“Slow West” is an elegantly paced Western, comically revisionist and suitably deadly.
Former Beta Band member turned director John Maclean’s debut feature, “Slow West” looks and feels like a random train of thought, a glorious meandering diversion from “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.” Uncomfortable in the saddle is 16-year-old Scottish noble Jay Cavendish, drawn to Colorado in 1870 by matters of the heart and class superiority cunningly masquerading as humanity and decency. The West to Jay is a surprisingly lush land filled with glittering blues and vivid greens. This is a young country feeding a younger heart, pumping the poetic and romantic notions around a body never built to suffer the hardship or deprivation facing mortal settlers or outlaws.
For Hannibal, a revival makes sense, but other programmes may be better left dead.
Word broke this week that NBC’s Hannibal won’t be returning for a fourth season, much to the dismay of the show’s small but extremely dedicated fan base. Everyone’s favorite cannibal stirs strong emotions in fans, with speculation about the cancellation already swirling — two likely explanations are a rights issue or the show’s low ratings. Producer Bryan Fuller says he felt supported by NBC throughout the run of the show in a public statement stressing an amicable decision, though he was backed into a bit of a corner, as no one wants to be seen biting the hand that feeds them. (Except, possibly, Hannibal Lecter.)
The only real way to help prevent more fraudsters is to keep reporting them.
As the summer approaches there’s always a scramble for tickets to the hottest festivals over the summer. However, last year my enthusiasm got the better of my reason and I sadly got scammed. The bright lights of Glastonbury looked so tempting after all the press coverage, and I am without a doubt not alone in getting scammed. Just last month the BBC reported that
Two men from Anfield have been charged over an alleged ticket forging operation for Liverpool FC matches. Police launched an investigation after fans from all over the world never received tickets bought online, while others received fake ones.
And just last year
Hundreds of Beyoncé fans were left disappointed after discovered they had been sold fake tickets to the star’s concerts as part of a scam worth at least £28,000” and were turned away at the door.
So, let me recount my tale of woe, in the hope that knowing how I got scammed might help others in similar positions.
As a singer, I had been dying to go to Glastonbury for years but somehow I was never organized enough to get there. My great friend Valerie suggested that we go together. However, the only snag was that all the tickets were sold out. Nevertheless, we were determined to find tickets so I posted on Facebook, twitter, and finally called a PR company who I knew often had tickets for exclusive sold out events behind the scenes for sale. They had two tickets–but it took me three days to call them back, only to find they also had sold out. I even called a friend who was a PR for Glastonbury.
No luck there, unless I wanted to spend 5,000 on camping. I even contacted Shangri-La and various tents and arenas that were showcasing dance music acts, and offered myself for free as a singer, I so badly wanted to go. We tried everything, but no luck there either. I was too shy to ask a DJ who I often work with if I could sing one song during his set as a way in; I thought that would only annoy him and wouldn’t help our working relationship.
Finally, after much Internet searching a good friend found a site that had tickets for sale via their website. In our other enthusiasm we bought then very quickly so not to be left out yet again. It seemed like a genuine site and a well made website. My friend had even bought a flight (she lives abroad) and we had everything planned and set. But then suddenly 3 days before Glastonbury started, Valerie got an email saying, “sorry the tickets are no longer available” and how she would be refunded. But three weeks later, the website owner a “Harry Fitzgerald” vanished into thin air and stopped answering any emails or calls. We even got a lawyer friend to pose as an interested party in the Wimbledon tickets – he had for sale on his site… but they somehow recognized his number he was calling from, the same area code, and didn’t answer.
In the world of forgery, there are numerous ticket sales on fake websites luring innocent people in, and there is little protection against fake ticket fraud. Ukviptickets used a fake postal address in Geneva. It also lists a fake address in London as 21 Bond Street–21 New Bond Street is the Burberry store and 21 Old Bond Street is a luxury apartment building. So another fake address – another dead end.
The fake supplier Harry Fitzgerald was not reachable over the phone. So it’s very difficult to sue him directly. Even trying to find the correct name was hard – typing Harry Fitzgerald into Google doesn’t amount to very much. It’s a common name, so it’s very hard to know who the liable person is behind the fake company or if he’s operating under a fake name. So it’s hard to know what to report as a fraud offence to the police who would ideally start an investigation and find those responsible and prosecute them. But since there are no leads, it’s hard to know where to begin. Another option was asking PayPal to cancel their payment to ukviptickets. However, PayPal just say, “send us an email and we will look into it” but it seems that PayPal neglects liability for tickets purchases according to their general terms.
But there is one clause saying, “You did not receive the item you paid for with PayPal” and to them write them with an explanation, so far PayPal have not responded.However, I have heard via friends that PayPal are good at honoring their polices of protecting the consumer.
Initially I thought canceling the payment through MasterCard would only make myself liable to PayPal and they could sue me, but in the end credit card insurance covered this type of fraud because the card issuer is liable for a failure for series to be provided as long as the price of a single ticket is more than £100. Thank God. I may have got my money back but I never got to Glastonbury and wasted a lot of time trying to find out how to get my money back.
However, there are many other pitfalls that can happen when buying scam tickets to be aware of. Always make sure the tickets are delivered to you – what could happen is that the company selling you the tickets might tell you a company representative will be you at the venue on the day only then nobody shows up. Or you might receive the tickets via email or in the mail and when arriving at the event the organizers tell you the tickets are fake.
However, in some cases you just have to swallow your loses – and be less keen for tickets. We all know the cliché to only buy from the venue box office, official agent or reputable ticket sites but sometimes that’s not possible when the most sort after events sell out in minutes. It’s still possible to buy from smaller Internet companies, however you must just be more wary.
