Paul McCartney Announces He Will Be Publishing A 900-Page Lyrical Autobiography

Paul McCartney is set to publish ‘The Lyrics,’ a major deep dive into the performer’s life based on actual conversations he had with prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. Publisher Allen Lane claims that it will be “as close to an autobiography as Paul may ever come.”

‘The Lyrics’ will be a two-volume, 900-page “self-portrait in 154 songs,” and will be released on November 2nd of this year. Allen Lane claims that it will be “a kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account of McCartney’s life, and will cover the musician’s earliest boyhood compositions – he wrote his first song at 14 – through the Beatles catalog to Wings, solo albums and his present life. The book will cover the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what McCartney thinks of them now.”

Embed from Getty Images

“Some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life.”

McCartney went on to explain that “more often than I can count I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right. The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs.”

Muldoon is a Pulitzer prize-winning poet from Ireland who edited the book. The book itself is based on conversations that he and McCartney had throughout the past few years. 

“Sir Paul and I met regularly over a period of five years for two or three hour sessions in which we talked in a very intensive way about the background to a half dozen songs. In a strange way, our process mimicked the afternoon sessions he had with John Lennon when they wrote for the Beatles. We were determined never to leave the room without something interesting,” Muldoon explained. 

Embed from Getty Images

Muldoon said that he was “struck again and again by what you might term Paul McCartney’s ‘scholarly’ disposition during the process. He’s one of the most buoyant, upbeat people I know, but his general demeanor shouldn’t suggest that he’s anything but a deep thinker. He looks long and hard into every aspect of life and I believe readers, old and new, will be struck by a book that will show that side of him. He’s going to come out of this book as a major literary figure.”

“His insights into his artistic process confirm a notion at which we had but guessed: that Paul McCartney is a major literary figure who draws upon, and extends, the long tradition of poetry in English.”

The two-volumes will also include material from McCartney’s personal archive that have never been shared publicly before. The material will include drafted songs, letters, and photographs from the beginning of his career. Lane claims that readers will be learning a much more intimate side to the legend, and have a real insight into his “creative process, how he works out certain melodies and the moments that inspired him the most throughout his career.”

“I hope what I wrote will show people something about my songs and my life which they haven’t seen before. I’ve tried to say something about how the music happens and what it means to me and I hope what it may mean to others too,” McCartney said.

Flag of China

BBC News Banned in China

BBC World News has been banned from airing by the Chinese government, a week after Beijing threatened retaliation for the recent decision to revoke China’s state-owned CGTN’s British broadcasting license.

In a statement published at midnight Beijing time on Friday this week, China’s National Radio and Television Administration announced the news, claiming BBC World News’s coverage of China had violated requirements that news reporting must be true and impartial, and undermined China’s national interests and ethnic solidarity. 

Just hours later, Hong Kong’s public broadcaster, RTHK, made the same decision, announcing that it would immediately stop relaying BBC World News, which previously ran nightly from 11pm until 7am. “As the channel fails to meet the requirements to broadcast in China as an overseas channel, BBC World News is not allowed to continue its service within Chinese territory,” China’s Radio and Television Administration said, adding that it would not accept the BBC’s broadcast application for the next year.

The BBC said in a statement: ‘We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to take this course of action. The BBC is the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster and reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favor.”

The BBC World News TV channel broadcasts globally in English but in China is largely restricted and usually only appears in international hotels and diplomatic compounds, meaning most of the Chinese public have no access to it. This week’s latest tit-for-tat move signals the continued deterioration of relations between the UK and China, one of the UK’s main trading partners.

The introduction of new Chinese security laws in Hong Kong, a former UK territory, as well as a broader crackdown on dissidents has seen diplomatic relationships falter over the last couple of years. The UK has placed new restrictions on Chinese investment as UK politicians argue that the policy of engagement with China has failed. “China’s decision to ban BBC World News in mainland China is an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom,” Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement. “China has some of the most severe restrictions on media and internet freedoms across the globe and this latest step will only damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world.”

Embed from Getty Images

The decision to ban BBC in China comes little over a week after Britain’s communications watchdog, Ofcom, made the decision to revoke the broadcast license for CGTN, China’s English-language satellite news channel.

Ofcom cited the links between the channel and China’s ruling Communist party. The channel had previously been criticized by Ofcom for broadcasting the alleged forced confession of a British prisoner in China, and for biased coverage of Hong Kong’s democracy movement.

The foreign correspondents club of China said in a statement posted to social media that it was concerned that the language used in the Chinese authorities’ statement was intended as a warning to other foreign media “that they may face sanctions if their reporting does not follow the Chinese party line about Xinjiang and other ethnic minority regions”. “The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China regrets the decision on February 12th by the Chinese authorities to ban distribution of BBC World News broadcasts inside China,” the statement read.

“China has for many years severely restricted the foreign news that its own citizens can see by using internet censorship to block the websites of most major foreign news organizations, including the BBC. “Before this ban, the BBC World News TV channel was distributed only in certain hotels, apartment buildings, and venues licensed for use by foreigners. Even in those approved locations the BBC was censored, with screens routinely going dark as soon as reports about China began.

Embed from Getty Images

“China’s move follows a decision on February 4th by British regulators to revoke the UK broadcasting license of the Chinese state television station, CGTN, after finding that it had filed misleading ownership statements and is “ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.” In particular, the FCCC notes with concern some of the reasons given by China’s State Administration of Radio and Television for their banning of the BBC World News channel.

“Those reasons include the charge that BBC broadcasts have harmed China’s national interests and undermined China’s national unity. “The FCCC is concerned that such language is intended to send a warning to foreign media operating in China that they may face sanctions if their reporting does not follow the Chinese party line about Xinjiang and other ethnic minority regions.

“The FCCC agrees with the Chinese authorities that news reporters should always strive to be objective and accurate. But it opposes attempts to define good journalism as that which upholds the policies, ideological positions, or interests of any government. 

“The FCCC wishes the people of China a safe and prosperous Year of the Ox and hopes that this new year will mark a fresh start for constructive relations between the Chinese authorities and the foreign press.”

Legendary Olympic Athlete, Seiko Hashimoto, Named President Of Tokyo Games 

Seven-time Olympian Seiko Hashimoto made history as the “multi-season” athlete who appeared in four winter Games and three summer ones. Now, she’s breaking barriers and making headlines again after it was announced that the 56-year-old legend will be president of the Tokyo Olympic organization committee. 

In Japan it’s still rare to see women in executive positions of political power. In fact, the committee that Hashimoto is joining is 80% male. She’s replacing Yoshito Mori, the former Japanese prime minister who was forced into resignation last week after making sexist comments regarding women. Hashimoto spoke with the press recently about her excitement to take on this role. 

“Now I’m here to return what I owe as an athlete and return back what I received.” 

Embed from Getty Images

Hashimoto has been serving as the Olympic minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and also has a ton of experience dealing with issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment. She claimed that Tamayo Marukawa will be filling her role as Olympic minister while she transitions into her new position. 

“Of course, it is very important what Tokyo 2020 as an organizing committee does about gender equality. I think it will be important for us to practice that equality,” Hashimoto said according to the translator present at the conference she spoke at this week. Hasimoto made these comments and discussed issues of gender inequality as she sat between two of the most powerful men on the committee. 

She discussed how organizing committees are always male-dominated, and of the ones she’s seen have never had any female vice presidents, citing that the executive board is currently 80% male; for reference there’re around 3,500 employees working for the board. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach recently spoke with the media about how Hashimoto was “the perfect choice” for taking on this role. 

Embed from Getty Images

“With the appointment of a woman as president, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee is also sending a very important signal with regard to gender equality.” 

For some background, Hashimoto competed in cycling in the 1988, ‘92, and ‘96 Summer Olympics, and then transitioned to speedskating for the 1984, ‘88, ‘92, and ‘94 Winter Olympics. She only won one medal, a bronze at the 1992 Albertville Games in speedskating, however, her seven Olympic appearances are the most from any “multi-season” athlete in Olympic history, according to historian Dr. Bill Mallon. 

