x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Agitator and hip-hop pioneer Amiri Baraka dies

Plus: Bafta-nominated Metro Manila to screen in Dubai; new graphic novel on Sholay villain; Disclosure and Bastille lead Brits.

The US playwright, poet and activist Amiri Baraka. Reuters
The US playwright, poet and activist Amiri Baraka. Reuters

Amiri Baraka, the tireless agitator whose blues-based, fist-shaking poems, plays and criticism made him a provocative force in American culture, died on Thursday. He was 79. Perhaps no writer of the 1960s and 1970s did more to extend the political debates of the civil rights era to the arts world than the former LeRoi Jones. He inspired at least one generation of poets, playwrights and musicians, and his immersion in spoken-word traditions and raw street language anticipated rap and hip-hop. – AP

New graphic novel on Sholay villain

On the heels of Sholay in 3-D comes a graphic novel about the 1975 mega movie’s famous baddy Gabbar Singh. Conceptualised by Sholay Media and Entertainment in partnership with Graphic India, the book, titled Gabbar, will go on sale later this month. The novel explores Gabbar’s past and narrates a “tragic and twisted story of revenge and redemption that turned an ordinary boy into India’s most famous and feared villain”. “India’s most frequently quoted villain, Gabbar Singh, will finally have his own comic book,” said Sharad Devarajan, the chief of Graphic India. A motion comic series of the story will also be released in English and Hindi across mobile devices alongside Sholay: The Graphic Novel, the “official graphic novel adaptation of the original movie”. – The National staff

Bafta-nominated Metro Manila to screen in Dubai

The British-Filipino independent film Metro Manila will screen on Wednesday at 8pm at the Dubai Knowledge Village Conference Centre. Directed by the British filmmaker Sean Ellis, the crime drama received a Best Foreign Film nomination last week from the Academy Film Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars. It also won the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, as well as Best Film and Best Director at the 2013 British Independent Film Awards. The screening is organised by The Scene Club, run with the support of the Dubai International Film Festival and Dubai Culture. The film’s lead actor Jake Macapagal will be attending the screening for a Q&A session. Tickets are available at www.thesceneclub.com. – The National staff

Disclosure and Bastille lead Brits

The electronic duo Disclosure and the rock band Bastille have four nominations apiece for the UK’s leading music awards, the Brits. The drum ‘n’ bass quartet Rudimental and the singer Ellie Goulding each have three. One Direction have two nominations, for British single and British group. David Bowie, who turned 67 on Wednesday, also has two nods. The awards will be handed out at London’s O2 Arena on February 19. – AP