Last week, Renaissance man James Franco opened his New Film Stills at Chelsea’s blue-chip Pace Gallery, which has since sent me into a Franco-inspired slow rage boil since I first heard about and had the unfortunate pleasure to see the exhibition.
For a long time, I haven’t been able to stand James Franco who seems to do a little of everything while excelling at nothing. From his awkward art attempts to his lofty academic goals, which coincided with my own grad school education at NYU, to my stomach-churning anticipation of Franco’s eventual ruining of Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury, Franco has been an unavoidable and irritating presence. Admittedly, my harsh opinions on Franco softened more recently due to his self-deprecating role in This Is The End, which I thought indicated maybe he didn’t take himself too seriously. I can’t be right all of the time…
In New Film Stills, Franco jarringly recreates seminal Pictures Generation photographer Cindy Sherman’s now iconic black-and-white series Untitled Film Stills, mirroring the same scenes, expressions, poses and clothing as Sherman with the exception of Franco’s scruffy beard.
In order to understand the horror of Franco’s appropriation of Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills, the significance of Sherman’s series must be understood. Completed between 1977 and 1980 during the derelict yet creatively enlightened years of bankrupt and desolate Lower Manhattan, Sherman employed the visual language of Hollywood glamour and female stereotypes to delve into the nature of gender performance. Using these various character types from the damsel in distress to the seductive lone female figure, Sherman managed to erase her own identity, flawlessly becoming each and every one of these cinematic tropes.
While her series hits on critical issues from the relationship between cinema and photography to voyeurism, Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills are ultimately a feminist precursor to Judith Butler’s understanding of the performativity of gender, depicting the self as a series of potentially mutable and ever-evolving series of images, representations and constructions. Throwing her own identity into question as she disappeared into these characters, Sherman deftly portrayed the unstable and self-fashioned performance of being a woman.
Conversely, Franco ubiquitous personae refuses to disappear within his film stills. Despite the similar costumes, poses and self-fashioning, Franco’s film stills are nothing but more photographs of James Franco.
However, before we get into more ranting about Franco’s photographs, let’s allow Franco to explain his own notions of his photographs and use of Cindy Sherman’s seminal series. As Franco explains in the press release, “Cindy is an artist who used cinema as a source for her work, she ‘played’ at being an actress. I am an actor who inserts himself into his work. Cindy used cinema as a starting place. I use art as a starting place.” Ok…now we can move on.
Franco, who has a nasty habit of taking on queer themes and imagery while continuing to assert again and again that he’s not gay (the Hollywood version of “no homo”), creates with his New Film Stills an exercise in male privilege. And in that, he is very successful, revealing the power of particularly straight white cisgender men to co-opt any type of queer or feminist subversive act.
An almost invasive gesture, Franco appears to be taking on Sherman’s women-centric critique, saying “Look I can do this too!” without any indication that he understands or even acknowledges the potentially unsettling and destructive commentary his photographs have on Sherman’s original statement. Franco does not investigate the gender performance of a man in Hollywood, which would actually be an interesting and relevant photographic series, but instead, chooses to usurp Sherman’s feminist gesture.
Perhaps even more troubling than Franco employing Sherman’s artistic language is Franco’s use and potential misuse of drag in these photographs. If he, as his statement indicates, is trying to make a statement about his place in Hollywood then what exactly is the point of his use of drag other than as a sort of gag devoid of critical meaning or intent?
In fact, Franco’s use of drag is presented in a way that only further cements his own masculinity within an appropriated image of femininity. Focusing on his beard, his large, hairy man-feet and women’s shoes that are too small for him, Franco continually asserts his own masculine identity. He’ll use drag and Sherman’s feminine stereotypes but not appear too femme as to throw his own identity into question. He’ll do it just enough to get the accolades and the gallery exhibition.
Not only are the photographs themselves troubling and just at the edge of offensive, but his immediate success and blue-chip gallery exhibition are abhorrent when compared to the struggle of Sherman to get her photographs shown decades earlier. When Sherman first created her Untitled Film Stills in the late 1970s, Sherman, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s The Pictures Generation catalogue, sold the photographs for $50 from a binder at Artists Space (135). Conversely, Franco’s photographs earned him an exhibition at Pace Gallery right after the exhibitions of two major New York artists, Chuck Close and Kiki Smith.
For what it’s worth, Sherman has slyly criticized Pace for showing his photographs at all, stating “I don’t know I can say it’s art, but I think it’s weirder that Pace would show them than he would make them.”
In some respects, what Franco has done outside of Hollywood whether in academia (Franco holds five MFA’s and is pursuing a PhD at Yale, as well as taught at several schools) or the art world is completely ingenious though I suspect also unintentional. Franco has and continues to expose just how far star-power and a lot of Hollywood money will get you in the normally cliquish fields of academia and the art world. And perhaps that is the horrifying strength of Franco’s art–asserting how he has the ability to take on any language, any culture, any field he so pleases.
