Jun 24, 2013

Berlusconi: seven years in prison and barred from public office for life.

MILAN (AP) — A Milan court has convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute during infamous "bunga bunga" parties at his villa and then using his influence to try to cover it up.
Berlusconi, 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life. The ban on holding office could mean the end of Berlusconi's two-decade political career. However, there are two more levels of appeal before the sentence would become final. Berlusconi will not have to serve any jail time unless the sentence is confirmed on appeal.
Berlusconi holds no official post in the current Italian government, but remains influential in the uneasy cross-party coalition that emerged after inconclusive February elections. Both he and the Moroccan woman at the center of the scandal have denied ever having sex.
"I already know they want to get me out of the way", says Berlusconi. His mood is said to be black and he is braced for the worst... (Di Caro, Corriere della Sera)

Jun 11, 2013

Bend it Like Beckham

In Bend it Like Beckham (UK 2002), an independent-minded young woman discovers the joys of football, much to her family's chagrin. Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) is an 18-year-old growing up in West London, where her family has taken every effort to stay in touch with its Indian heritage. Jess' father and mother (Anupam Kher and Shaheen Khan) are after their daughter to go to law school, learn to cook a traditional Indian dinner, and settle down with a nice Indian boy -- the latter of which is high on the agenda of her older sister Pinky (Archie Panjabi), who is soon to wed her longtime beau Teetu (Kulvinder Ghir). However, her family is unaware that Jess has a secret passion -- football (or soccer, as it's known in North America). While Jess' enthusiasm for football star David Beckham is obvious, given the fact his photos cover the walls of her room, her parents don't know that in her spare time she likes to play a friendly game in the park with some of the boys in the neighborhood. One day, while Jess and her pals kick the ball around, she meets Jules (Keira Knightley), who is quite impressed with Jess' skills. Jules plays with a local semi-pro women's football team, the Hounslow Harriers, and she thinks Jess has what it takes to make the team. Jess knows that her parents would never approve of their daughter playing football, so she doesn't tell them, and starts spinning an increasingly complex series of lies as she tries to keep up a double life as a student and a footballer. Jess soon discovers a number of her new friends have their own problems to overcome; Jules dreams of playing pro ball in America, but has to deal with her stubborn and disapproving mother (Juliet Stevenson), while Joe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Hounslow's Irish coach, still struggles with the disappointment of a career as a professional athlete which was dashed by a knee injury. Bend It Like Beckham was a significant box-office success in Great Britain and Europe, but didn't reach American theaters until nearly a year after it debuted in the U.K. (Mark Deming, Rovi).
Here’s the script and the study guide from Film Education.
For an analysis of the film (adopting a postcolonial approach) and underlying the limitations of an understanding of “culture” as homogenous and static, you can read Chacko, M.A (2010) Bend It Like Beckham: Dribbling the Self Through a Cross-Cultural Space, in “Multicultural Perspectives”, 12(2): 81–86.

Jun 4, 2013


Fighting the Image of the ‘Burning’ Borough - NYTimes.com
“The Bronx has been trying to remove the scorch marks from its name since the 1970s, when arson fires, rampant crime and poverty pushed residents out in droves; made the borough a national symbol of urban decay; and saddled it with the apocalyptic phrase, “the Bronx is burning.”

Jun 3, 2013

Kids These Days

Kids These Days - T Magazine

“...In other words, it's the young people who have nothing to lose, with no mortgage and, frankly, with nothing to do on a Friday night except work, who are the ones often willing to take the biggest risks. Sure, they are talented. But it's their persistence and zeal, the desire to stay up until 6 a.m. chugging Red Bull, that is the difference between being a salaried employee and an entrepreneur“.