AFI Fest has come out swinging with a pair of big premieres for the 2013 edition of the Los Angeles-based festival and a closing night selection reflective of an American indie skipping across the festival circuit like a stone this year.
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Bits and pieces of Janelle Monae’s conceptual, dramatic new album “The Electric Lady” have been popping up over the last several months, including “Q.U.E.E.N” featuring Erykah Badu and the funky “Dance Apocalyptic.” Now, you can feast on the whole 19-track set before it comes out Sept. 10, courtesy of VH1.
In addition to Badu, guests on the extravaganza include Prince, Miguel, Solance, Esperanza Spalding and Cee Lo-Green and Big Boi.
The cover album notes that “The Electric Lady” is composed of Suites IV and V, and has two empty circles remaining for what are surely Suite VI and VII.
Monae told Jet that the titular Electric Lady is from a painting of a woman by Monae, and she developed a character from there:
" When I was on tour last year and the year before, I was painting and singing in front of thousands of people. So I would paint this female silhouette night after night and I didn’t quite understand why I was so drawn to this image, this silhouette.
I ended up going off tour and going to Atlanta, Georgia and speaking to my therapist and she encouraged me. She said you should name the painting, name this series. You have all these hundreds of these paintings, name it. Do a showing of it. And so I started to try to come up with these names and I was having a hard time.
I knew that whoever she was, she didn’t want to be marginalized. You could not put her in a fence or categorize her. She was so much bigger than that, you know. I just felt an energy, a very visceral feeling of energy from her, so the words came to my spirit: The Electric Lady…because that’s what it felt like when I looked at her and thought of the colors and the vibrant colors and how it made me feel. There was electricity. It was electric and she was electric."
Get More: Janelle Monae,
This morning "Dancing with the Stars" announced its line-up of celebrity hoofers, and while there was the usual assortment of sitcom stars, reality TV nuts and at least one ringer, there were a few surprises, too. While we won't get to see who shines and who stumbles until the show returns (Mon. Sept. 16 at 8:00 p.m.), we can definitely start placing bets.
"Dancing" cast announced: Valerie Harper, Snooki, Bill Nye, Jack Osbourne
They'll be joined by Bill Engvall, Keyshawn Johnson, Brant Daugherty, Amber Riley, Leah Remini, Christina Milian, Corbin Bleu and Elizabeth Berkley. PLUS: See pics of "Dancing" stars and their partners.
Watch Jon Stewart's return to "The Daily Show"
Stewart's nearly smooth return was made possible by John Oliver and Stephen Colbert.
Bill Maher to Jay Leno: "What the f*ck is wrong with you?"
Maher teased Leno about NBC booting him for the 2nd time. PLUS: Leno visits Craig Ferguson and talks about his post-"Tonight Show" future of touring.
Jodie Foster directing one, possibly two, "House of Cards" episodes
The actress is currently in Baltimore scouting locations.
Arsenio Hall's 1st week guests include Chris Tucker and Magic Johnson
Next week, Arsenio will also have on Angela Bassett, Lisa Kudrow, Ice Cube and Mark Harmon. PLUS: Arsenio calls Paul Scheer's "ArScheerio" a "flawless reenactment."
Alicia Silverstone lost "My So-Called Life" role to Claire Danes because she was "too pretty"
As detailed in a New Yorker profile of Danes, "My So-Called Life" creator Willie Holzman says Danes was "sexy and not sexy, free and bound up, open and closed, funny and frighteningly serious," while producer Marshall Herskovitz said Silverstone was "so beautiful that that would have affected her experience of the world."
Check out Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" studio construction
His old "Late Night" studio is being expanded for the new show.
"Idol" releases pic of the new judges panel
J.Lo will sit in the middle of Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban.
NBA star Andre Drummond is dating the "iCarly" star he had a crush on, thanks to Twitter
Knicks star Drummond used Twitter to admit to his crush on Jennette McCurdy.
Shaquille O'Neal serenades LeVar Burton
With the "Reading Rainbow" theme song.
University of California, Irvine offering a "Walking Dead" online course
The free college class will be taught by actual professors, including professors of physics and from the social sciences.
Julie Chen tells Letterman: "Big Brother's" Aaryn was supposed to be "America's sweetheart"
Chen also talked about the awkwardness of last week's eviction interview.
Fired "Storage Wars" star scores a court victory
Dave Hester can proceed with the wrongful termination portion of his lawsuit.
Funny or Die takes on "Boardwalk Empire"
Watch Paul F. Thompkins as Richard Harrow.
Watch the "Eastbound and Down" Season 4 trailer
HBO has released the final season trailer.
"The Wire's" David Simon always knew Idris Elba would become a breakout star
From his first scene as Stringer Bell, Simon says, "The presence, the fluidity of the performance — the authority of the character. It was all there in those first lines." PLUS: Elba elevates the mess that is "Luther."
Gina Gershon transforms into Donatella Versace
Gershon says of her Lifetime role in the movie "House of Versace": "Surprisingly enough we’ve never met, though we have a lot of mutual friends."
