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Claire Holt & Andrew Joblon Welcome Baby #2

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“The Vampire Diaries” alum Claire Holt, 32, is a mom again!

Holt and husband Andrew Joblon welcomed a baby girl. On Sunday, she posted a pic of herself kissing their bundle of joy, writing, “She’s here. Our sweet girl, Elle. After 27.5 hours of labor, she flew into the world and expanded our hearts. We are so grateful for our healthy baby and cannot wait for her to meet her big brother.”

Andrew also shared his own Instagram post, writing, “Baby Elle has finally made her appearance after 27.5 hours of labor. @claireholt again proved to me she is my hero and a true warrior. I love you with all my heart. Thank you so much for birthing this sweet little girl in a challenging year.”

Joblon ended his posted by showing love to women everywhere. He wrote, “All the women out there, no debate from me, you guys are the superior gender and it’s not even close!! 9.12.2020 – my heart is full.”

Last month, Claire opened up about her pregnancy fears. She wrote on Instagram, “35 WEEKS. I’m excited to meet this little girl but I’m SO anxious about losing it again. The recovery, sleep deprivation, feedings, 2 kids 17 months apart, a pandemic… It’s a lot.”

“I know how lucky I am and I know each stage is temporary, but I’m still feeling stressed about how I’ll cope mentally,” Holt admitted. “I think it’s important to share that I have always had help. I never want to pretend that I do it on my own (I am completely in awe of women who do). That being said, I still felt overwhelmed, embarrassed/guilty that I was struggling, and not at all like myself after I gave birth.”

Holt announced she was pregnant in April. At the time, she shared, “Grateful for this little ray sunshine in an uncertain time.”

Holt and Joblon are also the parents of son James Holt, 18 months.

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Ryan Reynolds Announces An Aviation Gin Edition That’s Perfect For Your Homeschooling Needs

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Always looking to lend a hand, Ryan Reynolds has unveiled the latest version of his liquor offerings: Aviation Gin Homeschool Edition. Housed in a massive bottle, Reynolds promises this latest offering from his gin brand can help with a “variety of subjects” during these unusual back to school times. From “fourth grade geography” to “whatever the f*ck new math is,” Aviation Gin has you covered.

The tongue-in-cheek ad is yet another in a series of social media videos that prove how Reynolds is the master at bringing snarky charm and eyeballs to any brand. He recently scored laughs by coaxing Rick Moranis to appear in an awkwardly fun commercial (for Mint Mobile) where Reynolds equated Moranis’ acting hiatus to an… unlimited data plan. (We mentioned it was awkward, right?)

But Reynolds isn’t just lending his comedic wit to brands during this pandemic. The Deadpool star also took part in a public health initiative to encourage his fellow Canadians to wear masks. Not just for their safety, which is obviously important, but for his poor mom who is stuck at home instead of prowling for young lovers, and Reynolds won’t have it. Here’s the message he recorded after being asked by British Columbia Premiere John Horgan to get millennials on board with masks:

“My mom, I mean, she doesn’t want to be cooped in her apartment all day; she wants to be out there cruising Kitsilano Beach, looking for some young 30-something Abercrombie burnout to go full Mrs. Robinson on. She is insatiable. But here’s the thing. I hope that young people in BC don’t kill my mom, frankly, or [environmental scientist] David Suzuki, or each other. Let’s not kill anyone. I think that’s reasonable.”

You can listen to Reynold’s “voicemail” below:

(Via Aviation American Gin)

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Highlights from the Second Week of the New York Film Festival

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The best things I’ve seen from the second week of the New York Film Festival come from a trio of usual suspects, three veteran filmmakers whose work has long been appearing at the festival and whose new films provide illuminating views both of their longtime artistic obsessions and of the present day.

