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Oh No They Didn't! - LiveJournal.com

older | 1 | .... | 336 | 337 | (Page 338) | 339 | 340 | .... | 4164 | newer

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    Bret Easton Ellis has told The Hollywood Reporter he was left "confused" by the level of hatred unleashed by critics of The Canyons, the Lindsay Lohan-starring "modern day film noir" he wrote for director Paul Schrader.

    Schrader's film, which also features porn star James Deen in a leading role, was turned down by both Sundance and SXSW film festivals and widely rubbished by reviewers upon its eventual low-key release in one New York cinema and via on-demand. It currently maintains a paltry 23% rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Ellis, writer of the novels American Psycho and Less Than Zero, said he was surprised by the "the loudness of the dislike" for the film, but did not regret its controversial castings.



    "We had seen hundreds of actresses for the part of Tara," he said. "And then when Lindsay came into it late in the game, she was just better than anyone else."

    Ellis said he was disappointed at the nature of some of the attacks on Lohan. He said:"I could take people putting down my work and saying they don't like it, but being made fun of physically is really terrible. The amount of attention paid to her physicality, and the nastiness – I don't know what it is. That's something that would probably get to me. I guess that's just what it means to be Lindsay in a way."

    Set in Los Angeles, The Canyons stars Deen as a calculating young movie producer, Christian, who discovers his actor girlfriend Tara (Lohan) has hidden an affair in her past. On Deen's casting, Ellis said he was inspired by "mommy porn" literary sensation Fifty Shades of Grey, which is itself being made into a high-profile film. "I was thinking about James Deen and I was thinking about Fifty Shades of Grey," said the writer. "That's how James's character was named. It has nothing to do with Christian Bale in [the film version of] American Psycho. I really wasn't thinking of that at all. I was thinking about Christian Grey."

    Ellis said he was used to his work being vilified by the critics, and pointed out that his most celebrated work was dismissed upon its initial publication. "I have had a ton of shit thrown at me since I was very young,"he said. "The reviews for this movie are actually better than for American Psycho, the book, when it was published. I got no good reviews for that book at the time. So my armour was built a long time ago."

    He added: "I think that the hatred for the movie is disproportionate to the movie itself. And I don't know if Lindsay brings something to that. I don't know if casting James did something, or if I'm such a polarising figure."

    Source

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    What was more shocking than Miley Cyrus' MTV VMAs performance on Sunday? A photo showing Robin Thicke putting his hand on a blond fan's butt at the after party.

    The mystery girl, Lana Scolaro, exclusively confirms to E! News that the photo is real, despite reports that his hands aren't on her rear end.

    When asked how the photo came about, she explained that she met him a week prior to the party and had "just moved to New York about a month ago."

    In the photo, it appears that we can see Thicke and the young lady's backs reflected in a mirror—and his hand looks questionably close to her butt.

    So was she aware of what frenzy would ensue upon posting the snapshot?

    "I knew his hand was on my butt, but I didn't know that there was a mirror," she explained.

    And despite people claiming that the pic was altered in some way, she explains, "I don't even know how to use Photoshop."

    She added, "I didn't even know that was the reflection until I uploaded it, and someone commented on it. I was just like, ‘Oh I'll Instagram this photo with Robin Thicke, like everybody else.'"

    After she uploaded the captured-on-camera moment, an obviously concerned Twitter user tweeted it to Thicke's wife, actress Paula Patton.

    "@PaulaPattonXO look at the reflection girl," Jen Leadley, whose profile states that she's in the U.K., tweeted along with the pic.

    A source tells E! News that the photo, however, is a "non-issue" between the couple.


    The two Hollywood stars are currently in Florida enjoying a much-needed beach getaway after his much criticized performance at the annual award show in Brooklyn on Sunday.

    ( source )

    What boundaries do/would you have in your own relationship?

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    Hayden Christensen dons bright yellow pants while arriving for a departing flight at LAX Airport on Wednesday (August 14) in Los Angeles.

    Last week, the 32-year-old actor donned a hood while taking a stroll in Studio City.

    Hayden was recently spotted working on his upcoming film American Heist, alongside Adrien Brody. The flick is scheduled to hit theaters sometime next year. Stay tuned for a release date announcement!

    15+ pictures inside of Hayden Christensen keeping it cool in yellow at LAX Airport…













    Source.

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    Orlando Bloom heads out for a stroll with his two-year-old son Flynn, his nanny, and their dog Sidi on Friday afternoon (August 30) in New York City.

    The 36-year-old actor is currently starring on Broadway in the new production of Romeo & Juliet and the box office results are already off to a strong start!

