A New, More Interesting Guided Tour

first_imgNews A New, More Interesting Guided Tour SHARE This time a tour of the Korean Film Studios was part of the official festival programme. In preparation for the visit, each delegate received a booklet entitled Great Man and Cinema. I read mine on the bus on route to the studio – a collection of stories whose intent was to depict the Great Leader Kim Jong-il as a “master thinker, theoretician and leader of cinematic art and a benevolent and intimate father of film workers”. In actuality, though, it chronicled the many horror stories of a powerful move mogul who treated everyone around him like shit.According to the booklet, even as a seven-year-old, Kim was a brat who interfered with the production of My Home Village. Later on, mid-production in other films, he would arrive unannounced and demand that crews change the way they were shooting, change the editing, and so on. Old-style Hollywood studio heads like Jack Warner were notorious for dictatorial behavior, but even they paled next to Kim Jong-il. Indeed, what was one to make of the following reference in Great Man and Cinema? “When actors balked at piercing old people with their bayonets and throwing children into the fire, [the Great Leader] told them they should act with boldness to lend realism to the film.”We arrived at the studio, a large compound outside of Pyongyang. A huge painting of Kim Jong-il – overlooking the production of a battle scene in Sea of Blood – filled an entire wall in the lobby. His presence would be firmly felt during the first part of our studio tour. A female guide, with the customary exhortative sing-song voice, led us through a grand exhibition in which every chair and desk utilised by the Great One during his frequent “on-the-spot-guidance visits” were displayed from under glass – as were all cameras, film processing equipment, tape recorders, and floodlights that he had ever laid a hand upon. A visit by this guy must have been a nightmare, robbing the studio of much of its equipment! I asked about the films he had actually produced but the guide denied that the Dear Leader was involved in any such activity.“He only gave guidance and taught the people,” I was informed. I knew that Pulgasari had been one of his vanity productions, however, at least according to the film’s director, Shin Sang-ok. But as Shin had fled the country, I couldn’t possibly present him as a reliable source for any argument to the contrary. The Kim Jong-il exhibit finally behind us, we toured the mock location streets. There was a rural old-fashioned Korean street, a South Korean street (which didn’t look like South Korea at all), a Japanese street (which didn’t look like a Japanese street at all), and a Western street (which could barely pass as being someplace on the furthest reaches of small town, East Germany).None of the set designers seemed to have appreciated that cities outside of North Korea had changed considerably in the last fifty years. A simulated production staged for visitors was taking place in one of the huts of the “old Korean street”. A medieval scene. Miss Choe introduced me to the main actor. For wont of anything better to discuss, I asked him how Kim Kil-in was doing. Kim Kil-in was the director of Hong Kil Dong, a sword-fight drama set in medieval times which happened to be one of my favorite films from North Korea, as well as one of the most successful during my European tour. Whenever I asked Miss Choe about the possibility of talking to the director, she steadfastly maintained that Kim Kil-in was “too busy”. To my surprise, the actor told me that Kim Kil-in had actually died three years ago, “in the middle of shooting a film.”We were ushered into a meeting with (still living) North Korean movie people. I was introduced to some actresses from films I had screened in Europe, but the meeting was so brief that it wasn’t possible to have more than a few fleeting words with any of them. We were soon to discover that our fellow guests at the Koryo Hotel were the heroic “unconverted long-time prisoners” of the South Koreans, recently returned to the North. I would occasionally run into one or two of them in the elevator, and we could sometimes see them being herded onto a bus. Waiting for our own bus in front of the Koryo Hotel that afternoon, ready to go once again to the film export cinema, the “unconverted” arrived from some earlier visit on the doorstep of the hotel. Grey-haired old men all of them, each with a big medal on his jacket. One, who was confined to a wheelchair, suddenly came over to me and handed me a bunch of flowers. I stood rooted, a little surprised, as he sped off into the hotel. His comrades began to follow suit, handing flowers to all the foreigners. At that moment, a commotion from within the hotel spilled out into the street. A member of staff was chasing a young man. The youth managed to give his pursuer the slip only to run headlong into a dozen plainclothed hotel guards. With a flurry of kicks and punches, the youth tried like a wild animal up against a wall. The fugitive wore his hair very short, was wrapped in an old blue jacket and bore a glare of such utter hatred that it brought a chill to the spine. Was he an example of North Korea’s officially non-existent juvenile delinquents? Had he slipped into the hotel to try and steal something, knowing the severity of the punishment that awaited him and driven to avoid being caught at any cost? A police car drove up, and the hotel guards helped the two officers pry the youth into their vehicle. They managed eventually and sped him away. This time Miss Choe had no explanation. According to numerous sources, the treatment of prisoners in North Korean labour camps – where people are interned for far less serious violations than trying to steal from an international hotel- are among the worst of the world, and the survival rate within them is poor. On the other hand, nobody really knows anything about actual crime rates in North Korea- which could be rather high when one considers all of the people going without food in the countryside. By Daily NK – 2010.03.08 5:02pm RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter News center_img AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak News last_img read more

