Movie shushing — more heated a conflict than the vast majority of the political issues that divide our senate. On Thursday, a new skirmish hit the Internet when writer Anil Dash posted an article titled Shushers: Wrong About Movies. Wrong About The World, promoting the freedom to act, speak, text, and rally as you see fit in a public cinema... neglecting to consider the experience of your fellow movie-goer. In a response that speaks for shushers everywhere, Vulture's Matt Zoller Seitz released a well-articulated essay, expressing his vantage point on the errors found in Dash's piece, and celebrating the experience of truly devoting oneself to the big screen.
Check it out here and weigh in: are you pro- or anti-shushing?
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Actor Josh Gad has been cast as tragic comedian Sam Kinison in a new biopic based on the memoir penned by the funnyman's brother. Deadline.com reports the Tony Award-nominated star of Broadway hit Book of Mormon will star in Kinison, which will chronicle the comedian's transition from Pentecostal preacher to in-demand stand-up.
Kinison's short-lived success came to an abrupt end in 1992 when he was killed in a car accident.
Producer David Permut has confirmed reports that Borat director Larry Charles will take charge of the project, stating, "There was nothing conventional about Sam Kinison and neither will be the cinematic interpretation of his life. Larry Charles is the perfect director... and Josh Gad’s tremendous ability to morph into a role will bring great depth to Kinison’s larger than life persona."
"The best cancellation is getting fired. Without a doubt. I love to get fired! The times I've been fired I couldn't believe how thrilled I was!" Comedian Larry David actually enjoys getting cut loose from jobs.
Award-winning playwright Larry Kramer has wed his longterm partner from his hospital bed as he recovers from bowel surgery in New York. The Normal Heart writer, 78, had initially planned to wed his boyfriend, David Webster, on Wednesday (24Jul13) on the terrace of their Manhattan apartment, but they had to scrap that idea last Friday (19Jul13) after Kramer fell ill.
He was admitted to New York University's Langone Medical Center, where he underwent surgery for a bowel obstruction, and he has been recuperating from the operation in the intensive care unit (ICU).
However, he refused to postpone the nuptials over his health setback and instead invited friends and family to join him and Webster as they exchanged vows in the hospital.
Webster, 67, tells the New York Times, "I had been traveling when Larry went into the hospital and when I was back and he was able to talk, he told me he had invited 20 people to the I.C.U. for the wedding. So it turned into a little party at his bedside."
Kramer, who has been at the forefront of AIDS activism for over three decades, has been dating Webster since the mid-1990s.
Woody Allen likes Louis C.K.. A lot. Not only was he enough of a fan of the standup comic's slice-of-life FX series Louie to cast him in Blue Jasmine (out July 26) Allen came to appreciate C.K.'s gifts so much while making the movie that he's determined to act opposite him in a future film. "He's clearly such a sweet guy," Allen told The New York Times. "I'd love to do a movie with him and me, a comedy. I'm looking for some idea that would work, for the two of us to do." Even more remarkable, he's also considering a return to standup, which he hasn't actively been involved in since the Jack Paar '60s.
Those who think of Woody Allen's latter-day efforts as primarily nostalgia pieces — crammed with moth-eaten euphemisms like "making love" to describe any sexual encounter and scored by his personal collection of crinkly jazz LPs — may be surprised that he'd find such a kindred spirit in Louis. Sure, there's a generation gap there. Allen is 77, and C.K. is 45. But Allen's shown an admirable openness when it comes to casting his recent films. Who would have thought that Owen Wilson would prove his jittery avatar in Midnight in Paris? Or that Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz would become his recurring, post-millennial muses? In the Times piece, Allen even says that his next project is "the perfect movie for Colin Firth and Emma Stone." If you stop to think on it, C.K. is really the perfect partner to complement Allen's vision. Certainly much more so than Larry David, whose neo-Borscht Belt attitude hearkens back to Allen's "earlier, funnier movies" but felt out of place amidst the existential musings of down-and-dirty Big Apple character study Whatever Works.
