A Greenwich Village historian tells us how the bohemian paradise dramatized in the Coen Brothers’ new film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ became what it is today—one of the squarest, priciest neighborhoods in New York.
The Coen Brothers’ new movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, is hardly a sunny, soft-focus nostalgia-fest. It depicts a hardscrabble week in the life of the titular folksinger—a period, sometime in the winter of 1961, during which Davis gets punched in the face by a stranger, nearly freezes, coatless, in the bitter New York cold, and has to beg everyone he knows for a sofa to sleep on. The low winter light captured by cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel is lovely, but it’s also as bleak and grey as Davis’s prospects for musical stardom.
And yet, watching the film—a terrific, often hilarious meditation on the desperate sadness of being a nearly great artist—you can’t help wishing that you too were bumming around Greenwich Village in 1961, when the cafes were full of cigarette smoke and folk songs.
Especially when you compare Llewyn Davis’s Greenwich Village to Greenwich Village today—a place where Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs seem to be competing to open the most stores on Bleecker Street and where no one who makes less than $200,000 a year can afford to live.
And 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Gets Release Date
Ratings: NBC's Sound of Music Live! Does Something Very Good. Sound of Music netted 18.5 million viewers. Wonder how many of them actually stayed for the whole thing and did not switch over to Scandal. TVLine.
Brian Is Coming Back to Family Guy. The logline for the December 15th episode reads, "Stewie devises a master plan to get the one and only thing he wants for Christmas.” Vulture
A brilliant documentary, directed by Teller of Penn & Teller fame, chronicles a 5-year quest to solve a 350-year-old mystery—and gets to the heart of what it means to be an artistic genius.
What if you could paint like Johannes Vermeer? What if everyone could? How would that transform our beliefs about artistic genius?
Tim Jenison/Sony Pictures Classics
In a fun, candid chat, Keanu Reeves spoke to Marlow Stern about his directorial debut, ‘Man of Tai Chi,’ surveillance and the NSA, Amazon delivery drones, ‘Bill & Ted 3,’ and much more.
Keanu Reeves is, to borrow a phrase from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a righteous dude.
The Canadian star of cult classics like My Own Private Idaho and Point Break as well as the blockbuster Matrix trilogy has, at the age of 49, achieved veteran status in Hollywood and as such, has ventured into filmmaking. The opening salvo was Side By Side, a documentary that Reeves produced last year about the future of filmmaking in an increasingly digitized world. And now, he’s released his feature directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, which is now available on VOD and comes out on DVD Dec. 10.
Was Carrie Underwood a good Maria? No. Was NBC’s decision to do a live staging of ‘The Sound of Music’ a good one? Maybe not. Was it fun anyway? Actually, kinda.
The poor hills. They finally come alive, only to experience a rotating flurry of emotions so dizzying it's as if the indefatigable Carrie Underwood started spinning on them at the beginning of NBC's The Sound of Music Live! and didn't stop for the entire three-hour broadcast. And, honestly, the country singer tackled her turn as Maria with such grating gusto she'd probably had done just that if she was asked to.
The experience of watching The Sound of Music Live! was a bit of an exhausting one. Not a bad one. Not a good one. But one that took energy.
‘Fruitvale Station’ star Michael B. Jordan’s name may be next to Robert Redford and Tom Hanks at the Oscars. If not, there’s always a chance he’ll be in ‘Star Wars.’
He’s come a long way from Wallace. After critically acclaimed turns in Fruitvale Station and Chronicle—not to mention his years of well regarded work on Friday Night Lights and The Wire—it seems as though 26-year-old Michael B. Jordan is the most sought after young actor in Hollywood. He’s been rumored for every major tent-pole in pre-production, from new incarnations of The Fantastic Four and Independence Day to the most coveted—and secretive—project out there: J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars. (“I can’t say anything about that. Nothing whatsoever.”)