When I went to Pace to see the exhibition, several visitors were laughing their way around the gallery. I don’t blame them–I couldn’t help but laugh too. And yet, the joke is ultimately on us: the women, the queers, the art world, the critics, etc. As Franco’s art undeniably depicts, nothing cannot be usurped by dominant culture and the privileged.
Now, all I can hope is that this will inspire Cindy Sherman to complete a scathing series of portraits as James Franco.
No lies detected tbh. James has always seemed empty to me, he just feeds off other people's work/acting. But money talks.
Kim Kardashian struggles to keep her balance on her bike and sports a scared looking face before crashing into a wall during a photo shoot on Tuesday (April 15) in the Wynwood Art District of Miami, Fla.
The 33-year-old reality star channeled the classic film star Audrey Hepburn in a wig with bangs and had to be pushed along by crew members as she didn’t seem to be able to ride the bicycle that well.
In a seemingly staged moment, Kim laid on the ground alongside the bicycle while two photographers and two men with video cameras captured the moment. If she really fell by accident, we imagine they’d be helping her up instead.
Kim was also seen clutching her head at one point as it looked like she may have been in some pain from the shoot.
Have you ever failed hard in public?
18. Requiem for a Dream
Darren Aronofsky’s second feature (adapted from Hubert Selby Jr.’s novel) is relentless from the opening frame, as Aronofsky’s aggressive style, Matthew Libatique’s spiky photography, and Clint Mansell’s overwhelming score conspire to throw the viewer into a state of perpetual unease. But the lead-up is positively sedate compared to the grim climax, in which Aronofsky’s four stories are simultaneously brought crashing to their horrifying, grim conclusions.
15. Funny Games
Mr. Haneke again, with a lighthearted romp about a pair of sadists who invade a wealthy family’s home, take them hostage, and engage in a series of bets and titular games as they maim, torture, and kill them. Few filmmakers do dread as effectively as this one, and that feeling — coupled with the hopelessness that is equally embedded in his DNA — makes this a particularly uncomfortable viewing experience. (But if you’re into that sort of thing, go with the original, rather than his slicker remake.)
13. Man Bites Dog
Comedy doesn’t get much blacker than this 1992 Belgian mockumentary, in which a crew of filmmakers tag along with a serial killer and find themselves drawn into his grisly world. The graphic shootings, stabbings, beatings, and rapes are tough enough to take; the film’s real power is in the way it shifts from indicting the documentary crew as first implicit and then explicit accomplices. It’s got a lot to chew on, but the point-blank, stone-faced, black-and-white style and the matter-of-fact leading performance by Benoit Poelvoorde renders the convincing crimes all the more horrific.
Look, we’ve all seen it. Things are done to sexual organs with scissors, and now you have those images in your head again. Let’s move on.
The sheer power of the filmmaking in Gaspar Noé’s 2002 film is astonishing — his compositions, command of mood, and movement of camera are (as per usual) first-rate, and he assembles his story in a reverse chronology that renders its events doubly powerful. But it is a story of a brutal rape/murder and its shocking aftermath, and that rape and beating is seen in its entirety, in a long, unblinking, unbroken shot. It is, to put it mildly, hard to take, and most viewers can’t. “It is so violent, it shows such cruelty, that it is a test most people will not want to endure,” Ebert wrote, after its premiere at Cannes prompted mass walkouts. “But it is unflinchingly honest about the crime of rape.”
While interviewing an artist, it's important that you respect any comment they deem "off the record" and the question they specially not as off limits. 106 & Park host Keshia Chanté broke the latter rule while interviewing crooner August Alsina, and the artist definitely reacted with malice.
As you may or may not know, Alsina has an issue with fellow singer Trey Songz that he's discussed in prior interviews. Because of this, he justifiably wanted the focus to be on his debut album, Testimony, which released today. Despite this, the television personality tried to sneak in a question about Trey anyway.
"So you just gonna go against the grain and go against everything that... I just told ya'll not to ask me that sh*t when I got up in here," Alsina replied in a monotone voice. Keshia Chanté, of course, played it off smoothly, but the moment didn't pass without some snickering from the crowd.
Was Alsina wrong for reacting the way he did or were his actions justifiable? Personally, he could have opted for a "No comment," but we digress.
While attending the MTV Movie Awards over the weekend, Divergent stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort spoke out Allegiant getting split into two movies.
Speaking to MTV, Elgort said that they’d known the split was possible because they were contractually obligated for up to four movies. “We knew when we signed up for it that if the first one did well, they would try to – hopefully we would do a second one, and if it did really well the third one would be split into two.”
Added Woodley, “At one point I heard that it was not going to happen, and now it is happening, so yeah. You never know man. Life changes every day, you just got to really surrender to the process.”
