James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list

Morricone Gone

from the Los Angeles Times

Oscar-winning Italian composer Ennio Morricone dies at 91


Oscar-winning film composer Ennio Morricone, who came to prominence with the Italian western “A Fistful of Dollars” and went on to write some of the most celebrated movie scores of all time, has died. He was 91.

Morricone’s longtime lawyer, Giorgio Assumma, told the Associated Press that the composer died early Monday in a Rome hospital of complications following a fall, in which he broke a leg.

A native of the Italian capital, Morricone composed music for more than 500 films and television shows in a career that spanned more than 50 years. At first he was closely associated with “A Fistful of Dollars” director Sergio Leone, for whom he scored six films, including “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Once Upon a Time in America.” Established in his own right, Morricone turned out classic scores for films such as “Days of Heaven,” “Bugsy,” “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Untouchables,” “La Cage aux Folles” and “Battle of Algiers.”

A favorite of critics, directors and other composers, Morricone’s score to the 1986 film “The Mission” was voted best film score of all time in a 2012 Variety poll. On his sixth nomination, he finally won a competitive Oscar, in 2016, for his score for Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.” The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had awarded Morricone an honorary Oscar in 2007.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on July 6, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

3BlackDot @ NewsFronts

from AdWeek

3BlackDot Announces 2 New Shows at NewFronts Debut

The production studio behind the film Queen & Slim also specializes in connecting brands with gaming influencers

By Scott Nover

The 3BlackDot
3BlackDot teased advertisers during today’s NewFront presentation.

Gaming took center stage at the 2020 Digital Content NewFronts today.

The entertainment studio claims to do a little bit of everything: producing feature films like the 2019 crime drama Queen & Slim, web series featuring YouTube stars and selling merchandise. And through brand and product integrations, they want to connect advertisers to their “hard-to-reach” audience.

At NewFronts, the company announced two new original series: Alpha Betas, an animated show in partnership with Starburns Industries, which produced the first two seasons of Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty; and Party Chat, a scripted comedy, they described as the gaming analogue to the FX fantasy football-focused series The League. 

Naturally, both series feature influencers in the gaming space—3BlackDot’s niche. 

The company also bragged about its vertical integration.

“We own the ecosystem,” Dana Pirkle, vp, talent at 3BlackDot, said in the presentation. “We craft the content, we own the distribution and we deliver the monetization—all of it managed, directed and executed from within our network at a global scale.”

[ click to continue reading at AdWeek ]

Posted on July 5, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Projects | | No Comments »

Happy 4th

Posted on July 4, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Site News | | No Comments »

The Demise of Porkopolis

from WCPO

Hot dog mystery: Why can’t you find Kahn’s anymore?

Cincinnati’s favorite hot dog has disappeared

By: John Matarese

Kahn’s hot dogs have been a Cincinnati favorite for generations, even being named the official hot dog of the Cincinnati Reds.

But as we approach the Fourth of July, many grocery shoppers are asking: What happened to them?

Libby Turpin has loved Kahn’s hot dogs since she was a child, but her Kroger Marketplace store in Lebanon, Ohio, has had either empty shelves or other brands in the Kahn’s spot. 

“I went out to find some Kahn’s hot dogs or Big Red Smokeys to throw on the grill for the holiday weekend and couldn’t find any,” she said. “I thought maybe I was just a little late to the game.”

She checked another Kroger store, this time in Deerfield Township. No luck.

The shelves had no Kahn’s Wieners, hot dogs or Big Red Smokeys.

“They are on the website, but they do not have them,” she said. “Other friends have checked, too, at other Kroger stores, and no one can find them.”

Kahn’s dogs and wieners are as Cincinnati as Skyline Chili and LaRosa’s Pizza, two brands they actually predate. 

The brand, founded by Elias Kahn in 1883, helped give Cincinnati its “Porkopolis” nickname.

[ click to continue reading at WCPO ]

Posted on July 3, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

The Wisdom of Eno

Posted on July 2, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Death Riches

from BBC

When a third of Europe’s population was lost, wealth concentrated into tiny groups. Could Covid-19 trigger something similar?

By Eleanor Russell, University of Cambridge and Martin Parker, University of Bristol

Copyright ALAMY

This article originally appeared on The Conversation, and is republished under a Creative Commons licence.

In June 1348, people in England began reporting mysterious symptoms. They started off as mild and vague: headaches, aches, and nausea. This was followed by painful black lumps, or buboes, growing in the armpits and groin, which gave the disease its name: bubonic plague. The last stage was a high fever, and then death.