Todd Williamson/Invision via AP
For now, we can only speculate on which superhero he’ll end up playing in 2016. Before he blows up too big, Michael B. Jordan talked to us about awards season, his acting heroes, and what exactly the year of the “Black movie” means to him.
The hip-hop mogul and Beyoncé are missing the point of successful diets—if you stay on it, it works. Why the odds are stacked against the couple in their 22-Day challenge.
Good news! Another celebrity just started a diet that he wants to tell you about!
Jay Z has let us know that he and Beyoncé are going vegan for 22 days, to celebrate his 44th birthday. Yes, that potent nexus of food, pursuit of the flat stomach, and Hollywood star-power is conspiring to educate the dim masses on how best to approach human nutrition. The logic is impeccable: If Jay Z and Bill Clinton are vegan, then it must be the right thing to do, right?
Surely America’s dietary approach could use a little tune-up, celebrity-led or not, given what a fat nation we have become. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 35.7 percent of the country is obese, leading to additional medical costs of $147 billion. Much of this bigness relates to our eating and overeating habits, though the exact role of genetic predisposition is being explored. What is certain—and let’s face it, very little is certain—is that fast foods and slow habits are a sure-fire way to pack on the pounds.
Lana Del Rey’s songs have always sounded like a groggy soundtrack to a campy art house movie, so the logical step for her was to actually make a campy 27-minute art house movie.
Lana Del Rey has been making heavier and longer and more bloated videos of her year-old songs from Born to Die: Paradise Edition as if she’s slowly releasing hostages. She’s saved her biggest victim for (hopefully?) last, a three-headed monster comprising her tunes “Body Electric,” “Gods and Monsters” and “Bel-Air,” which have been turned into a 27-minute-long short film, Tropico.
Del Rey’s songs have always sounded like a groggy soundtrack to a campy art house movie, so the logical step for her was to actually make a campy art house movie.
Well, here it is, released on Vevo Thursday. It’s directed by Anthony Mandler, who’s set to make his first feature film, Tokyo Vice, based on the book by Daily Beast contributor Jake Adelstein, with Daniel Radcliffe in the starring role.
Jennifer Grout, a 23-year-old singer from Boston, speaks no Arabic—and yet she’s become a phenomenon across the Middle East for her flawless renditions of classic songs on the spinoff series ‘Arabs Got Talent’.
Susan and Daryl Grout were in the car on a Sunday afternoon last month when their daughter, Jennifer, 5,000 miles away, emailed a link to a YouTube clip showing her flawless rendition of Um Kalthoum’s “Ba’eed ‘annuk” — “Far From You,” aptly—in perfect Arabic.
The performance floored the judges on Arabs Got Talent, which the 23-year-old Grout is now a favorite to win despite not speaking Arabic. “She’s a born performer,” Daryl Grout says of his daughter. “She can master any genre she chooses,” adds Susan.
The bizarre future world of Katniss and Peeta is an American conservative’s fantasy—a big federal government that squashes individual will.
“Remember who the real enemy is.”
It’s a pivotal line in the new Hunger Games film sequel, Catching Fire. But it might also be said of the film itself.
‘The Final Member’ chronicles the race between a womanizing nonagenarian and a well-endowed kook to get a human penis in Iceland’s Phallological Museum. Only one penis can win.
Iceland is home to many wonders. Volcanic mountains. The Blue Lagoon. Musical acts Björk, Of Monsters and Men, and Sigur Rós. Four-time “World’s Strongest Man” winner Magnús Ver Magnússon. The evil ice hockey team in D2: The Mighty Ducks.
Icelandic Phallological Museum. A collection of penises from mink whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). (commons.wikimedia.org)
It also has the distinction of hosting the world’s only penis museum.
He plays a down-and-out folk singer in Greenwich Village in the ’60s. And he’s mesmerizing. Meet Oscar Isaac, the breakout star of the Coen Brothers’ lovely new film.
