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2018-01-23T13:50:48.694Z
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While we twiddle our thumbs waiting for Jessica Chastain to play Tammy Wynette in Taylor Hackford’s upcoming biopic (after seeing the star in Molly’s Game), we settled in for an evening with the actress on the Studio 8H stage. Chastain got to dig into her Cali girl roots on SNL with several sketches featuring her best Valley Girl accent, but it was her First Wives Club-inspired monologue that put a smile on our faces. Also, yay for a random appearance by Method Man in a pre-recorded segment with Chris Redd as an iconic Will Smith character. See how the rest of the episode went down, below.

From Disneyland to Universal Studios to Six Flags, movies have inspired theme parks and attractions around the world – but that equation works the other direction as well, with fictional theme parks working their way into some of our most beloved movies. And now, our friends at Gallery1988 have enlisted their stable of artists to pay tribute to those parks, as seen in entertainments from National Lampoon’s Vacation to Westworld, for their new exhibit “Fake Theme Parks.” It runs until January 27 at their gallery in Los Angeles, but if you can’t see it in person, no worries; we’ve picked out some of our favorite illustrations from this thrill ride of a show.

New Yorkers and LA cinéastes have been lucky enough to set eyes on Paul Thomas Anderson’s stunning new film Phantom Thread early (it was one of our ten best films of 2017). The film opens nationwide today — which the rest of us the country the opportunity to luxuriate in the movie’s lush setting and gorgeous fashions.

Set in post-war London during the ’50s, Daniel Day-Lewis stars as esteemed designer Reynolds Woodcock, who falls in love with a woman quite his opposite, played by star Vicky Krieps. Fashion is at the heart of the breathtaking love story about the artist and the muse — and judging by this new featurette, great care and attention was paid to the costuming, right down to every last detail. In the clip, we learn about the delicate 17th-century Flemish lace used in the movie, the real-life couturiers from the 1950s who appeared in the film, and the demanding schedule designers worked under, producing incredible gowns in mere months.

Visit the film’s official website for more information, and swoon over Phantom Thread‘s costumes in the below clip.

Back in 2014, this site ran an in-depth piece about how the current Hollywood paradigm of “$200 million franchise play” or “$2 million indie movie” had led to a dearth of mid-budget movies for adults, and had left the filmmakers responsible for movies like that (people like Spike Lee, Jim Jarmsuch, and Terry Gilliam) out in the cold. (You can read it here). In that piece, we interviewed producer Ted Hope, who explained, “We had a deal at Universal, and finally our executive got fed up with us, and said ‘Ted, you need to give me movies that are theme park rides.’ We laugh, but I think now you see that more than ever, right?”

Not long after that interview, Mr. Hope was hired by Amazon Studios to produce and acquire movies for the multiuse platform, and after two years of bankrolling not only new projects by the likes of Lee, Jarmusch, and Gilliam, but successful festival acquisitions like The Big Sick and Manchester by the Sea, Amazon is reportedly planning to… cut back on indie movies.

Reuters is reporting Amazon “plans to shift resources from independent films to more commercial projects… Amazon expects to go after films with budgets in the $50 million range at the expense of indie projects costing around $5 million.” The move into “bigger-budget fare” follows this week’s announcement of the cancellation of One Mississippi, I Love Dick, and Jean-Claude Van Johnson by Amazon’s TV arm – which recently spent a mind-boggling $250...

The Outsider Art Fair was founded in 1993 and features the works of established and upcoming or contemporary “outsider artists” — those who are self-taught or create artworks outside established circles and institutions. The term was first coined by French artist Jean Dubuffet (called “art brut” or “raw art”); the fair has featured the works of acclaimed creators like Henry Darger, who made hundreds of paintings and illustrations of his “Vivian Girls” battling imaginary foes. Now in its 26th year, the NYC event will showcase more exciting artists from 63 galleries, representing 35 cities from seven countries, with 10 first-time exhibitors. From a press release:

The fair is pleased to welcome several new and dynamic presentations this year, including the Plains Indian Ledger Drawings from the 19th and the early 20th century at Donald Ellis Gallery; Norman Brosterman’s presentation of hand-painted, woven baskets attributed to Plains Indian inmates incarcerated at the Iowa State Penitentiary; and a series of miniature terracotta figurines by Canadian artist Jordan Maclachlan at Marion Harris. As always, the Outsider Art Fair will offer visitors the opportunity to see artworks from internationally acclaimed figures such as Eugene Von Bruenchenhein at Carl Hammer; Minnie Evans at Luise Ross; Bill Traylor at Cavin-Morris; Martin Ramirez at Ricco Maresca and Thornton Dial at Fred Giampietro.

