Alda gets emotional on acting in SAG life-achievement speech
By ANDREW DALTON
AP Entertainment Writer
Monday, January 28
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alan Alda barely talked about himself or his 60-year career as he was honored for a lifetime of acting at the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night, instead giving tribute to the craft of acting itself, and its power.
“This comes at a time when I’ve had a chance to look back on my life, and to see what it’s meant to be an actor,” an emotional Alda said after receiving the SAG Life Achievement Award and getting a long standing ovation from his fellow performers at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “I see more than ever now, how proud I am to be a part of our brotherhood and sisterhood.”
Alda, 83, best known by far for his 11 seasons as Hawkeye Pierce on “M.A.S.H” from 1972 to 1983, has continued to work despite a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, and said it’s a more vital time than ever to be acting, with its search “to see life through another person’s point of view.”
“It may never have been more urgent to see the world through another person’s eyes when a culture is divided so sharply,” Alda said. “Actors can help, at least a little, just by doing what we do.”
Tom Hanks presented the award to Alda, calling him Alphonso Joseph D’Abruzzo, the name he was given when he was born the son of an actor in the Bronx in 1936.
“For decades, for a lifetime, we have been lucky enough to watch Mr. D’Abruzzo perform his craft,” Hanks said, pointing out that Alda was in the nation’s living rooms on “M.A.S.H” for nine years longer than the Korean War in which it was set.
Hanks praised Alda’s decades of philanthropy and love of science and learning before introducing clips from Alda’s career, which included his roles in the films “Same Time, Next Year” and “The Aviator,” and the TV shows “The West Wing,” ”ER,” and “The Blacklist,” along with a long montage from “M.A.S.H.”
Alda was nominated for an Academy Award for “The Aviator,” and won six Emmy Awards and six Golden Globes.
He ended his brief speech by shifting from the power of acting to its joy.
“The nice part is it’s fun to do it,” Alda said. “So my wish for all of us is, let’s stay playful, let’s have fun and let’s keep searching. It can’t solve everything but it wouldn’t hurt.”
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton at: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .
‘Black Panther’ wins top honor at SAG Awards, ‘Maisel’ soars
By JAKE COYLE
AP Film Writer
Monday, January 28
NEW YORK (AP) — “Black Panther” took the top award at Sunday’s 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards, giving Ryan Coogler’s superhero sensation its most significant awards-season honor yet and potentially setting up Wakanda for a major role at next month’s Academy Awards.
The two leading Oscar nominees — “Roma” and “The Favourite” — were bypassed by the actors guild for a best ensemble field that also included “BlacKkKlansman,” ”Crazy Rich Asians,” ”Bohemian Rhapsody” and “A Star Is Born.” Although “Black Panther” wasn’t nominated for any individual SAG Awards, it took home the final award at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Before a stage full of actors, Chadwick Boseman tried to put into context the moment for the trailblazing “Black Panther,” which also won for its stunt performer ensemble. “To be young, gifted and black,” he said, quoting the Nina Simone song.
“We know what it’s like to be told there isn’t a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. … We know what’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day,” said Boseman. “We knew that we could create a world that exemplified a world we wanted to see. We knew that we had something to give.”
The win puts “Black Panther” squarely in contention for best picture at the Academy Awards where it’s nominated for seven honors including best picture. Actors make up the largest percentage of the academy, so their preferences can have an especially large impact on the Oscar race. In the last decade the SAG ensemble winner has gone on to win best picture at the Academy Awards half of the time.
In the lead acting categories, Glenn Close and Rami Malek solidified themselves as front-runners with wins that followed their triumphs at the Golden Globes. The 71-year-old Close, a seven-time nominee but never an Oscar winner, won best actress for her performance in “The Wife.” In her speech, she spoke about the power of film in a multiscreen world.
“One of the most powerful things we have as human beings are two eyes looking into two eyes,” said Close. “Film is the only art form that allows us the close-up.”
Malek, wining best actor over Christian Bale (“Vice”) and Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”) for his performance in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” seemingly sealed the Oscar many are predicting for him. Malek’s awards are mounting even as the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Bryan Singer, is facing multiple accusations of sexual assault with minors . Singer has denied the claims.
As he did at the Globes, Malek dedicated his award to Mercury.
“I get some power from him that’s about stepping up and living your best life, being exactly who you want to be and accomplishing everything you so desire,” said Malek.
