* 5 Pointz, the internationally respected graffiti mecca in Queens, is nearing its demise. Authorities approved a plan on Wednesday that would demolish the aerosol art centre for a pair of luxury towers to be built. It really is a tragedy that this contemporary art space is not saved and preserved for future generations to admire. Street art is art too – this spot has been the place where some of the finest come to work.
* From one Oscar-winner to another – Marion Cotillard will play Lady Macbeth, taking over the role from Natalie Portman, in a new big screen adaptation of the famous Shakespearean tragedy. In what is set to be a real treat, Michael Fassbender will play the tyrannical ruler.
* Staying with the Bard and his Three Witches, Kenneth Branagh will make his debut on a New York stage next year, in the version of Macbeth he both directs and stars in, which received high praise at the recent Manchester International Festival in England. It sounds truly spectacular: the play was initially performed in a deconsecrated church with the audience sitting in long pews, and it’ll be re-imagined for the Park Avenue Armory’s Drill Hall in NYC.
* In turning down an invitation to attend a Russian film festival, Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller has confirmed he is gay. In a letter published on the GLAAD website, he detailed his reasons in protest of the anti-LGBT laws recently signed by President Vladimir Putin.
* South Africa, and indeed the music world at large, lost a sacred voice this week. Grammy-nominated jazz singer Sathima Sea Benjamin, who recorded with Duke Ellington, died at her home in Cape Town on Tuesday. It’s not clear what the cause of her death was but Sathima – wife of pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, and mother to musicians Tsakwe Ibrahim and Jean Grae – had recently relaunched her album African Songbird, which was originally released in New York in 1977.