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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” instantly establishes itself as the most unflinching of all slave dramas, which is to say, there is plenty of flinching, not to mention cowering and recoiling and passing out, thanks to beatings and whippings that arrive at roughly 10-to-15-minute intervals throughout a 133-minute running time. “Amistad,” meet the Marquis de Sade, in the form of slavemaster Michael Fassbender, who puts his victims through more tortures than Mel Gibson ever could have imagined for Jesus.

    This revolving door of graphically rendered brutalities might feel like its own punishment if not for an array of astonishing performances that’s practically a one-stop Oscar-nomination shopping spree. At the film’s world premiere in Telluride Friday night, it quickly became apparent that leading man Chiwetel Ejiofor had moved to the head of the line of best actor candidates, with Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o sure to contend in the supporting categories. Even those of us who aren’t Oscar bloggers should break out whatever mnemonic devices we need to immediately commit Ejiofor’s and Nyong'o’s names to the tips of our tongues.

    '12 Years' has a sex scene within its first five minutes, which will have some viewers sniggering that they wouldn’t expect anything less from the director ofShame.” But there are no pleasures to follow for any of the characters after that brief undercover coupling in a crowded slave’s quarters. After that flash-forward, we see Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) and his family in happier times, as free and even privileged blacks in the north, before he’s kidnapped and transported to the South for a quick and easy sale. He pleads his case to captors along the way, who respond by pounding Northup each time he insists his name isn’t really Platt. It’s a classic wrong-man/mistaken-identity setup, although no noir ever required this many scarring prosthetics.

    A parade of character actors famous for playing sleazeballs get to mistreat Solomon, starting with Paul Giamatti, and including Paul Dano as an imbecile sub-“master” who can’t stand the thought that there might be an educated slave in the midst. Transfers in ownership ensure that Solomon’s lot goes from bad to worse to worst, as he finally ends up in the hands of notorious “slave-breaker” Edwin Epps (Fassbender). Epps isn’t even the most villainous of the many detestable white people in the movie: that would be his jealous and bloodthirsty wife, played by Sarah Paulson, who makes Lady MacBeth look like Olive Oyl.

    It may seem foolish to complain that a movie about slavery makes the white characters look bad, but John Ridley’s script certainly sees things in terms of black and white in every way, which means that all the Southern white characters are caught up in their own awards race for most contemptible. Paulson’s one-note beeyotch character doesn’t do the actress any favors, but Fassbender, in what could have been a mustache-twirling part, is utterly transfixing as the kind of guy who really does have a deeply emotional investment in manic racial sadism.

    “Long-suffering” isn’t easy to play with layers, either, but Nyong'o—as Epp’s slave mistress, who actually manages to get privileges taken away, not added, for her sexual services—is a heartbreaker in every way. She’d steal the movie if it weren’t for Ejiofor’s performance, but few actors could pull off the combination of dignity and torment he manages here. McQueen gives the actor a lot of dialogue-free long takes, including one close-up toward the end that’s content to study his face for what seems like at least a minute as Solomon considers the possibility that his last and best chance for freedom has ended in another betrayal.

    Among supporting players, Alfre Woodard has one great scene as a gossipy, highly intelligent, exalted lady among slaves, and she makes you wish the movie had a few more character sketches like hers among the lashings. Executive producer Brad Pitt shows up in the last 20 minutes, looking vaguely Amish, and given that there hasn’t been a likeable white character since the opening minutes of the movie, it feels incongruous to see him suddenly come on screen and immediately give a speech about God-given racial parity. But by this time, we’re ready for the light at the end of the tunnel, even if his dialogue does seem right out of “Lincoln.”

    Although Ridley sometimes writes his villains’ lines a little more broadly and obviously than needed, the overall mixture of period flavor with contemporary accessibility in the verbiage couldn’t be any better balanced. As for McQueen’s work, advance chatter had some wondering whether he had what it took to make a mainstream entertainment his third time around, but there won’t be much questioning of that after doubters see12 Years a Slave.” It has the strokes you’d expect out of a studio picture but also some moments few other directors would have attempted, like an agonizingly beautiful sequence in which Solomon literally tip-toes his way through a near-hanging that goes on for several silent minutes. If McQueen could forge a career working arthouse moments into multiplex movies, that’d be a case of mistaken identity we’d be happy to live with.

    IndieWire's Final Grade : A+ (see second review below) / A- (above review by The Playlist blog)


    Variety: "The first thing fans of McQueen’s 'Hunger' and 'Shame' will notice here is the degree to which the helmer’s austere formal technique has evolved — to the extent that one would almost swear he’d snuck off and made three or four films in the interim. Composition, sound design and story all cut together beautifully, and yet, there’s no question that '12 Years a Slave' remains an art film, especially as the provocative director forces audiences to confront concepts and scenes that could conceivably transform their worldview."

