Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest Holocaust survivor, died at age 110 on Sunday, a family member said. The accomplished pianist’s death came just a week before her extraordinary story of surviving two years in a Nazi prison camp through devotion to music is up for an Oscar.Herz-Sommer died in a hospital after being admitted Friday with health problems, daughter-in-law Genevieve Sommer said.Jewish Holocaust victims ‘remembered always’: Stephen Harper Photo gallery: Remembering the Holocaust “We all came to believe that she would just never die,” said Frederic Bohbot, Montreal-based producer of the documentary The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. “There was no question in my mind: ‘would she ever see the Oscars.”‘The film, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Malcolm Clarke (also based in Montreal), has been nominated for best short documentary at the Academy Awards next Sunday.Herz-Sommer, her husband and her son were sent from Prague in 1943 to a concentration camp in the Czech city of Terezin — Theresienstadt in German — where inmates were allowed to stage concerts in which she frequently starred.An estimated 140,000 Jews were sent to Terezin and 33,430 died there. About 88,000 were moved on to Auschwitz and other death camps, where most of them were killed. Herz-Sommer and her son, Stephan, were among fewer than 20,000 who were freed when the notorious camp was liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945.’Always laughing’Yet she remembered herself as “always laughing” during her time in Terezin, where the joy of making music kept them going.”These concerts, the people are sitting there, old people, desolated and ill, and they came to the concerts and this music was for them our food. Music was our food. Through making music we were kept alive,” she once recalled.Alice Herz-Sommer and Frederic Bohbot, producer of the film The Lady in Number 6. (Paul Parsons/Canadian Press) (The Canadian Press)”When we can play it cannot be so terrible.”Though she never learned where her mother died after being rounded up, and her husband died of typhus at Dachau, in her old age she expressed little bitterness.”We are all the same,” she said. “Good, and bad.”Caroline Stoessinger, a New York concert pianist who wrote a book about Herz-Sommer, said she interviewed numerous people who were at the concerts who said “for that hour they were transported back to their homes and they could have hope.”"Many people espouse certain credos, but they don’t live them. She did,” said Stoessinger, author of A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor.”She understood truly that music is a language and she understood how to communicate through this language of music.”Herz-Sommer was born on Nov. 26, 1903, in Prague, and started learning the piano from her sister at age 5.As a girl, she met the author Franz Kafka, a friend of her brother-in-law, and delighted in the stories that he told.She also remembered Kafka saying, “In this world to bring up children: in this world?”Alice married Leopold Sommer in 1931. Their son was born in 1937, two years before the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia.’A very, very hard time’ for Jews”This was especially for Jews a very, very hard time. I didn’t mind, because I enjoyed to be a mother and I was full of enthusiasm about being a mother, so I didn’t mind so much,” she said.Jews were allowed to shop for only half an hour in the afternoon, by which time the shops were empty. Most Jewish families were forced to leave their family apartments and were crammed into one apartment with other families, but her family was allowed to keep its home.Herz-Sommer poses in 2007 with Caroline Stoessinger who compiled Herz-Sommers’ memories in a book, A Century of Wisdom. (Polly Handcock/Associated Press) (The Associated Press)”We were poor, and we knew that they will send us away, and we knew already in this time that it was our end,” she said.In 1942, her 73-year-old mother was transported to Terezin, then a few months later to Treblinka, an extermination camp.”And I went with her of course till the last moment. This was the lowest point in my life. She was sent away. Till now I don’t know where she was, till now I don’t know when she died, nothing.”When I went home from bringing her to this place I remember I had to stop in the middle of the street and I listened to a voice, an inner voice: ‘Now, nobody can help you, not your husband, not your little child, not the doctor.”‘From then on, she took refuge in the 24 Etudes of Frederic Chopin, a dauntingly difficult monument of the repertoire. She laboured at them for up to eight hours a day.She recalled an awkward conversation on the night before her departure to the concentration camp with a Nazi who lived upstairs and called to say that he would miss her playing.She remembered him saying: “‘I hope you will come back. What I want to tell you is that I admire you, your playing, hours and hours, the patience and the beauty of the music.”‘Other neighbours, she said, stopped by only to take whatever the family wasn’t able to bring to the camp.”So the Nazi was a human, the only human. The Nazi, he thanked me,” she said.Artistic sideThe camp’s artistic side was a blessing; young Stephan, then 6, was recruited to play a sparrow in an opera.”My boy was full of enthusiasm,” she recalled. “I was so happy because I knew my little boy was happy there.”The opera was Brundibar, a 40-minute piece for children composed by Hans Krasa, a Czech who was also imprisoned in the camp. It was first performed in Prague but got only one other performance before he was interned.Brundibar became a showpiece for the camp, performed at least 55 times including once when Terezin, which had been extensively spruced up for the occasion, was inspected by a Red Cross delegation in June 1944.The opera featured in a 1944 propaganda film which shows more than 40 young performers filling the small stage during the finale.In 1949, she left Czechoslovakia to join her twin sister Mizzi in Jerusalem. She taught at the Jerusalem Conservatory until 1986, when she moved to London.Her son, who changed his first name to Raphael after the war, made a career as a concert cellist. He died in 2001.Anita Lasker-Wallfish, a friend, said Herz-Sommer was still lively during a visit last week.”She was a real optimist,” she said, adding that the pair used to play Scrabble together frequently until Herz-Sommer’s eyes failed her. “She was feeling very unwell and she went to the hospital last Friday. I think she had enough.”She added that Herz-Sommer lived a modest life, and would probably balk at the media attention directed at her death.”She didn’t think of herself as anybody very special,” she said. “She would hate any fuss to be made.”