Polls are currently showing that about 80% of the Japanese public want the Olympics to be postponed or cancelled due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. Obviously, the thought of bringing tens of thousands of athletes from all over the world to one contained city seems like the worst idea in the middle of a global pandemic, however, it’s unclear whether or not the Games will be moved again. 

Japan ranks 121 out of 153 on the World Economic Forum’s annual gender equality ranking when it comes to women in positions of power. Naming a woman as president will hopefully be the breakthrough Japan needs to rank higher on that list, and bring more women to the forefront of executive leadership.

Britney Spears Star

Britney Spears’s Conservatorship Case Heading Back To Court 

The legal battle over Britney Spears’s finances and conservatorship is heading back to Los Angeles court this Thursday, just days after a new Hulu documentary sparked widespread outrage over the controversial guardianship the pop star has been living under that is typically only for elderly individuals with dementia or other cognitive issues that make them unfit to be in control of their own finances. 

Jamie Spears, the pop stars father, maintains control over her estate, career, finances, social media, medical treatments, and a slew of other aspects of her personal life; he’s also had this control for the past 13 years, so any career endeavors that Spears has endured within that time, including her Las Vegas residency, were not her decision. 

Lawyers for Spears filed last year to have Jamie removed as conservator, arguing that she was “afraid of her father” and would be refusing to resume her performing career while he still had control over it. In November a judge refused to remove Jamie but added Bessemer Trust as co-conservator and corporate fiduciary. This Thursday’s hearing will include a discussion of what role the two conservators will play in overseeing Spears’s estate. 

Embed from Getty Images

Supporters of Britney Spears attend the #FreeBritney Protest Outside Los Angeles

Conservatorship by definition is “a form of court-appointed guardianship that is typically used for elderly and infirm people, or others who can’t make decisions for themselves, the arrangement is often temporary.” 

The release of Framing Britney Spears, a New York Times-produced documentary, has now “raised questions about the fraught process that led the courts to institute the conservatorship, Jamie’s role as a conservator, the motives of Spears’s entourage in keeping the arrangement in place and the media’s treatment of the star.”

The documentary followed Spears’s rise to fame and the intense abuse she faced by paparazzi, the media, and fans as well. The approval of her conservatorship was partially a result of the American media painting Britney to be mentally unstable. The documentary also depicted Jamie as an absent father up until he took on the conservatorship in 2008, when he gained complete control over her finances. 

The biggest question raised by the documentary is how can someone who the court deems unstable enough to be in control over basically every aspect of her personal life be stable enough to go on multiple tours, perform a Las Vegas residency, work as a judge on X-Factor, etc. The amount that Britney has done in her career within the past decade does not line up with an individual unfit to be in control of their own finances. 

Embed from Getty Images

American pop culture, the media, and the entertainment industry in general is now being analyzed with a fine-tooth comb, specifically over how it treats female performers and makes light of their struggles. The film also featured the #FreeBritney movement, “a fan-led campaign advocating for the singer to be freed from conservatorship and from her father’s control. Organizers said this week they hoped the reaction to the film would put pressure on the courts to restore the singer’s independence,” according to the Times. 

 Leanne Simmons, a #FreeBritney advocate who was featured in the documentary, told the press recently that the documentary “has lit a fire under all of us to keep pushing, because we do have that support from the general public. I work in post production in the film industry, and have been closely following the court case and plan to attend the Thursday hearing in person. 

“We’ve been trying to get this message across for so many years, and to essentially have the narrative change overnight is pretty extraordinary. The documentary was hard to watch. It brought me back to that moment of watching this in realtime in 2007. I felt so frustrated back then like no one was listening to her, or to me when I would try to defend her. I can’t believe it took this long and this documentary for people to realize that it was always wrong.”

Spears publicly acknowledged the #FreeBritney movement for the first time last year through her lawyer in court, when he claimed that Britney was “trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, and she welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans.”