Manchester paralegal banned for stealing £294,000 from firm

first_imgThe Solicitors Regulation Authority has moved to bar a paralegal found to have stolen around £294,000 from his firm.According to an SRA notice published this week, Paul Young stole the money during the four-and-a-half years he was employed to work in the Manchester office of Berrymans Lace Mawer. It was not explained how the misconduct happened or how it was detected.The SRA said Young, who left the firm in 2019 and whose current employment status is unknown, had acted dishonestly and should no longer be involved in a legal practice. He was made subject to a section 43 order preventing him from working for any law firm without SRA permission. He must also pay the SRA’s £600 costs.Following publication of the decision, a spokesperson for the firm said: ‘We can confirm that an individual employed by BLM was dismissed last year when it was established that their actions breached both their contract of employment and the SRA’s code of conduct.‘The individual is not a solicitor but their conduct was immediately reported to the SRA. The matter is now the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. We therefore cannot provide any further comment at this time.’last_img read more

Ginebra sets up finals showdown vs San Miguel with Star drubbing

first_img[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’Ginebra sets up finals showdown vs San Miguel with Star drubbing’ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”]By ADRIAN STEWART CO[/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=’custom’ color=’#0a0a0a’]Wednesday, February 22, 2017[/av_textblock][av_image src=’http://www.panaynews.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/sports-PBA-8-495×400.jpg’ attachment=’97489′ attachment_size=’portfolio’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=’yes’ font_size=’14’ appearance=’on-hover’ overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ animation=’no-animation’]Kings titan Sol Mercado (3) rallies past the Star Hotshots to pave the way for a Barangay Ginebra San Miguel versus San Miguel Beermen showdown in the 2016-2017 Oppo PBA Philippine Cup finals.PBA [/av_image][av_textblock size=” font_color=’custom’ color=’#0a0a0a’]MANILA – The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings marched into the finals of the 2016-2017 Oppo PBA Philippine Cup with an 89-76 victory over the Star Hotshots in Game 7 of their best-of-seven semifinals on Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.Sol Mercado led the way with 23 points, including four three-point conversions, for the Kings, which has set up a best-of-seven titular showdown with defending champion San Miguel Beermen slated to start on Friday.LA Tenorio chipped in 21 points, with three outside hits, while Japeth Aguilar and Earl Scottie Thompson had 19 and 10 points, respectively, for the Kings, which is eyeing its second straight PBA title.The Kings zoomed to an 11-2 start behind hits by Aguilar, Mercado and Joe Devance. The lead grew further to 21-7 on five straight points by Thompson before the Hotshots cut it to 26-16 on back-to-back hits by Mark Barroca.The Hotshots came to within seven early in the second period after a triple by Aldrech Ramos but the Kings managed to pull away anew with three-pointers from Tenorio and Mercado.The Kings maintained the double-digit lead in the third quarter but the Hotshots went on a huge surge behind Jean Marc Pingris and Rafael Reavis to come to within 65-61 at the end of the frame.The Hotshots came to as close as three points early in the final quarter at 68-65 but the Kings quickly widened it to 10 points, 80-67, on consecutive hits from Tenorio, Aguilar and Thompson.The Hotshots had its last push to come to within 82-74 on back-to-back hits by Ramos and Barroca but six straight points from Tenorio sealed the win for the Kings as the lead went up to 13 with just under a minute left in the game.Allein Maliksi top-scored with 22 points, while Pingris and Ramos added 17 and 14 points, respectively, for the Hotshots, which got another sub-par game from Paul Lee, who was held to just four points./PN[/av_textblock][/av_one_full]last_img read more