    Over the show’s first weekend of two performances, the show grossed over $207,000 and the theater was filled to 91.2% capacity, the highest percentage for any non-musical on Broadway.

    Also pictured inside: Orlando stepping out of the stage door and signing autographs for fans after the performance on Sunday.








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    source

    JUST GOT BACK FROM THEIR CONCERT AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CURRENT BOYBANDS COULD NEVER. They show this preview during the concert, sorry for the quality of the vid but they haven't released it on YouTube and etc yet apparently

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  • 08/31/13--00:07: Suri Cruise Breaks Her Arm


  • Guess she has more than a little of her dad Tom Cruise's daredevil spirit – PEOPLE confirms that Suri Cruise has broken her arm.

    It's not known how the 7-year-old suffered the injury but a rep for her mom, actress Katie Holmes, confirms to PEOPLE that "Suri did break her arm, but she is okay."

    Suri has been living in N.Y.C. with Holmes since her parents divorced in 2012, but was reunited with her dad at the beginning of August when she visited him in the U.K.

    She was most recently spotted visiting her mom, on the set of her recently-wrapped movie Miss Meadows in Cleveland, although the pair are now believed to be back in Manhattan.

    Source

    Hope she feels better soon! Share your broken bone stories.

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    In the Patricia Highsmith adaptation, she will portray a department store clerk who falls for a married woman.

    BERLIN – Oscar-nominated actress Rooney Mara is set to co-star opposite Cate Blanchett in Todd Haynes’ Carol.

    The suspense drama, adapted from the novella by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley), is set in 1950s New York. Mara will play a 20-something clerk working in a department store and dreaming of a better life who falls for an older, married woman (Blanchett).

    Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley are producing Carol for Number 9 Films, with Christine Vachon’s Killer Films co-producing. Shooting is set to begin in spring 2014. U.K. broadcaster Channel 4's Film4 is a co-financier and co-developer on Carol.

    “We're over the moon to have Rooney on board,” said Haynes. “I've been a tremendous admirer of her work from the beginning, so the thought of bringing her together with Cate onscreen is thrilling to say the least."

    Added Karlsen: "Rooney Mara is one of the most interesting and striking young talents working today. There are few actors who have the weight to play against someone with the extraordinary distinction and mercurial range of Cate Blanchett, and she is one of them. The combination of them both is something potentially sensational."

    HanWay Films is handling international sales on Carol and has presold the film to multiple territories, including to The Weinstein Company for the U.S., Entertainment One in Canada, TF1 in France and Icon in Australia.

    The film marks Haynes' return to the big screen after his excursions into TV, which included the Golden Globe-winning miniseries Mildred Pierce with Kate Winslet.

    Source.

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  • 08/31/13--18:41: Cate Blanchett Post



  • Deauville American Festivals' Opening Ceremony










    Cate posed for pictures at a photo call for the beach closet dedicated to her on the Promenade des Planches in Deauville.













    'Blue Jasmine' Premiere - The 39th Deauville Film Festival












    ^MTE CATE.
    Yes, it's Dior Couture, and it's hideous.
    Enjoy.


    12

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    R5 is the band Ross Lynch (Teen Beach Movie, Austin & Ally) has with his 3 siblings and a family friend. The music video itself was posted here.


    Source

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    Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” instantly establishes itself as the most unflinching of all slave dramas, which is to say, there is plenty of flinching, not to mention cowering and recoiling and passing out, thanks to beatings and whippings that arrive at roughly 10-to-15-minute intervals throughout a 133-minute running time. “Amistad,” meet the Marquis de Sade, in the form of slavemaster Michael Fassbender, who puts his victims through more tortures than Mel Gibson ever could have imagined for Jesus.

    This revolving door of graphically rendered brutalities might feel like its own punishment if not for an array of astonishing performances that’s practically a one-stop Oscar-nomination shopping spree. At the film’s world premiere in Telluride Friday night, it quickly became apparent that leading man Chiwetel Ejiofor had moved to the head of the line of best actor candidates, with Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o sure to contend in the supporting categories. Even those of us who aren’t Oscar bloggers should break out whatever mnemonic devices we need to immediately commit Ejiofor’s and Nyong'o’s names to the tips of our tongues.



