October 21, 2013 |
Steve McQueen , the London- born artist and filmmaker, has lived in Amsterdam since the mid-1990s. One of the Dutch capital's top tourist attractions is the house where Anne Frank lived during World War II until her hiding place was revealed and she was sent to a concentration camp. Her diary, published posthumously and adapted to stage and screen, is required reading in schools around the world. McQueen wants the book that served as the basis of his powerful new film, 12 Years a Slave , to similarly be read by millions.
March 17, 2011
By Brian White My parents are both half-Irish. But their upbringing, as well as mine and my brothers', was almost all Irish. Every March 17, my mom cooks a pot of corned beef, potatoes, and cabbage. Sometimes there's soda bread, sometimes rye. Until I moved away almost six years ago, I always made sure I was home for that. In fact, I owe my existence to my Irish heritage. My parents met 30 years ago while organizing a boycott of British goods in Philadelphia, which was prompted by a hunger strike at Northern Ireland's Maze Prison.
April 17, 2009 |
There's a shot early on in Steve McQueen's Cannes-winning Hunger (yes, that's the British filmmaker's name) that doesn't seem like much at first - just a quietly observant detail. A man getting ready for his day's work is having breakfast, finishing his toast. He brushes a few crumbs from the table with his napkin. The camera captures the crumbs in the air, in a shaft of light. It's beautiful. And then, as we follow this man (Stuart Graham) out the door and off to his job - and as he checks the bottom of his car for a bomb - we learn that he's a prison guard.
April 16, 2009 |
When you know a movie's directed by a conceptual artist dabbling in motion pictures, it's usually helpful to bring along a sharp object. That way, you can stab yourself in the leg to stay awake during two hours of non-narrative, non-topless, non-zombie, non-car-chase pictorial over-indulgence. But as movies by dabblers go, "Hunger" stands out. It's by Irish video artist Steve McQueen (yes, that's his name), and it's his visually arresting take on the 1981 hunger strike by IRA leader Bobby Sands, ultimately leading to his death, and the deaths of nine other inmates at Belfast's Maze Prison.
February 2, 2009 |
Blart's top spot? 'Taken' Liam Neeson's new CIA thriller, Taken, bumped Paul Blart: Mall Cop from the top box-office spot during the weekend, raking in $24.6 million and helping fuel the first $1 billion January in Hollywood history. North American box-office revenue was up 20 percent over the previous January, reaching $1.03 billion, and attendance was up 16 percent over a year ago, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box-office tracker Media by Numbers. "This is exactly how you want to start a year," he said yesterday.
August 12, 2002
Editor's Note: Jack McKinney was Philadelphia's own Renaissance journalist, a man equally at home with covering Big Stories in El Salvador and Northern Ireland, analyzing boxing and football as well as ballet and opera. Here is just a smattering of the range of his talent. May 4, 1981 (McKinney was one of only a few journalists to cover, close-up, the death of hunger striker Bobby Sands.) The death watch for Bobby Sands entered its final tragic phase yesterday when the Irish hunger striker lapsed into a deep coma, from which he was given no chance to recover.
March 14, 1997 |
It was 1989 at a bar in the Bronx. Black 47 was making its debut at a benefit for Irish political activist Bernadette Devlin-McAlisky. Larry Kirwan was playing guitar and programming a drum machine. Chris Byrne was wailing away on various Irish pipes and whistles. They were doing original material. It wasn't exactly "Danny Boy. " As Kirwan tells it on Black 47's Web site: "After about 15 minutes, someone roared out: 'For Christ's sakes, play an Irish song!' To which I replied: 'I'm from Ireland, I wrote the song, that makes it Irish.
December 26, 1996 |
Three years ago, director Jim Sheridan and screeenwriter Terry George collaborated on In the Name of the Father, one of the most powerful movies ever made about the anguish of Ireland. Some Mother's Son reunites them in another unabashedly polemical drama that uses parenthood and a prison setting to high effect. If Neil Jordan's searing biography Michael Collins was accused in conservative British circles of opening old wounds, Some Mother's Son takes up a harrowing story of death and martyrdom that is vividly fresh for many in Ireland.
May 10, 1996 |
In the evening of May 4, 1981, my friend Seamus and I were driving home when we saw a vigil line on the road ahead. Such vigils were a common sight in West Belfast those nights, just as a common sound was the plaintive tenor voice of Francie Brolly in the recording of his "H-Block Song. " No one was hoping anymore. Only wondering: When? An armored personnel carrier stopped next to the young people in the vigil. A British soldier opened the door and pelted them with the greasy remains of a fish-n-chips takeout order, shouting: " ere!
March 14, 1994 |
The joy and the troubles shared the bright spring air yesterday as Irish from across the region marched, mourned, sang and danced through Philadelphia's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Nearly 10,000 people made up the 96 units and floats in the procession, and nearly four times that many lined the streets in 58-degree temperatures from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Independence Hall, organizers said. The joy was evident from the moment police Capt. Herb Lottier handed his radio mike to 11-year-old Tim Williams and gave him the chance to get the parade underway with the smartly executed command of "Ready to go!"