Some viewers have taken notice of a particularly gruesome scene in the new ‘Catching Fire,’ but why should a movie about kids killing kids be sugarcoated?
A gruesome whipping scene is about to unfold. You half expect—and hope—that it will just be heard and won’t be shown. The tormentor stands above the victim, who’s cowering and bracing for the lash. But the whip flies through the air and, no luck, the camera lingers on the mangled back. We see torn skin. Blood drips from the whip.
The scene is not from 12 Years a Slave, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The film, which cradles a PG-13 rating despite being about kids killing kids, isn’t very violent. The camera turns away before heads are smashed; bloodthirsty baboons snarl but are never seen ripping into a jugular. Yet in this brutal scene where Gale is whipped, we witness the violent act. For the first time in the franchise there’s a palpable sense of terror, elevating the sequel above the usual glossy thrills of a popcorn blockbuster.
As World War II loomed and the Great Depression left its mark, two great songwriters, Irving Berlin and Woody Guthrie, composed anthems that echo today. A new book charts their birth.
In the early winter of 1940, 27-year-old Woody Guthrie made his way from Pampas, Texas, to New York City, ready to break into an arts scene that would be attuned to his left-wing politics. During the long journey, he must have heard Kate Smith’s recording of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” which had been out for just over a year, over and over again; the song irritated him, like a grain of sand working a pearl inside an oyster shell. One February night, in a midtown Manhattan hotel, he began drafting a response. The first lines are instantly familiar—“This land is your land, this land is my land”—but his original final line was much different: “God blessed America for me.”
Songwriter and music critic John Shaw’s This Land That I Love juxtaposes “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land,” the two songs that became the United States’ last truly popular if unofficial national anthems. (Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” comes close, he concedes, but it doesn’t have quite the same degree of ubiquity—perhaps because it hasn’t been consistently absorbed into the elementary school songbook.) Surfing through Guthrie and Berlin’s biographies, Shaw reveals how the nation’s most famous composer and a struggling folk singer distilled their love for America into music.
Musicians make an average of $23.40 for every $1,000 in record sales. Take a look inside the music industry with the Coen Brothers’ latest film.
The comedic virtuoso tells The Daily Beast that no one would give him dramatic roles—so he made ‘Philomena,’ opposite Dame Judi Dench.
In the U.K., Steve Coogan is famous for many things.
Over the last 22 years, Coogan has portrayed the insecure, egotistical, incompetent regional media personality Alan Partridge in countless series and specials and even a recent feature-length film. He has appeared on the BBC as an array of different characters: unemployed Mancunian wastrel Paul Calf; Portugese Eurovision song contest winner Tony Ferrino; historical diarist Samuel Pepys. He’s made a string of excellent movies—24 Hour Party People, A Cock and Bull Story, The Trip—with director Michael Winterbottom. He has dated some models. He has done some drugs. He has encountered some lap dancers. And he has been hounded and even hacked by the press because of it, a practice he publicly decried during the News of the World scandal in 2011.
British actor Steve Coogan arrives for the screening of Philomena, as part of the 57th BFI London Film Festival, at a central London cinema, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013. (Joel Ryan/AP)
Chef Giada De Laurentiis nearly sliced off her finger this week while attempting to carve a turkey. From Julia Child to Rachael Ray, watch other chefs’ culinary crises play out on TV.
1. No, That’s Not Cranberry Sauce…
Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis chopped off part of her index finger while attempting to carve a turkey during Thanksgiving Live, the Food Network’s annual two-hour broadcast complete with live-cooking, live-tweeting, and—this year—live-severing of human body parts. The bloody mishap occurred during a commercial break, so viewers didn’t see the sumptuous Italian chef wince or curse, though she pursed her lips afterwards, as though willing herself not to vomit, before being whisked offstage. She later posted a picture of the damage on Instagram and, in typical Food Network fashion, gave tips on how to handle a similar situation at home.
2. A Pinch of Pepper…Over the Shoulder
There were constant reminders of Egypt’s chaos at the sixth annual International Women's Film Festival, but honorees and audiences remained undaunted.
There were constant reminders of Egypt’s volatile political situation throughout the sixth Cairo International Women’s Film Festival. The entrance to Falaki Theatre, which hosted many of the festival’s screenings and its closing ceremony, is unmarked, well secured and directly in front of a high concrete wall abruptly blocking the road—one of many erected by security forces in downtown Cairo to restrict access by protesters to various government buildings and foreign embassies.
Other films were shown at the American University in Cairo buildings directly off Mohammed Mahmoud street, a thoroughfare which links Tahrir Square to the Interior Ministry and has been the site of numerous protests and clashes over the past three years. Walls of the schools, shops and burnt-out buildings along its route are adorned with murals and graffiti illustrating Egypt's revolutionary history.
