This week in pop culture history: the Disney Renaissance begins, Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’ video shocks America, and the highest grossing comedy of all time invades theaters.
The Week in Nostalgia: November 10-16
This week in pop culture history: the Disney Renaissance begins, Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” music video shocks America’s sensibilities, and the highest grossing comedy of all time invades theatres.
November 10, 1969: Sesame Street debuts on television.
One of the most talented entertainers of our time is also one of the most elusive. Elizabeth Wurtzel on why we can never really know Bob Dylan—and why we don't need to.
He is Bob Dylan and not Robert Zimmerman.
People place a high premium on the truth when all that matters is: Was it a great story? Memory is a construct, so even non-fiction is really someone doing his best at not lying–it is non-non-non-fiction. So you have to ask: Was it fun? Was it a hell of a ride? Didn’t I blow your mind this time? Was it the kind of lie that told you the truth? Bob Dylan has been making it up as he goes along for fifty years. He has been lying the whole time and it’s all true.
Bob Dylan in Woodstock, New York, 1968. (Elliott Landy/Corbis)
When Alex Gibney began filming his documentary, 'The Armstrong Lie,' Lance was a cycling god. Then the doping scandal hit. He explains how we were all fooled.
The latest film from Alex Gibney, the investigative documentarian behind We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks and the Academy-Award winning Taxi to the Dark Side, is The Armstrong Lie. The film began in 2009 as a chronicle of Lance Armstrong's comeback Tour de France after his retirement from the sport in 2005. However, when Armstrong was banned from cycling in 2012 for using performance enhancing drugs, Gibney felt it necessary to revisit his as yet-unreleased film. The uplifting story of Armstrong became a probing look at the culture of doping in professional cycling and the fall of its biggest star. Gibney sat down with The Daily Beast to talk about his relationship with Lance Armstrong and the making of the of the biggest lie in professional sports.
The Daily Beast: This film is very much about the relationship between a documentarian and his subject. How was it being so prominent a character in your own movie?
Know what Hitchcock’s “The Birds” is based on? Thought not, but you should because Daphne Du Maurier’s original story is superior and creepier in every way.
“The novel on the cutting room floor”
They are literature’s cold cases, the Missing and Presumed Dead. They are the unlucky novels and stories that inspired movies so successful that they eclipsed the originals almost completely. Some books weather a subsequent movie’s success. Gone With the Wind survives as a classic film and a classic novel. But how many people know that before it was a movie, Die Hard was a very good novel called Nothing Lasts Forever, or that Forrest Gump is based on the novel Forrest Gump?
Jessica Tandy in The Birds, 1963. (Everett Collection)
The shape-shifting star of ‘Thor: The Dark World’ has been outed by his comic-book creator. Can audiences get down with a bisexual leading man?
In Norse mythology, Loki is a shape-shifting god who enjoys the occasional turn as a woman. The gender bender doesn’t discriminate—sometimes he’s even a female animal. In fact, Loki was once mounted by a stallion. He then gave birth to an eight-legged horse.
Tim Hiddleston as Loki in Thor: The Dark World. (Walt Disney Co.)
So when comic book writer Al Ewing, who’s working on the solo story Loki: Agent of Asgard, wrote on Tumblr recently that the character would be bisexual and that he would “shift between genders,” it wasn’t a huge surprise.
Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael, stars of the new buddy comedy ‘Ass Backwards,’ dish on their most embarrassing moments on set—from stripping to shooting their bare behinds.
In the dingy parking lot of a small Los Angeles strip mall, Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael approach the red-brick wall of Jumbo’s Clown Room, a legendary exotic dance club that once employed Courtney Love as a stripper.
It’s 5 p.m. on a Monday and the bar is nearly empty, save for a few customers drinking in the crimson glow of the small room. Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” is blasting on the speakers. Jumbo’s Clown Room, it turns out, is the perfect place to meet the actresses; they first met years ago in a clown class while attending NYU, and they have a choreographed strip scene in the new buddy comedy they wrote and starred in, Ass Backwards, out Nov. 8.
From a ‘Get Me Bodied’ dance-off in a hospital operating room to a homeless veteran’s timelapse transformation, WATCH our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.
‘Jackass’ master of ceremonies Johnny Knoxville discusses the most laugh-out-loud prank in his hit film, ‘Bad Grandpa’—the male strip club sequence—and how he grew to love his old ball sack a little too much. (Warning: NSFW!)
Now that Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is a bona fide hit, earning over $66 million at the domestic box office so far (and climbing), we felt it was the right time to unleash Johnny Knoxville’s fond memories of pulling off the movie’s most hilarious prank: the male strip club sequence.
For the uninitiated, Bad Grandpa is a combination hidden camera prank flick and narrative road comedy that centers on Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville, also co-writer), an 86-year-old curmudgeon whose wife has just passed away. When his daughter reveals she’s going to prison—at his wife’s funeral, no less—Irving is tasked with transporting his 8-year-old nephew, Billy (Jackson Nicoll), across the country to his biological father. Hilarity ensues.
It's been 10 years since the Christmas classic 'Love Actually' hit theaters. From Hugh Grant's fuss over the dancing scene to a 9/11 commemoration, here are the secrets behind the making of the movie.
And NBC wins the space race.
