Tag Archives: 1990s

‘Twin Peaks’ sequel debuts in May

David Lynch knows how to keep viewers guessing about what to expect from the “Twin Peaks” sequel.

In a Q&A with TV critics Monday, the genial Lynch either declined to provide details about the Showtime series or gave answers that were as mysterious as the plot of the 1990s cult series.

Cast members who took part in a separate panel discussion also were mum about the plot in advance of the show’s May 21 debut.

Lynch did say that what occurred during character Laura Palmer’s final week before her murder — the central question of the 1990-91 ABC series — is “very much important for this.”

He didn’t elaborate.

The filmmaker (“Mulholland Drive”) directed all 18 hours of the new series that he produced and wrote with Mark Frost, his collaborator on the original.

Asked what fans should expect of the series’ tone, Lynch replied: “I see it as a film, and a film in parts is what people will experience. It was a joyful, fantastic trip with this great crew and great cast.”

How many of the stories were ones he couldn’t tell in the original series, and how many are new?

“I’m not at liberty to talk about that,” Lynch said. He also declined to address why he separated from the sequel and then rejoined it.

Earlier, Showtime Networks chief executive David Nevins said that the new series “is the pure heroin version of David Lynch, and I’m very excited to be putting that out.”

Asked if he felt the ABC series was unadulterated, Lynch said that he loved the pilot. But he added that pressure to solve Laura’s death undermined the show’s second and final season.

Nevins said he considered the sequel a close-ended work, but Lynch expressed uncertainty.

“Before I said I wasn’t going to revisit it — and I did,” he said. There are no plans for more at this point but, Lynch added, never say never.

Returning cast members include Kyle MacLachlan, Madchen Amick and Sheryl Lee.

Despite some long days of filming, MacLachlan said, “It was just a huge sense of gratitude to be there, to be creating something we all love, to be working with a master like David Lynch.”

On the Web

Twin Peaks fan site.

George Michael dies at age 53

British singer George Michael, who became one of the pop idols of the 1980s with Wham! and then forged a career as a successful solo artist, died at his home in England on Sunday. He was 53.

In the mid-1980s, Wham! was one of the most successful pop duos ever, with singles like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Careless Whisper”, “Last Christmas” and “The Edge of Heaven.”

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” his publicist said in a statement.

“The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage,” the statement said.

British police said Michael’s death was “unexplained but not suspicious.”

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou June 25, 1963 in London to Greek Cypriot immigrant parents in a flat above a north London laundrette, Michael once played music on the London underground train system before finding fame with Wham!.

With a school friend, Andrew Ridgeley, he formed Wham! in 1981, a partnership that would produce some of the most memorable pop songs and dance-floor favorites of the 1980s.

“I am in deep shock,” said Elton John. “I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP.”

‘I WANT YOUR SEX’

The duo had their first hit with their second release “147;Young Guns (Go For It)” (1982) before their debut release “Wham Rap” became a hit the following year. The 1984 album “Make It Big” was a huge success in the United States.

“No way could I have done it without Andrew,” Michael once said. “I can’t think of anybody who would have been so perfect in allowing something which started out as a very naive, joint ambition, to become what was still a huge double act but what was really … mine.”

But Michael was keen to reach beyond Wham!’s teenage audience and to experiment with other genres. Wham! announced their split in 1986.

A pilot solo single “I Want Your Sex” was banned by daytime radio stations but was one of his biggest hits.

“I want your sex, I want you, I want your sex,” he sang. “So why don’t you just let me go, I’d really like to try, Oh I’d really love to know, When you tell me you’re gonna regret it, Then I tell you that I love you but you still say no!”

In the space of the next five years, Michael had six U.S. No. One hit singles including “Faith”, “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” “Praying For Time” and a duet with Aretha Franklin “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.”

Questions about his sexuality were raised when he was arrested in 1998 for “engaging in a lewd act” in a public restroom of the Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills, California.

“I feel stupid and reckless and weak for letting my sexuality be exposed that way,” Michael told CNN at the time. “But I do not feel shame )about my sexual orientation”, neither do I think I should.”