In a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, Woodley spoke a little more about the split. “I am excited, but my very first thought, if I’m being honest was, ‘Okay. All right. Another year devoted to this character.’ But that’s all right, because I am honored to be Tris, and it is exciting.”
She also spoke about the franchise in general after the first film’s success at the box office. “Divergent was a very fun film to make, and I worked with some great people. It is also really exciting that just after coming off promoting this one, we start filming the next one in like a month. It will be nice to get into it.”
Allegiant, Part 1 will hit theaters in March 2016 and Allegiant, Part 2 will open in March 2017. Meanwhile, production begins soon on Insurgent for a March 2015 opening.
As of Monday Divergent has made $175 million worldwide.
i don't think she's very happy lmao oop. but get that money tho
Oy Vey! He’s a nebbish boy from Queens, New York, who loves his Aunt May but feels the weight of the world on his shoulders – of course Spider-Man is Jewish.
The web-slinger’s Semitic origins, a source of fierce internet speculation, has finally been confirmed by Andrew Garfield, star of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Garfield, the British actor who was brought up Jewish, argued that the superhero’s neuroses are a surefire sign that the character is culturally Jewish.
“Spider-man is neurotic. Peter Parker is not a simple dude. He can’t just switch off,” Garfield told Time Out. “He never feels like he’s doing enough. And Peter suffers from self-doubt. He ums and ahs about his future because he’s neurotic. He’s Jewish. It’s a defining feature.”
Garfield, 30, making his second big-screen outing as Spider-Man, adds: “I hope Jewish people won’t mind the cliché, because my father’s Jewish. I have that in me for sure.” The actor says of Spidey: “He’s an over-thinker. It would be much easier if he was a life-saving robot.”
Spider-Man isn’t just any Jew. His roots are biblical. “He is misunderstood , like Jesus,” Garfield claims. “I don’t mind the Jesus parallel for Spider-man. Jesus is an awesome guy. When Pontius Pilate said: ‘They say you’re the son of God. If you’re the son of God tell me.’ Jesus was like: ‘I know who I am, bitch.’”
The star, who now lives in Los Angeles, said: “Peter (Parker) is not that evolved. Peter wants to tell the world he’s a good guy: ‘ Like me, I’m nice.’ He’s a 19 year-old kid. He’s a kid struggling with being misunderstood. We’ve all been misunderstood. That’s universal too. I like being Peter.”
Stan Lee, the Jewish-American comics pioneer Stan Lee, who created Spider-Man in 1962, once compared the character to another biblical figure, David. In the Book of Samuel, King Saul sends soldiers to kill David, who finds a cave and weaves a giant web to hide from them.
Lee wrote: “To me you can wrap all of Judaism up in one sentence, and that is ‘Do not do unto others…’ All I tried to do in my stories was show that there’s some innate goodness in the human condition. And there’s always going to be evil; we should always be fighting evil.”
Some Spidey scholars believe the story is an allegory for post-War Judaism in America. An orphan, as many Jewish children were as a result of Nazi atrocities, Parker is a “good, smart boy” who lives with his aunt and uncle in Forest Hills, Queens, home to one of the largest Jewish communities in New York.
The angst-ridden Parker fights evil by adopting an alter-ego – some Jews chose to submerge their identities to avoid future persecution – and often uses native wit whilst outsmarting his enemies, speaking lines of dialogue close to “yiddish shtick”.
Spider-Man is perhaps, a less than observant Jew. The producers of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which opens this week, angered the Hasidic population of the New York neighbourhood of Williamsburg, when they shut down streets to film during last year’s Jewish holiday of Passover.
Spider-Man is not the only “Jewish” super-hero. Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, was reintroduced to the DC Comics world in 2006 as a lesbian, of Jewish descent.
Superman has also been claimed for “the tribe”. Creator Jerry Siegel said he was influenced by the rising tide of anti-semitism in the 1930s and modelled the character on Samson. The baby Kal-El’s escape to earth from Krypton parallels the placing of Moses in a basket of reeds by his mother.
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV recently ran a report claiming that Superman was a Jewish invention designed to “take over the greatest superpower in the world, to control all aspects of its daily life, and to harness it in the service of Jewish goals worldwide.”
As yet, there are insufficient semitic superheroes to form an “ Avengers Minyan” – the quorum of ten Jewish males required to form a religious congregation.
Horribly mangled corpses, a depressed police detective and a piano that plays itself -- these are only a few of the hair-raising supernatural instances featured in the upcoming film 'Deliver Us From Evil'. Adapted from Ralph Sarchie's novel 'Beware the Night', the film follows the story of a New York cop, played by actor Eric Bana, who is investigating a series of disturbing crimes. Directed by 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' director Scott Derrickson, the film is slated to release in July this year.
oh boy, those accents. But it's got Edgar and Joel and my darling Sean Harris, so I guess I am the self-appointed resident stan for this very serious art film.