In the end, it hardly seems fair. Hopefully governments will make stricter laws against people who commit Internet fraud, the same way people give away free songs over the Internet. If I could give any advice to anyone searching for sold out tickets to amazing events, it would be: first check the website payment pages are secured by a padlock symbol in the address bar and make sure the website starts with https. Ask the company questions; for instance, where are they based? Where is their office? Make sure they have a landline number in the UK and a proper address. Check the company is actually at the address that they say they have their offices at and avoid all companies that only have PO box addresses. It can be a pain, but make sure you read the terms and conditions, some websites might state there are no refunds… And google, google google–I later found there were several people on facebook complaining about Ukviptickets.
So what’s the future for scam ticket fraud? The main issue is a lot of frauds aren’t reported because victims often feel blamed for being defrauded, as people feel ashamed or embarrassed for being conned.
However, the public are more increasingly aware of threats, which is an essential step in helping individuals protect themselves from fraud. Online frauds are being tackled by the police through better systems and controls in our businesses. Victims are now better supported, and fraudsters and enablers are being targeted. The Uk government have invested more to improve response to computer crimes as part of the “national cyber security program” and banks and payment institutions are joining to strengthen their industry wide abilities to tackle frauds’.
But in the end, the only real way to help prevent more fraudsters is to keep reporting them. So don’t be shy, step forward and tell your story, too.
This is a violent, cruel, awful world, and it’s filled with people who do terrible things to each other in an ever-creative series of ways.
Game of Thrones aired another predictably bloody and explosive season finale on Sunday, sending the internet into a tizzy and leading readers of the books to note that finally everyone is in uncharted waters — the series has officially caught up to George R. R. Martin’s epic, which raises some interesting questions about what will happen next season (spoilers for the next book, perhaps? Finally, the tables will be turned…). This has been a rough season for Game of Thrones when it comes to internet commentary on the show, and in the dissections of the season rolling out this week, complaints about the extreme violence seem to be a bit of a theme.
Sense8 marks the first time a trans character has been played by a trans actress and been directed by a trans woman in a major television series.
The Wachowski siblings have taken to an unusual new medium: Netflix. In Sense8, a Netflix Original science fiction series, the two are illustrating that the streaming giant has the ability to command serious Hollywood names from behind and in front of the camera. This drama isn’t just a victory for Netflix, though. It’s also a major breakthrough when it comes to diversity, representation, and exploration of identity in Hollywood, as it marks the first time a trans character has been played by a trans actress and been directed by a trans woman in a major television series.
This is a compelling study of the depth and reach of parental love when heavily challenged by circumstances.
A couple of years ago, when it first came out, Andrew Solomon’s 10-years-in-the-making magnum opus, Far from the Tree, was the book du jour in Australian book-reading parenting circles. I missed it at the time, being otherwise engaged, but now, having read this sizeable work, I understand why it caused such a buzz. Put simply, this is a thorough, challenging, imperfect but compelling study in the depth and reach of parental love, when heavily challenged by circumstances.
Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have fashioned an epic Mumblegore, Lovecraftian love story.
“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” Looking into the eyes of Evan’s dying mother as he grips her frail hand we know that Orson Welles was right. Evan’s mother looks afraid of her final journey and her death leaves Evan abandoned on the raft of life, flotsam and jetsam tossed across a cruel sea. His father is long departed and Evan gave up his dreams of college to care for his mother and work as a chef in a local bar.
Television is past its golden age, but that doesn’t mean it won’t circle back again.
As the internet squeals over Game of Thrones and the end of Mad Men, going wild on Thursday nights for Scandal and quivering with delight over upfronts, many are carrying on about how U.S. television is in a ‘golden age.’ I’m not as convinced, however—there’s a great deal to suggest, in fact, that we’ve passed our golden age and moved on to a dubious and somewhat sad decline, listlessly flopping along the airwaves while we wait for a revival.
Boy Meets Girl is a a landmark moment for television in general and UK television in particular.
The words ‘transgender character’ and ‘comedy’ in the same sentence are enough to make most trans people twitch. Comedies typically use transgender characters as the butts of jokes and ‘hilarious’ comments about their gender identity and role in the world, echoing the transphobia of the real world and contributing to the further dehumanisation of trans people&emdash;especially trans women. To add insult to injury, such roles are typically played by cis actors, underscoring social attitudes about gender identity by illustrating that film and TV producers can’t even be bothered to think of trans people as human beings with distinct identities; the trans community is evidently filled with people dressing up and pretending to be people they’re not.
Through their patient, cinema vérité style, the directors give us a glimpse into a world where aloha – “love, honor and respect for all” – is not just a catchy word or an abstract idea, but truly a way of life.
Mark your calendars and set your DVRs. If orange is the new black, then Hawaii is the new cool state. Premiering Monday, May 4th on PBS’s Independent Lens is Kumu Hina, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson’s uplifting portrait of gender and cultural empowerment in the Pacific. This enthralling documentary follows titular subject Kumu (“Teacher”) Hina Wong-Kalu, a married woman and dedicated cultural mentor at a native Hawaiian school who also happens to be māhū – or what the west would call a transgender person. As we watch Hina ready her all-male hula troop (which includes one kickass sixth-grader, born female but an out-and-proud māhū) for their year-end performance, and struggle in her relationship with a heterosexual, cisgender Tongan man, what emerges is something extraordinary. Through their patient, cinema vérité style, Hamer and Wilson give us a glimpse into a world where aloha – “love, honor and respect for all” – is not just a catchy word or an abstract idea, but truly a way of life.
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