Tom Cruise compares acting to fighting in Afghanistan. Cruise made these comments in a deposition for a suit he filed against two tabloids that printed stories accusing him of abandoning daughter Suri following his divorce from Katie Holmes. Fox News
Alanis Morisette bringing Jagged Little Pill to Broadway. "It's like raiiiiiiiinnnnn on opening night..." Billboard
A singer goes missing in Russia’s penal system. Her husband gets news she’s in a Siberian gulag—but officials say she’s not there. Where in the world is Nadia Tolokonnikova?
On Wednesday morning, Petr Verzilov, the husband of Pussy Riot’s most famous member—Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, nicknamed Tolokno—finally heard about his missing wife. A source called him from the depths of Siberia with news that Tolokonnikova, who has disappeared without a trace in the country's prison transportation system for 18 days, was being transferred the IK-50 women's prison, a jail in the remote region of Krasnoyrak.
Member of the female punk band "Pussy Riot" Nadezhda Tolokonnikova looks out from a holding cell as she attends a court hearing to appeal for parole at the Supreme Court of Mordovia in Saransk on July 26, 2013. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters, via Landov)
For the past two weeks, Tolokonnikova has been traveling by railroad in Siberia with a special convoy by order of the Russian Corrective Administration. Neither her family nor her lawyers had any news of her exact location or where she might be headed—and how long it would take before she would arrive.
Go ahead, write M.I.A. off as a faux-radical relying on the aesthetics of revolution to sell records. ‘Matangi,’ a reclamation of the brown girl narrative, is a middle finger to you.
M.I.A. predicted the NSA scandal. Back when critics, fans, and detractors were busy lampooning her for her preference of French fries (truffle, in case you missed the Lynn Hirschberg/New York Times firestorm), the Sri Lankan-British artist was making unfounded but astute observations about the nature of government electronic surveillance. In 2010’s “The Message,” the first track on her widely panned /\/\ /\ Y /\ album, she warned us plainly: “Headbone connects to the headphones / Headphones connect to the iPhone/ iPhone connected to the Internet / Connected to the Google / Connected to the government.” And in the album’s accompanying visuals and promo cycle press, she stuck with that contention.
Yet, by her own admission, it fell flat. “I’d learned the language myself, I built the platform myself, got to a microphone myself…Then I told the story—and it didn’t translate. A lot of people were like, ‘Just make music; don’t talk about politics,’” M.I.A. explained in an interview with NPR this week.
Kamala Khan isn’t your average New Jersey teenager battling a cultural identity crisis. She has superpowers. And she’s here to smash the stereotype of young Muslim-American women.
Marvel has a comic book superhero named Kamala Khan, a Muslim teen from New Jersey. This idea is refreshing. It’s important. It reminds me of the late ‘60s film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. That was a revolutionary story about interracial marriage in America at a time when it was taboo. Like that film, Kamala will shatter taboos, too. Ms. Marvel (Kamala’s alter ego) will open the eyes of a new generation of comic book readers to the mostly unseen, unknown complexities of being a Muslim-American woman.
Kamala Khan (Marvel Comics)
During the last decade, the media has sometimes portrayed Muslims as the villains. As someone said after 9/11 “The only good Muslims are dead Muslims.” Rightwing media outlets and political opinion-formers have sometimes played a delirious role in promoting—and giving platforms—to ex-Muslims who not only hate their former religion, but advocate a “war on Islam” as if it's a singular entity and as if a war on a religion is feasible or winnable. This poisoned public space is the background against which many young Muslims are growing up.
Celebrated filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro (‘Pan’s Labyrinth’) released an eye-opening new book, ‘Cabinet of Curiosities,’ containing sketches and diary entries for his myriad projects. Del Toro opened up to Marlow Stern about his relationship with James Cameron, Justice League and Marvel projects, collaborating with Kanye, and more.
You know a Guillermo Del Toro film when you see one. It’s a dazzling mélange of ghastly creatures, ornate sets, and beauteous viscera. The work of a true artist.
Guillermo Del Toro (Nigel Beach)
Now, the Mexican auteur behind movies like Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Pacific Rim has provided a gateway into his macabre mind with the release of the tome Guillermo Del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions. The hardcover book contains never-before-seen sketches, notes, and illustrations—all of which are housed at his own personal museum, which he’s dubbed “Bleak House”—affording readers a rare glimpse into his singular cinematic process. The book also contains running commentary, and dedications by longtime pals Alfonso Cuarón and James Cameron, as well as an afterword penned by would-be collaborator Tom Cruise.
‘Frozen’ Wins Weekend Box Office
“Catching Fire” still holding strong.More
I DREAMED A DREAM
Susan Boyle: I Have Asperger’s
Call diagnosis a “relief.”More
Hilton Blames Lohan for Attack
Says she ordered friend to beat him up.More
THIS IS OUR NIGHT
Rebecca Black Releases ‘Saturday’
Plenty of twerking in video. More
Leo DiCaprio Has Candle Sex
With dominatrix in “Wolf of Wall Street.”More
Paris Hilton's Mandela Tweet Fake
It confused Mandela with MLK.More
The Daily Beast goes backstage at the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, seeing how models like Doutzen Kroes and Lily Aldridge get ready for the runway.