Last month we got word ’90s alt-rock vets Veruca Salt were reuniting their original lineup to release a new single for Record Store Day. It was surprising to hear that the legendarily drama-filled band was able to get together to record a new song or two, and now they’re going to be spending even more time together. The reunited VS will be going on tour soon, almost two decades since parting ways. Check out the dates below:
06/22 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
06/23 Seattle, WA @ The Tractor Tavern
06/24 Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
06/26 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
06/27 Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
07/09 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
07/10 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
07/11 Cincinnati, OH @ Bunbury Music Festival
07/12 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
07/13 St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
07/21 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
07/22 Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
07/24 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
07/25 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
07/26 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
[record store day source]
Aaron Taylor-Johnson could've scored a private audition with Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson. After all, the actor and the filmmaker have been married since June 2012. So why didn't Aaron try out for the role of Christian Grey, the wealthy entrepreneur with a BDSM fetish?
It's hard to believe that just eight years ago, the Brit quit school and moved to L.A. to become an actor. "It was a lot of crazy s--t I got up to for a couple years," Taylor-Johnson says of his Hollywood beginnings. "I was pretty self-destructive at one point. I used to smoke 30 [cigarettes] a day, used to f--king drink nonstop. I've always been able to be on the f--king edge—be on the line, but then pull myself back."
Regina George was dead wrong; “fetch” happened. “Mean Girls” was released 10 years ago and the word Gretchen Weiners attempted to make cool in the film is here to stay.
This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the release of “Mean Girls,” which made more than $129 million at the box office, became one of the most quoted movies of all time and nestled into the hearts of fans, where it has stayed for the past decade.
The film tells the story of Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), a junior at North Shore High School, a fictional high school located in Evanston, Illinois, who was previously home schooled in Africa by her zoologist parents.
In her first experience in a public school, Cady encounters the Plastics, or the mean girls to which the title refers, in the form of Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert) and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried). The film also explores the friendship that Cady develops with Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese) in their attempt to sabotage the Plastics for revenge.
“Mean Girls” maintains a large cult following, with fans ranging in all ages.
“I remember seeing the movie when I was 11 in theaters,” DePaul graduate Jacqueline Felker said.
Felker is also a graduate of the conservatory at the Second City, where many of the ol
der cast members of the film have also studied. Felker remembers sitting in a packed theater, so much that some people endured sitting on the stairs and two to a seat, just to watch “Mean Girls” the day it came out.
“I went with 30 people from my sixth grade class,” Felker said. “We put the arm rests up on the seats so we could fit more of us. In four seats we would have eight people.”
The film was written by Tina Fey, which is why some fans believe the movie is still as popular as it is.
“Tina Fey is still at the center of what’s funny,” Media and Cinema Studies Professor Dan Bashara said. “You can never give Tina Fey too much credit for what is going on in popular culture.”
For Felker, the movie is enjoyable to watch because of the references to Second City Fey has made through the way she wrote the film.
“’Mean Girls’ has such dimensional and developed characters,” Felker said. “That’s what we’re taught to do at Second City, and I know that’s where she learned it from.”
Fey also cast her friends from the Second City in the film, including Amy Poehler, Tim Meadows and Neil Flynn, as well as setting it in the Chicago suburbs, paying homage to the city where Fey learned how to master comedy. The Plastics visit Old Orchard Mall, Cady wins gift cards to Walker Bros. Pancake House and Kevin G’s phone number has the area code 847.
Bashara also added that the film was such a hit because “it benefitted from our mean-based culture.”
The mean-based culture that influenced the film intimidated younger viewers, such as Felker.
“I thought the film was really funny,” Felker said, “but I had a question of ‘Is this what high school is like?’”
DePaul Junior Jillian Rice saw the movie when it first came out on DVD, and still loves watching it whenever she has a movie night with her friends.
“I still think it’s one of the funniest movies out there,” Rice said. “It’s one of those really quotable movies that my friends and I bring into conversation all the time.”
Fans not only celebrate the film by watching it, but also wear pink on Wednesdays, a rule the Plastics abide by in the film. Some take to social media on October 3, to commemorate a line from the movie, where Cady is asked what day it is on October 3.
Rumors of a reunion have been spreading for years, but they have been circulating more frequently as of the past few months due to the 10-year anniversary. Lindsay Lohan also recently posted pictures with Daniel Franzese and Rajiv Surenda, who play Damian and Kevin G respectively, on her Instagr
am, leading fans to wonder about a potential reunion. Fey also announced that a “Mean Girls” musical was in the works, but dispelled any rumors about a full on reunion.
Although it has been 10 years since the movie was released, it still has an intense fan base who will continue to cherish it.
“The fact that it was funny to me as a 10-year-old and still is funny to myself as a 20-year-old says a lot about what it can do,” Rice said.
