The dining room at the new Avra Miami location. | Avra Estiatorio The Greek restaurant has been a mainstay in NYC since 2000 Arguably one
Jordan Peele is back with his third theatrical outing, and it’s poised to give the summer box office another stellar opening weekend. With only three
MOUNT AIRY, N.C. – Betty Lynn, the film and television actor who was best known for her role as Barney Fife’s sweetheart Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show,” has died. She was 95.Lynn died peacefully Saturday after a brief illness, The Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, North Carolina, announced in a statement.Lynn appeared as Thelma Lou on the show from 1961 until 1966. She reprised her role in the made-for-TV movie “Return to Mayberry,” in which Thelma Lou and Barney got married.Born Elizabeth Ann Theresa Lynn on August 29, 1926 in Kansas City, Missouri, Lynn began studying dance and acting at a young age. In 1944, she started performing as a part of USO Camp Shows.Lynn took her talents overseas, performing in the USO for servicemembers during World War II. She was “thought to be the only American woman to have traveled the dangerous Burma Road during the war,” according to the museum’s statement.She moved to New York in the late 1940s and began acting in film, and later, television. Her career spanned decades, but fans came to know her best for her role in “The Andy Griffith Show.”In her later years, Lynn participated in reunions with fellow cast members and various Mayberry-themed festivals.Director and actor Ron Howard, who played Sheriff Andy Taylor’s son, Opie, paid tribute to Lynn in a tweet Sunday saying she “brightened every scene she was in & every shooting day she was on set.”Lynn moved from Hollywood to Mount Airy in 2007 following a series of break-ins at her home. She expressed her love for the city to The Associated Press in 2015.“I think God’s blessed me,” Lynn said at the time. “He brought me to a sweet town, wonderful people, and just said, ‘Now, that’s for you Betty.’”Lynn had been working on an autobiography before her death, which is now expected to be released posthumously, the museum stated.Lynn is survived by several cousins. A memorial service will take place in Culver City, California. Details are to be released at a later date.
The most often-repeated thing said about the Velvet Underground is Brian Eno’s quip that the band didn’t sell many records, but everyone who bought one started a band. You won’t hear that line in Todd Haynes’ documentary “The Velvet Underground,” nor will you see a montage of famous faces talking about their vast influence. You won’t even really hear a fairly full Velvet Underground track until nearly an hour into the two-hour film. Haynes, the reliably unconventional filmmaker of “Carol,” “I’m Not There” and “Far From Heaven,” rejects a traditional treatment of the Velvets — fittingly, considering his uncompromising, pioneering subject. “The Velvet Underground,” which debuts Friday in theaters and on Apple TV+, is, like the Velvets, boldly artful, boundless and stimulating. You sense that even Lou Reed would be pleased by how the film refuses the obvious.“I didn’t need to make a movie to tell you how great the band is,” Haynes said in an interview earlier this year ahead of the film’s Cannes Film Festival premiere. “There were a lot of things I was going to be like: ‘OK, we know this.’ Let’s get right to how this happened, this music, where these people came from and how this miracle of this group of people came together.”“The Velvet Underground” plums little-seen footage and features a host of rare interviews, including founding member John Cale (who describes the band as striving for “how to be elegant and how to be brutal”), early disciple Jonathan Richman of the Modern Lovers, and Jonas Mekas, the late pioneering filmmaker who filmed the Velvet Underground’s first live performance in 1964 and to whom the film is dedicated.“The Velvet Underground” is most singular in how it resurrects the 1960s downtown New York art scene that birthed and fermented the group. Haynes patiently traces the fertile downtown landscape of Warhol’s Factory, the explosion of queer New York and how Lou Reed and the Velvets were turned on by acts like the experimental drone music of La Monte Young or the subversive poetry of Delmore Schwartz. Art, avant-garde film and music collided. More than anything, the documentary is a revelatory portrait of artistic crosspollination.“You really felt that coexistence and the creative inspiration that was being swapped from medium to medium,” says Haynes, who notes such localized hotbeds now seem a victim of a digital world. “I crave that today. I don’t know where that is.”“The Velvet Underground” is Haynes’ first documentary. Previously, he’s made knowingly artificial fictions of great musicians. His “Velvet Goldmine” was a glam-rock fantasia of David Bowie. In “I’m Not There,” rather than attempt the impossible task of finding a single actor who could play Bob Dylan, he cast seven.