MIAMI - Being the director of any film festival requires a dauntingly broad skill set: the best in the business are at once discerning cinephiles, persuasive businesspeople, savvy media monitors and charismatic public figures. Their own expert appreciation of the artform can't interfere with their intuitive popular touch; they must interact with industry, journalists and paying audiences with equal care and cordiality, usually at the same time. A film festival lasts less than a fortnight; building and running it is a year-round job.
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A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I have a pleather attaché...
This July will mark a special occasion for independent cinema. It was 20 years ago that Tom Rothman joined 20th Century Fox to launch Fox Searchlight Pictures, a division of the studio meant to capitalize on a growing movement in the industry like Miramax Films and Sony Pictures Classics before it. It was the rise of the "dependents," studio-sanctioned arms run autonomously that would be havens of sorts for filmmakers with bold voices, led by teams geared toward matching those voices with the audiences that craved them.
While I think there's an entire book to be written about the weirdly cozy relationship between Aviva's ex-husband Harry, Aviva, Sonja and Aviva's current husband Reid, sadly that wasn't the focus of this week's episode of "The Real Housewives of New York." No, that was devoted to a topic familiar to anyone who watches reality television -- does a book deal make you a "real" writer, and if so, do you actually have to write anything? Or can you, like, call up a guy and tell him some stories and make him, like, do it so you can go to parties and stuff?
Chris Martin joins “The Voice” as mentor for all contestants
As part of a new format, the Coldplay frontman will serve as "key advisor" for all the teams and all four artists.
Nat Geo’s “Kiling Jesus” expanding to a 4-hour miniseries
The follow-up to “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy” from Bill O’Reilly is expected to air in 2015.
ABC under fire for “Alice in Arabia”
The pilot that has a female American (non-white) teen kidnapped by her extended Saudi Arabian family and held a “Virtual prisoner in her grandfather’s royal compound” has drawn backlash by those fearing that it would perpetuate Middle Eastern stereotypes.
HBO doesn't need the books to complete "Game of Thrones"
"HBO will finish 'Game of Thrones' when it wants to, with or without his books,” says James Poniewozik, pointing out that the HBO series is not going to be delayed for anything, not even the books. "And that will be fine. Maybe better,” he adds, because the books and the show could co-exist together.
“The Bachelor’s” Juan Pablo & Nikki met with “Marriage Boot Camp” counselors
WEtv stars Jim and Elizabeth Carroll offered to meet with Juan Pablo and his girlfriend after watching last week’s “Bachelor" finale.
MTV went all out with its “Teen Wolf” memorial website
Visitors to TeenWolfMemorial.com are greeted with "Neo Goth grief."
Watch Kate Walsh sing on “Fargo”
Walsh plays a former stripper who sings while smoking about her dead husband.
Every “Lost” character, ranked
From most to least annoying.
Why “Enlisted” deserves to live
The struggling Fox sitcom is not only funny, but it’s also about something important.
“The Walking Dead’s” Beth comes out with an EP
Her song “Expired Love” has been re-released.
Is “NCIS” glamorizing electronic surveillance?
Why “NCIS” and sibling shows “NCIS: L.A.” seem to have a pro-NSA agenda.
Adam Shankman to direct “Madame Rose” biopic for HBO
“Madame Rose” will tell the story of stage mother Rose Hovick, mom of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee and actress June Havoc.
“Glee” celebrates 100 episodes
To commemorate tonight’s milestone, Variety delved into how “Glee” changed music on TV and how it turned "kitsch into classics.” PLUS: Watch 100 seconds of “Glee” from five seasons, “Glee” stars share their bucket list, and 100 reasons to love “Glee."
In defense of Billy Dee Williams’ terrible “Dancing”
Why last night’s performance wasn’t that embarrassing.
Erin Andrews’ sports reporter background is put to good use on “Dancing”
As co-host, she gave the "Planet Mirrorballus the sports-arena treatment it apparently deserves,” says Annie Barrett. "Unlike the somewhat robotic (yet beautiful) eveningwear paper doll she replaced (Brooke Burke Charvet), Erin wasn’t afraid to muscle her way through post-dance chit chat with the couples and ask questions beyond 'How do you feel?’” PLUS: Andrews’ voice is like nails on a chalkboard, and how was the new “Dancing” band?
Remembering obscure reality TV shows
From “Rich Girls” to “Legally Blonde — The Musical.”
Man covers his arms in “Breaking Bad” tattoos
Electrician James Allan spent 40 hours under the needle to get his lifelike tattoos.
Andrew Rannells wants “Girls” to let his character have gay sex
"I volunteered myself for nakedness," Rannells says. "I feel like with Looking on the air, I gotta represent some gay sex on the show. I'm willing.” PLUS: Felicity Jones refuses to watch her episode.
W. Kamau Bell admits there was a “mourning process” after his FXX talk show was canceled
"The show was supposed to be on the air for the rest of my life, but that didn't happen,” the comedian jokes. "There was a mourning process, and then it quickly became clear that I needed to get back on the road."
