Pablo Picasso, Pierrot et Harlequin, Juan-les-Pins, 1920

Pablo Picasso Pierrot and Harlequin, Juan-les-Pins, 1920 pen and black ink with gouache on cream paper sheet (folded in half): 27.3 x 21.3 cm (10 3/4 x 8 3/8 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mrs. Gilbert W. Chapman, 1981

Pablo Picasso
Pierrot and Harlequin, Juan-les-Pins, 1920
pen and black ink with gouache on cream paper
sheet (folded in half): 27.3 x 21.3 cm (10 3/4 x 8 3/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mrs. Gilbert W. Chapman, 1981


TV Is Not the New Film, But It’s OK That Festivals Are Blurring the Lines

HEROES REBORN -- "Awakening" Episode 101 -- Pictured: Kiki Sukezane as Miko Otomo -- (Photo by: Christos Kalohoridis/NBC)

With Toronto the latest sprocket opera to add episodic programming to its lineup, our critics revisit the old film-vs.-TV debate.

PETER DEBRUGE: Looks like Toronto is the latest film festival to add a television section to its lineup. These days, everywhere from Sundance to SXSW to the Canadian “festival of festivals,” smallscreen content is getting a big push, which is intriguing — and even ironic — for all sorts of reasons (ironic because the state of distribution being what it is, many of the films in Toronto will end up trickling down to VOD, rather than ever getting a commercial theatrical run). On one hand, the trend isn’t exactly new: Classy longform features like “Carlos” (which premiered at Cannes in 2010), “Top of the Lake” (Sundance 2013) and “Olive Kitteridge” (Venice 2014) made their bows at top-tier film fests before going on to air as miniseries on Canal Plus, BBC Two and HBO, respectively.

“There are many, after all, who have argued that the traditional line separating TV and cinema has ceased to exist for some time now, and that the ongoing creative renaissance in television largely puts all but the very best new movies to shame.” 

But Toronto’s Primetime program — like SXSW’s Episodics, which launched last year — represents something different: Rather than expanding the definition of “film” to include projects that were “made for TV” (such as Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic, “Behind the Candelabra”), festivals are carving out dedicated sidebars to celebrate this competing medium. Since its invention, television has been luring eyes away from the cinema. And now, at Toronto, audiences can go watch an episodic series pilot on the bigscreen, after which they’ll have to patiently wait until the series arrives on TV to see what happens next.

[Read the full story here, at Variety]

JUSTIN CHANG: As someone who makes too little time for television even outside the film-festival circuit, I confess that the addition of Toronto’s Primetime slate (which, full disclosure, was curated by our mutual friend Michael Lerman) will have little bearing on my schedule this September — or yours, Peter, given that our assignment in Toronto will be to see and review as much in the way of new cinema as we possibly can.  Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Outlets & Plugs: Why Are Boys and Girls Different? Chinese Sex Education Video

Tea Leaf Nation‘s Liz Carter writes:

…These slickly produced videos, which depict a hand drawing cartoon figures, are likely not aimed at young ones, but instead at parents searching for narratives to pass on to their children: The rapid-fire voiceovers use some high-school level vocabulary, including two bleeped cusswords hopefully outside most primary school students’ lexicon. Given a widespread reluctance to talk birds and bees — in China’s version of the stork story, parents often tell children that they were picked up “out of a garbage dump” — the Nutcracker narrator is something of a myth-buster for the young and for the ill-informed. The language and visual illustrations have amused adult viewers with hilariously off-color comparisons: In the first video, the narrator explains insemination by comparing it to an injection received at a hospital. The second clip, called “Why Are Boys and Girls Different?” addresses anatomical differences by likening male and female reproductive organs to electrical outlets and plugs. (The caption on the photo, from the second video, states: “Why does that boy have a little pee-pee and you don’t?”)

SexEdVideo

Because of China’s long-standing need for accessible, accurate sex ed, young adults might also find them edifying. On Sept. 29 Hu Zhen, an academic specializing in sex education issues, told China’s largest state-run news agency, Xinhua, that sex education in Chinese schools lagged “at least 60 years behind” Sweden and other developed countries, and emphasized that only about ten of China’s 180,000 primary schools, and only 500 to 600 of China’s approximately 500,000 secondary schools, were providing sex education.
Read the rest of this entry »


Cook County Cops Find More Than a Ton of Marijuana in Frozen Avocado Packages

avocado-pulp-marijuana

About $10 million of marijuana was found

Police in Illinois seized more than a ton of marijuana that was hidden in packages of frozen avocado pulp, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Glockamole

Glockamole!

About 2,100 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $10 million, was discovered on March 4 in bricks dispersed throughout more than 1,500 boxes of packaged avocado at a cold storage facility in Cook County. Read the rest of this entry »


Comcast Accused of Paying Off Al Sharpton in $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

sharpton-podium

Tina Nguyen reports: Today, Comcast and Time Warner Cable were served with a lawsuit from a group of African-American media owners seeking $20 billion — yes, “billion,” with a “b” — for discriminatory practices, and alleges that Al Sharpton and his organizations received big money to look the other way.

“The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it’s charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination.”

