* Awards season is all a-go: Ben Affleck just picked up his first nomination from the Directors Guild of America for best feature. He’s up against previous winners Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Ang Lee (Life of Pi) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty).
* Meanwhile, a true-blue American story leads Britain’s version of the Oscars. Lincoln has scored 10 Bafta nominations, including best picture, while Life of Pi and Les Miserables each have 9, and Skyfall follows with 8. However, neither Lincoln‘s director, Steven Spielberg, nor Les Mis‘s Tom Hooper nor Skyfall‘s Sam Mendes picked up a best director nod.
* In the ongoing controversy surrounding Zero Dark Thirty and its depiction of torture, protestors took to the Tuesday night premiere in Washington DC. The film, tipped to be a frontrunner at the Oscar’s next month, has been fielding criticism from commentators and politicians, while its director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal maintain it is just a movie and not a documentary, nor do they endorse the actions it displays.
* Mali’s Festival in the Desert, which had been held for the past decade near Timbuktu and attracted big-name Western acts, has been banned by militants there. But there’s a new generation of Malian musicians who, despite censorship and the ongoing troubles in that country, are trying to keep playing on. The new event will be called Festival in Exile, and will be a caravan of artists who travel and perform through West Africa, culminating in a three-day event in Burkina Faso.
* And in a big about-turn, Led Zeppelin will soon join Spotify. Well, at least their back catalogue will. Formerly one of the bands you would not find on the streaming service (along with the likes of The Beatles and AC/DC), the group’s music is due to be available on Spotify soon, as well as possibly other online sources too. Add Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Spotify is going from music strength-to-strength.
Pic: Warner Bros