Football in Lit Up Stadium

7,500 Health Care Workers Given Free Tickets to Super Bowl

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that the league has invited approximately 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to the Super Bowl to ‘thank and honor them for their continued extraordinary service during the pandemic.’

The majority of the invited health care workers, all of whom have already received both doses of the vaccine, will come from hospitals and other health care systems in the Tampa and central Florida area. The chosen workers will receive free tickets and game day experiences directly from the NFL.

All 32 NFL franchises will send a number of vaccinated health care workers from their communities to the Super Bowl on February 7, during which the NFL will also honor health care heroes around the country by sharing their hard work and special stories both in the stadium and during the CBS broadcast.

“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” said Roger Goodell. “We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes. This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”

The announcement followed prolonged discussions between the league and public health officials, including the CDC, the Florida Department of Health, area hospitals and health care systems. Officials representing these organizations reviewed and provided feedback on the NFL’s plans to host the Super Bowl in a manner that enables fans and staff to enjoy the game safely and responsibly.

Embed from Getty Images

“Florida is proud to host Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to crown the champion of an unprecedented NFL season,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“On behalf of Floridians and football fans across the nation, I’d like to thank the many men and women who worked hard to make this game a reality, especially our frontline health care workers who have worked tirelessly over the past year to keep people safe. I look forward to the positive impact this game will have on the Tampa Bay area, and my family and I can’t wait for the big game!”

The NFL has stepped up protocols and health and safety requirements for the Super Bowl and made plans more rigorous than the regular season and playoffs, when 1.2 million fans were hosted at 116 games.

Protocols include mandatory mask-wearing, social-distancing, and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes podded seating, touchless in-stadium experiences at concessions, restrooms, and security checkpoints, as well as controlled entry and exit.

A total of 25,000 fans will be in attendance at the Super Bowl, with 30,000 cardboard cut-outs also in the stands. Raymond James Stadium’s usual capacity is almost 66,000.

“While this was already shaping up to be the most meaningful Super Bowl in our hometown’s history, the NFL deciding to welcome and honor our local vaccinated healthcare workers to Super Bowl LV takes the importance of the event to an all-new level,” Derrick Brooks and Will Weatherford, Co-Chairs of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, said in a statement.

Embed from Getty Images

“The unsolicited outpouring of appreciation that we’ve received in support of this initiative from our local healthcare workers across the community has been truly amazing. These heroes inspire us every day, so we couldn’t be more thankful to the NFL for working to safely create this monumental effort to celebrate them.”

Following Goodell’s announcement, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed that his team were sending a number of local health care heroes to Tampa for the Super Bowl. 76 vaccinated health care workers will travel on the infamous Patriots plane and enjoy a matchday experience provided by Kraft and the Patriots.

In a video compilation posted by the Patriots, Kraft was seen video calling the health care workers to introduce himself, thank them for their continued hard work and invite them to a free trip to the Super Bowl.

“Our local healthcare workers have worked around the clock to ensure the health and safety of our community and I cannot think of a better way to honor them than with the eyes of the world on our hometown for Super Bowl LV. Our country has endured so much over the last year and we can’t lose sight of those who worked day in and day out to keep us safe. Thank you to the NFL for helping make this happen.” – Mayor Jane Castor, City of Tampa.

“We are grateful for the leadership the NFL has shown in thanking our health care workers and promoting vaccine acceptance around Super Bowl LV. I applaud them for making safety their top priority, and for taking a thoughtful approach to make sure that the Super Bowl will be a safe and meaningful experience for fans and the Tampa Bay community.” – State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Man Falsely Imprisoned For 37 Years Receives Helping Hand From Super Bowl Hosts

After spending almost 37 years incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, Florida man Robert DuBoise naturally encountered a few issues while trying to reintegrate himself back into society. When three Tampa Bay Buccaneers players heard his story, they were compelled to lend their hands in DuBoise’s reintroduction to free life, contributing financially and emotionally to his road to recovery.

