An award winning new short starring Kevin Spacey -- the most extroverted city in the U.S. -- Wilco releases free e-book -- The Daily Show's coverage of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee -- Jason Schwartzman and Jimmy Fallon's ode to a pepper. See these and more in today's Links of Awesomeness...
A batch of the best new audio and visual stimulation. Roman Mars' podcast explores the craft of Trappist beer — nature-loving artist trades the electronic equipment for some earthy sounds — Andrew Bird's hit "Eyeoneye" gets the stop-motion video treatment -- the iconic walls of Sydney's Opera House are the backdrop for a new artful video projection — a Super Mario Brothers themed aquarium — summer rock vibes, and more. See today's Links of Awesomeness...
Politwoops presents deleted tweets from politicians -- bloopers from The Muppets -- crocheting massive portraits -- mashup of Men in Black III and Wes Anderson -- The Walkmen -- Rainn Wilson's airplane magazine article -- and Reggie Watts and Michael Cera improv a soul song about friendship and pie. See these and more on today's Links of Awesomeness...
“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” ~President John F. Kennedy
Twenty-five years after the release of Paul Simon's Graceland album, the singer-songwriter returned to South Africa to visit the musicians who worked with him on what many believe is his musical masterpiece. A new documentary film, Under African Skies, which premieres tonite (Friday, May 25) on A&E, chronicles Simon's journey and the role that music — and artists — may have played in bringing about the end of apartheid.
This masterful film, which debuted earlier this year to wide acclaim at the Sundance film festival, makes a convincing argument for the important role that artists play in changing the world for the better.
The film shows a burning crucifix, gun-toting priests and the torture of a young boy. And the Roman Catholic hierarchy is loving it.
The film, “For Greater Glory,” hits theaters on June 1 and tells a little known chapter of Mexican history -- the Cristero War of 1926 to 1929, which pitted an army of devout Catholic rebels (led in the movie by Andy Garcia) against the government of Mexican President Plutarco Calles (played by Ruben Blades).
For Catholics enraged by the Obama administration’s proposed contraception mandate, the film about the Mexican church's fight in 1920s is a heartening and timely cinematic boost in the American church's battle to preserve "religious freedom" in 2012.
Nearly four years after Smith joked about potentially playing Obama in a not-actually-happening biopic on the president's life, the "Men In Black 3" star is at it again.
From Huffington Post: Kristen Wiig got a musical sendoff on the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" as the popular and versatile cast member made her exit after seven years. In the show's final sketch, guest host Mick Jagger played the principal at a high school graduation and brought up Wiig, in cap and gown, as "one particular student who is leaving this summer."
Typcially, cults don’t garner media attention unless they do something really big, like when Heaven’s Gate rose to the public eye in 1997 after 39 members committed mass suicide. And while cults may welcome newcomers openly or warily, it seems they prefer to remain elusive and secretive.
In the feature-length drama Sound of My Voice, Peter Aitken, a 20-something school teacher, is angry at the cultish fanaticism that led to his mother’s death (per her cult’s teaching, she refused to take medicine when she was gravely ill) and turns a cynical eye toward belief patterns he believes distort reality.
Shaped by an experience that left him void of parental companionship, he searches for meaning alone, not knowing what to believe.
Ladies and gentlemen, summer has arrived.
This past weekend I joined the ranks of moviegoers and saw the action-packed and highly anticipated superhero movie, The Avengers, and the film lived up to its hype.
To those more familiar with the comic book storylines, please forgive me for any glaring reduction of the plot. I stand with you in my enthusiasm for the film, and I appreciate your full understanding of the respective stories leading to this reunion.
++ Join us in showing our appreciation for Catholic women religious (aka nuns or "sisters") on Thank-a-Nun Day, May 9. Click HERE to send a thank-you note online. ++
Silly and serious, strict and kind, profoundly faithful and sometimes hilarious — Catholic nuns are evergreen characters on the big (and the small) screens. Here's a list of some of our favorite portrayals of Catholic women religious from film and television.
1. Sister Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon) in Dead Man Walking
2. Mother Abbess (Peggy Wood) in The Sound of Music
The problem with peaceful protests is that they lack all the headline-grabbing horror of wars and terrorist attacks. They lack the “power of attention” as filmmaker Julia Bacha likes to say, and that is part of what compelled her and others to produce the documentary, “My Neighborhood,” premiering this week at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Bacha and her team from Just Vision are best known for their award-winning film “Budrus,” the story of a peaceful protest by Palestinians against the Israeli “security wall” that was planned to bi-sect their village. The film, shown in theatres, churches and on campuses, has helped create a dialogue not only about peaceful Palestinian protests, but also about the Israeli activists who have allied with them.
In case you missed it, the viral video of the week is a delightful short film called Caine's Arcade. In the video, a 9 year old from East L.A. constructs an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad’s used car parts store and dons a custom-made shirt on days the arcade is open for business.
But because of their location and changes in the parts market that have moved his dad’s business mostly online, Caine gets no customers until a filmmaker named Nirvan walks in one day.
At long last, Caine gets to present the ticket options (a handmade fun pass costs $2 for 500 turns) When Nirvan wins a game, Caine crawls inside the box to manually dispense Nirvan’s winnings from a the roll of tickets.
Watching the film for the first time this week, I was filled with a joy so overwhelming it eventually brought tears.
30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, after Easter take a look at some of the sketchiest bunnies, post-apocalyptic artwork, Alec Baldwin interviews Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon revisits his news anchor position, "Walden Pond" to become a digital reality, robots make furniture, and 36 big names in their humble beginnings...
Google Street view goes to inside the White House. Painting walls by whipping hair. President Obama gives the Vulcan salute in the Oval Office. Woody Allen's new film. Marshall amplifiers. The Beatles' sons. And a remix of the Pixar film Monsters Inc.
The Hunger Games books are wildly popular - and controversial. The American Library Association ranks it fifth on the list of most banned books for 2010, mostly because of parental complaints that the books are sexually explicit and violent.
Author Suzanne Collins said she conceived of The Hunger Games one night as she flipped television channels from teenagers on a reality TV to teenagers serving in the Iraqi war. She couldn't shake this jarring juxtaposition.
So does the popularity of The Hunger Games offer good news for those of us concerned about American civilization and the younger generation? I say yes, for a few reasons.
Along with the silent film The Artist, Haywire, and War Horse, the smartest wide-release recent movie is Chronicle, a kinetic fusion of Breakfast Club-style teenage angst with post-9/11 violence-as-a-way-of-life (or at least way-to-be-noticed).
Tyler Long, 17, hanged himself more than two years ago after being teased and bullied. He joined countless others and more since who have been pushed to the limit and taken their own lives. Bully, which premieres Friday, chronicles the lives of Long’s family, along with five other children tormented on a daily basis.
Bully shows students who are mocked for their sexual orientation both by peers and teachers; they endure beatings on school buses; they have profanities hurled at them—which earned the movie an “R” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America.
MPAA’s decision sparked protests and petitions from anti-bullying groups and eventually made the Weinstein Company, which produced the documentary, release the film unrated.
I watched the film. Bully disturbs me on a basic human level—but not because of the profanity (which is probably fairly mild to the average teen). Bully disturbs me because it is real life. It disturbs me because I have younger brothers the same age as some of the students in the film. It disturbs me because it’s happening in the lives of our children all around the country.