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After watching "Once Upon A Time in Wonderland" (which we should just call "Wonderland" from now on, even if it reminds a few of you of that murdery 2003 Val Kilmer movie), I had an idea. if you've been reluctant to jump into "Once Upon A Time" because there are too many characters, or because you've missed the first season, or if you just don't like whatever character has emerged as a focus this week (though it could easily change next week), this might be just the show for you. Even though it's a spinoff of "Once Upon A Time," think of it as the gateway drug. Drink me!
Chopping and screwing a track of applause is nothing new -- and James Murphy re-titles his remix to David Bowie's "Lost Is Lost" as such. The former LCD Soundsystem frontman tips his hat to composer Steve Reich and his "Clapping Music" in this dark dance redux.
The result of the "Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy For The DFA" is something spirited and menacing, with a wry smile as you put your hands together. Bowie's lamentations reside in caverns of reverb next to rhythmic sythesizers, the clapping ultimately dying out after a dramatic chorus and then 5 more minutes of music.
Murphy and Bowie spent some time in the lab together as they both worked on Arcade Fire's "Reflektor," at least; knowing Bowie's affinity for the band, he may show up on more than just one song on the double-album. Murphy signed on to produce much of the Montreal band's new album. Now when is Regine going to sing on a Murphy song, with Bowie directing and acting in the video, hrm?
A quick review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as we burn widows for learning arithmetic...
George Clooney's "The Monuments Men" will be among the last of the season's potential Oscar candidates to reveal itself -- skipping the festival circuit, the film will open in the US on the prime holiday-season date of December 18. And while we have little else to go on right now, the project certainly doesn't lack for kerb appeal: a high-gloss Second World War adventure with an all-star cast including Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban.
Jimmy Kimmel: You could hear a pin drop during my Kanye West interview
Says Kimmel: "One thing I learned on the radio is the value of shutting up and listening. He had a lot to say and he seemed very passionate and I felt like I was absorbed by it, and I thought the audience was too." PLUS: Gloria Allred blasts Kanye over his Kimmel remarks.
Is "House of Cards" ending after Season 2?
A producer suggested that Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright want to go back to the movies after the 2nd season is done filming.
Brie Larson returning to "Community," Robert Patrick and Ben Folds to guest-star
They'll appear in the same episode with Paget Brewster.
CW orders more scripts for "Reign," Tomorrow People" and "The Originals"
Three original scripts for each freshman show have been ordered.
Robin Thicke portrays himself as the victim in Miley Cyrus VMA twerking controversy
In an interview with Oprah, Thicke says, "People ask me, 'Do you twerk?' I go, 'I'm the twerkee. I'm twerked upon."
ABC orders more "Shark Tank"
Two more episodes will bring this season's total to 24.
It all started, as these things often do, with a blog post. A few days ago, Veronica Beyetti Flores on the Feministing website, alleged that Lorde’s “Royals,” the No. 1 song in the U.S. is racist.
It took a few days, but by last night, her accusations had blown up with news sites like CNN and Time weighing in on the made-up controversy.
Flores’ interpretation of the song is that Lorde, by mentioning elements sometimes associated with rappers—and her rejection of them— is being deeply racist. She cites the lines “But every song’s like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom/Blood stains, ball gowns, trashing the hotel room/ We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams/But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece/Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash/We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.”
“While I love a good critique of wealth accumulation and inequity, this song is not one; in fact, it is deeply racist,” writes Flores. “Because we all know who she’s thinking when we’re talking gold teeth, Cristal and Maybachs. So why shit on black folks? Why shit on rappers? Why aren’t we critiquing wealth by taking hits at golf or polo or Central Park East? Why not take to task the bankers and old-money folks who actually have a hand in perpetuating and increasing wealth inequality? I’m gonna take a guess: racism.”
What? I don’t doubt that Flores truly somehow sees the song that way, but I don’t really understand the giant leap she’s making. The song is a rejection of material things, not of blacks or anyone who wants these things. It’s written from the standpoint (or at least my interpretation of it) of a teenager who realizes she is being sold to at every moment and has decided not to buy into the conspicuous consumption. As she sings: “And we’ll never be royals/It don’t run in our blood/That kind of luxe just ain’t for us.”
