One of the callbacks critics are noting vis a vis Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" is Alan J. Pakula's 1976 political thriller "All the President's Men." Both films detail the minutiae of following a process to an end and how that end impacts the psyche of a nation, never shying away from inherent narrative bogging, unfussy in their visual vocabulary. It's no surprise, then, that cinematographer Greig Fraser, who shot "Zero Dark Thirty" for Bigelow, finds such minutiae fascinating.
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And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
On 2010’s “Animal”and its companion follow-up, “Cannibal,” Ke$ha sounded like a bratty little sister to Pink and Katy Perry. On “Warrior,” out Dec. 4, she makes her bid to push them out of the way for good and makes a case for her disposable, of-the-moment, liquor-soaked, trashy pop.
Ke$ha’s music provides the template for wanna-be party girls, who start to get itchy for the weekend around Wednesday afternoon. Just like those girls, who teeter precariously on 6-inch stilettos about to topple over outside of clubs that won’t let them in, her music feels just as precarious. It’s well-crafted in its patchwork fashion, but feels like it could fall apart at any moment and won’t be remembered in the headachy haze of Sunday morning’s hangover.
[More after the jump...]
If the New York Film Critics Circle believed they might cause a commotion with a number of their 2012 selections, they certainly succeeded in rattling the awards season boat. The NYFCC, like their Los Angeles counterparts, have rarely gone with the collective wisdom unless it’s the best picture or best director category. This year? They made sure Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” remained a centerpiece in the best picture race with honors for best actor (a very deserving Daniel Day-Lewis), best screenplay (cultural touchstone Tony Kushner) and, um, best supporting actress (Sally Field). Where they really stirred things up was by giving the season’s first major kudos to “Zero Dark Thirty" and pretty much anointing best actress and best supporting actors out of left field.
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 159: 'You Don't Know Bo,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'The Walking Dead' & more
It's a post-mortem heavy episode of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as Dan and I deal with Sunday night's episodes of "Boardwalk Empire," "The Walking Dead" and "Homeland," in addition to reviewing the latest "30 for 30" documentary and answering a bunch of mail.
If you're a fan of "Revenge," you know that (spoilers!) Jack is finally figuring out his great new business partners aren't so great, Ashley is out, Marco appears to be in and Daniel has become a more ruthless ass than his own father, which is saying something. If you're not a fan of "Revenge," it's hardly worth explaining the plot. Not only will the twists and turns possibly make your head explode, reading them laid out in cold, hard print will probably make you either cackle, roll your eyes, gag or all three. No one ever said this melodrama about one young woman's quest to avenge her father's death and bring down a mysterious entity called The Initiative (yes, laugh) made a lot of sense. So why is it so darn addictive?
More good timing as the Academy has announced its shortlist of 15 advancing titles in the Best Documentary Feature race after Anne and I discussed the field at length on the podcast Friday. And it naturally figures that most of the films we talked about were not passed through.
The biggest omission to my eyes is "The Queen of Versailles," one of the best films of the year -- doc or narrative -- period. Maybe they didn't like that filmmaker Lauren Greenfield lucked into her story, but that film is of the moment and vital as all hell. Alas, this is to be expected. Great stuff is so often skipped over, and it appears the new rules and regs did little to alter that course.
Also left off the list: "West of Memphis," which is just a travesty. I get worked up every year on this shortlist and I'll try not to now, but Amy Berg's film is a monument. Ditto "The Central Park Five," which just won the New York Film Critics Circle prize for non-fiction film this morning and now has to deal with this.
Arcade Fire are definitely on track to releasing new music in the coming year, especially since they're previewing even more of it at secret shows.
The Montreal-based rock crew performed a tiny show in their hometown this weekend according to fan site Arcade Fire Tube, and apparently the tunes are dance-worthy, if at the least upbeat. Only around 100 people were present for the show. The group were billed under the name Les Identiks.
So where's the blurry live video with some loud dude talking over the sound of the bar's clinking glasses? All those clued in to the performances swore to a no-phone, no-video, no-photo and no-recording policy.
Arcade Fire played a new song "Crucified Again" at a benefit show earlier this fall, you can see that here. Because those guys didn't have the same policy.
Arcade Fire's last album "The Suburbs" was released in August 2010.
Last year, the New York Film Critics' Circle rather set the pace for the season by handing their two top awards to “The Artist.” (They also set eventual Best Actress Oscar winner Meryl Streep on her way.) This year, however, they're more likely to mix the conversation up in a few crucial areas. Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor got a fresh injection in lieu of frontrunner rallying, while the group's selection of Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" in the Best Picture and Best Director categories puts it at the top of the Oscar heap.
Check out the full list of winners below and remember to keep track of all the goings on throughout the season at The Circuit.
Christmas brings with it mistletoe, egg nog, elves, Santa, and, for the last six years, a charity single from The Killers.
The Las Vegas-based group revealed its seven annual stocking stuffer, “I Feel It In My Bones,” over the weekend on Rollingstone.com. In the retro, ringing, ‘80s guitar-driven rocker, Brandon Flowers is writing his annual letter to Santa, and their relationship has been, to put it bluntly, a little rocky. Santa still thinks he’s been a little more naughty than nice and it’s going to take a lot of convincing to talk him out of delivering a lump of coal.
“Hey Kringle, you mean to say when you were young, it never got wild,” Flowers calls out to Santa, who’s having none of it and has decided to make an example out of this bad boy.
Amid the ringing sleigh bells and hollow-sounding “Ho, ho, ho,” this Santa has one heck of a sinister laugh going on that would even give the Grinch the willies.
The band’s drummer, Ronnie Vannucci, told NME that the song is a “reworking” of a demo from “Battle Born” writing sessions. "This song was basically started a while back and we just finished it and changed it into more of a Christmas song. It was mixed by Alan Moulder, he did it when we were over in the UK a couple of weeks ago."
The big-hearted (if not-big boned) rockers will donate all proceeds from the sale of the song to (RED), which fights the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. It will be available starting Dec. 4 on iTunes. A video, shot in both the U.K. and Las Vegas, will be released shortly.
Hear the track here.
The nominations for the 40th annual Annie Awards were announced today, and Disney had to be all smiles with 27 nominations across four feature films in play. And it was "Brave" and "Wreck-It Ralph" from that stable that led the pack, along with DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians," with 10 nominations apiece.
Earlier today we launched this season's edition of The Circuit, which will track the ups and downs of the precursor circuit from the critics awards to the guild announcements all the way through the Oscars and more. But things will get serious later this afternoon as the New York Film Critics Circle sits down to hold its annual vote.
The job of the critics this time of year is to be honest about their view of quality, yes, but also to stand up for titles and individuals lost in the shuffle. Sometimes those calls line up with Oscar, sometimes not, but the road begins to get paved with these announcements. And the narrowing process -- particularly in a shortened phase one window -- is crucial.