    '12 Years' has a sex scene within its first five minutes, which will have some viewers sniggering that they wouldn’t expect anything less from the director ofShame.” But there are no pleasures to follow for any of the characters after that brief undercover coupling in a crowded slave’s quarters. After that flash-forward, we see Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) and his family in happier times, as free and even privileged blacks in the north, before he’s kidnapped and transported to the South for a quick and easy sale. He pleads his case to captors along the way, who respond by pounding Northup each time he insists his name isn’t really Platt. It’s a classic wrong-man/mistaken-identity setup, although no noir ever required this many scarring prosthetics.


    A parade of character actors famous for playing sleazeballs get to mistreat Solomon, starting with Paul Giamatti, and including Paul Dano as an imbecile sub-“master” who can’t stand the thought that there might be an educated slave in the midst. Transfers in ownership ensure that Solomon’s lot goes from bad to worse to worst, as he finally ends up in the hands of notorious “slave-breaker” Edwin Epps (Fassbender). Epps isn’t even the most villainous of the many detestable white people in the movie: that would be his jealous and bloodthirsty wife, played by Sarah Paulson, who makes Lady MacBeth look like Olive Oyl.


    It may seem foolish to complain that a movie about slavery makes the white characters look bad, but John Ridley’s script certainly sees things in terms of black and white in every way, which means that all the Southern white characters are caught up in their own awards race for most contemptible. Paulson’s one-note beeyotch character doesn’t do the actress any favors, but Fassbender, in what could have been a mustache-twirling part, is utterly transfixing as the kind of guy who really does have a deeply emotional investment in manic racial sadism.


    “Long-suffering” isn’t easy to play with layers, either, but Nyong'o—as Epp’s slave mistress, who actually manages to get privileges taken away, not added, for her sexual services—is a heartbreaker in every way. She’d steal the movie if it weren’t for Ejiofor’s performance, but few actors could pull off the combination of dignity and torment he manages here. McQueen gives the actor a lot of dialogue-free long takes, including one close-up toward the end that’s content to study his face for what seems like at least a minute as Solomon considers the possibility that his last and best chance for freedom has ended in another betrayal.


    Among supporting players, Alfre Woodard has one great scene as a gossipy, highly intelligent, exalted lady among slaves, and she makes you wish the movie had a few more character sketches like hers among the lashings. Executive producer Brad Pitt shows up in the last 20 minutes, looking vaguely Amish, and given that there hasn’t been a likeable white character since the opening minutes of the movie, it feels incongruous to see him suddenly come on screen and immediately give a speech about God-given racial parity. But by this time, we’re ready for the light at the end of the tunnel, even if his dialogue does seem right out of “Lincoln.”


    Although Ridley sometimes writes his villains’ lines a little more broadly and obviously than needed, the overall mixture of period flavor with contemporary accessibility in the verbiage couldn’t be any better balanced. As for McQueen’s work, advance chatter had some wondering whether he had what it took to make a mainstream entertainment his third time around, but there won’t be much questioning of that after doubters see12 Years a Slave.” It has the strokes you’d expect out of a studio picture but also some moments few other directors would have attempted, like an agonizingly beautiful sequence in which Solomon literally tip-toes his way through a near-hanging that goes on for several silent minutes. If McQueen could forge a career working arthouse moments into multiplex movies, that’d be a case of mistaken identity we’d be happy to live with.



    IndieWire's Final Grade : A+ (see second review below) / A- (above review by The Playlist blog)


    +++

    Variety: "The first thing fans of McQueen’s 'Hunger' and 'Shame' will notice here is the degree to which the helmer’s austere formal technique has evolved — to the extent that one would almost swear he’d snuck off and made three or four films in the interim. Composition, sound design and story all cut together beautifully, and yet, there’s no question that '12 Years a Slave' remains an art film, especially as the provocative director forces audiences to confront concepts and scenes that could conceivably transform their worldview."


    HitFix: " '12 Years' is a powerful drama driven by McQueen's bold direction and the finest performance of Chiwetel Ejiofor's career."


    FirstShowing: "Phenomenal. A profound cinematic achievement on every level. Filmmaking at its finest. Chiwetel for Oscar. It's his."


    Hollywood Elsewhere: "Sad & ghastly as the story is, '12 Years A Slave' is a humanist masterpiece & a slamdunk Best Picture contender right out of the gate."


    Washington Post (Twitter): "12 YEARS A SLAVE = Masterful rendering of intolerable cruelty. Standing O for McQ, Ejiofor, Pitt, Fass & stunning Lupita Nyong'o."


    Awards Daily: "Another powerful collaboration for McQueen and Fassbender. They make magic together."


