Ronan Farrow on investigating Harvey Weinstein: When family issues are thrown at me, its a dirty move

Farrows investigation into the allegations against the producer won him a Pulitzer prize. He talks about the personal cost In the story behind the story of Mia Farrow and sexual abuse allegations made by Dylan, Farrows older sister, against their father. During the course of the investigation, Weinstein would weaponise all of this to try to unnerve him. If Farrow was intimidated, it isnt his style to show it: he is amused, sardonic, diminutive, in a way that invites comparisons to Matt Lauer, the former NBC host accused of sexual harassment, about whom the book contains explosive new allegations Farrow forgot to eat, go out except when following leads, or call his boyfriend in LA. For a while, he says, …

Robbie Robertson: I didn’t know anybody who didn’t do drugs

Guitarist Robbie Robertson helped to change music history with Bob Dylans backing group the Band. He remembers how the brotherhood ended in heroin addiction and self-destruction In 1965 Robbie Robertson was living in the room next to Blonde on Blonde. The television was on. There was music playing. The phone was ringing. There were people coming and going and he was writing away on his typewriter. I thought, I dont even understand how somebody can close off the outside world like that and concentrate. This guy is from another planet, Robertson says. But for a while he shared that planet, or came as close to sharing it as any musician did at the time. Robertson was the lead guitarist of …

‘Thirty years of freedom!’ Why David Hasselhoff remains an icon for German unity

At his recent Berlin concert, the Hoff once again recalled his part in the fall of the Wall. His obsession with reunification is gauche but his message of hope is still necessary Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! David Hasselhoff chants as he snakes his way through the Max-Schmeling-Halle, a basketball stadium erected near where a section of the Berlin Wall once stood. Its German Unity Day, Thursday 3 October, and Hasselhoff is here to promote his 14th album Open Your Eyes. The date is no coincidence. As the show begins, the actor and singer is raised on a hydraulic platform above the crowd, and its hard not to recall how, on New Years Eve 1989 less than two months after the Wall …

Richard Thompson at 70: on love, loss and being a Muslim in Trump’s US

The master of British folk music has weathered a second divorce and lives in the US where Trump has ramped up bigotry considerably. At least ex-wife Linda has forgiven him Richard Thompson is drinking mint tea in a Hampstead coffee shop he doesnt touch coffee or alcohol and between Islam and cricket, hes discussing the remarkable guest list for his upcoming David Gilmour, who has featured alongside Richard in a Rolling Stone magazine best ever guitarist list, and who, as a soloist, covered Martin and Eliza Carthy to Harry Shearer, the American actor and comedian, reviving his role as Derek Smalls from Judith Owen who joined Richard in 2006 for the Tear-Stained Letter or the pounding, edgy and emotional stories …

Margaret Atwood: Shes ahead of everyone in the room

As excitement mounts for the sequel to The Handmaids Tale, we talk to publishers and writers about the great novelist The hoopla around the launch of Margaret Atwoods The Testaments is more reminiscent of the unveiling of an iPhone or something Pokmon-related than that of a mere book. On the evening of 9 September, 400 people will gather outside the doors of Waterstones Piccadilly store in London for the midnight release of the sequel to The Blind Assassin in 2000, and had five other novels shortlisted. She has yet to be given the Nobel prize for literature but that is widely seen as an error to be righted. When an embarrassed The Heart Goes Last, you may relish her wit …

Lionel Shriver returns to Australia and doubles down on ‘fascistic’ identity politics

Three years after controversial speech in Brisbane, US author denounces cultural control, obedience and conformism Three years after vowing never to return to Australia, author Lionel Shriver says she stands by her controversial keynote speech at the Brisbane writers festival in 2016, calling identity politics fascistic. Sunday night marked the American novelists first appearance in Australia since that controversial tour, despite her having released two books in the intervening years. Shrivers 2016 address on fiction and identity politics, she said she hoped the concept of cultural appropriation is a passing fad, received widespread backlash. Sudanese-Australian writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied walked out of the event midway, later ABCs Q&A on Monday night where she will be joined by Black Lives Matter activist …

Depth of Field: The Movie Poster Brexit Deserves

Photographs, Susan Sontag once famously wrote, “fiddle with the scale of the world.” They tell us only a distortion. They are incomplete, even as they strive to render the frame whole and exact. That does not make them false. Exactly the opposite. Photographs invite meaning, possibility. The best photos, thick with narrative, sweat. It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. It is also true that a picture is worth a thousand more pictures. One image gives way to another. What are photographs but gateways into parallel realms, memories resurrected, passageways into the familiar? What we see, we have already seen. John MacDougall’s portrait-style capture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson—taken during …

Toni Morrison remembered: Her irreverence was godly

Leading contemporaries pay tribute to the Nobel prize-winning novelist The Bluest Eye. Its a first novel and yet astoundingly everything is there. The voices, nimbly alive, dont just mimic or signal black life, but, rather, invoke and rejoice in it. The clarity and urgency of characters is telegraphed through indelible gestures: three pennies guarded in a childs shoe, the poor hunched shoulders and tilted head of the girl Pecola, whos lived her whole short life with an internalised sense of ugly unlovability. The various forms of rage that rise up in the face of lack stand revealed, as do the barbarous social conditions in place to perpetuate such lack not just in America but everywhere that difference between people is …