On November 23, Robert DuBoise, having spent over half his life locked up, attended his ever first football game as he watched the Rams visit Raymond James Stadium as a special guest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite the Bucs losing the game, DuBoise was enjoying the opportunity that had been afforded to him to once again be a normal member of society.

“The most shocking thing for me after talking to him was his appreciation,” Bucs guard Ali Marpet said. “I think it would be totally justified for him to be pissed off. And the most surprising thing for me is his gratitude for freedom.”

“There’s not much you can tell a guy who’s been done so wrong,” Marpet’s teammate Alex Cappa said. “There’s so little that we can do for him. So, it felt good to at least give him something to hopefully get him going a little bit.”

Embed from Getty Images

The first connection between DuBoise and the Buccaneer players was a Zoom call. Lasting thirty minutes, the call consisted of DuBoise sharing his heartbreaking life story and the trials and tribulations he has faced since being wrongly convicted of murder almost forty years ago.

“I tried to answer all their questions the best I could,” DuBoise said. “I was just touched by their caring. I was touched by the fact that they cared enough to get involved just because they read the story.

“I had been waiting for the day for nearly 37 years. I always knew that DNA would prove my innocence and hoped that the evidence could be found not just for me, but for my family as well. I hope that my story helps others to keep fighting to prove their innocence. I can’t get back the decades that I lost, but I’m going to try to rebuild my life with my family. It won’t be easy. I am just so grateful that my voice was heard and the truth is out there,” said DuBoise.

Initially, DuBoise was sentenced to execution and spent years on Death Row, sharing a floor with Ted Bundy at one point. DuBoise naturally spent a large portion of his waking hours on contacting officials and trying to prove his innocence, a notion that was rejected by various panels and boards repeatedly.

DuBoise also spent his time locked up learning a plethora of practical skills in order to find work both in prison and after his release. Between Marpet, Cappa, Smith and a team match, the Bucs raised $25,000 to give to DuBoise to help him find his feet once again. The money was used to help DuBoise with his goal of finding odd jobs to be able to support himself properly.

Embed from Getty Images

“Without it, I could do none of it,” DuBoise said. “I couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t have the tools in it. I got all the tools I need in the truck, and I can go anywhere. And when I get to a house, I have everything I need already.”

DuBoise’s efforts to prove his own innocence fell on deaf ears until he heard about the Innocence Project, a non-profit dedicated to exonerating the falsely convicted. Innocence Project attorney Susan Friedman took on the case and with the help of DNA evidence and going through the old case and investigations, the organization was able to work with the authorities to get DuBoise’s conviction overturned.

“Robert is the same person he was when he was incarcerated,” Friedman said. “He is good-hearted. He is mindful of others. He cares about others. Every time I talk to him and I ask him what he’s done that day, he tells me that he was out at a neighbor’s house, helping them fix something, or that there was a mother with two kids who needed her air conditioning fixed and he was working on that for her. He wants to help other people. That’s the way he was when he was in prison.”

“Right now, our country and the world is experiencing COVID, and everyone’s dealing with their own hardships every day,” she said. “And they’re looking for reasons to hold on and stories that inspire them to hold on. And Robert is that living example of someone who held on through what is arguably one of the most trying and painful things someone can experience — wrongful conviction and incarceration. And he kept fighting for 40 years every day. People are inspired by that.”

Westworld Show

Actress Evan Rachel Wood Among Victims Accusing Marilyn Manson Of Grooming And Abuse

Evan Rachel Wood, most famously known for her role in Westworld, has now publicly accused Marilyn Manson of “horrifically abusing” her for years. In an Instagram post from Wood she detailed the allegations and named Manson by his stage and real name of Brian Warner. 

Wood has previously spoken out numerous times about being the survivor of domestic violence and while it was always assumed that she was discussing Manson, this is the first time she’s ever called out his name specifically in a public setting. The pair were originally known to have a relationship back in 2007, when she was just 19-years-old and he was 38. The two were then briefly engaged in 2010. 

Embed from Getty Images

After Wood’s post detailing the allegations, at least three other women have followed suit and posted their own personal experiences/allegations against Manson on Instagram. One of the individuals has since deleted her post as well. 

