMesfin

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Online:

http://www.aneveningwithwomen.org/

http://www.lindaperry.com/

http://www.vh1.com/

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