Steel Sensations…Steelers just need to stay healthy this week

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) leaps into the end zone ahead of Baltimore Ravens strong safety Eric Weddle (32) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Don Wright)The Steelers advanced to 10-5 on Christmas night and clinched the AFC North in a game that will surely be looked at as the most thrilling in 2016.  With the victory, the season was given a bow on top as the team knocked the Ravens out of playoff contention and locked up the number three seed in the AFC playoffs simultaneously.Locking up the three seed provides a likely scenario that will see a home game against the Dolphins in round one, a road game against Oakland, who is now without Derek Carr, in round two and then lastly a trip to New England for the AFC Title (all pending the Steelers advancing of course).  This is about as good of a scenario as the black and gold could ask for entering the post season.With the Steelers locked into the three seed, coach Tomlin has announced that he will sit stars LeVeon Bell (voted Team MVP for 2016), Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger.I do agree with Tomlin on sitting Bell and Brown, there is no point in risking injuries to those two guys in a meaningless game against the woeful Browns.Surprisingly, I don’t agree with completely sitting Big Ben.  I would urge Tomlin to play Ben for at least a quarter or perhaps a half. I understand that the team can ill afford to have Ben get hurt, in my opinion he is the true team MVP, more so than Bell but Ben seems to struggle coming off of weeks he doesn’t play so in my opinion getting him a series or two would benefit the team in the first round of the playoffs.Nevertheless this upcoming game against the Browns means absolutely nothing and the key to this game will be getting everybody out of the game healthy and ready to go for next week.Tomlin needs to apply a version of the logic he’s using with the Killer B’s with all of his key starters, including Stephon Tuitt, James Harrison, Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons, Bud Dupree, David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey.  The trio of rookies starting on defense can actually benefit from playing so I’m hoping they get significant time and come out healthy.It’s nice to have a meaningless game to close out the season, the team can play a vanilla style offense while getting some guys like Landry Jones and the trio of rookies on defense some needed playing time. Win or lose is irrelevant and it all comes down to preparation for the playoffs.  With the most likely scenario being the Steelers taking on the Dolphins in round one, the week should be spent prepping for that game and I hope that Tomlin and his staff do just that. Sure, it’d be nice to finish the season 11-5 by beating the Browns but in the end who cares?It’s playoff time in Pittsburgh and this team is poised to make a run but it all rests on Tomlin making the right decisions this week in order to fully prepare his team for next week. Those decisions are not x’s and o’s, they are playing time and style of play. If Tomlin manages the team properly this week, he can set his team up for success and a deep run into January…Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association http://www.steelnationassociation.com– Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at [email protected]last_img read more

At Harvard, education through athletics (and vice-versa)