Oscar Isaac could very well be nominated for an Academy Award for Inside Llewyn Davis, playing the tortured journeyman singer in the title of the Coen Brothers’ love letter to the fledgling folk revival scene in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1961—in all the romantic glamour and ugliness of the time. And he can thank the Karate Kid for that.
Being cast in a role like Llewyn was kismet for Isaac, providing an outlet for all of his passions. (Inside Llewyn Davis/Facebook)
Isaac, who has a screen presence so intense it’d be menacing were it not for the Everyman tenderness in his saucer-like brown eyes, was just 13 when he started singing and playing guitar. “I had seen that movie Crossroads with Ralph Macchio and Steve Vai, where it’s basically Karate Kid with guitars,” he tells me. “He beats the devil by playing classical music! So I was like, ‘Well, I gotta learn classical guitar.’ I went and took five months of classical guitar and got bored of that and just started playing Metallica instead.”
Lenny Cooke was supposed to be an NBA superstar. Then LeBron James hit a game-winning shot that ended the high school phenom’s career.
When Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins declare for the 2014 NBA draft, they probably won’t announce their decision at a sparsely attended press conference held at Junior’s Restaurant in downtown Brooklyn. That Lenny Cooke, the onetime number one ranked high-school basketball player in the country, announced his intention to play in the NBA in such a manner was one of many signs that, at the young age of 19, Lenny Cooke was already washed up. “I never thought it would end,” Lenny tells me of his stardom. “Then it did.”
Lenny Cooke (in white jersey)pays close attention to an important speech given by famed NBA Coach Mike Fratello at Five-Star Basketball Camp in the summer of 2001 just outside Pittsburgh, PA. (Josh Heller)
The scene is one of many poignant moments in Josh and Ben Safdie’s documentary Lenny Cooke. A title card at the beginning of the film indicates that Cooke, despite his huge high-school hype, never played a single minute in the NBA. It’s hard to watch footage of a younger, confident Lenny Cooke—he boasts, but we know where his story ends. In one scene, Cooke is asked by a reporter which NBA team he wants to play for. “Any of the lottery picks,” he says.
Benedict Cumberbatch made an appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Wednesday night, where he did a dramatic reading of the R. Kelly song “Genius” off his upcoming album, ‘Black Panties.’ It has to be seen to be believed.
We’ve already analyzed the craziest lyrics off of R. Kelly’s upcoming album Black Panties, which will be released Dec. 10. On it, there’s a song called “Marry the P**sy” that sees the R&B crooner drop the word “p**sy” a head-scratching 57 times.
But Jimmy Kimmel took things a step further. On Wednesday night, the late night host welcomed guest Benedict Cumberbatch, who is doing the publicity rounds to promote his appearance as the villainous dragon Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as musical guest R. Kelly to Jimmy Kimmel Live. And then Kimmel, the viral genius, combined the two by having Cumberbatch do a dramatic reading of the R. Kelly song “Genius”—a track off Black Panties. “I can feel your body flowers while I’m kissing on your thighs,” Cumberbatch says in his distinctive baritone voice.
You can watch the whole (hilarious) performance below, as well as Cumberbatch’s interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, below:
The celebrity chef told a court that she had dabbled with drugs but that her bullying ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, spread rumors about a daily drug habit to ‘destroy’ her.
Nigella Lawson admitted to occasionally snorting cocaine and smoking marijuana on Wednesday during an extraordinary court appearance in which she offered the first account of the notorious photograph that led to her divorce from advertizing baron Charles Saatchi.
Nigella Lawson arrives at Isleworth Crown Court in west London December 4, 2013. Lawson's two former assistants, Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo, are accused of defrauding her and her former husband Charles Saatchi out of 300,000 pounds ($484,600). (Stefan Wermuth Reuters)
The secrecy surrounding their divorce was obliterated during a testy exchange in which she claimed her former husband had been a brutal bully, who had threatened to “destroy” her before inventing the drug abuse allegations in order to salvage his own reputation.
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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.