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Courtesy Design History
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Visit link: The city’s Independent Commission Against Corruption has been funding TV series for 40 years as a promotional exercise, with top directors such as Ann Hui, Herman Yau, and Dante Lam taking part.read more
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Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry had 17 points in the third quarter as the Raptors pulled away from the Orlando Magic on route to a 105-90 win at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday night.Lowry, who was just 1-for-7 from the field in the first half, hit all five of his attempts in the third quarter. He had four from beyond the three-point arc in the period, including a 25-footer at the buzzer which brought the crowd of 17,435 to their feet.Lowry scored the final 14 points for the Raptors in the third quarter and the first two of the fourth quarter as Toronto stretched a three-point halftime edge into a lead of 18 points.Lowry finished with 28 points as the Raptors (31-25) won for the second straight game and fifth time in their last six outings. Toronto is six games above .500 for the first time since Feb. 24, 2010, when they were also 31-25.Lowry, who set a new career-high with his 130th three-pointer of the season on Friday, now has 134.DeMar DeRozan added 24 points for the Raptors, who had five players score in double-figures.Tobias Harris matched Lowry’s 28 points to lead Orlando (17-41), which dropped to 3-26 on the road this season.The Raptors, who shot just 41.7 per cent from the field in the first half, were 12-for-14 in the third as they widened their lead to 80-65 despite turning the ball over nine times over that 12-minute span.The Raptors finished the night with 24 turnovers.Amir Johnson left midway through the third quarter with what was described by Raptors personnel as a right ankle sprain. He had 12 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes before leaving.Toronto led 44-41 at halftime despite poor shooting and sloppy ball handling.Johnson led the way for the Raptors in the first half with a team-high 10 points, on a tidy 5-for-6 shooting, and six rebounds. Grevis Vasquez added eight points off the bench, all in the second quarter.But the Raptors, who came into the night averaging an NBA-low 10.9 turnovers per game in February, turned the ball over 11 times in the first half. That led to 10 points by the Magic.Orlando’s Harris led all scorers at halftime, hitting 7-for-10 from the field on his way to 15 points.But both teams struggled with their shooting — Toronto 41.7 per cent at halftime, Orlando 44.4 per cent.The Raptors closed out the first quarter on an 11-2 run to lead 19-14.Harris had 10 points in the opening quarter, eight of them as the Magic went on a 10-0 run.DeRozan had seven points to lead Toronto in the first quarter while Johnson had five rebounds.
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From: THR’s awards analyst screened the best animated short, best documentary short and best live-action short nominees and now offers his projections about which will take home gold.read more
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Taken from: Lupita Nyong’o at the ceremony in Pasadena.
