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Given Dan's travels last week, and the amount of stuff he would have to catch up on his DVR upon returning, we weren't sure if we'd be able to record a Firewall & Iceberg Podcast today, or if we'd have to wait until later in the week. But late last night, we figured out a compromise: a two-podcast week!
So today we kept it simple — but very long — by talking briefly about Sundance's "Push Girls" before doing extended segments on the end of "Game of Thrones" season 2 and last night's "Mad Men," and we'll be back later in the week to talk about "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "True Blood" and more.
The second full day of the Cannes Film Festival was also the first day of the rain that marred much of the event this year. I was unprepared for it, and so when I hurried from the 8:30 AM screening of "Reality" to the beachfront location where I was set to conduct my "Moonrise Kingdom" interviews, I was just barely ahead of an ominous cloud front and the first few strangled bursts of precipitation.
Because of the weather, everyone found themselves inside, waiting for the interviews, doing their best to stay dry. I sat down at a table with James Rocchi, both of us working to write up "Reality" as we prepared for our time with the cast and with Anderson. While we were sitting there working, Jason Schwartzman walked in. They told him he'd have a half-hour until they needed him, so he dropped into a chair at the same table as Rocchi and me and just started chatting movies.
One of the things I've noticed about Schwartzman over the years is that he is ridiculously approachable, and he has a genuine curiosity about what other people think of things. He wanted to hear about movies Rocchi and I had been seeing, and about what we were looking forward to, and then he and James moved on to a conversation about the Canadian band Sloan. By the time they called him away to start his interviews, it had been almost the full half-hour, and it flew by.
UPDATE (6/6): Well, GKIDS just announced another acquisition, this one with an expressly intended Oscar qualification release noted: "From Up on Poppy Hill." Add that one to the fire.
EARLIER: I'm asked daily at this point so I guess I'll just say, yes, predictions are coming. By the end of the month.
One of the things I start doing around this time of year, in preparation for that package, is suss out the animated feature category as best I can. Things change often with this field as we're always focused on the magic number of qualifying contenders necessary for five nominees (16), and even that can offer surprises as this film or that fails to submit paperwork, or this or that pops up as a sudden fringe possibility.
Last year there were three such possibilities, all of them from scrappy indie GKIDS. The distributor landed its first (surprise) nomination in the field back in 2009 for "The Secret of Kells" and muscled in with two showings last year for "A Cat in Paris" and "Chico & Rita." This year, once again, GKIDS has a few options.
Sometimes we need to listen to songs that make us happy when we are breaking up. Sometimes we need to hear tunes that are about breakups during our breakups. Fiona Apple's new track "Werewolf" is a song you should put on in the instances of the latter.
The track is fairly minimal -- with Apple' s voice and a big, breathy grand piano -- but it's a little found-sound sample that gives this heart-wringer more life. The sound of children playing rattles over the melody as Apple admits that the best way she and her ex-lover can help each other is to "avoid each other." She has a sense of humor about the whole thing, even with the drooping submission of her manic voice. It's an odd track, stirring in how plain-spoken a bust-up can be.
This week's episode was neatly divided into two halves, each dealing with a gay sibling of one of the housewives. Caroline's brother Jamie plans to marry his partner Rich (why do all the men have the same names on this show??), and Kathy's sister Rosie comes out to her niece and nephew.
Meanwhile, tensions between Caroline and Teresa remained on simmer, but Caroline declared herself a ticking time bomb...
JAMES BOND 007 DECLASSIFIED
File #5: "You Only Live Twice"
This series will trace the cinema history of James Bond, while also examining Ian Fleming's original novels as source material and examining how faithful (or not) the films have been to his work.
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Screenplay by Roald Dahl
Produced by Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli
CHARACTERS / CAST
James Bond / Sean Connery
Ernst Stavro Blofeld / Donald Pleasance
Aki / Akiko Wakabayashi
Kissy Suzuki / Mie Hama
Tiger Tanaka / Tetsuro Tanba
Mr. Osato / Teru Shimada
Helga Brandt / Karin Dor
"M" / Bernard Lee
"Q" / Desmond Llewelyn
Moneypenny / Lois Maxwell
Henderson / Charles Gray
Ling / Tsai Chin
The orchestration of the sting is very different this time out, and I really dig the stop and fire this time.
When you're a rock star, you can probably make demands like, "I want to be a ninja in my next music video, but I don't want to change out of my tennis shoes."
If I were Chris Martin, that's what I'd do too. The Coldplay frontman fights many enemies and even Rihanna, who puts the "ire" in "desire" for the band's "Princess of China" single. The stylish video allows for the pop stars to get their "Crouching Tiger" on, with the Bajan singer having the added benefit of an unbelievable geisha get-up and a gorgeous fainting couch.
The two oscillate between admiring and dueling each other, finishing off their romance with a sad embrace in the end. Speaking of romance, check out Martin getting his "Bad Romance" on circa 3:16, all Yuri Bradac-ing the crap out of that chair. Yes, Chris, her dance is stunning and in slow-motion.
"Girls" is apparently big enough in the UK that The Guardian hosts weekly chats about each episode the following day, and they've invited me to be one of two guests (along with Nona Willis from GOOD) for this week's chat about "Weirdos Need Boyfriends Too" (which I reviewed here). The chat will be today at 2 p.m. Eastern, and being done with CoveritLive, and if I've done my HTML coding properly (always a big if), you should be able to follow and participate in the chat right here on this blog entry. (And if not, follow the first link back to The Guardian's page.)
The business model in American television dictates that most shows run for as long as they continue to be profitable. Even a place like HBO isn't immune to that way of thinking, as then-network boss Chris Albrecht kept backing up dump trucks full of money to David Chase's house for more "Sopranos" episodes when even Chase wasn't sure how long he wanted the show to continue.
A review of last night's "Game of Thrones" season finale coming up just as soon as I have questions for wise men with skinny arms...