first_imgIn this Dec. 25, 2015, file photo, Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker encourages his team as they played Oklahoma in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Diamond Head Classic, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner, File) CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — When Harvard sophomore Seth Towns awoke in his riverside dorm room Wednesday morning, he had options.He could work out at the gym to prepare for the upcoming Ivy League basketball season. He could slog downstairs for another dining hall breakfast with his roommates. Or he could head over to Harvard Square to eat instead with civil rights activist Harry Edwards, sportscaster James Brown, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and philosopher Cornel West.Towns chose to stretch his mind instead of his muscles.“It’s the kind of thing you come to Harvard for,” the 6-foot-7 forward for the Crimson basketball team said. “Growing up, I would have never thought that I’d have these people to look up to and talk to. I’m just acting as a sponge, and taking it all in.”At a monthly event dubbed the “Breakfast Club,” tucked away in the private dining room of a Harvard Square hotel restaurant, Towns and senior Chris Egi joined coach Tommy Amaker this week to mingle with a few dozen leaders in the city’s financial, political and intellectual communities.Later that afternoon, Edwards spoke to the whole basketball team about a life at the intersection of sports and activism, from John Carlos and Tommie Smith — not to mention Malcolm X — to Colin Kaepernick.Amaker arranged the talk for a simple but somewhat quaint reason: As long as his paycheck comes from Harvard, he plans to take his role as an educator seriously.“We’re teaching, we’re engaging, we’re exposing. We’re hopefully enlightening,” Amaker said. “I’m not sure how much they know about Dr. Harry Edwards. But we’re going to give them an education about that. I promise you that.”’FILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, file photo, basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaks with reporters at Harvard before meeting with the Crimson men’s basketball team in Cambridge, Mass. Harvard basketball coach Tommy Amaker takes his role as a teacher seriously. When he’s not in the gym with his team, he might be introducing them to leaders in the financial, political or intellectual community to continue their education. (AP Photo/Jimmy Golen)The oldest and most prestigious university in the United States, Harvard has produced more than its share of U.S. presidents and Nobel laureates, along with national champions in sports like hockey and crew. But the highlight of the athletic year has always been the football team’s century-old rivalry with Yale known as The Game.The Crimson basketball team had never won an Ivy League title, beaten a ranked team or cracked The Associated Press Top 25 before Amaker arrived in 2007. But the former Duke point guard, who previously coached at Seton Hall and Michigan, knew he had something else going for him.“How amazingly powerful the brand and the calling card of Harvard is,” he said. “It’s a powerful pull.”While other schools built barbershops or miniature golf courses for their athletes, Amaker name-dropped Harvard’s academic credentials to attract top talent, landing a 2016 recruiting class that was ranked in the top 10 nationally — unheard-of for an Ivy school. He has also used it to lure politicians, Hall of Fame basketball players and coaches, and business and thought leaders to speak to his players on issues more important than bounce passes or boxing out.“I tell them, ‘You’ll forever be able to say you lectured at Harvard,’” he said, half-joking. “They all like that.”Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke to the team last year, two weeks before the presidential election — not about his basketball records or titles, but about the rising tide of racism that concerned him. Edwards’ talk on Wednesday put Kaepernick’s national anthem protest in the context of athlete activism over the decades.In this Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, photo provoided by Harvard Athletics, Harvard basketball coach Tommy Amaker, left to right, sportscaster James Brown and civil rights activist Harry Edwards speak at a news conference at the Harvard athletic facilities in Boston. The two visitors spoke to the Crimson basketball team as part of Amaker’s goal to educate his players on and off the court after the news conference. Harvard basketball coach Tommy Amaker takes his role as a teacher seriously. When he’s not in the gym with his team, he might be introducing them to leaders in the financial, political or intellectual community to continue their education. (Gil Talbot/Harvard Athletics via AP)Amaker also shuttles his team to local plays with social justice themes. At an annual “Faculty, Food and Fellowship” dinner, they might hear from a cabinet secretary, a presidential candidate or a dean. And the Breakfast Club allows them to connect with prominent Bostonians and others with Harvard ties, many of them African-American.“Their motivation is the full-rounded commitment to the people who play ball for them,” said Clifford Alexander, who played freshman basketball at Harvard and went on to serve as the first Black Secretary of the Army.“(Amaker) does not think that just because you can shoot and pass, that’s the end of his responsibility,” he said. “If you can find three other places in the country where the football or basketball team gets that kind of talk, I’ll buy you dinner.”At last week’s breakfast, Towns sat down to eggs and French toast served family style a few seats away from orthopedic surgeon Gus White, the first Black graduate of Stanford’s medical school, who this June gave the commencement address there 56 years after he spoke at his own graduation.To Brown, the arrangement was a formula for success : “The teams I’ve seen that are successful are a mix of veterans and younger players,” he said.Along with Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, Amaker started the Breakfast Club as a sort of “kitchen cabinet” of advisers when he first arrived on campus as the only Black head coach among Harvard’s 32 varsity teams.But Amaker has also turned the mostly — but not entirely — African-American gathering into a network for his players, inviting them to meet potential mentors in law and business and medicine and politics, as well as authors and occasionally an athlete with something interesting to say.“It’s one thing to read about riding a bicycle or swimming. It’s another thing to get in the pool,” Edwards told the group last week. Towns watched the luminaries file out after breakfast and said: “I’m in the pool right now.”Then-Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas spoke last year, and two Massachusetts governors have dropped by the gathering. Egi said he met a professor at the Breakfast Club that led to an independent study and a research project that is now in its second year.“Just being exposed to people who’ve done important things, and getting to hear about their life stories — it’s an inspiration,” the senior forward from Canada said.And that, Amaker said, pays off on the court.Too often, he said, colleges are forced into a false choice between education and athletics, between grades and winning games. But creating well-rounded, thinking citizens also makes them better players, he said.“This isn’t something that’s happened because we’ve won a few games,” Amaker said. “I’m saying to you: This is how we won those games.”And the wins have come.In Amaker’s tenure, the school earned the first five Ivy League titles in its history, making four trips to the NCAA tournament and twice advancing as a double-digit seed. Harvard grad Jeremy Lin became an NBA star (though somewhat meteorically).Amaker himself now occupies an endowed coaching position and is a special assistant to Harvard President Drew Faust. The school’s basketball arena, first built in 1926, is being renovated at a cost of $12 million, according to the architectural firm.More importantly, there are off-the-court success stories, too.Corbin Miller, who came to Harvard from Utah, said a faculty talk with Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen led him to a tech startup where he’s worked since graduating last spring.Like Towns, he had options.“You could kind of look around and see that each person in there had been affected in there in a pretty deep way,” Miller said. “Apart from the athletics and apart from the academics, it was a life lesson. It’s really a setup for the rest of your life, whether it’s basketball immediately after or not.”___For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.organd http://twitter.com/AP_Top25last_img read more

