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 Jay Z's fiery new video for 'Holy Grail' with Justin Timberlake: Watch

Jay Z's fiery new video for 'Holy Grail' with Justin Timberlake: Watch

Brooding clip explores the fame game

Jay Z’s intense video for “Holy Grail,” Justin Timberlake, bowed today on Facebook.

The top 10 track, which extrapolates Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” is a study on fame and how corrosive and addictive it can be.

The best  scene of the video is Justin TImberlake’s interlude, which features him walking among sheet-covered furniture composed of  moving dancers.

While it’s a little hard for us common folks to sympathize with Jay Z’s complaints about fame (and even he tells himself to get off his “high horse”), the Anthony Mandler-directed clip is a visual feast that ends in upsetting crash, symbolic of the fickleness of fame.

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Go behind the scenes as Nine Inch Nails preps for 2013 tour: Watch

Go behind the scenes as Nine Inch Nails preps for 2013 tour: Watch

Do you think Trent Reznor is easy to please? Guess again...

Trent Reznor may be the face and name to Nine Inch Nails, but it’s a whole team behind him that puts together a tour, as a new Vevo behind-the-scenes feature shows.

The 13-minute movie starts 18 days before Nine Inch Nails will play its first 2013 show at the Fuji Rock Festival on July 26. The band has already been rehearsing for a few months, but there’s still lots to be done in creating the multi-media show that Reznor is known for.

Tensions escalate as the Fuji date approaches. “Trend demands, demands, demands excellence in everything,” says his Rob Sheridan, his longtime art director. “We want the best always. That  high level of expectation leads to a lot of stressful moments.”

Cut to a few minutes later, two days before the Fuji fest and an exasperated Reznor is saying to his team, “It’s all fucked up right?”  In a Come To Jesus meeting with the crew, he says, “We had it the first day. It looked fantastic. Since then, it’s looked shittier.”

Come the Fuji Rock Fest, Reznor’s wondering how the show, which features new music, a new band, and new production, will come off, especially in the pouring rain.

The U.S. leg of the Nine Inch Nails: Tension tour starts Sept. 28 in St. Paul, Minn.

Nine Inch Nails’ new album, “Hesitation Marks,” comes out Sept. 3 and is streaming on iTunes now.

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<p>Simon Pegg and Nick Frost join us this week, along with Edgar Wright, to discuss 'The World's End'</p>

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost join us this week, along with Edgar Wright, to discuss 'The World's End'

Credit: Focus Features

Edgar Wright joins the podcast to talk 'World's End' with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg

Also Colin Geddes looks back at 25 years of Midnight Madness

So maybe we can plan on doing these quarterly?

Actually, there is good news on the podcasting front. One of the benefits of HitFix having moved into office space is that it feels like we can turn things around much faster. We can react when stories are breaking. And, for the first time, I'm not the one cutting the podcast together, because our awesome editorial team is there to take the raw material and hand me back a finished podcast to publish.

It also gives us a place to record, and we can start inviting guests to join us in the studio. Just that one fact alone makes it feel like we're starting a brand-new era. I'm going to gather some interviews at Toronto while I'm up there for the festival, and when I get back, we'll be doing the first of what I hope will be a far more regular podcast. We'll have a number for you guys to call in, we'll have a schedule for when we record and when we post, and a pipeline to guarantee that me getting distracted doesn't derail the entire thing.

For example, today's podcast was recorded last Tuesday night. That's why we discuss Elmore Leonard's passing as a fresh thing. I tried to block out time to put it together all week even as I was finishing up last week's work and preparing all the work that will be published during my vacation this coming week.

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<p>Oscar Isaac and <span class="st">Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers perform at the opening night concert for the 40th Annual Telluride Film Festival on Wednesday, August 28, 20013.<br />

Oscar Isaac and Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers perform at the opening night concert for the 40th Annual Telluride Film Festival on Wednesday, August 28, 20013.

Watch: Oscar Isaac and the Punch Brothers perform 'Inside Llewyn Davis' music at Telluride

Snuck it in before a massive thunderstorm

TELLURIDE, Colo. - CBS Films helped the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival get off to a musical start by bringing in the Punch Brothers to perform at an opening night concert Wednesday night. Chris Thile and his band appear on the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' upcoming "Inside Llewyn Davis," and they played some bluegrass favorites to a nice crowd in the town park.

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Credit: AP Photo

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on a new album and the 'nervewracking' VMAs

'I didn't think we had one single on 'The Heist,' says Macklemore

LOS ANGELES—Don’t look for a new Macklemore & Ryan Lewis album anytime soon.

The pair, whose breakthrough album, “The Heist,” has spawned three radio hits and is still in the top 20 on the Billboard 200, plans to take some time to “live life” and refuel their creative tanks after they finish their current tour at the end of the year.

Speaking at the Grammy Museum here Wednesday night, Lewis admitted that the pressure to top themselves following the platinum success of “The Heist” was there, but that the duo knew it would be wrong to try to rush out a follow-up quickly —although he added the next album might not take the three years it took to make “The Heist.”

