Smoke Fairies live stream tonight

A global live streaming event. Smoke Fairies Live From The Italianate Glasshouse. Sunday 18th July. Show starts at 8pm BST (9pm CEST, 3pm EST, 12pm PST).

To celebrate ten years since the worldwide release of the critically acclaimed debut album ‘Through Low Light and Trees’ Smoke Fairies have commissioned a special filmed performance of the album in its entirety live at the beautiful Italianate Glasshouse in Ramsgate, England.

Ticket buyers will receive an email with their link to joint the live stream just prior to the show on Sunday 18th July + please check your junk email just in case any links get lost. In any instance please email info@smokefairies.com with any problems or questions.

Tickets are £12 but we have added an option to ‘pay what you want’ for the event allowing the opportunity to add a donation over and above the ticket price. Any donations received will be shared with the #saveourvenues campaign to support the live music industry.

Mark Kermode: 50 films every film fan should watch

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

The UK’s best-known film critic, Mark Kermode offers up 50 personal viewing recommendations, from great classics to overlooked gems.

The Arbor (2010)

Director Clio Barnard

The Arbor (2010)

Artist Clio Barnard’s moving film about the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar (Rita, Sue and Bob Too) is no ordinary documentary. Mixing interviews with Dunbar’s family and friends (seen lip-synched by actors), scenes from her plays performed on the estate where she lived, and TV footage of her in the 1980s, the film makes intriguing, inventive play with fact, fiction and reminiscence.

Mark Kermode says: “Somehow the disparate elements form a strikingly cohesive whole, conjuring a portrait of the artist and her offspring that is both emotionally engaging, stylistically radical and utterly unforgettable.”

Bad Timing (1980)

Director Nicolas Roeg

Bad Timing (1980)

Seen in flashback through the prism of a woman’s attempted suicide, this fragmented portrait of a love affair expands into a labyrinthine enquiry into memory and guilt. One of director Nic Roeg’s finest films, starring Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell and Harvey Keitel.

Mark Kermode says: “Roeg himself reported that a friend refused to talk to him for three years after seeing the film. Today, Bad Timing still divides audiences: monstrosity or masterpiece? Well, watch it and decide for yourself.”

La Belle et la Bête (1946)

Director Jean Cocteau

La Belle et la Bête (1946)

With its enchanted castle, home to fantastic living statuary, and director Jean Cocteau’s lover Jean Marais starring as a Beast who is at once brutal and gentle, rapacious and vulnerable, shamed and repelled by his own bloodlust, this remains a high point of the cinematic gothic imagination.

Mark Kermode says: “Personally I think Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, the maestro of the modern screen fairytale, said it best when he declared La Belle et la Bête simply to be the most perfect cinematic fable ever told.”

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HCR: Are you on the side of truth or lies?

Heather Cox Richardson | Letters from an American

HCR
Heather Cox Richardson

July 13, 2021

“Are you on the side of truth or lies; fact or fiction; justice or injustice; democracy or autocracy?”

In a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia today, President Joe Biden asked his audience to take a stand as he called defending the right to vote in America, “a test of our time.” 

Biden explained that the 2020 election has been examined and reexamined and that “no other election has ever been held under such scrutiny and such high standards.” The Big Lie that Trump won is just that, he said: a big lie. 

Nonetheless, 17 Republican-dominated states have enacted 28 laws to make it harder to vote. There are almost 400 more in the hopper. Biden called this effort “the 21st-century Jim Crow,” and promised to fight it. He pointed out that the new laws are doing more than suppressing the vote. They are taking the power to count the vote “from independent election administrators who work for the people” and giving it to “polarized state legislatures and partisan actors who work for political parties.”

“This is simple,” Biden said. “This is election subversion. It’s the most dangerous threat to voting and the integrity of free and fair elections in our history.”

While Biden was on his way to Philadelphia, more than 50 members of the Texas House of Representatives were fleeing the state to deny the Republicans in the legislature enough people to be able to do business. They are trying to stop the Republicans from passing measures that would further suppress the vote, just as they did when they left the state in May. Along with voting measures, the Texas Republicans want to pass others enflaming the culture wars in the state: bills to stop the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools (where it is not taught) and to keep transgender athletes from competing on high school sports teams. Both of these issues are part of a wider program pushed by national right-wing organizations. 

When the Democrats left the state two months ago, Republican governor Greg Abbott was so angry he vetoed funding for the legislature (that effort is being challenged in court). This time, he has vowed to arrest the Democratic members and hold them inside the Capitol until the special session of the legislature ends in late August. This threat has no effect outside of Texas, where state authorities have no power, and even within the state it is unclear what law the legislators are breaking.

But it does raise the vision of a Republican governor arresting Democratic lawmakers who refuse to do his bidding. 

What is at stake in Texas at the local level is that Abbott is smarting from two major failures of the electrical grid on his watch: one in February and one in June. What is at stake at the national level is that the electoral math says that Republicans cannot expect to win the White House in the future unless they carry Texas, with its 40 electoral votes, and the state seems close enough to turning Democratic that Abbott in 2020 ordered the removal of drop boxes for ballots. The electrical crisis of February, which killed nearly 200 Texans and in which Republican senator Ted Cruz was filmed leaving the state to go to Cancun, has hurt the Republican Party there. 

And so, Abbott and his fellow Republicans are consolidating their power, planning to “win” in 2022 and 2024 by making sure Democrats can’t vote. 

Biden today went farther than he ever has before in calling out Republicans for what they are doing. He described the attempt to cast doubt on the 2020 election and to rig the vote before 2022 for what it is: an attempt to subvert democracy and steal the election. “Have you no shame?” he asked his Republican colleagues.

But as strongly as Biden worded his speech, the former speechwriter for Republican President George W. Bush, David Frum, in The Atlantic today went further.

“Those who uphold the American constitutional order need to understand what they are facing,” Frum wrote. “Trump incited his followers to try to thwart an election result, and to kill or threaten Trump’s own vice president if he would not or could not deliver on Trump’s crazy scheme to keep power.” Since the insurrection, he noted, Trump supporters have embraced the idea that the people who hold office under our government are illegitimate and that, therefore, overturning the election is a patriotic duty. 

“It’s time,” Frum said, “to start using the F-word.” The word he meant is “fascism.” 

“We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War,” Biden said today…. I’m not saying this to alarm you; I’m saying this because you should be alarmed.”  

We must, he said, have “the will to save and strengthen our democracy.”

GasLit Nation: The United States of Exxon

GASLIT NATION WITH ANDREA CHALUPA AND SARAH KENDZIOR

Welcome to a Gaslit Nation blazing with the fury of an ocean oil spill fire! In today’s episode, we discuss the corrupt politicians selling what’s left of our country’s soul and sovereignty to Exxon, the complicit officials who refuse to tackle the mafia state apparatus that makes the aforementioned collaboration possible, and who exactly stands to benefit from the melting of the Arctic and other disastrous effects of climate change.