Fall singer, Mark E Smith dies at 60

The founder of Fall, Mark E Smith, the post punk band of Manchester dies at 60. The band was formed in 1976 in Prestwich. Smith was considered as the only member who remained constant throughout these years. He was told to be a hot tempered man, who frequently fired his band members. 66 different members, to be specific.
Ex-wife Brix Smith Smart remembers him and wrote in a tribute, “Mark defied convention and definition – he was a true artist. He was my music mentor, my cultural anchor, and my first love.” 
His well wishers, ex band members, and friends always considered him as music maestro even though his temper was not much tolerable. Fall became a huge success, though members changed frequently. Fall’s 32nd album was released in 2017, called News Facts Emerge. Smith used to travel around the globe often for music tours. Deteriorating health made it hard for him to accompany his band. 
Marc Riley, a former band member and now a radio DJ, was on air when the news broke. The pair had a confused relationship. This is also the case with Smith and many of the musicians who stayed with the band.  “Aged 16 he really did teach me so much,” Riley told his listeners.
SOURCE:  The Guardian, BBC

Video games reveal unrealistic drug use

The video games created in the recent times are having a bad influence of the audience, according to study. The use of drugs, cocaine, meth and many other harmful substances are featured that convey wrong messages to the masses. A study was done by Archstone, an addiction awareness organization that revealed some shocking stories. The report showed how the characters in the video games often made drug cocktails. After consumption of which they gained extra powers and energy.
The reality of these harmful drugs are not shown. They are chosen to convey wrong and sensitive information. The revelation of the study made parents to ensure their children do not fall trap into any kind of wrong doings and illegal habits, which may cause mental and physical harm.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is the organization which assigns age and content ratings to games in the US. The company says it is not upset with its drugs-related guidance.“The ESRB’s robust rating submission process ensures accurate, detailed and reliable rating information that parents are aware of, regularly use and trust to help decide which games and apps are appropriate for their children and family,” said a spokeswoman.

Padmaavat open well in overseas markets, beats Baahubali and Dangal record

The release of Padmaavat in the international markets has seen an incredible opening. UK, Australia and New Zealand have received huge box office collections on the first day of its screening.

Times Now reported that the film has surpassed collections of    Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (Hindi version) and Dangal. The collections of Baahubali 2, was $212 thousand, and Dangal, was $247 thousand respectively. Padmavaat opened with a collection of $347 thousand.  It earned £97 in UK and $64 thousand in New Zealand with the paid preview screening. The film received Rs 5 crore through the paid previews in India.

“Padmaavat has seen a fabulous start in the overseas markets of Bollywood,” Taran Adarsh, Senior Trade Analyst tweeted.

According to a report in The Quint the opening in Indian markets was predicted to be Rs 35 crore. However, this did not happen and was lower than the expected amount because of the violent attacks and protests in the country surrounding the film release. The film is yet to hit screens in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. This has caused a drop in the expected collections.


SOURCE:  The Quint, Times Now

CBFC Chairperson, Prasoon Joshi issued contempt notice for failure to respond to plea against Padmaavat  

Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Prasoon Joshi, was issued a contempt notice on 16th January by the Allahabad High Court for not responding to a plea against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, made on court order. The court has granted him a period of three weeks to respond to the petition before the next hearing of the case on February 12th.

The petitioner had filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking a ban on the movie alleging that it promoted the practise of Sati. On November 9, 2017 the High Court dismissed the plea, but allowed the petitioner to approach the censor board wherein the board was required to give a response within three weeks. While a representation was filed before the CBFC on November 13th, Joshi has failed to give a response yet.

This becomes the latest in a series of disputes surrounding the release of the period film which was initially scheduled to release on December 1st, 2017.  Repeated protests and threats of violence by several Rajput groups, led by the Karni Sena, stalled the movies’ certification and release alleging that the makers distorted history.  Despite Bhansali repeatedly denying the allegations, it was claimed that the film had a dream sequence between Rani Padmini and Alauddin Khilji. The movie is finally set to release on January 25th with a few changes as per CBFC’s directive, including the change of its name from ‘Padmavati’ to ‘Padmaavat’.

Sources: Scroll, Times Now

‘Padmaavat’ Bandwagon continues: Producers move to Supreme Court

As Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s controversial film ‘Padmavaat’ is set to release, the movie still faces ban in Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and  Rajasthan. The producers today moved the matter to the  Supreme Court (SC) challenging the ban on its screening by these states. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra agreed to hear the petition on Janurary 18.

The film producer has mentioned in his petition, of the film undergoing many changes including its title to meet all suggestions of the Censor Board. 

The producer questioned the power of the State government on imposing a complete ban on the film in spite of the SC clarifying that screening of a film can only be suspended in an area if the law and order of the situation in that area is disturbed.

The film faced stiff opposition from many BJP leaders in Haryana. Both Anil Vij and Vipul Goel had urged Information and broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani to ban the film in November.

Haryana announced its ban on Padmaavat yesterday. The Haryana cabinet headed by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar approved proposals of the same and Minister Anil Vij tweeted “Film Padmavati/Padmaavat banned in Haryana,” yesterday.

Source: TOI, HT

‘Oh Happy Day’ fame Gospel Star, Edwin Hawkins dies, aged 74

The face of contemporary inspirational music and the American gospel star Edwin Hawkins, 74 died on Monday at his apartment in California. He was suffering from Pancreatic Cancer as said by his publicist, Bill Carpenter to the Associated Press. 
Hawkins was a composer, keyboardist, arranger and choir master and one of the eight siblings. He has also been a part of various church groups along with his family since childhood and in his 20’s he formed the Northern California State Youth Choir. Hawkins along with Andrae Crouch, James Cleveland and few others, was considered as a founder of modern gospel music. Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and numerous are other known singers who had become mainstream stars by adapting gospel sounds to pop lyrics. He enjoyed utmost commercial success while he continued performing music that celebrated religious faith openly.
Even though his first album was Let Us Go into the House of the Lord that catered to local audience, he is known for his 1969 hit ‘Oh Happy Day’. Edwin Hawkins will continue to lead the gospel music community in American history and has a large audience to cherish his memories, music and beliefs.
Source: USA Today, BBC

Stan Lee accused of sexual harassment; denies claims

Creator of Marvel comics, Stan Lee, has been accused of sexually harassing and groping nurses who worked for him. Lee, however, has outrightly denied such claims.

According to a Daily Mail report, the 95-years-old groped the women and asked them to perform oral sex. A representative from the nursing company stated that many nurses have complained about Lee. The company ceased working for him at the end of 2016.

As a result of these accusations, there is now an ongoing legal dispute between the care company and him.

Hinting that this was an attempt at blackmail, the Spider-Man creator issued a statement through his lawyer, Tom Lallas, that said, “Mr. Lee categorically denies these false and despicable allegations and he fully intends to fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character”.

Backing the statement, a representative for the new nursing company caring for Lee declared that he has been polite, kind and respectful.

Best known for creating the Marvel comic book series, his creative insights have been immortalized through the film series his books have turned into. His wife of 69 years passed away in 2017 at the age of 93.

Sources: Daily Mail , The Independent