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Culture Lane

Javier Bardem defends Woody Allen

Javier Bardem has come to the defense of Woody Allen in response to other actors distancing themselves from the filmmaker. The Oscar-winning actor, who worked with Allen on 2008’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, has said in a new interview that he is “absolutely not” ashamed of starring in the film. “If there was evidence that Woody Allen was guilty, then yes, I would have stopped working with him, but I have doubts,” he said in an interview with Paris Match.

After resurfaced allegations of sexual abuse made by Allen’s daughter Dylan Farrow, a host of actors have spoken out about working with the filmmaker. Stars including Ellen Page, Michael Caine and Greta Gerwig all said they would never work with him again. “I am very shocked by this sudden treatment,” Bardem said. “Judgments in the states of New York and Connecticut found him innocent. The legal situation today is the same as in 2007.”

In fact no charges were filed after Farrow accused him of molesting her when she was a child, something that Allen denies. Despite a state’s attorney saying he had “probable cause” to prosecute, Allen was never put on trial, a move intended to spare Dylan Farrow the trauma of a court appearance, the prosecutor said.

An op-ed from Dylan Farrow in December, criticising the hypocrisy of actors for keeping quiet over the alleged abuse from her father, led to more speaking out. “I can only speak for myself and what I’ve come to is this: If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film,” Gerwig said in a roundtable discussion for the New York Times.

Portman pulls out of Israel award

Natalie Portman has pulled out of a major award ceremony due to take place in Israel, citing her “distress” at recent events in the country. Portman, who was born in Jerusalem and holds dual Israeli and US citizenship, was named in November as the recipient of the 2018 Genesis award, a yearly prize for “outstanding achievement by individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields [who] embody the character of the Jewish people”. However, Portman informed the Genesis Prize Foundation she would not travel to Israel for the ceremony, which has been cancelled.

Portman’s representative said: “Recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony”.

No specific events were mentioned, but the recent military response to Palestinian demonstrations on the Gaza-Israel border has provoked worldwide condemnation.

The move drew swift condemnation from Israel’s governing Likud party. Knesset member Oren Hazan demanded authorities revoke her citizenship while the culture minister, Miri Regev, referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, claimed she had “fallen like ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters.”

Portman was effectively joining the ranks of those “relating to the tale of Israel’s success and wonder of rebirth as one of darkness and darkness,” Regev said, a reference to her film adaptation of Israeli writer Amos Oz’s 2002 memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness.

Kanye announces two new albums

Kanye West has announced two new albums both launching in June. After returning to Twitter from an 11-month absence, the Grammy award-winning rapper tweeted that the first album will be released on June 1 and will feature just seven songs. The second will be a collaborative effort with Kid Cudi and will launch on June 8. The pair, who have worked together on multiple occasions before, will be known collectively as Kids See Ghost. He has also tweeted two more dates along with other names: Pusha T on May 25 and Teyana Taylor on June 22. Both stars are part of West’s record label Good Music. The reveal arrives after the rapper has been live-tweeting a philosophy book that is set to be called Break the Simulation. “I’ve got a concept about photographs, and I’m on the fence about photographs — about human beings being obsessed with photographs — because it takes you out of the now and transports you into the past or transports you into the future,” West said in an interview with his interior designer Axel Vervoordt on the Hollywood Reporter.

 

 
 
 
 
 

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