Arts & Style

Arts Briefs

More than a year after the Obamas left the White House, the former first couple’s official portraits have been revealed to the public and were met with mixed reviews, ranging from thunderous appraisal to bigoted insults. The former president is seen seated with a pensive look on his face, surrounded by leaves and different flowers that signify his cultural background, while the former first lady is also seated, wearing a white gown by Michelle Smith. For the first time in history, these portraits have been painted by prominent African-Americans artists. Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama, and Amy Sherald painted Michelle Obama.

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Following his critically panned headlining of the Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake was able to bring himself back to the top with his new album Man of the Woods championing the Billboard 200. The album has already met previous success, with two of its singles, “Filthy” and “Say Something,” having debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 this year. This is Timberlake’s fourth No. 1 album, and with 293,000 equivalent units, it is the best-selling debut of the year so far.

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Katy Perry made history, becoming only the third woman to sell 100 million digital copies of her singles, following cultural powerhouses Taylor Swift and Rihanna. While Perry’s most recent album, Witness, has faced less than stellar commercial success compared to her previous musical endeavors, the singer has cemented her leading position in the world of pop music.

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The final chapter of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed, collected the biggest grosses of the week with $38.8 million. While this is a significantly smaller amount than the two previous films collected the first movie opening with $85 million and the second one with $46.8 million   the trilogy officially became a hit as the overall sales for all three parts have exceeded $1 billion. Animated film Peter Rabbit, which features the voices of Margot Robbie and James Corden, came in second with a $25 million gross. In a rough start, The 15:17 to Paris, an action film directed by Clint Eastwood based on a true attempted terrorist attack in 2015, came in third with $12.6 million.

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Warner Bros. Studios has announced that it is developing Willy Wonka, a film reimagination of Roald Dahl’s popular children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which will pivot around the flamboyant and brilliant owner of the book’s chocolate factory, and which will be the book’s third film adaptation.

Paul King is in the final stages of negotiations to direct the film. King is the director of the Paddington franchise, a series that features Paddington 2, one of the best-reviewed films on Rotten Tomatoes. The casting of Willy Wonka is yet to be announced.

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February 20, 2018

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Maxim Ibadov


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