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Reka Forgach

Golden Globes 2013 Winners Increase Speculation for Academy Awards

This Year’s Golden Globe Winners were a Mixed Bag, Leading Increased Speculation About Oscar Winners

The Golden Globe awards ceremony once again paves the way for the upcoming Oscars by shedding some light on potential winning nominees and critics’ choice.  This year the Globes’ audience enjoyed the hilarious observations of hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler who really raised the comedic bar with quips like, “Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television.” Or on their infamous predecessor, “As Ricky Gervais found out the hard way, when you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host this show two more times,” deliverd in the duo’s classic innocent cheery conviction.

“Les Miserables” led the pack at this year’s Golden Globes with three awards, including Best Comedy or Musical, Best Supporting Actress awarded to Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and Best Actor to Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean.  All these nominations indicate more treasure to come for the cast and crew of Tom Hooper’s rendition of the classic musical. 

Golden Globes winners are nominated and judged by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  Surprises during this years Globes included a special introduction for the civil war biopic “Lincoln” by former President Bill Clinton, or as Fey and Poehler would have it “Special guest Hillary Clinton’s husband!”  Jodie Foster also touched hearts with an emotional and revealing acceptance speech upon receiving the Cecile B. DeMille Award for outstanding contribution to entertainment.

And without further ado, the Golden Globe goes to…

Best Drama: “Argo”

Best Actress in a Drama: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Actor in a Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

Best Comedy or Musical: “Les Miserables”

Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical: Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”

Best Animated Film: “Brave”

Best Foreign Language Film: “Amour”

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Best Director: Ben Affleck, “Argo”

Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”

Best Original Score: Mychael Danna, “Life of Pi”

Best Original Song: Adele, Paul Epworth, “Skyfall”

Best TV Drama: Showtime, “Homeland”

Best Actress in a TV Drama: Claire Danes, “Homeland”

Best Actor in a TV Drama: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”

Best Actress in a TV Musical or Comedy: Lena Dunham, “Girls”

Best Actor in a TV Musical or Comedy: Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”

Best Mini-Series: HBO, “Game Change”

Best Actress in a Mini Series: Julianne Moore, “Game Change”

Best Actor in a Mini Series: Kevin Costner, “Hatfields and McCoys”

Best Supporting Actress in a Mini Series: Maggie Smith, “Downtown Abbey: Season 2”

Best Supporting Actor in a Mini Series: Ed Harris, “Game Change”

Jodie Foster’s Coming Out is Subtle but Thought Provoking

Foster’s Emotionally Charged Golden Globe Acceptance Speech Raises Questions about the Politics of “Coming Out”

Jodie Foster took the very publicly documented chance yesterday at the Golden Globe Awards to staggeringly announce a fact that most of her audience was already unofficially aware of—she is gay.  Jodie’s admission was candid, honest and heartfelt and treated the fact itself as a byline to celebrity privacy, a theme she spoke on at length during her ten minute acceptance speech.  Speculation about the star’s sexuality has been circulating for decades now, and while her announcement was not groundbreaking, it reinforces a number of themes becoming prevalent in the “glass closet” celebrity gay community. 

Increasingly, middle aged stars who claim to have come out of the closet to family and friends years ago are taking steps to explicitly open up to the general public about their orientation, a phenomenon Jodie herself touches on in her “acceptance, slash coming out, slash possible retirement speech.” Foster follows in a long line of public figures, including the likes of Anderson Cooper and Ricky Martin, who have confirmed everyone’s long term conjecturing regarding their sexual orientation.  The myriad different methods of public acknowledgement, emotionally charged acceptance speech, discreet admission on TV or full-blown publicized interview alludes to the direct issue behind Foster’s and others’ coming out – namely the disputed responsibility of a celebrity to openly discuss their private life.  Jodie expounds on the stress of the public eye regarding this issue, saying “I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago…But now, apparently I’m told, that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show.”  Perhaps as a nod to this very issue, this assertion and a shoutout to her ex-lover Cydney Bernard are the closest thing to a “coming out” as Jodie’s speech gives.  In this way, Foster’s speech is touching in its timid honesty but telling in its defensive tone that hints at her own personal struggle to open up as a lifelong star that guards her privacy with her life. 