Watch the trailer for MTV’s “Faking It”
The unscripted series follows two female friends who pretend to be lesbians.
Mary Steenburgen on joining “Justified”: “It’s like walkin’ on the wild side”
Steenburgen is referring to her first day on set, where an entire scene was reworked on the fly.
“Trophy Wife’s” Albert Tsai describes what it's like to be a 9-year-old on set
Aside from going to class on set, Marcia Gay Harden reads “Harry Potter” to him and he gets to watch Disney Channel on YouTube.
Ranking the best cult TV shows ever
From “Buffy” to “The Wire” to “Veronica Mars."
Josh Holloway welcomes a 2nd child
The “Intelligence” star now has a son to go with his daughter.
Jennifer Lopez will release her first studio album since 2011’s “Love?” in June.
AUSTIN - Comedian Jim Breuer is heading into the recording studio in May to record what will be "hard-rockin' metal" album for families.
Mind you, not "for kids." But family-friendly. "Everyone can relate to the lyrics," he told me, and along for the ride is what he said will be "some pretty heavy names involved."
This month, Breuer was at the SXSW comedy fest heading up a Laugh Button bill that included Sinbad. But this summer, he's heading out on Motorhead's Motorboat Cruise along with Megadeth, Anthrax, Zakk Wylde. His rapport includes some applauded impressions of Metallica and Black Sabbath.
So, it's safe to say he's made some heavy metal fans along the way to recruit for the as-yet-untitled set.
"Family-friendly" and hard rock have been some of the cornerstones of the "Saturday Night Live" vet's routines. But so has Goat Boy, from SNL. And Breuer doesn't need to hear your drunken take on it: he's heard "everything from a baby lamb to a donkey," so enough already.
Watch the full video, for Breuer's "Lars Ulrich Storytelling" impression, his advice to young comedians, how he's a fine wine, and what makes you a banana and a yo-yo.
"Funny Or Die" took over a bar in Austin for the entire duration of SXSW, and the morning after "Neighbors" was screened in a work-in-progress format, I headed over to that converted house to talk to the cast and the crew of the film.
The first conversation of the morning was with Seth Rogen and Zac Efron together, and it is the tension between the two of them that drives the entire movie. While this feels like a comfortable fit for Rogen, it is all-new territory for Efron. He's done comedy before, most notably with "17 Again," but he's never made this sort of comedy before. This is like comedy as a full-contact sport, and when you're in a movie with Rogen, Rose Byrne, Ike Barinholtz, and you've got Nicholas Stoller directing and Rogen co-producing with Evan Goldberg, you've got a ton of people on that set who are among the best in the business at this particular type of filmmaking.
Here's how little we know about "Star Wars: Episode VII" so far: the news that the new film will take place 30 years after the conclusion of "Return Of The Jedi" is being treated like an amazing announcement.
Don't get me wrong… I'm interested to see how the world of "Star Wars" has changed after 30 years. It's nice to see them allow for the same amount of time to have passed in the movies as has passed in real life, so they don't have to pretend that Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford are younger than they are, and it gives enough time for things to have changed in some significant way.
Even so, the film starts shooting in May, and we still basically know nothing about the story or even the casting. Sure, we've heard plenty of rumors, and in some cases, the people posting those rumors have been adamant that will will indeed see Adam Driver playing a bad guy and Lupita N'Yongo playing a major role and that we'll likely see Jesse Plemons or John Boyega playing a key role as well. It is taken as common knowledge at this point that there will be returning appearances by Hamill, Ford, and Fisher, and that the Millennium Falcon is already standing on a soundstage in London. Is all of that true? I think so, but because nothing is official yet, I wouldn't just run that as fact. Not yet.
“Boy Meets World’s” Rider Strong will appear on “Girl Meets World" -- so will Cory's parents
He’ll reprise his role as Shawn Hunter in a holiday-themed episode.
David Cross will guest as the “Dead Boss” on Fox
He’ll play the "narcissistic, credit-stealing, misogynistic” boss that Jane Krakowski is accused of killing.
FX’s “How and Why” adds Catherine Keener and “Blue Jasmine’s” Sally Hawkins
They’ll join John Hawkes and Michael Cera on the drama from Charlie Kaufman.
Sam Champion’s Weather Channel show bombs
“AMHQ’s” premiere attracted just 207,000 viewers, which is lower than the Weather Channel’s typical ratings in that timeslot.
OWN cancels Lisa Ling
“Our America with Lisa Ling” is finished after four seasons on the Oprah network.
As we all know, this is going to be a tough season for 'The Little Couple' (TLC, Tues. at 10:00 p.m. ET). Though they've finally completed their family with the adoption of baby Zoey, Jen is ill. In this week's episode, we learn what the diagnosis is. Although we've all read about it, it's not easy to hear.