Sean Macaulay tells you everything you need to know about the legendary gay entertainer.Claudette Barius/HBO
Why making a self-indulgent disco record is the most punk-rock thing the French duo could have done.Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
Cannes Film Festival's latest flicks: Coen brothers' 'Inside Llewyn Davis' and James Toback’s 'Seduced and Abandoned.'
During a career of making films that are neither full-fledged satires nor sentimental exercises in nostalgia, Joel and Ethan Coen have perfected a genre that might be termed smartass nostalgia. For better or worse, a certain strain of cruelty often permeates the Coen Brothers’ distinctive brand of tragicomedy. Take, for example, Barton Fink, which won the Palme d’or, as well as a Best Director award for the Coens and an acting prize for star John Turturro, at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991.The eponymous character, a poor schlemiel apparently modeled after the Depression-era playwright Clifford Odets, never has a chance at triumphing in Hollywood and becomes one of the Coens’ most abject losers.
Left: Inside Llewyn Davis; Right: Seduced and Abandoned (Cannes Film Festival)
While another schlemiel’s fate propels the filmmaking duo’s typical blend of pathos and comedy in Inside Llewyn Davis, which premiered on Sunday at Cannes, their anti-hero, while explicitly labeled a “loser” by his peers and still subjected to numerous travails (the Coens’ male protagonists are often labeled “Job-like”) does not appear doomed to a thoroughly hellish existence by the film’s conclusion. Llewyn, whose Welsh moniker suggests a sly tribute to Bob Dylan’s own homage to Dylan Thomas, is a struggling folksinger in New York, circa 1961— a period just before Dylan emerged as the most talented, not to mention the most bankable, folkie in Greenwich Village. As played by the gifted Oscar Isaac, Llewyn is both an irascible cad who seduces any pretty female warbler within his sights and a vulnerable artist who valiantly endures singing for chicken feed at small Village venues.
Mel Brooks: Make a Noise airs on PBS tonight. In advance of the American Masters episode, The Daily Beast asked Brooks to give us his favorite movie scenes of all time.
Swing Time: Fred Astaire’s Big Dance Scene
Let’s start with one of my favorite movies. That’s from 1936, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The scene that I really love has Eric Blore as a character running a dance studio, and he employs Rogers to teach people how to dance. Astaire gets mixed up with her and falls madly in love. We know it’s Fred Astaire, the greatest dancer who ever lived. In order to stick with her, he acts helpless. He keeps flipping so he can hold her. Finally, she says, “Save your money, you’ll never learn how to dance,” which is pretty funny. And Blore overhears her and fires her. Astaire begs him to reconsider—he says, I’ve learned a lot from her. He amazes Blore and the audience with this incredible dancing that saves her job. It’s absolutely one of the most thrilling scenes in the movie. So I recommend everybody in the world who has never seen Swing Time to get it somehow.
In ‘Inside Out,’ the HBO documentary airing Monday night, the French street artist JR dispatches mobile photo booths to cities and towns and asks users to paste up the poster-size results. Jessica Dawson on the result.
The Parisian street artist JR posts stuff constantly, but not on Facebook or Twitter. Like a Gallic Banksy, he’s made a career of gluing propaganda-size posters, most of them portraits, onto empty plots of urban landscape. In the mid-2000s, the 30-year-old provocateur secured his reputation by fly-posting photographs of immigrant rioters on the walls of Paris’s bougiest neighborhoods.
Haiti, 2012. (JR/HBO)
Take that, baguette eaters!
Taylor Swift charmed. Prince wowed. More than a dozen artists performed—and a few awards were handed out—at this year’s Billboard Music Awards in Vegas. WATCH VIDEO of the best moments.
The Band Perry Hits the Drumline
The Band Perry hit it big with the stirring ballad “If I Die Young” but proved Sunday night they could do more than just stand on stage and sing prettily. For the country group’s performance of “Better Dig Two,” siblings Kimberly, Reid, and Neil traded in banjos for drumsticks for a surprisingly lively marching band–infused performance. The Perry clan is doing just fine in Nashville, but if things ever go south they definitely have a future marching at the Rose Bowl. Or as “before” hair models in flat-iron commercials. Look at those manes.
Kendrick Lamar gets baptized with booze. Shia LaBeouf directs a dark video. WATCH VIDEO of the most entertaining, breathtaking, and bizarre music videos released this week.
In this week’s top music-video picks, we take a journey through old Hollywood, romance novels, and some ghastly murders. From hip-hop to electronic and indie rock, and featuring artists like Dizzee Rascal and Keys N Krates, see which music videos are becoming viral this week.
Keys N Krates: “Treat Me Right”
The man behind the new ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ movies is mixing genres, botching continuity, and ignoring solid science. Sujay Kumar on the most divisive director in the galaxy.
Star Trek is not Star Wars. Star Trek is an intellectual exploration of humanity. Star Wars slaps spaceships and toys on pulp stories with themes of good versus evil and destiny. Star Trek and Star Wars are science fiction, granted. Both titles contain the word “star.”
J.J. Abrams on the set of “Star Trek Into Darkness.” (Zade Rosenthal/Paramount)
The man at the helm of the Star Trek reboot is making the seventh installment of Star Wars. The same guy controls over four decades' worth of intergalactic pop culture. The Greek chorus of geeks, ignored by Hollywood for seven years between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Trek, should be mad as hell. J.J. Abrams is genre bogarting.
Can’t watch just one? The program’s showrunners reflect on how plots are getting more complex—and why viewers won’t turn off the tube.
Game of Thrones, now in the midst of its third swashbuckling season on HBO, is a master class in TV storytelling—a sprawling, suspenseful fantasy epic for the small screen. It's also one of the most addictive shows on television. Earlier this month, showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff talked to The Daily Beast about binge watching, the future of TV, and how they transformed the original George R.R. Martin novels from “crack on paper” to crack on premium cable. Excerpts:
Rose Leslie playing Ygritte and Kit Harington playing Jon Snow in Episode 1 of Season 3 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” (Helen Sloan/HBO)
The idea that people will be able to rewatch each episode, or binge watch them all at once, or pause and rewind—does that in any way factor into the process of putting the show together?
Three of the sketch comedy’s biggest stars might soon be departing. See clips of their best moments and debate the future of the show without them.
Saturday Night Live has long been an incubator for future superstar performers: they develop their talents, grow their name recognition, and eventually move on. But this year it looks like we might be losing three big names all at once, and it's just so hard to say goodbye. Watch our tribute to SNL's (allegedly) departing cast members.
New York's Hottest Club Is Wahhhhh
Hello, I Love You
Doors Keyboardist Ray Manzarek Dies
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New ‘X Factor’ Judges: Rowland, Rubio
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THANKS BUT NO THANKS
MacFarlane Not Hosting Oscars Again
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Miguel Leg-Drops Fan at Billboard Awards
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Report: Drake, Kanye West in ‘Anchorman 2’
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Sean Macaulay tells you everything you need to know about the legendary gay entertainer.
Not only did Taylor Swift win eight awards Sunday night, including Top Artist, but she also performed an adorable rendition of her hit '22.' WATCH the pop icon tear down the house.