More surprising was Emily Blunt’s best supporting actress win for her performance in the horror thriller “A Quiet Place.” Blunt, also nominated by the guild for her lead performance in “Mary Poppins Returns,” was visibly shocked. She wasn’t among Tuesday’s Oscar nominees for either film.
“Guys. That truly has blown my slicked hair back,” said Blunt, who praised her husband and “A Quiet Place” director John Krasinski as a “stunning filmmaker.” ”Thank you for giving me the part. You would have been in major trouble if you hadn’t.”
Best supporting actor in a film went more as expected. Mahershala Ali, who won two years ago for “Moonlight,” won for his performance in Peter Farrelly’s interracial road trip “Green Book.”
The Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the first three awards handed out Sunday, sweeping the comedy series awards. It won best ensemble in a comedy series, as well as individual honors for Rachel Brosnahan and Tony Shalhoub, whose win was a surprise in a category that included Bill Hader (“Barry”) and Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”).
“We cannot thank you enough,” said Shalhoub, speaking for the cast. “Stay with us.”
Tom Hanks presented the lifetime achievement award to Alan Alda , who in July revealed that he had been living with Parkinson’s disease for more than three years. The 83-year-old actor took the stage to a standing ovation while the theme to “M.A.S.H” played. He said the award came at a reflective moment for him.
“I see more than ever now how proud I am to be a part of our brotherhood and sisterhood of actors,” said Alda. “It may never have been more urgent to see the world through another person’s eyes. When a culture is divided so sharply, actors can help — a least a little — just by doing what we do. And the nice part is it’s fun to do it. So my wish for all of us is: Let’s stay playful.”
For the second time, the cast of “This Is Us” won best ensemble in a drama series. Other TV winners included Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”), Darren Criss for “Assassination of Gianni Versace”, Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) and Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”). Arquette thanked Special Counsel investigator Robert Mueller “and everyone working to make sure we have sovereignty for the United States of America.”
The SAG Awards had one thing the Oscars don’t: a host. Emcee Megan Mullally kicked off the awards by tweaking their role among the many honors leading up to next month’s Oscars. She called the SAGs “the greatest honor an actor can receive this weekend.”
The show did not boost the chances of other Oscar hopefuls, “A Star Is Born,” ”The Favourite” and “BlacKkKlansman,” which were all shut out Sunday night.
Among the attendees Sunday was Geoffrey Owens, the “Cosby Show” actor who caused a stir when he was photographed working at a New Jersey Trader Joe’s. He was among the performers who began the show with the SAG Awards’ typical “I am an actor” testimony. The SAGs also made time for one reunion: “Fatal Attraction” stars Michael Douglas and Glenn Close joined each other on stage as presenters.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
Sylvia Plath’s new short story was never ‘lost’ – so why is the media saying it was ‘just discovered’?
January 28, 2019
Archivists put an immense amount of work into organizing, digitizing and maintaining repositories. AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Author: Bethany Anderson, University Archivist, University of Virginia
Disclosure statement: Bethany Anderson has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She currently serves as Reviews Editor for American Archivist, the Society of American Archivists’ peer-reviewed journal published semi-annually.
Partners: University of Virginia provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
The recent publication of Sylvia Plath’s short story “Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom” has been met with much fanfare, with the media eager to highlight that the story had been “lost,” only to have recently been “found.”
The Boston Globe described the work as “recently discovered” in its headline. A Vox article evoked a scene of abandonment and deterioration – the story had “languished in her archives for decades.”
And a recent New Yorker article, “A Lost Story by Sylvia Plath Contains the Seeds of the Writer She Would Become,” noted that “not even the author’s estate had known the story existed until the critic and academic Judith Galzer-Raymo stumbled over it while doing research in Plath’s archives.”
But was Plath’s story really “lost”? For years, “Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom” has been preserved – and has been accessible to the public – at Indiana University’s Lilly Library, thanks to the work of archivists and other cultural stewards.
As an archivist, I bristle at this sort of misleading coverage, which is only the latest example of the media ignoring the work of archivists in order to highlight something found in archives as “newly discovered.”
What’s behind this media impulse and why do these mischaracterizations persist?
I’ve become all too accustomed to seeing headlines about “long-lost” manuscripts that have been found.
For example, in 2012 two articles in The Atlantic debated whether a medical report relating to Abraham Lincoln’s assassination amounted to a “discovery.”
