Paul Rudd honored as Hasty Pudding Man of the Year

Actor Paul Rudd holds his pudding pot trophy during a roast at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Rudd was honored as “Man of the Year” by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals at Harvard. (AP)
Updated 03 February 2018

Paul Rudd honored as Hasty Pudding Man of the Year

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.: Actor and screenwriter Paul Rudd picked up his 2018 Man of the Year award from the nation’s oldest collegiate theatrical organization at Harvard University on Friday night.
Rudd received the Hasty Pudding honor during a black-tie event. The Boston Globe reported the actor was celebrated in a roast that targeted his “dad face” and his past as a bar mitzvah DJ.
Hasty Pudding said it chose the “Ant-Man” star because his career has spanned many genres, from indies to mainstream films, from heartfelt comedies to superheroes.
He plays the lead in the upcoming “The Catcher Was a Spy,” the real-life story of Ivy Leaguer and major league ballplayer Moe Berg, a spy with the forerunner of the CIA during World War II.
“Filming in Fenway was one of the greatest days I’ve ever had in my life, let alone my acting life,” Rudd said Friday. “I’m a baseball fan and was on hallowed ground. To be on the field, wearing the uniform, and playing somebody who is real, which is a new experience for me, was surreal.”
Actress Mila Kunis was celebrated as Woman of the Year on Jan. 25, the same day the 223-year-old group, known for comedic revues that feature men in drag playing female characters, said it would allow women to join its cast, starting next year.
Kunis, who has spoken out against sexism in the entertainment industry before, said she was “honored” to have been part of the program during its “year of change.”


A narrow, airbrushed take on the Syrian war

“Between Two Brothers” screened at the recent Cairo International Film Festival. (Supplied)
Updated 20 January 2020

A narrow, airbrushed take on the Syrian war

  • Syrian auteur Joud Said’s latest feature is based on the Syrian war and its impact on two siblings.

CHENNAI: Syrian auteur Joud Said’s latest feature, “Between Two Brothers” — which screened at the recent Cairo International Film Festival — is based on the Syrian war and its impact on two siblings.

Khaldoun (Mohammad al-Ahmad) and A’rif (Lujain Ismaeel) see their relationship torn apart by the strife in Syria, leading to agonizing days for their childhood sweethearts, twins Nesmeh and Najmeh.

A’rif goes to war, aligning himself with anti-government forces, while Khaldoun, who had been spending time outside his country, returns to mayhem.

The characters see their world turn upside down when A’rif kidnaps several men and women from the village. Nesmeh and Najmeh are part of the hostages and what ensues is a dilemma that sees A’rif turn  violent and vindictive.

Each brother has his own opinion on what is right and what is wrong about the war and this leads to a chasm opening up between them.

The director, who has come under heavy fire in the past for his supposedly pro-government views, is controversial to say the least.

In 2017, Syrian director Samer Ajouri withdrew his entry “The Boy and the Sea”  from the Carthage Film Festival in protest at the selection of Said’s feature, “Rain Of Homs.” Later, in 2018, Egyptian director Kamla Abu-Zikry accused Said of helming films which represented the Assad government’s viewpoint.

Despite the director defending his films in a clutch of newspaper interviews, it should be noted that “Between Two Brothers” was produced by Syria’s National Film Organization.

Said makes a pitiful attempt to teach the audience that each side has its reasons. But it is not hard to see where the tilt lies — we do not see any state security forces and violence erupts solely from the rebels’ ranks. In a way, “Between Two Brothers” airbrushes the destructiveness of war, with blatant symbolism and a couple of comedy scenes further eroding a subject as grim as this.

Yes, there are some visually arresting shots of the countryside captured with articulation and imagination by cinematographer Oukba Ezzeddine and the actors who played both brothers did a fair turn in their roles, but all in all it was far too narrow a representation of war to be effective.