    The Guardian: "12 YEARS A SLAVE (A-) is neo-brutalist, compassionate stunner, more Haneke than Hollywood, stand-outs from Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o"


    IndieWire (from the CriticWire blog): "More than a powerful elegy, '12 Years a Slave' is a mesmerizing triumph of art and polemics: McQueen turns a topic rendered distant by history into an experience that, short of living through the terrible era it depicts, makes you feel as if you've been there."



    ( SOURCE )


    The race for Oscars 2014 is so fucking on, ONTD! This film and "Gravity" are sure to make multiple nomination appearances during the January announcements. Can't wait to see more potential Oscar contenders bringing their A-game in the coming months!






    Also... Rooting for my harem husband Fassy to get that Best Supporting Actor Oscar! <3

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  • 08/31/13--19:04: Roar #1 in the UK on iTunes


  • Katy Perry slayed UK iTunes just in 40 minutes!

    Here's a prove!




    source


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    International film icon Keanu Reeves is the producer and host of PBS's Side by Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema, a documentary airing Friday, Aug. 30 (check tvguide.com listings) that is, in a way, like the Matrix: No one can be told what it is. You have to see it for yourself. And, trust us, it's so worth your time! TV Guide Magazine spoke with Reeves about this labor of love, which puts him face-to-face with some of the greatest filmmakers of our time — including George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan and James Cameron — as they fervently discuss a major tipping point in motion picture history.

    TV Guide Magazine: A program that looks at how digital filmmaking is replacing the use of traditional celluloid film sure sounds dry, yet Side By Side is totally riveting, often funny and surprisingly emotional. Judging by your commentary in the program, you seem pretty moved by this digital-versus-film issue.
    Reeves
    : I am! I feel a kind of sadness about it, really. Maybe you can chalk it up to nostalgia, since I grew up in this business working on film. This is my life! This is art versus technology, art versus commerce. This is 100 years of Hollywood history giving way to a new filmmaking process — an evolution revolution — that some feel is superior and some don't. I still think of a beautiful film print as an object of art, an object of glory. For all the benefits of digital filmmaking — and there are so many —we are losing something very special here.

    TV Guide Magazine: Christopher Nolan tells you in the doc that he is determined to keep working with film. Will it get to the point where only he and other superstar auteurs will have that privilege?
    Reeves: It sure looks that way. Digital is the way to go, financially, and that's always the bottom line. Not only do the studios prefer it but the study of celluloid filmmaking is being phased out in schools. No one's growing up with that technology, so there will be no new generation to take the torch. And, after a point, you don't have the labs to develop the film and no one's making the equipment. It will become more and more niche, and therefore more expensive. But, just as Paul Thomas Anderson shot The Master on 65 mm, traditional film will remain alive thanks to those who support it and have the pull. Even then there will be pressure to make the switch. A director or a cinematographer will be told, "This is a digital project." They might say, "Well, I don't do digital." And the response will be, "Well, that's nice. Goodbye." Because someone else will be more than happy to work that way.

    TV Guide Magazine: And some actors don't like it! With digital, you can keep shooting and shooting without reloading or relighting, which can lead to long, exhausting work days without the customary breaks. You have a hilarious anecdote in Side by Side about Robert Downey, Jr. peeing in Mason jars and leaving them all around the set.
    Reeves: As a form of protest! [Laughs] Yes, some actors are in shock, but others really love the freedom of digital and the new opportunities for creativity and storytelling. In addition to the directors and cinematographers I interviewed, it was good to include a few actors in the discussion — John Malkovich, Lena Dunham, Greta Gerwig. Our director, Chris Kenneally, has made Side by Side very accessible and he found ways to really bring forth the passion people feel. There's a lot of heart.

    TV Guide Magazine: Whose response most surprised you?
    Reeves: David Lynch! Over the years he's moved into digital and I had no idea he'd lost all interest in pursuing traditional film. The images and textures, the beauty of his earlier work, are so striking and wonderful, that I was kind of shocked to hear him say he was finished with film. He's done! But I understood, because his work in digital has also been incredible.

    TV Guide Magazine: What if you'd been able to do Side by Side with the great directors of yesteryear — Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, David Lean. Wouldn't they have hated this digital revolution?
    Reeves: I'm not so sure! I bet they would have liked the sensitivity of digital. It's so fluid. All the men you mention were known for their visuals and their incredible camera movements and they might well have embraced it. Certainly Hitchcock would have been intrigued.

    TV Guide Magazine: You couldn't have done this program without George Lucas, right?
    Reeves: He is the Zeus of Digital! He was on the cutting edge of all this 20 years ago, bringing filmmakers up to Skywalker Ranch and telling them about the digital revolution that was coming. He was the tip of the spear.