As another example, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported a “long-lost letter” by René Descartes that had “lain buried in the archives [at Haverford College] for more than a century.” The public also recently learned of letters from interned Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War that had been “long-forgotten in the bowels of Library and Archives Canada.” In all these examples, the documents were already preserved and accessible in archival repositories.
And on the rare occasions that archives are featured in the press or in popular culture, they’re usually characterized as old, secluded and dusty places.
For example, in 2013 The New York Times published an article titled “Leaving Cloister of Dusty Offices, Young Archivists Meet Like Minds.”
If the headline alone didn’t convey this sentiment, the text drove it home: The archivists, it read, had “long spent their careers cloistered, like the objects they protected.”
Any archivist reading this story knows that nothing could be further from the truth. In a letter to the editor, Helen W. Samuels, a former archivist at MIT, responded, “While I was delighted that your article focused attention on the talented archivists now employed by so many institutions, I was saddened that it perpetuated the outdated image of archivists as preservers of dusty, precious artifacts maintained in a cloistered environment.”
Innovators versus maintainers
For the record, “dusty” doesn’t characterize any of the repositories I’ve worked in or visited. For example, the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia is clean with an open layout, and its spaces are filled with natural light. Similarly, the University of Michigan’s William L. Clements Library spaces do not fit the “dusty” stereotype.
Perhaps the media finds these tropes appealing because they evoke the romance and mystery of unearthing, discovering and rescuing rare books, documents or artifacts, as if they’re hidden treasures. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like Indiana Jones? And by representing archives as dusty, cloistered places, the materials appear to be on the verge of disappearing into obscurity – that is, unless a researcher comes to the rescue.
Another reason these tropes persist could have to do with the way our society privileges innovators over maintainers. Maintainers, according to scholars Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel, are “those individuals whose work keeps ordinary existence going rather than introducing novel things.”
Archivists are maintainers: They perform the “ordinary” work of acquiring, appraising and arranging archival materials. They respond to the inquiries of students and researchers, and work to preserve materials for posterity.
As members of the archival community have pointed out, this sort of work is generally ignored and misunderstood. Instead, when it comes to stories about archival research, stories will focus on the “innovators” – the scholars who write about the rare manuscript or old letter and, in doing so, rescue these materials from obscurity.
In almost every case, these stories gloss over the fact that these items exist in publicly accessible collections and are described in finding aids and databases.
Giving credit where credit’s due
This is not to take anything away from the work of researchers. Archival research is a process that often involves an intense commitment of time and energy. A researcher can see value or significance in a letter or manuscript that might have otherwise gone unnoticed outside of the archives.
Nonetheless, while a researcher might be the first researcher to read a document, they may not be the first person to have encountered it – not when archivists, curators, librarians and other staff work with materials on a daily basis.
Interestingly, the researcher featured in The New Yorker article about the Plath short story doesn’t appear to have been the first scholar to have “discovered” that “lost” Sylvia Plath story. As Rebecca Baumann, Head of Public Services at the Lilly Library, noted, “Many people have written about [“Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom”] … There’s published scholarship that discusses [it].“
But that doesn’t always make for the best story.
Andrew Shead: What’s behind this media impulse and why do these mischaracterizations persist?
A one-word answer to your question is money. It is all about generating excitement to sell newspapers and get viewers to click on links. Remember that nearly all the media serve shareholders who demand a profit, therefore each media outlet must catch an audience to buy subscriptions or witness advertising, which requires that they deploy energizing hyperbolic language as bait.
Without librarians and archivists and historians, researchers would find their work a lot more difficult, if not impossible.
I once watched a film about Sherlock Holmes. The only detail I remember is Watson going to a bank in the City of London to retrieve a trunk containing Holmes’ papers. On opening the trunk, Watson blew away the thick dust therein: dust doesn’t collect in a closed tin trunk kept in a bank vault.
Shalimar’s (F. C. Hendry) 1939 short story Away Down South opens with this paragraph:
IN an age when every second survival from danger on the high seas is described as epic, and almost every third book published about life at sea is an Odyssey, it is rather difficult to know what degree of eulogy to apply to the actions of the master of a broken-down tramp steamer during some quite perilous wanderings. Today, of course, those wanderings could hardly have happened. Immediately the breakdown occurred a heroic wireless operator would have dashed to his post and flashed out the news to other vessels in the vicinity, and the Press; and very soon destroyers doing thirty knots, and coal tramps doing eight, would be ‘rushing to the rescue’ ― that particular cliché being probably the hardest worked of the popular expressions in current use.