    HitFix: " '12 Years' is a powerful drama driven by McQueen's bold direction and the finest performance of Chiwetel Ejiofor's career."

    FirstShowing: "Phenomenal. A profound cinematic achievement on every level. Filmmaking at its finest. Chiwetel for Oscar. It's his."

    Hollywood Elsewhere: "Sad & ghastly as the story is, '12 Years A Slave' is a humanist masterpiece & a slamdunk Best Picture contender right out of the gate."

    Washington Post (Twitter): "12 YEARS A SLAVE = Masterful rendering of intolerable cruelty. Standing O for McQ, Ejiofor, Pitt, Fass & stunning Lupita Nyong'o."

    Awards Daily: "Another powerful collaboration for McQueen and Fassbender. They make magic together."

    The Guardian: "12 YEARS A SLAVE (A-) is neo-brutalist, compassionate stunner, more Haneke than Hollywood, stand-outs from Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong'o"

    IndieWire (from the CriticWire blog): "More than a powerful elegy, '12 Years a Slave' is a mesmerizing triumph of art and polemics: McQueen turns a topic rendered distant by history into an experience that, short of living through the terrible era it depicts, makes you feel as if you've been there."

    ( SOURCE )

    The race for Oscars 2014 is so fucking on, ONTD! This film and "Gravity" are sure to make multiple nomination appearances during the January announcements. Can't wait to see more potential Oscar contenders bringing their A-game in the coming months!

    Also... Rooting for my harem husband Fassy to get that Best Supporting Actor Oscar! <3

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  • 08/31/13--19:04: Roar #1 in the UK on iTunes

  • Katy Perry slayed UK iTunes just in 40 minutes!

    Here's a prove!


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    International film icon Keanu Reeves is the producer and host of PBS's Side by Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema, a documentary airing Friday, Aug. 30 (check listings) that is, in a way, like the Matrix: No one can be told what it is. You have to see it for yourself. And, trust us, it's so worth your time! TV Guide Magazine spoke with Reeves about this labor of love, which puts him face-to-face with some of the greatest filmmakers of our time — including George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan and James Cameron — as they fervently discuss a major tipping point in motion picture history.

    TV Guide Magazine: A program that looks at how digital filmmaking is replacing the use of traditional celluloid film sure sounds dry, yet Side By Side is totally riveting, often funny and surprisingly emotional. Judging by your commentary in the program, you seem pretty moved by this digital-versus-film issue.
    : I am! I feel a kind of sadness about it, really. Maybe you can chalk it up to nostalgia, since I grew up in this business working on film. This is my life! This is art versus technology, art versus commerce. This is 100 years of Hollywood history giving way to a new filmmaking process — an evolution revolution — that some feel is superior and some don't. I still think of a beautiful film print as an object of art, an object of glory. For all the benefits of digital filmmaking — and there are so many —we are losing something very special here.

    TV Guide Magazine: Christopher Nolan tells you in the doc that he is determined to keep working with film. Will it get to the point where only he and other superstar auteurs will have that privilege?
    Reeves: It sure looks that way. Digital is the way to go, financially, and that's always the bottom line. Not only do the studios prefer it but the study of celluloid filmmaking is being phased out in schools. No one's growing up with that technology, so there will be no new generation to take the torch. And, after a point, you don't have the labs to develop the film and no one's making the equipment. It will become more and more niche, and therefore more expensive. But, just as Paul Thomas Anderson shot The Master on 65 mm, traditional film will remain alive thanks to those who support it and have the pull. Even then there will be pressure to make the switch. A director or a cinematographer will be told, "This is a digital project." They might say, "Well, I don't do digital." And the response will be, "Well, that's nice. Goodbye." Because someone else will be more than happy to work that way.

    TV Guide Magazine: And some actors don't like it! With digital, you can keep shooting and shooting without reloading or relighting, which can lead to long, exhausting work days without the customary breaks. You have a hilarious anecdote in Side by Side about Robert Downey, Jr. peeing in Mason jars and leaving them all around the set.
    Reeves: As a form of protest! [Laughs] Yes, some actors are in shock, but others really love the freedom of digital and the new opportunities for creativity and storytelling. In addition to the directors and cinematographers I interviewed, it was good to include a few actors in the discussion — John Malkovich, Lena Dunham, Greta Gerwig. Our director, Chris Kenneally, has made Side by Side very accessible and he found ways to really bring forth the passion people feel. There's a lot of heart.

    TV Guide Magazine: Whose response most surprised you?
    Reeves: David Lynch! Over the years he's moved into digital and I had no idea he'd lost all interest in pursuing traditional film. The images and textures, the beauty of his earlier work, are so striking and wonderful, that I was kind of shocked to hear him say he was finished with film. He's done! But I understood, because his work in digital has also been incredible.

