Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Oprah at her Leadership Academy's for its academically gifted, underprivileged girls. How wonderful. Source: ABC News
"The thing that I’m most proud of is not the academics, the academics I expected," said Oprah Winfrey at the inaugural graduation ceremony for her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. "The thing I’m most proud of is that everyone’s been accepted to college, and everyone’s going and we’ve created a support system to make that happen. But even more important than that, everyone walks out of here with the grace and dignity from which they were raised. Their integrity, their character, their grace and their kindness is what every parent would wish, that’s what you want, as a parent."

Claire Danes plays a C.I.A agent in Homeland
Accepting her award for Best Actress (Music/Comedy) at the Golden Globe awards this week, Michelle Williams dedicated the win to her daughter, Matilda: "I consider myself a mother first and an actress second, and so the person I most want to thank is my daughter, my little girl, whose bravery and exuberance is the example that I take with me in my work and in my life," she said. In accepting her award for Best Actress (Drama), Meryl Streep quipped, "I gotta thank everybody in England that let me come and trample over their history". The Descendants won Best Motion Picture (Drama), The Artist took out Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) and Claire Danes collected the award for Best Actress in a Drama for her Homeland series.

Clara Vuletich
The Harvest Workroom is hosting designer-in-residence Clara Vuletich in January. "Clara has combined her knowledge of sustainable textile print and dye processes with her interest in new forms of design and community activity that promote ‘home-grown’ knowledge/skills and encourage well-being," we are told. You can follow Clara's progress on the blog.

Jafar Panahi in This Is Not a Film
Screening at the Australian Centre for Moving Image in Melbourne next week is This Is Not a Film, Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s ‘non’ film, smuggled out of Iran and into France via USB stick, documents a day in the life of Iranian director Panahi while confined to his Tehran apartment under house arrest. This followed a court ruling in December 2010 that was upheld by a Tehran appeal court in October 2011. Panahi is currently appealing against a six year prison sentence as part of a sentence that also imposed a 20 year ban on film-making, travelling abroad or talking to the press. Read Margaret and David's At the Movies review here.

Following a cleverly crafted headline, 'Losing it in the dosh pit', Dominic White of The Australian Financial Review reports that the Big Day Out has lost its mojo. "Poor consumer sentient, sluggish ticket sales, a shallowpool of international crowd-pulling talent and a glut of rival events mean that the 'golden age for Australian music festivals' is over," writes White as the event kick-starts in Auckland. "Many promoters don't understand the costs," said event founder Ken West. "It takes three months for a festival to reconcile its costs: from market stall holders to portaloos and generator companies. We also have 10,000 casual staff and tougher government regulations."
Australian artist Bec Laughton will be performing at this year's Easterfest
Meanwhile, while indie rock is apparently suffering a slow and painful death, the crew at AGMF (Australian Gospel Music Festival) are rallying troops for its Easterfest showdown in Toowoomba come April 6-8. This year's artists include Michael W Smith, Mercy Me, New Empire, Bec Loughton, and friend of GWAS Vita Adam amongst others.

Adrian Mole is having a big birthday! The melancholic, prolific poet and beloved tween companion to many Gen-Yers and Xers before them, the protagonist of Sue Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ is turning 30 (well, Mole was born in 1964, but the book was birthed in 1982). A product of a working class upbringing, Thatcherism and second-wave feminism, Mole was a "misunderstood intellectual" with acne, specs, a dog named "the dog" and a girlfriend called Pandora. Time to revisit the book, we think!

Girl With a Satchel