The masterful subtlety of Jodie Foster’s speech also mirrors strokes of elegant discretion utilized in other celebrities’ coming out; Frank Ocean’s beautifully penned July coming out letter comes to mind almost immediately.  Both stars refrain from dramatic flair to rely instead on subtle inference to communicate a very personal fact.  The omission of the words “I’m gay” in both announcements succeeds in diverting the public eye to an announcement becoming more and more commonplace and opens the public eye to less immediate issues, namely the inidividual context of each celebrity’s personal struggle to come out.  In Frank Ocean’s case, coming out of the closet and provoking conversation in a homophobic hip-hop environment did a lot more to progress acceptance than a defiant media blow out might have.  As the umpteenth celebrity to come out, Foster too chooses to do so in order to underline the importance of doing so regardless of her love for privacy.  We must never disregard the courage and personal responsibility a public figure faces when opening their private lives up to a public that feels entitled to scrutinize and respond to every detail in their lives.

Consumer Electronics Show 2013 Showcases the Latest in Technology

Smarthouses, unbelievable TV developments, and something called an Oculus Rift

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is headlined by HD TVs, cameras to make any photog swoon, and new gadgets for the gaming kiddies amidst the usual new phones, laptops and relative paraphernalia showcased.  A roundup of some of the best to follow.

Electronics usually begs information about the latest in entertainment technology, so here goes.  In the world of TV, we’ve bi-passed the disappointing and somewhat polarizing advent of 3D TV for something way cooler—namely, Haier’s “TV of the Future.”  If you have been dreaming of the day when “Back to the Future’s” voice control becomes a reality, you need to move on to the next big thing.  Haier’s newest product lets the laziest (or most efficient) viewers use their eyes, that is to say their brains in place of an electronic remote.  That’s right, NeuroSky has found a way to read your mind, and deliver.  Oh and Samsung has created a TV that lets you view two totally different programs at the same time.  Seems the days of the remote control are numbered.

In the same vein, CES debuted the latest version of the Oculus Rift, or for the n00bs out there, an electronic virtual reality headset.  This little nugget tracks your head movement to give you a never-before-felt firsthand experience through videogames.  It’s reported to feel so real that at first you feel motion sickness.  We’re all praying for this one to get released from development real soon.

Electronic, or digital, cameras have undergone their fair share of tweaks and modifications.  While Nikon declined to release a new and amazing version of the ultimate unwieldy camera, they did showcase a number of nice new lenses and two new Nikon compact cameras for those who want to actually move and shoot simultaneously.  This year’s next big thing camera-wise continues to be Wi-Fi capability, with Sony and Samsung at the forefront.  Anyone that was excited about a desktop version of Instagram will know the immediate social media implications of this development.

Other cool electronic didn’t-know-you-needed-it-until-now include the Pebble smart watch, that syncs with your smartphone to coordinate running Apps, news, and any number of imaginable future features.  Whirlpool gave us an electronic Bluetooth Fridge that streams music, iTwin a USB that lets you browse NSFW and restricted sites at, well work, duh, and for the ladies—Bodymetrics has developed an electronic “virtual dressing room” for the avid online shopper.

Ecstatic electronic orgasm rounds off with exciting news—2013 has become “the year” for SmartHouse development.  Regulate everything, (blinds, TV, fireplace) electronically off your phone or tablet.  Check on the kids or the pets or the neighbor’s dog that regularly relieves himself on your lawn.  Have your fridge electronically voice any contents you need to re-up.  The best part?  A toilet seat that automatically heats up 10 minutes before you rise from your slumber.  Paradise found.

Seastreak Ferry Accident in NYC Leaves 50 Injured

Commuter ferry hits a loading dock a rare NYC shoreline accident

A Seastreak ferry shuttling between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan crashed into Pier 11 this morning in a rare ferry accident for New York City’s docks.  Hundreds of passengers were jolted as the boat violently hit a loading dock at approximately 8:45 a.m. near Wall Street.  The force of the impact injured 57 passengers as they were tossed into each other waiting to disembark from the boat—2 passengers have been reported to be in critical condition.  Those reported worst off suffered head trauma from being flung down the stairs at the time of impact.  The ferry, heading towards the dock at a steady clip, hit one of the loading barges extending from the pier and suffered extensive damages including a huge gash on the outside and broken glass and debris within.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been dispatched to the scene to investigate the cause of the ferry mishap, but the ultimate cause remains uncertain.  The ferry itself, a 2003 catamaran, was due for a major mechanical overhaul in a couple of months and was reportedly unpopular among ferry captains because of its stiff maneuverability.  Once the ferry recovered from the crash it was able to dock normally, and passengers were quickly escorted off with some strapped to stretchers to reduce head and neck movement as a precaution. 

