British Parliament Rejects Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Plan a Second Time

The British Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a second time Tuesday, prolonging the uncertainty over whether the U.K. will exit the European Union in an orderly fashion on March 29 or possibly extend the deadline for withdrawal. The 391-242 vote was a fresh humiliation for May, whose original Brexit blueprint was […]

Variety

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Viktor & Rolf Rejects Copying Claim by Intern Applicant

Fashion student Terrence Zhou believes Viktor & Rolf’s recent couture show (right) may have been inspired by designs from his portfolio (left) that were submitted as part of an internship application. 

For Parsons student Terrence Zhou, the “haute couture action dolls” that Viktor & Rolf showed on the runway in Paris during the couture shows looked a little too familiar.
In a phone interview Friday, the Chinese-born student said he applied for an internship with Viktor & Rolf in late May, and provided a mini portfolio as part of the process. Zhou sent WWD the e-mail correspondence he had with Dominique van Barneveld at Viktor & Rolf. His application was eventually rejected since the company requires that interns have an EU passport, according to one of van Barneveld’s e-mails. “Even if you would have a Visum we can’t accept you. Those are the rules of the government and unfortunately we can’t change those,” he wrote. “Thank you once again for your interest in our company and good luck with finding an internship.”
Zhou said Friday, “After they rejected me, I thought that was the end until I saw their collection two days ago, which was very similar to my portfolio.”
But a U.S. spokeswoman

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Disney’s Futuristic ‘Tomorrowland’ Rejects Dystopian Tropes With An Optimistic Call To Action

tomorrowland


A few minutes into “Tomorrowland,” it becomes clear that Disney’s latest live-action adventure isn’t going to brood over the apocalypse or depict a purely desolate future. Instead, the movie blends sci-fi and fantasy with realism to depict a world where hope is the only antidote to extinction.

In “Tomorrowland,” directed by Brad Bird and co-written by Bird and Damon Lindelof (with Jeff Jensen earning a story credit), we first meet Frank Walker (George Clooney), a once bright-eyed young boy with innovative dreams, as a now-hardened cynic in the present day. We learn what shattered Frank’s buoyancy when Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) backtracks to tell her story as a teen determined to save the future of a doomed NASA rocket launch site. After finding a mysterious pin secretly given to her by a young British girl, Athena (Raffey Cassidy), Casey is briefly transported to the futuristic world of Tomorrowland. But the real future turns out not to be as bright and shiny: A clock counts down to a predicted apocalypse, prompting Casey, Athena and Frank to try to save the fate of a crumbling planet Earth.

With the awe of “Alice in Wonderland” and a hint of the futurism of “WALL-E,” Bird’s “Tomorrowland” feels very much like a Disney-fueled vehicle, but one which heavily cashes in on the power of positive thought — think of the best-seller The Secret, which Lindelof named-dropped while discussing “Tomorrowland.” The movie packs on the cheesy believe-and-you-can-achieve Disney mantra quite heavily, but it’s nevertheless refreshing to see a positive spin on the dreary future that fills the big screen today. “Tomorrowland” has already been labeled the anti-“Hunger Games,” a departure from the typical nihilism.

george clooney

“The future we’re getting fed a steady diet of is sort of post-apocalyptic,” Lindelof told The Huffington Post. “The idea that something kind of terrible happens and now the dregs of humanity are roving the desert in tricked-out cars or shooting arrows at each other, that’s kind of what the future is.” While Lindelof — who, let’s not forget, is the co-creator of “Lost” and HBO’s ultra-depressing “The Leftovers” — admits he loves those types of stories, he wanted to discover what a different kind of future would look like, and whether or not audiences would even want to see it.

While this approach is hardly something we see in movies or on television today, it does reflect a mindset of an earlier generation, before hope was vanquished by pessimism. “When both Damon and I were young, the world was still a rough place,” Bird told HuffPost. “There were wars and injustice and pollution, and all the things we have today, but the attitude towards the future was that we were going to solve all these problems and that the future was this bright thing just over the horizon.”

It was this question of “What happened?” that fascinated Bird and Lindelof, leading them to use Disney’s theme-park land as the inspiration for what the word “Tomorrowland” actually meant to society, then and now. “In a broad sense, it’s about Walt Disney’s view of the future, that it was an exciting thing, that it was a giant opportunity [rather] than this burden we come to think of it as, this coming disaster,” Bird said.

But “Tomorrowland” doesn’t paint a future that is bright and sunny where all of the world’s problems can be solved by making a wish and dreaming big (despite the film’s hefty serving of goofy sentimentalism). No fairy godmother flashes into existence and no magical wand flickers to save our world. The film asks more of its audience than simply sitting back and enjoying the movie, most directly in a monologue delivered by the villainous scientist Nix (Hugh Laurie), who blames the predicted demise of mankind on mankind itself. It’s a moment where “Tomorrowland” breaks the fourth wall and holds the viewers responsible for the apocalypse that could come if we succumb to resignation.

“The big cosmic shrug, I don’t get,” Bird said. The director made a point to claim “Tomorrowland” isn’t necessarily a political film, but he does hope that audiences walk away with some sense of desire to contribute to a better future. Robertson echoed that sentiment: “I think it’s important for audiences when they see a movie like this to take that into consideration and maybe work it into their own life in trying to put forth actions that contribute to a more optimistic future.”

tomorrowland britt

But Bird knows that the Cinderella model — “a dream is a wish your hearts makes” — isn’t all it takes. “Dreaming is great and crucial, but dreaming is step one,” Bird said. “All the rest of the steps are putting the dream into motion and asking and deciding what future you want and making every decision drive towards that future.”

Whether or not you walk away from “Tomorrowland” feeling inspired with a sense of hope and activism, or simply dazzled by the visuals, it’s at least reassuring to see a major summer movie evading the usual dystopian cliches. “I don’t want to be holed in a house eating from a tin can of beans as zombies scrape at the door,” Lindof said. “I want to watch it, I don’t want to live it. So why not make one that has a future that I would want to live in?”

“Tomorrowland” is now playing in theaters.

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