You can almost hear the news vendors crying: “EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!”. As you can see, some things don’t change much in time. Hendry was a vivid storyteller; his yarns have the anecdotal feel of stories shared where sailors gather at ease.
How to reduce your risks of dementia
January 23, 2019
Author: Nicole Anderson, Associate Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Disclosure statement: Nicole Anderson receives research grant funding from NSERC and CABHI.
Partners: University of Toronto provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA. University of Toronto provides funding as a member of The Conversation CA-FR.
Many people do not want to think about dementia, especially if their lives have not yet been touched by it. But a total of 9.9 million people worldwide are diagnosed with dementia each year. That is one person every 3.2 seconds.
This number is growing: around 50 million people live with dementia today, and this number will rise to over 130 million worldwide by 2030.
You do not have to wait until you are 65 to take action. In the absence of treatment, we must think of ways to protect our brain health earlier. This month is Alzheimer’s Awareness month — what better time to learn how to reduce your risk of dementia, whatever your age?
In my work at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute, I address cognitive, health and lifestyle factors in aging. I investigate how we can maintain our brain health, while reducing the risk of dementia as we age. Currently, I’m recruiting for two clinical trials that explore the benefits of different types of cognitive training and lifestyle interventions to prevent dementia.
There are three dementia risk factors that you can’t do anything about: age, sex and genetics. But a growing body of evidence is discovering early-life, mid-life and late-life contributors to dementia risk that we can do something about — either for our own or our children’s future brain health.
Before going any further, let’s clear up some common confusion between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Dementia is a term to describe the declines in cognitive abilities like memory, attention, language and problem-solving that are severe enough to affect a person’s everyday functioning. Dementia can be caused by a large range of diseases, but the most common is Alzheimer’s.
Risk factors in early life
Children born at a low birth weight for their gestational age are roughly twice as likely to experience cognitive dysfunction in later life.
Many studies have also identified a link between childhood socioeconomic position or educational attainment and dementia risk. For example, low socioeconomic status in early childhood is related to late life memory decline, and one meta-analysis identified a seven per cent reduction in dementia risk for every additional year of education.
Poorer nutritional opportunities that often accompany low socioeconomic position can result in cardiovascular and metabolic conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes that are additional risk factors for dementia.
And low education reduces the opportunities to engage in a lifetime of intellectually stimulating occupations and leisure activities throughout life that build richer, more resilient neural networks.
Work and play hard in middle age
There is substantial evidence that people who engage in paid work that is more socially or cognitively complex have better cognitive functioning in late life and lower dementia risk. Likewise, engagement in cognitively stimulating activities in midlife, such as reading and playing games, can reduce dementia risk by about 26 per cent.
We all know that exercise is good for our physical health, and engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity in midlife can also reduce dementia risk.
Aerobic activity not only helps us to maintain a healthy weight and keep our blood pressure down, it also promotes the growth of new neurons, particularly in the hippocampus, the area of the brain most responsible for forming new memories.
Stay social and eat well in later years
While the influences of socioeconomic position and engagement in cognitive and physical activity remain important dementia risk factors in late life, loneliness and a lack of social support emerge as late life dementia risk factors.
Seniors who are at genetic risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease are less likely to experience cognitive decline if they live with others, are less lonely and feel that they have social support.
You have heard that you are what you eat, right? It turns out that what we eat is important as a dementia risk factor too. Eating unrefined grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, olive oil and fish, with low meat consumption — that is, a Mediterranean-style diet — has been linked to lower dementia rates.
Along with my Baycrest colleagues, we have put together a Brain Health Food Guide based on the available evidence.
What about Ronald Reagan?
Whenever I present this type of information, someone invariably says: “But my mother did all of these things and she still got dementia” or “What about Ronald Reagan?”
My father earned a bachelor’s degree, was the global creative director of a major advertising firm, had a rich social network throughout adulthood and enjoyed 60 years of marriage. He passed away with Alzheimer’s disease. My experience with my dad further motivates my research.
Leading an engaged, healthy lifestyle is thought to increase “cognitive reserve” leading to greater brain resiliency such that people can maintain cognitive functioning in later life, despite the potential accumulation of Alzheimer’s pathology.
Thus, although all of these factors may not stop Alzheimer’s disease, they can allow people to live longer in good cognitive health. In my mind, that alone is worth a resolution to lead a healthier, more engaged lifestyle.