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China Protests Artifact Auction

China’s cultural heritage agency has strongly condemned the auction of two bronze pieces it says were looted from the Summer Palace near Beijing some 150 years ago. Christie’s sold the bronzes, part of the late Yves Saint Laurent’s estate, for 31 million euros.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


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AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Mr. Clooney Goes to Washington ... for Darfur

George Clooney made his admiration for Barack Obama apparent long before he was elected president, so now that Obama’s officially installed at the White House, Clooney has come a’knockin’—but this wasn’t a celebrity play date.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

Wilson and Penn

Penn May Take On Plame ‘Game’

Here’s a melding of celebrity and politics that might just be a natural: Academy Award™-winning actor and sometime international political analyst Sean Penn is in talks to play former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, in director Doug Liman’s dramatic retelling of Plame’s story, currently known in deal-making circles as “Fair Game.”

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

Slumdog Sourpuss

It may be the best picture, but Hirsh Sawhney writes in the Guardian that “Slumdog Millionaire” is a simplistic text that “far from spreading the blame for global poverty ... actually suggests that the west is the solution to India’s problems.”

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

Sean Penn Oscar
AP photo / Matt Sayles

Sean Penn Schools Prop. 8 Supporters in Oscar Speech

Lest he miss an opportunity to speak his mind, Sunday night’s Best Actor Oscar winner took a moment on the podium to encourage those who voted last November for California’s Proposition 8, the anti-gay-marriage initiative, to rethink their choice. Turns out the Academy is actually made up of commie, homo-loving sons of guns. Update: Video

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE

Spike Lee

Spike Lee Throws Down in N.Y. Post Cartoon Controversy

If the higher-ups at the New York Post thought that running a simple apology for printing the now-notorious chimpanzee cartoon this week would constitute enough damage control to do the trick, here comes filmmaker Spike Lee—along with the Post’s arch-rival publication, the New York Daily News—to disabuse them of this notion.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE

book cover

Zachary Karabell on ‘The Case for Big Government’

Jeff Madrick’s new book insists that the anti-government ethos that is a treasured American prejudice is not grounded in the new economic reality. But is he fighting the last war?

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE

Slumdog Millionaire

‘Slumdog Millionaire’: The Tour

As “Slumdog Millionaire” continues to rack up critical accolades (not to mention awards-season promotional blitzes), the film has also drawn crowds to its setting in the slums of Mumbai, India. But does this kind of attention represent a welcome boon for tourism or a form of exploitation—“poverty porn”—for a city still recovering from last November’s terrorist attacks?

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE

Hollywood Battles Swedish Pirates

The founders of The Pirate Bay, one of the biggest names in file sharing, face up to two years in a hard-core Swedish prison if they can’t convince a judge that their unfortunately named Web site isn’t legally responsible for 115 million kronor worth of media piracy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE

Allen Barra on the Myth of Ronald Reagan

At last, a revisionist takedown of our 40th president, portrayed as an empty suit too often lauded by the common people he betrayed.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE

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