Originating in Central Asia, soldiers and caravans had brought bubonic plague – Yersina pestis, a bacterium carried on fleas that lived on rats – to ports on the Black Sea. The highly commercialised world of the Mediterranean ensured the plague’s swift transfer on merchant ships to Italy, and then across Europe. The Black Death killed between a third and a half of the population of Europe and the Near East.

This huge number of deaths was accompanied by general economic devastation. With a third of the workforce dead, the crops could not be harvested and communities fell apart. One in ten villages in England (and in Tuscany and other regions) were lost and never re-founded. Houses fell into the ground and were covered by grass and earth, leaving only the church behind. If you ever see a church or chapel all alone in a field, you are probably looking at the last remains of one of Europe’s lost villages.

The traumatic experience of the Black Death, which killed perhaps 80% of those who caught it, drove many people to write in an attempt to make sense of what they had lived through. In Aberdeen, John of Fordun, a Scottish chronicler, recorded that:

This sickness befell people everywhere, but especially the middling and lower classes, rarely the great. It generated such horror that children did not dare to visit their dying parents, nor parents their children, but fled for fear of contagion as if from leprosy or a serpent.

These lines could almost have been written today.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on July 1, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

‘Alpha Betas’ from 3BLACKDOT

from Animation Magazine

Starburns, 3BLACKDOT Team for ‘Alpha Betas’ Starring Top Gamefluencers

By Mercedes Milligan

Starburns Industries

3BLACKDOT (3BD), the leading entertainment studio that sits at the intersection of gaming and culture, announced Friday it is developing a new animated comedy series, Alpha Betas, in partnership with the award-winning animation studio Starburns Industries (Rick and MortyAnomalisa). The half-hour comedy is the first long-scripted television series from the group, who bring a collective audience of over 40 million fans across social media.

Alpha Betas stars leading gaming influencers VanossGaming, BasicallyIDoWrk, I AM WILDCAT and Terroriser. The supporting cast also includes Chris Parnell (Rick and Morty, Saturday Night Live), Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time), Brent Morin (Undateable, Merry Happy Whatever) and more.

Creators Chris Bruno & David Howard Lee (Facebook Watch’s Human Discoveries) will serve as showrunners and executive producers, and Starburns Industries will animate. Regi Cash, James Frey, Zennen Clifton and Mitchell Smith of 3BLACKDOT, along with Starburns’ Casey Rup, James Fino, Simon Ore and Paige Dowling, will also serve as executive producers on the project. 

The pilot episode will debut in early 2021.

[ click to continue reading at Animation Magazine ]

Posted on June 28, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Projects | | No Comments »

Always Fun

Posted on June 27, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Invasion Rome

from AFP via Yahoo! News

Rome sees scooter invasion as city emerges from lockdown

by Herve Bar, AFP

Electronic scooters are all the rage in Rome after lockdown, especially with the young
Electronic scooters are all the rage in Rome after lockdown, especially with the young (AFP Photo/Vincenzo PINTO)

Rome (AFP) – With Rome emerging from lockdown into warm summer days, electric scooters have invaded its streets as the Italian capital joins the debate over urban public transport during the pandemic.

During a recent sunny weekend, thousands of users, mostly young people, slalomed through Rome’s historic centre, on the road leading to the Colosseum and around the famed Piazza Venezia.

Two-wheel scooters were parked on the sidewalks, arranged side by side, or in other cases isolated on street corners, or lying abandoned in the roads.

For some Romans the self-service battery-run scooters, already common in other European cities, ease congestion and help people avoid packed-out public transport in times of pandemic.

For others they are messy, unregulated nuisance.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on June 24, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

“Fuck, that’s a man.”

from Inside Hook

The Man Who Surfs the World’s Biggest Waves Without a Board

Kalani Lattanzi is your favorite surfer’s favorite surfer


Kalani Lattanzi stands in the ocean
Kalani Lattanzi lives to bodysurf, even if it could kill him. RICARDO BRAVO

Early one morning in October of 2015, a 21-year-old Brazilian surfer named Kalani Lattanzi stepped onto the sand at Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal. Muscular and clad in a tight wetsuit, Lattanzi was indistinguishable from the many surfers who, each day, stood on the beach where he now stood. Like all of his peers, Lattanzi was preparing to enter hallowed water, a devilish patch of ocean revered and feared for producing the world’s biggest swells. Just two years earlier, American surfer Garrett McNamara had been towed by a jet ski into an estimated 100-foot wave in these waters, a world-record ride that cemented Nazaré’s place in the pantheon of surf spots.

Lattanzi, however, planned to employ a different approach to surfing these legendary waves. He was going to paddle into the chaos without a critical piece of equipment: a board.

Later that morning, Australian Ross Clarke-Jones and American Jamie Mitchell, both professional big wave surfers, arrived at the beach. A major swell had descended on Praia do Norte and the two men were eager to get into the water before any other surfers arrived. As they headed out into the surf, Clarke-Jones was stunned to discover that they were not alone.  

“The sun was rising and I saw this like, what appeared to be someone in the water swimming,” says Clarke-Jones in Kalani: Gift from Heaven, a short film documenting Lattanzi’s life and exploits in Nazaré. “Is that a seal, or is that a dolphin, or is it a shark? Fuck, that’s a man.”

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on June 23, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Joel Schumacher Gone

from Variety

Joel Schumacher, Director of Batman Films and ‘Lost Boys,’ Dies at 80

By Carmel Dagan

Joel Schumacher Joel Schumacher, director of
Matt Sayles/AP/Shutterstock

Joel Schumacher, costume designer-turned-director of films including “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Lost Boys” and “Falling Down,” as well as two “Batman” films, died in New York City on Monday morning after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 80.

Schumacher brought his fashion background to directing a run of stylish films throughout the 1980s and 1990s that were not always critically acclaimed, but continue to be well-loved by audiences for capturing the feel of the era.

Schumacher was handed the reins of the “Batman” franchise when Tim Burton exited Warner Bros.’ Caped Crusader series after two enormously successful films. The first movie by Schumacher, “Batman Forever,” starring Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman, grossed more than $300 million worldwide.

Schumacher’s second and last film in the franchise was 1997’s “Batman and Robin,” with George Clooney as Batman and Arnold Schwarzenegger as villain Mr. Freeze. For “Batman Forever,” the openly gay Schumacher introduced nipples to the costumes worn by Batman and Robin, leaning into the longstanding latent homoeroticism between the two characters. (In 2006, Clooney told Barbara Walters that he had played Batman as gay.)

[ click to continue reading at Variety ]

Posted on June 22, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Ring Of Fire Summer

from AFP via Yahoo! News

‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse thrills skywatchers on longest day

AFP photographer Sam Yeh snapped a near-perfect picture of the eclipse from Yunlin in Taiwan (AFP Photo/Sam Yeh)

Hong Kong (AFP) – Skywatchers along a narrow band from west Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, India and the Far East witnessed a dramatic “ring of fire” solar eclipse Sunday.

So-called annular eclipses occur when the Moon — passing between Earth and the Sun — is not quite close enough to our planet to completely obscure sunlight, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible.

They happen every year or two, and can only be seen from a narrow pathway across the planet.

Sunday’s eclipse arrived on the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year — the summer solstice — when the North Pole is tilted most directly towards the Sun.

It was first visible in northeastern Republic of Congo from 5:56 local time (04:56 GMT) just a few minutes after sunrise.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on June 21, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

The White Collection

Posted on June 19, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »


from New York Times

‘Was It a Lost Psych-Funk Classic?’ It’s Khruangbin, Right Now

The Houston trio’s third album adds a new chapter to the band’s improbable story.

By Marcus J. Moore

In 2013, the producer and D.J. Bonobo released his version of “Late Night Tales,” the long-running musician-curated album series. The compilation’s theme was serene songs meant to soundtrack the night, and he included “A Calf Born in Winter” from a band called Khruangbin, an upstart Houston trio that hadn’t yet made a full album.

Bonobo had met two of its members, the bassist Laura Lee and the guitarist Mark Speer, in 2010 when they were touring with another band. What he heard of their own project made a strong impression. “The analogue timbres and subtleties of the melodies were incredible,” he wrote in an email. He didn’t forget about Khruangbin, and made an effort to introduce them to everyone he could — Bonobo was among the first to spread Khruangbin’s music by word of mouth, but he certainly wouldn’t be the last.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on June 18, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Amazing Disturbing

Posted on June 17, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Remembering The Tibetan Freedom Concert

from SPIN

Quarantine Classic Concerts: Tibetan Freedom Concert

This was peak ’90s 

by Sean Moltisanti

Rock ‘n roll and politics have a long, intertwined history — and it’s hard to find a better example than the Tibetan Freedom Concert. 

Beginning in 1996 at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the festival brought together many of the biggest artists of that time for one reason: liberating Tibet from decades of crippling control at the hands of China’s Communist regime. The festival was spearheaded by the Beastie Boys, and in particular, the late Adam “MCA” Yauch, who cared deeply about this mission. 

We’ll touch more on the genesis of the concert in a moment. But first, let’s get to the reason you probably clicked on this article to begin with — the music. 

These bills were loaded. The Tibetan Freedom Concert continued to run into the early ‘00s, but it’s biggest years were between 1996 to 1998. Here’s just a taste of the artists who performed during the festival’s late ‘90s prime: Rage Against the MachineRed Hot Chili PeppersSmashing PumpkinsSonic YouthBeckBjorkAlanis MorissettePatti Smith, No Doubt, KRS-One, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Pearl Jam U2, Foo Fighters, Wyclef Jean, Biz Markie, Radiohead, R.E.M., and, of course, the Beastie Boys. What more could you want?

And since they were the ringleaders, we’ve gotta start off with the Beasties.

[ click to continue reading at SPIN

Posted on June 7, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Fight The Power

from Inside Hook

25 Songs About Racism That Are Still Sadly Relevant Today

From “Fight the Power” to “Freedom”


Over 30 years later, "Fight the Power" is still relevant.
Over 30 years later, “Fight the Power” is still relevant. DO THE RIGHT THING/UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Black artists have played a vital role in shaping American music for hundreds of years — be it jazz, gospel, blues, hip-hop or the invention of rock ‘n’ roll. (Sadly, like in all other facets of life in this country, those artists were by and large ripped off, taken advantage of and never properly given their due.) But while Black musicians have had to deal with racism from audiences and the industry alike, they haven’t let it impact their artistry. Music can be a balm or a megaphone, and songs have been used to protest racism for decades.

Sadly, as this past week has evidenced, those songs are just as relevant today. The names get swapped out for new ones — “The Death of Emmett Till” has been replaced with lyrical references to Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, “Birmingham Sunday” and “Mississippi Goddam” swapped out for “Baltimore” — but the deaths and the injustices keep on coming. These songs are, of course, just the top of the iceberg, but in the wake of the death of George Floyd, they’re all essential listens.

[ click to view the list at Inside Hook ]

Posted on June 5, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Tabernanthe iboga

from Real Clear Science

Can a Powerful Psychedelic Fight the Opioid Crisis?

By Ross Pomeroy

Shredded bark of Tabernanthe iboga for consumption. Contains ibogaine. Kgjerstad

46,802 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2018, the latest year for which CDC data is available. This painful cost has been exacted regularly in recent years, the price of rampant opioid overprescription and profit-hungry pharmaceutical companies.

Preventing these deaths means finding an effective way to treat opioid addiction. Somewhere around two million Americans suffer from opioid-related substance use disorder. Treatments like buprenorphine and methadone calm the brain circuits affected by opioids, reducing cravings and withdrawal. In conjunction with counseling, these medications can gradually ferry addicted individuals back to normalcy. Unfortunately, medications are underutilized and states generally lack the resources to provide them to all afflicted individuals.

It is into this quagmire that some have suggested inserting a new, surprising treatment: a powerful psychedelic drug called ibogaine.

Derived from the root or bark of a West African shrub called Tabernanthe iboga, ibogaine has been used in the Bwiti spiritual discipline of the forest-dwelling Punu and Mitsogo peoples of Gabon for generations. Unforgettable to those who have taken it, a high dose of ibogaine induces an “oneirogenic” waking dream-like state for as long as 36 hours, with introspective effects that can last for months afterwards, supposedly permitting takers to conquer their fears and negative emotions.

[ click to continue reading at RCS ]

Posted on June 4, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Conway Knot Problem Gone

from WIRED

A Grad Student Solved the Epic Conway Knot Problem—in a Week

Lisa Piccirillo encountered the more than 50-year-old question by chance at a conference. Her solution relies on a classical tool called the knot trace.


Lisa Piccirillo
Lisa Piccirillo’s solution to the Conway knot problem helped her land a tenure-track position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. PHOTOGRAPH: IAN MACLELLAN/QUANTA MAGAZINE

IN THE SUMMER of 2018, at a  conference on low-dimensional topology and geometry, Lisa Piccirillo heard about a nice little math problem. It seemed like a good testing ground for some techniques she had been developing as a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.

“I didn’t allow myself to work on it during the day,” she said, “because I didn’t consider it to be real math. I thought it was, like, my homework.”

The question asked whether the Conway knot—a snarl discovered more than half a century ago by the legendary mathematician John Horton Conway—is a slice of a higher-dimensional knot. “Sliceness” is one of the first natural questions knot theorists ask about knots in higher-dimensional spaces, and mathematicians had been able to answer it for all of the thousands of knots with 12 or fewer crossings—except one. The Conway knot, which has 11 crossings, had thumbed its nose at mathematicians for decades.

Before the week was out, Piccirillo had an answer: The Conway knot is not “slice.” A few days later, she met with Cameron Gordon, a professor at UT Austin, and casually mentioned her solution.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on June 3, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Dre on Social Media

from SPIN

Dr Dre Believes Social Media ‘Destroyed’ Artist Mystique

“I probably would’ve hated social media when I was coming up” 

by Katrina Nattress

The current generation of artists would probably tell you social media helped lead to their success, but not Dr. Dre. The hip-hop titan is old-school, and to him Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and all the rest have done nothing more than destroy the artist mystique.

During a chat with fellow music mogul and Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine for British GQ, Dre expressed his qualms with these platforms. “I probably would’ve hated social media when I was coming up,” he confessed. “There’s a certain mystique that gets destroyed. I like the mystique. I like waiting. I don’t need anybody to know where I am every minute or what I’m doing. Or what I’m about to do… There’s a certain mystique that came along with music that was entertaining to wait to see what was about to happen.”

[ click to continue reading at SPIN ]

Posted on June 1, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Christo Gone

from The Guardian

Christo, artist who wrapped the Reichstag, dies aged 84

Bulgarian creator of large-scale public artworks worked in collaboration with wife Jeanne-Claude

by Alex Needham

Christo unveiling his first UK outdoor work, a 20 metres high installation on Serpentine Lake in London, in 2018. Photograph: Tim P Whitby/Getty Images

The artist Christo, known for wrapping buildings including Berlin’s Reichstag, and also swathing areas of coast and entire islands in fabric, has died aged 84. The news was confirmed on his official Facebook page, which said that he died of natural causes at his home in New York.

Born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in Bulgaria, Christo studied in Sofia and then defected to the west in 1957, stowing away on a train from Prague to Vienna. Two years later he met Frenchwoman Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, who would become his artistic partner and wife until her death in 2009.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on May 31, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

THE WRETCHED @ the Drive-in

from Entertainment Weekly

How low-budget horror movie The Wretched became America’s No. 1 film

The supernatural shocker expanded to 45 drive-ins this weekend.

By Clark Collis

The Wretched

At the start of the year, the biggest movies set to be released in May looked like Fast & Furious 9Spiral: From the Book of SawBlack WidowScoob, and Artemis Fowl. Instead, the coronavirus outbreak prompted studios to either postpone the movies’ premieres or announce that they would debut on a streaming service. The most successful new film, according to Box Office Mojo, has been a supernatural indie-horror movie called The Wretched, which has dominated the website’s daily chart since it was released on May 1. As of Thursday, The Wretched  — about a teenager who discovers that a malevolent witch is living next door to his father — had been the No. 1 film in America for three weeks.

“It’s actually been a complete shock and kind of insane,” says the Detroit-raised Brett Pierce, who directed the film with his brother Drew. “We were a little movie from Michigan. We always aimed for the moon, but with an independent film you think, Yeah, we’ll come out in a few theaters, and we’ll play for like a week, and maybe ten people will see it. Most people are going to see it when we land on a streaming service at some point. Each week it just kept on getting bigger, it was one of those things where you just don’t believe it as it’s happening. We’re going to be a Jeopardy question one day, because we’re going to be the lowest-grossing most successful film.”

[ click to continue reading at EW ]

Posted on May 28, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

And now from the bright side…

from StudyFinds

Silver Lining: 2 In 5 Adults Have ‘Changed For The Better’ Thanks To Lockdown

by Jacob Roshgadol

LONDON — Many people have been using their extra time during the coronavirus lockdown wisely and have adopted new habits to keep themselves busy. In fact, a recent survey of 2,000 British adults reveals that 43% of people feel they’ve “changed their ways for the better” as a result of all the time inside these past few months.

Researchers sought to learn how habits and daily lives have changed as a result of the lockdown. Nearly half of those surveyed expect to keep up these new hobbies, skills, and daily habits they’ve taken on after the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Learning new computer skills, creating podcasts, participating in online fitness classes and going for long walks are some of the new activities people have turned to as a new means to occupy their time.

[ click to continue reading at StudyFinds ]

Posted on May 23, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »

How THE SHINING Was A True Nightmare

from The Independent

‘Making The Shining was hell’: How tormented stars, Kubrick’s temper and box-office disaster led to an immortal horror

Stephen King hated it, but even set fires, bullying accusations, Shelley Duvall’s misery and Razzie nominations couldn’t stop ‘The Shining’. As it turns 40, Geoffrey Macnab speaks to Kubrick’s trusted assistant, and tells the gruelling true story of the production

Shelley Duvall’s Wendy Torrance struggles to keep a lid on her husband’s swelling mania (Warner Bros)

Jack Nicholson must have needed a lot of toothpaste. When he was starring in Stanley Kubrick’s horror movie The Shining (1980), he felt it a matter of common courtesy to brush his teeth before any new scene. Working on a Kubrick film was, he thought, “gruelling enough” anyway for the crew and his fellow actors without having him breathe over them through “a face full of lamb cutlets”. In her BBC documentary Making the Shining, Vivian Kubrick, the director’s daughter, shows Nicholson bent over the basin, rinsing his mouth. The moment the ritual was complete, he very politely walked back on set, picked up his axe and started trying to hack his co-star Shelley Duvall into pieces all over again with that demented grin on his face. There was take after take after take – and his breath was as fresh at the end of the day at the beginning.

Nicholson was playing Jack Torrance, a troubled writer and recovering alcoholic who takes his wife Wendy (Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) to the Overlook Hotel in the Rockies. Jack is planning to spend the winter as caretaker, working on a book, but he’s an angry, combustible figure anyway and the solitude brings out the devil in him. Little Danny has psychic powers. Through “the shining”, he can sense the evil and violence lurking within the hotel – and inside his own dad, too.

This Shining, which turns 40 tomorrow, is one of Kubrick’s greatest films. This was a director who never took shortcuts and who approached every film he made with a manic zeal to match that of Jack Torrance with his axe. Radiating a slow-burning fury, the movie turns up the intensity from frame to frame, with Nicholson’s performance increasingly deranged. The fast-moving camera work, strident music and intricate but absurdist plotting induce a sense of mounting hysteria in audiences who’ve regularly voted this the scariest movie ever made.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on May 22, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Sam Taylor-Johnson on ‘The Film That Lit My Fuse”


The Film That Lit My Fuse: Sam Taylor-Johnson

By Jake Kanter

The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to grim headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.

Every installment we pose the same five questions, and answering those questions this week is Sam Taylor-Johnson, the BAFTA-nominated British director behind John Lennon biopic Nowhere BoyFifty Shades of Grey, and most recently A Million Little Pieces, on which she collaborated with her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson. She is currently attached to direct a Paramount Television Studios adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Middlesex, while she is also poised to announce her latest feature at the reimagined Cannes digital film festival.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on May 21, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

BRIGHT SHINY MORNING for Harry and Meghan

from The Financial Times

Letter: A book on the City of Angels fit for a prince

From Lyndon Heal, Madrid, Spain

While I wouldn’t challenge Janan Ganesh’s assertion (FT Weekend, April 25) that ‘the seminal book about 20th century LA by a London professor (Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, by Reyner Banham), might I suggest Prince Harry read James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning as another perfect introduction to the diversity of life in LA.

Lyndon Heal 
Madrid, Spain

[ click to read at FT ]

Posted on May 18, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Bright Shiny News, Culture Music Art, Literary News | | No Comments »

Banksy’s Superhero Nurse

from artnet

Banksy Just Made a Surprisingly Earnest Painting of a Superhero Nurse and Donated It to a British Hospital as a Morale Booster

The work will remain on view at the Southampton General Hospital until this fall, when it will go to auction.

by Caroline Goldstein

Banksy's painting for the Southampton General Hospital called game changer (2020).
Banksy’s painting for the Southampton General Hospital called game changer (2020).

Banksy has donated a painting to England’s Southampton General Hospital in an effort to raise the spirits of medical professionals working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The painting, an uncharacteristic medium for the elusive street artist, shows a young boy playing with a superhero doll dressed as a nurse, complete with a mask and apron bearing the Red Cross symbol, and a cape fluttering behind her. Next to the child, a wastebasket holds castoffs, including Spider–Man and Batman figurines—outdated versions of superheroes in our new pandemic-stricken world.

The artist left a note with the special delivery, titled game changer, that read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.”

The hospital, which is the largest in the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust system, hosts coronavirus researchers, including those who are starting vaccine trials.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on May 17, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Corona Quads

from CBS Dallas

Born Into A Pandemic: Mother, Father Bring Identical Quadruplets Home

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County. (credit: Texas Health Resources)

A North Texas mother and father are celebrating a rare blessing, growing their family by four during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hudson, Harrison, Henry and Hardy were born at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on March 15, just one day before the mandatory stay-at-home and social distancing regulations began in Dallas County.

“This situation is so incredibly rare that there are only about 72 documented cases of spontaneous, identical quadruplets ever,” said Lauren Murray, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas.

[ click to continue reading at CBS Dallas ]

Posted on May 16, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Weirdness | | No Comments »


from The New York Times

When ‘Valley Girl’ (and Nicolas Cage) Shook Up Hollywood

With no money or clout, what started as a cheap exploitation film managed to, like, totally click with a generation — and produce an unconventional superstar.

By Ashley Spencer

Four shots of nude breasts. That’s what the producers of “Valley Girl” demanded of their potential director, Martha Coolidge. If she wanted the gig — overseeing what was set to be a low-budget, exploitative high-school romp that could lure teen boys like “Porky’s” did — she’d need to make sure the requisite skin appeared onscreen.

Coolidge agreed and quickly found a loophole: “They didn’t say how long the shots had to be. Not smart of them.”

The nudity appears in the 1983 film for mere seconds, presented frankly and lacking any titillation. In fact, Coolidge transformed “Valley Girl” from its superficial beginnings into a teen classic full of heart and a trippin’-dicular new wave soundtrack. The movie is making a comeback of sorts — it was recently made available for digital download for the first time, and on May 8, a musical remake arrives on-demand starring Jessica Rothe, Josh Whitehouse and the controversial YouTube star Logan Paul.

The films’ roots go back to Southern California’s valley girl culture, which became a national phenomenon in the early 1980s thanks to the recurring “Saturday Night Live” character Sherry and the hit song “Valley Girl,” by Frank Zappa and his daughter, Moon Unit. The tune scorned the ditzy middle-class teens who spoke in uptalk and spent their free time at the mall.

Eager to capitalize on the fad, the indie production company Atlantic Entertainment Group greenlit the original movie, batting away Zappa’s trademark-infringement suit. The budget was just $350,000. To compare, fellow 1983 coming-of-age comedy “Risky Business” cost $6.2 million. Coolidge took a mere $5,000 directing fee and many of the crew members were volunteers.

“I borrowed money from my mother to eat,” Coolidge said. “But I was making a real movie and that was what was important.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on May 14, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Zoom ZOOM Yeah!

from The New Yorker

Come On and Zoom-Zoom

By David Kamp

The transition from in-office meetings to at-home video conferencing has occasioned lots of memes and social-media posts about “my idea of a Zoom meeting,” usually accompanied by a grainy video or photo of haphazardly barbered nineteen-seventies children romping around in striped rugby shirts. Among older members of Generation X, it’s hard to hear the word “zoom” without associating it with “Zoom,” one of the most memorable and radically experimental television programs of its era. Like the teleconferencing service, the original “Zoom” was screen-based and interactive, and it quickly evolved into a national obsession. But, unlike Zoom the online platform, “Zoom” was mostly the province of kids, primarily those in the tween cohort.

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on May 13, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

COVID Devastating Navajo Nation

from AP

‘The grief is so unbearable’: Virus takes toll on Navajo


Eugene Dinehdeal shields his face from the setting sun on the Dinehdeal family compound in Tuba City, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation on April 20, 2020. The Navajo reservation has some of the highest rates of coronavirus in the country. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

TUBA CITY, Arizona (AP) — The virus arrived on the reservation in early March, when late winter winds were still blowing off the mesas and temperatures at dawn were often barely above freezing. 

It was carried in from Tucson, doctors say, by a man who had been to a basketball tournament and then made the long drive back to a small town in the Navajo highlands. There, believers were preparing to gather in a small, metal-walled church with a battered white bell and crucifixes on the window.

On a dirt road at the edge of the town, a hand-painted sign with red letters points the way: “Chilchinbeto Church of the Nazarene.” 

From that church, COVID-19 took hold on the Navajo Nation, hopscotching across families and clans and churches and towns, and leaving the reservation with some of the highest infection rates in the U.S. 

Crowding, tradition, and medical disparities have tangled together on the tribe’s land — an area nearly three times the size of Massachusetts — creating a virological catastrophe. 

And the most basic measures to fight the virus’ spread — handwashing and isolation — can be difficult. 

One-third of the homes across the vast, dry reservation don’t have running water, forcing families to haul it in. Many in close-knit Navajo communities live in crowded houses where self-quarantine is impossible, and many must drive hours to the nearest grocery store. To most Navajo, isolating an infected person from their family is deeply alien.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on May 11, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Lord Of The Real

from The Guardian

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in 1965, it turned out very differently from William Golding’s bestseller, writes Rutger Bregman

by Rutger Bregman

A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
 A still from the 1963 film of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Photograph: Ronald Grant

For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.

When I started writing a book about this more hopeful view, I knew there was one story I would have to address. It takes place on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. A plane has just gone down. The only survivors are some British schoolboys, who can’t believe their good fortune. Nothing but beach, shells and water for miles. And better yet: no grownups.

On the very first day, the boys institute a democracy of sorts. One boy, Ralph, is elected to be the group’s leader. Athletic, charismatic and handsome, his game plan is simple: 1) Have fun. 2) Survive. 3) Make smoke signals for passing ships. Number one is a success. The others? Not so much. The boys are more interested in feasting and frolicking than in tending the fire. Before long, they have begun painting their faces. Casting off their clothes. And they develop overpowering urges – to pinch, to kick, to bite. 

By the time a British naval officer comes ashore, the island is a smouldering wasteland. Three of the children are dead. “I should have thought,” the officer says, “that a pack of British boys would have been able to put up a better show than that.” At this, Ralph bursts into tears. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence,” we read, and for “the darkness of man’s heart”.

This story never happened. An English schoolmaster, William Golding, made up this story in 1951 – his novel Lord of the Flieswould sell tens of millions of copies, be translated into more than 30 languages and hailed as one of the classics of the 20th century. In hindsight, the secret to the book’s success is clear. Golding had a masterful ability to portray the darkest depths of mankind.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on May 10, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Literary News, Weirdness | | No Comments »

Little Richard Gone

from Rolling Stone

‘I Majored in Mouth’: How Little Richard Invented the Rock Star

With his “A-wop bop-a-loo-bop, a-lop bam boom” battle cry, the late singer-pianist embodied an irrepressible rebel spirit that inspired everyone from John Lennon to Jimi Hendrix


American musician and singer Little Richard pictured, with Screaming Lord Sutch behind,  speaking at a press conference to promote his appearance at the London Rock and Roll Show at Wembley Stadium in London, 4th August 1972. (Photo by Jack Kay/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Rob Sheffield looks back on how Little Richard’s big mouth and chaotic ego paved the way for every rock star who would follow. Getty Images

Rebellion, outrage, scandal, hypersexual egomania, ripping it up, rocking it up, gigantic hair, and mascara — all these things are in rock & roll because Little Richard put them there. He was the loudest and wildest and rudest of the Fifties pioneers, the most flamboyantly and untamably free. He invented the rock star. That’s why the world is mourning today for Little Richard, who died this morning at 87. “The Girl Can’t Help It,” “Tutti Frutti,” “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” “Heebie Jeebies” — these songs have been an inspiration to rebel hearts ever since. When John Lennon was asked in 1970 by Rolling Stone’s Jann S. Wenner about his taste in music, Lennon simply replied, “A-wop bop-a-loo-bop.”

That battle cry — the opening holler of “Tutti Frutti” — kicked off Little Richard’s career in 1955. It was the sound of a poor gay black kid in Macon, Georgia, announcing to the world that his time had come, exploding with falsetto screams and piano-stomping flash and a six-inch pompadour. As Little Richard told Rolling Stone in his legendary 1970 cover story, “I came from a family where my people didn’t like rhythm & blues. Bing Crosby, ‘Pennies From Heaven,’ Ella Fitzgerald, was all I heard. And I knew there was something that could be louder than that, but didn’t know where to find it. And I found it was me.” 

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]

Posted on May 9, 2020 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

« Previous PageNext Page »