Manson’s team has yet to comment on any of the allegations, however, many aren’t expecting much to come from them as his team has adamantly denied similar allegations that have appeared within the past years of Manson’s career. 

In Wood’s Instagram post, she claims that Manson began grooming her as a teenager and that she was “brainwashed and manipulated into submission” by the singer. 

Embed from Getty Images

“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson. He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”

Wood has been a prominent figurehead and activist for domestic violence survivors within the past years. She penned the Phoenix Act domestic violence bill which was passed into California law in 2019. At the time she discussed her past and how she was raped on two occasions and detailed her own stories of surviving domestic violence. 

In the past Woods has never directly named Manson as her abuser, and has even denied that it was him on a few occasions. However, many individuals attribute that to the numerous court cases Wood was involved in and her own psychological trauma. Most people were able to conclude that Wood was discussing Manson in the past when she came out as a survivor of domestic abuse based on the timing of when she discussed being groomed and abused by an older man.


Three Shows to Get You Feeling Closure to Nature

As we enter a new calendar year, most of us have taken time to reflect on the past 12 months and beyond, as well as looking to the future at what opportunities and challenges lay waiting for us. Perhaps the largest challenge facing us, the human race, is climate change and the destruction of the natural world around us.

With many of us still enduring a period of time in which we are constrained to our homes much more than usual, the National Digest recommends three shows to watch to once again connect you with nature, hopefully inspiring you to get out and enjoy it when possible, as well as making more decisions to benefit the natural world around you.

Embed from Getty Images

A Perfect Planet
If you were not expecting a David Attenborough appearance at the top of this list, you must have never watched a nature documentary in your life! Fortunately, the BBC decided to treat us at the start of 2021 with yet another dose of Attenborough, who for decades has been the voice of nature for millions.

Allow the soothing tones of 95-year-old Attenborough to guide you through five one-hour episodes of stunning visuals, gripping storylines and hard-hitting truths over the current state of the planet. Attenborough marvels at the awe-inspiring beauty of planet Earth and the natural forces behind it.

Not only will you be entertained by the exotic animals and rarely seen natural wonders, Attenborough will talk you through the decisions we can make as humans, both individually and as groups, to become a force for good.

“If Gaia has a voice, it is Attenborough’s distinctive, much-mimicked, slightly breathless one, and it helps make A Perfect Planet a near-perfect program. The cinematography is as awesome in scale and majesty as anything that has gone before, capturing both vast panoramas of tropical atolls and the tiniest wrinkly detail of a giant tortoise’s backside,” Sean O’Grady of the Independent wrote about the show.

“The theme of the series is clever and novel, each episode analyzing one of the great forces of nature that have created “the only planet in the universe, so far as we know, where there is life” – the sun, weather, oceans and so on. This week it’s volcanoes, which are obviously magnificent in themselves, but underestimated as “good” sources of carbon dioxide emissions, belching out just enough gas to keep Earth balanced at the right temperature – but now man-made emissions are 100 times greater than all the volcanoes on Earth, with results we know only too well.

“The usual climate crisis sermonising is in there (and quite right too), but not until about halfway through, and not too hectoring; it is a delicate balance between entertainment and education.”

Embed from Getty Images

Chasing Ice
Although released in 2012, Chasing Ice’s message of rapid climate change and a calling to arms is more relevant today than ever before. The hour-and-a-half long documentary, available on Amazon Prime, charts National Geographic photographer James Balog’s efforts as he goes to extreme lengths to capture the effects of global warming.

Watch Chasing Ice to once again appreciate the monumental impact our actions as humans have on the planet and how it is being destroyed in front of our eyes. Watching may also inspire action as Balog’s dedication and willingness to risk his life for the benefit of his planet is clear for all to see.

“Jeff Orlowski’s documentary begins as a straightforward biographical profile, before shifting up into something more urgent, impassioned and compelling. Its subject, James Balog, is a photographer who goes to extremes to prove the existence of global warming: his latest expedition involves descending Arctic cliff faces to fit time-lapse cameras with which to monitor glacial erosion,” a Guardian review of the documentary said.

