Whether she wins her third Oscar or not, even Meryl Streep's most impassioned advocates would be hard pressed to say the actress has been underappreciated in a season that has added an eight Golden Globe, a fifth New York critics' award, a second BAFTA and, this week, an Honorary Golden Bear from the Berlinale to her already groaning mantel. Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend the Streep presentation at Berlin -- it's indicative of how busy the festival is that I didn't even hear any reports from it until today. Accepting the award from festival juror Jake Gyllenhaal, it seems she was in typically fun form, declaring herself "overrated" and repeating her gracious Globes trick of singling out other standout female performances from 2012, this time name-checking Anna Paquin and Olivia Colman. As if we needed more reasons to love her. [24 Frames]
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"The Simpsons" airs its 500th episode this Sunday night. "At Long Last Leave," like many latter-day "Simpsons" outings, features a story we've seen variations on several times before (including in "The Simpsons Movie"), but also features many funny jokes that affirm my belief that I'm happier to live in a world that keeps giving us new "Simpsons" episodes (especially when they are occasionally as great as "Holidays of Future Passed") than I will be in the one where that inevitably stops. The couch gag in particular is marvelous, and actually made me choke up a bit.
The show has been on so long, has passed so many anniversaries, that I've run out of deep thoughts to say about the series at this latest milestone. So instead, I will borrow a suggestion from Time's Jame Poniewozik, who took the occasion of the 500th episode to both declare his own favorite "Simpsons" episode ever ("Homer's Enemy," which I've never liked) and to invite viewers to do the same.
A review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I send my daughter off to a baby leadership conference...
It seems we're entering the winter of Elena's discontent, or at the very least one hell of a romantic lull. Since she rejected Damon, he's quickly reverted back into bad guy mode, and though Stefan seems perilously close to becoming the Stefan we used to know, he's clinging to two ideas pretty fiercely -- that feelings are pain, and loving someone is just a bad idea for all involved when you're a bloodsucker. Even a minor spark with Matt never really got rekindled, so Elena is just going to have to go it alone -- as usual. It turns out having hot vampire brothers lust after you isn't so much fun after all.
So this week we have the "Godspell" challenge, which will allow the judges a chance to cackle as they toss out one of their few (maybe only) reliable rules (don't go costumey!) to make the designers, well, go costumey. Welcome to Upside Down World, where good is bad and bad is good and, well, that's kind of "Project Runway" every damn week. Remember, it's not fun unless somebody cries!
Louis C.K. came back to "Parks and Recreation" tonight, and I have a review of the episode coming up just as soon as I make mature women swoon when I play...
"Community" fans got one bit of good news today, but it wasn't THE good news we've all been hoping for, which is NBC announcing a return date for the show. And as long as "Community" and its fans remain in limbo, I'm going to mark every Thursday at 8 with a different clip exemplifying just why it is that I love and miss it.
I have no idea what Thursday (Feb. 16) night's "American Idol" is that it needs to be two hours.
When did it become necessary to spend 10 hours on Hollywood Week, "American Idol"?
Live-blogging begins after the break. It's just my way of staying sane...
Chris Brown will reportedly be the guest artist on a remix of Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake,” a very short, sexually provocative song on “Talk That Talk.”
There had been speculation that he might show up on the track after Kosine from the production unit Da Interz told MTV that the cameo on the song is “gonna shock the world.” Today, Miss Info of New York radio station Hot97 added that Brown will also be in the video. He has reportedly recorded both a singing verse and a rap verse for the elongated version of the salacious tune. We have reached out to Rihanna’s representative to try to confirm.
[More after the jump...]
Get up "on your tippy toes" or "sit down in yo' seat": Missy Elliott is back, and she can still throw down.
I was wiping my eyes like a dream-state a couple weeks ago when Timbaland said he was working with the Original Misdemeanor, and he and she would be releasing solo albums concurrently this summer. Now I'm rubbing my ears.
Busta Rhymes' "Why Stop Now" got a remix reuniting the "Look at Me Now" personnel, with Chris Brown rawr-rawring the hook, Lil Wanye batting around .200 as per usual, Busta providing evidence that his gains on age have no inverse impact on the speed with which he can spit. He's still a name that can attract a rhymer like Miss. And, oh Missy.
German trend-setters Kraftwerk have always put as much effort in their visual presentation as they have in their music, and New York's fancy MoMA is heralding the electronic group's innovations with a rare residency that will celebrate Kraftwerk's 30+ year history.
The museum is promising an "exploration of the sonic and visual experiments" of the iconic group, as they perform their entire catalogue over eight nights in the Museum's Marron Atrium. Each show will include a live performance and "3-D visualization" of one of Kraftwerk's studio albums.
With their cerebral, hypnotic live show, which eschews most human movement in favor of synchronized lights, post-modern imagery and cold, metallic electronic instruments, is well-suited for a museum setting.
The Dusseldorf group have never been known for being road warriors, and last hit the U.S. in 2008, after founding member Florian Schneider exited the band. On a personal note, seeing them at Coachella in 2004 was a revelatory experience, whereas their subsequent '08 performance at the same festival felt flat and uninspired (which may have been due to the Schneider factor, or the move from the more intimate dance tent to the massive main stage). The only original member at the NYC shows will be leader Ralf Hutter.
In typically chilly fashion, the series is called Kraftwerk Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.
"Kraftwerk is an influential force not only in music, but also in visual culture," Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA's chief curator at large, said in a release. "Through their experimentation with how images and sound are shaped by the latest recording and visualisation tools, they have anticipated the impact of technology on everyday life, and have captured the human condition in an era of rapidly changing mobility and telecommunication."
They've certainly helped inspire everyone from Daft Punk to LCD Soundsystem, David Bowie to Big Black and Coldplay to Kanye, and Kraftwerk's minimalist melodies continue to influence electronic musicians allover the Computer World.
Here are the MoMA dates:
Tuesday, April 10 – Autobahn (1974)
Wednesday, April 11 – Radio-Activity (1975)
Thursday, April 12 – Trans Europe Express (1977)
Friday, April 13 – The Man-Machine (1978)
Saturday April 14 – Computer World (1981)
Sunday, April 15 – Techno Pop (1986)
Monday, April 16 – The Mix (1991)
Tuesday, April 17 – Tour de France (2003)
Tickets - a steal at $25 - go on sale February 22. Kraftwerk will also play the Ultra Music Festival in Miami on March 23.
BERLIN - Rarely the first port of call for mainstream prestige fare or the loftiest international auteurs, the Berlinale has, after an indifferent start, started showing off the alternative depths of its programming in the last few days: one week in, I’ve seen a handful of outstanding films from directors whose presence in, say, the Cannes competition would prompt befuddled ‘who-dat?’ questioning from casual arthouse patrons, but whose actual films would pass muster in even the starriest lineup.
The Competition, inevitably spotty given the givens, has nonetheless more than lived up to the standard set last year by the likes of “A Separation” and “The Turin Horse,” even if its highlights can’t necessarily be promised the same level of crossover success. I’ve been particularly wowed by a trio of European titles – Miguel Gomes’s “Tabu,” Ursula Meier’s “Sister” and Christian Petzold’s “Barbara” – for which Thierry Fremaux would be champing at the bit if they happened to be directed instead by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the Dardenne Brothers and Michael Haneke, respectively. (I’m planning a joint piece on all three, but don’t wish to rush my thoughts on any of them.)