“By Christmas, we would have played 250 shows since ‘The Heist’ came out,” Lewis said. “To go straight into the studio [without a break] and think you have something to share would be wrong...If you don’t have shit to say, you don’t have shit to say.” 

Macklemore (aka Ben Haggerty) said he’s tried to write on the road, but with little success since he writes what he knows. “We’ve been traveling every day,” he says, adding that his lyrics on tour usually amount to “‘I’m on an airplane.’ No one wants to hear that song ever,” he said with a laugh.

And about those radio hits, “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “Same Love”? Macklemore says he never expected the success the pair has received at Top 40 radio. “I didn’t think we had one single on ‘The Heist’,” he said. “I didn’t think it would get radio play.”

Then when the Seattle act scored big with “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz, and the song stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 for six non-consecutive weeks, Macklemore worried that the pair would be seen as a novelty act. “I was the ‘Thrift Shop’ guy and it was scary as hell,” he says. “Then, ‘Can’t Hold Us’ relieved some of that, and with ‘Some Love,’ the fear was completely eased.”

A number of the songs on “The Heist” take on issues, whether it be “Same Love’s” warm embrace of same sex marriage or “Wings,” which stresses anti-consumerism. Macklemore said he knows it’s a fine line between making a point and preaching, and he’s careful not to cross it. “I write from experience. I try to do it from my perspective from my own life,” he said. “‘Wings’ is about anti-consumerism. I acknowledge I’m caught up in it. All of these are my issues; my means of communication is to be vulnerable.”

And he admits he felt very vulnerable as he wrote the lyrics to “Same Love.”  The line, “in third grade, I thought that I was gay” was the “scariest bars I ever put on a song, but that’s my truth. People on the internet are going to say ‘you’re a homo.’ I don’t care.” He reiterated the comment he made during his acceptance speech for Video with the Best Social Message at Sunday’s Video Music Awards that “Same Love” remains the duo’s song he is the proudest to have written.

Macklemore referred to the VMAs as a “nervewracking” experience, not because it was the pair’s first performance at a major awards show, but because he didn’t know how to win and award and give an acceptance speech. “You don’t want to mess that up,” he said, before he and Lewis gave a shout out to their publicist in the audience whom they did forget to thank from the Barclays Center stage on Sunday.

With their rising popularity, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are having the most success of any Seattle rap act since Sir Mix-A-Lot hit it big with 1992’s “Baby Got Back.” And while they hope other local hip-hop artists follow their lead, Macklemore is in no way ready to hand over the mic.

“As much as you want to pass the torch, as an MC, by nature I’m a competitive person,” he said. “It’s ego. I want to be the biggest rapper that ever came out of Seattle.”

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'Veronica Mars' creator to tackle 'Les Misérables' for Fox

"Veronica Mars" creator to tackle "Les Misérables" for Fox
Rob Thomas will use Victor Hugo's novel as inspiration for a present day show about a "brilliant lawyer."

Alyson Hannigan recalls rejecting a J.J. Abrams show

Ten years ago, when she found out "Buffy" was ending, Hannigan says she got a call from Abrams suggesting she star in his one-hour drama. But she opted not to do another drama, preferring to do a comedy. She adds: "It wasn't like 'Lost' or something. Could you imagine if I turned down 'Lost'?"

TBS' "Ground Floor" to host a "Pitch Perfect" reunion with Anna Camp
Camp will reunite with Skylar Astin and Alexis Knapp.

Jay Leno gets roasted
Watch comedian Natasha Leggero mock Leno.

"Totally Biased" kicks off on FXX with Jim Gaffigan

W. Kamau Bell then welcomes Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock.

"The Bridge" has become the anti-"Killing"
It solved the mystery of how not to ruin a murder mystery show.

David Schwimmer's neighbors spray paint "ROSS IS NOT COOL" near the actor's NYC home
The "Friends" star's neighbors are upset he tore down a townhouse built in 1852.

MTV to air a Labor Day "Yo! MTV Raps" marathon

For three days, MTV will air iconic rap show's biggest moments.

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Valerie Harper's brain cancer is 'pretty close to remission'

Valerie Harper's terminal brain cancer is "pretty close to remission"
"It defies the odds," says Harper's neuro-oncologist.

TLC to air a "My Five Wives" special
The "Sister Wives" channel is presenting a new, progressive polygamist family.

"Breaking Bad" Mexican restaurant sees surge in business
Fans of the AMC series have been requesting tableside guacamole at Garduno's.

Aziz Ansari's 3rd standup special will premiere on Netflix
The first premiered on Comedy Central and the second was offered a $5 download. His 3rd special will be Netflix's biggest standup special to date.

Paz de la Huerta wants to return to "Boardwalk Empire"
"I'm still close with the producers. Terry (exec producer Terence Winter) always says it's possible for me to come back," she says.

Check out Tatiana Maslany on the set of "Parks and Rec"

"Rescue Me's" Andrea Roth headed to DirecTV
She's joined the cast of "Rogue."

Jamie Lynn Sigler becomes a mom
The former "Sopranos" star welcomed a boy on Wednesday.