    TV Guide Magazine: And he raised a lot of hell!
    Reeves: Oh, people were furious with him! He caught so much flack. They said he was heralding the end of filmmaking as we know it. [Laughs] But here we are today!

    Source.

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    With the country in turmoil, the Egyptian presence at Venice is small this year. The notable exception being multi-hyphenate Amr Waked, who is on the Lido wearing two hats despite what he claims is the Muslim Brotherhood’s best attempts to keep him home in Cairo.

    “They sent a message to the festival organizers here saying that I am a supporter of what they claim is a bloody coup,” alleges Waked, known internationally for thesping turns in “Syriana” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” He is not only on the Horizons jury but also on the Lido as producer of “The Cat,” screening in the Venice Film Market’s Final Cut workshop.

    “The Brotherhood wanted the festival to pull me from jury duty for political reasons,” Waked says, alleging, “they even sent them an image of me wearing military garb from the TV series ‘House of Saddam’ as if it were the real me. What kinds of idiots did they think the Venice people are?”

    While he says he has been threatened by the Brotherhood in the past, he adds this latest burst of animosity on its part stems from the fact that, when violence erupted after the Egyptian military ousted former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Waked gave TV interviews saying that “the Muslim Brothers started the blood, not the army.”

    “Before the army intervened, there were about 16 locations in Egypt, including Cairo and Alexandria, where the Muslim Brothers came out and killed people with guns,” he alleges. “They sent their own people to get killed so they could have a body count; so that the U.S. could come and bomb us. What is this? This is stupid politics!”

    Turmoil in Egypt is clearly impacting the country’s film industry in several ways, including impeding production of Ibrahim El-Batout’s “The Cat,” an action-thriller about human organ trafficking in Egypt, which Waked is producing through his Zad shingle, and in which he also stars. Footage from “The Cat” screened for potential investors Saturday.

    El-Batout’s previous pic, “Winter of Discontent,” a raw and powerful look into the events that led to the Tahrir Square uprising, has just been released by Barbican in the U.K. And at the Venice market, “Winter” was sold to HBO Europe by Double Dutch Intl.

    Waked says the crew was trying to shoot “Cat” finale in Giza just as Morsi followers protested the new military-backed government.

    “I kept thinking: ‘We have to wait for things to calm down,’ but they did not and I have had to keep postponing the shoot.”

    Source.

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    Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Pacific Rim Crosses $400 Million Worldwide

    Guillermo del Toro’s widely praised action adventure “Pacific Rim” has crossed $400 million dollars at the worldwide box office, becoming the director’s highest grossing film ever. The announcement was made today by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution and Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures; and Legendary Pictures.

      Internationally, “Pacific Rim” is still in release in a number of territories and has grossed $302 million thus far. In China alone, the film is the biggest of any Warner Bros. Pictures release ever and the fifth-biggest MPA film gross in China’s cinema history. The film’s record-breaking release in China also furthers Legendary’s growing presence in the territory.

    “The worldwide performance of ‘Pacific Rim’ is a clear testament to the quality and originality of Guillermo’s world-building,” said Jon Jashni, President and Chief Creative Officer, Legendary Entertainment. “We are pleased that audiences continue to respond so passionately.”

      “From Moscow to Beijing, ‘Pacific Rim’ has captivated critics and audiences alike in markets all over the world, and become a box office juggernaut,” Kwan Vandenberg said.“Congratulations to Guillermo, his cast and crew, and our partners at Legendary for this exciting benchmark.”
    More at the breach

    I'm so damn happy that

    Also this is my first post and a great excuse to talk about how awesome/crazy this fandom is.

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    Jennifer Lawrence 'Brings It' In 'American Hustle,' Says Director

    Oscar hasn't changed the actress, David O. Russell says.

    The trailer for director David O. Russell's swinging '70s drama "American Hustle," starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams, made its debut less than a month ago, and it's already garnered the kind of Oscar buzz studio execs would sell their first, second and third born to curry. But, as Russell told MTV News, it's something he tries to not think too much about.

    "There's really nothing you can do about it," the auteur said of the early awards speculation surrounding his film, loosely based on the events of Abscam. "I think you just have to do your best to humbly make the best movie you can make, and let the movie speak for itself. I think you can't really get caught up in that."

    You can hardly blame Academy Award watchers for being bullish about the film's prospects, though. After all, Russell films have a habit of earning their actors Oscar nods — and wins. Bale and Melissa Leo scored trophies for their performances in 2010's "The Fighter," with costar Adams also earning a nomination. And Russell's most recent film, "Silver Linings Playbook" helped Lawrence score her first win, with co-stars Cooper and Robert De Niro also getting nods.