    TV Guide Magazine: What if you'd been able to do Side by Side with the great directors of yesteryear — Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, David Lean. Wouldn't they have hated this digital revolution?
    Reeves: I'm not so sure! I bet they would have liked the sensitivity of digital. It's so fluid. All the men you mention were known for their visuals and their incredible camera movements and they might well have embraced it. Certainly Hitchcock would have been intrigued.

    TV Guide Magazine: You couldn't have done this program without George Lucas, right?
    Reeves: He is the Zeus of Digital! He was on the cutting edge of all this 20 years ago, bringing filmmakers up to Skywalker Ranch and telling them about the digital revolution that was coming. He was the tip of the spear.

    TV Guide Magazine: And he raised a lot of hell!
    Reeves: Oh, people were furious with him! He caught so much flack. They said he was heralding the end of filmmaking as we know it. [Laughs] But here we are today!


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    With the country in turmoil, the Egyptian presence at Venice is small this year. The notable exception being multi-hyphenate Amr Waked, who is on the Lido wearing two hats despite what he claims is the Muslim Brotherhood’s best attempts to keep him home in Cairo.

    “They sent a message to the festival organizers here saying that I am a supporter of what they claim is a bloody coup,” alleges Waked, known internationally for thesping turns in “Syriana” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” He is not only on the Horizons jury but also on the Lido as producer of “The Cat,” screening in the Venice Film Market’s Final Cut workshop.

    “The Brotherhood wanted the festival to pull me from jury duty for political reasons,” Waked says, alleging, “they even sent them an image of me wearing military garb from the TV series ‘House of Saddam’ as if it were the real me. What kinds of idiots did they think the Venice people are?”

    While he says he has been threatened by the Brotherhood in the past, he adds this latest burst of animosity on its part stems from the fact that, when violence erupted after the Egyptian military ousted former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Waked gave TV interviews saying that “the Muslim Brothers started the blood, not the army.”

    “Before the army intervened, there were about 16 locations in Egypt, including Cairo and Alexandria, where the Muslim Brothers came out and killed people with guns,” he alleges. “They sent their own people to get killed so they could have a body count; so that the U.S. could come and bomb us. What is this? This is stupid politics!”

    Turmoil in Egypt is clearly impacting the country’s film industry in several ways, including impeding production of Ibrahim El-Batout’s “The Cat,” an action-thriller about human organ trafficking in Egypt, which Waked is producing through his Zad shingle, and in which he also stars. Footage from “The Cat” screened for potential investors Saturday.

    El-Batout’s previous pic, “Winter of Discontent,” a raw and powerful look into the events that led to the Tahrir Square uprising, has just been released by Barbican in the U.K. And at the Venice market, “Winter” was sold to HBO Europe by Double Dutch Intl.

    Waked says the crew was trying to shoot “Cat” finale in Giza just as Morsi followers protested the new military-backed government.

    “I kept thinking: ‘We have to wait for things to calm down,’ but they did not and I have had to keep postponing the shoot.”


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    Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Pacific Rim Crosses $400 Million Worldwide

    Guillermo del Toro’s widely praised action adventure “Pacific Rim” has crossed $400 million dollars at the worldwide box office, becoming the director’s highest grossing film ever. The announcement was made today by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution and Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures; and Legendary Pictures.

      Internationally, “Pacific Rim” is still in release in a number of territories and has grossed $302 million thus far. In China alone, the film is the biggest of any Warner Bros. Pictures release ever and the fifth-biggest MPA film gross in China’s cinema history. The film’s record-breaking release in China also furthers Legendary’s growing presence in the territory.

    “The worldwide performance of ‘Pacific Rim’ is a clear testament to the quality and originality of Guillermo’s world-building,” said Jon Jashni, President and Chief Creative Officer, Legendary Entertainment. “We are pleased that audiences continue to respond so passionately.”

      “From Moscow to Beijing, ‘Pacific Rim’ has captivated critics and audiences alike in markets all over the world, and become a box office juggernaut,” Kwan Vandenberg said.“Congratulations to Guillermo, his cast and crew, and our partners at Legendary for this exciting benchmark.”
    More at the breach

    I'm so damn happy that

    Also this is my first post and a great excuse to talk about how awesome/crazy this fandom is.

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    Jennifer Lawrence 'Brings It' In 'American Hustle,' Says Director

    Oscar hasn't changed the actress, David O. Russell says.

    The trailer for director David O. Russell's swinging '70s drama "American Hustle," starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams, made its debut less than a month ago, and it's already garnered the kind of Oscar buzz studio execs would sell their first, second and third born to curry. But, as Russell told MTV News, it's something he tries to not think too much about.