“Orlowski’s framing – interspersing field footage with talking heads – is somewhat conventional, but the images he and Balog have collated are consistently breath-taking and accumulate real power. The cameras look on in vain as massive ice sheets shear off, leaving once-mighty glaciers – characterized in the manner of the endangered species in Attenborough documentaries – to slump into the sea. Behind them, they leave nothing – save colossal insurance premiums for those areas subsequently flooded by displaced waters.

“If any film can convert the climate-change sceptics, Chasing Ice would be it: here, seeing really is believing.”

Flight of the Butterflies
A shorter documentary, Flight of the Butterflies concentrates less on the decline of nature and more on its beauty and the beauty of the creatures we inhabit the Earth with, as well as the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Watch Flight of the Butterflies (on Amazon or iTunes) for a stunning visual display of the natural world, as well as to be reminded of the wonders of life and what some creatures go through just for the continuation of their species.

“You’ll leave better informed about monarchs and environmental concerns, but also a little awed by the twists and turns and darn good luck behind a lot of scientific advancements,” Kim Ode of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote.

Movie Clapboard

Danny Boyle To Direct Series Based Upon The Memories of Sex Pistols Guitarist

Documentaries, films and TV shows on lives of iconic 20th Century figures have become popular across the world. For some these will reignite their own memories of perhaps listening to their music, watching them on screen or seeing them in person, and for others they will get to learn about the life of someone new and extraordinary. A recent example is the Netflix series The Crown, which documents the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, but also included portrayals of other members of the royal family, including Prince Philip and Princess Diana, and former Prime Ministers such as Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill.

In addition, the recent films “Rocketman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” take a look back at the lives of iconic pop stars Elton John and Freddie Mercury respectively, with Taron Edgerton as John and Rami Malek as Mercury. Although some programs and films of this nature have sometimes attracted criticism for inaccuracies or dramatization.

Embed from Getty Images

One new six-part limited series that was recently announced is going to be based on the lives of infamous punk band The Sex Pistols and will be titled “Pistol”. The series is going to be directed by revered director Danny Boyle in partnership with FX and is going to be drawn from Steve Jones’ memoirs which are entitled “Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol”. Jones was the infamous guitarist in the band, alongside front man Johnny Rotten (stage name of John Lydon), drummer Paul Cook and bassist Sid Vicious (stage name of John Simon Ritchie). Glen Matlock was the bassist before he was replaced by Vicious. His memoirs recount the journey of The Sex Pistols from including the “from West London’s council estates to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s notorious Kings Road SEX shop to the international controversy that came with the release of Never Mind the Bollocks”, as written in Deadline.

Boyle will also serve as executive producer and it has been created by Craig Pearce with co-writer Frank Cottrell Boyce. Production is set to begin on March 7.

Many of the cast have also been announced, building anticipation for potential viewers. Toby Wallace of “Babyteeth” (2019) has been cast in the role of Steve Jones and “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams will star as the infamous Jordan. Jordan was a punk icon throughout the 1970s for her style, working with designer Vivenne Westwood, managing band Adam and the Ants and attending many Sex Pistols concerts. Other cast members that make up the Sex Pistols band include Anson Boon as John Lydon, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious and Jacob Slater as Paul Cook. Glen Matlock is played by Fabien Frankel and Wally Nightingale is played by Dylan Llewellyn. Chrissie Hynde, of The Pretenders, will be played by Sydney Chandler and Vicious’ girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, will be played by Emma Appleton.