    But, as Russell was quick to point out, Oscar hasn't changed his 23-year-old star.

    "I mean ... no, it didn't really change it because with the dynamic that was created — it's very dynamic and sweet and fun, and she had an enormous amount of fun playing this role and all the insanity," Russell said of Lawrence's turn as an "unhinged Long Island housewife," as he put it. "You ask a lot and she brings it. That was our talk on 'Silver Linings Playbook.' That's what we both enjoy. Have a loose, trusting environment, and then she can bring it. That's what's fun to do."



    source: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1713129/jennifer-lawrence-american-hustler.jhtml


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    Hunger Muggles’ Occult Dystopia
    Samantha Shannon’s Fantasy Novel, ‘The Bone Season’




    The book club craze may have hit its nadir. The big moment came a week ago when the NBC morning show “Today” announced that it, too, was starting a book club, presumably because so many of its competitors have them, and anointed Samantha Shannon’s novel, “The Bone Season,” its first pick. Seated in front of a backdrop on which the words “Call me Ishmael” were clearly visible, the “Today” team explained how a debut novel by a 21-year-old unknown had snagged this distinction. Not one bit of the five-minute segment concerned exactly what Ms. Shannon has written.

    That’s because “The Bone Season” leapt out to “Today” as a human interest story, not as a book. We learned that it bears some resemblance to “The Hunger Games”; that Ms. Shannon intends a seven-book series, just as J. K. Rowling did; that she and Ms. Rowling share a British publisher (though not an American one); and that “The Bone Season” has been optioned by a production company linked to Andy Serkis, a k a Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” films. Time constraints presumably kept “Today” from dropping the fact that Ms. Shannon’s book has a vampire angle. None of this hype betrayed any awareness of the “Today” show audience demographic.

    It got worse. The “Today” news anchor Natalie Morales said she had found this book by reading a newspaper article about it, and such reports have focused on Ms. Shannon’s hitting the jackpot, not on her writing. And Al Roker, the “Today” weatherman who recently slept through his own 6 a.m. “Wake Up With Al” show on the Weather Channel, plugged the Google Hangouts that “Bone Season” fans would be able to enjoy. Google Hangouts are a way of conducting e-chats, rather than reading books.

    But what about the newly minted “Today” show book club members? They have to read this thing. And they will find that it has the tenor of young-adult reading, with a special nod to the occult and to role-playing games based on priggish, elaborate protocol. Ms. Shannon begins the book with a promise she can’t keep: a fanboy-friendly chart identifying many more kinds of seers, mediums, augurs, sensors and things that end with “-omancer” than this book can possibly encompass. For those interested in Rhabdomancers, Halomancers, Theriomancers, Daphnomancers, Cleidomancers et al., a dictionary would be better.

    Ms. Shannon’s first big break came when she was hired as an intern by David Godwin, who later became her agent. Mr. Godwin’s office is near the Seven Dials junction in London, apparently a good neighborhood for buying supplies for the budding spiritualist. From these seeds sprang “The Bone Season,” a one-note dystopian portrait of London in the year 2059, 200 years after a totalitarian government has taken over. The book’s main character, Paige Mahoney, works as a stealth mind reader for a crime boss named Jaxon until she is nabbed for a thought crime (see “1984”) and shipped off to a penal colony. It is called Sheol 1 and bears a not-coincidental resemblance to Oxford University, where Ms. Shannon graduated from St. Anne’s College this summer. The “bone season” of the title is a culling of the best of the Sheol 1 prisoners that occurs every 10 years so that they can fight off the “Emim,” a caste of bloodsucking baddies. Paige will be part of Bone Season XX.

    At the penal colony, Paige is quickly recognized as elite. (See “The Hunger Games.”) She is scrappier and more resilient than her fellow prisoners. She is also gifted with greater psychic powers. Paige is a dreamwalker, which means that movie audiences will some day be treated to phantasmagorical scenes of Paige wandering through what “The Bone Season” calls the aether. She can invade the minds and penetrate the auras of others, even though almost everyone else at Sheol 1 is some kind of psychic, too. This book enforces a rigid, color-coded class system that places Paige high above others and causes her captors, the Rephaim, to refer to themselves with great, formal grandiosity. At last, we reach a reason for reading “The Bone Season”: though “Rephaim” has biblical provenance, Ms. Shannon has given her Rephaim an elaborate sci-fi back story, too.

