The people of Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (as well as possibly Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait) will not be able to see Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical epic Noah when it hits theaters later this month. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the strict censor boards in the Middle Eastern countries recently informed Paramount Studios that because the movie contradicts an Islamic law prohibiting any depiction of a Muslim prophet, the film would be banned. The Sunni Muslim school Al-Azhar in Egypt released a statement explaining, “Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah’s prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [Muhammad]. Therefore, Al-Azhar announces the prohibition of the upcoming film about the Allah’s messenger Noah—peace be upon him.” Noah opens in the U.S. on March 28 ... Discuss
Matthew McConaughey may have been honored with this year’s Oscar for Best Actor, but in this re-creation of the viral video classic “David After Dentist,” it’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt who’s responsible for one of the finest film performances of his generation ... Discuss
A new Pew Research Center poll has found that a majority of American Catholics believe Pope Francis is ushering in positive changes for the Church, but he hasn’t actually caused them to change their behavior. About 85% of Catholic polled have a favorable opinion of the leader, with 71% saying his shift in Vatican direction is improving things for the Church. However, when it comes to actually expressing their faith—through attending mass, going to confession or volunteering—little has changed. Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior analyst at The National Catholic Reporter told The New York Times that though the numbers aren’t exactly positive, the fact the church isn’t losing members could be an indication of Pope Francis’ positive influence: “This could be interpreted as showing that Francis has had no impact. On the other hand, since church attendance has been declining since the 1950s, the fact that it did not go down could be considered a victory” ... Discuss
The latest invention by junk food genius Dominique Ansel is about to change everything—again. The baker’s Island of Dr. Monroe-like New York eatery first rose to fame as the home of the pastry mash-up, “the Cronut,” but at Austin’s SXSW festival, Anel’s debuting his new earth-shattering creation—a small “glass” made from cookies that holds a shot of cold milk. For those that want to be part of the revolution, the cookie-and-milk shots will soon be available at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York ... Discuss
Attention urban fashion fans. The New York Times would like you to know that the monocle—that “one Part Mr. Peanut, one Part hipster chic” single eye accessory—is all the rage in Brooklyn these days. And according to one fashion-watcher, in some uber-hip communities, even the accessory is accessorized:
Martin Raymond, a British trend forecaster, credits the rise to what he calls “the new gents,” a hipster subspecies who have been adding monocles to their bespoke tweed and distressed-boot outfits. On a recent trip to Cape Town, Mr. Raymond said, he saw such a group carrying monocles along with tiny brass telescopes kept in satchels.