Embed from Getty Images

The Sex Pistols are considered by many to be one of the most iconic bands of all time, establishing the punk scene. Malcolm McLaren was the owner of the notorious clothes shop called SEX on Kings Road, London and he put together The Sex Pistols as a vehicle for promotion. The Sex Pistols quickly became a symbol of the discontent and anger at the social and political order of the 1970s. Their first single “Anarchy in the UK” gained huge media attention when a profanity was used on TV. They were dropped from multiple record labels and their single “God Save the Queen” was banned by the British Media. The single was released to coincide with the Queen’s jubilee in June 1977 and made it to Number 2 in the charts, demonstrating wide appeal. Their album “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” reached number one in 1997, but shortly after Rotten announced the band had split in 1978. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in 1979 after he was arrest and released over the alleged murder of his girlfriend. The four original members and Vicious were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, but this was not something they celebrated and refused to attend the ceremony.

On The Sex Pistols Danny Boyle said. “Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent”. “This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever” he added.

English Director Danny Boyle is perhaps most famous for directing the iconic film “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as giving Boyle the Best Director gong. Another Boyle success was “Trainspotting” in 1996. The film has become a cult classic and stars Ewen Mcgregor in the lead role. Other Boyle successes include “28 Days Later” in 2002, “127 Hours” in 2010 and “The Beach” in 2000. Perhaps no stranger to bringing well-known faces or stories to the big screen, Boyle was the director of the biographical film “Steve Jobs”, released in 2015, that charted some of the story of one of the founders of Apple. He also directed the light-hearted film 2019 “Yesterday” that considered a world where The Beatles did not exist.

The series looks set to captivated those with memories of the 1970’s, those who enjoy The Sex Pistols music, and even those who are not aware of the story of The Sex Pistols.

Sundance 2021

Must-See Films From Sundance 2021 That You Can Stream A Home

While the Sundance Film Festival may have looked a little different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, filmmakers from all over were still able to show off their magnificent works and make it available to individuals at home who are riding out the rest of this pandemic. Here’s a list of some of the most talked-about films that premiered at Sundance 2021:

“The Blazing World” – Carlson Young has made her feature directing debut this year with the short “The Blazing World.” The film stars Young herself, along with cult film icon Udo Kier, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, and singer/songwriter/actress Soko. Young plays a woman haunted since childhood by the accidental drowning of her twin sister. When her self-destructive path leads her to an alternate dimension where her twin sister may still be alive, adventure ensues.

Embed from Getty Images

“Bring Your Own Brigade” – Lucy Walker is no stranger to Sundance, and has actually premeried ten films at the event over the years. This year, she’s releasing a film about the causes of wildfires, and takes her film crew into dangerous disaster zones to talk to actual firefighters and residents of places like Paradise, California; which was completely destroyed by the 2019 wildfires in California. 

CODA” – Siân Heder’s newest coming-of-age story follows British actress Emilia Jones, who plays the child of two deaf parents who is torn between helping them manage their day-to-day tasks, and following her musical ambitions. 

“Eight for Silver” – British filmmaker Sean Ellis is back with his newest entry into the evolving “contemporary period horror canon.” This film is a modern werewolf tale that also paints a gothic portrait of a community coping with unexplainable horrors brought on by these mythical creatures. The film contains curses, magic, and other gothic elements that really transports the viewer to another time. 

Embed from Getty Images

“Flee” – Director Jonal Poher Rasmissen’s new animated documentary follows the experiences of a gay refugee from the Middle East who attempt to rebuild his life in Denmark. According to reviewers who have seen the film, “Rasmussen blends a colorful, hyper-real style with personal recollections as its subject struggles to reconcile his troubling past with a stable present. The drama extends across decades, following its evolving character from a war-torn childhood through the many changes that follow.”

“How It Ends” – Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein are no stranger to Sundance, and this year they’re returning with a comedy film that is appropriately about the end of the world. The partners wrote, directed, and starred in the film alongside Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Helen Hunt, Lamorne Morris, and Cailee Spaeny. The film is set in LA on the last day of earth, and follows  “one woman [who] goes on a journey through LA to make it to her last party before the world ends, running into an eclectic cast of characters along the way.”

“In The Earth” – Ben Wheatley, known for his film “Kill List,” is back with a film inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic. The movie follows actor Joel Fry who plays a park scout who joins a scientist on a walk in the woods on a terrible night. What exactly is in the woods that caused the two to fight for their lives? You’ll have to watch to find out…