From Thelma and Louise to Animals: how female friendships on screen got real

Animals is the latest film to explore womens lives in a refreshingly realistic way. Why did it take Fleabag and Girls for cinema to realise there is more to a narrative than marriage? When did you last see a film with a friendship between two women that felt real, a friendship that didnt play second fiddle to romance in the narrative arc, that was not trampled over or cast aside in the quest for true love? Love stories about female friends are vanishingly rare. But this summer, Olivia Wildes gorgeous coming-of-age story Booksmart arrived on screen. Now comes Animals, the director Sophie Hydes hedonistic Irish comedy about two best friends, underemployed graduates in their early 30s working as coffee-shop baristas. …

‘We need freedom’: Sehaq, the party space for Amsterdam’s queer refugees

As well as contending with racism, queer refugees face homophobia and transphobia even from their fellow refugees. One Dutch group is trying to carve out a safe space At the dinner table, conversations bubble around people as they tuck into a three-course meal. A plethora of different nationalities and identities have pulled up a chair and, here at Sehaq; a network of LGBT refugees run entirely by volunteers. Regularly meeting in members houses, they put on events specifically for queer refugees that range from dance parties to workshops. Where there is a cost or meal involved, all refugees attend for free and non-refugees pay a small donation. Poster for a Sehaq event. Photograph: Sehaq Nisreen, one of the founding members, …

Woodstock 50 music festival officially cancelled weeks before event

The troubled 50th anniversary event planned for August in Maryland has been officially called off The troubled Woodstock 50th anniversary music festival planned for August was officially canceled on Wednesday, with organizers blaming a series of unforeseen setbacks. The three-day festival, meant to mark the 50th anniversary of the famed 1969 celebration of peace and music, was planned for 16-18 August. Greg Peck, principal of Woodstock 50, said an unfortunate dispute with a financial partner and subsequent legal proceedings forced them to move venues and claimed that ultimately they ran out of time. The timing meant we had few choices where our artists would be able to perform. We worked hard to find a way to produce a proper tribute …

Beyonc’s crash diet plan sells an impossible, damaging ideal | Laura Snapes

In promoting an expensive vegan diet plan, the singer has described confronting her weight as every womans nightmare. She is irresponsibly stoking an evil diet culture but is also a victim of it B2018 Coachella headline set was a feat of meticulous preparation. She conceived a show that would pay tribute to the culture of historically black colleges and universities. Having just given birth to twins, she worked for months on the exacting choreography and arrangements. And she went on a demanding vegan diet that also eschewed sugar, carbs, dairy and alcohol. Im hungry, she says in The video advertising Beyoncs diet plan. We see her dancing, doing battle ropes, sit-ups, intensive stretching and squatting in resistance bands. Borges tells …

Ive been through hell: J Balvin on burn out and Beyonc

Pals with Takashi Murakami and bigger than Drake, the South American reggaeton act talks about the highs and lows of being a global superstar Even when covered in wee, its great being Anish Kapoor sculpture, Balvin is thinking about how massively rich he is. The musician owns various houses around the world and has so many expensive watches that there is a Kapoor, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami. When Balvin gets thirsty, he simply voicenotes his butler Max, a slender, handsome Sardinian man who is omnipresent yet discreet. A murmured request into his iPhone X asking for a black coffee is signed off with te amo. Balvin is unfailingly polite, offering food and even the slightly wet clothing off his …

Old men by the sea: Tennessee banker takes Hemingway lookalike contest

Joe Maxey, 68, beats 141 other author impersonators in long-running event that shows importance of being Ernest A retired banker from Tennessee beat 141 other white-bearded contenders to win the coveted Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest in Key West, Florida, on Saturday, at the eighth attempt. Joe Maxey, 68, of Cedar Hill triumphed at Sloppy Joes Bar, a hangout of the author when he lived in Key West in the 1930s. A judging panel of former winners chose Maxey from a vast field which competed in two preliminary rounds and Saturdays finals. Maxey said he loved Hemingways writing and shared the authors fondness for mojitos and women. During his Key West years, Hemingway wrote literary classics including For Whom the Bell …

British Museum to return Buddhist heads looted in Afghan war

Stolen artefacts likely removed by Taliban will go on display before being sent to Kabul Fourth-century Buddhist terracotta heads probably hacked off by the Taliban and found stuffed in poorly made wooden crates at Heathrow are to be returned to Afghanistan where they will be star museum exhibits. The were blown up. A torso was also found with the sculptural heads. Photograph: Trustees of the British Museum The sculptures tell a story of Buddhisms heyday in what is now Afghanistan. Hundreds of monasteries were built and then abandoned after the arrival of the Arab armies in the 8th century and the establishment of Islam as the predominant religion. The return of any object which has been illegally trafficked is hugely …

In Defense of Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is the internet’s favorite condiment villain. The egg, oil, and vinegar emulsion is a symbol not only for blandness, but for whiteness and all its attendant cultural appropriation and entitlement. It symbolizes the whitewashing of culture. It looks like something extruded from a teenage pimple or a long festering wound. Plus, haters love to point out, it’s terrible for you. It’s all fat! And salt! And because of the eggs, it's dangerous! If you leave a potato salad made with it out too long at your BBQ, everyone could get salmonella and then you're literally a murderer. Do you really love mayonnaise enough to murder a Fourth of July party for it? Yes, I do. And it's worse than …