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<p>Jeff Newburg and Will Butler</p>

Jeff Newburg and Will Butler

Arcade Fire's Will Butler scoring poetic new short film 'Home Burial'

Exclusive: Actor/director Jeff Newburg takes on Robert Frost

On the same day where Zach Braff launches a Kickstarter to raise $2 million for his film project, $10,000 sounds like a modest sum. That's the number actor/director Jeff Newburg's set for his short film "Home Burial," and with it comes a new score from Arcade Fire's Will Butler.

According to Newburg, the AF multi-instrumentalist will contribute "synth, keyboard-heavy" compositions to the Indiegogo crowd-funded "Home Burial," which is based on the Robert Frost poem of the same name.

"We both have a poetry background," Newburg told me of working with Butler, who performs in Arcade Fire alongside his brother Win. "Both in the band collectively and Will as an individual have been doing more film world stuff... [Will's] a huge film fan, so it's pretty natural for him and Win to want to bring in musical elements into film. Arcade Fire's already a pretty orchestral band. Will, with poetry, wanted to make some very personal music."

The full text of "Home Burial" can be read here.

In the Indiegogo description, Newburg describes his initial fascination with the story from his high school and college years, leading up to his adult life today. "As a husband, and now, a father (I swear that second part came after I had written this; I’m not so morose as to write such material when I’ve just had my first child), I’m looking forward to this particular exploration of marriage, life and grief."

Butler writes that, "The music for the short film will hopefully evoke Robert Frost--formal but conversational; embedded in the early 20th century but still relevant. Darker than you might expect. Bartok meets John Carpenter."


(Sample a demo of Butler's music for the film above.)

During our interview, Newburg called his friend Butler's own work apart from his band as "very much an exploration," as well.

"I would be surprised if suddenly there were a solo record. Mostly, it's up to this point very much an exploration for him, I think. It's like training. I've watched the influence of the stuff he does on his own on what the band's done over the last few years." (Arcade Fire is currently working on their fourth studio album.)

Should the film complete its funding to satisfaction, the shoot with co-director Matt Litwiller ("Telescope") begins early this summer. Butler will arrange the music around the shoot. The funds raised through Indiegogo won't go to the filmmakers, composer and actors; rather, to fees, insurance, period props and costumes, rentals and other logistics. They play on submitting the film to festivals.

"Short film and poetry," Newburg laughed. "Synergistically, I couldn't have found a more commercially viable product, right?"

You can contribute to the project on the "Home Burial" Indiegogo page.

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<p>Stark Sands, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake in &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis.&quot;</p>

Stark Sands, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake in "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Credit: CBS Films

Cannes Check 2013: Joel and Ethan Coen's 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

Continuing our cheat sheet for the Cannes Competition

(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 19 films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Joel and Ethan Coen with "Inside Llewyn Davis.")

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<p>&quot;American Idol&quot; Top 4</p>

"American Idol" Top 4

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Top 4: One Hit Wonders and Personal Choice Night

Amber, Angie, Candice and Kree are getting closer to the end

We're down to four on "American Idol" - Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison.

I don't have a clue what that means in terms of the upcoming elimination schedule. It confuses me. It's the sort of thing that would keep me up nights, were insomnia not already doing the job.

Wednesday (April 24) night's show will apparently feature a pair of themes -- One Hit Wonders and Personal Choice -- as well as a pair of duets. 

Click through and follow along as the magic happens.

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<p>P!nk</p>

P!nk

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

P!nk holds at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for second week

Psy's 'Gentleman' storms into the top 10

P!nk’s “Just Give Me A Reason”  featuring Nate Ruess remains atop the Billboard hot 100 for its second week, as it gains in radio play and streaming, but drops in downloads.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hold down the No. 2 and 3 slots with current single, “Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton moving 5-2 and “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz falling 2-3. It’s the first time a group has landed two songs in the top 3 since the Black Eyed Peas in 2009. Rihanna was the last solo act to do so in 2010, according to Billboard.

Bruno Mars’ former No. 1, “When I Was Your Man,” slips 3-4.

Bolstered by the Billboard Hot 100’s new chart methodology that includes YouTube streaming, Psy’s “Gentleman” soars 12-5, largely fueled by its more than 216 million YouTube views and 8.6 million streams in the U.S. Rihanna’s “Stay” slides 4-6.

Joining Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with two tunes in the top 10, Justin Timberlake is at No. 7 with  “Mirrors”  and No. 8 with “Suit & Tie,” which falls two places.

Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment” featuring Christina Aguilera moves 8-9 and Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” falls 9-19.

Next week, look for P!nk to fend off a charge from “Can’t Hold Us” and for Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” to move into the Top 10 as it bursts onto the chart at No. 20.