The singer's PR company, D.Baron Media Relations, confirmed that Juan was placed on intensive care in hospital due to pneumonia. "He was hospitalized early on Monday morning in the city of Las Vegas aafter waking up with a fever and congestion," the PR firm explained.
Juan's condition has forced the cancellation of numerous dates. "That same afternoon, he was diagnosed with pneumonia," Baron Media continued. "His shows on the 15th and 16th of April at the Nokia Theatre in the city of Los Angeles as well as the show on the 19th of Aprila at the SAP center in San José will be postponed." Diana Baron said the concerts will be reprogrammed.
Juan's other concerts will not be rescheduled. He will take part in his show at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. El Divo de Juárez began his tour in April at the Allstate Center in Chicago, followed by a sold out show at Madison Square Garden, the Toyota Centee and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. "Everything is fine! Dont' worry! I just have to look after myself!" Tweeted the singer.
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" spoilers ahead! Though you may want to read on as this article will talk about one of the most talked about topics in the movie, Scarlet Witch!
"Avengers: Age Of Ultron" will also introduce superpowered characters in the form of brother/sister duo Scarlet Witch played by Elizabeth Olsen and Quicksilver played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. While Quicksilver's super-speed is known to all, the nature of Scarlet Witch's abilities in the "Avengers: Age of Ultron" has been a mystery for the fans since day one. Can a reality altering person exist in the MCU or will she have to change her powers?
Screenrant asked how Olsen plans to ground a character like Scarlet Witch as opposed to the real-world characters she's mostly played and she replied:
"The same way, I think! I actually feel really good that I just did a play because it requires so much imagination, you know? To acknowledge the fact that all these people are here, but you're making up this room that your in that you're not in, or whatever..."
"So far I'm just doing a lot of reading right now on Scarlet Witch and it's really exciting. But the imagination, like to a child, and like running around in a play yard is what it feels like right now. And that sounds like so much fun, but you still want to approach it with the same kind of like 'No, this is where she's from,' and it's real. And that's what's fun about it. Let them put on the costume or do the special whatever-they-need-to-do to make it look special, but I'll just do my part - it just has more extreme things to it. [Laughs] I'm like really excited about Scarlet Witch."
"The most recent thing I learned - I don't even know if it has anything [to do with the film], it's just fun to read these comics - it's just so fun! Like, she's a 'nexus,' like she's the only human being from this universe who can communicate with paranormal things and the past and the future and other universes; like to me that's pretty incredible! [Laughs] Like just thinking about that is amazing! To touch things and know where they've been, that's crazy!"
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" is a Joss Whedon film and when asked about Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver he said the following:
"Besides the fact that I grew up reading them, their powers are very visually interesting. One of the problems I had on the first one was everybody basically had punchy powers. [Quicksilver]'s got super speed. [Scarlet] can weave spells and a little telekinesis, get inside your head. There's good stuff that they can do that will help sort of keep it fresh."
Since "mutant" is an illegal word in the Marvel Studios continuity, the source of Scarlet Witch's powers will have to make sense within the franchise storyline.
But it seems that while "mutant" or any other terms regarding the X-Men and other related franchises are "banned" in the MCU, Magneto may still be referenced in the movie.
According to rumors, In the film, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are brainwashed and when asked who their parents are, they would respond by saying "I don't know, he's some magnet looking guy" or something similar.
Elisabeth doing her researchT! But FOX can go kick rocks.
Bonded by war. United by hope. See the X-Men face their greatest challenge together in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original "X-Men" film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from "X-Men: First Class," in an epic battle that must change the past -- to save our future.
Not enough Wolverine, tbh!
Domino's is no chicken when it comes to taking risks. The pizza chain is rolling out a new menu item that replaces typical pizza crust with pieces of breaded, boneless chicken.
The new creation, dubbed Specialty Chicken, hits Domino's stores on April 21. Specialty Chicken starts with 12 pieces of boneless chicken and includes layers of Domino's sauces, cheeses and pizza toppings to create four varieties of the item: Crispy Bacon & Tomato, Spicy Jalapeno-Pineapple, Classic Hot Buffalo and Sweet BBQ Bacon.
"Our new Specialty Chicken is one of the most creative, innovative menu items we've ever had," said Russell Weiner, Domino's Pizza chief marketing officer. "Our pizza chefs have taken chicken to a whole new level, using our unique ingredients to create these four bold flavors."
A national TV campaign ad for the chicken creation is rolling out April 21. The ad will focus on the company not being afraid to take risks. As part of the product's promotion, Domino's is giving away 25,000 orders of Specialty Chicken to fans who enter a special contest on its Facebook page.
How much will pizza toppings nestled on a piece of breaded chicken cost you? Specialty Chicken will be available in Domino's $5.99 mix-and-match value offer that also features pastas, sandwiches, medium, two-topping pizzas.
