Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce won major honors at the NAACP Image Awards on Thursday night, where The Secret Life of Bees was named best picture.
But both Rihanna and Chris Brown stayed away from the most prestigious African-American awards show of the year, which took place less than a week after Brown, 19, was arrested for making criminal threats against Rihanna, 20.
Will Smith and Rosario Dawson took the top actor and actress awards for Seven Pounds, while Hudson took home trophies for outstanding new artist, best album and best collaboration.
Beyonce was named best female artist and Jamie Foxx was best male artist. Rap mogul Sean Combs was named best TV actor for his role in Raisin in the Sun. Slumdog Millionaire won the prize for outstanding independent motion picture.
Meanwhile, new details emerged on Wednesday about Brown’s alleged attack.
According to E! Online, Rihanna told police that her superstar boyfriend threatened to kill her and then choked her until she lost consciousness.
The glamorous young couple started fighting in Brown’s rented Lamborghini following a star-studded pre-Grammy party late Saturday, Feb. 7. According to OK magazine, the tiff was sparked when Brown received a text message from another woman after reportedly flirting with Paris Hilton at the party.
When Brown pulled over in a swanky Los Angeles neighborhood, Rihanna grabbed the car keys and threw them out the window, E! reported. After struggling to find the keys, Brown then wrapped his hands around his girlfriend’s neck and screamed, “I’m going to kill you.”
Rihanna reportedly told police she lost consciousness and woke up to find Brown gone. Police were called by a neighbor and took Rihanna to hospital in a squad car, where she was treated for a split lip, contusions on her forehead and bite marks on her arms.
Rihanna and Brown missed the Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday of last week, at which both had been scheduled to perform.
Brown was arrested on charges of making criminal threats and is free on US$50,000 bail. Prosecutors have ordered police to continue their investigation into the incident, a sign that more serious charges are being weighed.
Peter Gabriel’s minute in the Oscars spotlight will lack one important element: Peter Gabriel. The Academy Award-nominated singer won’t perform at the Feb. 22 ceremony to protest an apparently revamped presentation of best original song contenders. Gabriel says in a video on his Web site that he objects to the songs being shortened to 65 seconds apiece and made part of a medley. Gabriel is nominated alongside Thomas Newman for Down to Earth from WALL-E.
“It’s a bit unfortunate because the songwriters, even though they’re a small part of the whole filmmaking process, we still work bloody hard and deserve a place in the ceremony as well,” the 59-year-old singer said.
In other film news, director Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow, a movie that addresses the fears of women abused during Peru’s turbulent recent history, won the Berlin film festival’s top Golden Bear award.
The movie stars Magaly Solier as Fausta, a young woman suffering from a mysterious illness that is said to be transferred through the milk of mothers who were raped or physically abused during Peruvian authorities’ long war against leftist guerrillas. The Spanish-Peruvian co-production is Llosa’s second feature film.
The festival’s jury grand prize, which comes with a runner-up Silver Bear, was shared Saturday by two films. Argentine director Adrian Biniez’ debut feature Gigante tells the story of a supermarket security guard who falls in love with a cleaner, while German director Maren Ade’s Everyone Else follows a couple during a difficult vacation.
Iran’s Asghar Farhadi was chosen as best director for About Elly, which looks at thirtysomething Iranians’ attitudes to life.
Sotigui Kouyate was named best actor for his part in director Rachid Bouchareb’s London River. He plays a French Muslim desperately awaiting news of his son after the 2005 terrorist attacks in London.
Birgit Minichmayr won the best actress honor for her role as half of the awkward couple in Everyone Else.
With listicles of local attractions including Costco and numerous children’s playgrounds, I was not expecting much. Opened on Jan. 31, the Taipei MRT’s Circular Line, or Yellow Line, made life in the nation’s capital even more convenient. But judging from Internet search results, it hasn’t opened up many new tourism opportunities, unsurprising as the route mostly crosses densely populated areas and industrial parks. Places like a sports stadium with rainbow colored bleachers perfect for Instagram selfies wouldn’t do it for me either, and it’s pointless to list attractions at the connecting stops that have existed for years. As a history nerd, there
June 1 to June 7 In February 1988, Robert Wu (吳清友) set aside NT$17.5 million to purchase two Henry Moore sculptures from London’s Marlborough Gallery. He never bought the pieces. Feeling slighted that the gallery manager initially looked down on him as a Taiwanese, he decided that night to use the money to open his own art space back home. “Without selling any art, that money could support the gallery for four years. If I feature one artist per month, that provides a stage for at least 100 artists,” Wu said in the book Eslite Time (誠品時光) by Lin Ching-yi (林靜宜).
Captain Wynn Gale — a fifth-generation Georgia shrimper — is on the side of the road on an April morning, selling shrimp at the same street corner where his dad sold shrimp. “How’s the pandemic treating you?” I ask. “Sales have dropped off by about two-thirds. No out-of-towners coming through on the I-95. No local traffic.” He sighs. “I’m going to tough it out. I can survive with what I’m selling. But that’s all I’m doing. Most shrimpers don’t have 401k retirement plans, you know?” Gale would rather be out on his boat, a 1953 trawler he had for nine years but recently
The Lunar New Year vacation had just ended when Alice Wu began to worry about COVID-19. Not long after, on Feb. 10, Wu — who didn’t give her Chinese name to speak freely for this story — received the first of several coronavirus-related sales messages through her smartphone. The pitch came from an acquaintance who represents Amway, an American multi-level marketing (MLM) company that’s been active in Taiwan since 1982. “I’ve only met her once, and I’ve never bought from her. If her sister wasn’t one of my daughter’s teachers, I’d probably block her,” says Wu, who lives in Taichung. MLM, sometimes