    "There's really nothing you can do about it," the auteur said of the early awards speculation surrounding his film, loosely based on the events of Abscam. "I think you just have to do your best to humbly make the best movie you can make, and let the movie speak for itself. I think you can't really get caught up in that."

    You can hardly blame Academy Award watchers for being bullish about the film's prospects, though. After all, Russell films have a habit of earning their actors Oscar nods — and wins. Bale and Melissa Leo scored trophies for their performances in 2010's "The Fighter," with costar Adams also earning a nomination. And Russell's most recent film, "Silver Linings Playbook" helped Lawrence score her first win, with co-stars Cooper and Robert De Niro also getting nods.

    But, as Russell was quick to point out, Oscar hasn't changed his 23-year-old star.

    "I mean ... no, it didn't really change it because with the dynamic that was created — it's very dynamic and sweet and fun, and she had an enormous amount of fun playing this role and all the insanity," Russell said of Lawrence's turn as an "unhinged Long Island housewife," as he put it. "You ask a lot and she brings it. That was our talk on 'Silver Linings Playbook.' That's what we both enjoy. Have a loose, trusting environment, and then she can bring it. That's what's fun to do."


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    Hunger Muggles’ Occult Dystopia
    Samantha Shannon’s Fantasy Novel, ‘The Bone Season’

    The book club craze may have hit its nadir. The big moment came a week ago when the NBC morning show “Today” announced that it, too, was starting a book club, presumably because so many of its competitors have them, and anointed Samantha Shannon’s novel, “The Bone Season,” its first pick. Seated in front of a backdrop on which the words “Call me Ishmael” were clearly visible, the “Today” team explained how a debut novel by a 21-year-old unknown had snagged this distinction. Not one bit of the five-minute segment concerned exactly what Ms. Shannon has written.

    That’s because “The Bone Season” leapt out to “Today” as a human interest story, not as a book. We learned that it bears some resemblance to “The Hunger Games”; that Ms. Shannon intends a seven-book series, just as J. K. Rowling did; that she and Ms. Rowling share a British publisher (though not an American one); and that “The Bone Season” has been optioned by a production company linked to Andy Serkis, a k a Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” films. Time constraints presumably kept “Today” from dropping the fact that Ms. Shannon’s book has a vampire angle. None of this hype betrayed any awareness of the “Today” show audience demographic.

    It got worse. The “Today” news anchor Natalie Morales said she had found this book by reading a newspaper article about it, and such reports have focused on Ms. Shannon’s hitting the jackpot, not on her writing. And Al Roker, the “Today” weatherman who recently slept through his own 6 a.m. “Wake Up With Al” show on the Weather Channel, plugged the Google Hangouts that “Bone Season” fans would be able to enjoy. Google Hangouts are a way of conducting e-chats, rather than reading books.

    But what about the newly minted “Today” show book club members? They have to read this thing. And they will find that it has the tenor of young-adult reading, with a special nod to the occult and to role-playing games based on priggish, elaborate protocol. Ms. Shannon begins the book with a promise she can’t keep: a fanboy-friendly chart identifying many more kinds of seers, mediums, augurs, sensors and things that end with “-omancer” than this book can possibly encompass. For those interested in Rhabdomancers, Halomancers, Theriomancers, Daphnomancers, Cleidomancers et al., a dictionary would be better.

    Ms. Shannon’s first big break came when she was hired as an intern by David Godwin, who later became her agent. Mr. Godwin’s office is near the Seven Dials junction in London, apparently a good neighborhood for buying supplies for the budding spiritualist. From these seeds sprang “The Bone Season,” a one-note dystopian portrait of London in the year 2059, 200 years after a totalitarian government has taken over. The book’s main character, Paige Mahoney, works as a stealth mind reader for a crime boss named Jaxon until she is nabbed for a thought crime (see “1984”) and shipped off to a penal colony. It is called Sheol 1 and bears a not-coincidental resemblance to Oxford University, where Ms. Shannon graduated from St. Anne’s College this summer. The “bone season” of the title is a culling of the best of the Sheol 1 prisoners that occurs every 10 years so that they can fight off the “Emim,” a caste of bloodsucking baddies. Paige will be part of Bone Season XX.

    At the penal colony, Paige is quickly recognized as elite. (See “The Hunger Games.”) She is scrappier and more resilient than her fellow prisoners. She is also gifted with greater psychic powers. Paige is a dreamwalker, which means that movie audiences will some day be treated to phantasmagorical scenes of Paige wandering through what “The Bone Season” calls the aether. She can invade the minds and penetrate the auras of others, even though almost everyone else at Sheol 1 is some kind of psychic, too. This book enforces a rigid, color-coded class system that places Paige high above others and causes her captors, the Rephaim, to refer to themselves with great, formal grandiosity. At last, we reach a reason for reading “The Bone Season”: though “Rephaim” has biblical provenance, Ms. Shannon has given her Rephaim an elaborate sci-fi back story, too.