    There are not many other good reasons to plow through her capably written but fun-free epic. Paige is by far the book’s best-developed character, and her main attribute is feistiness. Character development is so weak that a boy named Seb, whom Paige meets only briefly, is said to haunt her through hundreds of pages of tepid action scenes. But the effect of the occult on “The Bone Season” is to keep emotion at bay, since spirits exist in all stages of sentience. Living creatures don’t exactly vanish even when they leave this mortal coil.

    Ms. Shannon shows her greatest specificity in sketching grandes dames with fancy names (Nashira, Pleione, Alsafi — from mythology, astronomy and other classical sources, with a strong emphasis on Arabic). But these self-styled goddesses favor futuristic Victorian regalia, stilted language and irritating power trips. “I am Nashira Sargas,” says the colony’s six-and-a-half foot leader, also identifying herself as “the blood-sovereign of the Race of Rephaim.” (A fellow prisoner whispers, “Is this a joke?” No, it is not.) Much is made of the fact that Paige is entrusted to Arcturus, Nashira’s official consort, as yet another sign of Paige’s specialness. Perhaps she is closely watched because she has powers that Nashira covets. We will have six more books’ worth of chances to find out how the British monarchy gave way to this circus, why Paige’s Irish origins enhance her combativeness, and how much Joseph Campbell Ms. Shannon will use in shaping this heroine’s journey.

    It is unfair but easy to cite the kind of howler writing that slipped past the editing process for “The Bone Season.” (“This place was called No Man’s Land for a reason: it belonged to no one.” “I was drawn toward him as if a flower to the sun.”) It’s also easy to be distracted by Ms. Shannon’s surprisingly erudite vocabulary, by her use of “psychopomp,” “astragalomancer,” “hibernophobia” and the like. Perhaps she will broaden vocabularies everywhere, but it’s not yet clear what else she can do.

    Had it been allowed to slip quietly into bookstores, “The Bone Season” might have been noticed for the large scale and elaborate detail of its still-unformed fantasy world. Ms. Shannon could easily write six more books filling in gaps left by this one. It would be a shame if the “Today” anointment celebrates this young writer’s gift for trivia-quiz lingo at the expense of her as-yet-unseen larger vision.

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    It debuted at number 7 on NYT, but that might be because Bloomsbury cut the price for the ebook to less than $5 less than a week after release.

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    The new album from Arctic Monkeys, titled AM, is out September 9 in the UK and September 10 in the U.S. through Domino. They've already shared a few album tracks-- "R U Mine?", "Do I Wanna Know?", "Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?"-- and today they're streaming a B-side. The song is called "Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You" and you can listen to it below.



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    This week, Jamie Oliver is promoting a new television show called Jamie’s Money Saving Meals and a new cookbook called Save With Jamie in the U.K.

    You might think this would be a cakewalk for him: After all, the 38-year-old celebrity chef has published 17 previous cookbooks and hosted 25 previous TV shows and specials, many of which have focused on eating well on a budget. But something went terribly wrong during this week’s publicity blitz: Oliver suddenly began insulting the very people he was trying to market his new products to, and once he started saying condescending things he couldn't stop.

    First, in an interview with the Radio Times, Oliver derided the poor for watching TV and eating fast food instead of cooking healthy meals for themselves. “I'm not judgmental, but,” he began—a phrase which, like “I’m not a racist, but” or “I’m not homophobic, but” is a surefire indication that the clause to follow will prove the first clause false. This was certainly true in Oliver’s case; he went on to say:

    I've spent a lot of time in poor communities, and I find it quite hard to talk about modern-day poverty. You might remember that scene in [Oliver’s previous TV series] Ministry of Food, with the mum and the kid eating chips and cheese out of Styrofoam containers, and behind them is a massive fucking TV. It just didn't weigh up. …

    I meet people who say, “You don't understand what it's like.” I just want to hug them and teleport them to the Sicilian street cleaner who has 25 mussels, 10 cherry tomatoes, and a packet of spaghetti for 60 pence, and knocks out the most amazing pasta. You go to Italy or Spain and they eat well on not much money. We've missed out on that in Britain, somehow.

    Oliver seemed to be referring to an antiquated, romanticized notion of Italian dietary habits: A study of young Italians’ eating habits in next month’s edition of the academic journal Appetite notes “a decline … among the young ‘traditionals’ who stand out for their high consumptions of fruit, vegetables and fish,” and a couple of years ago NPR explained Italians’ abandonment of traditional fare by noting wryly that these days, “you have to be wealthier to eat like a poor Mediterranean peasant.” In any case, British commentators seized not on Oliver’s outdated view of Italian eating but on his implication that Britain’s poor are too stupid, lazy, or hedonistic to value healthy eating over entertainment.

