This year’s Global Citizen Festival still acknowledged extreme poverty and its goal to reduce the number of people living under such conditions. However, the festival has made poverty less of the focus and instead addressed many more of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (of which eradicating extreme poverty is the first of eight), including women’s rights (gender equality) and global partnership for development, plus other issues like sanitation, vaccination and the environment.
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As a press release notes, Paul McCartney‘s ‘One on One’ tour, “features dozens of classics from the most beloved catalog in popular music, spanning Paul’s entire career—as a solo artist, member of Wings and of course as a Beatle—and no shortage of surprises”. Well at Madison Square Garden on September 15th, one of eight NYC area shows this month, fans of the famed Beatle got a (double!) surprise near the end of an already outstanding show. (Okay, I am pretending that “FourFiveSeconds” didn’t happen.)
Lacking the sense of fun and creative character design that made his past films somewhat bearable, Guillermo del Toro’s latest feature, The Shape of Water (viewed at Toronto International Film Festival 2017) has almost nothing within it of interest. Opening with a voice-over describing “the princess without voice”, the film sets itself up in the realm of the fairytale. But rather than engaging with the genre in a meaningful way, del Toro’s film is boring, broad, and unoriginal, without any magic or charm.
Ope (Zainab Balogun), a struggling chef, decides to return to the Royal Hibiscus Hotel owned by her parents in Lagos after quitting her London job. Seeking comfort in her childhood home, things go awry when Ope begins a romance with Deji (Kenneth Okolie), a guest who just happens to be working on a deal to buy the hotel. Directed by Ishaya Bako and viewed at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel has all the makings of a conventional romantic comedy, but in Bako’s hands, conventionality is at its best.
In a recent conversation with the NY Post, Patti Smith noted that her show at Summerstage became a tribute to her late husband in a roundabout way. The September 14th performance “was not something specifically planned, it was a positive piece of fate… The band was asked to play Central Park on 14 September, which is Fred’s birthday and it seemed natural that we center the concert around him.”