Tilda Swinton has always exuded an otherworldly aura. Maybe it's the pale, almost translucent skin that highlights her steely blue eyes. She speaks with such rabid intelligence that even a casual conversation sounds like it was scripted by Dorothy Parker. She seems impossibly tall, a willowy figure whose striking, androgynous looks have been tilted toward a wide range of menacing characters.
In Wes Anderson's latest fairy tale, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," the 53-year-old Scottish actress is virtually unrecognizable under droopy skin and wrinkles as octogenarian Madame D. In the just-released drama "Only Lovers Left Alive," directed by Jim Jarmusch, she portrays Eve, a chic-looking (if 3,000-year-old) vampire. And in June, she'll be seen Stateside in Bong Joon-ho's futuristic "Snowpiercer" as a terrifying political leader whose inspiration draws from equal parts Kim Jong-un and Marilyn Manson.
Her versatility as an artist makes her impossible to classify.
Along with a prolific screen career highlighted by an Oscar win in 2008 for her portrayal of an unraveling lawyer in "Michael Clayton," Swinton also performs spoken-word pieces, has founded a film festival (Scotland's Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams in 2008), and inspired a collection from Chanel.
Her best-known work might be "The Maybe," a live performance-art piece in which she sleeps inside a glass box wearing nondescript clothes and muddy sneakers, which she has been staging for 19 years in galleries and art museums around the globe, including MoMa in New York.
"Tilda is an artist, an activist, a film historian, an instigator and a writer," says Jarmusch, who has collaborated with the actress on three movies. "What isn't she? There is nothing she can't do, nothing she can't play."
Though she spent the first nine years of her career making experimental films with mentor Derek Jarman, Swinton has occasionally branched out into more mainstream Hollywood fare, portraying the evil White Witch in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and a surreal saleswoman in Cameron Crowe's 2001 thriller "Vanilla Sky." She's essayed everything from a nobleman who switches genders in "Orlando" to the archangel Gabriel in "Constantine." Directors including the Coen brothers and Spike Jonze have lined up to work with her.
Yet Swinton says she doesn't consider herself an actor. "I don't know what it would take for me to feel like one," she says. "I understand it's a strange thing to say because I do keep saying, 'Yes, I'll dress up and be in your film.' But when I hear proper actors talking about their lives and how they approach their work, I feel like I'm up another tree."
Swinton doesn't lead an actor's life. She spends most of her time in the Highlands of Scotland, far from the lights of Hollywood. She claims to not know how to talk about her craft. "When people ask about how I approach a character -- well, I wouldn't know how to approach a character if I tried," she says. "People will ask about choosing a role; I don't choose roles. People will talk to me about preparation. Aside from putting together a disguise, I'm not aware of any preparation at all."
Swinton is the first to acknowledge she didn't grow up immersed in movies. She was born in England, daughter of Maj.-Gen. Sir John Swinton, the former head of the Queen's Household Division -- the men on guard at Buckingham Palace. She attended several boarding schools, including West Heath, where she was a classmate of Diana Spencer, who one day would become Princess Diana. While attending Cambridge U., where she planned to focus on writing, Swinton began to get involved in plays. But still, she says, "I had a very ambivalent relationship with the theater."
She did audition for and get accepted into the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company. "It was after a year there that I decided I didn't want to be an actor," she says. "Which was a really good piece of information to have. It's a good thing when you're a young person to find out what you don't want to do."
But shortly after leaving the RSC, she was introduced to Jarman, an English film director and stage designer, through mutual friends. "He met me at a door with a videocamera and we started talking, and we never stopped," recalls Swinton. The two became fast friends and would, over the course of eight years, collaborate on seven features, beginning with 1986's "Caravaggio." Swinton has said it was Jarman's death in 1994 from AIDS that was the impetus for "The Maybe," since she wasn't sure she'd continue making films, and wanted to find "a gesture" between live performance and what she loved about working onscreen.
The association with Jarman set the tone for a career that hasn't followed the route of the typical actor. "Most people don't develop work the way I customarily do," she notes. "They'll wait for someone to place them into their universe with proper craftspeople. Whereas I spend most of my time sitting around my kitchen table with friends, chewing on ideas and building things that take years."
She spent five years with director Sally Potter on 1992's "Orlando," adapting Virginia Woolf's story of an eternally youthful nobleman who at one point changes gender. After so much time developing the project, Swinton concedes there was one drawback: She hated the movie at first. "Because it was like a trailer for my fantasies," she explains. "You work on something for five years, you fantasize it will be five hours long and occupy all your wildest dreams. Then it goes by in 90 minutes. I love the film now, but it took me a long time to appreciate it."
Swinton has learned to separate the experience from the final product; a healthy perspective, as she regularly spends years working on a picture. In the case of Luca Guadagnino's Italian romance "I Am Love," it was 11 years.