Louie is, at heart, a study of futility, which is also Allen's primary theme. Much of what C.K.'s FX alter ego experiences could be described as "Anhedonia," the original title of Annie Hall — a movie also about a standup comic dealing with a parade of exes and relationships that go nowhere. C.K. doesn't have many of Allen's iconic nebbish-isms, but the slice-of-New-York-life structure and sensibility of Louie makes each 20-minute episode feel like a mini Annie Hall. Whether dealing with rude fans or shallow showbiz types, Louie's trying to keep his head above the muck in a city he simultaneously loves and finds sullied and discover somewhere in it a lick of truth. Louie's failed sitcom pilot from Season 1 — complete with much younger, overly hot wife — feels like the lazy sketch show Woody works on in Manhattan. The Matthew Broderick-starring Godfather remake he's cast in could have been made by Alan Alda's "if it bends, it's funny!" producer in Crimes and Misdemeanors. You could argue there's no comedian today who bottles literacy and raunch the way Allen always has as effectively as Louis C.K..
Allen even went so far as to say that he's considering a return to standup. That's something he hasn't actively done in decades, though he does continue to perform live as a clarinetist with his jazz band. In the Times he said that he was inspired to give standup another try after seeing the 85-year-old Mort Sahl do it. "Since I saw him, I’ve just been toying with the idea," Allen said. "I would love to see if I could. Just getting together an hour of stuff to talk about would be a lot of work." It's hard not to think, though, that his working friendship with C.K., arguably the finest practioner of the form today, also encouraged this idea. Far from being a stodgy, talky filmmaker for old folks, Allen's always shown his capacity for synthesizing the new. But if he does return to standup, if he does star in a film opposite C.K., it'll show something else: that at 77 he's still a risktaker too. And we'll be the ones to share in the reward.
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Footage from Kanye West's flop sitcom pilot has leaked online. The rapper attempted to launch himself as a TV star back in 2008 when he shot a pilot episode of a comedy show for America's HBO network.
The untitled series was soon shelved and the pilot was never aired, but scenes have now hit the Internet after they were uploaded to YouTube.com by West's co-star, actress Alison Quinn.
West appears to play himself in the clip, and Quinn's character mocks him by continually calling him 'Kenny' instead of Kanye.
Seinfeld writer and Curb Your Enthusiasm director Larry Charles was involved in the project, and at the time of making the show, he revealed West introduced himself as "the black Larry David".
Speaking to MTV back in 2008, Charles said of the series, "What Kanye West said to me the first time... he said, 'I'm the black Larry David.' That's the first thing he said to me. So it's like a Kanye and Curb show, it's kind of improvised about the situations and stuff. It was really good, but again I think it was too hardcore for HBO."
After watching the trailer for HBO Films' newest project, ask yourself: is Larry David's character more humiliated by his 70's-style hair and beard or the missed opportunity to be a billionaire? We think it's the former.
In Clear History, the infamous writers of Curb Your Enthusiasm bring us a TV movie about a hippy marketing executive (an unrecognizably hairy David) who foolishly sells all his shares in an electric car company only to learn it is a billion dollar idea...literally. The movie picks up ten years later after David's disgraced character has changed his name and gone incognito.
In HBO's latest made-for-television comedy, the self-proclaimed "social assassin" is joined by a comedic assembly of Jon Hamm, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan, J.B. Smoove, Bill Hader and Danny McBride.
Clear your schedule for August 10 to see the film's debut on HBO.
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Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's recent performance of David Bowie's Space Oddity high above the earth brought back bad memories for French musician Jean Michel Jarre, who had hoped to feature tragic spaceman Ron Mcnair playing a saxophone solo at a gig in 1986. Jarre had planned to link up with McNair on board space shuttle Challenger as part of a show in Houston, Texas, and watched in horror as his pal and his crewmates perished when the craft disintegrated just 73 seconds after lift-off.
And Jarre reveals Hadfield's out-of-this-world tribute to Bowie, performed 230 miles (370 kilometres) above the planet on the International Space Station and posted online on 12 May (13), took him back to one of the worst days of his life.
He tells CelebrityAccess contributor Larry LeBlanc, "When I heard about the astronaut wanting to play music, obviously, it reminded me of this quite hard time... I could write a book around this concert in Houston.
"For the first time in its history, NASA wanted to be part of a cultural event. We had this idea of having a live link in space, and a song performed, not just as an engineer and a scientist, but also an artist playing saxophone live. It was really moving. Writing a piece of saxophone for NASA is quite challenging for a musician.
"Then we did it, and Ron was rehearsing until the last minute. (I said), 'OK, I'll give you a rendezvous in space,' which was a time to play together, with me in Houston, onstage over the skyline, and him in outer space.