Seahawks Bennett continues to sit for anthem in home opener

first_imgSeattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, center, is joined by teammates Thomas Rawls, left, and Justin Britt, right, as he sits during the singing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)SEATTLE (AP) _ Michael Bennett was the first Seattle Seahawks player announced during pregame introductions before the home opener against San Francisco, receiving one of the loudest ovations.It was the second show of support for Seattle’s outspoken defensive end on Sunday.Outside of CenturyLink Field, a group of protesters supporting Bennett gathered prior to the game. The group expressed its support for Bennett after he says he was subjected to racial profiling and excessive force when Las Vegas police detained him last month. Protesters also showed support for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is still without a job after his anthem protests a year ago. It was a small protest with about 50 people participating.Among those participating in the pregame rally was Bennett’s younger brother, Reshaud.“It means everything. It’s always good to have your family support you and also a lot of people in the city to supporting me. I think it was just a really good thing,” Bennett said after Seattle’s 12-9 victory.When the anthem began Sunday, Bennett took what’s become his usual seat on the bench. Seattle center Justin Britt and running back Thomas Rawls stood next to Bennett each with a hand on his shoulder during the anthem. Teammates Cliff Avril and Frank Clark also sat with Bennett for the final few bars of the anthem.___For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

Koreas share historic handshake at Olympic opening ceremony

first_imgPYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — It was a historic moment, and it happened even before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics had officially begun.As South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife greeted VIPs in their dignitary box to watch the opening ceremony, they turned to shake hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, who arrived earlier in the day on an unprecedented visit to the South by a member of the North’s ruling Kim family.All broke out in broad smiles.Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, was at the opening ceremony with North Korea’s nominal head of state, 90-year-old Kim Yong Nam. They are part of an extraordinary diplomatic push by the North aimed at using the Olympics to ease tensions with Seoul and bolster unity between the two Koreas after a year that has been marked by escalating fears of war and increasing angry rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington.As they shook hands, the North and South Koreans spoke briefly. It was not immediately known what they said, but all of them were smiling. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife arrived after the handshakes. They were seated beside the Moons and next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife. His office said he did not interact with the North Koreans.The Moons, Nam and Kim all stood again as athletes from both Koreas marched together behind a blue-and-white “unification” flag for the first time since 2007. There was another handshake.The Pences did not stand for the unified Korean team’s entrance. During the parade of nations, they stood only for the U.S. team.Vice President Mike Pence, bottom right, speaks with second lady Karen Pence at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Seated behind Pence are Kim Yong Nam, second from top right, president of the Presidium of North Korean Parliament, and Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)center_img South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister Kim Yo Jong during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (Kim Ju-sung/Yonhap via AP)last_img read more

Serena Williams reaches 10th Wimbledon final with 2-set win

first_imgSerena Williams of the United States celebrates defeating Germany’s Julia Gorges in their women’s singles semifinals match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Thursday July 12, 2018.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Williams dominated much of her semifinal Thursday, beating 13th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany 6-2, 6-4 at Centre Court to close in on what would be an eighth championship at the All England Club and 24th major trophy overall.Williams will face another German, 11th-seeded Angelique Kerber, on Saturday in a rematch of the 2016 final at Wimbledon. Williams won that one for a second consecutive title at the All England Club, before missing the grass-court tournament last year while pregnant.Kerber used a seven-game run to seize control of her semifinal and collect a 6-3, 6-3 victory over the 12th-seeded Ostapenko.___More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams has reached her 10th final at Wimbledon, 30th at all Grand Slam tournaments — and first since having a baby a little more than 10 months ago.last_img read more

Beacy oval draws Flack

first_imgHERITAGE was the catch word at BEACONSFIELD on Sunday as the club held its big 120-year celebration round against CRANBOURNE….[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img