Almost inevitably, events intruded onto the festival’s operations more directly, too. Demonstrations held to mark the two-year anniversary of the deaths of more than 40 protesters at the hands of security forces on November 19th, 2011, shut down the university campus for a day and put its venues out of action.
In August, Horowitz became an Internet sensation when his Bar Mitzvah performance went viral. Now the 13-year-old is back, sharing his favorite looks for the holiday season.
In August, Sam Horowitz became a YouTube sensation when his epic Bar Mitzvah performance went viral, taking the internet by a storm complete with Burlesque dancers and glitter. He descended onto the stage from the ceiling in an all-white ensemble, joining a slew of professional dancers for a choreographed number to Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again.”
If there's anything the Texas-native loves as much as dance and entertaining—he's been performing since he was three years old—it's fashion. At the ripe age of 13, Sam is the go-to style consultant for his family and friends, mixing high and low fashion, always accessorizing on point, and even attending New York Fashion Week. To celebrate Hanukkah, Sam curated eight of his favorite looks for The Daily Beast. From a purple velvet jacket over a similarly colored button-down, to his go-to shoes of the season—black leather boots with hot pink lining—see what Sam is wearing this holiday season.
And 'Doctor Who' is more popular than 'Catching Fire'
The star of Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy,’ a remake of the Korean cult classic of the same name, dishes on how he prepared for an ‘insane’ part.
Josh Brolin has played plenty of tough guys before: the Vietnam vet Llewelyn Moss, who takes on a psychopathic killer in No Country For Old Men; corrupt detective Nick Trupo in American Gangster; bounty hunter Jonah Hex in Jonah Hex.
But nothing has really prepared him for his latest role, where he plays the toughest and most troubled lead in his career. In Spike Lee’s Oldboy, a remake of the Korean cult film of the same name by Park Chan-wook, Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a man who vows revenge after he is mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years. In it, he foregoes a stunt double and suits up for scene after scene of brutal fights. But the part was also emotionally draining, too, as he had to play a man who pretty much lost his mind.
Watch a clip of The Daily Beast’s interview with Brolin, who dishes on why he needed to quit smoking for the part, and how many times he’s seen the original.
Don’t be stressed by the oversized buffet of options. Here’s a helpful guide to the TV specials and marathons worth sampling over Thanksgiving weekend.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’re going to eat too much and drink too much and ask relatives prying questions and shop like animals and most importantly sit in front of the TV for hours, nay, days on end and it’s not just acceptable, it’s expected.
©1973 United Feature Syndicate Inc./CBS
Yet distressingly, the buffet of TV viewing options offered over Thanksgiving weekend is as wide and varied as that of the grandest Thanksgiving feast, presenting an anxiety-inducing series of issues: What to watch? For how long? Where to find it? The myriad of options…it’s all too much.
The ’90s icon plays a leather-clad drug-moll in the new meth-head action film ‘Homefront,’ written by Sylvester Stallone.
Winona Ryder is whispering to me.
I have just stepped inside an anonymous suite on the 15th floor of the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, which has been overtaken by the PR team for Homefront, the new meth-head action film written by Sylvester Stallone. Jason Statham, who plays an undercover drug cop turned single dad trying to protect his daughter from drugland lowlifes, is doing his interviews in another room. So are Kate Bosworth (an angry addict) and James Franco (the dangerous local dealer). But it’s Winona I’m here to see. Winona forever.
The 42-year-old Minnesota native has had her ups and downs. The ups are legendary: Lucas, Beetlejuice, Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids, Night on Earth, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Age of Innocence, Reality Bites. The list goes on.
Sixty percent of the time, it works every time. Check out more fun facts about the TV news business behind Will Ferrell’s much-anticipated Ron Burgundy sequel.
Prince William proves he really is the ‘karaoke kid’ as he gets up on stage and sings the ‘80s classic ‘Livin’ on a Prayer.’
Prince William channeled his inner frat boy last night, taking to the stage with Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift to deliver a rousing chorus to the New Jerseyman's rock classic, Livin' On A Prayer.
Few guests could have guessed what was about to happen as Jon Bon Jovi stood on the stage strumming his guitar, teasing William, saying, "Just maybe, the karaoke kid could come up and sing along [a reference to the fact that William sung Livin' On A Prayer at his cousin Zara's wedding?] ...You don't have to do it your Majesty, I understand, I can't fly helicopters or ride motorcycles like you do. That's cool, that's cool. A couple of words..."
To the amazement of the 600 guests, who included British rapper Tinie Tempah, singer-songwriter James Blunt and the actor Colin Firth, William was led up to the stage by singer Taylor Swift as Jon Bon kicked off an acoustic version of the college classic, telling william, "Take that long, long walk up here."
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Actress Eleanor Parker Dies
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Netflix Planning Romney Doc
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Former stockbroker Jordan Belfort once had sex on $3 million in cash. Check out more stats about the man behind Leo DiCaprio’s leading role in Martin Scorsese’s latest.