This is not the first ferry accident to affect New York City commuters.  In 2003 one of the worst accidents in recent history shook the shores as a Staten Island Ferry missed a dock and drove full speed into a maintenance pier, killing 11.  The pilot of the 2003 ferry was sentenced to time in prison when investigators found out he had taken painkillers the night before for a bad back.  This time around, the entire Seastreak Ferry crew has taken and passed breathalyzer tests, largely ruling out any immediate charges of workers under influence causing the accident.  Seastreak Ferry, a popular high-speed ferry service, routes daily commuter ferries and spokesman Tom Wynne vouched for all ferry captains, stating “All of our captains have a great deal of experience.”

ESPN Apologizes to Webb Who Gracefully Declines

Katherine Webb decilnes a sincere apology from ESPN and Musberger for the latter’s eyebrow raising gametime commentary.

Katherine Webb’s beau, quarterback AJ McCarron, seems to have everything going for him, from his team’s handy victory over an undefeated Notre Dame on Sunday to a stunning former Miss Alabama girlfriend cheering in the stands.  It’s unlikely that this has escaped the attention of anyone watching the game, many thanks to ESPN announcer Brent Musberger’s shameless commentary expounding on her good looks as only a 73-year-old sports announcer can.  The lengthy attention of both the camera and Musberger earned Webb a whopping 160,000 new Twitter followers and, well, priceless free publicity.

ESPN released an apology In response to backlash on the Webb commentary, labeling Musberger’s remarks as “creepy,” “awkward” and “uncomfortable.”  “We always try to capture interesting story lines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said. “However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent (Musberger) understands that.”  Reportedly, the “cringing” ESPN trailer at the game also urged Musberger to “move on” from Webb to the bigger picture through his earpiece, but not before the old man drooled just a little too much.

Webb’s response to the whole shindig?  The aspiring model slash Chick-Fil-A training director was unperturbed, nay flattered, by the comments and found ESPN’s apology superfluous.  She respectfully declined to acknowledge any of the weird vibes that had everyone else’s radar going off, responding “It was kind of nice. I didn’t look at it as creepy at all. For a woman to be called beautiful, I don’t see how that’s an issue.”  Webb later told “Today’s” Matt Lauer “I think the media has been really unfair to him. I think if he had said something along the line if we were hot or sexy, I think that would be a little bit different.”  Apparently this Southern Belle is as laidback and gracious as a poised pageant queen can be, and she definitely knows the value of free TV time.

David Bowie is Back in a Bad Way

David Bowie celebrates his 66th birthday by releasing an unexpected single and more unexpected news

David Bowie blew out his 66 candles and blew up the music world with his new single “Where Are We Now?” and news of the release of his latest 17 track album The Next Day in early March. Ziggy Stardust has been silent for the past decade, but this latest comeback single is no letdown to faithful fans.

If the teaser is any indication, Bowie’s 25th album promises a soulful and reflective reprisal of the popstar. Surprisingly, “The Next Day” promises a more melancholic comeback album than the likes of, say Paul McCartney’s “Memory Almost Full.” I think we can look forward to a smooth musical reinvention a la Bobby Womack’s “Bravest Man in the Universe,” that is to say pure creative genius marrying decades of success with an appropriate nod to current times in a graceful return to the spotlight.

Both the lyrics and video for David Bowie’s latest reference his time in Berlin, Germany with sketchy footage of the city and shoutouts to the “Dschungel” club and Nurnberger Street.  Much like the grainy footage of the “art school-y” video, Bowie’s voice is — not surprisingly — scratchier than the full throated belting we’re used to, but this really only adds to the pleasant nostalgia of the piece.  Fans and critics alike are delighted by the announcement and pleased with the quality of Bowie’s latest effort.  What could be more appropriate than Bowie himself crooning, “As long as there’s me, as long as there’s you…” to bring home everyone’s personal relationship with his work and remind us of our everlasting appreciation for a timeless music legend.