Music and culture
The Music and Culture Section of IR Insider publishes breaking news reports and analysis regarding developments relating to culture, the arts, and entertainment and their broader social, political, and economic implications. Topics covered in the Music and Culture Section may include international film festivals, music releases, museum exhibitions, theatre productions, and beyond. Our section editor is Sonia Hossain.
Malaysian government officials have recently condemned the support for LGBT+ groups among demonstrators partaking in an International Women’s Day march in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, March 9.
Several radio stations across the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have ceased playing Michael Jackson’s music amid the release of Leaving Neverland. In the new documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck detail the alleged sexual abuse they endured at the hands of Jackson.
The Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage occurring once every three years, now stands as the largest recorded gathering of individuals in human history with over 150 million individuals attending over the course of 49 days.
Spanish actor Javier Bardem rebuked calls for a southern border wall at the 91st annual Academy Awards last Sunday. “There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity and talent,” remarked Bardem in his native language of Spanish.
Woody Allen is working on a new movie in Spain while being caught up in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Amazon.
Chinese actor Zhai Tianlin, popular across different national TV series such as “White Deer Plain” and “The Advisors Alliance”, has been called out on China’s biggest social platform Weibo for alleged academic dishonesty.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that it has reversed its plan to present four Oscars during commercial break.
Netflix is producing original films in German for the first time with the help of German television and film companies UFA, ZDF, and X Filme.
The largest museum dedicated to African civilizations opened in Dakar, Senegal in late December. The idea of creating the Museum of Black Civilizations, known in French as the Musee des Civilisations Noire, was inspired by the vision of the first President of Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor, fifty-two years prior.
Three pedestrian traffic lights resembling Elvis Presley have been installed in Elvis Presley Square in Friedberg, Germany.
Reggae music, a genre from Jamaica that was made popular internationally by artists such as Bob Marley, has been added to the 2018 Intangible Cultural Heritage list of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Crazy Rich Asians opened in China this weekend to underwhelming results. The film made less than $1.2 million, according to industry tracker Ent Group.
French President Emmanuel Macron recently demanded the return of 26 artifacts that were stolen by the colonial power in 1894 from the kingdom of Behanzin in Benin.
Rebellion Productions, a UK-based comic, book, and video game publisher, has acquired the site of a former Daily Mail printing facility in Didcot, Oxfordshire in order to convert it into a new film and television studio.
Author William Kamkwamba made headlines in 2007 after he built an electricity producing windmill made of scrap material and spare parts to power his family’s house in Wimbe, Malawi. He was then invited to do a Ted Talk and later attended Dartmouth University. His book, which recounts his inspirational story from building the windmill to his new found fame, was released in 2009 and received praise from Al Gore and Paolo Coelho.
Sony Pictures’ Venom has landed the studio its largest opening weekend ever in China, with a $111 million gross profit this past weekend.
Nigerian Afro-pop artist Tiwa Savage made history by becoming the first female African musician to win the Best African Act at the recently held MTV European Music Awards (EMAs) in Bilbao, Spain.
The Russian release for Hollywood thriller Hunter Killer was scheduled for last Thursday; however, the release has been postponed. The film, starring Gerard Butler, is about an American submarine captain who rescues the Russian president after he is kidnapped by his defense minister. Just hours before the premiere, Megogo Distribution, the film’s distributor, told theaters not to show it.
Nigerian-American award-winning writer Nnedi Okorafor recently released the first in a series of comics inspired by Black Panther.
Stephen King sold the rights to his short story Stationary Bike to film students in South Wales for $1, The Express Tribune reported Sunday.
The council on African studies at Yale, in partnership with the Yale African Graduate & Professional Students, created the inaugural Yale Africa Film Festival with the aim to highlight forward-thinking African films. According to their website, “The festival sought films with visionary stories and new narratives which re-frame African experiences and identities through innovative, future-facing, empowering lenses. These films acknowledge and honor authentic cultural histories and indigenous languages while reshaping internal and external perceptions of the continent’s diverse nations.”
2018 could be the year that China overtakes Hollywood as the most important film market, an event that some may say has been a long time coming. When Chinese currency is converted to U.S. dollars with a conservative exchange rate, it becomes apparent that China’s box office revenue for the first quarter of 2018 hit $3.17 billion, while theaters in North America grossed $2.85 billion.
Spotify recently launched its Afro Hub initiative as part of its Global Cultures Project. “It’s our mission to uncover every layer of this ancient, expressive and rhythmic musical culture which is an important component of today’s mainstream, modern music,” the popular music streaming service said.
On May 24, 2016, an announcement was made that Blumhouse Productions and Miramax were teaming up to finance the eleventh installment of Halloween, a nearly 40-year-old horror franchise, with the director of the original film taking on the role of executive producer.
Irish film studio Element Pictures has signed an agreement with Fox Searchlight that will ensure that the latter is the first to look at new output from Element Pictures and decide whether or not it would like to distribute its films.
The French government will be giving greater financial assistance to films that have more women in senior positions, Françoise Nyssen, the French culture minister, announced Thursday.
The star’s removal may be a drastic action intended to warn other tax evading celebrities — a hidden threat aimed at the upper-class Chinese.
The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) concluded on September 16, after running for 10 days and screening 267 distinct titles.