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KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic - I don’t why it didn’t occur to me that a film festival located high in the Czech mountains in the middle of summer would be on the warm side, but it didn’t – it’s been a humid few days of filmgoing here at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, even when some films haven’t packed much heat. Handily enough, the air conditioning throughout the festival center apparently chose this weekend to go on the blink, introducing a sauna-like atmosphere to certain screening rooms that, in the words of a glass-half-full Czech critic I overheard yesterday, “intensifies the experience.”
The experience was only moderately de-intensified this evening with an electrical storm that did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the numerous al fresco beer drinkers at this cheerfully youth-populated festival. “The weather here is Karlovy Varied,” remarked a British writer-director, who’d probably rather not be credited with that line, as we joined them. The festival itself may want to reappropriate it for advertising purposes. My viewing list from the last two days has been nothing if not Karlovy varied: it spans, among others, a blissful big-screen return visit to Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Le Samouraï,” a Finnish-Portuguese western inspired by the work of Henry David Thoreau and an erotic Dutch character study understandably – if not quite accurately – described by several critics as a female-focused “Shame.”
Adam Lambert opened his first of four dates as frontman for Queen Saturday in Kiev, Ukraine and you can watch the full two-hour set below.
Yes, it’s as big, glam, and over the top as you’d expect.
[More after the jump...]
Just in time for 4th of July, Florence + The Machine deliver a video that feels a bit like a celebration of the U.S.
The gauzy clip for “Breaking Down” unspools like old home movies: a mixture of scenes shot on the road and stock footage. It opens as a patriotic pinwheel (note to self: go buy Sparklers) spins over a Los Angeles road sign. What follows is Florence Welch hanging out in a pool circa a ‘60s housewife. We travel to New Orleans and Las Vegas as the tune (the most mainstream track on “Ceremonials”) plays on. Our travels bring us back to Los Angeles and the Hollywood Bowl.
[More after the jump...]
Chris Brown is coming off his Grammy win for best R&B album for “F.A.M.E.” Now he’s going for the second half of the equation with “Fortune,” out July 3. And if Brown's words at Sunday night's BET Awards are true, it will be his last record.
Okay, we're almost at the finish line with this year's Emmy project. Completed Emmy ballots were due last Thursday, but that's not going to keep Dan and I from hitting the top two categories with our usual split: I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider shows that didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign one to a more suitable or easier category.
Today we're doing Outstanding Comedy Series. Dan's predictions are here, and my picks are coming right up...
“American Idol” Season 11 runner up Jessica Sanchez has signed with Interscope Records. Her album is due in October.
Interscope, which has the first right of refusal on signing the “American Idol” finalists, will take the 16-year old in a more “urban flavor,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
HBO has renewed "True Blood" and "The Newsroom."
For a while there, HBO was like clockwork with its renewals, ordering new seasons of shows on the Tuesday after their premieres. But they've gotten out of that practice lately: "Enlightened" had to wait til the end of its season to get the good news, while "Girls" and "Veep" were a few weeks into their respective seasons when it happened.
As Billy Corgan said in our recent interview, Smashing Pumpkins are never, ever going to be an “Oldies act.” This week, it was laid bare that at least 54,000 album buyers know that the rock troupe is still alive and releasing new material, with the latest set “Oceania.” Radio continues to serve as a good reminder of the Pumpkins’ past.
"I've had a sh*t day..." No kidding, Pink. The pop singer kisses off an ex- with "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" in this newly "leaked" and curse-laden single.
I honestly can't wait to hear the clean radio version of this song, because it's rounding out to be as sailor-mouthed as a Nicki Minaj BET Awards performance. "I think you’re full of sh*t, my head is spinning so blow me one last kiss,” she sings in the weirdly warpy, shrill chorus. She complains of the fighting and her old lover's "whiskey d*ck" issue in a know-what-I'm-saying-ladies? moment.
It's got the guitar march and tempo similar to that of Modest Mouse's "Float On," but the bile takes on a Queen vibe for the refrain. And I'm confused. I generally love Pink, as a rule, but the hook doesn't have me convinced this time.
Pink announced "Blow Me" and her new as-yet-untitled album in the middle of last month, pegging the single's arrival to be around July 9. Looks like waiting a week was a little too long, though no official Tweet or website post has gone out announcing the early arrival. So maybe it is a leak, if anyone cares.
UPDATE: Pink has now officially sent out the stream, and it will be up for sale starting tomorrow via iTunes, July 3. Cover updated. The People obviously hate waiting.
If physical media is dead, why does this fall look so good on Blu-ray?
I hate the way the industry is rushing to try to convince people that they don't need physical media anymore because of the magic of streaming video, especially since they just finished trying to convince everyone that they needed to upgrade to Blu-ray. The reason the market is weaker than it was at the height of the DVD craze is because the studios are confusing consumers with mixed messages, and they still haven't managed to convince the general consumer that they need to upgrade simply for sound and picture reasons.
Even so, I think the rush to pronounce the format obsolete is premature. I remember Hercules The Strong getting angry at me for calling HD-DVD and Blu-ray "Laserdisc 2000," basically accusing it of being little more than a niche market. Don't get me wrong… I loved laserdisc, and I didn't mind that it was aimed more at the film freak than the casual viewer, but now it feels like it's not enough for the format to cater directly to the dedicated collector. Either it becomes the cash cow that DVD was for a few years, or the industry is going to get impatient and kill it.
There was a high probability of showers (of tears) during the 2012 BET Awards, during the tribute for Whitney Houston. And the late singer got 'em, with presentations and performances from a round-up of Mariah Carey, Brandy, Monica, Chaka Khan and Whitney's mother, Cissy Houston.
Carey stepped out in a surprise appearance at the ceremony, recounting how she and Houston were rumored to be in a "rivalry" throughout their career. Carey kept it classy, speaking of the last time they lunched together. And then came the crying. Monica Brown -- aka Monica -- and her previously so-called rival Brandy then came out, the former taking on gospel-drenched "I Love the Lord" and the latter killing it on "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
Then everybody went, "Oh, yeah, Gary Houston."
And then there was Cissy Houston. Houston's mother, who was influential and essential to Whitney's rise, development and cadence in fame, has maintained a strong presence in the media since Houston's passing in February. Since that time, Cissy announced she was releasing new gospel tunes (four of them, in May) and that she was writing a memoir about Whitney's "true story," That book will arrive next February, undoubtedly close to Whitney's death-date.