“When I was doing research on the Bowie of ‘Velvet Goldmine’ or all the Dylans of ‘I’m Not Here,’ you come across the real thing,” says Haynes. “I always felt like if I’m going to recreate this in a fiction form, I better do something different with it. So you’re not comparing it with the real thing, apples to apples. You’re in a different language, putting it in a different context and the frame is visible.”Haynes never met Reed, who died in 2013. But he saw him a few times at events like the Whitney Biennial (“I was too scared,” he says). Reed gave Haynes his permission to use “Satellite of Love” in “Velvet Goldmine.” Laurie Anderson, Reed’s widow and a filmmaker, endorsed Haynes directing the film, and other estates, like Andy Warhol’s, were supportive. Footage by Warhol, the only one to previously really document the Velvets, is laced throughout the film. In split screen, the band members’ screen tests for the Factory (usually seen as still photographs) play at length, with Reed or Cale staring provocatively out at you.“The only film on them is by one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. That’s so rare and weird,” says Haynes. “There is no traditional coverage of the band playing live. There’s just Warhol films. We just have art within art within art to tell a story about great art.”___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
A Texas judge has found Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones liable for damages in three defamation lawsuits brought by the parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre over his claims that the shooting was a hoax.Judge Maya Guerra Gamble in Austin, home of Infowars, entered default judgments against Jones, Infowars and other defendants for what she called their “flagrant bad faith and callous disregard” of court orders to turn over documents to the parents’ lawyers. The rulings were issued on Monday and released on Thursday.The cases now head to trial for juries to determine the amount of damages Jones and the other defendants will have to pay the families.The shooting at the Newtown, Connecticut, school on Dec. 14, 2012, killed 20 first-graders and six educators. The gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, fatally shot his mother at their Newtown home before going to the school, and killed himself as police arrived.The shooting was portrayed on Jones’ Infowars show as a hoax involving actors aimed at increasing gun control. Jones has since acknowledged the school shooting did occur.Families of some of the school shooting victims sued Jones, Infowars and others in courts in Texas and Connecticut over the hoax conspiracy, saying they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers. The Connecticut cases remain pending.Jones and his attorney in Connecticut, Norman Pattis, criticized the Texas judge’s ruling in a statement on the Infowars website.“It takes no account of the tens of thousands of documents produced by the defendants, the hours spent sitting for depositions and the various sworn statements filed in these cases,” they said. “We are distressed by what we regard as a blatant abuse of discretion by the trial court. We are determined to see that these cases are heard on the merits.”Jones’ lawyers have denied the defamations allegations and argued his comments about the school shooting were protected by free speech rights.One of the Texas lawsuits was filed by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son Noah was killed in the shooting. The two others were filed by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse was killed. Several other families of the victims are suing on similar claims in Connecticut.Bill Ogden, a Houston lawyer representing the four parents in the Texas cases, said Jones and Infowars have failed to turn over documents for the past few years. He added such default judgments are rare.“My clients have and continue to endure Defendants’ 5-year campaign of repulsive lies,” Ogden said in a statement, which quoted the judge’s ruling. “We believe the Court hit this nail on the head when it considered Alex Jones’ and Infowars’ ‘bad faith approach to this litigation,’ Mr. Jones’ ‘public threats,’ and Jones’ ‘professed belief that these proceedings are show trials.’”Guerra Gamble said in her rulings that she was defaulting Jones and the other defendants after an “escalating series” of admonishments by judges, monetary fines and other actions was ineffective in getting the defendants to turn over documents.In 2019, Jones was ordered by another Texas judge to pay $100,000 in legal fees to Heslin’s lawyers for disregarding a court order to produce witnesses. Jones also was sanctioned in the Connecticut cases for violating numerous orders to turn over documents and for an angry outburst on his web show against an attorney for some of the victims’ relatives. A judge barred Jones from filing a motion to the dismiss the case — a ruling that was upheld after being appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear Jones’ appeal in April.
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