“City Hall,” the new film by Frederick Wiseman, who’s ninety (and whose first film, “Titicut Follies,” played at the festival in 1967), completes an unofficial trilogy, with his 2014 film “In Jackson Heights” (a view of a multicultural neighborhood invigorated by community activism) and “Monrovia, Indiana,” from 2018, showing the torpor of a homogeneous and backward-looking town. In “City Hall,” Wiseman considers, with a lofty philosophical logic and an ardent sense of observation, the very nature of good government, as he sees it at work in Boston, with the mayoralty of Marty Walsh (who was elected in 2013 and reëlected in 2017). Wiseman (who works with the cinematographer John Davey and a camera assistant; he records sound himself) had extraordinary access to some of the inner workings of Boston’s government, though many of the most powerful and revelatory sequences in the film—which runs an absorbing four and a half hours—involve public events. Walsh is the animating spirit throughout but not the center of attention; when he appears, it’s almost exclusively at public events, where, with a longtime politician’s deftness, he tugs at the audience’s heartstrings while at the same time passionately expressing his progressive principles, which include opposition to federal anti-immigrant policies and activism on behalf of social justice. At other meetings, residents confront the Mayor’s representatives and other official participants in remarkable displays of civic activism. The crucial word in the many meetings is one that turns up in a budget discussion early on: complexity. Whether confronting homelessness or drug addiction, building inspection or income disparity or the mental health of veterans, accessibility for the disabled or inequities in the allotment of contracts, traffic management or the organization of a victory parade for the Boston Red Sox or (in the movie’s most extended and most stirring sequence) a public debate over the location of a cannabis center, government—which is to say, skilled and caring public officials and professional administrators—confronts problems that it can’t avoid and that only it can solve. Where “In Jackson Heights” looked at community from street level, “City Hall” considers in detail the government’s role—and responsibility—in fostering that sense of community, and the connection of that sense to the city’s over-all well-being.

The Chinese director Jia Zhangke (whose début feature, “Xiao Wu,” a.k.a. “Pickpocket,” from 1997, is also playing at the festival, in a new restoration) interweaves elements of fiction and documentary in all of his films, with the balance usually tilting toward the former. His new film, “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue,” is a documentary of a familiar style, composed mainly of interviews with Chinese writers (and their relatives). With its wide range of participants and subjects—writers active at the time of the Communist takeover in the postwar years, ones who endured the Cultural Revolution, and others whose careers took off in the relative thaw of the nineteen-eighties and nineties—it’s an allusive history of China since the founding of its one-party regime. Its very title is a sort of spoiler—it’s a reference to an anecdote related in the movie’s last scene, regarding the gap between official textbooks and actual experience, and it looks back ironically at the entire movie to lead viewers to compare what its participants said to what they couldn’t say. (One writer, for instance, speaks in passing of the “peace and joy” that prevailed at Beijing University in 1989, the closest he could come to acknowledging the Tiananmen massacre.) What does get said is nonetheless moving and fascinating, and the richly detailed stories of writers’ lives peer deep into family troubles and personal struggles and link them to the grand forces of history. In their telling, what dominates the decades following the Second World War is the desperate poverty of rural villages and small towns, the mighty political efforts to overcome it (with a blend of local collective organization and draconian decrees from above), and, throughout, the inextricable politicization of private lives and literary careers alike—which nonetheless gives rise to narratives of great artistic power. Jia’s subjects are, above all, creative writers, and the vividness, the vitality, the passion of their spoken-word dramas, delivered in a variety of private and public settings, conjure vast skeins of imagined images, which seem virtually superimposed on Jia’s scenes of the telling.

“Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue,” by Jia Zhangke, is a documentary of what is said and what cannot be said.Photograph courtesy Xstream Pictures

Philippe Garrel, a prodigy of the French cinema (whose work was first included in the New York Film Festival in 1970, when he was twenty-two), has developed a spare method, a self-imposed classicism of dramatic intimacy, centered largely on the lives of young people, that runs the risks of theoretical abstraction (thinness of observation) in pursuit of its power (symbolic distillation of great emotion). His new film, “The Salt of Tears,” starts aridly, in scenes of a bus-stop encounter of two young adults that in short order becomes a fragile romance, but it soon rises very high with its fusion of brusque candor and unspoken yearnings. Luc (Logann Antuofermo) is a cabinetmaker who works with his aged, widowed, and solitary father (André Wilms) in a provincial town; Luc goes to Paris to compete for a spot in a prestigious furniture-making academy (it really exists), meets Djemila (Oulaya Amamra), who’s working at a day job and planning to go back to school, and he jerkishly messes up their relationship. Back home, he pursues other relationships even as he and Djemila remain in touch (quaintly, by letter); then he moves to Paris. The virtually mathematical precision with which the movie’s young people, whether brash or tender, cavalier or devoted, get a tough and unsentimental education is matched by images of a rarefied, concentrated, vertiginous power. There’s a peculiar timelessness imposed on the movie by a blend of casting (Wilms, who’s seventy-three, lends the role an ancient air of craggy authority) and tone; the script, which Garrel co-wrote with Arlette Langmann (born in 1946) and Jean-Claude Carrière (born in 1931), feels like a revisitation of the austerities, aspirations, and humiliations of an earlier age, a return to primordial experiences and artistic ambitions. Specifically, the film has an air of the nineteen-sixties, minus its politics—but plus some of the politics of today, notably, a vision of France’s ethnic diversity and of right-wing goons who violently oppose it. The film also happens to have one of the best dance scenes in the recent cinema; the choreography is by Catherine Marcadé.