The suit, filed by the National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) and obtained by the The Hollywood Reporter, claims that despite touting itself as a diverse company, Comcast and sharpton-tallTWC only carries one channel owned by a black media owner and refuses to carry any others. Furthermore, the diversity Comcast presents — including the hiring of minority personalities such as
Sharpton, and including a “memorandum of understanding” they signed with the NAACP and Sharpton’s National Urban League — is “a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”

The lawsuit specifically targets Comcast’s practices: so far, they argue, only one channel in Comcast’s lineup, The Africa Channel, is owned by a black person (and that person facilitated Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal, “thus creating a serious conflict of interest”). And speaking of that purchase, the suit alleges that Comcast paid off Sharpton, an employee of MSNBC, to support that acquisition — specifically, to say that Comcast was an awesomely diverse company:

The lawsuit goes on to say that Comcast made large cash “donations” to obtain support for its acquisition. The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it’s charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination. As for Sharpton’s MSNBC gig, the complaint says, “Despite the notoriously low ratings that Sharpton’s show generates, Comcast has allowed Sharpton to maintain his hosting position for more than three years in exchange for Sharpton’s continued public support for Comcast on issues of diversity.”

2013-07-31T120614Z_1_CBRE96U0XMO00_RTROPTP_3_NBC-COMCAST

In a statement to THR, Comcast said it was “disappointing that [NAAAOM] have decided to file a frivolous lawsuit” and that they planned to defend themselves. Read the rest of this entry »


‘The Gentleman’s Guide’ from Kingsman

The Secret Service KSS_JB_D01_00109.tif

According to “The Gentleman’s Guide” on the film’s official website, “The Rules” of a Kingsman Gentleman are as follows:

  1.  A gentleman never tells about conquests, private matters, or dealings. His business is nobody else’s.
  2. A gentleman doesn’t clash in public with enemies or exes, or worse, with out-of-fashion contrasts, colors or styles.
  3.  A gentleman is always happy to serve, whether it’s opening the door, picking up the bill, or merely calling a cab the next morning. Ask him for help and he cannot refuse.
  4.  A gentleman never reacts to rudeness. He pretends he doesn’t recognize it and moves on like it never happened, because it never should have.
  5.  A gentleman is always on target with witty remarks, interesting facts, and conversation starters that bring the best out of everyone.
  6.  A gentleman asks non-invasive questions to keep a conversation going and attention focused on others. He makes them feel like the most interesting person he’s ever met, whether that’s true or not.

via Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) – Trivia – IMDb


OH YES THEY DID: ‘50 Shades of Grey‘s’ Most Cringeworthy Quotes Brought To Life

B93bFXuIAAAEKtZ
 writes:

As an agency specializing in content marketing, the Beutler Ink team is always on the lookout for opportunities to create our own engaging content. With the much anticipated release of 50 Shades of Grey coinciding with Valentine’s Day, we saw our chance to make something fun and cheeky. After a quick brainstorm, we all agreed that despite the book series’ seemingly universal popularity, the writing is undeniably bad. To show just how bad, we gathered some of the most embarrassing excerpts and illustrated them—literally—however inane they were. The result is part pop culture homage and part defense of literary standards.

[See the display here]

The Daily Beast


‘It’s a pop take on S&M. She’s starting to become more of a contemporary artist’

re-09-web-mileycyrus-tdonnelly2nypost-com-new-york-post-mail-clipular

UPDATE: Miley Cyrus’ porn film pulled from NYC festival

Tim Donnelly writes: For a while now, Miley Cyrus has been inching closer to pornography with her increasingly revealing outfits and scandalous dance moves. Now she’s going to appear in an actual pornography festival.

Miley ain’t so wild after all. After the Post and other outlets reported Monday the singer had submitted a film for the first-ever NYC Porn Film Festival, her representatives have had the film removed from the Bushwick event and its website…(read more)

Cyrus’s short film, “Tongue Tied” — which depicts the almost-nude “Wrecking Ball” singer in bondage gear and sexually suggestive poses — will appear in the NYC Porn Film Festival, which begins in Bushwick on Feb. 27.

“It’s not pure pornography — the video has no sex, and though she writhes around in her underwear, she keeps her nipples covered. But it’s full of bondage imagery: Cyrus dons a blindfold, has her legs constrained by straps and is tied to a chair with only black tape covering her nipples.”

“It’s a pop take on S&M,” festival founder Simon Leahy says. “She’s starting to become more of a contemporary artist.”

Warning: Video NSFW

The video was released online in May, and Cyrus used it during her shows on her Bangerz Tour last year.

 “It’s a touch ‘Fifty Shades’ with a pinch of Madonna’s ‘Justify My Love’ video.”

Leahy says they contacted Cadence, the production company that made the film with director Quentin Jones. Read the rest of this entry »


Herpes Virus Found on Library Copies of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

50jpgJON DAVID KAHN reports:  Two Belgian university professors recently decided to submit the 10 most borrowed books at the Antwerp library to bacteriology and toxicology tests.

Traces of cocaine were found on all 10 books. The traces were small enough that readers would not feel the effects, but significant enough that they could test positive for cocaine.

But the real case of life imitating art was revealed when the scientists discovered traces of the herpes virus in the pages of the erotic tale Fifty Shades of Grey. Read the rest of this entry »


Shutdown optics become a funhouse mirror of ruling-class contempt

In response to Service Academy Football Games Cancelled For The ‘Optics’:

John Hayward writes: The “optics” of this little donnybrook have been astonishing.  The Democrats will stoop to any depth to make people hurt, and they’re not doing a very good job of covering their tracks – perhaps having overestimated the willingness and ability of the media to wipe their fingerprints off the thumbscrews.  It didn’t take long to firmly establish that the goon squads dispatched to the World War II memorial were sent by White House orders, or for Harry Reid to blurt that children dying of cancer aren’t as much of a concern for him as furloughed federal workers.

Obama’s been shutting down attractions that don’t receive any federal funding, and even events that generate huge profits, such as military athletics and the Miramar Air Show.  No price is too high to punish unruly citizens… especially when the citizens pay for their own discipline.  It’s the sequel to “Fifty Shades of Grey” nobody asked for, starring Barack Obama and submissive Americans as his S&M playmate. Read the rest of this entry »