 

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<p>Grimes</p>

Grimes

Grimes takes aim at sexism in music in open Tumblr post

'i dont want to be infantilized because i refuse to be sexualized'

In a Tumblr post titled "I don’t want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living," Grimes is letting sexist music "industry" members, press, fans and others know that she knows when you're being sexist, rockist or biased, and to cut it the hell out.

The 4AD-signed singer saw great critical acclaim last year for her album "Visions" (and is an Immaculate Noise 2012 fave, and is fresh off of being one of HitFix's favorite performers at Coachella this month). But it appears that the "Visions" album cycle is "over," as she wrote last night, and  misogynistic comments to and at her are intolerable.

"I’m tired of men who aren’t professional or even accomplished musicians continually offering to ‘help me out’ (without being asked), as if i did this by accident and i’m gonna flounder without them. or as if the fact that I’m a woman makes me incapable of using technology," she wrote in the post. "i dont want to be infantilized because i refuse to be sexualized," she said in another line.

The list is fairly specific, on the types of comments or afflictions she's had in the past year, and perhaps refers to a point this winter when she erased her Tumblr altogether. "i dont want my words to be taken out of context," she said early on. In January February, she wrote about her fondnesses of Beyonce and Mariah Carey, as a successful female and performers. She also posted her favorite songs from 2012, for which she's got apparent grief.

"I'm sorry, but I think it's f*cking incredible that a Korean language song is the most popular thing on the planet. That's so good for humanity. PSY wrote and produced "Gangnam Style" himself and directed the video HIMSELF... I dont think it's so terrible that he's been recognized for this. It also doesn't make him evil. His art is creating a generation of kids that will grow up seeing Asian culture as being as valid as Western culture which they currently don't," she wrote then. "Racism isn't over. Sexism isn't over. The only way things actually effect social change is by hitting the audience that perpetuates these ideas. Therefore, when a deserving artist blows up its good for everybody."

In a Tumblr post directly after the initial post last night, Grimes assured listeners:

a) meeting fans is actually incredibly rewarding for me so im gonna keep doing that and if u see me on the street its like, totally fine to say hi :) 

b) i am still making music - but im gonna start working on a new album instead continuing to tour off visions...

c) ALSO - i wrote what i wrote below not to complain or make anyone sad, but because i feel like if its possible to not accept stuff i hate and live a comfortable life then i want to do it  :)  in a broader sense, ideally stereotyping of any kind is something that can eventually be overcome or at least minimized.  the fact that the response to this has been almost entirely positive is amazing and really nice and yeah.

I think that anybody who has spent time and/or their livelihood and/or their own money in creative industries will see the bias Grimes is referring to. "Popular" as inferior status... women having success by "mistake"... looks trumping opinion on output... the need to box the activism of artists as "irrelevant"... Grimes, as a young recording and touring pop artist has seen this first hand since she released "Visions" last January, and even before. You don't even need to like "Visions" to understand the validity of this venting/letter/condemnation.

May she keep this post alive and well and undeleted. She is done touring for the moment and has started work on a new album.

Read the full posts here.

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<p>Things get a little rough.</p>

Things get a little rough.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Review: Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr test Tony Stark in action-packed 'Iron Man 3'

Marvel bets big on Black and it pays off with the best stand-alone 'Iron Man' yet

"I am Iron Man."

That was Tony Stark's big announcement at the end of 2008's first film in what has become one of the biggest franchises in the world, the cornerstone of an even larger franchise called The Marvel Universe, a creative gamble that has paid off in a huge way. In that moment, Stark, personified rather than played by Robert Downey Jr., not only flipped the superhero formula on its head by revealing his identity to the world but also announced himself as the owner of the character. He's now played Stark five times on film, and there is no one who would argue that in terms of the pop consciousness, Downey is Stark and vice-versa.

In "Iron Man Three," as it's written during the closing credits, Stark finds himself genuinely tested by the Mandarin, a media-savvy terrorist, and a rival businessman who is angling to take away Pepper Potts. From that simple logline, Shane Black has spun my favorite of the standalone films about the character, including the first film. I think Jon Favreau deserves all the credit in the world for getting the entire thing off the ground, finding the right tone to play everything at, creating a credible world that has now expanded in ways that would have been unthinkable a mere five years ago.

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Watch: Alicia Keys and Maxwell steam up 'Fire We Make' video

Watch: Alicia Keys and Maxwell steam up 'Fire We Make' video

Passions rise as high as the mercury in New Orleans

Alicia Keys travels back in time to what looks like the ‘50s for her steamy video, “Fire We Make” featuring Maxwell.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey taking a tour of &quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;set.</p>

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey taking a tour of "The Office" set.