“I can try to fathom why I did what I did,” he continued, “but at the end of the day, I have to admit that maybe part of the kick was that I might get found out,” he told CNN.

Though he had relationships with women and once told family members that he was bisexual, Michael, then 34, said he was gay.

“Rest with the glittering stars, George Michael,” said Star Trek actor and LGBT rights activist George Takei. “You’ve found your Freedom, your Faith. It was your Last Christmas, and we shall miss you.”

While Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was in power, Michael voted for Britain’s opposition Labour Party but criticized Tony Blair’s support for George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“Sad to hear that George Michael has died,” said current Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. “He was an exceptional artist and a strong supporter of LGBT and workers’ rights.”

Michael’s death comes at the end of a year that has seen the passing of several music superstars, including David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen. Rick Parfitt, the guitarist of British rock group Status Quo, died on Saturday at 68.

FBI: Violent crime up in 2015, but far below peak levels

Violent crime in the United States increased in 2015 but remained far below peak levels of the 1990s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday as presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump prepared for a debate that is likely to focus on public safety.

The FBI’s annual report showed that the prevalence of murder, rape and assault edged up last year after decreasing for decades.

At 372.6 incidents per 100,000 people, the 2015 violent-crime rate is higher than the 2014 rate of 361.6 but well below the levels of the last decade, which never dipped below 400. The increase was most pronounced in big cities, the report found.

Coming on the day of the first debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the report could “be turned into political football,” said Robert Smith, a research fellow at Harvard Law School, in a teleconference on Friday with other crime experts.

Trump last week praised aggressive policing, including “stop-and-frisk” tactics that critics say unfairly target minorities.

Clinton has pushed for stricter gun control to help curb violence and has called for national guidelines on the use of force by police officers.

In 2015, there were an estimated 15,696 murders in the United States compared with an estimated 14,164 the prior year, according to the report. Last year’s crime rate was still lower than in 2012 and earlier years, the FBI found.

Crime was highest in the southern United States, the report found. At 45.9 per 100,000 people, the murder and manslaughter rate in the region was more than twice as high as in the West, the Midwest and the Northeast, according to the FBI. Rates of rape, assault and property crime were dramatically higher as well.

FBI Director James Comey warned last year that violent crime in the United States might rise because increased scrutiny of policing tactics had created a “chill wind” that discouraged officers from using aggressive tactics.

The rise in crime has been concentrated in big cities’ segregated and impoverished neighborhoods. Experts said crime there can best be fought through better community policing and alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent crime.

“We’re just beginning to see a shift in mentality in law enforcement from a warrior mentality … to a guardian mentality,” Carter Stewart, a former prosecutor for the Southern District of Ohio, said on the teleconference. “I don’t want us as a country to go backwards.”

In Chicago, 54 more people were murdered in 2015 than the year before, a 13 percent jump in the city’s murder rate, according to an April study by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.

Reporting by Julia Harte, Susan Heavey and Andy Sullivan in Washington.

Paul denies report that he approved anti-gay newsletters

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has flatly denied a Washington Post report that he was deeply involved in the company that produced provocative, racially charged and anti-gay newsletters and that he signed off on articles.

The newsletters from the 1990s have dogged Paul for years, resurfacing as his presidential campaign gained momentum. The Texas congressman has denied writing the inflammatory passages – the articles included racial, anti-Semitic and anti-gay content – and said that he didn’t read them at the time or for years afterward.

The Post story published Jan. 27 said the newsletters were part of a marketing strategy by Paul’s company and that three people familiar with his businesses described his involvement with the newsletters.

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product,” Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company, told the Post. “He would proof it.”

Paul told CNN: “She’s made that story up. … It’s completely false.”

The Post reported that Eric Dondero Rittberg, a former longtime Paul aide, said he witnessed Paul proofing, editing and signing off on his newsletters in the mid-1990s.

Ed Crane, the longtime president of the libertarian Cato Institute, told the Post that he and Paul discussed direct-mail solicitations at the time and that they agreed that “people who have extreme views” are more likely than others to respond.

“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Paul told CNN. “I don’t recall that conversation.”

Source: AP