"Only Lovers Left Alive" -- which Swinton refers to as "only" taking seven or eight years -- began with a phone call from Jarmusch suggesting they make a vampire film. It seems such obvious casting it's hard to believe the actress has never played a bloodsucker before. "She's such an exquisite creature on so many levels, and physically so beautiful and graceful and striking and pale and, yes, vampire-like in a lot of ways," Jarmusch reasons.
The director says Swinton was so central to the project that the two of them worked together on every minute detail, including costume, movement and dialogue. When Jarmusch felt the vampire wigs in the film didn't look wild enough, it was Swinton who suggested using animal hair. They ended up making wigs from human hair mixed with yak and goat fur. "She has little insights constantly. She's one of those people so obsessed with what she doesn't know. Rather than spewing out all the things she does know, she wants to learn something new that will amaze us all."
Jarmusch even asked Swinton to write certain scenes. He was so taken by her State of Cinema essay presented in 2006 at the San Francisco Film Festival that he asked to use phrases from it in their second film together, 2009's "The Limits of Control." In "Only Lovers Left Alive," he had both Swinton and co-star Tom Hiddleston write their dialogue for a fight scene. "These words are from Tilda, when she says, 'This self-obsession is a waste of living that could be spent on surviving things, appreciating nature, nurturing kindness and friendship and dancing.' " Hiddleston has fond memories of working with his co-star: "She is so generous with her curiosity that when we were in prep, we would disappear down rabbit holes together, talking about poetry and music and history and art." The actor said the two danced together, "mostly to the kind of Memphis soul or Detroit Motown you hear in the film."
When Swinton met Bong at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and he spoke to her about "Snowpiercer," she insisted there wasn't a part for her. The director told her not to worry, and they soon began talking about building the character of Mason, who is described in the script as "a mild-mannered man in a suit." Says Bong, "My team and I didn't think twice before changing Mason into a female character -- or, actually, a character that transcends gender."
Bong, too, says Swinton was integral to building the role, adding that Mason's unusual appearance was entirely her idea. "She is always filled with the desire to transform herself and create something new," he says. "We experimented to the point that Tilda was virtually unrecognizable -- dentures, prosthetic nose, thick-rimmed glasses, wigs, everything. Even under such heavy makeup and costume, she performed with such fluidity and grace, and I was constantly amazed."
Swinton has never auditioned for a role -- unless you count a casual meeting with the Coen brothers for "Burn After Reading" in which she has a vague memory of running some pages. Filmmakers, such as Wes Anderson, who first became aware of her at Sundance in 1993 (she was there with "Orlando"; he had the short film "Bottle Rocket"), seek her out. A self-professed fan, Anderson first hired Swinton as the aptly named Social Services in "Moonrise Kingdom," before casting her in "Budapest."
"I would use any excuse to try to seduce Tilda into one of these movies, but I particularly thought she might like the opportunity to age very suddenly," Anderson explains of offering her the role of Madame D. "There is a sort of concept-art aspect to it. Tilda, as we know, is not just a magnificent actress, she is also a sort of visual performance artist at large in the world."
As for future projects, Swinton says there are a few things she's "chewing on." She will likely reprise "The Maybe" at some point, though she notes: "The idea is that 'The Maybe' is ongoing. It's scheduled, but there is no schedule." For now, she's happy to return to Scotland with her twins, 16-year-old Xavier and Honor; and boyfriend, artist Sandro Kopp. Their relationship has been the center of some media attention: Kopp is 17 years her junior, and some outlets reported she had an open relationship with John Byrne, her longtime partner and father of her children.
Swinton says she and Byrne were no longer together before she became involved with Kopp, and she never felt compelled to clarify it to the press. "We didn't realize for about three years there were these myths that everybody was living together in some kind of a cabal," she says with a laugh. "It's all rubbish, and nobody's getting hurt along the way."
Indeed, Swinton takes neither her personal nor her professional life too seriously. "I'm playful at heart," she says. "And myth-making is always fun."
Thanos will destroy Asgard
For The Avengers 3, it looks like we will get Thanos as the main villain. Most fans are guessing this and are pretty sure this is where the films are leading to. Thanos is due to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy and he may get to demonstrate his powers to the audiences for the first time. He will not however have his weapon – The Infinity Gauntlet.
Thor 3 is due in Phase Three, likely in 2017, and this will probably be the final Marvel film before the third Avengers. In order to show Thanos’ power, he should be shown to destroy Asgard. As we saw in Thor, The Infinity Gauntlet is safely locked up in the relic vault in Asgard. If Thanos is to utilize the power he will need to get hold of it. It would be great to demonstrate how powerful the character is by destroying an entire world that we have seen a lot of in both Thor movies. Having an entire realm destroyed by a villain would be a good reason to ‘Avenge’.
