The Irony of the Louise Linton Instagram Controversy Is Almost Too Delicious

Steven Mnuchin’s wife gets her Marie Antoinette moment.

Lifestyle – Esquire

SHOPPING NEWS UPDATE:


This Photo Of A Trump Billboard In Mumbai Is Real, And So Is The Dark Irony

It’s a photo so poignant and so symbolic you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s faked. 

And you wouldn’t be alone in that conclusion: Both Reddit and Snopes dismissed it as fake when it went viral earlier this year. And yet this is a real photo of a real billboard, featuring President-elect Donald Trump promoting Trump Tower in Mumbai while homeless children camp in the street below.

“There is only one way to live,” the billboard reads, next to a larger-than-life photo of Trump smiling down on a scene of poverty from his gilded room. “The Trump way.”

Outside of cropping it and possibly tweaking the contrast, photographer Paul Needham assured The Huffington Post “the image is neither doctored nor edited in any way.” 

Needham is the co-founder of SimpaNetworks, a company that helps farmers and small shops in rural India install and use solar power systems. He said he stumbled across the scene while driving through Mumbai to meet with some investors.

“I was inspired to take the photo because of the jarring juxtaposition of the Trump billboard and the poverty and homelessness down below,” he said. “The text on the billboard struck me as particularly naive and offensive.”

I saw Trump towering over the homeless, the children sleeping on cardboard on the street, and I was reminded of the ways in which our economic system can be painfully exclusive and unfair.”

Needham first shared the photo after he took it in August 2014, then posted it online again on Dec. 17, 2016, when it went viral.

“Business, done right, can create lasting social value,” said Needham. “I saw Trump towering over the homeless, the children sleeping on cardboard on the street, and I was reminded of the ways in which our economic system can be painfully exclusive and unfair.”

Here’s a higher resolution photo of the billboard Needham sent HuffPost:

Beyond the heavy symbolism of the photo itself, the internet’s reaction to the photo ― mostly in the form of dismissal ― is worth a closer look.

“The Reddit community actively engaged with this photo, and the opinion was nearly unanimous that the image had been photoshopped and was clearly a fake,” recalled Needham. “Anyone reading the Reddit chatter would likely defer to their high-technical knowledge, assume some deeper wisdom of these matters. But they were all wrong, the photo is genuine, and the geeks were merely opining, with no basis for their emphatic claims of fakery.”

(The fact-checking website Snopes also initially deemed the photograph a fake, speculating the homeless children had been photoshopped in based on the pixelation. Snopes has since corrected itself.)

“Who can we trust?” Needham asked rhetorically, adding that Snopes was quick to admit the mistake. “I’m grateful to [Snopes] for their tireless work to debunk fake news and rumor.”

“Pixelated, the poverty was assumed to be photoshopped in,” said Needham. “Just visit Mumbai and take pictures in the street. There is no need to Photoshop in the homeless. They are everywhere for all to see.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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Kristen Stewart Addresses The Irony Of ‘Clouds Of Sils Maria’

“Clouds of Sils Maria,” the latest film from French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, is one of the most meta, layered films on this year’s festival circuit. Not only is the story about a revival of a play within a movie, but the casting itself plays a big part in how we perceive the characters.

Assayas’s film, which screened as part of the New York Film Festival this month, follows Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche), a famous French actress whose big break was playing the young lead role in a play 20 years prior. Now she has the opportunity to star in the revival of the play, only this time as an older woman opposite the character for which she became known. As Maria runs lines with her personal assistant, Valentine (Kristen Stewart), their relationship begins to mirror and complicate that of the women in the play.

clouds of sils

The fictional play, which Assayas described during a press conference as a “condensed, brutalized version” of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant,” follows a fatal attraction between an older woman and her manipulative young assistant. As the film progresses, the lines blur between Maria’s relationship to the play 20 years ago and the dynamics between Maria and Valentine, Maria and Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz), the actress playing the younger role, and Maria and her past self.

The plot deepens as Assayas’ story becomes dense with thick layers of intertwining relationships. The actresses who star in the film are equally important to its concept. On one level, Binoche’s relationship to her character is very connected to her own relationship to Assayas, as she starred in 1985’s “Rendez-vous,” a film that he co-wrote and which launched her into the spotlight.

stewart

Kristen Stewart, though, embodies the fascinating real-life connections. Multiple instances in the film wink at the actress’ celebrity status and some prior scandals. In one scene, Valentine asks Maria whether the actress had a romantic affair with the play’s director when she was younger. “You wouldn’t understand,” Maria says to Valentine. But the audience might: Stewart had a highly-publicized affair with filmmaker Rupert Sanders while the director was still married. Valentine also helps Maria evade the paparazzi multiple times, which her character angrily calls “cockroaches.” The irony is hilarious and makes Stewart’s great performance even more enjoyable to watch.

“I had to reign in the glee on my face. I had to make sure my cheeks weren’t turning red and I wasn’t in hysterical laughter when I said some of the lines that I said in the movie,” Stewart said during a press conference on Wednesday. There are other moments in the film where Moretz’s Jo-Ann, who is constantly in the tabloids for DUIs and affairs, is a clear commentary on celebrity culture and the media. “I think that my position — just the life that I’m living and my experience — sort of gave [the film] this irony,” Stewart said with a laugh. “[It] just made it a bit more relevant and interesting.”

Stewart was originally cast in the role of Jo-Ann, which may have made for some all too obvious allusions. But Assayas revealed that he initially pictured Stewart in the role of Valentine, and ultimately gave her the part once they met. Unlike many films, “Clouds of Sils Maria” is a work of art that begs audiences to be aware of its internal references to Hollywood and celebrity culture. “It’s a movie where you ultimately never forget that you’re watching those actresses,” Assayas said. “It’s part of what the film’s about.”

“Clouds of Sils Maria” opens in March 2015.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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