And yes, while we may hear more rappers bringing up Maybachs or Cristal than a country artist, the fact is that rap songs are the pop music of the day. Kanye West had it absolutely right when he said that rap stars are the rock stars now so these symbols are touchstones of wealth for anyone who is listening to pop music, whether they are White, Black, Hispanic, Asian or any other ethnicity.
Lorde has not responded to Flores' colum, but, as the CNN piece points out, earlier told NPR, "I was just sort of reeling off some of the things which are commonly mentioned in hip-hop and the Top 40. I've always loved hip-hop, but as a fan of hip-hop, I've always had to kind of suspend disbelief because, obviously, I don't have a Bentley. There's a distance between that and the life I have with my friends." How does that make her racist? It just makes her like the 98% who can't afford a Maybach.
Have we gone so overboard that we are now parsing every lyric of every song and every movement of every artist? In just the past few months, the critique of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” developed after a blogger wrote that she found the song “rapey.” The song had been out for a few months before that and no one seemed to have much of a problem with it. And while that one probably had a little more validity than these others, next came a blogger accusing Miley Cyrus of being racist because when she twerked on the VMAs she was appropriating black culture and because all of her dancers were black.
We’re getting into dangerous territory here. There is so much true racism that still exists in the world that we should be fighting against instead of looking for signs of it that aren’t there. Has Cyrus shown any kind of pattern of racism? None that I can see. Is there anything else on Lorde’s album that could be interpreted as racist? Not that I heard-- but then I didn’t hear racism in “Royals.” We can probably find something offensive in every song if we want to and if we are so desperate for page views, but sometimes, it’s just not there. And every time we spend the energy trumping up a controversy, it takes our eyes off the real offenders.
Do you find Lorde's "Royals" racist?
Since the moment they announced that Chloe Moretz was set to star in Kimberly Peirce's "Carrie," I've been wondering about the casting. Moretz is a very talented and intuitive young actor, and I certainly don't think you cast people only to play themselves in films. But I do believe you cast to someone's strengths, and Moretz is so self-confident, so at home in her own skin, that she seems like strange casting for a character who is the very definition of bully-bait.
There's a protracted series of scenes in "Kick-Ass 2" where Mindy, aka Hit-Girl, has to contend with mean girls, a threat her father never taught her to handle. The way she finally handles them seems entirely within character, and she refuses to allow herself to be pushed by someone she sees as weaker than her. That seems like what we've come to expect from Moretz and the characters she plays.
In a film such as Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity," which takes place in orbit and embraces the reality that "in space, no one can hear you scream" -- or anything else, for that matter -- music was always going to have an expanded role in the experience. The director was very determined from the outset that, like so many other elements in the film, the score would need to serve the immersive ends he was aiming toward. It was always going to be sort of moving around the audience in the theater, making you feel as though you were part of the action taking place on screen.
Let's be frank. Daniel Radcliffe made enough money starring in eight "Harry Potter" films to never have to work a day in his life gain. And, even at 25, that's an intriguing proposition. Instead, like his co-star Emma Watson, Radcliffe has been working his butt off.
Lars Von Trier is a big fat troublemaker.
That may, in fact, be part of why I love the guy. He seems perfectly happy to roll a hand grenade into a press conference just to see what will happen, even if it means he's going to get blackballed by the Cannes Film Festival. He doesn't seem like he's able to control himself, but that's part of what defines his work, and I don't think he could or should change.
Another thing that makes me love him is that I honestly believe awards are the last thing on his mind when he starts a new piece of work. He seems driven by his own particular sensibilities and his own particular interests, and he seems more than happy to make audiences so uncomfortable that they don't know how to react.
I had the chance to talk to Naomi Grossman and Barbara Tarbuck during an extremely spooky sleepover at the abandoned (and supposedly haunted) Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles as part of a kickoff for the DVD release of "American Horror Story: Asylum." Needless to say, we were probably all a little unnerved by the setting.