"He said, 'Watch me on television for the take-off...' and we saw the tragedy. We were all in tears. I wanted to cancel the whole thing (concert). The astronauts in Houston said, 'You have to go on. You have to do this concert as a tribute to the astronauts.'"
The Writers Guild of America selected the 101 best written TV series of all time. Here's what we have to say about the top five.
1. The Sopranos It would be a crime NOT to put David Chase's mob drama about Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano (played by James Gandolfini) at the top of the list. By showcasing intense issues with an artistically graphic and entertaining flair, the writers struck ground in the mafia genre and created a family that "gave us an offer we couldn't refuse." Six un-fogget-able seasons led us to an infamous series finale that left viewers forever in disbelief. No one can remember what the episode was about, but the cliffhanger ending will forever stick in our minds. Cue "Don't Stop Believing."
2. Seinfeld There might be "no soup for you" but WGA gave a second place nod to Seinfeld's co-creators, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. Although David's spot at #30 for Curb Your Enthusiasm recognizes the show's "retroscripting" of an outlined plot filled with improvised dialogue, Seinfeld is a sitcom where the writers essentially write about "nothing." While episodes are mainly based on the writers' real-life experiences, the fictionalized antics of Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer have become a cultural phenomenon through classic episodes such as "The Puffy Shirt" and "The Pez Dispenser." Yada, yada, yada.
3. The Twilight Zone It is easy to recognize the haunting success of the sci-fi fantasy series through its evolution into a feature film, a radio series, a comic book and a variety of other spin-offs. But however revered the series is in the world of sci-fi lovers, it is difficult to decipher who should be commemorated for the series' lasting effect on pop culture: the writers of the series or the composers of the iconic theme song. The thrilling Twilight Zone achieves something that is less common in television today by allowing the politically symbolic stories to be the star of the series, even though several of the actors (i.e. Robert Redford, William Shatner, and Carol Burnett) went on to become icons.
4. All in the Family While the CBS sitcom wasn't initially a television hit, it soon blew up with its depiction of controversial issues never before seen in a sitcom format. Notorious for using television comedy to generate a national conversation on difficult issues, the writers revolved present day conflicts around family life inside a Queens home. A true test of the show's success is that even though the show ended over 30 years ago, the well-written but not always politially correct characters still influence their most faithful viewers: the recent death of beloved actress Jean Stapelton, best known as the family's matriarch Edith Bunker, has left many fans in mourning.
5. M*A*S*H M*A*S*H, starring Alan Alda and Wayne Rogers, is most notable for being the only long-running series based around a war zone. However, it is also commemorated for its flawless integration of comedy and the traumatic themes inevitable in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. The series spans a three-year military conflict during the Korean War, but the real beauty of many of the plotlines is that they were founded on stories told by real MASH surgeons interviewed by the production team. To make M*A*S*H even more deserving of a top spot on the list, its series finale in 1983 was the most-watched television show of that time.
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Anna Nicole Smith's young daughter is set for a bumper payday after a U.S. judge ruled the six year old is entitled to sanctions from the estate of the late model's billionaire former husband, J. Howard Marshall. The oil tycoon was married to Smith for a year when he died in 1995 and the busty blonde fought his son and other family members for a large cut of his fortune up until her passing from an accidental drug overdose in 2007.
Lawyers for her estate kept up the legal fight, but they were dealt a bitter blow in 2011 when a Supreme Court Chief Justice in Washington, D.C. overturned a prior ruling to give the tragic beauty's family $475 million (£306.5 million).
The case returned to court this week (begs27May13), and there was good news for Smith's relatives - U.S. District Judge David O. Carter found that Marshall's estate representatives had used unsavoury tactics to hide crucial documents from Smith's lawyers during the lengthy legal battle, and ordered the executors to pay sanctions to the model's daughter, Dannielynn.
Phil Boesch, lawyer of Smith's estate, tells Forbes.com, "This is a complete vindication of Anna Nicole's rights, and a total condemnation of what was done to her. We are confident that the amount Anna's estate and daughter Dannielynn will finally be awarded will be fair and substantial."
Reports suggest the child - Smith's son with her lover Larry Birkhead - could receive as much as $49 million (£31.6 million).
Ironically, Smith's romance with the oil tycoon will be detailed in a new TV movie, Anna Nicole, which will air in America in June (13).