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Well, we're finally there. After three months of submissions, which we reported on at regular interviews, the Academy has lowered the boom and announced the official longlist of films in the running for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. And quite a list it is too: with 71 countries represented, including a first-time entry from Kenya, it's the longest in the category's history.
Last week, after glancing over the near-final list as it stood after the October 1 submissions deadline, I mentioned that a few additions, switches and/or disqualifications would take place before the Academy set it in stone. Happily, only the first of those modifications came to pass, with three last-minute entries joining the fray: Malaysia's "Bunohan," Kyrgysztan's "The Empty Home" and Singapore's "Already Famous." Contrary to the title of the latter film -- a showbiz satire about a TV soap addict trying to launch an acting career -- none of these latecomers have much of a profile, though reviews from last year's Toronto fest of the Malaysian entry make it sound like a hoot: Variety calls it "a fight film with echoes of 'King Lear,' and a ghost story about living people who occupy the edge of existence." It's remake-ready, apparently. Sign me up.
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 153: 'The Walking Dead,' 'Nashville,' 'Arrow,' 'Chicago Fire' & more
Week 2 of the TV season was slow. Week 3 is crazy, with many more new shows and returning shows premiering, which means it's a busy Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as Dan and I talk about "Arrow," "Chicago Fire," "Nashville," "Beauty and the Beast," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "The League," "The Walking Dead" and "Homeland."
"Arrow" (00:01:10 - 00:15:00)
"Chicago Fire" (00:15:00 - 00:27:00)
"Nashville" (00:27:05 - 00:39:40)
"Beauty and the Beast" (00:39:45 - 47:40)
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (00:47:45 - 00:52:45)
"The League" (00:53:00 - 00:56:45)
"The Walking Dead" (00:56:50 - 01:07:00)
"Homeland" (01:07:45 - 01:20:45)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
Well, it looks like Universal is serious about a "50 Shades Of Grey" movie.
Obviously, when they spent the money to buy the books for film, they were serious, but I have trouble taking the material seriously. Whenever I go to Costco and see a table with about 10,000 copies of this thing, I guess that means people are buying it, but I've tried three times now to read it, and I keep running into the brick wall of how painful the writing is.
Still, it's connecting with someone. I'm amazed how often I see people reading it without any sense that it might not be appropriate in a public place. Every time I see one of the moms at baseball practice reading it, I wonder what they'd do if I broke out a Hustler and gave it a once-over. I had trouble imagining a classy version of this film, and was ready to tune it out as one of those things that just isn't for me.
Then they announced that Kelly Marcel will be writing the script.
If you missed Jay-Z’s 8-night stand to open the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, less than 72 hours after he walked off the stage, a live album from the event can be yours.
“Jay-Z: Live In Brooklyn” is available for pre-order on iTunes now and will be available on Oct. 9. On the cover, Jay-Z sports a New Jersey Nets’ jersey, which he helped design. He is also a minority owner in the basketball team.
[More after the jump...]
It was back in June that Coldplay announced they'd be releasing a comic book series based on their album "Mylo Xyloto." With the drop of the video for newest single "Hurts Like Heaven," the British band has opened up a sneak peek into its namesake's start.
The clip is composed of comics panels rendered into 3D views, but not animated in the traditional sense. It follows a fivesome of colorful mischief-makers, oppressed by the overlord Major Minus (which, notably, is the same name as one of the tracks on the album "Mylo Xyloto). They plaster the streets in graffiti as they're chased, with two of the leaders in love.
See, it seems Major Minus hates sound, color and love. You see how this love story may end. But every comic book hero needs an origin story. At the end, Mylo is made known.
Arcade Fire seemed to be dormant there for a minute, but the band popped up late last week to perform at a charity gig and brought a new song with them.
"Crucified Again" springs forth from a similar lyrical vein as "Neon Bible" -- religion, hypocrisy, personal value -- but has some serious '60s girl group and Beach Boys vibrations in it slow-moving organ part and three part harmonies.
The fan group over at ArcadeFireTube mentions that "Crucified Again" made its debut in 2011 in Haiti, but nobody had captured the performance on camera. This New York gig marks a first for that.
The Partners in Health 25th anniversary party was held at Guastavino's; the non-profit has been among the band's favorite groups.
No word when the Montreal-based crew will be dropping a follow-up to "The Suburbs," but they were around for the Canadian Polaris Prize last month.
The Hamptons International Film Festival wrapped this weekend, delivering another Audience Award to Toronto favorite "Silver Linings Playbook" -- more ammo the Weinsteins to campaign it as the crowdpleasing Oscar choice -- and a hat-trick of prizes for Australia's foreign Oscar contender "Lore." Meanwhile, the festival hosted the official celebrations for Variety's 10 Actors to Watch, a well-chosen bunch that includes Scoot McNairy ("Monsters"; "Killing Them Softly"), Nate Parker ("Arbitrage") and the film-stealing "Anna Karenina" duo of Alicia Vikander and Domnhall Gleeson. (Yep, son of Brendan.) Cheers all round. [Hamptons Film Fest]
HOLLYWOOD - Florence + The Machine brought their long running Celestials tour to the famed Hollywood Bowl Sunday night for the first of two sold out shows and the acclaimed singer songwriter didn't disappoint.
It's the second part of the three part "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" reunion, and, as Andy Cohen promises, nothing is off limits! Gosh, there really are benefits to casting a series entirely with narcissists without boundaries! Anyway, last week we left off with Rosie stomping around back stage, rending her clothes and going all She-Hulk on us, because Teresa insulted the memory of Kathy and Rosie's dearly departed dad. That's exactly where we pick up for part deux, though I'm disappointed to see that Rosie has not been put into restraints or been shot up with horse tranquilizer. But hey, there's a potential felony about to happen, so don't get in the way of that, Bravo minions!
A few quick thoughts on tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as you translate my insult...