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Headingplus: more questions!TitleHelix “Bloodlines” Review: Action Over AnswersBy Tim SurettestaffAn hour ago2 Comments0 0Helix S01E08: “Bloodlines”Well that was crazy, wasn’t it? “Bloodlines” was an insanely paced episode that zipped between captures and escapes with so much gusto that it almost obscured the fact that not a whole lot happened, especially since the episode’s big reveal was also Helix’s worst-kept secret. A lot of the show’s now-typical weirdness was shelved this week in favor of focusing on power struggles; in the end, Constance Sutton (Jeri Ryan) was ousted as Queen Bitch, and Arctic Biosystems found itself close to where it was a few episodes ago, before the mysterious corporate behemoth that’s bankrolling this clandestine operation butted in.There’s not much point in recapping the events “Bloodlines,” since it was heavy on insignificant action via characters running around, getting caught, and escaping. Alan and Sarah were stuck in a lab and then escaped thanks to a microscope bomb, Balleseros was cuffed and then uncuffed thanks to a lock pick, Julia Walker was thrown into a locked room and then escaped by taking out an air vent, Dr. Hatake was bound to a chair and then set free by Julia… it was enough to make me think I was watching Revolution! But one thing we SHOULD discuss is the big murder of Sutton at the end of the hour, and whether she ultimately had an impact on the show, because I’m having a hard time figuring out why the writers ever brought her into the labs in the first place, at least from a narrative standpoint.Other than being the first human (or maybe even non-human) representation of the Ilaria Corporation and understanding that Julia was highly valued by science types, Sutton apparently arrived just to stir some shit up by barking orders and teasing answers to some of the questions we’ve been asking. We know Sutton is was another silver-eyed freak (along with Hatake and Julia), but why? We know she had a romantic past with Hatake (she even gave him a watch! Also, who HASN’T she had a romantic past with?), but how does that fit into things? And we know the two of them were collaborating on something involving the virus, but what? These questions don’t identify interesting new possibilities so much as they underline mysteries that already existed, and on a show like Helix—which relies heavily on the question-and-answer relationship it maintains with its audience—they’re slowing things down. And now Sutton is dead.I’m not saying the character was a waste, no no no. I loved Sutton and the energy she brought to Helix. But when I look back at her arc, all I see are some fun one-liners and tiny question marks, instead of a giant Jeri-Ryan-shaped indentation on the story—especially now that Ilaria has been booted from Arctic Biosystems, and things appear to be exactly as they were before.But let’s move on. Poor Julia! She had the worst Take Your Daughter to Work Day ever! Sutton did confirm what I thought was too obvious to be true, and what Helix didn’t really try to hide: Julia is Hatake’s daughter. It’s the type of reveal that completely changes the outlook of a character. Now Hatake looks like he’s trying to be a pretty good dad instead of a megalomaniac, which qualifies as one of those “you think you know the character but you don’t” twists that showrunner Steven Maeda discussed with me just over a week ago.”Bloodlines” was a somewhat sloppy episode that only had one real goal: to wrap up the Sutton storyline and get the Ilaria goons out of the lab. But getting there required a lot of roundabout action and dangling threads. Why didn’t Alan ask about Julia’s eyes? What happened to the supposedly infected food supply? Why didn’t the vectors that were released into the lab last week have more of an impact? The good news is that “Bloodlines” ousted Ilaria, and that gives me a good feeling about the last few episodes of the season.LAB NOTES BUT MOSTLY QUESTIONS– Vector Vision! And the vector couldn’t see inside Julia, just Alan and Sarah. And it appeared to be looking at a human’s bloodflow. Does that mean Julia’s blood is different?– I don’t know why Arctic Biosystems stores their grub in a room illuminated by blacklights, but it looked cool. Maybe Daniel throws raves in his downtime?– Any theories as to why Julia was so famished after getting “healthy”? Is she one of the Returned from The Returned? (If you haven’t seen The Returned, please spend the rest of the weekend catching up.) Also, Julia’s viral fake-out was not funny. Not funny!– Sutton sounds like a bitch of a boss. She thought CDC scientists would work better under pressure, so she decided it was a good idea to let vectors run free so the chaos would help Alan find a cure. Ooooooookay.– Balleseros’s character sure has fallen off, hasn’t he?– Why did the vectors grab Peter?– Julia ran into some vectors in the vents, but they just sniffed at her kept going. Compare that to the last time Julia confronted a vector, and it ran away screaming in fear. Was Julia wearing colored contacts in the vents?– Have you noticed that the Ilaria Corporation has a lot of redheaded employees? They’re the true freaks! (Just kidding, gingers!)– Sarah’s hobbies include operating sound cannons with precision targeting. Sounds about right.– Is Anana gone for good? What did she bring to the series? She’d better come back.– Sutton’s comments about Hatake’s watch were about much more than the watch: “I guess once you start replacing the parts it’s not quite the same.” The question Helix will be asking soon: “Does gene therapy make us inhuman?”– I miss Doreen.
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View original: UPDATED: “12 Years a Slave” wins for motion picture, while Lupita Nyong’o, Kerry Washington and “Scandal” also take home honors.read more
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Continue at source: Paul W.S. Anderson’s 3-D disaster film stars Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Jessica Lucas alongside Jared Harris and Kiefer Sutherland.read more
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