Ex-"Bachelorette" DeAnna Pappas is pregnant
She and her husband have been trying for a baby for the past year.

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<p>If it's possible for movies to change the world, I&nbsp;think you could make a strong case that 'It's A Wonderful Life' has done a pretty job of it in the 70 or so years since its release.</p>

If it's possible for movies to change the world, I think you could make a strong case that 'It's A Wonderful Life' has done a pretty job of it in the 70 or so years since its release.

Credit: Public domain

Big Question: Can movies change the world for the better?

People love to blame movies for the world's ills, so is the opposite true as well?

As you read this, I am in the final days of a week-long globe-trotting vacation with my family. Toshi and Allen and I will be hang-gliding off George Washington's nose all day.

While we enjoy that, I'd like to share the fourth of five special vacation articles, where I've reached out to a wide array of people I know to answer a different question every day. I sent out the fire questions as part of one big e-mail last week, and I asked people to send me as many of the five responses as they felt like. Some people did one, some people did a few, and several people answered all five.

I would love to hear your responses to these questions as well. When I get back to Los Angeles next weekend, I'm excited to dig in and read all the answers you guys leave, and I hope you end up enjoying this week's articles in the meantime.

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<p>Bruce Dern and&nbsp;Will Forte in &quot;Nebraska&quot;</p>

Bruce Dern and Will Forte in "Nebraska"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Telluride: Bruce Dern shines as, yes, a leading man in Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska'

A longtime character actors gets a much-deserved moment in the spotlight

TELLURIDE, Colo. - Nearly half a century ago, Marilyn Monroe confided in a young Bruce Dern an opinion of the actor passed to her by Actors Studio founder Elia Kazan, or "Gadge" as they all knew him. "He's not going to be a leading man," the famed director said, "because he'll be into his 60s before anyone knows what he's capable of."

The reasoning went that Dern was destined to be a character actor. He didn't subscribe to his buddy Jack Nicholson's ribbing "it's just acting, asshole" sentiment, but rather he preferred to inhabit a character, to be a character. He bought into Lee Strasberg's method acting approach, and indeed, went on to have a lengthy career as a dependable fixture in any number of films. But he's always been "third cowboy from the right," as Dern has put it, and with Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," which is set for a North American premiere later today at the Telluride Film Festival, he finally had an opportunity to embrace a leading man character for all it was worth.

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<p>&quot;Why Don't You Play in Hell?&quot;</p>

"Why Don't You Play in Hell?"

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Review: Sion Sono's 'Why Don't You Play in Hell?' offers carnage in the name of cinema

Aspiring midnight movie is suitably manic but lacks real feeling

VENICE -Some films are born midnight movies, some achieve midnight-movie status, and others have midnight-movie status thrust upon them. It’s the third route that is by far the least reliable or enduring: there’s nothing so antithetical to notion of cult cinema as the idea that it can be calculated and declared (or worse still, self-declared) out loud. From its ungainly, eccentric title downwards, Sion Sono’s manic postmodern bloodbath “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?” falls squarely in that category, weird and woolly and sporadically amusing as it may be.

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<p>Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson in &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' producers talk Coulson, Joss & more

How involved will Joss be? How many comic book characters will appear?
No new show this fall comes with more hype than “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” It’s a spin-off of the global blockbuster “The Avengers.” It’s the first big push into TV for the current incarnation of Marvel. And it’s co-created by a fellow named Joss Whedon, whose prior TV shows — “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and “Firefly” in particular — have made him like unto a god among certain segments of TV fandom.
Joss will not, however, be the primary showrunner on “S.H.I.E.L.D.” When asked back at press tour how involved he’ll be, Whedon candidly said, "As much as an executive producer can while he's also making a movie ("The Avengers: Age of Ultron")." The day-to-day work will fall to other producers, including TV vet (and former “Angel” producer) Jeffrey Bell, Whedon’s brother Jed Whedon and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen, both of whom worked with Joss on “Dollhouse” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”
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<p>Mia Wasikowska in &quot;Tracks.&quot;</p>

Mia Wasikowska in "Tracks."

Credit: See Saw Films

Review: Mia Wasikowska blazes a subdued trail in lovely, earthy 'Tracks'

John Curran's return to Australia kicks off the Competition on a high note

VENICE - Packing films, as one would sardines, into the snug, air-locked space of even the biggest festival always uncovers unforeseen parallels and commonalities, making happy bedfellows of works that otherwise wouldn’t have much to say to each other. With John Curran’s wonderful Australian adventure “Tracks” having just christened the Competition 24 hours after Alfonso Cuaron’s mindboggling space thriller “Gravity” opened the fest, it seems we have this year’s first pair of Lido buddies: two days in, Venice 2013 is the festival of women fighting the elements.

That’s a glib reading, of course, and one that does a disservice to both films’ subtleties, some of them also shared. With the Outback desert a pretty indomitable (not to mention indomitably pretty) presence from the outset, “Tracks” seems a woman-versus-land story only until it emerges that the land is a reflection of the woman herself.

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