    There are not many other good reasons to plow through her capably written but fun-free epic. Paige is by far the book’s best-developed character, and her main attribute is feistiness. Character development is so weak that a boy named Seb, whom Paige meets only briefly, is said to haunt her through hundreds of pages of tepid action scenes. But the effect of the occult on “The Bone Season” is to keep emotion at bay, since spirits exist in all stages of sentience. Living creatures don’t exactly vanish even when they leave this mortal coil.

    Ms. Shannon shows her greatest specificity in sketching grandes dames with fancy names (Nashira, Pleione, Alsafi — from mythology, astronomy and other classical sources, with a strong emphasis on Arabic). But these self-styled goddesses favor futuristic Victorian regalia, stilted language and irritating power trips. “I am Nashira Sargas,” says the colony’s six-and-a-half foot leader, also identifying herself as “the blood-sovereign of the Race of Rephaim.” (A fellow prisoner whispers, “Is this a joke?” No, it is not.) Much is made of the fact that Paige is entrusted to Arcturus, Nashira’s official consort, as yet another sign of Paige’s specialness. Perhaps she is closely watched because she has powers that Nashira covets. We will have six more books’ worth of chances to find out how the British monarchy gave way to this circus, why Paige’s Irish origins enhance her combativeness, and how much Joseph Campbell Ms. Shannon will use in shaping this heroine’s journey.

    It is unfair but easy to cite the kind of howler writing that slipped past the editing process for “The Bone Season.” (“This place was called No Man’s Land for a reason: it belonged to no one.” “I was drawn toward him as if a flower to the sun.”) It’s also easy to be distracted by Ms. Shannon’s surprisingly erudite vocabulary, by her use of “psychopomp,” “astragalomancer,” “hibernophobia” and the like. Perhaps she will broaden vocabularies everywhere, but it’s not yet clear what else she can do.

    Had it been allowed to slip quietly into bookstores, “The Bone Season” might have been noticed for the large scale and elaborate detail of its still-unformed fantasy world. Ms. Shannon could easily write six more books filling in gaps left by this one. It would be a shame if the “Today” anointment celebrates this young writer’s gift for trivia-quiz lingo at the expense of her as-yet-unseen larger vision.


    It debuted at number 7 on NYT, but that might be because Bloomsbury cut the price for the ebook to less than $5 less than a week after release.

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    The new album from Arctic Monkeys, titled AM, is out September 9 in the UK and September 10 in the U.S. through Domino. They've already shared a few album tracks-- "R U Mine?", "Do I Wanna Know?", "Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?"-- and today they're streaming a B-side. The song is called "Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You" and you can listen to it below.


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    This week, Jamie Oliver is promoting a new television show called Jamie’s Money Saving Meals and a new cookbook called Save With Jamie in the U.K.

    You might think this would be a cakewalk for him: After all, the 38-year-old celebrity chef has published 17 previous cookbooks and hosted 25 previous TV shows and specials, many of which have focused on eating well on a budget. But something went terribly wrong during this week’s publicity blitz: Oliver suddenly began insulting the very people he was trying to market his new products to, and once he started saying condescending things he couldn't stop.

    First, in an interview with the Radio Times, Oliver derided the poor for watching TV and eating fast food instead of cooking healthy meals for themselves. “I'm not judgmental, but,” he began—a phrase which, like “I’m not a racist, but” or “I’m not homophobic, but” is a surefire indication that the clause to follow will prove the first clause false. This was certainly true in Oliver’s case; he went on to say:

    I've spent a lot of time in poor communities, and I find it quite hard to talk about modern-day poverty. You might remember that scene in [Oliver’s previous TV series] Ministry of Food, with the mum and the kid eating chips and cheese out of Styrofoam containers, and behind them is a massive fucking TV. It just didn't weigh up. …

    I meet people who say, “You don't understand what it's like.” I just want to hug them and teleport them to the Sicilian street cleaner who has 25 mussels, 10 cherry tomatoes, and a packet of spaghetti for 60 pence, and knocks out the most amazing pasta. You go to Italy or Spain and they eat well on not much money. We've missed out on that in Britain, somehow.

    Oliver seemed to be referring to an antiquated, romanticized notion of Italian dietary habits: A study of young Italians’ eating habits in next month’s edition of the academic journal Appetite notes “a decline … among the young ‘traditionals’ who stand out for their high consumptions of fruit, vegetables and fish,” and a couple of years ago NPR explained Italians’ abandonment of traditional fare by noting wryly that these days, “you have to be wealthier to eat like a poor Mediterranean peasant.” In any case, British commentators seized not on Oliver’s outdated view of Italian eating but on his implication that Britain’s poor are too stupid, lazy, or hedonistic to value healthy eating over entertainment.

    Perhaps the best rebuttal to Oliver’s contemptuous generalization came from the Guardian’s Alex Andreou, who writes that he has lived “in affluent and destitute circumstances—and every shade between the two” and blasts Oliver’s poverty tourism. Andreou’s explanation of the psychology of poverty is illuminating:

    What I had not understood before I found myself in true poverty, and what Oliver probably does not, is that it means living in a world of “no.” Ninety-nine per cent of what you need is answered “no.” Ninety-nine per cent of what your kids ask for is answered “no.” Ninety-nine per cent of life is answered “no.” Cinema? No. Night out? No. New shoes? No. Birthday? No. So, if the only indulgence that is viable, that is within budget, that will not mean you have to walk to work, is a Styrofoam container of cheesy chips, the answer is a thunderous “YES.”

    Rather than admit that perhaps shooting a few reality shows in poor communities did not make him an expert on habitually living without enough money, Oliver piled on by insulting young Britons’ work ethic. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Oliver ridiculed young Brits for whining about a 48-hour workweek, called them “wet behind the ears,” and compared them unfavorably to migrant workers, saying “I think our European immigrant friends are much stronger, much tougher.” (So much for convincing young people to Save With Jamie.)

    Critics called Oliver’s generalizations “insulting,” “inaccurate,” and “disgusting,” and blasted him for endorsing exploitative working conditions for poor immigrants. And Oliver’s attempt at damage control—donating a copy of his new cookbook to every library in the country—has so far not stemmed the tide of indignation.

    One of the few British newspapers to come to Jamie Oliver’s defense this week was the Independent, whose columnist Grace Dent argued that Oliver is entitled to his arrogant opinions about poor people. Dent is right—Oliver is entitled to his opinions. But he’s not entitled to the position of culinary hero for a population he disdains.


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    AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The wife of rock guitarist Ted Nugent could face a felony weapons charge in North Texas after airport police caught her going through a security line at a Dallas-area airport with a loaded pistol, according to a police report released on Friday.

    Shemane Nugent, 51, told authorities that she forgot that the Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver, packed in its case with 10 extra rounds, was in her bag when she prepared to board a flight Thursday morning to Fort Lauderdale from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas.

    The police report did not say if Ted Nugent, equally well known for his outspoken advocacy of guns and hunting rights, as well as his 1970s hit songs "Stranglehold" and "Cat Scratch Fever," was travelling with his wife.

    After a security officer with the Transportation Safety Administration saw the gun inside the bag as it went through an X-ray machine, police asked about the bag's contents.

    "She immediately stated, 'I know what the problem is. I forgot the gun was in the bag,'" according to the police report.

    Nugent told officers that "she had received death threats and had been carrying the weapon for protection," and that she usually used the bag to go to the gym, the police report said.

    Nugent, who reported that she carries a valid concealed handgun license, was handcuffed and arrested by the airport's public safety officers on a third-degree felony weapons charge, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

    Her attorney told the Dallas Morning News that it was an honest mistake and that he doubted she would be indicted by a grand jury.


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    Ben Gibbard is paying full 10-year anniversary tribute to his career in 2003. Following a reissue of the Postal Service's Give Up, Death Cab for Cutie will reissue their breakthrough album Transatlanticism. It'll be out on October 29 through Barsuk in digital and vinyl formats.

    Both versions will include a bonus collection of 11 previously unreleased demos on mp3. The demos will also be available as a stand-alone release called Transatlanticism Demos. Listen to the demo version of "Lightness", above.

    Death Cab will perform Transatlanticism in full at Bumbershoot in Seattle on September 1.


    01 The New Year
    02 Lightness
    03 Title and Registration
    04 Expo '86
    05 The Sound of Settling
    06 Tiny Vessels
    07 Transatlanticism
    08 Passenger Seat
    09 Death of an Interior Decorator
    10 We Looked Like Giants
    11 A Lack of Color

    Transatlanticism Demos:

    12 The New Year (Demo)
    13 Lightness (Demo)
    14 Title and Registration (Demo)
    15 Expo '86 (Demo)
    16 The Sound of Settling (Demo)
    17 Tiny Vessels (Demo)
    18 Transatlanticism (Demo)
    19 Passenger Seat (Demo)
    20 Death of An Interior Decorator (Demo)
    21 We Looked Like Giants (Demo)
    22 A Lack of Color (Demo)


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    Back in 2009, Phoenix filmed a "Take-Away Show" for La Blogotheque on the streets of Paris, in support of that year's excellent Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Now they've reunited with the website to capture some street-level footage of performances of material from this year's Bankrupt! Their acoustic take of "Entertainment", filmed outside the Palace of Versailles at dawn, is the first in a series. The video features some rather majestic aerial shots.

