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The AMPAS is set to honor Gene Kelly, the icon of the golden age of the elaborate Hollywood musical, in a two-night celebration hosted by his widow, Patricia Ward Kelly. The event will feature film clips, personal remembrances and a look at the radical impact Kelly had on the way dance was filmed.
Kelly's on-screen presence as a singer/dancer and behind-the-scenes work as a director and choreographer altered how musical numbers were conceived and executed both in his day and beyond. He is remembered for his indelible self-directed performances in films such as "An American in Paris" and "Singin’ in the Rain," and his innovative use of settings such as rain-soaked sidewalks and props ranging from umbrellas to mops to sheets of newspaper and roller skates invigorated the expansive musicals of the day.
Kelly was buoyant, muscular and full of vibrant charm. He was the quintessential 1950s archetype of what the United States wanted people outside and inside its boundaries to believe Americans were: attractive, confident and good-natured, with a witty sense of play.
"It's been an incredible season!"
At least that's what Carson Daly tells us to kick off the final performance night of "The Voice" season two. And if you can't trust Carson, who can you trust?
For the first time this season the audience has full control -- the coaches can't save or eliminate anyone -- so it will be the biggest test yet of the show's voting pool. From classic rock (Juliet) to pop rock (Tony), RnB uplift (Jermaine) to classical uplift (Chris), a choice must be made. Who will it be?
The director: Sergei Loznitsa (Belarusian, 47 years old)
The talent: Amid a sea of unfamiliar actors -- some of them Russian workhorses, but many of them first-timers -- two names stand out, though both of them are in supporting roles. Romanian actor Vlad Ivanov made a striking impression (and scooped an LA Critics' award) as the surly abortionist in "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"; veteran Russian actress Nadezhda Markina's stunning turn in the title role of "Elena" earned a European Film Award nod last year, and will hit US screens next week.
As on his last film (and first narrative feature) "My Joy," Loznitsa wrote the script, while that film's editor Danielius Kokanauskis, production designer Kirill Shuvalov and cinematographer Oleg Mutu are all on board. Mutu, in particular, is a name to note: he's been a key figure in the recent Romanian new wave, having shot "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu," "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" (which he also produced) and "Tales From the Golden Age." This is one of two Competition credits for him this year: he also lensed Cristian Mungiu's latest, "Beyond the Hills."
Little by little, Animal Collective is making new noise.
Beastie Boy Adam Yauch’s bandmate, Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock), took to the band’s website Sunday night to comment about the passing of his friend. Yauch (aka MCA) died May 4 from cancer at 47.
“As you can imagine, shit is just fkd up right now,” Horovitz write, “But I wanna say thank you to all our friends and family (which are kinda one in the same) for all the love and support. I’m glad to know that all the love that Yauch has put out into the world is coming right back at him. Thank you.”
[More after the jump...]
Nicki Minaj is the latest in a long line of musical acts to sign on to shill soda. Her Pepsi commercial bowed Monday morning and, in a word we never thought we’d use in association with Minaj, it is boring.
The extended version follows a young couple, who, upon opening a can of Pepsi, find themselves very alive in a sea of other people frozen in mid-activity, whether they be mid-skateboarding, mid-volleyball game, or, oddly, mid-tomato fight. There are also 30- and 60-second versions, in addition to this 90-second cut.
They go to the beach, walk the runway as part of a Betsey Johnson fashion show (clearly before Johnson filed for bankruptcy) and, ultimately to a Minaj concert, all while a remix of “Moment 4 Life” plays. They open up another can and unfreeze Minaj, whom we see performing the song in concert, and, thank goodness, the tomato fighters.
[More after the jump...]
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Death Grips, who are in the throes of some mighty critical praise for new album “The Money Store,” have abruptly cancelled all upcoming tour dates in order to focus on its next album “No Love.”
The group broke the news via Facebook and Twitter over the weekend, simply stating, “We are dropping out to complete our next album ‘No Love.’ See you when it's done. (there are no longer any scheduled shows).” And they meant immediately: The Sacramento-based industrial hip-hop group didn’t show up for its gig Saturday night at the Sacramento Electronic Music Festival.
Death Grips, who signed with Epic Records after a number of labels pursued them was one of the highlights of the Coachella festival.
It looks as though that band cancelled the dates without telling some of the venues. Brooklyn’s Music Hall tweeted after the Death Grip’s cancelled via FB that it was still waiting on official word about the cancellation of its June 13 show. It later confirmed that it was now offering refunded.
The tour was slated to start May 5 in Sacramento and run through June 21 in Minneapolis, with some European dates in the middle. Death Grips was also on the bill for New Jersey's All Tomorrow's Parties festival on Sept. 23.
It’s a highly unorthodox move for a band to cancel a tour, on the eve of the first date, to hang in the studio, especially one that has fans clamoring to hear what all the buzz is about. While some fans on Facebook were sympathetic in their comments, others blasted the band for lack of professionalism. We have to say, guys, even a “We’re sorry,” may have helped ease the pain. The Facebook comment seems to be the only one forthcoming from the band as there has been no official confirmation or statement from either the band's independent publicist or label.
“No Love” is slated for a fall release.
It's hard to believe that the summer of 1982 is already upon us.
Oh, sure, it happened 30 years ago, but what I'm talking about is the Alamo Drafthouse celebration of what I consider the best genre summer of all time. This week, they're warming up with a Tuesday booking for the great sleazy "Vice Squad," and then the party starts in earnest with "Conan The Barbarian" this Friday.
HitFix is pleased to co-present this first weekend's movie, and as part of that, we've got a very special premiere for you today of Mondo's special poster that they've put together for the event. Believe me when I say to you, there are very few things that are going to make me this happy this year.
Unlike "Blade Runner" or "The Thing," two films that have become critical hits in the 30 years since their release, "Conan The Barbarian" is still dismissed by many, and that drives me crazy. I think it's a genuinely great film, and while it's not exactly my interpretation of Robert E. Howard's dark and strange pulp stories about the sword-bearing Cimmerian, I love what John Milius did with it. It's one of my favorite performances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, too, and I think he benefits enormously from Sandahl Bergman's work in the film. She makes him more soulful simply because of how she plays against him.
Next week will be crazy for the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast due to the broadcast network upfronts, so we tried to prepare both ourselves and our listeners this week with 40+ minutes of speculation on which bubble shows will survive and which are doomed. Also, we found a bit of time to review USA's "Common Law," look back on the unlikely success of "Desperate Housewives," and, as usual, chat about last night's "Mad Men."
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has announced today that it will be reversing a long-standing policy outlawing the issuance of "for your consideration" screeners to its membership. The change will go into effect this awards season.
Said DGA president Taylor Hackford via press release, "There's nothing better than watching a movie on the big screen, exactly as the director intended. But it's not always possible for our members to get to the theater to see every film in awards contention."
The guild's former policy was in place because it believed films sent out on DVD "could have an advantage over films that are not able to be sent out due to limited marketing budgets or other financial constraints of studios and distributors." Noble, but out-dated. And given the down-the-middle voting habits of the membership as of late, it doesn't seem to have done much for the little guys anyway.