Also featured in the fair are “ex-voto sculptures unique to Brazil’s Afro-Indigenous-European culture at Mariposa Unusual Art; and a collection of works by self-taught artists from Africa,...

Havana-born, self-taught artist CB Hoyo questions the value of art and the politics of art criticism in his colorful acrylic paintings. Hoyo playfully recreates the works of contemporary icons like Warhol and Banksy, writing humorous stream-of-consciousness musings across the artworks, mocking the often superficial nature of our society. Hoyo asks us to question our own desire for recognition, the fake and real in the world around us, and what it takes to boost or destroy the value of something. The artist’s satirical work is featured in the group show Emerging to Established at Krause Gallery through February 26.

Around this time last year, we selected The Death of Stalin as one of our most anticipated movies of the year, and can you blame us? It’s Armondo Iannucci’s first feature film since In The Loop, and in the eight long years since that film, he went and created a little series you might’ve heard of called Veep. Trouble was, The Death of Stalin didn’t come out in 2017, at least not in America – though it did play at the Toronto Film Festival, and we picked it as one of our most anticipated movies there. Can you tell we’re really amped about this one? Anyway, your film editor saw it at TIFF, and it was brilliant (of course), and now they’ve finally locked in a U.S. release date (March 9) and oh yeah, here’s a new trailer:

Having seen the movie (sorry, don’t mean to gloat) I can confirm that the trailer totally nails the picture’s tone, pace, and pitch-black humor; if anything, it’s a rare trailer that undersells the greatness of the product.

The Death of Stalin is out March 9 in limited release.

English new wave icons Duran Duran released their first self-titled album in 1981, but it was “Girls on Film,” their third single, that caught the attention of the MTV generation thanks to its fetishistic music video and charismatic singer Simon Le Bon’s edgy baritone. But another Duran Duran member played a major role in writing the song, and also first performed it.

Cleopatra Records just released the original version of “Girls on Film” on their new EP, Girls on Film 1979 Demo, featuring the vocals of former band member Andy Wickett (the group’s second vocalist; Le Bon was the fourth). The artist was known for his work in the band TV Eye and cut a popular figure in the Birmingham music scene. The rare recording sounds generally more post-punk, with a raw and moody style typical of the time. The Cleopatra release also includes the track “See Me Repeat Me,” which would later be reworked into Duran Duran’s popular single “Rio.”

“It is important for people to understand the true origins of the song ‘Girls on Film’ and to hear the edgy sound that Duran Duran had in the beginning,” Andy Wickett shares in a press release. “This song was inspired by the dark side of the glitz and glamour, where these perfect idols suffered tragedy and addiction. The film Sunset Boulevard was also a big influence with its tale of a fading movie star.”

Listen to Duran Duran when the band was more of an experimental art school...

The Sundance Film Festival kicks off today, the biggest and buzziest of the indie film fests – and something of starter pistol for the year, unveiling a fair number of the films and performances we’ll be talking about in the months ahead, even while we’re still taking about last year’s. (For example: current awards circuit contenders Call Me By Your Name, The Big Sick, Mudbound, and Get Out all debuted at Sundance ’17.) So here’s a sneak peek at what your film editor is most anticipating in Park City this year.

Every city has its own red-light district, but Amsterdam’s is the largest and most popular, brimming with sexy (and sleazy), boozy, and cannabis-filled good times. In 1979, New York City artists Bettie Ringma and Marc H. Miller captured the raucous parties happening in the capital district. Broke and armed with Polaroid cameras, the artists decided to snap portraits of the hard-partying drunks and stylish characters inside Amsterdam’s smoky bars and cafés for cash.

Well before the days of Instagram influencers, the collaborators were approached by the Polaroid Corporation, who offered to provide a free case of film for the artists to take snaps of the area’s weirdest and best nightlife clientele.

The resulting photos are displayed in an exhibition at Stigter Van Doesburg Gallery, featuring original Polaroids from 1979 to 1980. Amsterdam Polaroids runs through February 17. If a trip to the Netherlands isn’t in your future, catch a glimpse of the show in our gallery.

Back in 2013, My Bloody Valentine released m b v, their first studio album in 22 years, and there was much rejoicing. (It was one of our picks for the year’s best records.) They toured it, to great acclaim, in North America and Europe, and then… went right back to not being a band for four years. Well, now there’s some good news: they’re playing their first live show since that tour, with an appearance at the one-day Sonicmania festival in Japan. Marshemello and Nine Inch Nails are also on the bill, and oh look, here’s a trailer for the festival (and its sister fest, the two-day Summer Sonic):

The summer gig follows the recent vinyl reissues of the band’s first two albums, Isn’t Anything and Loveless, and precedes the release of their as-yet-untitled fourth record, which frontman Kevin Shields promised Pitchfork will “one hundred percent” be released this calendar year. So, y’know, at least there’s that to look forward to.

Continuing to prove that the phrase “Maybe I should sit this one out” is simply not in his grasp, actor, podcaster, (poor) Trump impersonator, and general blowhard Alec Baldwin has weighed in on the recent stream of actors expressing regret over working with accused child molester Woody Allen. He agrees, and is joining them in donating his salaries from those film to women’s rights charities. Hahahaha just kidding of course not, he’s decided instead that it’s time for some Baldwin-splaining:

Woody Allen was investigated forensically by two states (NY and CT) and no charges were filed. The renunciation of him and his work, no doubt, has some purpose. But it’s unfair and sad to me. I worked w WA 3 times and it was one of the privileges of my career. — ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) January 16, 2018 Is it possible to support survivors of pedophilia and sexual assault/abuse and also believe that WA is innocent?I think so.The intention is not to dismiss or ignore such complaints. But accusing ppl of such crimes should be treated carefully. On behalf of the victims, as well. — ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) January 16, 2018

(Thanks to Variety for embedding those tweets; we’re unable to view them, as Mr. Baldwin has blocked both our site’s and this writer’s Twitter account for writing critically of him in the past, because he is a grown-up adult.)

Baldwin’s tweets...

When we talk about the “New Hollywood” movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s – that glorious moment in which the lunatics took over the asylum, producing enduring works like The Godfather, Chinatown, Bonnie & Clyde, American Graffiti, and their ilk – we tend settle on a handful of causes and symptoms. First and foremost was the end of the studio system, an extended death rattle than began with the divestiture of studio-owned theaters and ended up dismantling the assembly-line of creative and craftspeople that made the movies, a methodology that was rendered further obsolete by the loud and pricey failures of a series of big-budget, big-studio pictures in the mid-to-late 1960s. Also important, especially early on, was the influence of a lively and rule-breaking foreign cinema, with particular focus on the innovations of the French New Wave. And lip service is usually paid to early American underground filmmakers – names as aesthetically and thematically diverse as Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, and John Cassavetes – who prompted, at least among their sophisticated audiences, a reevaluation of what cinema was, and what it could be.

But not much is said of the documentarians of the 1960s, whose works are typically classified as cinéma vérité or, more specifically, “direct cinema.” These filmmakers – chief among them Jean Rouch in France and, in America, a loose crew consisting of Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker, the Maysles brothers, Robert Drew, and their collaborators – reinvented documentary cinema, which...

One of the most staggeringly beautiful movies of last year makes its Blu-ray debut this week, and I’m finally understanding why gearheads want me to upgrade to this “4K UHD BD” nonsense. We’ve also got 2016’s Palme d’Or winner joining the Criterion Collection, three different versions of an unsung Orson Welles movie on FilmStruck, and favorites old and new on Netflix. Here we go:

ON NETFLIX

The Polka King: Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky craft a frisky and energetic comedy with a snappy, screwball spirit, which isn’t exactly a given, considering the subject matter: it’s the true story of Jan Lewan (Jack Black), a Polish immigrant and Pennsylvania polka bandleader who bilked fans and friends out of $4.9 million in an elaborate “investment” Ponzi scheme. He was a good con artist for one simple reason: he was a total charmer. In other words, Black is perfectly cast, in one of those turns that reminds us of what makes him such an engaging presence: his pure joy of performance, both when he’s onstage (he goes for the gusto in those polka numbers) and off.

Dallas Buyers Club: The subsequent public pronouncements and general obnoxiousness of Jared Leto has taken a bit of the sheen off his 2013 comeback movie, but make no mistake, he’s terrific in it – finding a balance with star Matthew McConaughey not unlike Hanks and Washington’s in Philadelphia, in which a bigot sees the face of mortality, and discovers his own humanity....

Zosia Mamet turned in one of our favorite performances at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in Sophie Brooks’s sweet and charming The Boy Downstairs – a lovely piece of wounded work, as a character positioned a full 180 from her work on Girls. Now, nearly a full year later, that movie is making its way to theaters, and you can finally see what we’re talking about.

She plays a writer who moves back to New York City after fleeing to London for a couple of years, only to find that she shares a building with the boy she left behind (Matthew Shear, so great in Mistress America). And he has a new girlfriend, unsurprisingly, so that’s… awkward. But they’re all adults, and this isn’t that tough, right? RIGHT?

Check out the trailer:

The Boy Downstairs opens in New York on February 16 and in Los Angeles on February 23, with more cities (hopefully) to follow.

Milan-based photographer Stefan Giftthaler documented the overwhelming number of statues throughout Italy, many of which appear in strange or mundane places. Giftthaler’s road trip around the Mediterranean country led to some interesting encounters with the statues that, as Ignant put it, could be “a tribute to Italy’s heritage — the preservation of art within the public realm, or maybe just a scattered attempt to rehome mass-produced statues.” As the artist explained to Ignant, “What is interesting to me about these statues is the fact that someone took the time to buy them and put them there.” Italy has an estimated 100,000 monuments, including statues, fountains, and archaeological remains; who are we to judge if one of them is just hanging out on a grassy island off a highway? The classical forms against modern backdrops is a fascinating sight, so take a closer look in our gallery.

When James Franco won the Golden Globe Sunday night for Best Actor (Musical or Comedy), more than one home viewer pointed out the gap between the sentiments of his “Time’s Up” pin and the long-circulating whispers about his personal behavior:

when is the time up on James Franco — miel (@miel) January 8, 2018 It’s … rich of James Franco to be wearing a Time’s Up pin — Doree Shafrir (@doree) January 8, 2018 everyone in town knows that james franco is a creep and that stories about his behavior were about to break. the hollywood foreign press knew it too but gave him an award anyway. — Katy Stoll (@katystoll) January 8, 2018

And Ally Sheedy, who Franco directed in the 2014 Off-Broadway play The Long Shrift, tweeted and then deleted a handful of cryptic comments:

But two other actors got explicit. Violet Paley tweeted:

Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your...

Mary Shelley’s iconic Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus is approaching the 100th anniversary of its original publication, and Rockport’s Classics Reimagined imprint is on the case. The press, which publishes collector’s editions of classic novels with stunning new illustrations, has a new bicentennial pressing of Frankenstein, full of haunting images by artist and graphic designer David Plunkert. The book hits shelves next week, so check out our preview of some of our favorite illustrations, and then pre-order a copy here.

When Sir Ridley Scott announced in November that he would remove and reshoot Kevin Spacey’s scenes for the drama All The Money In the World in light of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against the actor, and do it quickly enough to hit the film’s original Christmas release date, industry observers marveled at the filmmaker’s skill, efficiency, and dedication. But it seems co-star Mark Wahlberg and his representation saw something else: a chance to make some more coin.

The rumor that Wahlberg was collecting a hefty paycheck for the extra work of the reshoots – a fraction of the payments offered to co-star Michelle Williams, director Ridley Scott, and others – was first reported by The Washington Post’s Steven Zeitchik in late November. But for whatever reason, the story didn’t gain traction until Women in Hollywood’s Melissa Silverstein picked it up last night on Twitter, and was subsequently retweeted by Jessica Chastain.

USA Today’s Andrea Mandell further reported it out, confirming with three anonymous sources close to the production (Zeitchik’s original story had one) that Wahlberg picked up $1.5 million for the roughly week-long reshoot. Williams, on the other hand, was reportedly paid an $80/day per diem, totaling under $1,000 – less than 1% of his rate. (And no, the irony of this occurring during post-production of a movie about how greed has turned one man into a soulless monster is not lost on us.)

In an earlier interview, Scott told USA Today, “They all came...

Sydney-based travel photographer Irenaeus Herok captured the epic desert sandstorms that overwhelm the highways in Dubai. (We first learned about the artist’s stunning aerial landscape photos on Honestly WTF.) Dust storms are common in this region, and the bird’s-eye view of the roads overwhelmed by sand offers a surreal perspective. The blog Living in Dubai writes: “We have sandstorms – known as shamal in Arabic. They blow across the Arabian Peninsula from the north east – from Iraq.” Take a unique aerial photographic journey through the United Arab Emirates city in our gallery.