February 3rd, 2012

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The New Statesman interview: Ralph Fiennes

Photo credit: http://spletnik.ru/blogs/pro_zvezd/30217_to_chto_ya_lyublyu

There is a great interview with Ralph in the New Statesman.

Follow the link to read the full interview:

Selected highlights:

Was Coriolanus, your first film as a director, a story that you always wanted to tell?
Since I played it on stage I've had this building curiosity about it. The situations in Coriolanus are always with us all the time. Particularly this year, weirdly, with what's happening in the world, in the Middle East, economically everywhere - the sense of deep uncertainty, these things that are happening in the streets. They all happen in Coriolanus. They always happen. The tensions between authority and the people need to be heard, especially when they are suffering and they can't eat.

Why did the character of Coriolanus appeal?
He's a soldier; he's been very much conditioned to be a certain way. I think there's no question Volumnia has instilled in him certain values, martial values of service, and he's become that thing she's wanted, and somewhere there is a death wish in him. In some ways he is rather stunted. He is a boy who has never been allowed to grow up. He is a kind of impossible, sad figure. In a way, I find him sympathetic. You shouldn't allow him into politics.

How do you engage with politics?
There is a humanitarian impulse that one aspires to and there are days when one doesn't do it very well. But you go: "What can I do to help?" in the immediate sense. That's why I admire Vanessa [Redgrave]. But I am suspicious of overt political manoeuvring, of party politics.

What is the root of that impulse?
Sometimes you need people to prod you. It doesn't always come organically. I'm not very good at causes. I've had a relationship with Unicef and also the Constant Gardener Trust - a couple of experiences going abroad which were amazing. People have said: "Was it very upsetting going to places like Uganda?" But no, often it's uplifting.

Was directing terrifying, after years as an actor?
It was exhilarating. I think I felt a deep curiosity about it for some time, and people got behind it. On the first day, I was so full of adrenalin I didn't have time to be nervous, then my confidence grew as the shoot went on. The excitement is in seeing other performances come together. Seeing a scene, a world, a story, I think I have become more excited by what it would be like to make that world of a film happen. I love working on the design of it - on the clothes, the look, the location, on what a shot is doing, how a shot develops. I found all that exhilarating.

What does God mean to you?
God is not anything human. God is a force, God is chaos, God is unknown. God is terror and enlightenment at the same time.
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99% Campaign launches its youth-led blog

99% of young Londoners do NOT commit serious youth violence.

I am an IARS Research Associate; IARS runs and co-ordinates the 99% campaign. This is exciting news which I wanted to share with you all. It provides an opportunity for young people to develop and hone their writing skills and to get involved with a positive campaign to change the way young people are perceived and treated.

Cut and pasted from the IARS website:

The 99% Campaign is a youth-led campaign, working to challenge negative thinking about young people. This week sees the launch of a new 99% Campaign blog. The 99% Campaign Blog is an open platform for young people to talk about their views on policy while at the same time promoting a richer and more positive image of young people. Contributions so far have ranged from criticism of stop and search practices, and a remarkable showcase of art produced by young offenders, to a call for young people to change the way we view education, and work on the benefits of cycling.

We are keen to expand our young journalism and editorial team, for which we are actively recruiting, so if you know anyone who might be interested, email h.challenger@iars.org.uk.

Follow the link for the full story, which includes all the details on how you can get involved with the 99% campaign:
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Malcolm X Film Screening, British Museum

Photo credit: http://magic-downloads.net/search.html?wm=18&search=Malcolm+x+speeches+audio

The British Museum are screening Spike Lee's extraordinary and powerful biopic of Malcolm X with Denzel Washington in the title role.

Malcolm X
Friday 10 February, 18.30pm, Stevenson Lecture Theatre, British Museum

Biopic of the legendary civil rights leader with a powerful performance by Denzel Washington
The film sweeps through Malcolm X’s life from his criminal career to his conversion to Islam, his split with the Nation of Islam, his pilgrimage to Mecca and finally his assassination.
Director: Spike Lee 1992, 202 mins, 15

£3, Members/concessions £2

Follow the link for all the details and to book tickets: