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After a few weeks of the usual cryptic American Horror Story promos we have all learned to endure over the promotion of the last two seasons, finally a new short teaser gives us a real glimpse at what this season will look like. The clip, entitled "Initiation," delivers some crazy occult imagery and features many of the ensemble we have grown to equally love and fear, along with some exciting new faces. And having just the slightest peek was enough to conjure up some hopeful speculation for the new season.
Series creator Ryan Murphy has promised a lighter, glamorous, and (subjectively) fun story in contrast to the nightmare parade that was last season, and Coven looks like it will deliver. The premise will center around a New Orleans based school teaching young witches to protect themselves from a wave of violent attacks that stands to destroy their kind. The pupils, played by AHS alums Taissa “Cryin’ Violet” Farminga and Jamie Brewer along side new additions Gabourey Sidibe and Emma Roberts, will learn the magic ropes from Sarah Paulson’s Cordelia and remain under the protection of the Supreme witch, who will of course be played a flawlessly commanding Jessica Lange. In keeping with AHS’s routine of digging through national history and adapting historical figures, Angela Bassett will portray the renowned voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau and Kathy Bates will play the infamous serial killer Delphine LaLaurie.
The new promo features the uniformed teen witches marching towards their new institution, a gorgeous Southern Gothic mansion adorned with floating female bodies, right over a grotesque Minotaur-like creature left over the second season of ‘True Blood’ and towards the audience of the intimidating three leads. We were on board at “teen witch school”, but when Lange, Basset and Bates revealed themselves like out of some Almodovar helmed horror film, it was clear that ‘Coven’ will have us spellbound. Fingers crossed on a soundtrack full of Stevie Nicks, ‘Suspiria’ inspired references and Harry Potter cracks in the enchanting new season.
Watch The New AHS Teaser: The Dead Don't Lay StillNew AHS Snake-Swallowing Poster Is the Freakiest Thing You'll See
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In our quest to bring you the best TV content, sometimes we have to look... backwards. That's why we have Thursday TV Throwback, wherein each week our staff of pop culture enthusiasts will be tasked with bringing back some of the best television clips that have been forgotten by time, space and the general zeitgeist.
In honor of MTV airing the New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas seasons of The Real World this season, we've put our heads together to cast OUR dream Real World house. From crushes to heroes to just plain psychos, here's who we'd want to watch if they ever did an "All Star" type of thing...
Brian Moylan (Tie): One of the most revolutionary aspects of the Real World was its inclusion of gay people, and none is more memorable than Danny Roberts from New Orleans. First we had Norm from New York who hid behind being "bisexual" and asexual saint Pedro from San Francisco, but Danny was something else entirely. He was just a guy. A hot guy. A hot guy who was in love with another guy who happened to be in the military. His story was less about activism and more about wanting to be allowed to live like everyone else on the show, and that ended up being the most effective activism of all.
TV Throwback Thursday: Best Drunk Scenes
Eric Nies was the original Real World pretty boy who wanted to be an actor. The only native New Yorker on the original season of the show set in a SoHo loft (back when SoHo was something other than an outdoor mall) Eric was as famous for his hot temper as he was his hot abs. His acting career never took off (shocker!) but he did secure a gig hosting MTV's ridiculous dance show The Grind. And, guess what, he still has those abs even today.
Shaunna Murphy: I think the only person who loves David Broom's "Come on Be My Baby Tonight" more than I do is Dave Chappelle, or maybe my colleague Aly Semigran. Either way, as soon as they showed his casting tape (remember when they had casting specials because people actually cared?) and he broke out the squee-da-boo-dee-da-boo-dees, I knew we were in for a great season. It was, and he was one of the worst parts of it, but this song alone earns him a spot in my ultimate Real World house — even if he might get busted with a $10 hooker while he's there.
Michelle Lee: Years ago, I got hooked on a marathon of Real World: Hawaii and since then, I've always thought Ruthie Alcaide has got to be the ultimate Real Worlder. She was a drunk mess before Snooki and Amber Portwood were even a twinkle in MTV's eye. But she was more than just a ridiculous trainwreck. She had a real story arc and evolved into a solid, likable — sober — cast member on six seasons of The Challenge.
Kate Ward: It's impossible to forget Brooke LaBarbera from Real World: Denver because, well, The Soup will never let us forget this moment.
Aly Semigran: With the exception of the Stephen and Irene (they were both exceptionally annoying in my book) I loved the entire cast of The Real World: Seattle (the best Real World season, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise) but as a teenager, I couldn't help but fall for VMI buddies David and Nathan. My crushes for them always swayed, but after David flipped out on his girlfriend in the car, it had to be Nathan Blackburn who had an adorable quasi-soul patch and was an all-around good guy. I know by today's 'Real World' standards, that's boring, but I miss the good old days when they picked relatable, decent people like Nathan. (See his reaction to the "slap heard round the world" below.)
Alicia Lutes: If there was anyone who embodied the motto "stop being polite and start getting real" it was 100% Coral Smith from the Real World" Back to New York. She was outspoken, audacious, outrageous, and hilarious. Her relationship with Mike "The Miz" was intense but eye-opening, her opinions were loud, and she carried herself like the hilarious reality queen that she is. No one has really quite done it like Coral. Besides, has there ever been a moment more hilarious in RW/RR history than when Coral proclaimed "I don't wrestle, I f**king beat bitches up!" when egged on by Julie to take it to the grass? Nope. And that's why she's the best.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect/Getty Images]
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Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. Because if Thursday’s episode of American Idol is any indication, a large part of the series’ audience has no idea what a good singer sounds like, and next week, those people are going to start determining who goes home.
Throughout Thursday’s episode, during which the final 10 guys sang for their spots in the top 20, the judges were at odds with the audience, who were apparently watching a different show than the rest of us. When Nicki Minaj or Randy Jackson would do their jobs and point out the issues with each singer’s performance, the audience would not only groan, but boo so vehemently that at one point Nicki was forced to fire back at them just so she could finish speaking. This is not good news.
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Next week, half of the performers in our top 20 will be voted off the show, and if the sizable audience in Las Vegas couldn’t tell the difference between a cute guy with little talent and a truly spectacular performer, how can we trust the audience at home? Perhaps we should just hope and pray that the people in Las Vegas were just drunk off the fumes from all the spilled alcohol throughout the streets of the party town.
But complaints aside, the main event of the evening were the performances, because surprise, that’s the point of the show.
First up is the never totally pleasant Mathenee Treco, who continues his trend of wasting the parts of his performance style that are appealing by covering them up with his brand of bro karaoke. He’s got a good voice under it all, but the guy has no idea what to do with it. His rendition of “A Little Less Conversation” is spastic and unpleasant; he allows the song to take him over and it swallows him whole. Randy, Nicki, and Keith dislike the performance, though Nicki’s the only one who points out that it’s the fault of Mathenee’s cheese-factor and not just his poor song choice. Mariah says she likes him, because she’s proved she can offer no other commentary, but it’s not enough to keep him from going home.
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Gupreet Singh Sarin follows Mathenee right out the door, and to be honest, I have no idea how this guy got this far in the first place. Sure, Nicki loves him, but even in his last performance, which all of the judges reminisce about as some great “moment” (and we all know how they love those moments), Gupreet was only mediocre. This week, “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You” is just plain awful. There’s nothing remarkable about any of it. His vocals are boring and off-key. It feels like the last hour at a wedding when your drunk cousin grabs the mic and starts making up words to all the instrumental parts of songs. It’s terrible and even Mariah agrees, though she’s not quite at Nicki’s level of “Hell. No.”
Finally, one of the guys is worth watching. Vincent Powell is someone I could actually imagine voting for. While his look is somewhat stolen from Cee-Lo Green’s closet, his performance of “Because I Love You” is pretty incredible. He’s got an interesting voice, control over his vocals, and a knack for completely organic runs. The guy’s got what everyone in this competition keeps pretending to have: a sense of artistry. Luckily, the judges saw the same thing I did (though I didn’t quite have the panty-throwing urge Nicki was clearly having) and Randy even connected Vincent’s style to Miguel and Frank Ocean, two artists who are owning this moment in music. He’s a real singer and he makes sense in the current scene, so thankfully he’s sticking around for the big vote next week.
Delivering a bit of a disappointing number is Nick Boddington, who tries “Say Something Now.” This guy was so incredible during Hollywood week, but Thursday’s performance is boring. He’s got a nice voice, but there’s little connection to the song. It’s something Keith and Nicki pick up on, but Randy says he knows Nick can do better if he could just get himself one of those moments Randy never stops ranting about. Regardless, Nick was happy in the final moments of the episode, because he managed to eke out a spot in the top 20.
RELATED: 'Idol' Recap: Good Girls Go Home
And from a lack of connection to a lack of touch, the famous pants-ripper Josh Holliday steps onstage to sing an original song he wrote during Hollywood Week. You’d think the guy would want to do a song that’s had a little more time to gestate, but this is the person who didn’t think before doing a split in non-stretch khakis on a stage in front of 20 guys and four industry experts. The performance is alright and almost a little tender when Josh starts at the piano, but as he continues singing his trite lyrics and gets up from the piano to dance around and feign emotion, any potential he had dissipates immediately. He’s showy and cloying, not passionate, and the judges can feel it. Keith gets away with saying Josh needed to be more passionate, but Nicki is booed to death by the audience when she dares to suggest that Josh wasn’t all that great (now, if only she wasn’t totally and completely CORRECT). Randy’s not impressed and even Mariah defers her commentary to the audience, suggesting “Well, at least the audience sure loved it.”
And this is why I’m worried. Josh was not good. If we’re going to sugarcoat it, sure, he lacked passion, but the audience couldn’t even deal with the suggestion that it wasn’t great. These people are going to be the ones sending good singers home next week. Luckily, Josh is sent home, so he won’t be around to cloud their judgement.
The judges aren’t always right though. David Wallis makes a mistake with his song choice, but still manages to prove he’s a good singer who’s ready to take his talent to the next level. He sings “Fever” and it leaves him in a bit of a rut until he gets to the song’s finale and breaks out something a little special. And even though he gets a little too comfortable in his little rocking back and forth groove, it’s a good groove. Randy and Keith like it, but they think he needs a bigger opportunity to show off. Nicki thinks it’s amateur and that he wasn’t current enough, but perhaps that’s because his rendition wasn’t super sexy. Either way, his journey ends, likely so Lazaro Arbos, the heartbreaking so-so singer can stay on a little longer.
Bryant Tadeo of Hawaii takes us into his laid back world, but perhaps we takes it back one too many notches. His performance of “New York State of Mind” shows that he’s clearly got a good voice, but man is it cheesy and boring. You can’t do this song with this arrangement without it feeling dated unless you are the Piano Man, himself. While Keith likes it, Nicki hates everything except for the last couple of notes, earning her some serious anger from the crowd. But Randy agrees, saying the song didn’t go anywhere and as the crowd loses its mind over the truth, Mariah brings them back into “woo-hoo” territory when she simply says he sounded “professional.” That’s not a compliment, Mariah. I have a green shift dress that is very professional, but I never wear it because it’s no fun and I’d much rather wear basically anything else I own. “Professional” is not the mark of a good performer, sweetheart, and it’s not the mark of someone who gets a spot in the top 20.
Thankfully, the bad taste in our mouths is abolished by the sweet, sweet singing of my favorite guy on the show, Burnell Taylor of New Orleans. He wisely and bravely chooses “This Time” by John Legend, which is an excellent song choice because he’s got a voice in Legend’s genre without sounding exactly him. He’s good, a little strange in his movements, but totally genuine. While Burnell doesn’t have a huge range, he’s a great singer and the sort of person whose effortless style ropes an audience in until they're hopelessly devoted to his every last work. He’s got it all. He’s wonderful. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s super cute. While Keith and Randy simply love it, Nicki has to take it up a notch: she would pay to hear him sing RIGHT. NOW. BOO. And while Nicki connects to his story of misfortune (which is exactly what we hate about Idol), it is actually very sweet that she wholeheartedly thinks he deserves it. Mariah pitches in and says a lot of things, but it’s not worth trying to crack that code because no one doubted that Burnell was going to be asked to stay on for another week.
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Now comes the hard part: total sweetheart and chronic stutterer Lazaro Arbos hits the stage looking dapper in his bright pink button-up and little black bowtie to take on Keith’s song “Tonight I Wanna Cry.” He’s a sweet, loveable guy, but he’s simply out of place in the competition. And it’s not for lack of vocal quality: it’s lack of training. Another year, after some training, perhaps Lazaro could be a strong enough performer and confident enough to be a real contender. This year, he’s either going to get swallowed up, or pushed along through the competition with sympathy votes until voters can’t support him any more. But he doesn’t deserve that. This sweet guy deserves to be told the truth, do some work to better his performance, and return triumphantly like the girls’ Candice Glover did this season. Still, the judges can’t send him home and he stays on for another week.
For the finale, the show gives us Cortez Shaw, who’s still a little too cocky for his own good. He does a slow rendition of “Titanium” by David Guetta, which is a song I hate and if I’m being honest, I spent the first half of Cortez’s performance trying desperately to conquer my hatred. Once that subsided enough to hear clearly, it was obvious that Cortez’s vocal range is a thing of beauty; he can hit high notes that most men can’t even dream of. But as Keith points out, his chosen tune exposes all the flaws in his voice and while the good parts are great, the connecting parts are lacking. It’s something that can’t last if this guy is to stick around and become a serious performer. Nicki doesn’t seem to see an issue because she’s blinded but the fact that she finds Cortez sexy. (Hey, let’s give the girl a break. Getting booed for two hours probably does something a little unkind to one’s brain.)
Mariah is impressed (or something, who knows what she was really saying), but it’s Randy’s comment that really seals the deal for Cortez before he’s told he gets to stay: according to Mr. Yo Dawg, Cortez is extremely current and marketable. And to some extent it’s true. He’s handsome and has a smooth voice, but is he one of a kind? So far, no. Still, he’s another crowd favorite and if the applause is any indication, this crooner is going to take one of the few spots available to the Idol finalists at the end of next week. Color me as concerned as can be.
Are you worried that voters will pick the wrong singers next week? Who can’t you live without?
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: Michael Becker/Fox]
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Friends Turned Lovers... Twice? The NBC comedy Go On is reuniting a couple of Friends when Courteney Cox guest stars on an episode of Matthew Perry's show. Cox will join Perry, her former onscreen husband Chandler Bing, for an episode airing in April. She will play a woman whom Anne (Julie White) tries to set up with Perry's Ryan. It marks the duo's first small-screen reunion since the Emmy-winning NBC comedy ended its 10-season run in 2004. [THR]
Malibu is Getting a Lot More Country: Blake Shelton will play Reba McEntire's brother on the ABC comedy Malibu Country. The Voice coach will appear in the Friday, March 1 episode. Back in October, McEntire said she was courting Shelton for a guest role. "I've already talked to Blake and Kelly [Clarkson] and they said ... that they would appear, so we just got to get the script right when we need 'em in here," she said. [Huffington Post]
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Vampire Diaries Spinoff Finds Its Big Bad: Charles Michael Davis has just been cast as the big villain Marcel in The Vampire Diaries spinoff, The Originals. Co-starring opposite Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies and Phoebe Tonkin, the potential spinoff will be introduced in the April 25 episode of the CW drama. Written by TVD co-creator/executive producer Julie Plec, the show centers on the Original family of vampires, as Klaus (Morgan) returns to the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans — a town he helped build centuries ago — and is reunited with his diabolical former protégé Marcel (Davis). Wicked, wild and charismatic, Marcel is a former kicked-around street rat who now calls the shots in the supernatural playground of New Orleans. As a modern-day vampire, he’s fierce and bold, able to accomplish as much with his charm as he is with his strength. Elijah (Gillies), intent on helping his self-destructive brother find redemption, must side with Marcel’s enemies in order to keep Klaus in line. [Deadline]
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Arrow's Throwing a Party! DJ and producer Steve Aoki will make a cameo appearance as himself in an upcoming episode of The CW’s hit action series Arrow. Airing Wednesday, March 20 at 8 PM ET/PT, the episode features the long-awaited opening of Oliver Queen’s Starling City nightclub. Since money is no object for a billionaire like Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), he hires the world’s most in-demand DJ — Aoki — to play opening night at his new club. Tracks from Aoki’s recently released EP, It’s the End of the World As We Know It, will be included in the episode, in addition to tracks from affiliated artists on Aoki’s Dim Mak music label. [The CW]
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Game of Contracts: Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin just signed a two-year overall deal with HBO. Martin will continue as co-executive producer on GOT, whose Season 3 premieres March 31. Additionally, he will develop and produce new series projects for the network. [Deadline]
Extra Castle, It's What You Crave: ABC has just ordered an additional episode of Castle, making its season 5 a total of 24 episodes. The extra episode will air in April instead of a repeat. This is very good news for fans of the series who are waiting on an early Season 6 pickup. [EW]
[Photo Credit: Getty Images; WENN]
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
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Television's biggest day is finally here — all of your favorite stars have braved a brutal Los Angeles heat wave for a shot at Emmy gold. Hollywood.com did too, and we're armed and ready to bring you all of the latest scoop from the winners backstage. Will we be hamming it up with Jon Hamm, or breaking bad with returning champ Bryan Cranston? Will Mad Men take the top drama prize again, or can a newbie like Homeland or Downton Abbey pull an upset? Only the Academy knows for sure, but be sure to check back here for frequent updates — live from the winners backstage! To be continued...
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Eric Stonestreet:
On who he is excited to see tonight: "All of the cast of Modern Family. They are my family, and we are each others' family. We know this isn't going to last forever, and will be the old show in a couple of years, or next year even. I was pulling for Jesse or Ed tonight, and I know Julie was pulling for Sofia."
On mood on set after beating co-stars Ed O'Neill and Jesse Tyler Ferguson: "It's going to be pretty violent, for sure. I'm sure Ed is going to do is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on me, and Jesse is just going to cock his hip or something. No, we love each other, and there is no competition at all between us."
On his pre-Emmy ritual: "The Emmys are on a Sunday, so there's football on. I watched football in the morning and saw my Kansas City Chiefs beat the New Orleans Saints."
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Julie Bowen:
On co-star Sofia Vergara's lack of Emmy wins: "She doesn't get the credit she deserves as an actress... there's only a few of us who understand that what she does isn't just play herself. I owe her a lot.... [but] she has a lovely, lovely life. I think rewards come in all different ways. She's getting rewards in other areas in her life, but she deserves one of these as well.
On what she's learned from her on-screen character, Claire: "Claire is a great mom, and she's taught me to be ballsy, and that you don't have to be your kids' best friend. That you don't have to look at every crayon drawing and frame it. Claire has given me that confidence."
On where she'll keep her Emmy: "Out of reach of my son Oliver, who broke the last one."
On the importance of comedy in today's world: "I love that both Ann Romney and Michelle Obama said that Modern Family is their favorite show… laughing is the only thing that matters."
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Jon Cryer:
On being surprised to win: "I am as shocked as you people. That's all I'm going to say. That's why my speech sucked...Who did I think was going to win? I thought Jim Parsons was going to win again. Big Bang is at the top of its game right now, and he has unfortunately not gotten any worse, so I thought this was going to go to him. I apologize for this speech.
On transitioning to lead actor: "When Charlie [Sheen] and I were doing the show together, the show really rested on Charlie. The show was structured around his character. It felt silly to be in [the lead actor] category… they've restructured [the show] and it's been more of a partnership, and it's been a blast."
On his chemistry with Ashton Kutcher: "With Charlie, [the chemistry] was automatic, you never had to think about it. With Ashton, we're always working on it, and coming up with new stuff. We rehearse a little more. It's a blast."
On Miley Cyrus' hair: "I know her haircut is very controversial, but I love it. I lay on the side of I think she looks fantastic."
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus:
On her plans for tonight: "How will I be celebrating? I'm going to have a glass of wine. My husband and I brought our 15-year-old son to the show tonight, so it's very exciting that he's here. He'll go to the Governor's Ball with us, then he'll go home because he has school tomorrow. Then his dad and I are going to live it up a little."
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Tom Bergeron:
On the toughest part of hosting live: "I would have to be making things up… the truth of the matter is, [hosting Dancing With The Stars] is the most relaxed part of my day. I love live television. They've created an incredible playground for me… I am never more comfortable than when I'm onstage live on that show."
On the all-star he is most looking forward to seeing again: "If I answer that question, I piss off twelve people. I'm looking forward to all of them equally."
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Aaron Paul:
On whether he thinks fans would be upset if Breaking Bad had a happy ending: "Yeah. I think so. I don't think that's what our fans want. It's not going to be a fairytale ending. I hope Jesse survives. I think he deserves to survive. But we'll see."
On his reaction to winning for a second time: "In my speech, I was out of my head. I truly was not expecting this whatsoever, so I didn't prepare anything. I was shaking and trying not to sob."
On what he said to co-star and co-nominee Giancarlo Esposito: "I cried in his arms, and said, 'It doesn't make sense to me that I was on that stage and you were not.' I didn't know what to say to him. What he did with Gustavo Fring is impeccable."
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Damian Lewis:
On the public's reaction to his character: "I still get jokes going through airport security: 'Have you got a vest on?'"
On his competition, Bryan Cranston: "I've been getting to know Bryan in the circus that is pre-awards merry-go-round, and what just a sweet, lovely, funny man. I love him already. I was quite convinced that he'd be walking up tonight again... I've been catching up on Breaking Bad, mostly out of politeness. I feel like I should see what my competitors are doing."
On the state of America today: "I think there is a particular polarization in your political landscape at the moment... but hey, that's the same in my country, too. I think 9/11 changed the world, and when people have not been at their best, they've behaved badly. And I mean us. I mean the west. We're doing the best we can after an atrocity that changed the world 11 years ago."
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Claire Danes:
On President Obama being a fan of the show: "No pressure, you know? It's way cool that he is a fan. I think it speaks to the relevancy of the show. It's hugely validating. I don't have to write the thing, I just have to play it somewhat convincingly… it means so much to us. We're stupefied by the fact that he's tuning in consistently."
On why Homeland is so popular: "It's not preachy. I don't think it's a particularly political show. I think it's a psychological thriller… it doesn't take a very biased position, but it does speak to our feelings about anxiety and unrest right now. We're in a new era where the enemy is not so clear."
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Julianne Moore:
On why she chose to star as Sarah Palin in Game Change: "This is an examination of how we pick our leaders. That to me is what was so compelling about this film."
On who she forgot to thank: "I wanted to give a shout out to Tina Fey and Katie Couric. Certainly in my research, when I saw how influential they were [on the 2008 election], it was really quite impressive."
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Minseries or a Movie Jessica Lange:
On season two of American Horror Story: "It's a more complex story [this year]. Ryan [Murphy] likes to create these things around themes. Last year it was infidelity, this year it's around faith and madness. I think the themes are bigger this year, which allows for all of us to go further. My character goes from A to Z in this one."
On working with Ryan Murphy: "It's very exciting. I never know exactly where he's going with his characters, or with the story. It's always surprising. 99 percent of the time, it's very rewarding. He's got an amazing imagination, and that translates to the writing. It gives me a lot to do. It's a great collaboration."
Outstanding Comedy Series Modern Family:
Steve Levitan, on his speech getting cut off: "I tend to be long-winded, so I think I got what I deserved."
Eric Stonestreet, on living in the moment: "We know that it will eventually not be this way, and you will hate us all."
Sofia Vergara, on her Emmy experience: "Even though Julie keeps winning all of my awards, I am still very happy and I will still keep coming."
Outstanding Drama Series Homeland:
Claire Danes, on ending Mad Men's reign: "Well, we didn't make our show just to undermine them. We're delighted and thrilled, and I think a little startled by this. I don't think anybody was expecting to be recognized this way right off the bat. But it feels pretty nice!"
Mandy Pantinkin, on working with Claire Danes: "It's like a magic trick, watching her. Not just her, the whole company."
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Kevin Costner:
On his best real-life moment: "I was raised in a very conservative way, and the day I told my parents I was going to act was a really momentous thing, because my father turned around and said, 'What? How are you going to do that? How are you going to make a living?'... I grew up in a very blue collar background, and I'd gone to college, and in his mind I was throwing it all away. I know a lot of younger people rebel a lot earlier in life… I was never that. There was a moment where I knew exactly who I wanted to be… that was a huge moment in my life, when I declared who I was."
On what's next for him: "I have been writing a lot of things. In the last five years I haven't worked very much. I had three babies with my wife. All that time I had been writing, and looking to direct. Writing some television also, because that's the way the stories were working out. My children, I'm not certain that they know I'm an actor. My five year old and my three year old think that I'm in construction, because of the building of the homes that we're doing right now. Hollywood works off perception, so I know what success means to people who deal with perception. I believe in the writing, and writing has propped my career up. My whole career. I'm a writer-oriented actor. When I find good writing, I don't care in what medium it sits. I love the community. I'm a real romantic about Hollywood, but I've always also been a bit outside of it. I play to go into heavy work mode. I'd like to direct more features, there's a television show I've been developing..."
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
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Mary Elizabeth Winstead has already had the distinguished honor of playing both the blue-haired object of Scott Pilgrim's eye (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and John McClane's offspring (Live Free or Die Hard.) Now the actress can add another high-ranking title to her impressive resume: the First Lady.
The 26-year-old plays Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the 16th President of the United States of America — and now, vampire combatant — Abraham Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Like the rest of the film some artistic liberties were taken with the portrayal of the First Lady, including how she looked (having three names is about as close to resemblance as the two women have) and excluding her oft-speculated bipolar disorder.
But even with the changes, Winstead, who chatted with Hollywood.com about her work on the film, says there's still traces of the Mary Todd Lincoln we all learned about in history class and the one in writer Seth Grahame-Smith's script. "The more I learned about her [while researching], the more I wanted to bring as much truth to her as possible, and I feel like she's represented in the film in a realistic way to how she really was. I expected to read about her and for her to be wildly different from the way she was in the script, but I was surprised to find that it actually all matched up really well," Winstead explained.
Winstead credited director Timur Bekmambetov with rooting the grieving (a Lincoln family member is killed by a vampire) and, yes, ass-kicking First Lady (Mary Todd gets in her own satisfying vampire kill, which Winstead admitted was a good thing, "otherwise it would have been a bit of a letdown") in some reality. "Timur was great about talking to me about what was happening in her life that you don’t see in the movie. "During a scene, he would say, 'This is what she was doing right before she walked in the door,' or 'This is what she’s thinking when she’s not on screen'," Winstead told Hollywood.com, "So it sort of feels like all those things are happening in her life, you just don’t see it in the movie, but when I’m watching, I can see it in the air of what’s happening, and in their interaction, you can see how tense it is, and you can see how emotionally troubled they both are, but it’s just not spoken about."
But it wasn't just getting unseen details down for the film, but infusing a certain sensitivity about such an important time in American history. It was a responsibility, the star acknowledged, the cast and crew didn't take lightly. "We were filming in some places that had a really heavy air about them," Winstead said of the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter shoot, "Like, we’d be filming on old southern plantations where you could see the slave quarters, and you felt the seriousness of that place, and the history of it. And those were moments where you felt like, okay, I hope we’re doing this right, and I hope we’re showing people that we’re really not trying to be offensive in any way, we’re not trying to make fun of the real story behind this, we’re really just trying to show a metaphor, really, for what happened. With Timur, you can see that he took the real story very seriously, and he had so much respect for Abraham Lincoln, and showed a lot of reverence for the real story and real events."
Still, there was some levity on the set. This is, after all, a movie called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In addition to donning some impressive old age makeup ("It was cool to look in the mirror and think, 'I wonder if this is what I’m gonna look like',") Winstead and her on-screen husband, Benjamin Walker, a fellow music enthusiast, took advantage of getting to film in New Orleans. "We went out to a lot of jazz clubs,and saw live music, and we went to Jazz Fest. Ben and I would sometimes just hang out and he would play guitar and we would sing songs and stuff like that, you know, cheesy little singer downtime things."
It seems Winstead has been spending a good amount of time having fun on her sets. Not a difficult task when working on projects like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or the upcoming ensemble comedy A.C.O.D., which features Amy Poehler, Adam Pally, Jane Lynch, and Adam Scott, among others. Winstead, who plays Scott's love interest in the comedy about, well, adult children of divorce, enjoyed a different kind of cut up. "It's the funniest people, it was so hard for me to keep a straight face during scenes. Like, one scene I was watching Catherine O’Hara and Richard Jenkins just improv, and [they're] going so quickly, and it's so funny, and I was just in awe." Okay, we'll bite.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens in theaters nationwide today.
[Photo credit: WENN.com/FayesVision]
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: A New Era of Tall Tales
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Star Anthony Mackie Talks Rewriting History
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: First Look Photos
If Sundance is the studious valedictorian of film festivals, than South by Southwest is the party animal younger broth—who's just as smart (if not more) as his stuffy sibling. Held in Austin, Texas every March, SXSW is a rootin' tootin' celebration of cinema, hosting big Hollywood premieres, the best of the best from Sundance and plenty of off-beat indies primed and ready for discovery. Some of the year's best films premiere at the festival—need I remind you of Kill List—and most make their way to release, making SXSW a festival to keep your eye on.
The line-up for this year's fest has been officially release, and sports highly anticipated movies like Jonah Hill's 21 Jump Street and Cabin in the Woods, the long-awaited meta-horror from Lost/Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard and producer Joss Whedon, the premiere of Judd Apatow's new TV show Girls (written and starring Lena Dunham) and new projects from acclaimed directors like William Friedkin (The Exorcist), Kevin McDonald (Last King of Scotland), Will Ferrell, Jay Chandrasekhar of Broken Lizard and the Duplass Brothers (Cyrus).
Check out the films below and let us know which ones you want to hear more about!
Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with some major and rising names in cinema.
Films screening in Headliners are:
21 Jump Street
Directed by: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, Screenplay by: Michael Bacall, Story by: Michael Bacall & Jonah Hill
Police officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) get sent back to high school as undercover cops in the action-comedy 21 Jump Street. Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, with Ice Cube (World Premiere)
BIG EASY EXPRESS
Director: Emmett Malloy
Emmett Malloy’s latest film invites us aboard a train ride unlike any other with Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show.
The Cabin in the Woods
Director: Drew Goddard, Screenwriters: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out. Cast: Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, and Bradley Whitford (World Premiere)
Director: Gotham Chopra
Filmmaker Gotham Chopra spends a year on the road decoding his father and spiritual icon Deepak Chopra. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Lena Dunham
Created by and starring Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture), the HBO show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s.
Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver (World Premiere)
The Hunter (Australia)
Director: Daniel Nettheim, Screenplay by: Alice Addison, Novel by: Julia Leigh, Original Adaptation by: Wain Fimeri
A mercenary is dispatched from Europe to the Tasmanian wilderness by a mysterious biotech company to search for the last surviving Tasmanian tiger.
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill (U.S. Premiere)
Director: William Friedkin, Screenwriter: Tracy Letts
A garish, Southwestern tale - a violent black comedy about a desperate Texas debtor (Hirsch) who plots to kill his mother with help of his family (Haden Church, Gershon). They hire a crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer (McConaughey) to do the job, but Killer Joe asks for their teenage daughter (Temple) as a retainer. The film is based on Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts' (August: Osage County) award winning play. Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church (U.S. Premiere)
MARLEY (UK / USA)
Director: Kevin Macdonald
The definitive life story of Bob Marley - musician, revolutionary, legend - from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best. Directed by Academy-Award-Winner Kevin Macdonald. (North American Premiere)
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
This year’s 8 films were selected from 1,112 submissions. Each film is a World Premiere.
Films screening in Narrative Feature Competition are:
Director/Screenwriter: Matt Ruskin
When Simon’s brother is arrested for armed robbery, he is asked to commit a string of similar crimes in an attempt to get his brother acquitted.
Cast: Nico Stone, Adam DuPaul, Seymour Cassel, Kristin Dougherty, Brian McGrail (World Premiere)
Director: Megan Griffiths, Screenwriters: Richard B. Phillips, Megan Griffiths, Story by: Richard B. Phillips & Chong Kim
A young Korean-American girl, abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, joins forces with her captors in a desperate plea to survive. Cast: Jamie Chung, Matt O'Leary, Beau Bridges, Jeanine Monterroza, Scott Mechlowicz (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jonathan Lisecki
Jenn and Matt, best friends since college who are now in their thirties, decide to have a child together, the old-fashioned way - even though Matt is gay and Jenn is straight. Cast: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, Mike Doyle, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jack Ferver (World Premiere)
Gimme the Loot
Director/Screenwriter: Adam Leon
When Malcolm and Sofia’s latest graffiti masterpiece is buffed by a rival gang, these two determined Bronx teens must hustle, steal, and scheme to get spectacular revenge and become the biggest writers in the City. Cast: Tashiana Washington, Ty Hickson, Meeko, Zoe Lescaze, Sam Soghor
Los Chidos (Germany / Mexico / USA)
Director/Screenwriter: Omar Rodriguez Lopez
The Gonzales family tries hard to hold on to their beautiful Latino traditions of misogyny and homophobia when a tall, white, industrialist stranger appears, challenging their place in the exploitative food chain. Cast: Kim Stodel, María De Jesús Canales Ramírez, Manuel Ramos, Cecillia Gutiérrez, (World Premiere)
Director: Martha Stephens, Screenwriters: Martha Stephens, Karrie Crouse
A pink-slipped music teacher ponders his stalled relationship and place in the world during an arduous trek across Kentucky’s Sheltowee Trace Trail. Cast: Timothy Morton, Bryan Marshall, Karrie Crouse, Harrison Cole, Michael Abbott Jr. (World Premiere)
Director: Sean Baker, Screenwriters: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
The film explores the unlikely friendship between 21-year-old Jane (Dree Hemingway), and 85 year-old Sadie (Besedka Johnson), two women whose worlds collide in California's San Fernando Valley.
Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Stella Maeve, James Ransone, Karren Karagulian
The Taiwan Oyster
Director: Mark Jarrett, Screenwriters: Mark Jarrett, Jordan Heimer, Mitchell Jarrett
Two Ex-Pat Kindergarten teachers in Taiwan embark on a quixotic odyssey to bury a fellow countryman. Cast: Billy Harvey, Jeff Palmiotti, Leonora Lim (World Premiere)NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT
High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW.
Films screening in Narrative Spotlight are:
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar, Screenwriters: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow
Unable to impregnate his wife, Tommy and friends rob a sperm bank - to get Tommy's long-ago donated sperm back. The crazy plan goes hilariously awry and shows how far a couple will go to create a new life.
Cast: Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan, Wood Harris, Nat Faxon (World Premiere)
Director: Adam Sherman, Screenwriters: Adam Sherman, Dave Reeves & Rachel Hardisty
Just another story about love.
Cast: Lukas Haas, Madeline Zima, Jake Busey, Tania Raymonde, Regine Nehy (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
Two brothers compete in their own private 25-event Olympics.
Cast: Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis, Elton LeBlanc (World Premiere)
Fat Kid Rules The World
Director: Matthew Lillard, Screenwriters: Michael M.B. Galvin, Peter Speakman
Troy, a depressed overweight teenager, gets sucked into the punk rock world by Marcus, a charming street musician. But when Troy discovers Marcus’ drug addiction, he suddenly must figure out the true boundaries of friendship.
Cast: Jacob Wysocki, Matt O'Leary, Billy Campbell, Lilli Simmons, Dylan Arnold (World Premiere)
frankie go boom
Director/Screenwriter: Jordan Roberts
a flick by bruce about his little brother frank who's a crybaby fuck who shouldn't do lame-ass embarrassing shit if he dozn't want people 2 see it
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd, Lizzy Caplan, Ron Perlman, Chris Noth (World Premiere)
Hunky Dory (UK)
Director: Marc Evans, Screenwriter: Laurence Coriat
From the producer of Billy Elliot comes this funny, coming of age film featuring songs from artists such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Dusty Springfield and Electric Light Orchestra. Cast: Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Danielle Branch, Robert Pugh, Haydn Gwynne
(North American Premiere)
In Our Nature
Director/Screenwriter: Brian Savelson
Taking place over a single weekend, an estranged father and son accidentally end up in the same country house with their two girlfriends.
Cast: Zach Gilford, Jena Malone, John Slattery, Gabrielle Union (World Premiere)
Director: Guy Maddin, Screenwriters: Guy Maddin, George Toles
I'm only a ghost... but a ghost isn't nothing.
Cast: Isabella Rossellini, Jason Patric, Udo Kier, Kevin McDonald, Tattiawna Jones (U.S. Premiere)
See Girl Run
Director/Screenwriter: Nate Meyer
What happens when a 30-something woman allows life's "what ifs" to overwhelm her appreciation for what life actually is. Disregarding her current obligations, she digs into her romantic past in hopes of invigorating her present.
Cast: Robin Tunney, Adam Scott, Jeremy Strong, William Sadler, Josh Hamilton (World Premiere)
Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Screenwriter: Chris Millis
When Franklin Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, he must hide the body; but, the wisdom of his beloved brother and the quirks of his neighbors, force him on a journey where a fortune awaits him. Cast: Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville, Juno Temple (World Premiere)
Somebody Up There Likes Me
Director/Screenwriter: Bob Byington
Time flies for everyone: Thirty-five years in the life of Max, his best friend Sal, and a woman they both adore. A deadpan fable about time sneaking up on and swerving right around us.
Cast: Keith Poulson, Nick Offerman, Jess Weixler, Stephanie Hunt, Kevin Corrigan (World Premiere)
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
This year’s 8 films were selected from 845 submissions. Each film is a World Premiere.
Films screening in Documentary Feature Competition are:
Bay of All Saints
Director: Annie Eastman
As the last of the notorious water slums is demolished in Bahia, Brazil, will three single mothers face homelessness or rally for a better life? (World Premiere)
Beware of Mr. Baker
Director: Jay Bulger
Ginger Baker is the original rock ‘n roll madman junkie drummer superstar who everyone thought was dead but somehow survived 50+ years of heroin abuse, disastrous experiments and 5 marriages on 4 continents. (World Premiere)
The Central Park Effect
Director: Jeffrey Kimball
The film reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds who grace Manhattan’s celebrated patch of green, and the equally colorful, full-of-attitude New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of migration. (World Premiere)
Director: Chris James Thompson
A documentary about the people around Jeffrey Dahmer during the 1991 summer of his arrest for the murder of 17 people in Milwaukee. (World Premiere)
Seeking Asian Female
Director: Debbie Lum
When an American man with "yellow fever" meets a Chinese woman half his age online, documenting their attempt to build a marriage from scratch reveals hilarious and troubling complications for the couple and the filmmaker. (World Premiere)
The Sheik and I
Director: Caveh Zahedi
Commissioned by a Middle Eastern Biennial to make a film on the theme of "art as a subversive act," independent filmmaker Caveh Zahedi (I am a Sex Addict) is threatened with a fatwa. (World Premiere)
Directors: Jodi Wille, Maria Demopoulos
The Source Family was a radical experiment in '70s utopian living. Their popular restaurant, rock band, and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood; but their outsider ideals led to their dramatic undoing. (World Premiere)
Welcome To The Machine
Director: Avi Zev Weider
Upon fathering triplets, filmmaker Avi Zev Weider explores the nature of technology, seeking answers about what it means to be human. (World Premiere)
Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. Premieres at SXSW.
Films screening in Documentary Spotlight are:
Director: Kevin Mazur
Renowned celebrity photographer, Kevin Mazur, gives us an all access pass to the life behind the velvet rope and in front of the camera. Candid, revealing and bold interviews with Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and more, take us inside the blurred lines of privacy, pliable journalism, celebrity, fame and what it feels like to be consumed. (World Premiere)
America's Parking Lot
Director: Jonny Mars
Pull up a front row seat as two die-hard fans of 'America's Team' spend their last season with the Dallas Cowboys at historic Texas Stadium, and scramble to preserve their place in America’s Parking Lot. (World Premiere)
Director: Nelson George
On Thursday, November 7, 1991, Earvin “Magic” Johnson made the stunning announcement that he was HIV-positive and would be retiring from basketball immediately. The Announcement gets to the core of Magic’s incredible personal journey. (World Premiere)
Beauty Is Embarrassing
Director: Neil Berkeley
A funny, irreverent and inspirational look into the life and times of one of America's most important artists, Wayne White. (World Premiere)
Director: Katie Dellamaggiore
Amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts, Brooklyn Castle takes an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs facing members of a junior high school’s champion chess team. (World Premiere)
Code of the West
Director: Rebecca Richman Cohen
Frames a high stakes showdown in the halls of the Montana State Legislature. The future of medical marijuana is at stake. (World Premiere)
Degenerate Art: The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes
Director: M. Slinger
A true document of the art and culture of glass pipe-making. It is the first film to ever bring to light this invisible sub-culture in a comprehensive and well-informed format. (World Premiere)
Directors: A. Sabin, David Redmon
Young Russian girls join a modeling agency to seek work in Japan, but get caught up in an unregulated system that reveals an unseemly side of the fashion industry. (U.S. Premiere)
Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters
Director: Ben Shapiro
Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson’s 10-year quest to create a series of haunting, surreal, and stunningly elaborate portraits of small-town American life — filmed with unprecedented access as he makes perfect renderings of a disturbing, imperfect world. (World Premiere)
Just Like Being There
Director: Scout Shannon
Through the eyes of Daniel Danger, Jay Ryan, and the gig poster community, Just Like Being There focuses on poster artists, the music they commemorate, MONDO film posters, fans, bloggers, galleries, collectors and everything in between. (World Premiere)
Scarlet Road (Australia)
Director: Catherine Scott
The film follows the extraordinary work of Australian sex worker, Rachel Wotton. Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression and the rights of sex workers, she specializes in a long over-looked clientele - people with disability. (North American Premiere)
Director: Andrew Garrison
A choreographer finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and against the odds, rallies reluctant city trash collectors to perform an extraordinary dance spectacle. On an abandoned airport runway, two dozen sanitation workers -- and their trucks -- inspire an audience of thousands. (World Premiere)
Waiting For Lightning
Director: Jacob Rosenberg
From the producers of Step into Liquid, comes the story of visionary skateboarder Danny Way, who jumped China’s Great Wall and created a new movement in sport. (World Premiere)
Wikileaks: Secrets & Lies (UK)
Director: Patrick Forbes
The in-depth story of Wikileaks told by all the key players. Sulphurous, personal and moving, it documents history in the making at the lawless frontier of new technology and mainstream media. (North American Premiere)
WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Director: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
This documentary examines the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman and introduces audiences to a dynamic group of real life superheroes who continue to fight the good fight both on and off the screen. (World Premiere)
Audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape that demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.
Films screening in Emerging Visions are:
Black Pond (UK)
Directors: Tom Kingsley, Will Sharpe, Screenwriter: Will Sharpe
An ordinary family is accused of murder when a stranger dies at their dinner table. Stars BAFTA-winner Chris Langham and British Comedy Award Winner Simon Amstell. Cast: Chris Langham, Simon Amstell, Amanda Hadingue, Colin Hurley, Will Sharpe (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Kirsten Sheridan
Five street teens break into a house in a rich Dublin suburb for a night of partying. But games are twisted into something more emotional and ultimately out of control through a series of surprising revelations. Cast: Seana Kerslake, Johnny Ward, Kate Stanley Brennan, Shane Curry, Ciaran McCabe (North American Premiere)
Director: Andrew Beck Grace
A quest to eat locally becomes a meditation on community, the South and sustainability. Eating Alabama is a story about why food matters. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Rebecca Thomas
Rachel, a 15-year-old fundamentalist Mormon, believes she's had an immaculate conception by listening to rock and roll. She flees to Las Vegas to escape an arranged marriage, seeking answers to her mysterious pregnancy.
Cast: Julia Garner, Rory Culkin, Liam Aiken, Billy Zane (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Nir Paniry
A scientist is trapped in the memories of a criminal and must solve a crime in order to get back home to his family.
Cast: Sasha Roiz, Dominic Bogart, Jenny Mollen, Nick Jameson, Brad Culver (World Premiere)
Francine (Canada / USA)
Director/Screenwriter: Brian M. Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky
Academy-Award-winner, Melissa Leo, plays Francine, a woman struggling to find her place in a downtrodden lakeside town after leaving behind a life in prison.
Cast: Melissa Leo, Keith Leonard, Victoria Charkut (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Kevin Mcmanus, Matthew Mcmanus
For three 14-year-old boys at St. Mark's Middle School, it's always a good day for a funeral.
Cast: Dylan Hartigan, Alex Maizus, Jordan Puzzo, Charles Odei, Kevin Corrigan (World Premiere)
Hard Labor (Brazil)
Director/Screenwriter: Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra
Helena prepares to open her own business: a neighborhood grocery store. She hires a maid. But when her husband Octavio is suddenly fired from his job, Helena is left to support the family alone.
Cast: Helena Albergaria, Marat Descartes, Naloana Lima, Marina Flores (U.S. Premiere)
La Camioneta - The Journey of One American School Bus
Director: Mark Kendall
On a 3,000-mile adventure across the borders between the Americas, La Camioneta follows the journey of one out-of-service American school bus as it is repaired, repainted and resurrected into a Guatemalan camioneta. (World Premiere)
The Last Fall
Director/Screenwriter: Matthew A. Cherry
An NFL journeyman struggles to deal with life's complexities after his professional career is over at age 25.
Cast: Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Harry Lennix, Keith David
Leave Me Like You Found Me
Director/Screenwriter: Adele Romanski
Big trees, broken hearts. The story of a lovesick couple’s breakup & makeup while camping in the wilds of California. Cast: Megan Boone, David Nordstrom (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Tim Sutton
Max, a quietly troubled 15-year-old, leaves his lakeside town to live with his father on the sun-blasted fringe of suburban Arizona. What begins in a calm and lush environment ends in a drastic, frayed confusion. Cast: Max Schaffner, Zach Cali, Cody Hamric, Addie Barlett, Aaron Buyea (World Premiere)
Sun Don't Shine
Director/Screenwriter: Amy Seimetz
Two lovers, on the back roads of Florida, do very bad things.
Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, AJ Bowen, Kit Gwinn, Mark Reeb (World Premiere)
Directors: Silas Howard, Ernesto Foronda, Screenwriter: Valerie Stadler
When May returns to LA and runs smack into JP, the man she left behind, past and present collide sending them on a twenty-four hour journey in search of what they lost.
Cast: Monique Curnen, Sung Kang, Joshua Leonard, Mousa Kraish, Michelle Krusiec (World Premiere)
Director: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
Three young brothers' immersive journey into the sensory wonders of the New Orleans night.
Director/Screenwriter: Aleksander L. Nordaas
The film revolves around huldra, a mythical, tailed creature, found by two crime scene cleaners in a concealed cellar. Someone’s been keeping her down here for decades, for reasons soon to surface. Cast: Silje Reinåmo, Jon Sigve Skard, Erlend Nervold, Morten Andresen (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Wu Tsang
A magical-realist portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar in Los Angeles that provides a safe space for Latin/LGBT immigrant and queer art communities to come together in love and conflict.
Director/Screenwriter: Ya'ke Smith
A family is shaken to the core when they discover their son has been molested. As they struggle to deal with the betrayal, their son heads towards a total mental collapse.
Cast: Irma P. Hall, Mikala Gibson, Jordan Cooper, Shelton Jolivette, Eugene Lee (World Premiere)
24 BEATS PER SECOND
Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.
Films screening in 24 Beats Per Second are:
Amor Cronico (Cuba / USA)
Director: Jorge Perugorria
Weaving footage of singer Cucu Diamantes’ Cuban tour into a fictional love story. The result is an energetic display of her glamorous and infectious performance style and a fascinating portrait of Cuba today.
Cast: Cucu Diamantes, Adela Legra, Liosky Clavero, Andres Levin, Jorge Perugorria (World Premiere)
Bad Brains: Band in DC
Directors: Mandy Stein, Benjamen Logan
How four young men from DC changed music forever. (World Premiere)
Charles Bradley: Soul of America
Director: Poull Brien
The incredible late-in-life rise of 62-year-old aspiring soul singer Charles Bradley, whose debut album rocketed him from a hard life in the projects to Rolling Stone magazine’s top 50 albums of 2011.
Director: Dave Boyle, Screenwriters: Dave Boyle, Michael Lerman, Joel Clark, Goh Nakamura
After a devastating breakup, musician Goh Nakamura hits the road with his irresponsible cousin to pursue a promising rebound with fellow musician Yea-Ming Chen.
Cast: Goh Nakamura, Michael Aki, Yea-Ming Chen, Lynn Chen, Ayako Fujitani (World Premiere)
Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir (Iceland / Denmark)
Director: Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir
At the tender age of 70 she started making music - and then she couldn't stop! A tribute to the Danish/Icelandic artist and late bloomer Sigrídur Níelsdóttir.
Paul Williams Still Alive
Director: Stephen Kessler
A documentary filmmaker tracks down actor/singer/songwriter Paul Williams in an attempt to find out what happened to his idol. (U.S. Premiere)
Rock 'N' Roll Exposed: The Photography of Bob Gruen (UK)
Director: Don Letts
Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Yoko Ono, Alice Cooper, Billie Joe Armstrong and others discuss the incredible life and work of the world's foremost rock 'n' roll photographer, Bob Gruen.
(North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Hans Fjellestad
The 100-year history of the loudest street on the planet, The Sunset Strip. (World Premiere)
Under African Skies
Director: Joe Berlinger
Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.
Uprising: Hip Hop & The LA Riots
Director: Mark Ford
20 years after riots ripped through Los Angeles, Uprising documents how hip hop forecasted – and some say ignited – the worst civil unrest of the 20th century. (World Premiere)
A diverse panorama of international filmmaking talent, including premieres, interactive documentaries and shorts.
Films screening in SX Global are:
Director: Ashtar Sayed, Screenwriter: Dr. Mahendra Purohit
Inspired by a true event. Scarecrow tells the true story of a young woman who is attempting to escape from an abusive arranged marriage. Cast: Arti Rautela, Amit Purohit (North American Premiere)
Crulic - The Path to Beyond (Romania / Poland)
Director: Anca Damian
The animated documentary feature-length “Crulic – The Path to Beyond” tells the story of the life of Crulic, the 33-year-old Romanian who died in a Polish prison while on hunger strike.
Cubaton - El Medico Story (Estonia / Sweden)
Director: Daniel Fridell
El Medico - a Cuban house doctor who wants to become a cubaton star - is facing a serious choice between serving the state and becoming a popstar. (North American Premiere)
Her Master's Voice (UK)
Director: Nina Conti
Watching someone talk to themselves has never been so interesting. (World Premiere)
ITALY LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT (Italy / Germany)
Directors: Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi
Gustav and Luca, two Italians, have to decide: Should they stay in Italy, or leave it? (North American Premiere)
Mustafa's Sweet Dreams (Greece / UK)
Director: Angelos Abazoglou
Mustafa, a 16-year-old pastry shop apprentice dreams of becoming a famous baklava chef in Istanbul. (North American Premiere)
Director: Tamae Garateguy, Screenwriters: Tamae Garateguy, Diego A. Fleischer
When a film director hires two screenwriters to make a gangster movie, a fiction feast starts: femmes fatales, mobs fighting for the same neighborhood and a limitless hero who defies every movie concept. Cast: José Luciano González, Joel Drut, Chang Sung Kim, Vladimir Yuravel, Miguel Forza de Paul
¡Vivan las Antipodas! (Germany / The Netherlands / Argentina / Chile)
Director: Victor Kossakovsky
Haven’t we all wondered at some point what was happening just at this moment beneath our very feet at the other side of the planet?
Acclaimed standouts and selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.
Films screening in Festival Favorites are:
Director/Screenwriter: Christoffer Boe
How long will you go, to hold on to the person you love?
Cast: Nicolas Bro, Marijana Jankovic, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Robert Donne, Colm O'Leary
Indifferent even to the prospects of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson (Tim Heidecker), a desensitized, aging Brooklyn hipster, strays into a series of reckless situations that may offer the promise of redemption or the threat of retribution.
Cast: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, James Murphy, Kate Lyn-Sheil, Alexia Rassmusen
Dreams of a Life (UK / Ireland)
Director: Carol Morley
An imaginative quest to go beyond the newspaper reports and solve the mystery of who thirty-eight year old Joyce Vincent was and why she lay undiscovered for three years after her death in one of the busiest parts of London. (North American Premiere)
God Bless America
Director/Screenwriter: Bobcat Goldthwait
Loveless, jobless, possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun and offs the stupidest, cruelest, and most repellent members of society. Cast: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr (U.S. Premiere)
The Imposter (UK)
Director: Bart Layton
In 1994 a 13-year-old disappears without trace in Texas. Three years later he resurfaces in Spain with accounts of a horrifying kidnap. His family is overjoyed – but all is not as it seems.
Indie Game: The Movie (Canada)
Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky
With the twenty-first century comes a new breed of artist: the indie game designer. These innovators design and program their distinctly personal games in the hope that they may find connection and success.
Director/Screenwriter: David Zellner
A fever-dream fable about Annie, a rebellious girl devoid of parental guidance or a moral compass. She roams the countryside looking for adventure, and finds it one day in the form of an abandoned well. Cast: Sydney Aguirre, Susan Tyrrell, Nathan Zellner, David Zellner, David Wingo
Last Call at the Oasis
Director: Jessica Yu
A powerful argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century.
Director: Eduardo Sanchez, Screenwriters: Eduardo Sanchez, Jamie Nash
Exploring the parallels between psychosis, addiction and demonic possession, Lovely Molly tells the story of what really happens before the exorcist arrives.
Cast: Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden (U.S. Premiere)
The Raid (Indonesia)
Director/Screenwriter: Gareth Huw Evans
Rama and his special forces team fight their way through a rundown apartment block with a mission to remove its owner, a notorious drug lord.
Cast: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno
WE ARE LEGION: The Story of the Hacktivists
Director: Brian Knappenberger
We Are Legion takes us inside the world of Anonymous, the radical "hacktivist" collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age.
Live Soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique film event one-offs.
Films screening in Special Events are:
An Evening With Sacred Bones Records
Director: Jacqueline Castel
Brooklyn-based record label Sacred Bones presents an evening of original and curated programming of music videos, short films, works in progress, and a rare screening of their first film production, Twelve Dark Noons. (World Premiere)
Director: Richard Linklater, Screenwriters: Richard Linklater, Skip Hollandsworth
Based on real-life events, this dark comedy follows Bernie Tiede, his recently deceased friend Marjorie Nugent and District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson who is determined to get to the bottom of the crime. Cast: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey, Brady Coleman, Richard Robichaux
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
Director: Drew Denicola
A feature-length documentary about the massive critical acclaim, dismal commercial failure, and enduring legacy of pop music’s greatest cult phenomenon, Big Star. (Work in Progress)
Casa de mi Padre
Director: Matt Piedmont, Screenwriter: Andrew Steele
Will Ferrell plays a Mexican rancher who must defend his father's home against the country's most infamous drug lord. Cast: Will Ferrell, Gael García Vernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Nick Offerman
Girl Walk // All Day
Director/Screenwriter: Jacob Krupnick
A feature-length dance music film that combines freestyle dance with the daily chaos of New York City, set to Girl Talk's recent mashup album, All Day. Cast: Anne Marsen, John Doyle, Daisuke Omiya
Director: Amir Bar Lev
5 DJ's Turn the Table on The History of Music.
Directors: Adam Russell, John Sear
A ground breaking feature-length show controlled entirely by the audience using laser pointers. It is the first viable example of a standalone interactive experience capable of running in commercial movie theatres. (North American Premiere)
The Oyster Princess (1919) with original live score by Bee vs. Moth (Germany)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Screenriters: Hanns Kraly & Ernst Lubitsch
The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s tart 1919 silent comedy that parodies the rich and the spoiled. Austin jazz/rock band Bee vs. Moth performs their original score live with the film for the first time. (World Premiere)
Nominations for the 43rd Annual NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Awards have been released, marking some notable entries for in the realms of film, television, music and literature.
One of the biggest films of 2011, The Help, was recognized by the NAACP in several categories: the film itself earned a nod for Outstanding Motion Picture, while its stars Emma Stone and Viola Davis earned Outstanding Actress nominations. Furthermore, Supporting Actress nominations were assigned to cast members Bryce Dallas Howard, Cicely Tyson and Octavia Spencer. This past weekend, Spencer took home a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. The Help's writer/director Tate Taylor earned a nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture.
Other notable movies of 2011 to earn nods include Tower Heist and Pariah. Some of the bigger acting names on the list this year include Eddie Murphy (for Tower Heist), Laurence Fishburne (for Contagion), Paula Patton (for Jumping the Broom), Zoë Saldana (for Colombiana), Anthony Mackie (for The Adjustment Bureau), Don Cheadle (for The Guard) and Maya Rudolph (for Bridesmaids).
Check below for a complete list of the film, television, music and literature nominations. The 43rd Annual NAACP Image Awards will broadcast live on Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES
Outstanding Motion Picture
Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Pariah (Focus Features)
The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment)
The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Tower Heist (Universal Pictures)
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Eddie Murphy - Tower Heist (Universal Pictures)
Laurence Fishburne - Contagion (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Laz Alonso - Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Oliver Litondo - The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment)
Vin Diesel - Fast Five (Universal Pictures)
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Adepero Oduye - Pariah (Focus Features)
Emma Stone - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Paula Patton - Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Viola Davis - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Zoë Saldana - Colombiana (TriStar Pictures)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Anthony Mackie - The Adjustment Bureau (Universal Pictures)
Charles Parnell - Pariah (Focus Features)
Don Cheadle - The Guard (Sony Pictures Classics)
Jeffrey Wright - The Ides of March (Columbia Pictures)
Mike Epps - Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Bryce Dallas Howard - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Cicely Tyson - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Kim Wayans - Pariah (Focus Features)
Maya Rudolph - Bridesmaids (Universal Pictures)
Octavia Spencer - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
I Will Follow (AFFRM)
Pariah (Focus Features)
The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment)
Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture
A Separation (Sony Pictures Classics)
Attack the Block (Screen Gems)
In the Land of Blood and Honey (FilmDistrict)
Le Havre (Janus Films)
Life, Above All (Sony Pictures Classics)
Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture - (Theatrical or Television)
Alrick Brown - Kinyarwanda (AFFRM)
Angelina Jolie - In the Land of Blood and Honey (FilmDistrict)
Dee Rees - Pariah (Focus Features)
Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture - (Theatrical or Television)
Alrick Brown - Kinyarwanda (AFFRM)
Ann Peacock - The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment)
Dee Rees - Pariah (Focus Features)
Elizabeth Hunter, Arlene Gibbs - Jumping the Broom (TriStar Pictures)
Tate Taylor - The Help (DreamWorks Pictures/Participant Media/Touchstone Pictures)
Outstanding Comedy Series
Love That Girl! (TV One)
Modern Family (ABC)
Reed Between the Lines (BET)
The Game (BET)
Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Dulé Hill - Psych (USA Network)
Malcolm-Jamal Warner - Reed Between the Lines (BET)
Phil Morris - Love That Girl! (TV One)
Pooch Hall - The Game (BET)
Terry Crews - Are We There Yet? (TBS)
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Tatyana Ali - Love That Girl! (TV One)
Tia Mowry-Hardrict - The Game (BET)
Tracee Ellis Ross - Reed Between the Lines (BET)
Vanessa Williams - Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Wendy Raquel Robinson - The Game (BET)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Craig Robinson - The Office (NBC)
Damon Wayans, Jr. - Happy Endings (ABC)
J.B. Smoove - Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Nick Cannon - Up All Night (NBC)
Tracy Morgan - 30 Rock (NBC)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Amber Riley - Glee (FOX)
Gabourey Sidibe - The Big C (Showtime)
Keshia Knight Pulliam - Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)
Maya Rudolph - Up All Night (NBC)
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family (ABC)
Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
The Good Wife (CBS)
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Andre Braugher - Men of A Certain Age (TNT)
Hill Harper - CSI: NY (CBS)
L.L. Cool J - NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
Taye Diggs - Private Practice (ABC)
Wendell Pierce - Treme (HBO)
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Chandra Wilson - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Khandi Alexander - Treme (HBO)
Regina King - SouthLAnd (TNT)
Sandra Oh - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Taraji P. Henson - Person of Interest (CBS)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Corey Reynolds - The Closer (TNT)
Ice T - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
James Pickens, Jr. - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Nelsan Ellis - True Blood (HBO)
Omar Epps - House M.D. (FOX)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Alfre Woodard - Memphis Beat (TNT)
Anika Noni Rose - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
Archie Panjabi - The Good Wife (CBS)
Diahann Carroll - White Collar (USA Network)
Loretta Devine - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Five (Lifetime Movie Network)
Hallmark Hall of Fame, Mitch Albom's Have a Little Faith (ABC)
Luther (BBC America)
The Least Among You (Showtime)
Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Esai Morales - We Have Your Husband (Lifetime)
Idris Elba - Luther (BBC America)
Laurence Fishburne - Thurgood (HBO)
Louis Gossett, Jr. - The Least Among You (Showtime)
Samuel L. Jackson - The Sunset Limited (HBO)
Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Anika Noni Rose - Hallmark Hall of Fame, Mitch Albom's Have a Little Faith (ABC)
Jenifer Lewis - Five (Lifetime Movie Network)
Rosario Dawson - Five (Lifetime Movie Network)
Taraji P. Henson - Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story (Lifetime)
Tracee Ellis Ross - Five (Lifetime Movie Network)
Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series
Aaron D. Spears - The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Bryton James - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Emerson Brooks - All My Children (ABC)
James Reynolds - Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Texas Battle - The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
Christel Khalil - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Julia Pace Mitchell - The Young & the Restless (CBS)
Tatyana Ali - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Tonya Lee Williams - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Yvette Freeman - The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Outstanding News/Information - (Series or Special)
BET News Exclusive: The President Answers Black America (BET)
Judge Mathis (Syndicated)
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)
Unsung (TV One)
Washington Watch with Roland Martin (TV One)
Outstanding Talk Series
Oprah's Lifeclass (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
The Doctors (Syndicated)
The View (ABC)
The Wendy Williams Show (Syndicated)
Outstanding Reality Series
All-American Muslim (TLC)
American Idol (FOX)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
Sunday Best (BET)
Tia & Tamera (Style Network)
Outstanding Variety Series or Special
2011 BET Awards (BET)
Black Girls Rock! (BET)
Oprah Presents: Master Class (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
Prince! Behind the Symbol (The Africa Channel)
UNCF An Evening of Stars Tribute to Chaka Khan (BET)
Outstanding Children’s Program
A.N.T. Farm (Disney Channel)
Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon)
Go, Diego! Go! (Nickelodeon)
I Can Be President: A Kid’s-Eye View (HBO)
My Family Tree (Disney Channel)
Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program - (Series or Special)
China Anne McClain - A.N.T. Farm (Disney Channel)
Keke Palmer - True Jackson, VP (Nickelodeon)
Lance Robertson - Yo Gabba Gabba (Nickelodeon)
Leon Thomas III - Victorious (Nickelodeon)
Zendaya Coleman - Shake It Up (Disney Channel)
Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
Jay Chandrasekhar - Happy Endings - The Girl with the David Tattoo (ABC)
Kevin Hooks - Drop Dead Diva - Mother's Day (Lifetime)
Leonard R. Garner Jr. - Rules of Engagement - The Set Up (CBS)
Miguel Arteta - How to Make It in America - Mofongo (HBO)
Salim Akil - The Game - Parachutes/Beach Chairs (BET)
Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series
Ernest Dickerson - Treme - Do Watcha Wanna (HBO)
Ken Whittingham - Parenthood - Opening Night (NBC)
Kevin Sullivan - NCIS - Tell-All (CBS)
Paris Barclay - Sons of Anarchy - Out (FX Network)
Seith Mann - Dexter - Get Gellar (Showtime)
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
Arthur Harris - Reed Between the Lines - Let's Talk About Ms. Helen's Son Part 1 (BET)
Prentice Penny - Happy Endings - The Girl with the David Tattoo (ABC)
Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil - The Game - Parachutes....Beach Chairs (BET)
Vali Chandrasekaran - 30 Rock - It's Never Too Late For Now (NBC)
Vince Cheung, Ben Montanio - Wizards of Waverly Place - Wizards vs. Angels (Disney Channel)
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series
Cheo Hodari Coker - SouthLAnd - Punching Water (TNT)
Janine Sherman Barrois - Criminal Minds - The Bittersweet Science (CBS)
Lolis Eric Elie - Treme - Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get the Blues? (HBO)
Pam Veasey - Ringer - Oh Gawd, There's Two of Them? (The CW)
Zoanne Clack - Grey's Anatomy - I Will Survive (ABC)
Outstanding Documentary - (Theatrical or Television)
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (Sony Pictures Classics)
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (Submarine Deluxe)
Sing Your Song (HBO Documentary Films)
The Rescuers (Michael King Productions)
Thunder Soul (Roadside Attractions)
Outstanding New Artist
Diggy Simmons (Atlantic Records)
Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. (Columbia Records)
Mindless Behavior (Streamline/Conjunction/Interscope Records)
Wynter Gordon (Big Beat/Atlantic Records)
Outstanding Male Artist
Anthony Hamilton (RCA Records)
Bruno Mars (Elektra Records)
Cee Lo Green (Elektra Records)
Chris Brown (Jive Records)
Common (Warner Bros. Records)
Outstanding Female Artist
Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
Jennifer Hudson (Arista Records)
Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)
Ledisi (Verve Forecast)
Mary J. Blige (Geffen)
Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration
Boyz II Men (Benchmark Entertainment/MSM Music Group)
Cee Lo Green feat. Melanie Fiona (Elektra Records)
Mary J. Blige feat. Drake (Geffen)
Sounds of Blackness (Malaco Music Group)
The Roots (Island Def Jam Music Group)
Outstanding Jazz Album
Chano y Dizzy - Terence Blanchard and Poncho Sanchez (Concord Music Group Inc.)
Friends - Stanley Jordan (Mack Avenue Records)
Guitar Man - George Benson (Concord Jazz)
Legacy - Gerald Wilson (Mack Avenue Records)
Road Show Vol. 2 - Sonny Rollins (Emarcy)
Outstanding Gospel Album - (Traditional or Contemporary)
Becoming - Yolanda Adams (N House Music Group)
Church on the Moon - Deitrick Haddon (Verity Gospel Music Group)
Hello Fear - Kirk Franklin (Verity Gospel Music Group)
Something Big - Mary Mary (Columbia Records)
The Journey - Andraé Crouch (RiverPhlo Entertainment)
Outstanding World Music Album
Afrodiaspora - Susana Baca (Luaka Bop)
Carnival Fever - Brother B (King Chero Records)
Live at 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Boukman Eksperyans (MunckMix, Inc.)
Sounds of Blackness - Sounds of Blackness (Malaco Music Group)
The First Grader - Alex Heffes (Varese Sarabande)
Outstanding Music Video
25/8 - Mary J. Blige (Geffen)
Hear My Call - Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)
I Was Here - Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
Someone Like You - Adele (Columbia Records)
Where You At - Jennifer Hudson (Arista Records)
Best Thing I Never Had - Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
Fool for You feat. Melanie Fiona - Cee Lo Green (Elektra Records)
I Smile - Kirk Franklin (Verity Gospel Music Group)
So In Love feat. Anthony Hamilton - Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)
Someone Like You - Adele (Columbia Records)
4 - Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
F.A.M.E - Chris Brown (Jive Records)
I Remember Me - Jennifer Hudson (Arista Records)
Lasers - Lupe Fiasco (1st & 15th/Atlantic Records)
The Light of the Sun - Jill Scott (Warner Bros. Records)
Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction
A Silken Thread - Brenda Jackson (Harlequin Kimani Press)
Boundaries - Elizabeth Nunez (Akashic Books)
Say Amen, Again - Reshonda Tate Billingsley (Gallery Books)
Silver Sparrow - Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
The Plot Against Hip Hop: A Novel - Nelson George (Akashic Books)
Outstanding Literary Work - Non-Fiction
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America - Melissa Harris-Perry (Yale University Press)
Super Rich - Russell Simmons (Gotham Books)
The Cosmopolitan Canopy - Elijah Anderson (W. W. Norton & Company)
The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place - Hill Harper (Gotham Books)
Who's Afraid of Post- Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now - Toure (Free Press)
Outstanding Literary Work - Debut Author
2Grieve 2Gether: A Journal from the Heart Helping Survivors & Supporters Navigate the Healing Process - Denise Hall Brown (2Lift 1Up Publishing)
A Defining Moment - Patricia Duncan (IJABA Publishing Inc.)
The Loom - Shella Gillus (Guideposts Books)
The Strawberry Letter - Lyah Le Flore (Ballantine/Random House)
We the Animals - Justin Torres (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Outstanding Literary Work - Biography/Autobiography
A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother - Janny Scott (Riverhead Books)
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention - Manning Marable (Penguin Group (USA)-Viking)
My Song - Harry Belafonte (Knopf)
No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington - Condoleezza Rice (Crown Publishers)
The John Carlos Story - John Carlos, Dave Zirin (Haymarket Books)
Outstanding Literary Work - Instructional
A Year to Wellness and Other Weight Loss Secrets - Bertice Berry (Freeman House Publishing)
Living My Dream: An Artistic Approach to Marketing - Synthia Saint James (Create Space)
Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy, & Social Justice in Classroom & Community - Quraysh Ali Lansana (Teachers & Writers Collaborative)
The T.D. Jakes Relationship Bible: Life Lessons on Relationships from the Inspired Word of God - T.D. Jakes (Atria Books)
Too Important to Fail: Saving America's Boys - Tavis Smiley (Author), Juan Roberts, (Illustrator) (SmileyBooks)
Outstanding Literary Work - Poetry
Afro Clouds & Nappy Rain: The Curtis Brown Poems - James Golden (iUniverse)
Head Off & Split - Nikky Finney (TriQuarterly Books / Northwestern University Press)
Honoring Genius: The Narrative of Craft, Art, Kindness and Justice - Haki Madhubuti (Third World Press)
Intimate Thoughts - Darrin Henson (Author), Anna Saunders (Illustrator) (Godzchild Publishing)
Last Seen - Jacqueline Jones Lamon (University of Wisconsin Press)
Outstanding Literary Work - Children Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band - Kwame Alexander (Author), Tim Bowers (Illustrator) (Sleeping Bear Press)
Before There Was Mozart - Lesa Cline-Ransome (Author), James Ransome (Illustrator) (Schwartz & Wade Books / Random House Children's Books)
Heart and Soul - Kadir Nelson (Author/Illustrator) (Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books)
White Water - Michael S. Bandy (Author), Shadra Strickland (Illustrator) (Candlewick Press)
You Can Be A Friend - Tony Dungy (Author), Ron Mazellan (Illustrator) (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Little Simon)
Outstanding Literary Work - Youth/Teens
Camo Girl - Kekla Magoon (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Aladdin)
Eliza's Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diary - Jerdine Nolan (Author), Sadra Strickland (Illustrator) (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Paula Wiseman Books)
Jesse Owens: I Always Loved Running - Jeff Burlingame (Enslow Publishers, Inc.)
Kick - Walter Dean (HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books)
Planet Middle School - Nikki Grimes (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
Best of Seven: June 28 - July 4
Welcome to a new week, friends. This week is the first week of the rest of your lives. So let's see what's on TV, right? Here's the Best of Seven:
7:30PM: Seinfeld, TBS. "The Butter Shave." Jerry and George's attempt to "take a vacation from ourselves" by growing mustaches fails; Kramer experiments with butter as a moisturizer, awakening a cannibalistic hunger in Newman.
9PM: Entourage, HBO. This is Sex in the City for guys. If you missed the 7th season premiere Sunday night, drop by HBO2 on Monday to see Vince, Drama, Ari, and the rest as they suffer the indignities of wealth, women, and all the attendant ennui.
10PM: Rescue Me, FX. If you're a fan of Denis Leary's Emmy award-winning, emotionally intense firefighter drama, make sure to catch the sixth season opener, "Legacy." If you haven't seen Rescue Me before, now might be a good time to start.
11PM: Louie, FX. The spiritual successor of HBO's Lucky Louie. Comedian Louis C.K. debuts the first episode of his new half-hour show, based on his experiences as a stand-up comic, plus a healthy dose of Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque sad-sack pratfalling.
8PM: So You Think You Can Dance, FOX. Do you think you like dance? If you do, you'll probably enjoy this show, if you're not watching already. American Idol is over, so you might as well tune in. Only nine contestants remain!
10PM: The Real World: New Orleans, MTV. There are few shows on television that are less like the 'real world,' which is exactly this MTV staple's appeal. Can you believe this season's premiere in New Orleans marks the show's 24th incarnation? For over 18 years now we have watched house after house of walking stereotypes approximating real human beings drink, fight, and screw. Expect nothing different for no. 24.
9PM: Enchanted, SyFy. An animated Disney princess turns into Amy Adams and is seduced by some Grey's Anatomy doctors in this smart 2007 musical comedy. You'll enjoy it more than you think.
10PM: Futurama, Comedy Central. In case you didn't hear the news, Futurama has been uncanceled and is now on Comedy Central! In "Attack of the Killer App," an unflattering video of Leela makes the rounds online, thanks to Fry.
8PM: Friday Night Lights, NBC. Everyone I know seems to like this show. I'm going to start watching it and you should too! Or, switch over to Space Jam on Encore, starring the unlikely comedy stylings of Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny.
11PM: Freaks and Geeks, IFC. The Independent Film Channel will begin airing the Judd Apatow-produced comedy-drama this Friday, starting with the pilot episode, which introduces us to Lindsay Weir, a disaffected teen who loses interest in academics and begins hanging out with a crew of burnouts that includes Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jason Segel.
8PM: Men In Black, TBS. Revisit the movie that helped launch Will Smith into super-stardom and prepare for the upcoming Men In Black 3 (in 3D, natch). Tommy Lee Jones co-stars in this tale of a top-secret organization that keeps tabs on all of the alien refugees living on Earth, and must help maintain intergalactic peace.
11PM: Point Break, TNT. Keanu Reeves goes undercover as a California surfer dude to solve a string of bank robberies in this 1991 cult flick, also starring Gary Busey and Patrick Swayze. Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) directs.
9PM: Dave Chappelle: Killin' Them Softly, Comedy Central. This is Chappelle's best standup special, hands down. Features the comedian's take on politics, Sesame Street, gender, and race. Bonus: extensive use of Dave's hilarious 'white guy' voice.
11PM: Casino Royale, USA. Forget all about Quantum of Solace with the film that revitalized the franchise and brought us one of the best Bonds in decades. Daniel Craig stars in this smart thriller, with Bad Guys and Bond Girls aplenty.
Before the days of "Jersey Shore," the MTV reality series everyone watched to see the binge drinking, the one-night stands and weird telephones was "The Real World." And even though we've only spent one season down in Dirty Jerz, the nights we fought on the boardwalk and fist-pumped with neon glow sticks obliterated even the greatest hot tub scenes of the "Shore's" predecessor.
But MTV isn't about to abandon "RR," because it's an idea that's worked for eighteen years. It certainly isn't going to discontinue the show just because a tanner, Valtrex-medicated, duck-phone-answering, "GTL"-heavy (and an arguably, much more entertaining) show has emerged. In fact, it means producers are going to try and bring some of the shore's hot mess to New Orleans, which happens to be where the 24th season of "RR" will take place. (Though some could argue the Big Easy needs more "hot mess" as much as a worm needs his wisdom teeth pulled out.) In any case, this season of "The Real World," which premieres on June 30th, will do one of two things: re-establish itself as the best dirty docu-reality of them all, or will be shoved into a hole where it can officially die and make room for it's prettier, smarter, more well-loved cousin.
To see what we're up against this season, let's have a look at the trailer:
Real World XXIV: New Orleans - MTV Shows
So. A few familiarities quickly jump out at us. First, there's sexual promiscuity. We assume this when one of the roommates says "penis" within 5 seconds of the preview's opening. We also have two (blurred) sightings of male genitalia, a girl taking her top off in the jacuzzi and another girl (maybe the same one?) flashing her chest during a Mardi Gras parade. Then, there's the character generalizations: "Knight" is the village idiot who eats a bug off of the pool table the first night, "Preston" fulfills the homosexual status quo, "Kensy" plays the role of the skanky yet judgmental blonde, "Jemmye" is the dumb girl with the even dumber name, the outcast, "Ryan," who asks one of his new roommates if she's ever killed somebody, and two other people who I'm going to deem unimportant.
Now, onto the new things we might be able to expect this season. While this is certainly not the first season MTV has sent seven or eight strangers to live in a city known for partying (Cancun in 2009, Key West in 2006, Las Vegas in 2002/2003, and even New Orleans back in 2000), its choice to go back to New Orleans -- especially during Mardi Gras -- seems like the producers are encouraging the housemates to ignore their consciences and do absolutely anything and everything they want during their time there, which is new. In previous seasons, there have been times when producers stepped in and took a housemate to rehab (most recently in the Hollywood season), but I feel like they're going to keep their distance this time. It's more likely they'll sit in their control room and watch the cast engage in dangerous behaviors and not intervene, under the reasoning that it's just the "New Orleans scene."
Also, there's something about Ryan "the outcast" that stands out to me. Again, "RR" producers have never been afraid of throwing a shark into a coy pond...but Ryan seems to make every other weirdo in the history of the show look like a golden retriever puppy. He seems preoccupied with death, a complete loner, and so uninterested in everything going on around him that it's kind of a shock he even got cast in the first place. His private and dark personality is bound to offend his vivacious roommates, who are hell-bent on exposing themselves and getting as many beaded necklaces as they can. It's no secret Ryan's going to clash with all of them. And since everyone knows it only takes one bad-tasting jellybean to ruin the entire JellyBelly package, it should be pretty obvious this season's going to taste worse than most of the others. And by "worse" I mean enjoyable and entertaining, like the popcorn-flavored jellybean.
Episode 1. Welcome To New Orleans
(AIR DATE 06/30/2010)
Episode 2. Knight Fights, Love Bites
(AIR DATE 07/07/2010)
Episode 3. Jemmye's White Knight
(AIR DATE 07/14/2010)
McKenzie and Ryan cozy up to each other during Mardi Gras, but when Ryan hooks up with her visiting friend, she feels betrayed. Knight wants to become the first Caucasian guy Jemmye has slept with, and he does. Meanwhile, Preston juggles a few different boys.
Episode 4. Superbrawl 2010
(AIR DATE 07/21/2010)
Episode 5. Confused & Abused
(AIR DATE 07/28/2010)
Knight is feeling uneasy while Jemmye struggles between him and her boyfriend. Meanwhile, McKenzie has to confront her drinking problem.
Episode 6. Sing Out, Cop Out
(AIR DATE 08/04/2010)
Ryan and Preston's conflict comes to a head when Ryan calls the cops, leaving the rest of the cast caught in the middle. Meanwhile, Jemmye's mother comes to town for a visit.
Episode 7. Building & Breaking
(AIR DATE 08/11/2010)
Knight's homophobic comments make the rest of the house uncomfortable, and Ryan sits out a day of working with Habitat for Humanity because he doesn't feel like building houses. Jemmye realizes she has a tendency to be attracted to bad boys.
Episode 8. Saint Patrick's Secrets
(AIR DATE 08/18/2010)
It's Saint Patrick's Day, and while some housemates volunteer at a homeless shelter, Knight, Jemmye and McKenzie hit the town instead. McKenzie brings a boy back to the house, but Jemmye is drunk and irrational. She decides to confront her drinking problem.
Episode 9. Fired
(AIR DATE 08/25/2010)
Ryan reveals to Sahar that he suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. Ashlee's Percoset goes missing, and once Knight is exonerated by a drug test, suspicion falls on Ryan. Sahar musters the courage to take the stage and perform a song.
Episode 10. Getting Down, Blowing Up
(AIR DATE 09/01/2010)
Tension between Ryan and the rest of the house reaches a fever pitch when he shows up to a drug abuse class drinking a beer. He tries to avoid his roommates all night, but after a unanimous vote, they evict him from the house.
Episode 11. Over Knight
(AIR DATE 09/08/2010)
Knight and Jemmye's tumultuous relationship continues. The cast spends their last day at the mission, and Loretta asks them to spend a night as homeless people, an assignment which Ashlee and Knight don't take seriously. Sahar's boyfriend visits, and the cast is turned off by his excessive drinking and attitude towards women.