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: 'The Office' stars Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsey tour the set

Which parts of the Dunder-Mifflin office actually work?

One of the things I've always liked about the set of "The Office" is how functional it appears. The computers are all wired for internet, for instance, and the actors often talk about how they pay their bills, email friends and play games while they have to be in the background of someone else's scene. Not everything works, but if you were to find yourself in the middle of this anonymous building in Van Nuys (in the same complex that houses the show's writers and producers), you could be forgiven for mistaking it for an actual paper company branch office.

Production on this final season has already wrapped, but before everyone went home, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey filmed this video (exclusive to HitFix for a bit) providing a backstage tour of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton. The tour somehow runs out of steam before they get to the main bullpen, but the ladies stop by the restrooms, Toby's annex and the break room, providing trivia and old anecdotes along the way. Enjoy.

Only four episodes to go of this final season, with the next new one airing Thursday at 9 on NBC.

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<p>Nicole Kidman at last year's Cannes Film Festival.</p>

Nicole Kidman at last year's Cannes Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau

Kidman, Lee, Ramsay and Waltz among those joining Spielberg on Cannes jury

There are more female filmmakers on the jury than in Competition

The Cannes Film Festival waited a long time to secure Steven Spielberg as their Competition jury president, so now that they’ve finally got him, they weren’t going to give him just any motley crew of jurors to work with. The panel of eight film luminaries announced this morning is the most high-profile in recent memory, containing as it does one former Palme d’Or winner, one two-time Oscar-winning director, one two-time Oscar-winning actor, one Oscar-winning actress and two former Cannes Best Actor winners.

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<p>Luke Evans gets his hands dirty in an exclusive clip from the new WWE&nbsp;horror film 'No One Lives'</p>

Luke Evans gets his hands dirty in an exclusive clip from the new WWE horror film 'No One Lives'

Credit: WWE

An exclusive clip from WWE horror film 'No One Lives' gets nasty

One of last year's Midnight Madness films from Toronto gets ready for release

One of last year's Midnight Madness films from the Toronto Film Festival is arriving in theaters shortly, and we were asked if we wanted to premiere an exclusive clip from the movie here at HitFix.

I definitely try to see as many of the Midnight Madness selections as I can, and part of that is because I trust the taste of Colin Geddes, programmer for the section, and part of that is because these tend to be the films that speak to my film geekiest side. They often represent unlikely collisions between different genres or different styles or unexpected partnerships. Perhaps the strangest of those this year saw the WWE producing a horror film that starred Luke Evans and was directed by Ryuhei Kitamura.

Kitamura first gained attention with the swords-and-zombies film "Versus," and he famously struggled to get his adaptation of Clive Barker's "The Midnight Meat Train" the theatrical release he felt like it deserved. WWE Films has been pushing into genre fare pretty much from the moment they decided to get into filmmaking, thinking much broader than just action films.

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<p>Taissa Farmiga and Emma Watson are two of the young stars of Sofia Coppola's new film 'The Bling Ring'</p>

Taissa Farmiga and Emma Watson are two of the young stars of Sofia Coppola's new film 'The Bling Ring'

Credit: A24 Distribution

Emma Watson gets giddy about playing rich in first trailer for Coppola's 'Bling Ring'

The latest from the 'Lost In Translation' director is a fame-drunk true-life story

I understand how you might have different levels of reaction to the various films that Sofia Coppola has directed, but I don't understand at all when I hear people try to downplay her talents as a filmmaker.

As soon as "The Virgin Suicides" ended that first theatrical screening I saw back in '99, I knew I was onboard with whatever she did in the future because that was as clear a display of filmmaker's voice as I've seen in a debut film in the last twenty years. Dreamy, literate, perfectly capturing a specific age in the life of the American teen, "Virgin Suicides" lingered long after many of 1999's more hyped movies started to fade. I quite like "Lost In Translation" as well, and even if I don't love "Marie Antoinette" or "Somewhere," I think they are absolutely the films she set out to make. She has real control over tone and she's great at building spaces for her actors.

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<p>Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner in &quot;We Are What We Are.&quot;</p>

Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner in "We Are What We Are."

Credit: eOne Distribution

Cannes Directors' Fortnight lineup includes new film by Alejandro Jodorowsky

Sundance horror hit 'We Are What We Are' also makes the grade

With today's announcement of the Directors' Fortnight lineup, the slate for next month's Cannes Film Festival is officially complete. (Bar any stray late additions, of which there are usually a couple.) And the Fortnight programmers haven't made it any easier to plan one's viewing in an already stacked festival, serving up a selection rich in unexpected names and welcome genre diversions.

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