A boy for Simon Cowell?
"The X Factor" star is reportedly having a son.
See pics from the Seth Meyers wedding
Here are some photos, including some of Meyers' "SNL" colleagues.
"Downton Abbey" book is due next month
"Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey" is billed as "The Official Backstage Pass to the Set, the Actors and the Drama."
"The Newsroom's" Alison Pill recalls sending out a topless photo of herself
She tells Conan that it was partly her new Blackberry's fault.
See Alec Baldwin's new daughter
Baldwin calls Carmen Gabriela a "second chance for me."
Omarosa dating a WWE star
Nearly a year after fiance Michael Clarke Duncan died of heart attack, the former "Apprentice" star has found a new love in WWE's Titus O'Neil.
VENICE - Venice festival scheduling is a business that can seem haphazard at best, and perverse at worst. Kim Ki-duk's castration-and-incest bonanza "Moebius" straight after breakfast? Sure. Philip Groning's three-hour, 59-chapter dissection of domestic abuse to finish the day? Hey, why not? Sometimes, however, they let on that they really know what they're doing with a juxtaposition that seems too perfect to be accidental -- and they don't come much more effectively on-the-nose than last night's back-to-back double bill of Alex Gibney's "The Armstrong Lie" (B-) and Errol Morris' "The Unknown Known" (C+). (Even the titles have a pleasingly similar cadence.) It wasn't labelled in the programme as The Great American Douchebags Special, but we got the idea.
Perhaps it's a side effect of viewing them with only a 20-minute, theater-traversing in between, but the films seemed too well-matched -- not just in content, but in a number of their strongest and weakest points -- to review separately, even if they'll rarely be re-partnered outside the festival environment.
Final four! And each dancer has to dance five times! Yes, the goal at this stage of "So You Think You Can Dance" is to wear out the dancers and/or give them torn muscles. Yay! No, really, this is going to be an amazing episode. If our final four survives, poor ducks.
Ron Howard's "Rush" has occupied some prime real estate throughout our Contenders section for a number of weeks. Lots of "but racing movies don't register" and "it looks too commercial" or whatever greeted the suggestion that it could be an Oscar player. There's been a reason we've had a lot of faith in it: people love this movie. And today, Variety's Peter Debruge has posted a cartwheel-turning rave up one side and down the other.
I caught the film just before the Telluride Film Festival and had high hopes. I've been hearing stellar things about this one for a while now, particularly Daniel Brühl's performance. So maybe expectation was too high, but it felt like something was missing for me. Peter Morgan's script awkwardly makes its way through a story of rivalry and friendship between Formula One racing stars Niki Lauda (Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and it doesn't quite hit the high marks it apparently thinks it hits. But it's not like the film is a big miss or anything. There's a lot to appreciate here and I think it will continue to gather fans, perhaps on the way to major Oscar recognition.
Normally I leave the TV coverage to the more-than-capable care of Dan Fienberg, Alan Sepinwall, and Liane Starr, but today I feel obligated to make special mention of a show that I think has been crushing it, week in and week out.
After all, isn't that the point of having a platform like this? When I see "Drunk History" on Comedy Central getting better week after week, I want to make sure people are tuning in so I can get more episodes in the future. I was familiar with the short films that Derek Waters created for the website "Funny or Die," and I think it's a fiendishly simple premise for a recurrent comedy piece. The idea, if you haven't seen the show, is exactly what it sounds like. Waters asks funny people to explain a historical incident while they are busy getting as drunk as they can possibly be.
At the same time, we see a recreation by actors in costume, and when they speak, they are perfectly in-synch with the storyteller, complete with drunken hesitation, belching, vomiting and more. And watching actors play that dialogue, perfectly timed, I think it's incredibly funny, a beautiful next level to a joke that is already funny.
James Franco roast doubles Roseanne's ratings but doesn't come close to Charlie Sheen's record
About 3.1 million watched last night's roast, including many young males. But it was less than half of the 6.4 million the Sheen roast attracted.
Watch 15 seasons of Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" in 5 minutes
Check out this Comedy Central compilation.
Lady Gaga may pull double duty on "SNL" this season
She's poised to host and serve as musical guest for the first time.
"Game of Thrones" recasts The Mountain
Icelandic actor Hafthor Julius Bjornsson will take over the role originated by Conan Stevens in Season 1.
Jason Priestley joins "CSI's" 300th episode
The former "Beverly Hills 90210" star will play a casino mogul.
"One Life to Live" suspends production
Prospect won't make future episodes of "One Life to Live" until a lawsuit with ABC is resolved.
"American Horror Story" releases a creepy "Coven" poster
Three mouths, one snake.
What's cuter than the "Little Couple" on TLC? Not stinking much. In case you're not sure whether or not to watch the non-stop adorableness of it all tonight, here's an exclusive clip to help you make up your mind. In the episode (airing Tues., Sept. 3 at 10:00 p.m. ET), Jen doesn't seem to be having the best Mother's Day ever -- until she is. There are cupcakes and there is itty bitty Will, just in case you want to choke on how sweet this is.