    Next week, La Blogotheque will share Phoenix's performance of "Bourgeois", as well as a short film shadowing the band over the course of a few days.

    Check out a interview with Phoenix, also below, and revisit Ryan Dombal's recent interview with Phoenix and R. Kelly here.


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    Here are some new high quality candids photos of Demi Lovato arriving at LAX Airport on August 31, 2013. Demi will be attending Jimmy Fallon and Live with Kelly & Michael on September 3rd to promote X Factor Season 3.




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    Paris Hilton's first major stint as an international club DJ was a huge success! In fact, the legendary nightclub where Paris spent the past month has already signed P for 2014, TMZ has learned. Hilton has been a MAJOR draw this summer at Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza, Spain ... where she played to packed crowds on a weekly basis at the club's famous "Foam & Diamonds" parties.

    We spoke to the owner of the club who admits he was "nervous" when he first signed Hilton earlier this year -- but his fears were alleviated quickly when she stepped in to the booth ... and the crowds went insane.

    "The number of people attending kept on growing and the positive word of mouth in Ibiza was just phenomenal," the owner tells us.

    Paris flew back to L.A. on Thursday, bragging that she "killed it" -- and said her Ibiza success is already translating into tons of offers. It's unclear how much cash Paris will rake in for the 2014 gig -- but we're told it's not really about the money, Paris just wants to prove she can hang with the big boys.

    Bless! So proud of her. She did so well, and had such a #GoodTime! Can't wait for Good Time to smash, and be another cherry on top of her cupcake of happiness and success.

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    Too bad this crowd didn't get Bow Down/Diva as their opening.

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    TLC is ready to introduce its viewers to a new polygamous family. But, if you're thinking this is a redux of its hit Sister Wives reality series, you may be pleasantly surprised by the show's twist on polygamist values.

    One-hour special, My Five Wives, will premiere on September 15 at 9/8c and feature a polygamist family that left the Mormon Church in protest of its conservative beliefs, TheWrap has learned.

    Brady Williams, his five wives and their total of 24 children, live outside of Salt Lake City. They believe in all kinds of progressive ideas they don't share with the Mormon Church, including equality for everyone and a God who accepts all people.

    Shunned by their former Church brethren, the family says they are polygamous by choice and not just religious doctrine.

    The series also goes further into the family's intimate relationships than Sister Wives. Cameras are allowed in the bedrooms and the women speak openly about their schedules with Brady.


    Brady was born into the Mormon Church, but until age 16, he had never heard of polygamy. At that time, his parents converted to a faith that embraced the lifestyle. Until the age of 34, he grew as a church leader before he and his family decided to break away.

    Currently, Brady works as a project manager at his brother's construction business while also pursuing a degree in philosophy at the local college.

    Paulie (Wife #1)

    Paulie and Brady have been married for 21 years and have six children, ranging in ages from 20 to nine years old. She was raised in a polygamist family and expected Brady to have additional wives, but she is also proud of her oldest daughter, who is recently married and plans a monogamous lifestyle.

    Paulie works as a dental hygienist.

    Robyn (Wife #2)

    Robyn and Brady have been married for 20 years and have five children, ranging in ages from 19 to nine years old. Married about nine months after Paulie, Robyn also grew up in a polygamous home and expected to be a plural wife.

    Dubbed by the family as the "creative" wife, Robyn has taken a few art classes and loves making handmade gifts for her large family.

    Rosemary (Wife #3)

    Rosemary and Brady have been married for 18 years and have four children, ranging in ages from 17 to 11 years old. Rosemary used to work for the family construction business but stopped after winning a scholarship at the local college.

    She is studying for her teaching degree in music and biology and is particularly passionate about composing.

    Nonie (Wife #4)

    Nonie and Brady have been married for 15 years and have five children, ranging in ages from 14 to four years old. Nonie was living in Montana when she first met Brady, and the two had a brief long-distance courtship before they got engaged.

    She currently handles the administrative side of the family's construction business and is the only wife that works with Brady on a steady basis.

    Rhonda (Wife #5)

    Rhonda and Brady have been married for 12 years and have four kids, ranging in ages from 13 to two years old. Rhonda, who is Robyn's cousin, loves to work outside the home and is now a medical assistant. Despite their immediate bond, she confesses it still took eight years before she really felt like she belonged in the family.

    While Rhonda says there are downsides to polygamy, she loves that her kids always have other mothers around that love them.

    My Five Wives debuts on Sunday, Sept. 15. TLC is considering optioning the feature as a series depending on the success!