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A Message of Hope From the Dalai Lama

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In times of trouble, the Dalai Lama’s story is one that bears repeating. The hardships include being plucked from his peasant parents as a toddler and ensconced in a spooky old palace, where he was tasked with relearning nearly every ounce of the knowledge he had managed to sponge up in his previous life as the 13th Dalai Lama. Then being required, at 15, to confront Chinese authorities who were invading his homeland and would soon take it over entirely. And they certainly include the time he, age 23, was forced to disguise himself and flee Tibet under cover of night, spending the next couple of weeks crossing deadly stretches of the Himalayas before arriving as a refugee in India, where he has lived in exile for the past 61 years.

Through it all, his very job as spiritual leader of the Tibetan people was to act with equanimity. That he did so — and continues to do so — has made him an international inspiration, a beacon of hope to millions. Recently, he gave Rolling Stone a chance to delve into how he’s kept his cool all these years — and how we might as well, even as the world implodes around us.

Your holiness, we’re in a moment when there’s a lot of anxiety and grief around the coronavirus. What‘s your advice to people who are struggling
Now this pandemic is very serious. Very sad. We’re just so afraid. That’s not useful. We must attack it — specialists, scientists, doctors, I very much appreciate. If the problem can [be] overcome, then no need to worry; make effort to overcome. If no way to overcome the problem, there’s no use too much worry.

But it’s hard not to worry. How do you keep yourself from worrying?
Through training how to tackle destructive emotion, and how to develop positive emotion. This is very important. All destructive emotion [is] based on appearances, not reason, so we cannot meditate on anger, hatred, fear. But positive emotions such as compassion, altruism, or enthusiasm are based on reality, on reason, so we can train [them] through meditation. Ignore seeing, ignore hearing, pay more attention [to] your mind. Only the human brain has the ability to concentrate on a point and analyze.

What kind of student were you?
I was quite lazy! [Laughs] My tutor sometimes threatened to show whips! But gradually, my mind, my brain [grew] quite sharp. Certain subjects scholars find difficult, for me [were] easy. So I believe that [in] my previous life that subject [was] familiar.

The album Inner World was released on your 85th birthday. Is there something beneficial that your music has been able to do in this time that you have not been able to do?
My main practice is altruism. My body, voice, mind [are] dedicated to the well-being of 7 billion human beings. Nice sound comes, they feel happy. Sound affects the mind. Music comes [on]? Their face like [smiles broadly].

Tenzin Jamphe for Rolling Stone

You’ve said that the next Dalai Lama might be female or maybe there shouldn’t even be a 15th Dalai Lama. What’s the future of the institution?
Next Dalai Lama not my business! Tibetan people have the right to decide whether the institution should continue or not.

If you were to meet Donald Trump, is there something you’d like to say?
Today, my number-one commitment is try to promote a sense of oneness of 7 billion human beings. I’m hoping all the leaders of the world, and particularly the big nations’ leaders — America, Russia, China, India — see oneness of all 7 billion human beings. When he became president, he mentioned “America First” — [with] that I have some reservation. America [is] the leading nation of [the] free world, so morally, historically, America has responsibility.

Children at two years, they play together. They don’t care [about] other child’s religion, other nationality. Then once the children [start] education, [there’s] not much talking about warmheartedness, just knowledge; and that creates some feeling of “we” and “they,” and then, gradually, “my nation,” “their nation,” “my religion,” “their religion.” Our education should include moral teachings. Religion? No. But moral teaching. Your own successful life very much depends on warmheartedness.

What you call “wise selfishness”?
Taking care [of] others is the best way you fulfill your self-interest. Altruism [is] very useful, very important to keep peace of mind. Any person I meet, I feel [are] brothers, sisters. That brings me inner peace. I think I can say, Dalai Lama, wherever I go, always smiles.

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