    Perhaps the best rebuttal to Oliver’s contemptuous generalization came from the Guardian’s Alex Andreou, who writes that he has lived “in affluent and destitute circumstances—and every shade between the two” and blasts Oliver’s poverty tourism. Andreou’s explanation of the psychology of poverty is illuminating:

    What I had not understood before I found myself in true poverty, and what Oliver probably does not, is that it means living in a world of “no.” Ninety-nine per cent of what you need is answered “no.” Ninety-nine per cent of what your kids ask for is answered “no.” Ninety-nine per cent of life is answered “no.” Cinema? No. Night out? No. New shoes? No. Birthday? No. So, if the only indulgence that is viable, that is within budget, that will not mean you have to walk to work, is a Styrofoam container of cheesy chips, the answer is a thunderous “YES.”

    Rather than admit that perhaps shooting a few reality shows in poor communities did not make him an expert on habitually living without enough money, Oliver piled on by insulting young Britons’ work ethic. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Oliver ridiculed young Brits for whining about a 48-hour workweek, called them “wet behind the ears,” and compared them unfavorably to migrant workers, saying “I think our European immigrant friends are much stronger, much tougher.” (So much for convincing young people to Save With Jamie.)

    Critics called Oliver’s generalizations “insulting,” “inaccurate,” and “disgusting,” and blasted him for endorsing exploitative working conditions for poor immigrants. And Oliver’s attempt at damage control—donating a copy of his new cookbook to every library in the country—has so far not stemmed the tide of indignation.

    One of the few British newspapers to come to Jamie Oliver’s defense this week was the Independent, whose columnist Grace Dent argued that Oliver is entitled to his arrogant opinions about poor people. Dent is right—Oliver is entitled to his opinions. But he’s not entitled to the position of culinary hero for a population he disdains.


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    AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The wife of rock guitarist Ted Nugent could face a felony weapons charge in North Texas after airport police caught her going through a security line at a Dallas-area airport with a loaded pistol, according to a police report released on Friday.

    Shemane Nugent, 51, told authorities that she forgot that the Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver, packed in its case with 10 extra rounds, was in her bag when she prepared to board a flight Thursday morning to Fort Lauderdale from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas.

    The police report did not say if Ted Nugent, equally well known for his outspoken advocacy of guns and hunting rights, as well as his 1970s hit songs "Stranglehold" and "Cat Scratch Fever," was travelling with his wife.

    After a security officer with the Transportation Safety Administration saw the gun inside the bag as it went through an X-ray machine, police asked about the bag's contents.

    "She immediately stated, 'I know what the problem is. I forgot the gun was in the bag,'" according to the police report.

    Nugent told officers that "she had received death threats and had been carrying the weapon for protection," and that she usually used the bag to go to the gym, the police report said.

    Nugent, who reported that she carries a valid concealed handgun license, was handcuffed and arrested by the airport's public safety officers on a third-degree felony weapons charge, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

    Her attorney told the Dallas Morning News that it was an honest mistake and that he doubted she would be indicted by a grand jury.

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    Ben Gibbard is paying full 10-year anniversary tribute to his career in 2003. Following a reissue of the Postal Service's Give Up, Death Cab for Cutie will reissue their breakthrough album Transatlanticism. It'll be out on October 29 through Barsuk in digital and vinyl formats.

    Both versions will include a bonus collection of 11 previously unreleased demos on mp3. The demos will also be available as a stand-alone release called Transatlanticism Demos. Listen to the demo version of "Lightness", above.

    Death Cab will perform Transatlanticism in full at Bumbershoot in Seattle on September 1.

    Transatlanticism:

    01 The New Year
    02 Lightness
    03 Title and Registration
    04 Expo '86
    05 The Sound of Settling
    06 Tiny Vessels
    07 Transatlanticism
    08 Passenger Seat
    09 Death of an Interior Decorator
    10 We Looked Like Giants
    11 A Lack of Color

    Transatlanticism Demos:

    12 The New Year (Demo)
    13 Lightness (Demo)
    14 Title and Registration (Demo)
    15 Expo '86 (Demo)
    16 The Sound of Settling (Demo)
    17 Tiny Vessels (Demo)
    18 Transatlanticism (Demo)
    19 Passenger Seat (Demo)
    20 Death of An Interior Decorator (Demo)
    21 We Looked Like Giants (Demo)
    22 A Lack of Color (Demo)

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