Steve Rogers will die and Bucky Barnes will become Captain America
Captain America: The Winter Soldier re-introduced us to Bucky Barnes in the form of The Winter Soldier. If you don’t remember, he was Steve Rogers’ friend and the commando who fell off the train to his assumed death in The First Avenger, but Barnes survived and was turned into the Soviet super-spy of the sequel’s title. The post-credits scene of The Winter Soldier reveals that he survives his ordeal with Captain America and seems to remember who he is and how he knows him – it would appear that The Winter Soldier is going to become a good guy. In fact he may become the next Captain America.
In the comics when Steve Rogers is assassinated by Brock Rumlow, a.k.a. Crossbones, Barnes then takes over the role of Captain America. With the fact that Chris Evans said he wants to take a break from acting after his Marvel contract ends and Sebastian Stan (who plays The Winter Soldier) has a nine-picture deal with Marvel, it seems apparent that he will take over from Chris Evans. This is also supported by the fact that Crossbones (Frank Grillo) survives the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will likely return in the next installment as a villain.
It may just be a prediction but the way things are going the chances of Barnes becoming Captain America is a certainty – whether or not Steve Rogers will die for this to happen is another story. Recently Chris Evans has confirmed that he is to retire from acting and go into directing. With a new career prospect and no reason to sign a new contract, chances are Barnes will replace Rogers in the not too distant future.
Hawkeye will be killed off/retire
Without being harsh, Hawkeye seems to be the most useless Avenger. First of all he has no superpowers, which for a superhero team means he is quite boring. Secondly he got possessed by Loki in the first five minutes of The Avengers. Jeremy Renner says that we will get more back story to his character in Age of Ultron. That may be true but that certainly doesn’t mean the character is safe from being killed off. As the Avengers team increases, it is likely former members will be phased out. Age of Ultron is set to introduce Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and The Vision – War Machine is also set to appear, so that’s four new members now. Is the team becoming too crowded? Maybe they should kill or retire a character? From the reception of the character from fans, Hawkeye is the favourite candidate to leave the team.
While other characters may be on their way out of the team in the near future, Hawkeye will surely depart the team soon. Either retiring or killing off a character is the option. If Hawkeye were to die, it would be far more dramatic and allow the other characters to have some greater development. This could change instantly if the character is given a bigger role when we next see him in Avengers: Age of Ultron. From early reports this may be the case but due to the fact that the team is becoming crowded someone has to go.
No Female Solo movie until Phase Four
Like with Black Panther, the audience may not get a female superhero movie for quite some time. This could change in a heartbeat though, so fans wanting to see a female hero lead a film keep your fingers crossed. There is still a slot available for Marvel in 2017 and as of yet we have no idea what that film could be. There’s been rumours about a Guardians sequel, as well as a Ms. Marvel or Black Widow movie. Kevin Fiege has expressed a great deal of interest in a female solo movie and seems keen on the idea of having Black Widow carry a movie on her own. Fiege however also said that Marvel Studios has no intention to produce a female solo movie anytime soon.
With a roster of strong female characters Marvel Studios has the ability to develop a solo female superhero movie, but as of now they may deem it too risky. Black Widow is very much a supporting character and that has clearly been the case in all the films she has appeared it. She has gone through some decent development but still lacks something that could allow her to carry a feature film on her own merit.
A Ms. Marvel film has been rumored for a while but still the risk is too high (But fucking Ant-Man is a sure thing??). Guardians of the Galaxy is set to introduce Gamora who is a strong female character, albeit a supporting one at that. If she is well received by fans along with Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron, then a female solo superhero movie will likely be green lit. Until then though the male characters will continue to dominate our screens.
Red Skull will return as a villain
Red Skull was obliterated by the Tesseract at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, so we assume he is dead right? Well he was actually originally going to appear in the Avengers alongside Loki as an antagonist. In the universe in which these characters exist, the Red Skull is actually still alive. His ‘death’ was not as clear cut as the death of other villains in superhero movies.
Maybe the character is dead and won’t return but with the reappearance of Hydra to the series, there must be a good chance that the Red Skull will come back and get revenge on Captain America – maybe as the antagonist of Captain America 3? We already know that Baron Von Strucker will feature in Avengers: Age of Ultron – who is still running Hydra. Maybe Red Skull has just left a legacy, or maybe he will return.
Red Skull is Captain America’s arch rival so it would be good to see the character return. It would be interesting to see how he copes with the changes in the present day just as Steve Rogers has.
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Cosplay post tbh.
THE VICTORIA'S SECRET FASHION SHOW crosses the Pond when it films in London for the first time, for broadcast this holiday season on the CBS Television Network. Announced today at the Victoria's Secret Bond Street store by Angels Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel, the show merges fashion, fantasy and entertainment into a runway spectacle. The show, seen in 192 countries, will include musical performances, pink carpet interviews, model profiles and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the world's most celebrated fashion show. The 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show broadcast was the night's #1 show in adults 18-49 and adults 18-34.
sources: 1 & 2
Musical performances: which musicians will they feature?