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    Though he turned 87 years old just a few months back, Roger Corman is showing no signs of slowing down or maturing, and we absolutely love him for that. What's next for Corman?

    Well, he's bringing one of his most popular mutant hybrid creations back, and he's pitting it in a fight to the death with a brand new monster that you'd only find in a film with the name Roger Corman attached to it. It's Sharktopus vs. Mermantula, folks, and we've got two sneak peek clips for ya below!

    From the Press Release

    Legendary filmmaker Roger Corman continues to fuel the cross-species mutant mash-up sci-fi genre with his latest feature, Sharktopus vs Mermantula.

    The production, which wrapped shooting in the Dominican Republic on August 9, features beautiful actress Catherine Oxenberg (Dynasty, Acapulco H.E.A.T., Watch Over Me) playing the shady mad scientist whose quest to create the perfect man runs afoul when her experimental drugs transform a washed-up baseball player into the hideous and hapless half-merman, half-tarantula known as Mermantula. Meanwhile, Sharktopus has returned to terrorize the Caribbean location where the scientist and her Mermantula struggle with the transformative process.

    Oxenberg’s real life husband, Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Watch Over Me) plays the affable local drunk Ray, who is engaged by a voodoo-practicing crime boss to collect a portion of Sharktopus for use in his nefarious rituals.
    Ray, grappling to retrieve a remnant of Sharktopus, gets caught up in the wild battle between Sharktopus vs. Marmantula, a disaster of monstrous proportions.

    What's your favorite terrible / drunk movie?

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    After more than 2-and-a-half years of work, on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, MGMT will release their third album self-titled MGMT. Two singles from the forthcoming album were released as a cassette tape special for Record Store Day (April 20) containing the studio cut of “Alien Days”, and earlier this month Tom Kuntz directed the releases first video, “Your Life Is A Lie.”

    If that wasn’t enough to satiate your thirst for music ranging from the occult and bizarre to pure Brooklyn-based hipsterdom, The Avant/Garde Diaries will premier a sneak peek trailer for the album directed by Jordan Fish on Wednesday, September 4, 2013. The visual showcase will highlight five new songs from the album, and promises viewers a unique, if not surreal, look into the current leanings of the band and their sound.
    If MGMT’s previous work is a foreshadowing of what’s to come, no matter how off-the-wall, it’s going to be worth a listen.

    Be sure to head over to The Avant/Garde Diaries next Wednesday to catch the premier.


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    This is a Labor Day Weekend destined for the history books.

    Earlier today, President Obama announced that he thinks the United States should pursue military intervention against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    In case you haven't followed the story, Syria is in the midst of a civil war and the President is convinced that al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his opponents, something that's against international law. Because of that, President Obama has formally asked Congress for permission to take action, but that won't happen until at least September 9th.

    While the world awaits that decision, Hollywood has already taken notice.

    Although most celebrities have taken a light hearted approach to a very difficult to deal with situation, it's refreshing to know that there is time to think of other things than movie premieres and night club brawls.


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    “This year I’ve had some of the biggest cries of my entire life,” she admits.

    In July, her “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith (whose character, Finn, impregnated Quinn in the show’s first season) died, with authorities listing the cause of death as a combination of alcohol and heroin.

    “It hasn’t completely hit in yet,” Agron says, her voice softening. “It’s one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. I don’t know how people do it over and over again throughout their lives. It just makes you take a new lease out on life and look at things a little bit differently.”

    She pauses to take a breath.

    “He was truly one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my entire life, and that’s something that everybody can say about him, you know?”

    “Glee” showrunner Ryan Murphy announced that the third episode of the upcoming season, which debuts Sept. 26, will be a tribute to Monteith and his character. Agron, who was reduced from a series regular to appear in just three episodes last season, was not asked to participate in the memorial show. In fact, the actress isn’t certain she’ll be back at all this season.

    It’s a surprise, given her formerly pivotal role.

    “Yeah,” she says coolly.

    Time to move on to bigger and better projects?

    “I think moving on might be the wrong choice of words because [“Glee”] is always going to be a part of me and with me and I would always go back,” she says. “So it’s not necessarily about a departure. It’s about what it’s imparted in me and what it’s given me.

    She says she’s still close with all her “Glee” castmates, especially after Monteith’s death. And for now, she seems content to focus on her personal life, her new adventures in “The Family” and her hopes for Hollywood success.

    But one thing’s for sure: no more cheerleading roles.

    “I always say, ‘never say never,’ ” she says, laughing. “But I truly believe I have exhausted the cheerleader that I never was.”


    What do you guys think about Ryan's decision to not include Dianna? Quinn was an important character the first season but then again they did ruin her character after she started getting movie roles.

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