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.
When I visited John Lamorie’s eco-farm in Pingtung a few weeks ago, the first thing I saw when I stepped out of his car was an iguana running along the ditch that borders his property. “It’s been hanging around there for weeks,” he said. “Can’t get rid of him.” An invasive species from an exotic land that looks like a monster (the 1998 Godzilla film hints that Godzilla is a mutated iguana), iguanas have been in the spotlight for a year now, with a spate of articles highlighting their growing presence in southern Taiwan. The government banned their import in 2015,
North Korea isn’t at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. And therein lies a tale — one of sports and viruses, but most of all a tale of complex politics. While it’s not making headlines here, the North’s absence is noteworthy, especially among those who watch the intersection of sports and diplomacy — and the way North Korea’s propaganda machine uses international attention to advance its needs. The no-show is especially striking when contrasted with the last Games. Perhaps the hottest story of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, was the North Korean delegation, which included 22 athletes, hundreds of cheerleaders
With market-trembling new rules and investigations, Beijing’s crackdown on its most prominent companies has seeped into nearly every aspect of modern life, wiping billions of dollars from Chinese and Hong Kong-listed stocks and bamboozling investment sages. From after-school tutoring to music streaming apps, and shopping to bike-sharing, stellar firms have been hit as Beijing tightens the leash on corporations, citing national security and antitrust concerns. Whether motivated by the control reflexes of the Communist Party or to avoid market contortions hurting the pockets and safety of the Chinese public, few expect this to be the end of the crackdown. Here are some of
Hundreds of elected community leaders in Hong Kong have resigned and dozens of civil society groups have disbanded as China remoulds the finance hub in its own image. Just days before Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on the city last year, student Wong Yat-chin founded a new group called Student Politicism. He had just finished his exams and wanted to keep opposition voices alive in a city supposedly still guaranteed free speech by setting up small street booths to discuss issues such as democracy and prisoner rights. Since then he has been arrested five times for hosting booths or making speeches. “The