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Hello! Welcome to your daily roundup of whatâs going on in pop culture.
Today is the 80th anniversary of Orson Wellesâs âWar of the Worldsâ radio broadcast, a dramatization of H.G. Wellsâs 1898 novel. It caused panic at the time, with some listeners believing Martians really had landed in New Jersey. Itâs also one of those cultural events that launched decadesâ worth of college essays (some of them by editors at Times HQ) analyzing media habits and American paranoia. Itâs well worth a (re)listen â it is really convincing, to be totally honest!
1. ð A fitting Prince project
In very wonderful news, Ava DuVernay is working on a multipart Prince documentary for Netflix. It will cover the artistâs entire life, Variety reports, and Princeâs estate is in full support of the project. âPrince was a genius, a joy and a jolt to the senses,â DuVernay wrote on Twitter. âHe was like no other. The only way I know how to make this film is with love and great care.â
2. Pharrell threatens to sue the president
Pharrell Williams is the latest musician to ask President Trump to stop playing his music at political events. On Saturday, hours after the deadly attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Williamsâs âHappyâ was played at a Trump rally, according to a strongly worded cease-and-desist letter from Williamsâs lawyers. The Rolling Stones, Adele, Queen and others have made similar requests in the past, CNN reports.
But according to the National FFA Organization, which hosted the event at which Trump spoke (FFA stands for Future Farmers of America), it was the groupâs organist who played the song, and there was no input from the presidentâs team. (The song begins at 2:30:30 in this video.) âThe song was not used as an intro for the president, and no one in the administration asked it to be played,â an FFA representative said in an email.
3. Mama mia, let me go!
A. O. Scott did not like âBohemian Rhapsody,â the new Freddie Mercury biopic. âA baroque blend of gibberish, mysticism and melodrama, the film seems engineered to be as unmemorable as possible,â he writes in his review, which is a joy to read. I love having something crossed off my cultural to-do list.
4. Movie magic for your headphones
I have resigned myself to having âin the shalllow, sh-a-a-ll-o-o-wâ playing in my head for the rest of my natural life, and the âStar Is Bornâ soundtrack is indeed holding steady at the top of the Billboard chart. The Ringer rounded up the best songs that have been performed by movie characters, reminding me of some true classics such as Rex Manningâs âSay No More (Mon Amour)â from âEmpire Records.â
5. The worldâs biggest statue
On Wednesday, India will unveil the âStatue of Unityâ â the worldâs largest, at over 180 meters high. (Thatâs four Statues of Liberty.) It depicts the countryâs first deputy prime minister in the â40s, and the photos of the statue under construction are pretty wild.